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Zimbabwe ex-president, Robert Mugabe is dead

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Robert Mugabe, who led Zimbabwe with an iron fist from 1980 to 2017, has died aged 95, the country’s president announced Friday.

First heralded as a liberator who rid the former British colony of Rhodesia of white minority rule, Mugabe used repression and fear to hold on to power in Zimbabwe until he was finally ousted by his previously loyal military generals.

“It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding father and former President… Robert Mugabe,” Emmerson Mnangagwa said in a tweet.

“Mugabe was an icon of liberation, a pan-Africanist who dedicated his life to the emancipation and empowerment of his people. His contribution to the history of our nation and continent will never be forgotten.”

Mugabe had been battling ill health, and his humiliating fall from office in November 2017, his stamina seeped away rapidly. He was hospitalised in Singapore for months for an undisclosed ailment, Mnangagwa had confirmed earlier this year.

No further details were immediately available about the circumstances of his death, or where he died.

The Mugabe years are widely remembered for his crushing of political dissent, and policies that ruined the economy.

The former political prisoner turned guerrilla leader swept to power in the 1980 elections after a growing insurgency and economic sanctions forced the Rhodesian government to the negotiating table.

In office, he initially won international plaudits for his declared policy of racial reconciliation and for extending improved education and health services to the black majority.

But that faded as rapidly as he cracked down on opponents, including a campaign known as Gukurahundi that killed an estimated 20,000 dissidents.

The violent seizure of white-owned farms turned Mugabe into an international pariah — though his status as a liberation hero still resonates strongly in most of Africa.

Aimed largely at placating angry war veterans who threatened to destabilise his rule, the land reform policy wrecked the crucial agricultural sector, caused foreign investors to flee and helped plunge the country into economic misery.

All along, the Mugabe regime was widely accused of human rights violations and of rigging elections.

The topic of his succession was virtually taboo during Mugabe’s decades-long rule, and a vicious struggle to take over after his death became clear among the ruling elite as he reached his 90s and became visibly frail.

(BBC)

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OPAN disassociates self from online group called ‘OPMAN’

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The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN) wishes to disassociate itself from the group known as Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria, which cleverly adopts the acronym ‘OPMAN’.

This statement serves as a notice to individuals or organizations having dealings with this group, ‘OPMAN’ as our lawyers engage the Corporate Affairs Commission to address this development, OPAN said in a statement adding that it has no affiliation whatsoever with the group.

OPAN President, Austyn Ogannah, said: “Our attention has been drawn to the existence of a group which adopted a name similar to ours and goes by an acronym that is closely identical to ours.

“For the record OPAN has no affiliation with this group or its promoter(s).

“The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN), registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on 14th of November 2011, is the umbrella body for organisations and persons in the online/digital media space with a mandate to self regulate practitioners and promote responsible use of the new media in Nigeria.”

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NITDA sets up team to investigate, protect Nigerians from data breach

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), today inaugurated the NITDA Data Breach Investigation Team at the Agency’s Corporate Headquarters, Abuja. The effort was aimed at safeguarding the rights, privacy and data of citizens in the country.

The Director General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi CCIE, while inaugurating the Team said thay, “ever since the Agency issued the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) on 25th January, 2019, there has been an unprecedented interest in the regulation as witnessed by the various engagements and inquiries about it”.

He further stated the objectives of the National Data Protection Regulations includes: Safeguarding the rights of citizens on data privacy; Fostering safe conduct in transactions involving the exchange of Personal Data; Enabling Nigerian businesses to be globally compliant & competitive to create jobs for eligible Nigerians.

Inuwa said that, “NITDA, as the IT sector regulator has a duty to ensure that the objectives of the regulations are being realised”. The highlight of the event was the inauguration of a 15-man committee that will investigate and checkmate any breach of the National Data Protection Regulations (NDPR).

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Reps ask CBN to suspend cashless policy

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The house of representatives has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to halt the controversial cashless policy it recently re-introduced.

At plenary session on Thursday, the lower legislative chamber said the policy leads to significant decrease in credit extension by Nigerian money deposit banks.

The also said it has negative impacts on small and medium enterprises “which are clearly the engine room for growth of the economy.”

In a circular released on Tuesday, the CBN had directed all deposit money banks in the country to charge 3% processing fees for withdrawals and 2% for deposits of amounts above N500,000 for individual accounts.

Corporate account holders will be charged 5% processing fees for withdrawals and 3% for deposits of amounts above N3 million.

The directive was, however, criticised by some Nigerians for various reasons.

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