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cc image of Congolese ballot via Monusco

A Fire Destroyed Thousands of Voting Machines Days Before Elections in DRC

At least 70 percent of the voting machines have been destroyed by the fire.

A fire, which broke out in the early hours of this morning, has destroyed 70 percent of the voting machines and ballot boxes to be used in the DRC's presidential elections just 10 days away.


Just days away from the long-awaited presidential election that will see the President of the DRC, Joseph Kabila, end his 17-year rule, 7000 out of the 10000 voting machines housed in an electoral commission building in the capital of Kinshasa, were destroyed by a fire. It is not yet known what caused the fire, however, Kabila's adviser, Barnabe Kikaya Bin Karubi, said that the fire was 'criminal in nature' and that the security guards who had been placed outside the building have all since been arrested.

The news of the fire comes just after several people were killed during clashes with the police at an opposition rally on Wednesday. Fears of continued violence are rampant seeing that the DRC has never experienced a peaceful transition of power following its independence from Belgium in 1960. There is constant civil unrest in the country which may at any time flare up and possibly become fully-fledged wars, some analysts have warned.



The use of voting machines has been seen as controversial. Whilst Namibia is the only other African country to make use of the machines during its elections, the country has a considerably smaller population (1.2 million) compared to the DRC's 46 million. The opposition has expressed how it feels the use of these voting machines may allow for manipulation and gross fraud in the upcoming elections in a country where Kabila has hogged power since 2001. There are also concerns that whilst Kabila has agreed to relinquish power, he is planning to ensure that one of his loyalists, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, will be the next president of the DRC.

Officials have reported that the elections will proceed as planned and that the voting machines and ballot boxes lost will be replaced immediately, obtaining voting equipment from other parts of the country and redirecting them to Kinshasa.

The presidential elections are set to take place on the 23rd of December 2018.

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Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Passes Away

The former Egyptian president, who was ousted in 2011 during the Arab Spring Uprising, was aged 91.

Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak passed away yesterday according to reports by the BBC.

The former statesman's death comes barely a year after his successor and Egypt's first democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi, suffered a fatal heart attack.

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Photo by Issue Sanogo/AFP via Getty Images

Togolese President Wins Re-election to Secure Fourth Term in Office

President Faure Gnassingbé prepares for a fourth term in office following an election wrought with fraud allegations.

Togo's electoral commission has just released the preliminary results of the first round of the presidential election.

President Faure Gnassingbé reportedly secured 72 percent of the vote while his main opposition and former Prime Minister Agbeyome Kodjo who straddled behind with just 18 percent of the vote, according to Aljazeera.

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Davido's Fiancé, Chioma Rowland, Tests Positive For Coronavirus

The Nigerian musician made the announcement via a heartfelt Instagram post on Friday.

Chioma Rowland, the fiancé of star Nigerian musician Davido, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The artist shared the news via Instagram on Friday, writing that he and 31 people on his team decided to get tested after returning back to Lagos from abroad. While he and the rest of his team received negative results, Rowland's test came back positive.

"Unfortunately, my fiancé's results came back positive while all 31 others tested have come back negative including our baby," wrote Davido. He added that they both showed no systems, but would be self-isolating as a safety measure.

"We are however doing perfectly fine and she is even still yet to show any symptoms whatsoever. She is now being quarantined and I have also gone into full self isolation for the minimum 14 days," he added. "I want to use this opportunity to thank you all for your endless love and prayers in advance and to urge everyone to please stay at home as we control the spread of this virus! Together we can beat this!"

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Juls Drops New Music Video for 'Soweto Blues' Featuring Busiswa and Jaz Karis

The Ghanaian-British producer heads to South Africa for the music video for the amapiano-inspired track.

Heavyweight Ghanaian-British producer Juls shares his first offering of 2020, and it does not disappoint.

The producer enlists South African music star Busiswa and London's Jaz Karis for the jazz-inflected "Soweto Blues," which also boasts elements of South Africa's dominant electronic sound, Amapiano. The slow-burner features airy vocals from Karis who features prominently on the 3-minute track, while Busiswa delivers a standout bridge in her signature high-energy tone.

"The song dubbed "Soweto Blues" is a song depicting the love, sadness and fun times that Soweto tends to offer its people," read the song's YouTube description. The video premiered earlier today on The Fader. "The energy is amazing, the people are lovely and I've found a second home — especially the vibrancy of Soweto," the producer told The Fader about his trip to Soweto for the making of the video "Jaz Karis is singing a love song, which is symbolic of my new love of Soweto and I'm honoured to have worked with Busiswa whom I have been a fan of for a long time."

Fittingly, the music video sees Juls traveling through the township, taking in its sights and energy. The video, directed by Nigel Stöckl, features striking shots of the popular area and its skilled pantsula dancers.

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