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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.

Music
Image: Nabsolute Media

Reekado Banks Recalls The Carnage of The #EndSARS Protests In Single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

The Nigerian singer pays his respects to those lost during last year's #EndSARS protests.

Nigerian singer and songwriter Reekado Banks is back with a track that is as socially important as it is a banger. It seems fitting for the singer's first solo release of the year to be a tribute to his fellow countrypeople fighting for a country that they all wish to live in. The 27-year-old Afrobeats crooner has returned with endearing track 'Ozumba Mbadiwe', honoring the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests that saw the Nigerian government authorize an onslaught of attacks on Nigerian citizens for their anti-government demonstrations.

The protests took the world by storm, additionally because the Nigerian government insists that none of the police brutality happened. In an attempt to gaslight the globe, Nigerian officials have come out to hoards to deny any and all accusations of unlawfully killing peaceful protesters. Banks mentions the absurd denials in the track, singing "October 20, 2020 something happened with the government, they think say we forget," in the second verse. Reekado's reflective lyrics blend smoothly and are supported by the upbeat, effortless Afrobeat rhythm.

In another reflective shoutout to his home, 'Ozumba Mbadiwe' is named after a popular expressway on Lagos Island that leads to the infamous Lekki Toll Gate where protesters were shot at, traumatized, and murdered. Although packed with conscious references, the P.Priime produced track is a perfect amalgamation of the talents that Reekado Banks has to offer; a wispy opening verse, a hook to kill, and an ethereal aura to mark this as a song as a hit. On "Ozumba Mbadiwe," all the elements align for Reekado's signature unsinkable sound to take flight.

Check out Reekado Bank's lyric video for his single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

Reekado Banks - Ozumba Mbadiwe (Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

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