Alweendo refutes N.dollars 50 million bribe allegations

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Mines and Energy Minister Tom Alweendo has refuted allegations that he accepted bribes amounting to N.dollars 50 million from Chinese company Xinfeng Investment, which mines lithium near Uis in the Erongo Region.

Alweendo and his former technical advisor Ralph Muyumba, who resigned 24 hours after the allegations surfaced, as well as mines commissioner Erasmus Shivolo, are accused of accepting bribes to allegedly block the renewal of the exclusive prospecting licence (EPL) of Karlowa Mining Enterprises, which would put the Chinese company at an advantage.

Speaking at a media conference here yesterday, Alweendo said his office received recommendations from the selection committee on EPLs to award an EPL to the Orange River company, which successfully applied for an EPL that was previously owned by Karlowa Mining Enterprises, but which was not renewed after they failed to use the licence for its intended purposes.

The minister explained that the law does not permit the renewal of licences more than twice without the licence holder mining anything, which was the case with Karlowa Mining Enterprises.

He further explained that Orange River sourced for their investors, Xinfeng Investment, who agreed to offer them N.dollars 50 million, noting that his office was not involved in any of the negotiations and transactions.


2 (CONAKRY, 21 OCT, AFP) – Young protesters clashed yesterday with security forces in the Guinean capital Conakry after a banned group called for demonstrations against the country’s ruling junta, an AFP reporter saw.

The National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC), which had called the protest, said some 20 people had been injured, some of whom suffered gunshot wounds.

It said one of the injured was in critical condition and numerous arrests had been made.

No official confirmation of this information has been made.

The poor but mineral-rich West African state has been under military government since a September 2021 coup that ousted president Alpha Conde after more than 10 years in power.


3 (BEIRUT, 21 OCT, XINHUA) – The Lebanese parliament yesterday failed again to elect a new president, bringing the country closer to institutional deadlock as President Michel Aoun’s term ends on Oct. 31.

House Speaker Nabih Berri announced that the voting session, attended by 119 deputies out of 128, resulted in 42 votes for Michel Mouawad, 55 blank votes, and some scattered votes with political slogans, Lebanese National News Agency reported.

This is the third time that the Lebanese parliament failed to elect a president. The last two elections were held on Sept. 29 and Oct. 13.

Lebanon has witnessed several periods of presidential vacuum as a result of divisions among political blocs governing the country, raising concerns about the likelihood of the post being left vacant again as the country grapples with a steep financial crisis.

Berri called for the next parliamentary session to be held on Oct. 24 for another presidential election.


4 (ADEN, 21 OCT, XINHUA) – A senior official of Yemen’s pro-government security forces survived an explosion that struck his motorcade in the country’s southern oil-rich province of Shabwa yesterday, a government official told Xinhua.

‘The explosion apparently caused by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), targeted the motorcade of Brigadier Awad Dhiban along with his soldiers while they were passing through the main street in Shabwa’s provincial city of Ataq,’ the local government source said on condition of anonymity.

He clarified that Awad Dhiban survived the explosion unhurt, but his son and two soldiers lost their lives as a result of the terror incident.

Dhiban used to be in charge of elite security units that worked for the government. He led several campaigns against terrorist hideouts in mountainous areas of Shabwa. He is also considered a prominent social and tribal figure in Shabwa.

No group has claimed responsibility for the explosion so far. The Yemeni official held militants of the Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) responsible for the attack.


5 (LONDON, 21 OCT, XINHUA) — United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Liz Truss resigned yesterday after just a little over six weeks in office and thus became the shortest-serving prime minister in the country’s history.

In a statement outside 10 Downing Street, she said that there will be a leadership election ‘to be completed within the next week’ and that she will remain as caretaker prime minister until a successor has been chosen.

‘I came into office at a time of great economic and international instability,’ she said. ‘Our country has been held back for too long by low economic growth. I was elected by the Conservative Party with a mandate to change this … I recognize though, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party.’

Truss’s resignation came after the mini-budget, the fiscal plan announced by her government last month, caused economic chaos and tanked the ruling Conservative Party’s poll rating.

The mini-budget, which contained controversial debt-funded tax cuts, has been blamed for plunging the British pound to a 37-year low against the U.S. dollar while pushing up the cost of government borrowing and mortgage rates.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency