CANVAS Weekly Update – September 17th, 2021


September 17, 2021

Dear Friends,   CANVAS is delighted to bring you another issue of the weekly report! This week covers the forced digital silencing of those who organized the 2020 Tiananmen Square vigil by Hong Kong authorities, the UN pledging one billion dollars to aid those impacted by the worsening living situation in Afghanistan, the mobilization of 200,000 Russian troops in war-games with Belarus, and the lengthened imprisonment of former Bolivian President Jeanine Áñez.  

Conflict Update:

Following the jailbreak from an Israeli Prison last week, 1,400 Palestinians held in Isreali jails have begun a hunger strike to protest detention conditions, refusing food until Israeli authorities inform them on what they have been charged with and when they are to be released.  On Tuesday, it was reported that three were arrested on suspicion of aiding the escapees, adding to the arrests of many of the escapees’ family members in Jenin. Now, four of the six escapees have been captured.  On Wednesday, in the Ketziot and Ramon Prisons in south Israel Palestinian inmates set fire to their cells in response to new restrictions imposed due to the prison break. Following the “day of Rage” protests held throughout the West Bank in support of the prison escapees, a Palestinian doctor succumbed to injuries inflicted by the IDF. More than 100 are said to be injured.

In Beita, Palestine, continued protests to the illegal settler outpost were ongoing, a “nightly ritual” of the nearby residents with protests continuing for 100 consecutive days. In Jenin refugee camp, a resistance hotbed, the military wings of Fatah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad announced the formation of a joint operations room, the first time the three movements have joined forces. This is likely in response to both the increased protests and killings in the past months, as well as the near nightly raids and arrests in the refugee camp. It is believed that the two remaining escapees are planning to return to the camp, and when they do, the Israeli army will descend upon it. An Islamic Jihad fighter claims they have arrived in the camp “in preparation for any battle”, and to protect the fugitive prisoners with force.  On Wednesday, Russian plane’s attacked northwestern Syria’s Idlib, injuring a woman and three children. It is believed they were targeting a poultry farm.In India, police clashed with an opposition protest demanding employment for the youth. Many protests were arrested, with protestors jumping over police barricades to continue their march to the government offices in Delhi.   

Coronavirus Update:

On Thursday (16/09), the Philippines’ capital region—home to over 13 million people across 16 cities—exited two weeks of wide-scale lockdowns. Simultaneously, the government began pilot tests of localised lockdowns (termed “general community lockdowns” or GCQs) in order to balance reopening the country’s economy with curbing the spread of the virus. The Philippines is part of a broader trend of Southeast Asian nations like Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia, who has decided to start reopening their economies, effectively treating the virus as endemic. With the  said reopening comes a wide range of experiments including, as the South China Morning Post details, “military-delivered food, sequestered workers, micro-lockdowns and vaccinated-only access to restaurants and offices.”

In Europe, former health minister Agnés Buzyn is being investigated for “endangering the lives of others” through her alleged mishandling of the pandemic. In February 2020, Buzyn left her post to run for Paris mayor, with the excuse that Covid was “low risk.” But in June 2020, she acknowledged to the newspaper Le Monde that she “knew a tsunami was approaching.” According to the BBC, Buzyn’s is “one of the world’s first cases of a minister facing legal accountability for their pandemic response.” As part of a global three-phase clinical trial of China’s Sinovac Biotech COVID-19 vaccine, 2,000 children and adolescents aged six months to 17 years will be vaccinated in South Africa, starting 10 September. The pediatric trials will also recruit 12,000 participants from Kenya, the Philippines, Chile, and Malaysia. According to a statement from Sinovac: “The primary objective of the study is to evaluate the efficacy of two doses of the CoronaVac against confirmed symptomatic COVID-19 cases in children and adolescents.” Sinovac is also planning to open a vaccine production facility in South Africa, according to executives from its local partner, Numolux group.

In China, an outbreak of the Delta variant in Putian, Fujian province, continues to grow.  On Tuesday, 14 September, authorities announced that the outbreak is the largest school-linked spread in the country since the start of the pandemic. As of Friday, 17 September, the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) reported over 200 Covid-19 infections. There has been no reported deaths. Speaking to respiratory medicine expert Leung Chi-chiu, The South China Morning Post reported the outbreak “could be controlled within two 14-week incubation periods, if there are no signs of widespread infections within the next two or three days.” Part of the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus includes mass Covid-19 testing, closing tourist attractions, banning large social gatherings, and restricting vehicle movement. For example, the closure of provincial expressways and highways into Putian, as well as the suspension of train services from Xiamen to major cities.  


On Monday more than one billion dollars was pledged to Afghanistan on behalf of the UN in response to increasing poverty rates, the closing of public services, and food and water supplies estimated to run out within the month. While on Friday, the IMF suspended its aid agreements and resources with Afghanistan, waiting for approval from the international community in recognizing the new Taliban government.
On Tuesday, reports of 20 civilian deaths in the Panjshir Valley confirmed the continued Taliban offensive against the opposition forces who have made the region their stronghold. Although civilians were encouraged by opposition forces to continue daily activities, deaths of civilian shopkeepers have turned the surrounding towns deserted, as locals hide until fighting is over. The same day, hundreds of Kandahar residents living in a government owned residential area protested against a three day evacuation notice given by the Taliban with no reasoning. Taliban forces responded by blocking the road, and there are reports of Taliban impeding journalist’s coverage of the event and beating another journalist. 
Reports of local support for the Taliban in rural Pashtun southern and eastern provinces have cropped up, citing the Taliban takeover and US troop withdrawal for the first period of peace in the region over the last 20 years. Districts such as Baraki Barak were plagued by constant battling between Taliban, Afghan, and American forces, leading to countless deaths and insecurity.
Rumors that Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, taliban co-founder and deputy prime minister, had died due to his absence were dismissed on Wednesday, when rival factions within the Taliban, one led by Baradar and the other by interior minister Khalil ur-Rahman Haqqanu, are said to have quarrelled within the presidential palace over how power is divided within the cabinet, and whom within the group deserves credit for the whirlwind takeover. Baradar is apparently displeased with the state of the interim government, wanting a heavier focus on diplomacy, while Haqquani, leader of the powerful Haqqani network which is designated by the US as a terror network, believes that fighting is the only way to strengthen the government.  


Some townships in Myanmar that are openly anti-junta have had authorities shut down access to the internet. This has now occurred in ten townships in five administrative regions that have seen widespread anti-junta protests since the February 1st coup, including Sagaing, Mandalay, Magway, and those in the state of Kachin. Those residents now fear an imminent military offensive in this information lockdown, and all have seemed to acknowledge the heightened risk of rights abuses with cut-off internet. Abuse by the militia, including violence and arrests, has increased since the shadow National Unity Government (NUG) declared war on the junta last week. PDF militias have destroyed dozens of towers operated by military-run telecom Mytel Telecommunications in a bid to decrease company revenue they say the regime will use to buy weapons to wield against the population.
Since the February coup by the military in Myanmar, where the Aung San Suu Kyi-led elected government was overthrown, the question of who should hold Myanmar’s seat to the United Nations has hung in the air with no decision being made. A few weeks following the coup, Kyaw Moe Tun, Myanmar’s Ambassador to the U.N., addressed the General Assembly with a public breaking with the junta and a pledge of loyalty to the ousted civilian government. Under a deal brokered by the U.S. and China, the UNGA’s Credentials Committee will defer its decision on Myanmar’s U.N. representation until the end of the General Assembly session in November.  

The United States:

Six moments of silence were held on Saturday to mark the times of the 9/11 attacks. President Joe Biden and other leaders honored the heroes and remembered the tragic deaths that happened 20 years ago.
On 16th September, U.S. Democratic lawmakers asked the chiefs of two lobbying groups and four major fossil fuel companies to testify next month on whether the industry led an effort to mislead the public and prevent action to fight climate change in a quest to testify and “advance America’s priorities of pricing carbon, regulating methane and reliably producing American energy.” A month before the international summit on climate change, President Joe Biden urged world leaders to join the United States and European Union in a pledge to cut methane emissions. Biden also held a virtual meeting of the Major Economies Forum (MEF).
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the nation’s obesity epidemic,  Mississippi showing the highest rate of adult obesity in 2020, at 39.7%  according to the Harris Poll report. Since the pandemic began, 42% of adults in the U.S. reported gaining an undesired amount of weight, gaining an average of 29 pounds. A new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute discovers that Americans seem to be increasingly divided into two media worlds with barely any overlapping space. Experts conclude this is “disturbing” to a democracy. The poll finds that those who heavily rely on right-wing media are more likely to believe the win of trump in US elections and less likely to blame him for the insurrection. On the other hand, white supremacist groups, Donald Trump, and conservative media are blamed for the spread of misinformation.  


The European Parliament is set to call on the 27-nation bloc to impose sanctions condemning violence against human rights activists, protesters, dissidents, and opposition leaders in Cuba after a wave of detentions in July following anti-government protests. Cuba finally seeks World Health Organization (WHO) approval of three COVID-19 vaccines on 16 September. Cuba’s Academy of Sciences presented a report questioning the allegation of the US and Canada regarding mysterious attacks on their diplomats while posted on the islandand subsequently developing health problems. The report by the 20-member panel questions whether the variety of reported symptoms could even be referred to as a single syndrome and said that some of the proposed explanations violated basic laws of physics. However, they have acknowledged that they couldn’t examine much of the evidence cited by US researchers regarding Havana Syndrome.
A new legal system that can potentially expand the scope of private businesses takes effect on Sept. 20. Cuban authorities had published the Official Gazette at the end of August with about 20 norms that allow and regulate small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), this provides a mandatory status as ’limited liability” for companies with more than three and upto 100 workers – they will be allowed all activities except those that the State reserves as strategic – education, health, defense, waste management, and mining, among others. On Wednesday, crypto became legally recognized by the Banco Central de Cuba (BCC) — the country’s central bank, which means that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can now be used for commercial transactions and investments in Cuba with some restrictions.  


In August, the opposition party Ciudadanos por la Libertad (CxL) had its legal status removed at the request of the Constitutionalist Liberal Party (CSE), allegedly an ally of the Ortega regime because of its support for the Sandinista Liberation Front part (FSLN). Four months prior, two other political parties, the Democratic Restoration Party (PRD) and the Conservative Party (PC), were also revoked of their legal status. The cancellation of these parties’ legal status comes just in time for the Nicaraguan elections on Sunday, November 7, to elect the President, Vice President, and the deputies of the National Assembly before the Central American Parliament (Parlacen). Currently, 30 prominent political opponents have been arrested, including seven presidential candidates, in addition to a clampdown on media outlets like La Prensa, who was raided by police earlier in August.
A joint statement issued by Ecuador and signed by 50 countries demanded the immediate release of all political prisoners in Nicaragua, during the 48th session of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations (UNHRC) on Tuesday, September 14. The statement comes after a report released by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, to the UNHRC documenting “the arbitrary detention of 36 political opponents,  including seven presidential hopefuls, on May 28 and September 6, and who remained incommunicado until August 31 when visits began to be authorized” (quote provided by The Confidencial). In response, Daniel Ortega insists he was the victim of an attempted coup perpetrated by the opponents he has now arrested, amidst–he insists–supposed “meddling and intervention by the United States of America and the complicit European powers.”  


Former President Jeanine Áñez will remain in prison for another six months, until February 2022. Although as of Tuesday, 14 September, Áñez has completed the first term of her sentence of six months, a second case has been brought against her, resulting in her continued imprisonment. This second case, according to attorney general Juan Lanchipa, accuses the former president of non-compliance with duties and resolutions contrary to the Constitution. 
Also on 14 September, Áñez was sanctioned with three non-consecutive days of suspended visits from relativesfor failing to attend an appeal hearing. The former president asked not to attend due to poor health, but upon reviewing her medical condition, prison authorities concluded that Áñez was “stable.” Áñez’s family and lawyers denounced the sanction, arguing that the authorities did not take into account the mental health of the ex-president, including her polyneuropathy, which inhibits her ability to move.
Meanwhile, members of the anti-Morales 21F group plan to hold a citizen congress in defense of former president Áñez. “We are in full planning of the congress, more than 100 people will be arriving in La Paz on Saturday,” informed Guillermo Paz, one of the party’s representatives. Among the group’s aims is to publicise the situation of the former president to international bodies like the European union and file a complaint to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR).  


Russia is mobilizing 200,000 troops in wargames with Belarus, that includes their borders with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as one of its location. Russia will also be deploying Su-30M fighter jets for joint patrols and the advanced S-400 missile defense systems. Both the leaders have agreed to deepen economic integration in the face of ‘unjustified’ Western sanctions on their economies and they plan to  set up a unified oil and gas market as a means of integrating their energy markets. A document regarding the same shall be signed before December 2023.  They have agreed to 28 integration road maps that covered common approaches to macro-economic policies, including monetary policy, taxes and custom rules.
Days after this decision, the International Monetary Fund said it would begin a virtual mission to Belarus as a part of its economic surveillance and monitoring mandate and aims to gather more information about the economic developments in Belarus and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The prime ministers of Lithuania and Poland, after their talks concerning the increasing “hybrid attack” from Belarus, said on Friday that tighter security at their borders with Belarus was the best way of easing pressure from migrant inflows there. Meanwhile, the Belarus’ media ban at the borders with Belarus has evoked anger amongst the Polish news outlets. This ban is a part of a state of emergency imposed by Warsaw following an influx of migrants.  


Giorgi Gakharia, Georgia’s ex-prime minister who resigned in February of this year from the Georgian Dream party, has been facing drug abuse accusations in the face of his endeavor to become the Mayor of the capital city Tbilisi. The incumbent mayor, Kakha Kaladze of the ruling Georgian Dream party, challenged Gakharia, his primary opponent, to take a drug test ahead of elections. Gakharia refused to take the test in Georgia and instead opted to fly elsewhere in Europe the next day to take a hair drug test in an unnamed laboratory. Party leader Kobakhidzey claimed that by refusing to take the test in Georgia, “Gakharia effectively admitted to his drug use problem,” he declared on September 16. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Gakharia reaped the reputational rewards and became the most popular leader Georgian Dream had had in years. In the summer of 2020, he enjoyed 65 percent public approval in summer 2020. According to polls, after he quit the Georgian Dream party and started his own movement, many of the disenchanted Georgian Dream supporters with him, leading people to believe that Gakharia stands a good chance in the mayoral race despite drug allegations.
Following Georgia’s refusal of part of an aid package offered by the European Union, The European Parliament has called on the European Union to continue supporting Georgia and continue to promote European reforms and fundamental freedoms in the region. The published document states: ‘the EU’s failure to respond adequately to the various Russian aggressions since the one against Georgia in 2008 prompted Russia to continue aggressive military and political campaigns’. It also noted that ‘the EU needs to exert pressure on the Russian Federation to unconditionally fulfill all the provisions of the EU-mediated ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008, in particular, the commitment to withdrawing all its military forces from the occupied territories of Georgia’.  


An earthquake of 6 magnitudes 6 shakes China’s Sichuan province, killing 3 and injuring 88 people. More than 76,000 people were successfully evacuated. The world’s leading academicians are investigating research papers containing genetic or facial information on minorities amid allegations of ethical violations in the gathering of the data. Concern about such profiling has led to calls for the retraction of published research papers from China. Which has affected more than 80 Chinese papers including those having DNA profiling of Uygurs and Tibetans where voluntary consent is hard to establish.
Beijing lobbies Canberra for help to join CPTPP regional trade pact despite the spat between China and Australia. The Chinese foreign ministry holds that China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is totally unrelated to a recently formed Indo-Pacific security alliance. Xi Jinping vowed to resist “interference from external forces” as Taiwan welcomed support from major allies after a US-Australia ministerial forum pledged stronger ties with the island and the European parliament called for a bilateral trade deal.
Protesters gathered outside the headquarters real estate developer China Evergrande Group were seen taken away by a security personnel on Thursday. About 100 protesters had crowded into the company’s lobby on Monday as well to demand repayment of loans and financial products.  

Hong Kong:

Organizers of Hong Kong’s annual vigil marking the Tiananmen Square crackdown said on Thursday that they had been ordered by national security police to delete their online presence and had complied following intense Chinese internet curbs and probes into activist activity. The organizers, the Hong Kong Alliance, is one of many opposition groups to be targeted by a sweeping national security law that China imposed to dampen dissent following the significant 2019 pro-democracy and anti-extradition law protests. The group’s previously used online platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, and their official website, were closed and became inaccessible after 10 pm.
Increasing numbers of teachers have been leaving Hong Kong following Beijing’s June 2020 imposition of strict national security law, saying that they feel disillusioned and threatened by the authoritarian turn the city has taken. The Hong Kong Association of Heads of Secondary Schools (HKAHSS) warned the government in July of a likely “brain drain” that would reduce the quality of education in the city, which has about 700,000 pupils. Hong Kong’s Education Bureau said teachers might have quit the profession for professional or personal reasons, and did not address the issue of a brain drain, claiming that the national security law was not affecting the education sector or the quality of teaching.  


There has finally been a verdict decided from a lawsuit filed in 2019 by Jarkarta residents over the governments negalicancy of the air pollution in the city. President Joko Widodo and other government officials will be held negligent for the poor air quality in Jakarta according to an Indonesian district court. According to US researchers, the air pollution in Jakarta reduced residents’ life expectancy by 5.5 years. The court has stated that President Widodo must improve the national standard of air quality, this includes conducting testing of outdoor air quality tests, and must periodically perform tests of older vehicles in Jakarta. This is a big win for activists in Jakarta however the city still faces greater environmental issues.  Researchers say that the city is sinking at an alarming rate and by 2050 the whole city could be submerged. North Jakarta has sunk 8 feet (2.5 meters) over the past 10 years.
After spotting Chinese and U.S. ships, Indonesia’s navy has increased patrols around Natuna islands in the South China Sea. Indonesian Navy fleet commander Arsyad Abdullah commented on the situation saying, “The Navy’s position on the North Natuna Sea is very firm in protecting national interests within the Indonesian jurisdiction in accordance with national law and international law..” Back in early January last year there was a weeks-long standoff in Natuna after a Chinese coast guard ship and fishing boats entered the Natuna Sea. Indonesia mobilized fighter jets and its own fishermen as a response. China does not claim the Natuna Islands but does claim nearby fishing rights around a “nine-dash line”. This claim is disputed by many Southeast Asian countries including Indonesia.  


Many dissidents from Myanmar who managed to free from the militia crackdowns have gone into hiding in Thailand while attempting the process to seek humanitarian protection in third countries. Myanmar’s dissidents have historically fled to Thailand since Myanmar’s former military rule from 1962 to 2011, where the Thailand’s border town of Mae Sot and the northern city of Chiang Mai were destinations for exiled dissidents. Since the military coup in February of this year, thousands of people from Myanmar have sought refuge in Thailand following violence along Myanmar’s southeastern border. However, despite promises made by the country int he past, Thailand has not granted them any formal protections. Myanmar-based media outlet, The Irrawaddy, reported on September 7 that Thai police had been alerted to arrest anyone connected with the opposition National Unity Government (NUG) in Myanmar, and were encouraged to raid places suspected of sheltering NUG members and sympathizers. Many of those exiled are undocumented and living in hiding, fearing arrest and deportation. In addition, applying for protection in a third country is a long and arduous process and many of those in need are currently lacking support from any organisation in Thailand.
Thailand has been shaken by the latest wave of COVID-19 infections, pushing cases to almost 1.3 million with more than 13,000 recorded deaths. Just last year, daily cases were few and deaths rare. During this surge, organisations working on the Thai-Myanmar border report thousands of migrants and more than 90,000 refugees facing a lack of access to coronavirus-related healthcare. As factories and places of work close once again, livelihoods are also up in the air. Unlike Thai citizens, migrants do not receive any financial assistance to weather those times when they lose their income. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) says migrants and refugees must be fully included in the government’s new COVID-19 response plan, including treatments for the disease and its vaccine distribution plan. Thai citizens have been able to receive vaccinations and some medical services for free, while migrants are required to pay or cannot access some healthcare services at all.  


Iranian dissident Toomaj Salehi, infamous for his career as an opposition rapper, was arrested by Iranian security forces after releasing a song calling out activists and journalists who cover up the regime’s crimes, calling them regime apologists. In his song “Buy a Rot Hole” he encourages such agents to buy rate holes to hide out in, implying retribution will soon follow for their crimes. Twitter has also suspended the rappers account, and hashtags with the rappers name have become the most frequently used persian-language tags on the platform.
Iranian intelligence agencies have been accused of the death of Kurdish and human rights activist Yasser Mangouri. Although he was killed in mid-July, just this week his family was informed, prompting the accusation of foul play. His death occurred after being summoned by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry, and subsequently arrested.
On Thursday, Iran avoided diplomatic censure of its nuclear program by warning that such action would lead to the suspension of the ongoing negotiations. Iran has received an offer for full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, giving the country more potential power over neighboring Afghanistan. In the summit talks this week, the members and observing countries spoke of the necessity of battling radicalization, and stopping the spread of the Taliban’s brand of radical Islam.  


The governor of northern Dohuk province claimed on Thursday that the PKK group has prevented the installment of service projects in the villages under their control, which were destroyed during Anfal military operations. Just the day before, it is reported that two members of the anti-terrorism service under the Kurdistan Regional Government were killed by PKK within the province. On Sunday, Iranian officials pressured the Iraqi government to dispel terrorist groups in the Kurdistan region, a thinly-veiled reference to the PKK, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran. The situation on the border seems to be growing worse, with Islamic Revolutionary Guard commander saying “the current situation is no longer tolerable”.
On Sunday, the Erbil International Airport was targeted in a drone attack, in which six explosions occurred in the surrounding area. The airport suffered no damage, and no deaths were reported. 
Facing the upcoming election on October 10th, government policies to prevent election and voter fraud and raise voter turnout have been put into place. UN representatives have urged Iraqis to refrain from boycotting elections, due to the mistrust in the 2018 election when less than 20% of eligible voters participated. Iraq is allowing 40,000 foreigners, 30,000 of them Iranian, to attend the Arbaeen pilgrimage later this month, a marked decrease from the 14 million attending in 2019.   


Health concerns are rising in Sudan as the federal Ministry of Health reports rising COVID-19 cases and confirms the reemergence of Rift Valley fever (hereinafter:RVF). RVF primarily affects animals however it can be transmitted to humans. Doctors have found 95 cases of RVF among livestock (68 miscarriages and 27 deaths) and three suspected cases in humans. Health authorities from both the state and federal level are working with the Ministry of Livestock to intervene and form protocol for preventive and curative measures.
In a statement on Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council addressed Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to resume a discussion over the timeline for the hydropower dam on the Blue Nile in Egypt. The discussions have been led by the African Union in the past and the U.N. hopes that the three countries can make a deal. The statement reads, “(The Security Council calls) upon the three countries to take forward the AU-led negotiation process in a constructive and cooperative manner.” Many diplomats are concerned that this decision will set the precedent that countries have to involve the council for all water disputes. While Ethiopia did not want any involvement with the  Security Council, both Egypt and Sudan asked for the Security Council’s intervention after Ethiopia began filling the reservoir behind the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). According to Ethiopia, the dam would be the largest hydroelectric facility and would give support to the country’s on-going energy needs. Sudan and Egypt warn that this project would have devastating effects on the flow of the Nile River. The conflict with GERD (along with Ethiopia’s on-going humanitarian crisis in the Tigray region) have heightened tensions between Sudan and Ethiopia.  


Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine stated in an interview with France 24 on Thursday that he was “definitely the elected president of Uganda.” Bobi Wine is the leader of Uganda’s National Unity Platform. Referring to the election in January 2021, he called the current President Yoweri Museveni a mass murder saying that President Museveni should be compared to dictators Robert Mugabe (the late, ousted leader of Zimbabwe) and Omar al-Bashir (former leader of Sudan). Wine was critical of Western countries and the African Union’s tepid response to his accusation of a fraudulent election. During the interview Wine encouraged the Ugandan people to “liberate themselves from the (Museveni’s) dictatorship”. His criticism of the sitting President continued as he explained that Museveni’s decision to welcome Afghan refugees as a move to clean his image and that Museveni’s statement that he would prosected the people responsible for killing protesters following the 2021 Presidential election a farce.
On Thursday two members of the Uganda People’s Defence Force were rushed to the hospital after their vehicle was rammed into a moving train.  Eyewitnesses told The Observer that the soldiers were fleeing from boba-boba riders (motorcycles) who were pursuing them. The soldiers remain in critical condition.
Wednesday September 13th, Valerian Tuhimbise, the lead lawyer for Buganda Road issued criminal summons to Prince Karim Al-Husayn Sha, the founder of Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development and Ugandan head of DTB John Sitakange for committing financial fraud. The lawsuit states that the men will be charged with making false entries in financial ledgers, electronic fraud and conspiracy to commit a felony. This has been an ongoing legal battle; the civil case has already reached the Supreme court. In May, the Financial Intelligence Authority of Uganda, questioned one of the men accused however they have not pursued any charges.  


BBC investigative news finds that one of Britain’s biggest companies paid a bride to former Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe. The documents show the British American Tobacco (hereinafter: BAT) paid between $300,000 and $500,000 USD to Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party in 2013. The documents gathered in the investigation reveal that a private security company called Forensic Security Service (hereinafter: FSS) was instructed to close down three of BAT competitors in Zimbabwe. The company was caught however an anonymous source later revealed that the FSS, who was hired by BAT, was in contact with Zimbabwean officials. The source explained that he was sent to negotiate a deal with government officials and bribed a number of government officials.  This scandal for BAT continues as they were found to have paid bribes in South Africa and using illegal surveillance to gather intel on rivals.
On September 16th, 2021 Zimbabwe asked Mozambique and Zambia to help supply electricity as the country experienced a power shortage that led to outages for 12 hours a day. Energy minister Soda Zhemu explained on Wednesday that, “We are in discussions with Mozambique for the recently commissioned power plants to give us an additional 180 megawatts.” The power shortages have hindered power imports including efforts to work on the Kariba South hydropower plant and the coal-fired Hwange plant. A total of 1,276 megawatts is needed however Mozambique and Zambia are currently supplying the country with 170 megawatts.