#54DegreesAcrossAfrica: President Museveni, Alpha Conde, to keep running for Presidency, Mandela’s Lawyer and other stories across Africa

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Museveni: How to win friends and influence the youth 

Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s septuagenarian president, has been speaking about the strategy he uses to win over young people on social media – including those who “abuse me, saying you are very stupid”. 

His strategy, he said, was to stay engaged in robust debates so as to convince his critics. 

“I don’t have to fight with these children to win them over, and when I send messages to answer them when there were 10 who were attacking me, only six remain, four answer back saying the old man has made a good point.” 

Mr Museveni has ruled Uganda since 1986 and will stand for a sixth term in next year’s election. 

Among those planning to run against him is musician-turned-politician Bobi Wine, 38, who is popular with the youth. 

In Poetry 

“You worry too much young man 

Yoweri wants to reach out to you, young man 

He’s old enough to be your father or grandfather, young man 

Yet you disrespect him, young man 

Yoweri has ruled since 1986 and most of you weren’t born then 

So there has to be some things he knows that you don’t, right? 

But does he know how long he has left? 

Who are you, young man?  

Find out and maybe you’ll do more with your life.” 

Guinea’s top court clears Alpha Condé third term bid 

Guinea’s constitutional court, the highest in the West African country, has approved 82-year-old President Alpha Condé’s bid for a third term in next month’s election. 

The court also approved 11 other candidates, including the main opposition challenger Cellou Dalein Diallo. 

There have been months of protests against Mr Condé’s re-election bid after he pushed through a constitutional change in a referendum in March which allowed him to stand for a third term. 

At least 30 people are reported to have died from the protests. 

Mr Condé was first elected in 2010 and got re-elected in 2015. 

On Tuesday Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari had called on West African leaders to stick to their constitutional term limits – which he termed as a source of crisis and political tension in the region. 

In Poetry 

Some people believe it’s time for you to stop being their president 

In local parlance/pidgin, they say ‘We want make the president step down’ 

‘But Alpha kon dey do like say him wan rule forever’ 

11 candidates running against you but what chance do they have 

People tried to protest your third term bid 

But it was farewell to life, they bid 

Mandela’s lawyer George Bizos dies aged 92 

Renowned South African human rights lawyer George Bizos has died. He was 92 years old. 

Mr Bizos rose to prominence as a lawyer who represented the Rivonia Trialists, including Nelson Mandela. 

He also played an integral role in drafting South Africa’s constitution. 

Mr Bizos played a part in many of the key moments which formed South Africa’s democracy. 

Born in 1927 in Greece, Mr Bizos arrived in South Africa as a World War II refugee with his father in 1941. 

He wanted to study medicine, but his application was rejected, so he opted for a law degree. And that ignited his political activism, as a ferocious opponent of apartheid. 

As a lawyer, Mr Bizos represented many high profile political activists. He was part of the team of lawyers at the Rivonia Trial which saw Mr Mandela and other top ANC colleagues sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964. 

Mr Bizos is credited with adding the crucial words “if need be” to Mr Mandela’s famous speech at the trial, in which he said he was prepared to die for the struggle. 

In his later years Mr Bizos led the enquiry into the Marikana Massacre that saw the killing of 34 mine workers by South African police in 2012. 

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said it was a very sad moment for the country, that Mr Bizos would be sorely missed, but that South Africans would forever remember his contribution to democracy. 

In Poetry 

Mandela on the struggle for freedom 

Couldn’t do so without the help of people 

And you, George Bizos came into the scene 

Maybe prior to doing so, you just had a passion for what you did 

And that paved way for the opportunities you saw and took 

Being the lawyer to the one-time President of South Africa 

It must have been a lot,  

You must have had to bear with a lot of opposition 

You were prepared to give your life for the things that mattered 

The struggle, and what not 

Good night, George! 

Ivory Coast party threatens to boycott elections 

Ivory Coast’s former ruling party, the Democratic Party of Cote d’Ivoire – African Democratic Rally, has threatened to boycott October’s general elections if conditions to make them fair and transparent are not met. 

Its executive secretary Maurice Kakou Guikahue said the party wants the electoral commission changed. 

He said the party’s presidential candidate, Henri Konan Bedie, will be formally presented to delegates on 12 September in Yamoussoukro, the country’s political capital. 

Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara is running for a controversial third term in the polls. 

Former President Laurent Gbagbo and former rebel leader Guillaume Soro were barred from vying because of a new rule that blocks those convicted of a crime from seeking electoral positions. 

In Poetry 

It’s Ivory coasting as she should 

Being ruled by people who she wonders if they have her people in mind 

Is it the position or the need to serve the people? 

What exactly drives these presidential aspirants? 

The need to overthrow a long-standing president or an overwhelming need to serve the people 

It’s the latter for me 

I’ve seen leaders come and go, yet, I don’t feel like I’ve evolved 

A few cosmetic displays of city lights and night life and good roads 

But the policies, my mind, doesn’t always follow suit 

I know you want to make me look beautiful 

But I want to feel beautiful 

You don’t have to fight over me, fight for your people 

I’ll always be here but you won’t 

Nobel laureate Denis Mukwege put under UN security 

Nobel Peace Prize winner Denis Mukwege has been placed under the security of United Nations forces in Democratic Republic Congo after death threats against him. 

Dr Mukwege won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in treating rape victims in the conflict in eastern DR Congo. 

He was threatened after calling for justice over serious human rights violations in the country’s eastern region. 

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