By Olive Mukahirwa 

Uganda: Bans over second-hand clothing 

Several U.S. companies operating under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) have suspended export of second-hand clothes to Uganda over anti-LGBT laws recently adopted by the country. 

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has said that the suspension is no problem for Uganda. In fact, he himself has now banned the import of used clothing into Uganda. He said his ban will stimulate the Ugandan economy by encouraging internal production of clothing and less reliance on imports. 

 “The loss from the second-hand clothes deal with AGOA will be recovered by cutting off the imports from different countries,” Museveni said. 

Uganda’s annual import of used clothing from the U.S. is worth $200 million (USD). The U.S. also sells used clothing to some neighboring East African countries, although others – like Rwanda in 2018 – had previously banned the importation of used clothing from the U.S. 

Museveni lashed out at the U.S. verbally, saying, “The clothes of dead people in America don’t deserve to be worn by Ugandans.” 

Morocco:  Strong Earthquake kills 3,000 People

During the night of September 8-9, an earthquake of 6.8 on the Richter scale devastated central Morocco, killing an estimated 3,000 people, with more than 5,600 injured and wide scale destruction of properties. 

King Mohammed VI of Morocco declared three days of mourning countrywide, while rescue efforts continued despite challenges in reaching remote mountain areas where roads were blocked by rocks and landslides. 

No darkness would ever settle upon At press time, four countries that had offered aid were cleared by the king to provide humanitarian support: Spain, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and Qatar. The last earthquake that impacted Morocco on a large scale took place in the southern city of Agadir in 1960. That quake killed 15,000 people, which was equal to half the residents of the city. 

Libya: Daniel claims more than 5,000 lives 

Storm Daniel, a massive cyclone that caused catastrophic floods and killed more than 11,000 people, swept through the city of Derna in northeastern Libya the weekend of September 9. Derna’s mayor has warned that the death toll could reach as high as 20,000. Buildings in the city collapsed under the deluge, which swamped a quarter of the city when the Mediterranean Sea overflowed its banks in the largest cyclone ever recorded there. Germany, Romania, France, and Finland have already sent aid to Derna.

Aid agencies told the media that rescue operations were difficult due to political and institutional disagreements within the Libyan government, which is led by two rival factions – one tied to Tripoli and the other to Benghazi. Derna is affiliated with the faction in Benghazi. 

Gabon: Ali Bongo’s family members to be tried 

Raymond Ndong Sima, the new prime minister of the two-year transition government in Gabon, has announced plans to bring to trial family members and ministers who they allege committed crimes during the regime of Ali Bongo, the former president of Gabon who was ousted in a coup on August 30. 

  The former president has the right to go wherever he wants, including abroad for medical treatment, the new government has announced. However, his wife and son must remain under house arrest where they await trial for embezzlement of the country’s resources. Bongo suffered a severe stroke five years ago. 

The military junta has declared that Bongo is an incompetent leader who cannot fulfill his promise of improving the lives of the people of Gabon. The coup came hours after Bongo was declared the winner of a third term in office. 

In January 2019, soldiers tried to overthrow Bongo when he was in Morocco for medical treatment, but that coup was unsuccessful. In 2009, Ali Bongo succeeded his father Omar Bongo Ondimba.