What’s Going On: Plane crash in Tanzania, Ghanaians protest against current government & more

notable headlines from around the continent

“What’s Going On” Tallies Notable News Headlines From Across The Continent — The Good, The Bad, And The Horrible — As A Way Of Ensuring That We All Become A More Sagacious African Generation. With This Column, We’re Hoping To Disseminate The Latest Happenings In Our Socio-Political Climate From Across The Continent, Whilst Starting A Conversation About What’s Important For Us To All Discuss. From Political Affairs To Socio-Economic Issues, ‘What’s Going On’ Will Discuss Just That.


On Sunday, a plane which departed from the Tanzanian commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, crashed while attempting to land during stormy weather. According to reports, the plane crash landed into the Lake Victoria resulting in the death of over 19 people with several more left injured in the process. Regional commissioner Albert Chalamila said 43 people – including 39 passengers, two pilots and two cabin crew – were on board the plane.

Precision Air is a publicly listed company and is Tanzania’s largest private airline. In a publicly televised statement, the CEO Mr.Patrick Mwanri stated the plane had departed around 6 a.m. local and had been expected in the Northwestern lakeside town of Bukoba at 8.30 a.m. But as at 8.53 a.m, the Operations Control Center got a report that the aircraft had not arrived. Mr. Mwanri promised to conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the crash while offering condolences to the families who lost their loved ones. 

A survivor of the plane crash, Mr. Komba stated that due to the bad weather, the pilots were forced to reroute. “We were then informed that we would be landing shortly, but there was heavy turbulence and we found ourselves in the lake,” Mr. Komba said. “Water then entered the plane and those sitting near the front were covered by it. I was in the back seat and most of us in the back of the plane struggled to get out.” Emergency workers attempted to lift the aircraft out of the water using ropes, assisted by cranes and local residents who also sought to help. Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Monday expressed her condolences to victims’ families, congratulating emergency workers and volunteers for acting quickly to save lives.

Al-Shabab gunmen attack military base in Somalia

According to a report in Al Jazeera, suspected Al-Shabab gunmen attacked a Somali military base in the central Galgaduud region on Monday, a few days after the area was captured by government forces. The attack began with two suicide car bombs at about 5am local time (02:00 GMT), followed by hours of heavy fighting, Ahmed Hassan, a military officer in the nearby town of Bahdo, told Reuters news agency.

In a statement, al-Shabab spokesman Abdiasis Abu Musab said the group launched the assault in Qayib using suicide car bombs before its fighters attacked from different directions. The fighters killed several soldiers and stole weapons and military vehicles, Abu Musab said. Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-allied armed group fighting in Somalia for more than a decade, is seeking to topple the country’s central government and establish its own rule based on a strict interpretation of Islamic law. Its fighters were driven out of the Somali capital in 2011 by an African Union force. But it still controls swathes of Somalia’s countryside and has stepped up attacks since President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office in May and pledged an “all-out war” against the group.


Woes of passengers flying with Kenya Airways (KQ) continue as the national carrier worked to reschedule the stranded guests following a pilots’ strike that enters its third day today. On Saturday, the company’s CEO Allan Kivuka issued a 24-hour ultimatum threatening to sack all workers who were not back in the cockpit. 

The Kenya Airline Pilots Association (Kalpa) in a statement yesterday said: “ none of our members will fly a KQ plane until our demands, including immediate reinstatement of the staff provident fund, are met.”  The union, which is also pushing for the sacking of the KQ top management team, accused the airline of mishandling the labor dispute by allegedly refusing to engage them to end the stalemate.

On the other hand, KQ has argued that its financial health does not allow it to meet the pilots’ pay demands immediately and has threatened to sack those who defied last week’s court order suspending the strike. The strike has forced the airline to cancel 56 flights as of Sunday. Over 12,000 passengers are still stranded at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi while more than 300 tonnes of perishable goods have been rotting at the JKIA since Saturday morning. 

On Monday, the airline announced a recruitment drive for new pilots to replace striking staff who have grounded flights since Saturday.  KQ’s Chief People Officer Tom Shivo said that the airline has commenced hiring captains and first officers, a move that could escalate the ongoing trade dispute. While scheduled regional and local flights are slowly resuming as per the airline’s notice, those flying overseas demanded the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport(JKIA) find a solution to their delayed departures.

Ghanaian protesters demand that President Akufo-Addo resign from office

Hundreds of Ghana citizens took to the streets of Accra while demanding the resignation of the country’s incumbent president. This comes during an economic crisis that has hammered the cedi currency resulting in a record-breaking increase in fuel and food prices. Chanting “Akufo-Addo must go” and “No IMF,” more than 1000 protestants waved placards on Saturday visibly expressing their discomfort with the high costs of living.

Most of the demonstrators donned a red T-shirt bearing the slogan “You might as well kill me.” Last week Akufo-Addo vowed to Ghanaians the authorities would get the country’s finances back on track after inflation shot up to 37%. This is the highest inflation the country has experienced in the past 21 years. President Akufo urged Ghanaians to accept his decision of taking an IMF loan, a request that angered the citizens as 9% of the loan would go to his private bank business.

The demonstration which was dubbed #Kume Preko Reloaded was led by lawyer Martin Luther and was aimed at forcing the president and some of his ministers to resign. “For every cedi and dollar we borrow, the president’s family benefits through a data bank which advises and helps to sell the government security. So, we are here to tell the president that he should step down,” Mr. Martin Luther said. “Enough of the cronyism, enough of the nepotism, enough of the corruption. The wanton corruption and mismanagement of the economy give a clear indication that Ghanaians can no longer wait until the end of Mr. Akufo-Addo’s four-year term.” The president’s move to seek IMF help has raised fears the government will impose strict economic measures that increase the financial burden of the country as it is already struggling with inflation. 

The latest reports from World Bank ranked Ghana as the country with the highest food prices in sub-Saharan as food prices went up by 122%. The protestants claimed the current president has failed them as he is unable to lead the country during the economic crisis.

Nigerian senator Ike Ekweremadu to face organ-harvesting charges

According to reports, Nigeria’s former deputy Senate president will go on trial in the United Kingdom in January for alleged organ harvesting. Earlier this year, Ike Ekweremadu, was accused with his wife, Beatrice, and their daughter, Sonia, alongside a doctor for bringing a man from Nigeria to have a kidney removed.

The BBC reported that the Ekweremadu family allegedly treated the man like a slave before he ran away and went to Staines police station in Surrey. After running away, the 21-year-old man is said to have raised the alarm after refusing to consent to the operation following preliminary tests at the Royal Free Hospital in London. Ekweremadu and his family were detained following this notice back in June, however Ekweremadu and Obeta remain in custody while Beatrice and Sonia were released on conditional bail. The residing Judge Mark Lucraft has now set another hearing date for December 16 and brought forward the defendants’ trial from May 2023 to January 31.

Massive layoffs at Twitter affect the recently opened Ghana office

Following massive layoffs across the world, Twitter, under the leadership of Elon Musk has fired almost all its staff in Ghana, the newly formed African team, as part of Elon Musk’s reorganisation efforts. The mass terminations came without any mention of severance pay. This comes days after the physical office in Ghana was finally opened following remote work for about a year.

While the layoff could be illegal due to the lack of a “60-day notice of termination”, the lack of mention of any severance package for employees working in the company office in Ghana’s capital city of Accra stood in stark contrast, CNN reported. While Twitter offered at least a three-month and two-month severance pay for its U.S and India laid-off staff respectively, the Ghanaian employees were informed their last paycheck would be on 4th December leaving questions of whether it is to serve as severance pay mainly because the email notification of layoffs did not make a reference to compensation.

CNN’s international correspondent Larry Modowo said laid-off employees in Africa were notified on Tuesday only after they arrived at the office to find themselves locked out of their corporate email accounts. Their company laptops were deactivated without notice, as well. They were finally notified of their layoffs via their personal email addresses just four days after beginning in-person work at the Accra office. In addition, the laid-off employees were asked to remain available in case they needed to hand over their duties while ensuring not to communicate with other staff, suppliers, or clients. Lawyers in Accra are investigating whether the layoffs violate labor laws in Ghana. Meanwhile, the former co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, has apologised for the mass layoffs and taken responsibility for it.

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