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Gurib-Fakim, Africa’s only female president, resigns

President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim of Mauritius has resigned over a credit card scandal.

Yousouf Mohamed, her lawyer, told reporters on Saturday that Gurib-Fakim submitted her resignation in “national interest”.

Mohamed said the resignation would take effect on March 23.

Her resignation comes after Pravind Jugnauth, the prime minister, accused her of backtracking on a promise to quit amid allegations of misconduct.

Gurib-Fakim had denied having any plans to resign, saying that she was prepared to go to court over allegations she spent money from a charity on a shopping trip.

Gurib-Fakim said she “inadvertently” used a payment card issued to her by the Planet Earth Institute (PEI) in 2016, and that it was identical to a bank card she already had.

She was given the card for serving as the NGO’s unpaid director and it was to be used to pay for the promotion of a doctorate programme named after the president.

After telling the London-based charity she had used their card for about US$27,000 of “out-of-pocket expenses”, she reportedly reimbursed the institute in addition to other expenses incurred on a PEI trip.

Before her resignation, Gurib-Fakim was the only female African president after Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia left office in January upon the completion of her second term in office.

Gurib-Fakim became president of the East African country in 2015.

The World Bank ranks Mauritius as the easiest place to do business in Africa, while its citizens were rated as the happiest in Africa, according to recent the World Happiness Index report.

 

 

The Cable

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