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Africa’s only Female President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, to resign over financial scandal

Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim and Africa’s only female President who has been accused of using a bank card provided by a charity, to make personal purchases worth tens of thousands of dollars, is set to step down after ceremonies to mark the 50th anniversary of the Island’s independence next week.

Ms Gurib-Fakim, who is a renowned scientist and biologist and became the first woman to be elected president of Mauritius in 2015, had been under pressure since the Mauritian daily L’Express published bank documents, showing that Gurib-Fakim had used a credit card given to her by the London-based Planet Earth Institute to make thousands of dollars worth of personal purchases.

Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth who made the resignation announcement on Friday, said;

“The President of the Republic told me that she would resign from office and we agreed on the date of her departure,” Jugnauth told reporters in Port Louis, capital of the Indian Ocean archipelago nation without revealing the chosen date.

“The interests of the country come first.”

AFP reported that he added it would take place before parliament returned at the end of the month. Opposition parties have said they will boycott the independence celebrations, if the president remains in power.

Gurib-Fakim’s resignation adds to a list of top-ranking government officials on the Indian Ocean island nation who have stepped down for alleged corruption and improper behavior. Former Deputy Prime Minister Showkutally Soodhun left office in November for allegedly making inappropriate comments. In September, Attorney General Ravi Yerrigadoo stepped down to allow an investigation into allegations of money-laundering.
 Gurib-Fakim, the first female President in the nation, had earlier this month said she’d paid back all money spent on the credit card. The president made 718,000 rupees ($21,444) of duty-free purchases in Dubai, bought some jewelry in late 2016 and spent some more during trips to Sweden, England, India, and Italy, Port Louis-based L’Express reported.

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