Posts tagged as: appeal

South Africa: Ekapa Minerals Abandons Part of Its Case Against Illegal Miners

By Safura Abdool Karim

Ekapa Minerals has abandoned part of its interdict against Zama Zama miners, calling into question the validity of the entire interdict, writes Safura Abdool Karim

On 14 September Ekapa Minerals filed a notice which abandoned parts of its interdict against Zama Zama miners in Kimberley. The miners had appealed in the Constitutional Court against the interdict, which prevents them from entering and mining on certain property belonging to Ekapa. As part of their application, they found evidence which showed that Ekapa was not legally entitled to interdict some of the property.

The case began in 2015, when De Beers began selling off mine dumps to various companies including Ekapa. Zama Zama informal miners had been mining the dumps before the sale.

Although Ekapa had not yet acquired ownership of the dumps, it applied for an interdict to prevent the miners from entering the dumps and from removing or excavating material. The Zama Zamas, represented by Spoor Inc, challenged the validity of the interdict, but it was confirmed by the High Court in Kimberley. Then the Zama Zamas unsuccessfully applied to appeal in both the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal. Both courts dismissed the application.

On 3 August 2017, the Zama Zamas filed an application for leave to appeal in the Constitutional Court. A few weeks later, they filed a further application and affidavit, requesting that the Constitutional Court allow them to introduce an affidavit from De Beers that was filed in another matter.

The affidavit revealed that some of the land Ekapa tried to interdict the Zama Zamas from entering was in fact land that had not been sold to them by De Beers. The affidavit involves two pieces of land referred to as Dorsfontein 77 and Kenilworth 71.

In their papers, Ekapa had claimed that the ‘remaining extent’ of both these properties was to be transferred to them. A ‘remaining extent’ is a technical legal term reflected on a title deed. The High Court then confirmed Ekapa’s interdict over both properties, on the basis that ownership of both properties was going to be transferred to Ekapa.

But De Beers’ own application for an interdict against the Zama Zamas showed that the portions of both properties will remain the property of De Beers and will not be transferred to Ekapa. This means that Ekapa obtained an interdict over land that does not belong to it.

Ekapa then decided to abandon the interdict over the farms Dorsfontein 77 and Kenilworth 71. This represents a victory for the Zama Zamas and may bolster their efforts to have the appeal heard by the Constitutional Court.

The fact that portions of the interdict are now legally questionable may throw the entire interdict into contention, making the outcome of the appeal more complicated. This complexity may provide grounds for the Constitutional Court to find that the Zama Zamas’ prospects of success are better than when the case was brought before the Supreme Court of Appeal.

This is just the latest instalment of an ongoing battle between informal miners in the region and Ekapa. Meanwhile, Ekapa has been back in court with an urgent application to have the portions of the interdict that have not been abandoned enforced against the Zama Zamas.

South Africa

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Museveni, World Leaders Meet Trump Over UN Reforms

Photo: PPU

President Yoweri Museveni, front row, left, and other world leaders attending a conference on UN reforms which was addressed by President Donald Trump.

President Museveni has said Uganda supports U.S president Donald Trump’s political declaration on UN reforms which aim at creating a more lean and efficient institution.

“Trump is pushing for the United Nations to be efficient in its peace keeping processes, be more focused and have more achievable targets, not spend time on procedures but on substance and manpower,” he said shortly after a closed door meeting for world leaders in ECOSOC Hall, at the United Nations Headquarters.

“We support the reforms because this is what we have been talking about all along. There are situations where there is a strong UN presence but alongside, there is death and destruction like in Eastern DR Congo,” he said.

Mr Museveni was one of the key leaders pushing for reforms at the world body. In 2015 Uganda used its Presidency at the UN to push for reforms at the most important committee of the United Nations – the Security Council.

“Uganda is pushing for Africa’s case for the reform of the membership of the security council which is currently monopolised. Africa has no permanent members on the five-member council. Our argument was for Africa to have at least two members,” he said.

President Trump is seeking global support for reforming the world body as he hosts’ leaders at the United Nations Headquarters a day before he makes his inaugural address to the 193-member organization.

According to reports, Mr Trump criticized the United Nations for bloated bureaucracy and mismanagement in his meeting today, calling for “truly bold reforms” so it could be a greater force for world peace.

“In recent years, the UN has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy and mismanagement while the UN on a regular budget has increased by 140 percent and its staff has more than doubled since 2000. The United Nations must hold every level of management accountable, protect whistleblowers and focus on results rather than on process,” Trump said.

“I am confident that if we work together and champion truly bold reforms the United Nations will emerge as a stronger, more effective, more just and greater force for peace and harmony in the world,” Trump said in his first remarks at the U.N. in New York since his inauguration as president in January.

Over 120 countries were invited to the reform meeting during which Trump spoke for just four minutes.

Todays closed meeting was strictly a one-on-one affair with leaders signing onto a U.S. drafted 10-point political declaration backing efforts by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “to initiate effective, meaningful reform.”

Uganda

Ssematimba Confirmed as MP

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Telecom Firm Loses Case, Must Pay Connection Fees to MTN

Photo: Daily Monitor

Uganda Telecom offices in Kampala.

By Ephraim Kasozi

Kampala — Telecommunications firm, Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) has been ordered to pay its competitor, MTN Uganda Limited, more than Shs6b to settle an interconnection bill for March to December 2007.

Court documents show that the money arose out of interconnection with GEMTEL, a telecommunications operator in South Sudan.

Five Justices of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, on Tuesday, unanimously dismissed with costs an appeal by UTL citing lack of merit.

Other justices were; Stella Arach-Amoko, Augustine Nshimye, Eldard Mwangusya and Faith Mwondha.

The Highest Appellate Court in the country upheld orders of the High Court and Court of Appeal in which UTL will pay Shs3.4b together with Shs1.4b at 19 per cent interest per annum.

This is in addition to interest on delayed payment at 19 per cent from the date of judgment till payment in full and general damages worth Shs100m with 8 per cent per annum as well as legal costs incurred by MTN.

“A careful perusal of the record of proceedings indicates that the learned justices carefully perused and properly re-evaluated the evidence before them before coming to their decision on the ground of appeal. This (Supreme) court as a second appellate court cannot interfere with the concurrent findings of fact by the High Court and the Court of Appeal unless the findings are not backed by evidence,” held Justice Arach-Amoko in the lead judgment in Kampala.

UTL had appealed against the October 2014 judgment of the Court of appeal in which judges; Remmy Kasule, Rabby Opio Aweri and Richard Buteera held that UTL breached the contract in regard to interconnection agreement with MTN.

MTN, through their lawyers Kampala Associated Advocates, argued that the said claim arose as a result of applying the domestic rate of Shs100 to the telephone traffic exchange between UTL and MTN for telephone traffic originating from and terminating on code +256 6477 XXX.

The High Court, however, ruled in favour of MTN, directing UTL to pay its competitor saying UTL network and that of GEMTEL were one and the same, that GEMTEL had no network outside that of UTL and that without code +256 477 which was the local code for Ugandan purpose, GEMTEL could not operate.

Court held that the network for UTL and GEMTEL was one because the code was for local traffic.

Case background

Agreement. Records indicate that in February 2001, UTL and MTN entered an agreement in which they agreed to interconnect their respective systems to allow termination of traffic in each other’s network.

GEMTEL enters. In 2006, the government of South Sudan requested its Uganda counterpart to permit the use of its code +256 by a company called GEMTEL Limited, a telecom operator in South Sudan until it got its own country code.

The records also show that Uganda gave permission for GEMTEL to use the country code +256 and that UTL entered into an interconnection agreement with GEMTEL allowing it to use the prefix 477 which was originally reserved for northern Uganda.

As per the interconnection agreement, in February 2008, MTN invoiced UTL more than Shs6.5b as interconnection fee for the period March to December 2007 but UTL paid only Shs3.47b and rejected the balance of Shs3.4b citing a wrongly applied rate of Shs100 which was the charge for local traffic instead of $0.50 which is chargeable for international traffic in computing the amount due to MTN for the use of the code +256 477 by GEMTEL.

South Africa: Police Officer Helps Deliver Baby During Wait for Ambulance

Photo: South African Police Service

(file photo).

press release

A woman who was in labour pains, came to the Mlungisi police station requesting the assistance of an ambulance service. On her arrival, police realised that it was too late and that she was close to giving birth. Constable Nomakhaya Xezu quickly assessed the situation and took the woman to a room for privacy and assisted the lady in giving birth to a lovely baby boy. The ambulance arrived later and the child and mother were taken to Frontier Hospital for examination. Acting Station Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Xolani Salinger commended Constable Xezu.

South Africa

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South Africa: Tshwane Turns to Court Over Multibillion Rand Broadband Deal

The City of Tshwane has approached the High Court in Pretoria to set aside a multibillion rand deal for broadband in the city, claiming the previous ANC-led administration entered into an unlawful contract.

Tshwane MMC for Corporate and Shared Services, Cllr Cilliers Brink announced on Wednesday that the city has asked for the assistance of the High Court to set aside Tshwane Broadband contract with Thobela Telecoms.

“In November last year the Auditor-General found the deal to be irregular, and determined its value at R2.736bn,” said Tshwane Mayor spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi in a statement.

He said the Auditor-General findings prompted Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga to investigate the procurement of the deal.

Mgobozi said it was important to distinguish this agreement from that between the City and Project Isizwe NPO for the provision of Tshwane Free Wi-fi, which the Msimanga administration is committed to putting on solid financial footing so that they continue to provide free Wi-fi to the residents of Tshwane.

“The Msimanga administration contends that the broadband contract and its procurement is riddled with irregularities and non-compliance committed by the previous administration.”

Allegations include a violation of the Preferential Procurement Act and its Regulations as well as two vendors from the same holding company submitted bids and were not eliminated.

The contract which is set to run for 18 years comes at a cost of R2.736bn.

Source: News24

South Africa

‘Spy Tapes’ Judgment Reserved After Zuma, Prosecuting Authority About-Turn

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Purge All Corrupt Elements – President

By Katare Mbashiru

President John Magufuli yesterday tasked the newly appointed Chief Justice (CJ), Prof Ibrahim Juma, to tighten all loopholes for bribes within the judiciary.

Dr Magufuli, in the same vein, asked the judiciary, police, Prevention and Combatting of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), Tanzania Prison Service (TPS) and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to meet and deliberate on the best justice dispensing, including fast-tracking of cases.

The Head of State was speaking at the State House in Dar es Salaam few minutes after swearing-in the new CJ whom he appointed on Sunday. He decried delayed justice to citizens, asking the new head of the judiciary to look for the lasting solution on the backlogs of pending cases.

He further advocated the corruption-free judiciary. Prof Juma becomes the country’s eighth CJ, succeeding Mohamed Chande Othman who retired in January, this year. Prior to his appointment, Prof Juma was on January 8, 2017 appointed to the post on acting capacity.

Prior to the January appointment, Prof Juma served as a justice in the Court of Appeal.

He was appointed a High Court judge by former president Jakaya Kikwete in 2008 before being promoted to the Court of Appeal in 2012. He also served as the Chairman of Law Review Commission of Tanzania (LRCT).

Dr Magufuli received a scathing attack from a section of lawyers and activists when he appointed Prof Juma on acting capacity. However, the Head of State yesterday came out strongly for the first time to defend his decision.

“I wanted to have the CJ who is fit, courageous and bold enough in the war against graft and who can serve on the position for many years and Prof Juma met all the qualifications,” he revealed.

According to President Magufuli, there are many judges in the country, with appropriate qualifications to head the judiciary, but many of them were almost approaching the retirement age.

“I did not want to appoint the CJ today and after one year, I do another ap-1pointment … that is why it took time to appoint the CJ,” he clarified. Dr Magufuli further said that he had little experience with the judicial officers, so he needed ample time to study all the judges, including Prof Juma, before confirming him.

He added that the appointment of Prof Juma had no any external forces, but it was guided by his own wish and discretion as provided in the constitution.

Dr Magufuli advised CJ Juma to put national interests ahead of anything in the course of discharging his duties, saying his appointment had a hand of God who will lead him in his new office.

“This is a tough job that needs commitment, wisdom and hardworking,” said Dr Magufuli.

Tanzania

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NTSA to Use New Gadgets to Nab Drunk Drivers

By Ouma Wanzala

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) will from Friday use its latest advanced breathalyser as it steps up war against drunk driving on Kenyan roads.

The gadgets give results faster than the previous ones.

NTSA Director General Francis Meja said they have acquired 50 new gadgets from the World Bank, and distributed them across the country.

“We intend to use them from tomorrow (Friday) during our random drink driving operation in towns and major highways,” he said adding that the gadgets will boost their evidence-based operations.

ROAD CRASHES

Since January, more than 1,762 people have died in road crashes, according to NTSA.

Mr Meja has said 80 per cent of accidents in Kenyan roads are attributed to human behaviour.

“Alcohol impairs a drivers cognitive ability turning them into a hazard on the road. It impairs vision, judgment sensory ability. All being critical aspects of safe driving,” he said.

The NTSA boss said their operations have deterred many motorists from driving under the influence of alcohol.

“We have noted a number of revellers opt to take a taxi rather than driving, which is very encouraging,” he said.

COURT

In April this year, beer lovers and bar owners got false reprieve after reports that the Court of Appeal had nullified use of alcoblows.

For the next few days, motorists, who had been arrested after failing alcoblow tests were released by magistrates due to the misinterpretation.

However, it later emerged that the Appellate Judges had ruled that it was illegal for motorists to be charged under the rules that operationalised the Traffic Act instead of the Act.

Put differently, the judges wanted offending motorists charged under the substantive Act itself and not the rules, meaning only the charges were defective and not the law as had been interpreted.

NTSA has since been charging drunk drivers under Section 44 (1) of the Traffic Act, which prohibits driving under the influence.

Kenya

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Kenya’s Long Journey to Electronic Voting System

Photo: Nation Media Group/Twitter

Daily Nation cover page.

By John Kamau

When President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the controversial Election Laws (Amendment) Bill into law in January this year and allowed the use of a manual back-up in case the electronic system failed, the Opposition threatened to call for mass action.

The law allowed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to use “a complementary mechanism for identification of voters and transmission of election results” in case the gadgets failed.

Although the commission’s CEO Ezra Chiloba said voters would be identified electronically, and that the manual system would only be used in the event that the former failed, the Opposition claimed that a manual voting system would allow ghost voters to participate in the elections, and termed the laws a plot by Jubilee to rig.

The circus on the kind of electoral system that Kenya should embrace has been windy and controversial.

The Nasa presidential candidate wanted only an electronic system, with no manual back-up, and his lawyer Paul Mwangi went to court to compel IEBC to stop the plan.

MANUAL SYSTEM

Mr Mwangi told the High Court that “one of the dangers of the manual system is that it has no inbuilt mechanism to stop fraud (and) is open to manipulation”.

But the Court of Appeal wondered why Nasa was going to court days before the elections and dismissed the case.

Another issue that had been raised by the Odinga presidential team was on the transmission of results and the finality of presidential tally announced by constituency returning officers.

Mr Odinga wanted the IEBC tallying centre at Bomas of Kenya to have little say in tallying the results.

When the matter went to the Court of Appeal, it ruled that there were sufficient safeguards at the constituency tallying centres in the form of observers, agents and accredited media, and ruled that results declared there should be final.

It thus upheld a High Court’s finding that the presidential election results as announced by the 290 constituency returning officers are final and denied the IEBC chairman any power to alter or vary the results after they are electronically submitted to the national tallying centre.

IRREGULARITIES

The court argued that this ruling was as a result of the “lessons” of the 1992, 1997 and 2007 elections which were marred by irregularities.

“There was near unanimity in opinion that, since the first level of declaration of results is at the polling station, those results should be final and only be challenged in a court,” they ruled.

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It is this ruling that is now informing the current transmission of results and which had been hailed by Mr Odinga as “a huge step” (since) “IEBC would not change results from constituencies.The trick of Jubilee to rig in the polls will not prevail this time round. They will go home in August,” he said.In the current election, the IEBC had looked for a system, Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (Kiems), whose aim was to make sure that it was secure and transparent.Kiems was to hold data on voter and candidate registration, voter verification and result transmission.BIOMETRIC VOTER REGISTRATIONIt also integrated the existing biometric voter registration, the biometric voter identification, the electronic result transmission and the political party and candidate registration systems.The Kiems tablets were configured to reject entries that exceed the voter turnout in respective polling centres making it impossible to cast more votes than a station is allowed.The system was capable of transmitting the text results and the results declaration form that is scanned.Before the elections started, Mr Chiloba had explained that if there was a discrepancy between the text results and the form, the form carried the day because it has been signed by all agents.In most instances, the Kiems was said to have been a success and the bone of contention at the moment is on the results displayed at the IEBC portal without the respective form 32A and 32B.VERIFIEDBut Mr Chiloba told a press conference on Wednesday the figures are provisional and that final results will be after all the forms are received and verified.It is a long walk to an electronic vote tallying system ever since Kenya adopted plural politics in 1990 and has been trying to clean up its electoral process.During the 1992 elections, the US Embassy provided the indelible ink and launched what was known as “ink your finger for a clean election” in an attempt to end voter fraud. But this did not help much.In most elections, voters’ cards had monetary value and candidates could buy cards from their opponents strongholds – either to be used by imposters or to be destroyed. And that is why in 1992, the Cyrus Jirongo led YK’92 lobby was accused of buying voters’ cards.It was a long tradition from the 1970s, when the voters cards were haphazardly issued and one did not require an identification card to get one.ID CARDSUntil 1979, women in Kenya did not have ID cards and if a voter’s card got lost all that was required was to sign an oath form at the District Commissioners office and get a duplicate. By then the DC was the returning officer.There were attempts to reform this system and in 1982, Mrs Julia Ojiambo proposed, for the first time, that the Election Regulation 22 which then allowed the X mark against the preferred candidate be done away with and be replaced with a tick.During the 1979 elections, one was only required to show the ID card and a Kanu membership card in order to get the ballot. (The ID card was clipped at the edge after voting).The government explained that this was in a bid to deter people from buying voters cards.But this led to double voting in some areas since the law allowed those who were 16 years old to get ID cards but did not allow them to vote until they were 18.In 1983, there were 7.3 million voters and, as usual, ballot boxes would be transported to the counting hall where all boxes were opened as agents watched.LOST BOXESBut this always led to lost boxes or boxes stuffed with extra ballot papers on the way as the agents looked the other way.It was not until 1988 that Kanu introduced the queue voting system where candidates who garnered over 70 per cent of the votes during the primaries were declared sole candidates.It also produced the worst vote rigging in the history of Kenyan polls. The Kenya voter registry was still manual.It was also riddled with many dead voters and this became an issue ahead of the first multi-party elections.DOMINATE POLLSThe manual registers continued to dominate polls until the 2007 elections which culminated into the post-election violence.This saw the Kriegler Commission call for a reform of the voter register and the piloting of an electronic register started in 2010 at a cost of Sh408 million in only 18 constituencies.But most of the biometric voter registration kits failed during the March 2013 elections which was an echo of the irregularities recorded in the previous election.While the conduct of the 2013 election was hailed by observers, the main presidential challenger Raila Odinga went to court but failed to overturn the results.

Kenya: Kenya’s Long Journey to Electronic Voting System

Photo: Nation Media Group/Twitter

Daily Nation cover page.

By John Kamau

When President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the controversial Election Laws (Amendment) Bill into law in January this year and allowed the use of a manual back-up in case the electronic system failed, the Opposition threatened to call for mass action.

The law allowed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to use “a complementary mechanism for identification of voters and transmission of election results” in case the gadgets failed.

Although the commission’s CEO Ezra Chiloba said voters would be identified electronically, and that the manual system would only be used in the event that the former failed, the Opposition claimed that a manual voting system would allow ghost voters to participate in the elections, and termed the laws a plot by Jubilee to rig.

The circus on the kind of electoral system that Kenya should embrace has been windy and controversial.

The Nasa presidential candidate wanted only an electronic system, with no manual back-up, and his lawyer Paul Mwangi went to court to compel IEBC to stop the plan.

MANUAL SYSTEM

Mr Mwangi told the High Court that “one of the dangers of the manual system is that it has no inbuilt mechanism to stop fraud (and) is open to manipulation”.

But the Court of Appeal wondered why Nasa was going to court days before the elections and dismissed the case.

Another issue that had been raised by the Odinga presidential team was on the transmission of results and the finality of presidential tally announced by constituency returning officers.

Mr Odinga wanted the IEBC tallying centre at Bomas of Kenya to have little say in tallying the results.

When the matter went to the Court of Appeal, it ruled that there were sufficient safeguards at the constituency tallying centres in the form of observers, agents and accredited media, and ruled that results declared there should be final.

It thus upheld a High Court’s finding that the presidential election results as announced by the 290 constituency returning officers are final and denied the IEBC chairman any power to alter or vary the results after they are electronically submitted to the national tallying centre.

IRREGULARITIES

The court argued that this ruling was as a result of the “lessons” of the 1992, 1997 and 2007 elections which were marred by irregularities.

“There was near unanimity in opinion that, since the first level of declaration of results is at the polling station, those results should be final and only be challenged in a court,” they ruled.

More on This

Kenya Polls Agency to Use Forms to Verify Results


Forms to Be Used to Verify Results After Opposition’s ProtestPresidential Agents Scrutinising Forms 34A, IEBC Says

Kenyan Electoral Agency Says Attempted Hack of Its System Failed

There Was Attempt to Hack System, It Failed – Electoral CommissionRaila Odinga Says General Election Was Hacked

Opposition Rejects President’s Lead In Early Kenyan Poll Results

Opposition’s Odinga Rejects Results Showing President in the LeadIEBC Defends Provisional Presidential Results

It is this ruling that is now informing the current transmission of results and which had been hailed by Mr Odinga as “a huge step” (since) “IEBC would not change results from constituencies.The trick of Jubilee to rig in the polls will not prevail this time round. They will go home in August,” he said.In the current election, the IEBC had looked for a system, Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (Kiems), whose aim was to make sure that it was secure and transparent.Kiems was to hold data on voter and candidate registration, voter verification and result transmission.BIOMETRIC VOTER REGISTRATIONIt also integrated the existing biometric voter registration, the biometric voter identification, the electronic result transmission and the political party and candidate registration systems.The Kiems tablets were configured to reject entries that exceed the voter turnout in respective polling centres making it impossible to cast more votes than a station is allowed.The system was capable of transmitting the text results and the results declaration form that is scanned.Before the elections started, Mr Chiloba had explained that if there was a discrepancy between the text results and the form, the form carried the day because it has been signed by all agents.In most instances, the Kiems was said to have been a success and the bone of contention at the moment is on the results displayed at the IEBC portal without the respective form 32A and 32B.VERIFIEDBut Mr Chiloba told a press conference on Wednesday the figures are provisional and that final results will be after all the forms are received and verified.It is a long walk to an electronic vote tallying system ever since Kenya adopted plural politics in 1990 and has been trying to clean up its electoral process.During the 1992 elections, the US Embassy provided the indelible ink and launched what was known as “ink your finger for a clean election” in an attempt to end voter fraud. But this did not help much.In most elections, voters’ cards had monetary value and candidates could buy cards from their opponents strongholds – either to be used by imposters or to be destroyed. And that is why in 1992, the Cyrus Jirongo led YK’92 lobby was accused of buying voters’ cards.It was a long tradition from the 1970s, when the voters cards were haphazardly issued and one did not require an identification card to get one.ID CARDSUntil 1979, women in Kenya did not have ID cards and if a voter’s card got lost all that was required was to sign an oath form at the District Commissioners office and get a duplicate. By then the DC was the returning officer.There were attempts to reform this system and in 1982, Mrs Julia Ojiambo proposed, for the first time, that the Election Regulation 22 which then allowed the X mark against the preferred candidate be done away with and be replaced with a tick.During the 1979 elections, one was only required to show the ID card and a Kanu membership card in order to get the ballot. (The ID card was clipped at the edge after voting).The government explained that this was in a bid to deter people from buying voters cards.But this led to double voting in some areas since the law allowed those who were 16 years old to get ID cards but did not allow them to vote until they were 18.In 1983, there were 7.3 million voters and, as usual, ballot boxes would be transported to the counting hall where all boxes were opened as agents watched.LOST BOXESBut this always led to lost boxes or boxes stuffed with extra ballot papers on the way as the agents looked the other way.It was not until 1988 that Kanu introduced the queue voting system where candidates who garnered over 70 per cent of the votes during the primaries were declared sole candidates.It also produced the worst vote rigging in the history of Kenyan polls. The Kenya voter registry was still manual.It was also riddled with many dead voters and this became an issue ahead of the first multi-party elections.DOMINATE POLLSThe manual registers continued to dominate polls until the 2007 elections which culminated into the post-election violence.This saw the Kriegler Commission call for a reform of the voter register and the piloting of an electronic register started in 2010 at a cost of Sh408 million in only 18 constituencies.But most of the biometric voter registration kits failed during the March 2013 elections which was an echo of the irregularities recorded in the previous election.While the conduct of the 2013 election was hailed by observers, the main presidential challenger Raila Odinga went to court but failed to overturn the results.

NGOs Coalition Lobby for Increased Budget for Justice Ministry

By Innocent Habonimana

OAG, ACJB and Cordaid team up to advocate the increase of the budget allotted to the Ministry of Justice. Basing their conclusion on the analysis of the 2016 budget, the NGOs say low budget has a negative impact on the access to justice for all.

After an analysis that has shown the insufficiency of the budget of the Justice Ministry with repercussions on the access to justice for all, three NGOs advocate increasing the budget.

Michel Masabo, a consultant who carried out the analysis of the budget of 2016, says “there are some budget lines showing the government’s preoccupation of people’s needs for justice”, but “the effort remains insufficient”.

As a consequence, judges are hindered to carry out their duty as they should. Godefroid Manirambona, the Chairman of Observatory of Government’s Action (OAG) says, with the increase of the budget, “judges will have means that will allow them to adequately satisfy the needs of citizens seeking justice”.

OAG, a local NGO that sees that the government is fulfilling its promises, collaborated with the Association of Burundi Catholic Lawyers (ACJB) and Cordaid on the “Analysis of the Budget of the Ministry of Justice for 2016”.

The activity is within the framework of their programme called “Strategic Partnership in Lobbying and Advocacy for the Access to Justice for All”.

The study highlighted the lack of enough qualified judges and the slow course of justice as consequences of the low budget.

For instance, Bujumbura Court of Appeal, that has the highest average of sentence execution, treated a monthly average of 99.6 cases but executed only 10.7.

The Courts of Appeal of Bururi and Ngozi provinces treated respective monthly averages of 33.5 and 72.66 but executed none.

In some cases, the lack of means of transport hinders the execution of judgments. This may cause judges to make parties involved in legal cases pay for the transport which can result in corruption.

In regard to protecting judges from being influenced, Masabo says, “one way to prevent them from being corrupted is to raise their pay”.

Burundi

African ‘Beyonce’ Thrills Online Audience – VIDEO

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