Posts tagged as: commission

Botswana: BMC Moves to Address Delayed Payments

By Thandy Tebogo

Letlhakane — Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) has entered in to a partnership with BancABC in a strategy to hasten and address farmers’ delayed payments.

Francistown abattoir plant manager, Mr Bosiela Saubi stated Wednesday during a kgotla meeting with farmers in Letlhakane. Mr Saubi stated that delayed payments for farmers which went up to three months had been a challenge at BMC which impacted negatively on farmers.

This he said resulted in farmers stopping to selling to BMC with the abattoir currently having only 23 cattle. Livestock procurement executive manager, Mr Kenneth

Makubate said through BancABC partnership, farmers’ payments would be done within a period of less than 14 days.

Cattle paid through BancABC he said were those sent directly to the abattoir and not transit through the feedlot.

Mr Makubate said payment through cheques had been stopped and replaced with cash card. BancABC official, Mr Bernard Mzizi said the arrangement would enhance payment to farmers. Mr Mzizi explained that cash card would operate as a prepaid and would not attract bank charges.

He implored farmers to sell to the BMC considering that Francistown abattoir only had a few cattle. A farmer, Mr Gobotswang Letebele doubted that BMC and BancABC partnership would have any positive results.

He complained that BMC buying price was too low compared to what Namibia and South Africa offered, requesting BMC management to explain why they could not increase prices.

Another farmer, Mr Potoko Bogopa suggested that Bancabc transfer money into farmers’ existing accounts rather than opening new ones for farmers, saying the partnership should be a matter between the two organisations and should not involve farmers.

Ms Tlhabologo Makgesi requested an explanation on how those who sold through cooperative societies would be assisted with payment.

Another farmer expressed doubt in BMC and BancABC partnership, saying partnerships dissolved at some point.

In response Mr Makubate urged farmers to remain calm and give the partnership benefit of the doubt and see if it could not bring positive results.

He said they would only make payments for cattle that did not go through feedlots and an arrangement would be made for cattle that go through such, explaining that their wish was to have farmers sell cattle ready for slaughter.

Source : BOPA

Botswana

Khama Wants Low Food Import Bill

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Nigeria: Violation of Corporate Governance By Telcos to Attract Sanctions

By Adeyemi Adepetun

As part of measures targeted to safeguard the $68 billion investments in the telecommunications sector, the industry’s Code of Corporate Governance has become mandatory.

Although it became mandatory by November 2016, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said non-compliance with the code henceforth would be met with heavy sanctions.

In an interaction with journalists on Monday in Lagos, NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management (ECSM), Sunday Dare, said Nigeria’s telecommunications industry must be guided by global best practices, to sustain the investments and attract more, as such, the enforcement of the code becomes mandatory.

Dare, who explained that the Corporate Governance Code was introduced in 2012, which was then voluntary, said an agreement in the industry revalidated the code in 2014, and became mandatory by November 2016. “But henceforth, the Commission will monitor strict compliance with the code.”

He noted that if compliance to the code was properly monitored, “probably what happened to Etisalat, now 9mobile, might not have happened.” Dare, who alerted operators that compliance will be vigorously monitored, however said the code is not intended to micro manage any of the service providers.

According to him, while sanctions are inevitable for erring operators, “there will also be reward for good behaviour.” He argued that such codes are not peculiar to the telecommunications industry, as it was already in place in the banking sector, stock market, and a host of others.

Also speaking, the Chairman, Code of Corporate Governance Working Group, Felix Adeoye, said most of the telecommunications companies have gone beyond just being a private firm, to becoming somewhat public, “because they are holding peoples’ money. Some subscribers have up to N250, 000 Airtime on their phones, even above that. So, there must be constant check on them to ensure there is no abuse.”

Meanwhile, at the sensitization programme on the code yesterday, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umaru Danbatta, said the code will still pass through some modifications, based on contributions made by stakeholders at the programme.

Danbatta said the issue of sanction is usually the last option, stressing that there have been situations where telecoms operators ignore laws, “sanctions are regulatory actions and usually the last resort. We shall continue to engage the industry, because the sector is critical to the survival of the economy.”

To the Chairman, NCC Board, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, in his welcome address, the move is in line with the Federal Government Change mantra and the ease of doing business drive and is like the African leaders peer view mechanism and it is expected that the industry reaches a self-regulatory phase in the nearest future.

“The recent, rather unacceptable, events in the industry have also brought to the fore the need for Board Corporate governance and the commission has resolved to improve Economic Regulatory compliance and adherence to the Code of Corporate Goverance. As it is said, ‘once beaten is twice shy’,” he stated.

The NCC said it discovered significant deviations from the key principles contained in the Code, therefore, there was urgent need for all operators to fully align with these principles in order to ensure that the industry moved on the same trajectory.

Checks by The Guardian on the Code showed that compliance is mandatory for all licensees that meet one or more of a number of criteria. These are spread of operations of the licensee covering a minimum of three geo-political zones; turnover of the licensee is in excess of N1billion; the number of staff employed is in excess of 200, and where the licensee has a subscriber base of 500,000 or more.

In the area of tenure and re-election of directors, the code explained that to ensure continuity and injection of fresh ideas, a Director may serve on a board for a period of three terms of five years each. No director shall serve on any board for a period exceeding 15 years.

Subject to satisfactory performance and the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act(CAMA), all Directors shall be submitted for re-election at regular intervals of five years. In order to guide decision of shareholders, names and sufficient biographical details of Directors nominated for re-election should be accompanied by performance evaluation statement and any other relevant information.

The Code also mandated that companies are expected to present a fair, balanced, understandable and transparent assessment of the licensee’s position and prospects to external stakeholders.

“Boards should develop a corporate reporting model that is tailored to the needs of shareholders and other stakeholders.

Mass for Polls Agency Official Msando Held in Nairobi

By Jemimah Mueni

Nairobi — The requiem mass for former Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission ICT manager Chris Msando, will be held on Thursday at the Consolata Shrine in Westlands starting 10am.

Msando will be buried on Saturday at Lifunga Kobiero village in Ugenya, Siaya County.

Msando who was involved in the management of KIEMS for voter registration, voter identification and results transmission was found dead in a forest and body transferred to city mortuary by police after missing for few days.

IEBC expressed its concern after the brutal murder of their colleague who they said was very vital in the Kenya’s 2017 General Election and demanded for investigations.

Kenya

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EAC Halts Creation of New Body

By Zephania Ubwani

Arusha — The East African Community (EAC) has declined to establish another institution, citing financial constraints.

Proposals to upgrade the EA Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (EACREEE) into a full-fledged body under the Community hit a wall after the technocrats said it was short of funds for the purpose.

“The original plan of the Community was to have EACREEE as an EAC institution. However, due to financial constraints other innovative ways were devised”, said the deputy secretary general (Productive and Social Sectors) Christophe Bazivamo.

He said instead the College of Engineering,Design, Art and Technology (Cedat) of the Makerere University in Uganda was selected to host the renewable energy facility as one of its centres of excellence.

Mr Bazivamo revealed this last weekend when he was addressed the board meeting of the centre whose creation received support from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Unido) and the Austrian Development Agency (Ada).

The principal of Cedat Prof Henry Alinaitwe informed the meeting held in Kampala that efforts were underway to formally register EACREEE as a semi-autonomous legal entity so that it can function smoothly.

However, the meeting concurred that while the regional energy centre would continue to be hosted at the Makerere University, a road map should be drawn to make it a full-fledged body of the EAC.

“Since its inauguration, Cedat has been working with several stakeholders to advance the centre’s activities”, said the Cedat principal Prof Alinaitwe.

Despite failure to register the renewable energy centre as an additional institution under the EAC, the deputy SG emphasized that renewable energy would continue to be among the key priority sectors.

“Low energy access rates, expensive electricity, poor cooking solutions have been hampering the region’s development,” Mr Bazivamo pointed out.

EACREEE was launched in Kampala, Uganda in June last year as a regional think-tank and focal point for sustainable energy activities and issues such as policy, capacity building, awareness creation and investment and business promotion.

The centre was also intended to act as a resource centre for sustainable energy issues while aiming at a creation of an enabling environment for regional renewable anergy and energy efficient markets and investments.

However, the cash-strapped EAC insisted that it was too early to transform the centre into n institution of the EAC due to funding constraints.

EAC currently has eight instititons scattered across the region and three substative organs at its Arusha headquarters; the Secretariat, EA Court of Justice and the East African Legislative Assembly.

The institutions are the Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (Cassoa), the EA Health Research Commission, EA Science and Technology Commission and the EA Kiswahili Commission.

Others are the Lake Victoria Basin Commission, Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization, the East African Development Bank and the recenty established East African Competition Authority.

Fazul Mahamed’s NGOs Board Is an Illegal Outfit – KNCHR

Photo: Nation

Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i when he appeared before the National Assembly’s Education Committee in October. Friend and foe admire his reforms.

By Elvis Ondieki

The NGO Coordination Board which has been shutting down non-profits is operating illegally, the national rights defender has said.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) on Wednesday said the NGO Act, which created the board headed by Mr Fazul Mahamed, was repealed.

The NGO law, KNCHR Chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori said, was replaced by Public Benefit Organisations (PBO) Act 2013 that is yet to take effect.

Ms Mbogori asked acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to operationalise the PBO Act because his ministry is already in contempt of a court order issued on May 12.

She termed the NGO board’s attacks on Kenya Human Rights Commission and Africa Center for Open Governance as “a breach of the right to fair administration”.

More follows.

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Kenya: WhatsApp Group Admin Detained for Sharing Hate Posts

By Charles Lwanga

Malindi Court on Wednesday allowed police to detain a WhatsApp admin accused of sharing hate messages threatening national security for a period of five days to complete investigation.

Resident Magistrate Yvone Khatambi allowed detectives to detain Mr Japheth Mulewa said to have threatened violence against certain community members, at Malindi Police Station.

In a sworn affidavit, Police Constable James Muyes said the respondent was arrested in Malindi on Tuesday following reports that he was distributing hate messages through the social media plat form.

“The written material distributed through the WhatsApp groups would cause panic to the members of the public during this electioneering period,” said the detective.

Mr Muyes further said he needs more time to retrieve information from the suspect’s mobile phone that has been forwarded to cybercrime unit for data analysis adding that the “accused is also required by detectives in Mombasa over a similar offence.”

In addition, Prosecution Counsel Alice Mathangani said the respondent might escape if release on bond since he is facing a serious offence under the National Cohesion and Integration (NCIC) Act.

Kenya

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Hunk Actor Nick Mutuma Gets New Girlfriend

Photo: Nick Mutuma/Instagram

Nick Mutuma.

By Thomas Matiko

Sorry ladies, Nick Mutuma is taken again.

After a while of being single, the celebrated actor, ranked as one of the sexiest actors in Kenya, whose looks have constantly left many lasses drooling, has revealed that he is dating again.

Over the years, Mutuma, who is back on season 2 of ‘This is it’ a love drama program aired on NTV, made a habit of always sharing photos of pretty girls he dated on social media, hurting many while at it.

However, with several of his past relationships ending not so well, probably from paparazzis’ daily scrutiny of his love life, Mutuma learnt his lessons and never again will he ever share pictures of the girl he is going out with currently.

SINGLE AND HAPPY

Mutuma, who early this year in a TV interview, stated that he was single and happy after breaking up from gorgeous model Tanasha Oketch, has now disclosed that he is seeing someone.

During a recent interview with ‘Let’s Talk’ programme, the Shuga actor explained why he has decided to keep his new girlfriend away from the public eyes.

“I used to be one of those guys, like if I was dating someone, I didn’t see any problem putting them on social media, because that’s my woman and I want to show her off to the world. But then I realized that it’s important to protect the people that you care about from the limelight and the negative things that come with it.” he disclosed.

Kenya

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IEBC Denies Nasa Claims That It’s Yet to Provide Copies of Forms 34B

By Samwel Owino

The opposition Nasa has claimed that the electoral commission is yet to provide them with copies of Forms 34B, four days after the announcement of the final presidential election results.

In a statement, the opposition said they have been following up with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) since Saturday for a release of the forms without any success.

In a statement, the opposition says the forms cannot be traced or accessed on the commission’s online portal.

“We call upon the commission to release and share all the constituency Forms 34B to party agents. The failure to so share can only lead to a conclusion that the forms do not exist and the commission is busy generating fake ones to justify its declaration of results as made on Friday,” reads the statement.

FORMS GIVEN

The electoral commission, through its Communications Manager Andrew Limo told Nation that the opposition were given all Forms 34B Monday evening.

“We gave them last evening in soft copy all Forms 34B from the 290 constituencies,” Mr Limo said in a text message.

The statement by Nasa claiming they have not received the forms was sent to newsrooms at 8pm Monday.

PRESIDENTIAL POLL

Section 39 of the Elections Act provides that for a presidential election, the IEBC “shall electronically transmit, in the prescribed form, the tabulated results of an election for the President from a polling station to the constituency tallying centre and to the national tallying centre.”

Form 34A is handed over to the constituency returning officer, who then fills Form 34B which is used for the collation of the presidential election results.

On it is indicated the polling station code, the name of the station, the number of registered voters, what each candidate garnered and the number of valid votes cast.

The constituency returning officer hands over the form to the chairman of the IEBC, who is the returning officer for the presidential election.

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2020 – Is President Nkurunziza Already at it Again?

analysisBy Lorraine Nkengurutse

The government claims Burundi is safe, that political disagreements have been resolved, and that the people want term limits removed ahead of 2020.

Two years since Burundi was plunged into violent political crisis, there are two diametrically opposing narratives being told about the current situation.

If you listen to the government, the country has recovered from the clashes and mass displacements that engulfed it from 2015. Things are now secure and back to normal, they say.

“Burundi has gained peace and stability,” said President Pierre Nkurunziza on a visit to Tanzania last month. His Tanzanian counterpart, John Magufuli, similarly commented: “I urge Burundians to remain in their country. I have been assured the place is now calm.”

However, listen to local human rights groups or international observers and a very different picture emerges.

Earlier this month, the UN Security Council expressed its “deep concern” over Burundi’s worsening humanitarian situation. In June, a UN commission of inquiry emphasised the “persistence of serious human rights violations in a climate of widespread fear”. Meanwhile, a recent report by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) claimed the ongoing crisis has now left at least 1,200 dead and seen the imprisonment of 10,000 people for political reasons.

This disagreement is not just a battle over narratives, but over the actions now needed to move Burundi forwards.

Burundi’s crisis

Burundi descended into crisis in April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would run for a controversial third term. Mass protests ensued, followed by a failed coup in May. Despite claims the move was unconstitutional, Nkrununziza went on to contest and win the July 2015 elections.

Violent attacks and assassinations followed. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced, news outlets were shut down, and foreign journalists expelled.

In response to this deadly turmoil, several international and regional organisations demanded that the Burundian government and opposition engage in a dialogue to restore peace.

Proper talks, however, have never taken off. Despite arranging four rounds of negotiations, regional mediators from the East African Community (EAC) have failed to get the government and opposition at the same table. The ruling CNDD-FDD insist that they will not negotiate with members of CNARED, the main opposition coalition in exile, accusing them of participating in the failed May 2015 coup.

“The process is moving slowly owing to the reluctance of the Government of Burundi to talk to its opponents,” said former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa, the lead facilitator of the negotiations, in a statement this May.

Earlier this month, a delegation close to the government reportedly held near-secret talks with representatives from the opposition in exile in Finland. Some are optimistic that this suggests a revival of the talks, but the government distanced itself from the reports and the outcomes remain to be seen.

Internal talks

In Mkapa’s recent statement, he also expressed particular concerns over the government’s demands to “repatriate” the dialogue to Burundi. He explained that the CNDD-FDD is now resisting the externally-mediated talks, claiming that security conditions have been met and that questions around the constitution and 2020 elections have already been answered internally.

Indeed, on 12th May, the government received an 86-page report submitted by the National Commission for Internal Dialogue (CNDI) on these political matters. The body had been established unilaterally by the regime in October 2015 in order to consult the population. The researchers surveyed the opinions of 26,000 citizens and came up with recommendations.

Foremost among them is a proposal to change the constitution. According to the commission’s chair, Bishop Justin Nzoyisaba, “The majority of Burundians consulted support the suppression of the presidential term limits and stand for the amendment of the constitution”.

This apparent finding has led to a shift in the government’s focus, from the peace talks to the 2020 elections. Upon receiving the report, President Nkurunziza appointed a national commission to propose constitutional changes. In June, Burundi’s Ombudsman organised political retreats to discuss the outlook for the 2020 polls, the political and security situation, and the possibility of amending the constitution.

Furthermore, on 1 July, the anniversary of Burundi’s independence, Nkurunziza launched an election fundraiser. He called on citizens to help raise money so that the country would not have to rely on international support as was the case in 2015. “They promised to help us organising 2015 elections, but they suspended their funding just one week before the elections took place,” he said.

Removing term limits for Burundi 2020?

The government’s insistence that Burundi is stable and its growing indifference towards external peace talks have alarmed regional mediators.

“The [ruling] Party does not see any logic of continuing with the Inter-Burundi Dialogue to Burundi because the National Commission for Internal Dialogue (CNDI) has already finalized everything,” said Mkapa. “This volte-face in the thinking of the ruling Party surprised everybody and was viewed as a set back to the on-going peace process.”

Opposition and civil society activists are also critical of the government’s approach and plans.

Jean Claude Nkundwa, a local conflict resolution expert, says the government is deliberately trying to avoid external involvement. Amongst other things, he says that the Nkurunziza administration’s intention is “to exclude political opponents in exile from 2020 election process”.

Charles Nditije, chair of CNARED, also claims that the government is trying to shrug off observers and deceive the Burundian people and international community into believing that the past disputes have already been settled. “The government plans to distract us from our commitment to resolve the current political crisis,” he says.

According to the UN, there are over 200,000 internally displaced persons in Burundi. Three million people are in need of humanitarian support. And over 416,000 Burundians are seeking refuge in neighbouring countries and are too afraid to return.

The worry now is that Nkurunziza is taking advantage of the very uncertainty created by his 2015 bid for power in order to try it all again in 2020.

Uganda: Stepping up Male Circumcision to Fight HIV

By Frank Yiga

Male circumcision is said to reduce a man’s risk of contracting HIV by 60% Uganda is making an effort to revive this procedures, which went into decline because of a lack of equipment. Frank Yiga reports from Kampala.

As he prepares to circumcise 25-year-old Paul Katende, the doctor unpacks his surgical instruments one by one: scissors, syringes, blades and other tools. They were making the young man visibly nervous: “I am already scared of going into that room, eh!” he said.

He thought he would take two months to heal. “That is too long for someone like me. I have to move, I have to walk, I have to do everything,” he told DW. Doctors say recovery takes between ten days and two weeks. Anyway, Katande said he wanted to play it safe. “The good thing is, the infections I have been getting will all reduce, as will the risk of getting HIV, because it is what the government, says haven’t you heard?”

Lessening the risk

Voluntary medical male circumcision was launched in Uganda in 2010 as a preventive measure to reduce new HIV infections. Studies show that it lessens men’s chances of getting HIV by 60 per cent. According to Uganda’s Aids Commission, eight out of 100 women and six out of 100 Ugandan men are HIV positive.

“The number of men getting circumcised kept growing and by 2013 we were circumcising more than 800,000 people. But after 2014 we saw a sharp drop. In 2016 we went up slightly to about 400,000. So you can see, we picked up and dropped again and we are trying to pick up again,” Dan Byamukama, who heads the HIV Prevention at the Uganda’s Aids Commission, told DW. The drop was mainly due to Ugandans not realizing the importance of the procedure, but also because of a lack of proper equipment.

Too complicated

There was another reason, though. Physician Dan Byamukama said that the health ministry did not realize that the introduction of compulsory double vaccination dosage would also lead to the decline in the voluntary male circumcision.”The government started a policy of making sure that before they get circumcised, men must get immunized against tetanus.”

That requires an injection, after which one has to wait 28 days before one can be circumcised, Byamikama explained. “The process is cumbersome; men don’t have time to come twice to the hospital,” he said.

Too busy

Before the actual 30-minute procedure, men are screened for AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. During the ambulant surgery, local anesthesia keeps the pain in check. The patient can go home afterwards.

80 per cent of boys and men aged between 10 and 24 do not have any qualms about undergoing the procedure. But those older than 25 years are reluctant to undergo this minor surgery. Sentamu Robert, who drives a bicycle taxi known as a boda boda in Uganda, said that the only way he was going to a hospital was if he were unwell. “At my age I don’t think I will go for that circumcision. First of all I am a busy man and it’s difficult to go to hospital when you are not sick. I even hear that I have to be immunized before getting circumcised,” he told DW.

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