Posts tagged as: constitution

Activists Challenge Law Used to Charge Stella Nyanzi

Photo: The Observer

Stella Nyanzi (C) at Buganda Road court.

By Derrick Kiyonga

The law under which Makerere University researcher was charged at the Buganda Road court has been challenged at the Constitutional court by the FDC’s chairperson for Katikamu South and two civil society groups.

The petitioners are Swaibu Gwogyolonga Nsamba, Unwanted Witness Uganda and Human Rights Enforcement Foundation. Under challenge is section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act 2011.

It states that any person who willfully and repeatedly uses electronic communication to disturb or attempts to disturb the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person with no purpose of legitimate communication whether or not a conversation ensues commits a misdemeanor and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty four currency points or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both..

Like Nyanzi, Nsamba was charged under the same section over an offensive social media post against President Museveni. He appeared before Buganda Road court on December 19, 2016 for posting on Facebook that he will announce and mourn the death of President Museveni as and when he dies. The post was accompanied by a photoshopped picture of Museveni.

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In his petition, Nsamba says that the section contravenes Article 29 (1) B(a) of the Constitution when it is applied to an individual who makes critical comments on public affairs regarding a politician or a person who has assumed a public role.The article stipulates that, “Every person shall have the right to–freedom of speech and expression which shall include freedom of the press and other media…”Through Rwakafuuzi and company advocates, Nsamba says the section of the law should be struck down by the court because the Constitution establishes Uganda as a democratic society.”My lawyers have informed me that freedom of expression is a very important element for the sustenance of the democratic order,” says Nsamba, who is out of prison on bail.Also under challenge in the petition is section 179 of the Penal Code Act which provides for criminal libel which the petitioners says is inconsistent with Article 29(1)(a) of the Constitution as well as regional and international human rights and standards.In his affidavit in support of the petition, Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala, the executive director of Unwanted Witness, says the imposition of criminal sanctions for defamation has chilling effect on freedom of expression and the maintenance of democratic order.More on ThisStella Nyanzi Sent Back to Luzira Until May 10

The controversial Makerere research fellow Dr Stella Nyanzi will remain on remand until May 10 to know the fate of her… Read more »

South Africa: Nuclear Deal Blocked! Judgement Made On the South African Government’s Secret Trillion-Rand Nuclear Court Case

RESOURCE: Court Sets Aside South African Govt’s Huge Nuclear Dealpress release

After over a year and a half of court preparation for justice, ELA-JHB and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) were finally able to block the unlawful and unconstitutional actions of the South African government in its nuclear deal.

The Western Cape High Court delivered its judgement this morning in the nuclear deal court case brought by ELA-JHB and SAFCEI against the South African government on the eve of Freedom Day and on the anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The timing of the judgement, before this important day in South Africa’s history and on the day of the nuclear disaster in Russia, adds to the sense of justice being done.

“Along the road to the courts, we experienced delays and dirty tricks, but we persevered and now we have been vindicated. The court has found in our favour”, said Liz McDaid, SAFCEI spokesperson.

The judges ruled that the secret tabling of the Intergovernmental Agreements (IGA) with Russia, USA and Korean are unconstitutional

and unlawful and that they be set aside. They also ruled that the decisions made (section 34 determinations) to procure nuclear are unlawful and unconstitutional and that they be set aside. The government and Eskom’s proposed procurement of nuclear energy was ruled unlawful and unconstitutional and was set aside, and any existing requests for proposals from nuclear energy providers have also been set aside, meaning they are made null and void.

The government has to pay the costs of the court case as well as the other legal costs incurred by SAFCEI and ELA JHB. And the judges declared that the government’s decision (section 34 determination) must have public participation as a part of its procurement process, and that Eskom as the procurer has been set aside, which means Eskom cannot go ahead with the nuclear procurement. In future the Minister and/or the National Energy Regulator (NERSA) would be required to conduct public participation before making any new decisions.

According to SAFCEI’s Liz McDaid: “SAFCEI and ELA-JHB based their case on the South African Constitution, which states that when it comes to far-reaching decisions, such as the nuclear deal, which would alter the future of our country, government is legally required to debate in Parliament and do a thorough, transparent and meaningful public consultation.”

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Nuclear Deal Must be Stopped, South African Court Hears

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Vainola Makan of Western Cape Right to Know (R2K) campaign says, “This contravention of the Constitution is the main reason that ELA-JHB and SAFCEI have taken the government to court. R2K supported this legal action as we need our democratically elected government to be transparent in their dealings and accountable to citizens for their choices.”A lot has happened in the two months since the final arguments were heard in the nuclear court case in February 2017. The President’s late-night cabinet reshuffle at the end of March has spurred countrywide marches and a vote of no confidence is looming. Many more discrepancies have since been reported, with the nuclear deal being in the spotlight in the latest crises in political leadership.SAFCEI founder and Patron, the Green Bishop, Geoff Davies says, “We are very pleased with the result. However, it may only provide a short-lived reprieve. It is sad to hear fresh corruption allegations almost daily, and as custodians for the Earth, we pray that our country’s leaders will be convicted by their conscience to do the right thing, for all SA’s citizens.”SAFCEI youth ambassador, Siphokazi Pangalele says, “We are so glad for the result, but it is clear that we still have a lot of work ahead of us. In the past few weeks citizens have demonstrated their willingness to mobilise against corruption and the capture of our State. The nuclear deal is at the centre of it all.”According to Adrian Pole, legal representative for ELA-JHB and SAFCEI: “The judgement means that there is no decision in terms of the relevant empowering statute that new nuclear generation capacity is needed and should be procured. The Russian agreement has been declared unlawful and unconstitutional for its tabling. Before any nuclear procurement can proceed, the Minster of Energy (in concurrence with NERSA) will be required to make a new determination in accordance with a lawful process that is transparent and includes public participation. This will necessarily require disclosure of relevant information that to date has been kept from the public, including critical information on costs and affordability.”In November 2016, a coalition campaign to stop the nuclear deal was initiated by Kumi Naidoo, ELA-JHB and SAFCEI, who have been joined by many other organisations and citizens across a broad spectrum of interests. From social grants, to large corporates, from jobs, to environmental health and our collective energy future – this issue affects us all.”The organisations and citizens who are motivated by a demand for a just energy transition to sustainable energy are planning to launch an even bigger campaign soon to ensure this judgement is only the start of people holding the government to account on its energy deals,” added Makoma Lekalakala of ELA-JHB.BackgroundAt the outset of the litigation the original nuclear deal determination (s2013 s34) had been made in ‘secret’. It was finally published in the Government Gazette in December 2015 after civil society action to make the government reveal its plans. A later determination (s34) from 2016 only came to light at the court hearing in December 2016, which lead to a further postponement and supplementation of the court papers. The final court hearing took place in February 2017.The court judgement comes on the anniversary of Chernobyl, the nuclear disaster in the former Soviet Union (USSR) which happened in 1986, thirty-one plant workers and firemen died in the immediate aftermath of the accident, mostly from acute radiation sickness.Freedom Day, the day of South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994, ushered in an era where the constitution was supposed to be the guide to how society would be governed. In recent years, we have seen unabashed looting of the government coffers, the capture of key state institutions such as Eskom, for personal greed, and the apathetic failure of the government to be accountable to the people of South Africa.

Meagre Release of Budgetary Funds Irks Bunge Committee

The Constitution and Legal Affairs Committee has expressed discontent over meagre funds released to its parent ministry by the Treasury which has hampered implementation of projects.

Tabling the Committee’s report on the Ministry of Constitution and Legal Affairs’ budget implementation for the year 2016/17 yesterday, the Chairperson, Mr Mohammed Mchengerwa (Rufiji – CCM), said projects under the ministry have received external funding, but the government has not released its budgetary share.

Mr Mchengerwa went on to underscore the importance of all government institutions to come up with new sources of revenue, to supplement lack of enough domestic funds as well as move away from donor dependence.

In the 2016/17 fiscal year, the Parliament endorsed a budget of 191.45bn/- for development and other costs, out of which 65.94bn/- was for salaries and 108.5bn/- for other costs. So far, the Ministry of Constitution and Legal Affairs has received 97.255bn/- which is 51 per cent of the total budget, according to the Committee chairman.

“The Committee calls upon the Treasury to release the remaining funds that was endorsed by the Parliament before the end of this fiscal year, so that the ministry can complete implementing its responsibilities efficiently,” he stressed.

The Committee commended the ministry for implementing its recommendations issued in May, last year, citing increase of budget for the Commission of Human Rights and Good Governance from 994,514,000/- to 1.566bn/-.

The Committee recommended that the Constitution and Legal Affairs Ministry complete its process of relocating to Dodoma as directed by the government.

Tanzania

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Sign Pact On Torture, MPs Challenge Govt

By Valentine Oforo

Dodoma — The government has been challenged to sign the International Convention against Torture in order to overcome the incidence of violation of human rights, which also in discordant with the Tanzanian Constitution.

MPs yesterday criticised the government for remaining silent in spite of the increase in cases of human rights violation and torture in the country.

Mr Ally Saleh (Malindi-CUF) yesterday charged in the august House that a recent report by Amnesty International (AI) pointed at Tanzanian as being among countries that are recording an increase in incidents of human rights violations while the government doesn’t seem to care.

“Why is the government dilly-dallying over the signing the International Convention against Torture?

For his part, MP for Rombo constituency, Mr Joseph Selasini (Chadema), claimed that most police officers are not aware of regulations governing their daily work.

“Most police officers brutalise civilians even in minor matters that don’t require the use of excessive power.

“I believe most them are ignorant of relevant regulations. Is there any plan to educte them?” he asked, directing his question to the Constitutional and Legal Affairs minister, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi.

In his overall response, Prof Kabudi said his ministry would mull over how best the country can sign the International Convention against Torture.

“Currently, according to existing Constitution, any act against human rights is an offence, and such cases have always been handled accordingly at our courts. It is only a matter of an individual victim reporting whenever his/her rights are tampered with,” he said.

Tanzania

Tanzania Maintains Place As Second Largest Military Spender

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Government Sued Over Women MPs Elections

Photo: Dominic Bukenya/Daily Monitor

Members of parliament debate (file photo).

By Derrick Kiyonga

Election of women members of Parliament by adult universal suffrage is unconstitutional, Dickwitington Kimeze and Sisimuka Uganda, a non-governmental organization, claim in an April 18 petition filed at the Constitutional court.

The petitioners want only women voting for women MPs and have attached the Electoral Commission and the attorney general as respondents. The petitioners say that section 8 (4) (II) of the Parliamentary Elections Act and the Local Governments Act in providing for the election of district women MPs and Local Government women councilors under universal adult suffrage are inconsistent with articles 78 (2), (3)& (4) and articles 180 (b), (c) and (d) of the Constitution.

In their petition, Kimeze and Sisimuka Uganda, say that the constitution requires parliament to enact a law prescribing the procedure for the election of district women members of parliament and local government women councilors.

Instead of taking into consideration the intention of what they call the “gallant men and women who made the Constitution” the petitioners say parliament in an act of “legislative laziness” applied the universal adult suffrage and it “shouldn’t get away with it.”

In the 1996 and 2001, electoral colleges were used to elect women MPs but in 2005 parliament amended section 8 of the Parliamentary Elections Act to introduce universal suffrage.

Now, through Denis Nyombi and Company advocates, Kimeze and Sisimuka Uganda say the universal adult suffrage system has denied women the right to determine who leads them and it also creates different classes of affirmative action.

“That universal adult suffrage is inapplicable to the election of any of affirmative action leadership position, and affirmative action in this respect has degenerated to negative discrimination as opposed to positive discrimination and its application was in error,” the petition reads.

The petitioners who say they are ardent believers in democratic principles and gender balance, attack the universal adult suffrage as “a term overly broad and at times vague since it allows men to vote for women.” Universal adult suffrage, they contend, was meant for strictly elections for directly elected members of parliament and the president therefore couldn’t apply to district women MPs and local government woman representatives.

“That at the heart of this petition is the legitimate question: Why do men vote for women district members of parliament and local governments’ women representatives?” the duo asks.

According to the petitioners, they find it strange that while men vote for district women MPs, the same doesn’t apply to other leadership positions instituted under the auspices of affirmative action.

They point out that: workers vote for workers MPs, youths vote for youth MPs, soldiers vote UPDF MPs and also people with special needs vote for their own MPs.

They argue that the Constitutional court should “determine and pronounce itself on whether district women members of parliament and local government’s women councilors are on affirmative action or it’s a quota system.”

Among other things, they want the same court to find that the Electoral Commission’s continued holding of women MP and local government’s women councilor elections under universal adult suffrage is a blatant violation of the Constitution, which “court must stop forthwith”.

Uganda

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Human Rights Situation Two Years After Crisis

analysisBy Diane Uwimana

“About 720 people were killed, over 80 others tortured since Burundi has plunged into the current situation in April 2015,” says Jean Baptiste Baribonekeza, Chairman of the National Commission for the Human Rights-CNDIH. He also says that between 700 and 800 people have been arbitrarily arrested in different areas of the country. “Thanks to our intervention, some of them have been released”, he says.

The chairman of CNDIH says the human rights situation deteriorated at the beginning of 2015 but has improved day after day. “Considering the situation between 2015 and 2016, there has been some improvement in 2017”, he says.

Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, Chairman of the Association defending the Human Rights and the detainees’ rights-APRODH, says his associations estimated the death toll of 2000 Burundians, imprisonment of 8000 people, flight of thousands of Burundians to other countries , torture of hundreds of people including women who have been sexually abused before their children and the disappearance of hundreds of people. “All this was caused by Pierre Nkurunziza when he violated the Arusha Agreement and Burundi Constitution”, he says.

The same view is shared by Léonce Ngendakumana, Deputy Chairman of Sahwanya Frodebu party. “The violation of the Arusha Agreement and Burundi Constitution caused many killings, tortures, sanctions against Burundi government, corruption, economic embezzlement, and the deterioration of the education system,” he says.

Ngendakumana says Burundi has moved into recession since 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a controversial term in office. Ngendakumana says the government and its allies must engage in an inclusive dialogue with the opposition to restore democracy in Burundi. “The only option to end the crisis is the inclusive dialogue”, he says.

Jean De Dieu Mutabazi, chairman of RADEDU party says Burundi was in trouble for three years but the situation has improved day after day. “The efforts by the troublemakers and opposition to destabilize the country have been undermined year after year. Today, the security situation is good”, he says.

Burundi

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Gasenyi I – Residents Denounce ‘Spoliation’

By Pierre Emmanuel Ngendakumana

Owners of 23 houses located within the perimeter of the presidential palace site did not meet the set deadline (7 April) to leave the places. The reason is that they have not been compensated. A bulldozer went into action on Tuesday, 11 April.

Desolation could be read on the faces of the inhabitants of Gasenyi I of Mutimbuzi commune in Bujumbura province, this Tuesday, 11 April. Nadine Gacuti, Provincial Governor, accompanied by an army of police officers, executed the measure to evict the 23 households occupying the houses built in the 40 ha of the site of the presidential palace in Gasenyi. She said the administration had previously held consultations with the concerned persons before the demolition. “This is a project of common interest.

The population understands its importance. That’s why there have not been any clashes. ” Mrs. Gacuti said she understood the emotion of the inhabitants of this locality. She asked them to exercise restraint while waiting for a distribution of other plots in Maramvya area. “Trust me. I will do my best so that you can have other plots. The government will not fail to give plots of land to 23 households. “She invited those who have no lodgings to go to the office of Mutimbuzi commune.

Guests carrying an offensive message

The concerned Gasenyi inhabitants are not enthusiastic. The governor and her retinue tried to convince a certain Emmanuel Bizimana to write an act recognizing that he himself would take out his own affairs. He refused, arguing that it is as if he himself had given the order to destroy his own house: “Do you think it makes sense for me to write it? It’s you who are at work, do it. Personally, I cannot. ” He wondered why the value of constructions seemed trivial to them.”I thought you were going to carry out a valuation in order to compensate us.”

After a short discussion, he finally signed the document written by Jean Bosco Hakizimana, the chief of the area, in the presence of the governor. Without further ado, the occupants left and the order to proceed to demolition was given.

Mr. Bizimana criticizes the authorities for the destruction of his house while he has no place to shelter his family. He claims that he has not yet received compensation. “I feel desperate. It hurts to witness the destruction of your home.” He says he is not opposed to the execution of the “project of the State” but he is skeptical about compensation. “The provincial authorities are telling us that they are dealing with our case. It is hard to believe even if they represent the government. ” A woman who spoke on condition of anonymity said her departure would change the daily life of her family. Shocked, she asked the Head of State “to think about the grieving families”. She wondered whether or not her children would continue their studies.

“The governor exhorts us to go to the office of the commune. What will become of our children if we respond to her call? It would be difficult to get there because of the distance from their school. I have no choice; my children and I are going to live in the street. “

Granting of compensations is conditioned

Emérence Ntahonkiriye, Director General of Urban Planning, says the compensation concerns only houses built before the 2009 decree on the physical delimitation of the 40 ha of the site of the presidential palace at Gasenyi. On the national radio, she stated in the evening edition of the same day that those whose buildings date from the said decree are not entitled to compensation. A bulldozer did not destroy houses completely. It broke some of the constructions to allow the owners to recover building materials after the demolition.

Reactions

Jean-Claude Karerwa Ndenzako: “The government has set up a commission to look into this issue” According to the spokesman for the President of the Republic, what happened in Gasenyi is sad.

Nevertheless, he regrets that people have not respected the law: “It was strictly forbidden to erect constructions or carry out activities in this perimeter chosen for infrastructures of public interest since 2009. Despite the proscription, people turned a deaf ear. “He reassures that the government has set up a commission to look into this issue. Mr. Karerwa Ndenzako said the latter would give an answer when the time came.

Léonce Ngendakumana: “The preoccupation of the government is not social cohesion”

This deputy chairman of FRODEBU party is not surprised by the government’s decision to destroy the houses. He believes that the concerns for the current government are not the social cohesion and improvement of the citizens ‘well-being. For him, the authorities only think of keeping them in command: “That is why they take measures that go against citizens’ reconciliation.” He also said the plots would be given to the dignitaries and others sold at exorbitant prices.

Gérard Hakizimana: “The revision of the law on property expropriation is necessary”

For the president of the Association against nepotism and populism (FOLUCON F), what happened in Gasenyi is unfair: “People witnessed the destruction of their houses without compensation.”He said the state would have found beforehand where to shelter the families before moving to the demolition of houses. He called for the revision of the law on expropriation. “The calculation of the compensation on the basis of BIF250, 000 per year does not match with the economic situation of the country anymore.”

Clarification by Emery Nukuri

The lecturer at the University of Burundi, Faculty of Law, specialist in land law, particularly in expropriation and public utility easement, speaks about the case of Gasenyi.

What are the legal provisions in force governing expropriation for public purposes?

With regard to international law, two texts ratified by Burundi speak of the protection of private property. This is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which, in its article 17, paragraph 2, stipulates that no one may be arbitrarily deprived of his property, that is to say that any deprivation of property must be in conformity with the law. The second text is the African Charter on Human Rights which, in its article 14, stipulates that the right to property can be infringed only on grounds of public utility in accordance with the provisions of the appropriate laws.

What about the internal arrangements in Burundi?

In Burundi, article 36 of the Constitution states in paragraph 2 that no person shall be deprived of his/her property except in the case of public interest and in the manner established by the law and subject to fair compensation. It’s just because when you lose ownership of your home or plot, you lose something that has a financial value. And the prerequisite means that compensation precedes clearing off.

Is there a land code in Burundi Indeed, the land code, which is in the Constitution, provides for the expropriation for public utility by the payment of a fair and prior indemnity.

Let us apply these provisions for the case of Gasenyi

Three questions arise in the case of Gasenyi. The first is whether the law provides for expropriation, no doubt that it does. The Constitution and the land code are clear.

Around the world, all states have the capacity to expropriate for the general interest. The other question is whether the expropriation is for public utility. From the outset, it is a presidential palace; the presidential palace is a public institution, so the public utility is verified. The last condition speaks of just compensation and that is where the problem arises in this case.

How?

With respect to compensation, the question is whether it was properly calculated and paid prior to expropriation. It would have been studied on a case-by-case basis to avoid controversy. According to reliable sources, some were compensated and others were not.

Beyond that, let’s talk about fair and prior compensation The land code, in some articles, defines how

expropriation is done. When a public utility project is introduced, the audit is done. Subsequently, the decision is displayed so that those whose properties are expropriated have their rights. In the final decision, the authority must indicate the form of compensation. It can be in kind as one can give an equivalent land or to know if they will pay in cash. Section 425 specifies that the person whose property has been expropriated has the right to demand monetary compensation. So before the eviction, the authority must fix the indemnity. Article 427 states that this must be done even in an emergency.

What does the law say about the people who erect buildings after the decision of the State in this case after 2009? For those before 2009?

it is at least clear. They must have compensation for the land, buildings and other pieces of work they have done on the land. For those who built after the 2009 expropriation decision, if they were told that there would be an expropriation without compensation, one has to wonder why the local government allowed them to build. There is reason to wonder about the responsibility of the State. The state must be everywhere. It should have been consistent with either compensating them or prohibiting them from building.

How is the compensation paid?

The 2011 Ministerial Ordinance applies the 2008 rates. As a result, the calculation of the compensation is done by means of an outdated text. Rates do not correspond to the market price. Let’s give a simple example. For a field of rice, for 1kg, the compensation rate is BIF 700. For the people of Gasenyi who are in a suburban area, BIF 2500 will be given per square meter. BIF 250,000 will be paid per acre, which we know it costs approximately 1 million BIF. Legend 3: A bulldozer destroying one of the 23 houses in the perimeter where the occupants have to leave

Written by Egide Nikiza, Christian Bigirimana and Agnès Ndirubusa. Translated by Pierre Emmanuel Ngendakumana

President Kenyatta Signs Five Bills Into Law

President Uhuru Kenyatta this morning at State House, Nairobi, signed five Bills into law, aimed at streamlining service delivery to the public.

The five Bills include, Privatization Amendment Bill, Public Service Commission Bill, The Statute Law Miscellaneous Bill, The Appropriation Bill and the Equalization Fund Appropriation Bill.

The Privatization Bill which was passed by the National Assembly in February seeks to address the reappointment of serving members of the Kenya Privatization Commission upon the expiry of their first term of office subject to favourable performance evaluation.

The Bill which now becomes law after its signing by the President outlines the procedure in the presentation of privatization proposals to parliament following approval by Cabinet.

The Public Service Commission Bill outlines a legal frame work for the operation and administration of the Public Service Commission to efficiently deliver on its Constitutional mandate.

The new law seeks to ensure efficiency and certainty with regard to the process to filling vacancies of members of Public Service Commission (PSC).

The law stipulates the conditions the Commission shall adhere to in determining and creating the number and kinds of offices in the Public Service as proposed by a public body or the President.

It provides guidelines for appointment and promotion of officers in the Public Service in consonance with Constitutional principles of non-discrimination, two thirds gender rule, inclusivity of persons with disabilities, marginalized communities and youth in such appointments, transfers and promotions.

The new law which will now become operational after being assented by the President establishes a clear disciplinary procedure that effectively protects the rights of public officers as provided in Article 47 of the Constitution and the Fair Administrative Act.

The new law also outlines procedures by which decisions made by a county government public service are considered inconsistent with laws, regulations and policies and can be contested by a dissatisfied person.

The Statute Law Miscellaneous Bill makes miscellaneous and minor amendment to amongst others, the Judicature Act (Cap.8), the Advocates Act (Cap.16), the Prisons Act (Cap. 90), the Income Tax Act (Cap. 470) and the Value Added Tax, 2013.

The Advocates Act empowers the Society to issue practice numbers to members to be endorsed on all documents prepared by a practising advocate in order to streamline legal practise and reduce incidences of legal activity carried out by unqualified persons.

The Appropriation Bill which the President signed into law was passed by the National Assembly this week and it grants for the issue, out of Consolidated Fund, the sum of Ksh. 1,266,794,262,462 required to meet public expenditure during the financial year ending on 30th June, 2018.

The Bill further appropriates the money granted for services and purposes specified in the Schedule, which is based on the estimates for the 2017/2018 financial year. It also makes provision for appropriations in aid of those services and purposes.

The Equalization Fund Appropriation Bill grants statutory sanction for public expenditure for the year ending on 30th June, 2017, to facilitate withdrawal of funds from Equalization Fund in line with Articles 204(3) (a) of the Constitution.

Present during the signing of the Bills were Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, National Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge, Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale, Clerk to the National Assembly Michael Sialai Rotich and Solicitor General Njee Muturi.

Right Groups Seek President’s Intervention Over Extrajudicial Killings

By Joseph Muraya

Nairobi — Human rights organizations under the banner of Police Reforms Working Group wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to establish an independent judicial commission of inquiry to conduct a probe into claims of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances of suspects of Crime.

This is after the killing of two suspects in Eastleigh in a manner they say was an outright case of extra-judicial killing.

KHRC Executive Director George Kegoro says the commission should also examine the extent and causes of continued and persistent lack of individual and command accountability for the same.

“The actions of the police officer clearly contravene Article 26 of the Constitution which asserts that every person has the right to life,” he said.

“A person shall not be deprived of life intentionally, except to the extent authorized by the Constitution or other written law.”

He said in the case of the Eastleigh incident, “there was no imminent threat of life in this case. The young man was restrained.”

He says killing of suspects has proven not to be effective and instead hardens criminals saying more than 600 suspects have executed since 2013.

They also want the President to, “speedily assents the National Coroners Bill 2017 to provide for independent forensic investigations of questionable deaths.”

Other recommendations include the police Internal Affairs Unit alongside the Independent Policing Oversight Authority to expedite investigations into the summary execution of the Eastleigh suspect and forward the report to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

They also want Nairobi Police boss Japheth Koome to be probed for saying, “he will deal ruthlessly with armed gangs killing innocent Kenyans.”

“The National Police Service Commission should institute disciplinary actions against other police officers who were at the scene or were involved in killing the two young men,” the right groups, among them the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights said in a statement.

Kenya

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The Army in Crisis

analysis

Two years on, the Burundi crisis shows little sign of resolution. Political and ethnic polarisation are now tearing apart the integrity of the army, long seen as the primary achievement of the Arusha peace agreement in 2000 which brought an end to protracted civil conflict.

Executive Summary

Two years in, the Burundi crisis shows little sign of resolution. Following the July 2015 re-election of President Nkurunziza, whose April decision to run again sparked the troubles, and with no progress made in the mediation, the crisis has turned into a low intensity conflict. Almost 400,000 Burundians have fled the country. Since the attempted coup of May 2015, political polarisation has had violent repercussions in the army. A series of attacks have targeted numerous officers, both those favourable to the president’s political ambitions and those suspected of sympathy with the coup plotters. Assassination attempts have also taken place abroad. Following over ten years of foreign support for the army’s transformation, its reputation has suffered greatly. International training has ended, and the army’s lucrative participation in peacekeeping operations is in doubt. This divided and demoralised army is a major threat to the country’s stability. Only a real dialogue, more urgent now than ever, between the government and the opposition could offer assurances to those officers concerned at the politicisation of their institution.

Long seen as the primary achievement of the Arusha peace agreement which ended the civil war in 2000, the army today is a microcosm of the country’s crisis. Through its multi-ethnic make-up, foreign training, and its role in international peacekeeping, the Burundian army had acquired a good reputation outside the country and a privileged position at home. But fragilities remained under the surface, and the 2015 crisis easily broke the key consensus on which the stability of the regime was based: between the army and civilian power, and within the army between the former rebels, most of whom come from the ruling party, and the old guard. Ever since, the regime has tried to regain its hold on the military through purging or killing real or suspected opponents within its ranks – starting with officers from the pre-war army and Tutsi officers, but also targeting former Hutu rebels, including high ranking officers.

The current crisis, in the form of tit-for-tat assassinations of soldiers and officers, is a violent reminder of the limits of the Arusha agreement within the army, and of the efforts made over ten years to depoliticise and professionalise it. It also reveals political and ethnic tensions that have continued to undermine it despite the reforms. The crisis has led to numerous defections and has compromised its future prospects. The European Union and the UN are reluctant to increase Burundi’s participation in peacekeeping missions and have taken steps to limit it. This participation used to be a source of revenue for an otherwise impoverished army, and a way of integrating its different parts. The current challenge to it and to associated external support could eventually weaken the economic and social advantages associated with the military career, and is a further risk for the stability of the country.

Impoverished and ethnically and politically polarised, the army is reforming around a loyalist hard core and open confrontations between army factions have been avoided since May 2015. But this apparent and only relative calm is based mainly on fear and should not mislead outside observers. The army that has been built since 2004 is now in ruins, and cannot be reconstituted short of an inclusive political agreement. This appears ever further off with the continued hardening of the regime and consequent difficulties encountered by the mediation of former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa. Without such a political agreement, the army faces two scenarios: a new confrontation, which could take the form of a new coup d’Etat, or a quiet but certain decline.

The relative success of army integration since 2004 has flowed from the Arusha agreement. In this context, only guarantees concerning its continued application, or its consensual updating, could reassure officers that their future and that of their institution is secure. The UN, the African Union, the East African Community and the European Union should continue to push for an inclusive dialogue between the government and the exiled opposition, despite the government’s intransigence, which has hindered mediation attempts, and international partners who have supported the army since 2004 should not reinvest in an institution now deeply politicised as long as it remains under the control of an authoritarian and violent regime. The involvement of the Burundian army in peacekeeping operations should continue only under strict vetting conditions of the individuals taking part. The crisis in the army, reflecting that of the country, underlines the continued risk that the situation could deteriorate further.

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