Posts tagged as: court

Go-Slow By Ferry Workers Causes Heavy Traffic Jam

By Galgalo Bocha

Some Kenya Ferry Services employees staged a go-slow paralysing ferry operations at the busy Likoni channel on Saturday.

The go-slow caused massive snarl-up as hundreds of passengers and motorists on either side of the 500-metre crossing channel were stranded.

Loading and off-loading of human and vehicular cargo from the three operating ferries – MV Kwale, Mv Harambee and MV Kilindini – took long on the island and at mainland ramps.

Hundreds of passengers and motorists were stranded for hours resulting into a massive traffic jam that snaked its way into Mombasa central business district.

“We have been here for more than one hour yet we have a very important meeting in Diani,” said John Njuguna, a motorist.

TOTAL FAILURES

Some of frustrated motorists demanded for a total overhaul of KFS management, saying it has failed to implement the much needed reforms at the channel that links Mombasa Island and South Coast.

“We urge President Uhuru Kenyatta to come personally and send the workers home including the managing director. They are total failures, “said Sheikh Abu Hamza.

The workers were protesting KFS management’s failure to implement the second phase of 17.5 per cent basic salary increments awarded to them by Industrial Court two years ago.

The Industrial Court awarded basic salary increments across the board and various allowances to 181 unionisable workers out of a total of KFS 290 employees in 2015.

The Dock Workers Union, ferry branch, sued their employer for failing to honour collective bargaining agreement signed between the management and their representatives.

HARDSHIP ALLOWANCES

The dispute involves basic salary increment, casual workers employment, outsourcing of services , public holidays overtime pay, and extraneous, house, leave travel, duty, and commuter/transport and hardship allowances.

The workers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also complained that key private hospitals have refused to treat them and their families due to lack of remittance towards their medical insurance scheme.

“Some of our colleagues have been surcharged because of our employer’s failure to deduct money from their salaries to repay bank loans,” said an employee who did not want to be named.

But speaking to the Sunday Nation, KFS Public Communication Officer Aron Mutiso denied the claims by the disgruntled workers and attributed the crisis at the busy channel to an influx of commuters due to children going back to school.

“That is your own creation (the go slow). There is nothing like that. The long queue you are seeing is as a result of the back school rush and the holiday,” added Mr Mutiso.

Schools are expected re-open on Tuesday, May 2, for the second term this year.

Gambia: ‘All the Phone Numbers of Our Witness Are Deactivated’

[Daily Observer] A prosecutor in a drug trial before a Banjul Magistrates’ Court Tuesday informed Magistrate Malafy Jarju that the prosecution is facing difficulties to reach Jambar Dem on his phone to come and testify as a witness in a drug case involving Omar Jarju.

South Africa: No New Renovations At Nkandla – Dlodlo

No new renovation work is being carried out at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead, Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said on Friday.

“What might be happening is maintenance work, but no renovations,” she said at a post-Cabinet briefing.

“We did not discuss it in Cabinet. There are no renovations at Nkandla,” she said in answer to a question from News24.

She referred journalists to new Public Works Minister Nathi Nhleko’s statement earlier this week about reports that more renovations were being done.

Nhleko on Tuesday said none of the companies involved in the upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead had been blacklisted.

The department had continued working with eight out of the 14 companies. They had been contracted between August 2014 to date, he said.

Nhleko was police minister when he compiled a report into the Nkandla saga that contradicted former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s findings that Zuma unduly benefitted from the upgrades costing R246m.

He said the department would place on the database those suppliers guilty of breaching supply chain management policies and/or Treasury regulations.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said the revelations were shocking, considering the Constitutional Court had found the upgrades were “fraught with corruption and unlawful enrichment”.

Meanwhile, the disciplinary hearing of one of the 12 public works employees accused of wrongdoing in the Nkandla saga was postponed in Durban on Tuesday. Sibusiso Chonco and 11 other officials are accused of acting unlawfully during the upgrades.

Chonco’s hearing was postponed to July 4 to 6. His lawyer Adrian Moodley said Chonco was not unwilling, but unable to participate in proceedings due to poor health.

Source: News24

South Africa

Dam Levels Decline in Most Provinces

The national storage of 211 dams has decreased slightly by 0.3% to 72.9% compared to 73.2 last week, according to the… Read more »

Bishop Wanjiru Challenges Court Decision to Detain Her

Photo: Capital FM

Bishop Margaret Wanjiru.

By Maureen Kakah

Bishop Margaret Wanjiru has moved to the High Court to challenge the decision to deny her bond and detain her in custody for five days until after Labour Day celebrations.

Through lawyer Kennedy Ochieng, Bishop Wanjiru, who was gunning for the Nairobi Jubilee Party ticket in the just-concluded primaries, argues that the prosecution did not seek for more time to have her detained so as to record witness statements yet Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi ordered that she remains in custody.

In a letter to the presiding judge of the High Court’s criminal division, Mr Ochieng has faulted the magistrate for issuing directions for her continued incarceration as a gross violation to her rights as an accused person.

He therefore wants the High Court to examine the correctness of the verdict and ascertain the provisions of the law in such a case.

He also wants the High Court to review the orders issued on her continued detention as well as the bond terms.

Kenya

Millions Needed to Battle Armyworms

The Agriculture ministry requires an additional Sh320 million emergency funding to combat crop-eating caterpillars known… Read more »

Desh Kananura’s Fate to Be Determined

By Anthony Wesaka

Kampala — The High Court in Kampala is today expected to pass its judgment that will determine the fate of city businessman Andrew Kananura aka Desh who is accused of murdering his employee Badru Kateregga at his Panamera Bar located at Naguru, a Kampala suburb in 2012.

The much awaited verdict had been scheduled for Tuesday this week but trial judge Joseph Murangira was indisposed on that day.

To that effect, the reading of the verdict was deferred to today (Friday) at 2pm

In today’s judgment, the court will either convict or acquit him.

Murder is grave offense and on conviction, one is liable to suffer death by hanging.

Further, the court has an option of lessening his murder charges to man-slaughter charges that attract a life imprisonment sentence on conviction.

In the build-up of to this verdict, two court assessors Mr Robert Kabureta and Ms Rehema Babirye , in their joint lay man’s opinion, advised court to find Kananura not guilty of murdering his employee.

The assessors told court that the prosecution had failed to prove its case against Kananura.

In further justifying their call for Kananura acquittal, the assessors told court that the prosecution witness, who testified against him, based their testimonies on hearsay and not on conclusive facts.

Equally, the court assessors advised court to acquit Kananura’s co-accused including his brother Raymond Kananura and two of their co-accused Cyrus Maganda and Samuel Muzolewa.

Legally, assessors’ opinion is not binding to court because the trial judge can either agree with their advice or depart from it.

However, the assessors called for the conviction of the fifth suspect, Mr Jacob Onyango because the deceased died in his presence and that he even saw the suspect (s) running away from the scene of crime.

Its alleged that on September 30,2012, the accused and others still at large, while at Panamera Bar beat and killed Kateregga, a bar attendant, over Shs30,000 that he had received as a tip from a customer. They deny the charges.

Uganda

Equatorial Guinea’s Obiang Tells Museveni to be Careful With Oil

Uganda is looking to tap into Equatorial Guinea’s experience of oil production, in order to build its own capacity… Read more »

Extended Justice – Now Magistrates to Hear Murder Cases

By Mariam Said

The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, has temporarily conferred the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam with a status of High Court to determine murder cases, in a special dispensation expected to end next month.

The move has been made in consultation with the Chief Justice and Attorney General (AG) as per section 173 of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) – under which some principal resident magistrates could be, and have been, given what is called in law as ‘extended jurisdiction’ to hear such cases.

These magistrates will now hear the murder cases in much the same way as by normal judges of the High Court in the ongoing special sessions countrywide; it’s all part of current efforts and Judiciary’s strategy to ensure time delivery of justice to the parties involved in the cases concerned.

Under this arrangement, the four magistrates who have been conferred with such jurisdiction would hear and determine about 20 murder cases as from pre-taking to full hearing stages. Extended Jurisdiction, as it’s called, is power given to a resident magistrate to hear matters that would otherwise fall under the original jurisdiction of the High Court.

Accordingly, appeal from a decision of the magistrate with extended jurisdiction is lodged in the Court of Appeal. Section 173 (1) reads: “The Minister may after consultation with Chief Justice and Attorney General invest any resident magistrate with power to try any category of offences which, would ordinarily be tried by the High Court and may specify the area within which he may exercise such extended powers.

“(He) may invest any such magistrate with power to try any, specified case or cases of such offences and such magistrate shall, by virtue of the order, have the power, in respect of the offences specified in the order to impose any sentence which could lawfully be imposed by the High Court.

Sub-section (3) states, “For the purposes of any appeal from or revision of his decision in the exercise “of such jurisdiction, such the resident magistrate shall be deemed to be a judge of the High Court, and the court presided over by him while exercising such jurisdiction shall be deemed to be the High Court.”

Tanzania

Gold Regains Status As Tanzania’s Top Export

Gold has regained its prestigious position as Tanzania’s largest non-traditional goods export, thanks to a rise in value… Read more »

Court Throws Out Kyadondo East MP

The Court of Appeal has upheld the High court judgment nullifying the election of Apollo Kantinti as the Kyadondo East Member of Parliament.

The three Court of Appeal judges; Richard Buteera, Cheborion Balishaki and Paul Mugamba concurred with the earlier judgment of Justice Henry Kaweesa, saying the elections didn’t comply with electoral laws, which substantially affected the final results.

They ordered the Electoral Commission to conduct by elections for the constituency.

The judgment followed an application filed by Sitenda Sebalu, the former NRM candidate challenging the decision by Wakiso district registrar, Sarah Bukirwa and the Electoral Commission to declare Katinti winner despite the irregularities that marred the election.

In his application, Sebalu argued that results from seven polling stations were excluded from the final tally. He also argued that there were errors in tallying results from some areas like Kabubu polling station, which affected his chance of winning the elections.

While reading the judgment this afternoon, Didas Muhumuza, the Court of Appeal assistant registrar noted that “After a careful re-evaluation of the evidence on record, the judges have also come to a conclusion that it was not clear on who won the Kyadondo East constituency election since results from 9 polling stations were not included in the final tally.”

The justices also ordered Kantinti to pay costs of the suite.

Uganda

Govt to Look Into NGOs Distributing Sanitary Pads – Janet Museveni

Government is concerned and will “look into” NGOs spearheading the distribution of free sanitary pads to school children… 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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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.

I’m Mistreated in Prison – Stella Nyanzi

Photo: Alex EsagalaDaily Monitor

Stella Nyanzi arrives at the Criminal Investigations.

By Derrick Kiyonga & Baker Batte Lule

Makerere University researcher Stella Nyanzi, who is facing charges that include calling President Museveni “a pair of buttocks” on Facebook, has complained of mistreatment at Luzira prison.

Appearing before Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s court yesterday, Nyanzi’s lawyers, Nicholas Opiyo and Eron Kiiza, said the controversial blogger has been denied access to books of her choice, written notes and other materials prison authorities deem unfit.

“The accused should not to be restricted to reading only the Bible; not that she minds reading the Bible, but she is a writer,” Opiyo told court.

He said even defence lawyers have been denied access to Nyanzi.

“Our contention is that lawyers are not visitors to the prison but are officers of court. Even when we were allowed in, we were unable to have a private client – lawyer meeting. It is unusual for the lawyer not to have a privileged conversation with their client,” Opiyo said.

For his part, Eron Kiiza told court they have tried to talk to prison authorities about the mistreatment but nothing has been done to address their grievance.

“The accused is being subjected to discriminatory treatment as if she is not equal to other prisoners. The harsh conditions indicate as though she is being punished yet there is no court order for punishing her,” Kiiza said, adding that court should order Prisons authorities to respect her rights.

Nyanzi, who wore her signature [blue] African wear with a matching band in her dreadlocked hair, appeared calm but occasionally flashed a guarded smile while the submissions went on. Unlike her first court appearance, she was not allowed to say anything yesterday. She only whispered to her lawyer Kiiza.

Although prosecution lawyer Jonathan Muwaganya agreed that Nyanzi should enjoy equal rights like other prisoners, he said it would be erroneous for court to give blanket orders.

“My understanding is that prison is a regulated facility; many things are censured including literature and restrictions to visitation. This is obviously the normal procedure in a prison facility anywhere in the world,” Muwaganya said.

He added that lawyers should let prison authorities handle Nyanzi’s complaints now that they had formally complained about the alleged mistreatment.

“It will be erroneous for this court to be asked to make a blanket order that the accused be accessed all literature of her choice to be read as she so wishes while in detention. The same would apply to the prayer of visitation to members of the public,” Muwaganya said.

Commenting on the matter, Chief Magistrate James Ereemye Mawanda said it would be wrong for him to rule on the matter before Prisons authorities are given an opportunity to act on the same.

“My understanding is that they [Prisons] have not given you feedback. I believe these are competent authorities who will ensure that rights of the accused are respected. It will be premature for me to pass judgment on the authorities yet they are handling the matter,” Mawanda said.

CASE REVIEW

Earlier, Muwaganya told court that they wouldn’t go ahead with the case because its file had been recalled by the High court for review.

“I’m privy to information that after we adjourned, one of the lawyers of the accused, Isaac Ssemakadde, wrote to the High court asking for a revision,” Muwaganya told court, referring to an April 10 letter by Ssemakadde to the High court in which he accused Mawanda of siding with the state to decline to hear Nyanzi’s bail application after she had taken plea.

Opiyo agreed with Muwaganya’s submission and added that Nyanzi will tomorrow appear at the High court before Justice Elizabeth Kabanda, where she will also be applying for bail. Mawanda adjourned the case until May 10 to allow the High court revise the application.

Madagascar Patrol Vessel Docks At Malindi Port

By Issa Yussuf

Zanzibar — Madagascar Ocean Patrol Vessel yesterday docked at Zanzibar in its mission to control illegal fishing in the region.

Tanzania Deep Sea Fishing Authority (DSFA) acting Director General Hosea Mbilinyi, speaking to journalists visited the boat at Malindi port, said of the visiting vessel, “We have been working together among the Indian Ocean Fishing Commission (IOFC) and committed to control illegal fishing in our waters.”

He said details of the boat will be released upon completion of the mission, which is still visiting other member countries, including Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoro, reunion, Mozambique and Kenya.

“The cooperation which started in 2007, but joined by Tanzania in 2014 aims at sharing data base on fish, areal patrol, ocean patrol and satellite,” Mr Mbilinyi said, adding that it is the 49th patrol mission which started in Mozambique.

Tanzania

Chief Justice Turns to Experts on Powers of Prosecutions Director

Acting Chief Justice, Prof Ibrahim Juma has invited two prominent law professors to assist the Court of Appeal… Read more »

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