Posts tagged as: department

What’s Holding Back Extradition Treaties?

By Collins Mwai

Rwanda’s quest to have extradition treaties with several countries across the world are being derailed, potentially delaying delivery of justice.

Over the last seven years, Rwanda has put out about 39 extradition treaty requests, 18 of them with African countries. However, even on the continent itself, only three have been signed with officials at the Ministry of Justice saying there is need for increased diplomacy and negotiations.

So far, only Ethiopia, Zambia and Malawi have signed and ratified binding extradition treaties with Rwanda.

Providence Umurungi, the head of international justice and judicial cooperation at the ministry, told The New Times that signing treaties would expedite extradition of Genocide fugitives.

“We have very many indictments for Genocide fugitives who are mostly in Africa. We have been trying to sign extradition treaties, and we have secured six extradition treaties so far out of eighteen in Africa. This year we signed three, Malawi, Zambia and Ethiopia. We are negotiating to sign another one with Mozambique,” she said.

Surprisingly, a number of African countries have not been very cooperative in this regard but the authorities are keen to continue using diplomacy and negotiations.

“It is not very encouraging in regards to African countries and we are having to do a lot of diplomacy and negotiating. But where we have these treaties, they are ready to cooperate,” she added, citing Malawi.

The department is aiming at securing more treaties by 2020 to ensure that fugitives are brought to book. Without treaties, Rwanda could face challenges of extraditing suspects who have committed crimes in Rwanda but have since fled the country as is often the case with several Genocide fugitives.

New dedicated department

It was in this regard that the Justice ministry set up the Department of International Justice and Judicial Cooperation tasked with overseeing the putting in place and implementation of such treaties.

“In regards to our policy, we previously only had a unit in the Genocide fugitive and tracking unit and now at the Ministry of Justice we have a Department of International Justice and Judicial Cooperation,” Umurungi said.

On whether joint lobbying by the East African Community could facilitate the signing of more treaties, Umurungi said that it could come in handy.

“As a bloc, joint lobbying can work as the region negotiates for political partnership with other countries. It is largely because of political interest and their relations with Rwanda,” she said.

The department is targeting Southern African countries, where there are a number of fugitives at large.

Currently, the department is working to close a treaty with Mozambique in the coming days.

However, despite the lack of extradition treaties, some countries in Europe such as The Netherlands have extradited fugitives to Rwanda as they are not required to have such treaties.

When contacted on the issue, a number of foreign envoys who spoke on condition of anonymity said the lack of the extradition treaties could be due to the nature of their legal frameworks and would require input from their respective legislature.

Others said their countries are in full support of the bringing fugitives to justice by extraditions but the process is often delayed by bureaucratic processes in their countries.

South Africa: SA Takes Measures Against Plague

South Africa has taken several measures to prevent the importation of an outbreak of a plague into the country following the confirmation of 449 cases in Madagascar.

According to the Department of Health, the plague is a zoonotic disease caused by a bacterium Yersinia pestis.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed 449 cases of an outbreak of a plague in Madagascar, with 48 deaths.

The outbreak is primarily located in the middle third of the island, around the Antananarivo (239 cases and 21 deaths) and Toamasina Province on the east coast (147 cases and nine deaths). A single area on the northern coast is affected.

According to the department, where a plague is an endemic, it is usually found in rodents and is spread by fleas from rodent to rodent, or to other mammals.

“Humans may acquire the plague from persons with pneumonic plague through droplet transmission or from direct contact with infected rodents or through the bite of an infected flea. The incubation period ranges from two to eight days,” the department said.

Symptoms of pneumonic plague include coughing, fever and chest pain.

“South African travellers to Madagascar are advised to avoid highly populated areas, and to wear surgical masks while in transit. Liberal application of DEET-containing insect repellent is advised to prevent flea bites. Prophylactic antibiotics are not advised,” the department said.

All travellers returning from Madagascar must monitor their health for 15 days and seek medical care immediately at their nearest health facility if they develop fever, chills, head and body aches, painful and inflamed lymph nodes, or shortness of breath with coughing and/or blood-tainted sputum.

Travellers have been advised to inform their doctor about their recent travel and their symptoms.

“There is also a risk of contracting malaria through bites from infected mosquitoes while in Madagascar, making insect bite prevention doubly important. All returning travellers with fever must be tested for malaria,” the department said.

Measures to prevent the importation of the plague include:

Alerting all airline companies to remain vigilant for suspected ill passengers;

Port health officials have enhanced their screening measures to detect ill passengers arriving in the country;

All provincial outbreak response teams have been alerted to enhance preparedness and implement response measures in the event that a case is detected in the country;

Standard operating procedures for the management of a suspected case of plague have been circulated to stakeholders; and

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases has the laboratory capacity to diagnose the plague and is actively supporting preparedness measures in the country.

The department said the majority of cases are presenting as pneumonic plague unlike the usual bubonic form.

“The WHO has classified the outbreak as Grade 2 with the level of risk for local spread being high. Risk to the region is moderate because of frequent air and sea travel, but the global risk is perceived to be low,” the department said.

The WHO situational report may be found here.

South Africa:Urgent Court Action to Stop Mine Using West Coast Groundwater

Photo: DigitalGlobe

Satellite view of Kropz’s Elandsfontein Phosphate Mine.

By Melanie Gosling

An environmental organisation is taking the government and Kropz to court in a bid to stop the phosphate mine using water from the ancient Elandsfontein aquifer on the West Coast.

The West Coast Environmental Protection Agency (WCEPA) has filed an urgent interdict in the Western Cape High Court against Kropz Elandsfontein (Pty) Ltd and the Minister and Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation.

The NGO said in court papers that a water use licence is automatically suspended under the National Water Act once an appeal to the government’s issuing of the licence has been lodged. The suspension lasts until the appeal is decided. The WCEPA had lodged an appeal with the Water Tribunal in June.

Kropz disputes that the licence is suspended.

WCEPA’s objection to granting the water licence is based on experts’ reports which showed that the mine’s usage of water from the Elandsfontein aquifer posed “a high risk of irreparable environmental damage” to the integrity of the aquifer and to ecosystems dependent on groundwater.

The Kropz mine is on land adjacent to the West Coast National Park, a site of high biodiversity which includes the Langebaan Lagoon. It has been declared a UN Ramsar site of international importance.

The NGO said in court papers it did not have to show that the mine’s use of the aquifer water could harm the environment or the Langebaan Lagoon. It merely had to show that the mine was acting unlawfully in continuing to use its water licence after an appeal against the government’s issuing of the licence had been lodged.

Kropz had not taken any steps to challenge the appeal, but had told attorneys for the WCEPA that it regarded the appeal as invalid.

Walter Anderson, the lawyer acting for the WCEPA, said his client had tried to avoid legal action but had been forced to do so. “It is not for some big, fat-cat mining company to decide when the law applies and when not, and for the government to be sitting doing nothing about it,” said Anderson.

At the heart of the NGO’s objection to the water licence is that possible environmental impacts of the mine’s water use from the aquifer have not been assessed. It says government should not have issued a water licence until the assessment had been completed.

The aquifer feeds fresh water to the environmentally sensitive Langebaan Lagoon, but this had not been quantified. Because the phosphate ore at the Elandsfontein mine is below the water table, pits dug to extract the ore fill up with water from the aquifer. To avoid this, the mine has to pump the water out before it enters the pits. It then injects the water back into the aquifer at another place, creating an artificial recharge of the aquifer.

The water licence has several conditions, one of which is that Kropz establish by June 2017 a water monitoring committee of 11 entities, including SANParks, state departments and civic bodies, to monitor the dewatering and recharge process and assess whether the aquifer was sufficiently protected. Kropz did not do so.

Kropz was also required to test the system of artificial recharge of the aquifer for two months before any mining could take place. But according to court papers, Kropz started mining in January – before it had a water licence. When the water licence was issued in April, “Kropz was already in contravention of the conditions of the water use licence.”

Kropz suspended mining operations in July for an undetermined period for technical reasons and because of the drop in the global price of phosphate.

Asked to comment, Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation said officials had visited the mine in September and had established that the mine was not carrying out dewatering and recharging of the aquifer “associated with mining operations”.

But the department conceded that dewatering and recharge of the aquifer was still happening at the mine – but said this had to be done to prevent pollution.

“Despite mining operations being suspended, groundwater continues to flow to the mining pit and will accumulate. To ensure the environmental integrity and sustainable management of the water resource, dewatering and recharge is necessary to retain the groundwater flow paths and prevent contamination and pollution,” the department said.

Spokesperson for Kropz Elandsfontein Michelle Lawrence said the company would oppose the court action. “We will be meeting our legal counsel to determine the way forward. We shall not provide any further information on this matter until it is dealt with by the court,” said Lawrence.

South Africa:Gauteng Health DG Didn’t Know Why Life Esidimeni Patients Were Moved in ‘Ill-Advised’ Plan

RESOURCE: Process to Move Life Esidimeni Patients Was Rushed

The director-general in the Gauteng premier’s office said she did not know what officials wanted to achieve by pushing through the “ill-advised” and “inhumane” decision to move mentally ill patients from Life Esidimeni to a number of unlicensed NGOs.

Phindile Baleni, the director-general in David Makhura’s office, told the arbitration hearing into the deaths of at least 118 former Life Esidimeni patients that the provincial government had some soul searching to do, while insisting that the former MEC for health, Qedani Mahlangu, had to appear at the hearings.

Baleni said the former MEC was “the one who committed all the wrongs”, yet she hadn’t been called to testify.

“She can’t come and represent government when she behaved in a manner that doesn’t align, that doesn’t fit with how government would have treated this matter… She was the one who committed all the wrongs, she’s out of the system and she was perceived as a potentially hostile witness,” Baleni said, to murmurs from the family members attending the hearings.

“I do believe that she should be here,” she said. “I think it is necessary for her to be brought back to come and testify or to come face charges. We will assist in whatever way we can to ensure she responds to such requests.”

Earlier, Malebona Precious Matsoso, the director-general of the national Department of Health also insisted that Mahlangu, who was not on the list of witnesses presented by the state, should testify at the hearings.

“If you are accountable, [you] should be subjected to the full force of the law. Yes, she (Mahlangu) has to account. In my opinion, I think firstly she should be part of this process and secondly, she should be part of other legal processes as well,” she told the sitting.

Baleni promised the chair of the hearings, former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke, that the department wouldn’t reach any settlements with those implicated in the decision to end the contract with Life Esidimeni. He described the decision as a “breach of the law” and a “breach of human decency”.

The hearings continue on Friday.

Source: News24

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Sudan:Communications and IT Sector Launches Sudan-U.S. Cooperation Relations

Buenos Aires — State Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Ibrahim Al-Mirghani met, Thursday, on the side lines of the activities of the World Telecommunications Development Conference, in Buenos Aires, Argentine, Robert Strayer, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary-General for Communications and Information Policy of the US Department of State, where the meeting began by agreeing on the importance of considering reaching settlement and legalization of the status of US software in Sudan, coordination of efforts concerning information security and prevention of electronic crime.

The meeting is the first of its kind to bring together Sudanese and US officials after the validity of the US Administration decision on revocation of its sanctions imposed on the country.

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South Africa: MEC Magome Masike Commits to Build Clinic for Barolong Boo Rapulana

press release

MEC Masike Commits to build a Clinic for the Barolong Boo Rapulana

The North West MEC for Health, Dr Magome Masike has made a commitment to build a clinic for the Barolong boo Rapulana in Lotlhakane. This commitment was made in a meeting between the MEC and the Barolong boo Rapulana delegation led by Kgosi Tebogo Seatlholo. The meeting was held at the Department of Health offices today, 12 October 2017.

The Department of Labour has during the month of September closed the Lotlhakane Clinic citing that the building structure was old and thus not suitable to render health care services. The Department is busy with an infrastructure programme to replace old facilities many of which were built in the apartheid era with low quality material. Some were built by communities themselves when the then apartheid government neglected them.

Reacting to the visit by the delegation, MEC Dr Magome Masike said he appreciates that Kgosi Seatlholo was leading the delegation which proves how much he is committed to resolving the challenges in his village. He further said that the meeting was a demonstration of democracy in action.

“The Department commits to build the clinic for the community of Lotlhakane. Building of this clinic has been on our plans though we got delayed due to budget constraints. When the request was made to us in March, budget processes had already been concluded. The Department will however have to re-prioritize in order to fast-track the start of constructing the clinic within the 2017/18 financial year. I have instructed the engineer to begin the process and to look into alternative building methods that can fast-track the process”, said MEC Masike Kgosi Tebogo Seatlholo committed to assist in finding a temporary building to be used as a clinic while the Department begins the process of building a new clinic. The Department in turn committed to provide all the necessary resources including nurses once the temporary building has been found.

“I understand that Kgosi Tebogo Seatlholo and the community do not want to sit with a temporary solution for long hence I have instructed the engineer to immediately begin with the processes. We take the health needs of our people seriously”, MEC Dr Magome Masike concluded.

Issued by: North West Health

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Kitale Farmer Sues Son-in-Law in Row Over Bride Price

By Gerald Bwisa

A farmer on Thursday took his son-in-law to court for failing to pay him the bride price.

Mr Protus Wanyama Mamati accused Patrick Wanjala Marango of pulling his daughter Jackline out of school, eloping with her and ignoring calls to observe marriage traditions.

Jackline was in Form 3 at Kitale’s Sirende Secondary School in 2011, when Marango convinced her to abandon studies for marriage, Mamati told Kitale Resident Magistrate Peter Wasike.

“My daughter was doing very well in school until she was pulled out for marriage. Up to now the man has never bothered to come to us for a formal introduction or even pay dowry. It is just like he stole my daughter,” Mr Mamati said and asked the court to compel the son to observe the Bukusu rites and traditions to the letter.

DEMANDED SH50,000

Mr Mamati caused laughter in court when he said his son in-law ought to have started paying up by buying him a hat as he saved money to settle the rest.

The son had neither visited his home to formally introduce himself and neither had he ever sent any token of appreciation in the six years he had been living with his daughter, he said and demanded Sh50, 000 for himself, Sh25, 000 for his wife, 13 cows, two goats, two blankets, two bed sheets, one hat, a pair of gumboots and 20 litres of paraffin.

Mr Mamati also said he had tried to reach out to the son several times without success. Marango admitted he had paid no bride price but had asked his wife’s family to be patient with him, promising to settle everything in the fullness of time. He said they have three children and that he respected his community’s marriage traditions and intended to abide by them.

PAY BY INSTALMENTS

“I have never refused to pay my father-in-law the bride-price. All I needed was time to make arrangements in order to invite them and we settle this matter properly,” he said, adding that his pleas to be allowed to pay up in instalments had been flatly rejected.

“We have tried to solve this matter at home but in vain since he insists he want the payment in full. He says I have wasted his daughter’s time,” said Mr Marango.

Mr Marango’s father said both families had had a meeting and that they failed to reach a deal since he had only two cows out of the requirement of 13 in addition to two goats.

“Protus and I met but we could not agree. I told him that I have only two cows but he insisted on 13 and two goats so we left it there but he has been threatening me with court action and here we are,” he said. The case will be heard on November 16.

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Election Laws Bill Await Kenyatta Assent After Approval By Senate

By Ibrahim Oruko

The Election Laws (Amendments) Bill 2017 is to be sent to the president for assent after the two Houses passed it.

The National Assembly passed the bill on Wednesday and send it to the Senate.

The Senate passed the bill without amendments and returned it to the National Assembly Thursday evening, paving way for presidential assent.

Temporary Speaker Chris Omulele delivered the news of the return of the bill to the National Assembly as members were debating an adjournment motion.

He promised Speaker Justin Muturi will forward it to President Uhuru Kenyatta for assent.

President Kenyatta had earlier this week said he will sign the bill once it is passed by Parliament.

ADJOURN

The two Houses have adjourned and will resume business on November 7.

The National Assembly passed the bill on Wednesday with seven amendments arising from submission following the public hearings conducted by the parliamentary select committees of both Houses.

Should the president assent to the bill, the vice chair of the commission will now take over in acting capacity in the event there is a vacancy in the office of the chairman or when the chairman is absent.

Further, IEBC will be forced to transmit results of the elections electronically and manually deliver them to the constituency and national tallying centers.

Another amendments states that a court shall not declare an election void for non-compliance with the law if it appears that the election was conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in the Constitution and that the non-compliance did not substantially affect the result of the election.

The financial penalties on election officials who fail to do their job will also be doubled from Sh1 million to Sh2 million in addition to a five-year jail term.

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Traders Fined Sh5,000 for Using Banned Plastic Bags

By Galgalo Bocha

Three traders were each fined Sh5,000 or serve one month in prison for using banned plastic bags.

The traders were arrested in a crackdown by undercover officers from National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) in Mombasa County.

They were arrested at Kongowea open air market and Saba Saba area.

One of the accused, Nicodemus Ondieki was charged with unlawfully selling fruits packaged in banned flat bags.

JAIL

He is said to have committed the offence on October 11.

The trader pleaded guilty and was fined Sh5000 in default serve one month in jail.

The court issued an arrest warrant against another trader, Musyoka Musembi, who was released on Sh9000 police bond but failed to turn up in court.

The court directed the bond he had deposited with police be forfeited to the State.

Two vendors, Francis Kyalo and Hassan Charo arrested during the crackdown were also charged with using the banned flat bags.

VENDORS

They were found using the plastic bags to store fruits at Saba Saba.

The court directed that the plastic materials produced as exhibits in the cases be destroyed by Nema officials.

The magistrate warned the accused will be heavily punished should they be arrested again with the banned plastic bags.

“On Wednesday, this court discharged some 11 suspects and opted to fine you Sh5000 each but if anyone is found committing a similar offence, they will have to pay heavy price to send a strong message to the rest of the public,” said the magistrate.

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Kenya: DStv,Telkom Partner to Offer Bundled Internet to Customers

Nairobi — Kenya’s leading video entertainment provider, DStv and Kenya’s premier telecommunications provider, Telkom, have renewed their partnership to offer Kenyans value on both entertainment and Internet at an affordable cost.

Beginning October 2017, all customers purchasing a full kit DStv HD decoder, at a cost of Sh6,999 will get a free MiFi router pre-loaded with 30GB Data from Telkom and one month viewing on the DStv Compact package in a special promotional offer dubbed DStv Na Net.

“We listen to our customers to understand their changing needs and what matters most to them. We strive to improve our customers’ experience in different ways whenever and wherever they engage with us. We understand that Internet has become a basic necessity for doing business and interacting with other people socially. That is why this partnership with Telkom is an important step towards improving our customer experience,” says MultiChoice Kenya Managing Director Eric Odipo.

Telkom Kenya’s Chief Executive Officer, Aldo Mareuse reiterated Telkom is committed to providing innovative solutions to customers and giving them the best value.”This MiFi router,a high speed plug and play mobile data device supports up to 15 users. The free 30GB worth of data gives them the opportunity to experience our data offering as they make an informed long-term choice of Internet service provider based on their experience with our network,” says Mareuse.

“Kenya now has over 88% Internet penetration according to the Communications Authority and this offering which brings together the convenience of the Internet and great TV content via DStv, will further simplify the lives of our customers. This partnership without a doubt provides our customers with the solutions they are looking for in modern day living,” adds Mareuse.

“For DStv, the move to bundle Internet is aimed at improving our customer experience by offering them more value, and at a price they can afford. As the entertainment industry changes, we continually aim to bring people together around shared passions, and offer them an avenue for them to connect with us in the new realities. The DStv Na Net promotion will give our customers the most affordable content at the most affordable price during the one month free Compact viewing window and a convenient Internet connection for the home at only Sh6,999,” says Odipo.

Customers can purchase the DStv HD decoder bundled with the Mifi router at all Multichoice Service Centres at T-Mall, Sarit Centre and Greenspan Malls in Nairobi as well as all leading retail and dealer outlets countrywide.

Telkom customers can also subscribe to a series of competitive existing offers due to their simplicity and affordability. In addition, Telkom customers continue to enjoy Free WhatsApp and 4G for free and free 50MB every day from 6:00 am and 8:00 am courtesy of the Amkia bundle.

The DStv Na Net offer will allow subscribers to view the best family entertainment on DStvCompact including Premier League on SuperSport 11 and La Liga on SuperSport 7, exciting kids channels including DisneyCbeebies, Cartoon Network and Jim Jam, soapies for romance lovers with channels like Telemundo and Eva+, fashion and entertainment news on E! Entertainment, Spice TV and Fashion One, and local shows and movies on, Maisha Magic East and Maisha Magic Bongo.

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