Posts tagged as: eastern

Ethiopia to Open First Embassy in Rwanda

Photo: Timothy Kisambira/The New Times

Both Rwandan and Ethiopian flags sway at Kigali International Airport.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn who is on a three-day state visit to Rwanda will open his country’s first embassy in Rwanda.

The news was announced by Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo at a State Banquet hosted by President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame in honour of Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and First Lady Roman Tesfaye who arrived in the country yesterday.

Ethiopia has been carrying out its diplomatic relations with Rwanda through its embassy in Uganda. Rwanda opened its first embassy in Ethiopia in 1978.

Prior to the embassy opening slated for this evening, Premier Hailemariam and his delegation will hold talks with their host President Kagame on how to further strengthen and deepen relations between the two countries.

The two leaders are expected to discuss regional cooperation, trade and investment ties, and how the two nations can learn from each other’s experience in peace and security. Delegations from both countries will ink agreements in new areas of partnerships.

On the first day of his visit, the Ethiopian Prime Minister visited Ntebe Integrated Model Village in Rwamagana District, Eastern Province where he commended Rwanda’s move to promote modern settlements in rural areas to improve citizens’ welfare focusing on poor families.

Concluded on Tuesday, 25 April 2017, a Joint Permanent Commission involving experts from Rwanda and Ethiopia identified new areas of cooperation. These include tourism and education.

Rwanda

When Art Confronts Politics and the Corporate Boardroom

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Kenya: Snake Blamed For Deadly Minibus Crash

Photo: Pius Maundu/The Nation

A minibus that collided with a lorry near Malili shopping centre in Makueni County on April 27, 2017.

By Pius Maundu and Stephen Muthini

The driver of a matatu that collided with a lorry at Malili on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway, killing eight people, was avoiding running over a snake, one of the accident victims has revealed.

Ms Elizabeth Mwongeli, 28, told the Nation at Machakos Level 5 Hospital, where she was admitted, that just before the crash she heard the driver shout that he had seen a big snake.

“The driver was avoiding a snake,” Ms Mwongeli, who appeared traumatized and in pain, said.

“I heard him shout before he swerved and hit a lorry. I don’t know if the snake was hit.”

VICTIMS RECUPERATING
Speaking in the casualty ward as she waited for a plaster of Paris to be fitted on her leg, Ms Mwongeli, who was injured on the head and right knee, said she had gone barely two kilometres from her Salama home taking a sick child to Machakos Hospital.

Ms Mwongeli recalled seeing bodies on the road.

I counted five bodies of those who had died on the spot,” Ms Mwongeli said.

The child was also admitted at the hospital.

Seven victims were admitted in the casualty ward and a child was at the intensive care unit.

In the casualty ward were Ms Christine Kitivo and Mr Daniel Kiasya. The couple, who were travelling from Kibwezi, had heavy bandages on the head and legs.

“I was asleep and when I woke up I realised I was injured. We were going to Nairobi to buy spare parts for my machines,” Ms Kitivo recounted.

CARELESS DRIVING
Mr Onesmus Kiio, 23, a student at Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi, sustained hip injuries and was due for surgery.

Mr Kiio, who said he boarded the matatu at Sultan Hamud, claimed to have heard other passengers caution the driver, who died in the accident, against driving carelessly but he retorted that he was experienced.

The 45-seater minibus, christened Jasho Dreams, shuttles between Nairobi and Kambu shopping centre in Makueni County.

The matatu driver was attempting to overtake another vehicle when the accident occurred, acting Kilungu divisional police boss Zacharia Bitok told the Nation on phone.

SPEEDING
Mr Bitok said the eight died on the spot and 10 others sustained serious injuries and were taken to hospitals in Machakos and Makueni counties.

The bus conductor, Mr Justus Musembi, who was being treated for deep cuts on the right leg at Mukaa Hospital, Makueni, however said the lorry was speeding and it swerved into the matatu’s lane.

“It smashed the cabin on the driver’s side and killed or badly injured passengers in the first three rows of seats behind the driver,” Mr Musembi said.

The lorry crew were unhurt.

Snake Blamed For Deadly Minibus Crash

Photo: Pius Maundu/The Nation

A minibus that collided with a lorry near Malili shopping centre in Makueni County on April 27, 2017.

By Pius Maundu and Stephen Muthini

The driver of a matatu that collided with a lorry at Malili on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway, killing eight people, was avoiding running over a snake, one of the accident victims has revealed.

Ms Elizabeth Mwongeli, 28, told the Nation at Machakos Level 5 Hospital, where she was admitted, that just before the crash she heard the driver shout that he had seen a big snake.

“The driver was avoiding a snake,” Ms Mwongeli, who appeared traumatized and in pain, said.

“I heard him shout before he swerved and hit a lorry. I don’t know if the snake was hit.”

VICTIMS RECUPERATING
Speaking in the casualty ward as she waited for a plaster of Paris to be fitted on her leg, Ms Mwongeli, who was injured on the head and right knee, said she had gone barely two kilometres from her Salama home taking a sick child to Machakos Hospital.

Ms Mwongeli recalled seeing bodies on the road.

I counted five bodies of those who had died on the spot,” Ms Mwongeli said.

The child was also admitted at the hospital.

Seven victims were admitted in the casualty ward and a child was at the intensive care unit.

In the casualty ward were Ms Christine Kitivo and Mr Daniel Kiasya. The couple, who were travelling from Kibwezi, had heavy bandages on the head and legs.

“I was asleep and when I woke up I realised I was injured. We were going to Nairobi to buy spare parts for my machines,” Ms Kitivo recounted.

CARELESS DRIVING
Mr Onesmus Kiio, 23, a student at Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi, sustained hip injuries and was due for surgery.

Mr Kiio, who said he boarded the matatu at Sultan Hamud, claimed to have heard other passengers caution the driver, who died in the accident, against driving carelessly but he retorted that he was experienced.

The 45-seater minibus, christened Jasho Dreams, shuttles between Nairobi and Kambu shopping centre in Makueni County.

The matatu driver was attempting to overtake another vehicle when the accident occurred, acting Kilungu divisional police boss Zacharia Bitok told the Nation on phone.

SPEEDING
Mr Bitok said the eight died on the spot and 10 others sustained serious injuries and were taken to hospitals in Machakos and Makueni counties.

The bus conductor, Mr Justus Musembi, who was being treated for deep cuts on the right leg at Mukaa Hospital, Makueni, however said the lorry was speeding and it swerved into the matatu’s lane.

“It smashed the cabin on the driver’s side and killed or badly injured passengers in the first three rows of seats behind the driver,” Mr Musembi said.

The lorry crew were unhurt.

Kenya

Millions Needed to Battle Armyworms

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Egyptian Envoy Tips Local Exporters

Photo: Appolonia Uwanziga/The New Times

Egyptian embassy officials tour the expo on Wednesday. The trade fair will end on May 10.

By Appolonia Uwanziga

The business community should take advantage of the good trade relations between Rwanda and Egypt to create useful linkages and partnerships to expand market for locally-made products. According to Mazen Gaber Mousa, the deputy chief of mission at the Egyptian embassy in Kigali, such partnerships could help build capacity of local industrialists and boost the country’s export sector.

He also urged producers from the two Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) member countries to learn from each other’s best business practices.

Mousa was speaking during the opening of the ongoing Egypt and Middle East Expo at the Amahoro Stadium in Remera on Wednesday.

The 15-day trade fair attracted 59 exhibitors from Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Singapore, Kenya, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates and is organized by Smart Egypt. It ends on May 10.

Rwanda

Ethiopia to Open First Embassy in Rwanda

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn who is on a three-day state visit to Rwanda will open his country’s first… Read more »

Rwanda Recommits to Tighten Fight Against Malaria

Today, Rwanda joins the rest of the world in a campaign to “End Malaria for Good.” An official ceremony will be held in Huye District to mark World Malaria Day.

The World Malaria Day is an occasion for the country to combine and tighten its efforts in the fight against Malaria through increased awareness on response.

Activities meant to enhance Malaria prevention will run from 24-29 April 2017. These include: educating communities on proper use of mosquito nets and door-to-door mobilisation on Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS). An active home-based care management for Malaria to population in high-risk zones is on going.

Under the Malaria Contingency Plan, strategies like Home Based Management for Malaria at community level have helped reduced severe malaria cases by 50% in the last five months (November 2016 – March 2017).

Since November last year, 4 million long lasting insecticide treated nets were distributed nationwide, while Indoor Residual Spraying activities were conducted in Kirehe, Nyagatare, Gatsibo and Bugesera districts of Eastern Province, as well as Gisagara District in the southern part of the country. Citizens in the 1st and 2nd of Ubudehe – household social economic categories, have access to malaria treatment free of charge. This has helped curb financial barriers.

Through the Ministry of Health, the Government of Rwanda has reinforced community awareness campaigns as well as education activities towards proper use of bed nets and enhanced environment hygiene and sanitation in a bid to intensify the fight against Malaria.

The concerted efforts are credited for reducing significantly severe malaria cases and related deaths as Rwanda toughens its efforts in ending Malaria for Good.

Rwanda

Higher Education Council Engages Experts Over Universities Suspension

The Higher Education Council has engaged professional bodies in the latest assessment of the requirements asked of the… Read more »

Rwanda, DR Congo Agree to Enhance Bilateral Trade Ties

Photo: The New Times

Smale-scale traders at the Rubavu-Goma border post transact business (file photo).

By James Karuhanga

Rwanda and DR Congo have affirmed commitment to strengthen bilateral trade ties between the two countries.

This was one of the outcomes from a weekend meeting between François Kanimba, the Minister for Trade, Industry and East African Community Affairs, and Aimé Boji Sangara Bamanyirwe, DR Congo’s Minister for Commerce.

The meeting took place in the eastern DR Congo town of Bukavu, and discussed trade facilitation between the two countries.

The two ministers committed to instruct relevant institutions to refrain from creating tariffs and non-tariff barriers for trade between the two countries, according to a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting.

Speaking to The New Times on Monday Kanimba said that “the momentum is good” as the two countries look to further boost cross-border trade and particularly empower hundreds of small-scale cross-border traders on both sides.

“We are enhancing trade and the Congolese are very friendly and want to improve the trade relationship,” Kanimba told The New Times.

The statement indicates that the Congolese minister “clearly stated” that no other institutions should introduce trade barriers on the Congolese side without due consultations.

Such decisions, he noted, should only be taken by central government in Kinshasa.

An action plan to implement the decisions and trade facilitation between the two countries was adopted and approved by the two ministers.

Kanimba said: “We put in place a joint committee that will meet regularly and discuss progress. By end of June we must have agreed on the action plan to start being implemented by our customs officials.”

While it is noted that the ministerial committee will meet twice a year to evaluate the progress, another specialised committee at the borders – which should meet at least four times and report on progress -was created to jointly implement related decisions.

For manufactured products, the two countries need to first conclude the format of certificates of origin, as well as agree on the procedure and this should be done by June.

The two countries are collaborating on the implementation of a simplified clearance procedure under Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), known as the Simplified Trade Regime (STR).

The COMESA, a regional free trade area with 20 member states stretching from Swaziland to Libya, came up with a simplified customs clearance procedure for Member States that would be used by small-scale cross-border traders to facilitate easy import and export of their goods.

The STR was introduced to address the problems faced by small-scale cross-border traders, such as, lack of knowledge and information on the benefits of trading with other COMESA countries; complex documents and complicated processes of filling the current forms; increased clearance costs; and delays in the clearing of goods and processing of tax refunds.

The STR intends to overcome these challenges by simplifying the whole process of clearing goods for small-scale cross-border traders by way of, among others, introducing a simplified certificate of origin which should be signed and stamped by a customs official at the border post for all goods that appear on the common list; a simplified customs document; and a common list of qualifying goods.

The common list will be gazetted by each Member State and notified to the general public, especially by being displayed at all border posts within COMESA.

During the official launch of the Simplified Trade Regime, last October, Kanimba and Nefertiti Ngudianza Bayokisa Kisula, the Congolese Minister for Trade, met in Rwanda’s western ton of Rubavu and signed a related memorandum of understanding.

The MoU sought to ease small-scale trading by waiving import duty on products whose worth is below $2000 (about Rwf1.6 million).

Officials then drew a list 168 products – agricultural, livestock, fisheries, construction, cosmetics and manufactured products – and agreed that a joint periodic review be conducted every six months to see if there are products to add or remove.

According to figures from the ministry, in 2015, trade between Rwanda and DR Congo amounted to $164,5 million. Between 2014 and 2015, formal trade between the two countries increased by 15 per cent.

How Anne Waiguru Rose to the Helm of Kirinyaga County Politics

Photo: Joseph Kanyi/The Nation

Former Devolution CS Anne Waiguru during a past event in Kirinyaga county.

By Guchu Ndung’u

When former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru announced that she would vie for the Nairobi governor’s seat in February last year, social media went ablaze.

Would she survive the rumble and tumble of city politics yet she had quit Cabinet for lighter duties?

But a few weeks later, she changed her mind and eyed the Kirinyaga governor’s seat.

Even then, Kirinyaga politicians and residents were unmoved by her declaration as she had never campaigned in the region let alone expressed interest for the seat.

The closest she came to holding public events was her homecoming which was attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

NAME RECOGNITION

But political tongues started wagging when Ms Waiguru teamed up with Ms Wangui Ngirichi, an aggressive woman Representative aspirant known for flamboyant campaigns in choppers and well-branded vehicles and who was on Tuesday poised to win the Jubilee nominations race.

Ms Waiguru was from Gichugu and had the name recognition and the gravitas. Mrs Ngirichi, a Mwea resident but married in Kirinyaga Central, brought the resources and political network.

They then incorporated current Jubilee chairman John Mithamo ‘Wasusanna’, a tea director used to the rough Ndia politics. It is a tag-team that has taken Kirinyaga by storm.

“I will transform the lives of Kirinyaga people and win fair and square in the elections. When I put my mind in something, I give it my all. My 100 per cent,” she told Nation in an exclusive interview last year.

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Indeed Ms Waiguru’s life has been one of grit, setting the pace and a controversial past that is both an asset and a liability.FIGHT ON GRAFTThe mother of three sons has an Economics degree from Egerton and a Masters from the University of Nairobi.She started her career as an intern at Transparency International (TI), an NGO known for spearheading the fight against corruption, before joining yet another organisation, the Kenya Leadership Institute.She was involved in coming up with the Kenya Bribery Index, a survey that ranks the most corrupt institution and how much was paid to officials in such organisations.Later on, she moved to the World Bank as the Eastern African regional representative for the parliamentary network. She was charged with coordinating members of parliament monitoring World Bank projects covering eight countries.But her first stint in the Kenyan civil service was when the World Bank seconded her to the Cabinet office as a technical advisor on issues of governance, leadership and reforms in the public sector.FIRST FELTShe was later to replace John Githongo as head of governance after the former PS fled the country after accusing ex-president Mwai Kibaki’s ministers of graft.But it was during the Grand Coalition government that Ms Waiguru’s real mettle in public service was first felt.She was tasked with implementing the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) and as the head of governance, was supposed to ensure that the Sh22 billion programme goes to the intended recipients in all constituencies.She later oversaw implementation of integrated financial management system (Ifmis), the government pay IT system that has been blamed for loss of billions in taxpayers’ money.And when Mr Kenyatta won the presidency in 2013, she was nominated as the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning, one of the most powerful dockets in the Jubilee administration.NYS SCANDAL“I had applied for a Principal Secretary’s job. I was very shocked when I was called for a Cabinet Secretary CS interview,” she said.From then, she tumbled from one high to another low; a mixture of delivery and controversy that keeps her in the constant eye of the storm.But the deal breaker was the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal where taxpayers lost billions of shillings.But in both scandals, she has consistently said she is a whistle-blower and never knew what officials in her ministry were doing.”Now I can talk freely as a former technocrat.JOSEPHINE KABURA“I saved the government cash. To be precise I saved taxpayers Sh800 million and when the Auditor General’s report on the issue is released, I will be proved right,” said Ms Waiguru.On whether she had any connection with Ms Josephine Kabura, who is among those charged in court over the Sh791 million scandal, Ms Waiguru said time will prove her right.”She was sent by those forces to tarnish my name. I never took any shilling from NYS and I do not owe anybody any money,” she maintains.Ms Kabura and eight others have been charged over the loss of Sh791 million and the ex-minister insists that she was a whistle-blower.As she prepares to battle former Justie Minister Martha Karua in August, her past, as well as her plans for Kirinyaga, will be a defining factor.

Nasa Leaders in Race Against Time to Unveil Flagbearer

Photo: Jeff Angote/The Nation

Nasa principals from left: Musalia Mudavadi, Raila Odinga, Isaac Ruto, Moses Wetang’ula and Kalonzo Musyoka at Bomas of Kenya on April 20, 2017 during the coalition’s meeting.

By Peter Leftie

The five Nasa chiefs were on Tuesday racing against time to conclude talks on their presidential candidate ahead of Thursday’s unveiling ceremony at Uhuru Park.

The talks, according to sources close to the leaders, were slowed down by the ongoing party primaries.

For instance, a meeting scheduled for Tuesday morning had to be shifted to the afternoon following a request by ODM leader Raila Odinga to be given time to handle issues arising from the party’s nominations in Nairobi. The party was forced to call off the primaries due to what it termed a “serious security breach”.

The sources, however, revealed that the five – Mr Odinga, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, Mr Musalia Mudavadi, Mr Moses Wetang’ula and Mr Isaac Ruto – had finally agreed on power-sharing.

SAFE HOUSE

“They had a marathon meeting at a “safe house” yesterday (Monday) and agreed, in principle, on how to share power and what the Nasa government will look like,” said a source close to one of the Opposition chiefs.

None of the principals contacted answered their phones, with close aides saying they had resolved not to talk to the press over the talks.

Besides the positions of president and his deputy, the principals are said to have agreed to create the position of senior cabinet secretary in charge of government coordination who would supervise all ministries with an added portfolio of interior ministry.

SENIOR CABINET SECRETARY

The senior cabinet secretary – a position equivalent to that of the prime minister in the grand coalition government – will be deputised by the remaining two principals with one in charge of public service and infrastructure and the other to head the productive and economic sectors.

The Constitution does not provide for the position of the premier, hence the decision to create the new, immensely powerful post.

The principals agreed that in forming the government, the president will do so in consultation with his four co-principals but he would cede some of his powers of running government to the senior cabinet secretary.

From interviews with multiple sources close to the leaders, it became clear that Mr Musyoka was almost certain to clinch one of the top two slots, the presidential candidate or the running mate, because of the need to avoid an all-Western Kenya ticket. He is the only one from the Eastern part of the country.

‘Petty’ School Problems Are for Community to Solve – Education Minister Janet Museveni

By Jonathan Kamoga

If properly embraced, government programmes like Operation Wealth Creation will solve petty school problems in rural areas like lack of toilets and building the First Lady also Education minister, Janet Museveni has said.

Ms Museveni made the remarks on yesterday, Monday while commissioning the newly renovated National Teachers College in Kaliro district in Eastern Uganda.

She was reacting to a request for pit latrines and more classes in government schools by the Kaliro district chairperson, Ibanda Wycliffe. The minister said that such issues are not a priority of government, adding that they can be handled by community and local council authorities.

“Leaders have to relate their demands to other demands of other sectors say health”, she said. Adding: “Government is looking at many things now but priority is infrastructure, if communities embrace wealth creation, it is the only way we can address these issues.”

She appealed to local leaders to vigorously embrace the different programmes government brings under wealth creation and ensure people in their localities fully participate to increase household income.

“When our people have income, we shall not have problems like lack of latrines and classrooms. We shall not wait for government or development partners,” she said.

RENOVATION

NTC Kaliro has been renovated under a partnership with ministry of education and sports and the Belgium development agency (BTC). The renovation saw face lifting of many classroom blocks, construction of new ones, and furnishing of different lecture rooms, improving ICT rooms, putting up a water tank and a biogas kitchen among others.

Kaliro becomes the third college to be renovated under this project after Muni in Arua and Mulago Tutors colleges.

Others that are in the pipeline include Abilonino Instructors College NTC Mubende. The project’s first phase looks at infrastructural and institution development.

The Belgian ambassador to Uganda, Hugo Verbist said that; “In the second phase, there will be high priority in social welfare. This will go hand in hand with strengthening skills.”

Students at the college expressed delight over the renovation with most of them saying the previous environment that they were in, was not conducive for learning since equipment was limited and the buildings were dilapidated.

Asiya Auma, a second year student at the institution offering math and chemistry said that with new equipment, they will be able to achieve better education.

“I came here and when I saw the old buildings, I wanted to go back. You cannot come to an institute which is worse than the secondary school you are coming from. Some students were studying under tree shelter but now we are really grateful for this development,” Auma told The Observer.

Rwanda: Parliament Passes Cyber Security Bill

Photo: Nadege Imbabazi/The New Times

In May last year, the government launched a $3m cyber security system aimed at protecting public and private institutions against cyber crimes.

By Nasra Bishumba

Members of the Lower Chamber of Parliament have passed the draft law establishing the National Cyber Security Authority (NCSA) and determining its responsibilities, organisation and functioning.

The Bill establishing NSCA was initially passed by parliament last October to safeguard private and government information and infrastructure against online crimes and cyber-attacks.

However, in December the same year, the draft law was returned to parliament following President Paul Kagame’s request that it’s revised further to include articles, mostly concerning national security.

The president of the standing committe on Education, Technology, Culture and Youth, Agnes Mukazibera told the House last week that following the request, her commission met with the Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, to review the Bill.

“The minister explained that it was difficult to separate cyber crimes from normal crimes because they are interconnected since cyber space can be used to destabilise national security. It was requested that it is made clear that the agency will also be dealing with cyber security pertaining to national security crimes. We also had to think of ways how the Government of Rwanda can be prepared and be in the position to prevent and respond to evolving cyber threats,” she said.

MPs react

MP Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi tasked the committe to explain how the police intended to sensitise the masses about security.

“Normally, it’s the police’s duty to sensitise the masses, including on cyber crimes. We don’t normally see the people in charge of dealing with these crimes in the media or other areas in terms of sensitising the locals. I would like to know how they intend to do this,” he wondered.

Mukazibera informed members that several discussions had been conducted with security organs on publicising the cyber crime red flags to the local authorities so that they are able to protect themselves better.

MP Rose Mukantabana said she was confused about Article 14 which gives responsibilities to the director general but does not do the same for the management team.

“The law here says that the responsibilities of the director general will be established by a Presidential Order. Where are his or her responsibilities coming from when the management itself has none? Why are they being separated? They should either be established by the Presidential Order or by this law. Otherwise, it’s confusing,” she said.

What is being done

The development comes at a time the government is seeking $1.5 million for the construction of a cyber-security centre that will coordinate investigations in Eastern Africa against cybercrimes and cyber-enabled crimes such as terrorism, trafficking and money laundering.

In May last year, the government launched a $3m cyber security system aimed at protecting public and private institutions against online crimes.

A survey conducted by Kaspersky Lab in January last year indicated that most businesses across Africa had been hit hard by cybercrime.

Kenya is the hardest hit in East Africa, according to the survey, with businesses in the country losing as much as $146 million every year due to cyber crime.

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