Posts tagged as: elections

Angola: Bie – Over 1000 New Tuberculosis Cases Recorded

Cuito — At least 120,000 new tuberculosis cases were recorded in the central Bie Province by the local health authorities, in the first semester of the present year, a figure that represents 112 cases more in comparison to the previous semester.

Speaking to ANGOP on Tuesday, in Cuito City, the head of the provincial department of public health and endemic diseases control, Isaías Sambunga Cambissa, revealed that from the mentioned number seventy patients have abandoned treatment, 26 resumed treatment, 92 have been sent home due to improvements in their condition and 16 have passed away.

He said some of the patients quit treatment due to the long distances they have to walk to get to the concerned hospital, as well as due to some ignorance of patients or relatives.

The highest number of cases were recorded in the municipalities of Cuito, Camacupa and Andulo.

With a view to decreasing the impact of the disease, the health sector, in partnership with chieftains and churches, has been holding sensitisation meetings and lectures in the communities, to inform the citizens on forms of prevention against the disease.

Angola

AU Election Observation Mission to the 23 August 2017 General Elections in the Republic of Angola Arrival Statement Luanda

Following the invitation by the Government of the Republic of Angola and the National Electoral Commission, the… Read more »

‘Life of Key Witness in Poll Petition Case in Danger’

By Charles Wanyoro

A key witness in National Super Alliance (Nasa) election petition has claimed that his life is in danger.

Mr Moses Wamuru, the Embu County ODM chairman who also served as the Nasa county coordinator in August 8 General Elections, on Tuesday said unknown people were trailing him.

SUMMONS

Speaking to the media in Embu town, the visibly shaken official said fellow party agents were also being summoned to the local Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission offices in what he claimed was “a move to amend Forms 34A”, a claim IEBC denies.

Mr Wamuru is one of the key witnesses in the Nasa petition against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win and has recorded a statement and sworn an affidavit on alleged election irregularities.

He said he was being intimidated due to his stand on the just concluded poll, where he claimed he witnessed several irregularities at various polling stations in the county.

“I do not feel secure. In the last three days I have noticed people trailing me. I have been receiving information from very close friends in places that I frequent. I have visited several entertainment joints and people have told me I am not safe there,” said Mr Wamuru.

IRREGULARITIES

“However, I am not cowed… any amount of intimidation cannot change what has been written. Those who feel aggrieved by my revealing of the truth, must wait to prove their innocence in a court of law.”

He said Nasa agents were being harassed and frustrated on voting day and thus did not witness most of the voting and vote tallying process.

“We didn’t witness voting in various stations since many of the agents were chased away,” he claimed.

Asked whether they signed results forms, he said: “You never expected us to sign since our agents were not there. Many of our agents are calling me and saying they have been called by various returning officers to go and help them sign forms 34A. Any form being signed now is suspicious because the work of agents ended on the Election Day.”

Mr Wamuru cited Ngurueri polling station in Kianjokoma where he claims the presidential ballot papers got finished before others but voting went on.

IEBC DENIES

In his affidavit, Mr Wamuru has also named Karurumo polling centre where he claims people were handed multiple presidential ballot papers.

Poll irregularities, he claims, were also witnessed at Kiangungi polling station.

Embu County IEBC coordinator Dan Lenarum denied that his office had summoned Nasa agents.

He said they were only in contact with presiding officers who would be part of IEBC’s defence team.

“We have not talked to any party agents. The people we have called are presiding officers and they are part of our defence,” he told the Nation on phone.

And when sked whether he had recorded a statement with police on the threats, Mr Wamuru said he has no confidence in them, claiming they were among those who blocked Nasa agents from polling stations.

Kenya

Obama’s Power Africa Initiative Falling Short of Goal

A new report on Barack Obama’s main legacy project for Africa shows it is falling short of his original goal of bringing… Read more »

Angola: Namibe – New Electric Turbine Launched

Moçamedes — The new electric turbine with a production capacity of 28 megawatts is since Sunday generating electric power in Moçamedes municipality, bringing to an end the cycle of restrictions recorded in the last two months in the southestern province.

The turbine launch ceremony was presided over by the minister of Energy and Water, João Baptista Borges, who assured the end to restrictions in the supply of power Moçamedes city was experiencing.

On the occasion, the official praised the work done by the technicians during the assembling of the equipment.

The minister added that the turbine will also ensure electric power to the Moçamedes industrial estate.

“This is a project designed to put an end to the power supply deficit that used to be recorded in the city,” said the official.

He also assured that Namibe province will be connected to the national electricity network during the next three years, a period in which there will be enough power to support big projects in the region.

However, he underscored that within the next days, next-door southern Huila province will also benefit from the supply of electricity from another turbine with a capacity for 28 megawatts that is being assembled at Xitoto station in Namibe province.

Angola

AU Deploys Short Term Election Observers to Witness the 23rd August 2017 General Elections

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat has approved the deployment of an African Union… Read more »

Supreme Court Will Determine Odinga’s Future

By Erick Oduor

Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga’s fourth stab at the presidency could bring an end to his illustrious political career, which began in 1992, when he was elected Member of Parliament for Lang’ata in Nairobi.

With his fate now hinged on the outcome of the presidential election petition that the National Super Alliance (Nasa) filed at the Supreme Court, Mr Odinga has stated that he is likely to retire from elective politics.

In an interview with The EastAfrican a week before the elections, Mr Odinga said he would pass the baton to his co-principals in Nasa.

Mr Odinga had vowed to retire after five years as president, to emulate great leaders on the continent like the late Nelson Mandela.

“That is not hearsay. Our power sharing agreement is a public document lodged with the Registrar of Political Parties as required by law,” he said in the interview.

Mr Odinga, 72, came into the public limelight when he was jailed over the failed coup against then president Daniel arap Moi in 1982. He spent six years in prison.

Multiparty politics

Mr Odinga was later detained and released at the height of clamour for multiparty politics, and he participated in the formation of Ford, an opposition party that later split into two — Ford Kenya and Ford Asili.

His influence has spread across most parts of the country. This year he faced President Uhuru Kenyatta for the second and last time.

Known for his ability to craft coalitions ahead of elections and to weather political storms, Mr Odinga was the kingmaker in the 2002 elections when he fronted Mwai Kibaki, who went on to win the presidency.

In the interview before the election, Mr Odinga said he had the experience and skills required to serve in the highest office.

“I was in government as Prime Minister for five years, and as a Cabinet Minister before that. With other like-minded colleagues, we put the needs of Kenyans first in policy-making.

“Each of those times, be it in during my 2001 appointment in the KANU-NDP co-operation, or in NARC in 2003 and the Grand Coalition in 2008, we took decisions that transformed Kenya, expanding people power, bringing marginalised communities to the centre of politics, and initiating infrastructure projects,” Mr Odinga said.

Kenya

Most Wanted ‘Al-Shabaab’ Leader Killed – Police

Anti-terror police have shot dead wanted terrorist Hussein Said Omar in Bamburi, Mombasa. He was one of the Al Shabaab… Read more »

Cost of Kenya Election to Rise Further Over Petitions

By Erick Oduor

Election petitions, starting with the filing of a lawsuit challenging the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta, are expected to increase the cost of Kenya’s General Election, which was held on August 8.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said its budget will balloon in the next six months when most election petitions will be presented in court.

However, The EastAfrican has established that the IEBC will be at the mercy of lawyers, as the commission has not capped its legal fee — as it had promised to do during its preparations for the elections — to cushion taxpayers from exorbitant legal fees.

According to IEBC’s communications director Andrew Limo, the electoral body will contract lawyers to represent the commission in petitions filed by the National Super Alliance (Nasa). He acknowledged that the cost of the elections is high, but noted that the commission must comply with the law and meet its financial obligations.

In 2013, the presidential election petition alone saw the electoral commission pay Ksh568 million ($5.6 million) to law firms. The court process took around 29 days.

However, the cost is expected to double this time round due to the coming into force of the Advocates Remuneration Order, which increased legal fees by 50 per cent in 2014.

While complaining about the high legal fees the commission is charged by external lawyers, Wafula Chebukati, chairman of IEBC, said the fees paid to its external lawyers will be capped and contracted lawyers will sign a commitment fee before representing the commission in court.

Poll petitions

Nasa has lined up a team of lawyers led by Paul Mwangi while President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legal team is led by Fred Ngatia. The opposition’s legal team will be joined by lawyers from civil society working under the aegis of Kura Yangu Sauti Yangu — a coalition of non-governmental organisations and civil society.

In the current budget, Treasury allocated Ksh42.9 billion ($429 million) to IEBC for elections-related activities, but the commission has faced over 200 legal hurdles since 2013, adding pressure to an already overstretched budget.

Apart from the presidential election petition, the electoral commission will also be in court for petitions challenging the election of governors, senators, MPs and Members of County Assembly.

Already, at least five governorship candidates have said they will challenge the results of their loss. They include Wavinya Ndeti (Machakos), Chirau Mwakwere (Kwale), Peter Munya (Meru) and Evans Kidero (Nairobi). Last week, outgoing Embu senator Leny Kivuti filed a case to stop IEBC from gazetting the victory of Martin Wambora.

Samuel Nyandemo, an economist, said the government will have to allocate the commission more funds to meet its financial responsibilities.

This will force taxpayers to shoulder extra costs at a time when the National Treasury is facing financial difficulties caused by huge public debts amid increasing demand for a review of salaries to public servants and funds for development projects.

Last year, the Auditor-General Edward Ouko raised queries about the Ksh2 billion ($2 million) that the electoral commission paid to external lawyers.

24 IEBC Officials Face Charges After Poll, Says Keriako Tobiko

By Maureen Kakah

Twenty-four IEBC officials are among 85 individuals facing prosecution over election-related offences.

Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko on Friday said he was pursuing 70 criminal cases stemming from the August 8 General Election.

BRIBERY

This is according to a report from Mr Tobiko’s office on electoral offences.

Another 59 individuals Mr Tobiko is prosecuting are non-IEBC officials while two are politicians.

The poll-related offences range from bribery, failure to perform official duty, illegal possession of ballot papers, impersonation and murder.

The majority of the accused, at 19, are facing the charge of failing to perform official duty followed by those accused of bribery– at 17.

Some 20 other individuals are facing charges classified as “others” in the report, without further details.

PROSECUTORS

There is only one reported murder case and three cases of impersonation while for the offence of unlawful possession of ballot papers, there are 10 cases so far.

Both Mr Tobiko’s office and the Judiciary had before the General Election said they were well prepared to handle poll-related cases.

According Mr Tobiko, 105 prosecutors have been tasked with securing convictions in election-related cases.

“The DPP assures members of the public that his office has put in place election preparedness measures aimed at ensuring that all cases of criminal nature will be dealt with effectively and suspects brought to account,” Mr Tobiko said a statement before polls.

COURTS

Following the March 4, 2013 General Elections, there were a total of 188 election petitions filed in court.

Judiciary had already hinted at receiving a higher number than this following this year’s elections and had indicated its preparedness in hearing and determining the same.

Over 380 magistrates as well as judges have been trained on Election Dispute Resolution.

Kenya

‘Al-Shabaab’ Beheads Three, Torches Houses in Witu, Lamu

Suspected Al-Shabaab fighters have beheaded there people and torched houses in dawn attack on Maleli Village of Witu in… Read more »

Nairobi Water Company Gets New MD Amid Workers’ Protests

By Lillian Mutavi

The board of directors of Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) will not renew the contract of Managing Director Philip Gichuki despite workers boycotting work over the directive.

The board has appointed Nahashon Muguna, the Nairobi Water technical director to take over in an acting capacity.

The workers in July protested the privatisation of the water company and the non-renewal of contract for three directors alleging the recent events were politically instigated.

Others whose contracts have not been renewed include Commercial Director Stephen Mbugua, Finance Director Johnson Randu and the Human Resource and Administration Services Director Rosemary Kijana.

TERMINAL LEAVE

In a letter to Mr Gichuki dated August 17, 2017, the board directed him to immediately proceed on terminal leave.

“I am in receipt of your letter dated June 12th June 2017 requesting for extension of your contract of employment for a period of two years. I wish to inform you that the board, after deliberations, declined to grant your request as you have already served the full tenure permitted in law,” read a letter by board Chairman Raphael Nzomo.

Mr Nzomo said that the MD was to formally leave the company upon expiry of his contract on January 1, 2018.

I am very grateful for the many years of service rendered to the Company and the residents of Nairobi City County government as a whole. It is with your support that the services of the company have grown significantly,” added Mr Nzomo.

PICKETING

Speaking to Nation, Nairobi County workers union branch secretary Matilda Kimetto said that they have resumed picketing since the termination of contracts of the MD and two directors were done maliciously.

Ms Kimetto said that the board was taking advantage of the transition period to advance their personal interests.

“This board is has gone ahead to take advantage of the transition period to bring to its knees this company as they are bitter with Dr Kidero’s [loss in the elections],” said Ms Kimetto.

The incoming Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe cancelled a meeting scheduled for Friday with the picketing workers citing a planned disruption by goons.

Kenya

Opposition MP Urges President Magufuli to Emulate Kenyatta

Arusha Urban MP (Chadema) Godbless Lema has called on President John Magufuli to borrow a leaf from Kenyan counterpart… Read more »

Angola: Nóqui Administrator Calls for Openning of Commercial Banks

Mbanza Kongo — The lack of commercial banks in Noqui municipality, 165 kilometers off Mbanza Kongo city, is a concern of municipal administration of that region.

The lack of financial institutions has created serious constraints on the normal functioning of the state’s administrative organs in the district, Angop learned from the local administrator, Luís Cuimba Mavambo.

The official said that dozens of local civil servants are obliged at the end of each month to move to Mbanza Kongo, to get their salaries, creating problems in the functioning of some public sectors.

In addition to civil servants, many commercial agents operating in the municipality of Nóqui are also obliged to carry large amount of money to deposit in commercial banks in Mbanza Kongo.

Angola

AU Deploys Short Term Election Observers to Witness the 23rd August 2017 General Elections

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat has approved the deployment of an African Union… Read more »

Two Camps Emerge in Main Opposition Party

Photo: The Observer

Mugisha Muntu, left, being nominated.

By Sadab Kitatta Kaaya

Two distinctive camps have emerged in Uganda’s biggest opposition party, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), ahead of its November 21 presidential polls.

Interviews with various senior party leaders reveal that the campaign for the FDC presidency has reignited the bad blood between a group in the party loyal to the current party president, Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu, and another loyal to his predecessor, founding president Kizza Besigye.

Muntu replaced Dr Besigye in November 2012, after a hotly contested election with the current FDC secretary general (SG), Nathan Nandala-Mafabi.

Muntu’s first term at Najjanankumbi has been one characterised by opposition from some party leaders who see his leadership style as not combative enough to match the approach championed by Besigye.

“During the delegates’ conference that endorsed Colonel Besigye as FDC [presidential] flag-bearer, 73 per cent of the delegates approved ‘defiance’ as opposed to the ‘compliance’ approach that Gen Muntu was selling,” a senior party leader, who preferred not to be named, said on Monday.

“After the 2016 general elections, Muntu seems to be preparing the party for the 2021 elections yet we have unresolved issues relating to the 2016 [presidential] elections because we feel we were robbed of our victory,” the party official added.

It is this group that is fronting former Kumi MP Patrick Amuriat Oboi to challenge Muntu, with the hope that the former legislator will align the party structures with the Defiance campaign.

One member of this group, Margaret Wokuri, who is also FDC chairperson for Mbale district, said they want a change of team captain because they don’t believe Muntu’s leadership methods can inspire them to victory.

“Muntu is inclined to developing structures in preparation for elections yet we in the Defiance camp believe that a dictatorship can only be confronted with defiance. Elections only offer a platform for organising and campaigning without any encumbrances but you can’t remove a dictatorship through an election as Muntu thinks,” said Wokuri, who is also the Defiance cabinet’s minister for education.

GENESIS OF RIFT

The latest chapter in the long-standing disagreement over which strategy FDC should take against Museveni is understood to have started in July last year, after Besigye was released on bail following his arrest on treason charges.

Besigye had spent two months in prison after getting himself sworn in as the ‘people’s president’ ahead of President Museveni’s inauguration for his fifth elective term of office in May 2016.

According to reliable sources, the party at the time called an expanded working committee meeting that included the party’s elders to forge a way forward.

While Besigye and his loyalists insisted that the leading opposition candidate had won the 2016 presidential elections and that the party had to reclaim its victory, Muntu was more eager to focus on the future.

During that meeting, Muntu is said to have emphasised the need for the party to build and strengthen its structures in preparation for any coming national elections.

Muntu’s position was challenged by deputy secretary general Harold Kaija who argued that the structures Muntu was talking about were of no importance.

“The meeting tasked Muntu to sell the Defiance ideology to his people in the party but up to now he has failed; [he] continues to claim that the party has two strategies – Defiance and his idea of organising, which to us is compliance,” a Besigye-leaning party official said.

Muntu has since been rejected by the radicals in the party who want the party structures to be used in mobilising for Defiance as opposed to preparing for elections.

“There are people inclined to Muntu’s view of building structures to overwhelm the establishment but some of us think that we can’t just organise for elections but have to defy,” Wokuri said.

MISUNDERSTANDING

However, the party’s spokesman, Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda, who is heading Muntu’s re-election bid, scoffed at his comrades whom he said had failed to contextualize Besigye’s Defiance slogan.

“In every campaign, we get campaign themes and many of those singing Defiance don’t understand the context in which Dr Besigye made the statement,” said the Kira Municipality MP.

“In the last [general] elections, we all participated and I have not seen anyone going to the bushes of Congo or anywhere to wage a war… so, what is it that they’re planning to do in which we will not participate?” Ssemujju wondered.

According to Ssemujju, none of the people accusing Muntu of being soft and compliant has ever taken the risk the retired General took when he joined the armed struggle against Milton Obote’s government in 1981.

“If it’s Besigye and Muntu talking, I can’t add a word but not someone who cannot even throw a stone at the police. Muntu waged a war, and many of us have been jailed several times because of our activism, but some of those people have not seen the inside of a jail,” Ssemujju said.

The vocal MP is one of the senior party leaders that have come out openly to show sides in this election following a decision by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to allow them to support candidates of their liking.

Previously, the secretary general, chairperson, spokesman and secretary for mobilisation were required to show neutrality.

As the November election date draws closer, the rift between the two sides is likely to be more pronounced, especially given the outspoken nature of even the other four fringe candidates in the election.

Insurers See Profit After Peaceful Poll

By Victor Juma

Insurers that covered risks arising from political violence are expected to make underwriting profits from those policies in the wake of the largely peaceful General Election.

There has been minimal damage to property and business disruption following last week’s elections compared to the violence seen in the aftermath of the 2007 polls.

Companies spread across the country took policies ahead of the elections to hedge their losses, with insurers saying they expect to keep some of the premiums from the one-year covers as profit.

Several general insurers, African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI), Kenya Re and Zep Re are among the underwriters that are expected to benefit from the peaceful election.

“It is … not possible to give any anticipated results of premium booked or profitability at this juncture but we are optimistic that the book will be profitable since so far, there hasn’t been much damage to property insured like in 2007,” ATI chief executive George Otieno said.

Kenya Re CEO Jadiah Mwarania said the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm is also expecting relatively smaller claims on its policies, adding that the general political violence book in the country will record a profit.

Premiums from this unique insurance business — which can also be extended to cover risks from terrorism and sabotage — are shared starting from primary underwriters to reinsurers like Kenya Re, ATI and Lloyd’s of London.

Insurers that will retain the premiums as profit will further benefit from investment income as they deploy the cash in various assets including bonds and equities.

Uptake of these covers increased in the wake of the 2007 post-election violence and terror attacks.

Most businesses previously took policies from multinationals such as ATI and Lloyd’s but more local primary insurers are increasingly taking on these risks, some of which they lay off with reinsurers.

“Over the past two years, many general insurance companies have built up a significant capacity for underwriting political violence, terrorism and sabotage risks,” Mr Otieno said.

Owners of Nairobi’s Westgate mall are among the biggest beneficiaries of such covers after they collected Sh6.7 billion from ATI, Lloyd’s and others following the 2013 terror attack on the property.

Kenya

Donald Trump Congratulates Uhuru Kenyatta on Poll Win

The US has termed Kenyan poll as fair and transparent– further cementing international and local observers’ affirmation… Read more »

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