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State Agents Must Stop the Double Standards

Photo: Daily Monitor

Police deploy in Kampala ahead of presidential age limit demonstrations.

editorialBy Editorial

Uganda Human Rights Commission chairman Medi Kaggwa has accused the state of exercising double standards in the way its agents deal with activists opposed to the amendment of article 102 (b) of the constitution that deals with presidential age limits.

“I have watched television and the manner in which the groups opposed to the amendment are handled, [and] arrested, is bad, compared to the supporters of the bill, who are given police protection,” Kaggwa told journalists on Tuesday.

Pleading with the police to desist from discrimination while executing their duties, the UHRC boss defended the right of activists opposed to scrapping the age limit to enjoy their freedom of speech and assembly.

Kaggwa, who spoke before the events of Wednesday and Thursday, which saw more politicians and activists opposed to the proposed amendment being arrested, couldn’t have said it better. Being the head of the state’s own human rights institution, his advice should not only be heeded but also taken in good faith.

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Ugandan Parliament Won’t Debate Age Limit – For Now…

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Ugandan Age Limit Debate – Police, Military Surround Parliament

MPs Blocked From House As Army, Police Enforce Tightened Security RulesMakerere Students Arrested Over Age Limit

From summoning MPs opposed to the proposal for incitement but ignoring a minister who said their side has the support of the army, to allowing processions in favour of scrapping the age limit but clamping down on those against it, the police have left no doubt that they have a side.On Wednesday, civil society groups ActionAid International and Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies had their offices raided for unclear reasons. It’s believed they are being targeted for their stance on the age limit amendment proposal.Yesterday (Thursday), the state came out in full force to restrict the movement of politicians and activists suspected of planning to protest ahead of the anticipated debate in parliament.In many of these instances where individuals’ liberties have been curtailed, there was no indication that those arrested posed a threat to public order.It is, therefore, plausible to conclude that actions of the police were politically motivated with the aim of intimidating or undermining the victims’ cause.As Uganda Human Rights Commission boss Mr Kaggwa pointed out, the behaviour of state agents smacks of discrimination and double standards. It is bad.More on ThisProposed Amendment of Age Limit for President Is Contempt of Court

To anybody with even a slight sense of history, the developments at Parliament over the last several days must bring… Read more »

Age Limit – Two NGO Offices Under Police Siege

By Observer Media Ltd

Civil society offices of Action Aid in Kasanga and Great Lakes Institute For Strategic Studies in Ntinda are under police siege with staff not allowed to leave the premises.

Police cordoned off the offices this evening, producing a search warrant issued by Makindye Chief Magistrate’s court on the request of AIP Henry Peter Walya attached to the Criminal Investigations Department. According to the search warrant, Action Aid is suspected of being used for elicit transfer of funds for illegal activities.

The two NGOs have been vocal against the lifting of the presidential age limit from between 35 years and 75 years from the Constitution.

According to Crispin Kaheru, coordinator of the Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CEDDU), police indicated interest in the IT, Accounts and Country Director’s offices. All electronic devices were put under search according to him.

Yesterday, 287 of 296 the National Resistance Movement (NRM) MPs voted in support of a motion by Igara West MP, Raphael Magyezi seeking leave to present a private member’s bill to lift age limit from the Constitution.

PROCESSIONS BANNED

In a related development, Police chief Gen Kale Kayihura has banned any processions ahead of the anticipated debate in Parliament over lifting the age limit. Opposition MPs and civil society had called on the citizenry to attend parliament to witness the ‘castration’ of the Constitution. It is also understood that NRM has also mobolised its supporters to counter any opposition demonstrators.

Kayihura has advised the demonstrators to use other means such as TV and radio networks, indoor meeting, electronic and print media among others to express their support or disapproval.

Uganda

Age Limit Controversy – Kampala Mayor Arrested

Kampala City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has been arrested. Read more »

Kithure Kindiki Elected Senate Deputy Speaker

By Ibrahim Oruko

Professor Kithure Kindiki has been elected the Deputy Speaker of the Senate in an election that saw the opposition temporarily abandon their boycott of House business temporarily to unsuccessfully vote for their own, Mr Ledama ole Kina of ODM.

The National Super Alliance had on Wednesday ordered its affiliates to boycott Parliamentary business saying the House is illegally constituted.

The voting went into the second round with Prof Kindiki getting 38 votes out of the 55 senators present in the House. Mr Ole Kina garnered 17 votes in both instances.

SWORN IN

Soon after, Prof Kindiki, escorted to the chair by Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and deputy Majority Whip Susan Kihika, was sworn in by Speaker Kenneth Lusaka.

He thanked the senators for electing him, saying it was the greatest honour in his political career.

In the last Senate, he served as Majority Leader, a position he ceded to Mr Murkomen.

“I will eternally be indebted to the senators and Jubilee Party for the great privilege and I promise to serve this nation with dedication and humility,” he said.

After the voting, Nasa legislators rejected the request by the Speaker to submit names of their nominees to the Senate Business Committee (SBC) and instead left the chambers to continue their boycott.

However, the House went on to debate and approve Jubilee Party nominees to SBC, which is a powerful committee that sets the agenda of the House.

The Jubilee Party senators on the committee are Mr Murkomen, Ms Kihika, Ms Fatuma Dullo (Isiolo), Mr Mohamud Maalim (Mandera), Mr Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi) and Mr Samwel Poghisio (West Pokot).

Kenya

Duale to Seek MPs Approval of Sh11.5 Billion for Poll

Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale says he will be requesting MPs to approve the release of Sh11.5… Read more »

Kenyans Eye Cape Town Marathon Titles

By James Onyango Mwamba

Kaptagat-based runner, Duncan Maiyo is confident Kenyan athletes will reclaim the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon title on Sunday.

Maiyo, who trains in Kaptagat, Uasin Gishu County and is managed by Pace Sports Management, has said teamwork will be key in wrestling back men’s marathon title from Ethiopia’s Asefa Negewo who timed 2hours,08.42min to win last year’s race.

“We have all trained for the race and we are ready to work together to deliver the title. It will be tough but we are up to the challenge,” Maiyo, 32, said on Wednesday in Nairobi when the team was hosted in a ceremony attended by Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario and Sanlam Kenya CEO Mugo Kibati.

Shadrack Kemboi timed 2:11:41 to win men’s title in 2015 edition of the race before Negewo took the title last year.

Maiyo, with a personal best of 2:09:25, will line up in Sunday’s race alongside Laban Mutai and Ezekiel Tarus. The women’s race will see Kenya’s Agnes Kiprop team up with Doris Changeywo against last year’s winner, Tish Jones of Great Britain.

Speaking at the ceremony, Wario urged the athletes to shun performance-enhancing substances and to strive to win clean.

“Kenya is not short of athletics talent. We have so much natural talent here. Don’t let other people soil your clean image. Let’s win clean,” Wario, who acknowledged Sanlam Kenya’s role in supporting local athletes, said.

Mugo said this year’s race was special as the event had been given a Gold Label status. “We are committed to sponsoring Kenyan athletes to the race because we believe in nurturing talent as a way of helping Kenya to put Africa on the world map,” Mugo said.

Kenya

Duale to Seek MPs Approval of Sh11.5 Billion for Poll

Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale says he will be requesting MPs to approve the release of Sh11.5… Read more »

Catholic Bishops Call for Inclusive Dialogue

By Lorraine Josiane Manishatse

In a communiqué released on 10 September, Burundian catholic bishops call on Burundians to engage in an inclusive dialogue for the great interests of the nation to prevent war.

“We would once again insist on the inclusive dialogue that must be prioritized for the great interest of the nation for blocking the way to all those who opt for the path of war,” Burundi catholic bishops said.

They said Burundians have suffered so much from war casualties and no responsible citizen can accept that the country plunges once again into war. “Everyone knows that disagreements between politicians have resulted in mutual exclusion, killings and assassinations,” they said.

They also said this situation has forced many Burundians to flee the country to neighboring countries where they live in terrible conditions. “Among them there are politicians, law enforcement and security officials, economic operators and leaders of various civil society organizations,” they said.

Bishops said that Burundians cannot work together to build their homeland together since some are forced to stay abroad. They called on all Burundians to join their forces to build a better country. “Those who are in power or those who seek to conquer it and ever all Burundians are like travelers who share the same road.

Everyone needs the contribution of the other, “according to the bishops of the catholic church in Burundi.

They said they fear if the inter-Burundian- dialogue is delayed, the problems the country is facing will become more complicated.

On 6 September , Burundian Ombudsman, Edouard Nduwimana announced that the last round of the inter-Burundian dialogue of Arusha, led by former Tanzanian President, William Benjamin Mkapa will be held by October. He said the people prosecuted in Burundi will not be invited to this peace talks.

Burundi has plunged into a violent political crisis since President Pierre Nkurunziza announced a controversial run for a third term, which he won in contested elections in July 2015. Since then, a dialogue between the Burundi Government and the opposition has been demanded by the UN, AU, EU, EAC and other partners to restore peace. A proper dialogue never took off. A series of meetings organized by the EAC that Burundi’s leaders committed to -but failed to attend- initially.

Burundi

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Al Ghurair Likely to Print Ballot Papers for Repeat Election

By Samwel Owino and Macharia Mwangi

Dubai-based Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing firm will most likely supply ballot papers for the fresh presidential elections set for October 17, despite earlier objections by the Opposition.

Sources at the electoral commission said the firm signed a three-year contract with IEBC and would print ballot papers for a rematch between President Kenyatta and Nasa’s Raila Odinga.

The changing of the ballot printing firm is one of the demands that Nasa wants met before it can take part in the election.

The ballot papers printing tender was awarded to the firm in the run-up to the August poll despite strong objections from Nasa which claimed that the firm had some relations with President Kenyatta.

STRICT TIMELINES

The decision to stick to Al Ghurair may also have been informed by the strict timeline the commission finds itself in after the Supreme Court ruling on September 1 that nullified the re-election of President Kenyatta.

“Maybe they can listen to the stakeholders on the objection of the firm and also since the October poll is a special case but let’s wait and see what will come from the Naivasha meeting,” sources added.

On Sunday, the IEBC commissioners and managers started a three-day retreat at the Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha to resolve internal divisions arising after the Supreme Court ruling.

Sources at the hotel confirmed 30 tentative bookings for the team for three days, starting Sunday but the commission was itself tight-lipped about the agenda of the retreat which ends Tuesday, with the secretariat claiming that only commissioners will be in attendance.

UNWIND

The IEBC team was expected at the hotel beginning Sunday afternoon until Tuesday evening.

IEBC communications chief Andrew Limo said the meeting was aimed at giving the commissioners an opportunity to unwind after days of internal wrangling following the Supreme Court judgment that put the commission on the spot.

He said he was not aware of the specific agenda but “it is a retreat for the commissioners to enjoy their quiet time. In fact I am in Nairobi, it is just the commissioners who are there.”

The media was locked out of the hotel on Sunday with guards at the gate saying they had strict instructions to block journalists.

POSITION KNOWN

A senior IEBC official said he was not aware where the commissioners were supposed to lodge, adding: “It is a retreat which is supposed to be a private affair.”

The official, however, said the commissioners would make their position known after deliberating the emerging issues, indicating that they were unlikely to issue their statement in Naivasha but in Nairobi.

The IEBC has also released a revised timetable leading up to the October 17 election.

According to the timetable, the commission has set aside seven days, starting Sunday, to hire 40,883 presiding officers and their deputies.

TIMETABLE

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said those to be recruited will be drawn from the existing database of applicants excluding those that may have committed irregularities during the August 8 election.

The timetable further provides that both President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga have eight days to sign and submit their code of conduct to the commission, while voter education will start on September 18 until October 15, two days before the poll.

IEBC has further set aside 24 days, from September 21 to October 14, to train staff on the use of Kenya Integrated Election Management systems (Kiems).

Mr Chebukati said they had submitted to the National Treasury a draft budget to be given funds.

Karen Hosts Nancy Millar Trophy

By Larry Ngala

It is the ladies turn at Karen Country Club this weekend, following last week’s Karen Challenge Trophy where Limuru’s Paul Muchangi emerged the overall winner.

The par 72 course will this weekend host the annual Nancy Millar Trophy, a popular inter-club tournament, which usually draws its teams from most of the regions in the country.

The event, which is marking its 71st year, is being sponsored by Commercial Bank of Africa who have this year sponsored event in various clubs in the country.

During last year’s tournament, the Rose Naliaka Academy girls based at the semi-public Golf Park Club, posted a record 223 points made up of 76 in the first round, 79 in the second and 68 in the third and final round, to retain the trophy they had won in 2015.

Last year’s team was made up of Serah Khanyereri, Faith Ontune, Doris Mideva and Ashley Awuor.

Making a comeback in the team this year as the Naliaka girls go for a treble, will be Loise Akinyi who has replaced Khanyereri.

They are expected to face a strong challenge particularly from the Karen team of lady Captain Louisa Gitau, Salma Watt, Rose Ndunge Musau and Margareta Gram. There is also the team of KLGU Chairman June Waweru, Doreen Kairuthi, Eunice Maranya and Karen Kandie and that of Sue Williamson and Cherry Ritchie (Great Rift Valley), Betty Bundotich (Malindi) & Sheena Round-Turner (Windsor).

Other top teams include that of Rachel Ndei, Joyce Murigi, Frankie Gichuru (all Vet Lab) and N. Njoki of Golf Park. Sigona, Royal, Muthaiga have also fielded strong sides.

Away at the Lake side Nyanza Golf Club, a field of 100 players drawn from the clubs in Nyanza and Western regions will be battling it out in this year’s Kecoso (Kenya Communications Sports Organisation), a curtain raiser for the 2017 Kecoso games to be held also in Kisumu next week.

The weekend’s golf event is being sponsored by Kenya Civil Aviation Authority in conjunction with Kenya Ports Authority and Kenya Airport Authority.

Nyanza club captain Sammy Deya thanked the corporations for offering their support not only for golf event but to the games. “We really appreciate having the event being held here,” said Deya.

Some of the clubs being represented are from Kakamega, Mumias, Nandi Bears, Kisii and Kericho.

At Vet Lab Sports Club, over 200 players are drawn for the DStv Explora golf series. Saturday’s event comes exactly a week after another one held at the par 73 Nakuru Golf Club course.

MultiChoice Kenya has committed to support amateur golf in the country this year via its DStv Brand which currently is the only video entertainment firm in the county the televises live golf content from around the world to its subscribers.

So far other events have taken place at Railway, Golf Park and Nakuru. The company has previously aired the Kenya Open Golf.

Shooting of Fierce Critic of President Raises Concern – Amnesty

Photo: Citizen

Tanzania’s opposition Chief Whip Tundu Lissu was shot by unknown assailants outside his home after leaving Parliament.

press release

Responding to news that outspoken government critic Tanzanian parliamentarian Tundu Lissu has been shot and wounded by unidentified attackers in the capital Dodoma, Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said:

“This cowardly attack on one of Tanzania’s most fearless and prominent politicians raises concerns about the safety of all dissident voices in the country, at a time when space for dissent is quickly shrinking.

“This heinous crime must not be swept under the carpet. The Tanzanian authorities must immediately launch an effective and impartial investigation into the shooting and ensure that those responsible are held to account.

“The authorities must take steps to reassure Tanzanians and the world that this shooting was not politically motivated.”

Background

Tundu Lissu, who also heads up the lawyer’s association, the Tanganyika Law Society, is a fierce and outspoken critic of President John Pombe Magufuli.

He was arrested in July for calling the president a dictator, and again in August for saying the Canadian government had detained a jet bought by the Tanzanian government over an unpaid $38m debt to a Canadian company. In total, he has been arrested six times this year.

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Keitany Keeps Eyes on Prize

By Bernard Rotich

World marathon record holder Mary Keitany will lead the Kenya challenge as she defends her title in the New York Marathon in November.

Keitany will have for company the silver medallist at the recent World Championships, Edna Kiplagat and Betsy Saina.

All three athletes have all been training in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County.

To stay in shape, Keitany will this weekend compete in the Great North Run as a build up to New York Marathon.

“I’m happy to have been named in the New York Marathon team where I will be going for my fourth title. My training has started and I will be using the Great North Run this weekend gauge my body,” she told Nation Sport.

“I really feels good to run in the same course, something I have done for three years now. I still have time to train hard but for now I must concentrate with the half marathon,” said the Iten based athlete.

The athlete said running the half marathon will enable her identify areas to work on for the next two months.

“After this weekend’s race, I will see what to work on and rectify for the next two months before the main race. It will be part of my training,” she said.

Keitany broke a world record (women only) when she clocked 2:17:01 to better Paula Radcliff’s time by 41 seconds at London Marathon in April.

During this weekend’s half marathon Keitany will be joined by her pacemaker, Caroline Chepkoech, who helped her break the world record.

Chepkoech, who was a lone pacemaker in London Marathon, started the race with a high pace that helped Keitany break the record.

She ran in the Brussels Diamond League which was a final event this year and managed to come in second in 5,000m behind the World champion Hellen Obiri.

Betsy Saina will also be using the race as a build up for her major race in New York where she has been leaving for many years.

Saina ran her debut race in Tokyo Marathon in February where she didn’t perform well. Her eyes are now set on the prize.

She has been doing her training in Iten and she is expected to team up with her compatriots in the race.

Defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot will also make a return to the race as she eyes to be in the podium.

Kenya

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Angola: Sonair Opens Domestic Route to Mbanza Kongo

Mbanza Kongo — Sonair firm, an aeronautical branch of the state-owned oil company Sonangol, last Wednesday inaugurated its domestic air transport route, connecting the northern regions of Mbanza Kongo/Soyo/Luanda three times a week.

According to a Sonair source, José Poba, who supervised the Luanda-Mbanza Kongo inaugural flight, the firm might eventually use a medium size (737) aircraft in this route.

According to the source, Sonair has decided to invest more in domestic commercial routes, especially in more remote areas.

The work of the firm is mainly to support the oil exploration operations of Sonangol, having also been used often to transport government officials to the inland parts of the country.

To José Poba, this air transportation route is of great value, considering the number of tourists that will want to visit the historical Mbanza Kongo City, which has recently been classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.

Angola

CNE to Announce Consolidated Results

The consolidated national results from the 23 August general election will be published in coming days. Read more »

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