Posts tagged as: high

We Must All Adhere to the Law, Says CJ Maraga

By Wanjohi Githae

Chief Justice David Maraga on Wednesday warned that democracy would be under threat if Kenyans did not follow the Constitution and laws passed by Parliament unquestioningly.

In a long lecture after reading the main body of the judgment, Mr Maraga said citizens regardless of their stature in society ought to adhere to all provisions of the Constitution.

And in a signal that the court would lead from the front and won’t succumb to intimidation on how it should rule, he declared that the court would not hesitate to overturn the October 17 presidential election if the litany of omissions of law, the majority decision set forth, are not resolved.

“Whenever called upon to adjudicate, the court will reach the same judgment if the anomalies are not rectified irrespective of who the aspirants may be,” said the CJ.

Mr Maraga seemed to buttress his Tuesday press briefing where he put his foot down, declaring that the Judiciary would not be intimidated through what he termed as persistent attacks on individual judges.


In his address from the bench on Wednesday, he said the moment Kenyans ignore the Constitution they fought for, then they lose it.

“It is also in our view that the greatness of a nation lies not in the might of its armies, important as that may be, not in largeness of its economy, important as that may be, the greatness of a nation lies in its fidelity to the Constitution and the strict adherence to the rule of law and above all the fear of God,” he said.

In noting the emotional investment Kenyans put in presidential elections, “then they should not fail to understand that the law must be followed up to the time their candidate win or loses,” said the Supreme Court president.


“Candidates for elective office and political parties often do anything to be elected besides the candidates, the citizens themselves hoping for an improved standard of living get equally agitated,” he added.

Mr Maraga noted that the said factors render elections high pressure events and if mismanaged or candidates do not respect the rule of law and stakeholders don’t perceive the polls as free and fair, the elections can cause instability as seen in 2007/08 skirmishes.

The CJ said the court would not shy away from putting its foot down whenever it felt that the Constitution was not followed even where the will of the people is clear.


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 »

Namibia: Speed Humps for Western Bypass

Speed humps will soon be installed on the Western Bypass in Windhoek as part of an upgrade of the bypass from a highway to a freeway.

Works minister Alpheus !Naruseb made this announcement on Tuesday in the National Assembly (NA), saying traffic safety in Namibia is a serious challenge.

He said the ministry witnessed an upsurge in the number of accidents on the Western Bypass, which is a section of the B1 road that runs through Windhoek.

“Pedestrian safety along this stretch of the road remains a critical concern as the area west of the road was not populated at the time of construction,” he stated.

In addition to the changes that will be made to the national road, Hegel and Bernt Carlsson streets in Academia and Pionierspark would be closed.

The intersection at Bernt Carlsson and the Western Bypass will be redesigned to accommodate traffic needs properly.

In addition to the short-term intervention to curb the high number of accidents and fatalities, the speed limit on the Western Bypass has been reduced from 120 kilometres per hour to 80 kilometres per hour.

!Naruseb further indicated that N$400 000 would be spent on installing traffic lights at the intersection of Mandume Ndemufayo Avenue and the Western Bypass, near the University of Namibia.

Barriers will also be placed on the sides of the road to encourage pedestrians to use bridges instead of jaywalking.

“These are merely temporary road safety measures. Medium to long-term initiatives continue as planned, and are aimed at upgrading the Western Bypass into a functional freeway with the required road furniture and improved pedestrian safety facilities,” !Naruseb said.

A freeway is a dual-carriageway main road, with a dividing strip between the traffic in opposite directions, and usually two or more lanes in each direction.

– Nampa


First Lady Responds to Critics of New York Trip

First Lady Monica Geingos has dismissed allegations that her family is in the United States at taxpayers’ expense,… Read more »

Maraga Refers Aukot Case on Repeat Poll to High Court

By Sam Kiplagat

Chief Justice David Maraga has directed Dr Ekuru Aukot of Thirdway Alliance to go back to the High Court for an interpretation on whether he can run in the repeat presidential election.

Dr Aukot is seeking to be included in the repeat presidential race.

Dr Aukot filed the case after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) announced that the repeat poll, which is scheduled for October 17, will only be a contest between President Uhuru Kenyatta and National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga.

In his response, Mr Odinga has supported the inclusion of Dr Aukot in the repeat poll saying it is discriminatory to lock him out yet he participated in the August 8 presidential poll.


Both President Uhuru Kenyatta and IEBC are opposed to the suit arguing that the court has already determined who should run in a repeat poll.

Dr Aukot says he has a direct, legitimate and inalienable constitutional right to participate in the fresh presidential election, having been a contender in the last poll and that the gazette notice which announced the race is discriminatory and unconstitutional.

But IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati says Dr Aukot is not eligible to contest the fresh poll, having conceded defeat in a press conference immediately after the August 8 election.

Dr Aukot says the electoral agency can only limit the number of candidates in a presidential election when the court orders a re-run.

“I believe that my political right and that of my constituents as enshrined in the Constitution are threatened, violated and infringed [on] by the decision of IEBC and Chebukati to exclude me in the fresh election without lawful justification,” adds Dr Aukot.


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 »

Africa: Attacks Against Albinos for Body Parts, Profit Must Stop – UN

By Lisa Schlein

“When I was sleeping in my house, four people came and started attacking me with machetes,” said Mariama Staford, an albino in Tanzania. “One of those four people was a neighbor, and he is the one who took the machete and was cutting my arms.”

Staford was 25 years old when she was attacked in 2008. She told VOA that her neighbor first cut off her right arm and threw it to his accomplices. Then, “he chopped off my left arm.”

“I tried my best to struggle in order to defend myself,” she said, “but it was not successful and so they pulled me down in front of my son, who at that time was only two years old.”

She said it took seven hours before villagers carried her on a stretcher to a dispensary.

“When I reached there, the doctor who was on duty said that I should be returned home because I was already dead,” Staford said.

U.N. action

Two years ago, in an effort to counter such attacks, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights appointed Ikponwosa Ero as the first U.N. independent expert on human rights of persons with albinism.

Ero, of Nigeria, also has albinism — an inherited condition that affects the pigment of the skin and hair. She said attacks, mutilation and murders occur because of the false belief that albino body parts can bring wealth and good luck.

Ero told VOA that she has documented close to 800 cases of attacks against albinos in the past decade in sub-Saharan Africa, where such witchcraft-related violence is most common.

“Those are reported cases alone. Most cases are not reported because most cases involve family members or people known to the victim,” Ero said.

She said the practice thrives because there is a lot of money to be made.

“The Red Cross reported that the body parts were valued on the black market. Like an arm was valued at $2,000, and a complete corpse at about $75,000. So, there are profits to be made even though you do not believe in witchcraft,” she said.

Though it is the witch doctors who drive this trade, they rarely are brought to justice. Ero said there were very few witch doctors among the prisoners she met during two visits last year to Malawi and Mozambique to assess the situation of people with albinism.

“Societies are afraid of them,” Ero said. “The police are afraid of them. So, those are usually not prosecuted.

“And then the people on the high scale who are going to pay the money are usually not in jail because they are the elite. Who you find in jail are poor farmers, poor peddlers who are offered a lot of money.”

Staford’s story

No one has paid for the crime committed against Mariama Staford.

“My case reached the trials, and the neighbor that I knew for 10 years was released,” she said. “The court said that because I have albinism, I have low vision, so I could not have recognized my neighbor chopping off my arms.”

Staford has suffered other repercussions, as well. When the attack occurred, she was six months pregnant. She lost her baby.

She told VOA she also must live with the suffering of her son who, as a two-year-old child, was forced to witness the horrific attack against his mother.

“It saddens me to know that, as a mother, I was unable to take care of him, just like a mother would do — even embrace him after the attack,” Staford said. “But also, he is a sad person and he always remembers what happened.”

Staford said there should be stringent laws against any person who attacks people with albinism. She also would like to see the government take away licenses to practice from witch doctors.

Staford and her son, who does not have albinism, as well as two siblings — who do have the condition — are living in protective custody in a safe house in Tanzania run by a branch of a Canadian-U.S. charitable organization called Under the Same Sun.

Court Clears DPP On Drug Evidence

By Faustine Kapama

THE Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has won an appeal over refusal by the High Court to admit as evidence an envelope containing Heroine Hydrochloride valued at over 169m/- in the criminal trial of Lithuanian woman, Kristina Biskasevskaja.

Justices Mbarouk Mbarouk, Richard Mziray and Sivangilwa Mwangesi ruled that the exhibit in question was wrongly rejected by the High Court when the prosecution sought to tender the same as part of evidence in the trial through a Government Chemist, Mr Machibya Peter.

They allowed the appeal lodged by the DPP having noted that there was no dispute that the envelope with 3.775.26 kilograms of heroin valued at 169,886,700/- was addressed to the Government Chief Chemist, and Mr Peter, a chemist in that office, was the one who analyzed the same.

“We buy the argument of senior state attorney that (Machibya Peter) was in the circumstances, with full information and knowledge of the envelope and, therefore, a competent witness than anyone else to tender in court the envelope and its contents,” they said.

The justices ordered the record of proceedings to be remitted back to the High Court for admission of the exhibit in question and continuation of the trial where it ended prior to the filing of the appeal.

“For interest of justice, we direct that the record be placed before another judge for continuation of trial from where it ended. Taking into consideration the nature of the offence and the fact that the respondent (Kristina) is in custody, a quick disposal of the case is necessary,” they directed.

The 25-year old woman from Lithuania was arrested at Kilimanjaro International Airport on August 28 this year and was allegedly found in unlawful possession of the drugs.

According to police sources, Kristina Biskasevskaja, who is a musician by profession, was on her way to Brussels aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight number ET 0814.

On her first arraignment before the High Court, the accused person denied the charge.

On February 15, 2016 when the trial was still in progress, the prosecution led by Senior State Attorney Tamari Mndeme, assisted by Ignas Mwituka, a State Attorney, sought to tender the envelope through the government chemist as exhibit in the trial.


Govt Slaps Two-Year Ban On Weekly Newspaper Mwanahalisi

Government decision to ban Mwanahalisi weekly newspaper has been greeted with an uproar by media stakeholders and rights… Read more »

South Africa: Ekapa Minerals Abandons Part of Its Case Against Illegal Miners

By Safura Abdool Karim

Ekapa Minerals has abandoned part of its interdict against Zama Zama miners, calling into question the validity of the entire interdict, writes Safura Abdool Karim

On 14 September Ekapa Minerals filed a notice which abandoned parts of its interdict against Zama Zama miners in Kimberley. The miners had appealed in the Constitutional Court against the interdict, which prevents them from entering and mining on certain property belonging to Ekapa. As part of their application, they found evidence which showed that Ekapa was not legally entitled to interdict some of the property.

The case began in 2015, when De Beers began selling off mine dumps to various companies including Ekapa. Zama Zama informal miners had been mining the dumps before the sale.

Although Ekapa had not yet acquired ownership of the dumps, it applied for an interdict to prevent the miners from entering the dumps and from removing or excavating material. The Zama Zamas, represented by Spoor Inc, challenged the validity of the interdict, but it was confirmed by the High Court in Kimberley. Then the Zama Zamas unsuccessfully applied to appeal in both the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal. Both courts dismissed the application.

On 3 August 2017, the Zama Zamas filed an application for leave to appeal in the Constitutional Court. A few weeks later, they filed a further application and affidavit, requesting that the Constitutional Court allow them to introduce an affidavit from De Beers that was filed in another matter.

The affidavit revealed that some of the land Ekapa tried to interdict the Zama Zamas from entering was in fact land that had not been sold to them by De Beers. The affidavit involves two pieces of land referred to as Dorsfontein 77 and Kenilworth 71.

In their papers, Ekapa had claimed that the ‘remaining extent’ of both these properties was to be transferred to them. A ‘remaining extent’ is a technical legal term reflected on a title deed. The High Court then confirmed Ekapa’s interdict over both properties, on the basis that ownership of both properties was going to be transferred to Ekapa.

But De Beers’ own application for an interdict against the Zama Zamas showed that the portions of both properties will remain the property of De Beers and will not be transferred to Ekapa. This means that Ekapa obtained an interdict over land that does not belong to it.

Ekapa then decided to abandon the interdict over the farms Dorsfontein 77 and Kenilworth 71. This represents a victory for the Zama Zamas and may bolster their efforts to have the appeal heard by the Constitutional Court.

The fact that portions of the interdict are now legally questionable may throw the entire interdict into contention, making the outcome of the appeal more complicated. This complexity may provide grounds for the Constitutional Court to find that the Zama Zamas’ prospects of success are better than when the case was brought before the Supreme Court of Appeal.

This is just the latest instalment of an ongoing battle between informal miners in the region and Ekapa. Meanwhile, Ekapa has been back in court with an urgent application to have the portions of the interdict that have not been abandoned enforced against the Zama Zamas.

South Africa

Euthanasia Back in Courts As Doctor Fights for Right to Die

The right of terminally ill individuals to end their life when, and how, they choose has been a battle fought before… Read more »

South Africa: Outcomes of Denosa Northern Cape Student Movement PEC Meeting

press release


The PEC noted that students and educators at the Henrietta Stockdale Nursing College do not have a well-resourced library with current and sufficient literature and studying space to support their teaching and learning outcomes.

The simulations and skills laboratory are not sufficient and not updated with relevant equipment to prepare students thoroughly for the clinical environment. These resources are a right and not a privilege to all role players at the college.

There’s a huge concern about the inconsistencies between the theoretical and clinical environment. The content provided to students in the classroom is not consistent with practices in the clinical area. Furthermore, nurse educators are not informed about the new policies and health programmes such as APH (Adult Primary Health), BANC+ etc. Students deserve properly designed learning programmes that are aligned to current policies and practices and inclusion of expects in order to ensure that newly-qualified nurses are fully capacitated to support the health outcomes without delay.

The department must give support development of in-service/skills developments trainings for nurse educators, preceptors and clinical supervisors on current and new health policies and programmes in the health system and to establish partnership with the trained experts.

The status of the student in the province is not yet declared, thus causing misinterpretation that students may be used as workforce. This hampers their development and learning gets neglected in the process.

The PEC resolves that PERSAL SYSTEM must be brought back as this will benefit them in terms of their socio- economic statuses.

The PEC also noted with concern that our institution (the college) seems to be relaxed on the issue of the new qualifications. One would ask: is our institution ready? In terms of infrastructure and staffing as most of the lecturers are only having a BSC degree in their possession, only few with Masters Qualifications.


The province is still experiencing challenges regarding accommodation of student nurses. However, we acknowledge the effort made by the DOH for placing students in alternative temporary accommodation while the new nurses home is under construction, although in some other accommodation students are still having some problems, e.g. food, safety and transport.


The PEC noted with great concern that the OUTPUT within the institution is very poor, thus producing less expected professionals and the contributory factors thereof are the non-provision of books before academic year starts, lack of clinical support due to no clinical preceptors and no permanent accommodation that is conducive for learning.

We call upon the DOH to adhere to the Nursing Strategy of 2014/2015 under nursing education which talks of appointment of clinical preceptors for accompaniment. Books should be distributed before academic year starts.

South Africa

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Court Sets Trial Date for Treason Case Against 20 People


Kampala — The High Court has set October 30, 2017 to start hearing a treason case against 20 people accused of plotting to overthrow the Uganda government by force of arms.

High Court Judge Wilson Masalu Musene set the trial date after all the suspects pleaded not guilty to the allegation.

The accused persons include two brothers Amir Kinene and Hakim Kinene who were acquitted by the International Crimes Division Court in the case of Muslim Clerics Murders, together with Sheikh Multa Mudde Bukenya who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for terrorizing the said Muslim Clerics.

Prosecution alleges that between January 2013 and June 2015 in diverse places in Uganda and outside including Dubai, Kenya and Tanzania, the accused persons contrived a plot to overthrow the government by recruiting and training rebels.

It’s further alleged that they acquired satellite mobile phones for communication, motor vehicles for transport and rented houses to act as safe houses.

They have now been sent back on remand to Luzira prison till the said date for trial.


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Namibia: ‘Health Must Be Part of Infrastructure Development’

By Matheus Hamutenya

Aussenkehr — //Kharas regional director in the Ministry of Health and Social Services Barth Muntenda says the construction of health facilities should be core to any agreement between the regional council and private partners.

Speaking to New Era, he said it is important that infrastructure development by the regional council and any possible investors, through public-private partnerships (PPPs), always consist of a health facility to ensure people have access to health services.

He said many a time such projects are too focused on provision of housing and shopping centres, forgetting that community members also need health facilities nearby. He thus urged the regional council to ensure that any plans for development in the region include the construction of a health facility.

“PPPs are now becoming the best option and the regional council must continue to put health on their agenda – and whenever they negotiate they should always think of health, we should not be left out,” he said.

Muntenda also spoke on the progress of plans to build a health centre at Aussenkehr, a community of over 30,000 people that depends on one clinic, which has been a problem as it is too small for such a huge population.

The director said the facility would be constructed through the PPP infrastructure development project.

He explained that the government was ready to build the facility and architects have approved the site, but due to lack of funds the project was shelved.

However, he noted that there is a glimmer of hope that the facility would soon be built, adding that a health centre is part of the plans of the Aussenkehr project.

He said the construction of the facility is very important as it will improve service delivery to the community and avail additional services that the clinic is currently unable to render.

“We promise to provide all resources as soon as the facility is built – this will also curb the high cost of referrals to Karasburg hospital and reduce negative happenings during emergency drives,” he said.

The Ausenkehr infrastructure development project that will see construction of houses, a shopping mall and a health facility, among others, was set to get off the ground last week but was delayed as the ground-breaking ceremony was postponed due to incomplete paperwork.


Reparations Demands Could Top U.S.$91 Billion

Germany might end up paying N$1,2 trillion if government and the Ovaherero Traditional Authority’s demands succeed. Read more »

Zimbabwe: Farmers to Produce 200,000 Tonnes of Wheat

By Conrad Mwanawashe

Stakeholders in the agro-processing sector are mobilising funds for timeous payments for locally produced wheat.

Zimbabwe expects to produce about 200 000 tonnes of wheat this season against a demand of 400 000 tonnes. The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe is mobilising funds to finance the importation of the 200 000 tonnes to cover the deficit.

Also, the agro processors are coming up with a comprehensive wheat buying programme ahead of the winter wheat harvest. The stakeholders will be meeting today (Thursday) to finalise the wheat buying arrangements at an indaba to be attended by members of GMAZ.

GMAZ has been supportive of Government’s Command Agriculture initiative and has committed to uptake the winter wheat harvest that is targeting a yield of at least five tonnes per hectare.

The millers also mobilised funds for grain purchases after they committed to uptake 800 000 tonnes of maize harvest from the command maize programme. At the indaba today, GMAZ members will receive a report on the expected harvest, an update on wheat buying price and buying quota allocations.

They will also deliberate on storage and allocations and import quota and payments methods, among other issues. The millers are currently engaged in a bruising fight with Government, in particular, the Ministry of Health and Child Care over the mandatory food fortification.

Wheat is among the food stuffs earmarked for mandatory food fortification. The Ministry of Health and Child Care set July 1 for the commencement of mandatory food fortification of selected food vehicles such as vegetable oils, sugar, wheat, flour and commercially milled maize meal arguing that it was cognisant of the primacy of disease prevention as opposed to curing and in particular the adverse results of growth retardation in children, low birth weight, reduced cognitive development, the increased risk of under — five mortality and reduced economic productivity emanating from failure to prevent micro-nutrient deficiency.

Last week GMAZ filed an application at the High Court pushing to have sections 4(i)(b) and (e), 5(b) and (e) and 7 of the Food Fortification Regulations 2016 made under and in terms of the Food and Food Standards Act (Chapter 15:04) set aside on the grounds that they were unreasonable and as a consequence, invalid.

The Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa cited as the only respondent in the matter in his official capacity, is yet to file opposing papers. Government argued that prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies were extremely high and unacceptable especially among vulnerable groups including women of child bearing age and children.


Apostolic Sects Appoint Their Own Ruling Party Patron

Several religious organisations representing churches in Zimbabwe met in Harare on Monday and appointed Zanu-PF Central… Read more »

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