Posts tagged as: kenya

South Africa:Cope Welcomes the Removal of Myeni, but What About the Patient?

press releaseBy Glacier Nkhwashu

Whilst COPE welcomes the long overdue removal of Dudu Myeni as chairperson of SAA, her removal talks less to positive action by Zuma, but rather to continual pressure exerted by opposition parties, civil society groupings, and financiers.

As a consequence of Myeni’s corrupt leadership and bad governance of SAA, Zuma’s government was ultimately forced to Act. Bear in mind that Myeni was adamant that she would only leave when ‘ubaba goes’.

The real issue here is why it took so long to Act, and at what cost? The answer to this points to cronyism, deployment, corruption, looting and state capture, and at possibly fatal cost to South Africa, its fiscus and its people.

Whether this belated move will be sufficient to turn SAA around and whether government should retain the failing SOE are questions yet to be answered.

The removal of Myeni is bitter-sweet, because it’s clear that she should (like uBaba) never have been appointed to the position in the first place.

SAA remains in ICU on life support in a critical condition. Whether the SAA’s ‘organs’ should be sold off, or the feeding tube should be removed, or the patient resuscitated (and at what cost) are questions open for debate.

South Africa

12 Men Arrested for ‘Promoting Homosexuality’

There are reports that two South Africans are among 12 men arrested on charges of homosexuality in Tanzania. Read more »

South Africa:Sixth Death at Platinum Mine in Three Months

British platinum mine giant Lonmin has raised “deep concerns” following the death of employee Tholakele Dlunga this week, the sixth in the platinum belt in the North West in the past three months.

“Lonmin is deeply concerned by the recent fatal shootings across the platinum belt. The company is aware of at least six deaths and three injuries in various shootings across the region in the past three months, including three at Lonmin,” company CEO Ben Magara said in a statement on Thursday.

In the latest incident, an unidentified assailant shot Dlunga, who later succumbed to his injuries, the company said.

One of Dlunga’s relatives was injured during the shooting, Magara added.

“We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. He is survived by his wife and three children.”

Stakeholder engagement

The company has called for calm, peace and tolerance, adding that it was invested in the success, peace and stability of the company, its employees and its communities.

“This violence is deeply concerning. We have worked hard to establish a sound rapport with unions and employees. The recent violent attacks across the platinum belt only serve to undo these efforts,” he said.

He also pointed out that an urgent multi-disciplinary stakeholder engagement process was necessary to help bring peace.

“The company has already commenced discussions with Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula as well as the president of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), Joseph Mathunjwa,” he added.

“We also appeal for thorough investigations to bring the perpetrators to book,” Magara said.

Dlunga, also known as “Bhele”, was one of the rock drill operators who took part in an unprotected wage strike in Marikana in 2012 which resulted in more than 44 people being killed.

The rock drill operators were demanding a R12 500 monthly salary.

AMCU, which was a small union at the time, grew in its prominence and eventually replaced the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) as the majority union.

Tribalism

Dlunga, who survived the Marikana shootings, became the union’s Branch Chairperson for Health and Safety.

On Wednesday, Mathunjwa addressed a gathering at Wonderkop Stadium in Marikana in an effort to dispel reports that the killings could be a result of tribalism within the area.

Speaking in isiXhosa, Mathunjwa told the union members that he had always helped workers, regardless of their culture and background. He said workers needed to be unified.

“I just know a poor worker looking for a better life, not a tribe member. Capitalism delays the progress of workers by using tribalism and division. Media, as you have witnessed, there is no tribalism here,” he said before a roar of applause erupted.

Mathunjwa discussed the union’s history and said it had been under attack from those who wanted to see it fall.

He denied rumours that AMCU leaders and members were responsible for the death of miners, as well as some NUM leaders in the mining town.

Mathunjwa said he had gone so far as to hire private investigators to find the perpetrators because police were not doing their jobs, despite being given evidence.

He said that he would hire investigator Paul O’Sullivan if he needed to, adding that he had reached out to Mbalula for an urgent meeting to address the claimed lack of police action.

“The money of the workers must be used for the protection of the workers. We want to unite the working class.”

He said miners were not living in the platinum mine belt by choice.

“If there was money or jobs back home, you wouldn’t have travelled 1 000 or 2 000 kilometres to provide for your families only to be killed… You are not at these hostels to be killed.”

He said the AMCU was the majority union at Lonmin and, if necessary: “We will bring Lonmin to a standstill until there is safety.”

Mathunjwa is to hold a press conference in Johannesburg on Thursday to shed more light on the killings, retrenchments and details of Dlunga’s memorial service.

Source: News24

Cameroon:Computer Algebra – Academics Build Capacity

By Christopher Jator

It has become imperative to get a big number of young creative people to the state where they are able to develop powerful and higher quality software.

Young academics from across Africa have been updated on the great potential of the modern tool, computer algebra, in learning, teaching and researching of mathematical sciences.

120 mathematicians from 25 African and European countries (Cameroon inclusive) were introduced to the technology during a workshop in Douala opened by the German Ambassador in Cameroon, Dr. Hans-Dieter Stell. The participants were young African PhD students, postdoctoral students and junior lecturers who listened to renowned world experts in computer algebra with the goal of making use of the importance of higher level mathematical thinking in the process of software development.

Co-organised by the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Cameroon (AIMS Cameroon) and the University of Kassel in Germany with funds from the Volkswagen Foundation in Germany, the workshop sought to build the capacity of junior scientists to take over and popularise and continue to train their colleagues in their home universities. The importance of the Douala workshop is found in the fact that countries and companies which have better educated people in this direction will lead the economy’s development. Furthermore, computer mathematics plays a central and essential role in that it is the basis for everything that is happening today for the development of the most advanced layer of software which is penetrating economy.

Centre President of AIMS Cameroon, Mama Foupouagnigni, noted that for Africa to develop, the African youth should master mathematical sciences well enough to be able to develop solutions to relevant development problems in society and industry. It has become imperative, he went on, to get as quickly as possible a big number of young creative people to the state where they are able to develop powerful and higher quality software for the local, national and international markets and needs.

Cameroon

Catalyst for Socio-Economic Development

Government and the business community may need redoubled efforts to solve the funding equation that haunts the sector. Read more »

South Africa:Finance Minister Announces SAA Board

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has announced the appointment of new members to the South African Airways (SAA) Board.

New board Chairperson Johannes Bhekumuzi Magwaza replaces Dudu Miyeni. The other five new board members are: Deputy Chairperson and non-executive director Nolitha Fakude; Geoff Rothschild, Ahmed Bassa, Tinyiko Mhlari, and Martin Kingston. They will serve as non-executive directors.

Current non-executive directors who will continue to serve on the board are: Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala, Peter Tshisevhe, Thandeka Nozipho Mogoduso, Peter Holmes Maluleka, and Akhter Hoosen Moosa.

The changes to the SAA board will be with effective from 3 November when Minister Gigaba has a special meeting with them.

In addition to the former chairperson, board members who will no longer serve are Tryphosa Ramano, Mzimkulu Malunga, Siphile Buthelezi, Nazmeera Moola and Gugu Sepamla.

Minister Gigaba is hopeful that the new board, which was approved by Cabinet — together with its incoming Chief Executive Officer Vuyani Jarana — will implement the airline’s structural strategy and bring it to financial stability, as set out in his 14 Confidence Boosting Measures.

Jarana, who was appointed to the top post in August, will commence his duties at the airline on 1 November.

“The new board is well experienced and diverse, and the Minister encourages them to ignore the political noise, and focus on the business of strengthening SAA. At the heart of these appointments is a commitment from the South African government to strengthen the airline, and create conditions to see the transformation of all our state-owned companies,” said the Finance Ministry.

The ministry said the new board brings talent, expertise and energy to the airline.

“The Minister would like to thank all outgoing board members for their work at the airline, [and] wish incoming members well with their tenure at the airline.”

All board members, incoming and those who will no longer serve, have been notified of these developments.

SAA was moved from the portfolio of the Department of Public Enterprises to National Treasury in 2014.

Last month, government announced the transfer of R3 billion to the airline to allow it to meet its debt obligations to Citibank.

South Africa

12 Men Arrested for ‘Promoting Homosexuality’

There are reports that two South Africans are among 12 men arrested on charges of homosexuality in Tanzania. Read more »

Namibia:Pet Owners Urged to Vaccinate Animals Against Rabies

By Alvine Kapitako

Windhoek — The Ministry of Health and Social Services has urged pet owners to vaccinate their animals against rabies. Public relations officer in the Health Ministry Manga Libita said there is a shortage of anti-rabies vaccine in the country at present and that is the case globally.

“We have got too many dog bites. Most of the dogs are not vaccinated against rabies and that is worrying,” said Libita. If a dog with rabies bites a human that person can contract rabies, which is potentially fatal, she explained. “We should avoid that by all means,” Libita stressed.

She said many pet owners do not care for their pets and stressed that owners should be more caring towards their animals.

Dr Annie Marggraff, a veterinarian at Windhoek Animal Hospital also stressed that animals should be vaccinated against rabies to prevent the pets from contracting the disease. She also explained that dogs and cats can contract the disease from bites from squirrels and wild animals, such as jackals.

Symptoms of rabies in dogs can vary, but in most cases the animal behaves strangely and salivates excessively, said Marggraff, who emphasised that prevention is always better than cure.

Rabies in animals can be fatal, Marggraff warned. She advised that if humans are bitten by a dog that is suspected to have rabies they should seek medical attention immediately.

Namibia

Court Finds Ruling Party Guilty of ‘Abuse of Power’

Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula has said Swapo abused its powers when it withdrew Councillor Ester Ndatala… Read more »

South Africa:Communications Authority Ready to Receive Data Theft Complaints

Newly-appointed Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi says the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) is ready to receive complaints related to the theft of mobile phone data.

Responding to oral questions, the Minister made her maiden appearance in the National Council of Provinces on Wednesday in her new Communications Portfolio.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Member of Parliament Nkagisang Mokgotsi had asked whether the department has conducted an investigation into the alleged theft of customer data.

The Minister, who had chaired hearings on the cost of data under the banner #DataMustFall, said ICASA was yet to receive complaints.

“The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has established a complaints and compliance committee, in terms of section 17(a) of the ICASA Act number 13 of 2000, to investigate and hear if appropriate, make a finding on all matters referred to the authority and complaints received by it.

“To date, the authority has not received any information regarding the theft of data. However, upon receipt of such information, a detailed investigation will be conducted and a report can be available,” she said.

SIU commences work at SABC

Meanwhile, Minister Kubayi said the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has commenced its probe into the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

Last month, the Presidency announced that President Jacob Zuma had signed a proclamation to give the SIU a mandate to investigate matters related to procurement.

The investigation will look at contracting for goods, work or services by or on behalf of the SABC from various companies or service providers and payments made in respect thereof in a manner that was not fair, transparent, competitive and equitable or cost effective.

The investigation will also look at whether there was any undisclosed or unauthorised interest that certain members of the personnel of the SABC may have had with regard to contractors, suppliers or service providers, who submitted bids for work or did business with the SABC; or contractors awarded by or on behalf of the SABC.

The proclamation further authorised the SIU to investigate allegations of:

– Serious maladministration in connection with the affairs of the SABC;

– Improper or unlawful conduct by board members, officials or employees of the SABC;

– Unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money or property;

– Unlawful, irregular or unapproved acquisitive act, transaction, measure or practice having a bearing upon State property;

– Intentional or negligent loss of public money or damage to public property; and

– Unlawful or improper conduct by any person, which has caused or may cause serious harm to the interests of the public or any category thereof.

Minister Kubayi said: “The SIU has already commenced its work and in fact, I am informed that they have been allocated an office at the SABC.

“Once the investigation is complete, it is only then that the truth will be known. It must be noted that government has sufficient institutions in the country, such as the Hawks and Assets Forfeiture Unit, to deal with all alleged misconduct and it is not up to the Minister to predetermine the outcome of the investigation.”

Kakamega Senator Malala Charged Over Poll Boycott Call

By Shaban Makokha

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala was on Wednesday charged with incitement.

The Senator was accused of inciting his supporters on October 13 to boycott the October 26 repeat presidential election during a political rally in Kakamega town.

He is alleged to have dared anyone to take ballot boxes to Muliro Gardens.

The charge read that the words were meant to disrupt the October 26 repeat polls in Kakamega.

Mr Malala, who was represented by Lawyer David Masake denied the charges and was released on cash bail of Sh300,000.

Mr Masake accused police of ignoring orders issued by the High Court, prohibiting his arrest.

“My client was enjoying miscellaneous application from the superior court and showed goodwill by presenting himself to police in the morning, but the police detained him for hours irrespective of the orders,” said Mr Masaka.

Present in court during the case was Lurambi MP Titus Khamala and Vihiga Woman Representative Beatrice Adagala.

The case will be heard on January 16 next year.

Kenya

Election Boss Reads Riot Act to President and Opposition Leader

Electoral commission chief Wafula Chebukati on Wednesday cast doubts on the possibility of holding credible elections… Read more »

IEBC Favours Jubilee, Nasa in Repeat Election – Ekuru Aukot

By Mohamed Ahmed

Thirdway Alliance Kenya presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot has accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of aligning itself to Jubilee and Nasa and “dancing” to their tunes.

Speaking during a press briefing at Travellers Hotel in Mombasa, Dr Aukot accused the electoral commission of incompetence and serious issues of confidence.

LOCKED OUT

He decried being locked out of the dialogue with Nasa and Jubilee called by IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati.

“In his statement the chairman indeed accepted that there was division within the commission. It is evident the IEBC is its own enemy and that is why it has continued to weaken itself by aligning itself with either Nasa or Jubilee thoughts,” said Dr Aukot.

“How can it be so reckless to only invite Nasa and Jubilee as if they are the only people in the ballot? IEBC does not understand simple orders from the court and that is why it is talking of Nasa and Jubilee as if this country is all about the two.”

He said the “fixation in mind on the two is hurting the country’s economy”.

Dr Aukot questioned why Nasa leader Raila Odinga was being “forced” to participate in the election even after announcing his withdrawal.

VOTE OUT

“How do we talk about people who have said that they do not want to participate in an election? The current uncertainty is as a result of the so-called two horses and I am calling on Kenyans to ensure that we retire both,” he said.

Mr Aukot further accused the two coalitions of trying to force the presence of an electoral commission that is in their favour.

He said both Nasa and Jubilee are trying to kill the commission, “as they are used to having a referee that can favour them every time we head to an election.”

“That is what they did before the August 8 elections. They formed a committee comprising of their own people who decided on the team that will oversee the elections. If they do not have that they tend to create the uncertainty we are facing,” Dr Aukot said.

EVIDENCE

He noted that if the country is to hold political settlement then “it should be about excluding Nasa and Jubilee from this election”.

Dr Aukot said his party might have a problem with the IEBC but it will not go to the election “blindly”.

“We are watching every step that IEBC is making. I am beginning to gather my evidence to go to the Supreme Court again if Chebukati and his team are actually going to bungle this election,” he added.

Mr Aukot said he has called for an urgent meeting with the commission to discuss issues, among them the inclusion of his name in the KIEMs kits.

“We are ready for the election. We should conduct the election within 60 days because anything outside that we are creating a political crisis to this country. We cannot have this election outside the constitutional framework,” he said.

Dr Aukot said he will move to court if the KIEMs kits comprise only two candidates’ names.

Kenya

Election Boss Reads Riot Act to President and Opposition Leader

Electoral commission chief Wafula Chebukati on Wednesday cast doubts on the possibility of holding credible elections… Read more »

South Africa:Life Esidimeni MD – ‘Doctors Failed to Speak Out’

Relatives of Life Esidimeni patients broke down and sobbed on Wednesday as they heard how the former managing director (MD) of the facility begged the Gauteng department of health for information about where patients were being moved to.

Life Esidimeni former MD Dr Morgan Mkhatshwa told the hearings that it was “a command” to move patients to various NGOs, despite his repeated pleas for information about the names, addresses and contact details for these NGOs.

Transfer patients

Mkhatshwa said he failed to understand how department officials, some of them trained medical officials, didn’t stand up and speak out.

“It was sad for me to see how clinicians could succumb to what I’d call political pressure. I said it’s bad if you forget the oath you took [as a medical practitioner],” he said.

“How could they not stand up and say ‘over my dead body, I will not do that’,” Mkhatshwa said.

He said he warned officials about the plans to transfer patients from Life Esidimeni to a number of unlicensed NGOs, some of which he had known nothing about.

This was following an incident in 2007 where 17 children were taken from Life Esidimeni and placed in an NGO.

Mkhatshwa said they later died because they had been severely dehydrated and malnourished.

“Why couldn’t we have learned from the 2007 incident? Did we just choose to be oblivious to it, or did we just ignore it?” he asked. “Expert advice was ignored”.

During his testimony, Mkhatshwa recalled how representatives from the various NGOs just started arriving at Life Esidimeni to collect patients. Some even hand picked patients.

“They said they were coming to pick their patients and I said ‘get the hell out of here, this is not an auction’. These are people,” he said.

Better facilities

Responding to a question about patients being collected on the back of bakkies, Mkhatshwa said he told the official to “take that damned thing out of our facilities”.

Mkhatshwa said the decision to move patients from Life Esidimeni to the various NGOs wasn’t “rationally clinically” or “rationally business-wise”, with the former MEC of health Qedani Mahlangu telling him there wasn’t a budget to pay for the Life Esidimeni contract.

“We were ensured that the users would leave Esidimeni for equal or better facilities,” he said.

Mkhatshwa said he resigned from his position at Life Esidimeni because he too was traumatised by the way it turned out.

“I ask myself if there is anything I could’ve done. I don’t know,” he said.

“I think the families did more. They went and toyi toyi’ed at the department… they demanded an apology… they demanded to know where their loved ones were”.

The hearings continue on Thursday.

Source: News24

South Africa

12 Men Arrested for ‘Promoting Homosexuality’

There are reports that two South Africans are among 12 men arrested on charges of homosexuality in Tanzania. Read more »

Kenyatta Warns Nasa on Poll Disruption

By Grace Gitau, Pscu

President Uhuru Kenyatta has issued a stern warning against individuals who will attempt to undermine the repeat presidential elections.

The President cited recent incidents where Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials were attacked while preparing for the coming polls.

“Whoever will try to stop the elections, by attacking IEBC officials, firm action will be taken against them. We cannot allow a few individuals to destroy our country,” said the President at a Jubilee rally in Nanyuki on Wednesday.

INTIMIDATION

He insisted that the security of IEBC staff will not compromised and they should be allowed to do their work without intimidation.

“Anyone who will attempt to disrupt the election or beating election officials will be dealt with regardless of your position. You cannot stop a democratic process,” he said.

President Kenyatta urged Kenyans to come out in large numbers and exercise their democratic right to vote on October 26.

The President told opposition leader Raila Odinga to stop inciting Kenyans not to participate in the election saying such utterances amounted to denying Kenyans their right to vote.

“We are telling Raila you have a right to boycott the election but Kenyans have a right to vote.

“Why do you think you have a right to stop Kenyans from exercising their democratic right?” posed the President, who was accompanied by his Deputy William Ruto.

COALITION

The President said Kenyans will not allow the opposition leader to undermine the elections so that he can force the country to have a coalition government.

The President was speaking in Nanyuki hours after mobs attacked venues in Kisumu and Vihiga where IEBC officials were holding training workshops ahead of the repeat presidential poll.

In Kisumu, a training session at the county’s Huduma Centre was disrupted after youth stormed in and vandalised chairs and tents that had been erected for the programme.

Speaking at the same rally in Nanyuki, Deputy William Ruto said the Repeat elections will go on as scheduled.

“Kenyan must move to the election on October 26. They can call for press conferences as they want and resign as they desire but we must go to the polls,” he said.

He wondered why Nasa leaders are calling for anti-IEBC protests yet their candidate had withdrawn from the race.

AKOMBE

“To our competitors and their sponsors we will not accept any more games. We cannot continue to play around with future our country and our children” he said.

The Deputy President maintained that they will not have a sit down with Mr Odinga to discuss the political impasse.

MPs who spoke at the rally accused IEBC Commissioner Roselyn Akombe, who resigned, of working with the opposition.

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua castigated her for fleeing the country and abandoning the commission.

“You can run but you cannot hide,” said.

Laikipia Woman Rep Catherine Waruguru said Dr Akombe is lucky that she had a second home to run to, unlike many Kenyans.

“Majority of Kenyans do not have the privilege of a second home. You were sent to check on the progress of printing of ballot papers but you have deceived Kenyans,” she said.

Additional reporting by Mwangi Ndirangu.

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