Posts tagged as: political

Zimbabwe:Govnt Warns of Summer Diseases

By Tobias Mudzingwa

Government has warned members of the public to be wary of diseases that are usually prevalent during the current summer season. Malaria and diarrhoeal diseases are usually pervasive during the rain season. Secretary for Health and Child Care Dr Gerald Gwinji yesterday said that people should pay attention to precautionary education and messages from Government on how to prevent and deal with such diseases.

“We are now in the summer season as you know; it’s hot and generally we get challenges from a number of diseases and this includes malaria and diarrheal diseases – sometimes due to scarcity of water during this period or sometimes bodies of water get contaminated soon after the rains,” said Dr Gwinji. “A lot of dirt can be washed into water bodies where people are using that water for domestic uses, particularly drinking and we get an increase in diarrhoeal diseases,” he said.

Dr Gwinji said Government has started awareness campaigns on malaria to raise awareness on preventive and treatment measures. “We are now in the malaria season and we are making the necessary preparations. “Spraying has started, campaigns for you to continue using nets and encouraging you to seek treatment early have started as well,” he added.

But Government expects the malaria season to peak around April and May and tail-off in June and July next year. According to Dr Gwinji, there was need for people to stay hydrated through drinking lots of water as temperatures were likely to pick up. “To those who can’t avoid not being in the sun because of the nature of their work, lots of water will keep you away from getting heat exhaustion or heat stroke.”

Zimbabwe

10 Times Grace Mugabe Came Out Guns Blazing Against VP Mnangagwa

First Lady Grace Mugabe’s entry into the political fray has created a mixture of excitement, anxiety and consternation… Read more »

Civil Servants to Lose 25% of Their Salary for Failure to Declare Wealth

Photo: Timothy Kisambira/The New Times

A nurse attends to a patient (file photo).

By Nasra Bishumba

Civil servants obliged by the law to declare their wealth annually but fail to do so will now be penalised with deduction of a quarter of their salary, the Ombudsman announced yesterday.

Delivering the 2016/17 Ombudsman’s report to both chambers of Parliament, Ombudsman Anastase Murekezi said that the measure was directed at giving the issue the attention that it deserves.

Although more than 1,000 public servants have declared their wealth during the last fiscal year, Murekezi said some were not able to. He said other disciplinary measures had been taken.

“In 2016/17, 1,088 declared their wealth. Six people were not able to explain the source of their wealth and were investigated, three files were handed to prosecution, and another three were investigated. The Office of the Ombudsman recommended that 60 people who did not declare their wealth in 2016 are censured,” he said.

Murekezi also told the lawmakers that in the next fiscal year, the Ombudsman’s office expects to receive declarations of 1,500 civil servants and to receive the books of accounts of political parties with explanations on the source of their funding and how it was spent.

To file a case with the Ombudsman’s office, one can use a toll free number, file at sector level or use internet.

In total, complaints received in writing in 2016/17 fiscal year are 226. Of these, land issues top the list with 96 cases, issues related to unsettled court cases are 33; 29 labour and administration issues; issues related to expropriation were 19; issues related to other properties 17; social affairs related issues 17; and other issues 15.

‘New laws needed’

Murekezi also touched on the issue of embezzlement where he said that there was a challenge of going after those suspected of this crime since it was not within his office’s mandate.

“In international law, corruption has a wider meaning than what is in the laws of Rwanda. There is the UN Convention regarding fighting corruption where embezzlement is classified as one of the categories of corruption, something that is different from our national laws. This means that we cannot pursue embezzlers yet it’s in this category where you find the ‘big fish,'” he said.

Murekezi said that to be able to align the international laws with the national ones, the Ombudsman’s office had advised that embezzlement be classified as corruption during the reform of the law on corruption.

MPs raise concerns

Murekezi also reminded MPs that his office had the power to request the Supreme Court to evaluate or even re-try cases that are deemed unjust.

In 2016/17 alone, the Ombudsman’s office ordered that 2,981 cases go to retrial. Among these, 1,934 (64.9 per cent) were carried forward from 2015/16, while 1,047 (35.1 per cent) were new.

When Murekezi said his office would be looking into executing cases that have been pending for long, MP Theoneste Safari Begumisa wondered if the Ombudsman was not encouraging the culture of laxity.

“I would like to know why the Ombudsman’s office is taking on these cases. Isn’t that almost like promoting the culture of laziness? What exactly are courts doing?” he posed.

To this, Murekezi said that his office shared similar sentiment but that the Ombudsman only comes in when the petitioner requests them to.

MP Nura Nikuze asked for a permanent solution to issues that recur in reports.

“The Ombudsman’s report has the same exact problems that we also find on the field when we visit. The issues of contractors who never pay, the issue of expropriation, those of development structures that were erected in citizens’ land and many others are all the same. We need to find a permanent solution once and for all,” she said.

Nigeria:Because of Food

opinionBy Dan Agbese

This is not the sort of news that makes the headlines and plays big in the public space. Because it is the story of the poor. It is the story of the children of the poor. It is the story about the future that might be denied the children of the poor. Because of food.

Not many of us like to read such stories; fewer of us still are willing to see the problems of the poor as the problems and the responsibilities of the rich. This is about food, as in eba with watery vegetable soup without meat or fish. It is about the crippling lack of capacity on the part of the poor to feed well or feed at all; and the repercussions of this has on their lives as well as the lives and the future of their children.

I am prepared to hazard the guess that not many of us are aware of this silent killer on the prowl in our country. I am talking about what the experts call malnutrition and under-nutrition. The best definition of this is to say that what our children eat and what they don’t eat have serious consequences for how they grow up and what kind of brains are eventually nurtured by their food; or lack thereof. For the poor, food has one and only one primary objective: to fill the belly and keep hunger outside the gate. The nuances of nutrition and balanced diet make little sense to them.

From what the experts are telling us, our country faces the frightening prospects of nurturing men more suitably equipped for manual labour than for them to become say, doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, professors and inventors. Muscles sans the nurturing of the brains and the intellect?

Here are some of the grim statistics. Nigeria has an estimated population of 171 million people. Thirteen per cent of this handsome population or 10 million children are malnourished and under-nourished. It means that while such basic food such as gari (smoked) eba, tuwo, amala, akpu and starch are good enough for filling the stomach they do not really prepare our children for the greater demands of modern development, brainwise.

Think about the figure again. The number of our malnourished children is more than the population of at least three African countries combined. That should give you some idea about the national challenge this represents for us and our country.

Mrs Zainab Ahmed, minister of state, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, said last week that malnutrition had become a silent national emergency. She said, “Nigeria is home to the third largest number of chronically undernourished children globally with about 2.5 million children under five years affected by severe acute malnutrition.”

We see some of these malnourished children on the streets of our major towns and cities daily. Their distended stomachs, brittle ribs and stick feet and hands, are a dead give away. But the real horror is in the invisible consequences of malnutrition. Malnourished and under-nourished children who survive into adulthood might become mentally retarded, say the experts. Instead of riding into the sunrise of their lives, they ride into the sunset ere their lives begin.

To quote Ahmed again: “Malnourished children tend to have lower intelligent quotient and impaired cognitive ability with resultant negative effect on their performance in school and productivity in later life.”Talk of a silent national emergency.

Professor Babatunde Oguntona, former president of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, recently told a nutrition symposium in Lagos that the implication of the 13 per cent of our population facing the grim prospects of being mentally retarded is that not all of them would head for Aro in Abeokuta; some of them would even head into our legislative houses as law-makers.

How are we even sure some of them are not in those hallowed chambers already where the constitution obliges them to make laws for the good governance of the country and parts thereof? Nor can we be sure that some of our governors strutting the political stage drunk with the power to do evil were not malnourished children who made it to adulthood and were imposed on us by the political godfathers in our reprehensibly flawed leadership recruitment process.

Some years ago, some Nigerians were so worried by the behaviour of our public men and women that they argued for a national policy to compel all those seeking public offices, elective or appointive, to undergo psychiatric assessment. All we did was chuckle. But it seems to me that if we had adopted such a policy, the madness of public officers abusing public trust and accumulating conscienceless fabulous wealth at the expense of the nation, would probably today be the exception, not the rule. And then, we might bring corruption down to the manageable level of 10 per cent that Major Nzeogwu complained of 51 years ago.

The experts warn this could get worse. Sunday Okoronkwo, a project manager with the Civil Society on Scaling Up Nutrition Nigeria, told the same symposium that there could actually be more than 11 million children whose nurture has reduced their capacity for vertical advantage. Maybe not all dwarves, as in King Pago, are malnourished, but apparently all those with stunted height have no reasons to thank their nurture.

Grimmer statistics. Remmy Nweke, national co-ordinator of MeCAM, said, “… . the number of Nigerian malnourished children is a big chunk in the world which accounted for over 2.5 million who are suffering from severe acute malnutrition as at the end of July 2017. This is exclusive of others who may be suffering various forms of nutrition, quoted at between 11,000,000 and 13,000,000.”

It would be unfair to hold eba, amala, tuwo and akpu entirely responsible for our third place on the global malnutrition league. Most of us were brought up on them before we cottoned on to caviar, salad, chicken peri-peri, steak and lamb chops. The problem is, as they say, better soup na money kill am.

We actually have a 10-year old National Policy on Nutrition. It was re-launched in 2016. I would imagine that the school feeding programme launched by the Obasanjo administration in response to the problem would be part of this. Nigeria has never lacked thoughtful policies to address its critical problems. But these policies often become victims of official abandonment, corruption and the lack of will to implement them. More than 10 years after its launch, the school feeding programme is moribund in most of the states, the fund for it having been diverted to areas of immediate political interests by the state governors whose children are in school abroad.

Here is the clincher. Okoronkwo, whom I quoted earlier, told the nutrition symposium, that Nigeria’s “action plan on nutrition for 2014 through 2019 remains largely unfunded.” He said that “Nigeria’s $100 million counterpart funding of the policy is hardly captured in the annual federal budgets.” He said the current federal budget “has no provision for the plan which expires in 2019.”

God help us.

Zimbabwe:Bitcoin Reliance – Central Bank Loses Out On Interest Rates

Photo: Bitcoin

Bitcoin (file photo).

By Hazel Ndebele

The increasing reliance on Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency, by Zimbabweans, is disastrous, as the country is losing out on monetary policy interventions, which can be useful when the Reserve Bank has a currency it can control, a leading American academic has said.

A cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of additional units of the currency.

Bitcoin is a digital token, with no physical backing, that can be sent electronically from one user to another, anywhere in the world. All Bitcoin transactions are made with no middleman, meaning banks are not involved and therefore there are no transaction fees.

Zimbabwe is reeling from a severe liquidity crunch, with most businesses facing collapse, as they struggle to access foreign currency to import critical inputs due to depleted nostro balances. As a result, desperate Zimbabweans have resorted to using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to make online and foreign payments.

African Leadership School for Business vice-dean for strategy and research and former professor at America’s Harvard Business School, Catherine Duggan, recently warned that it is not economically viable for a country to rely on a cryptocurrency. She said if she was the central bank governor of a country relying on a cryptocurrency, like Zimbabwe, she would be extremely worried because it would mean that she is not able to control such a particular currency. Duggan was speaking at a workshop a fortnight ago, whose theme was “The Political Economy of Currency Movement; Factors Driving the Value of the Dollar and a Framework for Understanding the Intersection of Politics and Economics”, which was organised by the British Council.

Currently, banks are prioritising the processing of telegraphic transfers based on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s priority list, while Visa/Mastercard payments are also being controlled or culled altogether. This leaves Zimbabweans with few options on how to make external payments and, as the scarce United States dollar continues to disappear from the market, the demand for alternative payment options such as Bitcoin, is expected to increase.

On the US dollar, Duggan said the currency is overvalued in Zimbabwe.

“For a country like Zimbabwe, the US dollar is overvalued because it is valued the same as to how it is valued in the United States of America and yet the economies are totally different,” Duggan said. The US is an economy doing well, whereas Zimbabwe has been going through an economic crisis for nearly two decades.

Duggan said people need to believe in their own currency and have confidence in it, but if that lacks, then the currency is reduced to just pieces of paper. “The US dollar is just a piece of paper, but the United States government and Americans have confidence in it and the reason why we use this currency is that we all agree that it is worth something,” she said.

The bond note, whose value has been eroded by up to 60% in some instances against the US dollar, faced a crisis of confidence in the market even before it was introduced.

Zimbabwe

Tsvangirai Returns From South African Hospital

MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai returned home yesterday from South Africa where he was receiving treatment after… Read more »

Angola: Cunene – Red Cross Presents Contingency Project

Ondjiva — A continence project to improve food security and mitigate the effects of climate change in rural areas was presented Thursday in Ondjiva by the coordination of the Red Cross of Angola (CVA) in the province of Cunene.

The project presentation, which was attended by the deputy governor of the Cunene for the Political and Social Sector, Albertina José, aims to allocate technical subsidies and support in seeds and means of work to the farmer, as well as to educate rural communities about the decrease effects of climate change on the crops.

According to the project coordinator of the “CVA” in Cunene, José Zeca Tchipilika, the project, which has the support of the Spanish Red Cross and the Angolan government, is budgeted at USD 200,000 and lasts for two years and will assist 123 families in the rural areas of the province.

Alberitina José said that such programs are welcome because climate change has created situations of desperation for families, and the government has been working on education and action to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Angola

Bié Government to Boost Agricultural Production

The government of the central Bié province intends to boost the agricultural production campaign (2017/2018) by… Read more »

3.5 Million Face Starvation Amid Prolonged Drought

By Silas Apollo and Boniface Mwangi

At least 3.5 million Kenyans are facing starvation due to the prolonged drought and erratic rains.

The figure is an increase from the 2.6 million projected by the government at the beginning of the year.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett on Thursday said the majority of those affected are from arid and semi-arid counties in northern Kenyan.

This comes even as Mr Bett said the country expects an increase in the amount of maize that will be harvested by the end of this crop year, a situation he argues will help ease the food shortage currently bedevilling the country.

Besides families, millions of domestic and wild animals are also suffering the effects of delayed rains in the Coast and Rift Valley.

FOOD SITUATION

In a report on the current national food situation that was released on Thursday, Mr Bett says the ministry has projected a harvest of about 37.9 million bags of maize by the end of 2017, up from 36.9 million bags harvested in the same period last year.

The figure is, however, a drop of about 4.4 per cent of the 40 million bags the ministry had expected at the beginning of the year.

“Of the counties facing starvation, Wajir, Turkana, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River, Garissa, Mandera and Baringo, as well as parts of Kitui and Kajiado, have been listed as the worst hit,” said the CS. The armyworm, which destroyed maize in the country’s food basket areas of Rift Valley, has also been blamed for the drop in production.

“The decline in overall production of maize was attributed to a reduction in the area under maize by 5.1 per cent, the late onset of rainfall, coupled with long dry spells mid-season and fall armyworm invasion,” Mr Bett told journalists at the ministry’s headquarters in Nairobi.

POOR RAINFALL

At the same time, production of beans and Irish potato will decline by about 29 per cent and 17 per cent respectively due to inadequate certified seeds and poor rainfall.

According to Mr Bett, there will be a slight drop in the production of other food crops such as bananas, sorghum, cowpeas and green grams.

To avert a possible shortage, Mr Bett said the ministry plans to buy all the maize offered by farmers from the 2017 crop.

The purchase will begin on Monday, with farmers offered Sh3,200 per 90-kilogramme bag.

Elsewhere, the government has doubled the food ration being given to starving Kenyans as it seeks to mitigate the effects of the drought.

Devolution CS Mwangi Kiunjuri said his ministry has been giving out a ration of 15 kilogrammes of cereals and cooking oil every two months but will now give the same quantity each month.

He said the increased allocation will run until mid-next year.

HUGE LOSSES

“We are aware a few counties are still facing food and pasture shortage. My ministry has already supplied cereals in these counties. The food is enough to last till mid-next year,” he told the Nation.

Herders in counties hit hardest by drought have suffered huge losses after their animals died. Others have had to sell their weak animals at a throw-away price of as little as Sh500 a cow.

Mr Kiunjuri said no Kenyan would be denied food due to their political affiliation. “I am warning chiefs and their seniors not to discriminate or deny any person food due to his or her political affiliation. This food is for any Kenyan facing hunger,” he said.

Weather reports received by the Devolution ministry from the Metrological Department indicate that normal rains will resume in early March.

House Approves Repeat Election Budget Amid Crisis

By David Mwere

The National Assembly has approved a Sh47.6 billion supplementary budget to fund key programmes, including fresh presidential election.

The passing of the estimates on Wednesday saw the Kenya’s development budget for 2017/18 reduced by Sh24.9 billion as recurrent expenditure shot up by Sh63.5 billion.

SH12BN

This also saw the budget for the current financial year increase by Sh38.6 billion.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission was allocated Sh12 billion to prepare for fresh presidential election, including buying of materials.

MPs also nodded to a Sh25-billion allocation for free secondary education that starts January 2018.

Although Nasa leader Raila Odinga pulled out of the fresh presidential race, plunging the country into a legal crisis, Kipkelion East MP Mr Joseph Limo, who chaired a special committee that processed the supplementary budget, said preparations must go on.

“We have not received any indication from IEBC that there will be no election. The election will go on as scheduled and the money stands allocated,” Mr Limo said.

CHAN

The government will also spend Sh6.5 billion on Inua Jamii, a social protection plan for people above 70 years and Sh2 billion to settle Kenyans uprooted from their homes during the 2007/08 post-poll chaos.

The Sh4.2 billion allocated for Africa Nations Championships was, however, withdrawn after the Confederation of African Football stripped Kenya of hosting rights for lack of up-to-standard infrastructure.

The passage of the estimates saw reorganisation in the budgetary allocations for various government agencies.

Although the National Treasury had targeted to reduce the Sh36 billion allocated to Parliament by Sh9.2 billion, the Parliamentary Service Commission put up a spirited fight.

The committee would scale down the figure by Sh3.5 billion.

More follows.

Kenya

AU Calls on Kenyatta, Odinga to Steer Kenya Out of Political Impasse

African Union Commission Chairman Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, has called on all stakeholders in Kenya’s electoral process to… Read more »

Masai Mara Voted the Best Park in Africa at Gala

Photo: Daily Nation

Cheetahs rest on a tourists’ vehicle at Masai Mara Game Reserve.

By Mathias Ringa

Kenya is once again on the global arena after the popular Maasai Mara National Reserve was voted Africa’s leading national park at the World Travel Awards 2017.

The Mara overcame fierce competition from Kruger National Park in South Africa, Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana, Kidepo Valley National Park from Uganda and Etosha National Park from Namibia during the Tuesday evening event in Kigali.

Diani Beach in Kwale County was voted the continent’s leading beach destination for the fourth year in a row after beating competition from beaches in South Africa, Mozambique, Zanzibar and Egypt.

“We have recognised the leading lights of African tourism tonight and I wish to offer my heartfelt congratulations to all our winners,” said World Travel Awards founder and president Graham Cooke.

GLOBAL TRAVEL

World Travel Awards serve to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry.

The Kenya Tourism Board beat 10 other tourism agents in Africa, including the Egyptian Tourist Authority, Moroccan National Tourism Organisation and South African Tourism to come up top for the sixth year running.

National carrier Kenya Airways bagged two awards after it was voted Africa’s leading airline and Africa’s leading airline- Business Class.

Mombasa port once again scooped the Africa’s leading cruise facility award while the five-star Leopard Beach Resort and Spa in Diani won Africa’s leading family resort award.

Sarova Hotels, Resorts and Game Lodges was crowned Africa’s leading hotel brand while Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club bagged the Africa’s leading hotel award.

LUXURY LODGE

Abercrombie and Kent bagged the Africa’s leading luxury tour operator while Sirikoi Lodge won the Africa’s leading luxury lodge award.

Finch Hattons was voted Africa’s leading tented safari camp while Bonfire Adventures ran away with Africa’s leading travel agency award.

Carlson Wagonlit Travel won the Africa’s leading business travel agency while Destination Kenya bagged Africa’s leading destination management company award.

Budget airline Fly540 was voted Kenya’s leading domestic safari carrier while Heritage Hotels was crowned the country’s leading safari camp brand.

Kenya

AU Calls on Kenyatta, Odinga to Steer Kenya Out of Political Impasse

African Union Commission Chairman Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, has called on all stakeholders in Kenya’s electoral process to… Read more »

South Africa:City of Cape Town Wants to Get Metrorail Back On Track

Photo: Bernard Chiguvare/GroundUp

Commuters abandon a Metrorail train and walk to Maitland train station, crisscrossing the railway tracks for about half a kilometre (file photo).

The City of Cape Town says it wants to take control over the beleaguered Metrorail in order to bring it back on track.

Councillor Brett Herron said on Tuesday that the City was seeking permission from the Department of Transport (DoT) to fast-track the devolution of control over the rail network, so as to prevent its total collapse.

“Commuters have been, and are still, fleeing from passenger rail as they cannot rely on the trains to travel to and from work,” said Herron, a member of the mayoral committee for transport and urban development, in a statement announcing the plan.

The City’s council would meet to discuss the proposal on October 26, and if council approved it, the proposal would be sent to the DoT, he said.

The DoT is planning on devolving control of commuter rail networks to local municipalities in its National Rail Policy, but because this could take up to three years to implement, Herron is proposing to fast-track this process for the City of Cape Town and Metrorail.

If the plan is approved by council and the DoT, the City would take over the running of the network gradually.

However, it would need “hundreds of millions” of rands for this “business rescue”, as well as political and commuter support.

“Restoring commuters’ faith in passenger rail and improving the service to world-class standards will not happen overnight,” said Herron.

“It will require perseverance from officials, patience from our commuters, and political leadership as we embark on this treacherous journey.”

More on This

South African Train Corporation on the ‘Brink of Collapse’?


City of Cape Town Intends to Take Over Commuter TrainsBroken Lifts and Stairs for Commuters With WheelchairsNo Quick Fix for Cape Town’s Trains, Commuters ToldWhat It’s Like When Metrorail Fails

Constant delaysCape Town’s Metrorail services are constantly delayed due to cable theft – that leads to signalling problems – vandalism and train torchings.It is not unusual for commuters, panicked about getting to work late, to sit on the roof of a train, or to be so squashed that they hang out of open doors.Some even break windows to have something to hold on to as they hang off the side of the train. And occasionally, trains are set alight by angry commuters.Herron said that, because Metrorail was having so many problems, its customers were turning to taxis, cars and buses, and the extra demand was causing problems on the city’s already congested roads.It was costing commuters more, and having a negative impact on the economy because of time-keeping problems, with staff stranded on stationary trains. Emissions were also increasing.More than half (54%) of the city’s commuters used to use the trains, Herron said, but according to Metrorail’s data, there were on average 2.7 million fewer rail journeys in Cape Town per month in 2016/17, when compared with 2015/16.He said four out of every 10 trains (43%) were on time, compared with the international norm of 80%, and at least one out of every 10 trains was cancelled every day. By April 2017, Metrorail was short of 20 train sets – with only 68 available, instead of the required 88.’We are facing a mammoth task’Comment was not immediately available from Metrorail in the Western Cape, or the DoT, but Herron warned that passenger rail in Cape Town was in danger of collapsing.”The City cannot sit back and wait for the national government to intervene. Time is of the essence.”The City’s proposed business plan divides the urban rail system into 16 key functional components, including train operations, signalling, stations, ticketing, transport enforcement, and rolling stock.Implementation steps had been identified for each component and would be presented at the October 26 council meeting.In the meantime, until it was put before council, the City’s department of transport and urban planning would work with the Passenger Rail Agency of SA to obtain its operational and financial data, in order to better understand risks and costs.It would also discuss, with the DoT and National Treasury, the allocation of subsidies for urban rail, and commence with a detailed exploration and investigation of the feasibility of alternative rail solutions, such as light rail, skyrail, monorail, and an urban cable car.”We are facing a mammoth task, and we will need our residents to support us in this endeavour. From our side, we are committed to providing the political direction and leadership to get us back on track.”Source: News24

Businesses Looted, Burnt in Kenya Pre-Poll Mayhem

By Maria Macharia

Nairobi — RAMPAGING supporters of rival parties have burnt some shops and looted businesses as the violence rages ahead of divisive presidential elections in Kenya. This is the latest in a series of skirmishes besetting the tense East African country whose initial poll in August the Supreme Court annulled last month over vote rigging concerns raised by the opposition. In recent days, there has been an alleged arson attack at the Gikomba Market in the capital city Nairobi and looting at Tumaini Supermarket in the coastal city of Kisumu. The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) deplored the attacks, aimed at expressing displeasure with electoral authorities, as highly regrettable. Carole Kariuki, KEPSA Chief Executive Officer, expressed concern on such incidents which she said had a negative impact on Kenya’s economic prospects. “As an alliance of private sector players, we are taken aback by these incidents,” Kariuki lamented. “An attack on a small scale private sector player is an attack on a major player and deserves our condemnation in the strongest terms possible.” The official called upon the political parties to encourage their supporters to uphold respect for the rule of law ahead of the October 26 poll. Kariuki reiterated the political rhetoric and hardline positioning by politicians, accompanied by threats of chaos and implied violence, were now a serious threat to the continued economic wellbeing of the country. Incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader, Raila Odinga, will square up in the poll. In August, the now-nullified results indicated Kenyatta had won 54,17 percent of the vote to Odinga’s 44,94 percent. Over 20 opposition supporters were killed during post-election clashes. Kariuki appealed to the pair to come out and strongly condemn the arson and sabotage. “In our view, an electoral process does not amount to a law and order vacation.”

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 »

Subscribe To Our Mailing List

* indicates required
/ ( mm / dd )

Featured Links

    Search Archive

    Search by Date
    Search by Category
    Search with Google
    Log in | Designed by Gabfire themes