Posts tagged as: republican

Ruto Back in Jubilee Fold as Kenyatta Faults Odinga Over Poll Date

Former Bomet governor and the fifth National Super Alliance (Nasa) principal Isaac Ruto rejoined the Jubilee team, pledging to campaign for the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta on October 17.

Mr Ruto, one of the founding politicians of then United Republican Party, which in 2013 was part of the Jubilee Alliance, but fell out with Deputy President William Ruto, was received by President Kenyatta at a rally in Kericho on Friday.

“Today I have returned to where I belong,” the Chama cha Mashinani (CCM) leader told the crowd, which included his successor Governor Joyce Laboso and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi.

SOLIDARITY

Another harsh Jubilee critic Emurua Dikirr MP Johanna Ng’eno also threw his support behind the Uhuru team.

“Where did you all go? I asked you to come with me to CCM and you decided to stay here?

“I tried looking back and I could not see you. I decided to come back and stay with you, what else could be done?” he posed.

POLITICS

In a show of acceptance, Mr Ruto’s car was lined third in the caravan of President Kenyatta, after that of the deputy president.

They drove around the stadium as the crowd cheered.

“I spoke with my brother Isaac and convinced him that he did not need to play cheap politics. We should work as a team so that we can take this country forward together,” the President said.

EMBRACE

DP Ruto, who was Mr Ruto’s biggest political nemesis, said he was happy with Isaac.

“He has decided that whatever the case, he will join us in his journey.

“Mr Moi is here, Isaac and Ng’eno have come, we will now walk together,” the DP said.

Dr Laboso, Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony, his Eldoret colleague Jackson Mandago, Mr Moi and Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen welcomed Mr Ruto and pledged to work together as leaders from the region.

Mr Ruto was accompanied by CCM chairman Mohamed Gullet and Dr Peter Koros, a former CCM candidate for Nakuru governorship.

NASA LEADER

In the campaigns, the Jubilee leadership asked supporters to turn out in large numbers on October 17.

President Kenyatta accused the Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga of issuing ultimatums to derail the repeat elections and accused him of holding the country at ransom.

Addressing supporters in Gilgil, the President said the opposition chief had already sensed defeat and had embarked on issuing demands to independent government institutions to disrupt the polls.

“Raila has been busy issuing demands because he is not ready for the elections. We are however warning him against threatening us with mass action,” Mr Kenyatta said.

EXAMS

The President told the Independent Electoral ad Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati ‘not to take’ directions from anyone in making decisions.

The president also criticised Mr Odinga for pushing for the postponement of the exams calendar, saying that the students had already prepared for the exercise.

He also called on the IEBC commissioners to end their squabbles and plan for the election.

VOTERS

In Nakuru, the president and his deputy were accompanied by local leaders, including the Governor Lee Kinyanjui, Senator Susan Kihika and several Members of Parliament.

Governor Kinyanjui urged the residents to come out in large numbers and ensure the President is re-elected into office.

Reported by Anita Chepkoech, Joseph Openda and Macharia Mwangi

U.S.’s Decision to Deny Genocidaire Appeal Bid Welcomed

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

The Government has welcomed the US judiciary decision for denying an appeal bid by Beatrice Munyenyezi, a woman serving a 10-year sentence for lying about her role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Munyenyezi’s appeal was rejected last week after the judge of federal courthouse in New Hampshire found no merit of the appeal.

Munyenyezi was sentenced in 2013 for lying about her role in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi to gain a US citizenship which she had been granted earlier.

She’s serving her sentence in a federal prison in Alabama and faces deportation after serving her jail term.

According to Rwandan officials, Munyenyezi is a wanted Genocide suspect who played a major role in the 1994 Genocide in the former Butare Prefecture, now Huye District.

Munyenyezi is a wife of Arsene Ntahobali, who, together with his mother Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, were sentenced to life in prison by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda for their role in the Genocide.

During the previous trial, prosecutors described Munyenyezi as a “piece in the machinery” of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, saying she did not carry out the killings but was just as guilty of those crimes because she helped identify Tutsi to be slaughtered at a roadblock outside of her family’s hotel in the former Butare Prefecture.

She was also described as an active member of the then ruling party, National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND), that ordered for the massacre of Tutsi.

During the trial, several witnesses described seeing Munyenyezi in that party’s clothing.

According to Dr Jean Damascene Bizimana, the executive secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), the decision to deny the appeal bid shows that the US is cognizant of the genocide, a crime punishable worldwide and by every country as stipulated in the 1948 International Conventions.

“CNLG welcomes the decision because Munyenyezi is a notorious (genocidaire) due to her role in the killings in the current Huye where she worked with her husband and her mother-in-law, who was a minister in the government that prepared and executed the genocide,” Bizimana told The New Times yesterday.

Nyiramasuhuko was the minister of family welfare and women promotion during the Genocide.

Warning gesture

Bizimana said the US court’s decision was a positive move and a sign that no matter how much Genocide suspects continue to seek havens, their whereabouts will be exposed and they will face justice.

He said he was optimistic that the next step will be her deportation as it has been the case for other suspects who were arrested in the US and deported to Rwanda.

They include Prof. Leopold Munyakazi, who was found guilty of committing and denying genocide; Jean Marie Vianney Mudahinyuka, alias Zuzu, who was deported from US in 2011.

Others include Enos Kagaba and Marie Claire Mukeshimana who committed genocide in the former Kibuye and Butare prefectures, respectively.

“All these are examples proving that US does not accept that those who committed genocide in Rwanda should live freely in the country without facing justice,other countries should emulate this,” Bizimana added.

‘Good cooperation’

According to Johnston Busingye, the Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Munyenyezi is a wanted Genocide suspect and has to face justice. Also, the decision by the US court to reject her appeal is an indication of better cooperation between the US and Rwanda, which should be an example for other countries.

“My comment is that the cooperation in justice between Rwanda and the US should be an example to a few remaining countries in the West that are still dragging their feet,” he added.

After the Genocide, Munyenyezi found her way to the US and lied on immigration forms about her role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and obtained citizenship, according to the officials.

When US law were informed that she was wanted to face justice, it was found as well that she had obtained residence on the basis of lies and it was revoked.

What We Know So Far On Rights Activist’s Whereabouts

Photo: NBS TV/Youtube

Businesswoman and women’s rights activist Diane Rwigara (file photo).

Rwandan politician, rights activist and critic of President Paul Kagame, Diane Rwigara and four other family members are yet to be traced after police denied they are in their custody.

Here is what we know so far:

Police raided the Rwigara family home in Kiyovu in the capital on Tuesday night in search of evidence over alleged forgery and tax evasion.

Diane, a former independent candidate, is being investigated for alleged use of forged signatures during her presidential bid. She was disqualified from running.

The family of deceased Kigali tycoon, Assinapol Rwigara, is being probed for suspected tax evasion. The family has businesses in real estate and tobacco manufacturing.

According to Aristide Rwigara, Diane’s brother, his mother and four siblings have been missing since the Tuesday night raid.

He also said that the police confiscated computers and all communication gadgets adding that he has not been able to reach any of them since.

Rwanda police spokesperson Theos Badege insisted Friday that the Rwigara’s were not handcuffed and arrested as claimed. He said their mobile phones had been returned to their home.

Several journalists who visited the Rwigara residence on Friday were not allowed in by the gatekeeper.

The gatekeeper however said he has not seen the Rwigaras.

The family members are still unreachable through their mobile phones.

Late Friday afternoon some members of the Republican Guard, the spy wing of the military, had a confrontation with journalists who had camped near the Rwigara residence.

More on This

Former Presidential Candidate Diane Rwigara Missing

The whereabouts of Rwandan President Paul Kagame critic, Diane Rwigara, and her family remain unknown. Read more »

Obama’s Power Africa Initiative Short of Goal Despite Gains

By Kevin J. Kelley

A new report on Barack Obama’s main legacy project for Africa shows it is falling short of his original goal of bringing electricity to 20 million households in Kenya, Tanzania and four other countries by 2018.

Obama’s Power Africa initiative, announced in 2013, has so far helped connect only about half the projected number of households, according to the programme’s 2017 annual report published on Monday.

“To date Power Africa has supported private-sector companies and utilities in connecting a total of 10.6 million homes and businesses to power solutions — that is approximately 53 million people who have gained access to electricity since 2013,” the report states.

But about two-thirds of those new connections take the form of solar lanterns, which power a single light and enable mobile-phone charging, the annual report notes.

Power Africa touts the lanterns as “a critical first step [that] results in dramatic livelihood improvements” for households in remote and impoverished areas.

Larger systems are required in order to provide Africans with power to run appliances and create businesses, the report acknowledges.

2 million homes

It says the US initiative has so far helped connect more than two million homes and businesses to such sources.

The annual report cites additional progress toward Power Africa’s revised and expanded goal of supporting the installation in several countries of 30,000 megawatts of generation capacity and 60 million new electricity connections by 2030.

Hitting those targets will depend, however, on President Donald Trump’s attitude toward a programme launched by his predecessor, many of whose initiatives Mr Trump has sought to derail.

The Republican president has said nothing about Power Africa during his seven months in office.

The report points specifically to numerous private-sector power transactions in East Africa for which Mr Obama’s signature sub-Saharan undertaking has helped arrange financing.

In Kenya, Power Africa has played a role in projects that are expected to generate 537 megawatts, the report says, citing the Garden City Mall solar system, KenGen Olkaria V and two other installations.

Nearly 670 megawatts are being added in Tanzania through Power Africa’s involvement in projects such as the Kinyezeri natural gas power plants.

Uganda stands to gain 105 megawatts through Power Africa’s role in several projects, including hydro-electric plants.

Irene Muloni, Uganda’s minister for Energy and Mineral Development, writes in the annual report that her country hopes to add 1000 megawatts in the next three years through its partnership with Power Africa and public and private entities taking part in the initiative.

Minister Muloni also calls attention to the Power Africa’s emphasis on enabling women to get “innovative deals across the finish line.”

In Rwanda, the report notes, 96 megawatts are being added through hydro and solar projects that Power Africa is leveraging.

East Africa has enormous geothermal resources, the report adds, with Power Africa supporting more than 20 projects intended to tap this form of energy.

Kenya is the site of 15 of those projects with a combined geothermal value estimated at $3.6 billion, Power Africa says.

The report highlights the work of Wangeci Wanyahoro, a Power Africa transaction advisor who, it says, is aiming to “position Kenya as a leader in the African renewable-energy market.”

Ms Wanyahoro describes the Kenya’s energy sector and market as “dynamic, intricate and challenging.”

Africa: Obama’s Power Africa Initiative Short of Goal Despite Gains

By Kevin J. Kelley

A new report on Barack Obama’s main legacy project for Africa shows it is falling short of his original goal of bringing electricity to 20 million households in Kenya, Tanzania and four other countries by 2018.

Obama’s Power Africa initiative, announced in 2013, has so far helped connect only about half the projected number of households, according to the programme’s 2017 annual report published on Monday.

“To date Power Africa has supported private-sector companies and utilities in connecting a total of 10.6 million homes and businesses to power solutions — that is approximately 53 million people who have gained access to electricity since 2013,” the report states.

But about two-thirds of those new connections take the form of solar lanterns, which power a single light and enable mobile-phone charging, the annual report notes.

Power Africa touts the lanterns as “a critical first step [that] results in dramatic livelihood improvements” for households in remote and impoverished areas.

Larger systems are required in order to provide Africans with power to run appliances and create businesses, the report acknowledges.

2 million homes

It says the US initiative has so far helped connect more than two million homes and businesses to such sources.

The annual report cites additional progress toward Power Africa’s revised and expanded goal of supporting the installation in several countries of 30,000 megawatts of generation capacity and 60 million new electricity connections by 2030.

Hitting those targets will depend, however, on President Donald Trump’s attitude toward a programme launched by his predecessor, many of whose initiatives Mr Trump has sought to derail.

The Republican president has said nothing about Power Africa during his seven months in office.

The report points specifically to numerous private-sector power transactions in East Africa for which Mr Obama’s signature sub-Saharan undertaking has helped arrange financing.

In Kenya, Power Africa has played a role in projects that are expected to generate 537 megawatts, the report says, citing the Garden City Mall solar system, KenGen Olkaria V and two other installations.

Nearly 670 megawatts are being added in Tanzania through Power Africa’s involvement in projects such as the Kinyezeri natural gas power plants.

Uganda stands to gain 105 megawatts through Power Africa’s role in several projects, including hydro-electric plants.

Irene Muloni, Uganda’s minister for Energy and Mineral Development, writes in the annual report that her country hopes to add 1000 megawatts in the next three years through its partnership with Power Africa and public and private entities taking part in the initiative.

Minister Muloni also calls attention to the Power Africa’s emphasis on enabling women to get “innovative deals across the finish line.”

In Rwanda, the report notes, 96 megawatts are being added through hydro and solar projects that Power Africa is leveraging.

East Africa has enormous geothermal resources, the report adds, with Power Africa supporting more than 20 projects intended to tap this form of energy.

Kenya is the site of 15 of those projects with a combined geothermal value estimated at $3.6 billion, Power Africa says.

The report highlights the work of Wangeci Wanyahoro, a Power Africa transaction advisor who, it says, is aiming to “position Kenya as a leader in the African renewable-energy market.”

Ms Wanyahoro describes the Kenya’s energy sector and market as “dynamic, intricate and challenging.”

What Trump’s Immigration Bill Means for Kenyans

Photo: Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump.

By David Monda

As Kenyans evaluate the results of the election of August 8, 2017, not many people are thinking about the immediate and long term consequences of President Trump’s immigration Bill proposed in Washington last week.

The Bill has as much to do with domestic US politics as it does with regulating immigration from abroad.

The sponsors of the Bill speak volumes about its content. Senators Tom Cotton (Arkansas) and David Perdue (Georgia) both come from “Red States” that are a key support base for the president.

Given the string of scandals related to firing of key staff members in his administration, the president’s dealings with Russia, the tensions with North Korea, this Bill is a perfect antidote to show the president is trying to pass significant legislation.

It is also a play on generating support for congress members from the Republican Party in swing states who are up for re-election in 2018.

The Bill plays well for Trump’s long term effort at a run for re-election in 2020 especially to his base.

BILL

How does Kenya factor into this immigration Bill? These domestic dynamics play a big part in shaping US immigration policy towards Kenya.

The Bill moves to scrap the green card through which thousands of Kenyans have immigrated to the US.

For starters, the Bill will look to favour immigrant worker skills over family ties.

According to the Urban Institute, about seven in 10 current immigrants come to the US based on family ties.

Well under two in 10 come based on their work skills. Trump is looking to change this drastically.

If the Bill is passed, just because a Kenyan is a US citizen or legal permanent resident, they will not automatically be able to bring their family to the US.

IMMIGRATION

The Bill looks to cut immigration by half over the next 10 years from a current high of one million down to half a million. This will make it harder for Kenyans to go to the US.

In regards to the thousands of refugees from South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo that came to Nairobi to transit to the US once their refugee status is approved, this Bill will make it an even harder task.

This is because the Trump Bill looks to cap refugee admissions at 50,000 annually.

This figure represents total refugee populations from all over the world. Africa’s share of this number will get even smaller.

Kenya will find itself having to shoulder the burden of even more refugees fleeing their countries in the hope they will go the US but finding themselves stuck in Kenya for the long term with no means of livelihood.

The biggest challenge with the Bill is the point system it will revert to. Like New Zealand, Australia and Canada, a point system will be devised based on education, age, English proficiency and entrepreneurship.

REALISTIC OPTION

Family ties will not play a part in this new dispensation. This creates even more challenges for Kenyans trying to immigrate to the US as a global pool of applicants will be trying to compete for very few places.

Where does this leave Kenya? It speaks to the reality that Kenyans need to start thinking of Kenya as the land of opportunity because going to America will not be a realistic option.

The Bill is not law yet, but like the world saw on November 8, 2016 with Trump’s election, history has a weird way of making the impossible possible.

As the Psalmist said many moons ago in Proverbs 90:12 “Teach us to number our days that we may attain a heart of wisdom”.

I trust that in the days after this contentious election, Kenyans will number each day wisely as they work to make Kenya that great land of opportunity for all.

David Monda works in the Political Science Department at Guttman College, City University of New York

Election Jitters Have Roots in Campaign Financing. It’s Time to Act

Photo: African Media Agency

(File photo).

analysisBy Faith Kiboro, Smc University

The democratic ideal visualises a government in which supreme power is vested in the people. They exercise this power indirectly through a system of representation that allows them to elect the leaders of their choice.

In practice, the reality is far more complex. The influence of big business in financing parties and candidates means that some of the biggest owners of capital are inextricably linked to high-level politics.

For example, the funding of US presidential campaigns by big business interests is often hidden in contributions to independent political action committees, or super PACS. The committees can raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, then spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates.

As an old maxim goes:

He who controls the country’s wealth controls its politics.

When wealthy business people invest in elections they expect their interests to be protected. This has been the expectation in Kenyan politics since the birth of the nation. Over the years, the influence of big business has grown and led to deeper entrenchment of the minority elite.

Big business interests in Kenya range from banking, to manufacturing, construction, retail and wholesale concerns, farming, insurance, and media among many others. Quite a number of large corporations and wealthy business people rely heavily on political patronage to maintain a steady growth trajectory.

Kenya is also experiencing the rise of the “tenderpreneur” – a person who uses their political connections to secure government contracts for personal advantage.

So who finances political campaigns in Kenya? It’s a difficult question to answer because campaign financing arrangements are opaque, and there’s no legal obligation for sponsors to declare all their interests. Large corporations and high net worth individuals tend to be discrete about their donations, but have been known to attend fundraising dinners and to quietly join political foundations.

This model denies the people a seat at the table by allowing only the wealthy minority to participate in determining electoral outcomes. The effect has been to lower trust in the electoral system. Coupled with deep ethnic cleavages, this has led to violence and conflict around elections as different groups jostle for the privileges that come from holding power.

The relationship between big money and the electoral process is worth considering in Kenya at a time when inter-ethnic conflict and violence is so closely linked to the electoral cycle.

Redesigning campaign financing

There is a way out of this. In a functioning democracy financing would be open and transparent to the public and not limited to a small section of the population. This would reduce the monopoly of state tools by a minority elite, by increasing the democratic space for the majority voice.

True democracy presupposes equality of opportunity and transparency in campaigning that reduces the advantage held by wealthier parties and candidates.

But how to achieve this? Given Kenya’s context it wouldn’t make sense simply to mirror the political funding models of the West. The country needs to come up with its own system to suit the African context. Campaign financing needs to be redesigned so that it’s more transparent.

That said, some attempts at reform have been made. Kenya’s main political parties are now entitled to funding by the exchequer under the Political Parties Act. But a party must have received at least 3% of the total votes cast in a general election to qualify for funding. This means that only the big parties benefit.

In the 2014-2015 financial year, for example, the National Alliance received USD$866,679, Orange Democratic Movement USD$848,239 and United Republican Party USD$273,688 on the basis of their numbers in parliament.

According to the Election Campaign Financing Act (2013) political parties can receive up to Sh15 billion (USD$150 million) in contributions, and individuals can make single contributions of up to Sh3 billion (about USD$30 million). Presidential candidates are limited to spending Sh5 billion (USD$50 million) for the duration of the campaign period.

The law doesn’t bar political parties and candidates from raising funds to facilitate their campaigns, or making use of money raised by their friends through events such as fundraising dinners.

But even existing regulations aren’t strictly adhered to. For instance, political parties are failing when it comes to campaign-finance reporting. In practice, very little meaningful political finance data is reported, and even less is easily available to the public.

Reforms to Kenya’s laws on party financing are being considered. But crucial amendments to the legislation that would have improved transparency have stalled. This means that party finances are still not well tracked and therefore, large corporations and wealthy individuals can continue to heavily fund campaigns without much scrutiny.

What steps should be taken

There are steps Kenya should consider to increase the country’s resilience as a society especially during election time.

First, the country must acknowledge that there’s a connection between the money being spent and the influence of special interests on the political process.

Secondly, it’s critical to distinguish between the money necessary for a candidate’s voice to be heard, and that being used to corrupt the political process. If money must be raised for campaigns in a transparent way, then regulations and laws governing campaign financing are crucial.

Third, the issue is not necessarily the sheer amount being spent. The problem is a political system in which the overwhelming majority of political contributions come from a tiny number of individuals. Kenya must shift from this model of financing because it turns politics into a high-stakes game that very often turns violent.

Given that campaign contributions are often understood as purchases of “goodwill” whose returns benefit a select group of political entrepreneurs, reducing their margin of influence is a step in the right direction.

Disclosure statement

Faith Kiboro receives some research funding from East African Resilience Innovation Hub funded by IDRC

South Africa: Medical Aids May Know Their Fate by 2020 Under National Health Insurance

Photo: GE

(file photo).

Government and medical aids may be uncomfortable but necessary bedfellows

Medical aids may know their fate under the National Health Insurance (NHI) by 2020, says Paresh Prema, the head of benefits management for the Council for Medical Schemes.

In the meantime, the government will seek to capitalise on private sector expertise, which currently serves about nine million South Africans, to help build the NHI, says Precious Matsoso, director general of the health department.

The two may be reluctant but important bedfellows.

The NHI white paper, released in late June, envisages that under the new scheme the government will become the single largest purchaser of health services for all South Africans and that medical aid schemes will provide “complementary cover”. Although details are still emerging about the future role of private schemes, the idea is that a smaller number of medical aids, providing fewer options, will exist when the NHI comes into being.

Matsoso says the department will first have to ensure that all the country’s 83 private medical schemes are operating lawfully. In the meantime, it is working with private medical aids to reduce the number of benefit options on offer to members – to bring the services in line with the complementary cover principle.

Barry Childs is the chief executive at Insight Actuaries and Consultants. He argues that the way the law currently regulates benefit options, coupled with the large number of medical aid schemes in South Africa, makes the schemes unsustainable.

The Medical Schemes Act prevents medical aids from pooling funds between benefit options or other schemes, he says. In other words, each benefit option must sustain itself and this pushes up premiums, Childs argues.

Poorer South Africans have borne the brunt of premium increases, according to data presented at the Board of Healthcare Funders conference in Cape Town this week. Research has found that middle-income households with medical aid spend about 20% of their household income on fund contributions, compared with the wealthiest households, which use about 7% of their income on monthly cover.

Childs says regulations contained in the Act are to blame: “There is no other way medical schemes could look, given the regulatory pathway we followed.”

The Medical Schemes Act is one of almost a dozen acts that must be amended to introduce the NHI. Prema says the Council for Medical Schemes aims to finalise all NHI-related legislation by 2020.

But for now, the health department will seek to work with – and learn from – private medical aids and administrators.

Matsoso explains: “Existing medical schemes and administrators look after millions of South Africans – that capacity does not yet exist in the public sector.

“The role of medical aids will only be changed when the NHI is fully matured. Only once we have tangible results to show South Africans will we decide how existing medical aids will change.”

But the private sector has been less than co-operative in the past, says Gavin Steel, chief executive of sector-wide procurement at the health department. Steel, who also spoke at the Board of Healthcare Funders meeting, says the department struggled to find corporate partners to help to develop its electronic database of essential medicines in 2013. The system will now become the heartbeat of the NHI, he adds.

He explains: “We will soldier on. The question is whether the private sector has the appetite to partner with us – and can they keep up?”

Countries including South Africa committed to achieving universal healthcare coverage under the world’s most recent set of international development targets, the sustainable development goals.

If other countries’ experiences in implementing massive healthcare reform are anything to go by, the health department may face challenges in warming not only the private sector but also the public to any changes that must be made. Both will be important allies.

Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson’s vice-president for global health policy, Elizabeth Fowler, says the United States’s attempt at universal health coverage, the Affordable Care Act – or Obamacare – made enemies early on.

“Most Americans have private healthcare through their employers. We faced a huge challenge since more than two-thirds of the population was happy with the coverage they had.”

The implementation of Obamacare stretched from 2010 to 2014. Fowler says easy deliverables helped to ease people’s frustration with slow change.

Interim benefits included allowing children to stay on their parents’ medical aid until the age of 26 and expanded access to medication.

Repealing Obamacare was a cornerstone of US President Donald Trump’s campaign. His Republican Party continues to attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, with its latest effort in the Senate stalling as of Thursday morning.

An earlier version of the Republicans’ healthcare Bill would have cost 22-million Americans their health insurance, according to nonpartisan government research body the US Congressional Budget Office.

Fowler says that private-sector support for Obamacare has turned hospital groups, which could lose $166-billion if it is repealed, into some of its staunchest supporters.

She explains: “US hospital groups agreed to contribute $155-billion over 10 years. Since they were on board and helped pass Obamacare, they are committed to seeing it stay in place.

“The biggest lesson we learned was that inclusion generates investment in the programme. On the road to universal healthcare, it’s better to have company on the way.”

Tanzania Denies Prying in Kenya’s Politics Ahead of August Elections

Photo: The Citizen

Tanzanian President John Magufuli, Raila Odinga and Kenyan President President Uhuru Kenyatta (file photo).

By Florence Mugarula

The government yesterday rubbished reports by some Kenyan media that Tanzania is prying in Kenyan politics ahead of the August general election.

For sometimes, there has been misleading reports in some Kenyan media that Tanzania is backing some politicians in Kenya. The recent misleading article, which was published in the weekly newspaper ‘Citizen’ with the title ‘Magufuli lures Museven to back Raila,’ is one such report.

The Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Aziz Mlima, told the ‘Daily News on Saturday’ that Tanzania has never thought to meddle in Kenya or any other country’s internal affairs.

He said the accusations that are levelled against Tanzania that it has entered into an agreement with some politicians are not true.

“We understand that during election campaigns, many things happen, some candidates follow principles of democracy and others decide to play dirty game. I want to assure the public that the government of Tanzania is not involved in anyway in Kenyan politics,” he said.

According to Dr Mlima, Tanzania respects and believes in the principles of democracy and good governance and thus there is no way it could stick its nose into Kenyan internal political affairs.

He added that Tanzania will be the last country to interfere in other countries’ businesses. The PS said the two countries have good relationship and that the misleading media reports should be ignored to maintain the historical good relationship.

“We all remember that in 1960, the founding father discussed the possibility of delaying Tanzania independence until Kenya becomes free too,” he said.

He asked the public to ignore the misleading reports in some of Kenyan media saying they were unhealthy for the growth of democracy and good relations in the region.

“We are asking both Tanzanians and Kenyans to understand us, our aim is to see the East African Community (EAC) moving forward and business growing,” noted Dr Mlima.

He added: “Media organisations must research and publish information that helps our countries’ to move forward instead of creating tension by misleading the public.”

East Africa

President Al-Bashir Issues Republican Decree Approving Employment Structure of General Prosecution

President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir, Thursday issued a republican decree approving the employment… Read more »

Regional Body Should Improvise With the Available Funding

opinion

The 2017/18 East African Community (EAC) budget will be relatively smaller compared to that for the current financial year. The decision was reached by regional ministers based on the current economic situation in member states. They also agreed not to increase contributions to the 2017/18 Budget from partner states.

The development presents a big challenge to the EAC Secretariat because it needs resources to implement many of the programmes aimed at fast-tracking the integration process. There is no doubt that poor funding affects the operations of the EAC, but the challenge should also be seen as an opportunity for the Secretariat to adjust accordingly and ensure that even with the limited funding, work is still done.

Poor funding should not be an excuse for the EAC not to deliver as the region moves towards forming one economic bloc to boost trade. 52 per cent ($57.3 million) of the bloc’s next budget is expected to come from internal resources, mainly partner states’ contributions, which were set at 54 per cent previously. Development partners provide the rest.

The EAC Secretariat should come up with unique strategies to be able to deliver using the available limited funds.

The Secretariat should also reach out to the private sector and forge partnerships aimed at supporting the work of the EAC.

However, partner states should endeavour to pay their contributions on time. To fund activities of key organs of the bloc including the EAC Secretariat, East African Legislative Assembly and the East African Court of Justice for the next financial year, each Partner State should try as much as possible to pay their contributions on time. Delayed payment affects proper implementation.

For example, the Secretariat is currently finding it hard to facilitate activities as some funds for the previous financial year are yet to be paid.

Partner States should hold each other accountable to ensure that they pay their contributions in time.

East Africa

President Al-Bashir Issues Republican Decree Approving Employment Structure of General Prosecution

President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir, Thursday issued a republican decree approving the employment… 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