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11th February 2022 Political & Regulatory Round Up

KENYA

Forget about Mt Kenya, Anne Waiguru tells Uhuru Kenyatta

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has vowed to teach President Kenyatta a political lesson in his Mt Kenya backyard for abandoning Deputy President William Ruto in the succession race.

Once a close ally of the President, the former Devolution Cabinet Secretary said Central was firmly behind Dr Ruto, adding that the Azimio la Umoja movement would be humbled in the August 9 General Election.

Ms Waiguru said the region has witnessed a political shift to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and that Jubilee “is dead and buried”.

Speaking just two days after Mr Kenyatta vowed to revamp the ruling party, the governor said there was no turning back in Mt Kenya, adding that no amount of threats would cow the DP’s foot soldiers.

“We have nothing to fear. In fact, the President will be surprised that the mountain moved a long time ago and it’s solidly in UDA,” she said.

Speaking in Mombasa on Monday, President Kenyatta warned those opposed to the Azimio la Umoja coalition to prepare for a tough battle.

“Every village that you go to in Mt Kenya, there is no one talking about Jubilee and it’s just a matter of time; those still left in the party will come running to UDA. Jubilee is dead and buried, people have forgotten that there was such a party. People are supporting UDA because they associate it with the bottom-up-economic model,” said Ms Waiguru.

Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata said the President doesn’t scare them.

We are only fearful of wastage of government resources in an endeavour to hoist a project known as Baba. We are fearful of what Baba can do with power,” he said. “His Excellency’s decision will enable us to unveil Baba in his true colours –a state project,” he added.

Dr Ruto on Tuesday dared the President to a political duel, saying: “We are ready for that contest, bring it on.”

(Source: Daily Nation)

TANZANIA

Government lifts ban and restores licence for four newspapers

The government has restored publication licence to four newspapers which had been banned for various reasons.

The newspapers are; Tanzania Daima, Mawio, Mwanahalisi and Mseto.

The newspapers were banned in 2017 on account of breaching media laws and professional ethics.

This was said on Thursday, February 10, 2022, by Minister of Information, Communications and Information Technology, Mr Nape Nnauye, during a meeting with editors in Dar es Salaam.

Mr Nape said they decided to lift the ban following President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s order, who wanted authorities at the Information ministry to restore the licences of some media outlets in a statement that could define her as a democratic leader who has nothing against freedom of expression.

“I am told you revoked licences of some media outlets, including some online television stations. You should lift the ban but tell them to follow the law and government guidelines,” the Head of State said during an event to swear-in newly-appointed Permanent Secretaries at State House, Dar es Salaam in April, 2021.

Speaking on Thursday, February 10, 2022, Mr Nape said the president’s order is defined as a law and should be enforced.

 “The President’s order is law and must be enforced, today I will restore licences to four banned newspapers,” he said.

However, the minister urged the newspapers to operate a media that follows the laws of the country in efforts to build one nation.

Earlier, the Tanzania Editors Forum (TEF) chairman, Mr Deodatus Balile, called on the government to make changes to media laws so that they can meet international criteria.

(Source: The Citizen)

UGANDA

UN court orders Uganda to pay DR Congo UShs1.14 trillion war damages

The UN’s top court on Wednesday ordered Uganda to pay the Democratic Republic of Congo $325 million over a brutal war two decades ago, just a fraction of what Kinshasa demanded.

The ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) comes as a blow to DR Congo after it sought a massive $11 billion in reparations over the devastating conflict that lasted from 1998 to 2003.

Judges said Kinshasa had failed to prove its African neighbour was directly responsible for any more than 15,000 of the hundreds of thousands of people believed to have died in the war.

The court sets out the total amount of compensation awarded to the DRC, which is 325 million US dollars,” said Joan Donoghue, the chief judge of the Hague-based court.

Breaking down the figure, the court said Uganda must pay $225 million for damage to persons, including deaths, injuries and sexual violence, and $40 million for damage to property.

It must also pay $60 million for damage to natural resources, including the looting of coltan, a metallic ore used in phones and computers, and other raw materials as well as deforestation and the destruction of wildlife.

The judgment caps a long legal battle.

In 2005, the ICJ ruled that Uganda had to pay reparations, but the two countries never settled on an amount and no money changed hands.

Kinshasa then claimed more than $11 billion for the occupation of its volatile northeastern Ituri region.

(Source: The Monitor)

RWANDA

Security problems in DR Congo affect the whole region – Kagame

President Paul Kagame has called for collective efforts by regional leaders towards the end of security challenges in the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly associated with armed militia groups based in the country.

The President made the remarks in Parliament during the swearing in ceremony of new ministers on Tuesday, February 8, 2022.

Kagame singled out the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), among the armed militia that continue to act with total impunity and aim to destabilize the region, including Rwanda.

Originally from Uganda, ADF has so far claimed hundreds of lives and looted property.

Just recently several ADF terrorists were arrested in Kigali as they plotted to launch attacks in Rwanda in retaliation for support to wipe out terrorists in Mozambique.

Rwandan and Mozambican forces are jointly working to flush out terror groups linked to ADF in Cabo Delgado.

Our primary focus therefore is the issue in DR Congo,” Kagame added, “There is already a connection between ADF, FDLR and several other armed terror outfits.

FDLR is a militia group that was formed by remnants of the genocidal forces after they fled Rwanda in 1994.

He said that Rwanda was ready to play her part in resolving the security challenges stemming from the neighbouring country.

We consider several mechanisms including negotiations, there are times we plead, there are times we ask, but if need be, there are instances when we don’t do either and instead act on the matter accordingly.

The President said that currently, leaders have come together to negotiate for common ground, but should the issue turn out to be a threat to Rwanda, “We are ready to step up, and defend our territory. Our main priority is security for Rwandans.”

The Head of State also weighed in on Rwanda’s ties with neighbouring countries, which he said were on a promising trajectory.

(Source: The New Times)

ETHIOPIA

Legal Framework to Enhance Investment in Ethiopia’s Digital Economy Being Prepared, Ministry Says

A legal framework that will strengthen the involvement of the Ethiopian diaspora in the digital economy and investment is being prepared, the Ministry of Innovation and Technology announced.

The effort is subsequent to the overall call of the Ethiopian government to the Ethiopian diaspora to be involved in various sectors with their resources, experience, skills, and knowledge. In line with this, the government is making several efforts to prepare new legal frameworks, as well as lay down policies and strategies, it has been learned. 

Huria Ali, State Minister of Innovation and Technology, said a survey has been conducted with the aim of ultimately strengthening the involvement of the private sector and the diaspora in the digital economy. The implementation of a portal dedicated to this cause is also underway, she added.

Online transactions and payments, as well as several other ideas and their implementation, have been given due consideration in the new legal framework, Mrs. Huria pointed out. She also expressed her confidence that the new legal framework will address several issues that have thus far been raised in this regard.

The legal framework for the digital economy and investment will enable various institutions and stakeholders to work together, the state minister added, emphasising this will be crucial to strengthen the digital economy.

Ethiopia’s e-commerce potential is said to be worth over $300 billion.

(Source: 2merkato)

ERITREA

President Isaias met with Special Representative of President Putin

President Isaias Afwerki met and held talks in Massawa Monday, February 7, with Mr. Bogdanov, Special Representative of President Vladimir Putin for the Middle East and Africa.

Mr. Bogdanov delivered a message on behalf of President Putin to President Isaias and stated that the visit underscores readiness of the Russian Federation for all rounded cooperation with Eritrea.

In the meeting, President Isaias Afwerki underlined the vital contribution that the Russian Federation can make, as an important partner, to the progress of the African peoples.

The talks demonstrated the common stance both countries harbor on the bases of international law and against external interferences and illegitimate sanctions.

(Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea)

SOMALIA

US envoy presents credentials to president Farmaajo

US Ambassador to Somalia, Larry André, presented his credentials to President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo on Monday.

Mr André arrived in Mogadishu in January and had already begun working, including meeting officials in the federal government. He, however, could not speak publicly or make critical comments as his credentials were yet to be officially received by the Somali head of state.

In a ceremony at Villa Somalia, the presidential palace in the capital Mogadishu, the new envoy formally presented his credentials, then shared a message from the President of the United States Joe Biden with the Somali leader.

Mr André pledged his commitment to strengthening ties and cooperation between the two nations.

The envoy comes in at a time when the country is struggling to complete the much-delayed parliamentary elections.

Somalia was supposed to vote in MPs from November 2020 and conduct presidential polls by February 8 last year. The country is now gearing up to conclude the election of legislators by the February 25 deadline.

The MPs will then elect the next president. According to a message circulated by Villa Somalia’s communications directorate, President Farmaajo told the ambassador about his government’s willingness to closely collaborate with the US on all important spheres that interests both countries.

I can assure you that the Government of Somalia will be working with you on strengthening diplomatic relations between the two countries, in particular by promoting economic cooperation, security, counter-terrorism and humanitarian issues,” the President said.

(Source: Radio Dalsan)

SUDAN

Protests across Sudan continue despite coup force blockades

Mass demonstrations in response to the calls of Sudan’s various resistance committees, took place in Khartoum as well as numerous cities in the eastern, northern, and central regions of the country yesterday, demanding the overthrow of coup authorities and full civilian rule.

The Khartoum March of the Millions, which followed routes determined by the resistance committees, proceeded to the Republican Palace. Protestors chanted in support of the Northern State movements’ efforts to close the northern road, Sheryan El Shimal (northern artery road), which connects Egypt with Sudan at various points.

Demonstrators from Omdurman told Radio Dabanga that mass demonstrations against coup authorities took place on El Shaheed Abdelazim Street. Military forces pre-empted the processions and closed the Mak Nimir Bridge, linking Khartoum and Khartoum North, with shipping containers and barbed wire.

Additionally, police forces were deployed on the El Musalmiya Bridge near the entrance of Central Khartoum, where they carried out extensive searches on demonstrators. Two protesters were also arrested in Kassala in eastern Sudan.

The Khartoum State Security Committee has announced a ban on gatherings in central Khartoum.

(Source: Radio Dabanga)

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