Uhuru’s assent to coalition parties bill opens new political battlefront
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s speedy assent to the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill has heralded a new political order that will see presidential contenders compete to form coalitions with rival camps, and potentially thrown the August 9 General Election race wide open.
The new law opens a battlefront that will see each of the current three major political formations; Azimio La Umoja, One Kenya Alliance (OKA) and Kenya Kwanza jostling to form the most formidable coalition party to deliver an electoral win.
While the initial intention of drafting the amendments was to bring together up to 15 parties backing the Raila Odinga-led Azimio la Umoja formation, the law has handed a lifeline to the former prime minister’s political opponents who are now planning to also reap big from its provisions by inviting coalition partners.
The bill, which President Kenyatta signed into law yesterday after it sailed through the Senate, introduces coalition political parties that can conduct joint nominations for various electoral seats and support a single presidential candidate, while at the same time retaining their different identities, with no need to dissolve into one outfit.
Sponsors of Kenya’s political parties have long harboured fears of folding up their outfits to form coalitions, as dissolution makes them lose their identities. Elimination of this fear opens a fresh window for negotiations and coalitions building for the August race.
(Source: Daily Nation)
Uganda sees ‘parallel’ diplomacy from president’s son
By day, Uganda’s Lt-Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba is commander of land forces and senior adviser on special operations to President Yoweri Museveni.
By night, he is supposed to be the President’s son who sometimes gets in high spirits about life.
These days, he has taken on the role of special envoy too, flying to Kenya for a chat with President Uhuru Kenyatta and then hopping on a plane to Kigali for talks with President Paul Kagame.
Muhoozi’s assignments have gone beyond Rwanda. He has visited Kenya, twice, and Somalia, where he spoke with Ugandan troops under the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).
Seen as an heir apparent to President Museveni’s political estate in Uganda, some of the trips could benefit him.
Earlier this month, President Kenyatta and Lt-Gen Kainerugaba visited the Naivasha Inland Container Depot, the Kisumu shipyard and the new Mbita bridge, projects that could in future affect relations between the two sides.
Lt-Gen Kainerugaba has not yet announced his political ambitions, and his father has not indicated he will retire yet.
(Source: The East African)
Gender minister asks public to support fight against domestic violence
The Government has called upon members of the community to support the fight against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) subjected to girls and children in the country.
The Minister for Community Development, Gender and Special Groups, Dr Dorothy Gwajima said available statistics show that 70 per cent of victims are girls.
She added that apart from violence against children, adults were subjected to the violence, with women making up 96 per cent of the victims.
Dr Gwajima also pointed out that domestic violence was one of the reasons why children flee to the streets and as a result are exposed to other forms of violence that affect their growth in various ways.
The minister said that her ministry is devoted to strengthening the coordination of stakeholders who implement various interventions to prevent and address gender-based violence in line with strengthening systems for reporting such incidents at family and community level.
She also expressed the government’s commitment to continue supporting the campaign dubbed ‘Twende pamoja ukatili sasa basi’ (meaning ‘Let’s move together, stop gender-based violence’).
The campaign encourages members of the community to raise awareness on how to prevent GBV.
(Source: Daily News)
Rwanda-Uganda Ties: Gatuna Border to Reopen January 31
The Government of Rwanda has announced Monday, January 31, 2022, as the day the Gatuna One Stop Border Post will reopen. This is nearly three years after it was closed on February 28, 2019, the latest of the moves that have sent strong signals that relations between Rwanda and Uganda are moving towards normalization, following the visit by Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba last week.
Gen. Muhoozi, a Senior Presidential Adviser on Special Operations and Commander of Land Forces of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), visited Rwanda on January 22, 2022, where he met President Paul Kagame in Kigali to discuss bilateral ties between the two countries which had deteriorated further since the 4th Quadripartite Summit held at Gatuna/Katuna on February 21, 2020.
President Kagame and Gen. Muhoozi agreed to take practical steps towards resolving issues that have caused tensions between Rwanda and Uganda over the last five or so years. The reopening of the border, which Rwanda said closed to prevent more Rwandans from going to Uganda, for their own safety, was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in the wee hours of Friday, January 28.
(Source: KT Press)
Diaspora group: Ethiopia PM open to talks with Tigray forces
Ethiopia’s prime minister has said there will be negotiations on a cease-fire between his government and the rival Tigray forces who have been waging war for almost 15 months, the chairman of a diaspora group that had a private meeting with him told The Associated Press.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has never said so publicly as international mediation efforts continue amid one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.
Mesfin Tegenu, chairman of the American Ethiopian Public Affairs Committee, on Tuesday described the tone of Saturday’s five-hour meeting with the prime minister as “a very earnest desire to stop this thing. … Of course, the other side must be willing.” The prime minister said that “there will be negotiations, reasonable negotiations, that will keep the interest of the integrity of the nation first,” and the new U.S. special envoy who visited Ethiopia last week “would have ideas” about the process, Mesfin said.
(Source: ABC News)
Sudanese protest against UN talks to resolve post-coup crisis
Sudanese pro-military demonstrators have taken to the streets of the capital, Khartoum, to protest against a UN attempt to resolve a political crisis that has been marred by a wave of bloody protests since a military coup in October.
An AFP news agency reporter said that thousands rallied on Wednesday outside the office of UNITAMS, the United Nations mission which launched talks with Sudanese factions this month.
They held up banners that read, “Down, down UN”, and others that urged UN Special Representative Volker Perthes to “Go back home”.
On January 10, Perthes said the consultations aimed “to support the Sudanese to reach an agreement on a way out of the current crisis”. But he added that “the UN is not coming up with any project, draft or vision for a solution.”
The Sovereign Council, formed by al-Burhan after the coup with himself as chairman, has welcomed the UN-led dialogue, as have the United States, United Kingdom, neighbouring Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Somalia Seeks AU Security Council Membership
Somalia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Abdullahi Ahmed Jama Ilkajiir, who is stepping up support for the AU Security Council, met with the Ambassadors of Seychelles, Tunisia and the Arab League.
He shared with all the ambassadors he met the importance of Somalia’s membership in the Security Council and that Somalia was one of the founding members of the African Union.
Ilkajir meeting with the Ambassadors of African countries based in Addis Ababa also paves the way for the 40th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the African Union to be held at the AU Headquarters, Addis Ababa, February 3 – 4, 2022, and that of the Presidents.
Somalia’s ambassador to Ethiopia is stepping up efforts to help Somalia win a seat on the African Union Security Council in the February 2022 elections.
(Source: Radio Dalsan)
UN delegation holds meeting with senior government officials
The regional directors and other senior United Nations officials in Africa that are on a five-day working visit in Eritrea met and held talks with ministers and senior Eritrean government officials.
The objective of the meeting was to identify priorities and strengthen mutual cooperation and partnership in accordance with the five years Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework launched between the Eritrean Government and UN Agencies launched on 25 January in Asmara.
At the meeting the delegation conducted with Mr. Hagos Gebrehiwot, head of Economic Affairs of the PFDJ, said they were provided an extensive briefing on the basic principles of the economic policy of the Eritrean Government including social justice, trade and investment, agriculture, fisheries, mining, infrastructure, and international cooperation as well as comparative advantage of Eritrea including the peace and stability as well as the strategic geographical location of the country.
(Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea)