10th December 2021 Political & Regulatory Round Up

December 10, 2021 - 5 minutes read

KENYA

No More Harambees for 2022 Elections Aspirants (Source: Daily Nation)

Political aspirants will from 9th December not be allowed to participate in harambees for the benefit of others, thus ending a campaign issue that has fuelled conflict between Deputy President William Ruto and opposition chiefs led by Mr Raila Odinga.

The DP has regularly held fund-raisers for churches, women and youth groups, giving generous donations as his opponents in the presidential race questioned the source of the cash.

But such harambees are now outlawed as the provision of the Elections Act that bans fund-raisers within eight months of an election come into force.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), which set December 9 as the date to end fundraising by aspirants, has warned anyone who violates the law risks disqualification from next year’s elections.

An attempt to level the playing field by discouraging the influence of money in elections informed the law designed to ensure aspirants with deep pockets do not buy voters.

While questions have been raised about IEBC’s ability to enforce electoral laws, rival aspirants can petition the commission if they collected evidence of the electoral offence.

TANZANIA

US advices against travel to Tanzania over Covid-19 risk (Source: The East African)

Washington has put five countries, including Tanzania, on its red list, advising its citizens against travel to these nations.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put Tanzania together with France, Portugal, Andorra, Cyprus, Jordan and Lichtenstein under its high-risk countries, discouraging American citizens from travelling to these destinations over Covid-19 related risks.

Despite frequent warning alerts from Tanzania’s Health Ministry, public compliance to Covid-19 prevention measure has remained low, the US Embassy said.

The alert comes as the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam warned that community transmission of the novel virus continues across Tanzania.

UGANDA

Parliament moots new law to streamline mining sector (Source: The Independent)

The Parliamentary committee on Environment and Natural Resources has commenced scrutinizing the Mining and Minerals Bill, 2021.

The Minister of State for Minerals, Peter Lokeris, on Tuesday, 7 December 2021 led a team from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development to introduce the long-awaited Bill to the Committee for scrutiny.

The Bill intends to cure the gaps unattended to by the current law [the Mining Act, 2003] by seeking to promote transparency of mining operations, organise, license, regulate and transform artisanal and small-scale mining in Uganda and to create an enabling environment for attracting investments among others.

Whereas the Bill was well received by MPs on the committee, Alex Ruhunda, Fort Portal Central MP was worried that the Bill might erode government efforts to promote local content by instead empowering foreign companies.

The Bill among others seeks to introduce the production sharing agreement system, set up a National Mining Company to handle the State’s commercial interests in the mining subsector and establish the Mineral Protection Force within the Directorate of Geological Survey and Mines to protect minerals against malpractices and enforce compliance.

RWANDA

Rwanda and China agree to eliminate double taxation (Source: The New Times)

China and Rwanda have signed an agreement that will see the two countries eliminate double taxation with respect to tax on income and the prevention of tax evasion and avoidance (DTAA).

The agreement was signed in Kigali by Uzziel Ndagijimana, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and Rao Hongwei, the Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda.

The existing DTAAs already in place in Rwanda have shown a big impact in terms of boosting the inflow of investment and trade from treaty partners.

Among the factors that informed the development officials include, growing number of investors coming from China, robust cross border trade, growing appetite for Rwandans to invest in China, relevance of tax systems as well as warm economic ties between the two countries.

Currently, more than twelve (12) DTAAs have been signed and several others are under negotiation. The Government’s target is to conclude more DTAAs in FY2021/22 in a bid to widen the DTAA network and improve the ease of doing business in Rwanda.

ETHIOPIA

Ethiopia’s PM Abiy to return to Addis Ababa from battlefront (Source: Aljazeera)

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says he is returning to the capital Addis Ababa from the battlefront after pro-government forces claimed major advances in recent days against Tigrayan forces.

“PM Abiy Ahmed Ali momentarily back to the office following successful completion of the first phase of ‘Operation for National Unity in Diversity’,” Abiy’s office wrote, along with the statement, on Twitter.

In recent days, the government has announced the recapture of several towns, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Lalibela which is famed for its 12th-century rock-hewn churches.

On Monday, the government announced its forces had recaptured the strategic towns of Dessie and Kombolcha. The TPLF has dismissed the government’s claims, saying the rebels were making strategic withdrawals and remained undefeated.

The fighting has killed thousands of people, displaced more than two million and driven hundreds of thousands into famine-like conditions, according to United Nations estimates.

ERITREA

Ministry of Justice organizes ‘Law Week’ (Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea)

The ‘Law Week’ organized by the Ministry of Justice was opened on 6th December in the presence of senior Government and PFDJ officials, religious leaders as well as invited guests under the theme “Law and Nation Building”.

The main objectives of the ‘Law Week’ are raising awareness of the public and ensuring the sustainability, and continuity of identifying values, laws, and orders of the Eritrean public, as well as ensuring active and comprehensive participation of every citizen.

The Law Week that will stay open until 12th December will include various programs including seminars on ‘Law and Nation Building’ and ‘Eritrea and International Law’ as well as workshops focusing on drafting and consolidation of laws and programs for Eritreans in the Diaspora, planting trees, sports activities, blood donation, and others. 

SUDAN

Sudan police fire tear gas as thousands protest against military (Source: Aljazeera)

Police have fired tear gas at protesters near the presidential palace in Khartoum as thousands of Sudanese took to the streets on Monday across several cities in the latest demonstration against the October military coup and subsequent deal that reinstated Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

The demonstrators marched from various districts of the capital, many chanting “No to military rule” and “The army might betray you, but the street will never betray you”, according to the AFP news agency.

Monday’s protests were called by the Sudanese Professionals Association and the so-called resistance committees, which spearheaded the uprising against al-Bashir and then the military coup.

Among the protesters’ demands are the restructuring of the military under civilian oversight, purging officers loyal to al-Bashir and disbanding armed groups including the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

SOMALIA

Somali PM endorses electoral team’s decision to review disputed poll (Source: The East African)

Somali Prime Minister Hussein Roble has welcomed a decision taken by the Federal Electoral Implementation Team (FEIT) to suspend confirmation of election to two seats of House of the People (Lower House of the Parliament) that were the subject of a dispute.

FEIT said the election of the two had not followed the right procedure.

The PM also urged the Federal Electoral Dispute Resolution Committee to discharge its functions in a legitimate manner, consistent with the agreements and procedures on the electoral disputes.

The FEIT also underlined that there were a number of complaints related with elections in Galmudug State, Central Somalia, that are under review.

The PM reiterated that the electoral teams at federal and state levels and the dispute resolution team should ensure that clan leaders, civil society representatives and the electoral candidates all meet the set criteria.

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