13th May 2022 Political & Regulatory Round Up

May 13, 2022 - Reading Time: 7 minutes - By Amrit Labhuram

Mudavadi, Karua lead in running mate race, Wiper Party boss a distant second

Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Narc Kenya colleague Martha Karua are the most preferred running mates for Deputy President William Ruto and his main challenger Raila Odinga, respectively, according to a Nation Media Group opinion poll.

The survey conducted by Infotrak Research last week shows Ms Karua, who was among the 11 people a panel formed by Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition interviewed for the job, has a 41 per cent approval rating among those who will vote for Mr Odinga.

Wiper Party chief Kalonzo Musyoka, who insists he is the best person to deputise Mr Odinga having been his running mate in 2013 and 2017, comes a distant second at 27 per cent.

Mr Musyoka, who served as President Mwai Kibaki’s deputy from 2008 to 2013, has been running a loud campaign to be named Mr Odinga’s running mate for the third time in a row, threatening to decamp or go it alone.

Should Ms Karua be chosen and Azimio emerges victorious, she will be Kenya’s first woman deputy president.

From Dr Ruto’s supporters, Mr Mudavadi emerging the most favoured running mate is a plus for a man who holds the record of being Kenya’s shortest-serving vice president at 56 days.

He tops the poll at 19 per cent, followed by Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki at 14 per cent.

The legal scholar who joined Dr Ruto’s camp, armed with a PhD in international law and consulting for the UN, has been touted as a reasonable and moderate voice of contenders from Mt Kenya.

Having served as Senate majority leader and later deputy speaker, Prof Kindiki has lately taken a significant role in Dr Ruto’s campaign, leading the management of the primaries as well as Kenya Kwanza Alliance deals where he signed on behalf of the DP.

(Source: The Daily Nation)


Chadema strips 19 rebel MPs of party membership

Chadema’s governing council on Wednesday night voted unanimously to expel the 19 special seats Members of Parliament who were allegedly sworn in without the blessings of the party.

The party’s General Secretary, Mr John Mnyika, will now write to inform the Speaker of National Parliament regarding the status of the MPs.

Commenting on their expulsion, former Kawe MP Halima Mdee said the voting process was clouded with intrigues and lacked transparency.

On November 27, 2020, the party announced a decision to strip its 19 cadres of their memberships in the party when they were sworn-in in Dodoma Parliament to hold Special Seats positions without the authorisation of the party.

To date, it is not clear where Parliament got the list from and why it maintained the 19 MPs in the national assembly for almost 18 months against the wishes of their party.

Chadema had for long held the stand that it neither proposed nor endorsed the names of the 19 for special seats in the House, stressing it was to the party’s surprise that their names came up in Parliament.

However, the 19 MPs were vehemently defended by the former House Speaker Job Ndugai who resigned earlier this year due to pressure following his remarks on public borrowing.

(Source: The Citizen)


Govt dares MPs to prove existence of safe houses

The Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs has denied knowledge of the existence of safe houses in the country and urged Parliament to carry out its investigation to prove the claim.

This was made by the State minister for Defence and Veterans Affairs, Mr Jacob Oboth-Oboth, on Tuesday as he appeared before Parliament’s Committee on Human Rights to respond to queries relating to persistent cases of torture of Ugandans.

The matter was first raised by Ms Rose Obiga (Terego Woman) who tasked the minister to furnish Parliament with details pertaining to safe houses in the country and the persons that man them.  However, Mr Oboth said his ministry, under which UPDF (Uganda People’s Defence Forces) falls, does not operate safe houses.

 “I think I heard issues of safe houses even before becoming a minister. Our response is that we don’t operate safe houses,” Mr Oboth said.

There have been a string of accusations against state agencies for holding people in undisclosed areas where they are tortured. One such case is that of novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija who has since fled the country after he was arrested and tortured for allegedly abusing the first family on social media.

(Source: The Monitor)


Auditor-General: Irregular expenditures reduced by 43%

Auditor General, Alex Kamuhire, on May 12 tabled his annual report to a joint parliamentary session where he said that overall irregular expenditure reduced by 43 per cent from Rwf5.7 billion in 2020 to Rwf3.2 billion in 2021.

The irregular expenditures are in the form of unsupported expenditure, partially supported expenditure, wasteful expenditure, unauthorised expenditure, and funds diverted or fraudulently utilised.

The report for the year ended June 2021 indicates that the number of unnecessary or unlawful expenditures reported has been reducing over the last three years, with wasteful expenditure on the lead from Rwf6,198 million to Rwf1,682 million.

Kamuhire said that his team audited 206 individual entities, seven direct investments by entities, 10 government business enterprises, 11 boards, 64 projects, eight ministries, 18 central government entities, 28 local government entities, 30 district hospitals, and 30 former district pharmacies.

The percentage of audit coverage considered expenditure amounting to Rwf3,562 billion incurred by 108 public entities and projects which represents 91 per cent of the government expenditure budget for Rwf3,910.5 billion in the 2020/21 fiscal year.

Among the key findings by the Auditor-General, the audits identified that cases of delayed and abandoned contracts were still prevalent in public entities.

(Source: The New Times)


Dialogue Chief Calls on Int’l Community to Contribute to Consultation Project

National Dialogue Chief Commissioner, Prof Mesfin Araya has called on the diplomatic community residing in Ethiopia to contribute to the success of the national consultation project.

Commissioners, alongside the chief commissioner, briefed on Thursday, May 12, the diplomatic community on the activities of the commission working to bolster national consensus.

Prof Mesfin explained about the commission’s steps on the exploratory phase and the subsequent preparation and implementation process that would be implemented in three years.

Although the dialogue will be overseen by Ethiopians without any foreign interference, he called on the diplomatic community to contribute to the success of the national consultation project.

On their part, some members of the diplomatic community attending the briefing appreciated the efforts of the commission that has significant impact to build a consensus on key issues and help the country to solve its complex problems.

And they added that the successful reconciliation project will even have a wider positive impact on Africa’s peace and stability.

It is to be recalled that the 11-member commission was approved in February 2022 by the House of People’s Representatives to advance the prospects for peace and national unity by creating a shared common reality and unifying the people of Ethiopia around common goals including justice and prosperity.

(Source: Ethiopian News Agency)


PFDJ organisations hold meetings in Germany

PFDJ (People’s Front for Democracy and Justice) organisations in Germany organised a discussion forum on May 7 and 8  in the city of Manheim focusing on national affairs.

At the meeting, in which representatives from various cities of Germany took part, Mr. Yohannes Woldu, Charge d’Affaires at the Eritrean Embassy in Germany, said that the discussion forum in which a number of representatives physically took part will have a significant contribution to the implementation of national programmes in general and that of resistance activities in particular.

Mr. Kahsai Tewolde, head of Public and Community Affairs, on his part presented a report focusing on the political, organisational, economic, and social activities of the PFDJ organisations in Germany and Europe as well as the contribution of nationals towards the National Fund to combat the spread of COVID-19 and future programmes.

At the seminar conducted on “Politics and Political Competence”, Mr. Kibreab Tekeste, Consul General of Eritrea in Frankfurt, indicated that without political competence, economic and social developments could not be realised and called for exerting strong effort in that regard.

At the meeting, a concise report on the 16th YPFDJ conference that was held in April in Rome, Italy, was presented.

The participants also conducted extensive discussions on the reports presented and adopted various recommendations.

(Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea)


Intl. activists call for ‘targeted US sanctions on Sudan coup leaders’

A diverse phalanx of 108 international and Sudanese organisations, as well as figures active in defending human rights, have addressed an open letter to the White House in Washington, urging the US administration to impose targeted sanctions on the head of the Sovereignty Council, Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan and deputy head Mohamed Dagalo ‘Hemeti’ for their involvement in serious human rights abuses following the military coup d’état they led on October 25 last year.

The signatories of the memorandum to US President Joe Biden, organised by NGO Sudan Unlimited, include former Foreign Minister Ibrahim Taha Ayoub, and Sudan researcher Eric Reeves, call for an end to impunity for the massive human rights violations in Sudan. “The serious human rights abuses connected to El Burhan and Hemeti are in violation of the International Bill of Human Rights and the Rights and Freedoms Charter included in Sudan’s 2019 Constitutional Declaration.

The memorandum makes it clear that El Burhan and Hemeti are linked to a long list of grave violations of human rights, and that the coup and the State of Emergency violates the right and will of the Sudanese people.

The memorandum points out that the right of citizens to peaceful assembly was repeatedly violated by the forces, which led to the killing of more than 90 demonstrators and the injury of more than 3,000 others. It notes the arbitrary and violent detentions, as well as cases of rape and torture of political opponents and peaceful demonstrators.

(Source: Radio Dabanga)


Presidential Candidates’ Speech Concluded

Candidates for Somalia’s 10th presidency on Thursday, May 12, concluded their speeches in the afternoon at the Aficio Tent Centre on the perimeter of Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport.

Nineteen candidates on Thursday addressed members of both Houses of the Federal Parliament in their speeches on their political backgrounds and the promises they will make when they run for President.

Candidates who spoke included the outgoing President, former presidents, the presidential candidate of Puntland and other candidates, and each candidate spoke for 15 minutes.

The Speaker of the House of the People, Sheikh Aden Mohamed Nur Madobe, closed the session on Thursday and thanked the members of the House of the People and the Upper House for listening to the speeches of the candidates.

The election of the 10th President of the Federal Republic of Somalia will take place on May 15, 2022, at the Aficio Tent, and will enter the last two days of the Presidential Election Campaign.

(Source: Radio Dalsan)

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