17th December 2021 Political & Regulatory Round Up

KENYA

Civil servants face Sh1m fine for failure to declare wealth by end year 

Civil servants risk a Sh1 million fine or a jail term of two years if they fail to declare their wealth and that of their spouses and children ahead of the December 31 deadline.

Public Service Commission CEO Simon Rotich said that all the 884,600 national government, county and parastatal workers must make their wealth declarations by end of the year or face penalties and other undisclosed administrative action.

State workers who will provide incomplete and inaccurate information in their declarations face similar punishment in a move meant to curb endemic graft in government.

Public servants are required by law to reveal their incomes, bank deposits and assets such as land, buildings and vehicles once every two years. The filing must also capture the wealth of their spouses and children below 18 years.

The window for civil servants to declare their wealth was opened last month and will lapse on December 31.

The last wealth declaration was done in December 2019.

(Source: Business Daily)

TANZANIA

Tanzania’s media on the spot over 2020 election coverage 

The media fraternity in Tanzania has been criticised for unfair coverage of the 2020 General Election, according to findings of a new report.

The Yearbook on media quality in Tanzania report, published by the University of Dar es Salaam (Udsm) School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) highlights that most publications inclined towards CCM compared to other parties.

Others are absence of researched and investigative election reports coverage, failure to question political parties’ election manifestos and providing little opportunity to citizens as compared to the government and its leaders as well the media provision of little opportunity to the women.

Tabling the report “Monitoring the Watchdog: How the Media Covered the 2020 Elections” yesterday, Media Quality in Tanzania project researcher Abdallah Katunzi said over 2,400 media units (stories, articles and programmes) from 14 newspapers, 14 radio stations and five television stations from Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar were assessed.

(Source: The East African)

UGANDA

Uganda police, army surround Bobi Wine’s home ahead of Kayunga visit 

Police and the army on Tuesday morning surrounded the home of former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, ahead of his planned visit to Kayunga District in central Uganda.

Security officers set up roadblocks on all the roads near the National Unity Platform (NUP) leader’s home in Magere, Wakiso District.

“#DictatorMuseveni is so shameless. He places me under house arrest, and then uses taxpayers’ money to ferry people to go see him in Kayunga! This is why we are not giving up until Uganda is free,” Mr Kyagulanyi said moments after an arrest van and a police patrol truck were seen speeding from his compound.

Mr Fred Enanga, the police spokesman, told journalists on Monday: “No one has blocked Bobi Wine from campaigning for his candidate in Kayunga, but the EC (Electoral Commission) issued guidelines banning processions and observance of protocols against Covid.”

(Source: The East African)

RWANDA

Rwanda tightens virus rules as it records six Omicron cases 

Rwanda has tightened rules on gatherings, including a ban on night clubs, after health officials recorded six cases of the highly transmissible Covid variant, Omicron.

A Cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame Tuesday revised virus rules, imposing restrictions on crowds, and calling for vaccination and regular testing as part of efforts to slow transmission of the new variant ahead of the end year festive season.

The new virus preventive measures, which come into effect starting December 16, will remain in place for one month, but may be reviewed at any time.

In particular, the Cabinet suspended all night clubs as well as live band entertainment in other venues, while organised concerts will be subjected to approval on a case by case basis by relevant government officials.

Public and private sector offices, which had recalled workers and were operating at 75 per cent and full capacity, respectively, have been urged to operate at no more than 30 per cent and 50 per cent capacity, respectively.

All arriving passengers must be quarantined for three days at designated hotels with a PCR test taken on arrival, and additional tests taken on day three and on day seven at their own cost.

(Source: The East African)

ETHIOPIA

The Nobel Peace Prize that Paved the Way for War 

New evidence shows that Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, had been planning a military campaign in the northern Tigray region for months before war erupted one year ago, setting off a cascade of destruction and ethnic violence that has engulfed Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country.

Mr. Abiy, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, seen recently in fatigues commanding troops on the battlefront, insists that war was foisted upon him — that ethnic Tigrayan fighters fired the first shots in November 2020 when they attacked a federal military base in Tigray, slaughtering soldiers in their beds. That account has become an article of faith for Mr. Abiy and his supporters.

In fact, it was a war of choice for Mr. Abiy — one with wheels set in motion even before the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 that turned him, for a time, into a global icon of nonviolence.

The Nobel win stemmed largely from the unlikely peace deal Mr. Abiy struck with Isaias Afwerki, the authoritarian leader of Eritrea, within months of coming to power in 2018. That pact ended two decades of hostility and war between the neighboring rivals, and inspired lofty hopes for a transformed region.

Instead, the Nobel emboldened Mr. Abiy and Mr. Isaias to secretly plot a course for war against their mutual foes in Tigray, according to current and former Ethiopian officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid reprisals or protect family members inside Ethiopia.

(Source: The New York Times)

ERITREA

Excerpt of statement by Minister Osman Saleh, On the occasion of the 73rd Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 

“…On this important occasion I would like to highlight the continued irresponsible use of unilateral sanction by the USA against the State of Eritrea.

It is evident that unilateral sanction imposed on States and their instrumentalities, including high ranking officials violates the basic violation of the fundamental principles of the UN Charter, i.e. sovereignty, self-determination, sovereign equality and respect for the independent exercise of sovereignty of states to freely determine their own form of economic, political, cultural and social development.

Unilateral coercive measures also violate the underpinning principles and purposes of the UN Charter- non- non-use of force or threat of use of force, peaceful settlement of disputes and development of friendly relations among nations.

…finally, I would like to call upon the UN and its members to exert continuous efforts to uphold the purposes and principles of the Charter and declare all acts of unilateral sanctions illegal and also condemn and take measures against perpetrators of such acts.”

(Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea)

SUDAN

Guardians of the revolution: The street activists defying Sudan’s coup 

Mass demonstrations are expected in Sudan this weekend, on the third anniversary of the country’s revolution, in a new test of strength between pro-democracy activists and the military, whose coup in October toppled the country’s fragile transitional government.

Neighbourhood-based resistance committees are, once again, playing a key role in mobilising opposition, organising marches, building street barricades, and debating a political strategy for the way forward.

The December 19 protests will underline popular opposition to the new military-controlled administration fronted by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok – released from house arrest after agreeing a deal last month with coup leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

An aid freeze imposed by major donors immediately after the coup has yet to be lifted – a significant blow for an already precarious economy.

(Source: The New Humanitarian)

SOMALIA

Roble: “No one has touched my back and no one is hiding. The election is a victory.” 

The caretaker Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble said the country’s election situation was good, although he noted that there were concerns about the lack of transparency.

Roble said he had taken steps to rectify the election irregularities, and had held consultative meetings with the National Consultative Assembly and Committees, to address existing concerns.

The Prime Minister indicated that he was planning another meeting with the National Consultative Assembly to discuss strengthening transparency in the electoral process and expediting it.

He called on the political authorities and stakeholders to work together to ensure that the elections are transparent, credible and bring political stability to the country, as well as free and fair elections.

(Source: Radio Dalsan)