21st January 2022 Political & Regulatory Round Up

  • 21 Jan 2022
  • 5 Mins Read
  • 〜 by Kennedy Osore

Uhuru bans scrap metal business over increased vandalism

President Kenyatta has banned exports and dealings in scrap metal, hitting hard traders currently operating in the sector.

Speaking at the National Police College in Kiganjo, Nyeri County,  during a passing out parade on Wednesday, Mr Kenyatta said that no dealer will be allowed to engage in the business until proper guidelines are put in place to regulate the sector.

“As of today, we will no longer allow, and we have put a moratorium on the export or the buying or selling of any scrap material until we have put in place proper guidelines that will ensure that material is not coming from the hard-won investments that the Kenyan people have made,” said Mr Kenyatta.

The ban is coming at a time the country has witnessed an increase in the number of vandalism mainly on power lines across the country.

“We have seen vandalism of different sign boards and towers of our transmission lines. We have also seen clear cases of sabotage as was the case in Naivasha where people intentionally unbolted some of our transmission lines and masts to create chaos and havoc,” Mr Kenyatta said.

(Source: Business Daily)


Uganda acts to ease border gridlock that triggered fuel crisis 

Uganda announced Tuesday it was suspending mandatory Covid testing at the border with Kenya after the measure caused huge truck queues, disrupting fuel supplies across the country.

The crisis has led to panic-buying and skyrocketing prices at the petrol pump, with one minister warning traders not to take advantage of the shortages to “cheat” Ugandans.

“The (Ugandan) Ministry of Health has immediately and temporarily suspended mandatory testing at the two border points to ease movement of trucks into and within the country,” ministry official Charles Olaro told AFP.

The border delays first began in late December when truckers staged protests at a Covid testing fee imposed by Uganda. The fee was later scrapped but the backlog persisted because of what drivers say was the slow rate of testing and customs clearance.

“The suspension of mandatory testing was long overdue. It was a recipe for disaster because of congestion of trucks at the borders, a situation that has seen fuel prices hit all-time highs,” Juma Sentongo, a member of the Uganda Long Distance Truck Drivers Association, told AFP.

(Source: The East African)


CCM nominates Deputy Speaker Tulia  to replace Ndugai 

The top organ of Tanzania’s ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), has proposed Deputy Speaker Tulia Ackson to be the next Speaker of Parliament.

Dr Ackson will replace Job Ndugai, who resigned on January 6, 2022, following pressure over statements he made questioning the country’s borrowing.

CCM’s Ideology and Publicity Secretary, Shaka Hamdu Shaka, told a press conference in Dodoma, Tanzania’s administrative capital, that the Central Committee had approved Dr Ackson’s name out of 70 CCM members who had applied for the job.

“From Friday, January 21, up  to 30 CCM MPs will vote for a candidate to be elected as next Speaker of the National Assembly,” he said.

Dr Ackson faced tough competition for the party’s nomination from former Pan-African Parliament vice-president Stephen Masele, former Attorney-General Andrew Chenge, and former CCM Women’s Wing chairperson Sophia Simba, among others, in the February 1 poll.

(Source: The East African)


Rwandan President Kagame meets Museveni’s envoy 

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni sent his envoy to meet President Paul Kagame of Rwanda on Monday as the two countries are reportedly planning to resume diplomatic dialogues that stalled last year.

Brokered talks had seen the two countries, whose ties turned sour in 2017, commit to resolving their differences. They achieved little success when ad-hoc meetings to fast-track implementation stopped.

On Monday, Rwanda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations indicated that Uganda’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Adonia Ayebare, met President Kagame.

However, the latest development comes just months after President Kagame said that communication with his Ugandan counterpart had “more or less stopped”, although he maintained that the two countries would continue searching for a solution to the problems that still exist.

(Source: The East African)


UN boss cites ‘demonstrable effort’ for Ethiopia peace after call 

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has said there is a “real opportunity” for an end to more than 14 months of fighting between government and Tigrayan forces, following a call with the African Union’s special envoy.

“Mr. Obasanjo briefed me about the efforts being made by the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to move towards a resolution of the violent conflict and expressed optimism that there is now a real opportunity for political and diplomatic resolution of the conflict,” Guterres said, without describing the efforts.

Despite his mention of optimism, Guterres also warned that “ongoing military operations in some parts of Ethiopia remain a challenge to the peace process and sour the confidence-building measures that we hope are being taken by all parties in the conflict.”

Other combatants include soldiers from neighbouring Eritrea who are allied with Ethiopian forces and blamed by witnesses for some of the worst atrocities in the war.

Guterres called on all parties “to move rapidly towards cessation of hostilities,” and he said the UN watches the African Union-led mediation efforts with great hope.

(Source: Aljazeera)


Sudan military chief announces ministerial appointments as anti-coup protests continue

Sudan’s military chief, General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, appointed 15 ministers in the government, a statement from the Sovereign Council said on Thursday.

Burhan’s appointments, most of whom had been promoted to acting roles by former Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, include Ali Sadek Ali for the foreign ministry and Mohammed Abdallah Mahmoud for the energy portfolio. No prime minister or defense or interior ministers were named.

After a failed bid by Hamdok to salvage some civilian control following the coup, the UN has been trying to facilitate dialogue between opposing factions.

Earlier on Thursday, the council agreed with a US delegation on forming a national independent government of technocrats and launching a comprehensive national dialogue to resolve the current political crisis.

In a statement, Sudan’s ruling council affirmed the need for national dialogue, a technocratic Cabinet, and adjustments to a transitional constitutional document negotiated after the ousting of former leader Omar Al-Bashir in a 2019 uprising.

(Source: Arab News)


Former Prime Minister Expresses Concern Over Election Looting 

Former Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke has spoken out about the ongoing parliamentary elections in the country, expressing concern over the conduct of the elections, following a recent agreement.

He pointed out that the former Prime Minister of Somalia had been empowered by the electoral process to the regional administrations, and that parliamentary seats were being looted, and warned that such a move would cast doubt on the legitimacy of the government.

Finally, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke accused the regional administrations of handing over the selection of delegates to their respective committees, instead of the communities with seats being required to be independent in the selection of delegates.

The statement from the former Prime Minister of Somalia came as the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation said in a statement that he had made it clear that the election process was being conducted in violation of the election procedures, and criticized Puntland.

(Source: Radio Dalsan)


Child Health and Survival – Lessons From Eritrea 

A positive story is emerging from Eritrea – a young, developing country that is on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goal on child mortality by 2030. Child mortality rate is defined as the probability of a child dying before age five.

With a population of 3.5 million, Eritrea has significantly reduced child deaths since it gained independence in 1993. Over almost three decades, the country’s child mortality rate has gone from 130 per 1,000 live births in 1993 to 39 per 1,000 live births by 2020.

Eritrea’s child mortality rate is one of the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), although that figure remains slightly above the global average of 37 per 1,000 live births as of 2020. Still, the country’s performance is better than the SSA average, which is 73 deaths per 1,000 births.

Several factors account for Eritrea’s success, including sustained high-level political commitment. For example, the first international convention ratified by the Eritrean government post-independence was the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, reflecting the country’s priority on children’s health, wellbeing, and development.

(Source: Africa Renewal)