What Joe Biden’s envoy told Raila, Gachagua
Opposition leader Raila Odinga stuck to his guns in a meeting with a United States delegation seeking a truce, as it emerged Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua flatly rejected any overtures to have him join the government. While Mr Gachagua demanded that Mr Odinga stops the protests and agrees to discuss his permanent retirement from politics before the talks, the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition leader wants the government to accede to discussing what his camp has now crystallised as its four key, non-negotiable demands.
The four Azimio demands are the reduction of the high cost of living, the opening of last year’s presidential election servers for audit, stopping the unilateral reconstitution of the electoral agency and respecting multi-party democracy to allow all parties to flourish without the government enticing opposition legislators to its side.
Harris hails Samia as ‘champion’ of democracy
US Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday hailed Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan as a “champion” of democracy, on the latest leg of her landmark trip to Africa. Harris, the first Black person and first woman to be elected US vice president, spoke alongside Samia — Tanzania’s first female president. Harris said the two would discuss democracy, good governance, long-term economic growth and the climate crisis during her visit to the East African country.
Uganda unveils polycarbonate electronic passports
In an effort to increase travel efficiency and security, the Ugandan government has announced the replacement of the previous paper-based e-passports with polycarbonate versions.
In a statement released on March 30, Lt Gen Joseph Musanyufu, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, said the upgraded e-passports will be of higher quality and durability, as well as better data protection and lower risk of damage.
The polycarbonate e-passports are designed to have strong anti-fraud features, making them suitable for use at e-gates for self-clearance, automated boarding pass issuance, and quick passenger processing around the world. They have electromagnetic chips and have personal data engraved inside the deeper layers of the document with lasers. (The Daily Monitor)
Govt scraps auctioning taxpayers’ property
Taxpayers who declare due tax on time, but do not pay it in the prescribed period will be given three months to auction their preferred property to be able to clear tax arrears, according to a new law voted by Parliament on Monday, March 27.
Previously, the government was entitled to auction taxpayers’ property who delayed paying taxes, a move that is being reversed to among others facilitate taxpayers to overcome hardships (assuming that the taxpayer declared tax on time). The development is one of the changes proposed in the draft law amending the existing 2019 law on tax procedures.
(The New Times)
Charges against civilian, military leaders of TPLF dropped: Ministry of Justice
The charges against civilian and military leaders of TPLF are dropped, a statement issued by the Ministry of Justice disclosed today. In line with the peace agreement signed between the federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, it has been agreed that crimes related to the conflict should be dealt with in the framework of transitional justice by taking into account international experiences, the statement noted.
Therefore, it has been found necessary to drop the charges against the civilian and military leaders of TPLF accused of suspected crimes. Their cases would be dealt with within the framework of transitional justice, it added. Therefore, the criminal charges that were presented in this regard and were in the process of legal proceedings have been dropped in accordance with Article 6 (3) of Proclamation 943/2008.
Sudan FM Jibril Ibrahim disavows return to ‘narrow government’
Sudan’s Minister of Finance and head of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Jibril Ibrahim, states that his organisation will not participate in a “narrow government”, saying he will continue his efforts to “bring together the largest number of actors in the political arena to run the country”.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Ibrahim emphasised the “need for a national consensus to choose the next leader and decide on Sudan’s future power structures”. The minister criticised the Framework Agreement, stating that “it is closer in nature to opinion-based articles”.
The finance minister also accused the Forces for Freedom and Change-Central Council (FFC-CC) of “monopolising the decision-making process”; he called for “expanded participation” in the political arena.
Al Shabaab presence abated in Horn of Africa
The US government confirmed that the al-Qaeda-affiliated group Al-Shabaab in Somalia has lost a third of its territory as a result of military operations by the Somali government.
According to Larry André, the U.S. ambassador to Somalia, who spoke with VOA, the group lost numerous towns and villages as a result of clashes with the Somali military.
“Somali-led offensives have restored Somalia’s sovereignty to 1/3 of the territory formerly misruled by al-Shabaab,” Larry André said. “Ending al-Shabab’s oppression is one step further toward Somalia’s full revival.”