Sunday 22 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
A controversial set of amendments to Kenya's electoral act became law on Thursday, just days after a divisive presidential poll boycotted by the opposition. The amendments, condemned by the opposition as well as Kenya's foreign allies, were automatically gazetted after President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta failed to sign the bill within 14 days or send it back to parliament. Lawmakers from Kenyatta's Jubilee Party introduced the amendments after the Supreme Court annulled an August 8 election due to "irregularities and illegalities" and mismanagement by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). Coming ahead of the re-run, the opposition saw the planned bill as a means to enshrine...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
US politicians are voicing concern over America's growing military presence across Africa, where they worry the Pentagon is getting ever more embroiled in a secretive campaign against a shifting enemy. Last month's killing of four US soldiers in a Niger ambush has thrust the issue into the spotlight, with lawmakers calling for greater transparency on what is going on in Africa. "The footprint in Africa is much bigger than the American public understands," Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said this week. The Niger ambush has also rekindled debate over the legal authorities the Pentagon uses to fight jihadist groups overseas, particularly in Africa where about 6,000 US troops are deployed across the vast continent. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis this week faced...
(AFP (eng) 10/31/17)
Raila Odinga, Kenya's veteran opposition leader and one-time prime minister, on Tuesday promised a campaign of civil disobedience and protest against a presidential election he boycotted last week, keeping alive his long-held dream of winning the nation's top job. The 72-year-old has been a mainstay of Kenyan politics since the 1980s, but despite four attempts has never won the presidency. Instead he seems to have inherited the political misfortune of his father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, who led the opposition for three decades but never the country. For this year's election, originally held in August, Odinga led a coalition called the National Super Alliance (NASA)...
(AFP (eng) 10/31/17)
Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga vowed Tuesday not to accept a "sham" election, declaring he would push for a fresh vote through a campaign of civil disobedience and peaceful protest. He did not indicate whether he would file suit again at the country's paramount court to have the election annulled. In his first reaction since his rival Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of last Thursday's presidential ballot, Odinga denounced the vote that he had boycotted as a "charade."
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday called for pickets and petitions against an election he boycotted last week won by President Uhuru Kenyatta but stopped short of appealing for mass protests or announcing a court challenge to the result. Odinga pulled out of the vote saying it would be unfair because the election board had failed to implement reforms after the Supreme Court cited procedural irregularities and annulled an Aug. 8 vote that had been won by Kenyatta. Odinga said the Oct. 26 result would not stand but did not announce measures likely to overturn it or force the government to negotiate. He said his opposition coalition would form a people’s assembly to study issues of...
(AFP (eng) 10/31/17)
Kenya was once again left waiting Tuesday, as embattled opposition leader Raila Odinga prepared to lay out his strategy following a boycott of last week's protest-hit elections that handed President Uhuru Kenyatta a landslide win. Thursday's contest saw Kenyatta winning a decisive victory with 98 percent of the vote, hailing the result as a vindication of his victory in an initial August poll which was later overturned by the country's Supreme Court. But it proved to be a bittersweet victory. Turnout was just 38.8 percent, which is likely to raise questions over the credibility of a vote that has deeply polarised the East African nation, sparking months of bitter infighting, legal wrangling and violent protest. "This was nothing more than...
(Bloomberg 10/31/17)
Kenya’s main opposition alliance said it won’t challenge the results that gave President Uhuru Kenyatta a landslide victory in last week’s disputed election rerun in court and instead vowed to mobilize its supporters to press for a another vote. “This election must not stand,” opposition leader Raila Odinga told reporters in Nairobi, the capital. “If allowed to stand, it will make a complete mockery of elections and might well be the end of the ballot as a means of instituting government in Kenya.” Supporters of Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta dance and wave flags.Photographer: Luis Tato/Bloomberg Musalia Mudavadi, a senior leader of Odinga’s four-party National Super Alliance, said that while private citizens may challenge the election in court, the coalition won’t...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
GISHARU, Kenya (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - On the edge of Mt. Suswa, an active volcano in southwest Kenya’s Rift Valley, Kipas Ole Masiodo checks on volcanic steam rising from cracks in the ground, careful not to let any go to waste. As prolonged drought dries water reserves across Kenya, harvesting these fleeting wisps of water vapor near Masiodo’s home has been a lifeline for his family and community. “It is clean and safe for drinking,” the 35-year-old said. “It is not much, but it is better than traveling to distant sources to look for water.” Using aluminum sheets and a concrete tank, his community traps the steam, which when cooled can become drinking water. Masiodo said a single steam trap...
(Xinhuanet 10/31/17)
Jane Mukami was rattled when the skies opened, paving way for torrential rains that threatened to destroy 50 kilograms of rice she had just harvested in her farm in central Kenya. Having lost her entire harvest in previous heavy downpours, Mukami had to be innovative enough to cushion herself from a similar predicament that not only sapped her energy but also depleted her revenue base. At the same time, selling her rice immediately after harvesting is not an option for Mukami due to a glut that has affected demand. To preserve her rice better, Mukami uses clay pots which she first smears with cooking oil before pouring in the cereal -- in this way the rice can stay for longer...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Economic growth is expected to rise to 3.4 percent in sub-Saharan Africa next year from 2.6 percent in 2017, the IMF said in a report on Monday, but warned that rising debt and political risks in larger economies would weigh down future growth. Nigeria and South African are the biggest economies in Africa south of the Sahara, but both nations have been clouded by political uncertainty linked to the tenure of their leaders. The IMF said a good harvest and recovery in oil output in Nigeria would contribute more than half of the growth in the region this year while an uptick in mining and a better harvest in South Africa as well as a rebound in...
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday said his victory in Kenya's boycott-hit election re-run was a "revalidation" of the people's will after a vote he won in August that was overturned by the courts. "On 8th August, 15 million Kenyans came out to vote. Of these, 8.4 million Kenyans voted for me. On October 26th, 90 percent of those same voters came out once again to support my bid," he said in his victory speech after winning 98.2 percent of the vote following a boycott by rival Raila Odinga. "This was nothing more than a revalidation of their general will, a statement of their national intent in support of myself and of the Jubilee government." Kenyatta also said his August win,...
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was on Monday declared victor of the country's deeply divisive elections, taking 98 percent of the ballots cast in a poll boycotted by his rival Raila Odinga, sparking fears of further violence in flashpoint opposition strongholds. Despite his crushing win, the turnout of just 38.8 percent among 19.6 million registered voters is set to raise questions about the credibility of an election that has plunged East Africa's most stable democracy into its worst crisis in a decade. Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati said Kenyatta had received 7,483,895 votes to Odinga's 73,228 -- less than one percent of votes cast -- in a sign the boycott had held. A total of 7,616,217 cast...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/30/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta won 98 percent of the vote in a repeat presidential election in Kenya, although only 39 percent of voters turned out due to an opposition boycott, the electoral commission said on Monday. The announcement touched off small protests in a few opposition strongholds, but also celebrations in pro-Kenyatta areas of the east African country. Veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga had already branded the election a farce. Given the deeply polarised atmosphere, some Kenyans fear that the violence seen so far - for the most part protesters clashing with police - is starting to take on ethnic overtones after two deaths in clashes between rival groups at the weekend. On Monday, the U.S. ambassador...
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
Kenya's election board said it would announce Monday the winner of a highly contentious election, sparking fears of further violence in flashpoint opposition strongholds. President Uhuru Kenyatta is headed for a landslide victory in the country's repeat election which was boycotted by opposition leader Raila Odinga, whose supporters violently protested last Thursday's vote. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had earlier said it would postpone voting in 25 violence-hit constituencies. But in Monday's announcement, it appeared to abandon plans to reschedule the ballot. "Having been satisfied that the results of the elections shall not be affected by voting in areas where the election was postponed, we therefore invite the presidential candidates for the announcement of the result at 3:30...
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
Kenya's election board is expected Monday to decide whether to reschedule a vote in flashpoint opposition areas, where a boycott sparked violent protests, or to push ahead with declaring victory for President Uhuru Kenyatta. With the counting almost done after Thursday's presidential re-run, the results remained on hold as officials mulled what to do about the 25 constituencies in four western counties where voting was blocked. Supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga, who called for an election boycott, managed to prevent hundreds of polling stations from opening...
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
Live bullets, raids on houses and clouds of tear gas: for human rights defenders, the crackdown on Kenya's opposition protest movement is yet another example of police impunity. Frequently accused of extrajudicial executions, Kenya's security forces have defended their actions, saying their men had at times been cornered by demonstrators, denying charges put forward by rights groups. But the number of deaths and injuries which have occurred during Kenya's political crisis speaks for itself, says Otsieno Namwaya, co-author of a report on police brutality which was jointly published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International two weeks ago. At least 49 people have died since the first presidential election on August 8, which was later overturned, in Kenya's worst...
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
Kenya's election board remained silent Sunday over plans to reschedule a vote in flashpoint opposition areas, where a boycott sparked violent protests in a poll set to hand President Uhuru Kenyatta a landslide, but tarnished, win. With the counting almost done after Thursday's presidential re-run, the results remained on hold as officials mulled what to do about 25 constituencies in four western counties where voting was blocked. There, supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga managed to prevent hundreds of polling stations from opening, prompting violent clashes with police which continued for several days, leaving nine dead and scores injured. At least 49 people have died since the first presidential election of August 8, which was later overturned, prompting Kenya's worst...
(AFP (eng) 10/28/17)
A second protester was killed in Kenya on Friday as anger raged a day after a divisive election boycotted by the opposition, taking the death toll from two days of protests to eight. The latest victim was shot dead by police in the Kawangware slum in Nairobi during clashes involving members of three tribal groups, police and witnesses said. "We have one fatality -- a person shot during the skirmishes. The situation is still tense because the area is dark after the power went off," a police officer at the scene told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. Nairobi Police Chief Japheth Koome confirmed the death but gave no further details. Josphat Ochwaya, a local resident who was there at...
(AFP (eng) 10/28/17)
Kenya found itself in a dangerous limbo on Friday as violent protests rocked opposition strongholds a day after a deeply divisive election that has left eight people dead. Plans to restage elections in the western Nyanza region where violence blocked voting on Thursday were again delayed as election chief Wafula Chebukati said he feared for the safety of his staff. The worst crisis in Kenya in a decade, has cast a shadow over east Africa's most stable democracy and economic powerhouse. Two people were shot dead Friday as protests raged in western towns and clashes erupted in a Nairobi slum while election officials counted votes from a ballot set to hand President Uhuru Kenyatta a landslide win after a boycott...
(AFP (eng) 10/28/17)
Kenya was stuck in a dangerous limbo Saturday as President Uhuru Kenyatta took an unassailable lead in a disputed poll that has sparked violent protests in which nine have died. Kenyatta was leading with 97 percent of votes compared to less than one percent for his rival Raila Odinga, who boycotted the repeat election, according to a tally by the Daily Nation media group of unofficial results from 80 percent of constituencies. However turnout appears headed for a record low of around 35 percent, tarnishing the credibility of an election that has deeply polarised east Africa's economic powerhouse. Violent protests have rocked Odinga's strongholds in the west of the country and flashpoint Nairobi slums, with the death of man in...

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