Monday 25 September 2017
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
Kenya is lurching toward a constitutional crisis as a standoff deepens between the two presidential candidates over how to manage a rerun of last month’s botched election. Both sides have entrenched their positions: Raila Odinga’s opposition coalition has called mass protests starting Tuesday to demand the electoral commission is overhauled before the vote takes place, while President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ruling party rejects any changes to the authority and says the ballot must take place by the end of October. The impasse raises the risk that the election won’t take place at all, a situation the constitution doesn’t envisage. “If the parties retain their hard-line stances, there will be a constitutional crisis,” Charles Kanjama, managing partner...
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
Kenya’s main opposition alliance will begin mass protests this week to force out electoral officials it suspects of rigging last month’s annulled presidential vote. The National Super Alliance will begin its campaign on Tuesday and will continue until the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission officeholders resign, said Norman Magaya, chief executive officer of the opposition coalition. It may escalate the protests if lawmakers from the ruling Jubilee Party continue with plans to amend the country’s electoral laws, he said. “Demonstration is the only language these people understand and for us it’s not going to be a one-day event,” Magaya said by phone from Nairobi, the capital. “Tuesday is just the launch of the mass movement and we will spread these...
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Kenya’s electoral commission rescheduled the date for a rerun of last month’s annulled presidential vote, as President Uhuru Kenyatta slammed the Supreme Court ruling that overturned his victory as a “judicial coup.” The Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission said Thursday the vote will be held Oct. 26, nine days later than its initial suggestion, to ensure the body is “fully prepared” to deliver a credible election. Just before, Kenyatta said in a televised address that the East African country’s highest...
(Bloomberg 09/20/17)
Kenya’s top court delivered a stinging rebuke of the nation’s electoral commission, identifying a litany of failures in its handling of last month’s botched presidential elections and describing its explanations for the failure of its systems as unacceptable. The Supreme Court ruled the Aug. 8 election unlawful on Sept. 1, and ordered a rerun. A five-judge bench on Wednesday delivered the court’s detailed judgment, which upheld the main opposition’s complaints that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s reelection was rigged. The court criticized...
(Bloomberg 09/20/17)
Kenya’s electoral commission is considering a proposal to postpone the rerun of last month’s annulled presidential election because of technical constraints, the authority’s spokesman said. OT-Morpho, a Paris-based company that provided two electronic systems for the ballot, wrote to the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission on Monday to say it’s unable to provide a new results-transmission system by Oct. 17, when the vote is scheduled to take place. The company may also be constrained by the Kenyan Supreme Court’s detailed...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
Kenya may have to delay a rerun of its presidential election scheduled for next month if the Supreme Court requires the country to host the results-transmission system, the Daily Nation reported. OT-Morpho, a Paris-based company that provided systems used in last month’s annulled presidential vote, told the Kenya Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission in a letter that moving the system to Kenya from France by Oct. 31 would be technically impossible, the Nairobi-based newspaper said. Penina Nyawira, a Kenya-based spokeswoman...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Death threats to top members of Kenya’s divided electoral body are endangering preparations for a rerun of last month’s annulled presidential election, a senior official at the authority said. The relatives of one administrator at the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission fled the country after their lives were threatened, while Chairman Wafula Chebukati made additional security arrangements for his family, said the official, who asked not to be identified citing personal-safety reasons. “The fact that there’s a split at the...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
On Monday, Kenya’s central bank may have little choice but to do what the rest of the country is stuck with: waiting for a rerun of its presidential election. With political limbo reigning since the Supreme Court’s annulment of the previous attempt at a national vote on Aug. 8, officials are left contemplating the effects of prolonged uncertainty on an economy that also faces slowing growth and persistent inflation. Economists say that quandary will force them to opt for no change in the benchmark interest rate at 10 percent, where it’s been for a year. The Central Bank of Kenya’s options are hamstrung by the “reemergence of political risk,”
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Kenyan lenders risk needing to raise expensive debt on local markets next year to shore up their core capital levels, which may be eroded by new accounting standards the country is introducing that compel banks to classify losses differently. That’ll be a double whammy for an industry already reeling from the effects of interest-rate caps introduced a year ago, accelerating a decline in banks’ return on earnings to 24.7 percent by the end of last year, down from as much...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way...
(Bloomberg 09/13/17)
Kenya’s opposition presidential candidate said the electoral authority should consider delaying the rerun of last month’s annulled presidential vote until the end of October to ensure it’s organized in a credible manner. The date for the election could be adjusted within the 60-day period stipulated by the law to give the electoral body enough time to prepare a fair vote, Raila Odinga, leader of the opposition National Super Alliance, said in an interview with Nairobi-based broadcaster KTN on Tuesday. The...
(Bloomberg 09/13/17)
Kenya is running out of time to ensure a credible rerun of presidential elections that were annulled by the nation’s top court after the main opposition party alleged that they were rigged. With the next vote due in just five weeks, the electoral commission is mired in infighting over who should take the fall for last month’s botched contest. Demands by ex-Prime Minister Raila Odinga, 72, and his National Super Alliance that sweeping changes be made to the commission, including...
(Bloomberg 09/12/17)
Kenya’s opposition National Super Alliance threatened to stage street protests and prevent a rerun of last month’s annulled presidential election if the head of the country’s electoral authority refuses to step down. Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba should be removed or the opposition will hold “mass demonstrations,” Norman Magaya, the CEO of the five-party alliance, said by phone Tuesday from the capital, Nairobi. “There will be no election.” The opposition group also plans to start...
(Bloomberg 09/12/17)
Kenya’s electoral body said officials who oversaw last month’s annulled presidential vote should stay in place to organize the planned rerun, a move that opposition candidate Raila Odinga has said could lead him to boycott the election. Due to “serious time constraints,” the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission should work to deliver a second vote that’s “aligned with the existing organizational structure,” the IEBC said on its Twitter account on Monday. The body will seek to improve the way it...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
The South African companies that dominate the U.K.’s growing private hospital industry are counting on more people like Katie Corrie. A children’s party entertainer, Corrie opted to use 13,000 pounds ($17,000) of her savings and inheritance to get a hip replacement rather than spend months on a National Health Service waiting list. Britons like her are forking out almost 1 billion pounds a year to cover their own medical expenses, a trend that’s giving at least one industry the scope...
(Bloomberg 09/08/17)
French digital-security company OT-Morpho denied its systems used in Kenya’s annulled elections last month were tampered with and said it’s handed over all data for analysis by the country’s Supreme Court. “The system deployed in the delivery of the results employs proven technologies that we’ve used in elections in other countries,” Olivier Charlanes, director for Africa and the Middle East at OT-Morpho, said in an emailed statement. “The system used in Kenya wasn’t pirated. It wasn’t an attempt to interfere,...
(Bloomberg 09/08/17)
Kenya is scheduled to hold a rerun of its presidential election Oct. 17 after the country’s top court annulled the result of Aug. 8 voting, giving the win to President Uhuru Kenyatta. The new vote will give former Prime Minister Raila Odinga his fifth shot at the presidency, if he chooses to participate. Lingering questions over the fairness of the voting system have prompted the opposition to threaten a boycott. That’s kept political tensions high in the weeks after violent...
(Voice of America 09/07/17)
Kenya’s electoral commission said Monday that the country will hold a new presidential election on October 17. Kenya’s Supreme Court announced last Friday it was dismissing the results of the August 8 presidential election. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said in its announcement that current President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga will be the only people on the ballot for next month’s vote, along with each candidate’s running mate. The IEBC has asked the Supreme Court...

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