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From left: Machakos governor-elect Wavinya Ndeti with senator-elect Agnes Kavindu Muthama and women rep Joyce Kamene during the official announcement by County RO Nelly Ilongo at the Machakos Academy on August 13, 2022.

 

The declaration of Wiper Party’s Wavinya Ndeti as the Machakos governor-elect confirms an all female take over of the county’s top leadership.Ms Wavinya now joins political party mates senator-elect Agnes Kavindu and Joyce Kamene  the Woman representative elect, at the helm of the Machakos county leadership also completing a complete sweep for the Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper Party.

Ms Wavinya emerged victorious in a tightly contested race against political bigwigs like UDA chair Johnson Muthama and former State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita.

In the gubernatorial race, Ms Wavinya garnered 226,609 votes against closest competitor Nzioka Waita of Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU) who managed to get 129,181 votes.

 

UDA chair Johnson Muthama scored 37,980 votes to come in at a distant third.

County Returning Officer Nelly Illongo declared the final tally a few minutes past 2am, while noting a paltry 59.37 voter turnout out of the 687,565 registered voters.

In her victory speech, Ms Wavinya pledged transformation to the people of Machakos County as she takes over running of the county’s budget of around Sh12billion.

“In this election, you voted for action and not politics as usual. We will not work for special interests, parties and individuals but for the people of Machakos,” she said.

This was Ms Wavinya's third shot at the top county job having lost in both 2013 and 2017.

Yet still, her win was not without its share of challenges with hare candidacy having been challenged over validity of her academic credentials. She was cleared with only a few days to the elections.

Ms Wavinya’s victory was confirmed a few hours after former State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita conceded victory despite making claims of elections malpractice. 

Mr Waita who was running on a Chama Cha Uzalendo Party ticket is set to lose the poll to Wiper Party Candidate Wavinya Ndeti.

“Based on feedback from our agents from the tallying centre we have seen that the results will not go the way we had anticipated. With that regard we wish to take this opportunity to formally concede in this election,” Mr Waita said.

He however alleged irregularities in the poll raging from interference by his opponents to voter bribery.

 In the Senate race, Agnes Kavindu Muthama managed to retain her seat garnering 155,883 votes.

Her closest competitor, Ngengele Urbanus Mutunga of ODM got 65606 votes.

Ms Muthama was elected in March 2021 on a Wiper party ticket following the death of Boniface Kabaka.

In the race for the Woman representative to the National Assembly, Kamene Joyce  of Wiper Party managed 253,113 votes.

She was followed by Ndunda Ritah Ndunge  (Maendeleo Chap Chap) who garnered 93,778 votes.

The election of Wavinya Ndeti and Agnes Kavindu means Machakos County will have women in all three top county seats, as the rise of female representation in the country’s politics continue to rise.

Ms Wavinya has lauded the entrustment of women in politics terming it as a vote of confidence in female leadership.

“Electing me as Machakos’ first female governor is a demonstration of your trust and confidence in women’s leadership. Thank you for trusting Machakos Girls’ Team to steer this county forward. To our young girls and women out there, you can achieve your dreams too; if you believe in yourself,” Ms Wavinya said. By Nicholas Komu, Daily Nation


The Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, QC, is set to make her first official visit to the Commonwealth’s newest member, Gabon, next week.

The Secretary-General will arrive in Libreville on 16 August and during her four-day visit, will meet the President of Gabon, H.E. Ali Bongo Ondimba, and other senior government officials.

The visit comes after Gabon was recently admitted as the Commonwealth’s 55th member at the Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda. The Secretary-General will thus use her maiden visit as an opportunity to establish the foundations of a new relationship between Gabon and the Commonwealth, understand the challenges of the country, and explore areas of mutual cooperation.

Speaking ahead of her visit, the Secretary-General said:

“We were thrilled to welcome Gabon into the Commonwealth family at our Heads of Government Meeting in June. I am very much looking forward to my first visit to the country and meeting with leaders, ministers and officials.

“As a new Commonwealth member, this important visit will allow me to deepen engagement with the country and its people. It will also serve as a vital opportunity to discuss ways in which the Commonwealth Secretariat can serve and support the Government and people of Gabon in advancing our shared values and achieving our shared goals.”

The Secretary-General’s visit also coincides with the 62nd Anniversary of the Independence of Gabon on 17 August and she will therefore take part in the official celebrations in Libreville.

 

The Bank of Uganda (BoU) has increased the central bank rate for the third consecutive monetary policy committee by 50 basis points to 9.0 percent.

Michael Atingi-Ego, the BoU deputy governor, said: “The economy continues to face strong cost-push inflation pressures from the external environment, dry weather conditions and exchange rate depreciations amid weak domestic demand.”

The headline inflation --a measure of annual changes in the cost of living--  rose to 7.9 percent in July from 6.8 percent the previous month.

The spike in inflation saw the monetary policy committee increase the benchmark rate by a percentage point, the highest hike since 2018, in June and again in July.

Last month, BoU held its first unscheduled monetary policy committee meeting on the back of soaring commodity prices occasioned by supply chain disruptions caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Atingi-Ego said Friday that the central bank forecasts inflation to range between 7.0 percent and 7.4 percent for the rest of the year 

The economy is projected to expand at between 2.5 percent to 3.0 percent, a slower pace compared to the earlier estimate of 4.5 percent to 5.0 percent this year.

“Overall, economic growth prospects have been dimmed further with increasing risks of a global recession, and weaker consumer and business sentiment as high inflation and commodity prices continue to erode households and business incomes and financial conditions tighten,” said Mr Atingi-Ego.

The monetary policy stance has seen the cost of funds rise as commercial banks increase lending rates, restricting private sector borrowing. By Nelson Naturinda, The East African. 

 

People in South Sudan are blaming the Russia-Ukraine war for soaring food prices in the African nation, and fear that this week’s elections in Kenya, their richer and more populous neighbor to the southeast, could worsen their predicament.

Majak John, who works at a petrol station in the capital Juba, told Anadolu Agency that the war has affected fuel prices because refined oil products they import from other countries have gone up, because they are coming in at higher prices.

He blamed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for rising fuel prices.

Founded in 2011, the world’s youngest nation has been experiencing inconsistent and rampant inflation, as fuel prices rose from 430 to 1,200 South Sudanese pounds per liter ($1.4).

He said that the hike in prices led to higher transportation costs and taxes in Kenya.

“We all get fuel from the foreign market, it enters Kenya's capital, (and) it is highly taxed,” he explained.

“One liter of fuel at the moment is currently selling at $1.4 in South Sudan but in Nairobi (Kenya’s capital) is $1.6 and in Kampala (Uganda’s capital) is $1.8; we’re selling at the lowest price of fuel in East Africa.”

Modi John, a businessman who imports wheat and maize flour from Uganda, said commodity prices are rising due to the devaluation of the south Sudanese pound and Russia’s war on Ukaine.

“Our local currency is now weak on the black market, and that’s the big issue for businesspeople and customers,” he said.

He said that they get food commodities from neighboring countries, but at high prices.

“The elections in Kenya will make things worse in South Sudan because now the incoming goods are affected, some of the trucks aren’t coming on time due to delays in Kenya,” he said, referring to this Tuesday’s general elections in neighboring Kenya, with vote counting still ongoing. “Traffic is heavy, the trucks can’t move quickly like before.”

He explained: “I’m supposed to receive some trucks loaded with food commodities this week, but they failed to come due to the elections in Kenya. They say traffic is very heavy and not moving since there are elections in their country, since people want to witness the elections.”

Imports and the greenback

Abdalla Ahmed, another trader in the capital Juba, said that the prices will continue to increase since South Sudan depends only on importing food items and things have changed internationally.

“The Ukraine war is indirectly affecting us here in South Sudan,” he said. “When you look at the market, the situation is made worse by the ongoing sharp increase of the selling and buying of local South Sudanese pounds with the US dollar on the black market.”

“We’re going into a very bad situation, it will continue to worsen the economic situation and many people won’t be able to afford food,” he added.

Ahmed said that the country will experience skyrocketing of goods these days due to ongoing elections in Kenya because the trucks will not reach on time.

“I talked some of my supplies last week and they told me that they will not come to south sudan until the elections in Kenya, now I am trying others to supply me with goods to be sold here in south sudan and if the give me expensively, I will also increase the prices here such that I recovery my money, instead to have loses”

Moses Makur Deng, former governor of the state Bank of South Sudan, said that the economic distress is caused by the Russia-Ukraine war and other factors.

“The continuing war in Europe and the pandemic have rendered the global macroeconomic outlook highly uncertain. Countries are facing unexpectedly high inflation including food inflation, supply chain disruption, and demand-supply imbalances in products and labor markets.”

“High interest rates in the US along with increased risk aversions among global investors have fueled safe haven demand and strengthened the US dollar.”

South Sudan is highly dependent on imported food supplies from neighboring countries, notably Uganda and Kenya. For instance, between 2012 and 2019, imports from Uganda accounted for about $253 million (48% of total imports) while those from Kenya stood at $30 million (30% of total imports) in the same period. Rising food prices, notably cereals (wheat and maize) in source markets will negatively affect domestic prices in South Sudan, thus increasing inflation (projected at 24% in 2022), food insecurity and humanitarian needs (estimated at $1.5 billion or 30% of GDP).

Though it is an oil producer and exporter, South Sudan also imports refined petroleum products. Fuel prices increased at the pump from an estimated $1.04 per liter to $1.39 per liter in March 2022. Fuel price hikes are often an immediate trigger for increases in the price/cost of other related commodities and services, such as transportation. - Benjamin Takpiny, Anadolu Agency

Photo Courtesy 

Mr Mohamed Adow has been declared winner of the Wajir South parliamentary seat. Mr Adow is a renowned former Al Jazeera journalist who had run-ins with the authorities when he worked for the Doha-based media outlet. 

In early January 2014, Mr Adow was expelled from South Sudan for reporting on the anti-government protesters’ advance on the capital Juba.

He produced a documentary that aired on Al Jazeera English on November 14, 2013, revealing a history of discrimination in Kenya since independence against ethnic Somalis in Northern Kenya.

The documentary came shortly after the Westgate attack in Nairobi.

Born and raised in Wajir County, Mr Adow said he witnessed first-hand the political and economic marginalisation of the region.

In another documentary that he made for Al Jazeera, “Not Yet Kenyan”, he returned to the region to see how its people had survived and started to prosper, only to find that Kenya's intervention in Somalia and the actions of Al-Shabaab were threatening to throw the region into turmoil again.

With over 15 years of experience in telling stories across Africa, Mr Adow filed exclusive reports for Al Jazeera about the Ogaden fighters who were battling to achieve an autonomous state in eastern Ethiopia.

“This election has been framed. It’s about ideas and long-lasting policies that will replenish the full potential of Wajir south in all its spheres. We are united on a common goal – a better and developed Wajir south,” he wrote on a social media platform.

He had urged residents of Wajir South to play their part by coming out to vote.

On Tuesday, voters indeed turned up and elected the journalist as their MP, giving him 13,990 votes.

His closest competitor, Mohamud Muhumed Sirat, received 7,545 votes. 

“This evening I attended a football tournament in Habaswein town and realised the boys need someone to uplift them in showcasing their untapped talents,” Mr Adow (ODM) said in another post on social media. 

“I pledged to them [that] as their MP, my office will have a cordial relationship with football Academies in Europe and other developed countries to nurture these young men.”

He pledged to base his political leadership on effective development, improving education and uplifting voters’ living standards.

Mr Adow was vying for the first time but he beat strong opponents, including the incumbent Mohamud Sheikh Mohammed, who received 4,293 votes. 

Others were Dekow Noor Ali (53 votes), Khalif Abdi Ali (654), Mohamed Kahiye Bullet (1,274), Abdullahi Yussuf Noor (7,317) and Mohamud Muhumed Sirat (7,545).

Mr Adow started his media career as a Garissa correspondent for the Daily Nation in 1996. He later joined the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in Nairobi and Ethiopia as a World Service Correspondent.

In 2006, he joined Qatar-based Al Jazeera as Africa correspondent before he was transferred to Doha as a world correspondent in Africa, the Middle East and Europe in 2017. By Manase Otsialo & Edwin Kipsang, Daily Nation

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