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NAIROBI, April 12 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese-built seaport in Kenya's coastal island of Lamu will be operational in June, a Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) official said on Monday.

China Communications Construction Company has already completed construction of the first three berths of the port, Bernard Osero, head of KPA corporate affairs, told Xinhua over the phone.

"Lamu port will specialize in handling containers and oil cargo between the east African hinterland and the rest of the world," he said.

The new facility will enable Kenya to become a gateway of choice for Ethiopia, South Sudan and Somalia, Osero said.

"Lamu Port will also complement the existing Port of Mombasa because it is a natural deep port that can handle larger sea vessels," he said.

The Kenyan government is prioritizing Lamu Port as a key infrastructure facility that will link east Africa and west Africa through road and rail, Osero said. - Xinhua

Photo Courtesy Standard

I will not bring in any new agenda to the Judiciary, High Court Judge Said Chitembwe and candidate for Chief Justice position has told the Judicial Service Commission.

Justice Chitembwe (pictured above) was responding to Acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu who wanted to know what transformation he would bring to the Judiciary as the incoming Chief Justice. 

Chitembwe replied he would seek to build on what his predecessors David Maraga and Willy Mutunga did when they held the position.

He further noted that he knew where the weaknesses were and what areas needed to be enhanced, without going into more details.

 

"You don't always come in with radical changes where you change this or that," he said. 

Justice Said Chitembwe, known for controversial judgments, is eyeing the Chief Justice position. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

But pressed further, Chitembwe cited access to justice, construction of more courts, faster court processes, and reducing the backlog of cases as areas to which he will pay more attention.

For a judge known for some controversial judgements, his date with the JSC commissioners will determine if he is suitable to take over the mantle from Justice David Maraga, who retired in January after four years at the helm of the Judiciary.

The 54-year-old  Justice Chitembwe stirred controversy in 2016 when he set free a man serving a 20-year jail term for defiling a 13-year-old girl free on grounds that it was wrong to hand the man the heavy punishment when both were enjoying the relationship.

Chitembwe noted that the country should think of a way of changing the legal age in which a girl should be mature for sex to avoid jailing even those who have consensual intercourse with girls below 18 years.

He gave the example of Spain where the age of consent for sexual intercourse used to be 13 while marriageable age for a girl is 16; and countries like Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Switzerland Czech Republic, Germany, UK and Hungary, where a girl or boy can get married at the age of 16.

It was a decision that attracted international attention from women's rights organisations and was awarded the Women Link Worldwide Golden Bludgeon as the world’s worst ruling for women’s rights in 2016.

He followed the decision with another in April 2018 when he set free a teenage boy who was jailed for 15 years for impregnating his teenage girlfriend.

Chitembwe ruled that it was unfair for the magistrate to jail the boy when the underage girlfriend had admitted they had a flourishing intimate relationship with a promise to get married when they became adults.

“Both the complainant and the appellant were students and engaged in sex at their youthful age with a promise to get married. It would be imprudent to have him spend 15 years in jail when evidence shows they had sex many times for one year before she became pregnant,” he ruled. By Jael Mboga, Standard

President Salva Kiir addresses the nation from the State House on September 15, 2015, in Juba. (Photo AFP/Charles Atiki Lomodong)

 

April 10, 2021 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has sacked the army Chief of General Staff, General Johnson Juma Okot barely a year after his appointment, replacing him with Gen. Santino Deng Wol.

Wol was also promoted to a First Lieutenant General.

Okot, according to a presidential decree read on the state-owned television (SSTV), becomes South Sudan’s ambassador to Belgium.

Kiir also removed the Minister for the Presidency, Nhial Deng Nhial, replacing him with Barnaba Marial Benjamin.

Marial, a former Foreign Affairs minister, headed the government’s delegation in ongoing talks with opposition groups under the South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance (SSOMA).

Gen. Chol Thon Balok was appointed Deputy Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs, replacing Gen. Malek Reuben Riak.

Riak was appointed South Sudan’s ambassador to Eritrea.

The president also sacked the former Director General of the Intelligence Bureau, Gen. Thomas Duoth Guet and appointed him the country’s ambassador to Kuwait.

Meanwhile, the South Sudanese leader promoted the Director of the National Security Service (NSS) Gen. Akol Khor Kuc to the rank of First Lieutenant General. - Sudan Tribune

(ST)

Freeman Mbowe (C), chairman of Chadema, Tanzanian main opposition party arrives at Kisutu Magistrate Court in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Emmanuel Herman

 

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Tanzanian opposition leader Freeman Mbowe called on Sunday for the new government to prioritise a new constitution, reviving calls for limiting presidential powers.

Mbowe, chairman of Chadema, the country’s main opposition party, said in a speech the current constitution gives “someone the chance to be a dictator or a king”, adding it should be a government priority to set a timetable and a procedural framwork to change the consitution.

Mbowe also called on President Samia Suluhu Hassan to “fast track” her proposal, presented on Tuesday, to form a scientific committee to research COVID-19.

Hassan took office on March 19 following the death of President John Magufuli, who had been Africa’s most prominent COVID-19 sceptic. Magufuli had urged people to shun mask-wearing and denounced vaccines as a Western conspiracy, and the country also stopped reporting data on coronavirus last May.

Magufuli disappeared from public life for several weeks before he died and there were rumours he was that he was ill with COVID-19. Hassan, who served as Magufuli’s deputy for six years, has said he died of heart disease. - Reuters

O'level students sitting their national exams recently. Photo The Observer

 

The Uganda National Examination Board (Uneb) has warned senior six candidates against exam malpractices, saying they risk facing a 10-year jail sentence if convicted. 

A total of 98,393 senior six candidates from 2,339 examination centres will next week start their final exams across the country. Dan Odongo, executive secretary, says that the Uganda Advanced Certificate Examinations (UACE) will be conducted under the new UNEB Act 2021 which was gazetted on March 29, 2021.

Under this Act, anyone who is caught cheating in national examinations will be jailed for 10 years or pay a fine of Shs 40 million or both. It also suggested that a similar punishment be given to individuals who have been misappropriating examination registration fees for candidates.

The offences under examinations malpractice have also been increased from six months of imprisonment to five years or a fine of Shs 5 million.

Odongo also rallied members of the public to report any cases of exam malpractices to the police or Uneb on the toll-free number 0800211077. He says that the contact will be available throughout the examination period to monitor the progress.

According to Odongo, Uneb is currently investigating suspected cases of malpractice in the just concluded UCE and PLE exams.

Meanwhile, Uneb says 200 candidates with special needs will sit for the exams, with 55 requiring special support personnel like transcribers and sign language interpreters.

The examinations body will also accord an extra 45 minutes for all expectant and breastfeeding candidates to complete the examination papers, putting them in the category of circumstantial impairments. - URN/The Observer

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