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Ugandans bring in the New Year celebrations at Kampala in 2017 (Picture: Getty)Photo Courtesy

Abbey Musinguzi's lawyers claim he is being targeted because he is a supporter of politician Bobi Wine. A MAN has been charged with nine counts of negligence after a crush in Uganda killed 10 people, including children at a New Year’s Eve concert.  

Abbey Musinguzi, 52, appeared at the chief magistrates court in Makindye on Tuesday.

The music promoter, who is well known for staging major festivals in the capital Kampala, has denied all the charges. He has been remanded in prison in Luzira. 

The tragedy struck just days after music promoters in Ghana ended an AfroNation concert after a dangerous amount of people with no tickets attempted to enter the venue.

British-grime artist Skepta and Nigerian-Afrobeats sensation Asake, who recently had to end his UK show following a crowd crush in Brixton that left two dead, were all expected to grace the stage.

Mr Musinguzi was blasted by prosecutors after they alleged he caused a stampede at Freedom City Mall when he decided to shut down outlets to the venue.

More than 20,000 concert-goers were then forced to use only one gate for an exit point. 

A stampede ensued that left 10 people between the ages of 10-20 dead. 

Fred Enanga, a police spokesperson, said that promoters had ordered four other exits to close and investigators were now examining whether “negligence” played a part in the tragedy, according to Barron’s.

He told reporters: “We have so far arrested the promoter of that New Year concert. We are also actively searching for other organisers and promoters.

“The revellers had one point of entry and exit. Therefore several victims were trapped and trampled upon through the narrow passage which became a bottleneck for many, mostly juveniles.”

Following the disaster, Mr Musinguzi’s lawyers claim he is being targeted because is a supporter of Bobi Wine – the controversial opposition leader of National Unity Platform.

Ugandan Police have called for more people including the owner of the building to record statements about the incident. The Voice

Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan Tuesday lifted a blanket ban on political assemblies by opposition parties. Hassan expressed the will to have a dialogue within and among political parties in Tanzania.

The ban was imposed in 2016 by Hassan’s predecessor John Magufuli to curb political dissent and included draconian measures which prohibited political parties from organizing rallies and other activities. Further, the ban restricted politicians to hold assemblies in their respective constituencies only. Meanwhile, officials from the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party conducted political activities outside their own constituencies in an unfettered manner. The ban was severely criticized for its selective application against opposition party leaders who faced intimidation, harassment and arbitrary arrest.

Section 4 of the 1988 Tanzania Parliamentary Immunities, Powers and Privileges Act protects the right of MPs to hold public assemblies in their constituencies. Moreover, the legislation directs the responsible authorities to facilitate such assemblages.

In December 2021 Hassan constituted a Multi-Party Democratic Stakeholder Coordination Task Force which worked for ten months before recommending the ban’s repeal. Hassan has indicated revision of certain other measures like Tanzania’s current electoral laws. She hopes for broader participation of various stakeholders in the political landscape in the near future.  Source: Jurist

  • Investigative journalist John Allan Namu during an interview in 2018. DAILY NATION 
  • Renowned investigative journalist John-Allan Namu landed a plum job with a United Kingdom-based media organisation, Reuters. 

    The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Africa Uncensored who is known for his in-depth investigative productions was on Wednesday, January 4, appointed Chief Course Instructor by Thomson Reuters Foundation. 

    Namu is expected to use his wealth of knowledge in investigative journalism to train journalists in Rwanda.  

    "Hone your investigative skills with our brand-new course for journalists working in Rwanda (Kinyarwanda language)," Thomson Reuters Foundation announced on Twitter. 

    African Uncensored founder John Allan Namu (right) and Nyali MP Mohammed Ali
    African Uncensored founder John Allan Namu (right) and Nyali MP Mohammed Ali.
    TWITTER

    Thomson Foundation revealed that Namu will serve as an instructor, even as the organisation called on African Journalists to apply to join the course.   

    The organisation expressed confidence that Namu is equal to the task that was accorded to him. 

    In fact, Thomson Foundation rode on Namu's famous quote that, "sources are the lifeblood of journalism. Without them, there is no story," while announcing his appointment. 

    Namu is leading Africa Uncensored whose ambition is to be the premier source of unique, important, and incisive journalism. 

    The investigative journalist served as special projects editor at the Kenya Television Network (KTN News) before co-founding Africa Uncensored.

    At KTN News, Namu was heading a team of the country’s best television investigative journalists including the now-Nyali Member of Parliament (MP) Mohamed Ali, popularly known as Moha Jicho Pevu.

    On Friday, December 3, 2022, the veteran investigative journalist was honoured for his work in defending human rights in Kenya. 

    Namu won the Human Rights Defender of the Year in Kenya Award from the Working Group on Human Rights Defender of Kenya.

    Boniface Mwangi (left) and Allan Namu (center).
    Boniface Mwangi (left) and Allan Namu (center). FILE  By Mark Obar, Kenyans.co.ke
     
 

Trucks parked in various parts of Kitengela town. County government seeking to relocate them away from town in readiness of town beautification after acquiring municipality status. 

 A major standoff looms in Kitengela town between the Kajiado County government and truck owners following the devolved unit’s decision to relocate trucks and tractors from the town centre to pave way for the beatification of the town. 

Last year, Kitengela town was elevated into a municipality. A board headed by former OlKejuado County Council Chairman Julius Ole Ntaiya was appointed to oversee the transition process.

The county government has ordered all trucks out of the town centre. More than 30 heavy machinery are also set to be relocated from the town. On a normal day, dozens of trucks are parked in designated areas within the town.

The county government is seeking to plant trees and flowers to beautify the town. This town grew from a small livestock trader's stopover in the 1980s to one of the largest growing towns in Kenya without proper planning and basic amenities like sewer lines. 

Last December, the Kajiado County government carried out several public participation forums where it informed the truck owners of the decision to relocate the vehicles by December 15, 2022.

Truck drivers, who are reluctant to leave the town centre, have engaged the police in running battles. On December 23, 2022, officers from Kitengela Police Station had to fire in the air to disperse irate water bowsers owners who were opposing their eviction from the town centre.

"We are not opposed to relocation but we want to be shown the new designated location. It’s a pity the county government is using the police to harass us. Trucks remain among the biggest revenue earners for the devolved unit,” said Mr John Wanjiku.

Trucks pay an annual operations fee of Sh8,000. Livestock manure and tiles transporters pay cess fees of Sh3,000 and Sh500 per trip respectively. 

However, some unscrupulous county officials are said to be colluding with the transporters to pocket Sh5,000 per truck annually. 

Kitengela Transporters Association Chairman Peter Nderitu said the re-location exercise ought to be carried out non-selectively.

"We want the exercise to be conducted in a humane way and non-selectively. We do not want sacred cows during the exercise. We do not want our members to be harassed by either police officers or county reinforcement officers,” he said.  

Also to be affected are business owners who display their wares outside their shops including welders, furniture sellers and food outlets who operate outside their premises.

 In a notice issued on November 28, 2022 and signed by the ward administrator, the traders were given seven days to stop displaying their wares on pavements. 

"It has come to our attention that you have caused obstruction by displaying goods on pavements reserves/parking which is illegal,” the statement read. They were given seven days to clear, failure to which they would be charged Sh17,000 monthly by the county.

Kajiado East Sub County administrator Bruce Likama told Nation.Africa the deadline for trucks to relocate had already expired.

He said development partners have already donated more than 2,000 trees and flowers to beautify the town.

"The truck owners are supposed to move from town. We cannot run a municipality like a shanty. There must be order. These trucks have been causing traffic snarl-ups by parking along service lanes and feeder roads,” he said.  

Mr Likama said the lorries will be relocated a kilometre away from the town near a private ballast quarry along Namanga road towards Isinya.

"Those lorries which will not fit in the designated area will be given an alternative operating ground away from the town,” he said.

However, a spot check by Nation.Africa on Wednesday realized that the area where the trucks are supposed to relocate to is already occupied by construction materials dealers. 

Some unscrupulous county reinforcement officials have allegedly allocated the traders the space at a fee.

The space can only accommodate less than 50 trucks against 500 trucks operating in Kitengela.

"I paid a county official Sh10,000 for space last year like everybody else. They are lying to truck and water bowsers owners that there is space,” said a truck driver.  

 This stretch along Namanga Road proposed for trucks is a black spot. 

Several Kajiado satellite towns including Ngong, Kiserian, Ong'ata Rongai, Kajiado and Isinya have been recently elevated into municipalities.  By Stanley Ngotho, NMG

On January 2, a number of local gospel icons, and supporters of various gospel events, who were previously nominated for the Rise and Shine World (RSW) Awards, emerged winners.

RSW seeks to recognise and honour people in different categories for their work and efforts in spreading the word of God, and winners were announced ahead of the international annual ceremony and gala dinner for the RSW Awards which will be held on February 18, at John McVeity Centre, Australia.

Among them were Israel Mbonyi, who won the Africa Male Gospel Artiste of the Year, and gospel duo Vestine Ishimwe and Dorcas Kamikazi, alias Vestine and Dorcas, who scooped the award for Africa Best New Gospel Artiste of the Year. Last year, the duo had many successes to their name, and this year, their hard work continues to pay off as they beat other artistes from different countries.

RSW also recognised gospel digital platforms, like Rwanda’s All Gospel Today, a group of people from different churches, which won the Africa Christian Digital category, and the RSW gospel supporters’ award went to national carrier RwandAir in the Africa Airline Gospel Supporter of the Year category.

Other winners were Rev. Canon DR Antoine Rutayisire who won Role Model Gospel Leader of the Year, Apostle DR Paul Gitwaza who scooped Church Achievement Award of the Year and Rev Pastor Primitive Mukankera who won the Promoting Godly Parenting of the Year 2022 award.

In addition to other East African countries, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and South Africa also won in other categories. Other countries include the USA, Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand and UK, among others.

 

Rev Canon Dr Antoine Rutayisire
Rev Canon Dr Antoine Rutayisire

 

Apostle Dr Gitwaza
Apostle Dr Gitwaza

 

Pastor Primitive Mukankera
Pastor Primitive Mukankera

 

Vestine and Dorcas
Vestine and Dorcas     By , New Times

 

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