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Odinga is supported by Kenya's outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta [source: Getty]

Veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga led Kenya's presidential race, official election results showed on Saturday, pushing Deputy President William Ruto into second place.

With just over 26 percent of votes counted, Odinga had 54 percent and Ruto had 45 percent, according to results provided by the Kenyan election commission and displayed on a large screen at a national tallying centre in the capital, Nairobi.

East Africa's wealthiest nation and most vibrant democracy held presidential, parliamentary and local elections on Tuesday.

 

Ruto and Odinga are in a tight race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has reached his two-term limit.

Kenyatta fell out with Ruto after the last election and has endorsed Odinga.

Official vote tallying has been proceeding slowly, fueling public anxiety.

Election commission chairman Wafula Chebukati blamed party agents, who are allowed to scrutinise results forms before they are added to the final tally.

"Agents in this exercise cannot proceed ... as if we are doing a forensic audit," he told a news briefing on Friday.

"We are not moving as fast as we should. This exercise needs to be concluded as soon as possible."

Representatives from Odinga and Ruto's coalitions did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reuters news agency and other media outlets have been tallying results forms from 291 constituencies posted on the election commission website. These have not yet been verified, and this tally is running well ahead of the official one.

As of 1000 GMT, Reuters had tallied 236 forms, which showed Ruto in the lead with nearly 53 percent of the vote, compared to just over 46 percent for Odinga. Two other candidates had less than 1 percent between them.

Nineteen other forms could not be included in the count because they were unreadable or were missing information.

The forms Reuters is tallying are preliminary and the results subject to change. After the forms are uploaded to the commission's website, Kenyan election law requires that they are physically brought to the national tallying center, where party representatives can examine them for any discrepancies.

The process was designed as a safeguard against the kind of rigging allegations that have triggered violence after previous polls. More than 1,200 people were killed after a disputed 2007 election and more than 100 killed after a disputed 2017 election.

The winning candidate must receive 50 percent of the national vote plus one, and at least 25 percent of the vote from 24 of 47 counties.

The commission has until Tuesday to declare a winner. The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has announced new measures at the National Tallying Centre in a move aimed at speeding tallying process of presidential votes.

While giving his media address of the day Saturday, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said it currently takes between 3 to 4 hours to process one returning officer from all the 290 constituencies and one from the diaspora a factor being blamed on the crowded space.

According to Chebukati, 265 Returning Officers have so far reported to the National Tallying Centre, 142  have been processed while 124 are waiting in the queue.

“As a result of this process floor, some of our Returning Officers have stayed here for three days sitting on those chairs which is totally unacceptable,” said Chebukati.

Chebukati has now issued new directives to speed up the vote tallying process as IEBC targets to beat the Tuesday deadline to announce winner of the presidential election.

Officers on queue are now expected to handover physical forms to the National Returning Officer and then report to the ICT desk for verification of transmitted form 34As against the original physical copies.

Presidential agents will similarly be given results of form 34As and 34Bs for their own use.

“In the event that you require the original documents, they will be available on the desks for verification,” he added.

IEBC has also issued a directive prohibiting anyone from accessing the Bomas of Kenya where the tallying process is underway.

Only presidential agents, their assistants, chiefs agents, deputy chief agents, clerks, observers, diplomats and the media have been allowed on the floor of tallying process. KBC

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 Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the Bosphorus Expo held the International Business-to-Business meetings Friday in Kampala to strengthen trade cooperation and boost goods exportation.

The meetings came on the heels of a successful Türkiye-Uganda business summit that was co-hosted by the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkiye (DEIK) and the Uganda Investments Authority in Kampala earlier this year.

Several Turkish companies have opened manufacturing plants and businesses in Uganda, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.

“Türkiye is promoting a model of encouraging its companies to invest more in developing economies rather than just exporting goods to these countries because this helps the local economy to develop,” Emek Basak Eker, Uganda's Honorary Consul to Antalya told news reporters in Kampala.

She said she would coordinate with Turkish investors to boost investment, production and export surplus.

Uganda exports a wide variety of flagship products to Turkiye, including coffee, tea, vanilla, cocoa beans, processed fruits, fish and handicrafts, and have increased exports 418% in 2021, Türkiye's Ambassador to Uganda Fikret Kerem Alp said recently.

Uganda has a growing robust domestic market of nearly 45 million people and those who invest in Uganda now have access to the new East African Community (EAC) market hosting 266 million people and a GDP of $243 billion, according to the Uganda Investment Authority.

The EAC stretches from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.

Utuk Bengisu, the founder of Bosphorus Expo and chairman of the World Cooperation Industries Forum said that the time to invest in Uganda and enhance partnerships is now, adding that Türkiye offers a ready market for Ugandan products.

He announced that a World Cooperation Industries Forum (WCI) to bring Turkish manufacturers and exporters together with potential partners from the entire African continent will be held in Türkiye in September.

African countries enjoy access to external markets under special agreements with more than 6,000 products eligible for US markets under the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act, and quota-free and tax-free access to all products into the European Union under the EBA scheme, or everything else except arms, which removes tariffs and quotas on imports to the bloc from the least developed nations. Source Yeni Safak

 


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.

 

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