President Uhuru Kenyatta participated in a virtual meeting of the East African Community (EAC) Heads of State and Government convened by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. Image:PSCU
African Union, which has secured a deal to procure 270 million of the same for all member states.
Rwanda has started rolling out the first phase of Covid-19 vaccination after receiving 1,000 doses of Moderna vaccine
Tanzania, which has said it has prayed Covid-19 away, has said it has no plans to acquire the vaccines
East African Community members states are expected to receive some 39 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from the African Union, which has secured a deal to procure 270 million doses for all member states.
Rwanda has started rolling out the first phase of Covid-19 vaccination after receiving 1,000 doses of Moderna vaccine. High-risk groups, among them healthcare workers, will be prioritised.
The country’s Ministry of Health said on February 11 that the limited initial doses were “acquired through international partnership in limited quantities”.
It, however, expects to receive at least 996,000 doses of AstraZeneca and 102,960 doses of the Pfizer vaccine between February and March from Covax and AU’s Africa Medical Supplies Platform.
The 270 million doses will be distributed through the Africa Medical Supplies Platform on behalf of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
Neighbouring Burundi has said it does not need the vaccines.
Burundi’s Health minister Thaddee Ndikumana told reporters on February 4 that prevention is more important, and “since more than 95 per cent of patients are recovering, we estimate that the vaccines are not yet necessary.”
Burundi closed its land and water borders last month. It now has more than 1,820 confirmed coronavirus cases.
Tanzania says it has prayed Covid-19 away.
On February 8, Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima told a press conference in Dodoma, “the ministry has no plans to receive vaccines for Covid-19.”
If the white man was able to come up with vaccinations, then vaccinations for Aids would have been brought, tuberculosis would be a thing of the past, vaccines for malaria and cancer would have been found,
President John Magufuli
On January 27, President John Magufuli warned the Health ministry against rushing to acquire Covid-19 vaccines, suggesting they may not be safe or effective.
“If the white man was able to come up with vaccinations, then vaccinations for Aids would have been brought, tuberculosis would be a thing of the past, vaccines for malaria and cancer would have been found,” Magufuli said in western Tanzania. By Eliud Kibii, The Star
Residents who spoke to Anadolu Agency over phone said they heard a huge explosion.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the bomb attack but Somali-based al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda-affiliated terror group, has been responsible for many deadly bombings in the Horn of Africa country.
The group claimed on Sunday that it had attacked several African Union peacekeeping mission forces bases in southern Somalia overnight. MEM
Muslim women and children in Lamu in north east Kenya. Al-Shabaab’s recruitment of female members is most evident in coastal and north eastern counties. Photo by Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us/Corbis via Getty Images/Photo Courtesy
The direct involvement of women and girls in terrorism has attracted increased interest as the nature of recruitment tactics has evolved. In Kenya, their involvement in terrorist networks, such as the Al-Shabaab, is an emerging trend. The recruitment of female members is most evident in Kenya’s coastal and North Eastern counties but has also been reported in many other counties.
Women and girls have been identified as recruiters for the terrorist group, logistics planners, financial conduits, spies for terrorist activities and in some cases, masterminds behind terrorist attacks or conveners of terror cells.
The Al-Shabaab, or “the youth”, emerged in the mid-2000s as an offshoot of a Jihadist movement that peaked during Somalia’s civil war in the 1990s. Driven out of Mogadishu in 2006, it continues to pursue its main aim of establishing an Islamic state in Somalia through violent means. It has carried out repeated deadly attacks in Somalia but also in Kenya and Uganda. Both contribute troops to the African Union force in Somalia.
In one of my previous studies, I found that women may participate willingly because the extremist ideology resonates with their religiously inclined cultural values. They may also join due to the financial benefits that come with belonging to or associating with the group. Also, women may be forced or coerced to join through deception or intimidation.
In my most recent study I looked at different ways in which recruitment occurs to analyse the diverse motivations of women and girls to join Al-Shabaab in the coastal region of Kenya. In particular, I sought to establish the “voluntariness” of their decisions – in other words, did they sign up on their own volition?
I interviewed 36 women or girls who had returned home from terrorist camps or defected from the network. I generated 16 case accounts of women and girls who explained ‘voluntariness’ in Al-Shabaab recruitment.
The study revealed that the gender-dynamics of submission and subordination within families and the community contributes to Al-Shabaab recruitment. However, there were political and ideological motivations too.
Volunteering to the Al-Shabaab
But what do we mean by voluntary?
Recruitment was deemed to be voluntary if a woman or girl – without duress – elected to join the Al-Shabaab network. Recruitment was viewed as involuntary if it occurred through deceptive or coercive means.
However, I must caution that voluntary and involuntary are not always mutually exclusive. I found that depending on allegiances, social interactions, ideological resonance, and changing circumstances within and beyond the Al-Shabaab network, recruits may reverse their original views.
Furthermore, there is need to examine different aspects of autonomous decision-making. Some women who join terrorist networks do so to assert themselves within systems of oppression and patriarchy, and to embrace the lure of emancipation within the utopian caliphate.
In my study four main circumstances emerged as the reasons behind decisions to join Al-Shabaab.
Defending the faith
Al-Shabaab thrives on the narrative of Kenya as a Christian state oppressing Muslims in Somalia and Kenya. This resonates with the global marginalisation of Muslims. Political and religious motivations came up during our interviews, as well as the expressed desire to support or defend fellow Muslims.
Two women explained their motivations to be wives of martyrs and to play their role to support the Muslim Ummah, or community. Nine interviewees explained how ideology influenced their decisions to support the Al-Shabaab cause. These decisions belie Kenyan media accounts of naive girls manipulated through romantic notions of Jihadi brides or wives.
Aisha, 25 at the time, an Al-Shabaab returnee who defected after two years said:
I read a lot of materials. I was sad at how Muslims were treated as a second class group. I didn’t want my people to suffer, I needed to do something. I wanted to assist them in Somalia.
Reacting to a personal crisis
Al-Shabaab recruitment thrives on revenge among individuals who see the state as the perpetrator of the injustices suffered in their lives. A crisis event in the life of women and girls – such as the police killing a loved one – was found to be an important tipping point. Some women join extremist networks to avenge the death of a husband, fiancé, or son at the hands of government security actors.
There’s also evidence of recruiters penetrating existing networks of aggrieved women, including relatives of fallen Al-Shabaab members. Peer influence is used to influence or coerce women to follow the relative’s cause.
Close interpersonal relations
Daily interactions with family, friends and peers also shaped the decision to join the network in 9 out of the 16 case studies. A woman’s autonomy in marital relationships may be constrained in ways that push her to follow her husband or other influential male relatives’ lead.
The decision to join is autonomous if it is her choice. Nevertheless, her choice may be coerced within marital and family relationships. This occurs when a woman exhibits excessive deference to the wishes of her family members.
Ideology rubbing off in camps
Some women may have been recruited involuntarily. However, after a prolonged period of time in the terrorist camp or association with terrorist fighters, three of the 16 identified for this study accepted the ideology and subsequently volunteered to join Al-Shabaab.
Mary, a Muslim convert, was recruited by a friend in the guise of a job in Somalia. She was 18 years old when she was recruited in 2015. In camp she was subjected to work and religious indoctrination.
After a few days, I was worn out. I was also learning the religion…I kind of started to accept it. I felt it was right to fight for our [Muslim] freedom. It was like a moral obligation. I wanted to be a part of the Al-Shabaab network.
An examination of the political and ideological motivations behind women joining the Al-Shabaab shows that in some cases, they do make autonomous decisions based on their response to the grievances of the Muslim community.
But other structural and cultural factors were at play such as the patriarchal set-up in families and their communities. Some women’s decision making conformed to subservient attitudes and roles. These women, mainly from the coastal Muslim communities, revealed that they were subject to traditional gender roles, suggesting deference to social norms.
But not all women joining the Al-Shabaab lived lives of subjugation prior joining. Some returnees had good family lives or were happily settled. By Fathima Azmiya Badurdeen, The Conversation
NEW ENTRANT: Mukhisa Kituyi speaks to the press in Kakamega - Image:JOHN NALIANYA/Photo Courtesy
• Given the fanfare with which Kituyi has splashed himself into the succession waters, one cannot help but conclude he is the compromise candidate for the handshake duo.
• He doesn’t have entrenched enemies, which is ideal to unify the country.
February has seen the passing of two individuals who have been at the centre of Kenya’s administration and politics for decades.
Simeon Nyachae, a good friend of mine and political mentor, passed on at 89, while Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji passed on at age 80. May they rest in peace.
Their obituaries read like small books because the two lived impactful lives, achieving and accomplishing things many would dream to do in life.
A common trait of both men is they were incorruptible, straight shooters, and overflowing with honour and integrity of a level no breathing person in government has or even approaches.
Just a few days before the passing of Nyachae, I was home to bury our oldest brother who passed on at 80.
My intention was to pen a public tribute to him and highlight a simple point: Daniel Omwenga Mayaka was an honourable, dedicated civil servant who served our country as a diplomat and to the day he retired.
Mayaka never stole a penny from the government and neither did he use his position to self-aggrandize.
A question or two I always have and intended to pose is why is it that nearly everyone in politics or government sees it as the opportunity to eat?
Why is it people seek elective office not to serve constituents but to have the opportunity to steal?
In his tribute to Nyachae, Kanu leader Gideon Moi did not answer the question directly but he inversely provided an explanation — or more aptly, he pleaded for the guilty and wannabes to end the culture of theft and corruption.
Gideon said, “To be successful, to reach the pinnacle of your career, and personal [life]and business you do not have to steal; you do not have to cut shortcuts…you reach the pinnacle by sheer hard work, determination and intelligence.”
This, according to Gideon and anyone who knew Nyachae, is one of the main takeaways from his life.
The same can be said of my late brother, the late Haji and men and a few men and women of their character who, as Gideon noted, are hard to find these days.
Some have said Gideon's statement was a jab at Deputy President William Ruto but it could be literally anyone in a position to steal.
Ruto, perhaps assuming he was the target of this noble assertion, came up with his own takeaway from Nyachae.
Ruto noted Nyachae “chose a different route. Instead of waiting to share what was there, he decided to create more. This is what he is teaching us, that though we can choose to wait and share, it is much more important to create one's wealth."
Yes, a convincing case can be made these two political rivals were directing missiles at each other, but the message is one that should resonate and be heeded to by all, more so those holding positions of public trust.
Do we have men and women of high honour and integrity; men and women who put the public interest first and not their self-enrichment when seeking public office?
In the years former Prime Minister and ODM leader Raila Odinga have vied for the presidency, he has presented himself as “clean as cotton” when it comes to corruption.
It was not a self-serving assertion at all, but his political enemies would agree that was true. Raila’s anti-corruption credentials were muddled up following the handshake but, politically, his being clean or not clean is neither here nor there.
Raila has not announced whether he will vie come 2022 but, given the fanfare with which Dr Mukhisa Kituyi has splashed himself into the succession waters, one cannot help but conclude Kituyi is the compromise candidate for the handshake duo.
He is ideal because he is steeped in knowledge of how to run a successful government and more importantly, he is not a polarizing figure.
He also doesn’t have entrenched enemies, which is ideal to unify the country.
Samuel Omwenga is a legal analyst and political commentator -The Star
A Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) soldier shot himself dead in Bunyangabu district on Friday.
Private Godfrey Nandasaba reportedly took his own life from inside his army tent at Kisogi-Rwimi army detach in Kabonero sub county.
According to the UPDF Mountain Division spokesperson, Capt George Musinguzi, the incident happened at around 6 pm under circumstances that are yet to be established. He explains that his colleagues suddenly heard bullets from his tent and when they rushed there, they found that he had shot himself in the head and was already dead.
Musunguzi says they are now investigating circumstances under which Nandasaba cut his life short, adding that they already have leads it could have been as a result of a family misunderstanding.
In November last year, a Court Martial sitting at Muhooti barracks in Fort Portal Tourism city handed a UPDF soldier a 90-year sentence for murder.
Private Paul Lotukei was found guilty of murdering Pamela Nayebale, 26, and her nine-month-old son, Owen Kusemererwa, both residents of Kitumba village in Nyakigumba Sub County, Bunyangabu district. - URN/The Observer
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