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The High Court has overturned a legal provision requiring aspirants vying for parliamentary seats at both the national and county level to be holders of university degrees.

Justice Anthony Mrima said the provision contained in Section 22 (1) of the Elections Act was irrational and had been developed without proper public participation.

The judge, in a ruling delivered on Friday, said drafters of the law did not take into account the 2019 population census data on the number of people with university degrees.

He further pointed out that the National Qualification Act requires academic training from any college or institution.

The judge said that the 2019 population data showed that there were 2.1 m graduates in the country, 25 percent whom were reported to be living in Nairobi.

He further said that some sub-counties like in Mau Forest, Kakamega and the North Eastern region have few if any graduates making the law irrational since people in such areas who be restrained from electing leaders of their choice.

The decision followed a petition filed by a lobby group named Sheria Mtaani and backed a section of Members of the County Assembly who were apprehensive the impugned law would lock them out of the 2022 general election.

The petitioners approached the court saying the decision made by parliament was meant to lock out several candidates and leave many Kenyans unrepresented in many counties. 

The lobby group had cited, among other reasons, the disruption of the academic year by the coronavirus pandemic making it impossible for some aspirants who had enrolled for programs with the intention to vie in 2022 general elections to complete their studies.

In 2017, only the President, Deputy President, Governors and Deputy Governors were required to hold university degrees as a prerequisite to be cleared to run for office. Capital FM

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW) has issued its findings on Rwanda and Azerbaijan, the States parties that it reviewed during its latest session.

The findings contain positive aspects of each country's implementation of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, as well as the Committee's main concerns and recommendations. Some of the key highlights include:

Rwanda

The Committee expressed concern that there is no law prohibiting child labour. It was similarly concerned about the lack of information on the implementation of the principle of equal pay for work of equal value. It recommended that the State party carry out regular and unannounced workplace inspections to ensure that migrant workers have the same pay and work conditions as nationals. It also urged Rwanda to redouble its efforts to eliminate child labour by taking legal action against those who exploit children economically, and to ensure child victims receive full reparation.

The Committee was also concerned at the limited knowledge about human trafficking among local leaders, teachers, young people, border communities, and refugees. It recommended that Rwanda adopt a holistic approach to tackle trafficking, such as setting up a cross-sector office that involves civil society and the private sector, and developing a human trafficking database. 

To enhance civil society’s participation in protecting the rights of migrant workers, the Committee recommended that the State party strengthen its dialogue with non-governmental organizations, and provide those working with migrant workers with all necessary means to take part in the implementation of the Convention.

Azerbaijan

The CMW was concerned about the State party’s border regime that is largely geared towards border protection, and about the criminalization of irregular border crossings. The Committee considered that irregular entry, stay or exit may constitute at most administrative offences and should never be considered criminal practices. It recommended that the State party adopt a human rights-based approach to migration, including de-criminalizing irregular border crossings.

The Committee was concerned about the practice of administrative immigration detention. It urged Azerbaijan to immediately stop detaining children and other vulnerable groups of migrant workers, as well as asylum-seekers and refugees. It recommended that the State party consider alternative measures to detention in all cases and ultimately put an end to immigration detention.

The CMW called on the State party to effectively investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases. It recommended that Azerbaijan strengthen international, regional and bilateral cooperation through agreements with countries of origin, transit and destination to prevent and combat such trafficking. SCOOP

Masten Wanjala was detained over the killing of a dozen children. Photo AP/Provided by PA Media 

 

A Kenyan man who confessed to killing a dozen children has been beaten to death by a mob after escaping from a police station.

Area Assistant County Commissioner Cornelius Nyaribai said Masten Wanjala was killed near his home in Bungoma county, a day after he escaped from police cells in Nairobi.

Police authorities said Wanjala was identified after he played with locals in a football match. Some then trailed him and beat him to death.

“The law of the jungle as applied by irate villagers prevailed,” Kenyan police’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations said in a tweet on Friday.

Authorities have said Wanjala confessed to killing 12 children in Nairobi, Machakos and Bungoma counties when he was arrested in July. He reportedly posed as a football coach to lure victims.

So far, five bodies have been recovered. - Associated Press/PA Media

Former Secretary General, Pagan Amum, leading a protest in New York, United States(Photo: file)

The Former Secretary General of the ruling party,  Cde. Pagan Amum Okiech blames President Salva Kiir for exterminating ten of thousands of Nuer ethic group in December 2013 and calls on him to confess his wrongdoing and apologize to the people of South Sudan for the nation to begin healing, truth and reconciliation.

Amum, who is one of the senior cadres of SPLM,  believes that the only way to restore truth and confidence among the broken communities is for prime perpetrator to admit the pain he inflicted on people. 

“As Nilotic it is there in our culture and custom to admit what went wrong and if you does then people will find a way to forgive you”, Pagan told RBC during his interview on Saturday.

When asked whether there could be a possible mean for South Sudan to get out of this current fiasco, Amum said the healing can only be achieved after perpetrators and especially country’s president publicly admits the pain he has inflicted on South Sudanese and especially on the Nuer tribe for the genocide that he led on the Nuer during the Juba massacre of 2013.

He said President Kiir is too reluctant to implement the peace deal in text and spirit because he is afraid of Hybrid Court which might try him for the crime he has committed.

” Now Kiir is not willing to implement the peace agreement because of Hybrid Court and he is not willing to investigate and come out with an accurate number of those killed in 2013 because he knows that he is not innocent”, Amum added. Nyamilepedia

 

Coinciding 22nd death anniversary of Nyerere, some hail him for anti-colonialism, pan-Africanism, others call him autocratic democrat

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania

Experts in Africa have asked leaders to revive the spirit of pan-Africanism as propagated by late Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere and avoid narrow nationalism being circulated under the guise of patriotism.

Coinciding the 22nd death anniversary of Nyerere -- the father of the pan-African struggle for independence -- Issa Shivji, the director of Dar es Salaam-based Nyerere Centre, told Anadolu Agency that there was a need to revisit the vision of the departed leader.

He said that Nyerere believed that collective freedom was the only legitimate cause for African nations to attain real democracy.

“African democracy is in prison, it has been taken hostage by party pundits, handcuffed by neo-liberal ideology, and mutilated by the barbaric capitalist system,” said Shivji.

He urged African countries to revive the spirit pan-Africanism and desist sinking into narrow nationalism propagated under the guise of patriotism.

“We need an ideology that transcends parochial nationalism,” he said.

Nyerere, who died of leukemia in London on Oct. 14, 1999, at the age of 77, was a leading figure of Africa’s struggle for independence who strongly advocated for political and economic emancipation.

According to Shivji, the insatiable hunger for material accumulation by western nations has devastated nature and decimated the ideals of people’s freedom that Nyerere stood for.

“Nothing, absolutely nothing is out of the reach of capital … capital respects nothing, least of all freedom and democracy,” he said.

As a charismatic leader of razor-sharp intellect and great personal integrity, Nyerere not only united Tanzania but also helped liberation struggles in southern African countries providing them politically, material, and moral support.

The expert, who is also a professor at the University of Dar es Salaam, said Nyerere felt it was an obligation to assist other African nations to achieve freedom from colonial rule.

"Our country offered itself as a base for those fighting for liberation, that was a great honour," he said.

Nyerere also promoted the Kiswahili language and wanted it to become Africa’s lingua franca.

Autocratic democrat

Nyerere who ruled from 1961-1985 is being hailed by some for his advocacy against colonialism and promoting African socialism. But many criticize him for being autocratic and the one who failed to bring prosperity to the continent.

“He was an advocate for democracy, but by reasoning that each country built its style of democracy, he built a one-party state that regularly violated democratic values,” said Paul Bjerk, a renowned author of African history.

But political commentator Jenerarali Ulimwengu described Nyerere as an ethical leader who will be remembered for his remarkable leadership skills, unity, tranquility that Tanzanians enjoy today.

Born in April 1922 at a village of Butiama on the eastern shores of Lake Victoria into a Zanaki tribe Nyerere was the architect of Tanzania’s independence and a key figure in the struggle against foreign domination.

He became the first Tanzanian to study at a British university when he went to Edinburgh on a government scholarship

He governed Tanganyika as prime minister from 1961-1962 and then as president from 1963-1964. When the island of Zanzibar was unified with Tanganyika to form Tanzania, he served as president of the country from 1964-1985. Kizito Makoye, Anadolu Agency

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