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Photo via Radio Tamazuj

 

Several lawmakers who were not reappointed to South Sudan’s Revitalized Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) have demanded reinstatement. 

Last month, President Salva Kiir revoked the appointment of 36 representatives to R-TNLA, the lower chamber of the country’s legislature, a little over a month after their appointment, and before they could take the oath of office. 

No reason was given for the abrupt changes.  

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj over the weekend, the majority of those dismissed demanded reinstatement, saying they represent constituencies that came to life during the 2010 elections. 

The complainants, the majority of whom are from the SPLM party, called for representation. 

“Our concern is that those of us representing legitimate geographical constituencies have been left out of the R-TNLA by the committee tasked with overseeing the reconstitution process. For example, I was representing Constituency No. 17 Pibor East. But my appointment was revoked, and my constituency transferred to Gumuruk. Now, all the 3 constituencies of Pibor County are transferred to only one area, Gumuruk,” Abraham Ngacho Tango of Pibor explained. 

He added, “According to the president, all the 2010 constituencies should be represented. But that has not been observed, and no reason is given for revocation”

Another former lawmaker, Kam Gai Chuol of Leer County said his constituency is not represented as well, condemning it as marginalization, and that it may create friction among the locals.

“I represent Leer Constituency No. 23. I wonder why we are neglected yet our constituency is an independent one. It has nothing to do with the SPLM party, SPLM-IO, or any other political group,” he said. 

Gai pointed out that he will file a lawsuit in the constitutional court to seek redress. 

Rejab Mohandis of the civil society Organization for Responsive Governance and a representative to the peace monitoring body R-JMEC urged the disgruntled MPs to address the concerns within their parties. 

“Some of those MPs have been in parliament since 2010. They witnessed elected governors being removed from their positions but they did not complain. So, it is the same thing affecting them now. If their complaints should have a strong basis, then they should complain for the elected governors,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Jame David Kolok, the head of the consortium South Sudan Civil Society Forum (SSCSF), said while the agreement is silent on the reconstitution process, there is a need for constructive party politics.

“I hope this issue will not have a negative implication. South Sudan has got a history of individuals fighting if they are not part of the government. If we still have this mentality, then yes there is a threat,” Kolok said. - Radio Tamazuj

  • 18 Kenyan fishermen have been released by Museveni's government after Ugandan authorities met their Kenyan counterparts to facilitate the exchange.

    The exchange happened on Monday, July 19, under the supervision of Bondo Deputy County Commissioner Richard Karani, who presided over the exchange as the Kenyan representative.

    The fishermen had been arrested by Ugandan officials on Friday, July 16 in Usenge Beach and were driven to the neighboring country where they were detained.

    The 18 individuals had been fishing in Lake Victoria prior to being set upon by Ugandan police officers and their boats confiscated.

    Undated image of Ugandan police officers
    Undated image of Ugandan police officers. TWITTER

    In the same incident, a Ugandan national had been ordered by Ugandan police officers to transport a different party of Kenyan fishermen to Sigulu Island during the arrests. 

    The Ugandan national who had donned official Ugandan marine regalia lost direction to Sigulu and in a comedy of errors, asked the Kenyan fishermen in his custody for directions. However, upon realizing he had lost his bearing, the fishermen tricked the Ugandan national by giving him the wrong directions. 

    They directed him towards Honge Beach where they overpowered him and took custody of him. Police officers rescued him from an angry mob who had intended to execute him.

    "They arrested us and took us to an unknown hill...they then took us to a bushy area where they detained us in a house which has iron-roofing," narrated one of the Kenyan fishermen who had been arrested.

    "According to us, we are entitled to 6 percent of Lake Victoria, and it is impossible for us to know where the boundary is when in the waters. We are aware that there are boundaries but they (Uganda) have not placed any physical boundaries to show where their water territory starts," explained one of the fishermen.

    The fishermen had thought that the Ugandan national was a police officer but on further probing, Kenyan police officers found out that he was not an official member of Ugandan authorities.

    Kenyan authorities demanded that Ugandan authorities release the detained fishermen, a call which the Ugandan authorities heeded, in exchange for their pseudo-police officer who had been held by Kenyan fishermen during their encounter. 

    The Ugandan Citizen is identified as Isa Ishmael and according to Bondo Deputy County Commissioner Richard Karani, was merely impersonating a police officer but was not one despite wearing a full Ugandan marine police officer's uniform. Ugandan authorities had also captured 7 boats which were also released in the exchange.

    An image of boats
    Boats at the shore of Lake Victoria. FACEBOOK
 
 
 
 

 

By Sally Peters

Ethiopian Airlines Kenya has partnered and signed an MOU with Tour Operators Society of Kenya (TOSK). This partnership is to promote and market leisure travel into Ethiopia and within the Ethiopian Airlines network.

This comes at a time after Ethiopia was awarded the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travels Stamp – the world’s first-ever global safety and hygiene stamp – following major steps implemented by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to ensure safety for residents, travellers,  workers and businesses in the tourism value chain, as Ethiopia reopened its borders to international visitors.

Ethiopia is among 200 other major popular holiday hot spots around the world such as Kenya, Turkey, Portugal, Argentina, Tunisia, and Indonesia, who together are using the stamp to reassure travellers and restore confidence to travel.

Tour Operators Society of Kenya (TOSK) is a business membership organization of small medium enterprises and start-up Tour Operators and other service providers in the Tourism industry. 

As many destinations begin to ease lockdown restrictions and more travellers seek out getaways to escape from the lockdown, Tour and leisure operators will be on the frontlines to welcoming new guests with exciting holiday offers.  

The Ethiopian TOSK partnership is expected to stimulate and meet this leisure demand especially into Ethiopia. Together with the fully fledged ET Holidays Department, this is expected to increase and grow the number of leisure travellers into Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is an ancient country whose unique cultural heritage, rich history and remarkable biodiversity are reflected in a tally of nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites – more than any other country in Africa.

As the cradle of mankind, the source of the Blue Nile, the origin of coffee and more, Ethiopia offers an authentic experience to its Travelers. From mysterious ancient cities to being the diplomatic capital of Africa, from the peaks of 4000m above sea level to the Danakil depression, the lowest and hottest place on Earth, visiting Ethiopia is an experience of a lifetime.

Photo Courtesy Bitcoin.com 

An aspirant to the post of commissioner with the Kenyan Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has urged the elections body to consider adopting blockchain technology. According to Justus Abonyo, a former official with the Social Democratic Party of Kenya, doing this will help Kenya reduce the cost of “running an election by up to 300 per cent.”

Enhanced Transparency

As the breakdown of the costs shared by Abonyo suggests, using an electoral management system based on a blockchain will see the cost of the ballot going down to as low as $0.50. The candidate explained:

The cost of a ballot in Kenya ranges between US$7 US$25 (Sh700-Sh2,500). If we use blockchain technology, this cost will go down to US$0.5 (Sh50). This is an area I would explore as a commissioner.

In addition to significantly reducing the running costs, one local media outlet, the Star, also quotes Abonyo detailing other benefits that could be realized and these include “greater security and transparency.” Further, improved transparency could increase trust in election systems and help to prevent a repeat of the post-election violence seen in 2007. The violence, which resulted in a serious humanitarian and economic crisis, had been sparked by allegations of electoral manipulation.

 

Credibility Enhanced With Blockchain

In his comments before the selection panel for the appointment of IEBC commissioners, Abonyo used the opportunity to highlight the extent of his confidence in blockchain technology. Still, the aspiring commissioner suggested he will step down if the credibility of elections he presides over is questioned. He said:

I will listen to what observers are saying and other stakeholders like the voters themselves and if they are unanimous that the elections were not credible, I will step down.

However, Abonyo says he still expects any aggrieved party to follow due process. This according to Abonyo means he will only move to act once someone has lodged a complaint with the court. He explained:

“People are taken to court. I will not take myself to court. I will not go to court and accuse myself.” Bitcoin.com

By FLEVIAN MUTIE

In every new day, some parts of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi have their roads murky and trenches filled with garbage. From the heaps emanates a foul stench. Smelly water oozing from the nearby heaps snake down in curls and zigzags, and invariable stream ends down the Nairobi River which flows across the city. The River doesn’t leave behind any kind of filth on its way, thousands of plastic bags and bottles, entangled hair wigs, bones all flow with it, however, when it rains, the pile becomes incredibly terrifying.

Photo by Flevian Mutie

Eventually, the river has become so polluted with all kinds of garbage, industrial effluent and sometimes dead animals are washed down the drain and into the same flow. Alfred Oyugi, a Nairobi resident, narrating to IEA News, says he used to reside in Korogocho. Alfred recalls how he used to mobilize his peers during his childhood where they would carelessly jump into the river and swim without any kind of care or concern.

“We would do this every day after school, and as swimming was one of our sporting activities, we would compete to see who emerged the best in it, the water was so clean as opposed to its current state,” he says. Like many water bodies in the sub-Saharan area, a big population across the capital depends on the Nairobi River. The river has recently experienced serious cases of pollution, deeming its water unfit for both humans and animals, although the Kenyan herdsmen have always used it to quench the thirst of their animals.

Photo by Flevian Mutie

“I wish there was an organization which could offer to rehabilitate the river as other initiatives have either failed or yielded a very minimal result. The Kenya government, in conjunction with the former Nairobi County Governor, Mike Mbuvi Sonko, the Ministry of Water, the National Water Management Authority, NEMA among other bodies, has for decades promised to rehabilitate the river, with some vowing to resign if their initiative to do so wasn’t achieved. “he adds.

Like true answers to his prayer, Alfred’s childhood memories are revived when an innovative, young and energetic Kenyan lady, namely Nzambi Matee, offers to clean the river as she recycles the plastic waste material into more useful stuff. Matee, in an exclusive with IEA News, says that she founded her organization, Gienge Makers, as a startup plant geared towards the collection and the recycling of plastic waste into bricks.

“Gienge fell into place after the discovery of a prototype machine that can turn plastic into paving stones, she narrates, adding that the machine enables them to produce the bricks in bulk. “I am not blowing my own trumpet, but we have really cashed in from this, since inception, which has also helped clean most parts of the city, including the Nairobi River amongst other regions. The profits are always on the maximum as we get the materials free of charge. ” says Matee, adding that the bricks they produce at Gienge have a wide market not just for their affordability but also for their quality.

“It’s ironical that they are made from plastic waste material, they offer more stability and strength and are harder even than the ones made from concrete. This initiative, apart from cleaning the environment and providing an alternative and a more affordable building material, it has also created employment, for garbage collectors, to begin with, and the young turks who operate the plant with me, and also for many more people like masons. I would urge Kenyans to think “outside the box” and implement an idea that will be useful both for them and for the entire community.” Says Nzambi.  She also asks the government, to extend a hand and join her in working towards the reclamation of the environment, especially the Nairobi River, that it can be treated to be safe again for human consumption.

Photo by Flevian Mutie

Speaking to IEA News, Damaris Mbui, an environmentalist and a university lecturer in Nairobi, says that in 2017, and June last year as well, the Kenya government banned the use of plastic bags in most protected natural areas, like national parks and animal reserves and forests. “I wonder why with all these in place, plastic waste keeps on piling up across all dumpsites in Nairobi, where over 500 metric tons worth of plastic waste is collected from homesteads every day. I urge Kenyans to practice safer ways of waste disposal, which are friendly to our environment.

Amos Wemanya, a Greenspace and environment campaigner says even the whole world was to be called in to help with this sanctification; we can never win when we have some of us, both companies and individuals draining their waste into our rivers, especially the Nairobi River.  “As well, we cannot win this battle when the government does not lend a helping hand.

The government ought to step up, in collaboration with organizations like NEMA, educate the common mwananchi on the importance of conservation of the environment” he says.  Wemanya encourages Kenyans like Matee, and her Gienge fraternity to improvise and implement ways of water sanitation and install simple water recycling plants, which will exacerbate this kind of pollution. She calls on the Kenya government to ensure sufficient water,” he says.  

 

 

 

 

 

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