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Jacob Oulanyah. Photo The Observer


The ruling National Resistance Movement central executive committee (CEC) has allegedly endorsed Omoro County MP Jacob Oulanyah over Rebecca Kadaga as the party's flagbearer in the race for the next speaker of parliament.

Oulanyah was reportedly the favourite candidate from Saturday evening when CEC adjourned to today. However, some members requested that the decision be made Sunday, and following lengthy deliberations this morning, a majority of the members backed Oulanyah over Kadaga for the job.

According to sources, many CEC members gave testimonies against Kadaga and the tension that she has caused during her reign as speaker of parliament.

The CEC also discussed issues of bribery where MPs were reportedly given money to support and vote for Kadaga who is seeking another term as the speaker, while the NRM chairman Yoweri Museveni reportedly complained about candidates who defied his directive on campaigns for the position.

According to sources that attended the meeting, Oulanyah used the recent performance of the NRM in northern Uganda in recent national polls to justify his achievements, pointing out that NRM secured more than 80 per cent of the votes in the region compared to the dismal performance from Busoga region and eastern Uganda, where Kadaga comes from.

He also reminded members about his respect for the decision of the CEC and the party chairman, when in 2016, he was asked to step down for  Kadaga to allow her complete 10 years as speaker. But Kadaga reportedly accused Oulanyah of insubordination, dodging work, and traveling abroad all the time. According to sources, once Kadaga stormed out of the meeting in protest against inviting non-CEC members into the meeting, CEC declared Oulanyah as the NRM flagbearer. 

The matter is now to be presented before the NRM caucus composed of NRM MPs and independent-leaning MPs. Oulanyah will reportedly be the only candidate for NRM and will not be subjected to any election in the caucus, while the contestant for the deputy speaker could be subjected to a contest, according to the source.   

CEC is however yet to finalize the choice of a candidate for deputy speaker between West Budama North MP Jacob Oboth-Oboth, Bukedea Woman MP Anita Among, Ruhinda North MP Thomas Tayebwa, Gomba West MP,  Robinah Rwakoojo.   

CEC is the second-highest organ of the NRM party after the national delegates conference. Its membership includes the chairman of the party Museveni, his two national vice-chairpersons, Haj Moses Kigongo and Rebecca Kadaga, six regional chairpersons who are joined by the secretary-general of the NRM, her deputy, the treasurer, chairpersons of leagues such as the youth, women, veterans, the prime minister, and the government chief whip.

According to the NRM constitution, CEC performs functions such as providing and exercising political leadership in the country, formulating policy for consideration by the national executive conference (NEC), supervising the day to day conduct of the NRM’s activities, appointing organizational functionaries from amongst members of  NRM and propagating NRM policies.

CEC also recommends candidates seeking nomination for the offices of national chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary-general, deputy secretary-general and national treasurer and presidential candidate for NRM. It implements the decisions of the national conference and NEC among others. Kadaga is set to address the media at Hotel Africana today evening. - URN/The Observer

A woman who suffered a gunshot wound to the head in the early hours of Sunday morning is understood to be an activist in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Police are appealing for information after finding the woman, thought to be aged in her 20s, with life-threatening injuries in Southwark, south London, at about 3am.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the Taking The Initiative Party said Sasha Johnson had received numerous death threats.

The statement said: "It is with great sadness that we inform you that our own Sasha Johnson has sustained a gunshot wound to her head. 

"Sasha has always been actively fighting for black people and the injustices that surround the black community, as well as being both a member of BLM and a member of Taking the Initiative Party's executive leadership committee.

"Sasha is also a mother of three and a strong, powerful voice for our people and our community.

"Let's all come together and pray for Sasha, pray for her recovery and show our support to her family and loved ones."

The Taking the Initiative Party is a political party that was registered with the Electoral Commission nearly four years ago and fielded its first candidates in May's local elections.

Ms Johnson was reported to have cut ties with the Black Lives Matter movement in recent months.

Detectives from the Met's Specialist Crime Command (Trident) are leading the investigation. No arrests have been made.

Detective Chief Inspector Jimi Tele said: "We are all hoping that this young woman's condition improves.

"Our investigation is in its early stages and urgent inquiries are under way to establish the circumstances.

"I would appeal to the residents of Consort Road and the surrounding area to check any doorbell or dashcam footage for any suspicious activity that may relate to this investigation."

Anybody with information about the incident is asked to call police on 101 or tweet @MetCC quoting CAD 1172/23May.

They can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

Last August, Ms Johnson was one of the organisers of the first-ever Million People March to protest against systemic racism in the UK. During the demonstration, hundreds of people took to the streets of west London.

She said she hoped the movement would "empower the community to strive for better".

"As a people, we're not going to stop until we have equal rights and justice," she said.

"Our message is listen to us, hear our words, we want sustainable and tangible change.

"We don't just want tokenistic promises, we don't want it to come from a hegemonic standpoint. We want it to be for the people."

Ms Johnson, who got a first in social care at Oxford University, has "an immense passion for implementing change and justice and has been actively supporting the eradication of injustices in society by attending and leading protests", according to her page on the TTIP website.

"Although not everyone may agree with her methods, she is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in.

"She is also committed to feeding the homeless and has personally been involved in delivering food and groceries to families that are in need." Yahoo News

-David Murathe argued that albinism should be viewed as any other skin complexion and not disability

- Murathe added that they were going to revisit the definition of persons living with disabilities to exclude albinism

- The Albinism Society of Kenya called out the politician insisting his utterances were in bad taste and uncalled for

Jubilee vice-chairman David Murathe is on the spot after claiming Albinism was not a disability while mocking nominated senator Isaac Mwaura.

Weighing in on the matter, the Albinism Society of Kenya called out the politician insisting his utterances were in bad taste and uncalled for.

Murathe made the perceived insensitive sentiments on Thursday, May 20, during an interview on KTN's Crossfire show where he insisted that having a skin pigment should be viewed as any other complexion and not as a disability. by  Jackson Otukho, Tuko News

Fully implement 2010 Constitution Image: OZONE

Politicians are like the rest of us in that they seem unable to take a position and stick to it, no matter the consequences.

Around the world, they just can't help themselves when it comes to tinkering with constitutions. 

When they don’t like a thing or it doesn’t suit their whims, then it is time to change the constitution. 

In Kenya, where the ripples from the latest bout of constitution fiddling are still being felt, we've been messing about with the rules that govern us from the very start.

I say we, but I actually mean they, our political masters. 

Of course, it didn’t help that the very first constitution we had was a mishmash of influences and had very little input from Kenyans.

A Time Magazine report on the Lancaster House constitutional talks of February 1960 put it thus: “While the delegates engulfed each other with long speeches, US lawyer Thurgood Marshall was hard at work behind the scenes.”

Marshall was on leave from the US civil rights body, the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP), and was working as special adviser to the 14 elected African members of Kenya’s Legco at the conference.

According to Time Magazine's writer: “Arming himself with 'almost anything I can get my hands on', Marshall sat in his cheerless Piccadilly Hotel room, poring over the US Bill of Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the constitutions of Nigeria, Uganda and Tanganyika. 

“Although he has appeared often and successfully to argue Negro causes before the US Supreme Court, Marshall is faced with one difficulty: he has had no experience of British law. His solution: to draft the constitution in US legal terms and then consult the Colonial Office, which will 'translate' it into the proper British terminology.”

Armed with hindsight, and we all know how wonderful that is; it is easy to see how this “mixed grill” was always going to end in tears for Kenyans. And it did, pretty much.   

Even the 2010 Constitution, which we were conned into thinking came about through a people-driven process, was all about the politics. 

We were conned because while the people may have demanded it and insisted on certain things, such as Chapter Six and the recall clause, we have allowed the politicians carte blanche to either ignore or change it.

Look at Chapter Six, for instance.

The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 provides, under Chapter 6, for leadership and integrity of all public officers. 

This means that under the Constitution, those whose conduct does not bring honour, public confidence and integrity have no place in the management of public affairs.

While we the people may have once thought it was vital, we have allowed the politicians to wear us down to the point where we don’t even seem bothered to pretend that it matters anymore.

If you think I'm being unfair, just look at the people we've put into positions of authority through the ballot since the 2010 Constitution came into effect and tell me honestly how many of them would pass the test of Chapter Six.

Maybe when things come to a head again, we can rely on the courts and a few conscientious members of civil society to pull us out of the morass. 

Meanwhile, here in South Africa, things are no different. When politicians here are unable or unwilling to deal with a constitutional requirement, they ignore it in the hope that it will go away, and when that doesn’t work, they change it.

The Constitution has been amended 17 times since its adoption in 1996.

Some amendments such as the eighth, ninth and tenth, seemed overtly beneficial to the politicians. These three amendments from 2002 effectively allowed legislators to cross the floor without losing their elected position.  

These changes were, however, repealed by the 14th and 15th amendment, which came into force in 2009. 

To me, these flip-flops just show that, like the rest of us, our political masters cannot make up their minds.  By Mwangi Githangu, The Star

Photo Courtesy DW

The Congolese government said it was evacuating Goma, a city of nearly 2 million people, after the Mount Nyiragongo volcano erupted. Lava reached the city's airport.

A volcanic eruption turned the sky red and brought a strong smell of sulfur to the streets of Goma, a city of nearly 2 million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Saturday. Power was out in multiple locations throughout the city.

Thousands of people grabbed their belongings and fled towards the nearby border with Rwanda.

"I am taking the children and getting into the car. There is a risk that the lava will flow on Goma," a Goma resident told the AFP news agency. 

The government has activated its evacuation plans for the city, spokesman Patrick Muyaya said on Twitter. 

 "The situation is deteriorating," an official from Virunga National Park, where the volcano is located, told his staff in a memo.

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi said he would "interrupt his stay in Europe to return home this Sunday to supervise the coordination of aid."

Lava flows toward Goma from second crack

Officials confirmed an eruption at Mount Nyiragongo. The volcano last erupted in 2002, with some 250 people losing their lives and lava destroying approximately one-fifth of city, including airport runways. Hundreds of thousands were evacuated.

The top of the Nyiragongo volcanic crater

The deadliest eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano was in 1977, when over 600 people died

Goma-based volcanologist Dario Tedesco initially told Reuters news agency that the city did not appear to be at risk, but later Saturday a second fracture opened in the volcano, allowing lava to flow towards Goma. 

North Kivu military governor Constant Ndima called on the resident to remain calm.

"Investigations are underway and people must follow the guidance of civil protection," he said.

Witnesses, though, said lava had engulfed one highway that connects Goma with the city of Beni in North Kivu province and had reached Goma's airport.

Volcano observatory in crisis

The Goma region, in DRC's North Kivu province, has six active volcanoes. All of them are higher than 3,000 meters (9,843 feet).

Earlier this year, researchers working at the Goma Volcano Observatory reported signals that an eruption might be on the way. However, the observatory has been struggling to maintain its operations after the World Bank pulled funding over embezzlement claims.

dj/sms (Reuters, AFP)DW

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