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Macky Sall says consultations for organization of election of his successor will begin on Monday. 

Senegal’s president announced Thursday that his mandate as president will end on April 2 and consultations for the organization of the election of his successor will start next week.

Speaking in a media interview in the capital Dakar, Macky Sall said the date for holding presidential elections he had postponed remains open but he plans to leave his position as president after the end of his term.

“On April 2, 2024, my mission ends as the head of Senegal,” he said.

“As far as the date is concerned, we'll see from the outcome of consultations, which are expected to begin on Monday, Feb. 26 and probably end on Tuesday. If a consensus is not reached, everything will be referred to the Constitutional Council,” he said.

The election can be held before or after April 2, he added.

Sall announced the indefinite suspension of the Feb. 25 presidential election on Feb. 3, citing a dispute over the candidate list and alleged corruption of constitutional judges.

The National Assembly then passed a bill postponing the vote until Dec. 15 as security forces stormed the building and removed some opposition lawmakers.

But the Senegalese Constitutional Council declared the law postponing the country’s presidential vote to December “unconstitutional” and annulled his decree to delay the poll.

The election delay in the West African country triggered violent protests, during which three people were killed and dozens of others were arrested.

The protesters accused Sall of using “fallacious reasons to postpone the election” just hours before the campaign began. By James Tasamba, Anadolu Agency

 
 
Doreen Lawrence says recruitment and retention of black police police officers remains ‘a crucial issue’ today.Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA

Scotland Yard has been accused of arrogance and resistance to change by Doreen Lawrence, 25 years after the publication of the damning Macpherson report.

In an article for the Guardian, the social justice campaigner said it is “sickening to feel that the same issues are still happening today”, in reference to the insufficient progress since the report in February 1999 about the force’s flawed investigation into the murder of her son, Stephen Lawrence.

The report by Sir William Macpherson, a retired high court judge, concluded that the investigation into the fatal stabbing in 1993 in Eltham, south-east London, had been “marred by a combination of professional incompetence, institutional racism and a failure of leadership”.

A total of 70 recommendations were made to transform the police’s attitude towards race relations and improve accountability, which led to the introduction of detailed targets for the recruitment, retention and promotion of black and Asian officers, as well as the creation of the Independent Police Complaints Commission. 

Lady Lawrence said the retention of black officers and barriers to their promotion up the ranks remains a pertinent issue today. She wrote: “I ask myself why the police are so resistant to change. My only conclusion is that they are arrogant, they believe only in themselves and don’t think they need to change.

“Occasionally I hear that a police officer has been suspended, but it’s not enough.

“So much more needs to be done. I’ve spoken to the commissioner and one of the things I told him is that only when the community can see and experience change, can they truly say they are making changes.

“Recruitment and retention of black officers within the police was one of the big areas that Macpherson highlighted for improvement. And it is a crucial issue today. In my experience, many senior officers are capable of understanding the issues involving policing of the black community. But the lower ranks don’t.”

The Labour peer said figures show that black officers are still more likely to be disciplined than their white counterparts and are less likely to be promoted.

Lawrence also called for “urgent reform” of the education system to help eradicate discrimination. “Twenty-five years after Macpherson suggested reforming our national curriculum, black Britons still don’t learn about their history in British society,” she said. “Unless this is changed, they will always grow up feeling that they are seen as second-class citizens.

“When the Windrush scandal happened, people needed to know that those from the Caribbean were asked to come here. That should have been part of our history lessons.”

Nicola Rollock, a professor of social policy and race at King’s College London, has also expressed concerns about “signs that we are now regressing in promoting racial justice”.

Writing in the Guardian, the author warned that a “lack of political leadership instead promises to fuel increased ignorance and division.”

“Macpherson and his advisers regarded the schools system as essential in eliminating racism from society,” she said. “Education has changed significantly since the recommendations were published in 1999. There is light there.

“But less so in our politics. Twenty-five years after the release of the Macpherson report – 30 years after Stephen’s murder – we remain in dire need of leaders who will recognise the struggles of racially minoritised groups, alongside the challenges faced by white working-class communities, and who will find bold ways to bring us together rather than divide us. That wait continues.” By Nadeem Badshah, Guardian

Protesters beamed the slogan onto Parliament’s Elizabeth Tower - @BellaWallerstei

Police stood by as the slogan “From the river to the sea” was projected onto Parliament on Wednesday night, a senior Jewish MP has said.

Andrew Percy, a Tory backbencher, raised concerns after pro-Palestinian protesters beamed the slogan onto the Elizabeth Tower, which houses Big Ben.

He spoke out during a Commons debate on Thursday that saw many MPs express fears over their safety and warn that threats from “Islamist extremists” were stifling democracy.

“From the river to the sea” is regarded by many as an anti-Semitic slogan as it implies the eradication of the state of Israel.

Other messages projected onto Parliament by protesters including “Stop bombing Gaza,” “Ceasefire now” and “Stop war now”.

The rally was organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which has been behind regular marches, including one last Saturday that passed near the Israeli embassy.

It came after Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker, sparked angry scenes on Wednesday by breaking with convention to select a Labour amendment on Gaza.

He said he had made the decision after being warned of threats to the safety of Labour MPs if they were not allowed to vote on their party’s proposal.

Thousands of pro-Palestinian activists had gathered in Parliament Square, chanting slogans that could be clearly heard in Parliament. Protesters then beamed the slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” onto the Elizabeth Tower. 

Mr Percy told the Commons of the rising tide of anti-Semitism, saying: “For months I’ve been standing up here talking about the people on our streets demanding ‘death to Jews’, demanding Jihad, demanding intifadas as the police stand by and allow that to happen,” he said.

“Last night, a genocidal call of ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ was projected onto this building. That message says no Jew is welcome in the state of Israel or in that land. This is going to continue happening because we’re not dealing with it.”

Penny Mordaunt, the Commons Leader, told Mr Percy that the authorities were looking into who projected the message and that prosecutions would be brought.

Mr Percy was not the only Tory MP to criticise the Metropolitan Police’s handling of months of pro-Palestinian protests in London, with Matthew Offord, the MP for Hendon, north London, saying: “Many of my constituents have faced a level of anti-Semitism that we’ve never seen before.

“My constituents remind me not only of the calls for jihad on the streets of London and the Metropolitan Police refusing to do anything about it. They also remind me about men driving through north London threatening to rape Jewish women and the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] then declining to prosecute them.”

Theresa Villiers, the MP for Chipping Barnet, warned that there was “a climate of hardline support which has seen anti-Semitism on the streets of our capital city and my constituents from the Jewish community feeling intimidated about coming into the centre of London”.

Robert Jenrick, a former immigration minister, added: “We have allowed our streets to be dominated by Islamist extremists, and British Jews and others to be too intimidated to walk through central London week after week.

“Now we’re allowing Islamist extremists to intimidate British Members of Parliament. This is wrong. It has to stop.” 

Ms Mordaunt said “British Jews are suffering a grotesque level of hatred and abuse which quite frankly shames our country”.

She added: “There cannot be any tolerance or quarter given to those individuals that threaten and try to prevent MPs conducting their business and honouring the obligations they have to their constituents to use their judgment when they come into this place.”

The debate was triggered after chaotic scenes in the Commons on Wednesday night, which were sparked by the SNP’s bid to force a vote on a Gaza ceasefire.

Sir Lindsay went against the advice of his clerks by selecting a Labour amendment to the SNP’s motion, angering both the Scottish party and the Tories.

He made his decision following intense lobbying from Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, who is said to have told him about the threats Labour MPs were facing. But it sparked a furious response, with SNP and Tory MPs walking out of the chamber en masse at one point in protest.

The Speaker apologised to MPs and denied suggestions he had made the decision to spare Sir Keir the embarrassment of a damaging rebellion, insisting he had been motivated by the safety of Labour MPs.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “This is a chant that has been frequently heard at pro-Palestinian demonstrations for many years and we are very aware of the strength of feeling in relation to it.

“While there are scenarios where chanting or using these words could be unlawful depending on the specific location or context, its use in a wider public protest setting, such as last night, is not a criminal offence.” By Nick Gutteridge, The Telegraph

President Ruto directed Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, who was also present, to adjust the reward system of sportsmen and women to meet their future needs/PCS

Ruto said the dedication of Kiptum, who tragically lost his life in a road accident on February 11, alongside his Rwandese coach Gervais Hakizimana, enabled him to break through the glass ceiling and set world records.

President William Ruto has commemorated the late marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum as an ambitious, disciplined, and focused individual who dedicated himself to his craft.

Speaking on Friday, President Ruto highlighted Kiptum’s remarkable journey from humble beginnings to breaking world records, despite facing numerous challenges along the way.

Despite his humble background, Ruto said the dedication of Kiptum, who tragically lost his life in a road accident on February 11, alongside his Rwandese coach Gervais Hakizimana, enabled him to break through the glass ceiling and set world records.

“Kiptum had more reasons not to succeed than he had to succeed but he worked against the odds,” President Ruto remarked during Kiptum’s final sendoff at his Chepsaimo home in Keiyo South.

“He could have said I come from Village that is not very known , or I come from a family that cannot cater for me or that I don’t have even running shoes, that he ran barefoot in his earlier days, but he did  not see those impediments to his ambition and his success.”

President Ruto urged Kenyans to emulate Kiptum’s determination to propel the country forward and make Kenya great.

Kiptum legacy

He emphasized the importance of patriotism and urged citizens to contribute their best to nation-building.

Addressing Kenyan athletes, President Ruto called on them to uphold Kiptum’s legacy and strive to keep Kenya’s reputation as an athletics powerhouse alive, particularly in the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games slated to take place from July 26 to August 11.

“We want you to make Paris an Olympics of Kevin Kiptum. We know you have all it takes,” he said. 

Kiptum’s sudden demise, alongside his coach, sent shockwaves globally, especially as he was preparing for the Rotterdam Marathon and the forthcoming Olympics.

His coach, Hakizimana, was laid to rest in Rwanda on Wednesday.

At just 24, Kiptum’s list of accolades included victories in prestigious marathons such as Valencia, Chicago, and London. By Bruhan Makong

Professor Mokaya will take up the leadership role after leaving the University of Nottingham. 

Kenyan-born professor Robert Mokaya has landed a prestigious role in the United Kingdom. According to a statement published by Kenya's High Commissioner to the UK Manoah Esipisu, on Wednesday, February 21, Professor Mokaya has been appointed as Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield.  

Esipisu indicated that Professor Mokaya will assume the leadership position in June this year, where he will work closely with the university's top decision-makers.  

"Kenyan-British Prof Robert Mokaya has been appointed Provost and DVC at Sheffield University. He will work closely with the President and Vice-Chancellor, and have oversight of the effective delivery of Vision and Strategy," the former State House spokesperson announced.

File image of the University of Sheffield.  PHOTO | COURTESY

Key to note, Prof. Mokaya was the first black full professor of chemistry in the UK and was awarded the Order of the British Empire OBE in last year's King's honours.  

He will take up the leadership role after leaving the University of Nottingham. Mokaya has been at Nottingham for 23 years, taking up the role of PVC for Global Engagement in 2019.

He joined the School of Chemistry in Nottingham as a lecturer in Materials Chemistry in 2000, was promoted to Reader in 2005, and to Professor of Materials Chemistry in 2008. He is a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holder (2017-2022) and from 2016 to 2018 was Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement. 

Before moving to the UK, received his B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Nairobi in 1988 after which he spent a year working for Unilever in Kenya. 

Mokaya then received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1992. In 1992, he was elected to a Research Fellowship at Trinity College.

Following his new leadership role, Professor Mokaya said: “I am looking forward to joining the University of Sheffield and the new responsibilities and challenges my role will bring. Of course, having worked at Nottingham for more than two decades, it is sad to be leaving. I will especially miss the many friends and colleagues who have been part of my journey and to whom I am very grateful.  

“We can be proud of what we have achieved at Nottingham in our international outlook and activities. Over the past five years, I have had the support of a great team here, with drive and ambition. I look forward to seeing how things progress over the months and years ahead and know that Nottingham has a bright future in this area.” By , Nairobi.Leo.co.ke

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