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  • President Uhuru Kenyatta Signing Government Documents TWITTER 
 
  • The United Nations has stepped in to solve Kenya’s historical land injustices after the British government refused to execute this mandate.

    The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has written to President Uhuru Kenyatta, asking his administration to share crucial information on the matter. 

    UNHRC seeks to be informed whether the colonizer had offered any form of compensation or psychological and physical rehabilitation to the affected communities. 

    “Please indicate if financial support has been granted by the government of the UK, of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and/or the multinational tea companies to provide social, medical and educational services,” read a part of the letter.

    Entrance to United Nations offices in Nairobi
    Entrance to United Nations offices in Nairobi. TWITTER
     

    The letter also sought that the UN be informed if infrastructure and essential utilities to compensate for the victims’ suffering, as recommended by the National Land Commission (NLC) had been offered.

    The development follows a petition filed by Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony at the UN headquarters in Geneva. Chepkwony first filed the case against the British authorities in 2014 on behalf of 500,000 victims of colonial torture from the Kipsigis and Talai communities.

    They were subjected to unlawful torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, arbitrary detention, arbitrary displacement and violations of rights to privacy, family life and property.

    Attempts to have the British government settle these disputes were all in vain since they decided to set a timeline for filing cases on land injustices and bodily harm, rendering this specific case impossible to solve. 

    The United Kingdom went ahead and made it law that cases related to personal injuries have a limit of three years and land claims have a limit of 12 years. 

    In August, the UN rights body directed the British government to issue a public apology and compensate the 500,000 Kenyans who have lodged the case.Kenyans.co.uk

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati's lawyer Erick Mutua told the court that the orders being sought were meant to kick his client out of the office without proof that he had violated the constitution Mutua argued that the court should give his client a chance to tell their side of the story regarding how the 2017 General Election was run Chebukati was replying to a case filed by Samwel Clinton Elijah, who wants him kicked out of office for "mismanagement" of the 2017 presidential poll that the Supreme Court ruled was marred by irregularities

Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Wafula Chebukati has asked the court to dismiss a case seeking to kick him out of office. IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati is accused of elections irregularity which was identified in the 2017 General Election. Photo: IEBC. Source: Facebook Chebukati’s through his Lawer Erick Mutua, told the court that he had not violated the constitution to warrant his dismissal from office.

 “If you look at those two orders being sought, the import is to bar the respondent (Chebukati) from sitting in a constitutional office. For those orders to be issued, the court must be convinced those violations have occurred,” Mutua said. Chebukati not qualified to oversee major election The lawyer argued that the court should give his client a chance to tell his side of the story.

Chebukati was replying to a case filed by Samwel Clinton Elijah, who wanted him kicked out of office on the basis of a Supreme Court ruling that found irregularities in the 2017 General Election. Loopholes in 2017 General Election Elijah accused IEBC of not facilitating public participation or ensuring that the gaps found in the commission after the 2017 General Election are sealed.

“The respondent (Chebukati) failed to adhere to the constitution and the applicable laws hence steered the 1st interested party (IEBC) in conducting a presidential election that was marred with irregularities and illegalities which were substantial and significant that they affected the integrity of the presidential election of August 8, 2017, the results notwithstanding,” court papers filed by Elijah’s lawyer Denis Seko read.

ODM Youth Wing Accuses Wafula Chebukati of Siding with Ruto, Gives Him 14 Days to Resign Elijah wants Chebukati stopped from heading the commission until the case is heard and determined. He also claimed that the election body was ill-prepared for next year’s (2022) elections, saying it had failed to fill vacant critical positions by commissioners who quit or retired.

Ezra Chiloba The applicant also stated that the commission has an additional staff deficit of 296, including a chief executive officer. “On September 2018, the then IEBC Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba was sacked by the respondent. The position remains vacant to date and the first interested party has not had a substantive chief executive officer since 2018,” he said. Since the commission is not fully constituted even after President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed four new commissioners, Elijah asserts that Kenyans are not confident next year’s elections will be free and fair. Tuko

More than 1,200 civilians have been killed in the restive DR Congo provinces of Ituri and North Kivu so far this year and millions of people now need humanitarian aid in the eastern region, the UN refugee agency said Friday.

Democratic Republic of Congo authorities declared a state of siege in May, an exceptional measure aimed at ending the reign of terror by armed groups operating in the region, most notably the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a group linked to the so-called Islamic State.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its partners, recorded "more than 1,200 civilian deaths and 1,100 rapes this year" in the two most affected provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, UN refugee agency spokesman Boris Cheshirkov told reporters in Geneva 

"Attacks attributed to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) armed group have increased in brutality since late 2020, and the frequency of killings of civilians has not abated despite the state of siege," the UN refugee agency added.

Last weekend rebels shot or hacked to death at least 30 people in a new massacre in Ituri, UN sources said Monday. Members of civil society blamed the killings on the ADF, considered the deadliest of scores of armed militias that roam the mineral-rich eastern DR Congo.

The UNHCR has "recorded 25,000 human rights abuses this year. In total, more than a million Congolese have been internally displaced in the east of the country in 2021," Cheshirkov said Friday.

The UN agency also highlighted the need for a steep increase in humanitarian funding for the area.

"Less than four months from the end of the year, we have received just 51 per cent of the US$205 million required in 2021 for the operation in DRC."

According to the Kivu Security Tracker (KST), a respected US-based monitor of violence in the region, the ADF has killed 642 people in Ituri and North Kivu since January.

Congolese Nobel laureate Denis Mukwege on Friday called for an international criminal court for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), whose eastern provinces have been wracked by armed groups for a quarter of a century.

In a statement issued in the runup to the annual UN General Assembly in New York, Mukwege said impunity for brutal crimes was entrenched and local people lived "in fear and horror."

Despite the regional state of siege imposed in May, "the security situation in these provinces does not seem to be improving," said Mukwege, a gynaecologist based in the eastern DRC. African News/AFP

JOHANNESBURG

South Africa's president announced a further relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions late Sunday in a bid to revive the continent’s most industrialized economy as virus cases slowed.

In a televised address to the nation, Cyril Ramaphosa said the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 advised the government to ease restrictions on the movement of people and gatherings.

“The Cabinet has therefore decided that the country should be moved from Adjusted Alert Level 3 and placed on Adjusted Alert Level 2 with effect from tomorrow, Monday, the 13th of September 2021,” Ramaphosa announced.

The president said the number of people allowed to gather indoors has been increased from 50 to 250, while the number of people allowed to gather for outdoor events is now 500 compared with 100 previously.

“This includes religious services, political events and social gatherings, as well as restaurants, bars, taverns and similar places,” he said.

The relaxation also comes as a relief to local politicians, who will now have an opportunity to hold small campaign rallies ahead of Nov. 1 local government elections.

The South African leader also allowed the sale of alcohol from retail outlets for off-site consumption between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. from Monday to Friday.

Alcohol consumption remains prohibited in public spaces, he said.

Ramaphosa also announced that the night curfew will now start at 11 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. and end at 4 a.m.

The president also said he will soon be providing further information on an approach to vaccine passports, which will be used as evidence of vaccination against COVID-19 and could help people gain access to public spaces such as for events.

Ramaphosa encouraged South Africans to get vaccinated to fight the pandemic and return to normal lives.

“If many people are not vaccinated and remain vulnerable to infection, the chance of new and more dangerous variants emerging is far greater,” he said.

South Africa, with a population of over 60 million, has administered 14.6 million vaccine doses and more than 7 million people are fully vaccinated.

“I want to stress that the vaccination program is open to all people in South Africa, whether or not they are South African citizens,” he said.

South Africa has the highest number of COVID-19 cases on the continent with more than 2.85 million and 84,877 fatalities recorded. Anadolu Agency

Uganda is pushing for vaccination before opening schools to while Burundi has opened schools after closing for three months. Photo via Nation

 

Schools in Burundi are set to reopen on Monday September 13, after a three-month long holiday, amid a surge in Covid-19 cases countrywide.

The Ministry of Health has imposed mandatory Covid-19 screening for students reporting back to school.

“The tests are mandatory for students in secondary school and boarding schools, the rest may go for the test voluntarily,” Jean Bosco Girukwishaka, spokesman for the Minister of Health told The EastAfrican.

Mass testing for students, teachers and staff members of boarding or secondary schools kicked off on Friday, and will run to Tuesday September 14.

“In the first week of September 2021 Covid-19 cases increased especially in Bujumbura and other towns in the countryside and this is as a result of not complying with already preventive measures against the pandemic,” reads a statement from the Ministry for Health.

According to the government’s Covid-19 report dated September 6, 2021 the daily average rate of new Covid-19 cases stood at 154, since July 21, 2021 the date when the highest number of new cases was recorded.

However, the situation is different in Uganda. Schools remain closed in the country to date, despite several hints by government officials and a slow successful teacher vaccination campaign initiated late August. Recently, First Lady Janet Museveni echoed President Yoweri Museveni’s stand that schools will only open if all the teachers and non-teaching staff were vaccinated

Since closure in May 2020, only a few classes such as the candidate and finalists have had in-person lessons. Students from the rest of the classes such as Senior 1 and 2 as well as Primary 1 have not been to school since.

And in a TV appearance recently, Information and National Guidance Minister Chris Baryomunsi and said while it won’t be long before schools are opened, clear safety measures will have to be put in place.

“Since we expect dozens of vaccines, we should be able to vaccinate as many people as possible,” he said. The Ministry of Education spokesperson Denis Mugimba, says about 183,000 teachers have been vaccinated out of 550,000 teachers targeted, in addition to about 180,000 non-teaching staff. - NELSON NATURINDA/MOSES HAVYARIMANA, The EastAfrican

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