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How Ugandan Musician Bobi wine Won Parliamentary Election

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On Thursday June 28, a by-election was held in the Kyadondo East constituency in Wakiso District.

It was billed as yet another face-off between the ruling NRM party and the main Opposition party, the FDC, as these by-elections tend to be.

The seat was declared vacant after FDC’s Apollo Kantinti was disqualified by a court ruling.

One of the novelty candidates was Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, aka Bobi Wine, the dancehall singer. He was viewed as an interesting addition of colour to the race.

Sure, many of the city’s riff-raff would follow him about during his campaign tours, but that is as far as it would go.

Most Kampala “bayaye”, anyway, are not registered voters and don’t vote and so their support of the musician would not count.

When the final vote count was tallied, Bobi Wine had won 77.7 per cent of the ballots cast, a landslide that was already apparent within minutes of the first polling stations counting their votes.

His victory was so emphatic and so one-sided across all the polling areas that there was almost a feeling of anti-climax about it.

The immediate challenge the new MP faces is not in trying to reach out to the minority who did not vote for him but in how to meet the expectations of the large majority that cast their votes for him.

A Kampala-based Canadian public relations consultant, Anne Whitehead, is reported to have advised Bobi Wine’s campaign.

The following morning, dozens of radio stations in Kampala naturally had little choice but play some of Bobi Wine’s best-known songs, further reinforcing the brand that is now a national topic.

Bobi Wine not only had been claiming to speak on behalf of the frustrated and unemployed youth.

He often dresses and behaves like them, walking through the streets of Kampala in slippers and buying “rolex” and “kikomando” snacks sold by the roadside.

His recording studio at Kamwokya has that same rundown, slum area look.

Bobi Wine’s win is significant on several fronts.

The first is the usual one: It re-confirms the common view that Kampala is a mainly Opposition political area, where the NRM cannot expect to make much headway.

If the minister of Kampala and former Opposition presidential candidate Beti Kamya had hoped to deliver President Museveni an 80 per cent victory in Kampala in the 2021 general election, Bobi Wine’s victory should remind her of how much work she has before her.

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Secondly, about two months ago Bobi Wine got embroiled in a land dispute with the Buganda establishment at Mengo that became tense.

His clear win should send an uncomfortable signal to the Mengo authorities: The common man in Buganda is nurtured to feel loyalty toward the kingdom and the Kabaka.

But that common man is also a human being who has interests and feels a sense of justice and personal slight. For Kyadondo voters to elect Bobi Wine overwhelmingly even when they were aware of the dispute with Mengo signals that the Buganda Kingdom cannot indefinitely take the loyalty of its subjects for granted.

It too, like the central government, must be seen to be fair and just or it too, like the central government, will face a crisis of fading legitimacy.

Thirdly, the belief that Kampala is full of lumpens who might be a majority in number and who show up in large numbers at Opposition rallies but who do not actually vote, has been dispelled.

Not only do they show up at rallies; they actually vote and as happened with Bobi Wine, do vote as a bloc and of one mind.

On a number of occasions, Museveni has shown his instinctive knowledge of the power of this large force of Kampala “ghetto” youth when in matters where KCCA or other city officials acted against boda boda motorists, the President overruled his own officials.

All the UN, Uganda government and other figures about Uganda having a large population with more than 70 per cent under the age of 25 and of a high youth unemployment rate of about 83 per cent in Uganda have been proved to be true.

The view that to win political office at a parliamentary or national level one has to be a seasoned politician is another assumption that has been put to the test once again.

Politics is largely about influence, appeal, name recognition and engaging with the hopes, sentiment and problems of the majority.

Name recognition attained through the performing arts such as music (Judith Babirye, Bobi Wine), theatre and radio (Kato Lubwama) and other media and entertainment fields is as useful as an avenue by which a political career can be launched.

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Ugandan political analysts will now have to rethink their dismissive attitude toward comedians, musicians, actors and sportsmen.

However, in 2016 another singer Daniel Kazibwe (who goes by the stage name Ragga Dee) vied for the office of Mayor of Kampala on the NRM party ticket but was badly beaten by Erias Lukwago.

In 2006, the playwright and actor Charles James Ssenkubuge contested the presidency but pulled out after a few weeks of campaigning.

So it is not always inevitable that being a musician or an actor makes one a front runner in a political race.

Bobi Wine’s victory was a statement by and about this youthful demographic.

At the end of the day, Bobi Wine won so handily because he was and came across as a man of the people, personally and consistently concerned about the common man’s plight.

What can Bobi Wine achieve as an MP?

Bobi Wine joins the list of Opposition-leaning political figures and activists (Kizza Besigye, Erias Lukwago, Ingrid Turinawe) who speak for the suppressed and desperate Ugandan population.

His win in turn reflects the 21st Century reality of Uganda. The country is seeing a rise in migration to the capital city Kampala and other towns.

But this rural-urban migration is not the result of increasing manufacturing and industrial activity that would create thousands of jobs.

Rather, it is the result of the collapse of the rural economy and the increasing inequality of income and opportunity in the country in general.

The tens of thousands flocking to Kampala find few real opportunities and so are forced to settle into low-income, low cost slums and shanty areas on the periphery of town.

Having sold their family land to move to Kampala, they cannot return to their villages and yet there simply are no openings for them in Kampala.

The government has no real answers to or solutions for the crisis of urban youth unemployment.

Its only recourse, in the absence of industry creating manufacturing and processing jobs, is to tighten the police presence in the city.

If one can’t employ the desperate youth, then at least try and contain the acts that might result from this desperation such as crime, rioting during political rallies and other protest actions.

For the same reason that the government is handicapped and helpless to do much about youth unemployment, Kyagulanyi as the Member of Parliament for Kyadondo East will be unable in the short and medium term to do anything about the situation either.

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He will speak out on the floor of Parliament and his fellow MPs and the country will find it fascinating to listen to his contributions.

Most likely he will be a regular on radio and television talk shows, articulating the crisis in the inner city. He stated on the day of his election that he has no intention of abandoning his music career.

As well he must, because this is what he will find as the vehicle for his political action and mobilisation.

Like many MPs, both from the ruling NRM and the Opposition parties, Kyagulanyi will discover the limitations of what an MP can do at the legislative level.

He, like his fellow MPs, will get caught up in addressing the immediate and pressing material and financial needs of his supporters and others in need.

Politics, by its nature, requires constant compromising and reaching the lowest common denominator.

In a bid to win over the 22.3 per cent of Kyadondo voters who did not cast their ballots for him, Bobi Wine will have to take actions or make statements that offend his core ghetto supporters.

Just being an MP alone will mean he sheds much of his ruffian and street image, alienating many of those who campaigned and voted for him precisely because he was the “Ghetto President.”

He could organise community events such as the collection of garbage and cleaning up the neighbourhoods in his Kyadondo constituency, organise charity music concerts with fellow musicians and initiate projects by the youth to start up small businesses.

Bobi Wine’s main political impact, in other words, will be and remain outside of Parliament than within the premises of Parliament.

A constituency like Kyadondo and even a city like Kampala in general are now beyond the capacity of any Uganda government, KCCA administration of MP.

What can turn Kampala around is a large-scale rebuilding of the city by Chinese, as they are already doing with the major road highways and bridges.

Then in this large-scale re-building can come some of the services and jobs to employ the millions of unemployed Ugandans.

By Timothy Kalyegira

Eastern Africa

President Uhuru Kenyatta To Kongowea Traders – Only Pay For Services Offered To You

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President Uhuru Kenyatta has told traders at Mombasa’s Kongowea market to only pay for services offered to them. The President said the new market was built by the national government at a cost of Shs 500million and that the National Youth Service will from next week embark on cleaning of the market.

Addressing traders at Kongowea on Monday, the Head of State said there was no need for the county government to continue taxing the traders and yet it doesn’t provide services to them.

“There is no need for the county government to continue taxing the traders and yet they do not provide the services they have paid for,” said Mr Kenyatta.

He said the Government has launched investigations to establish claims that traders at the Kongowea market were not being served despite paying taxes.

He said the national government would not hesitate to take action against those who failed to deliver.
“We cannot allow the people to suffer in the hands of some few individuals. Wananchi should only pay for services offered to them,” said President Kenyatta.

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He warned police against harassing wananchi if they don’t pay for the services not offered. The President and Deputy President William Ruto, at the same time, told opposition candidate Raila Odinga that Kenyans will go to the polls on October 26 whether he participates or not.

The leaders said the Opposition leaders were scared of the elections because they have sensed defeat, saying they were scheming to have the elections delayed in another three months for their selfish gains.

They said the Opposition was bent on inciting Kenyans through demonstrations to cause confusion with the hope of getting into power through the backdoor.

“We know their games and we have said enough is enough. There will be no postponement. Mr Odinga should retire and honourably go home,” said the Deputy President.

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President Kenyatta and DP Ruto told Mr Odinga to retire from politics if he was not ready to participate in the October 26 polls.
Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala (Tourism), Governor Mike Sonko (Nairobi), Nyali MP Mohammed Ali, among others, also spoke at the meeting.

The Deputy President said Opposition leader was now opposed to the elections because he knows that he will win.
President Kenyatta said Jubilee was ready and prepared to face the Opposition at the ballot and will not allow any attempts to have the elections postponed.

“The Opposition should stop sideshows and prepare for the next elections. Kenyans want to move away from elections to concentrate on development activities,” said President Kenyatta.

DP Ruto said the mass exodus of Kenyans who supported Nasa during the August 8 elections has shaken the Opposition and that’s why they want to interfere with the elections.

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“We are tired of their rhetoric and stories and the country wants to move on. We must conclude elections on October 26. If those in Opposition are not ready, they should retire from politics,” said DP Ruto.

He added: “There is exodus of Kenyans from Nasa because they are tired of their empty rhetoric and want to support Jubilee which is committed to improving their lives.”

Mr Balala and Mr Sonko urged residents in coastal region to turn out in large numbers and support the reelection of President Kenyatta.

“It is time for us to move away from politics of propaganda and support Jubilee that is committed to improving our lives,” said Mr Sonko.

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Eastern Africa

We Are Not Employees Of The UN – Museveni To AMISOM

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President Yoweri Museveni has told a meeting of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troop-contributing countries (TCC) that their role in Somalia is purely for Pan African reasons of helping to stabilise Somalia. Uganda was the first country to deploy peace keeping troops in Somalia in 2007, under AMISOM to restore peace in the Horn of Africa. President Museveni addressing a meeting of AMISOM contributing countries said Uganda is not an employee of the United Nations.

AMISOM is the regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations in Somalia.

“This is a Pan-African venture. We are not employees of the United Nations (UN) or Somalia,” he said.

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The President was last Thursday chairing a closed-door meeting, one of a kind, for countries contributing troops to AMISOM including Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda host Somalia and Djibouti in which they agreed to improve political and military co-ordination to ensure that peace and security is guaranteed in Somalia. A member of the African Union also attended the meeting.

According to a release from State House sources at the talks, priority centered at helping Somalia in building a strong national army and taking stock of the political situation. All parties agreed to keenly follow a review on AMISOM by the UN Secretary General.

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The UN provides logistics, technical and training support to AMISOM and to the Somali National Army. The UN believes with enhanced support to AMISOM, the African Union Force and predictable funding, along with a co-ordinated effort to build the Somali National Army and Police Forces, Al Shabaab can be defeated.

Uganda was the first country to deploy in Somalia in 2007, under AMISOM to restore peace in the Horn of Africa.

During the meeting, Uganda was elected as official spokesperson of the troop-contributing countries.

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The meeting was attended by the Prime Minister of Somalia Hassan Ali Khare, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Desalegn Hailemariam, foreign affairs minister of Kenya Amina Muhammed, commissioner Ismael Chergui of the African Union, Allen Nyamitwe, the foreign affairs minister of Burundi.

Others were Yusuf Mahmoud, the foreign affairs minister of Djibouti, Abdullahi Rachid the defence minister of Somalia, foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa, Chief of Defence Forces Gen. David Muhoozi, Uganda’s permanent representative to the UN Adoniya Ayebare and Maj. Gen. Kayemba, Uganda’s military adviser at the Uganda Mission in New York.

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Djibouti

Djibouti-Tunisia Conference On Investment – Members Of TABC Received In The Palace Of The Republic

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Arriving in Djibouti on 16 September to take part in the first Djibouto-Tunisian investment conference, Tunisian businessmen members of the Tunisia Africa Business Council, a newly created Business Council dedicated to Investments in Africa, were introduced yesterday to the head of State by the Minister to the presidency responsible for investments, Ali Guelleh Abd.

President Ismail Omar Guelleh warmly welcomed the Tunisian delegation led by Mr. Bassem Loukil, CEO of the eponymous group and president of the TABC

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The head of State welcomed the Tunisian businessmen to Djibouti and spoke with them about the relations of friendship and cooperation between Tunisia and the Republic of Djibouti, the many similarities between the two countries and the partnership Between the two countries-which is in the process of being set up-and whose economic conference is the founding act.

The efforts made by the SDI to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and the provisions that have been made in the area of investment guarantee have also been mentioned.

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At the end of the interview, the head of the Tunisian delegation, Bassem Loukil did not conceal the determination of the TABC to quickly ratify economic projects in Djibouti in many areas, including information technology, Telecommunications, agro-food and housing.

“We are all the more motivated to launch these projects quickly in Djibouti as your country offers all the successes for important investments,” said Mr. Bassem Loukil, who thanked the people and the Government of Djibouti for the reception received at Djibouti.

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The Minister to the Investment presidency, Mr. Ali Guelleh Abd, has expressed his pride in the interest of Tunisian investors in our country. For him, the two countries, bound by a long and old friendship, are about to write together a new page of their common history.

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Eastern Africa

Ethiopia – 76 Year-Old Man Charged With Sexual Assault And Abuse Of Woman

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Oswego Police and the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office say a 76 year-old Wheaton man is in custody after he allegedly sexually assaulted and sexually abused an adult female victim in Oswego in 2016.

In a joint release, the agencies say 76 year-old Woldekidan Gebremedhin of W. Roosevelt Rd. in Wheaton is charged with two counts each of Criminal Sexual Assault and Criminal Sexual Abuse after he was arrested on a warrant at his home in Wheaton on Friday.

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Authorities say Woldekidan Gebremedhin allegedly sexually assaulted the adult female victim, who was not further identified, in Oswego in July of 2016.

On Tuesday the four felony charges were approved and a warrant for arrest was issued.

Woldekidan was taken to the DuPage County Jail and was then transported to the Kendall County Jail where is he is being held on $250,000 bond.

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Djibouti

Qatar Withdraws It’s Peace-Keeping Force As Punishment For Eritrea And Djibouti For Siding With Saudi Arabia

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Qatar’s alleged support of terrorist organizations, which has already frayed its relation with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Gulf states, is also destabilizing East Africa.

Qatar’s withdrawal of its peacekeepers on June 14 from the Djibouti-Eritrea border was a form of punishment to the disputing countries which supported the quartet of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, according to a senior researcher at a US Department of Defense think tank.

“Punishing Djibouti and Eritrea for breaking relations with Qatar was one reason for the withdraw of Qatari peacekeepers,” said Joseph Siegle, director of research for DOD funded African Center for Strategic Studies.

Qatar responded almost immediately after the two embattled countries announced support and removed nearly 500 troops it had kept since 2010 in a border.

Eritrea, which is larger and better armed than Djibouti, quickly moved into the disputed territories of Dumeira mountain and Dumeira Island.

Although no shots were fired, tensions have increased dramatically in the area. In June 2008, the two countries fought a brief war that claimed roughly 200 dead and wounded. Qatari peacekeepers arrived in 2010 as part of a Doha led mediation process.

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In a renewed round of open conflict, the odds would heavily favor Eritrea. Eritrea has a veteran military as well as larger numbers of armored fighting vehicles and combat aircraft.

“The military and the state apparatus are full of veterans of previous conflicts,” Siegle said. “In fact, the state as an institution is more focused on conflict than Djibouti.”

He said the tense situation is yet another unhappy consequence of Qatari policies that have provoked a range of harsh responses from its neighbors. The persistent efforts by its Gulf neighbors to punish and isolate it since June have strained its resources so that the removal of peacekeepers is as much an act of redeployment as retribution.

“I think it’s a combination of the reason that is most strategic and Qatar has a limited number of forces and it is dealing with the more threatening situation given the current embargo,” Siegel said.

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“It has bigger strategic interests than the border dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea. I think punishing Djibouti for breaking relations with Qatar was a factor but, it was secondary in the context of the current crisis. Qatar has other ways of punishing Djibouti in the regional context.”

>> READ MORE : Peaceful Settlement of Eritrea – Djibouti Conflict Achieved: Qatar

The dispute lies along a small section of the 110-kilometer-long Djiboutian-Eritrean frontier. An agreement signed in 1900 between France and Italy left the precise location of the border along the Dumeira Mountain and Dumeira Islands ill defined.

Djibouti is a founding member of the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism founded by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Defense and the small Red Sea nation has also formally joined the US-led and anti-ISIS coalition.

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Qatar’s sudden withdraw may not have only cost Djibouti a strip of its territory. Djibouti also worries about the fate of its Djiboutian prisoners of war held by Eritrea – an issue that Qatar had attempted to negotiate.

At the end of the 2008 conflict, Eritrea held 19 Djiboutian prisoners of war. Four were later were released, and two escaped according to the Djiboutian government.

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“[Eritrea] continues to spread blatant lies about the prisoner’s condition and has refused to account for them despite repeated calls by the Security Council,” according to Mohammed Dualeh, Djibouti’s ambassador to the United Nations.

Djibouti hosts several foreign military bases, Camp Lemonier, a former French Foreign Legion outpost, has been America’s only permanent military base in Africa since 2001.

The country has also welcomed military bases from China and Japan in recent years.
Via Tesfa News!

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Eastern Africa

Six Men Sentenced To 20 Years In Jail For Cutting Off 6 Years Old Albino’s Hand

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6 years old tanzanian Albino-Boy

Six men who cut off the hand of a 6 years old Albino Tanzanian boy for money ritual  in 2013 has been sentenced to 20 years in imprisonment each by a Tanzanian Court.

Albinos has been hunted like wide life in Tanzania as their body parts is said to be of huge importance in witchcraft and rituals. For Tanzanians where sentenced to death in 2015 after they abducted a 15 years old Albino boy, killed him and dismembered his body for rituals

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An estimated 75 Albinos where kileed in Tanzania between the year 2000 – 2015, United Nations sources said. This is just a rough estimate and does not represent the actual number of Albino victims in Tanzania, as most rituals occur in remote villages where not included in the statistics.

While a man was sentenced to 30 years in jail by Tanzanian court for impregnating a school, many has been wondering why adults who where convicted of hacking off a minors hand, which is tantamount to murder where given a paltry 20 years in imprisonment.

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Eastern Africa

Kenya To Hold Re-election On October 17 – IEBC

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kenya to hold re-election on 17th of october

The Supreme Court of Kenya had annulled the August 8th presidential election in which incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner by the IEBC having obtained 54% of the total vote cast. Kenya’s Independent Electoral And Boundary Commission (IEBC) has set the date for re-election on the 17th of October 2017.

Recall that a similar incident  took place in 2007 and sparked  a chain of violence which claimed the lives of about 1100 persons. The election violence that took place on August 8th was mild in comparison to that of 2007 as about 20 persons were reported dead.

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Why the first election was cancelled

The August 8th election was cancelled by Chief Justice David Maraga on Friday, saying that the Independent Electoral And Boundary Commission had failed to hold a lawful poll, as a result, the outcome of the election is invalid, null and void.

The Chief Justice added that IEBC had committed irregularities and illegalities during the process of collation of results from polling units  and transfer to central counting center.

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Raila Odinga’s Concerns

Having conducted an election viewed by the supreme court as marred by illegalities and irregularities, Odinga has no trust on the IEBC as a result. He is demanding that the head of IEBC and other big shots in IEBC be replaced before the nation polls.
They are also demanding that a different company should be given the contract to print the ballot papers for the forth coming elections.

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Meanwhile, the incumbent president, Uhuru Kenyatta has continued to campaign for the for coming October 17th election

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Eastern Africa

Somalia – Al Shabaab Terrorists kill 26 Soldiers, Carted Away Weapons And Vehicles

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al shabaab

MOGADISHU – Al Shabaab terrorist invaded an army barrack in Kismayu, a port city in the southern region of Somalia in the early hours of Sunday morning, said a Somalian military official. He added that the details of casualties is not yet known.

Though, Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the raid, saying that 26 army personnel were killed in the event, but it could not be verified by other reliable sources.

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Spokesperson for the dreaded terrorist group, Abdiasis Abu Musab, told Reuters: “This morning, we stormed Bula Gudud. We killed 26 soldiers and burnt 2 cars.” However, Al Shabaab terrorist group who are linked to Al Qaeda Terrorist Network is known to exaggerate casualty figures.

Somalian National radio station also announced that the base has been raided by Al Shabaab terrorist but could not ascertain the number of casualties.

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Eastern Africa

Kenya – Supreme Court Nullifies Presidential Election

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Raila Odinga, the National Super Alliance coalition leader, told a press conference that projections from his own team showed he was ‘far ahead’. Photograph: Jerome Delay/AP Raila Odinga, the National Super Alliance coalition leader, told a press conference that projections from his own team showed he was ‘far ahead’. Photograph: Jerome Delay/AP

Kenya’s supreme court has declared Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in presidential elections last month invalid and ordered a new poll within 60 days.

The six-judge bench ruled 4-2 in favour of a petition filed by Odinga, who claimed the electronic voting results were hacked into and manipulated in favour of the incumbent. Kenyatta had won a second term with 54% of the vote.

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“The declaration is invalid, null and void,” said Judge David Maranga. “The first respondent failed, neglected or refused to conduct the presidential election in a manner consistent with the dictates of the constitution.”

The hearing followed a petition filed by Odinga in the aftermath of his defeat last month.

Opposition officials repeatedly described the election results as a “fraud” and claimed that Odinga, who leads the National Super Alliance (NASA), was the “legitimate” winner.

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Odinga was jubilant as he welcomed what he called a “precedent-setting ruling” by the court

“For the first time in the history of African democratization, a ruling has been made by a court nullifying the election of a president,” he said. “This indeed is a very historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension the people of the continent of Africa.”

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A lawyer for President Kenyatta said the decision had been “very political” but had to be respected.

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Eastern Africa

Again, Heavy Post Election Violence Hits Kenya

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Violence erupts in Kenya as Opposition Party President RAILA Odinga claims Uhuru Kenyatta has rigged elections by hacking Computers at the totalling Center.

The figures at the Constituencies are not matching with the figures at the totalling centres.
19 registered voters in Kenya, and the turnout was good, many People casted their votes.

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This happened in Zambia too, Emmanuel Mwamba was in a hotel with a computer which was linked to the totalling Center, he had a pass words and was able to manipulate figures. The ECZ was announcing figures which didn’t match.

This is the time to appeal to African UNION and SADC to change the way elections are conducted in Africa. This will help to Promote DEMOCRACY in AFRICA. It will also help to save lives, to alleviate poverty and CORRUPTION. A PROSPEROUS AFRICA will emerge once AFRICAN UNION CLEAN UP THEIR HOUSE.

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