Kenya – both Kenyatta and Odinga allies lose in party primary elections

Daily Nation

Uhuru, Raila allies kicked out in Jubilee, ODM polls

Mr William Chepkut (centre), who won the Jubilee ticket for Ainabkoi parliamentary seat, celebrates with supporters on April 26, 2017. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mr William Chepkut (centre), who won the Jubilee ticket for Ainabkoi parliamentary seat, celebrates with supporters on April 26, 2017. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Allies of President Kenyatta and Nasa co-principal Raila Odinga have been voted out by a seemingly decisive public in the Jubilee and ODM nominations which have been marked with violence, chaos and confusion.

In Kiambu, voters overwhelmingly voted out Governor William Kabogo in favour of Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu.

Six MPs were also kicked out in the Jubilee Party nominations in President Kenyatta’s backyard.

Among the MPs kicked out was Kiambu Woman Rep Anna Nyokabi, a relative of President Kenyatta, who lost by a huge margin to radio journalist Gathoni Wamuchomba.

Ms Wamuchomba garnered 374,306 votes to Ms Nyokabi’s measly 26,768 votes.

Ruiru MP Esther Gathogo lost to businessman N’gan’ga Kin’gara while Limuru’s John Kiragu lost the ticket to former MP Peter Mwathi.


MP Njoroge Baiya, an active participant in the National Assembly debates, lost to newcomer Kago Wa Lydia.

In Nyanza, Mr Odinga’s allies were easily beaten in the ODM nominations by newcomers.

Those kicked out are Mr Odinga’s elder brother Oburu Oginga (Nominated), Jakoyo Midiwo (Gem) and Nicholas Gumbo, who was seeking the Siaya governor seat.

Gem Member of Parliament Jakoyo Midiwo in Seme, Kisumu on March 17, 2017. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Gem Member of Parliament Jakoyo Midiwo in Seme, Kisumu on March 17, 2017. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Others are MPs Aduma Owuor (Nyakach), Augustino Neto (Ndhiwa), George Oner (Rangwe), Omondi Muluan (Alego-Usonga) and former aide of Mr Odinga, Caroli Omondi.

In Nyanza, where clinching the ODM ticket almost guarantees one a win in the general election, the leaders are likely to face an uphill task retaining their seats should they chose to vie as independent candidates.

At the same time, Deputy President William Ruto, who was busy at the Jubilee Party headquarters in Pangani signing off nomination certificates, watched as his allies were shown the door in the Jubilee nominations in his Rift Valley backyard.


His deputy communication secretary Emmanuel Tallam was floored in the Nandi Hills contest by outspoken MP Alfred Keter, considered a rebel in the Jubilee Party. Mr Keter garnered 19,734 votes against Mr Tallam’s 5,620.

National Assembly Legal Affairs chairman Samuel Chepkonga, another close ally of the DP, lost in the Jubilee nominations for Ainabkoi constituency to Mr William Chepkut, an aide of former Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott. Mr Chepkut got 13,685 votes against Mr Chepkonga’s 13,556.

Kiambu Governor William Kabogo (centre) and the county's Woman Representative Anna Nyokabi Gatheca.

Kiambu Governor William Kabogo (centre) and the county’s Woman Representative Anna Nyokabi Gatheca. The two lost during the April 25 Jubilee primaries. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Elgeyo-Marakwet, Keiyo South MP Jackson Kiptanui, who was said to have been fronted by the DP to topple Governor Alex Tolgos, was trounced by the incumbent.

He came a distant second in the Monday primaries. Mr Tolgos won with 63,645 votes against the MP’s 34,666.

In Uasin Gishu, Mr Bundotich Zedekiah Kiprop, popularly known as Buzeki, was headed to a defeat on Wednesday after failing to get enough votes to topple Governor Jackson Mandago.


Although he denied being fronted by the DP, Mr Kiprop is said to be a close friend of Mr Ruto.

By last evening, with only one constituency remaining, Mr Mandago enjoyed an unassailable lead of 103,961 votes against Mr Kiprop’s 68,833.

Former Judiciary chief registrar Gladys Shollei clinched the Jubilee ticket for Woman Rep.

In Kapseret, current MP Oscar Sudi managed to shrug off a challenge by newcomer Steve Kewa, who was said to have ben fronted by the DP.

In Kitui, Wiper chairman David Musila, an ally of Nasa-co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka, lost his bid to clinch the ticket for the governor’s seat.

Senator Musila lost to Governor Julius Malombe, who garnered 88,382 votes while Mr Musila got 74,308 in the contest in which tallying of votes took more than 50 hours to conclude as the candidates disagreed on the results.

—Reports by Eric Wainaina, Justus Ochieng, Kitavi Mutua and Jeremiah Kiplang’at

Kenya – opposition alliance names Odinga as presidential candidate


Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga of the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition addresses supporters after he was announced as the presidential candidate for the 2017 general elections during a rally at the Uhuru Park grounds, in Nairobi, Kenya, April 27, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
By Katharine Houreld and Duncan Miriri | NAIROBI

NAIROBI Veteran politician Raila Odinga will represent Kenya’s opposition alliance in the presidential election in August, his fourth time as a presidential candidate.

His nomination was announced by leaders of the National Super Alliance, known by its acronym NASA, to cheering supporters at a rally on Thursday.

In an acceptance speech, the 72-year-old former prime minister, the loser in Kenya’s last two presidential polls, pledged to lower food prices and tackle corruption. He has also promised public sector reforms and stronger local government.

Odinga, who comes from one of Kenya’s most powerful political families, will try to unseat President Uhuru Kenyatta, the wealthy son of the country’s first president and head of the ruling Jubilee party, who is seeking a second term.

Kenyans go to the polls on Aug. 8 to elect a president, lawmakers and local officials. Devolution means that many of the local races to control lucrative county budgets are expected to be closely fought.

The last elections in 2013 were largely peaceful but the country is still haunted by the two months of violence that followed the disputed 2007 presidential poll, when political protests rapidly spilled into ethnic bloodletting. More than 1,200 people were killed and 600,000 fled their homes.

The violence threatened the stability of Kenya, a solid Western ally and developing democracy in a volatile region.

Odinga served as prime minister of Kenya from 2008-2012 in a power sharing government set up to end the violence that followed former president Mwai Kibaki’s contested win. Odinga had been ahead when electoral officials abruptly stopped tallying votes and announced Kibaki had won. He first ran for president in 1997.

Odinga identifies as a left-winger and named his first son Fidel, after Cuban leader Fidel Castro. A hospital that his father helped build in Western Kenya, the family’s powerbase, is nicknamed Russia after its main financial backer.

Odinga has refused to rule out street protests if the elections are “rigged”, raising fears of potential clashes.

Kenya replaced the entire board of the election commission late last year after deadly protests over the widespread failure of electronic voting equipment in 2013.

Odinga’s vice-presidential pick, softly-spoken lawyer Kalonzo Musyoka, frequently refers to his born-again Christian faith and has been relatively untainted by Kenya’s frequent corruption scandals. He is 63 and has served in parliament or as a minister for nearly 30 years.

Party primaries were held this month, and parts of the country have already seen low-level violence and protests. Dozens of the primary races had to be suspended and re-run.

In Kisumu, a southern city that is Odinga’s stronghold, party officials declared two conflicting winners of the governorship race on Wednesday before the majority of votes had been counted.

The ruling party has also had to cancel and rerun many of its primary races amid complaints over lack of voting materials and rigging.

(Editing by Catherine Evans)

South Africa – Maimane tells ANC MPs it’s Zuma or South Africa


2017-04-27 16:09

Jeanette Chabalala, Iavan Pijoos and News24 Correspondent

Mmusi Maimane

Mmusi Maimane

Pretoria – Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane on Thursday challenged ANC parliamentarians to make a choice between President Jacob Zuma and all of South Africa when it comes to an upcoming motion of no confidence vote.

“In a few weeks we are going to be debating the motion of no confidence.  On that day we face one of two choices,” said Maimane at a gathering of various opposition political parties, as well as civil society and religious organisations at Caledonian stadium in Tshwane.

“Either ANC MPs choose Jacob Zuma or South Africans.  Either the ANC members will choose corruption or they will choose a clean government.  Either they will choose the Guptas or they will choose ordinary South Africans.”

Maimane suggested: “55 million of us are not going to be held ransom by one South African called Jacob Zuma”.

He promised the crowd that going into the future, a coalition government would be in place in 2019.

“Change is coming…Our ’94 is coming in 2019.”

‘Time up’ for Zuma

The opposition leader was in a soaringly optimistic mood, declaring that “the future for South Africa has never been better than what I see today”.

Maimane ended his address by calling on those gathered to hold hands with the person next to them.

The crowd did so lifting their linked arms in the air, as Maimane quoted an extract from the national anthem, before promising to meet again at ongoing protests against Zuma:

“We will see you on the streets,” he said.

Earlier, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa told supporters that in 2019, the ANC would be “punished”, while Congress of the People head Mosiuoa Lekota said that those who supported Zuma were “enemies of the people”.

African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe said it was simply “time up” for Zuma – a sentiment reiterated by the crowd many of whom held up red cards – as used by a soccer referee as a sign that a player has been ordered to leave the field.

Freedom Day commemorates the country’s first post-apartheid elections held in 1994. This year signals 23 years of South Africa’s democracy.  The various groups represented at the rally have dubbed themselves the Freedom Movement.

Southern Africa – the curse of struggle politics and the liberation movement divine right to power

The Conversation

How liberators turn into oppressors: a study of southern African states

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace. Mugabe has been in power since 1980. Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo

This article is a foundation essay. These are longer than usual and take a wider look at a key issue affecting society.

Since coming to political power, the anticolonial movements of Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa have remained in control of the former settler colonies’ societies.

At best their track record of running the countries they helped liberate is mixed. From the “oiligarchy” in Angola under José Eduardo dos Santos and his family clan and the autocratic “Zanufication” under Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to the presidential successions in Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa, all movements embarked on what could be termed “state capture”.

This is true of all five: the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo), the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU PF), Namibia’s South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) and the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa.

During the years of organised resistance, activists in the liberation movements often internalised a “we-they” divide that categorised people as comrades or enemies. This was true in exile politics and armed struggle, as well as militant internal underground mobilisation.

The repressive regimes the liberation movements opposed were based on human rights violations as an integral component of minority rule. To have a chance of success against them, the struggle mainly operated along the lines of command and obedience. Operating in exile or for a banned organisation at home left no room for complacency. Suspicion was required for survival. It is normal for resistance movements to adopt rough survival strategies and techniques while fighting an oppressive regime.

Unfortunately that culture takes root and is permanently nurtured. Such confrontational mentality has become entrenched in an authoritarian political culture that is based on the claim that liberators have an entitlement to rule within a new elite project. This has happened much to the frustration of those who believed that the struggle against settler colonialism was also a struggle against a range of other things. These include economic exploitation, redistribution of wealth, plural democracy and respect for human dignity, rights and civil liberties.

This happened in societies in transition almost everywhere. Those who sacrificed during the resistance felt in many cases entitled to new privileges as a kind of compensation and reward. As a new elite, they also often mimicked the lifestyles of those they replaced. Mugabe’s cultivation of Oxford English is as much a case in point as the new Indian elite culture analysed by Ashis Nandy in “The Intimate Enemy”.

There is also nothing new about militant movements that are supposedly justified in ethical and moral terms losing their legitimacy quickly when obtaining power. Since the French Revolution, liberators have often turned into oppressors, victims into perpetrators. New regimes often resemble features of the old one.

Wounds old and new

Armed resistance was in different degrees part of the liberation struggles in the southern African settler colonies. While liberation did not come from the barrel of a gun, the military component accelerated the process towards self-determination. In the cases of Zimbabwe, Namibia and, to a lesser extent, South Africa, it was a contributing factor for a negotiated transition towards majority rule.

The compromises required from all sides were part of a wider appeasement strategy tantamount to elite pacts. Negotiated transfer of political power did not abandon the settler colonial structures of society.

It bears repetition that the unscrupulously violent character of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) regime had already revealed itself in the early to mid-1980s. Already during the exile years internal power struggles led to assassinations and showed the brute force inherent in liberation struggles, even within their own ranks. This willingness to resort to violence was seen on a massive scale after independence as it was turned against political opponents and their support base.

A special unit killed an estimated 20,000 people through Operation Gukurahundi, where the opposition Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) had most support. Atrocities bordering on genocide did not stop until ZAPU agreed to sign a pact. ZANU basically took ZAPU over.

When the Movement for Democratic Change as a new opposition party turned into a serious competitor, the Chimurenga, or revolutionary struggle, became a permanent institution. Violence was the customary response to political protest. And as political power shifted away from Mugabe after the lost referendum in 2000, his regime became more violent.

Swapo’s human rights violations have also been downplayed. In the 1980s the organisation imprisoned thousands of its members in dungeons in southern Angola, accusing them of spying on behalf of South Africa. These people lost their liberty and often their lives in spite of never having been proven guilty. Indeed, they were not even brought to trial. Most did not survive the torture. Those released are scorned even today.

While political leaders of these movements might not have practised such acts of violence themselves, they were accomplices and knew of them.

South Africa’s trajectory is sobering too. Given the country’s vibrant political culture pre-democracy, the prospects for democracy were more encouraging.

But the horrific degree of violence displayed by those executing “law and order” on behalf of the South African state in Marikana was a reminder that Sharpeville was not past.

The 2012 Marikana massacre brought bitter memories of the apartheid-era killings of protesters in Sharpeville. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

As early as 1990, veteran underground activist and later constitutional judge Albie Sachs expressed doubts that ANC activists were ready for freedom. He worried about the habits they had cultivated. While the culture and discipline of resistance may have served as a survival strategy in the underground, these skills were not those of free citizens.

Raymond Suttner’s work, based on his view from the inside, points out that ANC ideology and rhetoric do not distinguish between the liberation movement and the people. The liberation movement is a prototype of a state within the state – one that sees itself as the only legitimate source of power.

He also explains how during the struggle there was a general suppression of “the personal” in favour of “the collective”. Individual judgment, and thereby autonomy, was substituted by a collective decision from the leadership. Such a “warrior culture” included heroic acts, but also the abuse of power.

As in many instances, women – as mothers, wives and daughters, but also as objects for satisfying sexual desires – paid the highest price and made the greatest sacrifices.

South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, institutionalised by the government, also talked about human rights violations committed by the ANC. Although the final official report containing these findings was never published in its original form, President Nelson Mandela did not shy away from earlier offering a public apology to the victims of the ANC’s failures to respect basic human rights.

Beyond the ‘end of history’

As we now know, postcolonial life looks for far too many people very much like that of the colonial era in respect to day-to-day living. One reason for this is that socialisation and attitudes from the struggle have shaped the new political leaders’ understanding of politics – and their idea of how to wield power.

In office, liberation movements tend to mark “the end of history”. Their party machineries – as sociologist Roger Southall describes it – promote the equation that the party is the government and the government is the state. Any political alternative that does not emerge from within will not be acceptable.

This attitude explains the strong sense of camaraderie between the Mugabe regime and the governments of Angola, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa. Typically, any political alternative will be discredited as being part of an imperialist conspiracy that is designed to sabotage national independence and is seeking “regime change”.

The relevant categories of thought are winners and losers. But democracy is about something completely different: compromise, and even a search for consensus, in pursuit of the public good. To achieve that, one does not need mindsets in combat mode, but rather a broad political debate.

Looking at the history of the liberation struggles in southern Africa can, therefore, also open our eyes and sharpen our sensibility, awareness and understanding of forms of rule that show clear limitations for genuine emancipation and liberation.

We should also critically reflect on those – within the countries and globally – who rendered those movements support. How have they positioned themselves vis-à-vis the new power structures? How are they practising the notion of solidarity in the context of inequalities and injustices?

We should return to the mindsets, values, norms and expectations of those who supported these struggles. The notion of solidarity might then live on with a similar uncompromising meaning and practice.

A luta continua [The struggle continues]” as a popular slogan during the struggle days would then not translate into “the looting continues” but return to its true meaning. If implemented accordingly, it underlines that there is no end of history when it comes to social struggles for true emancipation, equality, liberty and justice.

Zambia – court upholds treason charges against Hichilema

Al Jazeera

Hichilema has been in custody since police raided his home on April 11 [Rogan Ward/Reuters]

A Zambian court refused a request to drop treason charges against Hakainde Hichilema, the main opposition leader, after he allegedly blocked the president’s motorcade earlier this month.

Wednesday’s ruling comes after Hichilema, the United Party for National Development (UPND) leader and a self-made businessman, was arrested in a police raid at his home earlier this month.

He is accused of endangering President Edgar Lungu’s life when Hichilema’s own convoy allegedly refused to give way to the presidential motorcade as both men travelled to a traditional event in Zambia’s western province.

Hichilema has been charged with trying to overthrow the government by unlawful means.

His lawyers had asked the court to throw out the treason charges, saying they were baseless.

But magistrate Greenwell Malumani said he did not have the power to dismiss the charges, which can only be handled by the High Court.

The case has stoked political tensions after the most recent contested elections.

Zambia was seen as one of southern Africa’s most stable countries until relations soured between the government and opposition in August, when President Lungu’s Patriotic Front (PF) party narrowly beat the UPND in elections marred by violence.

The opposition says the vote was rigged, but Hichilema has so far failed to successfully challenge the legality of the result.

The Non-Governmental Organizations Coordinating Council (NGOCC), an umbrella body of Zambian action groups, has condemned the charges against Hichilema.

“Arresting opposition leaders on trumped-up charges is a recipe to heighten tension in an already volatile economic and political environment,” its chairwoman Sara Longwe

South Sudan famine could block peace process

Sudan Tribune(JUBA)- The head of the Joint Monitoring and evaluation commission, a regional appointed body to oversee the implementation of peace agreement which armed and non-armed opposition parties to the conflict have signed in 2015 to end war, has warned that famine in the country could undermine efforts.

JPEG - 21.7 kb
Botswana’s former president Festus Mogae (Photo File AFP)

Speaking at plenary briefing to representatives of the parties to the peace, the former president of Botswana, Festus G.Mogae, who chairs the monitoring group, warned that famine in the country could undermine peace efforts if no immediate actions are taken to arrest the situation from deteriorating further.

“There can be no doubt that we now face a crisis within a crisis. Security is the foundation stone upon which we build economic and social confidence. This foundation stone no longer exists, confidence has evaporated, commerce is seizing up, prices are escalating and as a result we now face a crisis of hunger that is undermining all our efforts to make peace”, said Mogae

He said women in South Sudan face a daily struggle with inflation, never knowing if the money in their pocket will be sufficient to feed their family, adding that Insecurity creates food shortages, which in turn drives inflation that in turn results in hunger.

“A hungry man is an angry man. And angry men do not make peace. Food shortages and increasing hunger are now our immediate problems. Out in the country, beyond the reach of government, the situation is increasingly desperate. Instability and hunger has created a surge of survival-criminality that further exacerbates the problem through stealing, looting and the prevention of free-flowing commerce”, he said.

The top peace monitor pointed out that violence in the country was either carried out with central command or taken on the basis of local situation without necessarily receiving directives from anybody to which the group attaches political allegiance.

“Violence and conflict on this level is either centrally directed or locally orchestrated. I fear it is now time to acknowledge that, across the board, among all armed forces and armed groups, central structures of command and control appear to have broken down. Violence around the country is increasingly based on local decisions taken at local level. Armed groups may declare an allegiance to one leader or another, but they seem no longer to take their instructions from them.”

The briefing was part of monthly activities at which the peace monitoring body presents report to the Board members, including representatives of the Transitional Government of National Unity, South Sudanese Stakeholders, IGAD member states, the UN, the Troika (US, UK, Norway), China, EU and International Partners Forum and Friends of South Sudan.

These reports are also received from the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU), Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM), Joint Military Ceasefire Commission (JMCC), Joint Integrated Police (JIP), Strategic Defence and Security Review Board (SDSRB) and the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC).

Mogae decried the killing of the humanitarian situation, saying it was no longer acceptable to claim the lives of people who are working hard to salvage the situation of those in dire of humanitarian aids.

“Twelve aid workers have been killed in South Sudan so far this year. It is simply deplorable that in 2017 we must still plead with a government for the safety of those who deliver humanitarian relief,” said the former Botswana president.

“I can only repeat that this humanitarian situation is predominantly man-made and the result of violence, conflict and the deliberate denial of access. Men, women and children are suffering and dying of starvation because the leadership at various levels is failing to prevent it,” he further stressed.



Kenya – Nairobi governor aspirant rejects Jubilee primary result

Daily Nation

Thursday April 27 2017

Kenya Kenneth

Nairobi governor aspirant Peter Kenneth walks in Githurai 44, Nairobi on March 26, 2017 after attending church service at Holy Mary Mother of God, Githurai Catholic Church. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA  

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Jubilee Nairobi governor aspirant Peter Kenneth has rejected the party nominations whose early results have shown his rival, Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko taking an early lead.

In a press statement, Mr Kenneth listed eight reasons for his dissatisfaction with the process, calling for its nullification.

“I disassociate myself from the sham election the Jubilee Party purported to have for Nairobi County and demand that the same elections be nullified, and that any fresh elections must rely on a genuine list of party members,” Mr Kenneth said in the statement sent out to newsrooms.

Mr Kenneth blamed the party for what he said was a mixed communication on the use of identity card, before changing it to the use of a party register only, which he said was missing in some polling stations.

“When the register was introduced halfway through the voting, many voters who were registered party members had their names missing in areas where they registers were available and were therefore denied the opportunity to vote,” said Mr Kenneth.

The 2013 presidential candidate also complained against use of an erasable marker, which he said facilitated multiple voting.

“There were cases of outright bribery by some of the candidates outside the polling stations to alter the true voting outcome,” said Mr Kenneth.

The governor aspirant who wants to trounce incumbent Dr Evans Kidero of ODM, also complained of what he said was early closure of polling stations, giving the example of Dr Opuondo polling station in Makadara constituency which he claimed opened at 1pm and closed at 2pm.

Conversely, he said, some polling stations like Mowlem and Umoja I primary in Embakasi West constituency were still voting at 9pm.

Meanwhile, at the Nyayo Stadium Jubilee Nairobi County tallying centre, Senator Sonko is leading with Lang’ata constituency having reported at 7am.

In the constituency, Mr Sonko had 7,727 against Mr Kenneth’s 2,431.

In the Senate race, nominated MP Johnson Sakaja is leading in the constituency vote at 7,813 against, with the second aspirant Kavemba Mutinda trailing behind challenger at 915 votes.

Officials at the tallying centre are still waiting for results from the other 16 constituencies.

Nixon Korir has clinched the Jubilee Party ticket for the Lang’ata constituency, beating three contenders to win with 8,073 votes.

In the woman representative race, incumbent Rachel Shebesh led in the tally for the Lang’at constituency with 4,732 votes, Millicent Omanga 2,686, Karen Nyamu 1,188, Janet Muthoni 616, Wangui Ng’ang’a 339, Lucy Waithira 239, Rosemary Wairimu 133, and Mary Musuki 115.

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