Nairobi (AFP) Burundi’s opposition parties on Friday denounced the “enforced enrolment” of voters ahead of a referendum on changes to the constitution which would allow President Pierre Nkurunziza to remain in office until 2034. Opposition groups say the police and the ruling party’s ferocious Imbonerakure youth wing, branded a militia by the UN, are forcing people to enrol ahead of the referendum in May. “What is happening is unacceptable. Getting registered (to vote) is a civil right, and a right that one can choose to exercise or not,” said TatienRead More
Nairobi (AFP) Tanzanian authorities have stepped up an escalating war on cannabis by destroying 14 hectares (35 acres) of the crop in the northern province of Arusha in recent days. Saturday alone saw eight hectares laid waste at the Meru forest reserve following another six acres earlier in the week in operation overseen by Interior Minister Mwigulu Nchemba. Tanzania is one of the world’s largest cannabis producers. “We have decided to put a stop to the cannabis culture,” Arumeru administrative secretary Timotheo Mzava said during Saturday’s operation. “Some local officialsRead More
Nairobi (AFP) Tanzania’s Catholic church on Sunday accused the government of President John Magufuli of violating democratic norms by limiting freedom of expression. “Party political activities, such as public meetings, demonstrations, rallies, debates inside premises, which are after all every citizen’s right, have been suspended until the next elections,” said a letter penned by the country’s Catholic bishops. Denouncing “violations of the constitution and national laws,” the bishops pointed to the temporary shutdown of some media outlets, saying it amounted to “restricting citizens’ right to be informed” and hence freedomRead More
Nairobi (AFP) Thousands of people joined an official demonstration in Burundi on Saturday, in response to criticism by the United Nations chief about a planned revision to the country’s constitution. The protest was called by the mayor of Bujumbura, the capital, after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres used a report to criticise proposals that could allow Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza to hold on to power for another decade or more. “We are here to denounce the report by the UN Secretary General on Burundi, in which he lied a lot aboutRead More
Nairobi (AFP) The inscription of voters for a constitutional referendum that could allow Burundi’s president to prolong his rule began Thursday in Burundi, the independent national electoral commission (CENI) announced. If accepted by the electorate, the constitutional change passed by the government last October would enable President Pierre Nkurunziza, in power since 2005, to stand for two further terms of office from 2020. All opposition parties are opposed to a referendum in May on changes that they say might be a death warrant for the Arusha peace accord of 2000,Read More
Nairobi (AFP) Kenya’s leading private TV station Citizen TV was back on air Thursday a week after authorities suspended it and two other broadcasters for showing the mock inauguration of opposition leader Raila Odinga as president. Citizen TV resumed broadcasting three days after two of its private rivals, NTV and KTN News, who had likewise ignored a government injunction against showing the January 30 Odinga ceremony. The channel returned a day after Kenya’s Chief Justice criticised the government for defying a number of court orders which he said placed theRead More
Nairobi (AFP) A Kenyan government critic appeared in court Tuesday to face charges related to the mock inauguration of the “people’s president” Raila Odinga, as the authorities barred 14 opposition leaders from leaving the country. Protestors and police clashed in the opposition’s stronghold of western Kenya, and one man was killed. Miguna Miguna stood alongside the opposition leader during his symbolic swearing-in in Nairobi last week in front of tens of thousands of supporters, seen as a fresh challenge to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election. The charge says Miguna and othersRead More
Nairobi (AFP) A world-renowned ivory investigator whose detailed reports contributed to the fight against elephant poaching and the illegal wildlife trade, was killed at his home in Kenya, police said Monday. Esmond Bradley Martin, a 76-year-old American geographer who had lived in Kenya for decades, died after being stabbed in the neck at his house in the Nairobi suburb of Langata on Sunday afternoon, police said. “We have four suspects in custody,” Nairobi Police Chief Japheth Koome said. They were arrested on Monday afteroon, Koome said. He did not giveRead More
Nairobi (AFP) Kenyan police on Saturday briefly detained another key government critic over his alleged involvement in the recent mock inauguration of opposition leader Raila Odinga as the “people’s president”, the third such arrest within four days. Police said they arrested George Aladwa at his home early on Saturday morning, before releasing him several hours later after questioning. Aladwa is accused of helping to organise the January 30 symbolic swearing-in in Nairobi in front of tens of thousands of supporters, in a fresh challenge to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election lastRead More
Nairobi (AFP) Kenyan police on Friday arrested an outspoken member of the opposition, Miguna Miguna, in a dawn raid on his Nairobi home, police and his party said. Armed officers used explosives to break down the door before arresting Miguna, a witness said. “There were several blasts heard at his home before he was finally taken out,” said a neighbour who did not want to be named. Miguna is a provocative firebrand who attended the Tuesday mock swearing-in of opposition leader Raila Odinga as the “people’s president”, in defiance ofRead More