Kenya

Nairobi (AFP) Kenyan conservationists expressed outrage Thursday after construction of a railway line began inside Nairobi’s famed national park, saying this defied a court order halting the project. The extension of a Chinese-built railway that is Kenya’s biggest infrastructure project since independence through the vast wildlife reserve on the outskirts of Nairobi has been tied up in legal battles since 2016. However last week, cranes, heavy machinery and scores of workers from the China Road and Bridge Corporation set up inside the park borders, working furiously inside an area cordonedRead More
Nairobi (AFP) Kenya’s High Court on Monday ordered immigration authorities to allow an outspoken member of the opposition alliance to return to the country, after his deportation earlier this month. Miguna Miguna, a firebrand member of the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition, was forced onto an international flight to Canada nearly three weeks ago. His deportation came after he was arrested for treason for taking part in the mock swearing-in of opposition leader Raila Odinga, who insists he is the rightful victor of last year’s elections. The interior ministry saidRead More
Nairobi (AFP) A Tanzanian court on Monday handed five-month jail terms to two regime opponents, including a lawmaker, for defaming President John Magufuli, their defence counsel said. Joseph Mbilinyi, a lawmaker with main opposition party Chadema in the southern town of Mbeya, was sentenced with party regional secretary Emmanuel Masonga. They were charged with linking Magufuli in December to the attempted September assassination of senior opposition lawmaker Tundu Lissu and the abduction of other opposition supporters. Lissu, shot several times at his home, is currently recovering in hospital in Brussels.Read More
Nairobi (AFP) A recent spate of violent attacks in Tanzania threaten the country’s democracy, the European Union has said. “We note with concern the recent developments which threaten democratic values and the rights of Tanzanians,” the EU said in a statement Friday. The EU said it was “saddened by the tragic shooting” of a student, hit by a stray bullet during an opposition rally in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam earlier this month, and called for “thorough inquiries into all the recent deaths of political and human rights activists”.Read More
Nairobi (AFP) A court in Tanzania on Friday charged eight people with the murder of renowned conservationist Wayne Lotter who was shot dead in Dar es Salaam in August. The eight individuals were charged with murder and conspiracy to murder, according to court documents seen by AFP. Lotter, a 51-year-old South African conservationist, was a founder of the PAMS Foundation which worked to stop the poaching of elephants and trafficking of ivory in Tanzania. He was killed by unknown gunmen on August 16 while in a taxi on his wayRead More
Nairobi (AFP) A vast new marine protected area has been created in the Indian Ocean around the Seychelle islands, the government announced Thursday. The 210,000-square-kilometre (81,000-square-mile) zone — an area equivalent to nearly half of the Black Sea — is intended to protect both the sea and the archipelago’s economy, which relies on fishing and tourism. “Our large ocean brings development opportunities but also responsibility,” said Environment Minister Didier Dogley. “Our ocean is central to our development and for the future of generations to come.” Dogley described the initiative asRead More
Nairobi (AFP) More than a hundred Tanzanian civil society groups raised their voices on Wednesday against “unprecedented” violations of human and democratic rights under the government of President John Magufuli. In a rare act of public solidarity, 105 organisations signed a statement warning of “multiple cases (of rights violations), unprecedented in (Tanzania’s) history” involving “attacks, torture and forced disappearances of rights activists, journalists, political leaders and even ordinary citizens”. They warned of “tension within the country, involving violations of both the freedom of the press and of expression” and raisedRead More
Nairobi (AFP) More than five million people have signed up to vote in Burundi’s controversial constitutional referendum in May and elections in 2020, which could allow President Pierre Nkurunziza to remain in power until 2034. By the end of the inscription process on Saturday, “a total of 5,000,742 people” signed up, including Burundians living abroad, Pierre-Claver Ndayicariye, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) was quoted as saying Tuesday by local media. The figure was higher than CENI’s estimate of 4.5 million earlier. This includes those who willRead More
Nairobi (AFP) Kenya’s former world 400m hurdles champion Nicholas Bett made a winning return to the track on Saturday to secure a place at the Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast in April. The 25-year-old, who became Kenya’s first gold medal winner in the sprints at the 2015 world championships in Beijing, announced he was back to full fitness when he led a magnificient gun-to-finish victory at the Kenya national trials. Bett clocked 49.14secs, with his twin brother Haron Koech a distant second in 50.68. Willy Mbevi was third in 51.01.Read More
Nairobi (AFP) Tanzania’s main opposition party Saturday accused police of shooting dead a female university student and seriously injuring at least four other people while trying to disperse a peaceful demonstration in the country’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam. The local police have admitted a person was hit after they fired warning shots on Friday but accused some protesters of throwing stones. The first-year university student, whose name and photo have circulated on social media, was struck by a bullet while on a bus the day before a fiercely contestedRead More