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DR Congo election: Sadc proposes unity government

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The southern African regional body Sadc has called for a unity government in the Democratic Republic of Congo, following the disputed presidential election.

All political leaders should agree a negotiated settlement, it said.

Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi was declared winner but another opponent of the current administration, Martin Fayulu, insists he won.

He alleges Tshisekedi made a deal with outgoing President Joseph Kabila.

Kabila has been in office for 18 years and the result, if confirmed, would create the first orderly transfer of power since independence from Belgium in 1960.

The declaration of Mr Tshisekedi as winner has also been disputed by the influential Catholic church which says it deployed 40,000 election monitors across the country.

On Saturday, Fayulu filed an appeal in the Constitutional Court demanding a manual recount of votes cast in the December 30 election.

This call was supported by Sadc in its statement issued by Zambian President Edgar Lungu, who chairs Sadc’s Politics, Defence and Security department.

He and other regional leaders felt the best way forward was a negotiated political settlement and a government of national unity, Mr Lungu said.

He cited the example of similar deals in Zimbabwe and Kenya.

The declaration of  Tshisekedi as winner has also been disputed by the influential Catholic church which says it deployed 40,000 election monitors across the country.

On Saturday, Fayulu filed an appeal in the Constitutional Court demanding a manual recount of votes cast in the 30 December election.

This call was supported by Sadc in its statement issued by Zambian President Edgar Lungu, who chairs Sadc’s Politics, Defence and Security department.

South Africa’s Foreign Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, also said a unity government could prove to be an acceptable compromise for a troubled country in desperate need of peace.

The legal process in the DR Congo should not be pre-empted, and outsiders should not attempt to force a settlement, she added.

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Fayulu tweeted to thank Sadc for backing his call for a vote recount but he did not comment on the proposed plan for a government of national unity.

Several Western governments have expressed surprise and concern at the declared results.

Sadc’s intervention will be welcomed by some as a wise proposal to avoid further bloodshed. But others will see it as another weak and dangerous compromise that undermines African democracy, and emboldens autocrats, the BBC’s Andrew Harding in Johannesburg says.

On Saturday, Mr Fayulu repeated that the result did not reflect “the truth of the ballot boxes”.

He told BBC Africa editor Fergal Keane: “I will do whatever is possible for me to do to get the truth because the Congolese want change.”

What will happen next?

Judges have seven days to deliberate.

Constitutional expert Jacques Ndjoli told the BBC there were three possible outcomes: the court could confirm Mr Tshisekedi’s victory, order a recount, or cancel the results altogether and call fresh elections.

The constitutional court has never overturned results before, and some think most of its judges are close to the ruling party.

If Mr Tshisekedi were confirmed as the winner, he would be expected to be inaugurated within 10 days.

count, or cancel the results altogether and call fresh elections.

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Ichung’wah, Kuria among 17 MPs targetted in Jubilee Party clean-up » Capital News

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NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 3 – Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Kimani Ichung’wah and Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria are among key allies of Deputy President William Ruto, targetted in a fresh purge on House leadership by the Jubilee Party.

A day after President Uhuru Kenyatta convened a Parliamentary Group meeting at State House, Newly appointed Majority Whip Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo) wrote to 17 MPs demanding that they should show cause why they should not be removed from various departmental Committee.

If the discharge is effected, Kuria will lose his post as the vice-chairman of the Transport, Public Works and Housing Committee.

Other MPs listed in the ouster plot include Bomet County Woman Representative Joyce Korir, who is also the vice-chairperson of the Labour and Social Welfare Committee, Cornelly Serem (Aldai) and Robert Pukose (Endebess) who are vice-chairpersons to the Trade, Industry and Cooperatives and Energy Committees respectively.

Wangwe gave the MPs seven days to respond to his letter.

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The Jubilee PG on Tuesday resolved to strip National Assembly Majority Whip Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East) and his deputy Cecily Mbarire (Nominated MP) of their positions.

The move followed the removal of Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki, Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and Senate Majority Whip Susan Kihika who were accused of sabotaging the President’s agenda.

And on Wednesday, Kieni Member of Parliament Kanini Kega said he was collecting signatures to also remove Majority Leader Aden Duale.

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“I have so far collected 115 signatures,” he said, “I am confident that by tomorrow we will have at least 155.”

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Interior PS Karanja Kibicho hints at reopening of the economy: The Standard

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Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho. [File, Standard]
NairobiOn Saturday June 6, President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to give a way forward in regard to cessation of movement in the affected counties

Interior Permanent Secretary Karanja Kibicho has hinted on a likely phased re-opening of the country even as Kenyans await eagerly on the new measures set to be announced on Saturday.

In an interview with Radio Citizen, Kibicho said the government had found itself in a difficult position since recorded Covid-19 cases in the country are on the rise but noted high-level discussions were ongoing.
“We cannot lock-down forever, the government makes its money from taxes, currently people are not at work, personally I think we can re-open but under strict guidelines,” Kibicho said.
According to the PS, some restrictions may be lifted although the government will not be relaxing the requirements on face-masks and social distancing.
SEE ALSO: COVID-19: The interruption of customs
“Companies willing to re-open will need to ensure guidelines on face-masks and social distancing are adhered to because the new coronavirus is still here with us,” he added.
Kibicho urged Kenyans to remain vigilant and not to expect a sudden normalcy saying the re-opening of the economy was a very delicate balance requiring the participation of everyone.
On Saturday June 6, President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to give a way forward in regard to cessation of movement in the affected counties. The previous containment order directive affecting Nairobi, Mombasa and Kwale counties will elapse on Saturday.
The daily dusk-to-dawn curfew which had been extended by a further 21 days will also be lapsing on June 6.
On Monday during Madaraka Day celebrations held at State house, President Uhuru Kenyatta hinted at the reopening of places of worship.
SEE ALSO: Kenya Power employees turn Covid-19 positive
While delivering his speech, the President said he shared the heavy hearts of all those who can no longer worship as they used to.
“I direct the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Health to continue and hasten their engagement with religious leaders; with the objective of developing protocols that will be adopted to guide a more participatory way of worship while guaranteeing the safety of worshipers,” he said.
During his seventh national address on the progress made in containing the virus in the country, the president noted that every Kenyan would have to take responsibility to prevent the spread of the highly infections virus.
“We will not continue with the lock-down and the curfew, I have told health officials and my ministers that they should start telling Kenyans that we cannot be under a curfew or lock-down forever,” he said.

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54 COVID-19 patients discharged raising cleared cases to 553 » Capital News

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NAIROBI, Kenya June 3 – Fifty-four COVID-19 patients have been discharged after recovering form the virus, representing the highest single-day recovery rate recorded yet since the first patient was discharged on April 1.

The total recovery toll now stands at 553 representing a 25 per cent recovery rate against the global average of 48 per cent.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman on Wednesday attributed the high number of recoveries to the commitment and diligence of health workers on the frontline in the war against the pandemic.

“This recovery is attributed to the diligent and committed work of health workers operating in enabled health systems, this shows that with good management, this disease when clinically manifested is curable and not a death sentence,” he asserted when he addressed the press during a regular status update on COVID-19.

Aman reiterated government’s commitment to combat the spread of the virus while urging the public to maintain adherence to COVID-19 containment measures in order to support government efforts to flatten the infection curve.

“We must wear masks at all times to protect ourselves and our loved ones and avoid the risk of being infected or infecting others,” the Health CAS added.

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He however raised concern over the violation of social distancing guidelines by some restaurants warning that the actions pose a huge risk in the fight against the virus.

“The only measure that has been relaxed is the measure that allowed operation of restaurants and eateries based on strict adherence to the social and physical distancing guidelines,” he said.

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Out of the 2,112 samples analysed in 24 hours leading to Wednesday, Aman noted that 123 tested positive for the virus bringing total number of infections to 2,216.

The cases are distributed in Nairobi(44), Mombasa (34), Uasin Gishu (12), Kiambu (3), Kajiado (3), Nyeri (3) , Kilifi (2), Garissa (1) and Laikipia(1).

The country’s death toll now stands at 74 after 3 more patients succumbed to the virus, two of them from Nairobi, the third was reported in Nyeri.

“The youngest one is a 12-year-old boy while the other two are 41 years and 71 years ofage. Our heartfelt condolences to their families and friends,” Aman noted.

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