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Violence in Addis ahead of opposition group’s return

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By AFP
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Clashes broke out in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on Thursday ahead of the return of an opposition group popular with the country’s largest ethnicity the Oromo.

The violence appeared linked to the homecoming of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) as part of a sweeping reform agenda launched by new Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

An AFP journalist said federal police clashed with men armed with sticks and stones, while a passenger bus appeared to have been pelted with rocks near the Piazza neighbourhood.

On Twitter, the British embassy warned of violence in Piazza and also in the Karl Square area, while the United States embassy said in a statement it was “monitoring reports of protest and unrest throughout Addis Ababa, with police deployed in response”.

It was unclear what sparked the unrest, but the violence appeared to be linked to reports that Oromo activist youths known as Qeerroo had painted the colours of the OLF flag in parts of Addis Ababa.

The move sparked retaliation from residents of the ethnically diverse city, which is surrounded by Oromia, the region home to the Oromo ethnic group to which Abiy belongs and from where the OLF draws its membership.

The AFP journalist said the groups of young men were carrying an older version of the Ethiopian flag popular with another opposition group, Ginbot 7, while chanting “come out and defend your flag”.

Addressing the violence in the capital, Abiy on Thursday said “we should not marginalise political parties coming from abroad”.

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“As there will be no a single winner, we should cooperate [with] each other by resolving our differences through dialogue,” Abiy told state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate.

The leadership of the OLF will return to Ethiopia on Saturday, Fana reported.

The group is returning after the Abiy government removed it from Ethiopia’s list of terrorist organisations.

Oromia and Addis Ababa have long had an uneasy relationship.

An attempt by the government to expand the capital’s borders into Oromia was decried by Oromos as a land grab and sparked more than two years of unrest in the region that played a role in Abiy’s rise to power.

Some Oromos believe the capital, a chartered city separate from Oromia, should be part of the region though the city is home to a range of ethnicities from across Ethiopia, Africa’s second most-populous country.



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Police in hot pursuit of gang that car-jacked a Ruaka resident – KBC

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The vehicle was found abandoned in Kagongo village, having been vandalized.

Kiambu based detectives are pursuing a dangerous and armed criminal gang that car-jacked a Ruaka resident on Friday, before disappearing with his Toyota Premio as he drove to his residence.

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According to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations(DCI), the victim had pulled over by the apartment’s gate at Ruaka One River Apartments, unaware that a gang of three assailants was laying in wait for him.

As the gates opened, the driver’s window was suddenly smashed with an iron rod, before two shots were fired in the air from a pistol in an attempt to subdue him.

However, he managed to force his way into the parking lot, but before he could jump out of the car and scamper to safety, the trio caught up with him and roughed him up before grabbing his car keys and phone.

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On receiving the report, DCI detectives based at Kiambaa launched a manhunt for the suspects.

The vehicle was found abandoned in Kagongo village, having been vandalized.

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Its rear and front headlights, side mirrors, all tyres, nose guard, boot and radio had been stolen.

Detectives believe that the three suspects are part of a larger criminal syndicate operating within Kiambu County.

They have been targeting taxi drivers while posing as customers, only to turn against them at isolated places, then vandalize their vehicles.

” Some members of the syndicate have previously been arrested and arraigned in court.” Said the DCI

The DCI has cautioned Kenyans on this trend of crime.

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Nyandarua County Assembly Speaker impeached for third time

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The special sitting was held despite a court order that reinstated the speaker.

Nyandarua County Assembly Speaker Ndegwa Wahome has been impeached for the third time.
Wahome was voted out over gross misconduct, abuse of office and nepotism in a special sitting held on Saturday.
31 out of the 38 ward representatives supported the impeachment motion while six opposed and one abstained.
The special sitting was held despite an order by Nakuru High Court Judge Hillary Chemitei reinstating Wahome until a case he had filed against his removal was heard and determined.
Reading out the charges, the mover of the motion, Majority Leader Edinard Kingori, accused Wahome of favouritism in assembly functions.
Kingori claimed that Wahome also failed to account for monies meant for the construction of Nyandarua County Assembly offices.

Nyandarua County Assembly Leader of Majority Edinard Kingori displays a notice of impeachment motion against speaker Ndegwa Wahome.

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The Majority Leader alleged that the embattled speaker colluded with some MCAs and undermined Governor Francis Kimemia’s leadership.
“The speaker has outrightly shown that he is unable to hold office. That is why we want him out. All he keeps asking from the executive is for more money yet he cannot account for the ones he has been allocated. We cannot allow this anymore. He has been discriminating against some of us in county assembly functions while favouring others. Is this fair?” posed Kingori.

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Responding to the allegations, Wahome, who defended himself via zoom, said the impeachment was merely a political act.
“We know whose hand is behind this. My hands are clean and everyone can attest that I have run this assembly professionally since I took over eight years ago,” said Wahome.
Wahome said that his demand for accountability and firm stand against corruption in the county was the root cause of his predicament. 
The speaker was represented by lawyers, Martin Waichungo and Mathea Gikunju.

 

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Will retiring governors be kingmakers in 2022 contest?

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Key political players eyeing to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta are wooing retiring county bosses, hoping to ride on political influence for votes.

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