Mosie Moolla, who was with Oliver Tambo in the Treason Trial pays tribute to Tambo.
His tribute comes as October 2017 is being commemorated to reflect on the life and legacy of Oliver Tambo.
There has been centenary celebrations across the country under the theme “Life and Legacy of OR Tambo.
Tambo would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year.
UN, African Union call for peace ahead of Kenyan election
23 October 2017, 10:13 PM
A joint statement between the United Nations (UN) Secretary General and the African Union (AU) Commission Chair has urged political actors and stakeholders in Kenya to work together towards the preservation of calm and peace in the country.
This as international pressure and concern continues to build ahead of Thursday’s rerun of the Presidential election, particularly around the country’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission capacity to conduct a free and credible poll.
Tensions continue to be high in the east Africa nation, with Kenya’s opposition under former Prime Minister Raila Odinga calling for a boycott of the Thursday poll, and a former electoral commissioner, who fled to the United States last week, saying the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is dysfunctional and unable to produce a credible result.
The UN and the AU are closely monitoring developments in Kenya as the Secretary General’s spokesperson, Farhan Haq explains.
“The Secretary General and the AU Commission Chairperson called on all stakeholders to cooperate with the Independent electoral and boundaries Commission as a constitutionally mandated body to conduct the election. They urge all political parties and their supporters to create conditions for a peaceful election, and refrain from any act of violence, and stressed the need for the Kenyan security services to exercise restraint, use minimal force in performing their duties and respect the freedom and political liberties of all Kenyans.”
“Well, just to repeat – what we want is for everyone to cooperate with the IEBC. Remember, as we said in the statement, that this is the constitutionally mandated body to conduct the election, and it’s in that context that we want its work to be supported.”
Former election’s Commissioner, Dr Roselyn Akombe, who declined to be interviewed by SABC News, has claimed in other publications that the IEBC was subject to political interference.
This as Ambassadors to 18 European Union (EU) countries and the United States (US) also issued a joint statement urging dialogue and calm. United States Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec explains.
“Attacks on the IEBC (Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission) staff must stop. No one is obliged to stand for office or to vote if they do not wish to, but no one should use violence or intimidation to disrupt the right of others to vote or to participate. Doing so is profoundly undemocratic, and leaders must tell their supporters to refrain from such actions. In the coming days the whole world will be watching Kenya in its every step in this electoral process. In particular we are following closely the actions of leaders and politicians. Those who incite violence or undermine democracy should be held to account for their actions.”
Earlier this month, in a 37 page report, Human Rights Watch said police in Kenya had killed at least 33 people, and injured hundreds more in response to protests following the now annulled August 8 election.
– By Sherwin Bryce-Pease
Somalia seeks aid following bombings
21 October 2017, 9:05 PM
The Somalian government has called on the international community to help the county as it embarks on the project of rebuilding infrastructure that was destroyed in the recent twin bomb attacks on the capital, Mogadishu.
The death toll now stands at almost 360. The nation has joined the army in a fight against militant group, Al Shabaab, even though the organisation has not claimed responsibility for the incident.
Somalia’s Ambassador the South Africa, Jamal Mohamed Barrow, earlier spoke to the SABC. “The people are willing to go with the military force against Al-Shabaab. It’s clear that this was I mean from the Al-Shabaab people I mean it’s clear. The lasting solution will be the elimination of the group, the terrorist group from Somalia.”
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– By Sophie Mokoena
Armed conflict hampers efforts to promote economy in Africa
20 October 2017, 5:17 PM
Sporadic terror attacks and armed conflict in several African countries continue to hamper efforts to promote economic development and foster economic integration of continental markets.
Political instability and worsening security in countries like Somalia, the DRC, Libya and west African states of the SAHEL came under discussion during the two-week plenary session of the Pan African Parliament which ended in Midrand, north of Johannesburg on Friday.
Terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation, remain the main source on instability in Africa.
This is as attacks continue to take place in countries of the Lake Chad Basin region such as Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.
Somalia and Kenya, as well as in Mali also continue to be targeted by terrorist groups.
Groups such as Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and Boko Haram, continue to expand their deadly activities in many parts of the continent. Over the years, the AU Peace and Security Commission have been grappling with efforts aimed at fighting terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation.
On Saturday last weekend, more than 300 people died after twin bomb explosions in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
Presenting a report on “The Status of Peace and Security in Africa” on behalf of the African Union Peace and Security Council, Kenyan Permanent Representative to the African Union Ambassador Catherine Mwangi, described the Somali political and security situation as extremely volatile.
Kenyan Ambassador Catherine Mwangi says:”I wish to state it categorically, that although the fighting capacity of Al Shabaab has been significantly degraded, the group still retains the capacity to launch asymmetric warfare attacks such as suicide bombings, improvised explosive devices targeting not only symbols of the Federal Government, including government officials but also Amisom troops and facilities.”
The re-admission of Morocco as a member of the African Union continues to be a divisive issue.
Morocco occupied two-thirds of Western Sahara in 1975 after the withdrawal of the colonial power Spain. Most African countries including South Africa have led diplomatic efforts for the independence of Western Sahara.
Some diplomats have argued that the re-admission of Morocco back to the AU after almost thirty-three years of absence, would divide the continental body.
South African parliamentarian and EFF Deputy President Floyd Shivambu have expressed regret at the decision to formally endorse Morocco’s membership of the Pan African Parliament.
South African parliamentarian Floyd Shivambu says:”We are saddened that Morocco had to be re-admitted to the African Union and to the Pan African Parliament which is wrong because the isolation of Morocco was that it be not treated as a legitimate country because it’s a coloniser country. “
Ambassador Mwangi has concluded by emphasising that in order to achieve the AU Commission goal of silencing the guns in Africa by the year 2020, it is critical to enhance conflict prevention and post conflict reconstruction and development capacities of affected countries.
Catherine Mwangi says:”It is in this regard that I would like to encourage all AU sister Organs, particularly this very Parliament, to also take full advantage of all available tools for structural conflict prevention, among others, by ensuring our respective governments to be more transparent and accountable to the people and also to be responsive to the legitimate demands of the people.”
The AU Peace and Security Commission has stressed that to supplement the continental peace initiatives there is a need for governments to implement socio-economic development projects in communities liberated from terror groups and rehabilitation of former terrorists who would have defected.
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– By Tshepo Ikaneng
Uhuru Kenyatta ignores crisis meeting called by electoral commission
19 October 2017, 5:53 PM
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta snubbed a crisis meeting called by the chairman of the electoral commission on Thursday and instead spent the day in Western Kenya campaigning ahead of presidential elections which will be re-run next week.
Chairman Wafula Chebukati instead held a meeting with opposition leader Raila Odinga who has pulled out of the presidential race, indicating that there is no prospect of a credible poll.
On Wednesday, Chebukati warned that he could not guarantee a credible election due to political interference in the commission’s work further deepening the political crisis in the East African nation.
Chebukati reached out to all political leaders to help end the political crisis in the country.
“Once the Kenyan people see that their leaders are talking and putting Kenya first, then we can douse the tension in the air,” says Chebukati.
On Thursday, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said it had “regrettably rescheduled” the meeting.
No reasons or new date were given.
After a closed door meeting between Odinga and Chebukati, the opposition leader called for talks on the political deadlock, but dismissed claims that he is after a power-sharing deal.
“I am not going to fall down to cheap propaganda being perpetuated by people drunk with power,” says Odinga.
Odinga has called for mass protests on election day, indicating that there will be no polls next Thursday.
In parts of Western Kenya, which is an opposition stronghold election officials have come under attack from opposition supporters who are opposed to the polls.
President Kenyatta insists the polls will go ahead:
“It is your right to say that you are not standing and nobody will deny you that right but you have no right to deny those who are preparing our nation for an election.”
The statement by Chebukati that he could not guarantee a credible vote seemed to embolden Odinga to stay off the ballot.
Raila Odinga says: “That basically confirmed our position when we pulled out of the race two weeks ago, that basically confirmed what we have been saying that we do not see a free and fair election taking place on the 26th, the signs were there for all to see.”
The October 26 polls follow the annulling of President Kenyatta’s victory on grounds that the August elections were marred by irregularities and illegalities.
According to the Kenyan constitution, fresh elections must held within 60 days of the ruling.