Tuesday, 31 July 2012
Kenyan court upholds general elections date in March,2013
A Kenyan court on Tuesday,July 31 upheld a previous ruling that the country's next general elections should be held on March 4, 2013.
The Court of Appeal said that the date set out by the country's electoral body, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) should be followed. Four of the five Court of Appeal bench sitting in Nairobi ruled that the elections should be held 60 days after the dissolution of Parliament, set for January 15, 2013, while one judge dissented arguing that the next elections should be held on or before January 15, 2013.
Court of Appeal president Justice Erastus Githinji made the majority judgment which Justices Kalpana Rawal, David Maranga and Hannah Okwengu agreed with while Justice Martha Koome dissented. Kenyan political parties are currently positioning themselves for the first-ever election since the passing of a new Kenyan constitution in 2010.The new constitution was created as a tool to avoid a repeat of the violence that was also blamed on the lack of a transparent political structure and credible state institutions, including the courts. The appointment of a new Chief Justice, the new electoral chief and several other independent officeholders, were amongst measures taken to restore confidence in the state institutions destroyed by ethnic biases.
Meanwhile,the Ugandan military is setting up a rapid response brigade for civil and military emergency operations during disasters in the East African country.
Maj. Gen. Julius Oketta, Director of the National Emergency Coordination Operation Center at the Office of the Prime Minister was quoted by the state owned New Vision daily as saying that the brigade will consist of 4,000 personnel drawn from various military units. "The rapid response force will comprise of medical teams, engineers, specialized search, rescue and evacuation teams plus logistics teams that will be always ready to handle disasters in any part of the country," he said.The brigade formation follows various deadly landslides in mountainous areas in eastern Uganda, where rescue efforts were hampered by lack of well prepared and equipped personnel to handle such situations. "On the two occasions in 2010 and this year when landslides occurred in Bududa district, the army working with police and community members had to use ineffective tools like hand hoes and spades to excavate bodies buried by mounds of soil," said Oketta. The landslides in June struck the eastern Ugandan district of Bududa, killing at least 18 people, resurrecting memories of the March 2010 and August 2011 landslides in the same district that left over 250 people dead and hundreds displaced. (Xinhua)