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Uganda Presidential Election: Bobi Wine Resumes Campaign Tomorrow

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Bobi Wine, the candidate of the National Unity Platform (NUP) in the forthcoming Ugandan presidential election, has said he will resume campaigning on Thursday.

Bobi Wine, a former reggae musician whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, said this after a meeting with the electoral commission on Wednesday.

He told reporters that he had asked the electoral body to protect opposition politicians from harassment by the security forces.

The 38-year-old had requested a meeting with the Electoral Commission chairman, Simon Byabakama after police blocked him from holding a campaign rally at Budondo sub-county headquarters in Jinja city.

Security operatives were also said to have fired live bullets at Bobi Wine and some of his supporters. A bullet was said to have hit the tyres of the presidential candidate’s car.

Kyagulanyi told journalists that since he started his campaign, security personnel have continued to harass him and the Electoral Commission has remained silent on the matter.

“I have been forced to think that the electoral commission has lost track of this race and left us to be tormented and disrespected by security organs which are meant to be protecting us,” he said on Tuesday.

At the meeting, Bobi Wine told Byabakama to ensure that the security forces stop blocking roads and venues to prevent opposition candidates from campaigning.

The police have repeatedly defended themselves, saying they were implementing guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Uganda will hold its election in January 2021.

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Somalia Threatens to Exit Regional Bloc Following Verdict on Dispute with Kenya

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Somalia has threatened to withdraw from a regional bloc after the group ruled in favour of Kenya in a diplomatic dispute between the two countries.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) last month led a fact-finding mission seeking viable intervention to ease tensions between the two East African countries.

Somalia severed diplomatic ties with Kenya on December 15 and wrote the regional bloc of eight members, demanding an independent mission to verify claims that Kenya is arming and training militia to fight the Somalia National Army forces stationed in Gedo near their common border.

The team, led by Djibouti’s Ambassador to Kenya Yacin Elmi Bouh, his counterpart to Somalia Aden Hassan Aden, and an IGAD observer, said they had found no evidence supporting violations by Kenya.

On Wednesday, Mohamed Abdirazak, the Somalia Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister said his country will reject the report “in its entirety” because the investigators had been “biased, partisan, unfair, compromised and predetermined to exonerate Kenya.”
“Somalia strongly holds to all its initial accusations against Kenya and will pursue all means to protect her sovereignty,” Abdirazak said in a statement, threatening that his country will withdraw from Igad.

Igad’s report criticised Somalia for severing ties with Kenya, arguing the historical problems faced by the two countries could only be solved through deeper diplomatic engagements.

Kenya on its part said it feels vindicated.

The Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the findings of the team are proof that Somalia’s claims were a political ploy meant to distract the region from security concerns.

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COVID-19: Not Every Vaccine is Important to Us – Magufuli

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President John Magufuli of Tanzania has warned the country’s health ministry against rushing into embracing the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines promoted by foreign companies and countries.

Magufuli warned that the vaccines could harm people. He, however, failed to provide evidence to justify his claim.

“The ministry of health should be careful, they should not hurry to try these vaccines without doing research, not every vaccine is important to us, we should be careful. We should not be used as ‘guinea pigs’,” Magufuli said.

“Vaccinations are dangerous. If the white man was able to come up with vaccinations, he should have found a vaccination for Aids, cancer and TB by now.”

Magufuli, a devout Catholic, advised Tanzanians to continue taking precautions, saying prayers and traditional medicine, including steam inhalation, were the way to deal with coronavirus.

He said, “We have lived for over one year without the virus because our God is able and Satan will always fail. The Health ministry should be cautious, and avoid the temptation to turn us into a country where vaccination trials are conducted freely,” he said.

“In a certain country, its girl children – aged below 14 years – were vaccinated against what was said to be cervical cancer, but it later emerged that the vaccination was meant to make them infertile.” Dr. Magufuli said.

He added: “Many countries have lockdown, but in Tanzania there are no plan of lockdown and we’ll never introduce lockdown because our God is alive and he will continue to protects us.”

The president also failed to address reports from Denmark that two of its citizens – who had visited Tanzania – had tested positive for the new Covid-19 strain from South Africa.

He instead blamed citizens who travel out of the country for “importing a new weird corona”.

Recall that Magufuli had in June 2020 declared Tanzania free of Covid-19. Since then the country has stopped publishing official data about the virus.

However, the Catholic Church has contradicted Magufuli and has warned Tanzanians to observe COVID-19 safety protocols.

“After successfully containing the spread of the virus last year, Tanzania was now facing a new wave of the virus spread,” the church said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Our country is not an island. We have every reason to take precautions and pray to God so that we can be saved from this pandemic.”

Over the weekend, Bishop Yuda Thadei Ruwaichi of Dar es Salaam said “Covid is not finished, Covid is still here. Let’s not be reckless, we need to protect ourselves, wash your hands with soap and water. We also have to go back to wearing masks.”

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Kenya Asks South Sudan to Hasten Implementation of 2018 Peace Pact

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Kenya has urged South Sudan to speed up the implementation of the remaining aspects of the peace pact signed in Khartoum, Sudan in 2018.

President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, singled out the establishment of the legislative assembly and reforms in the security sector as some of the pending areas that require attention as the country returns to stability after years of conflict.

He said the country would leverage on its UN Security Council membership to assist her young neighbor and the region to achieve more stability.

Key signatories to the 2018 peace agreement were expected to complete key tasks such as the establishment of local governments, unification of forces and reconstitution of public institutions before the formation of a coalition government in February 2020.

However, the process has been hampered by disagreements between the former foes and lack of resources to fund the training and graduation of the joint unified force of 83,000 personnel.

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