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Uhuru Kenyatta
Uhuru Kenyatta
Western nations were Sunday silent on how they will work with the new Kenyan government to be headed by President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta even as the Chinese congratulated the Jubilee flagbearer.

Even though Britain, the United States of America, Canada and the European Union in separate messages, praised Kenyans for holding peaceful elections, they avoided naming Mr Kenyatta and only offered blanket congratulations to all those elected.

UN boss Ban Ki-moon also refrained from mentioning Mr Kenyatta. A statement by Mr Ban’s spokesman said the UN chief “has noted the results” of Kenya’s election.

Mr Ban “congratulates the people of Kenya for their impressive determination to participate peacefully in the elections, and for the patience they have demonstrated while awaiting the results,” it added.

African countries including South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania and Somalia have however been more forthcoming, directly congratulating the winner of Kenya’s March 4 election.

Western countries had previously warned that it would not be business as usual should Mr Kenyatta and his deputy president elect William Ruto, all of whom are facing crimes against humanity charges at the International Criminal Court, win the March 4 elections.

The countries consequently sent coded messages that Kenya’s choices at the elections had consequences, which was interpreted by many as warnings against voting for Mr Kenyatta.

This triggered an angry reaction from Mr Kenyatta’s Jubilee coalition which dismissed it as unwanted foreign interference in domestic matters as well as a plot by foreign powers to impose a preferred candidate.

Yesterday, the US Secretary of State John Kerry said even though his country will remain closely allied with Kenya, he did not reveal whether its foreign policy towards Kenya had changed now that Mr Kenyatta had officially been declared the winner of the presidential election.

“ We stand with you at this historic moment and will continue to be a strong friend and ally of the Kenyan people,” said Mr Kerry.

Court decisions

Britain on the other hand said with the elections, Kenyans had expressed their sovereign will.

The country’s Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds said; “This is a historic moment for Kenya, when the Kenyan people have come together at the ballot box to achieve the promise of the new Constitution and choose their future leaders.

I am confident that any disputes will be dealt with by the courts swiftly and fairly. We value our historic partnership with Kenya, and will continue to work in support of stability, security, development and prosperity,” added Mr Simmonds.

Canadian High Commissioner to Kenya David Angell said Kenyans exercised their democratic rights in electing their leaders.

“Millions of Kenyans stood calmly and patiently in line for several hours in order to exercise their right to vote for presidential, parliamentary and county candidates,” he said.

The European Union, through its Foreign Affairs boss Catherine Ashton, while congratulating Kenyans for conducting a peaceful process, said the rule of law must be maintained in Kenya at all times.

“It is particularly important that the rule of law should prevail. Went on the statement;

“The EU is confident that any disputes will be dealt with by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and the established judicial mechanisms swiftly and fairly,” she went on.

The Chinese government however congratulated President-Elect Uhuru Kenyatta for winning the just-concluded elections and Kenyans for voting peacefully.

‘Friendly relations’

The Chinese embassy in Kenya said they were looking forward to working with the new President when he formally takes office.

“The elections were conducted peacefully and smoothly. We congratulate Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, the president-elect of Kenya. We hope to push forward our friendly relations with the coming government,” said embassy’s spokesman Shifan Wu said

Former UN boss Kofi Annan, on behalf of the Panel of Eminent African Personalities, applauded the calm exhibited by Kenyans as they waited patiently for the results of the election and urged them to always remain peaceful.

Mr Annan said he was encouraged by the move by Cord’s Presidential candidate Raila Odinga to contest the outcome of the election as provided for in the constitution – through the courts.

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma on Saturday congratulated Uhuru Kenyatta for winning Kenya’s presidential election.

“We would like to congratulate the new president and say well done,” Mr Zuma told reporters, saying Kenyatta’s trial at the ICC would not affect ties between South Africa and Kenya.

“Our simple understanding is that anyone who has been indicted is innocent until proven guilty, so why should you punish a man before the man is found guilty, who knows what will be the result of the case… he might be convicted, he might be acquitted.”

Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon also congratulated Mr Kenyatta. PM Shirdon called the election in Kenya democratic and exemplar and promised closer collaboration between his government and the government in Kenya.

“We shall take all possible measures to boost cooperation between Somalia’s government and the Kenyan,” he said.

http://www.africareview.com/News/Kenya-poll-reaction/-/979180/1716418/-/w3439o/-/index.html

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Uhuru Kenyatta
Uhuru Kenyatta
Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s founding president, won the presidential election by the slimmest of margins with 50.03 percent, provisional results showed, just enough to avoid a run-off after a race that has divided the nation along tribal lines.

Kenyatta faces trial for crimes against humanity. If he is declared president-elect by the election commission, which has still to announce the official result, Kenya will become the second African country after Sudan to have a sitting president indicted by the International Criminal Court.

In the early hours of Saturday joyous supporters of Kenyatta thronged the streets in his tribal strongholds, lighting fluorescent flares and waving tree branches and chanting “Uhuru, Uhuru,” television pictures showed.

Kenyatta’s main rival, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, trailed with 43.28 percent of the vote. A close adviser to Odinga said he would not concede the election and would launch a legal challenge if Kenyatta was officially declared the victor.

“He is not conceding the election. If Uhuru Kenyatta is announced president-elect then he will move to the courts immediately,” Salim Lone told Reuters, speaking on behalf of the prime minister.

Odinga’s camp had said during tallying that the ballot count was deeply flawed and had called for it to be halted.

To secure an outright win a candidate needed more than 50 percent of the votes. Kenyatta, the deputy prime minister, achieved that but with a margin of just 4,100 of the more than 12.3 million votes cast.

The first-round win, which must be officially confirmed by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), means Kenyans who waited five days for the vote result will not now face a second round that would have prolonged uncertainty.

The winner also needs to get at least 25 percent of the votes in 24 counties out of 47. This is expected to be confirmed by the electoral commission. The IEBC is due to announce the official result on Saturday at 11 a.m. (0800 GMT).

Odinga also lost in a disputed vote in 2007 that led to weeks of tribal killings. His camp has said any challenge will follow the rule of law and Kenyans generally have greater trust in the judiciary now than they did five years ago after reforms.

WESTERN TIES

John Githongo, a former senior government official-turned-whistleblower, urged the rival coalitions, Odinga’s CORD and Kenyatta’s Jubilee, to ensure calm. “Jubilee and CORD, what you and your supporters say now determines continued peace and stability in Kenya. We are watching you!” he said on Twitter.

International observers broadly said the vote and count had been transparent so far and the electoral commission, which replaced an old, discredited body, promised a credible vote.

Provisional figures displayed by the electoral commission showed Kenyatta won 6,173,433 votes out of a total of 12,338,667 ballots cast. Odinga secured 5,340,546 votes.

The result will pose a dilemma for Kenya’s big Western donors, with Kenyatta due to go on trial in The Hague accused of orchestrating the tribal violence five years ago.

The United States and other Western states warned before the vote that diplomatic ties would be complicated with a win by Kenyatta, whose running mate William Ruto has also been indicted by the International Criminal Court.

How Western capitals would deal with Kenya under Kenyatta and the extent to which they would be ready to deal with his government will depend heavily on whether Kenyatta and Ruto cooperate with the tribunal.

“It won’t be a headache as long as he cooperates with the ICC,” said one Western diplomat. “We respect the decision of the majority of the Kenyan voters.”

Both Kenyatta and Ruto deny the charges and have said they will cooperate to clear their names, though Kenyatta had to fend of jibes during the campaign by Odinga that he would have to run government by Skype from The Hague.

Kenyans hope this vote, which has until now passed off with only pockets of unrest on voting day, would restore their nation’s reputation as one of Africa’s most stable democracies after mayhem last time.

“FORGET THE PRESIDENCY”

The city of Kisumu, the biggest in Odinga’s tribal heartland and a flashpoint in the violence five years ago, was calm early on Saturday and there appeared little appetite for unrest, even if some believed the poll was flawed.

“I urge our candidate to forget the presidency and let the will of God prevail,” said cloth vendor Diana Ndonga.

As businesses in Kisumu began opening, Erick Odhiambo, another Odinga supporter said, “The vote was rigged and I’m not happy. Raila (Odinga) should battle it out in court.”

The test will be whether any challenges to the outcome are worked out in the courts, and do not spill into the streets.

Odinga’s camp had said even before the result that they were considering legal action, but said they would pursue it through the courts and the newly reformed judiciary.

That is a change from 2007, when Odinga said he could not trust the judiciary at the time to treat the case fairly.

Kenyatta’s camp had also complained about delays in counting and other aspects of the process. But many Kenyans said this race was more transparent than previous votes.

Turnout reached 86 percent of the 14.3 million eligible voters, in a nation where tribal loyalties largely trump ideology at the ballot box.

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hh1Republican President Michael Sata has challenged United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema to explain to the Commonwealth the source of his wealth when they visit Zambia.

Speaking this morning at State House the during the swearing-in ceremony of Deputy Ministers and Diplomats, the president said that the invitation of the Commonwealth by the opposition to probe his government’s alleged human rights violations will be an opportunity for opposition UPND leaders Hakainde Hichilema to explain to the Commonwealth the source of his wealth.

The president has had issues with the source of wealth of the UPND leader. Last year during another swearing in ceromony at State House, President Sata said that he was shocked by revelations that opposition leader Mr Hichilema may be worth as much as $72 million.

“You have worked for a long time but you are not as rich as some politicians. Surprisingly in Zambia, some politicians are richer than workers in formal employment, ” the president said at the time.

Meanwhile, President Michael Sata has noted that the country is blessed with abundant natural resources and yet the levels of unemployment are still high in the country.

The head of state said the country should not be facing issues of unemployment 49 years after independence.

The President was speaking at State House today when he swore in newly appointed Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice President Davies Mwango and Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Malama Mwiimba.

Mr Sata also swore in Zambia’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China Eva Fundafunda and High Commission to Malaysia Miles Kaweche Banda.

He urged the two deputy ministers to ensure that the levels of unemployment in the country are reduced considering the resources that the country has.

The President also urged the newly sworn in Ambassador and the High Commissioner to be wary of investors that are coming into the country for their personal gains.

He disclosed that most of the investors that are coming into the country are interested in the copper that the country depends on economically.

Mr Sata also appealed to Mr Banda and Ms Fundafunda to go and sell Zambia abroad.

Those who witnessed the swearing in ceremony include Home Affairs Minister Edgar Lungu, Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Kennedy Sakeni and Lusaka Province Minister Freedom Sikazwe.

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sataPresident Michael Sata has arrived home this morning from aboard British Airways at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport. Mr. Sata was accompanied by First Lady Dr Christine Kaseba and his spokesperson George Chellah.

Zambia’s Vice President Guy Scott, defence minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, foreign Affairs minister Given Lubinda, Home affairs minister Edgar Lungu were among the government officials that welcomed him.

Some people started questioning on the whereabouts of the president since he left the AU meeting in Ethiopia.

Chief government spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni said the president needed time to reflect and have a peace of mind after working so hard alone in a secret location. Sakeni was speaking on ZNBC news on Saturday evening.

Sakeni assured Zambians that President Sata was in safe hands wherever he was.

Publicity director for the PF Chanda Mfula also said that President Sata’s location was not a problem especially that government was not in a crisis and was functioning well.

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Mumba
Mumba
The opposition Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) says it has been vindicated by the court judgment that nullified the invalidation of Dr. Nevers Mumba’s election.

The opposition Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) says it has been vindicated by the court judgment that nullified the invalidation of Dr. Nevers Mumba’s election.

On Monday, the high court ruled against major Richard Kachingwe’s invalidation of Nevers Mumba as party president.

MMD vice president for administration, Brian Chituwo says he is now hopeful that the court judgment will put to rest all desires by some politicians to ruin the party.

Dr. Chituwo says it should now be realized that the country only has one genuine MMD under the leadership of Dr. Nevers Mumba.

Speaking at a media briefing, Dr. Chituwo says Major Richard Kachingwe’s move to nullify the election of Dr. Mumba only shows the highest order of indiscipline.

He says it is good that the court nullified the invalidation because it is nowhere in the party constitution.

Dr. Chituwo has since called on all party members to unity and rally behind party president, Dr. Nevers Mumba.

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wlTHE Sports Council of Zambia (SCZ) has ordered that the Zambia Weightlifting Federation (ZWF) annual general meeting (AGM) slated for today to be put off until the problems which have engulfed the executive committee are resolved.

SCZ vice-chairperson Mwamba Kalenga put a stop to the AGM yesterday in an interview in Lusaka, saying there was no way the meeting date could be set and held without the consent of the incumbent president’s permission.

The ZWF is expected to hold its on-off-on AGM which incumbent president Stanley Simukoko claimed was illegal and was set without his consent.

“We are in support of the incumbent president because there is no way a meeting as important as an AGM can be set without his knowledge. So the AGM should not go ahead, let the executive sit down and resolve those issues before calling for an AGM.

“We shall be watching the events in ZWF closely and we expect the executive meeting to be chaired by Simukoko,” he said.

Kalenga said that office bearers should have input in the AGM and that once the executive sat down, the meeting would be more orderly and respectable as the council would want to see.

ZWF secretary Dominic Mutale announced that the AGM would finally be held on January 12 at the Kitwe Playing Fields in Kitwe after being postponed twice and hinted that the sitting president Simukoko would not re-contest his position.

Two other people have stepped up to contest the ZWF presidency.

But in a dramatic turn of events, Sikukoko described the AGM as illegal as he was not consulted before the dates were set and also that he had informed the secretary not to call for a council gathering until various matters with affiliates were sorted out.

Simukoko, who is standing down as federation president, revealed that in his four-year tenure, none of the clubs had paid affiliation fees and the matter needed to be corrected now especially that there was an elective AGM.

He said clubs had not paid the K200 000 (KR 200) annual affiliation fee and requested them to be more responsive to the aspirations of the sport.

“Going ahead with the AGM will be like calling clubs from the streets, clubs that have not affiliated are not members and it will be like asking anyone on the streets to come to the AGM and even vote,” he said.

The ZWF through Mutale last year announced that the council meeting would be held but a series of events have seen the AGM being rescheduled twice.

But Kalenga said going ahead with the meeting without the president’s authority was a clear case of undermining the ZWF boss’ authority.

Times of Zambia