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The East African : Nov 21st 2015
12 LEGAL STALEMATE Opposition says Magufuli’s new parliament illegal Opposition claims annulment of Zanziba≥ elections a≠ects function By ERIC KABENDERA The EastAfrican T he opposition has challenged President John Magufuli’s inauguration of a parliament without MPs and the new president from Zanzibar following the annulment of Zanzibar polls last October. Legal experts however said the annulment of the polls didn’t affect the inauguration of parliament. The Union Constitution re- quires that the Zanzibar House of Representatives elect five of its members to represent them in the parliament but the annulment of both presidential and parliamentary polls have left the political future of Zanzibar hanging. While the international com- munity has advocated for a political solution that would entail the poll results to be announced and the winner sworn in, the government of Zanzibar has refused saying it will repeat the elections in January next year. The Zanzibar police said that it had launched an investigation into allegations of poll fraud starting with the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) executives. Prof Ibrahim Lipumba, former Civic United Front (CUF) had warned President Magufuli not to allow Ali Mohammed Sheinhis inauguration address since his tenure of office as President of Zanzibar ended on November 2. Prof Lipumba who resigned President Magufuli inspecting a guard of honour at his inauguration. Picture: File We want the matter to be resolved, what is going on in Zanzibar is illegal.” last August after the coalition of the opposition political parties had nominated former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa as their presidential candidate said at a press conference on Thursday that withholding poll results would provide an opportunity for radical people in Zanzibar to persuade the youth that democracy never served the people. Meanwhile, Ukawa said that they had written a letter to the speaker of the National Assembly, Job Ndugai asking for the postponement of the inauguration until the poll results for Zanzibar were announced. Chadema chairman, Freeman Mbowe said that the opposition believed that CUF presidential candidate for Zanzibar, Seif Hamad had won the election and asked ZEC to declare him the winner of the election. Mr Mbowe said in the letter signed by all 109 opposition MPs that President Magufuli’s presidency was illegitimate until the Zanzibar question was resolved. “We want the matter to be resolved immediately because what is going on in Zanzibar is illegal. We are surprised that President Jakaya Kikwete left office without resolving the matter,” the letter said. However, the government of Zanzibar said in a statement that Dr Shein was still a legal president of Zanzibar according to the Constitution and there- The EastAfrican NEWS NOVEMBER 21-27,2015 CONSTITUTION The Union Constitution requires that the Zanzibar House of Representatives elect five of its members to represent them in the parliament but the annulment of both presidential and parliamentary polls have left the political future of Zanzibar hanging. The Constitution is silent on whether the President of Zanzibar or MPs from Zanzibar should attend the inauguration. fore would attend the inauguration. Mohammed Aboud, minis- ter of State in the Second Vice President’s Office said the Zanzibar polls were annulled in accordance with the Constitution and Dr Shein would remain President until another election was held and a new president declared. DRC ≥efugees c≥oss into Uganda BY DICTA ASIIMWE Special Correspondent ATTENTION HAS been on the violence in Burundi and its people leaving the country, but there is also a fresh — though silent— influx of Congolese refugees into Uganda, fleeing violence, rape and killings by militias in the North Kivu region. On November 11 alone, Uganda received some 881 Congolese refugees who are causing a strain on the already overstretched facilities, officials said. David Mugenyi, the Com- mandant of Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement in South Western Uganda says there has been an increase in the number of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo since the international community stopped focusing on the country especially when large rebel groups like M23 were disbanded. “There is need to focus on small rebel groups as these too can cause a lot of havoc,” he says. The refugees some of whom are returning, following repatriation in 2014, cite renewed abductions, sexual abuse, killing and forced recruitment of young men and women by armed groups and looting from the numerous mushrooming militias, as President Kabila. People fleeing unrest in the DRC. Picture: File the main reasons for flight. Information from UN- HCR shows that weekly arrivals from the DRC into Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement are above 600. Since the beginning of the year, over 25,781 have arrived from the North Kivu region alone. At the current trend, UNHCR expects that at least 4,500 will arrive before the end of the year hence requiring more aid. Data from UNHCR shows that 78 per cent of Congolese refugees are women and children. Mr Mugenyi says that Uganda, with support from the different UN agencies had in November 2014 started to support the repatriation of Congolese. However, the former refu- gees are returning and are joined by new asylum seekers leading to an increased need for medical, water and education facilities and services. At Rwamwanja, for instance, officials have been forced to create three new villages that require health centres, schools, roads and boreholes. Most of the new arrivals are of Hutu ethnicity entering Uganda through Bunagana and nearby porous border points. For now, the humanitar- ian agencies can afford the 100 per cent food rations for these refugees, but Mr Mugenyi says education, health, water and sanitation facilities will soon become overstretched. In addition to the old refu- gees who have generally settled in Uganda, the increasing new arrivals mean that government and humanitarian agencies will have to invest in infrastructure. Today, officials at the UN say it is easier to fundraise for Burundian refugees even when the Congolese are more. In the week ending Octo- ber 22, UNHCR data shows that there were only 39 new arrivals from Burundi, but since the beginning of 2015, Uganda has received 15,000 refugees from Burundi.
Nov 14th 2015
Nov 28th 2015