Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Imagining a Post-Merkel Europe
by Thorsten Benner
Al Jazeera

Coalition talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU and three other parties collapsed on November 20 [Reuters/Michael Dalder]

"Political uncertainty has crossed the Rhine," French academic and Emmanuel Macron adviser Jean Pisani-Ferry declared. The New York Times, which has put its bets on German Chancellor Angela Merkel as the new "leader of the free world", warned that the collapse of coalition talks in Germany "portends a period of serious uncertainty for all Europe and the West".

Indeed, Germany faces the challenge of coming to terms with a more fragmented landscape of political parties. But this is not necessarily all bad news for the rest of Europe.

This is hardly a big crisis

In the words of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the current political limbo is "unprecedented" in post-war German history. Never before have coalition talks collapsed without a clear, alternative governing majority in sight.

But it's important to not overdramatise the situation. This is not a full-fledged political crisis. Germany has an acting government that is working just fine for the time being. And political gravity may well pull the Social Democratic Party (SPD) into another coalition with Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) without the uncertainty of new elections. Or Germany might experiment with a minority government that would be less stable, but not necessarily inherently unstable.

Merkel's ability to mediate and broker compromises within the EU has been seriously compromised.

And this it not a constitutional crisis. On the contrary: it is the built-in, corrective mechanism against parliament dissolving itself and calling snap elections, and the strong role of the president in such a situation who is guiding the drawn-out negotiations. In many ways, the current limbo is the result of Germans electing a seven-party parliament that requires parties to move into untested and unfamiliar territory, in terms of coalition configurations across traditional ideological lines.

These new coalitions are already being tested at the subnational level. At the national level, they are naturally harder because more is at stake.

Then there is the added Merkel factor: During Merkel's 12 year-reign, not a single coalition partner has emerged strengthened out of a coalition with the chancellor. So, small wonder that the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the SPD are both traumatised by dramatic electoral defeats following an alliance with Merkel, and are very hesitant to enter another coalition with her.

But this will normalise again in a post-Merkel Germany. Medium-term German politics is likely to be more volatile, but without descending into an Italy-style, rapid succession of unstable governments.

The bigger danger is that the compromises necessary to form governing coalitions, in a more fragmented party system, will not lead to the necessary reforms that Germany needs to undertake, in the face of the digital transformation of its industrial base, competition from the US and China, as well as the demographic strain on its social systems.

In the short term, domestically, Merkel may well emerge stronger and be the "solid rock" to cling to in times of political uncertainty.

A post-Merkel Europe

At the same time, the current situation gives the rest of Europe the opportunity to prepare for a post-Merkel Germany, which, in four years at the latest, is bound to become a reality. And while many foreign observers (especially those misty-eyed about Merkel's power to lead the "free world") have lacked the ability and willingness to imagine such a world, this must not all be bad news for the rest of Europe.

To be sure, Merkel's experience and stature as a crisis manager would be a big loss. During the Ukraine crisis, her political standing and her ability to bridge the divide between anti-Putin and more accommodating forces within the EU were key to managing the situation. This allowed Europe to play a crucial role in the crisis.

OPINION
After Brexit and Catalonia, what will become of the EU?
C J Polychroniou
by C J Polychroniou
But Merkel's ability to mediate and broker compromises within the EU has been seriously compromised by her refugee policy stance, which has turned her into a red rag for many Eastern Europeans, and her orthodox eurozone policy, which has alienated many Southern Europeans.

In addition, with French President Emmanuel Macron, there is now a clear alternative political leader within the EU that can step in for Merkel. That is good news for Germany. The perception of German dominance, that is partly a result of Merkel's longevity as the most experienced leader, has not done Germany much good. A recalibration towards joint leadership with France is good for everyone.

There is also little reason to think that Merkel's departure will lead to very different foreign policy stances. The foreign policy priorities of a new German government are likely to be quite stable on the key issues of Brexit, European security, as well as dealing with US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The biggest foreign policy mistake a new German government could make would be to close the door on Macron's proposals for reforming the eurozone and the EU. In Germany, the only two parties clearly positioned against Macron's eurozone proposals are the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the FDP.

No other party wants to enter a coalition with the AfD. And given that the FDP triggered the collapse of the last coalition talks and is unlikely to be part of the next coalition, there is less chance of a new government opposing Macron.

That should be very good news for all those who care about the future of the eurozone and the European project. And all those panicking about a post-Merkel Germany and Europe should take a deep breath and think again.
EXCLUSIVE: ANGELA Merkel Has “No Vision” for Germany and Was Totally Unprepared for Coalition Negotiations, a Politician Involved in the Failed Talks Has Revealed
By REBECCA PINNINGTON
22:48, Wed, Nov 22, 2017

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann has hit out at Angela Merkel over failed coalition negotiations
Germany is currently facing political turmoil as negotiations to form a government with Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) and the left-wing Greens, fell through on Sunday night.

Mrs Merkel's 12-year hold on power was shaken at the September elections, partly by the arrival of the anti-immigration AfD party in parliament.

Four weeks of talks to build a so-called Jamaica alliance collapsed at the weekend with Mrs Merkel set to remain acting Chancellor until a government is agreed.

But the German leader has come under fire for her actions during the failed talks.

Dr Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, a FDP MP who was involved in the negotiations, said the Chancellor had achieved a lot for Germany during her time in power but seemed to have run out of ideas.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, she said: “With all respect for her achievements, the Chancellor now seems to have no vision for the future of Germany, which should be competing not just in Europe, but with the great powers and the biggest countries in the world.

“I have the feeling that she has no vision but is now only reacting to what is already there.

“To make a country like Germany fit for the future, a few more ideas are needed. I suspect that she has run out of ideas.”

Mrs Merkel's political career could hang in the balance after she failed to put together a governmen
Dr Strack-Zimmermann’s party, the FDP, ran for election on a platform of modernising Germany, embracing a flexible jobs market and digital-focused employment.

However she said it was difficult to bring these ideas into coalition discussions, and expressed disappointment at the way negotiations had been handled.

She said: “The collapse of negotiations is not because the CDU and FDP could not come together.

“The bigger problem was that although the Chancellor had a mandate to form a government, she had no plan for it, no red lines that we could orientate ourselves around.”

Given the huge policy differences between the FDP and the Greens, Mrs Merkel’s prospective coalition partners, the Chancellor should have been leading the negotiations and trying to bring them together, Dr Strack-Zimmermann argued.

She said coalitions talks were poorly-run and lashed out at Mrs Merkel’s decisions to discuss the fine details of some policy areas when not even a broad consensus had been agreed on others.

Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) who were members of the previous government under the 'grand coalition' are under pressure to consider offering talks to Mrs Merkel's conservatives after pledging to go into opposition.

Mrs Merkel has said she would prefer to work with the SPD. If that failed, she would favour new elections over an unstable minority government.

Dr Strack-Zimmermann, who represents Düsseldorf at the Bundestag, said: “The Chancellor has really achieved a lot for Germany over many years.

“But I think she was unprepared for negotiations and thought that after a ‘grand coalition’ it would be a simple matter of swapping partners. The SPD is gone, now the little Greens and the little FDP will come in, and things will carry on.

“I think the Chancellor underestimated us. For the first time in her life, she completely miscalculated.”

Dr Strack-Zimmermann did not rule out a CDU-FDP minority government to resolve the current situation, but said she felt a CDU-Green coalition would be more likely.

She said polling for the FDP was strong even after the collapse of negotiations, and the party was confident of a good result if it came to a new round of elections.

Queen Elizabeth II meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Buckingham Palace on February 27, 2014 in London, England.

It comes amid speculation Mrs Merkel will not be able to remain as Chancellor for much longer.

Green Party founder Hans-Christian Ströbele said, whatever the outcome of the current political situation, be it new elections of a minority government, he does not think Mrs Merkel will be presiding over the Bundestag for long.

In an interview with Swiss website Watson, he said: "The end of the chancellorship of Angela Merkel has already been announced by the outcome of the general election.

"Now Merkel's political end can indeed come very quickly. In my opinion, Mrs Merkel will not be able to stay at the top of the government for much longer.”
Angela Merkel's German Coalition Crisis Greatly Exaggerated
Deutsche Welle

There has been a lot of talk about German democracy in crisis. But the government keeps ticking along, and politicians across nearly the whole spectrum say the situation is hardly as dire as some are making it out to be.

Politicians don't get more veteran than the president of the Bundestag, 75-year-old Wolfgang Schäuble. So it's interesting to recall what he told the German parliament on Tuesday in the wake of the breakdown in talks to form a new government coalition.

"Dear colleagues we have an extraordinary situation," the elder statesman said. "It's a test, but it's not a crisis of state."

Angela Merkel may have failed for the moment to pave the way for a new German government. But that doesn't mean that Germany is without a government. On the contrary, Merkel continues to govern from the Chancellor's Office just as she's done for the past 12 years.

Officially Merkel is now a caretaker chancellor leading a caretaker government. But the German constitution gives the current government the same powers and duties as one sanctioned by an election. There is also no time limit. The same government cabinet members who have led Germany for the past four years will continue in their posts until a new government has been formed and they can be replaced.

The situation may be uncertain, but many parliamentarians — including those from the center-right, pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP), which scuppered the coalition talks last weekend — think that the opacity of the current situation opens up new possibilities.

"The hold of the big establishment parties is loosening somewhat," FDP member of the Bundestag Christoph Hoffmann told DW. "We now have more parties in parliament, and it's more difficult to arrive at a stable coalition. We have to get used to that. But it's a chance for democracy and won't weaken the parliament."

Johannes Kahrs of the left-wing Social Democrats, who together with Merkel's conservatives formed the grand coalition that still runs Germany, seconds that sentiment.

"We have a working government," Kahrs told DW. "We have a budget. We also have a debate right now about what to do with the results of the national election. But that should be part of any democracy."

Practically speaking, the only thing the caretaker government isn't able to do is make decisions that would involve major changes in policy. Two major examples from Germany's recent past, for instance, the end of compulsory military service and the phase-out of nuclear power, would be impossible right now.

The constraints of a caretaker government became evident at the COP23 Climate Conference in Bonn last week. There more than 20 countries declared that they wanted to phase out coal as a source of power. German Environment Minister Barbara Hendrix would have loved to join them, but had to defer, saying that she didn't want to preempt the next government's policies.

If the caretaker government has no choice but to take an important decision, it can still ask for the support of the new Bundestag, where conservatives and Social Democrats still have a healthy majority. Even though the SPD has ruled out a continuation of the grand coalition, Social Democrats would likely support individual measures to help the government of which they are still part.

Other options, examples from other countries

The collapse of the coalition talks has got many people in Germany talking about the possibility of a minority government. Merkel's conservatives could form a coalition with either the Greens or the FDP and then try to secure the missing votes they need ad hoc for individual initiatives.

Denmark, for instance, is quite familiar with such minority governments, although experts doubt that they could function in the long term in Germany.

"A minority government certainly wouldn't be a problem in the short term," says Volker Boehme-Nessler, a professor of law and political science at the University of Oldenburg. "But it's not a long-term solution. It's psychologically difficult to pass new laws with new partners each time."
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The non-ideological Merkel may seem like the ideal leader to cope with such a situation, although detractors sometimes say the reverse side of her pragmatism is a complete lack of political vision. But even Merkel says she prefers a new election if she can't create a coalition with a stable majority.

Whether a fresh vote will be needed or not, Germany can take heart from the examples of its neighbor the Netherlands. It took the Dutch seven months to agree on their current government after their national election in March. Chaos did not break out there, and there's no reason to expect it would in Germany either.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

President Resigns!
November 22, 2017
Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter—
Zimbabwe Herald

President Mugabe resigned from office following a week of unrelenting calls from the public and his own party Zanu-PF to step down after 37 years at the helm. Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda made the announcement during a joint sitting of the National Assembly and Senate at the Harare International Conference Centre that was debating a motion to impeach the now former President. It was during the debate that Advocate Mudenda received the former President’s correspondence announcing his resignation before he terminated business.

Reads the resignation letter: “The honourable Jacob Mudenda, notice of resignation as President of the Republic of Zimbabwe in terms of the provisions of Section 96 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe (Amendment Number 20), 2013. Following my verbal communication with the Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda at 13:53 hours, 21st November, 2017 intimating my intention to resign as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, I Robert Gabriel Mugabe in terms of section 96 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe hereby formally tender my resignation as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe with immediate effect.

“My decision to resign is voluntary from my heart and arises for my concern for the people of Zimbabwe and my desire for the smooth, peaceful and non violent transfer of power that underpins national security, peace and stability. Kindly give public notice of my resignation as soon as possible as required by section 96 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.”

Section 96(1) which deals with Resignation of President or Vice President says, “The President may resign his or her office by written notice to the Speaker who must give public notice of the resignation as soon as it is possible to do so and in any event within twenty-four hours.’’ Advocate Mudenda said he would make further pronouncements on the way forward today.

“In terms of the Constitution it beholds the Speaker of the National Assembly to make sure that the proper legal processes are put in place so that the country can proceed forward with a President in place and this would be done by not later than end of day tomorrow (today),” he said.

The announcement was followed by jubilation among legislators and members of the public that had come to witness the impeachment proceedings at the HICC. The joint sitting of the Houses of Parliament had been convened to discuss the President’s impeachment after he had failed to resign on Monday, as directed by Zanu-PF’s Central Committee on Sunday.

The motion was moved by Senator Cde Monica Mutsvangwa (Zanu-PF) and seconded by Mabvuku-Tafara Representative Mr James Maridadi (MDC-T). Cde Mugabe stood accused of serious misconduct inter-alia abrogating his constitutional mandate to his wife who was making utterances on business of Government and accessing classified information without constitutional authority.

The former President was also accused of causing disaffection among the Zimbabwe Defence Forces by allowing his wife to make false and reckless allegations against them. He also stood accused of ignoring corruption and inability to perform functions of his Office because of alleged physical or mental incapacity.
Speech by Republic of Zimbabwe President Robert G. Mugabe, Delivered on Sunday November 19, 2017, Two Days Before His Formal Resignation: 'Our Whole Nation At All Levels Gets Refocused'
November 21, 2017
Zimbabwe Herald

To watch this national address by Republic of Zimbabwe President Robert G. Mugabe on Sunday November 19, 2017 at State House in Harare just click on the website below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83Xgp-icshs&t=212s

FELLOW Zimbabweans.

I address you tonight on the back of a meeting I held today with the nation’s security forces’ Command Element. This meeting, which was facilitated by a mediating team led by Father Fidelis Mukonori (S.J.) of the Catholic Church, followed an operation mounted by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces in the week that has gone by, and which was triggered by concerns arising from their reading of the state of affairs in our country and in the ruling Zanu-PF Party. Whatever the pros and cons of the way they went about registering those concerns, I, as the President of Zimbabwe, and as their Commander-in-Chief, do acknowledge the issues they have drawn my attention to, and do believe that these were raised in the spirit of honesty and out of deep and patriotic concern for the stability of our nation and for the welfare of our people.

As I address you, I am also aware of a whole range of concerns which have come from you all as citizens of our great country, and who thus deserve our untrammelled attention.

Today’s meeting with the Command Element has underscored the need for us to collectively start processes that return our nation to normalcy, so all our people can go about their business unhindered, in an environment of perfect peace and security, assured that law and order obtain and prevail as before, and endure well into the future.

If there is any one observation we have made and drawn from the events of the past week, it is the unshakeable pedestal upon which rests our state of peace, law and order, amply indicating that as Zimbabweans we are generally a peaceably disposed people, and with a given-ness to expressing our grievances and to resolving our differences by ourselves, and with a level of dignity, discipline and restraint so rare to many other nations. This is to be admired. Indeed such traits must form the pith of our national character and personality, and yes, a veritable resource we summon and draw upon in times of vicissitudes.

The operation I have alluded did not amount to a threat to our well-cherished constitutional order. Nor was it a challenge to my authority as Head of State and Government. Not even as Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. To the man, the Command Element remained respectful, and comported with the dictates and mores of constitutionalism. True, a few incidences may have occurred here and there, but these are being corrected.

I am happy that throughout the short period, the pillars of the State remained functional. Even happier for me and arising from today’s meeting is a strong sense of collegiality and comradeship now binding the various arms of our security establishment. This should redound to a greater peace, and author an abiding sense of security in communities and our entire nation.

Among the issues discussed is that relating to our economy which, as we all know, is going through a difficult patch. Of greater concern to our Commanders are the well-founded fears that the lack of unity and commonness of purpose in both Party and Government was translating into perceptions of inattentiveness to the economy.

Open public spats between high-ranking officials in the Party and Government, exacerbated by multiple, conflicting messages from both the Party and Government, made criticisms leveled against us inescapable. Amidst all this, flagship projects already adopted by Government stood stalled or mired in needless controversies.

All this now has to stop, as we inaugurate a new work culture and pace which will show a strong sense of purpose and commitment to turning around our economy in terms of our policy, Zim-Asset. Government remains committed to improving the social and material conditions of the people. Government will soon unveil an entrepreneurial skills and business development programme which will empower and unleash gainful projects at our growth points and rural areas.

Fellow Zimbabweans, we are a nation born out of a protracted struggle for national independence. Our roots lie in that epochal struggle whose goals and ideals must guide our present and structure our future. The tradition of resistance is our collective legacy whose core tenets must be subscribed by all across generations and across times.

Indeed, this, too, was a great concern for our Commanders who themselves were makers of that revolution and often at very tender ages and at great personal peril. We still have in our various communities veterans of that founding struggle who might have found the prevailing management of national and party issues quite alienating.

This must be corrected without delay, including ensuring that these veterans continue to play central roles in the life of our nation. We must all recognise that their participation in the war of liberation exacted life-long costs which whilst hardly repayable, may still be assuaged and ameliorated.

In respect of the Party issues raised by both the Commanders and by the general membership of Zanu-PF, these, too, stand acknowledged. They have to be attended to with a great sense of urgency. However, I am aware that as a party of liberation, Zanu-PF, has over the years, written elaborate rules and procedures that guide operations of all its organs and personnel.

Indeed, the current criticism raised against it by the Command Element and some of its members have arisen from a well-founded perception that the Party was stretching or even failing its own rules and procedures. The way forward thus cannot be based on swapping vying cliques that ride roughshod over Party rules and procedures. There has to be a net return to the guiding principles of our Party, as enshrined in its constitution, which must apply fairly and equitably in all situations and before all members. The era of victimisation and arbitrary decisions must be put behind us as we all embrace a new ethos predicated on the supreme law of our Party, and nourished by an abiding sense of camaraderie.

To all this must be a general recognition that Zanu-PF is a party of traditions, and has been served by successive generations who are bound together by shared ideals and values which must continue to reign supreme in our nation. Hints of inter-generation conflict must be resolved through a harmonised melding of old, established players as they embrace and welcome new ones through a well-defined sense of hierarchy and succession.

Indeed, all these matters will be discussed and settled at the forthcoming Congress, within the framework of a clear roadmap that seeks to resolve once and for all any omissions or contradictions that have affected our Party negatively. The Congress is due in a few weeks from now. I will preside over its processes which must not be prepossessed by any acts calculated to undermine it or compromise its outcome in the eyes of the public.

As I conclude this address, I am aware that many developments have occurred in the Party, or have been championed and done by individuals in the name of the Party. Given the failings of the past and the anger these might have triggered in some quarters, such developments are quite understandable.

However, we cannot be guided by bitterness or vengefulness, both of which would not make us any better Party members, or any better Zimbabweans. Our hallowed policy of reconciliation which we pronounced in 1980, and through which we reached out to those who had occupied and oppressed us for nearly a century, and those we had to trade fire with in a bitter war, surely cannot be unavailable to our own both in the Party and in our nation. We must learn to forgive and resolve contradictions, real or perceived, in a comradely, Zimbabwean spirit.

I am confident that from tonight, our whole nation at all levels, gets refocused as we put shoulder to wheel amidst the promising agricultural season already upon us. Let us all move forward, reminding ourselves of our wartime mantra: Iwe neni tine basa!

I thank you and goodnight!

This was the address to the nation by His Excellency the President, Cde R.G. Mugabe, on the State of the Nation, November 19, 2017.
President Mugabe Resigns! . . . Announcement of a New Leader Tomorrow
November 21, 2017
Zimbabwe Herald

Watch the ZANU-PF Parliamentary Reading of Resolutions for Recall of President Robert G. Mugabe on Tuesday November 21, 2017:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_kXeeBaf7k

HOW IT HAPPENED . . . LIVE

17:46 – Hon Bonyongwe and Hon Chinamasa are back to the Speaker of Parliament and can be heard talking of terminating the debate.

Parliamentarians murmur to each other and erupt saying “Mugabe must go, Mugabe must go.”
Debate has briefly stopped here as and the Speaker announces that debate has been terminated.

He announces that President Mugabe has resigned. The house erupts in cheers and the speaker struggles to contain the gallery.

17:53 – The Speaker of Parliament now reads the resignation letter.

President Mugabe has resignation with immediate effect. Members of the public who came to the gallery chant “Kutonga Kwaro” by Jah Prayzah.

17:56 – The house has been adjourned and the speaker advises that a new President will be announced tomorrow.
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Parliament this afternoon sits to start the process of impeaching President Mugabe.

Zimpapers Online gives you updates of this historic event.

14:30 – The Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda has acknowledged to the House receipt of the motion to impeach President Mugabe and he says the motion is admissible in terms of the rules of Parliament.

14:35- The motion was moved by Senator Monica Mutsvangwa and seconded by Mabvuku/Tafara legislator James Maridadi.

14:40- Advocate Mudenda is now outlining the procedures to be followed and outlining what the Constitution provides in moving such a motion which he described as historic since independence.

14:42- The National chamber is packed beyond its capacity which has resulted in some of the legislators to sit in the public gallery.

14:47- Advocate Mudenda said after consultation with the president of the Senate they have agreed to convene the joint sitting  of both houses at the Harare International Conference Center at 16:30 hours today.

14:48 -He has appealed for tolerance, patience and maintaining dignity during the process.

14:56-The House is now adjourning and will resume at 16:30 hours at the HICC.

PARLIAMENT RESUMES SITTING

16:53 – Joint Parliamentary sitting resumes at the HICC where the proceedings for the impeachment of President Mugabe.

16:47 – Minister of Justice, Honourable Happyton Bonyongwe kneels near the Speaker of Parliament and legislators across the house shout, “Ibva apo mutengesi! (Go away sellout!).

16:00 - Moving the motion, Senetor Mutsvangwa says President Mugabe is old and he needs to be hand held. As such, he is no longer fit for office.

17:00 - President Mugabe, according to Senetor Mutsvangwa, has not taken any meaningful steps to stem endemic corruption which has become the country’s number one enemy as evidenced in the ZESA case where his cabinet minister (Dr Samuel Undenge) approved the transfer of US$5 million without following provisions laid down in the Public Finance Management Act. She also cites the ZIMDEF case involving Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo.

17:08 - Senator Monica Mutsvangwa moves the motion to impeach Pres Mugabe and Hon James Maridadi seconds.

17:09 - Senator Mutsvangwa introduces the motion and says among other reasons for impeaching President Mugabe is serious misconduct.

17:11 - The President has abrogated his constitutional mandate to his wife who makes public utterances on issues of government like the appointing and dismissal of Government Ministers and senior civil servants.
This motion is moved in terms of Section 97 (1) which provides for the removal of The President or Vice President from office.The charges are
(a) Serious misconduct;

(b) Failure to obey, uphold or defend this Constitution;

(c) Willful violation of this Constitution; or

(d) Inability to perform the functions of the office because of physical or mental incapacity.

“Itai Dzamara disappeared for calling on President Mugabe to step down and Masuku died after he was incarcerated despite the fact the court had not found him guilty.

17:18- Hon Maridadi says President Mugabe presided over a non functioning health system and unemployment. As such, he has to go and go now.

17:19 - Hon Maridadi chides Zanu PF members, who include the Speaker of Parliament saying, “Imbwa hadzisvinure musi umwechete.” He says the very motion was dismissed and described as frivolous before. He says for the past 17 years, MDC T has been arguing that President Mugabe is not fit for office but as late as last week, Zanu PF was endorsing him as their 2018 candidate.

17:24 - Hon Mandipaka thanks Commander of the Defence Forces General Constantino Guvheya Chiwenga for moving in very swiftly adding that Zanu PF cleanses itself when there is a threat in the house, to which opposition Members of Parliament grumble and tell him to go away.

17:26 - Sen Chipanga moves to debate the motion and he supports it saying President Mugabe has let the nation down by failing to act on cases of corruption, citing the case where Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko caused the release of suspects from police stations.

17:28 - Hon Jessie Majome is now debating the motion and says it’s needless to say she is in supports of it.

17:35 - Hon Majome has applauded members of the august House for putting aside their political differences to guard the constitution against President Mugabe due to dereliction of duty. Among reasons for supporting the motion, Hon Majome says President Mugabe has made Zimbabwe a laughing stock because he sleeps even at high level functions, under development, unemployment and also threatening the rule of law.

17:38 -Its now Hon Priscilla Misihairabwi move in support of the motion and says President Mugabe murdered more than 20 000 people from the year 1983 throughout the period of  Gukurahundi period.

“President Robert Mugabe is the man who presided over the killings  of opposition supporters,” says Hon Misihairabwi.

17:46 – Hon Bonyongwe and Hon Chinamasa are back to the Speaker of Parliament and can be heard talking of terminating the debate.

Parliamentarians murmur to each other and erupt saying “Mugabe must go, Mugabe must go.”
Debate has briefly stopped here as and the Speaker announces that debate has been terminated. He announces that President Mugabe has resigned.

The house erupts in cheers and the speaker struggles to contain the gallery.

17:53 – The Speaker of Parliament now reads the resignation letter.

President Mugabe has resignation with immediate effect. Members of the public who came to the gallery chant “Kutonga Kwaro” by Jah Prayzah.

17:56 - The house has been adjourned and the speaker advises that a new President will be announced tomorrow.

17:04 - Jubilant Zanu PF supporters sing Good bye Gushungo, endai munozorora  . .  .

17:10 – Multitudes of people immediately flood the streets of all cities and towns across the country.

PRESIDENT Mugabe resigned amid impeachment after 37 years in power.
Ex-freedom Fighters Seek Court Blessings
November 21, 2017
Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter—
Zimbabwe Herald

WAR veterans have approached the High Court seeking an order declaring the intervention by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to a lawless and chaotic situation created by First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe in the country, as a lawful and justified action meant to defend constitutionalism. ZDF, according to the war veterans, realised that President Mugabe had been captured by his wife and her G40 gang to an extent that he was no longer able to exercise his functions before moving in to protect the nation by weeding out the criminal elements that had positioned themselves around the head of State.

Failure by the President to make key decisions, allowing his wife and the G40 to embark on serious purges in the ruling Zanu-PF had the effect of destabilising the country. To that end, the liberators said, ZDF rightly intervened with corrective measures in the best interest of the President and the nation at large in terms of Section 212 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) yesterday filed a court application for declaratory order saying the court should correctly interpret the law and proclaim the legitimacy of the military’s intervention to the dire situation since Tuesday last week.

In the court application, President Mugabe, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, ZDF Commander General Constantino Guvheya Nyikadzino Chiwenga and Attorney General Advocate Prince Machaya were listed as respondents in the official capacities. ZNLWVA also filed a separate urgent chamber application requesting the court to treat the declaration matter with urgency. The court is yet to first rule on whether or not the case should be heard on an urgent basis.

Maunga Maanda & Associates represent the freedom fighters in both matters. In his founding affidavit, ZNLWVA president Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa said the intervention was of national interest considering that First Lady Grace Mugabe had captured President Mugabe and abdicated his functions.

“As an association that brought about the liberation of the people of Zimbabwe, applicant considers the intervention measures to be matters of immense political and constitutional importance and has approached the court for a declaration upholding the validity of the actions of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. The application is accordingly in the national interest . . .

“Recently Grace Mugabe together with a gang going about by the moniker G40 had unfortunately captured the first respondent (President Mugabe). For that reason, he has been unable to execute his functions and has completely abdicated his functions which were now being exercised by his wife and the G40 gang,” reads Cde Mutsvangwa’s affidavit.

The war veterans argued that the military had to intervene because President Mugabe was no longer in a position to make key decisions, a development that resulted in the First Lady and the G40 gang deciding on crucial Government and party matters.

They argued that the First Lady was the one who fired former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru from party and Government with President Mugabe only rubber-stamping. The First Lady is also being accused of masterminding the dismissal of various other officials from the party and Government. “It is public knowledge that Mrs Mugabe went on a crusade against the country’s former Vice President, Dr Mujuru, telling everyone that she was to be ousted.

“The decision was clearly not of the first respondent (President Mugabe). Various office holders in the State and the ruling Zanu-PF have lost their positions simply because of her usurpation of the powers of the first respondent,” reads the affidavit. The war veterans accused the First Lady of coercing people into endorsing her as the country’s Vice President.

At one of the rallies recently, the war veterans said, the First Lady unjustifiably chided and berated President’s spokesperson Mr George Charamba as if she was his employer. The First Lady and her G40 gang also demanded the removal Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa from office on the basis of falsehoods.

“The defence forces intervened because there had been an effective coup, the President of the country was no longer able to execute his functions, but that was now being done by unelected officials around him. In fact, the unelected First Lady was now running Government business to the country’s prejudice,” reads the affidavit.

Cde Mutsvangwa said he was prepared to play video footages which show the havoc that had been caused by the President’s wife and her G40 gang. An order of the court declaring the actions of the ZDF constitutional was important under the circumstances considering a press statement that was last week issued by Cde Simon Khaya Moyo describing the intervention as treasonous.

“The Despite the necessity for such intervention, a senior Government minister, a Mr Simon Khaya Moyo announced that the actions of the ZDF could amount to treason. Those are hard words. They have the effect of destabilising the country. It is important that this court states that the action is permissible. For the comfort of the people of Zimbabwe, her neighbours and the international community, a declaration on the validity of the actions of the ZDF ought to be issued,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.
President, ED Bury the Hachet
November 21, 2017
Fidelis Munyoro Senior Reporter—
Zimbabwe Herald

PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday reconnected with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as he begins processes towards a final solution and roadmap for the country. Cde Mnangagwa was fired from the Vice Presidency by President Mugabe on November 6, precipitating a chain of events that culminated in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces intervening to weed out criminals who had surrounded the President and who stoodaccused of fomenting an environment that had the potential to lead to violent confrontation.

Sources close to developments said the two spoke for about 10 minutes over the phone after midday,and during the conversation President Mugabe told Cde Mnangagwa to return home immediately. Cde Mnangagwa acceded to the request.

The former VP is said to have told the President that he had left Zimbabwe for security reasons to which the President assured him he had nothing to fear as he was not involved in any threats that may have been posed.

Updating the nation on the latest developments last night, Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantino Guveya Nyikadzino Chiwenga said the ZDF were pleased with new the latest developments which included contact between President Mugabe and his former deputy. Cde Mnangagwa, he said, was expected back in Zimbabwe soon.

“As this happens, we as the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and security services urge Zimbabweans to remain calm and patient, fully observing and respecting the laws of the country for the sustenance of the precious peace we should never lose,” he said while briefing journalists at Josiah Magama Tongogara Barracks, formerly KGVI.

Gen Chiwenga also urged other political players in the country including members of the ruling Zanu-PF, war veterans, opposition parties, students and members of the public to refrain from any conduct that threatens peace, life and property. He urged students at various institutions across the country to be calm and proceed with their educational programmes as scheduled.

“Once again, as the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and security services, we pay tribute to all Zimbabweans for support shown to us during the execution of Operation Restore Legacy,” he said. We remain a people’s force and security service which is why uppermost in our mind is the conclusion of this whole operation with the minimum inconvenience and certainly without any collateral loss of life, injury or destruction of property.”

He said the ZDF would keep the nation updated on any new developments as they occur. Gen Chiwenga commended the meeting the ZDF held with President Mugabe, which he said went well in a conducive atmosphere of mutual respect saying several guarantees were made.

He said the ZDF remained seized with the operation they codenamed ‘’Operation Restore Legacy”. The media briefing was meant to update the nation on the latest developments after President Mugabe’s address to the nation on Sunday night.

In a televised State of the Nation Address at State House, President Mugabe conceded that there was a crisis in the country and concerns raised by the ZDF and citizens relating to the state of the economy were genuine. He said Zimbabwe would chart a new path aimed at restoring normalcy in the country. The address came after President Mugabe held a meeting with military commanders that focused on several issues both at Government and party levels.

He also conceded that Zanu-PF was also facing challenges that required attention. These would be dealt with at the forthcoming Extraordinary Congress scheduled for the week December 12-17 2017.
University of Zimbabwe Students Call for Prof Nyagura’s Ouster
November 21, 2017
Melisa Makoto and Audrey Rundofa
Zimbabwe Herald

University of Zimbabwe students yesterday staged a demonstration and refused to write their examinations calling for the resignation of Vice Chancellor Professor Levi Nyagura. The students said they were tired of corruption at the university, including the allegedly “dubious” award of a doctor in philosophy degree (PhD) to First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe in 2014. University of Zimbabwe former students’ council secretary-general Mr Chrispen Mahachi, who was leading the protest, said they wanted Prof Nyagura to resign because he gave Dr Mugabe a PhD within three months, saying the act devalues the standards of the institution.

“This is clearly a student’s agenda as you can see our motive as students is to send a message that we are tired. Levi Nyagura must resign for donating a PhD to (First Lady)Grace Mugabe,” he said

“Our learning standards as UZ continue to deteriorate and we have moved from number 41 on the international ranking to a three-digit number, which is totally unacceptable.” Mahachi also said UZ students no longer have job security, so there was need for President Mugabe to resign.

“Today we were supposed to start our exams, but we said we cannot because we do not have job security; we want to have job security first, we want our brothers who are unemployed who have graduated at this same institution to be employed such that when we go into the industry as well (we) will have an assurance of job security,” he said.

Tawanda Nyandoro, a student at the institution, said: “The real issue is that Levi Nyagura donated a PhD to Grace Mugabe and we are saying we want that PhD back because a student who is studying philosophy right now will feel as if that programme is worthless as it was given to (Dr) Grace Mugabe on a silver platter.”

Shepherd Raradza, another student, accused the Vice Chancellor of failing to upgrade the premier tertiary learning institution. The latest developments comes after ZANU-PF recalled President Mugabe from the position of party First Secretary on Sunday and replaced him with former Vice President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, whom the ruling party also reinstated as a Central Committee member.
Sh5b Set Aside to Improve Food Security
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 21 2017
Kenya Daily Nation   

In Summary
The ministry is in talks with millers to start blending different kinds of flours to provide food that has all rounded ingredients.
Agriculture Secretary Anne Onyango said her ministry is focusing on developing strategies of increasing food production.

By KENNEDY KIMANTHI

The government will spend close to Sh5 billion in a multipronged initiative to improve the country’s food and nutrition security.

The five-year programme seeks options that increase food availability and promote greater access to adequate and nutritious food, therefore improving livelihoods.

Apart from the mandatory maize flour fortification, the Agriculture ministry is in talks with millers to start blending different kinds of flours to provide food that has all rounded ingredients.

Agriculture Secretary Anne Onyango said her ministry is focusing on developing strategies of increasing food production, strengthening distribution and marketing systems, and developing reliable storage systems.

She spoke during the ongoing National Agrinutrition Conference in Nairobi, where she represented Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett.

Fortification is described as the deliberate addition of micronutrients to improve nutritional quality of food supply that assists humans to enjoy optimal metabolism and normal growth.
Court Declines to Suspend CBK Tender for New Currency Notes
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 21 2017
Kenya Daily Nation   

Central Bank of Kenya building in Nairobi County on November 1, 2017. The CBK has been given the leeway to open bids for the printing and supply of the new Kenyan currency. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Summary
De la Rue had gone to court to stop the opening of bids for the tender to print and supply the new Kenyan currency notes.
De la Rue and EPZ claimed that if the process is allowed to continue, local companies would be locked out.

By MAUREEN KAKAH

The Central Bank of Kenya will on Wednesday proceed to open bids for the tender of printing the new Kenyan currency after the High Court declined to suspend it.

Justice Enoch Chacha Mwita set the hearing of a case in which De La Rue Security Printing firm had sought to stop the ongoing tender, to be on November 30.

TENDER

The judge issued the directions on Tuesday after CBK accused the firm of illegally acquiring tender documents for a process it had not participated in.

Through lawyer Ochieng Oduol, CBK wants the firm to explain how it acquired the documents that it attached as evidence in the case.

Despite pleas from the firm to the court to temporarily suspend the tendering process, the judge insisted that the issues raised needed to be responded to and a determination made.

“We must find out the veracity of the alleged documents. If they are valid we proceed with the case that is before us because it is a constitutional matter. If they are merited, nothing will stop the court from nullifying the whole tender,” said Justice Mwita.

DISPUTE

According to CBK, De la Rue was not pre-qualified to tender or invited to submit or participate in the disputed tender yet it has in its possession a confidential document that should not be disclosed unless a court order has been issued.

CBK also claimed that there are avenues the firm should have used to request the disputed documents but it did not do so, hence the documents should be struck out and considered inadmissible.

CBK also claimed that the firm had failed to disclose how the disputed documents were acquired.

COMPANIES

De la Rue and EPZ Ltd have sued CBK, claiming that it failed to consider local companies in the tender.

They claimed that local production, storage and delivery of new notes as well as local onsite secure destruction of the old ones have been put at risk and this would force offshore solution for this process, which would take place thousands of miles from Kenya.

They also claimed that it would be prudent to conduct the exercise locally as the CBK premises is usually under 24-hour surveillance by the General Service Unit.

CURRENCY

They also argued that if the procurement process of the tender proceeds, local companies would lose the opportunity to participate.

“The danger of allowing this process is that we could end up with another Anglo-Leasing kind of scandal,” said De la Rue.

De la Rue wanted tender number CBK/37/2017 for the printing and supply of the new design of Kenyan currency notes to be temporarily suspended, pending the hearing and determination of its case.
Kenya Battles Claims of Soliciting Uhuru Congratulatory Messages
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 21 2017
Kenya Daily Nation   

President Uhuru Kenyatta acknowledges greetings from Kenyans during Mashujaa Day celebrations on October 20, 2017. Kenya was on Tuesday caught in a diplomatic storm following claims that it was soliciting congratulatory messages from foreign countries after his re-election. PHOTO | RAPHAEL NJOROGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Summary
Financial Times reported that Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohammed had asked UK counterpart Boris Johnson to recognise Mr Kenyatta's re-election.
Mr Johnson obliged, sparking criticism in London that he had moved too fast to recognise Mr Kenyatta.
The government has been openly tweeting and broadcasting any congratulatory messages that come in.

By PATRICK LANG'AT

Kenya was on Tuesday caught in a diplomatic storm following claims that it was soliciting congratulatory messages from foreign countries after the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The respected London-based Financial Times reported that Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed had asked her UK counterpart Boris Johnson to recognise the re-election of Mr Kenyatta following the Supreme Court dismissal of the petitions he had faced.

Mr Johnson obliged, sparking criticism in London that he had moved too fast to recognise Mr Kenyatta.

The paper said most Western powers were waiting for the President to be sworn in next Tuesday before they send their congratulatory messages.

The Times, in a report on Tuesday afternoon also quoted an e-mail allegedly sent by Kenyan ambassador to Brussels Johnson Weru that suggested he was pushing other nations to congratulate President Kenyatta after securing a second term following a disputed repeat election after his August 8 win was annulled by the Supreme Court in a petition filed by his main challenger Raila Odinga.

“Following the Supreme Court of Kenya ruling early today and which has upheld the victory of President Kenyatta, I am kindly requesting your indulgence in preparing and dispatching a suitable congratulations message. I am at hand for any quick consultations,” the Times quoted Ambassador Weru as saying in the e-mail sent to senior foreign ministry officials.

UNSOLICITED

But Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Monica Juma said that the congratulatory messages were coming in on their own, unsolicited.

In fact, she said, the messages were expected following what she said was an affirmation of the rule of the law through the protracted elections dispute the country went through, with twice having the courts being asked to determine whether President Kenyatta’s election was free and fair.

“From where we sit, the Supreme Court win is a re-affirmation of President Kenyatta’s August 8 win. Generally, everybody is commending the country for following the course of the rule of law. That is the general reaction. Actually, many of them (countries) are saying: Let’s move on,” said Ms Juma, who spoke to the Nation by phone.

NO EMAILS

On the report by the Times, she said, “Officially, we do not communicate through e-mail, that is not the format in diplomacy. If the Financial Times is interested in any information, our High Commission in London is open for them.”

Talk of diplomats and foreign governments holding off on congratulating Kenya has been rife, with the government now openly tweeting and broadcasting any congratulatory messages that come in.

“Some of you have asked about how many countries have congratulated the President on his re-election. As of yesterday (Monday), we can confirm that more than 40 countries had done so. The Foreign Ministry will release details in due course. Essentially, these congratulatory messages are normally channelled through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu told journalists during a press briefing at noon on Tuesday.

POWERHOUSES

By 6.30pm, the government, through its official Twitter handles, had added global powerhouses China and Israel, as well as Burundi, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Latvia, Palestine and Ethiopia, with African, Caribbean and Pacific group that bring together 79 states also said to have sent its messages.

Mr Odinga, in his 10-day visit to the United States that ended on Monday, had stirred up the congratulatory messages discussion, saying western nations that support democracy should not congratulate President Kenyatta.

“Kenyans were very pleased that the US and other friends refused to congratulate Mr Kenyatta after the electoral commission announced that he had been elected President after an election more woefully tainted than the annulled August one,” Mr Odinga said in Washington during a lecture in his recent 10-day trip.
Calm Returns to Nairobi After Protests Over Uhuru's Victory
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 21 2017
Kenya Daily Nation
   
Residents in Congo area of Kawangware, Nairobi County, go about their business on November 21, 2017 a day after calm returned to the area. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Summary
Sporadic chaos, violence and demonstrations were witnessed in some areas after Monday’s Supreme Court decision that upheld President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory.
But on Tuesday, calm returned to the areas, businesses were opened and people went about their day-to-day activities.

By COLLINS OMULO

Calm has returned to most areas in Nairobi that experienced sporadic chaos, violence and demonstrations after Monday’s Supreme Court decision that upheld President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory.

A spot check by the Nation around Kawangware, Kibera, Githurai 45, Dandora and Kariobangi South established that most residents had already resumed their day-to-day activities, with business also slowly going back to normalcy.

BUSINESS AS USUAL

In Kawangware 46, it was business as usual as residents went about their activities, selling various wares as most businesses slowly opened and even matatus were plying their routes.

In Kawangware 56, Stage 2 and Congo, which witnessed running battles between youths who had barricaded roads and anti-riot police on Monday, normalcy had returned with only a few telltale signs of the chaos left behind.

Calm returns to Kibera.

Nevertheless, clusters of youths could be seen in different places chatting even as others were busy in their businesses.

“This area is now good. On Monday, I could not even open my business but now as you can see I am readying my wares for the day,” said Mama Muthoni, a mama mboga at Kawangware 56.

CALM

In Kibera, the area was peaceful and businesses were open. The area did not experience any widespread tension on Monday although there were reports that one person was killed.

The always volatile Ayany and Olympic areas was calm, with only pockets of youths chatting. There was no police presence in the area.

The same scenario was witnessed in Kariobangi South.

Calm returns to Kibera.

Most parts of the expansive Dandora was also calm, but there was tension in Awendo area in Dandora Phase 4 and a heavy police presence following claims that a woman had been raped in the area.

RUMOUR

However, in Githurai 45, tension remained high in Migingo area after rumours spread that a child had been killed following an argument between two women over the Supreme Court’s ruling.

The fake news heightened tensions in the area after boda boda riders from Githurai 45 made their way to the alleged scene of the incident to evict the woman who had committed the crime, stoning the gate to the five-storey building and baying for her blood.

“There was a false alarm that a Luo woman had thrown down a child belonging to a Kikuyu lady from this building, leading to her death. This led to the boda boda riders to come here to evict every person coming from the community,” said one resident who sought anonymity.

PEACE

He added that since Sunday, tension had been building up in the area.

Ruiru legislator Simon Ng’ang’a King’ara visited the area accompanied by police officers and the provincial administration to pacify the agitated riders and bring peace to the area.

“Let us coexist here in peace as brothers and sisters and leave politics behind us,” he urged residents.
Top Court Upholds Kenyatta’s Poll Victory
November 21, 2017

NAIROBI. — Kenya’s Supreme Court yesterday validated the election victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta, sparking opposition protests that left two dead, according to police. While the court decision led to celebrations in ruling party strongholds, protesters took to the street in opposition areas in the capital and the west of the country. One protester was killed in Nairobi’s Kibera slum, while a paramedic tending the injured at a demonstration in western Migori was also shot dead, according to police.

The death toll from four months of election chaos now stands at 54, with most protesters killed at the hands of police, according to rights groups. The protests erupted after the Supreme Court dismissed two petitions seeking to overturn the victory of Kenyatta in October 26 elections, paving the way for him to be sworn in for a second five-year term on November 28.

“The court has unanimously determined that the petitions are not merited. As a consequence, the presidential election of 26 October is hereby upheld as is the election of the third respondent,” said Chief Justice David Maraga, referring to Kenyatta. Maraga had in September annulled an August election due to “irregularities and illegalities”, a historic decision hailed across the globe as an opportunity to boost Kenyan democracy.

However, the ruling — a rare victory for Odinga — only deepened acrimony and protests, leaving the country deeply divided. Accusing the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of failing to make fundamental reforms to improve the vote, Odinga withdrew from the October ballot which he urged his followers to boycott.

In the run-up to the vote, a top election official fled the country, saying the poll would not be credible, and IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati himself said he could not guarantee a free and fair election. Election day was marred by chaos in opposition strongholds, with polling stations unable to open in 25 constituencies. The boycott handed Kenyatta a landslide victory of 98 percent, although turnout was only 39 percent.

This time, Odinga and his National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition did not go to court to challenge the second election, but a former politician and two rights activists did. They pointed to procedural questions, the toxic democratic environment, and Chebukati’s own questioning of the process. However, the six-judge bench dismissed the petitions in a matter of minutes.

In a statement, Odinga said the ruling “did not come as a surprise”, nor did it alter his opposition to a government he regards as illegitimate. “It was a decision taken under duress. We do not condemn the court, we sympathise with it,” he said. News of the court’s decision sparked celebrations in Kenyatta’s strongholds. “Let NASA people now go and mourn quietly and allow us to celebrate. They were laughing last time, today it is our turn,” said Jackson Mandago the governor of Uasin Gishu county.

“We are happy that we will not have another election until 2022.” But while many will be breathing a sigh of relief that the prolonged election process is drawing to an end, tensions remain high in opposition strongholds.

“Maraga has gone against our wish. They could have nullified it because that was not an election. It was just done in parts of the country,” said Mercyline Akinyi in the western city of Kisumu, an Odinga stronghold, where protesters set a vehicle alight. “We will wait for Baba (Odinga), to tell us the way forward.”

Clashes had erupted in Nairobi’s Mathare slum on Sunday after four bodies were found in the street, with outrage spreading to Kibera and protests also taking place in Kisumu. Nairobi police chief Japheth Koome said the cause of the four deaths was not immediately clear, but that the victims appeared to have been hit by a blunt object, while one had also been cut.

However, the opposition claimed the four had been shot dead, and angry residents blamed members of Kenyatta’s Kikuyu tribe. Tensions had also risen on Friday when a mass opposition demonstration to welcome Odinga back from a trip overseas turned violent, with three demonstrators shot dead in Muthurwa, a suburb not far from Mathare.

— AFP.
IMF Cautions Kenya on Rising Debt
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 21 2017
Kenya Daily Nation

In Summary
The fiscal deficit was at 7.9 per cent from a previous forecast of 6.2 per cent.
Mikkelsen said an IMF mission would visit Nairobi in mid-December to review its programmes with the government.

By KEVIN MWANZA

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cautioned that Kenya’s rising debt needs to be contained to avoid vulnerabilities to the economy from unforeseen shocks.

IMF Resident Representative in Kenya Jan Mikkelsen on Tuesday said that while the economy had shown resilience to drought and prolonged electioneering this year, the rising public debt was a concern and needs to be checked to avoid dragging down the economy in future.

LOANS

Kenya’s public debt has been on an upward trend in recent years, rising to Sh4.4 trillion by the end of September from less than a trillion shillings in mid-2014.

Mikkelsen said the country requires clear policies to address “debt vulnerability”, which could increase further if Treasury pursues another syndicated loan and a second Eurobond as indicated by Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich two weeks ago.

“The fiscal deficit needs to be reduced a little bit to make more room for the private sector and also to reduce the public debt pressure,” he told the Nation on the sidelines of an event hosted at Strathmore Business School, Nairobi.

“We still do see growth in the Kenyan economy, which is quite resilient. It will of course assume that political stability returns to the country.”

DEFICIT

A Budget Review and Outlook Paper released in September showed that the level of public debt to GDP ratio was expected to rise to 59.0 per cent this fiscal year, from a previous target of 51.8 per cent.

The fiscal deficit was at 7.9 per cent from a previous forecast of 6.2 per cent.

The official said an IMF mission would visit Nairobi in mid-December to review its programmes with the government.

The international lender has a stand-by credit facility worth $1.5 billion with Nairobi that the Kenya government can draw from in case of significant external shocks.
Uhuru Kenyatta Says He Will Lead Kenya's Healing After Poll
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 21 2017
Kenya Daily Naton   

President Uhuru Kenyatta. He will take his oath of office next week. PHOTO | NATION |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Summary
State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu on Tuesday said President Kenyatta was willing to lead the healing needed after a protracted poll dispute.

But Mr Odinga has rubbished the Monday Supreme Court judgment, saying it was given by judges “under duress”.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has promised to reach out to all Kenyans in his second term once he is sworn into office on Tuesday.

State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu on Tuesday said President Kenyatta was willing to lead the healing needed after a protracted poll dispute.

SWEARING-IN

“The president would like to assure all Kenyans, those who voted for him and those who did not, that he will be president of all Kenyans.  No one should fear that they will be marginalised or penalised for their political choice,” Mr Esipisu told journalists at the steps of Harambee House, which houses the president’s office.

“Next week, the president will take his oath of office. On that day, he will rededicate himself to the path of peace, prosperity, constitutional order, and of healing.”

President Kenyatta will be sworn in on Tuesday November 28 by the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi in the presence of Chief Justice David Maraga who on Monday led a six-judge Supreme Court bench to unanimously uphold his election victory on October 26.

Former prime minister and Mr Kenyatta’s arch-rival Raila Odinga withdrew from the repeat poll after successfully petitioning the president’s August 8 win.

'TRIUMPH'

The Nasa leader has demanded a fresh, credible election under a new electoral commission, saying it was the only way for the country to move forward.

Further, Mr Odinga has rubbished the Monday Supreme Court judgment, saying it was given by judges “under duress”.

But in the statement, State House termed the decision as a triumph of the rule of law.

“The ruling of the Supreme Court yesterday is a vote for the constitutional path.  It is a resounding triumph of the rule of law over the tragedy of chaotic disorder. The Supreme Court has affirmed the path designed by the architects of our republic: a path governed by constitutional institutions and the rule of law; a path whose end is order, stability and prosperity for our great nation,” Mr Esipisu said.

40 COUNTRIES

He went on: “Faced with a choice between constitutional order and lawlessness, we have chosen the rule of law.  Faced with a choice between mediating political differences by law, or by force and street protest, we have chosen the constitutional order. That, in the president’s view, is the only way forward.”

Mr Esipisu said that the president was now focused on his second term, whose priorities he will release when he addresses the nation during his swearing-in.

“Some of you have asked about how many countries have congratulated the President on his re-election. As of yesterday, we can confirm that more than 40 countries had done so. The Foreign ministry will release details in due course. Essentially, these congratulatory messages are normally channelled through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” said the State House spokesman.
Kenyan Soldiers Don't Smuggle Charcoal in Somalia - KDF
The Kenya Defense Forces yesterday disputed allegations its soldiers are involved in charcoal smuggling in Somalia.

The charcoal trade generates major income for al Shabaab.

KDF spokesman Col David Obonyo rejected as untrue the UN Security Council's Somalia and Ethiopia Monitoring Group's report that KDF is involved in export and import of charcoal from and into Somalia.

He said it [the report] is similar to the one the group has been making "with a little variation in wording every year around the same time since 2012".

Obonyo said the KDF is deployed in the only 150km of Somalia's coastline.

He said the SEMG report does not specify sectors where the charcoal trafficking takes place and who is managing those ports. The group did not visit those areas, he said.

"KDF is not in charge of the management of port operations in Kismayu. They are under the Somali Federal Government and Jubaland State authorities," Obonyo said.

"KDF is not in Somalia to do business, but to enforce Amisom's mandate. We are in Somalia to ensure safety and security of the Somali people. Kenya has made a lot of sacrifices to liberate Somali people."

The UN banned the charcoal trade in Somalia in February 2012 to deny al Shabaab revenues. This was after it emerged the charcoal trade was generating major income for the al Qaeda-linked terror group.

Kenyan soldiers overpowered al Shabaab in Kismayu in September 2012 in the offensive Operation Sledge Hammer in which they dethroned the militants and seized control of the coastal town.

But Obonyo said the Kenyan troops were replaced by those from Siera Leone, who later left and were replaced by those from Burundi and Ethiopia, and the Family Police Unit from Nigeria.

SEMG has deplored the continued charcoal trade through Somali ports controlled by Amisom.

The SEMG report expresses concern that the charcoal trade still provides significant funding for the militia. It urged the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to continue its work, with the Federal Government of Somalia.
AMISOM Begins to Withdraw Troops From Somalia
by  Daily Nation
November 21, 2017, 6:20 am

African Union’s Mission in Somalia has begun withdrawing its troops from the country against the backdrop of heightened insecurity in Mogadishu.

The capital has witnessed almost 1,000 deaths in just three months.

This is the highest number of fatalities recorded in the country in such a short time since Amisom operations began in 2007.

The intensified attacks have caused a security scare in Somalia, leading to the resignation of Defence minister Abdirashid Abdullahi and army boss Ahmed Mohamed Jimale Irfid.

The fears have also led to the dismissals of senior security and intelligence officials, with the US State Department ordering Americans to leave the country.

The United Nations asked local and foreign staff to be more vigilant while in Somalia. The same warning was issued to government ministries.

TERRORISM

In an interview with the Sunday Nation, Information Minister Abdirhaman Osman Yarisow admitted that the war on terrorism was becoming complex.

He said terrorists were changing tactics and conducting “an asymmetric warfare”.

“It is very difficult to stop terrorists who want and are ready to kill themselves, especially if they want to do so in populated areas,” the minister said.

“The government has succeeded in securing its institutions and that is why al-Shabaab terrorists are desperately turning to populated civilian zones to make newspaper headlines.”

ATTACK

Shortly before his sacking following Somalia’s worst ever attack that claimed the lives of more than 400 people last month, National Intelligence and Security Agency director general Abdillahi Mohamed Sanbalooshe unleashed stinging attacks on partners and the global community, saying the country needed material support “not tears or hollow empathies”.

“To defeat al-Shabaab, Somalia requires expertise and equipment. It needs a new paradigm of cooperation between our security services and international partners,” he said in a New York Times opinion piece.

“We have been operating almost blind. International partners offered to provide technical assistance but their good intentions served to blind us the more.”

TROOPS WITHDRAW

The intensity of the attacks in the last three months has been high. Among the dead were tens of Kenyans working in Mogadishu and combatants attached to the al-Shabaab group, most who have been felled by bullets from Amisom or Somali National Army soldiers.

Yet still, several others have been beheaded by their hosts on suspicion of spying for the Kenya Defence Forces.

KENYANS SLAIN

Only last week, three Kenyans allied to al-Shabaab were executed, with four others having been beheaded in September in Lamu County. 

And among those who perished in last month’s attack in Mogadishu was a young Kenyan woman, who served as director of the gender office in the Federal Government of Somalia’s Ministry of Planning.

Last month, about 100 national army soldiers and 623 civilians were killed, with Amisom reporting an additional 281 members of its troops killed so far this year.

Owing to attacks from militias, government soldiers have withdrawn from at least 32 bases in rural Somalia. 

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo is yet to announce a replacement of officers who resigned or were dismissed owing to the worsening security situation in Somalia.

Al-Shabaab has intensified attacks, causing a security scare.

Kenya News 
AFRICOM Escalates Pentagon Presence in Somalia
By JOHN VANDIVER, STARS AND STRIPES 
November 18, 2017 

There are now 500 U.S. troops in Somalia, where the military has carried out daily airstrikes in the past week, but the Department of Defense refuses to call it a buildup.

“I would not associate that with a buildup, as you’re calling it,” Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie told reporters at the Pentagon on Nov. 16. “I think it’s just the flow of forces in and out as different organizations come in that might be sized a little differently.”

McKenzie said the boost in attacks was simply a matter of hitting targets as they emerge. “So there’s no particular rhythm to it, except that as they become available and as we’re able to process them and vet them, we strike them,” he said.

Still, the sudden surge of servicemembers into Somalia over the past several months and the rapid spike in airstrikes — 28 so far this year — is a reversal from the past, when there were no regular troops in the country and airstrikes were extremely rare.

Driving the U.S.’s recent escalation is a closing window of opportunity as a 20,000-strong coalition of African armies prepares to leave the country after a decade of leading the battle against the al-Qaida-aligned group al-Shabab.

For 10 years, the African Union Mission in Somalia helped ensure relative stability in the war-torn country, pushing al-Shabab out of the capital of Mogadishu and numerous other strongholds. But al-Shabad were never defeated, and with the African Union’s pullout set to begin in coming weeks, the U.S. and its partners have little time to degrade the militants before the multinational fighting force leaves. When the union’s drawdown will be completed in 2020, Somalia’s fledgling army will be in charge of the fight.

There is uncertainty about whether clan-based Somalia, which has a fleeting history of centralized government — can marshal the unity to prevent an al-Shabab resurgence.

“The group would most likely retake some lost territory should AMISOM forces withdraw before the (Somalia National Army) is capable of effective independent operations against the group,” Robyn Mack, a spokeswoman for U.S. Africa Command, told Stars and Stripes.

The U.S. military escalation now underway was hinted at earlier this year, when leaders from AMISOM arrived at AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart for a meeting of AFRICOM defense chiefs.

“We have very little time, so we need to accelerate this,” said Francisco Madeira, the African Union’s special representative on Somalia, during the April meeting in Stuttgart. “We have to see where we can get resources and training so these people can take over as quickly as possible.”

“I am afraid they (the Somali army) are not ready to take over the security right now,” added Lt. Gen. Osman Nour Soubagleh from Djibouiti. “The time is very short.”
AMISOM is Leaving by 2020: What That Means for Somalia
International Policy Digest

If it’s current timetable isn’t revised, by December 2020, all AMISOM combat troops are scheduled to withdraw from all of Somalia’s cities, towns, and villages that they’ve liberated from the al-Shabaab terrorist organization. The troops have been in Somalia for over a decade to support the Federal Government of Somalia against radical elements of al -Shabaab, who continue their insurgency against the Federal Government of Somalia’s institutional and military’s presence in Somalia.

AMISOM, comprised of troops drawn from Uganda, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Burundi, is deployed in six sectors covering south and central Somalia through funding support by the EU and UN. The troops alongside the Somali National Army remain the main source of protection for the government as they patrol major roads connecting the Somali capital to the regions and have managed to liberate significant cities such as Mogadishu, Kisimayo, Beletweyne and Baidoa.

The AU mission though it didn’t fully achieve and pacify the country as required and expected, deserves credit for creating an enabling an environment for the Somali government to re-organize and prioritize their resources and establish a national army to build on the current progress in liberating the remaining areas still controlled by al-Shabaab.

The AMISOM troop drawdown has already been felt in different parts of Somalia although the Special Representative of the African Union chairperson for Somalia, Francisco Madeira, stated that transition must be gradual, conditions-based, responsible and done in a manner that will not compromise the safety and security of the Somali people.

Besides their military operations against the al -Shabaab group, the AMISOM troops have been training and equipping the Somali National Army (SNA) with the objective of gradually handing over security duties in liberated areas to the SNA. After close to 18 months of successful operations that uprooted al-Shabaab’s control on major cities, by mid-2013 the offensives by AMISOM and SNA came to a halt. Neither AMISOM nor the Somali army had the capacity to push beyond areas already recovered. Their hold on the existing territory would be tenuous if the current status quo continued.

In the recent years, a range of external actors have played a role in training the SNA. These foreign actors include the European Union, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the U.S. and a private security company, Bancroft Global. Although their help has been valuable, the lack of consistency and proper coordination of training was a challenge to the SNA. The Somali military significantly lacks proper equipment that coordinated training would achieve. The Somalis need military discipline, national ownership and patriotism to liberate their country from extremists.

As currently constituted, the SNA is more of a collection of regional clan militias more than a unified national force that can take over security tasks from AMISOM.

Somalia’s stability primarily relies on its own military and police forces to secure their own territory. That prospect, however, seemed a long way off until recently the Turkish government opened a $50 million military training facility in Mogadishu capable of accommodating the training of 1,500 forces at the same time with the presence of more than 200 Turkish military trainers which hopes to help in the reconstruction of a strong Somali national force that can tackle the threat of Al-Shabaab after the Withdrawal of AMISOM forces.

Somalia, as a country, is still under a partial U.N. arms embargo that prevents it from importing heavy weaponry while allowing it to import light weapons for its security forces. This embargo hinders the government from achieving self-sufficiency in terms of military offensives.

Though, troops primarily focused on liberating major cities and headquarters of regional administrations, the Al Shabaab extremists were taking advantage of the relative freedom they had in the vast Somali countryside to regroup, plan and execute attacks against civilians in cities within the country and in regions. The group has recently demonstrated its ability to conduct numerous complex raids against hard AMISOM targets, causing significant casualties. Its ability to conduct mass-casualty spectacular attacks in Mogadishu and sustained small-arms attacks against Somali government and security officials is yet to be contained. The recent bloody bombings in Mogadishu which injured and claimed the lives of more than 400 people is an indicator that the extremist group is still active and capable of re-emerging in the event that a military vacuum occurs.

The failure of AMISOM and Somali National Army to pursue al-Shabaab into the hinterlands because of force size constraints or probably, lack of political will provided al-Shabaab access to financial resources, recruitment and training of new foot soldiers, and a space to operate relatively freely outside of major populated centers.

Al-Shabaab has exploited shifts in the AMISOM force posture to prepare for its counteroffensive. When AMISOM (Ethiopian contingents) pulled back in early 2017, al-Shabaab militants immediately reentered the towns of Burduhule, Rabdhure, Garasweyne, and Tiyeglow in the Bakool region; Eli Ali, Halgan, and Moqokori in the Hiraan region; Bud and Gal’ad in the Galgudud region; and Adan Yabal in the Middle Shabelle region. The ease with which al-Shabaab flipped the towns shows that it had retained a presence nearby and that other territories could be as susceptible to re-conquest.

With the presence of AMISOM forces, al-Shabaab’s disastrous presence has not been isolated to Somalia only, the group has expanded its area of operations into northern and coastal Kenya and demonstrated its capability to hit targets outside Somalia citing the 2010 Kampala bombings, devastating attacks on the Westgate Mall and Garissa University in 2013 and 2015. It is poised to exploit the regional religious and security conditions.

Who knows what will happen over the next 25 months as AMISOM troops steadily withdraw lowering their profile to the vanishing point. Somalia might revisit its anarchic history, or President Farmajo might manage to clench and walk the talk on the offensives designed to wipe out Al- Shabaab before the last batch of AMISOM troops withdraw from the country.