It’s that season, to pander to the public for no reason!
As mentioned In Color 11; Senegal is in election season. The campaign period started on the 4th of February & came to a quick swift end late Friday; February 22.
6.5 million Senegalese people have registered to vote & casted their votes today; February 24th, deciding the future of Senegal.
The polls; closed now, were opened at 8:00am, until 7:00pm (GMT).
Current President Macky Sall; seeking re-election, is said to be the most popular in the polls & probably the winning contender.
There was no televised debate during the election campaign. The Senegalese youth took to public election forums to ask the politicians the hard questions. For a candidate to be declared winner she/he must secure 50% of the overall votes.
If there is no candidate with the majority of the vote?
Then there’s a re-match taking place!
- The President; Macky Sall is running on the platform of an emerging booming economy. The west african country did just discover oil in its gas reserves. Drilling is yet to commence & already rumblings of personal profiting, & money laundering have begun.
- The “opposition” candidates focused mainly on the poverty & unemployment forcing in the economy; which forces Senegal’s youngest & brightest to seek greener pastures outside Senegal.
- 2 of Senegal’s main opposition leaders; Khalifa Sall –not in any way related to the current president-, & Karim Wade, were blocked from participating in the election contest in 2012, due to some charges brought against them.
- Both have maintained their innocence; insisting the charges were bogus & politically motivated.
- Ousmane Sonko; 44, Senegal’s youngest candidate, ran his platform on curbing France’s influence on Senegal. Proposing if elected, Senegal would used their own domestic currency as a legal tender. Replacing the CFA Franc; which is used by 14 other West African countries if elected.
- Preliminary results are to be announced on Tuesday; February 24th. With the final tally on Friday; February 28th. President Macky Sall is expected to win.
Kenya is at the forefront in Africa for human rights; specifically LGBTQ & love.
Love is love.
However, Kenya’s LGBTQ community & their allies are a bit disappointed. & we understand why. A much-anticipated ruling on February; 22 set to be a huge win for human rights in Kenya & frankly, all of Africa was pushed back to May 24.
- The ruling was for a petition to nullify the remnants of colonial-era laws in Kenya that criminalizes same-sex sex.
- Specifically 2 sections in the penal code.
One that states; anyone who has “carnal knowledge… against the order of nature” can be imprisoned for 14 years. & the other that provides for a five-year jail term for “indecent practices between males”.
Chacha Mwita; one of the judges on the 3-judge bench gave what some might deem a weak response for the reason behind the push back.
“The files are above my height… we are still working,” he also added that one of this collegue where on leave, adding to the delay.
Mwita announced the push back.
Although, even though the laws do exist, members of the LGBTQ rarely actually get convicted.
Imani Kimiri from the National & Lesbian Human Rights Council (NGLHRC) legal team told APC news agency that her office dealt with 15 prosecutions in 2018 & couldn’t even remember the last convictions.
She did slam the process as;”just a frustrating endeavour”
- Yet, another issue with the law still in Kenya’s constitution is; members of Kenyan’s LGBTQ seldom report crimes of abuse like sexual assault, blackmail & eviction due to their sexual orientation because it would technically be “confessing to a crime”.
- Under Kenya’s 2010 constitution all persons would be equal before the law, the petitioners argue these 2 outdated &archaic sections in the penal code contradict this. We agree.
The petitioners believe albeit delayed the ruling would be in their favour.
Kenya has already made strides on the road to equality, when juxtaposed with its counterparts -other African countries– festered with homophobia.
So we remain optimistic too.
In March the High court banned forced anal testing of men suspected of being gay.
One could wonder; why was this even a law in place?
Or we can decide to just focus on the fact that it is no longer one!
Presidential & legislative elections finally took place this past Saturday in Nigeria.
As reported in last week’s In Color 12; Nigeria pushed back her presidential & legislative elections by a week. Nigerians suspected foul play by the Independent National Electoral commission (INEC). INEC stated issues with logistics as the reason for the election postponement. Many couldn’t understand the actual plausibility of such an issue for an election known to already scheduled to take place; 4 years prior.
The abrupt night-before date switch up didn’t help quell the people’s insecurities with putting trust in the Nigerian government.
The election was a bitter & violent one. A showdown between 76 year-old, current president Muhammadu Buhari of All Progressive Congress & the former vice president, candidate of the People’s Democratic Party; 72 year-old Atiku Abubakar.
Tribalism was also an unfortunate a deadly tool used to fuel these elections, with reports of states inhabited by mostly Yoruba people; a main ethnic group attacking the Igbos another ethnic group to intimidate them from exercising their right to vote. Then in turn skewing the election results.
Many polling units were delayed & although Nigerians arrived at scheduled time, they had to wait even longer to cast their votes in the ballot. Some Nigerian’s, tired of the wait, found unorthodox always to make sure their vote counted.
Nigerians took to social media to give their reports on polling units being disrupted & ballot papers being burnt.
Rumblings of corrupted pre-filled ballot sheets were also an issue of contention.
Some frustrated & fed-up Nigerians even resulted to jungle justice. Finding their own justice in a government that barely protects the interests of its people.
Some Nigerian Youth Corpers appointed serve their country –& mediate the elections– were also put in harm’s way. The Nigerian government barely provided any security or housing arrangements for of its youngest & brightest.
Meanwhile, considering the tone of current President Buhari;
Albeit extremely unfortunate, the turn out events as it pertaining to the elections is far from a huge shocker.
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Bukola Saraki’s sister, Gbemi Saraki clowns him after delivering their ancestral home, Agbaji PU to President #Buhari (PDP – 71, APC – 275) . . Also results coming in from Kwara really shows that Kwarans are not smiling at all. Seems they are ready to retire him. #OTOGE #nigeriadecides #saraki #ijeomadaisy
Meanwhile; on this week’s episode of keeping up with our favorite Senator;
On a brighter note;
Nigerians in diaspora may be the country’s biggest export pumping an estimated total of $25B into the Nigerian economy according to the chief economist in Price Water Coopers(PWC) Nigeria.
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Good news for #Nigeria's economy: #Nigerians in diaspora remittances has risen to U.S.$25 Billion, according to the chief economist at #PriceWaterCoopers (#PwC) #Nigeria, #ProfAndrewNevin who said citizens living outside the country who are its biggest export @streamafrica
On today’s episode of possible racist things that could happen to everyone not white in America.
Huge Democratic donor & “ally” in LGBGTQ rights; Ed Buck is found out & about wandering the streets with yet another Black man, just a month after a second Black man was found dead in his Los Angeles-area apartment.
- Ed Buck is said to have donated $53,000 to Democratic candidates & to the Democratic Congressional Campaign committee since 2008.
- In July 2017; A 26 year-old gay male’s boy; Gemelle Moore, was found lifeless in the Ed Bucks apartment. However, investigators ruled it as an accidental overdose on crystal methamphetamine.
- More recently, another dead man was found dead in his Hollywood apartment, early Monday; on January 7th.
On Saturday, February 23rd, demonstrators gathered in front of Ed Buck’s West Hollywood home demanding answers about the investigation of the unfortunate death of the 2 black men. Many activist say Ed Buck may be getting a free pass because of his political connections.
Central African Republic (CAR)
13,000 United Nation troops deployed in CAR & still “ineffective” assistance from them with protecting civilians from armed groups in the town of Batangafo in October & November, according to new reports from medical aid organisation.
- Doctors Without Borders A.K.A MSF was the medical charity who declared the death of at least 15 people with 29 others injured after the attack on Batangafo.
- Batangafo is 400km north of the country’s capital; Bangui.
- It is reported that the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSCA) in CAR failed at its primary responsibility to the mineral rich country.
“MINUSCA was responsible for protecting civilians. However, they were unable to do this,” Omar Ahmed Abenza, the MSF head of the mission in the country, said.
“Most of the victims of the violence are ordinary people. Civilians in Batangafo have been left with no effective protection,” Abenza added.
- CAR has been in near constant conflict, since 2013 because of this the UN imposed an arms embargo on them.
- Since a meeting last month, the UN Security Council agreed to possibly ease the embargo. This would allow supplies for government forces fighting the militias who –for now– have control of a lot of territory in CAR. Counterproductive embargo to say less?
- A quarter of the country’s population; 4.5 million has been displaced due to the violence with thousands of lives lost.
Is saving the planet & influencing other African countries to follow suit through leading by example.
In 2016 Kigali; the capital, began the “car-free day”, a monthly event powered by willing citizens. However, in 2017, after an attendance from President Paul Kagame-& under his recommendations- it bloomed to a bi-weekly event.
- Collective exercises are encouraged on Car-Free day.
“It started as a response to the lack of enough sports and gym facilitates where people can go and exercise, beyond the collective exercises other partners like the Ministry of Health joined to offer free testing for conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, eye testing, breast cancer and so on,” said Jean-Claude Ruzindana, the director of social services at the City of Kigali.
- Car-Free day actively reduces the spread of non-communicable diseases as stated by Ruzindana. It serves an easy platform for Rwanda’s Biometrical Centre to reach a large group of Rwandese people at once & also effectively educate them on healthier life alternative, following up on people with preexisting medical conditions.
- The day runs for 27 hours. Starting from 7am to 10am the following day. On Car-Free day Kigali shuts off its roads; from Centenary House in town to Amahoro stadium. All testings & group exercises take place at the Rwanda Revenue Authorities headquarters.
- Although the day is still centered around just the capital; Kigali, the Rwandese government has expressed their plans to expand with the initiative,outside of the city.
- The Car-Free initiative has been so successful even it’s being adopted by a couple other African countries like Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe & Ethiopia; who held their 2nd Car-Free day event in major cities.