Kenya + 1 more

East Africa: IRIN News Briefs, 16 December

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KENYA: Parallel processes set up to review constitution
Two parallel processes were set up on Wednesday to review Kenya's constitution, news organisations reported. Some 89 members of parliament and 21 opposition members set up a select committee to review the "defective" constitution of Kenya review act, the state-owned Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) said. At the same time, a meeting called by the religious community to revive the stalled constitution process also launched its own review, to be spearheaded by the clergy.

The Kenyan constitutional review process - which was passed by parliament after consultations with "stakeholders" including legislators, representatives of religious organisations and civil society - hit a snag when the ruling party KANU rescinded a decision that these representatives would collect views from members of the public. A protracted war of words has gone on for over eight months and the review process is currently deadlocked, with KANU insisting that it be handled by parliament. Civil society and religious groups, for their part, want a "people-driven" constitution.

KENYA: Garissa curfew to stay

Kenya's northeastern provincial commissioner Maurice Makhanu on Tuesday said that the curfew imposed on Garissa town in central Kenya last Sunday will not be reversed until the security situation in the area improves, local news organisations reported. He said the government was also planning other punitive measures, including a massive security operation to flush out armed bandits from Garissa. Last Thursday security forces foiled an attack on a homestead in the Chardende area of Madogo division. They reportedly fought heavily armed clansmen who had crossed into the district on a retaliation mission. Tribal fighting in the area last month left over 15 people dead and several others with gun wounds.

KENYA: Weevils destroy water hyacinth

Weevils, which were introduced in Lake Victoria to help control the water hyacinth weed, have reportedly wiped out over 60 percent of the weed mass, the 'East African Standard' reported on Wednesday. "Our estimation is that within the next two years, very little mass of the hyacinth weed will remain floating in the lake," a director of the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Stephen Njoka, was quoted as saying. Since 1997, about 100,000 weevils have been introduced into the lake at some 30 sites.

UGANDA: Rebel leaders to be relocated from Sudan

Eight of the 24 top commanders of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), including its leader Joseph Kony, are to be relocated later this month from Sudan to countries of their choice, the semi-official 'New Vision' newspaper reported on Thursday. It said the eight have already been separated from their fighters and captives in camps south of Juba city. The paper also said that at least 200 captives in Sudan, most of them girls, will be the first batch to be brought to Uganda. "The return will be in phases," it said. The move follows a peace agreement signed in Nairobi recently between the presidents of Uganda and Sudan.

UGANDA: Ten MPs survive ambush in Karamoja

One person sustained bullet wounds when 10 Ugandan MPs, including eight from Karamoja, were ambushed by a group of Karamojong Matheniko warriors near Moroto town last week. The 'New Vision' reported that the MPs were traveling to Moroto and Kotido to inaugurate the district movement committees.

UGANDA: Kampala residents without toilets to face arrest

The Kampala City Council (KCC) will, from next January, arrest and prosecute Kampala residents who do not have toilets, the independent 'Monitor' newspaper said. It quoted the city health and environment secretary, Joyce Kikomeko, as saying the KCC had agreed to enforce a law requiring each home and commercial premises to have a prescribed standard toilet. "We have decided to set up sanitation courts," she said. "These courts shall try people who have abused the city law that requires places where people live and work to be provided with sanitation facilities."

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