What’s Going On: Kenya uphold Ruto’s presidential win, Measles outbreak in Zimbabwe & more

Kenya will swear in a new president on Tuesday

“What’s Going On” Tallies Notable News Headlines From Across The Continent — The Good, The Bad, And The Horrible — As A Way Of Ensuring That We All Become A More Sagacious African Generation. With This Column, We’re Hoping To Disseminate The Latest Happenings In Our Socio-Political Climate From Across The Continent, Whilst Starting A Conversation About What’s Important For Us To All Discuss. From Political Affairs To Socio-Economic Issues, ‘What’s Going On’ Will Discuss Just That.

Kenya’s Supreme Court upholds William Ruto’s presidential win

Following William Ruto’s win at the presidential poll in August, the Supreme Court has on Monday morning unanimously upheld the election’s results. The announcement of the Supreme Court’s decision now paves the way for Ruto to be sworn in as the next president of Kenya, next week Tuesday. Earlier last month, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati, on August 15, 2022, declared William Ruto the winner after garnering 7,176,141 votes, representing 50.49 percent of the total votes cast and he achieved the minimum number of 39 counties at 25%.

His main rival Raila Odinga of the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya coalition party who garnered 6,942,930 votes representing 48 percent of the votes cast. This announcement came amid a divide within the electoral commission over the declared outcome, which showed that the deputy president defeated the longtime opposition leader, Raila Odinga, and narrowly avoided a runoff. More than half of the commissioners disowned the vote, terming the process “opaque”, and Odinga launched a challenge in the court, alleging fraud, voter suppression, and impunity by the commission’s chair, whom he claimed acted unilaterally. Chief Justice Martha Koome also dismissed assertions that the walkout by the four IEBC Commissioners affected the final tallying of the presidential election insisting the quartet never presented any evidence in court to show that the results were compromised.

While delivering the abridged version of the judgment, Chief Justice Martha Koome emphasised the petitioners challenging Ruto’s win failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that there was electoral malpractice to warrant annulment. 

Building collapses in Lagos, leaving five dead

This week, five people are reportedly dead following the collapse of a three-story building in Lagos. The construction of the building was halted by the Lagos State government a year ago due to construction challenges. According to the office coordinator for the Lagos National Emergency Management Agency(LASEMA)  in Lagos state, Ibrahim Farinloye, it is unclear how many casualties were sustained at the time of the collapse due to the uncertain number of inhabitants in the building. However, he announced that ”the emergency management agency has been able to rescue twenty-three people among them seven children and 16 adults. 

Following the tragic accident, Lagos state Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu ordered the arrest of the developer of the building, while the Lagos Physical Planning Commissioner, Idris Salako resigned from his post. His departure came after an increase in building collapses during his tenure. Over the past few months, Lagos has experienced five such incidents in 2021 the collapse of a 21-story building in November which killed more than 40 people and in January 2022 where a church collapsed in Asaba killing three people.

South African village wins suit against Shell Oil Corporation

A judicial panel in Johannesburg has ordered a halt to Shell’s plan to explore South Africa’s Eastern cape coastline for oil and gas. In their ruling the residing judges state that the residents were not properly consulted on the project and therefore the development cannot take place as planned. This comes a year after the local residents were alarmed after n Shell announced plans to search for the deposits of oil and gas its geologists suspected lay hidden beneath the Indian Ocean seabed.

The judicial panel concurred, saying the process failed to properly notify the people living along the coast. According to the communities involved, Shell notified them of their plans to search for oil 30 days before the activity was set to begin and while they had put up a notice in the newspaper in English and Afrikaans, Shell failed to translate the notice to isiXhosa which is the main language in the remote villages. According to AJ Plus, Shell planned sonic booms every 10 seconds, threatening marine life like whales, say groups. Local and international activists say oil and gas will not bring jobs, but “destroy our livelihoods.”

Measles Outbreak in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has been fighting against a measles outbreak which has claimed more than 698 lives since it began in April.  According to the health ministry, the number of deaths is increasing at an alarming rate as the latest figures are four times higher, despite the presence of a vaccine being distributed. 

Children between six months and 15 years are the most affected especially those from religious organisations which do not believe in vaccination. The president of Medical and Dental Practitioners of Zimbabwe, Dr. Johannes Marisa, advised the government to use coercive measures. In a statement, he emphasised, “due to the resistance, education may not be enough, the government should ensure no one is allowed to refuse vaccination of their children.” 

The religious groups in Zimbabwe are the biggest opposers as they often tell their members to rely on Self-proclaimed prophets for healing. Zimbabwe had mass vaccination against Measles during the Covid 19 period as it was easy to access the citizens. The health ministry states the resumption of social interaction has increased the rate at which Measles is spread as it is now prevalent in previously unaffected areas. 

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