What’s Going On: Building Collapse in Kenya, Ebola Outbreak in Uganda & More
Notable headlines from around the continent
Notable headlines from around the continent
“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.
A seven-story building in Kiambu, Kenya has collapsed killing at least three people while several others are receiving treatment at a local hospital. Among the deceased include a mother and her two children after the building caved onto adjacent residential houses. According to Kiambu county Governor Kimani Wamatangi, the building was not built as per the required standards and was still under construction.
The catastrophe occurred despite guidelines recently established by the government to reduce the surge in building collapses around the nation. This is not the first time Kenyans are lamenting poorly constructed buildings in the country. Last year in October, a nine-story building under construction in Kiambu County, collapsed, Luckily, no workers were on site given it was on Sunday. On August 31 last year, another five-story building under construction in Gachie, Kiambu collapsed, killing five people.
Bernard Njiraini, the managing director of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), declared that some of the fundamental building materials would receive a quality increase. This comprises building structures thus it was a major factor in the nation’s building collapses. Kenya Red Cross officials, Kiambu County Fire and Disaster Management Department, Kenya Police, and Kenya Defense Forces are combing through the debris to evacuate over ten people who are said to be trapped.
Devastating News This Morning!
I was driving to the office this morning, and was diverted to the site of a building under construction that collapsed at Kirigiti in Kiambu Town. pic.twitter.com/a2fJirRq3v
— Governor Kimani Wamatangi 🇰🇪 (@KWamatangi) September 26, 2022
The health authorities in Uganda on Tuesday declared an outbreak of Ebola after a case of the relatively rare Sudan strain was confirmed in the central part of the country. The first casualty was a 24-year-old man who showed symptoms such as vomiting and died a few days later. The World Health Organisation has said the risk to Uganda is high since there is no vaccine as the treatment is mainly supportive care and the outbreak may have started 3 weeks before the first case was detected, raising the possibility of several undetected transmission chains. According to the Uganda Health ministry, there were 31 confirmed and suspected cases as of Saturday, a sharp spike from the seven cases registered on Tuesday, when the outbreak was first confirmed. The total confirmed and suspected Ebola deaths have also increased exponentially from one to 20.
Dr. Henry Kyobe, Uganda’s Ebola incident commander, said the majority of the cases are in Mubende, the latest Ebola epicenter. Travel restrictions on non-essential work and a ban on large public gatherings have already been imposed in Mubende, said health ministry spokeswoman Emma Ainebyoona. In addition, the outbreak was detected among individuals living around an active local gold mine. Bayo Fatunmbi, head of disease prevention and control at the World Health Organization office in Uganda, told reporters that the Sudan strain is rare and had only occurred in Sudan in 1976 and in Uganda in 2011. He added various vaccines are being tested
Clashes between two militias affiliated with Libya’s Government of National Unity have left five dead, including a 10-year-old girl, and 13 injured. Fighting broke out late on Sunday between armed factions in the west of the capital Tripoli. The clashes reportedly broke out after one militia fired at a member of its rival, both affiliated with the Tripoli-based government of Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah. Footage circulating online shows heavy fire lighting up the sky at night. The clashes caused widespread panic among residents, and many government facilities and businesses in the town closed down.
The latest clashes come barely a month after 32 people were killed in Tripoli in fighting between militias loyal to rival political leaders. Both sides blamed the other for the violence, the worst fighting seen in the country in recent months. During the military confrontation, forces loyal to Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, the prime minister of the internationally recognized Government of National Unity (GNU), fought with armed groups of Fathi Bashagha, the former interior minister of the previous Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, which preceded the GNU.
The GNU was formed last year with an expectation to unite the war-torn country’s eastern and western political factions by holding a fair election, in which many have invested their hopes to bring political stability to the Northern African state. But the election has not materialized until now. Libya has been undergoing political war since the murder of longtime dictator Muammar Ghadafi in 2011. Since then there has been conflicting with the transition of power between split administrations each backed by rogue militias.
Tunisian President Kais Saied has issued a presidential decree amending the country’s electoral law known as the Independent High Authority for Elections before the legislative elections in December. Under Saied’s decree, the commission will be reformed with seven members, including three judges and an information specialist and all shall be appointed by the president himself. Kais Saeid termed the amends as necessary to avoid the struggle of power between political leaders. The decree amends Tunisia’s electoral law which dates back to May 2014, was published in the official gazette late on Thursday.
Under the new law, people would vote for individuals rather than lists as in the previous elections. The number of seats in parliament has also reduced from 217 to 161. Amendments also included conditions for candidates and voters, recommendations for running in elections, a deadline for appealing results, guidelines for campaigning, and more.
The electoral amendments have received mixed feedback so far, with some critics saying the law is based on exclusion and favors the president’s individualistic tendencies. However, Mr. Saied denied these claims in yesterday’s Council of Ministers meeting, saying: “The upcoming elections will not exclude anyone once they have met all objective conditions as laid out in the electoral law.” Tunisia has been undergoing a political crisis since 2021 under Saeid’s rule after he dismissed the government and assumed executive authority.