What’s Going On: Liberia confirms third female chief justice, Kenya bans local media from presidential inauguration

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.

Kenya’s local media barred from Ruto inauguration

On Tuesday, September 13, 2022, Kenya’s President-elect William Ruto will take the Oath of Office, becoming Kenya’s fifth president since independence. The outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta will hand over the instruments of power including a ceremonial sword and a copy of Kenya’s Constitution to Ruto.

In the latest development, Ruto’s team has barred local media from covering the presidential inauguration, choosing to offer exclusive broadcast rights to Multichoice Kenya Ltd, an affiliate of a South African Pay-TV group. This means that local broadcasters will only get access to the inauguration through Multichoice’s live feed.

Although Kenyan national broadcaster KBC has a minority shareholding at Multichoice Kenya Ltd, the move has drawn backlash from local media. “…the optics of giving a foreign broadcaster the sole responsibility to cover a state function are cringeworthy,” Kenya’s Daily Nation wrote in its editorial. According to BBC Africa, Ruto’s team has defended the move, citing that the contractor will “provide a channel for the rest of Africa.”

Liberia confirms its third-ever female Chief Justice

The Liberian senate has confirmed Justice Sie-A-Nyene Gyapay Yuoh as the new chief justice. She becomes the third female chief justice in Liberia’s 175 years of existence and the first since 2003.

Justice Yuoh was one of two female judges currently in the five-member Supreme Court. She takes over from Francis Saye Korkpor who retires this month after reaching the constitutional retirement age of 70. Liberia’s previous two female chief justices were Frances Johnson Allison and Gloria Musu Scott.

FNDC lodge complaint against Guinean military ruler

Guinea’s opposition movement The National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC) filed a complaint in Paris on Thursday against Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, the head of Guinea’s transitional authorities.

According to Africanews, the plaintiffs consist of a coalition of parties, trade unions, and civil society organisations together with relatives of three people killed during anti-junta demonstrations and of one person who died in custody. Colonel Mamady Doumbouya is accused of “complicity in torture” and “voluntary manslaughter,” as he is a recognisable voice in the chain of command.

The plaintiffs chose to file the complaint to the French judiciary because Doubouya holds French citizenship and because they fear there won’t be a “credible process in Guinea.” In early August, the Guinean military authorities dissolved (FNDC) under a decree after the movement initiated two days of demonstrations on July 28 and 29, in which five people were killed.

Boat collision in Madagascar

On Sunday evening, on the Loza River near the northwestern town of Antsohihy in Madagascar, a cargo ship collided with a speedboat carrying 35 people, including children. The speedboat sank. Eyewitnesses reported that nine people died while some passengers managed to swim to shore.

According to Jean-Edmond Randrianantenaina, director general of the Maritime and Port Management Authority (APMF), the whereabouts of the other passengers are still unknown. He also said that the accident could be due to the lack of lighting on the boat. The crew of the cargo ship fled after the collision but they have been caught and are under interrogation.

Death toll rises to eleven in Tunisia following boat mishap

On Saturday night, Tunisia’s coastguards recovered five additional bodies from a shipwreck that happened on Tuesday, September 6, 2022, bringing the death toll to 11. The Tunisian boat, which was carrying 37 migrants to Italy, set off from the Sfax region and sank around 40 miles further up the coast near Chebba, Mahdia. The coastguards have also rescued 14 people while 12 others remain missing.

According to the UN agency the International Organization for Migration, more than 1,000 migrants have died or gone missing this year in an attempt to cross the central Mediterranean. From that figure of migrants classified as dead or missing, 960 are thought to have drowned.

The Italian island of Lampedusa, which lies in between the eastern coast of Tunisia and Sicily, is often a destination for those attempting to reach Europe from North Africa.