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Deputy Chief Justice Facing Corruption Charges Gets Bail

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Deputy Chief Justice Facing Corruption Charges Gets Bail

Kenya’s deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, who was arrested on Tuesday had been arraigned and granted bail by the country’s anti-corruption court.

She was arraigned before the anti-corruption court in Nairobi on abuse of office and tax evasion charges.

Judge Mwilu, the second highest judge, was charged alongside Stanley Muluvi Kiima, an advocate.

The two face a total of 13 charges to monies allegedly received from collapsed Imperial Bank.

Justice Mwilu had been arrested at about 2pm local time at the Supreme Court.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji said there was evidence that she had abused her office for personal gain and accepted money as a gift in dubious circumstances.

She is also accused of failing to pay taxes and executing a security belonging to the Imperial Bank, which collapsed in 2015, under false pretences.

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“This afternoon, I informed Chief Justice David Maraga of my decision to grant consent for the arrest and prosecution of the deputy chief justice, Lady Justice, Philomena Mbete Mwilu, on criminal charges,” Mr Haji told journalists.

“This decision has not been taken lightly,” he added, saying “the dignity and independence of the judiciary is dear to us.”

Mr Haji issued a warning to judges and investigators who, “use their position to enrich themselves at the expense of the Kenyan people.”

Justice Mwilu is one of seven members of the Supreme Court, and was among the judges who nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta initial election win in August 2017, leading to the controversial holding of a fresh vote.

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She was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2016 and shot into the limelight for her role in annulling the President’s poll win.

In October, Mwilu’s bodyguard was shot and killed the day before the Supreme Court was to hear a petition to postpone the re-run.

As a result, Mwilu did not attend the hearing and the lack of a quorum meant the election went ahead unchallenged.

Mr Haji said her arrest was part of an ongoing crackdown against corruption, which has seen several high-ranking officials hauled into court, a rarity in graft-wracked Kenya whose citizens rarely see justice done.

“Many other cases are under investigation … and Kenyans should expect fresh investigations and prosecutions on a regular basis,” he added.

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Asked by a journalist whether Mwilu’s prosecution was related to Kenyatta’s threat to “fix the judiciary” after the annulment of his initial election, Haji insisted the decision was independently taken.

“We are an independent institution and we are not being directed by anyone or by any statements given out there, this decision was made independently of all other matters and factors,” he said.

Justice Mwilu was released on a personal bond of Ksh5 million ($50,000) and ordered to appear before the court on Wednesday at 9am local time together with her co-accused Stanley Muluvi.

East African

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African News

Morocco: Teachers Protest Over Poor Working Conditions

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Morocco: Teachers Protest Over Poor Working Condition

More than ten thousand Moroccan teachers have staged a new protest in the capital, Rabat, on Sunday to demand better working conditions.  This followed another demonstration that was broken up by police.

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These nationwide teacher strikes in Morocco have continued for three weeks and have drawn at least seventy-thousand public school teachers, marching across the country to protest against a new teacher employment contract they see as an attack on their rights and financial security.

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Their demands include legal due process for teachers facing dismissal, protection of the right to strike, periodic pay increases, increased teacher training, improved student transport and construction of more schools.

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Cyclone Idai: Cases Of Cholera Reported In Storm-Hit Areas

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Cyclone Idai: Cases Of Cholera Reported In Hit Areas

Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe were hit last week by one of the biggest and most aggressive cyclones ever recorded in the Southern African region.  It took the storm a few hours to kill hundreds, topple homes, uproot trees and leave scores of residents submerged in water.

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Mozambique’s third largest city, Beira, received the largest share of the devastation.  The Port City was turned upside down.  The extent of the devastation is massive, and the city is still primarily without electricity, running water and mobile phone service.

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Relief organizations, including the international federation of the red cross and red crescent societies, say some cases of cholera had already been reported.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe storm victims now face grief and hunger.  The country’s entertainment stars have organized a concert to raise funds to help victims.  There is growing fear of starvation in communities that have been cut off by smashed bridges or destroyed roads.

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UN says Death Toll From Massacre In Mali Now Up To 134

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United Nations says Death Toll From Massacre In Mali Now 134

The United Nations says death toll from massacre in a village in Mali has risen to 134.

An ethnic Dogon militia, already blamed for scores of attacks in central Mali over the past year, is said to have attacked an ethnic village just before dawn on Saturday. The militia accused the ethnic community of having ties to jihadist groups.

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A visiting UN representative said in Bamako the killings are an “unspeakable attack.”  Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Gutterres condemned the attack and called on Malian authorities to swiftly investigate and bring perpetrators to justice.

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