EAST AFRICA’S FIRST WEEK OF 2010

Jean-Francois Dupaquier, a French journalist revealed manipulation of evidence in the case that saw Rwandan officials being indicted by French judge Louis Bruguiere for allegedly shooting down president Juvenal Habayarimana’s plane. In his report, Dupaquier revealed how Bruguiere knowingly or unknowingly decided to rely on information and recorded statements which were blatantly manipulated.

Jean-Francois Dupaquier, a French journalist revealed manipulation of evidence in the case that saw Rwandan officials being indicted by French judge Louis Bruguiere for allegedly shooting down president Juvenal Habayarimana’s plane.

In his report, Dupaquier revealed how Bruguiere knowingly or unknowingly decided to rely on information and recorded statements which were blatantly manipulated.

In addition, many key witnesses that Bruguiere used to file the indictments have as by now retracted their statements.

The big question is whether Judge Bruguiere was aware that he was relying on false information to carry out the indictment.

In a follow up to that, President Paul Kagame on Thursday held a meeting with the visiting French foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner, verification that showed the improved relationship between Rwanda and France.

The two countries restored relations a month ago after very many years of hardships and confrontations. President Nicholas Sarkozy of France is expected to visit Rwanda next month in a move that will seal the deal.

There seems a lonely judge out there who is freezing at the idea.

The controversial land bill in Uganda was finally signed off on Wednesday by President Yoweri Museveni, much to the anger of Buganda kingdom which has shown public dislike for it since it came into question.

The new land law will seek to protect tenants from illegal evictions by landlords and by Buganda being the biggest land owner in Uganda, few would wonder why they are furious.

Buganda has affirmed that the law will be discarded just like Idi Amin’s Land Reform Decree he introduced in 1975 but thrown out 20 years later. It seems all they want to listen to is Federo.

The Inspector General of Government (IGG) of Uganda announced that it will confiscate the property of three leaders whose wealth was found to be in excess compared to their income.

This comes after a hunt of officials who abuse their offices and cause financial loss to the country.

The acting IGG Raphael Baku named one of the three officials as Nestor Gasasira, the principle accountant at the Ministry of Health whose property was valued at Shs1.2b dwarfing his income. Baku however, did not disclose the identity of the other two leaders in parliament saying that he had “forgotten their names”. Pardon? Forgotten or untouchable?

Police in Kenya was accused of siding with drug lords instead of protecting people from their violence. One Mohammed Abdullah reported that he took the police to a drug dealer’s house minutes after he had escaped.

Later, the suspect’s wife accused Mohammed for breaking into the house and in a twinkle of an eye he was whisked away and jailed by the same policemen he had taken to arrest the drug lord.

It is reported that many policemen are earning a lot from protecting the businesses of the drug lords and therefore, intimidating the locals into silence. Now that the police can’t be trusted to keep law and order, should power be given to the mob?

The Kenya media suffered heavily after the government set new laws to regulate the industry. Though the implementation has not yet began, media owners have been warned that they will be shut down if they delay to send nominees to the Broadcasting Council to sign.

The regulations are believed to give the government control over programming, especially during the electioneering periods.

Tanzania’s economy is awaiting a very huge boost if their hopes of oil in the Ruvuma basin are confirmed true. Drilling started on Tuesday by Aminex Firm and explorers say that the basin is capable of producing 500 barrels of oil for Tanzania. Hopefully the black gold will bring smiles and not grief like has happened in some other parts of Africa.

Following next year’s presidential elections in Burundi, the United Nations has come out to ensure that the peace process in there is not compromised again. In his report to the Security Council, the U.N General Secretary Ban Ki-moon said that Burundi must be assisted to ensure that the peace gains achieved be consolidated before, during and after the elections so that the country can continue on its road to development.

However, he remains stern on the reports on restrictions to freedom and violence cause by youth groups associated with certain political parties.

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