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Wednesday, April 7, 1999 Published at 18:01 GMT 19:01 UK


East Africa: The week in review



In this week's report compiled by BBC Monitoring:

New government for Uganda

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni sacked nine ministers from the cabinet after allegations by a parliamentary select committee of mismanagement and corruption.

Third Deputy Prime Minister, Paul Orono Etiang was dropped, along with the Energy Minister, Sir Richard Kaijuka, `New Vision' newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Also, Minister of State for Planning Sam Kutesa lost his post, following a recent parliamentary censure on charges of influence peddling, the paper said.

Vice-President Specioza Wandira Kazibwe stays on as deputy head of state, but loses her post as agriculture minister.

Prime Minister Kintu Musoke also left the cabinet, but this was in line with a previous request he had made to retire after reaching the age of 60, the paper said.


[ image: President Yoweri Museveni's cabinet was accused of corruption]
President Yoweri Museveni's cabinet was accused of corruption
The reshuffle comes after the resignation of Matthew Rukikaire from his post as minister of state for privatization following a scathing parliamentary report on his handling of the programme.

He has been replaced by Manzi Tumubweine, formerly in charge at the Ministry of Trade.

New faces in the cabinet include Edward Rugumayo, previously education minister under Idi Amin, and chairman of the National Consultative Council in the post-Amin period. He subsequently served as High Commissioner to South Africa.

The team is led by the new Prime Minister, Apolo Nsibambi, who has previously held government posts as minister for education, and later the portfolio for public service.

First Deputy Prime Minister is Eriya Kategaya, and the second is Moses Ali, holding the portfolios for foreign affairs and trade and industry respectively.

Kenya's Moi calls for unity

As Kenya saw the appointment of a vice-president following a 15-month gap in the post, President Daniel arap Moi called on all parties to work together as the country underwent various reform programmes.

"The short term consequences of structural adjustment policies are painfully severe, particularly on the low income earners," Moi said in a speech opening the third session of the eighth parliament on Tuesday, broadcast by Kenyan radio.

"These policies have resulted in higher levels of unemployment and have worsened the poverty situation in the country."


[ image: Moi said the government was working to revive Kenya's economy]
Moi said the government was working to revive Kenya's economy
But he said his government was doing what it could to revive the economy and soften the blow for the agricultural sector.

"My government has implemented various policy measures to revitalise the economy.

"Although this has yielded positive results, low economic growth rate in general and low productivity in the agricultural sector, in particular, are areas that require priority attention from all of us.

"As we continue with liberalisation process, we must at the same time review existing laws and come up with new laws that will cushion our farmers against the adverse effect of the process."

And he called on politicians to work together for the benefit of the country.

"I urge honourable members to cast aside personal interest and join hands in working for the common good of our country and people," he said.

"In this regard, the constitutional reform process is important to all of us. Kenyans are anxious to see the process move forward.

"As I have said before, the document that will come out of the constitutional reform process will not be the property of any one political party.

"It will belong to all Kenyans. I therefore urge political parties to work together to find a mutually acceptable solution to the current stalemate in the process."


[ image: Moi: 'Security will track down criminals']
Moi: 'Security will track down criminals'
But he went on to urge vigilance against threats from abroad.

"In regard to security, we shall need to improve vigilance on all our borders, because of increased insecurity in the neighbouring countries," he said to applause from his audience.

"Towards this end, the government has taken the necessary action to increase budgetary resources that will be applied towards strengthening the security of our borders.

"And security personnel are under instruction to track down criminals and bring them to justice.

"Kenyans have a duty to report suspicious persons, whether they are Kenyans or foreigners, so that our law enforcement agents can weed out criminals from our midst."

His speech came on the same day that George Saitoti was e-instated as vice-president - the first time the post has been filled since Moi's re-election in December 1997.

Saitoti had held the post himself for nine years until that point, but was not given a new term.

At the time it was suggested that this was to appease Western donors after Saitoti was linked to a fraud case - the Goldenberg scandal - involving the payout of more than 100m dollars for non-existent gold and diamond exports as part of a compensation scheme for businessman Kamlesh Pattni.

Moi himself witnessed Saitoti's Tuesday swearing in ceremony, and congratulated him, saying that the post carried " immense responsibility" , Kenyan radio reported.

The main opposition Democratic Party leader, Mwai Kibaki, also welcomed Saitoti's appointment, along with the Catholic Church and the transport and trade ministers, William Ole Ntimama and Joseph Kamotho.

Kenyan anti-corruption squad suspended

The Kenyan High Court has suspended the entire Kenya Anti-Corruption Authority Board after a row over who should be in charge of it.

Justice Mbogholi made the order following an application by former head of the squad John Harun Mwau challenging the appointment of his successor Aaron Gitonga Ringera, the Kenya News Agency reported on Tuesday.

Mwau said Ringera's appointment was unconstitutional.

Rwandan PM faces genocide probe

The Rwandan government is to investigate allegations that Prime Minister Celestin Rwigema participated in the 1994 genocide.


[ image: A cemetery at the site of a Rwandan massacre]
A cemetery at the site of a Rwandan massacre
Announcing the investigation at the weekend, Vice-President and Defence Minister Paul Kagame said the charges were serious, but was quick to point out that Rwigema was not guilty until the facts in the case had been established, the Rwandan news agency RNA reported on Monday.

"When there are serious accusations against a personality like the prime minister or any other leader of his calibre, one has to treat it seriously, and, more so, carefully," Kagame told a news conference at his home, adding that the government would not be "carried away by sentiments or emotions".

Rwigema, leader of the Hutu Democratic Republican Party (MDR), has been cited in several trials of genocide suspects as having distributed arms to Hutu militias and drawing up lists of Tutsis to be killed.

He has always denied the allegations, blaming them on his enemies in the MDR, which is widely held to be responsible for the deaths of between 500,000 and 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in the killings.

Somaliland president hails Yemen visit

The president of the self-proclaimed Republic of Somaliland, Muhammad Hajj Ibrahim Egal, has spoken of "deep-rooted bonds" with Yemen following a recent visit.

"We went to Yemen despite the bad blood that existed between us. This [bad blood] is because we recognized the government of Aden when it declared its independence," Egal said, in remarks published by the Somali newspaper `Xog-Ogaal' on Monday.


[ image: Egal: 'People of Yemen were brotherly']
Egal: 'People of Yemen were brotherly'
"After a few months, San'a sent us a delegation led by the presidential adviser inviting us to their country. We did not oblige. They must have thought that we were scared.

"When we went there we expected to find people angry with us, with bad feelings and resentment towards us. That did not happen.

"Instead, we found people who were brotherly. We realised that there were deep-rooted bonds between us through Islam and Arabism, as well as [Yemen] being the only country with which we share the Somali language.

"After discussions with the Yemeni authorities, we were informed that the Arab world is furious with us, for we seem to be a people who are happy with the suffering of our brothers [in southern Somalia].

"The Arabs had been told that Somalilanders celebrate and applaud whenever there is suffering in Mogadishu, Kismaayo, Baidoa or Garoowe.

"We were made to look like people who hate other Somalis, who want nothing good for other Somalis," Egal said.

"However, when we explained to them our position regarding Somalia, they realized how badly they had been misled.

"We told them that peace in Somalia is in our interest since the world has been saying to us `Your issue is something that is between Somalis'."

Forces pull out of North Somali town

Forces loyal to the self-declared Somaliland and Puntland administrations have agreed to pull out of the disputed town of Baraan in northeastern Somalia's Sool Region.

The Somali newspaper `Ayaamaha' reported that a local leader, Sultan Sa'id, had succeeded in brokering an agreement, under which the two sides are forbidden from re-entering the town.

A report in the paper at the end of last week said a "military showdown" was imminent, after Puntland militiamen took over the administration.

BBC Monitoring (http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk), based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.



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