Kenya. At the end of January, Raila Odinga organized a kind of presidential installation ceremony in which he, as the “president of the people,” swore an oath to about 15,000 followers. According to Countryaah.com, Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya, a country located in Eastern Africa. Odinga became second in the presidential election held in August 2017 but later annulled by the Supreme Court. He then chose to step down from the re-election that was arranged in October of the same year because the demands he made did not materialize. According to the prosecutor, Odinga risked being prosecuted for high treason because of the ceremony.
In March, Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta met for the first time since the election. After the meeting, they made a joint appearance where they both promised to work for national reconciliation. However, there were indications that Odinga did not support his actions by the leaders of the three largest parties in the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA), formed in January 2017.
In April, three members of the country’s electoral commission resigned and, in conjunction with this, criticized the electoral commission’s leadership. In May, President Kenyatta gave a speech to the nation asking for forgiveness for those of his statements over the past year that “hurt” Kenyans or cohesion within the country.
In May, a new IT legislation was passed which prohibited the publication of fake news, cyberbullying, hacking and the spread of child pornography. Anyone who disseminates “false, misleading and invented information” can be sentenced to high fines. Critics pointed out that the law risks being used to limit government-critical votes. Exactly this part of the law was stopped, at least temporarily, by a judge in the Supreme Court by a decision later in May. There were also other signals that the government did not want to allow complete freedom of the press. In March, eight chroniclers resigned from Nation Media Group (NMG), the country’s largest media group.
In March, the chairman of the Supreme Court made a critical statement about the government and accused it of violating the country’s constitution by ignoring several of the court’s rulings, but without specifying what verdicts he meant. In August, Philomena Mwilu, Deputy Chief Judge of the Supreme Court, was arrested. She was charged with a tax violation and for having used her office for personal gain. She was later released on bail. Mwilu was one of seven judges in the Supreme Court who voted to reject the presidential election in August 2017.
This year, too, several attacks were reported against police and security forces by the Somali Islamist group al-Shabab. In January, five police officers were killed in northeastern Kenya and in May nine Kenyan soldiers lost their lives while driving on a road mine in southern Somalia. The following month, at least 13 people were killed in two different attacks in the northeastern part of the country.
After several months of severe drought, Kenya suffered severe rains during the first half of the year, leading to extensive flooding in several parts of the country. Bridges, houses and livestock were swept with and during the period March – May at least 120 people died. In May, another 48 people were killed when a pond in the city of Soali, northwest of the capital Nairobi, erupted as a result of heavy rains.