The ALN takes note of a range of attacks and reports of Kenyan post-election violence on supporters of the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition. After the nullification of election results by the Kenyan Supreme Court, the NASA coalition, lead by Raila Odinga of ALN member party, the ODM, announced that they would not be participating in subsequent elections. They asserted that the second round of elections could not possibly take place fairly as there was not sufficient time to reform the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and rid it of irregularities noted during the first round of elections.
Since the announcement and consequential election success of Jubilee and President Uhuru Kenyatta, there have been reports of widespread oppression, intimidation and violence against NASA supporters, with some news sources reporting at least 66 people dead. Most recently, on 17 November, protesters escorting Odinga’s motorcade from Nairobi airport was attacked by state police, killing at least 5 people. Violence erupted and clashes with the police spread into other parts of the Kenyan capital, where protesters were faced with heavy-handed police brutality.
The ALN condemns this inexcusable use of state power by President Kenyatta to oppress opposition and their mobilisation. We call for peace in Kenya, and urge all Kenyans on both sides to remain calm especially in light of the recent announcement by the Kenyan Supreme Court that it has accepted President Kenyatta’s second election victory. NASA challenged these results in court but the Chief Justice dismissed any legal action.
Democracy, rule of law and constitutionalism must be held high during such troubling times. The ALN supports its sister party, and will continue to fight for liberal values, not only in Kenya, but over the whole of Africa.
The largest political affiliation in Africa, the Africa Liberal Network, takes note of the unfolding events in Zimbabwe. On 14 November 2017 the Zimbabwean military took control of the country and state media, announcing it was targeting “criminals” around President Robert Mugabe shortly after Mugabe fired his Vice-President‚ Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mnangagwa was set to compete for the top ZANU-PF leadership spot against President Mugabe’s wife, Grace Mugabe. In a move that the armed forces have denied as a military coup, Mugabe and his family were placed under house arrest while talks have risen about a potential transitional government, easing him out of his longstanding term in office. At the age of 93, President Mugabe has been at the helm of a struggling country for far too long and the opportunity is ripe for Zimbabwe to transition into a stable, democratic country. We urge the President to step aside peacefully and allow for free and fair elections to take place.
These recent events show the big divide in the ruling party. We encourage and support our liberal friends and opposition parties in Zimbabwe to stand for the values we hold dear: constitutionalism, transparency, rule of law, multiparty democracy and peace. We implore Zimbabweans to remain calm and show non-violent restraint during this time. The ALN is monitoring the situation closely and offer our unwavering support to those who are fighting for a better, democratic Zimbabwe.
The Africa Liberal Youth recently had an opportunity to attend a youth workshop hosted by the Africa Liberal Network and funded by the Liberal Democrats in Johannesburg, South Africa. On the fringe of the Liberal International meeting from 26 – 29 October 2017, they learned about social media use for political organisations, fundraising for projects and got to share company with some of the world’s biggest liberal figures.
Richard Nii Amarh, the Secretary-General of ALY, wrote about their experience at this youth workshop:
“The Africa Liberal Youth (ALY) had the opportunity to stay in Johannesburg between 26 and 29 October 2017 to undertake a workshop on Social Media and Fundraising. In fact this was the same time the Liberal International Executive Committee was having its 199th Executive Committee meeting. This workshop was made possible through the kind funding of the International Office of the Liberal Democrats.
The purpose of this workshop was to equip the Executive Committee of ALY with the necessary skills to take full advantage of social media to achieve its purpose, while at the same time raise funds to finance its operations. All six Executive Committee members of ALY were present: Richard Nii Amarh, Secretary General; Luyolo Mphithi, Treasurer; Jawad Chafil, North Africa Coordinator; Emmanuel Osei, West Africa Coordinator; Hamisi Kapalila, East Africa Coordinator; and Lidia Rauch, Southern Africa Coordinator. These executives were also joined by Tone Bjorndal, Secretary General of IFLRY and Anders Rehnberg, vice President of IFLRY. Harriet Shone of the LibDems International Office and Zanie Ferreira of the ALN were there to supervise the two-day workshop.
The workshop exposed the participants to the intricacies of social media platforms, how they work optimally, how they can be improved, how to use them professionally, etc. The team had the opportunity to audit their own social media platforms based on professional standards provided by the facilitators. This audit helped them identify the strengths and weaknesses of the social media platforms and to help them review them for the better. Marike Groenewald, the facilitator, and Mabine Seabe of the Democratic Alliance should be commended for the sharing of their immense knowledge in social media communication with the participants. The second day of the workshop gave the team an opportunity to balance the balance sheet. It was time to talk money. Participants learnt a lot from, Jonathan Moakes, chief strategist for the Democratic Alliance who had a hand in building up the DA to the admirable party it is today. Fundraising is not always a comfortable subject in politics. ALY has the advantage of not being a political party and might be luckier. Yet it has to prioritise fundraising and use social media to its advantage. Jonathan exposed us to very diverse resources and, most importantly, practical ways of raising funds to support our activities.
On the last day we had the chance to meet in order to plan how we would execute all we had learned. By ourselves, without a facilitator, only us. This gave the Executive Committee the chance to make decisions and provide timelines for these plans. The workshop was not the only thing that happened in Johannesburg. ALY executives had the chance to interact with some LI Executive committee members as well as the opportunity to attend the FNF Freedom Award. It was an amazing opportunity to meet some important Liberals and listen to the freedom situations in some Africa countries.
On the first day of our training, we had the opportunity to have some encouraging words from the President of the Africa Liberal Network, Stevens Mokgalapa. This was so refreshing as we hardly get to meeting him until such occasions. This has been a very great opportunity for ALY. As a continental organisation, with executives from diverse areas in Africa, we hardly get the chance to meet in person. The workshop along with our Executive Meeting left us with a positive feeling and a renewed energy for the ALY.
I would like to thank the funders and hosts, as well as my team for their hard work and dedication.”
PRESS STATEMENT BY ALN PRESIDENT STEVENS MOKGALAPA ON ALN EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING IN DAKAR, SENEGAL
The Executive Committee meeting of the Africa Liberal Network met in Dakar, Senegal from 18 to 20 October for its annual ALN Executive Committee meeting. The focus of the meeting was to review the first months of the new Executive Committee, plan for the year ahead and discuss upcoming activities. In exactly the same place where the network was created 25 years ago, we were able to discuss the future and priorities of the Network.
After two full days of deliberation, the Network reconfirmed their commitment to promoting liberal values on the continent. We were joined by our strategic partners, the Liberal Democrats and Friedrich Naumann Foundation, who are crucial in the work that the ALN does on the continent. We share a vision of a prosperous and integrated Africa. One made up of flourishing democracies that are at peace with one another, in which every person has the right and opportunity to fulfill their potential and be what they want to be. Our mission is to empower liberal parties to grow their support, to increase their influence on politics and to implement liberal policies when in government. During our discussions and planning the following themes and topics stood out as key areas for the Network as well as its partners: human rights, freedom of speech, immigration, the social market economy, sustainable development, the inclusion of under-represented groups such as women and youth, good governance and the battle against corruption. Based on these matters the Network developed a strategic plan for the year ahead, based on three objectives:
Building capacity amongst member parties.
This includes supporting member parties in their attempts to win elections and govern effectively, through coordinating programmes aimed at building their capacity to succeed. Workshops, training materials and assistance in terms of communication and campaign strategy is key. Additionally, the Network aims to create a link between liberal parties in government and those seeking power to enable sharing of best practice and expertise.
Assert the international credibility of the ALN.
By developing relationships with other liberal organisations such as Liberal International, the United Nations Human Rights Council and international election observation missions, we hope to raise the voice of the Network and African liberal parties. This would include running workshops with member parties on topical issues such as human rights, terrorism, corruption, security, economics, etc.
Strive for better inclusion of under-represented groups within the ALN and its member parties.
The Network feels strongly about creating an inclusive platform where under-represented groups are offered the opportunity to participate. This includes strengthening the youth branch of the Network, the Africa Liberal Youth, and supporting member parties in investing in women, not only on a national level but regional as well.
Besides the strategic plan of the Network, upcoming activities were discussed, in particular the upcoming General Assembly. The Executive Committee concluded that the next meeting of ALN member parties will take place in Accra, Ghana, early in 2018. We are looking forward to working with our sister party in Ghana in welcoming liberal parties from all over the continent to this important annual meeting.
We had the distinct pleasure of meeting with two very important liberal figures during our time in Dakar. President of the Republic of Senegal and leader of ALN member party APR–Yakaar, Mr Macky Sall, hosted an audience with the network. We discussed the outstanding work that his party is doing as a beacon of hope for liberalism in Africa, as well as the progress made in Senegal.
Similarly, we had a discussion about returning to Dakar for our next Executive Committee meeting in 2018 and President Sall welcome the network and pledged his support in our efforts. The Network is grateful for President Macky Sall’s warm welcome of the Network to Dakar, as well as his commitment to the work that we are doing.
In addition, the Network were graciously granted an audience with former President of the Republic of Senegal, Secretary-General of ALN member party PDS, and godfather of liberalism, Mr Abdoulaye Wade. We had an informal discussion about the history of the network, his vision of liberalism in Africa today and the difficulties, as well as possible solutions, of the work of the Network. We are grateful for the time former President Abdoulaye Wade granted us.
To conclude, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, arranged a comprehensive workshop on good governance and the extraction of natural resources. It clearly outlined policies and tools that parties in government can use in order to ensure that the extractive industry conducts itself transparently and democratically. It was facilitated by EITI-Senegal (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative) and was attended by our liberal Senegalese sister parties, as well as a delegation from the Liberal Women’s Forum. Besides our Executive Committee meeting, it was an invaluable opportunity to learn best practice from experts in this field.
As the President, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the Executive Committee for their hard work and contributions, our local strategic partners for their assistance in arranging this meeting and workshop, and the Senegalese government and liberal parties for hosting us in the beautiful city of Dakar. We are revitalised and look forward to a fruitful year ahead as well as our return to Senegal next year.
THE AFRICA LIBERAL NETWORK CONGRATULATES LIBERAL PARTNER, GERMAN FREE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, ON ELECTION RESULTS
The Africa Liberal Network would like to extend its congratulations to the German Free Democratic Party (FDP) in the recent elections. The FDP, led by Mr Christian Lindner, secured 10.7% of the votes on 24 September, which is a sizable increase from the previous election. The results have secured a total of 80 seats for the liberal party, which they will retain for the next four years.
The ALN celebrates these happy results with one of its most valuable European liberal partners. The excellent work done by the FDP through their Friedrich Naumann Foundation to promote liberalism in Africa is inestimable. The FNF aims to further individual freedoms and democratic politics through various programs such as civic education and dialogue, sponsorship, research and political consultation, and training workshops. The ALN and FNF share many common interests, mainly the protection of human rights, the rule of law and promotion of democracy, and we hope to continue our fruitful relationship in Africa.
Seeing our partners and fellow liberal parties succeed, whether in Africa or elsewhere, is an inspiration and motivation to keep up the hard work of encouraging liberal values in our respective countries. The ALN wishes the FDP the best of luck in the upcoming term and hopes for a prosperous, liberal Germany.
ALN WELCOMES THE DECISION BY THE KENYAN SUPREME COURT TO NULLIFY ELECTION RESULTS
The largest political affiliation in Africa, the Africa Liberal Network, welcomes the decision by the Kenyan Supreme Court to nullify the results of the national election that took place on 8 August. The National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition petitioned the court to challenge the election results as they claimed that the elections were rigged and fraudulent. Raila Odinga, the leader of the Orange Democratic Movement, a full member of the ALN, and the leader of the NASA coalition lauded the decision by Chief Justice David Maraga on 1 September as a precedent-setting judgment. The Supreme Court reached a conclusion that the elections were not conducted in accordance with electoral law and that a new election has to be held in 60 days. This is the first time that an African court has overturned an election.
NASA announced on Friday that they will also request for a neutral electoral management body to oversee the elections as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as Kenyans have lost faith in the commission to conduct free and fair elections. The IEBC initially declared President Uhuru Kenyatta the winner with 54% of the votes, however NASA quickly disputed these results. They claimed that the IEBC database and servers was hacked and an algorithm introduced to rig the votes.
The ALN applauds the opposition and its sister-party for following due process in their attempt to let democracy reign. The Supreme Court of Kenya has not only made the country proud, but also acted as a shining example for other countries in Africa facing challenging elections. The network hopes that the rest of the country and its citizens will follow suit, and allow constitutionalism and the rule of law to guide them in the days ahead. The network also calls on the Kenyan government and President Kenyatta to respect the decision by the Supreme Court.
The ALN supports its sister party in the upcoming elections, and will continue to fight for liberal values, not only in Kenya, but over the whole of Africa.
DA HOSTS ZAMBIAN OPPOSITION LEADER FOLLOWING HIS RELEASE
The Democratic Alliance (DA), full member of the Africa Liberal Network, hosted Zambian opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, in Cape Town for a press briefing today. This comes soon after the leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND), also a full member of the ALN, was released from prison after false charges of treason were brought against him and four others. Hichilema was hosted by Mmusi Maimane, leader of the DA, South Africa’s official opposition party, and Stevens Mokgalapa, president of the ALN.
Maimane claimed that the “struggle for democracy in Africa has only just begun” and that a new generation has the duty to break the legacies of liberation movements and the dictators they consequently created. He reasserted their shared interest in “the values of democracy, constitutionalism, the rule of law, the advancement of human rights across Africa, intolerance of corruption and a commitment to the defence of an independent judiciary and a free press.”
Hichilema highlighted the facts of his arrest and trial, as well as the current state of affairs in Zambia, stating that President Lungu’s control over the country is akin to that of a dictator. He thanked all involved in his release and reconfirmed his commitment to democracy in Zambia as well as the African continent: “I want the best for Zambia and I want the best for Africa… so let us all work towards that.”
The ALN will continue to work tirelessly with its member parties for the promotion of liberal values in Zambia and the rest of the continent in order to achieve a better future for all. A future that is based on the rule of law, freedom of expression and the entrenchment of human rights.
STATEMENT OF THE AFRICA LIBERAL NETWORK ON THE KENYAN ELECTION RESULTS
The largest political affiliation in Africa, the Africa Liberal Network, takes note of the decision by the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition to challenge the Kenyan election results. Raila Odinga, the leader of the Orange Democratic Movement, a full member of the ALN, and head of NASA, announced on 16 August that they will be petitioning the court to investigate claims of fraudulent and rigged elections. Kenyans took to the polls on 8 August, but the release of the results were soon labelled as false by opposition parties.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declared President Uhuru Kenyatta the winner of the elections with 54% of the votes, however the NASA coalition disputes these results as they claim that the IEBC database and servers has been hacked and an algorithm introduced to rig the votes. International election observation missions labelled the Kenyan elections as free, democratic and fair, and said that it took place without incident, but the Carter Centre raised some concerns about the early release of results. Protests by opposition supporters in certain parts of Kenya was met with police suppression and brutality. “By going to court we aren’t legitimising misplaced calls from some observers for us to concede but are seeking to give to those who braved the long lines in the morning chill and hot afternoon on Tuesday 8 August 2017…a chance to be heard,” reads a statement by Odinga.
The ALN welcomes the decision by NASA to follow due process in challenging these election results and calls on all Kenyans to remain calm and respect the rule of law, without inciting violence. The network also calls on the Kenyan government and President Kenyatta to offer their cooperation in clearing up the matter of the disputed election results. An independent investigation has to be completed without interference in order to let democracy prosper. It is of the utmost importance that peace reigns in these worrying times.
The ALN supports its sister party in its legal battle, and will continue to fight for liberal values, not only in Kenya, but over the whole of Africa.
STATEMENT OF THE AFRICA LIBERAL NETWORK ON THE RELEASE OF ZAMBIAN OPPOSITION LEADER HAKAINDE HICHILEMA
Note to editors:
The Africa Liberal Network is Africa’s largest political affiliation, consisting of 45 member parties from over 25 countries. The following statement and remarks are provided by the newly-elected ALN President, Stevens Mokgalapa MP, the South African Shadow Minister for International Relations and Co-operation (Democratic Alliance).
The Africa Liberal Network welcomes the release of Mr Hakainde Hichilema, leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND), a full member of the ALN and Zambia’s largest opposition party. Hichilema and his five co-accused were arrested on false and trumped up charges of treason in April 2017 but prosecutors dropped all charges on 16 August after the accused pleaded “not guilty”. Considering that treason is an unbailable offence and carries a minimum jail term of 15 years and a maximum sentence of the death penalty, the ALN is very pleased to hear about Hichilema’s safe release.
ALN president, Stevens Mokgalapa, attended the court proceedings in Lusaka on 14 August, where he offered the support of our liberal family. Even though the release of the opposition leader is welcome and happy news, the ALN remains concerned about the state of affairs in Zambia. The political situation remains tense as intimidation of the opposition continues in the shadow of an extended state of emergency implemented by President Lungu in July 2017. MP Mokgalapa met with various stakeholders and the local media as well as individuals from the opposition who indicated that UPND supporters are still facing intimidation by security forces. The state of emergency places unlimited power in the government’s hands, which is being used to intimidate and threaten opposition parties and citizens alike. These measures include the prohibition of public meetings, the closure of roads, imposed curfews and restricted movements, all to be enforced by security forces.
The ALN implores President Lungu and the Zambian government to respect due process, the rule of law, human rights and democratic processes. The network further calls on the President to lift the state of emergency in Zambia as it is being used as an instrument to intimidate opposition and control the media. Zambia can once again reclaim its position as a stellar example of a democracy in Africa if the Zambian government ceases arbitrary prosecution and intimidation of opposition parties and their supporters.
The ALN will continue to work tirelessly with the UPND for the promotion of liberal values in Zambia in order to achieve a better future for all, based on the rule of law, freedom of expression and the entrenchment of human rights.
STATEMENT OF THE AFRICA LIBERAL NETWORK ON ALLEGED KENYAN ELECTION RIGGING
The largest political affiliation in Africa, the Africa Liberal Network, takes note of serious allegations of election rigging during the elections in Kenya on 8 August.
Raila Odinga, the leader of the Orange Democratic Movement, a full member of the ALN, and head of the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition, announced on 9 August that they have proof that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) database and servers has been hacked. A full statement outlines the steps taken by hackers to gain entry to the electoral database, where after they allegedly created errors and introduced algorithms that tampered with the results of the elections. “While Kenyans were bearing the long queues to determine their destiny, the conspirators begun the execution of their plan. At about 12.37 pm on 8 August 2017, hackers gained entry into our election database through the identity of Chris Msando who was executed barely a week ago,” reads the NASA statement.
This comes shortly after Odinga lambasted the IEBC for not following due process by not releasing the election results through the appropriate channels. He rejected the results that have been released thus far as they weren’t accompanied by the appropriate form, Form 34A, used to register the results of the elections. This has since been rectified and the IEBC has started releasing results with Form 34A for each county.
The ALN welcomes astatement by IEBC Chairman, Wafula Chebukati, that the Commission is taking these allegations seriously. Chebukati vowed that the IEBC will review all relevant documents, confirm their authenticity and carry out a complete audit to authenticate the election results. The network calls on the Kenyan government to allow an independent inquiry to be completed without interference in order to let democracy prosper. The ALN further urges all Kenyans to remain calm and let due process take its course in allowing the official results to be released and the IEBC to conduct a full audit. It is of the utmost importance that peace reigns in these worrying times.
The ALN supports its sister party in the run up to the release of the official results, especially in light of these allegations, and will continue to fight for liberal values, not only in Kenya, but also over the whole of Africa.