Category Archives: Africa

Kenyan supreme court nullifies elections: Uhuru, you got served!

Photo: Unknown source

Kenya is currently on every news headline given this rather historic moment, where we saw the Supreme Court choosing to uphold democracy rather than turning a blind eye or rather conforming to international pressure. The national elections that happened on August 8, where said to be flawed resulting in a lot of chaos and difference of opinion on whether the current President, Uhuru Kenyatta won at the polls fairly.

The biggest issue that came to question Kenyatta’s win was on the procedures followed during elections, and whether they were in conformity with what is laid out in the countrys’constituition and other related laws regarding the election process. Opposition leader , Raila Odinga, brought these issues to light when he contested the August 8 elections immediately after ballot count. He contended that the said election were irregular.

The Supreme Court of Kenya was thereby tasked with determining whether there were any irregularities and illegalities during these elections.

These elections have caused a lot of turmoil and frustrations amongst Kenyans.Prior to the elections one of the officials of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) was found dead. The unsolved murder of the senior manager in data centre and infrastructure, Mr Christopher Chege Musando caused a shadow of doubt and eroded public confidence in the whole electoral process.

Moreover, what put Aficans up in arms, is the fact that International Observers declared Kenya’s elections free and fair however the courts decision begs to differ. From what i’m hearing on social media, people are saying that, all the International Observers did was “chill” in their hotel rooms and did not even bother to go on the ground but who knows..

Mr Raila Odinga’s Lawyer during court proceedings brought very stong evidence that showed that “some of the forms submitted with results lacked key security features such as watermarks and the necessary stamps and signatures, raising questions about their validity.”

A rather powerful statement that i am sure will be quoted in many history books is that of one of the Chief Justice David Maraga, who is the president of the Supreme Court. He stated that “The greatness of a nation lies in its fidelity to its constitution and a strict adherence to the rule of law, and above all, the fear of God.”

On the bench sat six judges, of which, four of the judges voted in the majority against the other two judges thereby finding that Uhuru Kenyatta was not validly elected and thereby declaring his appointment as president-elect null and void.”

The IEBC has been ordedered to conduct a fresh presidential election which should be in strict conformity with the constitution and the election laws within 60 days.

“This is indeed a very historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension to the people of the continent of Africa…For the first time in the history of African democratization, a ruling has been made by a court nullifying irregular election of a president.”- Raila Odinga

Ugandans, Zimbabweans and every other African nation. I hope you are watching and taking notes!
Here is a link to an interview with Kenyatta’s Lawyer after the court ruling, watch it and laugh with me.
Uhuru Kenyatta’s Lawyers reactions to the Court Ruling

A Woman’s Right to Abortion  

When will the paradigm shift?

This is probably the hardest post I have ever had to write thus far simply because of the scrutiny I know I am going to get from it but because it bothers me so much to hell with subtlety. In fact I have had my religious beliefs questioned numerous times, “How does a Christian advocate for abortion?” If I got a thebe for the number of times I have been asked this question then boy would I be rich and I’m actually being serious about this…I would be rich.

But anyway, if you have been following my blog or if you know me personally then you would know how much I advocate for women’s rights and that I’m also pro-choice when it comes to abortion.

There is a rhetoric that a woman’s body does not belong to her therefore she cannot do as she pleases with it, A rhetoric that we need to get rid of, everybody wants to control our bodies. (By everybody I actually mean men.) Not forgetting the “abortion is murder” line that society uses on women to try guilt trip them.

I remember watching a documentary from Zimbabwe and one of the women said something so powerful and it has stuck with me for a really long time. Tendai Garwe said:

 “It’s my parliament, everyone has a constituency on this body except myself and I am tired”

 

In Botswana, Abortion is a criminal offence according to the Penal Code, there are certain exceptions where a woman can have an abortion such as in cases of rape, defilement or if the pregnancy puts the mental or physical health of the woman at risk (just to name a few).  A woman cannot voluntary enter a health care centre and request for an abortion at her own volition. If that doesn’t prove how we do not have control over our own bodies then I don’t know what will. Women resort to abortion for various reasons, maybe she just isn’t ready to bear the responsibility, and cannot financially provide for this child. There are so many children on the streets begging because they were born into impoverished families. This is the pandemic in so many African countries; I saw this happening in Tanzania too. Our children deserve better than this. Orphanages do exist but they are not conducive environments for children to grow up in.  I have volunteered in orphanages therefore I have seen the environment these children grow up in, it is not all rosy.

 

It is quite clear that patriarchal norms still remain a barrier for women and also the failure by the legislature to enact laws that protect women and allow them to fully assert their reproductive rights. Having such strict laws has pushed women to resort to street abortions/ back alley abortions, some even drinking pills they buy off the black market which is unsafe and in some instances due to certain complications can lead to death or leave some women barren. This is real. This is happening in our communities. Our sisters are dying because of laws that infringe on our rights to privacy.

“Women deserve better than back alley surgeries that leave our wombs barren and empty……. Get the f*** out of our decisions and give us back our voice. Women do deserve better. Women deserve choice”- Sonya Renee on her spoken word piece ‘What Women Deserve’

With that said its time to all rally behind this issue. We need a movement. We need to fight because we do deserve better. It might be wishful thinking or I am just being naïve but I believe civil societies & the very few women in parliament can make somewhat of a difference.

PS: I know I have been missing in action for a while, I can’t believe I last posted last year August but I’m back now. Hopefully my disappearing acts are over.

 

 

 

 

Maiden’s bursary: Another example of how patriarchal societies aim to control women’s bodies

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The maiden bursary in South Africa was created by the municipality in a certain district. This bursary program funds studies for young women but here is the catch, these young women have to prove they are virgins and remain virgins for the entire duration that they are in the program or else they will be kicked out. Therefore, if you are not a virgin that simply means no education. So far there are about 16 girls being funded by this scholarship, these young women are said to be examined regularly to check if their virginity is still intact. The underlying fact is virginity testing is an infringement of a woman’s right to privacy and dignity.

The mayor of this district Mayor Dudu Mazibuko said the rationale behind this program is to encourage young girls to abstain from sex and remain “pure” as well as focus on their education. This is very discriminatory. What about the boys? From my understanding sex is a two way street, or is it not? In actual fact what do my sexual shenanigans have to do with my education?

What are the chances that a bursary could be created for circumcised young men? I bet it never crossed their minds because of the fact that we live in a patriarchal society that is aimed at controlling women’s bodies and our sexuality. We are perceived as undignified puppets with neither a stance nor a voice.

With patriarchy not being a virgin equates you to a whore. You will be slut shamed and that is why most young women are not so sexually liberated, because of the fear of being ostracised yet men are applauded when they talk about their sexual conquests. Young women are taught to view their bodies in a negative light, as a source of shame.

One scenario that was not addressed was what about the young women who were raped? It’s a sad reality but rape statistics in South Africa are horrendous. And alot of these crimes are not reported for fear of not being taken seriously because after all patriarchy says it is the women who lead men on and beg to be raped, right?

I am so angry at people who are defending this program in the name of “African culture” . This culture thing has really been overused, it’s now a means we use in our patriarchal practices in order to suppress both girls and women.
Something one of my Twitter followers said was ” BLACK PEOPLE: stop defending patriarchy with its our culture. If our culture violates & kills women then I don’t want it”

With the current state in South Africa with regards to education being expensive all the government is doing is luring people into this unconstitutional program. Stop using culture to blackmail and manipulate women.

Below is the link to the petition to stop forced virginity testing for bursaries #virginitybursaries
http://www.amandla.mobi/virgin_bursary?recruiter_id=22614

until next time!

BOSA SEBELE

Women to blame for rape because of clothes they wear: Grace Mugabe – Times LIVE

http://www.timeslive.co.za/africa/2015/11/21/Women-to-blame-for-rape-because-of-clothes-they-wear-Grace-Mugabe
This is one of the most outrageous things I have heard this week. I am very disappointed by this statement made by the first lady of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Grace Mugabe,not only because she is a leader but because she is a WOMAN.
Women are fighting a battle against this African patriarchal system that says  Men are never at fault when it comes to matters of rape and that only women are.

We have been treated with so much disrespect and have been continuously demeaned and belittled.  There is so much rape, body-shaming and gender based violence occurring, we are clearly seen as nothing more than sex symbols by some of our African brothers,men who are clearly lacking in masculinity  and for a fellow woman(Grace) to make such ignorant statements will only be a setback for women.We need a united front!

Fact is Rape culture has been normalized. People believe that if a woman is raped she “led him on” or “her clothes were too revealing” .A woman’s body has never been hers alone it comes with so many politics. How come we don’t even have a say in the way we dress? Who are you to tell me my skirt is short? Why must a dress a certain way because of men who can not control their sexual desires?
MY DRESS.MY CHOICE.

What everyone must know is;

Sex cannot be anything but consensual. Anything else is just rape.

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Rape is because of RAPISTS!
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WE CANNOT KEEP EXCUSING RAPE. LETS STAND UP AGAINST IT.

until next time!

BOSA SEBELE