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Archive for March 7th, 2007

To MOP the floors

Posted by African Press International on March 7, 2007


Supermodel Naomi ‘to mop floors’

By James Westhead
BBC News, Washington

Naomi Campbell arriving at court

Naomi Campbell admitted to an assault charge last month

British supermodel Naomi Campbell has been sentenced to five days community service by a court in New York.Campbell has been ordered to clean floors in a municipal warehouse as punishment for throwing a mobile phone at her housekeeper.

She pleaded guilty to reckless assault in a plea bargain with prosecutors at Manhattan Criminal Court last month.

As well as community service, the 36-year-old was also ordered to attend an anger management course.

Naomi Campbell may be one of the most famous women in the world but she is about to get a taste of how the other half live, working as a cleaner.

It has emerged her punishment will involve cleaning the floors of a sanitation building, starting later this month.

Miss Campbell has apologised for assaulting her maid – the fourth such complaint against her – and agreed to take anger management classes.

Her spokesman said she was ready to report and complete her community service no matter what or where

Posted by Eugene Garuga

Source BBC

Published by African Press in Norway

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Kenya does not belong to one person

Posted by African Press International on March 7, 2007

By Miguna Miguna

*”EXCUSE me good people for asking a question that might sound pedantic. But we have danced around this question for a very long time. We need to finally address it with candidness. Does Kenya truly belong to all of us?

Looking at the political and economic panorama, one could be mistaken for thinking that Kenya belongs to a very tiny exclusive club whose membership is predetermined primarily by one’s genetics, ethnic group, socio-economic class and colour. A random, but admittedly unscientific sampling of the most prominent names in corporate, finance and business circles disclose disturbing criteria for membership—ethnicity and race.

There are slightly more than 40 ethnic groups in Kenya. Some are small while others are sizeable in terms of population.

What should never matter is whether a presidential candidate is from a populous or minority ethnic group. What should matter to Kenyans are the candidate’s vision, commitment, integrity, background and leadership skills. Kenya has eight provinces, each populated by a number of ethnic groups – some small and others large. Apart from politically orchestrated ethnic flare-ups in early 1990s and the rumblings occurring at the moment, mostly over land disputes, Kenyan communities have lived side-by-side and gotten along well.

Cultural and linguistic differences have never posed any serious problems until politics and ethnic jingoism mixes up to create turmoil. Kenyans were united in their opposition to colonial rule. Although they differed on what strategies and tactics to adopt in their struggles to remove the colonialists; there was uniform agreement that colonialism needed to be removed. Again, cultural and linguistic differences did not effectively undermine the independence struggle. It was unity that produced our political independence.

The same thing happened during the second liberation when Kenyans threw off the shackles of one party dictatorship and brought about multiparty democracy. Despite being able to overlook our ethnic differences when struggling against oppression and political subjugation, strangely, Kenyans have refused to discount or discard their differences when it comes to the sharing of the spoils of their struggles. It is apparent that some people are perceived and treated as canon fodder; only useful as ammunition during the struggle, but always discarded once the fight has been won.

Essentially, Kenyans have been very successful at enlisting the combat skills of each other in the face of adversities and have managed to utilize their unity to triumph, yet, invariably after the victory has been achieved, a few people have always managed to convert the newly acquired power to exclude others and hoard all the power and wealth for themselves.

Thus former and current president have failed to resist the temptation to misuse state power to practice ethnic exclusion, tribalism and nepotism in various forms and that is how come a long-serving Central Bank of Kenya official, Jacinta Mwatela had to be replaced by Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u as the CBK Governor after occupying that position in an acting capacity for nearly one year, by a person who, though a PhD holder, has no experience in a banking environment.

Other than Dr Mullei who was shown the door before his tenure expired , how come all previous Governors of the CBK have come from either Rift Valley or Central Province and more so the latter? One cannot argue that other communities for instance, have never produced an economics PhD holder! It is unfair for a president to concentrate power, wealth and public positions in one community or region , especially those already well represented in wealth, land, and power distribution in the country. Something does not add up with the appointment of a CBK Governor who comes from the same community as the Minister of Finance, Finance PS, and major office holders at the Treasury.

And one has to seriously wonder why the president feels that all the most significant positions in the government like the Presidency, Defence, Internal Security, Finance, Education and Justice must be controlled from one region.

Finally, I have been hearing and reading a lot about why one key opposition figure should not be the next president of Kenya. Some have vociferously posited that he should not be elected president because of his tribe! “*

*The writer is a Barrister & Solicitor in Toronto, Canada

Lifted and published by African Press in Norway, apn,, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525

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Kenya’s political heat generated by competition

Posted by African Press International on March 7, 2007

*”THE political heat that is being generated by the competition to pick Orange Democratic Movement’s presidential candidate could only be expected.

Given the fact that the new movement is conducting this kind of exercise for the first time in post- independent Kenya, it is only understandable that those vying for the mandate to vie for the top seat should do so with a marked sense of vigour and enthusiasm. Come to think about it, there is nothing wrong with political excitement; that is the nature of the democratic process and discourse. Indeed without some excitement, or what is generally referred to as political infighting, politics would be an extremely dull affair and the public would not be barely bothered and what would that do to democracy whose underpinning is competition and the inevitable excitement!

But the effervescence has not been confined to the dynamics and convulsions within ODM-K. Narc Kenya has also been going through its own motions, which were only stemmed with the calling off of grassroot elections last week. And over the weekend, the original Narc spearheaded by Charity Ngilu and backed by Musikari Kombo joined in the fray, creating a rich political menu.

However, one thing needs fixing. The leaders involved in the these campaigns would enhance their stature if they came across as men and women of conviction . This thing is not all about trading accusations. Kenyans want to hear ideas. They want to hear policies and leaders addressing themselves to issues. Trading barbs only end up spoiling the spice that would otherwise have enriched the political excitement we are talking about.

Apart from the general elections held every five years, a number of our leaders seem to be averse to holding party elections. The fear of holding elections seems to have infected all political parties. The only way of achieving a less hectic political programme for party elections is to hold them more frequently and according to the constitutions of the respective political parties. So that if thew constitution says new officials should be elected every after two, three or five years let it be like that. That is the way party affairs should be handled so that they are not inordinately delayed simply because some leaders fear being replaced. This concept should apply without exception and should include the nominations for presidential and parliamentary candidates.”*

*”/”*Lifted by Korir and published by African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525

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Darfur in crisis

Posted by African Press International on March 7, 2007

*”Something does not add up, with the way the Sudanese government responds to the tragedy in Darfur. Last week the International Criminal Court (ICC) presented evidence against Sudanese Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Ahmed Haroun and pro-government militia leader Ali Koshayb for crimes against humanity in the violent Darfur region. These two are supposed to be tried, due diligence factored in, by the ICC for alleged criminal activities in the region.

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, however, has vowed not to send any Sudanese national for trial outside Sudan. Although Sudan signed the treaty establishing the ICC, it has not ratified it and has continued to argue that the court based in the Hague has no jurisdiction in Sudan.

Experts say that more than 200,000 people have been killed in the Darfur violence which the United States calls genocide. The figure of 200,000 has been contested by Khartoum, but that notwithstanding, a single loss of human life that can be, must be avoided and one would expect that the Sudanese government would be sensitive enough to this self evident truth.

There is something singularly disquieting about the fact that to date little sense of urgency has been shown by the Sudanese government in response to the ever escalating violence that has been unleashed to the defenceless people of Darfur region

The concern shown by the entire African Union and the world community should have touched leaders in Khartoum to take substantive measures and end this violence. Al-Bashir and his government have the capacity to end this senseless orgy of violence. This is the least humanity expects of them.”*

*”/*Lifted by Korir, and published by African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525

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Norway: Police raid poker hall

Posted by African Press International on March 7, 2007

*”Armed police raided a building in an industrial area of Strømmen, northeast of Oslo, Monday night and arrested 32 persons for what the authorities claimed was illegal organized poker playing. The poker club had been under investigation and was believed to violate laws against organized gaming.Most of those arrested were fined and allowed to go home. Police continued to hold those believed to be the organizers of the poker club.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that those arrested ranged from ordinary fathers of small children to gang members. “It was difficult to determine any connections among then,” said prosecutor Nicolas Nyhus of the Romerike Police District. “They most probably were just individuals who meet in the club to play poker.”

Norway’s poker association (Norges Pokerforbund) criticized the police raid, contending it was an overreaction.

“At a time of murder and rape cases, it’s amazing that the police choose to round up 30 grown persons who gather to play for a few hundred kroner,” Hanna Nilsson of the association told”*

By Nina Berglund/NTB

*”/”*Lifted and published by African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.aftenpostenENG

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Norway: Fisherman hooks a dead body

Posted by African Press International on March 7, 2007

*”A man fishing in Oslo’s inner harbour on Monday hooked something more than fish. He was soon on the phone to police.

The dead body was found near the royal yacht, which is currently berthed at Vippetangen.


It was a human body that his fishing line hooked, shortly after 2pm near Vippetangen, not far from Akershus Fortress and Castle.Police and a rescue squad arrived quickly and divers helped get the body out of the water.

Police couldn’t immediately say whether the dead person was a man or a woman. The body was recovered close to where the royal yacht Norge is berthed.

“We have many unanswered questions,” said Vidar Hjulstad, operations leader for the Oslo Police District. “We don’t know how the person died or how long the body has been lying in the water.”

He said criminal investigators were examining the area where the body was found. It was badly decomposed, delaying its identification.”*

Lifted by Korir and published by African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.aftenpostenENG

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Wives of Rebel suspects demand speedy trial

Posted by African Press International on March 7, 2007

Kampala (Uganda) Wives of some of the Peoples Redemption Army (PRA) rebel suspects in Uganda on Tuesday stormed the offices of an opposition party in Kampala demanding for a speedy trial of their husbands.

Their husbands were granted bail by the high court in December 2005 but they have remained on remand at Luzira Prison on the orders of the court martial.

Christine Musasizi Kifefe, wife to Musasizi Kifefe who is a brother to opposition leader Kiiza Besigye asked the government to ensure a speedy trial for her husband.

She describes the hardships faced by her family but ruled out any possibility of her husband applying for amnesty, arguing that applying for amnesty would be admitting to a crime her husband did not commit.

President Yoweri Museveni recently indicated that the suspects could be offered amnesty.

Another wife, Innocent Tweyambe, said her husband is a victim of political rivalry and claimed the charges against him were trumped up.

Jackline Okiring yet another aggrieved wife said her children have dropped out of school and the future looks increasingly bleak for her. With tears welling in her eyes, Okiring said she has lost hope in the judicial system.

High Court Judge Elidard Mwangusya last week ordered the release of the suspects on bail but they were again forcefully re-arrested and now face new charges of murder.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 /Source/apa

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