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Archive for April 12th, 2007

Norway: Moonshine producer blown out of his house

Posted by African Press International on April 12, 2007

A 36-year-old man flown by air ambulance with burn injuries turned out to be a serious moonshine producer. In February 2006 the fire department, police and ambulance services rushed into action when a house in Stjørdal in North-Trøndelag County caught fire. The 36-year-old was flown to Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen for treatment of burn injuries to his face and upper body.

The house was also significantly damaged in the fire, and a police investigation uncovered a major moonshine operation. Large amounts of alcohol were found in the residence and the man has since admitted producing a bit over 900 liters (238 gallons) of illegal moonshine, newspaper Trønder-Avisa reports.

The fire had been caused by the explosion of his distilling apparatus.

The investigation also revealed that the man had been stealing electricity from the power grid in the area. He was also found to have a criminal record that included five counts of drunk driving, driving without a valid license, drug use and document forgery.

The man goes to trial on April 27 but has already admitted to the facts of the case.


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: Women scales work to care for their children

Posted by African Press International on April 12, 2007

Women take on the responsibility for caring for handicapped children. Six out of ten handicapped children have a mother who either scales down their workload or opts to stay at home to provide care, according to figures from Norwegian Social Research (NOVA).

Women make the choice to stay home and care for handicapped children because men still tend to earn most, NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting) reports.

Anita Tymi, from the Norwegian Federation for the Handicapped (NFU), said that assistance programs had to be improved in order to give women the possibility to work.


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: A woman’s stomach tore open

Posted by African Press International on April 12, 2007

A 31-year-old mother got a horrifying shock after a Caesarian section at St. Olav’s Hospital in Trondheim.

St. Olav’s Hospital in Trondheim.


Tone Lise Johannessen bore a daughter by Caesarian section at St. Olav’s, and on Sunday a midwife removed the outer stitches from the operation, newspaper VG reports.

“When I got up, I felt my entire stomach tear. I got help from hospital staff and was put into a bed. Then I saw that my intestines and the contents of my abdomen had fallen out,” Johannessen said.

According to VG, the thread used to sew up after the Caesarian has been under discussion at the hospital, and several doctors at St. Olav’s have contacted management to try and have it replaced by a different type used earlier.

“When a new purchasing contract began, we said that there was some dissatisfaction from our surgeons. The maternity hospital made a request saying we wanted to use a different thread than the one chosen,” maternity hospital leader Fredrik Sunde told VG.

Physician Ilka Clements at the National Center for Fetal Medicine said that the new thread is hard to knot and that the knots come undone.

The decision to switch materials at St. Olav’s came two years ago and hospital director Gunnar Bovim said that the choice was not linked to cost-cutting measures. Bovim said the decision was made at the regional level and that he was aware that certain circles at St. Olav’s wanted the old thread back in use.

Purchasing chief Marie Elisabeth Sverri did not want to comment on the cost of the new thread compared to the old.

By Morten Andersen and Jonathan Tisdall

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: Public Roads Administration weighing costs for renovating of tunnels

Posted by African Press International on April 12, 2007

Norwegian transport authorities were weighing up the costs of renovating the nation’s traffic tunnels after studies of construction and safety.

Road director for the Norwegian Public Roads Administration Olav Søfteland (left) and Transport Minister Liv Signe Navarsete at an earlier examination of the Hanekleiv Tunnel collapse.

PHOTO: Jarl Fr. Erichsen / SCANPIX

The Public Roads Administration estimates that it will cost at least NOK 200 million (USD 33.2 million) to secure the seven tunnels along the E18 highway in Vestfold County, NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting) reports.

The Hanekleiv Tunnel on this route collapsed late Christmas Day 2006, sparking an investigation that revealed similar dangers in tunnels cut into the same type of mountain in the area. A national check of tunnels found no other constructional worries, but an international survey found many major traffic tunnels lacking necessary emergency response measures.

Transport Minister Liv Signe Navarsete vowed that motorists would not have to pay for this via increased highway tolls, but there were still grumbles that the state expenses would still mean taxpayer funds would be used to repair poor construction.

Meanwhile, figures from the Information Council for Road Traffic (OFV) indicate that it will cost NOK 2 billion (USD 332 million) to bring the nation’s tunnels up to top standard, newspaper VG reports.

The main concerns are alarm telephones that don’t work, lighting facilities that are out of order, ventilation systems that stop and poor road surfacing.

“The backlog can mean that the tunnels are not reliable but there is no danger for the individual motorist,” Norwegian Public Roads Administration construction director Lars Aksnes told VG.

Maintenance work is needed most in western Norway, where most of the country’s tunnels are.

“There are also major challenges in highly populated Oslo and Akershus (counties), which have neglected maintenance costs of NOK 350 million (USD 58 million),” said OFV technical director Vilrid Femoen.

Government representative Steinulf Tungesvik told VG that budget allocations for maintenance were now high enough so that neglected tasks would not continue to grow and that the goal was to reduce the gap by continuing to increase funding.

By Heidi Ertzeid and Jonathan Tisdall

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

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Zambia’s customs workers on strike

Posted by African Press International on April 12, 2007

Lusaka (Zambia) Hundreds of Zambia’s customs workers have gone on a nationwide strike to demand improved working conditions, including better salaries, from the government.

The move by the state workers at the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has paralysed operations at most border points, where the ZRA has posts to check goods going into and out of the country.

The workers say they would not resume work until they are paid a salary increase of one million kwacha (US$ 240) each.

The workers have been threatening to take industrial action since last week if a solution to their demands is not found soon.

After days of waiting, however, the workers said they have decided to take the action because nothing has been forthcoming from the ZRA management.

The workers complained that the ZRA collects billions of kwacha in revenue annually for the government and yet they have continued to suffer poor working conditions.

The action has sparked fears that the border points around the country would soon become congested.

Landlocked Zambia depends on several border points with neighbouring countries, especially Zimbabwe which is the gateway to South Africa, a major trading partner, and the southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a major buyer of Zambian goods.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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South Africa seeks change in World Cup rules

Posted by African Press International on April 12, 2007

London (UK) South Africa has intensified lobby with the world football governing body, FIFA, seeking a change in World Cup rules to allow visiting teams to be based in neighbouring countries during the 2010 finals.

Answering questions from journalists in London Thursday, Danny Jordaan, chief executive of the World Cup 2010 organising committee, remarked that other African countries should be actively involved in the continent’s first ever World Cup.

“This is Africa’s World Cup and we are making a special case to FIFA for a change in the rules,” Jordaan said.

This development has further confirmed earlier warning by soccer analysts who expressed worries that visitors and football fans could be priced out of the world cup as South Africa is under pressure of accommodation crisis fuelled by European estate agencies and African elite who rush in droves to buy houses in the country.

FIFA’s existing rules allow the visiting teams set up training camps outside the host country with certain conditions which stipulate that such bases would not be farther than 90-minute plane journey to the venues of the matches.

Jordaan said organisers had asked FIFA to consider allowing teams to stay at bases in neighbouring countries and travel to South Africa on the day before their matches.

This puts Mozambique and Swaziland as major potential camps for most of the European teams.

“We believed FIFA would be sympathetic to the proposed rule change”, said Jordaan, who also estimated that over 650,000 overseas visitors and fans would storm South Africa for the finals.

Officials said that FIFA is yet to give a feedback on the lobby.

Commenting on the preparations on the ground for the event, Jordaan emphasised the security issues and the need to take into account the problem of black market and cheap match tickets as was the case in Germany 2006 where hundreds of fans were ripped off with such fake tickets being resold to them at exorbitant prices.

“We are also looking at employing the use of fan parks with big screens for the interest of less privileged supporters without match tickets,” he said.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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Senegalese government threatens to withdraw troops from Darfur

Posted by African Press International on April 12, 2007

Dakar (Senegal) The government of Senegal threatened Wednesday to withdraw its peacekeeping forces in the African Union mission in Sudan (AMIS) if the AU is not “provided with means to duly ensure the security of the soldiers deployed in Darfur”.

In a statement released Wednesday in Dakar, the Senegalese state largely evoked the situation in Darfur and deplored the “fact that African countries did not provide the AMIS troops with adequate financial and logistical means to face the gravity of the situation”.

Underscoring the heavy death toll and the large number of displaced people, the government of Senegal also regretted the delay observed in the deployment of UN and AU peacekeeping soldiers.

According to the statement released Wednesday at the end of the weekly cabinet meeting, Senegal sees in this deployment “a compromise situation” to get necessary logistical and financial means “to face the insecurity and stabilise the situation on the ground.”

The cabinet meeting emphasised that “the Sudanese government had approved” that deployment before challenging it.

Dakar also evoked the resources issue, underscoring that the AMIS “is presently understaffed, in addition to the inadequate logistical and financial means for the execution of its mission”.

“Without a clear will affirmed by all the parties for a negotiated solution of the crisis,” the current deployment conditions of the AMIS could foil a sustainable settlement of the conflict in Darfur, especially in collaboration with the UN, the government of Senegal said.

Senegal sent over 500 soldiers in Darfur.

Following the killing of five of them on 1st April, the government resorted to require a thorough investigation to determine the responsibilities, apprehend the criminals and punish them in keeping with the law”.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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Women in Kenyan politics

Posted by African Press International on April 12, 2007

Kenyan women have truly come a long way in penetrating through the political male-dominated world. Kenya’s political history has recorded great women who went through many difficult and humiliating conditions to fight for equality and participation in politics. Some of these difficulties include the beating of female candidates by the supporters of rival male candidates, male power play (manipulating and possibly rigging women out) and the lack of funds for women politicians. Since Kenya’s independence from the British rule in 1963, female representation in Parliament has been very low. During the last Kanu (Kenya African National Union) regime that ended in 2002, there were only nine women out of the 220 members of parliament (MPs). There has also been very low female representation in decision-making positions within government sectors/departments, the local government (municipalities) and parastatals.

In the current Narc (National Alliance of the Rainbow Coalition) government, the number of female MPs has at least increased to 18 out of the 222 members of parliament. However, this still falls short of the United Nations target of achieving 30% representation of women in politics.

It also falls short of the Beijing Platform for Action (the Fourth World Conference for Women in 1995), where it was agreed by all governments that there should be equal participation of women and men in decision-making bodies. The gender imbalance in Kenya’s political playing field has widened so much, since the male political ideology continues to define the standards of evaluation of women’s political performance and participation.

Women MPs continue to play second fiddle and none chairs a parliamentary committee during this ninth Parliament. They are even still not allowed to carry handbags into the House, according to the archaic male-dominated colonial rules.

What hinders women from being frontrunners in politics?

One of the major problems that women face is the lack of funds to conduct elections. Due to the feminization of poverty, many women interested in politics are faced with financial constraints which bar them from contesting, compared to their male counterparts; hence their political potentials go unnoticed.

The political parties’ structures are also male-dominated, thus are discriminative against women. It therefore becomes challenging for women to voice themselves or to take leading positions. Most of these parties only nominate men to winnable positions during elections. It is also evident that very few women politicians are seen hitting the campaign trails. If present, they are rarely heard on the podium because the campaign rallies are often male-dominated. It is paradoxical that women form the majority of Kenyan voters.

Certain cultural aspects also block women, who are portrayed as not possessing strong leadership qualities; many Kenyan communities still believe that men should lead. Combining politics and ‘child-rearing’/family life has also proved to be challenging. For many women, it is hard to balance both private and public life, which in most cases have interfered with many marriages.

Media coverage on the successes of women politicians and potential contenders is limited compared to their male counterparts.

What to do

The success of women in politics in Rwanda, Liberia, Sweden and South Africa for example, shows that there are many strategies women can use to gain power. Women in Kenya should feel challenged and call for affirmative action to increase their participation in decision-making bodies. They should unite and actively participate in nation-building activities.

Which is the best party for women to voice themselves?

Of all the strong and main political parties present in Kenya, only Narc-Kenya seems to be women friendly. Narc-Kenya, unlike ODM-K (Orange Democratic Movement of Kenya) seems to have an upper hand when it comes to addressing gender issues. The party does not only have a larger number of women representatives, but its policies are also gender sensitive and the party seems ready for affirmative action. It is the first party to hold a rotational national party chairmanship, giving all a chance to lead, including women. President Kibaki has also advised public institutions to increase female participation in key positions. ODM-K on the other hand, is spearheaded by male chauvinists who are not gender sensitive and are about to get rid of Nazlin Umar, one of their two female presidential candidates.

It is time for women to look for a way forward and join Narc-Kenya, the party which they can approach to air their grievances and allow them to participate fully in politics.

By Ann W. Njenga, Ass.Secretary, Narc-Kenya Scandinavia.

Published by African Press in Norway, Apn, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525

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I want justice for terror detention

Posted by African Press International on April 12, 2007


Ethiopia now admits holding 41 terror suspects from 17 countries arrested in Somalia, following reports by Human Rights Watch of secret prisons for interrogation by the US FBI. One woman who underwent a similar ordeal told her story to the BBC News website’s Noel Mwakugu in Nairobi.

Kamilya Mohammedi Tuweni

I will not rest until I get justice for all the humiliation and pains caused to me and my family

Kamilya Mohammedi Tuweni

If there is one thing Kamilya Mohammedi Tuweni will not do, it is to forgive Kenya’s security forces.

Ms Tuweni has begun proceedings in the United Arabic Emirates to sue the Kenyan government for wrongful arrest and abuse of her rights.

In February, she – along with two of her business partners from Oman – travelled to Kenya, hoping to establish contacts for a flourishing tea and coffee export business.

But before they even held their first meeting with their Kenyan contacts, they were bundled out of a hotel room in the Kenyan resort town of Malindi near Mombasa by policemen who suspected them to be terrorists.

“Just because we looked like Arabs and my partners could not speak English or Kiswahili but only Arabic, we had to be terrorists,” said Ms Tuweni, who was born on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar and now holds UAE citizenship.

Her nightmare in Kenyan police cells then began in earnest.


“First we were transferred to Mombasa where we were held at two different police stations and questioned for hours,” the mother of three told the BBC News website.

I resisted every attempt to blindfold and handcuff me, but instead I was floored with kicks and strokes of the cane

Kamilya Mohammedi Tuweni

Ethiopia admits detentions

After spending several chilly nights on the cement floors of the police cells in Mombasa, they were flown to Nairobi for further interrogation.

It was in the Kenyan capital that her partners from Oman were released after the Kenyan investigators were satisfied with their identities.

But for her, it was the beginning of an experience she will remember for the rest of her life.

“The policemen stripped me half-naked just to take a picture of me but I refused. They asked me all sorts of questions about my origins that left me crying all the time,” recalled Ms Tuweni, who is now back home in Dubai.

As if not satisfied with the information, she was driven to Namanga on the Kenyan border with Tanzania, where security operatives flew in from Dar es Salaam to quiz her.

“They also found no reason to have me detained and even advised the Kenyan policemen to release me, but they declined,” she said.

Instead, she was driven back to Nairobi under armed police escort but her tears and pleas of innocence fell on deaf ears.

Before long, their car arrived at a private section of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi that was guarded by armed policemen.

Mogadishu cell

At the airport there were 15 other vehicles packed with suspects – all handcuffed and blindfolded.


“When I saw this, I resisted every attempt to blindfold and handcuff me, but instead I was floored with kicks and strokes of the cane,” she said.

Ms Tuweni was later given her passport and forcibly blindfolded. Together with the other suspects; she was bundled into a plane.

“When the plane landed, our blindfolds were removed, I could see we were at another airport but it was only after some women mentioned Mogadishu that I realised where we were,” she said.

The Kenyan government has denied sending prisoners to Mogadishu and has not commented on Ms Tuweni’s allegations.

She says in her group there were 22 other women and children, who were all forced into a shell-damaged cell at the airport.

The men were taken into a separate cell.

The women in her group were of different nationalities including Ethiopians, Somalis, a Swede, a Comorian and a Tanzanian.

They were forced to use pieces of boxes and some of their clothes to cover the gapping holes of the police cell at the Mogadishu airport.

“For 12 days we had no food, even for some of the women who were pregnant and the little children among us.”

A merciful Somali woman who lived by the airport would come on different occasions to the battered cell to give them a bowl of spaghetti and a jar of water to share.

And when the fighting between Islamist remnants and Ethiopian troops escalated in the Somali capital, the suspects were bundled into planes and flown to Ethiopia.

Hunger strike

In Addis Ababa, the suspects were questioned by Ethiopian forces and US FBI officers for days.

“Although we were not ill-treated, I went on a hunger strike for three days demanding an explanation as to why I was in custody,” she explained.

The hunger strike bore fruits and her case was given priority.

After rigorous questioning from American investigators, Ms Tuweni was cleared of any wrong-doing last month.

“When I got the news that I was free, I thought it was just a dream. I could not believe it until I was transferred from the police cell to a hotel in Addis Ababa.”

Ms Tuweni says she is bitter that she had to undergo nearly three months of torment before the various security agents believed she was innocent.

“The Kenyans who arrested me had all details about me; I had nothing to hide but they still denied me the right to freedom.”

Ms Tuweni is now counting her lost income following her detention in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.

“I will not rest until I get justice for all the humiliation and pains caused to me and my family,” she said

Posted to APN by Karuga wa Njuguna

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

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Posted by African Press International on April 12, 2007

Tell it Kenyans

Ex-Immigration Minister Linnah Jebii Kilimo said in London last Saturday that the Kenya Anti -Corruption Commission (KACC) was in the fore front in abetting corruption. She further charged that KACC officials solicit for bribes to have the corruption files of certain individuals disappear from the records. Now, Tabitha Cherop from her Marakwet East constituency finds her MPs style puzzling and poses: “Why do opposition leaders insist on making such claims while abroad?


Lure of London

Still on dancing yonder habit before dancing here at home, Mrs Jebii Kilimo’s visit to London comes in the wake of other planned tours to the city by key political players from Kenya. Information minister Mutahi Kagwe will this Thursday be in the City talking about Information Communication Technology (ICT). Early next month, Narc Kenya operatives will be meeting Kenyans in London to garner for moral and monetary support while ODM-K’s presidential aspirant Kalonzo Musyoka is expected to start a European cities tour and make a stopover in London. What is the hidden treasure that these people so spiritedly go searching for in London?


Why pick on Michuki?

Archbishop Ndingi Mwana Nzeki feels strongly that Internal security Minister John Michuki should be sacked for not doing enough to stop Mt Elgon clashes. Morris Maina from Kangema finds nothing wrong with that. Only that Maina cannot figure out how Michuki can be of help if the will of the warring communities is to continue murdering each other. But Maina wonders: “What do we do with the clergymen and women who have opted to keep off Mt Elgon Ndingi included, but instead continue issuing political statements instead of taking the Godly gospel of peace to the region? Excommunicate them? Sack them? Distrust them? Ignore them?”

Posted to APN by Karuga wa Njuguna

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

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Kadhafi’s man to seek peace for Sudanese and Chadians

Posted by African Press International on April 12, 2007

N’Djamena (Chad) Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno, met Wednesday afternoon with the Libyan Foreign Relations and African Integration Minister, Ali Triki in N’djamena charged by Colonel Moammar Kadhafi to help defuse the tension between Chad and Sudan following a clash by their armies on Monday evening, APA has learnt.

Triki told newsmen that an expert follow-up meeting was scheduled for 16 April in Tripoli to be attended by the two parties.

Chad and Sudan resumed bloody clashes last Monday with the incursion in Chadian army into Sudan in pursuit of fleeing rebels.

During the operation, Chadian soldiers clashed with the Sudanese army inside the Sudanese territory, an act described by Khartoum as an outrageous attack.

“We were using our right of pursuit,” Chadian Communication minister argued in justification of the Chadian army move.

For several years now, Chad and Sudan have been trading accusations of abetting with each others enemies that have caused untold suffering to civilian populations along their common borders.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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