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Archive for April 22nd, 2007

Child Protection Unit destroys families – Many Foster homes disastrous

Posted by African Press International on April 22, 2007

From the USA 

I just read this developing story and know all too well the plight of families when their children are taken. This is happening in the United States, every day, to thousands of good familes.

Here, it is the children from poor and middle class families who are sold by the government to recieve federal funds. Babies are removed and given up for adoption. States recieve federal money for placing these babies and kids in other non relative homes.

Many kids are placed in foster homes for years and sadly move from home to home until they reach adulthood. We also, see thousands of kids placed in institutions. Children in the state’s care are abused physically, mentally, emotionally and sexually. They are given psychtropic drugs which are destroying their brains.

The government knows this and does nothing to help it’s citizens. There is a major movement in this country by families who have had enough! We are suing the government for violating our civil rights. I understand and have great compassion for what is happening to families in Africa. One would never think this sort of thing could happen in the United States, but it is. Perhaps we could be of some assistance and work together.

Respectfully,

Dawn Robertson assistant director-Honkforkids.com

Published by African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no

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Attacking the press

Posted by African Press International on April 22, 2007

Kenyan ads move ‘attack on press’

Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki

The Standard has been sharply critical of President Kibaki

The Kenyan government has stopped advertising in the oldest independent daily, following a report linking a minister with an assassination plot. The Standard newspaper had published a report, alleging a minister hired two Armenian hit men to assassinate former President Daniel Moi’s son.Managing Editor Chaacha Mwita called the directive to pull adverts a government attack on independent media.

But Security Minister John Michuki said the paper was waging war against him.

The media group has been critical of President Mwai Kibaki’s handling of recent corruption scandals.

Last year armed masked policemen shut down the Standard newspaper’s printing press and switched off its television channel, KTN, for allegedly inciting ethnic hatred.

“As a media group we are criticising the security minister on the basis of facts and are not serving any personal interests,” Mr Mwita told the BBC News website.

Mr Mwita and other directors of the media house were quizzed by the police for several hours on Tuesday over the alleged assassination plot.

“We have given the police the tape which has recordings of the confession by one of the Artur brothers, who was approached to assassinate Mr Gideon Moi. We are innocent,” Mr Mwita said.

The infamous Armenian brothers were deported by the government last year after a raid at the residence uncovered weapons and fake vehicle number plates.

The two Artur brothers are said to be linked to influential people in President Kibaki’s government.

An email availed to us shows the directive for government departments to withdraw advertisements from the newspaper and television station had been issued by the ministry of public service.

“Please cancel all Standard groups ads with immediate effect. This is a directive from the public service ministry to the Kenya Power and lighting Company,” the email from a leading advertising agency in Nairobi read in part.

Opposition politicians and diplomats have criticised the move by the government and warned it against suppressing the independent press in Kenya.

Posted to Apn by Karuga wa Njuguna, UK

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Moi and Kibaki – Men who have lasted in politics

Posted by African Press International on April 22, 2007

Kibaki’s ‘mafia’ on the run

Gitau Warigi
BBC Focus on Africa magazine

Hardly can two people be more different than Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki and his predecessor, Daniel arap Moi.

Daniel arap Moi (l) talking to Mwai Kibaki (r)

Kibaki (r) is perceived to be elitist unlike Moi (l)

The latter was a ravenous political animal and micro-manager who was obsessed with the tiniest of details.

Mr Moi was a populist par excellence. He was also a manipulator who clearly enjoyed the political game.

Mr Kibaki – who has been abandoned by some of his coalition partners and whose administration is at the centre of a growing controversy over corruption – is the opposite.

He is usually mute – even when a crisis is boiling. The latitude he gives his ministers would simply have been unthinkable under Mr Moi.

Mr Moi, in contrast, learned to rely on his street smarts. He was quite promiscuous in his political contacts

 

The perception of the president is that he is weak and indecisive, unable to offer leadership in the stern manner of the late Jomo Kenyatta or even, in his querulous way, Mr Moi.

However, his admirers reply that Mr Kibaki is a paragon of tolerance who has allowed an unprecedented degree of democratic space.

Despite Mr Kibaki having been in politics throughout his adult life, one senses a certain distance – even perhaps disdain – towards the hoi polloi.

A favourite word he uses in his speeches is pumbavu (Swahili for fool), and during one public rally he hurled the epithet at his own official driver for impatiently revving up the presidential limousine when a light rain began to fall.

Elitist disposition

Differences in background and outlook help to explain the gulf between Mr Moi and Mr Kibaki.

Anti-corruption protesters in Kenya

Protesters in Kenya have been demanding an end to corruption

Mr Moi was a humble primary school teacher when he was catapulted into politics, where he fell under the overarching shadow of Mr Kenyatta and learned to fend for himself as best as he could among political rivals who were more sophisticated and looked down on him.

Though Mr Kibaki was also a product of those times, he suffered no such complexes.

Being one of the few indigenous university graduates of the time, he was headhunted at the time of independence from Uganda’s Makerere University where he was lecturing in economics and then went on to become a star technocrat in the Kenyatta government.

Mr Kibaki’s elitist disposition certainly has something to do with that early feeling of entitlement and the conviction that he belonged to a special generation that laid the technocratic foundation of modern Kenya.

Mr Moi, in contrast, learned to rely on his street wisdom. He was quite promiscuous in his political contacts, not worried at all about what side of the social divide he interacted with.

Mt Kenya Mafia

Mr Kibaki, on the other hand, likes to surround himself with a tight group of friends he has known for a long time.

Their favourite social haunt is the exclusive Muthaiga Country Club in Nairobi where they banter about golf and their latest corporate moves

 

In Kenya, this circle is referred to, none too flatteringly, as the “Mt Kenya Mafia” for all of them hail from the Central Province, where the mountain that gave the country its name rises from.

Politically speaking, the closely intertwined Kikuyu, Embu and Meru people who inhabit this region are known generically as Gema.

But it is not a homogeneous clique in the sense of the real-life Cosa Nostra that meets to hatch conspiracies and plans.

Instead, it is a loose group of Gema worthies who are tied together by the memory of the community’s marginalisation during the Moi years and have vowed never to let this happen again.

On one side is a conservative wing of elderly, Catholic-school-educated businessmen who forged friendships during their Makerere days in the 1950s.

With few exceptions, they made their fortunes when Mr Kibaki was serving out his long tenure as minister for finance under Mr Kenyatta.

This group consists of corporate titans like University of Nairobi chancellor, Joe Wanjui, the head of the giant freight-forwarding firm Express Kenya, Peter Kanyago, advertising magnate Nathaniel Kang’ethe and George Muhoho, a brother of Kenyatta’s widow, Ngina.

Old guard

The fact that Mr Kenyatta’s own son, Uhuru, leads the opposition Kanu party does not bother this circle.

Their favourite social haunt is the exclusive Muthaiga Country Club in Nairobi where they banter about golf and their latest corporate moves.

They have always been on hand to bankroll Mr Kibaki’s political campaigns – from when he was in the opposition.

Chris Murungaru (Copyright: The Daily Nation)

Chris Murungaru was forced out of cabinet over corruption allegations

Having largely been frozen out during the Moi era, they made a powerful comeback under Mr Kibaki and act as his sounding boards.

They are also doing very well for themselves in business, with a number of high-profile corporate acquisitions.

Colloquially the press refers to them as the old guard.

Currently the two most powerful members of the cabinet, Security Minister John Michuki and Defence Minister Njenga Karume, are part of this old guard.

There is another batch of younger members, also Gema to the core, who did not rub shoulders with Mr Kibaki at Makerere.

Feathering nests

These young Turks prompted the press to coin the term “Mt Kenya Mafia” because they monopolised power and access to the president soon after he took office when he was briefly hospitalised due to illness.

This is a group of newcomers, whose centre of gravity revolved, for a time at least, around two ministers, Chris Murungaru and Kiraitu Murungi, both of whom have been forced out of the cabinet following allegations of involvement in the Anglo Leasing scandal, which refers to government contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars being awarded to a phantom firm.

This team had meshed with Mr Kibaki during his days as an opposition leader. They served as his strategists and political battering rams.

In power, they soon attracted flak for being arrogant and for constantly antagonising Mr Kibaki’s coalition partners.

The young Turks are quite different from the old guard, with whom they have ferociously vied for influence.

They lack the wealth of the old guard, and face accusations – justified or not – of having feathered their nests in an obscenely short time.

More and more, it is to the older, country club crowd that Mr Kibaki has retreated into.

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Progressive seminar

Posted by African Press International on April 22, 2007

“Announcement” 

The full day seminar will focus on the 60 sub trends in seniors housing starting to emerge in 2007 and will take you into the future (2008 and beyond).The first very successful briefing on new trends in retirement villages/care homes was successfully completed on Dec. 18 in Toronto.A group of architects and developers attended the day long briefing.You are welcome to join one of the next briefings set down for New York on Mon 11 June 2007 / Toronto Wed 13 June 2007 / Washington D.C. Fri 8 June 2007 / Chicago Thu 7 June 2007 / Vancouver Mon 28 May 2007A 9:30am to 4:00pm seminar/workshop for a maximum of 8 attendees to gain a thorough private briefing on all trends in the Canadian 50s Housing (all economic strata)This intimate setting allows both industry newcomers/greenhorns and well-established operators an opportunity to learn years of study in one day.The trends will cover all Over 50s Housing in independent, semi-dependent and dependent sectors. Who is the Seminar Aimed at:Builders, developers, financiers, architects, owners, seniors housing executives who are either, contemplating entering the over 50s housing sector and long standing industry players who need an outside view to freshen up thinking, perspective or re-evaluate industry positioning. Content:Detailed analysis of the 60 sub-trends in 50s independent housing, as well as the sub-trends in semi-dependant housing and the future of skilled nursing/ nursing homes socio-economic trends, social impacts, financing techniques and an overview of best practice developers, funders, managers and operators as well as a review of design, architecture, construction and business models. Presentation Coordinator:The all day session will be presented by the research editor of www.seniorshousing.us one of the foremost authorities worldwide on seniors housing trends). Comments by Past Participants:I exhort you to attend. The delegates who have attended the Day Long Sessions mid-year have enjoyed the most extraordinary experience. The reactions have covered the full gamut “This has been a life changing experience” – New York “You have added a new dimension to my business” – Washington D.C. “Can we stay in contact so that you may guide my learning and development” – Washington D.C. “Why didn’t you say in your promotion of the event that you were this good? This exceeds any conference I’ve ever been to” – New York “The New Business Models were awe-inspiring” – New York “I’ve been going to industry conferences for many years and have never heard anything as insightful as this …” – Los Angeles  Tailored Business Help:We will stay in contact beyond the Day Long Seminar. We will provide updates on the Trends and you will be given private access for help beyond the Day Seminar. These sessions were so valuable because they are run in very small numbers and only twice a year.   Venues:

Vancouver Mon 28th May 2007 9:30am to 4:00pm
New York Mon 11th June 2007 9:30am to 4:00pm
Washington D.C. Fri 8th June 2007 9:30am to 4:00pm
Chicago Thu 7th June 2007 9:30am to 4:00pm

 Price:US$899 per person (if booked and paid by 5pm 27 April 2007. Full price is US$1498 per person). Conditions:Limit of 8 per daily session.Cancellation fee: 100% refund up to 30 days before event, 50% refund up until 7 days, thereafter 100% cancellation rate applies. Materials Provided:Study Manual on Trends (100 pg)Copy of power point presentation (trends in 50s Housing)6 DVDs on Seniors Housing Award WinnersBaby Boomer Housing Study – May 2005 (96pages)Housing Seniors (Joint Venture for Housing Studies of Harvard University)Transgenerational Design MattersProfile of Buyers Home Feature PreferencesPulte/Del Webb Seniors Housing Survey Results How to book:CLICK HERE to download the order form.Eithera) Email:   sales@seniorshousing.usb) Fax     1 323 908 6218c) Mail :   Open Eye Corporation468 N. Camden Dr #200Beverly Hills CA 90210USA

Who We Are:OpenEye Corporation specializes in filming property trends across the world and making them available to industry participants in every country, in a cost efficient and visually instructive way. OpenEye Corporation conducts specialist research into trends in the Over 50s Housing Market around the world and presents this research in exclusive intimate seminars from time to time. OpenEye Corporation also publishes a monthly Over 50s Housing trends newsletter for its worldwide database of 500,000 industry professionals. Who is the Research Aimed at:Architects, Designers, Investors, Industry Executives, Town Planers, Government Officials and those interested in learning about trends in this growth sector and who are thirsty for knowledge but are time poor but still wish to stay abreast of international trends and standards will be the main beneficiaries. 

Free Over 50s Housing Trends Newsletter: 

If you wish to keep up to date with building trends in the over 50s market, you can access a free monthly newsletter by going to www.seniorshousing.us / or www.seniorshousing.co.uk and clicking on ‘Newsletter’. This newsletter archives all past and present newsletters.

 

 

If You Wish to be Added to Our Database: 

Email: sales@seniorshousing.us and nominate the address to be added.  Head Office: 

OpenEye Corporation

468 N. Camden Dr #200
Beverly Hills CA 90210
USA
 Phone: 1 310 860 5116
Fax:   1 323 908 6218
Email: sales@seniorshousing.us

Web:   www.seniorshousing.us

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Liberia: Diamond Worth One Millions Dollars Found in Liberia, An American Accused of Illegal Transactions

Posted by African Press International on April 22, 2007

From our correspondent

J. Cholo Brooks/Liberia

Despite U.N. Embargo on Liberia’s gold and diamond, it has been reported by the Gold and Diamond Workers Union that a diamond valued millions of dollars has be found by an American company in Northen part of the Country,  Gbarpolu County.

The Secretary General of the Gold and Diamond Workers Union of Liberia told reporters in Monrovia that the diamond is being camouflaged with the consent of the Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy.

Mr. Shedrick Wisner further alleged there was extensive mining of diamonds going on in the Kumgbor area in Gbarpolu County.

He also alleged that officials of the Lands, Mines and Energy Ministry were secretly given out diamond licenses to miners in the field.

Mr. Wisner said unless corrective measures were taken, the Kimberly Certification Process could be a failure.

Meanwhile, the Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Eugene Shannon has denied claimed that he is backing the illegal mining of diamonds in Gbarpolu County.

Dr. Shannon said the claim by the Gold and Diamond Workers Union is intended to tarnish his hard-earned reputation.

He said at no time did he connive with the American Mining Associates to camouflage a diamond valued millions of dollars.

Although Minister Shannon admitted traveling to the mining town of Kumgbor, in Gbarpolu he said he did not go there alone.

He promised to sack any of his officials caught in the issuance of diamond licenses in the country.

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Liberia: Former Liberian First Lady Arrested for $300,000 Debt

Posted by African Press International on April 22, 2007

From our correspondent

J. Cholo Brooks/Liberia

Madam Nancy B. Doe, wife of slain Liberian President, Samuel Kanyon Doe, was this week arrested in Monrovia and placed on prisoner’s bench at the Debt Court in Monrovia for her failure to pay a law firm hired to rendered legal services to her.

According to Court records, Mrs. Doe arrest followed a complain to the Debt Court by the Tulay & Associates Law Firm Court that she (Mrs. Doe) refused to settle her financial obligation in the amount of US$300,000.00 since last year when the Firm represented her legal interest to win a case in retrieving some of her late husband’s properties.

After spending hours in court sitting on prisoner’s bench at the Debt Court, the former Liberian First Lady was later rescued by a team of lawyers who promised to represent her interest next Thursday during the hearing of the case.

Mrs. Doe in a distressed mood was later told by the presiding Judge of the Court to go home and return next week with her lawyers to address the complain filed by her former legal partners on  ‘Action of Debt’.

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Lawmaker reports the mysterious disappearance of a diamond miner in Western Liberia, Accused U.N. Officials

Posted by African Press International on April 22, 2007


From our correspondent J. Cholo Brooks/Liberia

A Liberian Lawmaker, Senator Abel Massaley of Grand Cape Mount County said he is concerned about  the mysterious disappearance of a renowned diamond miner, Daniel James alias Jungle James.

Senator Massaley quoted family sources of Jungle James as saying two white men riding in a jeep marked city-nine kidnapped Jungle James and took him to Sierra Leone. 

The Grand Cape Mount County Senator believed the kidnappers were personnel of the UN Special Court. 

Senator Massaley said the Special Court was launching what he called covert operation in Liberia to recruit witnesses against Former President Taylor. 

According to sources closed to the Global News Network, a local news agency in Liberia, Jungle James has volunteered to testify against Mr. Taylor. 

The sources further stated that Jungle James sold some diamond to Mr. Taylor, but the Former President did not pay him during his reign as President of Liberia.

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Liberians in the United Kingdom promised Oasis in the Diaspora

Posted by African Press International on April 22, 2007

By: Douglas Farngalo, Birmingham , United Kingdom

 

 

Liberians in Britain have been assured that their community will be enhanced because they are wonderful people who deserve an oasis in this vast Diaspora. Delivering his inaugural address during the installation of the officials of the Union of Liberian Organisations in the United Kingdom (ULO-UK) held at the Liberian Embassy in London recently, the chairman of the organization Mr. John Nimly Brownell said he is proud of the confidence placed in him by his fellow Liberians to serve as the first chairman of ULO-UK.

 

Mr. Brownell said he is determined to use his position as a place where the words of everyone will be heard and the values of respect, tolerance and sharing, which are so essential to all Liberians, will be the hallmark of his administration.

 

He promised to visit Liberians in their towns, communities, homes and villages in order to listen to their queries.

 

Mr. Brownell used the occasion to announce that his theme for 2007 is “ULO-UK is for you.”

 

He asked Liberians to use ULO-UK as their first source of support and emphasizing he said: “We are for you when we speak on your behalf, be it to the Government or the Legislature, or seeking funding to help our groups. We are for you when we send out get – well cards, ask about your family or care about you in some way.”

 

Mr. Brownell said primary on his agenda will be immigration, the issue of Liberians in detention in the UK, fostering closer links with the Liberian embassy and government at home, creating a database of Liberians in the UK, a staunch membership drive, empowering local member organisations to be sustainable, creating strategic business plans wherein Liberian organisations in Britain can have access to and own community centres, among others.

 

He concluded by urging all Liberians in Britain irrespective of ethnic background to unite and work together saying: “We are all the product of one banana tree, and that tree is Liberia .”

 

In welcome remarks the Charge d’ affaires at the Liberian Embassy Dorsey Hansford welcomed the leadership of ULO-UK, distinguished guests and those participating in the program to the Embassy.

 

Mr. Hansford used the occasion to reiterate his point made in May 2006, when various members of the Liberian organisations were invited to meet the staff of the embassy, that community leaders were always welcomed to the Chancery and the embassy would do all in its capacity to assist them in meeting their objectives.  

 

Introducing the occasion, Dr. George N. Flahn informed the audience that ULO-UK which is the umbrella organisation of all Liberian groups in Britain . The officers of ULO-UK were elected at a general meeting of all Liberian organisations in the United Kingdom in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham late last year. The membership of ULO-UK consists of various social and charity organisations in the Liberian community. ULKO-UK does not replace any Liberian organisation, but will work along with the various groups to promote the interests of Liberian in the UK . ULO-UK belongs to us all and together we can make it a success.

 

Also speaking at this elaborate program was the President of the European Federation of Liberian Associations (EFLA), Mr. Elvis G. Morris. He congratulated the newly installed officers and that it was one of the objectives of EFLA to have organizations unite under one national body and that EFLA will work with ULO-UK in realizing its goals and plans. He used the occasion to announce that EFLA is planning a grand “July 26, 2007” joint celebration where all Liberians and their organizations in Europe would meet in Brussels , Belgium for the event.

 

During the program Mr. Hansford announced that the newly appointed Liberian Ambassador to the United Kingdom , His Excellency Wesley Johnson, would arrive in Britain during the week of the 8th of April, 2007.

 

According to sources close to the Embassy, following Mr. Johnson’s arrival, he will be presenting his letters of credence to her majesty the Queen of England at Buckingham Palace .

 

The source said Ambassador Johnson, who is the first ambassador to be appointed to this position after the election of the present government, will also be meeting the Diplomatic Corps and members of the Liberian community to formally introduce himself during separate occasions.

 

Observers believe that his arrival will serve as a relief to the community.

 

Other officers installed were Dr. George N. Flahn, Vice Chairman, Dr. Robert N. Blegay, Secretary General, Leslie Togbah, Treasurer and Paul B. Choloply as Financial Secretary.

 

Officials of the Annual General Meeting installed were Mr. R. Van Richards, President, Dr. Kokolo Waiwaiku, Vice Chairman and Mrs. Jacqueline Koffi, Secretary.

 

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Sweden: Narc-Kenya Scandinavia launches website

Posted by African Press International on April 22, 2007

Announcement 

Narc-Kenya Scandinavia has launched its official website i.e www.narckenyascandinavia.com. A big party to crown this will be held on satoo 28th April 07 at Alby Skolan T-station Alby-Stockholm,Sweden. From Stockholm central station take metro redline towards Norsborg,get off at Alby Station then go towards Alby Centrum,Alby Skolan is about 200m.Those
with vehicles from Stockholm city you take E4 south towards Goteborg. Its about 20min from the city centre.

The party starts  1800hrs and will be free entry before 2200hrs, there after 50SEK  per head. Food and drinks will be served at resonable price….

Infor:- Call Mr.Mwaura on +46 736694039
               Mr.Wamburi on +46 709757066
               Ms Ann       on +46 762350291

ALL ARE WELCOME!!!!!!!!  NYOTE MWAKARIBISHWA!!!!!!!!!! ALLA ÄR
VÄLKOMMEN!!!!!!

By Mwaura, Sweden

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Mabira demo revealed our envy

Posted by African Press International on April 22, 2007

They also added this comment:
“Mabira forest”

By Paul Busharizi

On Thursday, Kampala witnessed the worst incidents of street violence in recent memory.

What started out as a peaceful demonstration against the Government’s plans to hive off 7,100  hectares of Mabira forest for the Sugar Corporation of Uganda (SCOUL) to grow sugar, quickly degenerated into ugly scenes of racially-motivated violence against Asians.

But first the background.

Economic growth is crucial for this country in which nearly two in every five Ugandans live on less than a dollar a day.

The Government’s recent land allocation points to a desire to bypass bureaucratic channels and speed up the development process. The allocation of the forest to the Mehtas, who control SCOUL, can be viewed in this light.

One may question the seeming arbitrariness about these give-aways, but seen against the desire to drive development, it is hard to argue against them.

The environmentalists who are against the give-away have found a lot of sympathy for their cause. This groundswell of opposition has shown itself in various ingenious campaigns against SCOUL’s sugar, campaigns whose effectiveness it is too soon to determine.

Throw in the fact that SCOUL’s main promoters, the Mehta family, is of Asian origin, and in hindsight, we can see that Thursday’s demonstration was a disaster waiting to happen.

The uneasy relationship between the Asians and their African hosts is not unlike the uneasiness between other successful immigrant societies around their world and their host populations.

In Malaysia, there is legislation biased against the immigrant Chinese and in favour of the native Malays. Israel is founded on the frustrations of the Jewish community which thrives wherever it exists and as a result, it has suffered for it. Nearer to home, the Bakiga of Kibaale district can also relate to the Asian predicament.

The anti-Asian sentiment and most other anti-immigrant sentiments  around the world is a thinly-veiled envy of their industrious nature. Their entrepreneurial discipline has invariably led them to amass wealth, wealth indigenous Ugandans think it is their God-given right.

Their relative success rankles particularly because these same Asians were dispossessed of all their property in the 1970s, which we took possession of and squandered it. They repossessed it and have not only rehabilitated it, but have gone on to replicate it many times over.

The violence meted out on the innocent motor cyclist Devang Rawal who has most likely never occupied the same space as a Mehta, was an outward expression of how inadequate we feel compared to the more successful immigrants.

Our feelings of inadequacy are not an excuse for Thursday’s behaviour, but can be the trigger for some deep soul-searching.

You will not find any support for the acquisition of a part of the Mabira forest to grow sugarcane in this column. Considering the heat this proposal has generated in the last few weeks, one wonders about how sensitive the Mehtas are to the local sensibilities surrounding the whole issue.

But only the most undiscerning observer will fail to see that there were very powerful undertones in this riot that had nothing to do with loving trees.

If we envy the Asians’ wealth, why don’t we learn from them how to create it instead trying to obliterate them? After all we failed the first time around when we got their properties for free. What makes us think we can do better this time around?

Posted to Apn by Ham Mukasa

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Hold referendum on Mabira, says UPC

Posted by African Press International on April 22, 2007

By Daniel Edyegu

Members of the Tororo branch of the Uganda People’s Congress party want a
national referendum conducted over the proposed give-away of Mabira Forest.

Ojwang Obbo, the branch chief, told the press on Friday that this would
prevent unnecessary clashes that have already led to loss of lives and
property.

He said the issue had generated a lot of national debate and could not be
left to the Cabinet and Parliament alone.

“Many dissenting views have been expressed about Mabira Forest. The
Constitution mandates that any contentious issue of national interest be
settled through a referendum.”

Obbo added: “President Yoweri Museveni has been saying that power belongs to
the people. This is an opportunity to prove his word.”

He explained that Museveni, who conducted a struggle in the jungles, should
be better placed to know the importance of forests.

The Government had suggested that 7,100 hectares of the tropical forest be
degazetted with the view of giving it to a sugar producer.

The proposal led to a bloody demonstration in Kampala last week.

Ham Mukasa
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Uganda: Bagandans want their land back

Posted by African Press International on April 22, 2007

By Geresom Musamali

THE Buganda Kingdom wants to regain control over all forest reserves and
wetlands in the region.

“Buganda demands control over all the forest reserves and wetlands that were
taken away from us,” said the Katikiro, Emmanuel Ssendaula at the 52nd
birthday party of the Kabaka (king) Ronald Mutebi at Mengo Palace on
Saturday.

“We appeal to our people to remain united, firm and calm when stating their
case.”

The announcement came as the Cabinet is to debate a paper about giving away
part of Mabira Forest to the Sugar Corporation of Uganda (SCOUL) for
sugarcane production.

Buganda lost control over the forests reserves and wetlands after the 1966
crisis, when which the kingdom’s federal status was abolished.

Ssendaula said the kingdom also wished to recover all its property at the
Kabaka’s sub-counties.

He repeated the Kabaka’s offer of land in Kyaggwe to SCOUL(sugar factory).
“We regret the riots that recently took place over environmental issues. But
we also appeal to the Government to come out and listen to the outcry of the
people in such cases,” he added.

The birthday party was attended by Vice-President Prof. Gilbert Bukenya and
Prime Minister Prof. Apollo Nsibambi, who sat at one table, and FDC
president Kizza Besigye, Dr. Sulaiman Kiggundu and former minister Edward
Babu, who sat at the opposite table.

In what was referred to as an unusual occasion, the Kabaka and his wife
served a cake at Vice President Bukenya’s table and then moved across to
serve Besigye.

Mutebi’s daughter, Princess Ssangalyambogo, led fellow children to sing the
birthday song.

Ham Mukasa
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France: Immigrants fear the outcome of the elections

Posted by African Press International on April 22, 2007

Paris (France) Most foreigners particularly Africans living in France remain apprehensive of Sunday’s presidential poll because of their conviction that their fate will partly depend on the outcome of the poll.

But they are divided over the “fear” to see a far right candidate come to power like Nicolas Sarkozy, and the hope to see the left win.

Malian Boubacar Séméga, living in France since 17 years said “all foreigners were on the lookout and do not know who the next French president will be”.

“There is also a presidential election in my country but to me it is less important than the one in France as the French people’s choice might change the situation of foreigners particularly we Africans,” he said.

He seems very disturbed due to the fact that the immigration issue has been very recurrent in the campaign.

Mady Dramé, spokesperson for the Association of illegal immigrants living in the 19th division in Paris acquiesces with Séméga and hoped that a Left-wing candidate wins because he said the laws favouring immigrants have been voted by Left governments.

“Even if we are not French and therefore not entitled to vote, we have set up committees to support the Socialist Party candidate because we believe that a victory of the Right with Nicolas Sarkozy as president will have heavy consequences for Africans as everybody has seen the results of his repressive policy against foreigners”, Dramé added.

“It’s not only Africans who are frightened. Maybe they are more frightened but all foreigners are holding back their breath”, he observed.

For Dramé, Sarkozy’s speech “focussed the crackdown on immigration in a move to win the electorate of the National Front and the French who are against immigration while Mrs. Royale has pledged to improve their situation”.

That pledge is enough for Sécou Diabaté, chairman of the Organisation Citizen’s Initiatives and Actions for Development (IACD) for the African and Maghreb communities to turn their backs on the French Right.

Published by Korir, Africanor Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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Nigerian’s election mood defeats violence

Posted by African Press International on April 22, 2007

Lagos (Nigeria) An averted attack, a few hours before the commencement of voting in the presidential elections in Nigeria, seems to have gotten the better part of the enthusiasm of Nigerian voters, most of whom chose to stay at home.

A petrol tanker was set straight on the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja, the federal capital, early Saturday morning, but its launching system did not work, the Inspector General of Police, Sunday Ehindero, said.

According to the senior police officer, a man drove the tanker towards the INEC building after placing a large stone on the accelerator of the vehicle before jumping out. But the tanker did not continue its course, as it was blocked by obstacles.

This incident did not prevent the peaceful beginning of the presidential elections, as many Nigerians came out to vote, APA noted in Lagos.

Nigerian voters were already caught up, since last Saturday, in a spiral of protests and violence which continued all week long until Friday, causing a death toll of 90.

On Friday evening, the governor of the oil-rich State of Bayelsa and candidate to the vice-presidency for the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Goodluck Jonathan, escaped a shooting in a big hotel in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa.

Journalists and young militants of political parties, questioned by APA, believe that Nigerians do not need to risk their lives for a poll whose outcome is known in advance.

“Have you seen the landslide victory of the PDP last week ?” Zacharia, a taxi driver forced to rest this Saturday, asked.

“Despite the assets of the other political parties, the PDP has almost made a clean sweep of all governor posts. They put in everything and the others would not let go. So the result is : deaths and deaths. We have come back to our old habits,” he deplored.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no

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