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Archive for May 4th, 2007

Kenya: Agreeing with Manganga on Kenya’s past

Posted by African Press International on May 4, 2007

The struggle against the Kenya tyrants leadership were well recorded and can be traced, many underground movements existence had proper records of their members and their networks. As from 1960’s till 1990’s, therefore, someone must be in comradeship records either in KPU. Mwakenya, Fera, February 18, Kenya Patriotic Front, Indigenous churches for Constitution Reforms (ICCR) or in diaspora cells.
The history and records must be put straight, and therefore the shameless opportunists and cowards are now merging in diaspora seeking electorate position in Kenya by associating their past with our dear men and women who lost their lives or were persecuted for noble caurse to liberate our beloved country.
Such masqueraders should be exposed public to the Kenyan voters particularly now that they are seeking a electorate position. Mr Manganga keep on the good work in filling up well records for the remembrance fallen comrades.
Rev Okoth Otura,(unedited)

Re: Miguna’s seal of approval-When was Miguna detained?

Ndugu Nyaware,

I am involved in preparing a book recording the heroes of Kenya’s freedom fighters. This includes those detained without trial, jailed for political beliefs, tortured, killed etc.

I have here with me a list of all political detainees in post-independence Kenya. In your piece below, you make certain allegations to the effect that:

>Miguna as being one of the former student leaders who ware
>detained by Moi government in the late eighties and expelled
>from Nairobi university. They were subjected to persecution
>due to their agitation for good governance.
>He was released from detention only at the intervention
>of Amnesty International and the UNHCR that played a crucial
>role in his flight to Canada.

Ndugu Nyaware, We have done very good work in compiling our list. And the name Miguna Miguna does not appear anywhere in the annals of the those who were detained or jailed either by Moi or Kenyatta. In fact the name Miguna Miguna seem not to be associated with any substantial political activity against one-party dictatorship.

This does not in anyway preclude Mr. Miguna’s activities in other areas, nor does it try to diminish Miguna’s achievements in life or political activity in general. What we are saying is that for the sake of those who gave their lives and sacrificed everything, please let’s avoid putting on kofias that do not belong to us.

What we have gathered was that Miguna as a dining hall representative in the student representative council found himself under arrest for reasons he has never understood till this day. He was questioned and found to be of no threat to the state and released within a few days. He was among 43 students who were expelled. This led him to leave Kenya in search of further education. And the rest is history.

If I am wrong then please provide me with the following info

Date of Arrest
Date of arraignment in court (if any)
Date of Detention without trial
Name of Prison (s) held in
Date of release
Links to Amnesty Campaigns on behalf of Miguna Miguna.

Manganga J
Kenya Heroes Documentation Project

Posted to APN by Rev Rev Okoth Otura,

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Good example: leaders declare assets

Posted by African Press International on May 4, 2007

Nouakchott (Mauritania) Mauritanian President Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdellahi, his Prime Minister and members of government are to declare their assets, a first in the history of the country, APA has learnt

The Council of Ministers took the decision during its first meeting held Wednesday in Nouakchott, a government communiqué published Wednesday evening said.

Ould Cheikh Abdellahi said the move was in an attempt to meet the legitimate expectations of citizens, particularly in the domain of administration, justice, the consolidation of national unity and the setting up of a rule of law.

Abdellahi expressed concern over the recent rise of prices of basic commodities and urged the Primier, Zein Ould Zeidane, to act quickly to protect consumers and end the phenomenon.

Particular emphasis was laid on the shortage of food which the President requested the Premier to put an end particularly in the rural areas.

Speaking about his government’s action plan, the Mauritanian Premier said new tools to follow up the plan were being developed by the newly-established ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Modernisation.

The Premier promised to “ruthless fight against corruption, the embezzlement of public monies and all other practices contrary to moral values.”

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Tanzania: Tanzanian Vice President Ali Mohamed Shein Thursday called on researchers and other stakeholders to ensure that results of their research was disseminated

Posted by African Press International on May 4, 2007

Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) Tanzanian Vice President Ali Mohamed Shein Thursday called on researchers and other stakeholders to ensure that results of their research was disseminated to people and other end-users.

Officiating a workshop on research support in Dar es Salaam on Thursday, Shein said that research would be of no use if the results only ended up in publications or locked up in offices.

“The objective of any research is to find ways of solving problems that people face. It is therefore imperative that research findings should reach end-users. And in this case, it is the people,” he advised.

Shein said that a strong link between research and use of research results would help to spur economic growth, poverty reduction and technological transfer.

During his speech, the Vice President commended the Swedish government for supporting various research activities in Tanzania.

“The catalogue of this partnership is one of the most impressive in development cooperation,” he added.

On his part, the Swedish ambassador to Tanzania, Torvald Akesson pledged that his government would continue to support the financing of research activities to enable the country attain its development goals.

The Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) organised the daylong workshop to discuss how research in Tanzania could be strengthened further, and take stock of needs and opportunities of the society in the country.

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South Africa: Human Rights Watch on Wednesday called on South African President Thabo Mbeki to put human rights abuses at the centre of his mediation efforts

Posted by African Press International on May 4, 2007

Johannesburg (South Africa) Human Rights Watch on Wednesday called on South African President Thabo Mbeki to put human rights abuses at the centre of his mediation efforts between Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

“President Mbeki has a chance to push for an end to the massive human rights violations that are fuelling Zimbabwe’s crisis,” Georgette Gagnon, deputy Africa director of Human Rights Watch said here, adding that other Southern African countries should also take a stronger stance on the issue.

Gagnon’s comments accompanied a report released on Wednesday by Human Rights Watch in Johannesburg on the Zimbabwe government’s ongoing crackdown on its political opponents and on civil society groups. The 39-page report, entitled ‘Bashing Dissent : Escalating Violence and State Repression in Zimbabwe,’ chronicles the “arbitrary arrests, detentions and brutal beatings by police and security forces” of dozens of activists beginning with a March 11 raid on a prayer rally in Harare.

The report also states that two opposition members have been shot by police over the past seven weeks, one fatally ; and several others, including MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, have been badly beaten in police custody, sparking an international outcry over the growing authoritarianism of 83-year- old President Robert Mugabe.

Thabo Mbeki was appointed by the 14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) to try to resolve the standoff between Mugabe’s ZANU-PF and the MDC and to lay the ground for free and fair presidential and legislative elections in 2008.

The South African government has come under attack at home and abroad for its muted response to human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. Although expressing concern from time to time, the South African government has stopped short of outright condemnation and has sought to block discussions on the issue at the United Nations Security Council level.

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Uganda: Museveni blames Kenya for fuel crisis in Uganda

Posted by African Press International on May 4, 2007

By Geresom Musamali
and George Bita

Museveni blames fuel scarcity on KRA

President Yoweri Museveni has blamed the fuel shortage in the country on some Kenyan officials.

“We have good relations with Mwai Kibaki (Kenyan President). But there are some officials there who think that Uganda is something that can be played about with anyhow,” Museveni said during the International Labour Day celebrations at Bugembe Stadium in Jinja.
“If you stop fuel from coming to Uganda, that is a blockade. This is serious. In future, it can create a very big problem,” Museveni noted.

Fuel scarcity hit the country in mid-March.
This has been attributed to problems on the Kenya oil pipeline. Uganda has negotiated with Kenya for her trains and trucks to load fuel directly from Mombasa.

However, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has cleared only five oil companies under the arrangement. Initially, KRA had demanded that the Ugandan oil companies pay a refundable deposit before loading fuel to ensure that they do not off load the fuel on transit within Kenya.

But the Ugandan authorities argue that it would amount to double taxation if the firms are taxed by KRA and the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).

Total fuel station, which is located a few metres away from the Bugembe venue, had neither petrol nor diesel yesterday.
Museveni specifically criticised the KRA for its unreasonable demands on Uganda oil companies.

“The KRA must change their attitude.”
“I phoned President Kibaki last week and we agreed that there is no way Ugandans can pay taxes in Mombasa (to KRA). It may be against the international conventions. We either station URA in Mombasa or the Kenyans accept Ugandan bank guarantees.” The President added that he had directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to examine the trade conventions and advise him.

“The fish is rotting from the lake (shores) because there is no fuel to process and deliver it to the market. We can not meet our fish delivery obligations to the international markets either,” Museveni charged.

On the population, Museveni said it will be 54m in 2025, eventually reaching 130m in 2050.

“Those who are used to talking things that they do not know should use figures to begin planning, otherwise there is going to be a catastrophe.

“A population of 54m cannot fit comfortably in agriculture, and when it reaches 130m, it cannot be contained in a predominantly agricultural country at all.”
Museveni said the country needs electricity to achieve development, adding that former Bugabula South MP Salaamu Musumba was among the people who derailed earlier plans to build the Bujagali power dam.

The President also launched the National Child Labour Policy. He decried the high rate of unemployment, especially among the youth.

“The question of unemployment is not something that I will take at leisure because I was elected to solve these problems. Those who say I should listen to their voices should also learn to listen to mine.”

Posted to APN by Ham Mukasa
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A Kenyan connection: Central Kitsap Presbyterian Church members say their work with Maasai villagers in Kenya was a life-changing experience

Posted by African Press International on May 4, 2007,2403,BSUN_19080_5509013,00.html

Lenna Himmelstein, Kitsap Sun

Loanna Day, and Rosemary Sakuda, a Maasai native, founded MWEEP, an organization to help females attend school beyond the village level and also set up a dairy in Ngong.

Joshua Santamo, of SIMOO, gives Central Kitsap High School students a lesson on the culture and history of the Maasai in Kenya. SIMOO is an outreach program designed to help young women learn skills and trade through the set-up of dairy farms in Kenya.

Young Kenyan girls often write compelling letters to SIMOO seeking financial support to continue their education.



By Sue Edwards, For the Kitsap Sun

Back in 1968, Denny and Jeanne Grindall of Silverdale took a photography safari to the bleak, arid Rift Valley in Kenya where the Maasai tribal people had been consigned to live by the government. But the Grindalls’ pleasure trip turned into a life-altering experience that has affected many people both in Kenya and the Kitsap Peninsula.

Formerly nomads who drove their cattle from one watering hole to another, the Maasai tribes had been relegated to an area where droughts of two rainless years were not unknown. With no rain, and a diet that consisted of milk, beef and blood, many children, already weak from malnutrition, died along with the cattle.

Living only in temporary homes made from cattle dung and mud that housed both people and animals and having no permanent supply of water or knowledge of agriculture, the people of this valley might have been facing extinction if the Grindalls had not been so horrified by their meager existence. The couple decided to return the next year to help the people.

Now in their 80s, they worked with the Maasai of the Rift Valley for six months of every year for 14 years to establish a personal on-going bond with these people and those of the Central Kitsap Presbyterian Church in Silverdale.

After obtaining the reluctant cooperation of a few tribal elders to sell some of their precious cattle to raise $1,000, the Grindalls raised matching money and together they learned how to construct a year-round usage reservoir that was filled during the short wet season, lay 13,000 feet of pipes to bring water to the village and irrigate fields after overcoming Maasai aversion to eating vegetables. Formerly, the women had to walk miles to fetch water from stagnant ponds or barely trickling springs.

Seven reservoirs were eventually built to help villages in the valley where more than 300,000 Maasai reside and the temporary dung huts are gradually being replaced by permanent ferro-cement homes. Eventually, schools, churches and other structures were built with the long-term matching support of the Grindalls and their church.

Work with the Maasai of the Rift Valley is currently being carried on by the church and many members have worked side by side with the people in the Rift Valley villages. But more work is needed to improve education and subsistence living that is still practiced in the “old way” by some of the people living along outlying areas of the Rift Valley.

Creating schools and other educational opportunities have become so important to the Rift Valley Maasai, tribal members Rosemary Sakuda and Joshua Santamo are visiting the Kitsap Peninsula for the second straight year to talk in schools, homes and churches about their culture and the educational needs of their people.

Sakuda says that in Kenya, some primary and all secondary education require fees. But women and girls still have lesser status and if an animal must be sold to put someone through secondary school, it is usually for a boy. Some men still have more than one wife and girls as young as 14 are still sometimes sold for the price of a cow or goat.

“I was supposed to be one of those girls, but I ran away to distant relatives, got an education and have been a primary school teacher for 25 years in the village of Oloosho-oibor,” says Sakuda, who is now married to a man of her choice and has five children between 16 and 24.

She is the chairwoman of Maasai Women’s Education and Empowerment Program (MWEEP) that Loanna Day of Silverdale founded. Loanna and husband Jon, like the Grindalls, first went to Rift Valley on a photo safari in 2000, but didn’t learn about the involvement of their church with the Maasai until after they returned.

They, too, felt a profound desire to help the Maasai and it led them to host a dinner for a young Maasai woman, Grace Koimarish, who was about to be married to an old man so her father could receive a dowry of cattle. Her only way out was to raise money for a boarding school and the director of Simba Maasai Outreach Organization (SIMOO) asked the Days if they could help. The “Dinner for Grace” was so successful, the Days held another for a second destitute woman, Lucy Pulei, then decided to return to Kenya in 2005 to see what else they could do.

This trip lead to the formation of MWEEP (under the SIMOO umbrella) on Nov. 24, 2005 and establishment of a direct bank account at Barclay’s in the closest city of Ngong. Its primary function is to provide scholarships for women beyond village primary schools to secondary schools (mandatory boarding) and on to professional training schools and colleges. And MWEEP has also started a dairy and bought a small place in Ngong where they can keep milk cool until it sells.

SIMOO is a nonprofit indigenous Maasai organization created to develop waters sources and transport networks, cultivate crops, improve livestock, promote education, conserve the environment and empower women through inclusion.

After her successful trip last year, Sakuda is in Kitsap County again with her stories of more than 100 MWEEP applicants, like Ciciliah Nashpai Tanin, who is one of nine children in a poor family or orphan Debra Sanaka. Sakuda is again joined by Santamo, principal of Kimuka Secondary School. Both have been giving presentations in Central and North Kitsap Schools about the lives and culture of the Maasai as well as at private dinners and public presentations sponsored by the Central Kitsap Presbyterian Church.

Students at Central Kitsap High School found it difficult to comprehend the vast difference in life styles. When Santamo was taken to lunch Monday in the school cafeteria, he was overwhelmed by the vast selection of food available to them. During the lunch hour, student Albert Schwoch asked what the Maasai children did for recreation.

“The kids love soccer there, but our students couldn’t believe it when he told them that they had wadded up a bunch of paper tightly and tied it together with twine to make a ball,” said teacher Katherine Devnich.

And the Kitsap-Kenya connection continues in homes here as well. Joshua’s host family mother, Sarah Christian, says: “It’s been wonderful for all of us to appreciate the contrast in our lives. We have so many material things, but they have such a rich culture — Joshua is teaching my sons Justin and Nathan Swahili phrases and they are talking about African animals.”

Poulsbo Junior High School teacher Gayl Teneyck is having her students write books for Joshua’s students and is hoping to create pen pals. She is planning to go work in a Rift Valley village herself this summer and says. “This is what we hope the world can be — bridging countries and cultures together.”


Opportunities to meet Maasai tribe members Joshua Santamo and Rosemary Sakuda.

Today at 12:30 p.m.: Soup and bread at Central Kitsap Presbyterian Church, 9300 Nels Nelson Road, Silverdale or services at 8, 9:15 and 11 a.m.

Monday: Open house at Central Kitsap Presbyterian Church, 7 to 9 p.m.

Tuesday, May 8: Open house at Central Kitsap Presbyterian Church, 7 to 9 p.m.

Saturday, May 12: Poulsbo Junior High School students having benefit car wash at Poulsbo Chevron (Highway 305 and Hostmark) 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. to raise funds for Maasai students.

Other opportunities: Contact coordinator Sharon Dommermuth at (360) 308-0187 or Loanna Day at (360) 830-4674 to arrange for MWEEP (Maasai women) benefits.

Posted to APN by Karuga wa Njuguna
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Kenya as a Federal State?

Posted by African Press International on May 4, 2007

A message to Kenyans

Ndugu Obanda,

Your motto ” No Comprehensive Reforms ! No Election, caught my attention and we are in the same thought, can you advice Councilor Odhiambo how to go about ?
Meanwhile, have you ever thought to have a Kenya Federal State with strong Provincial Governments like what we have here in Canada ? What lesson did you learn in last Quebec Election and Federal Government Budget here in Canada ?

Through my political Carree, I trust every Kenyans both in diaspora and at home will be very grateful with a transparent Regional Type of Government. With your NO COMPREHENSIVE REFORM ! NO ELECTION ! you will get a overwhelming support if are specific and just make a call of NO MAJIMBO ! NO ELECTION !

Rev Okoth Otura,
President/Founder, Christian Democratic Movement of Kenya.

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Posted by African Press International on May 4, 2007

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Uganda: Toro mourns fallen Brig. Mayombo

Posted by African Press International on May 4, 2007

By Bizimungu Kisakye

TO residents of Kabarole district, the news of the untimely death of Brigadier Noble Mayombo, a born of the area, was received with shock and disbelief.

â?oWhat killed Mayombo in such a short time?â? was the main question on Fort Portalâ?Ts roads, in offices and shops.

The head of the Babiito Royal family of the Toro Kingdom, to which the deceased belonged, has asked for full investigations into what he described as â?ovague circumstancesâ? surrounding his death.

â?oMayombo was our hope and his death is a big blow to us as a clan and a Kingdomâ?, said Omujwera Omusuga Charles Kamurasi.

â?oUpon the restoration of the Toro Kingdom, Mayombo became an advisor to the then Omukama (king) Patrick Kaboyo. We have lost a big asset that can not easily be replaced soonâ?, he added before bursting into tears.

The prime minister, Stephen Irumba, hailed Mayombo for his devotion to King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru IV, and the people of Toro.

â?oWe canâ?Tt describe the unwavering support and benevolence to the activities of the Kingdom and the nation to which he gave his whole beyond pecuniary self,â? Irumba said in a statement.

â?oMayombo will not only be remembered as a career soldier, but as a young and brilliant lawyer whose integrity and professionalism in handling tasks exemplified him as an epitome of good governance, as did his loyalty to and love for our king and the people of Tooro.â?
Those who knew Mayombo personally had only words of praise and admiration for his many talents.

â?oHe was a great debater and actorâ?, said Rev.Frank Ruhweza, a former deputy head teacher of Nyakasura School, where Mayombo studied. â?oHe loved music, dance and drama. At one time he wrote and acted his own play.â? He recalled that while in school, Mayombo occupied one of the most prestigious dormitories, Kasagama House, where the late Omukama Patrick Kaboyo had stayed.

Others like former town clerk Denis Mugarra were not able to express the pain about the loss of one of Kabaroleâ?Ts most prominent figures.

Posted to APN by Ham Mukasa

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Uganda: Impunity must be stopped

Posted by African Press International on May 4, 2007

Posted to APN by Ham Mukasa

UGANDA has once again been rocked by a scandal involving donor money. After the Global Fund scam, where money for malaria and HIV/AIDS programmes was diverted, we are now informed about abuse of immunisation funds.

According to the findings of the Inspector General of Government, money meant for vaccines and immunisation programmes was shamelessly misused by former ministers and government officials. Worse, theft and fraud were discovered among one of the President’s closest people, an employee at State House.

Corruption has become endemic in Uganda. It is the daily headache of investors, bank directors, company managers, traders, school directors, hospital superintendents and NGO project managers.

Impunity for wrong-doers is cited as the main problem. Indeed, as soon as somebody gets accused of a crime – be it corruption, rioting, treason, murder or abduction -, all forces seem to conspire to get that person freed on bail, acquitted or even granted amnesty, claiming that the charges were politically motivated.

President Yoweri Museveni has now given a clear signal that impunity must be stopped. He provided sh960m additional funds to the Police to investigate those implicated in the Global Fund scandal. And he has personally directed the arrest and prosecution of three former ministers and others involved in the mismanagement of the Immunisation fund, including one of his former aides.

The President should be applauded for this courageous act. It is the kind of action investors, donors and concerned Ugandans have been waiting for. It is also a warning sign to those who are trying to get away with crimes by claiming political motives.

But the President cannot fight corruption alone. He needs the Government, the Parliament, the Police, the Judiciary, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Inspector General of Government, the Solicitor General and the general public to support him in this struggle.

He needs to follow these cases through, ensure that the money mismanaged is refunded and the wrong-doers sanctioned. And both the Government and the donors should support the structures that are in place to fight corruption, by providing them with sufficient funds, manpower, modern technology and training.

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Amnesty International Wednesday welcomed the decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue arrest warrants for two suspected Sudanese war criminals

Posted by African Press International on May 4, 2007

London (UK) Amnesty International Wednesday welcomed the decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue arrest warrants for two suspected Sudanese war criminals, and urged the Sudanese government to immediately arrest the two men and hand them over to the Court in The Hague.

The Sudanese State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Ahmad Harun, and a renowned Janjawid leader Ali Muhammad Ali Abdelrahman (also known as Ali Kushayb), face 51 counts of alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, persecution, the destruction of property, pillaging, rape, torture, outrages upon personal dignity and other inhumane acts.

“The UN Security Council must now demand that Sudan — or any other state in whose territory the two suspects are found — arrest and surrender them immediately,” said Erwin van der Borght, Director of Amnesty International’s Africa Programme. “The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) should also be requested and equipped to arrest and surrender them.”

Amnesty International urged the African Union to press the Sudanese government to arrest and surrender the two men, and to direct their forces currently in Darfur to do the same if they are found within their sphere of operations.

In addition, Amnesty International called on the Sudanese government and on other governments to investigate and prosecute, in accordance with international standards, other war crimes and crimes against humanity not prosecuted by the ICC Prosecutor and to ensure that victims and their families are able to seek and obtain reparations.

According to Amnesty International, Ali Kushayb is thought to be currently in detention in Darfur, awaiting trial. They however said there is no confidence that the Sudanese government is able or willing to prosecute him effectively in this case.

“Today’s decision by the ICC indicates an important step forward in how the international community will deal with Sudan over the gross human rights violations taking place in Darfur,” said van der Borght.

“It is no longer seen to be enough to just conduct political negotiations over strengthening the current peacekeeping force in Darfur and try to further peace talks. Concrete steps must also be taken immediately to hold people to account for the crimes being perpetrated against the people of Darfur.”

“Seeking justice for the people of Darfur now will not hinder the continuing search for a political solution — it will only serve to make that solution, when it is found, more durable,” Amnesty said.

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