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Archive for August 21st, 2007

Earlier sign of unity before the recent split as they scramble for power

Posted by African Press International on August 21, 2007

Story by NATION Team
Publication Date: 8/21/2007

MPs allied to Mr Raila Odinga and Mr Kalonzo Musyoka were yesterday mounting pressure on the rival ODM camps to reunite.

Earlier ODM-K unity demonstartion before the split: Presidential aspirants, from left Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka and Raila Odinga: past picture.
Photo/ FILE

Speaking separately, seven Members of Parliament said Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka should work together to enable the Opposition to win the December General Election.

A meeting is scheduled for today to fix a date for talks where Mr Musyoka, who is in ODM-Kenya, and Mr Odinga, who recently moved to the original ODM, have been asked to send representatives.

Rival camps

The MPs pushing the two rival camps to come together are Mr Andrew Ligale, Mr Kenneth Marende, Mr Wycliffe Oparanya, Mr Sospeter Ojaamong, Mr Joshua Ojodeh and Mr Mutula Kilonzo. Former Vice-President Musalia Mudavadi is also of the same opinion.

But Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo, a staunch Kalonzo supporter, opposed the move. Other MPs in the Kalonzo camp are Ms Nyiva Mwendwa, Mr Daudi Mwanzia, Mr Kiema Kilonzo, Mr Patrice Ivuti, Mr Lucas Maitha, Mr Moffat Maitha, Mr Itwiku Mbae, Mr Joe Khamisi and Mr David Musila.

The MPs call came as Mr Musyoka and Health minister Charity Ngilu held a breakfast meeting in Mombasa, which, they said, was aimed at uniting the Kamba community.

Mrs Ngilu said her talks with her bitter rival in Ukambani politics sought to bring together leaders to form a winning team for the December elections.

But speaking elsewhere, Langata MP Odinga and his Eldoret North counterpart, Mr William Ruto, said they would not abide by conditions set by Mr Musyoka for the two sides to reunite.

Mr Odinga, who was speaking in Nyeri, said they had extended an olive branch to the ODM-K presidential aspirant but he should not give them any conditions.

ODM secretary-general Peter Anyang Nyongo pledged to issue a statement on the unity bid between the two camps today. Prof Nyongo spoke to the Nation by telephone from Kisumu.

However, the party will hold a National Executive Council meeting at Orange House in Nairobi today, where the issue is expected to feature.

Elsewhere, Mr Mudavadi, who is in Mr Odingas camp, yesterday held a meeting in Kakamega attended by 480 delegates from all the constituencies in Western Province.

The meeting at Shieywe Guest House resolved that Mr Musyoka should be asked to return to the ODM fold to build a strong team ahead of elections. It was attended by MPs Oparanya (Butere), Marende (Emuhaya), Ligale (Vihiga) and Ojaamong (Amagoro).

The delegates resolved to back Mr Mudavadi for the ODM presidential nomination, but if he loses, they will support the winner.

And Ndhiwa MP Ojodeh said that for the past one week, MPs allied to Mr Musyoka had been approaching the ODM camp and requesting for talks.

I am for any dialogue that will make ODM even stronger as we do not want to be outside the Government after elections, he added.

Mr Ojodeh said the MPs would hold more consultations today.

Meanwhile, Short Text Messages were being sent to individual politicians on both sides, urging them to re-unite and even reschedule the National Delegates Conferences by the two factions to allow for reconciliation.

Close associates of Mr Musyoka warned that the Opposition might not be able to oust President Kibaki if it goes to the polls divided.

The message read: Kindly have unity of the two oranges preached today. With the split, we are not going to beat President Kibaki in a million years.

The message was being circulated by a lawyer in Mr Musyokas presidential campaign team.

The message added: Postpone ODM presidential elections to end of September to give room for reconciliation. Lets not fight to be in Opposition.

Another text message called for reconciliation meetings to start today and that Gen (rtd) John Koech should be picked to arrange for the venue.

The messages said Mr Odinga, Mr Mudavadi, Mr Ruto and Mr Musyoka should send representatives to the talks.

Among those proposed to attend the talks are: Eldama Ravine MP Musa Sirma, Gen (rtd) Koech, star athlete Paul Tergat, former NSSF Managing Trustee Jos Konzolo, lawyer Donald Kipkorir, politician Ochieng Mbeo, deputy Speaker David Musila and Mr Suleiman Murunga.

Mr Ruto said Mr Sirma and Eldoret East MP Joseph Lagat had been sent to convince him to accept reconciliation.

Mr Ruto ruled out any reconciliation saying: We are better off going separate ways than pretending to engage in reconciliation all the time. We dont want to hold our people back any more while creating false hope.

But Mr Musyoka welcomed the unity initiative, but added: We dont have much time.

Asked about planned ODM-Kenya NDC for August 31, Mr Musyoka said it will be known in the next two days if it was still on.

Nominated MP Kilonzo, who is on Mr Musyokas team, said the unity of ODM and ODM-Kenya was crucial if they hoped to defeat President Kibaki.

The unity of both oranges will be only sure way of defeating President Kibaki. I have said before that a strong team is one that brings all ODM leaders together, Mr Kilonzo said.

He added: If ODM is fragmented then we will have killed the Kenyan dream of 2005 and handed Kibaki easy victory.

Mr Daniel Maanzo, the official ODM-K chairman, welcomed the unity bid, also saying it was the only way to beat President Kibaki at the ballot.

Mr Maanzo said: Those calling for reconciliation are doing a good thing, it is a great thing.

Mr Ruto said ODM will not postpone the September 1 delegates meeting meant to nominate the partys presidential candidate.

If there is to be any reconciliation between the two groups, Mr Ruto said, it should be for the purposes of enhancing the ODM team that is already in place

At the same time, Mr Sirma who together with Bondo MP Oburu Oginga and Mr Ligale chaired a meeting of Kalenjin, Luo and Luhya elders in Eldoret at the weekend said they agreed on a winning ODM team and not individuals.

The elders rejected the condition stating that they would only support an ODM presidential candidate if he or she comes from their community.

Sources said the Eldoret meeting of elders had endorsed Mr Odinga for president, Mr Mudavadi for VP, Mr Ruto for Prime Minister, and Mr Joe Nyaga and Mr Najib Balala as Deputy Prime Ministers.

Lifted and published by Korir, africanpress@chello.no tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.nation.ke

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Central Province Hotelier kicked ODM Raila Odinga out of his Hotel

Posted by African Press International on August 21, 2007

A standard story by Moses Njagih and Francis Ngige

Mr Raila Odinga got a taste of things to come when a hotel proprietor disrupted his triumphant entry into President Kibaki’s Nyeri backyard by ejecting him and his entourage from the facility. In an incident that could serve as a pointer to just how polarised the country has become ahead of the General Election, the hotel proprietor said to be related to a top political class made little secret of the fact that the group was unwelcome at the premises.

The Langata MP, who had earlier had a heroic welcome in Mathira constituency, was stunned when the proprietor stormed the dining room and ordered the ODM leaders out.

Incident described as primitiveOn Monday night, Raila described the incident as primitive but vowed it would not dampen his resolve to get votes in Central Kenya.

Said he: “This is very primitive behaviour. That level of intolerance is not conducive to democracy. It is unbelievable.

People have a democratic right to do what they want within the law and go wherever they want. This was a public place, not a private members club”.

Raila said his group had only requested to be served with drinks before the proprietor stormed the room.

(read the proprietor) started shouting to attract other people. To us, it was just a sideshow. We just walked out,” he said.

He added: “The reception I got was well beyond my expectations. You can’t demonise the whole region. I know that well of course get those diehard conservatives, but officials have promised me they are working very hard to ensure I get 25 per cent of votes.”

Ngaru accused of taking the Raila team to the hotel

In a moment of blind fury, the proprietor told the ODM group that the premises could not be used to scheme President Kibaki’s downfall.

Raila and about 50 guests had retreated into one of the hotel rooms, where they were holding a brief meeting as they waited for their lunch.

Anxiety started building up as soon as word went round that the Raila group had converged there.

Drama unfolded shortly after the enraged proprietor drove in. When efforts to calm him failed, an angry Raila led his entourage out of the hotel as employees watched in disbelief.

ODM National Executive Council member Ms Mumbi Ngaru got into a heated exchange with the irate individual, who accused her of taking the Raila team to the hotel.

“Even if it is a business, I will not allow them to hold a meeting (in the hotel) to vilify Kibaki,” shouted the owner as Raila was led out by his aides.

The proprietor asked the guards to ensure all the vehicles in Raila’s entourage had been removed from the hotel premises.

Raila remained diplomatic in his address

Earlier, Raila had promised to give Kibaki a run for his money in the coming elections. He predicted that the battle to State House would be a two-horse race between himself and Kibaki.

Raila, however, remained diplomatic in his address. He described Kibaki as a gentleman.

He said he was sure the Head of State would concede defeat if beaten in the December polls.
He added: “I will also concede defeat and congratulate him if he beats me fairly because I know him as a gentleman and a good friend”.

Raila, who was addressing hundreds of mourners at Kangocho in Mathira Division during the burial of Peterson Kaburu Ihaku, an ODM pointman in the area, dispelled a notion that there exists bad blood between the Kikuyu and the Luo.

He said the two communities had worked and co-existed together for decades and should not be separated by politicians out to gain mileage from their tribal tags.

“In fact, I consider the Kikuyu as my wathoniwa (in-laws) and there is no bad blood between us.”

Differences between him and Kibaki are only political

Raila said differences between him and Kibaki were only political.

“I am sure my brothers in Central Province will support my presidential bid in the same way I supported one of their own in 2002,” he said.

Raila, who was accompanied by fellow ODM presidential aspirants Mr Joe Nyagah and the Makadara MP Mr Reuben Ndolo, told Central Kenya residents they risked being segregated from other communities unless they voted for change in the polls.

He charged the crowd when he coined a Kikuyu phrase Kenya “ireda” Raila (Kenya wants Raila).

The Langata MP said a clique around the President had made the original Narc dream to collapse as they engaged in witch-hunting and name-calling. He said Kibaki had reneged on his earlier promise to serve for only one term.

ODM to ensure economy grows by at least 20 per cent

Raila blamed the defeat in Parliament of the Constitutional Amendment Bill that would have seen the creation of 50 extra seats for women on Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Ms Martha Karua’s “arrogance and intolerance”.

He said this had polarised Parliament by the time the debate came to the House. An ODM government, he said, would ensure the economy grew by at least 20 per cent a year.

Nyagah said he had decided to follow ODM to act as a bridge between communities in Mt Kenya region and those from the rest of the country.

“The way things were going, it was clear that the Mt Kenya region was being segregated and so I chose to be the negotiator. I like and respect President Kibaki like my father but on this, I chose otherwise because I sensed his defeat,” he said.

Lifted and published by Korir, API*APN africanpress@chello.no tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.standard.ke

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Top ODM-Kenya official in Scandinavia Jailed and fined 8 million Kenya shillings

Posted by African Press International on August 21, 2007

A top official of ODM-Kenya In Scandinavian has been
jailed for three years. He was arrested early in June
at his residence in the outskirts of Stockholm. He was
charged with two counts of raping a 14 years girls and
a 57 years woman believed to be his wife. He was also
charged with intentionally infecting the 14 years and
57 years woman with HIV. The media has nicknamed him the 35 years HIV-Man.

According to investigations he always went to pubs to meet his victims. He is well known by the police, as he was involved in another rape case in the New Year eve of 2005 barely three
month after he arrived in this country. Due to lack of
evidence he was not charged together with his sister
in law nephew. He was a controversially person in the
Kenya community.

Reported after two years

This time round he never escaped justice as police had
enough evidence against him. The police monitored him
for quite sometime before he was arrested. Two years
has past since she was raped and the 14 years girl
(now 16 years) reported the matter to the police after
she discovered that she was HIV-Positive. In Sweden if
you intentionally infect someone with the deadly
disease the law wont spare you. You should always tell
your partner that you are a carrier and use protective
gear.

When judgment was passed on Thursday he was
acquitted from raping the 14 and 57 years but he was
found guilty for intentionally infecting the 14 years
girl but not the 57 years woman. The hearing was held
under closed doors a request from the man family.
The 35 years man was fined 8 million Kenya shillings
(Swedish crowns 800 000) to the girl and after serving
his term he should be deported from Sweden for life.

By JJ

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East African Community Heads of State meeting – Door opens for Rwanda and Burundi as full-pledged members

Posted by African Press International on August 21, 2007

A Nation Story by PATRICK NZIOKA in Arusha, Tanzania
Publication Date: 8/21/2007

Tanzania appeared to have got its way after the issue of political federation in East Africa took a backseat during a meeting of regional Heads of State in Arusha yesterday.

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda (left) meets President Kibaki during the East African Community Heads of State Summit in Arusha, Tanzania, yesterday. Ugandas President Yoweri Museveni looks on. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN

In their final communiqu, the leaders of the five countries that make up the East African Community instead directed the secretariat to first concentrate on setting up a framework that would ensure that the countries gained equally from an economic union before moving on to a political federation.

They specifically want the secretariat to move with speed towards establishing a Common Market and a Monetary Union by 2012.

Industrial development

They also want the secretariat to propose an East African Industrial and Investment Strategy, supported by an institutional decision-making authority, to promote equitable industrial development in the region.

However, Tanzania ceded some ground by accepting that the community explores possibilities of negotiating on Economic Partnerships Agreement with the European Union (EU).

The meeting, chaired by Ugandas President Yoweri Museveni, noted that there was a need to mobilise and deepen sensitisation on political integration as well as generate greater political will for deeper economic integration.

Rwanda and Burundi were asked to undertake national consultations on the establishment of a political federation in East Africa, as well as speed up the process of fully integrating in the EAC Customs Union.

At the Council of Ministers meetings that preceded yesterdays heads of state meeting, Tanzania expressed reservations regarding a political federation as well as signing of a joint Economic Partnerships Agreement between the East African Community and the EU.

Sources at the Council of Ministers meetings which set the agenda for adoption by the Heads of State had earlier told the Nation that Tanzania had expressed fears that it was not ready for a political union because it would be overwhelmed by Kenya, whose economy, it said was too strong.

On a common trade agreement with the EU, Tanzania had argued that the proposal to sign such an agreement did not reflect the letter and spirit of the Heads of State Summit decision of 2002.

The Tanzanians further want to be allowed to undertake further consultations on the matter among themselves.

At an interview, EAC secretary general Juma Mwachapu said Tanzanians were not totally opposed to a political federation since they supported the idea during the consultation stage by a larger percentage than that in Kenya and Uganda.

All they wanted was a systematic format to be adopted as the EAC partners move towards political federation.

They have asked for a step-by-step formula whereby we consolidate the economic gains and then work on a political federation, he said when he addressed the media at the Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge, where the meeting took place.

Rwanda and Burundi

The meeting agreed to amend sections of the EAC Treaty to accommodate the entry of Rwanda and Burundi.

The two countries will now participate in the affairs of the community as full members.

They will send representatives to the East African Legislative Assembly to bring the total number to 27, while the two presidents will sign EAC documents, which they could not before the amendment.

President Museveni blamed the woes facing the African continent on its leaders.

African leaders, past and present, are primarily responsible for the misfortunes of the continent, he said

He said he was impressed by the overwhelming support the people of East Africa had for the process of unification during consultative processes in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

He said suspicions raised by residents of the three countries regarding land, employment, security and other natural resources were easy to answer and could not be an obstacle to a union, he said.

Lifted and published by Korir, API*APN africanpress@chello.no tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.nation.ke

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Posted by African Press International on August 21, 2007

Khartoum (Sudan) Sudanese officials met with Western diplomats on Monday to calm fears following the discovery of large quantities of explosives in a Khartoum suburb last week.

Two days after the discovery Britain released a statement saying it was suspending public services at its embassy in Khartoum starting Sunday (August 19).

Mutrif Siddig, a senior Sudanese Foreign Ministry official, met with representatives from the United States, Britain, France and the United Nations to brief them on the governments investigation of the cache of arms.

The government had previously announced that it had arrested 20 people for interrogation but did not provide names or nationalities.

\”All persons involved in these events have been arrested and there is no need for fear or concern about the safety of these embassies or their subjects,\” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ali al-Sadeq told reporters on Monday.

He revealed that the suspects were claiming to be fighting foreign intervention in Sudan.

Al-Sadeq appealed to the diplomatic missions to \”resume their activities as normal.\”

The secretary-general of the Sudanese Council of Ministers, Omar Salih said that the weapons and explosives found were limited.

He added that the security authorities are capable of containing any threats by terrorists.

The British embassy said on Monday the situation is under review and we will inform the public once these services are resumed.\”

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Southern Sudanese MP sues for international support

Posted by African Press International on August 21, 2007

Freetown (Sierra Leone) A visiting Southern Sudanese MP in Sierra Leone, has pleaded for international solidarity to help the region gain an autonomous status in a bid to end the Sudanese conflict and provide succour for suffering humanity in that part of the continent.

The situation is rapidly deteriorating, Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, a senior representative of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) told a cross section of the Sierra Leonean community in Freetown on Sunday evening.

Nyaba is on a week-long visit in Sierra Leone as a guest of the Africanist Movement to drum up international support for Southern Sudanese independence.

“The situation is South Sudan is that of marginalization, exploitation, racial oppression and political exclusion by the north,” Nyaba said.

He attributed the relative peace in South Sudan to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) with the Khartoum government.

But he accused the Khartoum government of being unwilling to sincerely allow the Southern Sudanese their right to self-determination as provided in the CPA.

Among other things, the CPA stipulates that the South will have to decide it national identity through a referendum,” Nyaba explained. The referendum is scheduled for 2011.

Our struggle is for justice, equality, social reconstruction and democracy for everyone in the Sudan. If we have these, there is no point of struggle,” he said.

In response, Sierra Leones Africanist leader, Chernoh Alpha M. Bah said Nyabas visit fits within the framework of the international Africanists solidarity.

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Nigeria pledges lead to end conflict in Somalia

Posted by African Press International on August 21, 2007

Lagos (Nigeria) Nigerias President Umaru Musa YarAdua, on Monday said that his country was prepared to offer leadership in ensuring security and thereby ending the two-decade conflict in Somalia that continues to defy international diplomatic and security efforts.

Speaking when he received the U.S. Congressman Donald Payne, in Abuja, YarAdua challenged the United States to lead the G-8 countries in providing more investment for the development of infrastructure in Africa in order to eradicate poverty.

He said his administration will pursue the entrenchment of democracy through the establishment of a credible electoral process, attain a free market economy, strengthen the rule of law and reach zero tolerance for corruption.

Furthermore, he said his government was investigating the causes of the collapse of large-scale commercial agricultural projects in the country that thrived in the 1970s and 1980s.

Speaking earlier, Congressman Payne had told President Yar Adua that the United States would support Nigerias efforts to improve security in the Gulf of Guinea and urged that more attention will be given to the agriculture sector by his government.

He welcomed Nigerias determination to reform the electoral process for more credible elections.

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