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Archive for September 4th, 2007

Kamatusa to group and ensure Kibaki’s re-election in December

Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2007

By Standard TeamODMs almost hitch-free presidential nomination last Saturday seems to have sent shockwaves across the political spectrum, triggering a flurry of activity aimed at stalling any further surge of the party.

Groups of anti-ODM politicians from Western Kenya and Rift Valley Province were on Monday caucusing and urging President Kibaki to name his running mate from their regions to secure the support of voters.

Coming just a day after the Orange party picked Langata MP Mr Raila Odinga as its presidential flagbearer without the much-anticipated noisy fallout, the flurry appeared to be a knee-jerk response by the Presidents point men in the two regions.

In their scheme to lock out ODM from their regions, some of Kibakis allies were last night even toying with the idea of reviving Kamatusa the Kalenjin, Maasai, Turkana and Samburu Association a tribal grouping whose proponents reigned supreme at the height of Kanus one-party dictatorship in the close of the 80s and early 90s.

ODM has Mr Musalia Mudavadi as Railas running mate and Eldoret North MP Mr William Ruto is said to be lined up for the yet-to-be-created position of Prime Minister, something the Rift Valley MPs termed “illegal” and a “ploy” to confuse the provinces over three million voters.

Rift Valley and Western may have unwittingly joined Coast Province which two weeks ago also hinted that it would not go for anything less than the VPs position as a condition for co-operating with any political grouping in the scramble for running mate.

Big dilemma for Kibaki

This became apparent after Shirikisho, which ODM sought out for a partnership, slapped the Orange party with a raft of demands key of which was that one of its own be picked as VP in addition to the party being allowed to field its own parliamentary and civic candidates. ODM rejected the demands.

Shirikisho has, however, not put these demands to President Kibaki.

12 Rift Valley MPs led by Keiyo South Mr Nicholas Biwott gave President Kibaki tough conditions that he has to fulfil before they support his re-election bid.

The legislators want Kibaki to reserve the seat of Vice-President for Agriculture Minister Kipruto arap Kirwa in exchange for their support in the General Election.

When he stood to address a gathering at the Nakuru Showground, Kirwa clarified that the demand should not be misconstrued as greed for power.

“The appointment of the VP is the prerogative of the President, which he will announce after he forms his government. I welcome the idea but it should not portray me as a power hungry individual,” said the Cherangany MP.

Earlier, Kibaki-friendly MPs from Western Province called on the Head of State to name his running mate.

Science and Technology Minister Dr Noah Wekesa, who was of the view that this would whittle down Mudavadis influence, is among those lobbying Kibaki to pick his choice from the province.

“We have already told the President whom we want him to pick as his running mate, and we are sure he is working on our proposal,” said the Kwanza MP, who is at the forefront in the push for a Grand Coalition for Kibakis re-election.

He refused to divulge the name of their preferred candidate for running mate.

Wekesa is a key supporter of Local Government minister Mr Musikari Kombo.

Kibakis current VP Mr Moody Awori hails from the province.

The minister, in a telephone interview with The Standard, conceded that Raila was the main threat to Kibakis bid for a second and final term at State House. He added, cryptically: “The battle to State House in not a three-horse race.”

Kanu MPs to lead vote hunt for Kibaki

Even though the Constitution of Kenya has no provision for a running mate, it would be interesting to see how the President and his handlers will deal with this delicate situation that could enhance or deal his prospects a blow in the three regions.

Addressing opinion leaders drawn from various districts in the vast Rift Valley on Monday, the MPs said their demands were part of a wider strategy to ensure Kibaki got at least two million votes in the region.

“We know other leaders from Western and Coast provinces also want one of them to be Kibakis Number Two, but we in the Rift Valley are the majority and would deliver to Kibaki at least 2 million votes if we are assured of the slot,” said Assistant Minister Mr Asman Kamama.

The Baringo East MP led the crowd in endorsing Kirwa as their choice for the position of VP in the next government should Kibaki be re-elected President.

“Those other parties have ignored our leaders in Rift Valley and chosen their running mates from other regions,” he said.

Assistant minister Mr Ekwe Ethuro also proposed Kirwa as the best choice for the post of VP and said the move would ensure that Kibaki gets votes in the region.

“The people in Rift Valley will definitely want one of their own as the countrys Number Two and Kirwa is the right choice,” he said.

Biwott called for the revival of Kamatusa to spearhead President Kibakis re-election campaign in the arid and semi-arid areas.

“We are coming together as Kamatusa to ensure that Kibaki is re-elected,” he said.

The former powerful Cabinet minister said a number of MPs from the communities had expressed willingness to work together.

“We will hold a series of meetings to listen to our people in the region and then make our final stand,” said Biwott.

Although the meeting was earlier portrayed as a Kanu affair, Assistant ministers Ms Alicen Chelaite, Mr Stephen Tarus and Kamama, who are allied to Narc-Kenya attended.

Chelaite, of Gender and Sports, said their main agenda was to ensure that Kibaki is re-elected in the December polls.

Others who attended the meeting were MPs Mr Nick Salat (Bomet), Mr Paul Sang (Bureti), Mrs Lina Kilimo (Marakwet East), Mr Francis Ewaton (Turkana South) and Mt Elgon MP Mr John Serut.

Former MPs Mr Reuben Chesire, Mr Joseph Lotodo, Mr Joash wa Mangoli and former nominated MP Ms Zipporah Kittony attended the meeting at the Nakuru Showground.

Kirwa said out of the 33 Kalenjin MPs in the region, 18 supported President Kibakis re-election.

The leaders also appreciated and lauded President Kibakis development record and urged him to tour the province and hunt for votes.

Kanu leaders drawn from 30 districts in the province who attended the consultations were mandated to organise political rallies and meetings to popularise the former ruling party at the grassroots.

Earlier, the MPs and Kanu leaders met privately at the Rift Valley Sports Club where they held discussions for two hours before proceeding to the showground.

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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Kenya: Abduction that ended well

Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2007

Story by DAVE OPIYO
Publication Date: 9/4/2007

She left her parents house in Nairobis Umoja estate to buy snacks at a nearby kiosk and just disappeared into thin air. For two weeks, the parents of three-year-old Damaris Njoki were traumatised, unsure whether they would ever see their daughter alive again.

But all is well that ends well. Little Damaris was finally found, abandoned at a chiefs camp in the estate by her abductors who had at one time demanded a Sh5 million ransom. Her mother, Mrs Rebecca Mwangi, could only say: I owe it all to God Almighty, who has answered our prayers.

As detectives pursued leads in the case, all that the family and friends of Damaris could do was pray. It was prayer that kept them sane and calm and gave them hope.

Song and dance

We prayed that the fate that had befallen many other abducted children in Nairobi and elsewhere in the country would not befall our child that is being killed, she said.

The news of her return was received with song and dance from family and friends.

The family believes the abductors panicked after police started following key leads in the case and thus putting pressure on them.

The abductors had initially demanded for Sh5 million as ransom or else they would kill the girl. They later revised this amount downwards to Sh3 million. By the time they let her go, they were willing to take any amount from her parents.

And while this was going on, detectives had launched a massive manhunt for the abductors and were sure they were on their trail.

Young Damaris left the house in the company of their neighbours niece to buy snacks at a nearby shop. It was nothing unusual because this is something she did almost on a daily basis. Even when she did not come back soon, there was no alarm. May be she was playing with her friends, her mother thought.

But panic set in the evening when she failed to return to the house.

We searched all the places we could without success. One of our friends later told us that my baby was last seen headed towards Kayole estate in the company of my neighbours niece. I was devastated, knowing too well that something bad had just happened, said Mrs Mwangi.

I quickly rang my husband, informing him of the incident. Several hours later, we reported the matter to Buru Buru police station where investigations into the disappearance were launched.

It was after the matter was reported to the police that they received the first call from the abductors demanding the ransom or their daughter dies.

The caller claimed to be one Joseph Makumi, who police believe to be the mastermind of the abduction.

And with the phone numbers, the officers approached a mobile service provider to assist them in pinpointing Makumis exact location, which was found to have been in Kayole estate. However, they could not get the house he was in. Other calls were traced to Simu ya Jamii or public pay phones in the same area.

As the manhunt intensified, the officers got an important lead, which led them right to Mr Makumis house, but he was not home. He had fled from the house after learning that the police were after him.

Police put his house under surveillance for days on end but he was nowhere to be seen. Still, the officers did not give up.

The search was extended to Ruai and Dandora estates where detectives believed they would find Makumi.

Another lucky break and police arrested a woman, believed to be the sister of the Mwangis neighbour. Police targeted her because despite denying several times that she didnt have a phone, she actually owned one.

The phone, police say, had been used to contact Makumi several times. She is also believed to have been feeding young Damaris at the time she was in captivity. The police knew they were onto something.

Mrs Mwangi says that last Tuesday evening, as they were about to retire to bed, her husbands phone rang. The caller said the abductors had decided to let their daughter and another girl go.

We were instructed to go to a place known as Allsops in Ruaraka to pick her. Since it was late, I told my husband not to go alone. We informed the investigating officers about the call and they agreed to accompany him, says Mrs Mwangi.

She adds: With the officers in tow, my husband rushed to the area only to find that it was a hoax. They were almost giving up after spending several hours at the spot but suddenly, my husbands phone rang again, telling him to go and pick our daughter from where we last saw her in Umoja.

And when they reached the area, they were told that two little girls had been abandoned at the chiefs camp. They rushed there and true, they found Damaris safe and sound.

When the Nation visited their house last week, it was song and dance as family and friends alike came in droves to share the joy.

Although Damaris is back home safely, the masterminds of her abduction are still free, roaming the estates. This means that more little girls could still be abducted. Apart from the man called Makumi, who police say is the prime suspect, they are also looking for one Mary Njeri, the woman believed to have dropped off Damaris at the chiefs camp in Umoja and another woman called Sedah Wambui, believed to be Makumis wife.

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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KANU wants Vice Presidency as condition to support Kibaki for a second term

Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2007

API*APN predictions on the way to become true! Look at API*APN earlier predictions on the next government line-up by clicking the story:

API*APN predicts the next Kenya government following Moisschemeand compare with the story below:

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Story by NATION Correspondents
Publication Date: 9/4/2007

Eighteen Rift Valley MPs yesterday endorsed the re-election of President Kibaki.But they said one of their own should in turn be appointed the vice-president once President Kibaki forms the new government after the General Election.

The MPs, led by former powerful Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott and Agriculture minister Kipruto Kirwa, said the residents of Rift Valley had decided to put aside their political affiliations and unite for the sake of their welfare.Mr Kirwa said 31 out of the 49 MPs in the province were supporting the initiative.

The Cherangany MP said the community would be part of the next government and that they would not beg, but demand their rights.

Mr Biwott, the meetings convener, said the move to unite the community begun with the MPs meetings in Nairobi and later in Naivasha. The Keiyo South MP said the leaders were moving from the boardroom to reach out to the people. Such meetings, Mr Biwott said, would eventually culminate in public rallies in the region.

Political affiliation

Since the introduction of multiparty democracy, the community has been divided and we need to unite regardless of our political affiliation, said Mr Biwott.

The leaders spoke when they addressed a meeting of 42 Kanu branches from the region and three Narc Kenya branches.

Others at the meeting were MPs Nick Salat, Paul Sang, Ekwee Ethuro, Alicen Chelaite, Asman Kamama, Jebii Kilimo, Stephen Taurus, John Serut and Francis Ewaton. Those who sent apologies included Mr Gideon Moi, Mr John Sambu, Mr Samuel Moroto, Mr Joseph Nkaissery, Mr Antony Kimeto, Mr John Koech, John Munyes and Jimmy Choge.

The meeting at the Nakuru showgrounds resolved that the community should support President Kibakis re-election because of his development record.

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orian peace process evaluation committee holds monthly meeting in Ouga

Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2007

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Abidjan (Cote dIvoire) The Evaluation and Accompaniment Committee (ECA) set up by the Ouagadougou political agreement, holds its monthly meeting Tuesday 4 September in Ouagadougou to assess the peace process started since the signing of the agreement at the beginning of March, APA learned from official sources in Abidjan.

The direct dialogue facilitator, Blaise Compaore, will chair the Ouaga meeting.

According to the spokesperson of the Ivorian Prime Ministers office, Meite Sindou, the meeting to be held at the Ouaga 2000 complex at 9a.m. will assess the implementation progress report of the Ouagadougou political agreement.

Signed on March 4, 2007, the Ouagadougou political agreement which is the roadmap of the Ivorian government intends amongst other actions, the redeployment of the civil service, dismantling the militia, disarming ex-combatants, identifying the population and organising elections within 12 months.

Though the dismantling of the vigilante groups was carried out, the disarmament of ex-combatants is yet to kick off, despite the “Flame of peace” ceremony held on 30 July in Bouake to mark the end of the war.

The redeployment of the civil service is underway while the public hearings to lead to the identification of the population are still to begin.

So many issues to be discussed during this ECA meeting, which is open to members of the international consultative body whose creation was ratified by paragraph 9 of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1765.

This provision includes the special representative of the UN Secretary-General, the UNDP resident coordinator, and the representatives of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, the African Union, the African Development Bank, ECOWAS and France.

At national level, three representatives of the Presidents office and three others of the former rebel group, Forces Nouvelles (New Forces), will take part in this meeting whose conclusions are awaited by all.

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WHO urges African countries to step up support for mental health patients

Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2007

Dakar (Senegal) The World Health Organisation (WHO) Monday urged African countries to boost their support to mental health services by increasing investments and developing competent services, reliable sources told APA.

The call is part of a “series of six presentations” on global mental health published by the medical journal, The Lancet.

“The WHO has closely worked with The Lancet at making things happen fast, and calling for action,” said a release copied to APA.

According to the WHO, mental illness si common but globally, people suffering grave ailments and the great majority of those with benign to moderate disorders lack treatment.

“When they do access treatment, this is delivered in institutions that are involved in stigma and human rights violations in many countries,” the UN body says.

“The reasons for this saddening situation are clear: mental health services lack the needed financial and human resources,” the WHO lamented.

It says “the WHO mental health atlas database shows that the majority of African and South-east Asian countries devote less than 1 percent of their health budgets to mental health”.

“Low revenue countries have an average of 0.05 mental doctors and 0.16 mental nurses for every 100,000 people (or about 200 times less than high income countries). Due to these extremely low rates, it is impossible to extend satisfactory services in these countries,” the statement added.

According to WHO estimates, low revenue countries need 2 US dollars per person to deliver basic mental health care, while middle-income nations need between 3 and 4 dollars.

This care package, which is based on the treatment of mental derangements and community clinics, is expected to increase the coverage of severe mental disorder by 80 percent and less grave illnesses by 25-33 percent, the WHO argued.

The call comes in support of the WHO global action programme to help low and middle-income countries in delivering mental healthcare, the statement recalled.

Published by Korir, API*APN africanpress@chello.no tel+4793299739 or+4763002525 source.apa

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Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2007

Khartoum (Sudan) Sudans coalition government partner, the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM), has denounced as “unacceptable” the recent expulsion of diplomats and a humanitarian aid agency director from the country.

The junior coalition government partner said it had not been consulted.

“What happened is unacceptable to us. We should be consulted and our views taken into consideration,” Yassir Arman, deputy secretary general of the former southern rebel group, said on Monday.

On August 23, the Sudan foreign ministry expelled European Union Commission Ambassador Kent Degerfelt and acting Canadian charge daffaires Nuala Lawlor, saying they had meddled in the countrys internal affairs.

Three days later, Sudan ordered Paul Barker, director of the US-based aid agency CARE, to leave the country, citing similar reasons.

The SPLM signed a peace deal with the dominant northern National Congress Party (NCP) in 2005, ending decades of north-south conflict that killed an estimated 2 million people and displaced some 4 million from their homes.

But their relations has not been smooth since then, with SPLM officials accusing the NCP of stalling implementation of the peace deal and not consulting on key foreign policy decisions.

“It is regrettable that the National Congress is working alone and this will jeopardize the working relationship between the SPLM and the National Congress,” Arman said.

Khartoum revoked Degerfelts expulsion following an apology from the European Union, allowing him to stay indefinitely.

On Sunday, officials said discussions were ongoing for the possible return of Barker.

However, the SPLM said the damage had already been done.

“This is going to raise questions about the meaning of the national unity government,” said Arman, adding that the SPLM learned about the expulsions like anybody else “as if we are outsiders”.

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Central African Republic to meet with donors in Brussels

Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2007

Bangui (Central African Republic) Central African President Franois Boziz said here on Monday that his countrys development partners would convene roundtable discussions on 26 October in Brussels, Belgium.

This meting “will be an opportunity to strengthen the commitments we made with our partners to fight poverty and poor living conditions”, the head of state explained during the presentation of the final poverty reduction strategy report.

These discussions “are expected to enhance the national pact around the common goals to fight poverty and the resumption of the steady progress towards the Millennium Development Goals”, he noted.

According to President Boziz, 76.2% of the Central African population or 2, 618, 000 people representing 72% of the rural population and 59% of the urban population are living below the poverty line.

With our countrys huge natural resources, we cant allow the majority of our population to languish in poverty”, he went on to say.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) representative, Toby Lanzer, on his part, has announced the next awareness meeting of the Yaound-based donors reporting to the CAR to 18 September.

Lanzer said he planned to make a diplomatic awareness tour in Europe along with the Central African Economy, Planning and International Co-operation Minister Sylvain Maliko.

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Raila’s ODM and Kalonzo’s ODM-Kenya will be phased out by a united GNU

Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2007

Musikari Kombo of Ford-Kenya indicates support for Kibaki to get a second term. This is a show of force that will join Moi and Rift Valley, action that will ensure Kibaki’s re-election. ODM and ODM-Kenya are now facing dark days. By API*APN

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By Robert Nyasato The Government of National Unity (GNU) is ready to take on ODM and ODM-Kenya in the December polls.

Local Government minister, Mr Musikari Kombo, and his Immigration counterpart, Mr Gideon Konchella, said Kibakis re-election campaign team was fully prepared to face the parties presidential candidates, Mr Raila Odinga and Mr Kalonzo Musyoka.

“Our team is organised and we shall reveal its composition to Kenyans,” said Kombo.

He said parties supporting Kibakis second term in office were discussing whether to form a coalition before or after the elections.

Speaking on Sunday, the minister criticised the coalitions under the ODM-Kenya and ODM parties, saying they were formed with the sole purpose of removing Kibaki from power and had nothing to offer Kenyans.

Kombo said Kibakis Government rose to power through a coalition of parties and had delivered on most of its promises.

Kombo, however, admitted that the Government had failed in the fight against corruption.

“I am not satisfied with the war on corruption. We need to do more to deliver on what we promised Kenyans,” the Ford-Kenya chairman said.

The minister added it had been difficult to correct the mess done in the last 40 years.

Speaking at Christ the King Parish, Kilgoris Catholic Church, Trans Mara, Konchella told those criticising former President Moi for supporting Kibakis re-elections bid, to keep off.

“People should not criticise Moi, because he is exercising his constitutional right,” said Konchella.

He said infighting among leaders was affecting wananchi, and called for peaceful campaigns.

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Rift Valley MPs to meet and agree on a strategy to support Kibaki for a second term in Office

Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2007

The Rift Valley MPs will now negotiate with Kibaki. They want the president to give them the Vice Presidency in the new government and in turn they will support Kibaki ensuring that the Rift Valley votes for him in unison. – API*APN

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By Standard ReporterMore than 20 Rift Valley Province MPs meet today in what organisers say are efforts to forge unity. Keiyo South MP, Mr Nicholas Biwott, and Agriculture minister, Mr Kipruto arap Kirwa, have convened the talks at the ASK showground in Eldoret. Also expected are representatives from 42 Kanu branches and elders. The meeting is a follow up on one held in Naivasha last week and attended by 17 MPs.

A fortnight ago, former President Moi, who has since declared support for President Kibakis re-election bid, attended similar talks in Eldoret.

Other leaders allied to Eldoret North MP, Mr William Ruto, met elders and declared that the region would be backing ODM, whose presidential candidate is Langata MP, Mr Raila Odinga.

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Ushering a people initiated or engineered change through empowerment of people politically

Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2007

A message to Onyango>

Mr Martin Onyango alias I do not know; I think you are wrong on this or rather you have decided deliberately to cling to a parochial mindset. Hang on a minute; you could also be acting at the behest of someone. Do not forget that the main objective of ODM is to usher in change. One of the ways of ushering a people initiated or engineered change is through empowerment of people politically. This is exactly what Raila has done.

Mr Raila Odinga believes in investing in people at all levels. This is the main reason why he invested his time in encouraging the shrewd politicians from various parts of the country to play mentorship role. Besides this he believes in giving the voiceless back their voices as well as creating enabling democratic space for every citizen to exercise their democratic rights irrespective of political affiliation or geographical location. In other words Mr Raila Odinga together with ODM brigades main aim is to create level playing ground for every citizen of our beloved country.

If you think this is a recipe for confusion then I beg to differ with you in principle. The kind of argument you are trying to advance is not in tune with the modern democratic principles. Current democratic principles are participatory in nature besides being inclusive; by encouraging others to take up the role of leadership, Mr Raila Odinga has achieved decorum amongst his peers. Do not tell me that you accept Mr Kalonzos ploy of hijacking ODM-K with the intention of bringing his colleagues down on their knees as gentlemanly way of treating others you have traversed all kinds of political terrain with? Is this what you would perceive as orderliness? Mr Martin alias; I bet you do not expect people who are compost mentis to take this type of argument earnestly? Pease spare us from this hogwash.

In the meantime; we are happy with the progress of ODM so far. The ODM wave has made statements of intent and is currently gathering momentum. The ODM aims to rid Kenya of nepotism, cronyism and chauvinism. These revolting traits have suffocated our country for the past four decades. Besides this ODM; aims to reposition equity or fairness back to the centre of all our deliberations. The race has began, you either make your choice to vote for people initiated change with ODM or stay put with status quo and its revolting stench.

From Nyatigi

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