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Archive for September 26th, 2007

State to tighten ‘au pair’ rules – will it be good for the au pair’s

Posted by African Press International on September 26, 2007

State labour officials want to prevent Norwegians from bringing young women to Norway as “au pairs” as a means of obtaining cheap housekeepers and babysitters.

State Secretary Libe Rieber-Mohn claims new rules will help prevent exploitatioon of au pairs in Norway.

PHOTO: SVEIN ERIK FURULUND

The state intends to demand that host families pay for Norwegian classes for the women, and provide them with standard written work contracts.

State Secretary Libe Rieber-Mohn of the Labour Party told newspaper Dagsavisen that the rules would “help keep au pairs from ending up as underpaid housekeepers in Norwegian homes.”

Sociologist Marianne Hovdan, who’s written a master’s thesis on au pairs in Norway, doesn’t think the rules will guard against exploitation of the women.

Hovdan determined in her thesis that au pairs function mainly as household help in Norway, and she believes it will be difficult for the state to enforce its rules.

Rieber-Mohn continues to view the au pair system as part of a cultural exchange. In the past year, 1,511 persons have been granted working permission as au pairs in Norway, up from 277 in 2000. More than 60 percent of the au pairs came from the Philippines.

Lifted and published by Korir, API*APN source.aftenposteneng

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POLITICAL VIOLENCE A WEAK STRATEGY EMPLOYED BY KENYAN POLITICIANS

Posted by African Press International on September 26, 2007

Political violence as we near the polls in Kenya seems to very fast rearing its ugly head. Flora Tera an aspirant for North Imenti parliamentary seat was recently attacked and severely wounded while visiting her home in her Meru constituency that she had to nurse serious wounds at Nairobi women’s hospital. And in South Mugirango ODM luminaries William Ruto and Omingo Magara were attacked by violent youths and they had to be flown to Nairobi’s Nairobi hospital for treatment.

Not unusual in Kenya one may say but it is to be expected that with deepened democracy and expansion of democratic space such evil, foolish and archaic practices are a thing of the past. But probably is too much to expect from Kenyan politicians.

Kenyans have witnessed the 1992/1993 political violence particularly in Rift Valley which ostensibly was to prove Multi-party a none starter and 1997 which also involved the same Rift Valley and very unfortunately the tourist haven which is Coast province. Communities which had hitherto lived in peace found themselves going for each others throats.

That in 2007 in a country boasting democracy could be-deviled with political violence is most unfortunate. What probably escapes the minds of Kenyans is that that as much as political leaders differ in a variety of ways they are in the same class of a ‘tribe’ which could be simply classified as the rich. Yet this rich tribe uses some ignorant hoodlums in the poor to cause mayhem if not heckling their opponents as a form of political intimidation.

As we approach the general election and with so much at stakes the world can only pray for Kenyans to respect each others opinion. Violence, rigging, corruption. Vote buying, intimidation and a host of other electoral evils will be at play to determine the political destiny of Kenya. Unfortunately, like most of the third world Kenya is held hostage by a class of very greed bourgeoisie.

By Our correspondent, Harrison Mwirigi Ikunda,
P.O. Box 51806,
NAIROBI.
KENYA.

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Raila’s biography says much…..

Posted by African Press International on September 26, 2007

Author : Komu Comment:
Raila’s Role in the coup

In his biography, Raila’s biographer, Babafemi Badejo says Raila facilitated the acquisition of a house on Ngong Road, which was used as a command centre by the 1982 coup plotters.

What Wikipedia says

A biography released in July 2006 suggested that Raila was more involved in the coup than previously thought. After its publication, some MPs called for Raila to be arrested and charged [2], but the statute of limitations had already passed and, since the information was contained in a biography, Raila could not be said to have openly confessed his involvement. [3].

’82 Coup Plot Revelations: Raila Odinga’s Biggest Political Mistake Ever

As I write this, events are still unfolding after the bombshell revelation concerning Raila and his father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga’s involvement in the failed coup of August 1st 1982.
In a Raila biography written by Nigerian, Babafemi Badejo that would have been the ideal campaign tool and weapon in his bid for the presidency, Agwambo confirms what many have suspected all along. And that is the fact that he was involved in the 1982 coup attempt to topple President Moi’s constitutionally established government.
Local newspaper columnists have either completely missed the point or have deliberately pretended not to see it. Raila should never have allowed the book to be published in the first place. While everybody would like the truth to come out, these revelations have for all intents and purposes ended any serious chances Raila ever had of becoming the next president of Kenya.
On a personal level I love Raila. In my book he is the candidate with the cleanest record out of all those who have declared interest in the presidency so far. But it seems that my friend has just shot himself in the foot for no apparent reason.
His admission of involvement in the 1982 coup plot ruins everything by introducing some very disturbing questions on the minds of Kenyans.

Military coups are all about killing and taking over power by military, forceful and unconstitutional means. This means that Raila and his late father were prepared to kill to get political power. They did not succeed but many innocent Kenyans lost their lives in the process. Those who don’t think this is serious should face the Kenyan mother who had a son in the regular armed forces and one in the Airforce. She was praying that both survived.

She found the bodies of both at the City Mortuary. Not to mention the thousands of other Kenyans who lost their lives on that black August 1st. Many others who will carry the scars for the rest of their lives from watching people being killed or wives and daughters being raped. And for what?

At the time, Moi had ruled for a mere 4 years and one of the reasons why the coup happened in the first place is that his style of leadership then was very laid back and non-confrontational (sound familiar?) Nobody likes a weak leader. So what the coup plotters announced on the radio that morning, to the effect that the long dictatorial rule of President Moi had come to an end was propaganda nonsense. There weren’t even any political detainees at that time.

Meaning that the people behind the coup had no justification to use armed means to gain power. It means that they were after power for the sake of power. For Raila to be associated with such a group is nauseating to say the least.

There are times when an armed struggle is justified; this was definitely not one of those times. If anything it would have set a dangerous precedent that may have turned Kenya into another Nigeria where bloody coups have for many years been an accepted way of life.
This is the man who will ask Kenyans for their votes in 2007. It is true that Kenyans have a short memory and Raila should have taken advantage of that and left his past exactly where it was.

Looking back:
Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Chaos That Was the 1982 Coup And The Terrible Purge That Followed

There were many horror stories on that day. Some half jokingly say that Senior Private Pancreas Ochuka, the junior airforce officer who is said to have been the leader (there was definitely a major personality behind him, but who was it?), went to his grave having ruled Kenya for at least 30 minutes. Ochuka was hanged at Kamiti Prison for his role in the coup attempt.

Details of the bloody attempted coup of 1982 are still classified information. The exact body count was never even given. What followed was a different Moi keen on crushing all opposition, real or imagined. In retrospect the attempted coup was definitely one of the events that helped drive the country more and more off track.

Then there were the Maasai moran looters who caused great laughter. While others went for valuables, like precious stones and jewelry, Some Maasais were spotted breaking into a butcher’s shop and carrying away meat. Apparently this seemed to be the most valuable of assets they could identify.

Other slum dwellers looted TV sets only to find themselves stranded with them since they did not have any electricity in their tiny slum dwellings, something they momentarily forgot as they made off with the TV sets.

One the man (armed with a gun and probably believed to have been a member of either the air force or the army) went straight to the Hilton Hotel. His objective? To have sex with a white woman. Which he apparently fulfilled but on his way out died under a hail of bullets.

But there was nothing funny about the rapes, plunder and killings that went on in many parts of the city of Nairobi. Nor is there anything funny about the numerous bodies that people had to step over while walking the streets of Nairobi the next morning, which was a Monday. Everybody had to walk the streets with their national identity cards held high over their heads. There was also a dawn to dusk curfew that went on for at least a month after that.

The air force troops apparently took over the KBC TV and radio station and a few other strategic installations in the early hours of Sunday morning August 1st 1982, before the Kenya Army support battalion stormed into the city centre and recaptured the installations with heavy casualties, mainly from the air force side. Many air force soldiers fled, stripped their uniform and hid by mixing with ordinary civilians.

The army hunted them down for days. It is said that a section of the air force that had taken control cheered when they saw the army arriving in town, since they had been made to believe that the entire armed forces were supporting the attempted coup. They were taken completely by surprise when their would-be accomplices opened fire instead, killing many of them.

It is said that Moi was at his Kabarak farm when the attempted coup happened and after it was defeated, was brought back into the city by a well armed army escort in an operation code named Operation Maji Machafu (swahili for dirty water). There is a story that did the rounds to the effect that he was brought back inside a military tank.

He appeared live on KBC TV (then called Voice of Kenya – VOK). He was visisbly shocked but thanked all the security forces. He was flanked by the then police commissioner Ben Gethi.
The paranoid Moi who emerged after the events of that August day, was a very different man from the Moi Kenyans had known in the past. From then on, all political opponents and enemies, real or imagined were dealt with ruthlessly. The dreaded Mwakenya purge where many innocent Kenyans suffered in torture chambers at Nyayo house on suspicion of being dissidents was to follow, peaking in 1985/86.

Many older Kenyans and families still have scars of ’82 and the consequences that followed. Prof. Anyang Nyongo, now an MP and formerly in the Kibaki cabinet, once admitted in parliament that his private parts were squeezed by special branch officers torturing him.

This blogger was arrested and detained for one endless weekend where I was transferred from police station to police station in a mistaken identity mix-up. Security officers at one point stripped me naked and threatened to shoot me dead if I did not confess. Had I known what I was required to confess, I would have speedily obliged.

It is important to understand that everybody and anybody was picked up at the least excuse during the great Mwakenya purge of the mid 80s. The late humour columnist Mutahi Wahome (better know as Whispers) was jailed just because somebody mentioned that he happened to be around when others were reading a copy of a seditious document in his university days some years before.

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Guinea Bissau leader calls for national awakening

Posted by African Press International on September 26, 2007

Bissau (Guinea Bissau) The president of Guinea Bissau, Joao Bernardo Vieira said modernising the state is the only solution to overcome the various hurdles to implementing good governance, through a national awakening, and towards ensuring the countrys socio-economic development.

The Guinea Bissau leader made the disclosure Sunday night in a radio-broadcast and televised national address to mark the 34 th anniversary of his countrys independence.

“Administrative reforms and state modernisation are the only solutions to eradicate the various bottlenecks to implementing the principles of good governance and the socio-economic development of Guinea Bissau,” he averred.

President Vieira underscored the need to guarantee national peace and stability, saying these are essential elements to attaining socio-economic progress, as well as fighting poverty, disease and illiteracy.

He hailed the involvement of the countries forming the Contact Group on Guinea Bissau, which he said has initiated various projects across the country as part of efforts to strengthen the still uneasy peace.

Therefore he urged his compatriots to show tolerance and mutual respect and strengthen national reconciliation in a bid to meet the challenges of development.

The president cited a series of mining projects he said would pull Guinea Bissau out of the vicious circles of underdevelopment and abject poverty.

These include blueprints in the fields of phosphates, bauxite, petroleum, marble and fisheries, among others, which are regarded as an alternative to the declining exports of cashew the countrys major source of foreign exchange on the international market.

“Implementing these projects and the administrative reform policy will gradually eliminate the various hurdles barring the emergence of a prosperous Guinea Bissau. These disabilities are contained in political instability, which is undermining our fledging democracy,” he concluded.

Published by Korir, API*APN africanpress@chello.no source.apa

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Chinese journalists vow to promote Tanzania in China

Posted by African Press International on September 26, 2007

Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) A leading Chinese journalist from Wen Hui Bao newspaper, Wang Lan, on Tuesday underscored the importance of building strong relations between journalists from the Asian country and their Tanzanian counterparts.

Senior editor Wang, speaking on behalf of seven senior media officials accompanying her, said in Dar es Salaam that the purpose of their trip was to understand and help further the bilateral relations between the two countries.

In addition, Wang said that the delegation was in the country to study the media landscape and try to build a bridge between media practitioners of the two nations.

In November 2006, there was a China-Africa Forum held in Beijing-China. After the discussions, what was agreed upon was the creation of good relations between journalists of the two continents so that the people of either side could get information that would strengthen our relations.

Thus this trip is partly implementing what was agreed in Beijing last year, she said.

Wang said that more efforts should be exerted to promote the tourism sector in order to attract many Chinese people to come and visit the continent.

Our tour has opened our eyes, especially after realising that Tanzania has many tourist resources and good infrastructure.

We promise that when we go back to our country we will promote Tanzanias tourism sector, she said.

The delegation, comprising editors and senior journalists, are in the country for a six-day tour that started on Monday.

Published by Korir, API*APN source.apa

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UN envoy urges Somalis to bring crisis to an end

Posted by African Press International on September 26, 2007

Mogadishu (Somalia) During his first tour of the county since he was appointed earlier this month the new United Nations envoy to Somalia, Mr. Ahmedou Abdallah has called on the Somalis to end their protracted problems through peaceful means.

During the tour, Mr. Abdullah met with President Ahmed Yusuf, Prime Minister Mohammed Gedi, the parliament speaker Sheikh Aden Mohamed Nor and other politicians, including the chairman of the recently concluded national reconciliation conference Ali Mahdi Mohamed.

According to the secretary general of the foreign ministry of the transitional federal government Mr. Jama Ali Mj, the UN envoy has discussed several issues with the leadership, among them security, human rights as well as the looming humanitarian crisis in the country.

Even though Abdullah said he had no preconceived ideas relating to his trip, he wanted to listen and observe the facts on the ground.

Meanwhile, he has accused the countrys elite of being responsible for the sufferings of their people, urging them to come together and put the war behind them, as many other African countries have done.

Somalis have the primary responsibility to solve their own problems and the UN is here to help, he said.

Abdullah added that no one would come to Somalia, if there was peace, apart from tourists, businessmen and diplomats. I do not think Somalia should be a case study for conflict, he added.

Published by Korir, API*APN source.apa

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