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Archive for October 16th, 2007

Zambian President comes under severe attack – new bill

Posted by African Press International on October 16, 2007

API/APN in Lusaka– Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa has come under heavy attack for threatening that anybody who attempted to make his rule difficult over the controversial constitution review process would be arrested and charged for treason. Parliament two months ago passed the National Constitution Conference (NCC) bill and President Mwanawasa immediately assented.

However, civil society and opposition political parties have argued that the Act was a fraud because it diverted from the recommendations of the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) that called for the repealing and replacing of the current constitution. The CRC also proposed proportional representation of people sitting on the Constitution Conference.

I want to warn those who are daring Government to knowthose who still doubt that this is not law, and those who want to fight and make governance impossible that they are committing treason.

Anymore nonsense bordering on governance, there are going to be arrested and charged with treason. As you know there is no bail for treason in Zambia, warned Mwanawasa.

Michael Sata, leader of Patriotic Front, the main opposition in the country, charged that he stood ready to be arrested because he would not allow the situation where the government could subject the current defective and suffocating constitution to piece-meal amendments.

The NCC Act provides that the Conference can decide to either amend, or repeal the current constitution and replace with the new one. The Act also changed the composition structure increasing the number of civil society and politicians. Critics fear that with the in-built majority in the Conference, government was going to manipulate the constitution-making.

The opposition and civil society want the Act to be taken back to parliament for amendment.

Our understanding is that the people of Zambia through the CRC want a totally new constitution; and that this should be through a body which represents their views. But in its current form and composition, the NCC cannot and will not represent the views of the people. So for President Mwanawasa to be threatening us with treason amounts to dictatorshipwe shall not relent but if he dares, let him arrest the 11 million people of Zambia because we are all against his intended manipulation and dictatorship , said Sata in an interview.

But Information Minister Mike Mulongoti played down the President threats.

Mulongoti told API*APN Thats not correct, the President did mean that he would arrest the entire Zambian population and charge them for treason. The President merely meant that there is need for constructive criticism of government not [criticism] bordering on malice.

President of Transparency International (TI-Zambia) Reuben Lifuka advised Mwanawasa to learn how to take criticism for the interest of the country.

Since independence in 1964, Zambia has had five constitution reviews. The failure to have a constitution that can last the test of time has been attributed to governments manipulation.

wilfred-photo.jpgBy Wilfred Zulu, API/APN correspondent in Zambia

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Sweden is “entirely favourable to promoting integration”

Posted by African Press International on October 16, 2007

Author : Mtachaamambhi
Commentary:

Sweden top for welcoming migrants

A study of how Europe integrates immigrants has exposed wide variations in the welcome foreign workers receive.
The European Union-backed research found Sweden doing the most to help migrants settle – and Latvia the least.

Overall, EU nations are only doing half as much as they could, said researchers acting for a consortium of 25 organisations across Europe.

The study of policies across the continent ranks countries on key factors affecting immigrants’ lives.

The Migration Integration Policy Index is produced by a consortium of European organisations, led by the British Council and the Migration Policy Group in Brussels.

It measures policies to integrate an estimated 21 million migrants across 25 EU member states by using 140 indicators including:

Immigrants’ rights in the workplace

The opportunities for permanent settlement

Permission for family to join them

Laws to combat racism and prejudice

The five states with the largest immigrant populations – the UK, Spain, Germany, Italy and France all ranked in the top half of the table, with Italy coming out best.

See a map of how the countries fare
Between them, these five are thought to be home to at least half of all the migrants across the continent.

TOP RANKED NATIONS FOR INTEGRATION
Sweden
Portugal
Belgium
Netherlands
Finland
Source: Migration Integration Policy index

Analysis: Integrating migrants

But overall, the study found that only Sweden scored highly enough to be classed as a nation entirely favourable to promoting integration.

While many other states had policies the study said were laudable, each in turn appeared to fall down on at least one key area.

Of all the states looked at, nine had policies classed as partially favourable, five were middling and 10 nations scored lower still.

Sweden scored 100% on the rights it gives to foreign workers and just missed out on the top rating for long-term residency laws.

In contrast, researchers found Latvia restricts foreign workers’ rights and gives immigrants little political say in the running of the country.

Researchers scored Sweden and Portugal highest on policies allowing migrants to bring in members of their family – but Austria, Denmark and Cyprus scored lowest.

Transparent system

Sweden was also judged best at giving migrants the right to stay for the long-term, by having what researchers found to be a fair, simple and transparent system.

WORST NATIONS FOR INTEGRATION
Latvia
Cyprus
Austria
Greece
Slovakia
Source: Migration Integration Policy index

The UK scored highly in this category and also in the related area of naturalisation – however it was criticised for a special law introduced to rescind nationality, a power used only once so far against a terrorism convict.

Ireland, in contrast, scored worst on long-term residence partly because researchers said migrants’ rights to settle were discretionary and related to employment, rather than time spent in the country and links put down.

Ireland’s government is now one of many across Europe that is overhauling its migration policies in response to increased movement of people.

Countries to the east of the European Union scored worst in relation to policies allowing migrants to play a full role in local politics.

Reviews of anti-discrimination measures also produced a mixed picture. Despite strong legal guarantees written into its constitution and laws, Germany was dropped down the league table.

The index is being launched across Europe on Tuesday with individual countries being given separate briefings on the data in the coming months.

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KOMBO ON WAR PATH WITH RAILA ODINGA ALLY.

Posted by African Press International on October 16, 2007

Controversial former kisumu city council Town clerk Aduma Owuor who is believed to be a close Political associate of O.D.M Presidential flag bearer Raila Amollo Odinga, is currently facing frustrations at the hands of local government minister Musikari Kombo, who is allied to President Mwai Kibakis newly formed Party of National Unity(PNU).

Aduma was last two weeks transferred from Garrisa municipal council to Nairobi city to be a chief legal officer a position he occupied for a week before he got another letter from the parent ministry to immediately report to Ahero Town council as a Town clerk.

Early this week when he went there to take his new role, he got another stern letter dated 12th October 2007writen by local government permanent secretary S. Boit instructing him to immediately report to Kitale municipal council to assume the role of Director of Social Services.

Aduma who talked to this journalist while shading tears however vowed not to succumb to intimidations and frustrations from people who he alleged had misinformed the local government minister Musikari Kombo and the PS that he was a dangerous administrator not worth being in the civil service.

Observers are however questioning the government policy regarding the transfer of civil servants.

Besieged Aduma who is a lawyer by profession used to practice in the kisumu city before he jumped ship into civil service after the NARC government took power from the Kanu regime in 2002.

His first posting was in kisumu city as a town clerk where he took hardly two years before he was transferred to Bondo courtesy of the minister for the local government Musikari Kombo who its believed doesnt like his style of administration and by extension his association with the Odingas family.

For starters, Aduma used to represent Odingas political and legal matters when he was a practicing advocate, a factor which has made him to attract both friends and foes alike, and could be the reason why he is being fought as a renegade.

BY JEFF OTIENO AGUKO

FREELANCE JOURNALIST-KISUMU KENYA

CURRENTLY A CORRESPONDENT STUDENT IN MANCHESTER COLLEGE OF JOURNALISM.

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WHY RAILA ODINGA SHOULD BE TOUGH ON NOMINATIONS

Posted by African Press International on October 16, 2007

ODM Presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga appears destined to the house on the hill as per the prevailing political scenario in the country (Kenya).

According to Poll Opinion conducted by the Steadman Raila scored an impressive 53%, incumbent President Mwai Kibaki 39% while ODM-Kenya candidate Kalonzo Musyoka got a paltry 8% to the chagrin of his supporters who dismissed the opinion as a cruel hoax and manipulated to favour Raila Odinga.

Observers however argue that the ODMs Raila Odinga has some how worked vigorously and relentlessly and deserves the wide margin.

If he remains consistent upto the election day, then the range will even shock, Opines one of his ally who talked to this journalist on condition of anonymity. But the O.D.M. candidate also remains with the most crucial stage of his chequered political career to become Kenyas fourth president since independence in 1963, thats the task of conducting fair nominations of both civic and Parliamentary candidates.

Currently theres a body working under the flagship election board headed by no nonsense Retired appellate judge Richard Otieno Kwatch.

If the retired justice will be accorded the moral support to conduct the Primaries then the O.D.M vessel will avoid looming fallout and voter apathy.

Its imperative and worth noting that as per the records since the advent of pluralism way back in 1992, the community total number of vote percentage has never gone beyond 65% which critics and analysts attribute to nomination fraud and manipulation by those who believe they are close with the powers that be in Luo-land political set up.

Despite Railas recent assurance which was applauded by party adherents and his admirers that the nominations will be free and fair, some clique of Luo MPs are still reading from a different script, theyre still sending emissaries to Prevail Upon Raila to accord them soft landing spot courtesy of their sycophantic approach to politics devoid of service delivery to the galaxy of suffering electorates.

For the Luo Politicians who are still glued in this kind of parochial thought they should be told that as a community we have seen positions like Vice Presidency, Permanent Secretaries, Ministers and Top Chief Executives but the Presidency has been piped dream and therefore Raila should not be diverted towards such ends apart from Presidency.

The election board and Raila in particular should put shrewd mechanisms in place to curb the fears manipulation of voters in constituencies like Rongo, Karachuonyo, Mbita, Nyakach, Rangwe, Gem and Alego Usonga to name but a few. With a properly conducted nomination exercise, Raila and his ODM outfit is headed for victory.

BY: JEFF OTIENO AGUKO

KISUMU CITY BASED, FREELANCE JOURNALIST

AND A CORRESPONDENT, STUDENT WRITERS BUREAU

COLLEGE OF JOURNALISM, MANCHESTER BRITAIN

EMAIL: jeffotieno@yahoo.com BOX 242 KISUMU KENYA

CELL PHONE 0720 616 018

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