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Archive for January 4th, 2008

UK denies harbouring Zimbabwean fugitives

Posted by African Press International on January 4, 2008

Harare (Zimbabwe) The British government has denied harbouring Zimbabwean fugitives amid accusations by Harare it is providing a safe haven for high-profile criminals running away from the law in their country, APA learnton Friday.

The British embassy in Harare denied claims by President Robert Mugabes government that it was harbouring Zimbabwean fugitives after a senior ruling party legislator wanted by the police on allegations of exchange control violations escaped to the United Kingdom last week.

David Butau fled to the UK after the Zimbabwean authorities indicated that they were keen to interview him for allegedly violating the countrys foreign currency regulations.

He is the latest high-profile Zimbabwean to have fled to the UK in the past five years to escape prosecution for alleged economic crimes.

Government spokesman George Charamba at the weekend accused the UK of applying double standards after it offered a safe haven to Butau.

The British embassy described the allegations as nonsense, arguing that Butau was issued with a five-year visitor\s visa in 2004.

He is not on the EU (European Union) visa ban list and is free to visit the UK for six months at a time while his visa is still valid, said the British Embassy.

More than 100 senior Zimbabwean government and ruling party officials are barred from visiting the EU under targeted sanctions imposed on President Mugabes senior lieutenants in 2002.

Published by Korir, API/APN source.apa

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Youths protest in Conakry against dismissal of Guinean minister

Posted by African Press International on January 4, 2008

Conakry (Guinea) Hundreds of youths were demonstrating on Friday in Conakry, to protest against Guinean President Lansana Contes decision to sack on Thursday afternoon his New Information Technology (ICT) minister, Justin Morel Junior, APA has noted.

In Conakry, the tyres burnt by protesters littered the thoroughfares of Bambeto, Koloma and Cosa districts and disrupted the traffic before the mobile intervention and security squad (CMIS) eventually established order in that zone.

In the communes of Matoto and Matam as well, the fierce tension pervaded the streets as protestors lobbed stones to express their dissatisfaction with the decision.

The riot police, largely deployed in the suburb of Conakry, was trying to contain the young demonstrators that are deceived and worried about this situation which could question the process for change.

The countrys greatest market of Madina was closed after the wave of fear among storekeepers who fear looting actions by protestors.

Parents kept their children at home whereas some sectors of the civil service were crippled.

The Guinean opinion has all eyes on the Premiers office because the sacked minister was close to the Prime Minister. The replacement of Junior by Issa Conde, previously Managing Director of the Guinean news agency (AGP), was not approved by Premier Lansana Kouyate.

Published by Korir, API/APN source.apa

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Uganda accuses LRA of training rebels in DR Congo

Posted by African Press International on January 4, 2008

Kampala (Uganda) Ugandas rebel Lords Resistance Army (LRA) are allegedly recruiting and training mostly Acholi tribesmen in neighbouring DR Congo, Col. Walter ochora told APA on Thursday.

Speaking during an interview, the central government representative in northern Uganda district of Gulu, said some of the trainees include Okwor, Olanya and another only know by his nickname Mission.

Reports about the fresh LRA recruitment and training drive, come amid reports of massive defections by some of the fighters of the LRA rebel group.

Col. Ochora said the absence of the rebel second in command, Vincent Otti, who has been reportedly executed upon orders of the LRA leader, Joseph Kony, has created a vacuum in the movements leadership.

Recently President Museveni claimed he had evidence that Kony was harbouring plans to re-launch the war, a claim that was rebutted by the movement which has been complaining about the lack of commitment demonstrated in the ongoing Juba peace talks in Southern Sudan.

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I have seen Kalonzo Musyoka donate Kshs 500,000 through Red Cross, ….. that is what I call leadership

Posted by African Press International on January 4, 2008

Author : Kim

This violence is about two people who clearly have no agenda for the country but who want to rope it in for their own very shallow and selfish reasons. The most worrying thing however is that none of these guys has out rightly called for an end to the violence. All we have heard are half hearted statements that are quickly followed by buts.

Raila Odinga, who is central in the crisis, has not said a word about the need for humanitarian aid to the displaced and the injured. He is giving interviews left right and centre where he goes on and on about how he is the rightly elected president with no mention at all on the plight of innocent Kenyans (even when asked about it, he somehow gets away with it with little excuses of how democracy is being muzzled).

The same thing goes for President Kibaki. Kibaki, just like Raila, is responsible for the genocide in Kenya. He is a fabulously rich person and he has not offered a cent towards resolving the mess, a mess he is directly responsible for. He has similarly continued to issue half hearted statements that are capped with the words after the free and fair elections. Granted, the government has offered some humanitarian aid but then this is not about the government. This is a war started by Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga as individuals. It has nothing to do with the interest of the country.

I have seen Kalonzo Musyoka donate Kshs 500,000 through Red Cross. Now Kalonzo is not the richest of the three. He is not at the centre of the dispute like these other two guys either but he has repeatedly spoken for the innocently suffering Kenyans. I believe I am different from most other people because that is what I call leadership. Raila’s and Kibaki’s are leaderships to death and destruction.

Now, what exactly is the bone of contention? The elections are over and there is no formal dispute, but people keep fighting. I blame Raila Odingas supporters (if not Raila himself) for starting a war for no reason. I blame Mwai Kibaki for failing to clump down on perpetrators of runaway hooliganism as the head of state.

Here is why I blame Mwai Kibaki; you cannot claim to defend the rule of law and democracy if you have no respect for the same. Why do we have the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections regulations providing for petitions? We have these provisions to take care of any emerging disputes. Since the ODM which claims to have been rigged out does not have the guts or the civility to file a petition with the high court, Kibaki should have instructed his Attorney General to file one.

The Presidential and parliamentary elections regulation states that any registered voter can file the petition. Out of the aggrieved hooligans, none has filed the petition. It also says the AG can do it. This is where Hon Kibaki should have stepped in and demonstrated leadership. It is only through petitioning that the poll can be treated as disputed. Right now, what we are seeing is an uprising that has no basis.

Raila Odinga is the biggest protagonist in this entire circus. He lost the elections (either fairly or unfairly) and decided that the election was not free and fair. He wants us to believe that Juja Constituency registered a voter turn-out of 30%. He also feels that Tigania west, Nithi, Central Imenti and South Imenti all registered their lowest ever turn-outs since the introduction of multipartism and that Karachuonyo, Ndhiwa and Kisumu Rural registered their highest. Fine, may be he is right, but is going on a slashing and looting spree the best way out of the predicament?

I believe that if anybody has any respect, let alone love, for their country, they have to adhere to the rule of law, the force of the constitution and the power of tradition. The best way would have been to file a petition. We are not a jungle nation whose problems are solved using pangas.

I also believe that Raila will be the sure loser if he continues with the route he has taken and if Kibaki continues with his exaggerated degree of rigidity. You cannot lay unreasonable conditions for negotiations with the president who not only has executive power, but who also feels he was democratically elected. That is like shooting yourself in the foot because nobody is going to bulge.

I once said here that Raila Odinga is a leader unto darkness, anarchy and death and people accused me of hating him. I have watched him on TV totally unwilling to take even a modicum of responsibility. He passes the buck all the time even when his most ardent supporters are dying. But for how long are you going to duck responsibility Mr. Raila?

What is remarkable about Mr. Raila’s passion for anarchy, beyond its intensity, is the ease with which he wins over converts. He has always tenaciously clung to his unverified beliefs which he confuses with fact and often inflicts this confusion to his supporters in his struggle to resolve any situation to his favour. When many people are persuaded to subscribe to the same pretense, of course it can gain the aura of objectivity. The trick is simple; depict yourself as persecuted and you will surely win sympathizers. If this is not delusion, tell me what it is.

My humble submission is that the ODM need to petition the outcome of the election in court. Nobody can reverse the ECK chairman’s announcement, not even the president or the AG. Amos Wako is just being afraid of taking an unpopular decision. The best way to resolve this quagmire is telling people the truth which is that the ECK which had a pre poll approval rating of 75% announced the results and anybody dissatisfied with the verdict should either go to court or to hell. We cannot continue being a country at war with itself.

When the losses are counted believe you me, ODM supporters will be the most affected. It is a pity that our so called educated, exposed and enlightened brothers continue to urge the idle and jobless youth to go on the rampage. I want to see Anyang Nyongo, William Ruto and Raila Odinga themselves throwing stones and looting in Nakumatt.

I want to see Sam Okello in hospital nursing a bullet wound sustained during a fight to save his country. Only when that
happens, shall I acknowledge that Kenya means anything to any of these people.

Meanwhile, the government should continue being ruthless when dealing with perpetrators of violence. It is indefensible when someone breaks into an innocent persons property or when people torch a poor mans house all in the name of fighting for democracy. That is stupid fundamentalism.

By Kim

Published by API/APN

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I am American, I love Kenya: Stop the violence, you are only hurting your own Country

Posted by African Press International on January 4, 2008

Author : Michael

You are all Kenyans. Stop the violence, you only hurting your own Country.

I was in Kenya In April of 2007. What a beautiful Country. I was very dissappointed to hear of the killings, burnings, and total chaos.
Once a Candidate has been elected and declared winner you have to respect that. It is the very fabric of order. If Odinga loves his Country like he say’s he does, he would try to discourage violence and fighting.
Kibaki is more diplomatic. Everytime you have a disagreement you can’t resort to violence. This shows me what kind of man he is. I’m not Kikuyu or Luo, I am American and my wife is Kenyan. Tribal differences is like racism. It doesn’t have tobe. Be proud that there are many different Kenyans with
many different views. This is what makes for a beautiful Kenya.

Stop killing your brothers and sisters. I love you Kenya

By Michael from the United States

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President Kibaki has a peace plan he says is good for Kenya

Posted by African Press International on January 4, 2008

Kibaki has a plan and wants the Kenyans to give him a chance to prove he can unite the country.

He wants toshow statesmanship and says he will serve all the Kenyans equally. Those who voted for him and also those who denied him their votes. The president wantsthis second term so that he promotes the economy which is now healthy.


Kibaki’s peace plan


Publication Date: 1/4/2008

President Mwai Kibaki addressing a press conference at State House, Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/JOSEPH MATHENGE

The Governments plan for containing the violence which has hit parts of the country following the disputed presidential elections became clearer Thursday with President Kibaki announcing he was ready for dialogue, and Attorney-General Amos Wako hinting at a formula for power-sharing.

President Kibaki said he was ready for dialogue as soon as the violence stops and calm is restored for people to engage in constructive and productive talks.

On his part, ODM leader Raila Odinga supported calls for dialogue. Mr Odinga made the remarks when he met South African Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu who arrived in Nairobi Thursday.

Mr Wako suggested that a way out can be found even without going to court. One of the ways to resolve the dispute, the AG said, is for a government of national unity to be formed.

Alternatively, an independent group agreeable to all sides could verify the presidential tallies, he said.

Mr Wako also warned that some of the crimes which had been committed border on genocide, a crime punishable even through the international criminal justice system.

At the same time, three people died and a petrol station and five vehicles were set ablaze in Nairobi as groups of youths went on the rampage after police blocked an ODM rally called to protest against the results of the presidential election.

Groups of youths went on the rampage looting and burning property as they blocked sections of roads leading to Nairobi City centre.

President Kibaki, while addressing his first news conference since the violence started, assured Kenyans that the Government was doing everything possible to ensure security is maintained. Those who commit crime will face the full force of the law, said President Kibaki.

He promised to personally visit the affected areas soon to promote reconciliation and healing. Kenyans were free to settle and own property anywhere in the country, he added.

President Kibaki directed the Commissioner of Police to increase security hotlines for people to report any threats.

The Presidents statement was made on the day demonstrations were also held in parts of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu but these were largely peaceful. But in Kisumu, two MPs elect, Shakeel Shabir of Kisumu Town East and Olago Oluoch of Kisumu Town West all of ODM were being questioned by police after they addressed the protesting youths.

Police sources put the death toll from four days of violence at 185 while 155,711 people had been displaced. Majority of the displaced, 120,000 people, were reported to be in the Rift Valley where an operation to evacuate them to safer areas was under way.

Military escort

A convoy of 10 buses left Eldoret Town under military escort headed in the direction of Nakuru as police reported that 260 people had been arrested over the violence.

Calm returned to other major towns in Western Kenya such as Kakamega, Kisii, Bungoma and Busia even though police continued to patrol the streets.

The Electoral Commission of Kenya, meanwhile, gazetted the election of President Kibaki and 207 MPs. No gazettement of MPs was done for Kilgoris, Wajir North and Kamukunji where there were problems.

ODM leader Raila Odinga visited the Nairobi City Mortuary, Masaba hospital and Kibera slum, scene of some of the worst clashes between police and demonstrators. International mediation efforts gathered momentum with South African Anglican Bishop and Nobel prize laureate Desmond Tutu arriving in the country.

Archbishop Tutu held a two hour meeting with Mr Odinga and later said he was still trying to secure an appointment from President Kibakis side.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, EU Foreign chief Javier Solana and American Democratic Party presidential hopeful Barack Obama whose father was Kenyan, called for dialogue among the rival camps.

On Thursday, the ODM leaders called off the rally they had planned for Uhuru Park and announced they would gather at the same venue Friday.

Police managed to keep crowds away from the park by blocking routes leading into the city centre.

Uhuru Park itself was a no go zone with officers from the paramilitary General Service Unit and Administration Police placing a human ring around the grounds. Other teams of riot control police battled groups of rowdy youths in slum areas, confining them there.

There was destruction as rowdy youths held protest marches on Juja, Thika, Ngong and Outerring roads.

Also, two men were beaten unconscious and another seriously injured during the violent demonstrations.

Survivors who sustained deep cuts on the head were driven to hospital in Red Cross and St Johns ambulances after being saved by police.

Four fuel pumps were set on fire at the Agip petrol station on Juja road as well as four matatus and a car parked there.

City council Fire brigade rushed to the scene and fought the fire before it could spread and explode the under ground storage tanks. The protesters had lit the super, regular, diesel and kerosene fuel pumps.

Traffic was blocked for hours on Juja road before police managed to drive the protesters back to section 4A of the Mathare slums. The rowdy gangs had also lit huge fires and piled rocks on the road.

Across the valley, there were more skirmishes on Thika road as paramilitary police engaged a different group in running battles.
The group clashed with the officers near Survey area after being blocked from walking to the city centre.

A man was killed at the spot after he came into contact with a drooping live electricity line.

He was among protesters, who had tried to force entry into a nearby Standard Chartered Bank branch.

Police guards at the bank fired in the air to prevent the surging crowd.

Traffic flow along the highway was interrupted occasionally but it was not disrupted for more than 30 minutes.

Earlier at dawn, two bodies had been found in Mathare and Dandora areas. At 9 am, other groups from the Kibera slums engaged police in similar battles on Ngong road.

Ordered closure

Following the violence, police headquarters ordered closure of Mbagathi Way, Uhuru Highway and Kenyatta Avenue, though the Government had pledged all roads would remain open.

On Ngong road, police and the protesters clashed near the Prestige Plaza. Several kiosks on the roadside were destroyed.
Police pushed and managed to hold the crowd near the Kibera DOs office.

At 2pm, other groups converged on Argwings Kodhek road, 200 metres from Orange House, the ODM headquarters.

A Kobil petrol station was vandalised by the mob that started throwing stones after being confronted by the police.

Meanwhile, the donor community asked Kenyan leaders to put aside their differences and re-solve the impasse.
They said business had estimated that about Sh2 million per day was being lost.

In a joint statement World Bank, Canada, Denmark, the European Commission, France, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States warned that the gains made by Kenya in the last few years could dissipate due to the on-going destruction.

At stake is the pre-election Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of seven percent, rising business confidence, increasing tourism, measurable progress in firm level productivity, significant gains in democratic development and the lifting of over two million Kenyans out of poverty over the last few years, said the statement.

The donor community said at the Nairobi Stock Exchange, Sh40 billion (about five percent of market capitalisation) was wiped off the value of shares when the market resumed business after the elections, hurting investors large and small.

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The disputed elections: Did Kibaki steal the votes?

Posted by African Press International on January 4, 2008

Many have now questioned if President Mwai Kibaki stole the votes from his main rival Raila Odinga of ODM. The nation is divided on the issue. There are those who choose to believe that the election was rigged in favour of Kibaki, while others are of the opinion that there was no rigging.

The international community has shown interest in mediating in an effort to stop the ongoing violence in the country. Today, however, Kenya was calm and it seems things are returning to normal. It is reported that 300 people have already lost their lives in the violence.


Desmond Tutu was in Kenya yesterday where he held talks with ODM leaders. Today he was able to meet with Kibaki. What comes out of the talks remains to be seen. One thing is very clear. PresidentKibaki is not ready to relinquish power and hand over the State House key to Raila Odinga. Kibaki has also stated that there is no way he will accept a transition government to be formed.

The African Union chairman,who is also the Ghanaian presidentwas to jet in to Kenya yesterday to have talks with Kenyan leaders. On realising that the government was not ready to welcome him,hecancelled his planned trip to the Kenyan capital.

Talking of power sharing with the opposition is something Kibaki is not ready to consider. Whereas the opposition may wish to join the government in apower sharing deal, those in leadership with Kibaki will not hear of such a thing.

And the problem is here. Power was shared in Kibaki’s first term in office. That government did not achieve much in the beginning because there was wrangling and fighting amongst ministerson who had the real power. Those from the then LDP led by Raila wanted to win support to be recognised as the men with more power because they believed Kibaki owed them recognition of some sort. Their belief was that without them, Kibaki would not have won the 2002 elections. The LDP men wanted Raila appointed as Prime Minister at the time but Kibaki was not ready to do so.

Those who were die-hard Kibaki supporters were not ready to let the President give recognition to LDP men in any way. That paralysed the government making itunable to provide needed services to the citizens. Many Kenyan leaders were only thinking of themselves and in parliamentoccupied raising their salaries while the Kenyan population suffered.

It was not before Kibaki sacked Raila and his LDP men, that the government ran smoothly without wrangles. The economy rose to a healthy to 7%growth.

This may be the thing that Kibaki will have to consider if he is to go into power sharing deal with Raila and ODM. One thing is now clear. Kibaki wants to see Kenya continue in the path of economic growth.

The big question is whether bringing in Raila and the opposition into the government now will help in a continued economic growth.

Moi’s support for Kibaki

This election was a very interesting one. Former president Daniel Arap Moi supported Kibaki for a second term. He had high hopes that the Kalenjins in Rift Valley would come out in large numbers and support Kibaki. A younger William Ruto, who served in Moi’s government came out in opposition saying he wanted Moi to keep off politics and let the younger men carry the torch. He broke ranks with Kanu and joined the ODM.

Moi’s sons

All the three lost the elections in their bid to be in parliament. Was it a protest vote? A protest against Moi’s support for Kibaki? Was it to show that Ruto, the younger man had taken over the mantle of power in the Kalenjin community pushing the Moi’s aside? Or was it simply a vote for change and it did not matter who the party flag bearers were? It is difficult to know.

ODM is led by Henry Kosgei, a former minister in Moi’s government. If ODM had come to power, Ruto was to be appointed Prime Minister. That was to happen within the first 100 days. The ODM would have to change the constitution first in order to allow a Prime Minister position which is not the case in the present constitution.

Was the Kalenjin vote for Raila or ODM and Ruto?

This is a very big question in the minds of many. ODM wave swept the Rift Valley and many voted for ODM. Was it a vote for Raila or simply a vote to promote Ruto and ODM within the Kalenjin community? The Kalenjins saw an opportunity to get Ruto appointed by ODM as the Prime Minister. This position is very powerful. A day to day running of government business. This would bring the Kalenjins back to power.

Sources has told API/APN that the voters in the Rift Valley chose to vote ODM because they were angered by Moi’s support for Kibaki. They thought Moi might influence Kibaki during his second term. They are of the opinion that Moi may have supported Kibaki this time around and in turn will ask Kibaki to support his favourite man Uhuru Kenyatta in 2012 so that he does what he had promised to do for the Kenyatta family. Ruto broke ranks with Uhuru because he knows of the scheme. Ruto may be thinking of himself now and in the future. If he becomes Prime Minister, he would build himself up and ready to stand in 2012 for the presidency.

When Moi made Uhuru his project in 2002 and his plans failed, he has not forgiven his detractors including Raila Odinga and his group who left Kanu and formed LDP.

Moi may have been waiting for this time to come. Raila and some of Moi’s ministers in 2002 who formed LDP supported Kibaki to get power. Moi decided this time around that his support is the one to give Kibaki his second term in office. Pay back time! A tit for tat!

Some PNU loyal losers will be nominated to parliament

Although his sons did not get to parliament, we will see one of them being nominated by PNU and may even be given a ministerial position as thanks to the former president’s support during the elections.

Kenya needs peace

What Kenya needs now is peace. Politicians should put behind their personal ambitions to be what they have not been elected to become, by the people. In every competition, there will be winners and losers. There should be room for reconciliation for the benefit of the people.

Al Gore got majority votes, but George Bush took the presidency

Remember the United States elections between George Bush, the US Presidentand Al Gore. Gore got the majority of the votes. George Bush, with fewer votes was declared the winner and became the president. That was Bush’ first term in office. Al Gore supporters went to court to try and have him declaredthe US president. But George Bush’s brother, aGovernorwhose state caused the chaos made sure that Bush became the president despite fewer votes.

Many were angered. The case was taken to court. People did not choose to go to the streets and demonstrate, killing one another as is the case nowin Kenya. Kenyans should continue on the path of peace and serve as an examplein the Africancontinent.

The US people put the election fever behind and reconciled. That is why the country has been moving forward. George Bush, President of the worlds only powerful nation has now congratulated Kibaki for getting the second term in office.

Kenyans should take this example – putting the election fever behind them. The leadersshouldreconcile and put their own desire to rule behind and give development a priority.

Written by Korir, Published by African Press International (APN)/ African Press in Norway (APN)

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Seeking reconciliation in Kenya

Posted by African Press International on January 4, 2008

Reconciliation in Kenya is on the top agenda of the Bush administration. They want to see and end to the violence. George Bush, however, congratulated Kibaki on his win and the start of his second term in office.


Nation story

Top US envoy to help in talks

Nation Story
Publication Date: 1/4/2008

Americas top most official for Africa is due in Kenya today to help set up talks between President Kibaki and his rival Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

At the same time, ODM have insisted their protest rally today will go on at Uhuru Park, and that the rallies will continue until President Kibaki concedes defeat.

US assistant Secretary of State for Africa Jendayi Frazer is expected to arrive in Nairobi later this afternoon to help bring the two parties to a negotiation table. The US and the European Union are understood to be pushing the ODM and President Kibakis Party of National Unity (PNU) to settle for a form of a coalition government as a way of settling the presidential election impasse.

ODM has ruled out joining any government of national unity set up by President Kibaki, and are instead calling for a transitional administration to clear the way for a rerun of the presidential election in three months.

President Kibaki has this morning been in a meeting with South Africas Archbishop Desmond Tutu and is also expected to hold talks with ambassadors of foreign countries serving in Kenya.

On the other hand, Mr Odinga held talks with the German ambassador Walter Linder at the partys Pentagon House offices.

Nairobi woke up to an uneasy calm with Uhuru Park, the venue of ODMs banned rally, cordoned off by paramilitary police.

People and passenger vehicles have been allowed into the city centre and many more business premises opened, but the situation is likely to change once ODM leaders and supporters attempt to get to the venue of their rally.

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Britney Spears lands in mental evaluation

Posted by African Press International on January 4, 2008

CNN reports that singer Britney Spears is suspected to have mental illness. Recently she lost her kids to her former husband.

Her two children were taken away from her and handed over to her former husband in a court ruling a few months ago. The two parents are still in a contest on who should have the permanent custody of the kids.

The fight between the two parents is causing harm to the children at the moment.

Britney’s career is also in danger if she is declared mentally unstable. Recently she released an album that was doing well in the sales but her continued stress due to loosing her children through the courts is not helpingto promote her career that is already in shambles.

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Kenya government spokesman Mutua says Kibaki will not share power with loosers

Posted by African Press International on January 4, 2008

Today it came out clear. The government according to Dr Alfred Mutua has stated that there is no way one will share power with loosers, Raila’s ODM.

This is interesting because the international community thinks this power sharing idea is possible in Kenya.

In the west, it is possible with power sharing ,but that would only cause chaos in Kenya. There is suspicion and leaders in Kenya from different parties are unable to persue one policy in for example economy of the country.

Kibaki will now run the country for 5 years unless a miracle takes place.

If the government accepts a recount now, it will only throw the country into more chaos. The best way Kenya can go now is to talk together and look forward to the next election in 5 years to come.

Published by Korir, API/APN

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Kibaki will not have shared power

Posted by African Press International on January 4, 2008

To share power with opposition will not work in Kenya. Kibaki tried in hisfirst term as president to have shared power with Raila’s people. Raila and hbis then ministers sabotaged the government. Will Kibaki accept another sabotage?


Standard story

Transition govt has no place, says Kibaki

Published on January 4, 2008, 12:00 am

By Patrick Wachira

President Kibaki has ruled out the formation of a transitional government and told those dissatisfied with the election results to “follow the law”.

He also declared that he was ready to have dialogue with what he termed as “concerned parties” once the nation “is calm and the political temperatures are lowered enough for constructive and productive engagement”.

The Head of State warned that those who will not follow the law would be dealt with sternly. “Wale hawataki kufuata sheria tutaonana na wao (Those intent on breaking the law, we shall face them head on),” he said.

Kibaki who addressed a rare news conference at State House, Nairobi convened on Thursday afternoon said that he would soon visit the areas affected by violence and lead the nation in reconciliation and healing.

And the President gave a clean bill of health for the just-concluded General Election, saying he was informed he had won the polls, as stated by the law.

Yule hajatosheka ana haki ya kwenda kortini na kufuata sheria” (Those who are not satisfied have the right to go to court and follow the law), he said.

He reminded leaders that they had the obligation to respect and uphold the Constitution and its laws. “You have the obligation to uphold and protect the right of every Kenyan to live, work and own property anywhere in our country,” he told them.

He said that those wishing to pursue violent methods of solving problems would not succeed in their attempts.

Kibaki said: “As we seek avenues of bringing back peace and calm to this country, I am appealing to you to demonstrate your respect for this country and its institutions by restraining yourselves, and your supporters from engaging in unlawful acts”.

He said his office was open to all Kenyans of goodwill whose desire is to have a united, peaceful and stable Kenya.

Read riot act

“As your president, I want to assure all of you that the government is doing everything possible to ensure the security of all Kenyans. Those who continue to violate the law will face its full force,” said he.

He directed the Police Commissioner, who was present, to increase the number of police hotlines for wananchi to report any suspicious activities that may lead to acts of lawlessness.

“I am also directing our security services to be vigilant and deal firmly with all perpetrators of criminal activities,” added the Head of State, who was accompanied by the Policy Advisor in the Office of the President, Mr Stanley Murage, and the Secretary to the Cabinet, Mr Francis Muthaura.

The President said the Government was providing food and other humanitarian assistance to those displaced by the violence.

“My fellow Kenyans, let us work together as brothers and sisters to seek lasting peace and unity for our country. I convey my deepest condolences and sympathies to the relatives of al the innocent persons who have lost their lives,” said the President.

Those fomenting trouble, he said, would not succeed. “Hiyo sio njia na haitawezekana (That is not the way and will not be allowed).”

He was particularly disturbed by reports that some victims were burnt in churches and said even God would abhor such acts. He was saddened by the killing of children in some of the attacks.

Kibaki said he was committed to protecting the lives and property of all Kenyans “and to ensure that this country is governed by the rule of law that applies to all of us, irrespective of our status”.

His address lasted 13 minutes, after which he declined to answer questions, saying he would do so this morning at 10am.

He pointed out that most of the questions that would have been asked had been answered in his statement.

Lifted and published by Korir, API/APN

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A slow start in search for peace

Posted by African Press International on January 4, 2008


By Standard TeamInternational efforts to find peace and a political solution to the crisis facing the country intensified on Thursday, even as violent protests brought Nairobi and other major towns to a halt.

President Kibaki, whose declaration as winner of the December 27 hotly contested poll plunged the country into chaos, called a press conference and told any aggrieved party to go to court.

And ODM, for the second time in a week, cancelled a rally scheduled for Uhuru Park but quickly announced that it would proceed on Friday at the same venue starting at 10am in order “to sustain the pressure and enable Kenyans get what is rightfully theirs”.

President Kibaki, speaking at the first news conference since being sworn-in on Sunday, declared: “Yule hajatosheka ana haki ya kwenda kortini na kufuata sheria (Those who are not satisfied have the right to go to court and follow the law)”.

The Head of State, who addressed local and international journalists at State House, Nairobi, pointed an accusing finger at his opponents, saying those with vested political interests orchestrated the violence that has paralysed the country.

Kibaki, however, said he was open for dialogue but only after the violence has been contained. He spoke moments after Nobel laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who jetted into the country early on Thursday to broker a deal between the warring factions, said he was still unable to get an appointment with the Head of State.

“There is no need to tally the presidential votes because it is not a worthwhile exercise owing to the state of the records,” Tutu said at the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) in Westlands, Nairobi.

This was after Attorney General, Mr Amos Wako, called for a fresh tally of votes a position earlier pushed by ODM by an independent body to end the post-election chaos.

In a statement faxed to newsrooms, the Governments chief legal adviser stated: “It is necessary, and here I agree with the Catholic Bishops and others, that a proper tally of the valid certificates returned and confirmed should be undertaken immediately and on a priority basis by an agreed and independent person or body”.

The Governments chief legal adviser, who also spoke of a government of national unity as one of the possibilities that could break the deadlock, said only the courts could nullify the elections after the Electoral Commission of Kenya declared Kibaki the winner.

Meanwhile, prospects of an international mediation starting any time soon looked bleak when Raila and the ODM Pentagon met Tutu early in on Thursday, and accused Kibaki of rejecting mediators who have offered to help resolve the impasse over the presidential vote outcome.

The Langata MP-elect told international journalists that his team had identified former United Nations secretary-general, Mr Koffi Annan, South Africas Tutu and Ghanaian President and African Union (AU) chairman, Mr John Kuffour, to mediate but the Government was dragging its feet.

Obama adds his voice

The Illinois Senator, Mr Barrack Obama, added his voice to growing international calls to Kibaki and Raila to dialogue and peacefully resolve the impasse.

“Now is a time for President Kibaki, opposition leader Odinga and all of Kenyas leaders to call for calm, to come together and to start a political process to address peacefully the controversies that divide them,” Obama, whos of Kenyan descent and a presidential hopeful in the US elections, said.

Another impassioned plea for peace came from former Sierra Leone President, Dr Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, who led the Commonwealth observer team.

But on Thursday, as the politicians dithered, Nairobi again soaked the brunt of the chaos as over 4,000 police officers fought demonstrators and politicians for the better part of the day to keep them from Uhuru Park, the venue of the one million-man rally.

It also emerged that so far, more than 300 people have lost their lives and close to 100,000 others displaced in various parts of the country.

Scenes not seen in Nairobi since the violent pro-democracy demonstrations of 1991 were replayed all morning and part of the afternoon with thousands of demonstrators battling with police.

The chaos in Nairobi left at least five people dead, according to police, while the death toll kept going up in other parts of the country where election-related violence has persisted since Sunday.

In Kibera, an AIC church building was burnt down and the local law courts partly razed as demonstrators tried all efforts to outwit riot police and get into Uhuru Park.

Bursts of gunfire and exploding teargas canisters were heard on Karanja Road from early morning and on Ngong Road, where police on horseback, on foot and others using water canons fought hard to keep off the rioters.

Streets choking in teargas

Also choked in clouds of teargas were parts of Thika and Juja roads.

The height of confrontation was at Hurlingham Shopping Centre, where police stopped Pentagon members Mr Musalia Mudavadi, Mr William Ruto, Mrs Charity Ngilu and Mr Joseph Nyagah from marching to Uhuru Park.

The leaders engaged police in an exchange of words before they agreed to cancel the meeting.

“Kenyans should not get tired as we press for our rights. We know it is not going to take one or two days but we shall endure to the very end,” Mudavadi said.

Ruto called on the Police Commissioner, Maj-Gen Hussein Ali, to respect the law and let Kenyans carry on with a peaceful demonstration.

Ngilu engaged a senior police officer in a heated argument demanding to know why his officers were using force to disperse the crowd.

Prof Anyang Nyongo pleaded with the demonstrators to retreat, but the charged supporters would not hear any of it and started chanting for Ugenya MP-elect, Mr James Orengo, to come and lead them to Uhuru Park.

Some of the party supporters followed Nyagah towards Valley Road, where police lobbed teargas canisters to disperse them.

Meanwhile, Uhuru Park was under siege all day as officers drawn from the regular, administration and the GSU units sealed off all entrances.

They formed a human perimeter fence round the ground as other officers patrolled the recreation ground on horseback.

The officers, armed with guns, wooden batons, teargas canisters and shields, arrived at the grounds as early as 5am.

German Ambassador Walter Lindner and the Head of the European Union Delegation, Mr Erick van der Linden, drove to Kibera to witness the events.

Lindner said the German Foreign Affairs minister, Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier, had spoken to Raila and Foreign Affairs minister Raphael Tuju, and urged that there should be no bloodshed because of the Uhuru Park rally issue.

Other towns and areas rocked by chaos included Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Kuresoi, Nakuru, Kakamega and Bungoma.

In Kisumu, two MPs-elect Kisumu Town Wests Olago Aluoch and Kisumu Town Easts Shakeel Shabbir were arrested in connection with the protests but were later released.

Violence rocked most parts of Mombasa mainland as rowdy youths engaged hundreds of riot police in running battles that saw one man shot on the head and scores injured.

Sounds of teargas, gunshots and burning tyres filled parts of Maweni, Kisauni, Bombolulu and Changamwe as GSU, AP and regular police battled crowds headed for Makadara grounds for a protest rally.

Protesters in Kuresoi burnt several houses at Karirikania farm, as hundreds others flashed twigs placards at Keringet, Olenguruone and Kiptagich trading centres.

Lifted and published by Korir, API/APN

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