African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

Archive for January 8th, 2008

Posted by African Press International on January 8, 2008

senegalese-demonstrators.jpgDakar (Senegal) Thousands of protesters carrying banners marched in the Senegalese capital on Monday during an event organised by the Anti-EPA Coalition.

The mammoth crowds chanted slogans : “No to EPAs”, “Yes to the Development Partnership Agreements”, “Women support President Wades, position”.

Thunderous roars sounded amid Senegalese folk songs urging populations to join in “to stand against the EPAs which “are threatening our industries” and “putting our futures at risk”, the crowds shouted.

In spite of the scorching heat, people joined the protest march to the rhythm of drummers.

The ended outside the European Union headquarters in Dakar will a call by organisers for a dialogue with Europe to build a partnership for growth and development.

In a report titled “African Peoples Call to the European and International Public Opinion “, organisers urged people to fight against the EPAs which are threatening the African economies and hindering efforts to build unity in the continent.

“Building a new Europe-Africa partnership requires time, coherence but also to take into account the imbalance in the economic and political powers as well as the legitimate ambitions of each people”, notes the coalition which is co-ordinated by the chairman of the National Council of Employers Organisations (CNP), Bady Agne.

According to the Coalition which brings together intellectuals, company managers, economic operators, traders, farmers, cattle breeders, the new partnership must “be based on strong principles of respect, solidarity and trust” in order to be mutually advantageous, Initiated by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), The European Union is trying to review its trade exchanges with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries which partnership traditions date back to the early independences in the 50s.

Asian countries opposed to the preferential regime, are calling for the lifting of customs barriers and the establishment of a trade system open to competition and which makes final consumers the sole arbiter of the State choices and decisions.

China alone accounts for 26% of the clothing imported in Europe against 21% in late 2006. The end of the textile quotas, the expiry of the sugar protocol and the liberalisation of the prices of several basic raw materials (coffee, cocoa, and groundnut) open new chapters in the trade relations among countries at a time when other concerns like global warming are being raised.

The WTO, recently established from the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) is sensitive to the reasons cited by the Asians and is urging the Europeans to comply with its charter: fighting protectionism and removing the bilateral and regional accords which are contrary to the Organisations rules.

Its role as the worlds trade watchdog is however biased even though it receives and rules on complaints

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

Advertisements

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

A break-through that Raila Odinga wanted, but will talks give him the presidency he so badly wants?

Posted by African Press International on January 8, 2008

Raila may have managed to get a meeting with President Kibaki. He has been invited to State House Friday for a meeting because the president want peace and stability in the country. This step must not be translated to mean Kibaki wants to disappoint those who vote for him by relinquishing power to Raila Odinga.

Kibaki has already called for the first parliamentary session on Tuesday the 15th of January and only wise thing is to talk to Raila before that day and soften him so that he does not try and influence MPs not to attend the Tuesday swearing.

When members from all parties have been sworn in then the president has people to appoint as ministers to his new administration. Raila will have to serve as the leader of the opposition in the next parliament if he declines to join the government of national unity.

___________________________

Nation story:

Kibaki invites Raila for poll crisis talks

Story by NATION Team
Publication Date: 1/8/2008

President Kibaki has invited ODM leader Raila Odinga to a meeting at State House, Nairobi, on Friday in an effort to restore peace and resolve the political crisis sparked by the disputed presidential election result.

President Mwai Kibaki. Photo/ FILE

A statement released from the Presidential Press Service last night said the meeting would discuss ways of stopping the on-going violence in parts of the country, consolidation of peace and national reconciliation.

The invitation was extended to Mr Odinga and five other members of his party. The meeting is scheduled to start at 2.30 pm.

However, late last night, Mr Odinga said through a spokesman that he would only attend the meeting if it is part of the negotiation process that Ghanian president John Kuffuor is expected to spearhead.

Earlier yesterday, the ODM called off countrywide rallies to create a conducive atmosphere for negotiations to take place, while President Kibaki summoned the First Session of the 10th Parliament on Tuesday, January 15.

This happened as normalcy returned to most towns hit by violence over the past week.

Others invited to Fridays meeting are: John Cardinal Njue of the Catholic Church, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi of the Anglican Church, Bishop Silas Yego of the Africa Inland Church, Prof El Bussaidy Chairman of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem) and Supkems secretary-general Aden Wachu.

Others are the chairman of the NCCK, Bishop Joseph Wabukhala and secretary-general Canon Peter Karanja, Bishop Arthur Kitonga of Redeemed Gospel Church and Bishop Boniface Adoyo of the Nairobi Pentecostal Church.

The Presidents statement summoning Parliament read: In exercise of the powers conferred by section 58(1) of the Constitution of Kenya, I appoint that a new session of Parliament shall be held at Parliament Buildings in Nairobi, and shall begin on the 15th January, 2008, at 2.30pm.

The first business will be to elect the Speaker of the National Assembly and swear in all the 210 elected MPs.

The convening of the House was announced as diplomatic and international efforts to end the impasse created by the disputed presidential elections gathered momentum.

In Nairobi, it was announced that President Kuffuor, the current chairman of the African Union, will arrive in Kenya today.

The announcement came a day after the Government sent Foreign Affairs assistant minister Moses Wetangula to Accra to brief the Ghanaian leader on the situation in Kenya.

Government spokesman Alfred Mutua had said President Kuffuor would be arriving in the country as a guest of the State.

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said President Kuffuor would be in the country for two days. Foreign Affairs official John Cheboi said President Kuffuor is expected to arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 6pm.

Britain and the US have been pushing for the AU to mediate a deal between Mr Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga, to end the violence and disruptions, which erupted after the poll, now widely believed to have been rigged. The death toll from the violence was yesterday put at 486 in public hospitals alone.

International efforts

As part of the international efforts, the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Dr Jendayi Frazer, has been in the country for the past three days during which she held talks with President Kibaki and Mr Odinga.

Shortly after the meeting, Mr Odinga called off the rallies since ODM wanted its negotiations with President Kibaki to be held under a peaceful atmosphere.

After consultations, all the rallies called for tomorrow have been put off until further notice, Mr Odinga said.

In another development, the Law Society of Kenya recalled an award of honour given to Electoral Commission of Kenya chairman Samuel Kivuitu two years ago and asked him to return the medal.

The society also announced that it would launch disciplinary hearings against all commissioners who are lawyers to determine whether they should face sanctions, which might include striking them off the roll of advocates, an action that could lead to one being barred from representing clients in court.

Dr Frazer suggested three ways that could help get Kenya out of the current political crisis.

The constitution could be changed, power devolved from the presidency and institutions like ECK strengthened.

She said ODM could also use its numerical strength to pass a vote of no confidence in President Kibaki in Parliament, a move that could result in presidential elections re-run.

The US, which is a major defender of democracy, Dr Frazer said, recognised Kibaki as Kenyas president despite flawed December 27 General Election as he is the one who was sworn in.

She also called for fair distribution of resources to communities.

Dr Frazer added that she had asked President Kibaki not to announce his government before the crisis was resolved.

Political leaders, she said, should help reach solution through dialogue and no Kenyan should die because of the crisis.

Dr Frazer, who was accompanied by US ambassador Michael Ranneberger, during a press conference at the envoys residence in Nairobi, said institutions like ECK, which has been widely blamed for alleged rigging in Mr Kibakis favour, should be respected and strengthened for Kenyans to restore confidence in it.

There were also major problems in powers vested on the presidency, the Constitution and the electoral system, she said.

Dr Frazer supported President Kufuors efforts to bring President Kibaki and Mr Odinga together.

She said: The US will support whatever President Kibaki and Mr Odinga agree through dialogue.

She hoped that Mr Odinga and Mr Kibaki will do more than accommodate each other in their talks.

The US official said it is President Kibaki who had invited Mr Kuffuor into the country. She called on international institutions to ensure fairness in dialogue between PNUs Mwai Kibaki and ODMs Raila Odinga, adding, Kenya was still a strong regional hub despite the turmoil.

Democratic right

Although she welcomed ODMs decision to call off rallies that had been planned countrywide from today, Dr Frazer said it was, however, Kenyans democratic right to have freedom of association and assembly.

The opposition has a right to express itself, she said. She said the US peace process in Somalia had been delayed by lack of fuel. Ugandan and Burundi security forces, she said, could not go to Somalia due to shortage of fuel.

Religious organisations, professionals, big and small businesses, and the public have been urging President Kibaki and Mr Odinga to speak to each other and agree on how to end the senseless murders and plunder of property witnessed in the country.

But both sides have been giving mixed signals, including conditions before such talks could start.

Meanwhile, just hours after the Presidents proclamation yesterday, the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Samuel Ndindiri, invited those intending to be elected as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the august House to pick nomination papers from his office.

Any non-MP aged at least 21, and who qualifies to be elected as an MP, can vie for the post of Speaker, while the Deputy Speaker must be a sitting MP.

According to Mr Ndindiris instructions, completed nomination forms must be returned to his office not later than this coming Friday at 2.30pm. Only three items are usually on the agenda during the first sitting of a new Parliament: Election of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, and the swearing-in of all MPs.

It is the Clerk who normally leads the newly elected Speaker in taking the oath of office. The Speaker then takes over and swears in the Deputy Speaker and the MPs. Parliament then takes a break, awaiting the announcement of its next and subsequent meetings by the President.

Political parties and individuals have over the past few days been discreetly lobbying for the post of the Speaker.

The current Speaker, Mr Francis ole Kaparo, and former MPs Njoki Ndungu, Paul Muite, Oloo Aringo, Justin Muturi and Joseph Lagat, were some of the names being touted yesterday for the post.

It was not clear who was rooting for the position of the Deputy Speaker, save for Central Imenti MP-elect, Mr Gitobu Imanyara.

The small parties will be sending a total of 30 members to Parliament.

Their resolve to support neither of the big two PNU nor ODM has been read as a bargaining strategy.

Lifted and published by API/APN africanpress@chello.no source.nation.ke

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

Hope for a peaceful settlement in Kenya as parties agree to talk peace.

Posted by African Press International on January 8, 2008

Although the talks will be held on Friday in State House between President Kibaki and Raila’s ODM and religious leaders, it does notmean Raila is being handed over the presidency on a silver plate.

Kajwang, MP-elect, one of Raila’s staunch supportershas called on President Kibaki to create a post of Executive Prime Minister. Is he telling the nation that Raila wants to be appointed Prime Minister?

If that is the case, then the government of Kibaki has to change the constitution that will pave way for a position of Prime Minister. Now it seems Raila and his men will fight it out until they get what they have dreamed of, Power over the people even if it is through the premiership and not the presidency.

If Raila does not get the presidency, and he knows it very well that Kibaki is not about to step down, then now his man comes out to suggest on the creation of the post of Prime Minister.

William Ruto was promised the position if Raila become the president. That made Ruto to work so hard and got many Kalenjins to vote for Raila. Many Kalenjin observers have expressed shock and dismay that Ruto could do this to his community.

The talks to be held by the Chairman of African Union is expected to unite Kibaki and Raila. The talks will deal with the situation in the country. To stop the violence and get peace and stability back. It is not meant to remove Kibaki from the presidency.

The US envoy who just completed her trip to Nairobi has encouraged Raila and his ODM members of parliament to instead use the NO confidence vote in Parliament against the president. She also stated that USA recognises Kibaki as the president of Kenya because he is the one that has been sworn in after the presidential elections.

The standard news has called the opportunity for talks – a glimmer of hope.

____________

The Standard story:

A glimmer of hope for Kenya

Published on January 8, 2008, 12:00 am
By Standard Team

The United Kingdom pushed for a repeat presidential election as President Kibaki and Orange Democratic Movements Mr Raila Odinga, appeared to edge closer to the dialogue table, on the eve of the arrival of Ghanaian President Mr John Kuffuor.

Monday night, Kibaki in a dispatch to newsrooms by the Presidential Press Service invited Raila and five other members of his party to a meeting on Friday at 2.30pm “to dialogue on the stoppage of violence, consolidation of peace and national reconciliation”. Also invited are nine senior clergymen.

Earlier, Raila had raised expectations for a quick political settlement when he said ODM was ready for negotiations and dialogue to break the post-election impasse.

In the same vein, the party called off countrywide protest rallies planned for Tuesday to allow mediation talks to be conducted in an atmosphere of peace.

The party dropped preconditions it had earlier set which included that President Kibaki steps down as a prerequisite for the talks.

The Langata MP-elect, who has repeatedly rejected Kibakis offer of a Government of National Unity saying it would merely legitimise the Presidents position, indicated that with the arrival of Kuffuor this evening, the stage was set for dialogue and a negotiated settlement.

“I have worked with Kibaki before. I have (no problem) working with Kibaki again,” Raila told Al Jazeera, but added: “Its the role I will play that we will negotiate. We are prepared to walk the extra mile to bring peace to Kenya”.

In a strong message to President Kibaki and Africa in general, British Prime Minister, Mr Gordon Brown, said the possibility of a repeat presidential vote “would have to form” part of Kuffuors discussion with Kibaki and the Opposition.

“This is about saving lives, but its also about sending a message about democracy in Africa,” the UK Guardian website quoted Brown as saying on Sunday.

On its part, the US said the political crisis will not be resolved by simply “dishing out political seats” but by seriously addressing “fundamental challenges” that triggered the unrest.

US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Dr Jendayi Frazer, said constitutional reforms was paramount so as to clip the imperial powers of the President, address social grievances and strengthen governance institutions such as the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) to forestall a similar crisis in future.

Both ODM and President Kibakis Party of National Unity (PNU) have settled on Kuffuor, the African Union (AU) chairman, to mediate the talks and help haul the country out of an impasse that triggered turmoil and bloodletting of an unprecedented scale.

On Monday, the official figure of the dead released by a new State agency stood at 486. The Government Humanitarian Service Committee, set up last week to handle the unfolding disaster, also revealed that 255,686 people had been displaced and called for immediate humanitarian support from well-wishers.

It was yet another fluid and fast-paced day in strife-torn Kenya.

Normalcy started trickling back. President Kibaki announced that the Tenth Parliament would open its doors on Tuesday, January 15.

ODM again cancelled planned nationwide protest rallies.

A livid Law Society of Kenya (LSK) struck off Mr Samuel Kivuitu, the disgraced Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) chairman, from its roll of honour and dismissed the swearing in of Mwai Kibaki was as “null and void” as Kenya remained on the international limelight.

In an interview with Al Jazeera TV, Raila spoke of a “major breakthrough” referring to the arrival of Kuffuor, which would be followed by a commencement of the much-awaited mediated talks.

But considering the level of mistrust, suspicion and even anger, it remained unclear whether the talks would take a bilateral approach.

Also invited to the peace and national reconciliation talks alongside Raila are John Cardinal Njue of the Catholic Church, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi of the Anglican Church, Bishop Silas Yego of the Africa Inland Church, Prof El Bussaidy and Aden Wachu, both of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem).

Others are National Council of Churches of Kenya chairman Bishop Joseph Wabukhala and Secretary General Canon Peter Karanja, Bishop Arthur Kitonga of Redeemed Gospel Church and Bishop Bonifes Adoyo of the Nairobi Pentecostal Church.

ODMs position has been that President Kibaki stole the election and cannot therefore be allowed leverage in the prevailing situation.

“It is an insult to the people of Kenya. I should be the one offering him the option of a coalition government,” Raila, who has indicated that he would serve in an interim government if it is set up for the express purpose of amending the constitution to allow another election, asserted.

Earlier on Monday, ODM agreed to put on hold all public rallies planned to take place simultaneously in various parts of Nairobi and other towns Tuesday.

Raila said they had reached the decision so that “negotiations take place in a peaceful environment.” He added that they were convinced that the mediation process was about to start.

Raila addressed a news conference shortly after he held a two-hour closed door meeting with Dr Jendayi Frazer, the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, at the US Ambassadors residence in Nairobi.

At the meeting, they stressed the urgent need for an international mediator to broker a truce to end chaos.

Eldoret North MP-elect, Mr William Ruto, and his Aldai counterpart, Dr Sally Kosgey, accompanied Raila at the talks and during the news conference held at a residence adjacent to the US envoys.

Raila also took issue with misleading media reports that he had rejected a proposal for a coalition government.

He clarified that he was opposed to Government of National Unity (GNU) and “there was a difference between the two”.

In an apparent softening of his stance, Raila assured that he would “pursue all legal and peaceful means to ensure that the true results of the elections are respected”.

Pressed by journalists to say whether legal means included seeking court intervention for which he had dismissed as under the whims of the Executive, Raila replied that “mediation” was also legal redress.

Frazer was yesterday emphatic that it was the Americas position that the dispute over the presidential election outcome must be resolved within the rule of law and established institutions.

The diplomat who has separately met President Kibaki and Raila said the two leaders had demonstrated willingness to engage in dialogue and restore calm. But the main obstacle, she added, was mistrust and hence the call for an international mediator to build confidence.

Consequently, she added, the US backed diplomatic efforts by Ghanaian President, Mr John Kuffuor, to mediate between the Government and ODM. But she made a case for a coalition government crafted according to parliamentary strength.

“The US hopes that the two leaders will do more than accommodate each other in a power-sharing strategy. Constitutional reforms are important to strengthen institutions and deal with social injustices, including even distribution of resources,” Frazer told an international news conference Monday at the US Ambassadors residence in Nairobi.

US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger was present.

Frazer said the US was a defender of democracy, and urged for reforms to protect the outcome of the peoples constitutional right to vote. “The people of Kenya have been cheated by the political leaders and institutions,” she said. She added that the US was “deeply concerned” with the presidential vote-tallying process.

Asked about the options during negotiations and whether a presidential run-off was expected, Frazer responded that it was up to the two leaders to hammer out a compromise.

However, she noted that the law stipulated that once the ECK had announced results, any party contesting the outcome should seek remedy in the courts.

Lifted and published by API/APN africanpress@chello.no source.standard.ke

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

Raila calls off his planned country-wide rallies, BBC has reported

Posted by African Press International on January 8, 2008

The west is so keen to have Kibaki and Raila sit down and talk peace and stop the ongoing violence. Raila, however, is not keen to join a government of National Unity which Kibaki has proposed.

Raila had called for country-wide rallies to take place tomorrowTuesday but the government has warned that such demonstrations will be dealt with severely.

On realising this, Raila today cancelled thedemonstrations he had called saying he wants to give negotiations a chance. This is wise of him now that he is beginning to think of the people who would have been probably shot dead during the said demonstrations.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Standard story

World leaders pile pressure as Kenyans pray

Published on January 7, 2008, 12:00 am

By Standard TeamTime was of the essence on Sunday night as the economy faced a meltdown and the disruptive effects of the bloody post-election violence threatened all sectors.

This renewed urgency for a solution to the impasse over the presidential vote outcome that has pushed the country to the brink emerged as international pressure piled on Party of National Unitys President Kibaki and the Orange Democratic Movements Mr Raila Odinga to chart a path out of the crisis.

But progress in search of a way out of the deadly maze appeared slow, even lacklustre.

The Government did not help matters by outlawing all ODM rallies planned to take place simultaneously in various parts of the city and other towns on Monday.

On Sunday, on a day the nation sought divine intervention and which also witnessed another round of brutal police response that claimed yet another life in Kisumu, the two rivals continued sending mixed signals.

The death toll in the aftermath of a seriously flawed election that observers have said fell way below acceptable international standards stood at about 300 people so far.

In an interview with the BBC, Raila, whose ODM party has been pushing for international mediators to step in and help resolve the issue, asserted: “I won the election and therefore Im the one who should be inviting him (President Kibaki) into my government”.

Surprisingly, news of President Kibakis effort in this regard came from a rather

unusual source: The Government Spokesman, Dr Alfred Mutua, and not the Presidential Press Service (PPS) as is the custom.

Mutua told journalists that President Kibaki had sent “a special envoy” to Ghana to brief its President, Mr John Kuffuor, on the “actual situation” in the country.

Foreign Affairs Assistant minister, Mr Moses Wetangula, who The Standard had spotted driving into State House in the early Sunday afternoon, was named as the emissary to Kuffuor, the African Union (AU) chairman.

Mutua, however, said Kuffuor would only come into the country on the invitation of President Kibaki.

“The Ghanaian President is a close friend of President Kibaki because they have been working together in many forums since their early 30s,” Mutua told a joint news conference with Police spokesman, Mr Eric Kiraithe, at KICC, Nairobi, on Sunday.

But PNUs Ms Martha Karua appeared to be reading from a different script when she talked tough in an interview aired by Al Jazeera TV.

In what has now become a template rejoinder, the Justice minister told ODM to seek redress in the courts.

But speaking to the BBC, Raila dismissed any attempts to have him move to the courts to challenge the disputed results, saying Kenyans had no faith in the judicial system.

Said he: “Everybody knows that the courts in Kenya are part of the Executive and we do not want to subject ourselves to a kangaroo court. Our position is that ODM is willing to negotiate in the presence of international mediators. Part of what we will be pushing for is a re-run of the presidential elections between myself and President Kibaki in three months time”.

International community This came as Canada and Australia separately expressed concern over the situation in the country as international pressure to push for negotiations piled on.

“Canadians are very concerned by the current crisis affecting Kenyans. I was pleased to have had conversations with both Mr (Raphael) Tuju and Mr (Raila) Odinga. I expressed Canadas concern at recent events in Kenya, and urged both parties to engage fully in mediation efforts to come to a peaceful, negotiated solution,” Mr Maxime Bernier, Canadas Foreign Affairs minister, said.

In a statement issued from the Canadian High Commission in Nairobi, he added, “Canada will continue to closely monitor the situation in the country”.

On his part, Mr Stephen Smith, the Australian Foreign Affairs minister expressed what he described as his countrys deep concern over the violence that broke out moments after the outcome of the poll described as seriously flawed was announced over a week ago.

“The Australian Government has urged Kenyan political leaders to refrain from any action that may further incite violence and to work urgently to achieve a peaceful solution to the current tensions in the interests of the Kenyan people,” a statement e-mailed to newsrooms from the Australian High Commission and attributed to Smith read.

The statement added: “We have also underlined with Kenyan leaders and key African countries our support for international mediation offers, including by the African Union (AU) and the Commonwealth”.

Urging Kenyan political leaders to accept and work with international mediation efforts to end the current political crisis, Smith observed: “In this context, the offer of mediation by the current AU Chair, President Kuffuor of Ghana, should be accepted. The mediation efforts being undertaken by Archbishop Tutu in Nairobi are also welcome”.

British Foreign minister, Mr David Miliband, and US Secretary of State, Ms Condoleezza Rice, have both pushed for international mediation, urging both Raila and Kibaki to engage in a spirit of compromise.

Miliband has since attributed the violence to what he referred to as “well-documented concerns about irregularities in the elections”.

He added that serious questions about the conduct of the count stood in the way of the formation of a stable government that commanded the confidence of the Kenyan people.

US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Dr Jendayi Frazer, who arrived in the country on Saturday, urged the two protagonists to resolve the impasse.

Yesterday, a source at the US Embassy in Nairobi said Dr Frazer would be briefing the media today on the outcome of her meetings with the two leaders.

“I cannot be in a position to brief you on the nature of the discussions. Dr Frazer will be having a press conference today to brief you on the same,” added the source.

Earlier yesterday, Raila asserted that ODM was not in a rush to join President Kibakis proposed Government of National Unity.

Honest mediation process Speaking at Orange House in Nairobi, Raila and members of the ODM Pentagon instead called for an honest mediation process, which he said would resolve the raging dispute “satisfactorily”.

“We are not interested in President Kibakis prescription to the solution of the problem, we are however ready for negotiation,” said Raila.

The ODM leader said he was shocked that Kibaki was inviting him and his party to join his (Kibakis) government when “I was the one who won the election and should instead be offering the same”.

Raila said the raging violence that has rocked parts of the country was cause for alarm and called on Kenyans to exercise restraint.

“As we address the issue of violence, it is important to also deal with its causes so we do not have to go through a similar experience in the future,” Raila said.

Although ODM appeared to be hardening its stance over the proposal to create an inter-party government, it expressed its willingness to allow its terms and conditions to be negotiated at the mediation table.

“We have been told that President Kuffuor is on his way, we shall put our demands on the table to be negotiated,” the Langata MP-elect, who together with members of the party Pentagon had a busy day in the city, said.

Raila and Eldoret North MP-elect Mr William Ruto led 20 party MPs in attending special prayers at the Umoja II International Gospel Lighthouse Church.

Ruto told the congregation that the party was praying that President Kibaki would let the truth prevail.

“When I heard of the coalition story yesterday (Saturday), it reminded me of the biblical story where one woman stole another womans baby, and when they were taken to the kings court and the majesty suggested that the baby be cut into two, the woman who stole the baby replied to the affirmative, while the real mother said dont kill it. We want the government in full, not half,” said Ruto amidst cheers from the congregation.

They later joined Raila and his running mate, Mr Musalia Mudavadi, at the All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi where Anglican Church Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi led reconciliatory prayers for the country.

The Pentagon announced that the party would hold protest rallies countrywide on Tuesday with key rallies in major cities of Nairobi, Eldoret, Nakuru, Kericho, Kisumu, Thika and Mombasa.

In Nairobi, Raila said that apart from Uhuru Park, the party would also hold rallies at various grounds in Babadogo, Kayole, Kawangware and Kamukunji.

Pentagon member Mr Joe Nyagah told President Kibaki to withdraw the police from Uhuru Park because the party was determined to continue with its protest rallies despite the police presence.

“I ask Mzee Kibaki to stop giving the police this hard job. Let the police join their families, because they will get tired, we shall not surrender,” he announced.

Party MPs Prof Anyang Nyongo, Zakayo Cheruiyot, Prof Margaret Kamar, Mr Joseph Nkaissery, Mr William ole Ntimama, Dr Fred Otuoma and Mr Jackson Kiptanui were among those who attended the various services.

Reports by Isaac Ongiri, Martin Mutua and Maseme MachukaLifted and published by API/APN africanpress@chello.nosource.standard.ke

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

Kalonzo Musyoka does not encourage international mediation to solve the stalemate in Kenya

Posted by African Press International on January 8, 2008

Kalonzo, one of the presidential candidates during the recently completed election in Kenya has urged the winner, President Kibaki not to form a cabinet before talks of reconciliation takes place.

Kalonzo has dismissed international mediation saying Kenya is not at war. Many would agree with him on this. The conflict in Kenya due to election results is something Kenyans can sit down in political maturity and talk instead of resorting into violence.

___________________

Nation Story:

Don’t rush to name Cabinet, Kibaki told

By KENNETH OGOSIA and BERNARD NAMUNANE

ODM Kenya leader Kalonzo Musyoka Sunday told President Kibaki not to hurry in naming his Cabinet and, at the same time, discouraged international mediation as an immediate solution to the crisis in the country.

The President should not name a Cabinet until people talk and agree on how to heal the wounds. International mediation comes in cases of armed conflict, but now we can talk to each other as Kenyans.

I dont want to be drawn into partisan interests before dialogue is given a chance. It is a fact that I talked to Raila and Kibaki and the message I sent out cannot make me irrelevant, he said.

Mr Musyoka said ODM leader Raila Odinga and President Kibaki should talk and help resolve the stalemate which, he admitted, was caused by election malpractices.

PNU and ODM strongholds witnessed massive rigging and nothing short of dialogue by Kenyans themselves will build the all-important path to peace, he said.

The Mwingi North MP-elect said a presidential re-run would technically knock out President Kibaki because after being sworn in, it is obvious that he has served a second term.

Heightened anxiety

Speaking after a Sunday service at the Nairobi Baptist Church, Mr Musyoka insisted that his party only asked ECK chairman Samuel Kivuitu to release the poll results because of heightened anxiety.

He said nobody was a winner or a loser in the just ended elections since Kenyans voted overwhelmingly for all parties.

He urged youths to refrain from acts of violence or mass action and, instead, redirect their efforts to peace making.

Meanwhile, two parties supporting President Kibakis victory in the recent elections Sunday urged him to form a Government of National Unity.

The move, they said, would heal the wounds that have been brought about by the violence that followed the announcement of the controversial presidential results.

Ford Kenya and its off-shoot, New Ford Kenya, were unanimous in their call that all political leaders come together to end the fighting going on in the country.

Ford-K chairman Musikari Kombo, in a statement, said: The Government of National Unity should be broad-based and represent the face of Kenya in order to satisfy the aspirations and wishes of all Kenyans.

Mr Kombo said that it was only dialogue that could lead to the formation of such a government and urged leaders across the political divide to ask their supporters to end the violence.

New Ford-Ks Bonny Khalwale said there was no justification in the fighting because electoral irregularities were identified on both sides following the scrutiny of the votes scored by President Kibaki and Mr Odinga.

While international mediation was welcome, he said, it was up to the two leaders to begin talks which will lead to an atmosphere of peace in the country.

One of the steps is to form a Government of National Unity, he said.

President Kibaki has agreed to form a GNU which, he says, will represent the diversity of the Kenyan people.

However, Mr Odinga has said the GNU is not the answer to the electoral flaws and has demanded an international mediator to end the crisis.

Lifted and published by API/APN africanpress@chello.no source.nation.ke

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

Can Raila Odinga Be Trusted?

Posted by African Press International on January 8, 2008

 

 

This article was published by Stockholm blogger Njoro in Sweden. Done before the elections. We feel it isnow necessary torepublish it here because of teh situation Kenya has landed in due to the disputed elections between Kibaki and Raila.

________________________

Njoro’s blog, Muirani’s thoughts!

Posted by njoro on November 14, 2007 (Posted before the elections by Stockholm blogger Mr Njoro)

ODM presidential candidate, Raila Amolo Odinga cannot be trusted with power due to his inconsistency in political and leadership matters.History has proved that, Raila as a person only likes to be at the helm and he believes that only he can lead. When he was in Ford-Kenya, he tried to wrestle power from the late Wamalwa Kijana after the demise of his father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga the doyen of opposition. After failing to dislodge Wamalwa, Raila went ahead and bought NDP from one, Mr.Oludhe.In his quest for power, Raila entered into co-operation with the then president Moi in hope that Moi would entrust him to head Kanu since he was in his last term as president. When Raila was made to realize that Kanu ina wenyewe by Moi, by choosing Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila decamped from kanu and joined LDP.

After joining LDP, Raila realized that he was heading into political wilderness and he entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Ford-Peoples boss, Mr. Simeon Nyachae and in less than 48 hours he had already entered another MOU with Kibaki, Wamalwa and Ngilu and later at Uhuru Park, he declared Kibaki tosha.

This year, after realizing that Kalonzo Musyoka was more powerful and popular within ODM-K, Raila once again defected and bought ODM from lawyer, Mugambi Imanyara.

Today, Raila has entered another undisclosed MOU with the Muslims. First and foremost, this is a very dangerous move because if he captures the seat of the president, it means more problems between Muslims and non Muslims around the country. Kenya is a secular state where all religious grouping are respected by the constitution, but now Raila in his populism politics wants to divide Kenya along religious lines.

We have seen religious violence in the Israel-Palestine conflicts, Philippines, Northern Ireland and even in Nigeria. Raila is setting a bad precedent and this undisclosed MOU with the Muslims, could be the beginning of religious violence in future. Kenyans have all the rights to know what kind of MOU Raila has entered with the Muslims.

During a campaign rally in Nakuru last week, Raila denied that there is any MOU with the Muslims, but while campaigning in North eastern province which is Muslim dominated, he accepted that such an MOU really exists. Isnt this political hypocrisy? Isnt Raila deceiving the Muslim community to vote for him, only to ignore them once he ascends into power? Why enter into an MOU with only one religious grouping? Wont he be the president of all Kenyans regardless of religion if he wins?

History has proved Raila as a person who cannot be trusted due to his inconsistency and
unpredictability. When he was in the current government, he started rocking it from within in the name of another undisclosed MOU. Just as Moi was dubbed as the president of commission of inquiries, Raila can qualify the title of the president of undisclosed MOUs.

During the Njonjo (a person now in Railas camp) commission of inquiry in 1983, Raila then in detention after participating in the failed coup in 1982 claimed before the commission that he was organizing a coup because Kikuyus were organizing one. This depicts clearly that, Raila is a person who can pit one community against the other(s) and thats why is his crusade for majimbo, he is advancing his ideology of dividing the country from its unitary form
to small tribal units.

Kenyans have been tolerating one another since independence and they should not be divided along religious or tribal lines now or ever again. Kenyans should reject Raila Odinga because he can run our country into anarchy due to his hunger for power while hiding behind the name reformist.

By Githuku Wa Muirani, Kibaki Tena Scandinavia.

One Response to Raila Odinga Cannot BeTrusted.

  1. olang Says:
    December 17, 2007 at 5:31 am I take your comments with a pinch of salt and while some of your comments may be true,theres no law against what he is doing/done.Bold convictions do not have boundaries nor demarcations ,changing political parties and making alliances to get me where i want to go is all part of the game.What we need to be talking about is failures that this government like the failure to provide a new constitution,high infation rates ,insecurity,poverty , uneven distribution of natural resources and unabbeted corruption affect all of us and it is only prudent that we ask all this questions.
    What can change today that did not happen 5 yrs ago,the economy had no where to go but up.This is the 21st century and kenyans are smater than before .I dont expect kibaki to do anything that he could not do in the last 5 yrs.

Leave a Reply

Lifted and published by API/APN africanpress@chello.no source.njoro’sblog.sweden

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

Angola ready to host African handball tournament

Posted by African Press International on January 8, 2008

Luanda (Angola) With a budget of US$17 million, all is set for the kick off for the 18th edition of the African Nations Cup (CAN) for handball scheduled to be held in Angola from the 8 17 January, according to the executive director of the local organising committee of the tournament, Jos Galiano.

Mr. Galiano was addressing a press conference in Luanda, the Angolan capital on Monday.

He said that aspects related to accommodation, food, transportation and others have already been put in place for a successful organisation of the continental sporting event.

The competition will take place from January 08-17 in five cities of Luanda, Cabinda, Benguela, Huambo and Lubango.

Group A (female) will comprise Angola, Algeria, Gabon and DR Congo. Group B (female) Tunisia, Cte d`Ivoire, Cameroon and Nigeria; Group A (male) Angola, Tunisia, Cameroon and DR Congo, while Group B (male) will comprise Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Nigeria.

The winners of each category will be eligible to participate in the Beijing (China) Olympic Games, scheduled for September this year.

However, twenty-four referees, four of them Angolans, will participate in the championship, both in the ladies and male categories.

The Angolan Social Communication Minister, Manuel Antnio Rabelais, in Luanda has expressed satisfaction at the level of preparations undertaken by the local organising committee. He was speaking to the press at the end of a visit to the head office of the local organising committee in Luandas Cidadela complex.

The minister also visited the various service areas of the institution, including the main pavilion (for the opening and closing ceremonies). He also listened to explanations on the work being done for the success of the event.

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

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

KISUMU CITY NOW A GHOST TOWN IN THE AFTERMATH OF A WEEK LONG OF DEATH AND DESTRUCTION.

Posted by African Press International on January 8, 2008

odera-omolo.jpgBy Leo Odera Omolo
API/APN in Kisumu, Kenya
Kisumu, Kenyas third largest city is total ruin in the aftermath of seven days of riots, massive looting and destruction of property worth millions of shillings.
It will take up to ten or fifteen years before this beautiful City which stand on the Eastern tip of the shoreline of the Kavirondo Gulf is back to its former self.
Kisumu is now a ghost town. All its hitherto well stocked shops were vandalized by the rioting youth which began on 30th December 2007 even long before the countrys bitterly disputed Presidential election results were announced by the Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) Mr. Samuel Kivuitu were made public.
It is moderately being estimated that the massive loss incurred by the local business community in this Lakeside City, which is located on the Eastern shore of Lake Victoria could be as high as Kshs. 3 Billion.
Rioters had descended on shops along the main Oginga Odinga Road, which is the citys Central Business District (CBD) and vandalized 90 per cent of shops a long the streets.
Where they were unable to break in they set the premises a blaze. These rioters seemed to have targeted shops selling electronic goods such as cellphones, TV sets, Radio and Musical instruments. Food cafes and those shops selling clothes were not spared either. The rioters stole everything including bicycles and generator engines that were in display.
The most targeted was the multi million shillings Swan Centre Complex which is the property of the Minister for Roads and Public Works Simon Nyachae. The rioters smashed window glasses and carried away everything from cellphones, computers to spirits and wines. The building now stands as an empty cell and not of it former self.
The only government offices located up stairs of Swan Centre were left intact. The building is housing the regional offices of the Kenya Revenue Authority. (KRA).
It was a case of human madness. The rioters ransacked shops around the main bus terminal near the market and burnt them down.
Several Supermarkets did not escape the anger and the carnage of the rioters, Ukwala and Uchumi Supermarkets which are suspected to be owned by business magnate of Kikuyu tribes were looted and even small kiosks owned by poor women were looted and burnt down.
Kisumu City is the birth place of Raila Amolo Odinga, the man who is believed by many Kenyans to have won the presidential race but was rigged out by the ECK, The city is Mr. Odingas stronghold and home turf though he represented Langata in the suburb of the Capital, Nairobi
Many vehicles packed along the city streets were set a blaze by the marauding bands of youths. No object of economic value was left to chance. Many vehicles parked outside the City offices like water Company located next to Nyalenda Peri-Urban were all burnt to ashes. The three million people who are of residents of Kisumu are now marooned and dying of hunger. Food shortage especially vegetable, meat, fish are so scarce.
Some of the public joints and hotels survived due to the heavy security presence, but are yet to open their doors for public except serving only a few boarders. These are hotels Sunset, the 3 Stars Imperial Hotel and the New Kisumu Hotel which is owned by the Maseno University.
The street of Kisumu are littered with the smelling burning tyres, which have burnt the tarmac road to black spots. The rioters even pushed away brand new motorbikes found in display in the shops. Hardware shops lost millions of shillings on looted corrugated Iron Sheets, Cements etc.
Kisumu looked like a place which had been bombed in the conventional war and those who knew the city well were seen shading tears openly on seeing what happened.
In the Initial stage few policemen from Kisumu and Kondele Police station would not cope up with the situation. The government was forced to call in the crack paramilitary unit, the General Service Unity (GSU) in order to contain the situation but the men of GSU had moved in too late after the damage had already been inflicted to the city.
Nothing like this has ever happened in Kenya before, and the main roads leading to rural towns and trading centers in the out laying districts were blocked by bands of youths who demanded to be paid before any motorist could pass. Those who could not afford the high fees charged by youths were beaten savagely, robbed and their vehicles set a blaze.
For the whole week, the sounds of guns had reigned the air for days and nights but when it went silent 120 bodies of dead people were counted in the city Morgue. Gun shots were also heard in the Peri-urban areas and the surrounding estates like Manyatta, Nyalenda, Pand Pieri and the crime infested Obunga areas where the security personnel were engaged in running battle with the youth for hours.
And to rebuild Kisumu City, which is the hub of business activities and the get away to East Africa, will take as long as ten years. But certainly the investors who are mainly the people of Asians origin have to think twice before risking their investments in this town.
The question which linger in minds of many Kenyans is not whether Mr. Odinga or President Mwai Kibaki had won the Presidential votes, but why should a city which is catering for over 3 million people should be destroyed over night because of political impasse which can only be solved politically through dialogue and constructive engagement between the Kenya Linters?
Published by API/APN africanpress@chello.no

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

CHURCH LEADER CALLS FOR FAIR DISTRIBUTION OF RELIEF FOOD TO ALL REGIONS.

Posted by African Press International on January 8, 2008

odera-omolo.jpgBy Leo Odera Omolo
API/APN in Kisumu, Kenya

A Senior Church Leader has called upon the government, particularly the Ministry which is handling the relief food to ensure its fair distributed to the needy people over the affected areas. As for now the distribution of relief food seemed to be concentrated in one region whereas other regions are ignored.
Bishop Dr. Washington Ogonyo Ngede the Head of Power of Jesus Around the World Church while briefing newsmen in his Kisumu Office charged that the on going distribution is being done in a biased manner and appear to favour only one community.
He said hundreds of families both in Nyanza and Western Provinces are starving and in urgent need of relief food. Many areas are experiencing acute shortage of food stuff.
Bishop Ngede appealed to the government to protect the fishing communities living a long the shore line of lake Victoria, especially those living in Sori, Gwassi and Muhuru Bay in Migori District who are being subjected to a lot of harassment by foreign security personnel from neighbouring countries.
The government must protect the countrys borders with the neighboring countries like Uganda, Sudan, Somali and Ethiopia. No Kenyan Citizen should be abandoned and left to suffer in the hand of foreign intruders he said.
The Bishop said he is disturbed by shocking information that some thugs from neighbouring countries have been harassing the fishermen in Sub and Migori Districts. This must stop and the fishing community allowed to go on with their daily cores he said.
Dr. Ngede appealed to President Mwai Kibaki to grant the opposition leaders with the permission to speak to the people and supporters. The opposition leaders should not be gagged but must be allowed to address their supporters through public rallies.
If president Kibaki is a true democrat and a true Christian then he must be flexible not to preside over a bleeding country. He must take the lead in search for peace
Those taking to the streets are protesting against their legitimate rights. The opposition party the ODM had won the election but it has been denied the right to form a legitimate government. Its leaders should be allowed to organize rallies and explain to the people about the latest political development in the country, said the Bishop.
Bishop Ngede who is the Chairman of the Nyanza Council of Churches called for an urgent mediation by the respected estate mate to bring peace in Kenya and end to political impasse that have been bedeviling the unity following the flawed controversy election.
Published by API/APN africanpress@chello.no

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: