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Archive for January 9th, 2008

Kibaki appoints Cabinet: Kalonzo Musyoka of ODM-Kenya becomes vice president

Posted by African Press International on January 9, 2008

President announces part of his cabinet

Written By:pps,Posted: Tue, Jan 08, 2008

President Mwai Kibaki has named the first half of his cabinet.

” I am pleased to announce part of my Cabinet. In forming the Cabinet, I have considered the importance of keeping the country united, peaceful and prosperous under a strong, broad-based leadership. I am accordingly, naming the first half of my Cabinet as follows:

(1) Vice President and Minister for Home Affairs

Hon. Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, MP

(2) Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security, Office of the President

Hon. Professor George Saitoti, MP

(3) Minister of State for Defence, Office of the President

Hon. Yussuf Mohamed Haji, MP

(4) Minister of State for Special Programmes, Office of the President

Hon. Dr. Naomi Namsi Shaban, MP

(5) Minister for Public Service, Office of the President

Hon. Asman Abongotum Kamama, MP

(6) Minister for Finance

Hon. Amos Muhinga Kimunya, MP

(7) Minister for Education

Hon. Professor Sam Ongeri, MP

(8)Minister for Foreign Affairs

Hon. Moses Wetangula, MP

(9) Minister for Local Government

Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, MP

(10) Minister for Information and Communications

Hon. Samuel Lesuron Poghisio, MP

(11) Minister for Water and Irrigation

Hon. John Munyes, MP

(12) Minister for Energy

Hon. Kiraitu Murungi, MP

(13) Minister for Roads and Public Works

Hon. John Njoroge Michuki, MP

(14) Minister for Science and Technology

Hon. Noah M. Wekesa, MP

(15) Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs

Hon. Martha Karua, MP

(16) Minister for East African Community

Hon. Dr. Wilfred Machage, MP

(17) Minister for Transport

Hon. Chirau Ali Mwakwere, MP

The president said the remaining ministerial portfolios would be announced in due course

 

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What does economic growth mean when the ordinary bread and sugar are luxuries to many Kenyans?

Posted by African Press International on January 9, 2008

The comment below was send in before the recent Kenya elections

Juma | | IP: 62.24.109.2

Commentary:

WHY KIBAKI DESERVES NO SECOND CHANCE

This is a message to all, especially our brothers and sisters from Mt.
Kenyan region, who still seem to imagine they don’t know why their man is being rejected by the rest of Kenyans from all other regions.

Take clear note Raila is a product of Kibakis failure to keep his word. You guys from Central Province believe that all other Kenyans are silly and do not deserve the national cake. You assume that the house of Mumbi should be the only property owners and the other Kenyans should be consumers and servants.

Your guys should have known better that four years of Kibaki rule consigned all Kenyans,except Mt Kenyans, to periphery economically and politically. Your man failed to practice equal justice hence the current rejection by many Kenyans.

Kibaki fired the people who made him president in the mistaken believe that he would just deceive Kenyans to vote for him again. He rewarded none Kikuyu friends with nonexistent ministries such as Public Service, East African Corporation, Immigration and other weak ministries he created for none Kikuyus. Important ministries such as Finance, Education, Constitutional Affairs, etc have sons and daughters of Mumbi as heads. This arrangement is designed to boost Kikuyus academically and financially while disregarding
all other Kenyans.

Who bought Kengen if I may ask? The scheme by Kibaki is evil at best. It is meant to subjugate and marginalize none Kikuyus politically, economically and intellectually.

Thank God Kenyans discovered your schemes before you went far!

Sample this:

Scholarships from government and China in the last four years favored Mt Kenyans more than all other Kenyans – ask Mutua [Govt Spokesman] to publish the list

Kenya Revenue Authority. >From the fleas in the offices to the the head of Kenya Revenue Authorithy are from Central Province . Scheme: collect money and pass on some of it to Mt Kenyans.

Most PCs, DCs, DOs and police chiefs in Rift Valley, Nyanza, etc are from Mt Kenya . Scheme: suppress and subjugate government critics in these areas given that people in these regions are marginalized in everything.

In New York , The Kenyan Ambassador to the UN Mr. Zachariah Dominic Mburi-Muita recently got Kikuyus from Kenya and in the last 6 months alone hired 15 of them as Locals. You get to that office and it is all Kikuyus some have no offices and work on corridors; Kukuyu Language has become the official language in the Kenyan Mission to the UN office. Get there and it is all Kikuyus, No wonder Kenyans and international bodies are tired of them. People suffer from what ha scommonly come to be known as The Kikuyu
fatigue.

Constitution: Kibaki told Kenyans that The Bomas of Kenya Draft Constitution was the best for Kenya and promised that it would become Kenya Constitution 100 days after his inauguration. He never Kept the promisehe tried to unilaterally write another constitution favoring his cronies and kin that was certainly defeated at the referendum. How would anyone trust him when he
promises heaven in his campaigns? How about the MOU, The instrument that was used to CON Kenyans into voting him into power! – Keriri recently confessed it was a scheme to get us into powerHow can anyone trust a word from this man’s mouth?

While Kibaki is giving Mt Kenyans money to invest in businesses and buy government corporations on sale, he is busy bribing none Kikuyus with districts which are not self-sustaining, colleges and university campuses which in reality do not belong to the locals.

How about Anglo-Leasing debacle? Has anyone forgotten that billions were stolen and Kibaki, according former PS Mr John Githongo, knows where the money went.

Kibaki has always boasted of economic growth. How can such happen without people benefiting. The ordinary guy in the village cannot afford sugar and bread. The prices of these items which most Kenyans survive on have more than doubled since 2002These two are made from locally raised crops and yet they are very expensive. What does economic growth mean when the ordinary bread and sugar are luxuries to many Kenyans?

And now the mother of all: Have you ever wondered why Kikyus will never support anyone other than one of their ownthink back.Try as hard to recall such instancepole can see you are getting a headache because “hakuna” all the way from independence: Moi in all his years ruled without Mt Kenya s support and votes yet everyone else, at one point or another has
supported and voted for you The late Odinga started off with Kenyatta and we thought after so many years, you have learnt and now ready to “jumuika na wakenya wengine ndio” we trooped in the thousands and voted in Kibaki, lakini, Lo!! Enough is enough-you should never blame Kenyans if they never ever elect yourinto office againat least in the next few generations, SAHAU KABISA

Thats the truth and nothing but the truth

By Juma, Nov 20, 7:46 PM

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Was Raila only a hero because he was supporting Kibaki? – How selfish!

Posted by African Press International on January 9, 2008

This comment was send in in November befor the eletions in Kenya.

By Juma | | IP: 62.24.109.2

Commentary:

FELLOW KENYANS:

Obviously, we can all enjoy the freedom to associate Raila with all the present and former dictators of the world. The problem however, is that right now; you will have almost zero audience outside of Central Province . The only concern is that PNU supporters seem hard pressed to understand why many Kenyans are considering voting out Kibaki. Well, fellow Kenyan lets sample these:

Remember 2002; Raila and team tirelessly campaigning for Kibaki while he was bedridden? Remember afterwards Raila taking the road to Nyeri for Kabakis first home coming as president? Remember him mobbed by crowds in Central Province along the way and referred to as Njamba (hero)? And only now he is a dictator, a fascist and so on. Was Raila only a hero because he was supporting Kibaki? How selfish!

Remember these words, The era of roadside policy declarations is gone. Those were Kibakis own words in the inaugural speech soon after he was handed the instruments of power. He was telling Moi to the face that the culture of goodies (read- districts, colleges etc) is dead. FACT: Kibaki has dished more districts and colleges literally by the roadside in less than five years than Moi ever did in twenty fours years. Remember Kenyans voted in Kibaki (among other issues) on a corruption platform? Remember Kenyans distaste of Goldenberg? Well, it took Moi and team almost twenty-four years to produce Goldenberg. Now contrast this, it only took Kibaki and team one year to produce Anglo Leasing! Now talk of corruption!

Remember MOU? Was that not trashed as soon as Kibakis henchmen took over? In their short memory five years is equal to infinity! Now they are running around like headless chicken asking us one more term. Imagine the arrogance of the second term knowing that the Dear leader will not need our votes again. Remember Matere Kereri, this late in the day, taunting Kenyans that he advised the president soon after election to trash-out the MOU. What was that for? Where I come from, you dont continue beating up a man stretching out an arm for mercy.

Remember we thought after Moi we were done with commissions of inquiry. Under Kibaki, havent we witnessed one commission after another? Didnt commissions start inquiring into the work of others that came before them? At least Moi used to tell us the finding of a commission however compromised. Kibaki does not even bother to reveal the find after spending fortunes of tax payers money.

Remember Lucy Kibaki, taking control of Nation News Rooms in the wee hours of the night? Abusing and beating up professional journalists? FACT: Like many Kenyans those poor journalists are mothers, fathers, daughter and sons to different Kenyan families. They go to work every day/night so that their families can have decent lives. Needless to say, they were embarrassed by the indignity meted upon them in front of cameras while their children, husbands, wives and parents watched from their living rooms. Now talk of dictatorship! Fellow Kenyans, did we troop to the
polls to elect Kibaki so that Lucy can demean our brothers/sisters with impunity in full view of their own children and loved ones? We say NO! Kibakis tells us Kazi iendelee? Kazi ya kuchapa wazazi mpele ya watoto wao? Toa hiyo!

Remember The Armenian Brothers taking control of East African Standard News Rooms and a few days latter beating up workers in our biggest airport? Remember those criminals calling our country men NIGGERS..on our own soil? Remember brother/sister? Isnt that painful? Remember they had government (GK) number plates on several of their cars. Remember, they were openly in possession of government issued firearm and police uniforms? Now talk of dictatorship! And Kibaki team wants us to sing Kazi iendelee? Kazi ya Mamluki?

Remember Rattle The Snake? Did we elect a snake or a government? My friends, to whom was the bite from the rattled snake directed to? The very people who voted Michukis boss to office? What a short memory? They quickly forgot that they tried two times unsuccessfully? Third time lucky, Kenyans voted the Kibaki team – they quickly turned into snakes? What a metamorphosis?

Remember Moi being accused of tribalism in public appointments? Now compare Moi and Kibaki head-to-head on the extent of this vice. My friend, was there anytime in Mois twenty-four year rule when all heads of all key ministries (Finance, Internal Security,Defense, and Education) were from Rift valley let alone being Kalenjin? Today, not only are all ministers from the same community, so are all the PSs, all the Under Secretaries and all heads of departments. Add KRA and Central Bank to the list. Amazingly, all this tribalization was achieved within three years of Kibakis presidency! FACT – It took Moi twenty-four years to achieve some sort of semblance of Kibakis tribalism.

Remember the government of the day has been trying to counter tribal accusation by circulating a list of Other Kenyans – outside Central Province , in public appointments. Isnt it laughable that our national government is bold enough to compare public appointment of one Province against public appoints offered to all other Kenyan communities? And to be fair, the list actually compares very well. Meaning
the rest of the country together has a somewhat equal appointment tally to a single province. Isnt a pity that Muslims are asked to hand in their resumes for consideration 90 days to the end of the presidents term? Where was he all these years? Did he just remember that part of Kenya is Muslim?

Remember Livondo he who cannot read a written speech? Remember that he has four AP bodyguards provided for by the government? FACT: While women and children in Mt. Elgon are being butchered, the government affords Livondo four government solders ready to shoot at the public as they did in western.

Now I know you must remember this. Remember Nyachae with his war cries? Inspecting a guard of honor mounted by a rag-tag army in full view of cameras? Didnt the thugs make good their threat by attacking three respectable politicians just moments latter? Again, in full view of the cameras?

REMEMBER REMEMBER..

By Juma, Nov 14, 11:51 PM

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Kenyans – we need to break the cycle of the old guard, dynasties running the country.

Posted by African Press International on January 9, 2008

This commentary came from Kimutai before the elections.

Kimutai | | IP: 65.78.81.115

Commentary:

Raila Odinga will definately win this election, everything suggest that! His compaign is a positive message of change – which Kenyans need.

Kibaki advocates a status quo. na kazi iendelee or wacha ni malize kazi etc. Kenyans know very well that they never felt an impact on Kibaki leadership in the past five years- except to see roads network deteriorate from pot holes roads to dirt roads(murram. Kenyans – we need to break the cycle of the old guard, dynasties running the country.

This is what I hate to see 15-25+ yrs down the road.

Mzee Jomo Kenyatta (president until death) [1963-1978]
Daniel Arap Moi [1978- December 2002]
Mwai Emilio Kibaki (present president) [December 2002-2012]
Uhuru Kenyatta (Former president J. Kenyatta’s son[2012-2022]
Gideon Moi (former president Moi’s son) [2022-2032]
Mwai Kibaki’s son [2032-2042]
Uhuru Kenyatta’s son [2042-2062]
Gideon Moi’s son [2062-2082]

If you guys dont see the possibilities of this happenning, I do see!, I believe Jomo Kenyatta wanted his son to be Kenya’s president and that is why former president Daniel Moi did what he did in 2001 -2002 and so is Moi, Kibaki and indeed all of them!, If you like to see such a picture, say so!

By Kimutai

Nov 4, 3:18 AM

———–

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Posted by African Press International on January 9, 2008

Kenya: Ethnic strife: How country’s politics was tribalised

By Martin Mbugua Kimani.

It is Friday, December 4. I walk through the lobby of the Serena Hotel in Nairobi. Packs of politicians and their entourages hurry past. Most have mobile phones into which they whisper urgently. They brush shoulders with white men and women lugging large cameras, trying to arrange for taxis to take them to the nearest scene of carnage and bloodletting. I get the impression that the more the politicians whisper into their phones, the more images the international press will capture.

Kenya at the moment must look to those watching CNN or BBC what Zimbabwe or Nepal looked like to me in the past. But then I know that the country is not in the grip of atavistic hatreds, images of machete-wielding, church burning men notwithstanding. This is a political crisis fuelled by ethnic differences that in Kenya are now, as never before, political differences. Growing up, the various tribal stereotypes were the source of much shared humour among friends and family. Difference was funny. But underneath the jokes, in the same way that we say that there is no smoke without fire, was the recognition that our differences, no matter the friendly way we tossed them out, were actual and lasting. In the 2007 campaign season for parliamentary and presidential seats, what had previously been jokes morphed into paranoid and even hateful mobile text messages. The intention was to drive the country into tribal camps from which votes for the particular candidates would issue. I am a Gikuyu like President Kibaki and therefore expected to automatically be ready to vote along these lines. In many political conversations that I had with relatives, the opponent increasingly was not only the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) as a political party but rather the Luo tribe of Raila Odinga.

The oppositions intention (many Gikuyus believed) was not only to win the election and lead with different ideas and policies but rather its aim was to destroy the country and us along with it. I was told that we were in a fight to the last, that the winner would take all and damn the loser. The opposition too was driven by similar ethnic mathematics even though the trend which was confirmed in the 2005 constitutional referendum was of the rest of the tribes aligning themselves against a perceived Gikuyu determination to hold onto power at all costs. Three years ago, I interviewed a woman who was imprisoned in Rwanda for participating in the 1994 genocide. She has remained vivid in my memory for a curious remark she made when I asked her how far back the genocides planning started. The war, she said, started when I was a little girl in the 1970s and other children would tease me for having Tutsi legs? Two decades later, the length and thickness of your legs determined who died and who lived at a roadblock. Imagine for an instant one of those children that did the jeering and teasing, now an adult with machete in hand faced by an ID-less girl with long, thin legs.

To the men huddled around the poolside tables at the Serena Hotel, political parties are not expressions of ideological or policy differences. Instead, political leaders are in a fight to our death for a politics they envision as a system of spoils. This fight to get a larger slice of the cake has been growing in divisiveness and hateful rhetoric. We are like infants drawn to touch a flame or driven by a horrid fascination with what lies beyond the cliffs edge, curious perhaps to test the limits of our peace after decades of tut-tutting at the many wars in our neighbourhood. Kenyans for the past few years have worn tribal lens when looking at the political landscape. In this decoding by many of my fellow Gikuyu, ODM is perceived as an existential foe, not just an electoral one. To be anti-Kibaki, or at least opposed to him, as was the case with a majority of the countrys provinces and at least 45 per cent of the voters, was going to be regarded by many Party of National Unity supporters, particularly those from the Mount Kenya communities, as inimical to their existence and survival as a collective. A similar sense of drastic opposition applied to many ODM supporters. The stage was set for the violence seen across the country during the past week. In politics, perception is reality. And the reality of politics, its fundamental meaning, at those rare moments when it enjoys the greatest clarity to the greatest numbers, is that it is a pitched contest between friends and enemies.

Many Kenyans have chosen their friends and enemies on the basis of tribal loyalty and identification. Beyond the much-repeated admonitions against such politics, let me suggest that we have dipped our toes into dangerous waters. That politics will fundamentally continue to be the struggle between friend and enemies and will not cease. This is a struggle that is subject to the principle of escalation. One sides paranoia is matched by that of the other side, one rumour with another, and text messages are sent out which appear to mirror each other in the claims of victimhood and outrage. This escalation, which is already much in evidence, holds out the frightening possibility of a war of all against all. If indeed politics is friends versus foes, then how we define who are our friends and who our enemies are, is of the essence. This is the abyss into which the country is staring. The campaign period turned the ethnic map into a political one. The individual Kenyan, despite his membership of and loyalty to different identities is now more strictly enfolded (perhaps imprisoned is a better word) in a single tribal collective that owes loyalty to those within no matter their crimes or failings. Its character is oppositional, its language that of the victim. Societies that have become engulfed in political violence rarely get much warning. The lead-up to conflagration is characterised by the political rhetoric of reasonableness on all sides when they speak into the larger public space. But in their asides and coded messages to their side, foaming-at-the-mouth, hateful messages are uttered to secure the vote. Suspicion and rumours of fantastical conspiracies have been all the rage in the past year of campaigning.

A pamphlet that was found in Rwanda immediately after the 1994 genocide had this to say about how to motivate Hutus to loath their Tutsi neighbours and countrymen: Never underestimate the strength of the enemy, and never overestimate the intelligence of the target audience. Strive in your language to identify the enemy with everything feared and loathed. Lies, exaggeration, ridicule, innuendo all ably serve the ultimate aim of winning over the undecided, sowing confusion and division among the opposed. And this freedom from the confines of truth opens up a powerful technique for sowing fear and hatred: accusation in a mirror. Accusation in a mirror. This is Kenyas leading political tactic. Accuse the other side of rigging the vote while you do just that. Accuse the other of intending to rob the treasury while you do just that or prepare to have that very privilege on ascending to office. Both sides pronounce themselves victim and the cynical acts of manipulation they utilise are framed to look like reactions to the enemy. Across the Rift Valley, in Kisumu and Nairobi, young men are roaming machetes in hand to finally destroy the enemy.

What many of these young men do not know is that the Serena Hotel and similar founts of privilege and wealth are the home of the very political class that has defined the friend and the enemy in Rift Valley and Central Kenya. On Thursday last week, as people who had tried to assemble for the opposition rally in Uhuru Park were chased back and forth by the police, just beyond the Serenas fence, I was seated next to groups of politicians who were certainly not ethnically cleansing each other off their sodas and croissants. They were muttering into their mobile phones the messages that were driving those young men across the country to violence on behalf of a political class that is willing to sacrifice our lives on the altar of their lust for power and privilege.

*Martin Kimani is a Doctoral student in Conflict Security issues at Kings College, University of London.

 

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Posted by African Press International on January 9, 2008

Kenya: US avoids taking a position on dispute

by Kevin J. Kelley

The United States governments laissez-faire response to the outcome of Kenyas presidential election contrasts sharply with the assessment of an American monitoring team that accuses the Electoral Commission of having failed in its responsibility to the people of Kenya.

Observers working under the aegis of the non-governmental Washington-based International Republican Institute pointed specifically to the slowness of the vote count, the absence of returning officers with the vote tallies and the medias exclusion from the announcement of the results. US government officials, on the other hand, have consistently refrained from criticising the Electoral Commissions performance. The Bush administration has also not called for an independent review of the vote tabulation. American officials do acknowledge, however, that the election was marred by irregularities.

The Bush administration has likewise expressed worry that Kenyas economic and political advances of recent years could be reversed if the violence continues. At the same time, however, the White House has refused to rule out a possible stop in Kenya by President George W. Bush as part of his planned visit to unspecified African countries later this year. Washington is clearly trying to help stabilise Kenya by refusing to take sides in the dispute between the parties and groups backing Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga respectively. And that approach leaves the US in the contradictory position of endorsing the electoral status quo even as it voices misgivings about the fairness of the vote.

The Kenyan political process has unfolded as it will, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said at a press briefing on January 2. It is not for us to play a role of supra-electoral commission or to try to play a judicial role in this particular matter. We are where we are. Mr McCormack resisted reporters requests for comments on whether the United States views President Mwai Kibakis re-election as legitimate. The spokesman instead responded by repeatedly calling for an end to the violence and for the opening of dialogue between President Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga.

I am not going to in any way from this podium say anything that might possibly play into the hands of anybody who wants to try to obstruct a political reconciliation between these two parties, Mr McCormack declared. So thats the reason why Im not going to say any more than I have at this point. Whats important is that there be action from leaders in Kenya to stop the killing. A leading Kenyan academic living in the US is arguing, however, that such pleas for reconciliation do not constitute an adequate response on the part of the US government.

Dr Makau Mutua, director of the Human Rights Centre at a branch of the State University of New York, suggested that the Bush administration should support an independent review of the presidential vote process. Dr Mutua, a delegate to Kenyas National Constitutional Conference, further argued that both Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga should consent to such a review because neither has won a mandate from the Kenyan people.
Prof Ali Mazrui, an internationally respected Kenyan scholar also teaching in the US, meanwhile proposed three options for resolving the crisis. He also characterised the post-election violence as posing the gravest threat to Kenyas national unity since the 1969 assassination of Tom Mboya.

Votes for president could be recounted in the provinces where the posted results have proved most controversial, Prof Mazrui said. Another possibility, he added, would be to hold a new presidential election involving the three top contenders, including Kalonzo Musyoka. Noting that the parliamentary election results appear to be widely accepted as valid, Prof Mazrui offered a third alternative of having the new parliament take up as its first order of business a constitutional amendment creating the post of prime minister. This figure who would almost certainly be Mr Odinga, Prof Mazrui observed would be answerable to parliament and not to the president.

Prof Mazrui expressed confidence that President Kibaki and a Prime Minister Odinga would be able to work co-operatively for the benefit of Kenya despite the hatred that has erupted in recent days. Africans have a comparatively short retention of hate, Dr Mazrui said. He contrasted the reconciliation that has taken place in South Africa with the decades-long animosity that has endured in the case of the Turkish-Armenian genocide.

This potentially hopeful outlook was not shared by Dr Mutua. He warned that the Kenyan state is not irreversible. The country could descend into the sort of murderous chaos that has rendered Somalia and parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo ungovernable, Dr Mutua said. The two Kenyan intellectuals and activists also differed in their separate assessments of the conduct of the election campaign. Mr Odingas Orange Democratic Movement employed the brilliant tactic of forming a coalition that spanned tribal divisions, Prof Mazrui suggested, while noting that he enjoys excellent relations with both the government and the opposition.

In Dr Mutuas view, however, the ODM had waged an anti-Kikuyu campaign. Scores of Kenyans have taken part in demonstrations in Washington denouncing the declaration of Mr Kibakis election victory. Protests have taken place outside the Kenyan embassy as well as near the State Department and White House. Nearly all the Kenyans taking part in these actions argue that Mr Odinga was the actual winner of the December 27 vote. International institutions based in the United States are meanwhile focusing on the negative regional consequences of the growing crisis in Kenya.

United Nations officials in New York noted that relief and peacekeeping operations in Southern Sudan, Uganda and parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo are being impeded by disruptions in the supply chain stretching across Kenya from the Port of Mombasa. The UN Office in Nairobi also highlighted reports of sexual assault on women and children in parts of Kenya. The countrys role as a regional economic hub was emphasised in a statement endorsed by several development agencies, including the World Bank. It noted that, Kenya is the transit point for one quarter of the GDP of Uganda and Rwanda, and one third of the GDP of Burundi. This includes the supply of many essential commodities. Hence, the regional impact of the situation in Kenya could be significant.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, similarly noted that supply disruptions emanating from the developments in Kenya are affecting other countries in the region. The IMF chief also expressed hope that Kenya will be able to resume its economic progress. The Fund will stand ready to support Kenya in its economic reform efforts, he added

 

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Mugabe’s land: Even as negotiations are underway, said Amnesty International recently, violations continue.

Posted by African Press International on January 9, 2008

Zimbabwe: “God Only Loves Mugabe”

By Elles van Gelder

Johannesburg and Plumtree (South Africa and South-Western Zimbabwe) – Sikhumbuzo was only 18 when he left Zimbabwe for South Africa. He managed to find a job, and sends home close on 150 dollars a month in cash and goods — although he cant say how many people he supports. Sitting in a caf in the financial hub of Johannesburg, Sikhumbuzo (now 25) tells of a mother and sister in Bulawayo, south-western Zimbabwe; aunts, uncles and cousins also get part of what he sends.

Hundreds of thousands of others find themselves in Sikhumbuzo’s position, and the influx of Zimbabweans to South Africa shows no signs of diminishing as economic difficulties in their country deepen and the political crisis there continues. Mismanagement of a state that was once a regional breadbasket has brought about hyper-inflation, poverty and widespread unemployment, obliging citizens to make their living across the border — the principal destination being South Africa. The United Nations World Food Programme estimates that four million Zimbabweans, about a third of the population, are in need of food aid.

Ahead of elections scheduled for March, government has been engaged in talks with the two factions of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the target — along with others — of extensive human rights abuses over recent years. But even as negotiations are underway, said Amnesty International recently, violations continue.

Just over 40 percent of Zimbabwean migrants in South Africa take care of three to four people, and 30 percent more than five people — this according to research conducted by the University of South Africa (UNISA) under the auspices of the Zimbabwe Diaspora Forum, based in South Africa; the Mass Public Opinion Institute, a non-profit in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare; and the Institute for Democracy in South Africa.

For the study, a team interviewed 4,654 Zimbabweans in the Johannesburg suburbs of Berea, Hillbrow and Yeoville. UNISA professor Daniel Makina, who headed the team, thinks there are about 800,000 to a million Zimbabweans in South Africa, far less than the more widely-cited estimates of two to three million — although he acknowledges that these figures need further research.

His findings show that most of the migrants left Zimbabwe after 2001. Their motivation, at first, was related to intimidation and torture by government forces. But for some time now, economic issues have topped the list of reasons for leaving.

Those who manage to enter South Africa find that life in this country can present a new set of difficulties. With unemployment at about 40 percent, there is competition for jobs — and feelings of anger towards migrants, seen as reducing employment prospects for locals. Work, when it is available, is often badly paid: 60 percent of Zimbabwean migrants earn less than 300 dollars a month, Makinas research shows.

The research also indicates that the vast majority of migrants send home money or goods to an average value of about 40 dollars, monthly. This may not sound like much; but when the number of Zimbabweans in South Africa is considered, a different picture emerges. If there are indeed some 800,000 Zimbabweans in South Africa, of whom just half have work, then they could be sending home upwards of 190 million dollars annually. Added to this is the money sent by Zimbabweans living elsewhere in the region, and further afield, notably Britain.

Florence, 48, is another migrant who is keeping a family afloat — nine people, to be precise. She arrived in South Africa at a time when it was easy to get a work permit, and has now been in the country for 11 years.

Florence cares for the son of expatriates; none of her family members in Zimbabwe is employed. They do own a piece of land near Plumtree in south-western Zimbabwe where they grow vegetables — but have struggled with farming in past months because of poor rains.

Every month, Florence sends home money and goods such as maize meal, paraffin, soap, sugar and clothing. She also sends building materials, because she is putting up a house for herself on the family property.

On this land, some 800 kilometres from Johannesburg, goats wander around amid Mopane scrub, the bells around their necks tinkling; granite hills can be seen on the horizon. Florence’s son lives in a one-room home, which contains a bed, an old bicycle and some cupboards; he says his mother takes good care of the family.

The relatives had planned to put on the roof of Florence’s house last year, but needed additional zinc sheets. Letting her know that two more had to be sent the next month involved walking to a village about 15 kilometres away, to make a call using the phone of a friend.

Makina says his research indicates that two thirds of the Zimbabwean migrants living in South Africa would return home if the political and economical situation north of the border improved. Florence is a case in point. “My mother is old and needs my love. I am only here because I have to (be).”

Sikhumbuzo also wants to go back, but doesn’t hold out much hope of being able to do so soon. “I will only return when…President Mugabe is gone,” he says, in reference to head of state Robert Mugabe. “For a long time, I prayed every day for change in Zimbabwe. I stopped. I think God only loves Mugabe. For now, I will stay in South Africa.”

* Certain names in this article have been changed to ensure the safety of the people concerned.

 

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

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Kenya Crisis Highlights Indecision Within the State Department?

Posted by African Press International on January 9, 2008

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By Scott A Morgan
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The World has been standing on the Sidelines after the Highly Controversial Presidential Elections in Kenya on the 27th of December. Before that date Most of the Media Outlets around the World held up Kenya as an Example of Democracy in Action in Africa. The Horn of Africa is a very unstable region with Somalia with a “Transitional” Government and Eritrea and Ethiopia once again on the verge of Hostilities.
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The United States has had Excellent Relations with Kenya for Decades. It has been a close Ally of the United States in the Current Struggle against Terror. The US Military has assisted with Projects improving the Infrastructure within the Country and when Ethiopian Forces Invaded Somalia in 2006 US Forces assisted in Patrolling the Border with Somalia.
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To Monitor the Elections more than 200 Monitors were deployed across the Country by the US Embassy in Nairobi. Also the International Republican Institute which recieves Funding from the United States Congress also deployed Monitors to Kenya to observe. On January 7th Undersecretary of State Frazier on a Visit to Kenya in an attempt to resolve the violence stated that there was Fraud in the Elections. Ms. Frazier stopped short of stating which Party she felt was the Party that committed Fraud.
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?So what steps are the State Department taking in this Crisis? At this time the United States has had to backtrack at least once when it comes to the Elections in Kenya. Immediately after the Elections the US announced that the elections were Free and Fair. That was before statements by other Election Monitors that the Election Fraud was committed. Literally Hours after that the country exploded into the violence which occured in such a scale that it caught many observers by supris.
At this time the US has acknowledged that there were “Irregularities”? in the vote tally. But has stopped short of calling for an Independent Review of the count. The USA has not taken a side in the Dispute between the Main Candidates for President. This gives America the Position that endoreses the electoral Status Quo while criticizing the Fairness of the Vote. This appears to be a contradiction on the surface.
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What will happen if there is not a settlement? There are rumors that there are already Interdections in the Oil Supplies going into Rwanda,Burundi,Uganda and the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. this does not bode well for the Internal Security of any of these Countries. Currently there are reports that Ugandan Forces have been deployed to the Border to prevent the violence from Spilling over across the Border. There are no reports regarding and Deployment of Ethiopian Forces to their border.
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The reestablishing of a stable Government in Kenya is of a Paramount Interest to the United States. The Country is a Key ally and has an influence on stablility in the region. The US has stated that it hopes that the recent violence that threatens to destroy Kenya will not rescind the Economic and Democratic Gains that have been achieved over the last few years. The Issue of Freedom of the Press will be one area that needs to be resolved to allow Kenya to move forward as a Country. The Question Remains on what level will the US Assist?
The author is a Contributing Editor to the American Chronicle and Publishes Confused Eagle (morganrights.tripod.com) He can be contacted at scott_morgan_23220@yahoo.com
Posted to API/APN by Rev Okoth Otura,
President/Founder, Christian Democratic Movement of Kenya-(CDMK) & East Africa Christians Transformation Mission Fellowship-(EACTMF),
CANADA?

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Help settle the hard feelings inside and outside Kenya

Posted by African Press International on January 9, 2008

A new comment on the post #240 “Kenya: Does Raila Odinga “hate the Kikuyu community?”
https://africanpress.wordpress.com/2006/11/19/kenya-raila-odingas-hate-for-the-kikuyu-community/

Author : wanjiku (IP: 62.128.167.69 , 62-128-167-69.iwayafrica.com)Commentary:
Interesting observations could this prophecy help settle the hard feelings inside and outside kenya

New Prophecies for Kenya 2007~2012! (September 30, 2007)
(Regarding The Next 5 Years; The Next President of Kenya!)

~The Prophetic Ministry of Dr.Thomas Manton IV~

It is now Sunday Morning, 9:30am, September 30th 2007, here in Nairobi, Kenya. The *Word of the Lord* comes unto me right now saying: Mr. Mwai Kibaki will once again be elected as President of Kenya, says the Lord! He will be re-elected, and continue serving as My President for Kenya; to bring forth greater developments and breakthroughs in your Nation in this next season, declares the Lord your God!

Mr. Mwai Kibaki has served Me, by serving your nation well, over these last five years as Kenya’s President. And My Hand is even now upon him for the continued reformation of Kenya over the next five years! The programmes and processes I have planned for the development of Kenya in this next season are very deep, and they are very wide. And they will run quickly, strongly and thoroughly in a very quick pace into this next season, says the Lord! Mr. Mwai Kibaki is the man that I have chosen and ordained to see these things through now for the good of your nation. The platform has already been set for this to happen. Things are already in motion. Your nation’s newest developments have commenced from five years ago in December, 2002 when this new government began. But My Hand will now rest heavily upon Kenya in even greater ways than before, says the Lord!

Multitudes have been shockingly amazed about the developments that have taken place in Kenya thus far over these last five years. But just wait and see what will happen over the next five years!

In 2009, you will look back to the present times and say; Wow, look at all that has happened! Then, in 2010, 2011 and 2012, you will be able to tangibly count, in multiplicity, the great things I have done further in your nation, says the Lord.

The next five years will be much more than a gradual reformation of the nation. There will be massive development in all sectors. Major changes will occur in your political world; and in your economic world; and even beyond what has commenced before in your agricultural sectors, says the Lord!

I will also institute some new reforms in your societies and in your cultures. Many will stop looking back to the way things were; and where things originated from for them. Many will begin to look at the bright futures I am making possible for My people in Kenya that circumvent past cultures, creeds and societal ?realities,? says the Lord. Many will begin to partake of, and become part of, My global economy; and begin to think big. For I have made man in My own likeness and image. So who should limit My creations from growing outside of the boxes that were prepared for them by others?

It is high-time now that Kenyans begin to enter the global economies and bigger societies. No longer should the masses here stay bound within the corners and walls that others have from a foretimes formed for them. It is time to break loose from all of that now and move up and out! This next generation will truly catch and ride on this wave that I am sending forth into your midst. You will see and experience this more and more as the years progress from this time forward, says the Lord.

And I will break-down and destroy, from its roots, the pervasive spirit of corruption that has plagued your nation for so many years. I have already attacked it, of late, and broken its legs, but unfortunately it is still lingering on in the mindsets and actions of many people. Nevertheless, I will attack corruption, vehemently and viciously, until I finally destroy it from continuing as a commodity’ of your societies. This task I will complete over the next several years. A day will finally come in Kenya when corruption will be known as a thing of the past.

Now the Lord says concerning your upcoming elections in December, 2007: Will I leave your nation in the hands of others that do not have your best interests at heart Can I possibly release your nation into the hands of dogs; who only have their own territories and personal interests and selfish gain in their minds? No, I will not! Some of their hearts are just after power and position for their own personal consumption. Will I leave this land to people whose motivations and ambitions are mainly for their own personal gain? No, I will not!

Look at the man that I have had ruling your nation for the past five years. He was not looking for your nation’s Presidency for his own personal gain. He saw it as a mission for the good of the people of Kenya. He is already a very wealthy man, and he is content with what he has. He has not taken the wealth of your nation as his own; nor its production to put it into his own pocket. But he has looked continuously to implement ways of bettering the nation of Kenya. And he has done it. And this is what your nation needs, says the Lord!

In the next two months, in October and November 2007, I will begin to pull the carpet out from under the political opposition; who think they will get more and more popular amongst the people. I will now defuse the tide of their rise completely, and it will turn fully around.

Some deceptions and some spiritual activities that align themselves with the powers of darkness will be exposed from behind the scenes, and come out into the light. Then, after this, the opposition will have no way to stand upright again, says the Living God.

A shift will also take place next ~ inside of the Cabinet of your President. I will cause new awakenings, and even separations, to occur inside the ranks of your State House. Some will defect from within, and then suddenly be thrust out, from within the ranks of the top-levels of your government, says the Lord.

I am going to have My way here in Kenya, says the Lord! I will create a great shifting in your House of Parliament in the coming season. Many of those who are not ordained by Me to stand in the House will be pulled out in this coming election. Those who I have not ordained to be Members of Parliament for the next season will not be, says the Lord! But, many of those who I have ordained to be Members of Parliament will be put in there in the coming season, even if it shocks people! This all will start in this next season now, says the Lord!

Some of those who stand in these elected offices have held their ground too hard, and they still have the support of enough people to stand again in certain places. This can be unfortunate, but yet it is reality. However, beginning now, many people are ready to vote for and give their allegiance to those I have ordained to be elected into these Offices, says the Lord! These changes will first begin their commencement in your upcoming elections on December 27, 2007. And they will continue in even greater ways in future seasons to come.

Now, concerning criminal activities in your land, I will begin to move strongly in new ways against this travesty against justice that has been pandemic in your society. The ignorance and stupidity that has plagued the minds of the masses in many ways must be thwarted out if you are truly going to proceed into My destiny for your nation.

Many have come and gone when they saw and experienced the seemingly hopeless realities caused by the blatant ignorance that has plagued and contaminated your societies continually. This must change, and this must be eradicated now, says the Lord! If you want to move forward in My plan, you must allow Me to mold you into what I want. Are you ready for Me to attack the terrible ills of your societies? If you say: Yes, we do! Then do not take offense at My Messengers that come to do My bidding in attempting to overturn all of this foolishness. They will speak to you strongly. They will tell you the truth about yourselves. Can you really handle this? Or, will you rebel against My counsel and refuse correction as you have for so long. Do you know better about excellence than Me? No you do not! Look at the state of your nation. Look at the low-estate of masses of your people. Look at the stench of the ever-looming poverty that keeps so many millions in Kenya from enjoying
even My basic levels of blessing. So, will you yet defend or even try to ignore or overlook the rampant ignorance and low-life status that is still plaguing your societies? Do you want those things to continue or do you want them to cease? Are those horrendous things the things that you want? Or do you want Me and My will?

It has been said of many Kenyans that they often refuse to progress or accept instruction or correction. So then, do you know better than Me? And, do you know better than My voices that I have anointed as deliverers to bring you out of bondage?

Many in your nation have fought Me for decades as I have attempted to send revival to you! Many have continually attempted to thwart every move of progressive change I have sent your way. This has happened endlessly in the Church. Revival has been stopped time and time again. Why have you done this to Me? I have only had your best interests in My Mind for you. So, will you not now finally yield to Me so I can bring you into your destiny? I am releasing a new dispensation to you, but you must submit yourselves to Me if it is going to take residence in your lives, says the Lord.

Furthermore, I will judge this plague in your society that keeps people continuously stealing, robbing, conning, lying and cheating. The Lord says, this must stop, and this must end! Why can’t someone just live in integrity according to My Word and Will, instead of thinking that they can just do these abominable things? I tell you surely, says the Lord, that people will no longer go unpunished for these wicked acts! I will judge those who do these things severely in the coming days. I will especially judge those who do these things in My House, and to My Servants. I will make examples of those who carry on like this thinking they can do evil and get away with it. No they will not!

I will cause very tough measures of justice to be invoked against those who think they can continue in these wicked activities with impunity. I will cause special programmes to be instituted from within your government that will be headed up by your police officials and armed forces officials. I, the Lord your God, am causing this swift and fierce reckoning with crime in your nation. I will see to it that this be swiftly instituted in Kenya in this next season, says the Lord!

I will raise up another department of instituting justice ~ from within the ranks of your government and your law enforcement. Another man will rise out from obscurity and come up alongside the other heads of your police and your armed forces. His face will become known, and he will come into the limelight. He will be seen by your people as a man of action. And this new institution of justice will bring a new policy of attack against criminals? into place. There will be strict justice for criminals in the days ahead. It will seem merciless to those who are on the wrong-side of the arm of the law. Criminals will have to begin to truly fear the consequences of their actions. As the old-saying teaches; Crime doesn’t pay!

And this will be good for Kenya, says the Lord! Some will cry aloud saying; “This is too harsh, and this is too much!” But the Lord your God says, people need to fear Me; and people need to fear and respect the government. Yet, I do not want anyone to fear unjustly! Do not worry. I will not allow this to be carried too far! Kenya will not become a police-state. Remember, I said I am rooting out corruption in all sectors of your societies, so you just need to trust Me to have this go the right way in the right proportions and measures. And it will!

I had My apostle Paul write in Romans 13 that ministers of the government somehow represent Me, and they often act as My instruments of justice. I have ordained that they act as a terror to those who are unrighteously of a criminal mind and nature. The fear that has taken residence in the hearts and minds of the people of Kenya as they travel the streets because of thugs and thieves must be curtailed, says the Lord! And it will!

Did I not visit Nairobi in a new way on Monday, April 2, 2007 as I used My Prophet here to deal with the demonic-principalities? of Koinange Street Did I not have him prophesy over that area that very night, and declare that it would change immediately (You may see this yourself! *Order your own Copies of the ?New Prophecies For Kenya 2007! (Volumes 1~4 on DVD) Experience and see for yourself what actually happened that night Live on Video!) Then, did I not then just a few days later cause the business-owners in that area to get riled-up with passion to break the negative stigma that has long been attached to that street? Yes, I did! Then, did I not then have the Nairobi police go in there, and break up and dismantle the illicit activities that have occurred along that street for so long; even in just the next few weeks in April and May 2007, says the Lord. Yes, I did! I sent waves of My Spirit with My Fire and My Angels to break and destroy those principalities and
powers! Then, within just a few weeks, your police started taking prostitutes off the streets! And now you do not see them there anymore in the numbers and in the openness that they used to be there! So, is there anything too hard for Me? Am I not God?

Similar things will happen through your police forces and your military forces in other areas in the coming days, says the Lord. They will know how to go into certain areas and grab people that are doing certain evil things to people. People have walked in fear that that they are going to lose things. Criminal activity is rampant. It happens daily. And it grieves My Heart. I will come against this now and bring these things down. You will see Me doing this! I will cause your government to get much more organized and efficient in dealing with these serious matters, says the Lord.

The Lord says, I am tired of this stigma that is upon Africa! I am tired now of this that keeps people thinking that African nations and governments are backward and are always somewhere behind other developed nations ~in so many ways.

I will cause many systems and technologies that operate excellently and effectively in the Western-world to be brought into place here in the coming season, says the Lord. First-world systems work! They work because they are smart and effective, and I want them here, says the Lord!

Many people talk about the West and the First-world. They say that is the best place to look to see societal and technological developments and advancements. But know this, these things can happen in the East, or anywhere else they are instituted! Look at Southeast Asia and Japan. Does the origin of where it is happening really matter? Does it not matter more that any nation who wants to move onward in advancement thoroughly embraces progress and change?

I have ordained that Nairobi eventually become a cosmopolitan and world-class city of international standards of excellence. I am causing it to be transformed into a city of excellence, and a city of dignity. People here will feel proud about this city called Nairobi. I will see to it that this city becomes much more beautiful in every way!

Many buildings will be built in Nairobi, and even outside the city-centre. Many buildings will undergo renovations. Nairobi will continuously become even cleaner and more organized. And, the Lord says to the people of Kenya; Do not fear the government if you are on the righteous-side of things. Support your government, people of Kenya, for I have ordained them to produce great changes and benefits for you in the years to come! Things will progress and change for the better!

I will cause billions of Kenya Shillings of government monies to be brilliantly poured out to get Nairobi, and also the other cities of Kenya~ revitalized and reformed; and built-up and organized! This will not only be the case for Nairobi alone. But I will have this done in many other cities such as: Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Eldoret, Kisii, Machakos (the up-and-coming sister-city to Nairobi); and many other cities, says the Lord!

I will have your coastal-areas receive new and expanded new development, says the Lord. And two small cities called Naivasha, and the Ngong area will also be developed in the coming season. New things will be built in those regions, says the Lord. Buildings will be built, and expanded centres of commerce and business activity will rise in these areas and in many other cities and regions, says the Lord.

My Kingdom will also be greatly advanced in great ways in many regions and places across the nation of Kenya in the coming season, says the Lord. My own ?born-again family? will rise into new opportunities in business and entrepreneurship; and in developing and expanding industries, says the Lord. Look for this to open quickly and sporadically in the days ahead!

The poor-state and poor-condition of your roads in Kenya has obviously been a very grievous problem. I now decree, declares the Lord your God, that your Kenyan government will avail and pour forth the monies needed to fix them, improve them, and re-develop them, once and for all! Oh, it will cost a lot of money! And, yes, it will take much time and a lot of effort to pull this off, says the Lord. But it must be done now! And I will cause this to happen, and it will happen! There is no good reason for the roads of Kenya to remain as bad as they are. Long-term systemic neglect in the past has your road structures in this poor-state. But this must change now! A new course of progress of development must be instituted now and implemented now! Your President, Mwai Kibaki, has privately been very burdened about it. He knows that massive amounts of monies need to be poured into very big projects of road repair and new road development for your nation?s good future. I will lead your
government to make this a reality in the coming season. And every Kenyan will ultimately benefit from this. So be it!

Get ready now, Kenya, for My Favour is now being released upon the people of this nation and its societies like never before. You will rise now, and begin to flourish!

Many new economic growths and developments will happen in this great nation of Kenya; and even greater than ever before! In this next season of time, many changes will also come forth in your cultural-societies.

Many minds will be renewed to the truth that I am endeavouring to bring Kenya out of its old third-world status and stigma up into progressive changes, growths and developments on every side. New changes and new developments that have not yet happened before, in this or in any other generation, will now commence here in this land, says the Lord. Get yourselves ready for them all now, for they are truly now springing forth for you, says the Spirit of Almighty God. Amen!

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Taylor on trial at the Hague – The first African former head of state to be charged with crimes against humanity

Posted by African Press International on January 9, 2008

Liberia: Charles Taylor trial gets under way

 

The war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor finally got under way at The Hague in the Netherlands on Monday. Taylor is appearing before the Special Court for Sierra Leone, a tribunal set up jointly by the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone.

He is charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes arising out of his involvement in the civil war in Sierra Leone between 1991 and 2001. The charges relate to killings, mutilations, rape, other forms of sexual violence, sexual slavery, recruiting and using child soldiers, abduction and using forced labour. The trial first opened last June but was delayed by Taylor’s initial refusal to appear in court, and wrangles over his legal representation.

At a news conference held by the Special Court on Friday, chief prosecutor Stephen Rapp said he envisaged that eight witnesses would testify in the first two or three weeks of the trial. The website set up by non-governmental organisations to monitor the trial, http://www.charlestaylortrial.org, reported that Rapp said:

59 witnesses will testify about the linkage between the crimes and Taylor and his associates;
77 crime-based witnesses would give evidence, 10 in person and 67 in writing; and
Evidence from eight expert witnesses, including one with knowledge of the diamond industry, would be presented.

The human rights group Amnesty International has noted the trial is the first in which a former head of state or government has been prosecuted in an international criminal court for crimes committed in Africa against Africans.

 

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Landlocked Uganda and Rwanda suffering due to Kenya’s post-election violence – shortage of fuel and other necessities

Posted by African Press International on January 9, 2008

Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) Congestion at Dar es Salaam port is likely to worsen as the Kenya crisis forces Rwanda and Uganda external traders to divert their Mombasa-bound goods to Tanzania, APA has learnt.

The post-election violence has disrupted movement of Goods and services through Kenya, causing acute shortages of fuel and other necessities in landlocked Uganda and Rwanda, with the latter announcing that it has just five days of fuel reserves left and efforts have started to secure consignments from Tanzania.

Officials at the Ugandan High CommissionMonday confirmed reports that they were in talks with the Tanzanian government on the possibility of using inbound goods passing through Dar es Salaam port, instead of Mombasa in Kenya.

“Talks have been going on between Uganda and Tanzania but they are yet to be finalised, and we are waiting for significant developments (on the talks),” said the chancellor at the high commission, Rose Mutonyi.

But when APA contacted Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) on their arrangement to receive and handle the influx of cargo, a senior official said the authority expected a steep rise in the number of containers passing through Dar es Salaam due to the Kenyan crisis, adding that efforts were under way to handle the situation.

“We are not yet sure how busy we are going to be, but what I can say for the time being is that we have to prepare for anything. It is very unfortunate that we are also congested here but as we are undertaking major expansion of our port, probably we will manage. Let us wait and see,” said TPA communications manger Franklin Mziray.

Port stakeholders have said emergency measures would need to be devised by the government to make sure the anticipated congestion is kept to a minimum.

Speaking to APA Monday, they said there was no way Tanzanias premier sea harbour would be able to deal with a sudden increase in the amount of goods because the ports handling capacity was overwhelmed even before the crisis.

“It is hard to imagine how the port can handle more goods given the current congestion. Something urgent would have to be done to make that possible,” said Otieno Igogo, chairman of the Tanzania Freights Forwarders Association.

He said one possible measure would be to quickly prepare internal container depots (ICDs) so that containers entering the port were directly taken to the depots.

Mziray also admitted that congestion at Dar es Salaam port was still a major problem and additional goods diverted from Kenya might worsen the situation.

He said there were already about a dozen cargo vessels waiting to offload consignments at the port. He did not go into details, but inside sources revealed that the ships had been kept waiting for several days now.

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Flood fears hit Namibia – alarm bells sounded in the eastern Caprivi region

Posted by African Press International on January 9, 2008

Windhoek (Namibia) Heavy rains in the eastern Caprivi region of Namibia have raised the spectre of severe floods, with officials already sounding the alarm bells in the flood prone area warning inhabitants to put safety measures in place.

The Caprivi region was in 2007 hit by serious flooding which resulted in hundreds of thousands being evacuated to higher and safer grounds.

The International Federation of the Red Cross said that 112,877 people had benefitted from its disaster relief emergency fund in 2007.

Caprivi Regional Chief Executive Officer Raymond Matiti told state owned news agency Nampa Tuesday that due to the heavy rains, the region was likely to be hit hard by floods in two weeks time.

At the moment, it is raining very heavily in the Caprivi region. I expect that we will have a very serious situation here in two weeks, Matiti said, adding that due to the heavy rains, the Zambezi river will soon break its banks if it continues raining like this.

Severe flooding in neighbouring Zambia and Zimbabwe have further stoked fears of flooding in the eastern parts of Namibia.

Authorities in Mozambique are also reported to have declared a red alert, citing rivers which are rising above normal levels.

We are looking at preparing a disaster management plan, using our past experience of these floods, Matiti said.

Despite the lack of scientific data, Matiti predicted that this year\s floods are likely to be worse than those of previous years.

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The Chinese visit to Africa, the resource-rich continent for their resource hungry economy

Posted by African Press International on January 9, 2008

Pretoria (South Africa) Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi ends his two-day visit to South Africa on Tuesday, an occasion that marks 10 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

On arrival Monday, Yang called on President Thabo Mbeki before meeting with foreign minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma in Pretoria, the administrative capital.

The visit is a start of a tour of Africa, where Chinas foreign ministry officials have traditionally started the year in a sign of the importance they now place on the resource-rich continent for their resource hungry economy.

Apart from South Africa, Yang will also visit Congo, Burundi and Ethiopia.

In a media briefing after meeting Minister Dlamini-Zuma, Yang said the China-South Africa relationship is “of great importance” to his country.

Since South Africa, the continents economic powerhouse, dropped Taipei for Beijing 10 years ago, China has become the countrys largest trading partner, with trade between South Africa, a major gold-producer, and China reaching US$240 million in the first 11 months of 2006, an increase of 34.5 percent from the previous year.

Last year Chinas biggest bank, the state-owned Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd, bought a 20 percent stake in South Africas biggest lender, Standard Bank Group Ltd in one of Chinas biggest foreign corporate acquisitions to date.

Chinese investments into South Africa amount to US$130 million, mostly in a chromium mine, while South African investments in China stand at about US$400 million including investments by Anglo American, SAB Miller and a US$120 million investment by a property group.

Yangs visit comes a year after Chinese President Hu Jintao visited South Africa in early 2007.

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A need to impart new knowledge and skills to defence forces – 14 member states, SADC

Posted by African Press International on January 9, 2008

Lilongwe (Malawi) Malawis National Defence Minister Bob Khamisa said on Tuesdaythat there was a need to impart new knowledge and skills to defence forces of the 14 member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in order for them to have a shared common ground of understanding, thereby equipping them to better prevent conflicts in the region and Africa as a whole.

Khamisa was speaking during the official opening of a two-week long training course on Managing Defence in the Wider Security Context for high level officials of SADC countries which ends on 20 January at the Malawi Armed Forces College (MAFCO) in Salima, a lakeside district located 120 km east of the Malawi capital of Lilongwe.

Khamisa said that the course will promote understanding of management and governance of defence in a democratic set up.

“Conflicts within and between states affect defence and security sectors to a great extent, therefore it is very important that management and governance of defence and other security sectors are done according to the rule of law,” he said.

The minister added that the course would assist in creating an enabling environment necessary for making Africa and the SADC region more peaceful and free from conflicts.

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President Kibaki appoints prominent politicians as envoys to brief heads of state in African Nations

Posted by African Press International on January 9, 2008

President Mwai Emilio Kibaki hasfound it correct to enable Africanheads of state tobe informed about the current situation in Kenya. For correct information to reah the leaders the president has appointed envoyswho will be despatched to African countries with the message from Kibaki.

The president says, the African leaders needs to be informed personally by Kenyan envoys rather than get information from the media which in most cases is incorrect.

Kenya being the most stable country in Africa must not be left to deteroriate due to violece brought about by the recent elections in the country, elections that saw politicians hungry for power losing and in turn encouraged mayhem in the country.

___________

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

Uhuru appointed special envoy

Mr Uhuru Kenyatta. Photo/ FILE

President Kibaki has appointed Kanu chairman Uhuru Kenyatta as special envoy to brief world leaders on the political crisis in the country caused by his election as president in a disputed win over ODMs Mr Raila Odinga.

Mr Kenyatta, the Gatundu South MP-elect, was among four others Mr Kibaki appointed last week. The others are Foreign affairs minister Raphael Tuju, Education minister George Saitoti and Foreign affairs assistant minister Moses Wetangula.

Government spokesman Alfred Mutua said yesterday the envoys would visit several African states and brief their heads of state about the genuine situation in the country, instead of relying on the international media.

But asked to identify the specific leaders and countries included in the shuttle diplomacy, Dr Mutua told a media conference that there were several. He did not elaborate.

On Mr Wetangulas weekend visit to Ghana to brief President John Kufuor about the developments in the country, the spokesman said he had not received the latest report.

President Kufuor doubles as the chairman of the African Union. His name has featured prominently as the most acceptable international mediator to chair talks between President Kibaki and ODMs Mr Odinga, over the disputed presidential results.

The announcement and rigging claims have led to violent riots, almost 500 deaths and loss of property. Over 250,000 people have also been displaced.

Mr Wetangula went and is now back. Ghana is not the only country where we have sent a special envoy. Uhuru, Tuju and Saitoti have also been sent to world leaders with special messages.

Earlier, Dr Mutua addressed another media conference flanked by Police spokesman, Mr Eric Kiraithe and thanked ODM for calling off todays banned rallies.

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

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