African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

Archive for January 12th, 2008

Niger leader urges journalists to stop meddling with rampant rebellion

Posted by African Press International on January 12, 2008

Niamey (Niger) President Mamadou Tandja of Niger, on Friday, urged the journalists to stop meddling with the crisis in the northern part of the country where clashes are raging between the national army and the rebels of the Niger Movement for Justice (MNJ).

In an address to the diplomatic corps accredited to Niger, President Tandja slammed the activities of four journalists, including two French nationals, who are indicted and remanded for alleged links with the MNJ rebels.

“We could not, on any account, condone such activities,” President Tandja said, adding that the journalists are “directly meddling with the conflict in northern Niger” because “their behaviour is contrary to the code of morals and Nigers laws and regulations.”

However, the Nigerien head of state did not hint on the clemency letter a committee of journalists and civil society activists wrote to him in early January. The letter wished for the two Nigerien journalists imprisoned and two other French reporters remanded in the country to be pardoned.

Last Tuesday, President Tandja called on the countrys media regulation body, the Higher Communication Council (CSC), to pursue the streamlining operation with the national media sector.

Radio France International correspondent in Niamey, Moussa Kaka, has been remanded since 20 September for offences against national security and alleged complicity with the MNJ rebels in the countrys northern region.

Another journalist, Ibrahim Manzo Diallo, was also convicted on 29 October for being a “crime syndicate and remanded in Agadez civil prison. He is the director of publications of the private bimonthly magazine “Ar Info” edited in Agadez (900km north).

In addition, two French reporters of the French-German channel, Arte, who were indicted for “offences against national security”, have been detained since late September 2007 in Niger where they were reporting without authorisation on the MNJ-led rebellion.

Niger government spokesman, Minister Mohamed Ben Omar, recently said the two journalists would be sued for “illicit coverage”.

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

Advertisements

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

Our political differences should not allow someone to destroy people properties

Posted by African Press International on January 12, 2008

New comment on your post #3702 “KISUMU CITY NOW A GHOST TOWN IN THE AFTERMATH OF A WEEK LONG OF DEATH AND DESTRUCTION.”
Author : Nancy (IP: 212.49.77.217 ,

Commentary:
How sad it is to see such a beautiful Kisumu City turn to Kisumu Slum. Why on Earth could the residents do this?

Our political differences should not allow someone to destroy people properties, which have taken many years and devotion to get.

What were the benefits of this?
1. By burning and destroying properties won’t give you the president you want?
2. Job opportunities will become less and many people will suffer: just imagine how many people depended on this business community.
3. How many families will go hunger and die of it?
4. How many years will it take to rebuild the city?
5. How many years will it take for businessmen and foreign investors to invest in that city?
6. Why burn water plant that cost a lot of money to build: who on earth will do this for you?
7. Prove me wrong, even the MP you elected will not bother with your suffering.

Many questions can’t find answers and it will take time to heal. I hope people from Kisumu will learn a lesson from this destruction.

I will be commenting later, this is not the end.
Peace all Kenya, God bless us.
My beloved Kenyans (brothers and sisters)

Published by API/APN africanpress@chello.no

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

ODM to resume nationwide protests

Posted by African Press International on January 12, 2008

By Standard reporterThe Orange Democratic Movement will today march to police headquarters to give notice of planned countrywide protests over the disputed presidential election, after crisis talks spearheaded by the African Union head, John Kufour,failed.

The party will today release a mass action programme, following the collapse of mediation talks on Thursday.

In a statement to the media, ODM leaders will address a press conference at Pentagon House, “to announce the immediate resumption of countrywide protests.”

Further, the party has urged the international community to impose sanctions on Kenya since “the government cannot be trusted with a cent.”

ODM launched protests in Nairobi immediately President Kibaki was declared winner but police outlawed the rallies blocking all major roads to the city. The protests led to bloody clashes between ODM supporters and security forces, adding to a total death toll of around 500.

On Thursday, AU chairman and Ghanaian, President John Kufour, flew out after failing to bring together ODM leader Raila Odinga, who claims the vote was stolen, and Part of National Unity leader Mwai Kibaki.

Britain has expressed support for the ongoing initiative and will encourage African leaders to help Kenya find a lasting solution, according to a statement released by Foreign Secretary, David Miliband.

“ President Kufuor, the Chair of the African Union, has appointed former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Graca Machel and former President Mkapa to carry forward Africas efforts to resolve the Kenya crisis. The United Kingdom offers its full support to these efforts.”

Britain also wants all allegations of election irregularity be “followed through the proper democratic and legal channels” since it is important for Kenyas own democratic future.

Miliband urged Kibaki and Raila to engage without any pre-conditions in a genuine process of reconciliation addressing the disputed issues, and to agree on a way to share power.

Former U.N. head Kofi Annan, another Ghanaian, would lead a group of eminent Africans in another push to resolve the crisis. It however remains unclear when Annan and the “eminent leaders” will jet in to help resolve the political crisis.

Kibaki has said he will consider a coalition, while Odinga would prefer a re-run of the election. Both leaders have maintained their hard-line positions.

The failure to pull a breakthrough in the talks threw the country into political uncertainty, with the echoes of recent post-election violence that rocked the country and left over 250,000 displaced still fresh in peoples minds.

ODM immediately retreated into further strategic meetings on Thursday night and announced it had a handful of options it would roll out following the deadlock.

The Government restated its position that it remained committed to dialogue “for peace and reconciliation” in the country. Both sides accused each other of causing the stalemate and of bad faith in the negotiations.

The Presidential Press Service issued a Government statement on Thursday saying: “The Government had offered dialogue which was to be facilitated by President John Kufuor but ODM leaders have not been responsive. However, the Government is still committed to dialogue and President Kufuor is to identify two eminent African Statesmen to facilitate dialogue”.

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

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

Kivuitu disowns poll results

Posted by African Press International on January 12, 2008

 

By Ben AginaThe credibility of the presidential results took a further beating when the chairman of the disgraced Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) disowned a list published in the press on Thursday.

And Mr Samuel Kivuitu hinted for the second time after the announcement of the disputed presidential results of external pressure being brought to bear on his commission to act in a certain way.

In a statement iisued on Thursday, the straight-talking Kivuitu took great exception to the use of his name by the authors of the list.

“I wish to say I did not submit this report or authorise my name to be used for its publication. The use of my name is a falsification,” said Kivuitu.

“It seems like some outside force has pushed for its publication otherwise whoever published it would have sought my consent for the use of my name,” he said of the paid-up advertisement booked by the commissions secretary, Mr Joel Tsola.

The announcement of President Kibaki as the winner of the disputed elections by the commission led to unprecedented chaos that have seen nearly 500 killed, thousands displaced and millions of shillings worth of property destroyed.

Opposition party ODM maintains its presidential candidate, Mr Raila Odinga, won the elections, but was stolen by its PNU rivals.

The move came even as civil society organisations filed complaints demanding the prosecution of Kivuitu, 22 ECK commissioners and some selected senior commission staff over the bungling of the elections.

Under the auspices of Kenyans for Truth and Justice, the civil society officials filed complaints with the police at Nairobis Kilimani Police Station.

Led by the chairman of the statutory Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Mr Maina Kiai, the civil society organizations said: “It is our expectation and demand that the Commissioner of Police, through the Kilimani OCPD Mr Herbert Khaemba, will earnestly investigate the said persons and the offences with a view to charge the said culprits in a court of law”.

Kiai added: “Failure to take action expected of him, we shall explore other avenues open to us, including private prosecution and suing the Commissioners for neglect of duty”.

In his statement released on Thursday, Kivuitu wondered why the ECK rushed to publish the data at a time when serious discussions involving eminent world leaders were ongoing as a result of the events following the commissions December 31 announcement.

However, Kivuitu said he was aware that data to that effect was being verified and when he saw its raw draft, he sought clarification on a few areas. “I was still waiting for this clarification”.

ODM has contested the results of 48 constituencies, where it says the figures for the PNU candidate, President Kibaki, were inflated. But PNU denies this.

On Thursday, Kivuitu noted that the publication of the disputed results at this stage would be imprudent.

“Indeed it may be wrongly viewed as a defensive tactic by a guilty party to the dispute,” he said in reference to his commission, which has been under censure from Kenyans over the manner in which it handled the tallying and announcement of the results even after complaints were raised.

Audit election results

Kivuitu explained that the ECK should encourage any efforts that could lead to a peaceful settlement of the dispute.

The ECK chairman, for the second time, reiterated that an inquiry by a competent and independent team of respectable persons could come out with the truth.

If this is cumbersome or lengthy, Kivuitu said, then a political solution should be pursued rigorously.

Kivuitu also took issue with the media for proceeding to use his name as author and authority of a matter of such magnitude without verifying his involvement.

“It is no wonder therefore that media has personalised the ECKs announcement of the presidential election results so that announcement is now Samuel Kivuitu and not that of the ECK,” the chairman said.

He emphasised that all the commissioners came to the room where the announcement was made.

Kivuitu said he had a copy of the duty roster that showed which commissioners were involved in vote tallying duties every day.

“We were gathered there to announce the results of their efforts. I never took part in any tallying or verification due to health reasons,” said Kivuitu.

However, Kivuitu said after ODM raised their objections ECK told the world that they welcomed an independent audit or a court action.

Kivuitu said in order to correct another “fantasy” which media keeps on repeating, the pressure by PNU and ODM-Kenya that he announce results immediately was not made in private.

“It was made in the hall before everyone including the Press. Your efforts to privatise this fact will not change the truth,” said Kivuitu.

He called for the need to make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification.

Kivuitu has been known to be forthright and always speaking out his mind.

Two days after announcing the presidential results, Kivuitu admitted he announced results of the fiercely contested presidential election under pressure.

When asked whether President Kibaki won the elections, he said: “I do not know whether Kibaki won the elections”.

Kivuitu said he took the presidential election winners certificate to State House, Nairobi, after “some people threatened to collect it while Im the one mandated by law to do so”.

“I arrived at State House to take the certificate and I found the Chief Justice there ready to swear-in Kibaki,” he said.

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

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

ODM announces renewal of mass rallies

Posted by African Press International on January 12, 2008

Written By:Anthony Kaikai

ODM has announced a renewal of mass rallies following Thursday’s collapse of negotiations between the party and the government over the recently concluded general elections.

The party through its secretary Anyang Nyong’o said peaceful rallies would be held country wide on Wednesday January 16 to push for justice over what it termed as anomalies in the election results.

However, the party says it still has plans to continue with negotiations headed by the former UN boss Kofi Annan despite the collapse of the negotiations headed by Ghanaian president John Kufuor between ODM and the government.

Flanked by the party presidential candidate Raila Odinga and pentagon members William Ruto and Najib Balala, Nyong’o said negotiations must involve all Kenyans and therefore the need for mass rallies.

At the same time, Pentagon member William Rutto said ODM leaders were ready to restore peace and called on the government to do the same saying it is the responsibility of all leaders to ensure peace prevails in the country.

The party called on the government to use funds meant for special programmes to assist the displaced people in various parts of the country.

 

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

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

 
%d bloggers like this: