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Archive for January 13th, 2008

No more violence

Posted by African Press International on January 13, 2008

New comment on your post #2559 “A shocking interview: Obiero interviews Raila Odinga while on his US tour recently”

Author : Ochieng Onyango (IP: 89.211.6.3 , 89.211.6.3)

Commentary:
NO MORE VIOLENCE!

Dear Raila, haven’t you had enough blood in your hands? Is this what it has come down to – power at all costs?

Did the murder of innocent children in your name mean nothing to you? Torn families, starving widows are weeping for Kenya. More people are jobless than ever before. The country’s global image has been permanently tainted. This is your legacy Raila, May God have Mercy on your cold, cruel, greedy, selfish, soul!

Violence, propaganda and misinformation – that has been the primary ODM strategy for handling the inevitable loss of 2007 elections.

ODM had the perfect chance to use the next 5 years to demonstrate the change they had promised Kenyans through PARLIAMENT. They had the oportunity to win over the Kenyans who did not vote for them.

By preaching peace and respect for rule of law, ODM would have guaranteed a landslide victory for Raila in 2012.

Those who Murdered their neighbours wives, husbands and children have brought a terrible curse on themselves and their families. May God have Mercy on them.

Shame on you fellow Kenyans for being so cold blooded as to support cold blooded murderers.

Kenyans are united in their cry for PEACE!

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KENYA AT CROSSROADS!

Posted by African Press International on January 13, 2008

Watching on international media recently one would easily have concluded that Kenya have joined the league of failed states of the world, majority of which incidentally are in Africa. The demons which led to Rwanda infamy in 1994 and the never ending political failures in republics of Somalia, Cote D’Ivoire, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Burundi, Congo DRC, Mauritania, Liberia and several other African countries in not a distant past and presently, seem to have visited Kenya.

The 2007 Kenyan presidential election was bound to be very hot and very contentious, one as a result of the closeness of the competition and secondly the many issues which came to the fore during campaigns and thirdly the capacity, conduct and current status of the electoral commission. However, the aftermath of the election is quite appalling and unexpected. The destruction of lives, property and the tribal divisions inherent in the country is just quite unhealthy.

One strategic danger though which may not augur well for the country is that the citizens may result to loosing faith to the electoral process. Going by comments from ordinary citizens many feel they do not feel obliged to vote in future or they simply don’t trust elections. These are fuelled by the conduct of the process in the just concluded election. That there were irregularities across the board seems to be largely acknowledged. The extent to which side got more or less out of the disputed presidential election is one thing which has wrought the country to the mess it is in.

Other issues which have cropped up include the fact that there are underlying problems bedeviling the country across the whole spectrum. These include serious land problems and challenges, poverty, unemployment, deep tribal emotions, corruption, serious constitutional challenges etc. Let Kenyan’s face it, our country has serious ‘structural problems’ that is hanging on a delicate edifice. It is built on an effete nationhood; suffice it to say tribalism is deeply entrenched.

That a disputed presidential election can lead to communities targeting one another or even so targeting certain or certain communities, should course a rethink on governance strategy going forward. We are far of from being well glued together as a nation. We are still a number of communities just tolerating to live together under the name Kenya. Colonialism promoted theses divisions and post independence leaders did nothing about it and even sadly continued to fuel them.

The solution lies on well thought constitutional and institutional reforms. A policy whereby a presidency is such highly valued for the purpose of exclusion of others is dangerous. Similarly, it is not in doubt that careless devolutions can lead to anarchy or war in this country. If creation of posts of Prime Minister, Deputy Minister et all can reduce the ill feelings in the country plus create a reasonable devolution, so be it. It is much cheaper than the carnage we have witnessed in several parts of the country. Similarly Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga are at a point in some history making. They will make this country move forward as a united nation and earn honours in historical perspective or tear it apart and leave it with a legacy of tribal conclaves and cocoons and may earn them un-desirable status in history. They are holding the nation at critical and very anxious moments. Save the country! I believe they and they alone have the ultimate opportunity and decision to make as human beings.

harrison-ikunda.jpgBy Harrison Mwirigi Ikunda,

Nairobi. Kenya .

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Talks collapse as Kuffuor jets out

Posted by African Press International on January 13, 2008

 

Published on January 11, 2008, 12:00 am

By David OhitoTalks between the Government and ODM to hammer out a solution to the crisis that has crippled the country collapsed, putting in jeopardy a process that had returned calm to the country.

The Standard learnt that the international mediation over the disputed presidential results fell apart after the Government hardened its position. And the Ghanaian President, John Kuffuor who had devoted two days to bridging the gap and possibly brokering a deal between President Kibaki and ODM leader Mr Raila Odinga jetted out on Thursday after his efforts bore no fruit. As the talks hit a wall, an indicator of other options to resolve
the crisis emerged as an aggrieved voter went to court seeking to have election results of all 210 constituencies scrutinised and tallied by the court.
Mr Eliphaz Wesangula Keya sued President Kibaki, ODM leader Mr Raila Odinga and the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) seeking to have the election nullified should it be found that the President was not duly elected.

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.

Kenyas strongest international partners, the United States, Britain and the European Union, had joined Kuffuor on Thursday as he stretched out to try to bring the opposing sides to one table.

The sad note that the ray of hope for a Kenyan solution had dimmed came out as ODM and the Government finally turned on each other with hard words as Kuffuor left.

Issuing a statement at Orange House, ODM Secretary-General Prof Anyang Nyongo, said: “We regret that the international talks by Kuffuor have failed”.

He added: “We presented to President Kibaki an agreement agreed on by our respective representatives but Kibaki refused to sign it, saying he knew nothing about the agreement nor had he any contact with those negotiating on his behalf.

“The Government has refused to offer any alternative of resolving the crisis facing Kenya, preferring to unilaterally prescribe solutions. But this will not be acceptable to majority of Kenyans”.

The World Bank country director, Mr Colin Bruce, was the facilitator at the talks that lasted all morning at Hotel Intercontinental between representatives of ODM and those of Government, among them Foreign Affairs minister, Mr Moses Wetangula.

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

Await Koffi Annans helping handAmid the deadlock, Kuffuor offered the only flicker of hope. In a cautious diplomatic statement, the AU chief said both Kibaki and Raila had agreed to work together under a panel to be headed by former United Nations secretary-general, Mr Kofi Annan, towards resolving their differences and all other outstanding issues, including constitutional and electoral reforms.

“After extensive consultations, they agreed on an immediate cessation of the violence as well as any acts which may be detrimental to finding a peaceful solution to the ongoing crisis,” the statement read in part.

High expectation for a breakthrough, which had prevailed in the morning, deflated when an anticipated face-to-face meeting between Kibaki and Raila at the Office of the President on Harambee Avenue failed to materialise.

Kuffuor, accompanied by US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Dr Jendayi Frazer, US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger, British High Commissioner Mr Adam Wood, French Ambassador Ms Elisabeth Barbier, Pentagon members and Government representatives led by Wetangula, spent Thursday morning at Hotel Intercontinental in different meetings as word went round that the President would appear at Harambee House.

The presidential office, from where Kibaki had never worked since he was elected in 2002, was readied for the expected meeting, with a tight security cordon being thrown along the street and the presidential flag raised.

But it became apparent at 3pm that Kibaki would not be arriving at his office when the security detail was withdrawn.

Wetangula then drove with Kuffuor to State House in the afternoon, where sources said they tabled the ODM position before the President, who reportedly declined to sign it.

Kuffuor returned to Intercontinental after about an hour to brief Raila and the Pentagon on the Government position.

State undermined talksODM said it learnt of the Governments disinterest in the talks when Kibaki reluctantly consented to talks.

“The Government undermined the talks when ministers openly said there was no such international mediation needed. Indeed, it was stated Kuffuor was just coming for a cup of tea with Kibaki and such pronouncements prejudiced the mission,” said Nyongo.

“Kibaki then hastily announced the formation of his Cabinet, in an attempt to pre-empt any serious negotiations on the way forward moments after Kuffuor landed,” he added.

Details emerged later of how ODM had softened its stand to accept an interim coalition government with Kibaki.

Sources said ODM was willing to take up some of the remaining ministerial positions for the sake of bridging the gap and ensuring peace.

But it insisted on the formation of a coalition government whose composition would be agreed upon on the basis of equal representation in numbers and portfolios.

They also sought a fresh composition of the Electoral Commission and remedial action to ensure it became independent and effective in discharging its statutory mandate.

Part of ODMs terms was the extension of an olive branch and a truce.

However, the party maintained its demand for a re-run between Kibaki and Raila after joining the interim government.

ODM also wanted an independent scrutiny of circumstances leading to the announcement of presidential results.

The findings would determine whether there would be a re-run and the time-frame and modalities of carrying it out.

The party also wanted a committee of eminent international persons to carry out an audit of the elections and make a report within 30 days.

But sources said the Government, while it could have accepted the sharing of ministerial seats, did not want to hear of a re-run.

At 4.45pm, after it became apparent the talks had collapsed, the visiting US envoy Frazer and Ambassador Ranneberger converged for last minute talks with the Pentagon, led by Raila, at the Pentagon House in Lavington.

A section of ODM leaders took issue with Justice minister Ms Martha Karuas comments in a BBC interview on Wednesday.

Nyongo said ODM felt short-changed after it called off its rallies and dropped all pre-conditions to provide a conducive atmosphere for the talks.

President Kuffuor left the country at 4.30pm aboard a Nigerian Presidential jet.

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Man sues Kibaki and ECK over election results

Posted by African Press International on January 13, 2008

 

Published on January 11, 2008, 12:00 am

By Judy OgutuA disgruntled voter has gone to court seeking to have election results of all 210 constituencies scrutinised and tallied by the court.

Mr Eliphaz Wesangula Keya has sued President Kibaki, ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga and the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK).

If the court finds that Kibaki was not duly elected after scrutinising and tallying the results, it should declare his election void.

Also named as respondents in the suit are returning officers for Molo and Juja constituencies.

He claims Railas allegations of rigging and an incompetent Judiciary is serious and need to be tested since they risk undermining the reputation, integrity and independence of the courts and ECK.

“The said allegations further undermine democracy in Kenya and citizens trust in the electoral process,” he adds.

In addition, the applicant argues that there have been various extra-judicial fora currently being suggested for addressing the dispute.

He believes some of them are unconstitutional and go a long way to strengthen the perception that the court cannot address the matters, which have been publicly alleged.

“The serious allegations, if left unchallenged in court, could be believed to be true by those who supported the first respondent (Kibaki) and other gullible persons who could consider it their national duty to seek redress by unlawful means.”

The petitioner, through the law firm of Cosmas Ngala Stephen Advocates, says he has taken the initiative to file the suit because Raila has refused to seek legal redress where he could give evidence he might have for objecting to the election results.

The suit comes hardly two weeks after ECK chairman, Mr Samuel Kivuitu, declared the President winner of the polls, having garnered 4,584,721 against Railas 4,353,993.

Keya believes that by going to court, the ODM leader and his Pentagon colleagues, polling and counting agents countrywide and any other witnesses will give evidence in court and a finding made.

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EAST AFRICAN POWER INTERCONNECTION PROJECT IS ESTIMATED TO COST USD 267 MILLION

Posted by African Press International on January 13, 2008

odera-omolo.jpg<By Leo Odera Omolo.

A colossal amount of money to the tune of USD 267 million is needed for interconnections of power transmission lines of countries under the Nile Equatorial lakes subsidiary Action programme (NELSAP).

The countries of Burundi, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, the Democratic of Congo, Egypt and Tanzania.

Energy Ministers from Burundi, Rwanda, Sudan and Uganda are meeting recently in the Rwandan capital, approved the implementation of a number of interconnections schemes.

Kenyans Ambassador to Rwanda and representatives of DRC, Egypt and Tanzania and other power utilities including the executive directors of the Nile basin initiative and members of the NELSAP Technical Advisory Communities (NEL-TAC) attended the Kigali meeting.

Financial resources for the project are yet to be sourced; once these become available the implementation time is estimated to be 24 months.

The interconnections of the electricity power lines create two rings one around Lake Victoria that will link Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. And another around lakes Kivu and Edward will link DRC, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

Among the schemes approved are 249 Km interconnection that will carry 320KV between Jinja in Uganda and Lessos in Kenya.

A press statement released after the session stated, This connection is expected to increase power exchange between the two countries. The total cost of the interconnection including the environmental and social management plan and resettlement plan is USD 92 million, of which USD 50 million is for the Kenya site, the statement add.

The 220 KV, Mbarara (Uganda) to Birembo (Rwanda) interconnection of 172 Km will cost about USD 4 million of which USD 16 million is for the Uganda site and USD 25 Million is for the Rwanda.

The 260 Km interconnection of 330 KV between Arusha, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya will cost USD 108 million of which USD 46 million is for the Tanzania site and USD 62 million is for the Kenya site.

The other interconnection is to improve stability, reliability and severity of supply in the regional interconnected electricity grid network of Tanzania and Kenya. It will close the loop around Lake Victoria and provide a route for import to Kenya, the statement said.

The other interconnection power line will be between Rwegura in Burundi and Kigoma in Rwanda and will be 110 KV over a distance of 103 Km.

The total cost of the interconnection is USD 114.1, million of which USD 4.6 million is for the Burundi site and USD 9.4 million is for the Rwanda site.

The ministers said the initial objective of the connection was to improve stability, reliability and security of supply in the regional Burundi, Rwanda and Eastern parts of NRC.

The minister also said there was need to upgrade the line voltage of the existing Burundi, Congo and Rwanda regional network from 70 KV to 110 KV.

The whole upgrade of this line will cost about USD 10 million and include a 262 Km power line from the Burundi Capital.

Bujumbura to Buzizi in the DRC, a 60 Km power line from Goma, Toro to Gizenyi, Rwanda and 19 Km interconnection power line from Bujumbura in Burundi to Kiliba in the DRC.

According to the ministerial statement issued in Kigali after the meeting, the interconnection line from Goma to Busenyi will particularly facilitate executions of the power produced by the lake Kivu methane gas project. Its total cost will be USD 6.3 million, of which USD 5.1 million will be contributed by the Rwanda government and USD 1.3 million will come from the DRC.

The minister also noted at their Kigali meeting that in order to increase power capacities in the region and complete and strengthen interconnection among NELSAP countries, new projects have to be identified.

One of the project that were recommended was to carry out a study on a transmission line between Karuma in Uganda and Juba in between Sudan, in order to exchange power between the two countries.

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A MEMORABLE ENCOUNTER WITH ANARCHY

Posted by African Press International on January 13, 2008

jeff-aguko.jpg<BY JEFF OTIENO KISUMU KENYA
Courtesy of the course I am currently pursuing in Manchester College of journalism, I recently managed to get a lucrative olive branch from the Kenyan government where I was part of the group of 10 journalists who benefited from a two weeks exchange programme in China which was fully sponsored by the two countries.
Our visit in that country was well timed to enable us participate fully in just concluded general election in Kenya. On landing back in the country, I joined my family on the eve of Christmas and had to do some small shopping for them since I was to leave for my native rural home the following day to cast my vote in a local polling station where I was duly registered.
I woke up very early with enthusiasm at around 6.00 am in the morning to exercise my constitutional right. Inside the polling station I was perplexed to find a multitude who had come almost two hours earlier and had lined up ready to vote for their respective and favourite civic, parliamentary and presidential contenders
Two days down the line, the countries major towns were engulfed with looting, torching of private properties, massive killings by government security agents and rape due to what many attributed to a flawed electioneering process.
Thirst for news, and with transport system already paralyzed, I decided to walk close to 20 kilometers to reach Kenyans third largest lake side city of Kisumu where gun wilding ,military police had rough time trying to battle with enraged group of protesters and looters.
Anybody on site was forced to lie down with their bellies and only professional identity card could salvage someones neck from the wrath of this brutal cartel.
While pegged to the ground, and before I could dangle my card, I took close to one hour on the ground literally confused and completely maimed.
I however managed to get a sigh of relief when I identified myself to one of
the senior officers who was leading the brutal squad
A regrettable and shocking scenario came when the protesters overwhelmed the security agents and decided to loot local restaurants and supermarkets with glee.
A well dressed beautiful lady donning a modern jeans with a magnificent top to match literally stormed one of the shops and snatched a 21 inch colour television set and a carpet.
When I later caught up with her she assured me that her loots were safe and she had little difficulties to shoulder them.
The 30 years old unmarried lady, who gave her name as Ruth was caught on camera and was shown a cross the globe and her action has really generated debate as to whether she has the marriage credentials.
She is however undeterred with the prevailing pedestrians talks about her barbaric ations.Whoever feels perturbed should commit suicide or seek legal redress, she quipped when I interviewed her.
Ruth had to leave me in a huff when I pressed her further to disclose to me what she was doing to earn her daily bread.
Currently there is mass exodus of potential investors mostly of Asian origin for fear of insecurity and general state of lawlessness and there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel due to the political stalemate and mistrust among the countrys main political leaders.
Local morgues I visited I counted close to 60 rotting bodies in Kisumu main mortuary and majority had serious gun wounds, the city once known for its beauty is in tatters and litters all over the streets. we dont have anywhere to lean on and its only God who can salvage us gloated a Mr. Patel cement dealer who lost everything in the inferno.
An estimate ten thousand people in Kisumu city have lost their jobs.
More worrisome scenario is the state of rampant lawlessness where after every 1km a battery of youths have barricaded roads and installed toll stations where motorists are being taxed and those who fail to comply find their vehicles wind screens shattered.
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An Open Letter To Hon Raila Amolo Odinga.

Posted by African Press International on January 13, 2008

 

—– Original Message —–

Sent: Saturday, January 12, 2008 1:21 AM
Subject: FW (fyi): An open letter to Kenya’s RAILA ODINGA
Current Crisis in Kenya. The attached docis an open letter to Raila Odinga by Kenyans pleading for peace.
Chaos in Kenya puts the rest of the world at risk (e.g.eruption of chaos couldcreate a fertile breeding ground for Al Qaeda and other Terrorism cells).
Please do what you can to help prevent unnecessary loss of life – now and in future.
Thank you!

PLEASE, NO MORE VIOLENCE!

Dear Raila, haven’t you had enough blood in your hands? Is this what it has come down to – power at all costs?

Innocent Deaths:

Mr. Raila, Did the murder of innocent children in your name mean nothing to you? Torn families, starving widows are weeping for Kenya. More people are jobless than ever before. The country’s global image has been permanently tainted. The economy is reeling from political shocks… are Kenyans mere dispensable pawns for use in your personal quest for Power?

Democracy:

You preach democracy – but have no respect for rule of law. With Majority of MPs, ODM has the political Muscle to change the laws of Kenya FOR THE BETTER – IN PARLIAMENT.

Fix the problem in Parliament:

Mr. Raila, ODM has the power to clean up the Judiciary and improve the court process in PARLIAMENT. ODM has the muscle to push for a new constitution. ODM has the political muscle to push for laws that improve the livelihood of the Poor. ODM has the power to push for Anti corruption bills and creation of electoral checks and balances laws that will guarantee a clean election in 2012.

PLEASE GO TO PARLIAMENT AND FIX THE PROBLEM!

Chaos is not the answer:

Chaos is never the answer. Hurting Citizens is not the answer. Blocking Government motions in parliament that benefit Kenyans (to make Kibaki look bad) is not the Answer. What is 5 years? This is the last election for Kibaki – there will be more for you. Keep on Campaigning and win the hearts of more Kenyans to get a landslide victory in 2012!

Perception of Ruthlessness:

Mr. Raila, Ridiculing the Kenyan legal system and the Judiciary, and promoting chaos and disorder portray you as a ruthless leader with highly dictatorial tendencies in the eyes of peace loving Kenyans.

Neglected to change the Law:

Mr. Raila, you and many pentagon members have been in Parliament for Decades – yet you have never raised bills to make the Kenyan Legal system more efficient – probably because Your MP status has always allowed you to be treated differently than ordinary Kenyans. Now you must accept the bitter consequences of neglecting your law-making role as an MP. The courts you have rejected are the same one Ordinary Kenyans are subjected to on a daily basis – welcome to the “Ordinary Mwananchi” club!

Vote was not unanimous:

Mr. Raila, You say you are the people’s president – but only 50% of voters voted for you. You did not have a unanimous win. Are the other voters not people? Are they not Kenyans? Did they not have the right to choose? Dont they deserve justice also?

Opportunity to win over PNU voters:

Mr. Raila, You had the perfect opportunity to step up and win the other side over. All you had to do was to come strongly against any violence.

Fears of a dangerous power vacuum:

Mr. Raila, Kenyans fear you. Those who remember your alleged involvement in masterminding the violent 1982 coup know that given the tensions and division, a power vacuum could not persist. The quick swearing-in and media blackout was the right thing to do for the Country. Tensions were too high and the environment was conducive for politically instigated chaos.

Kenyan Fears Validated:

Kenyans fears have been validated by your ruthless quest for power. You – of all people – should understand the implications of a nation-wide ethnic war. Other opposition MPs that would have supported you are now afraid that they may help create a monster. Remember Half of the country voted for you – the other half voted for Kibaki. When you say Kenyans are not happy, and that Kenyans want to die for democracy (i.e. You), – are you speaking for all Kenyans?

Dirty Tactics during Campaign:

Mr. Raila, The SMSs and Emails are there, the evidence is there for all to see: Your Campaign was dirty from day one and was based on misinformation, mud-slinging and spreading ethnic animosity. Let this be a lesson for all politicians. Have they no Ethics? SHAME on all leaders who manipulated Tribal differences to stir hate for their own personal gain.

ODMs Failed Media Manipulation strategy:

Feeding the world media with lies has never been a long term strategy. CNN & BBC quoted you stating that 1000 people had died from the recent Post election Violence on Kenya. From where did you get the numbers? Now the true facts are slowly emerging that and the international community is shocked by the cold reality of your ruthless failure strategy.

Massive rigging by ODM in Western Kenya:

Allegations of rigging by ODM were biased to make the Government look bad in international lime light yet there is evidence of massive Rigging by ODM in Western Kenya. This is why Kivuitu, being honest, said he does not know who won. Both sides had played dirty but all objective evidence has pointed at President Kibaki as the legitimately elected leader in a closely contested election!

Tainted Legacy:

Bloodshed and destruction. That is your unfortunate legacy Mr. Raila. May God have Mercy on your cold, cruel, greedy, selfish, soul!

Kenyans are united in their cry for PEACE!

________________

The above has been received by API/APN and we feel it is right to bring it to our readers’ attention.

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