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Archive for January 14th, 2008

On a mission to Kenya: US Assistant Secretary congratulated by US Senator

Posted by African Press International on January 14, 2008

It is encouraging to note that a US senator is interested in seeing that the Kenyans do not get into deeper crisis.

Read below:

minnesotasenatorcolemansltr-tomsfrazer-re-kenya.pdf

Posted to API/APN by

Rev Okoth Otura, President/Founder,
Christian Democratic Movement of Kenya-(CDMK) & East Africa Christians Transformation Mission Fellowship-(EACTMF),
CANADA 

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

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State disowns document

Posted by African Press International on January 14, 2008

Story by DAVID OKWEMBAH and PATRICK NZIOKA

The document said to be at the heart of collapsed talks between Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and the government did not have the input of the ruling coalition, Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetangula has said.

And President Kibaki was shocked when Ghanaian President John Kufuor handed him the document on Thursday afternoon for his signature.

The President was seeing it for the first time, Mr Wetangula said.

He spoke as two of his cabinet colleagues rubbished the document terming it a blanket case of deceit by ODM leaders.

At a press conference, Information Minister Samuel Poghisio and his Defence colleague Yusuf Haji said President Kibaki never sent any emissary nor did he mandate anyone to hold discussions with ODM leaders.

The ministers further said that World Bank country representative Colin Bruce, who has been put on the spot over the document, had informed the Government he never personally drafted the document and he was not even an expert in drawing up such documents.

For the first time

The ministers defended President Kibaki against claims he refused to sign the agreement saying such claims were yet another attempt to deceive Kenyans.

The allegation by ODM that President Mwai Kibaki refused to sign an agreement with them is preposterous and yet another attempt to deceive and mislead Kenyans, the statement added.

Earlier in an interview with Sunday Nation, Mr Wetangula said he was handed a copy of the agreement on Thursday at the Inter-continental hotel, Nairobi when he went to pick up the Ghanaian President for a meeting at State House.

I met the ODM team with lawyer George Oraro who handed President Kufuor and myself the document from Mr Colin Bruces office, the minister said.

He said it was after picking up the document that he realised that he was seeing it for the first time.

In the document President Kibaki and the ODM leader Mr Raila Odinga commit themselves set up a credible, impartial and independent process to address all issues arising from the presidential elections.

They also commit themselves to reform the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) to ensure its independence and impartiality.

It also recommends structure of government and determines whether there is need for a presidential re-run in a time frame provided.

Spokesman

The Ghanaian President was equally perplexed that the document had never been brought to the attention of President Kibaki.

He challenged the ODM team to name who on the government side negotiated the agreement.

Efforts by the Sunday Nation to get details on who negotiated the document on behalf of the government and Mr Kibakis Party of National Unity failed to yield any fruits.

ODM secretary general Prof Anyang Nyongo was reported to be in a meeting while a message sent to spokesman Mr Salim Lone did not receive any response by the time of going to press.

Mr Wetangula said the document had not been copied to anyone in government and asked: Is it not surprising that such a document would be circulated without even the involvement of the Attorney-General or lawyers from the Party of National Unity ?

He explained that since some of the proposals contained in the document involved electoral and constitutional issues, the AG should have been involved or at least the document copied to him.

Kufuors mission

He accused ODM of using the document to cast aspersions on the person of the President and to push for mass action.

He dismissed the document as a sideshow and appealed to the ODM leadership to be available for dialogue.

The document is a sideshow and should not be used as pretext to harden positions on dialogue, the minister added.

He said President Kibaki was ready for dialogue adding that he had given his commitment to the Ghanaian leader.

He also praised President Kufuors mission saying he succeeded in bringing down violence and brought ODM to the negotiating table.

Mr Wetangula confirmed that the government and ODM side had already accepted mediation efforts to be led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

ECKs declaration

The team also includes former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa and former South African first lady Mrs Graca Machel-Mandela.

The political crisis was triggered by ECKs declaration of Mr Kibaki as winner of the presidential election. ECK admitted flaws in the tallying of the results.

ODM and election observers have complained ofdifferences in some ofthe final results announced by commissioners and those read out at the constituencies.

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

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Battle for numbers as parties pick House Speaker

Posted by African Press International on January 14, 2008

By Dennis OnyangoThe numbers game in the National Assembly gets crucial, with battle brewing over the post of Speaker, as Parliament becomes the next, but apparently not the last battlefront in the post-election power struggle.

With President Kibakis victory fiercely challenged, the battle expected in Parliament adds a new dimension to his desire to win the confidence test.

The ODM-PNU understanding on government formation having fallen flat the test on the floor will not be a mere formality.

The House is unlikely to settle for a voice vote and the parties are likely to press for a division to determine who becomes the Speaker.

Installing a Speaker of either partys choice will not be easy.

Each of the strong parties, the PNU and ODM is gearing up to use the delicate balance of numbers to push its own nominee into the chair.

ODM has said it is backing Emuhaya MP-elect, Mr Kenneth Marende, for the post and Lagdera MP-elect, Mr Farah Maalim, as his deputy.

The PNU and ODM-Kenya are jointly backing Mr Francis ole Kaparo.

To be elected Speaker, one must garner support of two-thirds of “all the members of the House.”

If no candidate is supported by the votes of two-thirds of all the members, a further ballot is held.

If, in the second ballot no candidate gets the mandatory two-thirds support, the candidate who has received the highest number of votes will remain in the contest with the one who came second.

That will usher in a third ballot and here, the person who receives the highest number of votes will be the Speaker.

Stakes are high for both sides. The election of the Speaker presents the first unity and leadership test for ODM, which is counting on its numerical strength.

Inside ODM, the rallying call is “unity and block vote”. The party wants to capture the Speaker and Deputy Speakers seats.

The chaotic parliamentary nominations saw some known and debutants land ODM tickets. Most of them have ended up in the House. With their ideological leanings and capacity for principled politics unknown, the Tuesday vote will test whether all the ODM MPs will remain loyal to the party, power having gone to the other side.

When the party met early last week at Maasai Lodge, facilitators emphasised to MPs-elect the need to stay together, at least on the election of the Speaker.

“The party does not have the numbers as such, and it was strongly advised that MPs-elect work as a team and deliver a solid block vote. The party also agreed that it would reach out to other parties to help cement victory. ODM was told to invest heavily on the speakership,” a source at the Maasai Lodge meeting said.

While ODM is said to be taking seriously the need to capture the two seats in the House, PNU is said to be doing the same.

Sources say the Government side is trying to woo some ODM MPs into supporting outgoing Speaker Mr Francis ole Kaparo.

The old style of bribery and MPs-for-hire may resurface early as parties give their all to take the seat.

As was the case in last months General Election, there was talk of possibilities of PNU fielding candidates for the seat who may appear independent but would actually be friendly to the Government side once the seat is delivered.

Stakes are so high that there were fears the Government side planned to block “by whatever means,” some ODM MPs from being in the House on Tuesday when the Speaker would be picked.

Even with the support of friendly parties, PNU still has fewer MPs than ODM.

In a Parliament where the battle to block and even bring each other down is widely expected, the Government badly needs a conservative Speaker who will interpret rules in its favour or turn a blind eye when House rules are broken.

That is how Kibaki survived through the Ninth Parliament where he poached MPs from all parties and blurred the line between Opposition and Government.

In a multi-party Parliament that recognised at least four parties, even Kaparo was at a loss where the Government side ended and Opposition began. It is a situation he had powers to rule on and set precedent but he did not.

The Government took over all House committees, including critical ones like the Public Accounts Committee and the Public Investments Committee.

When Mr Raila Odinga asked Kaparo to rule on the composition of the House Business Committee, especially wanting to know whether Ford-People was in Government, the Speaker threw the question back to then Ford-People MP, Mr Henry Obwocha.

Obwocha said: “Ford-People is not dead. Some party members are still in the opposition, like Omingo Magara.”

Confusing scenario

Magara, the Ford-People MP Obwocha was referring to, no longer recognised the party that took him to Parliament then. He identified more with the Liberal Democratic Party. When Kaparo asked Obwocha for Ford-Peoples official position, Obwocha said it was in Opposition but supported the Government.

The legality of the composition of the Ninth Parliament was in question since 2004, when then Subukia MP, Mr Koigi wa Wamwere and his then Kibwezi counterpart, Mr Kalembe Ndile, took the Government to court over Kibakis new-look Cabinet. At the time, some Kanu and Ford-People MPs had been appointed to the Cabinet.

The two MPs argued that the President had no powers under the Constitution to appoint opposition MPs to the Cabinet.

In April 2005, Kanu chairman Mr Uhuru Kenyatta wrote to the Speaker of the National Assembly, saying the appointment of Kanu MPs to the Government was illegal.

Uhuru said the President needed the permission of the MPs parent party, Kanu, to appoint them to Government.

Uhuru cited clauses in the Constitution and the National Assembly and Presidential Elections Act to support his case.

“We need to have a means of ensuring those who abandon their parties are forced to seek fresh mandate from voters because they have abandoned the ideals of the party that brought them to Parliament,” Uhuru said.

A 1966 law decreed that a Member of Parliament who leaves his party and joins another must seek fresh mandate from voters. In the Ninth Parliament, MPs changed parties liberally.

But Kaparo took the position that an MP has not abandoned electing party until the chair is informed in writing.

A more liberal interpretation would have seen many seats declared vacant in the Ninth Parliament.

Towards the end of its mandate, the Ninth Parliament passed a law barring the president from including none members of his party into government without written permission from the party.

Gazette the law

Although the president assented to the Bill, making it a law, the government is yet to gazette the commencement date. The fear is that with his fewer MPs in the House, President Kibaki may resort to poaching to survive.

When it comes to that, the stand of the Speaker will be critical.

In a House that promises to be acrimonious, issues like when Parliament sits or adjourns will be critical. There will be calls for adjournment for the House to discuss “matters of urgent national importance.” How that goes will depend on who becomes the Speaker.

The Speaker will also be critical on Motions of Amendment, withdrawal of Motions, and introduction of Bills, among others.

The Tenth Parliament is sure to witness an attempt to introduce a vote of no confidence against the Government. When it comes to that, the orientation of the Speaker will be critical.

Away from the battle for the Speakers post, the composition of House committees will be a source of another tough contest. In the Ninth Parliament, the Government survived by packing all critical committees of the House with its loyalists.

That took away the sting from watchdog committees like the Public Accounts Committee and Public Investment Committee.

In the heydays of opposition politics, PAC and PIC were critical in unearthing the scope of official corruption.

The sting is bound to return when key leaders led by Raila, MPs-elect James Orengo, William Ruto, Najib Balala, Musalia Mudavadi, among others, take roles in these committees. PNU will want to determine who sits in the critical committees.

PAC and PIC aside, there is also the House Business Committee and the Committee on Justice and Constitutional Affairs, which was chaired by Safina leader, Mr Paul Muite.

HBC determines what Motions come to the floor while justice committee could be critical because matters to do with the Constitution are likely to feature prominently in the Tenth Parliament.

With these stakes, each side of the House is keen to determine who gets the Speakers job. For ODM, it is the first test of unity in the party. For PNU it is a test for ability to craft survival deals.

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

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The government needs a non-partisan speaker, while ODM wants one who will lean on to them

Posted by African Press International on January 14, 2008

Battle for numbers as parties pick House Speaker

Published on January 13, 2008, 12:00 am

By Dennis Onyango

The numbers game in the National Assembly gets crucial, with battle brewing over the post of Speaker, as Parliament becomes the next, but apparently not the last battlefront in the post-election power struggle.

With President Kibakis victory fiercely challenged, the battle expected in Parliament adds a new dimension to his desire to win the confidence test.

The ODM-PNU understanding on government formation having fallen flat the test on the floor will not be a mere formality.

The House is unlikely to settle for a voice vote and the parties are likely to press for a division to determine who becomes the Speaker.

Installing a Speaker of either partys choice will not be easy.

Each of the strong parties, the PNU and ODM is gearing up to use the delicate balance of numbers to push its own nominee into the chair.

ODM has said it is backing Emuhaya MP-elect, Mr Kenneth Marende, for the post and Lagdera MP-elect, Mr Farah Maalim, as his deputy.

The PNU and ODM-Kenya are jointly backing Mr Francis ole Kaparo.

To be elected Speaker, one must garner support of two-thirds of “all the members of the House.”

If no candidate is supported by the votes of two-thirds of all the members, a further ballot is held.

If, in the second ballot no candidate gets the mandatory two-thirds support, the candidate who has received the highest number of votes will remain in the contest with the one who came second.

That will usher in a third ballot and here, the person who receives the highest number of votes will be the Speaker.

Stakes are high for both sides. The election of the Speaker presents the first unity and leadership test for ODM, which is counting on its numerical strength.

Inside ODM, the rallying call is “unity and block vote”. The party wants to capture the Speaker and Deputy Speakers seats.

The chaotic parliamentary nominations saw some known and debutants land ODM tickets. Most of them have ended up in the House. With their ideological leanings and capacity for principled politics unknown, the Tuesday vote will test whether all the ODM MPs will remain loyal to the party, power having gone to the other side.

When the party met early last week at Maasai Lodge, facilitators emphasised to MPs-elect the need to stay together, at least on the election of the Speaker.

“The party does not have the numbers as such, and it was strongly advised that MPs-elect work as a team and deliver a solid block vote. The party also agreed that it would reach out to other parties to help cement victory. ODM was told to invest heavily on the speakership,” a source at the Maasai Lodge meeting said.

While ODM is said to be taking seriously the need to capture the two seats in the House, PNU is said to be doing the same.

Sources say the Government side is trying to woo some ODM MPs into supporting outgoing Speaker Mr Francis ole Kaparo.

The old style of bribery and MPs-for-hire may resurface early as parties give their all to take the seat.

As was the case in last months General Election, there was talk of possibilities of PNU fielding candidates for the seat who may appear independent but would actually be friendly to the Government side once the seat is delivered.

Stakes are so high that there were fears the Government side planned to block “by whatever means,” some ODM MPs from being in the House on Tuesday when the Speaker would be picked.

Even with the support of friendly parties, PNU still has fewer MPs than ODM.

In a Parliament where the battle to block and even bring each other down is widely expected, the Government badly needs a conservative Speaker who will interpret rules in its favour or turn a blind eye when House rules are broken.

That is how Kibaki survived through the Ninth Parliament where he poached MPs from all parties and blurred the line between Opposition and Government.

In a multi-party Parliament that recognised at least four parties, even Kaparo was at a loss where the Government side ended and Opposition began. It is a situation he had powers to rule on and set precedent but he did not.

The Government took over all House committees, including critical ones like the Public Accounts Committee and the Public Investments Committee.

When Mr Raila Odinga asked Kaparo to rule on the composition of the House Business Committee, especially wanting to know whether Ford-People was in Government, the Speaker threw the question back to then Ford-People MP, Mr Henry Obwocha.

Obwocha said: “Ford-People is not dead. Some party members are still in the opposition, like Omingo Magara.”

Confusing scenario

Magara, the Ford-People MP Obwocha was referring to, no longer recognised the party that took him to Parliament then. He identified more with the Liberal Democratic Party. When Kaparo asked Obwocha for Ford-Peoples official position, Obwocha said it was in Opposition but supported the Government.

The legality of the composition of the Ninth Parliament was in question since 2004, when then Subukia MP, Mr Koigi wa Wamwere and his then Kibwezi counterpart, Mr Kalembe Ndile, took the Government to court over Kibakis new-look Cabinet. At the time, some Kanu and Ford-People MPs had been appointed to the Cabinet.

The two MPs argued that the President had no powers under the Constitution to appoint opposition MPs to the Cabinet.

In April 2005, Kanu chairman Mr Uhuru Kenyatta wrote to the Speaker of the National Assembly, saying the appointment of Kanu MPs to the Government was illegal.

Uhuru said the President needed the permission of the MPs parent party, Kanu, to appoint them to Government.

Uhuru cited clauses in the Constitution and the National Assembly and Presidential Elections Act to support his case.

“We need to have a means of ensuring those who abandon their parties are forced to seek fresh mandate from voters because they have abandoned the ideals of the party that brought them to Parliament,” Uhuru said.

A 1966 law decreed that a Member of Parliament who leaves his party and joins another must seek fresh mandate from voters. In the Ninth Parliament, MPs changed parties liberally.

But Kaparo took the position that an MP has not abandoned electing party until the chair is informed in writing.

A more liberal interpretation would have seen many seats declared vacant in the Ninth Parliament.

Towards the end of its mandate, the Ninth Parliament passed a law barring the president from including none members of his party into government without written permission from the party.

Gazette the law

Although the president assented to the Bill, making it a law, the government is yet to gazette the commencement date. The fear is that with his fewer MPs in the House, President Kibaki may resort to poaching to survive.

When it comes to that, the stand of the Speaker will be critical.

In a House that promises to be acrimonious, issues like when Parliament sits or adjourns will be critical. There will be calls for adjournment for the House to discuss “matters of urgent national importance.” How that goes will depend on who becomes the Speaker.

The Speaker will also be critical on Motions of Amendment, withdrawal of Motions, and introduction of Bills, among others.

The Tenth Parliament is sure to witness an attempt to introduce a vote of no confidence against the Government. When it comes to that, the orientation of the Speaker will be critical.

Away from the battle for the Speakers post, the composition of House committees will be a source of another tough contest. In the Ninth Parliament, the Government survived by packing all critical committees of the House with its loyalists.

That took away the sting from watchdog committees like the Public Accounts Committee and Public Investment Committee.

In the heydays of opposition politics, PAC and PIC were critical in unearthing the scope of official corruption.

The sting is bound to return when key leaders led by Raila, MPs-elect James Orengo, William Ruto, Najib Balala, Musalia Mudavadi, among others, take roles in these committees. PNU will want to determine who sits in the critical committees.

PAC and PIC aside, there is also the House Business Committee and the Committee on Justice and Constitutional Affairs, which was chaired by Safina leader, Mr Paul Muite.

HBC determines what Motions come to the floor while justice committee could be critical because matters to do with the Constitution are likely to feature prominently in the Tenth Parliament.

With these stakes, each side of the House is keen to determine who gets the Speakers job. For ODM, it is the first test of unity in the party. For PNU it is a test for ability to craft survival deals.

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

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Power hungry leaders now show their real personality: Thinking power, not the Kenyan people’s welfare

Posted by African Press International on January 14, 2008

ODM-Kenya MPs-elect clash over ministerial positions

Published on January 13, 2008, 12:00 am

By Athman Amran

Fierce infighting has ensued within ODM-Kenya over allocation of Cabinet posts and the single nomination slot.

This is after the party formed a coalition with PNU, and its leader Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, was appointed Vice-President. A top official from the Coast has resigned from the party while some MPs-elect may opt to side with ODM in Parliament to fight the Government.

With only 16 MPs-elect, the party is fighting for five full Cabinet positions and eight other assistant ministerial positions.

Two slots have gone with Kalonzo and the chairman, Mr Samuel Poghisio.

The remaining 15 Cabinet positions already dished out by the President have gone to PNU.

ODM-Kenya MPs-elect eying Cabinet positions include Mr David Musila, Mr Mutula Kilonzo, Mr Kiema Kilonzo and Mr Gideon Ndambuki. Sources say Kiema, who has always been close to Kalonzo and is jokingly referred to as the bodyguard by party colleagues, deserves a ministerial post.

Another one who has fought for Kalonzo when he was in a dilemma and is said to deserve a ministerial post is Ndambuki.

The single nomination slot has also brought frictions, threatening to alienate the party from some regions, which feel deserving.

The slot is to go to North Eastern Province with former ambassador to Somalia, Mr Mohammed Affey, being the beneficiary, a party source said.

ODM-Kenya Coast point men, former Bahari MP Mr Joe Khamisi, former Malindi MP Mr Lucas Maitha and the regions co-ordinator and financier, Mr Abu Ahmed Taib, are some of the casualties in the nomination struggle.

Abu, sources within the party say, has resigned and opted to work with ODM. He is said to have taken with him some ODM-Kenya Muslim supporters and financiers.

Abu has been Kalonzos friend since childhood and they fondly refer to each other as “brother”.

He had also played a significant role for Kalonzo during the 2005 Liberal Democratic Party grassroots polls, pitting the new Vice-President against Mr Raila Odinga.

Another person who had expected to be nominated is Mr Daniel Maanzo. He is now out in the cold, with a only a party certificate to hold.

He is said not be happy as he was also promised a nomination.

Sources within ODM-Kenya say that Kalonzo had preferred his running mate during the General Election Dr Julia Ojiambo. Ojiambo would be the only woman MP in the party if she would be nominated.

“But this seems complicated because of the Muslim factor,” the sources told The Sunday Standard.

But some at the Coast feel that Affey would not effectively represent the Muslim factor as in North Eastern it is more a clan issue when it comes to choosing their leaders.

The nomination committee, whose ball is now in its court, was to sit again yesterday to deliberate on the issue.

Among the members of the nomination committee are Poghisio, Hussein Sasura, Kiema Kilonzo and David Muthama. Sources say the choice will be between Affey and Abu.

Sources claim that the team had been favouring Affey.

There has also been disquiet within the party, following a meeting between PNU members and Kalonzo at Windsor Hotel, Nairobi, recently, where the coalition deal was struck.

“Kalonzo went alone. Not a single ODM-Kenya MP attended the meeting,” a party source told The Sunday Standard.

Kalonzos “lone-ranger” move to strike a deal with President Kibaki has also angered other smaller parties, whose MPs claimed recently they would rather work with ODM.

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

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Kenyans fleeing to Tanzania worry of families left behind

Posted by African Press International on January 14, 2008

Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) Kenyans seeking refuge in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania on Saturday expressed worries over the political turmoil following days of unrest in their country that claimed more than 500 lives, massive destruction of property and displacement of thousands of people, APA has learnt.

The fleeing Kenyans, who were seeking asylum in the northern Tanzania town of Moshi on Saturday, narrated the ordeal they had been through since they left their country.

They told APA that they were worried about their children missing school, and spoke of difficult moments back home after losing almost everything.

The new term has begun. Our children are here with us. We dont know what will happen to their academic life if measures to reconcile the two political leaders are not taken soon, explained Anna Sangoya, a resident of Kibera, the largest slum at the edge of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

She prayed for success in the mediation process led by African Union chairman, Ghanaian President John Kufuor to assist after bloody clashes between supporters of President Mwai Kibaki and those of Raila Odinga, the opposition leader.

Kiwese Nyanga, a middle aged father of five, spoke as tears trickled down his cheeks to recall the day he escaped without knowing what actually happened to his wife and children who he said also ran away for safety.

It still pains me when I imagine whether members of my family are still alive or not. We left everything behind, our livestock, our houses and other property.

I am not quite sure if we will find anything left when we return. War is terrible. The value of peace can best be measured at times of war, Nyang`a explained.

Samsoni Onyango Gitu, another Kenyan refugee appealed to the rival party leaders to give priority to issues of national interest and resolve their differences amicably.

He said even families and neighbours back home experienced untold suffering, ranging from food shortage, hiked fuel and market prices, homelessness and the like.

Unrest and violence engulfed the otherwise peaceful East African nation as soon as President Kibaki was declared winner of the general election held on December 27, but which the opposition claim were rigged.

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

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Bertie Ahern of Ireland to assess impact of Aid to Tanzania

Posted by African Press International on January 14, 2008

Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) The Prime Minister of Ireland, Bertie Ahern, will visit Tanzania on Tuesday to meet the people and see the range of impact of Ireland`s aid programme in the country.

A statement from the Irish embassy here on Saturday said that Ireland`s economy is often referred to as the `Celtic tiger` because of its apparently rapid transformation into a prosperous one, adding that the transformation did not happen overnight but resulted from several decades of hard work and difficult choices.

The statement quoted an article by a renowned Irish academic, Frank Barry, who said a key element in Ireland`s economic miracle was the building of robust public institutions and strong partnerships.

Professor Barry who recently attended an African Economic esearch Consortium workshop in Dar es Salaam, is the chair of International Business and Economic Development at Trinity College, Dublin.

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

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Hide and seek on Uganda/LRA peace talks

Posted by African Press International on January 14, 2008

Kampala (Uganda) The government of Uganda has denied allegation by Lords Resistance Army(LRA) leader Joseph Kony that President Museveni is pressuring the LRA to sign a peace agreement by setting deadlines before the LRA finishes their consultations.

This follows revelations by Gulu district Chairman, Norbert Mao this week, that Kony telephoned him recently complaining over governments deadline of January 31st for the LRA to have signed a peace deal or government will resort to military means to defeat the LRA.

But Okello Oryem, the Minister of State for foreign Affairs who is also a key member of the government peace team said today it is the LRA who are dragging their feet towards reaching a peace settlement.

He accuses the LRA of coming up with excuses every now and then to postpone the peace talks that have already lasted more than 14months.

Oryem added that government is fully committed to the peace process and has agreed to give Kony and all LRA total amnesty if they agree to a peace deal. He told journalists in Kampala that government has promised to ensure Kony and the top LRA leaders indicted by the International Criminal Court will not face any charges.

The minister said this had been understood as the main concern of the LRA, but even after the government assurance, the LRA are yet to show positive signs to agree on a peace deal.

These counter accusations are putting the peace talks supposed to resume on 15th January 2008 in balance.

But the LRA says it was still holding consultations, but government has grown more suspicious of the LRA leadership following reports that Kony had ordered the killing of his pro peace talks deputy, Vincent Otti.

It is still unclear what the next step will be for the peace talks that were expected to bring peace to northern Uganda after more than 20year of war that killed and maimed many people, and displaced over 1.6million into camps.

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Two alleged Mauritanian assassins to be extradited

Posted by African Press International on January 14, 2008

Bissau (Guinea-Bissau) The two alleged assassins of the four French tourists in Mauritania could be extradited to their country (Mauritania) in coming hours, APA learned Saturday from police source in Bissau.

“A plane chartered by the Mauritanian government has arrived in Bissau to repatriate them towards their country. They should thus be immediately handed over to the Mauritanian authorities,” the source said.

But according to Bissau-Guinean Constitutionalist, Carlos Omai, “there are no extradition agreements between Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania or even with France.”

“There are no extradition agreements. If Mauritania was still a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) one could have evoked the agreements which bind the members of this community to extradite the two suspects,” he explained.

But he said the two countries can however evoke terrorist threat or transnational crime to settle this issue.

This he continued, could then facilitate the extradition to either Mauritania or France which allegedly has demanded the extradition of the suspects to Paris for their trial there.

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Raila Odinga’s assasination will throw Kenya into the worst crisis ever!

Posted by African Press International on January 14, 2008

raila6.jpg<Thinking power? Raila Odinga and Mungiki group. mungiki-group.jpgIs this

“Mungiki”that Raila Odinga accuses of being a terrorist groupresponsible for killings in Kenya after the recent elections?

Raila Odinga stated that the government of Mr Kibaki armed members of of Mungiki sect and despatched them to estates with orders to kill ODM supporters.

Mungiki was recently accused by Raila Odinga of being a terrorist group that was involved in the,killings that has put Kenya in crisis with many lives lost threw tribal hatred.

martha-karua.jpgThe government, however, through Justice minister Martha Karua (right photo) on hardtalk BBC program, however,lashed out accusing Raila of rumour mongering saying the government is not assossiated with any terrorist group. She pointed out “if Mungiki was sent by Kibaki’s government, how come those killed are Kibaki’s supporters and not Raila’s ODM people. One does not send people to kill his or her own supporters.” The minister has a point here. Many PNU supporters of Kibaki are the one who died and mostly those from the Kikuyu community.

There must be a reason why Raila is talking about Mungiki and calling,it a terrorist organization. It is a fact that if a group is characterised as such, western powers and USA in particular will give support to whoever is pointing a finger at a group in the name of fighting terrorism.

Kenyan leaders are not new when it comes to dirty politics and the politics that kill. Dr Robert Ouko, a brilliant politician was murdered. JM Kariuki, one of Kenya’s loved sons,was not even murdered, we can say, he was butchered.There are other political deaths that has occurred in the country, including that of Tom Mboya, Argwings Kodhek, Ronald Ngala, the list is long …..

If these people had not come forward with desire to rule, may be they would still be around in this century.

Kenya is not far from a new assassination and this time, we fear will affect the Luo community targetting Odinga family, and the Kalenjin community targetting Ruto family, if nothing is done very soon to ensuretight security around Raila Odinga and William Ruto.

Information reaching API/APN from our source is that Mungiki is angered in the way things are going and in particular the accussation categorising them as a terrorist organization by the ODM leadership.According to reports reaching API/APN,Mungikiis angered and may have decided to initiate ahit on the frontliners in ODM leadership. The known frontliners in ODM are Raila and Ruto. The others in ODM Pentagon are not outspoken as the two, (R&R) Raila&Ruto!

Mungiki accuses Raila of using Ruto to get t.he Kalenjins to target the Kikuyus in the recent killings. The group is said to be very angry especially due to the Eldoret church murders, saying the killings would not have taken place if Raila had not managed to influence Ruto and his supporters,by promising Ruto to be appointed Prime Minister. In turn, Ruto promised his Eldoret supporters that he would appoint them into top positions when he took over as Primi Minister. These promises fuelled the killings and the people to blame, the reports say are the two leaders. When Kibaki was announced the winner of the presidency, Ruto’s supporters saw a situation that robbed them from getting jobs and instead of accepting the reality, started slaughtering the innocent Kikuyu people in the name of ODM leadership.

It is right to accuse a group but evidence must be produced. Mungiki has been accused of being a terrorist organization but their accusers have not come out with congrete evidence to confirm the validity of the accusations.

Governing the country:

President Mwai Kibaki is now consolidating power. Talks reported to be under way marshalled by AU through their appointees such as Kofi Annan the former UN boss, will not change the course of things that has started.

When Rwandese killed one another, a situation Kenyans may end up falling into if nothing is done, Annan was having a very senior position in the UN as Under secretary in charge of operations. He, however, did nothing in that position but let genocide thrive in that country. Why bring him now to Kenya to mediate when he has no position internationally. In the UN he could marshall troops and send to Rwanda and yet he kept quiet and allowed murder to continue.

president-kibaki-in-state-house.jpgKibaki says I am your president now and this is my new cabinet… Kazi ieendelee (let the work continue) with no questions asked!

Kibaki has a strong cabinet and has now shared power with ODM-Kenya of Kalonzo leaving Raila’s and Ruto’s ODM in the cold.

Even if Raila and Ruto accepted now to be included in government, they will no get the vice presidency. They will have to accept lower insignificant positions.

If they want to safe face, they better cling to the opposition and be strong in parliament. Otherwise they will be seen to be power hungry leaders if they choose to take the less powerful ministeries.

vice-president-kalonzo.jpgThis is the man who has gained and may easily be Kenya’s new president in the next elections. Kalonzo Musyoka, former Foreign Affairs Minister anda presidential contender in the recent elections, who came third after Raila, is the one who has come out successfully from the whole mess – the violence and who gets to the top. He is seen to be the one that has saved the country and Kibaki by choosing to enter into coalition immediately for the sake of stopping the violence.

Now the smaller parties have also joined the coalition with Kibaki’s PNU in Parliament and will have a larger number than Raila’s and Ruto’s ODM. It will be interesting to watch the alliances in parliament from now and on.

Published by Korir, African Press International (API)/ African Press in Norway (APN) africanpress@chello.no

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Posted by African Press International on January 14, 2008

As Bishops from Western, Nyanza and Rift-Valley Provinces, we first must hail Kenyans for turning up in large numbers to cast their votes in the just Concluded December 27, polls to vote for a candidate they wanted.
In relation to the on-going political events in the country after the just concluded General elections, we as religious leaders from the three Provinces must register our deep concern at the suffering of Innocent Kenyans some of whom have been killed as they seek justice over the Presidential results.
Not only Kenyans, but even the outside world know very well that there were serious flaws with the Presidential results announced by the ECK through its chairman Samuel Kivuitu and it is important that the issue be amicably solved fast for harmony to exist in the country as before.
It is unquestionable that ODM Presidential candidate Hon. Eng. Raila Odinga won the elections with a landslide margin and we are wondering why some people who even claim to be peace loving Kenyans are forcing the country into a political stalemate and suffering by not accepting this open defeat by the ODM team.
It is on that note therefore that we maintain that Let justice be given to Kenyans first over the elections results and then peace will just be realized in the country as Kenyans have co-existed peacefully with one another for years.
When there is a problem, it must be solved rather than avoiding it as that would result into worse situations. Kenya has a big problem over the shameless rigging of the Presidential results which have caused major public un-rests in six out of the countrys eight provinces.
It is therefore crucial that this problem be urgently and seriously solved for peace to be restored in the country. Everybody want peace to be in the country and it is important to note that the hallmark of peace is the existence of Justice so let Kenyans have the justice of being ruled by a President they voted for and won the elections.
It is an open secret that the election was rigged to favour one candidate and this is known to Kenyans, both national and International Media, local and international observers including the European Union, North America and other Diplomats and everyone who was monitoring the electioneering process in Kenya.
Furthermore even the ECK through its Chair Samuel Kivuitu and five other Commissioners have owned up to this open fact that the tallying process of the Presidential votes in a number of constituencies were fragrantly flawed.
What-else would one expect Kenyans to do? Just sit and accept the flawed results at the expense of Justice? Lets face reality as we call for peace in the country and the fact and reality is handing over Justice to Kenyans as in our national anthem thus ..Justice be our shield and defender. This will enable the country to dwell in peace and unity.
As Members of the three Provinces Alliance of Bishops, we therefore hold Kivuitu responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent people across the country while demanding for their inalienable democratic birth rights. It is common knowledge that Hon Raila Odinga emerged victorious in the Presidential polls.
It is amazing, infact hurting, that some church leaders have come out in support of the verdict of the flawed poll results while knowing well that the elections were rigged. We remind them to read the Bible Romans 1:32 before rushing for selfish gains.
The Holy Book reads, Who knowing the Judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. The question isWhy should a religious leader support what he/she knows is bad?
It is also NOT logical for Kibaki to be perceived as the winner in the elections with a lead in only two provinces. If someones cow strays into your yard that does not mean the cow belongs to you because the legitimate owner has a right to claim it.
We should also bear in mind what the Bible says in Proverbs 6: 30 31 that Yet when the thief is found, he must restore seven fold
We are also disturbed by the numerous presence of policemen and other armed service officers in public places and we therefore wonder if Kenya is in emergency state to warrant that situation. This heavy presence of armed police officers in our streets and other areas should stop.
Kenyans will not allow themselves to be returned to the early dark days when Police was used to deny them a right to hear from their leaders. It is on that note that we demand that MPs and other leaders be allowed to address political rallies and meetings to ease political tension in the country.
There are several questions that ECK need to answer as there are various pointers that the results were flawed. Even the hurried manner in which Kibaki was sworn in leaves no doubt to that fact. Whether Kivuitu was coaxed into declaring the looser the winner should be addressed.
As the mediation continues, we as Church leaders demand that an Interim government be in place before a Presidential re-run elections are held after three months to enable Kenyans have a President of their choice.
Kenyans were eagerly waiting to hear the outcome of the separate mediation talks between Ghanian President who is also the AU Chairman John Kufuor and PNU and ODM teams. It is unfortunate that Kufuor jetted out of the country without letting Kenyans know of what became of the talks.
As former UN Secretary-General Koffi Annan comes in to join other mediation efforts, we ask that the country gets a direction of the stalemate from the mediations because Kenyans want to know of the fate of the elections and their President.
Kenyans cannot rest until justice is done as you cannot rob John in order to pay Peter. Let all Churches in Kenya pray for the country as God has confirmed that Hon Raila Odinga won the Dec. 27, 2007 General elections.
May God bless our beloved country Kenya,
Signed on Jan 11, 2008 by Bishops;
  1. Bishop Dr. Washington Ogonyo Ngede Power of Jesus Around the World Church Int.
  2. Rev. Patrick Muganda Friends Church International.
  3. Arch Bishop Silas Owiti Voice of Salvation and Healing Church Int.
  4. Bishop Peter Chemaswet Baptist Church
  5. Bishop Zephaniah Ouma Orao New Wine Emmanuel Shalom Church.
  6. Bishop Julius Otieno Oloo Living Water Church Int.
  7. Bishop Shem Arap Abudi
  8. Rev. Eliud Nyakundi Pentecostal Assemblies of God.
  9. Bishop Japhet Omucheyi Overcoming Faith Church Int.
  10. Bishop Lawrence Omambia Community of Christ Church Int.
  11. Rev. Charles Koruko Maximum Miracle Church.
  12. Rev. Alphonce Makani Field Evangelism Church.
  13. Pastor Paul Bwabi Church of God.
  14. Bishop Shem Shamala A.C.H Church.

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Mozambican floods cause more economic damage than loss of lives, relief official says

Posted by African Press International on January 14, 2008

Maputo (Mozambique) Flood waters sweeping through Mozambiques central regions will cause more damage to the economic infrastructures than loss of lives as the Zambezi river rapidly swells up, a top relief official saidon Saturday

.

The director of the National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC), Paulo Zucula told APA that Mozambique was more prepared to save lives than the infrastructure such as roads, bridges, schools and houses.

“We are having more waters now invading vast agricultural lands than in 2007, but we will not be able to protect the infrastructure as top priority is being given to saving human lives for which we are more prepared now than before”, Zucula said in an interview.

Many schools, tourism facilities, homes, electricity pylons and key roads are being devastated as the fury of the water along the Zambezi valley are wreaking havoc in the districts of Tete, Mutarara, Buzi, Maxanga and Nova Mambone in central Mozambique.

“We have lost a number of roads and bridges southwards of the Zambezi River, while many schools are being swept away by the flood waters which have now devastated larger portions of lands than the 2007 floods. Damage is very high and cannot be calculated as of now, but its a huge loss,” he said.

Zucula predicted that the situation will worsen in the next two days and the authorities are being forced re-evacuate victims from resettlement areas which were believed to be safe but which are now at risk, given the heavy downpours in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

“From yesterday (Friday), we have re-evacuated 18,000 people in the Jardiom and Cachaco resettlement areas in Mutarara district.

“We engaged two large boats, one of which can carry 60 people, and the other 30, to ferry people from Jardiom and Cachaco to safer areas near the district capital, Nhamayabue,” Zucula said.

So far, six people have died in Mozambique, which has improved its disaster management in recent years following the 2000/2001 worst flooding which left more than 700 people dead and extensive damage to the countrys economic infrastructure, amounting to more than US$500 million.

INGC estimate that a potential 60,000 people could be at risk from the rising waters.

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

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Tanzania faces hotel room shortage amid tourism boom

Posted by African Press International on January 14, 2008

Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) Despite having immense potential due to its unique natural attractions, Tanzania tourism industry is faced with acute shortage of hotel rooms for visitors to the country, a development which is hindering the expansion of the industry, APA has learnt.

Talking to journalists during the ongoing ministerial media briefings this week, Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Jumanne Maghembe said solving the problem by building new hotels and upgrading the existing ones was one of the challenges facing his ministry.

Maghembe said his ministry had charted out various strategies to improve the situation which include helping local hotel owners to secure loans from financial institutions for upgrading their hotels.

We are going to do that in collaboration with the government of France. In Serengeti National Park, for example, we want to increase the number of hotel rooms from the current 940 to 4500, he said.

The minister said environmental protection would be taken care of in the course of expanding and building of new hotels in the national parks.

He also said that the government would construct a road from Mugumu to Tabora B up to Cranes. The move, he said, would reduce the distance of the road within the Serengeti National Park from the present 210 km to only 40 km, hence minimise disturbances to wildlife.

He added that the government was also planning to construct another airport to serve the park, which would be 16 km away from the park.

Maghembe also told the journalists that a delegation from the World Trade University Global Secretariat was expected in the country to discuss the process of establishing the first World Tourism University for Africa.

We have begun searching for an area to build the university. The delegation will arrive here on 22 January to see the progress on the project, he said.

The historic agreement to establish the first World Tourism University for Africa in Tanzania by the Canada-based University was signed in October 2007.

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

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The Kenyan recent elections: Fulfilling the African dream?

Posted by African Press International on January 14, 2008

Pambazuka news by Wangui wa Goro – January 11, 2008.

The Kenyan elections on Thursday December 27th 2007, after polling stations were closed, were supposed to fulfill an African dream, to have a free and fair closely contested democratic election. The outcome has shown the fragility of the postcolonial and post-dictator state of Kenya and much of Africa.

After the carnage which has left over 500 people dead, over a quater of a million people displaced and many others fleeing from the region in fear of reprisals and for their lives, the dream had become a horrible nightmare, manifesting itself through murder, spontaneous rioting, organized thuggery, politically motivated and ethicized targeted attacks.

That was the week that was gripping the democratic world with shock and utter dismay and waking the world to the reality that the haven of peace, the African show case of democracy and the darling of the West was crumbling and revealing an unpleasant underbelly which has been camouflaged for far too long. It revealed the real Kenyan who is the casualty of party political posturing, a weak state, a world which has preferred not to see the decay of many years and the rot which has set in since colonial times to the present. The vulnerable, dispossessed, the economically and socially marginalised; and things may get worse before they get better. Kenya is a test case of what is happening all over Africa and the post-colonial world: The crumbling of a colonial and postcolonial order. It is not just an electoral moment, but the foundation of democracy, not just in Kenya but beyond. The question, after the storm, however is how Kenya and indeed Africa is going to move forward beyond the impasse created by a state and electoral system which has essentially collapsed and dictators who want to hang on to power to their very last at the expense of lives and the people.

We must look to the Kenyan people for an answer, as it is they who have to face the next morning, their children, their families, and not policies hatched out far away by well meaning, interested and benevolent friends, kith and kin, from which ever guise they may come. Here-in lies the answer to the question of the secret or not so secret passage out of the mess, and a huge mess it is.
Although from where we stand it does not look like it, the time for Kenyans and Africans has come. The overreliance on state, on the goodwill of parties or individual politicians, on paternalistic/maternalistic international benevolence has shown up the weaknesses in a nation which does not listen to its own people and which does not function within universally accepted democratic principles (please let me not hear the word relativism again!)

An emerging strong civil society is finally flexing its muscle on behalf of the Kenyan people and reminding the contending and other interested parties that the crisis goes beyond the electoral and constitutional issues to the very core of the identity of Kenya and Kenyans. In addition to adding a very clear political voice into the debate, the civil society and pro-people organisations have also rolled up their sleeves and stepped into action to alleviate the humanitarian suffering of their fellow citizens and have been acting as their own advocate both at home and abroad, thus performing the role of the state and its conscience in many instances.

In many ways, Kenyans have been pushing towards a Kenyan voice to be heard long before and after independence, only to be drowned and ignored by those holding state power and others whose interests seem to supersede those of the majority of Kenyans. This is through failed promises such as those of institutionalizing the constitution and holding of free and fair elections since Kenya became an independent state and worse, when it became a one party state. The history of Kenya is littered with the undermining of the constitution, banning opposition, repressing individuals, fraudulent elections and bypassing of the instruments of democracy by party, class and individual interests which have so far been the order of the day. No longer. As well as a very vocal opposition and in true Kenyan tradition, the Kenyans are not having it. Through the opposition party, civil society and Kenyans of conscience across all class, ethnic and social spectrum all over the world, a powerful message is emerging and the world needs to listen. The civil society and pro-people organisations in particular, speaking on behalf of the Kenyan people have issued a powerful statement which rejects the highjacking of people’s democracy by refusing to recognize what they consider a “palace coup” which is what lies at the heart of the current disquiet despite its varied manifestations. However, they are not seeking piecemeal solutions and have quickly grasped the fact that solving the current crisis will require more than a temporary fix; a whole reconstruction. They recognize that Kenya needs to move on beyond the current crisis towards a longer term solution which calls for reconstructing a new democratic foundation. They feel that this is a national crisis and not just a party political issue which in any case, the country cannot leave to the interested parties to resolve on their own.

It is a courageous call on behalf of the Kenyan people that the civil society has called for a rejection of the regime as it is currently constituted and called for a process where electoral and human rights justice are pursued through all the means available. They have gone further and asked the international community not to recognize the regime. They are have also called for an interim government of national unity to oversee a transitional justice process which would go beyond the electoral crisis and one which would begin to look at the underlying issues which led to the current crisis including weaknesses in the system such as the constitutional and electoral arrangements. They are also calling for a national people’s convention which would be part of building the road map out of the crisis and also leading to fresh elections. Such a legally constituted and recognized body as an interim government of national unity would be empowered to oversee such a transitional arrangement. Justice seems to lie at the heart of such a demand.

The international community has also moved swiftly by rallying to the Kenyan people’s call and particularly the intervention of imminent people such as Desmond Tutu and President John Kuffour of Ghana, also the current head of the African Union. This demonstrates that there is hope in democracy through solidarity. The hope for a Pan-Africa solution seems highly prized and many in the world are watching with bated breath and hope that Kenya, for Pan African’s sake can heed the wider call of the continent and its peoples. The world intellectuals, activist, ordinary people from all walks of life and media too, (despite initial negative reporting by the Western media in particular) has played a crucial role in engaging the Kenyan process with keen interest and itself is a promise of global democracy and solidarity out of which much of the democratizing process can be learned for all humanity.

The world wills it, only those without eyes will not see, those without ears will not hear and history will judge them individually and collectively, very harshly, in the public global glare of the media in the here and now and in the future.

* Dr. Wangui wa Goro: Kenyan human rights activist, writer, translator, academic and public intellectual. Currently Associate Fellow at the Institute of Human Rights and Social Justice; London Metropolitan University.

 

Lifted and published by Korir, API/APN africanpress@chello.no source.AfrikaNewsletter/pambazuka news

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Memo has stirred a major diplomatic controversy between Kenya and World Bank

Posted by African Press International on January 14, 2008

By Albert Muruiki – January 11, 2008.

A World Bank internal memorandum endorsing the controversial re-election of President Kibaki has stirred a major diplomatic controversy over the polls outcome.

The memo has also put Mr Colin Bruce, World Banks Kenya country director, on a collision path with the Orange Democratic Movement, whose presidential candidate Raila Odinga is contesting Mr Kibakis re-election and has opened internationally mediated talks, demanding his removal from office. The talks, led by Ghanas President John Kufuor, were yesterday wavering with Reuters news agency claiming that former UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan would take over as the mediator.

The international communitys attention was, however, focused on the leaked memo and the subsequent exchanges within the World Bank, the European Union and the UK. It reveals the behind-the-scene battles that ensued as the international community struggled to deal with the poll outcome and the political fallout that has claimed nearly 500 lives and destroyed Sh60 billion worth of property. Analysts said the memo also unravelled the various diplomatic interests that are shaping debates on Kenya in Western capitals mostly driven by foreign policies of the participating governments. The battles will also help shed light on the underlying positions that the various international organisations have taken and the great powers that support them. This could influence the outcome of the political settlement reached by the mediation process.

Email correspondence between senior World Bank officials in Washington and Nairobi show that two leading international bodies, the UN and the World Bank which offer the most development aid to Kenya consider the re-election of President Kibaki to have been proper. The UNDP office in Kenya however denied having agreed with the World Bank on anything in relation to the Kenyan elections. The UNDP office in Kenya told the Business Daily that the World Bank had misquoted them. While the US has dispatched Jendayi Frazer, its Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and asked her to stay in the region as long as it takes the Kenyan problem now appears to be tied to the future of the war on terror.

Endorsement by the World Bank was also being understood to explain President Kibakis confidence in announcing the date of the opening of the 10th Parliament and his naming of a Cabinet, even as President Kufuor, the preferred mediator of both President Kibaki and Mr Odinga, tried to arbitrate. On January 7, a statement from White House condemned the use of violence as a political tool and appealed to both sides to engage in peaceful dialogue. A day later Mr Odinga called off the protest rallies he had planned for the next day as Mr Kibaki went on to name a Cabinet and announce the opening of Parliament. The endorsement could of course have contributed to the confidence the president had in announcing a date for the opening of Parliament and naming the Cabinet, said Dr Kithure Kindiki, the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Law, at the University of Nairobi.

In a clear departure from the stand taken by international observers, and in particular the European Union the Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM) in Kenya, the World Bank memo indicates that Mr Bruce, who is in charge of Kenya, Comoros, Eritrea, Rwanda, Seychelles and Somalia, together with the UN, had initially broken ranks with the EU-EOM about the results of the presidential elections. The considered view of the UN is that the ECK announcement of a Kibaki win is correct, reads the internal memo between Mr Bruce and Hartwig Schafer, the Director of Operations Africa Region based in Washington DC. Mr Graham Elson, the Deputy Chief Observer of the EU-EOM, however told the Business Daily, that the EU-EOM still stands by the contents of the preliminary statement they issued. We will release a full statement in February which will give more details, he said.

The email, obtained by the Business Daily on Monday concludes that upon receiving complaints from the opposition about irregularities, the ECK spent 24 hours, in the presence of observers, reviewing each concern.
On balance, they determined that there were more irregularities of consequence on Mr Odingas side than on the Kibaki side. For example, ECK considered reported turnout above 90 per cent to be a red-flag for irregularities. Data available so far indicates that the highest reported turnout in a Kibaki stronghold was 90 percent; in Mr Odingas strongholds, there were six heavily populated areas with a reported turnout of between 102 to 116 per cent, reads the email, which however does not name the six areas. The memo states that the draft EU-EOM report cites two constituencies (Kieni and Molo) in which Kibakis margin was inflated, but does not say whether that invalidates the overall results. The reader is left to determine that the inflation could not have been higher than 48,000 votes against the ECK declared margin of victory of 230, 000, reads the email.

Contacted by the Business Daily, Mr Bruce, through a spokesman, confirmed the authenticity of the correspondence. Mr Schafer, the senior World Bank official to whom Mr Bruce wrote the memos, did not respond to emails sent to him, neither did he return calls. Mr Bruce said the memo was a factual account of information available at the time to the World Bank from various sources. It is part of the normal reporting on Kenya that takes place between Nairobi and headquarters. It is not a position statement, he said. In public, the World Bank, through press releases is however more cautious on how it deals with the political situation in Kenya, though, unlike the EU-EOM, it does not out rightly deny Mr Kibakis re-election. Instead, the Bank raises concerns about the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate and warns that the current crisis may hinder recent economic growth. A press release from the World Bank in Kenya, states that the GDP growth rate of seven per cent, rising business confidence, increasing tourism, measurable progress in firm level productivity, significant gains in democratic development, and the lifting of over two million Kenyans out of poverty would be put at risk if the crisis is not urgently dealt with.

 

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

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