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Archive for January 28th, 2008

Anxiety as police visit Raila – Do Kenyans want Ida as first lady?

Posted by African Press International on January 28, 2008

Story by SAMWEL KUMBA and PATRICK NZIOKA

There was anxiety at ODM leader Raila Odingas Karen home after people said to be police officers went there inquiring about his whereabouts.

Ms Ida Odinga

The alleged police officers are said to have gone to the home on Saturday night and againon Sundaymorning asking to see either Mr Odinga or his wife Ida.

But the Odingas, who were present on both occasions, refused to see the officers who talked to the guards and left.

Langata OCPD Patrick Mangoli deniedsending his men to Mr Odingas home.

However, he said he had received a report that court servers had gone to Mr Odingas home to serve him with election petition papers filed by his challenger for the Langata seat, Mr Stanley Livondo.

Police on routine duties in the area, he said, patrol the Karen area including the court where Mr Odingas home is.

The claims that police officers went to Mr Odingas home looking for him are not true. The report I have is that people from the courts went there to serve him with an election petition. It is important also to know that we conduct patrols in the area all the time, Mr Mangoli said by telephone.

The guard at the main entrance to the court that is approximately two kilometres from Mr Odingas house said he had allowed police officers Sunday morning to enter the court.

The guard, who did not give his name, said police regularly enter the court as they patrol the area.

In the first incident, guards at the home said a Karen-based police Land Cruiser arrived at Odingas home shortly after 7 oclock accompanied by two saloon cars with private registration numbers and asked them if Mr Odinga was in.

The group came back a few minutes later inquiring whether Mr Odinga, his wife or any family member had returned.

They made the same inquiry hardly 20 minutes later. It was now heading to 8 oclock. We gave them the same answers, said the guard.

Down-played issue

Speaking to the Nation that night at his home, Mr Odinga down-played the issue, saying he suspects mischief from the Government who could file a petition through the PNU opponent in his Langata constituency, Mr Livondo.

I would not be surprised because I dont think this Government is serious. I was surprised the other day (Thursday) when I was going to meet Kofi Annan to find him (Livondo) in the VIP lift at Harambee House. To me, that is a joke, said Mr Odinga.

If they want to serve me, I am not afraid of that. The whole of today I was in my office. The procedure is that you serve somebody in his office. And if that person refuses, the law is clear the summons can be published and the person would have been served. But it cannot be brought to my house at night, he said.

Sunday morning when the Nation visited his home, Mr Odinga said he had been told that some people had come to his house on Saturday night to serve him with an election petition from Mr Livondo.

Another group, which he claimed included 10 police officers and whose mission was not clear came to the house at 7.30 Sunday morning. He repeated claims that the Government and Mr Livondo might be involved in a conspiracy to trivialise the current crisis.

His wife Ida said those keen on servingMr Odinga with an election petition should do so in his office and not her private home, saying they were instilling fear in the family. She had notlaunched a formal complaint with the police, she said.

Lifted and published by Korir, API africanpress@getmailno source.nation.ke

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Why Kalenjins are killing Kikuyus

Posted by African Press International on January 28, 2008

Posted by Karuga wa Njuguna

He talks of kikuyus,but what about the Luhya and Kisii communities they are killing?


I greet you all in the name of Koitalel arap Samoei, our great orkoiyot and Nandi warrior who was assassinated 100 years ago by the British colonialists.There is no other time in our history that our unity is more important than today. There is no other time that the existence and livelihood of the Kalenjin people has been threatened, from the time of the colonialists, through the Kenyatta government to Moi’s misrule than is today in the Kibaki administration. The spirit of our great warrior and leader has to be rekindled and passed to all our brothers and sisters across the Kalenjin land. We have to rise and defend our rights just like Koitalel led the resistance 100 years ago in resisting the British invasion. Let me elaborate how the Kibaki administration and the house of Mumbi has systematically marginalized the Kalenjin Community.

 

  • 1. Land:

The Kenyatta and Moi administration settled Kikuyu emigrants (occupiers) in the Rift Valley, our land. Our forefathers shed tears and blood for the purpose of preserving this heritage for their future off-springs (Kamatusa). The colonialists came and occupied our land after we fought them for a period of 7 years (The longest African resistance to a white man’s rule). At independence, the dominant Kikuyu crafted a law in the constitution specifically for the benefit of their own people. That “Every Kenyan is free to own property in any part of the country”.

With this legal error in our history, their was an exodus of Kikuyus from CentralProvince to Rift Valley. The Kenyatta government gave them free “loans” to acquire huge chunks of our land without taking into account the interests of the original owners. This land was supposed to revert to the rightful ancestral owners (Kamatusa) at the time of independence. This did not happen. This marked the genesis of second occupiers to our land.Moi was an accomplice in this injustice. He kept silent in the 60s and 70s as our people were robbed of what is rightfully theirs.

He mortgaged our heritage for the sake of a seat that did not benefit us in any way. He perfected this game in 24 years that he has been in power. On ascending to the presidency, more land was still curved for many Kikuyus in R. Valley.The little crumbs that the Kalenjins were given by Moi in Mau, Likia, Mt.Elgon were taken back when Kibaki came to power. Kimunya called our title deeds pieces (faeces) of paper. This is very painful indeed and this has stuck in our hearts and nothing can erase it for generations to come. Nothing can remove this unfortunate stain.

We welcomed the occupiers in Rift Valley, we lost so many forests during their reign; they allocated themselves so much productive land at the expense of our brothers and sisters; they insult us by calling us Lumbwa (dogs); they have killed our people; they evicted our people in Mau, Likia and other areas. Brethren, arise; this has to come to an end. Kotalel arap Samoei has been re-borned and we have to claim back what rightfully belongs to us; whether by force or by diplomacy. It has come to an eye for an eye, a A fist for a fist, a leg for a leg.

 

  • 2. Education:

At independence, the Kalenjins were systematically marginalized in terms of education. All the resources were channeled to Central province. They claim that we are only good in taking care of cows and goats. That is why they told Moi to go take care of goats as they show us how a country is run; and the idiot still went ahead to support them in last year’s flawed elections. No tangible effort was done to build schools in R. Valley. 90% of School bursaries were reserved to Mt. Kenya region; and still happens till today.

Many colleges and universities were constructed in Central and Nairobi region. Many Kikuyus were sent abroad for further learning. Some of the best national schools located in Central province were given adequate facilities while those of hostile regions like R. Valley were ignored. The best teachers were posted to schools in Mt.Kenya region. This continued consistently until Moi took over. Mr. Moi, having been a failure in school hated dealing with educated Kalenjins. He preferred to transact business with ex-prison warders and cattle auctioneers like Barngetuny.

Our education continued to suffer during Moi’s time because of poor policies.This trend has been revived by the Kibaki administration. The secret is to ensure that we have so many school dropouts which will give rise to insecurity in our areas and investors shying away from such areas. Scrutinize government expenditure on education and bursaries, you will know where lots of money is heading to. This discrepancy has resulted in Mt. Kenya dominating everybody in this country in terms of education.

Have you asked yourselves why we have very few professors, doctors, lecturers, dentists, teachers, etc? Apart from Kiptoon, most of the other kalenjin professors are political professors.This has to stop. The only people who can stop the kikuyu dominance in this country are the kalenjins. We cannot allow ourselves to be trampled upon like other tribes. We must stand up and play the leadership role in liberating our country from the jaws of the kikuyus.

  • 3. Employment:

Do you need any explanations on this? Name all the parastatals and name the senior employees in those organizations. The names revolve around Mt.Kenya region. How many Kalenjins has the Kibaki government sacked? un-countable. How many has it refused to employ, including Dr. Rotich in KACA? Un-countable. If we are all equal in this country why is it that it is only people from one region that get recruited in this country? Are we lesser kenyans?

We cannot allow ourselves to be subjugated in this manner. We belong here and the earlier these kikuyus realize we are serious in our quest by all means, the better. This five years will see them bringing in chiefs and sub-chiefs from the mount Kenya region to lord on us at our village levels; the only remaining government jobs that they have not filled with Mt.Kenya characters. Devolution was to take resources to our regions rather than centralize it in Nairobi . This would have helped our regions to develop and get our brothers and sisters get employed. What did they do?

They told their people that majimbo means you relocate to your ancestral home. This was never in our ODM’s campaign agenda. We wanted to share resources fairly. They poisoned their people’s minds and now they want to accuse Raila and Rutto of preaching Majimbo of evicting people. That was their interpretation and that is what they told people. They are paying for their own sins.We advocate for fair employment to all. The Kalenjins have to get their share if peace must prevail in this country.

  • 4. Commerce/Trade:

Talk of NSE, talk of government supplies, talk of small shops, talk of big shops; they all belong to Kikuyus. Whether in R. Valley, Nyanza, Coast or Kakuma, they are all owned by Kikuyus. Talk of Equity bank, how many kikuyus are being given loans on a daily basis? Equity bought IDB and the government has been channeling loans to their kikuyu brethren without any rigorous procedures. Kwani what is so special with this breed of people for them to own so much? They have greed and arrogance of catastrophic proportions. Again, devolution would have leveled the playing ground of trade.

Channeling the resources to regions would have ignited business activities at the regional level. What did they do? They stole our votes and decided to maintain the status quo.Imagine what they will do in the next five years if you consider this will be their last term. They have bought most of the government assets through NSE. Brethren, how many millionaires can you identify in R. Valley? How many are there in Central and Mt. Kenya region? Is it by accident that we have less than 10 and they have over 1000? Can’t you see?

Open your godamn eyes!!! We do not have a future if we don’t rise up now. They are going to buy all that was not bought previously. Their properties have to be brought down for them to see sense. It is the only language they can understand. No more talks.

  • 5. Infrastructure:

Look at the roads, telecommunication, electricity, water; name them; all the resources for in this sector have been channeled to Mt.Kenya region. From Kipipiri to North Imenti to Mwea to Embu; these guys have built highways, supplied water to their people, supplied electricity, telephone lines, dug boreholes, etc. The allocation in the national budget is heavily skewed towards their regions. This is all about resources. Moi was extremely ignorant and useless. He stole from us and did deals with these guys. He enriched himself so much; he is always ready to sacrifice his own people for his own benefits.

Back to Mt.Kenya paradise; what you guys need to understand is that all this is about resource distribution. If these guys were able to do what they did in 5 years, what will they not do in the next 5 years. They are equipping their region as they steal from us. That is why they cannot listen to resource devolution.Do you need any further education? Of course not. The list of inequalities is so long and you must be having one of your own. As if this was not enough, they stole our votes and asked us to do what we think we can do. That is right guys, “Do what you think you can do if you are man enough”. We have done what we were challenged to do since we are not small boys and girls. We shall still do what we think we can do as long as we are claiming for what is ours.

If any of us (gotab kalenjin), God forbid, betrays our course we shall not only eliminate him/her, but their entire linage. We shall also invoke our kalenjin CURSE in ensuring that the individual and all their generation shall not live.We started by identifying our fighting spirit with the spirit of Koitalel ara Samoei (God rest his soul in eternal peace). This spirit still lives today. This spirit is about the kalenjin’s spirit of NEVER SAY DIE even in times of adversity. Our God will deliver us to Canaan from the current mistreatment. We shall not lose focus of where we are going and what we want. We shall not allow ourselves to be among the meek and the submissive in this country because Kibaki says so.

We shall say what we want to say and do what we want to do.It is 100 years since the great warrior and leader of the Kalenjin died. He left a mark in the history of this country and the rest of the world: “The longest African Resistance to a White Man’s Rule”. That should always be our rallying MOTTO as a people. The man will always be our hero and source of inspiration. If Koitalel could resist the inventor of the GUN for 7 years, how can we succumb to MISUSERS of the GUN when we have also gotten access to them? Let our spirit not die brothers and sisters. A century after our great Orkoiyot died, another great Kalenjin son has been born unto us. Coincidentally, he is called by the same name of the great leader: SAMOEI.

This great son of ours belong to the age group of KAPLELACH. Our fore fathers predicted that during this age group, the world will either SURVIVE or PERISH. This prophecy has to come to pass. It is this age group that will deliver our people from the jaws of the PYTHON (KIBAKI). I call upon all of us to remain steadfast in giving him total support. Their strength in parliament yesterday shows what determination and unity can achieve.We have been receiving threatening messages via sms from our brothers and sisters the kikuyus.

They are interested in looking for us and our off-springs in Nairobi for elimination. These people cannot steal from us our democratic right and threaten violence upon us. It would amount to double tragedy. We SHALL NOT allow this to happen and the earlier they get to know it the better. NairobiCity is in Rift Valley; the name Nairobi in itself is Maasai (who are our cousins) and it means a place with water. We will never succumb to their threats. We shall defend ourselves and our interests to the bitter end. If they want to bring clashes to Nairobi , they can go ahead.

They will regret why they ever started it in the first place. We urge our people to ensure that every family is fully equipped with our normal tools; if we can afford, ferry two warriors from upcountry fully armed and house them until we have this thing sorted out. It is imperative that we fully deal with the house of Mumbi. Nairobi will either belong to all of us or none of us.

The house of Mumbi should realize that this country is not ruled through threats but by engaging the other partners. We did not start this war, they started it and the only way to end it is to have Kibaki talk to Raila.

God bless you all.

 

End

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Mwai Kibaki should immediately step down as President of Kenya to pave way for the legitimately elected President of Kenya, Raila Amolo Odinga to be sworn in

Posted by African Press International on January 28, 2008

New comment on your post #3957 “Kenyan politics: How smart is Raila Odinga?”
Author : Mwakio Juma (IP: 62.24.99.49 , nms1.telkom.co.ke)

Commentary:

You cannot, and I repeat cannot rule an unwilling population…
There cannot be and should not be any attempt to negotiate an obvious violation and abuse of office. Doing so will only further worsen an already deeply troubling situation. None of the so called high profile mediators currently in Kenya, voted in the general election of 27th December 2007, and their presence is of no value whatsoever to the masses who voted for the “de facto” President of Kenya Raila
Amolo Odinga and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

The continued presence of these impostors on Kenyan soil and their empty attempts at purported mediation, only serves to further infuriate and insult the overwhelming majority that voted for Raila Odinga and ODM. It is only those that voted for Raila Odinga and ODM, almost an entire nation, that should be consulted for any mediation or negotiation whatsoever. Such “consultations” were however concluded by way of the ballot box on the 27th of December 2007, before a thief known as Samuel Kivuitu callously reversed the peoples’ decision on Sunday, 30th December 2007. In the interest therefore of posterity, this country, it’s people, it’s institutions and it’s future, Mwai Kibaki should immediately step down as President of Kenya, to pave way for the legitimately elected President of Kenya, Raila Amolo Odinga, to be sworn in, and immediately form an ODM government.

Nothing else whatsoever can restore and/or sustain any semblance of faith in this country, it’s future or it’s institutions. The power to effect regime change squarely lies with the citizens of this country and no one whosoever has the right to stand in the way of this right. This right was jointly violated on Sunday, 30th December 2007, by a bunch of hooligans known as the Electoral Commission of Kenya and the illegitimately sworn in President, Mwai Kibaki. Faith in this country and it’s institutions had already been severely strained prior to “Black Sunday”, 30th December 2007, and the announcement of Kibaki’s “victory” came as a devastating blow to the vast majority of desperate masses who had anticipated hope and change by overwhelmingly backing Raila Odinga’s
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM)

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If the illegitimate fascist regime currently ruling Kenya is allowed to get away with this felony by it’s continued stay in power, then this country is doomed forever.

Posted by African Press International on January 28, 2008

New comment on your post #3957 “Kenyan politics: How smart is Raila Odinga?”
Author : Mwakio Juma (IP: 62.24.99.49 , nms1.telkom.co.ke)

Commentary:

The gloom, doom and utter uncertainty that this country has been plunged into following the callous theft of the general election of December 27th 2007, is the direct responsibility of the fascist regime currently in power and the irredeemably tainted Electoral Commission Kenya. If the illegitimate fascist regime currently ruling Kenya is allowed to get away with this felony by it’s continued stay in power, then this country is doomed forever.
Tribally programmed police bullets are gracing the skies of Naivasha and the embers are spreading fast to the capital Nairobi. What next? Only Kenyans can afford the luxury of making peace with friends and not enemies as the laws of nature demands. The war is on and the faint hearted are better advised to keep their self-serving cheap sermons to themselves and be real.

The thin thread holding Kenya together is threatening to snap, and very soon. The facade that is national unity has been shattered by one single blow. Don’t ask me by who because Kenyans unrivalled in the shameless act of self denial. We are a unique human bread who gloss over historic and systematic injustice while hiding under such buzzwords as market economy.

Truth hurts and is very ugly. The genesis of our present problems lies in deep seated tribal rivalries over land, business and power. We have a ruling elite with a willing supporting tribal cast who will stop at nothing to maintain status quo. To them other Kenyans seeking equity are power hungry and must be decimated with all bullets Kenya can buy.

One thing is for sure Kenya will never be the same again, never. Unless and until we drop pretense and boldly confront the existing inequality and deception sown more than 44 years ago, we are cheating ourselves by engaging in half measures that will only make the fundamental problem mutate with devastating consequences sooner rather than latter.

Regional deception
Kenyans are up in arms against abuse and trashing of their birth right. You cannot, and I repeat cannot RULE an unwilling population. We have deceived ourselves all these years creating decoys of unity. A time comes when deception is revealed for what it is. Now the world knows why there is no lasting peace in both Somalia and Sudan – the mediators and their country lacked what it takes to be peace brokers. The same goes to our churches and their loud silence. They have not been spared the tribal poison and the mission was delivered with Moi out of the way.

Make no mistake. No blood is shed in vain. Liberation comes a dear price of blood. Call it death of honour if you so wish. Faint hearts never won any decisive war and you cannot wipe out Kenya before you get consumed by the inferno yourself. We are in the 21st Century which has no room for tribal supremacists. It was an obtuse miscalculation to imagine Kenyans would either be intimidated or fatigued to submission by violence.

The election theft has acquired a life of its own and no amount of force will stop it from reaching its equilibrium – equity. Call incitement if you wish but Kenyans are ready to die for justice. Let the next generation prosper in a country bereft of ethnic apologists wanting to dominate others at the drop of a coin. Never and not in Kenya any more. Kenya is big enough for all of us but too small for few of us.

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Former Indonesian leader Suharto is dead

Posted by African Press International on January 28, 2008

Suharto buried in state funeral

Former Indonesian President Suharto, who died on Sunday at the age of 86, has been buried in a state funeral. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono oversaw the ceremony at the Suharto family mausoleum near the city of Solo.

Soldiers load Suharto's coffin on to an aircraft for the flight to Solo

Suharto’s flag-covered coffin was flown to Solo for the funeral

Suharto, who ruled Indonesia for more than three decades, was credited with leading his country from poverty to relative development.

But he was dogged by allegations of corruption, political repression and serious human rights abuses.

Hundreds of thousands of suspected communists were killed as he rose to power in the 1960s.

He was ousted by mass protests in 1998 and in recent years suffered from poor health – one of the reasons why he never faced trial.

State funeral

Early on Monday, the former leader’s body was flown from the capital, Jakarta, to Solo in central Java.

RISE AND FALL OF SUHARTO
Born in Java, June 1921
Comes to power in 1965 after alleged Communist coup attempt
Formally replaces Sukarno as president in March 1967
Modernisation programmes in the 70s and 80s raise living standards
East Timor invaded in late 1975
Asian economic crisis of the 1990s hits Indonesian economy
Spiralling prices and discontent force him to resign in May 1998
Judges rule he is unfit to stand trial for corruption in 2000
Transparency International says he tops the world all-time corruption table in March 2004

Soldiers carried his flagged-draped coffin from his residence to a white hearse.

Thousands of people lined streets in both cities to watch the funeral procession pass by.

Mr Yudhoyono began the ceremony at the Suharto family mausoleum, northeast of Solo, just after noon (0500GMT).

“We offer his body and his deeds to the motherland,” he said. “His service is an example to us.”

Prayers were said and mourners threw flower petals into Suharto’s grave.

The former president was laid to rest next to his wife Tien, who died in 1996.

Leaders from around the region attended the ceremony, including President Xanana Gusmao of East Timor, which was annexed and occupied under Suharto before gaining independence in 2002.

Mixed legacy

Suharto was rushed to hospital on 4 January suffering from various heart, lung and kidney problems.

Former Indonesian President Suharto (file photo)
Suharto ruled Indonesia with an iron fist for three decade.

On Sunday he slipped into a coma and died at 1310 (0610 GMT), surrounded by his six children.

Reaction to his death has reflected his mixed legacy, correspondents say.

The US ambassador to Jakarta, Cameron Hume, hailed Suharto as a “historic figure” who “achieved remarkable economic development”, while adding that there “may be some controversy over his legacy”.

Malaysia’s former leader, Mahathir Mohamad, said he had regarded Suharto as “a great leader and… an international statesman”, a friend of Malaysia and a personal friend.

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National monument of shame to act as a reminder

Posted by African Press International on January 28, 2008

Written By:Beverly Gatimu

A national monument of shame will be constructed at Kiambaa, Eldoret where over 30 people were burnt alive in a Kenya Assembly Of God Church during post election violence.

Laikipia East MP Mwangi Kiunjuri says the 500-acre land in which the church stood will also be converted to a national and historical heritage to remind Kenyans and the international community of the mass killings.

The Legislator was speaking at Nanyuki central park in his constituency during inter-denominational peace prayers organized by 45 evangelical churches in town.

Kiunjuri castigated leaders who are inciting people to acts of violence and urged wananchi to shun such leaders.

He said mass killings going on in Rift Valley cannot be taken for granted as ethnic cleansing was behold post election violence.

Kiunjuri said not all ODM leaders are involved in ethnic cleansing and appealed to Kenyans to exercise restraint on revenge.

The legislator said Kenyans exercising democratic rights to elect leaders of choice was not a crime to attract unprovoked attack by neighbours of many years.

Forty Nanyuki based pastors led by their chairman rev, Francis Maina in their peace prayers asked Kenyans to ignore the political war mongers and live peacefully with neighbours.

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Former head of state hospitalized.

Posted by African Press International on January 28, 2008

Written By:Claire wanja/Beverly gatimu

former-president-daniel-moi.jpgCaption: Moi, 83, became Kenya’s second president in 1978 after the death in office of Jomo Kenyatta.

Retired President Daniel Arap Moi was Monday morning admitted at a Nairobi Hospital. His personal physician Dr David Silvestein said the former head of state was rushed to hospital after complaining of lower back pain caused by strain.

Lee Njiru said Silversteinwould keep him at Nairobi Hospital for at least two days to observe and treat him.

Meanwhile, the former head of state was expected to meet with former UN secretary General Kofi Annan who is in the country.

Annan and his team of eminent persons were expected to hold talks with Moi concerning the political deadlock facing the country.

Moi was last admitted to the hospital in August 2006, where he underwent minor knee surgery after he was involved in a road accident along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.

Moi, 83, became Kenya’s second president in 1978 after the death in office of Jomo Kenyatta.

 

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Come one, come all

Posted by African Press International on January 28, 2008

As the situation back home in Kenya finally settles down and our leaders finally see the light; the fact that Kenya is more important than any of them, a lot still remains to be done to restore the lost glory.

Over a quarter of a million Kenyans have been displaced after the chaos that rocked our nation after the disputed presidential elections. Many families have been broken and many have lost their homes and had their lives totally changed as the disagreement continue.

For the lucky us the question is, what can we do about that situation?

If Kenyans ever needed to come together, this is the time. If Kenyans ever needed each other, this is when. The formation of UHCK arose from a mutual compassion to the affected Kenyans regardless of tribe or political affiliation. We heard the voices that called for help and saw the need to offer our help.

UHCK is a non-political and nonpartisan organisation by Kenyans and friends of Kenyan with a common agenda. A humanitarian cause.

Today (Saturday 26) will mark the beginning of our course to extend our helping hand to the needy. It is sad that the newly formed party MODEREK has chosen not to be part of this event with reasons that could have been addressed had they been raised. MODEREK to my understanding is a political movement with both political and humanitarian issues and thus does not necessarily need to jointly work with UHCK which chooses to remain as much out of politics as possible.

If MODEREK was to come to this occasion, they would have done so as supporters of the humanitarian cause. UHCK does not recognise any political party even though there are leading politicians in the committee. All of us join as individuals though we might represent our parties if the need arose and that is not actual. MODEREK should therefore feel free to join us without the issue of a working relationship between both organisations. It is about unity for the sake of the aftermath of the violence that befell our nation.

We therefore hope that in the spirit of solidarity that still does exist among Kenyans in Stockholm, they will change their stand.

All are welcome and especially Kenyans this action is for our brothers and sisters. Come and hold hands with us because the more we are, the more we can do for our fellow country men.

As the organisation advances the necessary papers will be made available to all who need to see them. UHCK is still a baby and a lot is yet to be done but our faith in achieving our goal is steadfast. We will make a change even if not to all, but to some of the victims whose course of lives was altered by events they could not have predicted.

By Njoro, in Sweden

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Raila may loose his parliamentary seat – Election petition he is dodging is on the way

Posted by African Press International on January 28, 2008

Raila speaks ofrespect for the law. He should therefore be on the frontline in respecting the law. Why is he not willing to receive the election petition from Stanley Livondo who is challenging his election as MPfor Langata?

___________

Standard story:

Another police bid to serve Raila fails

By Cyrus OmbatiODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga, has protested over the use of police to serve him with an election petition.

Police officers visited the MPs Nairobi home on Saturday night and yesterday morning in efforts to serve him with the notice in vain.

The officers said a senior officer at the Nairobi Area Provincial Police Command sent them to help serve Raila with the petition lodged against him. The officers, said Raila, had a petition lodged by Mr Stanely Livondo who lost the Langata parliamentary seat.

“This is wrong, they are trying to intimidate me. I dont see where police come in ,” he said.

Yesterday, the officers went back to the home demanding to see the legislator but

security told the them to take the petition to the legislators office. His wife, Ida, termed the officers action harassment.

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Stop the war now, Ruto tells Rift Valley residents

Posted by African Press International on January 28, 2008

By Isaiah LucheliEldoret North MP, Mr William Ruto, has appealed to Rift Valley residents not to allow the province to become a battleground every election year.

In his first visit to the town since the eruption of post-election violence, the MP dispelled claims that the violence experienced was planned, saying it was a spontaneous reaction caused by a flawed election.

“I am appealing to our people to stop fighting each other. We know those who organised to manipulate the elections and have put us in this mess,” said Ruto.

On the ongoing mediation talks, Ruto said ODM members would be humbled to look at the prevailing situation and make hard decisions for the sake of the country.

“Politics should not be turned into an ethnic contest. Politics is about policies, development and manifestoes. We should create harmony and coexist,” said Ruto.

Ruto, who is also a member of the ODM Pentagon, called on the police to discharge their duties professionally and avoid being politicised.

“Many of the people who have been killed and admitted to hospitals sustained bullet wounds. The security forces should discharge their mandate professionally,” said Ruto.

The MP appealed to religious leaders to pray for the country to enable leaders involved in mediation to reach an amicable agreement. “I ask you to pray so that political leaders will have the courage to make hard decisions, humility to listen and wisdom to put all that together,” he said.

He said the country was on the brink of collapse and said it was only Gods intervention that could save it.

Ruto visited wounded people at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.

He said the Constitution had contributed to the post-election violence and called for its amendment, especially on presidential powers.

Ruto said the Constitution provides for a-winner-takes-it-all and a tax system that impoverishes the poor.

“Fifteen years ago, Kenyans identified the Constitution as the problem facing the country. It gives excess powers to the President and alienates the poor,” he said.

Ruto was speaking at the Africa Inland Church in Eldoret town where he attended a service. He later donated 100 bags of maize, cooking fat, milk and blankets to displaced people.

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No-one safe as neighbours turn against one another – changing lifestyles to remain alive

Posted by African Press International on January 28, 2008

Three years ago Benta (not real name) was all smiles as she joined her high school of choice Chogoria Girls.

Dorothy Atieno Ouko, a student of St Marys Lwak in Bondo after the bus she was travelling in got stuck in mud as the driver tried to turn back to Nairobi. Youths attacked passengers in Naivasha Town on Sunday. Photo/ PAUL WAWERU

This year she had hoped to complete her four-year course at the school, but all that is now a dream.

Last week Benta opted out of Chogoria Girls and sought admission to Isiolo Girls High School where she hopes to sit for her KCSE later this year.

Benta, whose parents hail from Nyanza Province, could not stand the unexpected taunting andhatred shown to her by schoolmates who,up to last year, were her best friends.

Ethnic dimension

She is a victim of the ongoing clashes that haverocked the country following the disputed presidential election results and which have taken an ethnic dimension.

Isiolo Girls High principal Mrs Florence Achacha confirmed that she had enrolled the former Chogoria Girls student in her school, but was reluctant to talk about the girls reason for transferring.

In Machakos, Mr Michael Mwangi has been a resident of the town for many years. He has a daughter attending college in Kisumu Town.

Because of the clashes that have rocked parts of the country, Mr Mwangi recently had a talk with his daughter, advising her to change schools.

She flatly refused, saying she loves the town and many of her friends, none from her tribe, are there.

They make my day, we talk everyday and we assure each other that all is not lost. How can I leave them? she asked.

Upper and Lower Eastern regions may appearunaffected by the violence that has engulfed several parts of the country but the two regions are feeling the effects.

Sandwiched between two regions that have borne the brunt of the clashes the Coast and Nairobi provinces the spiralling effect of the standoff has not spared Ukambani region.

Many employees and businessmen from the region are yet to go back to their work places. Charles Mumo runs a clinic in Molo while his wife is a nurse in Kuresoi.With January almost over, the two are yet to go back to work.

I am told they broke into my house, stole everything and torched it. How will I start my life? Mr Mumo asks.

The business sector has suffered a great deal since the clashes started.

A manager of a leading hotel in Machakos Ikuuni Restaurant Mr Joseph Ndungu says despite being a distance from the war zone, the town is feeling the pinch.

We are seeing a situation where our food prices are not stable. One day you buy a bag of potatoes for Sh 1,800, the next you are told it is Sh 2,200 and today I bought a bag for Sh 3,800 all in less than three weeks, says Mr Ndungu.

Mr Ndungu says in normal circumstances, clients would come to the town from Nairobi, Mombasa or other towns to have fun.

But of late, the number of patrons have been dwindling, he says.

Schools in the region have been inundated with requests from parents seeking to transfer their children from strife-torn areas.

District education boss Ms Mary Gakuru confirmed that the pressure on both public and private schools was increasing.

Parents from the affected regions are making inquiries, says Ms Gakuru.

A parent from Kitale, Mr John Mwangi, recently sought admission for his daughter at Machakos Academy.

When schools closed for the Christmas vacation, I never imagined that within a short time, things would turn this bad, but here I am.

I have run away from the home I have known for more than 30 years and worse still, my child has been forced to run away from a school she loved. Life is like that, says Mr Mwangi.

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Handball hopes dashed

Posted by African Press International on January 28, 2008

One of Norway’s top handball players was reduced to tears after the country’s national team failed to reach the semi-finals of the European Championships. Thursday night’s tie against Croatia means the Norwegians will only be able to battle for fifth place, against Sweden.

Glenn Solberg broke into tears when Norway lost its bid to play in the European handball championship semi-finals.

PHOTO: DANIEL SANNUM LAUTEN/AFP

Glenn Solberg, set to retire from the sport at an age of 34, wept over his last stab at glory with his national handball teammates. When the match ended with a score of 23-23, he ran into the arms of goalkeeper Steinar Ege to gain comfort and share despair.

“Tough men cry, this is just really sad,” Solberg said. The Norwegians had seemed to have all the advantages, with a solid team, a solid winning streak behind them and playing on home turf, but it wasn’t enough.

Solberg will still play in the battle for fifth place against Sweden on Saturday, when the Handball Euro 2008 moves from Stavanger to Lillehammer. But then he plans to report for work at an insurance job in Drammen, and says he’s not thinking about playing in future Olympic qualifying matches.

National handball coach Gunnar Pettersen said he was proud of the team anyway. “The fact is that we only lost one match of the six we’ve played in the European Championships,” he noted. “That still doesn’t qualify us for the semi-finals. That’s just how tough it is.”

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Family wins housing discrimination case

Posted by African Press International on January 28, 2008

The Sadeghi family made the highest bid for a house in Fjellhamar, not far from Oslo, but the sellers opted to accept the next-highest bid. A state agency has ruled the Sadeghis were victims of discrimination.

Somayeh and Anwar Sadeghi were relieved by the anti-discrimination decision.

PHOTO: CARL MARTIN NORDBY

“It’s been important for us to prove that we were subjected to racism,” Sapideh Sadeghi told newspaper Aftenposten on Friday.

The Sadeghi family now plans to consult an attorney to see what they’ll do next. Under Norwegian law, they can claim economic compensation from those who violated a state law against discrimination.

The case marks the first time that a national committee charged with enforcing equality and anti-discrimination measures has determined that a prospective home buyer was discriminated against on the basis of ethnicity.

The Sadeghi family had been notified by real estate brokerage firm Notar that they’d submitted the highest bid for the house in Fjellhamar. The broker, however, called back a short while later and said they wouldn’t be able to buy the house anyway, because the seller “didn’t want any trouble” and decided to sell to the next-highest bidder.

The Sadeghis had offered NOK 10,000 more for the property, and neither the broker nor the seller would give them a clear reason why their bid was turned down. The Sadeghis filed a formal complaint, and the anti-discrimination commitee (Likestillings- og diskrimineringsnemnda) confirmed their suspicion that they’d been turned down on the basis of their ethnicity.

Committee leader Aslak Syse said the seller couldn’t explain how acceptance of the next-highest bid might have been based on anything other than ethnicity.

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Children missing from refugee centers

Posted by African Press International on January 28, 2008

Eleven children disappeared from asylum centers in Norway last year, and immigration officials fear they may be victims of human trafficking. Security measures are being boosted.

The teenagers disappeared from this asylum center in Brum, west of Oslo.

PHOTO: JAN TOMAS ESPEDAL

Four teenage boys who suddenly vanished from an asylum center in Brum may have been “sold” by organized crime leagues now suspected of arranging their travel to Norway.

Officials at Norway’s immigration agency UDI (Utlendingsdirektoratet) told newspaper Aftenposten this week that they have reason to believe the boys have been forced into prostitution or other slave labour.

UDI officials called both police and child protective agencies in Norway when the boys failed to return from a 24-hour leave. Three of the four disappeared shortly after arrival at the asylum center, before they had their first interview in the asylum application process.

“They may have moved on to another country, or they could be part of some sort of organized network in Norway, or they may be exploited,” said Siri Rustad of UDI.

Two years ago, Norwegian and Swedish authorities cracked a human trafficking league that allegedly victimized young Chinese women. Two arrests were made, but the young Chinese victims who disappeared from asylum centers were never found.

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One night stand – sexual piracy

Posted by African Press International on January 28, 2008

By Kiundu Waweru

I wallow in nostalgia as I reminisce the good old days when courtship used to be a virtue. Oh! The joy of wooing a lady; the thrill of boy meeting girl, boy liking girl, girl playing hard to get; of lovers taking long walks hand in hand at night, with crickets chirping love songs and the stars lighting up their faces in smiles of intimacy.

Today, the dating scene is changing dramatically as people are engage in casual flings with impunity. Traditional values and morals are fast going down the drain in a modern trend only precedented in the First World. This trend seems to be the new kid in the block, for it has seen a new player who until hitherto was just a meek bystander the woman. Over the ages, men have been the assertive of the sexes, giving him the right of calling the shots in any relationship. It is men who used to propose; the same men who thought it were their right to be polygamous. But the improved status of the educated woman in the society has redefined her cultural standing, and man has been caught, pants down in his own game.

This trend, which is rampant mostly in the cities, is the one-night-no-strings-attached affair. The phenomenon is not, after all, foreign, as men have been engaging in casual flings since time immemorial. The infamous Koinange street night orgies is living proof of this but, there is a difference. The Koinange street one night stand is paid sex whilst the new trend is by mutual agreement.

Both men and women of means, education and intelligence engage in it.

Mugure, a single mother of two is a successful business lady. She travels a lot and says she has no time for relationships. But as she asserts, a woman has needs and desires. Although she is careful not to commit, she occasionally flirts with attractive men she meets during her travels and she says as gullible as men are, this most certainly lead to a lunch date or a drink, and to even sex. No phone numbers are exchanged for there is a non-written rule: No baggage please!

Fast paced hunter

Phillip is a womaniser who likes to prey on lonely women in bars and clubs. He is charming, handsome and people find him likeable and easy to talk to. He buys the women he meets drinks and before they know it, they are saying yes, yes, to his demands. After hitting on them, he disappears without a trace. The women too have no need of him afterwards.

But a few months back, Phillip was given his own dose of medicine. He was at one of his haunts when in walked an elegantly dressed lady. She came straight to his table and asked him if she could join him. He nodded grinning from ear to ear, apparently thanking his maker for “dropping this good looking manna” straight onto his laps. As he was formulating a seduction formula in his mind, the lady asks him, “Are you expecting someone?” He quick answer was no. “In that case, we can hop to another pub, I find this one boring,” she says. He readily agrees. Phillip reaches for his phone to call for a cab, but the lady hands him her car keys, whoa! “What a night!” Phillip muses. After hitting the highway, the lady tells him, “I was thinking maybe we can go to my digs for a night cap.” Phillip licks his lips in anticipation; he cannot believe his luck. The lady directs him and soon they arrive at her apartment in Valley Arcade. Phillip is mesmerised. After downing a bottle of Red Wine, one thing leads to another and they share a night of heated passion.

The lady wakes him from his drunken sleep at five oclock in the morning. He opens his mouth to complain, but she politely shuts him up, hands him a thousand bob for a taxi, and then profusely thanks him for a nice time.

Phillips case seems alien to ordinary mortal souls, yet it is real and happening. But why are the tables of normal dating, being reversed?

Joseph Thuku, a senior counsellor with Kemri-Cdc attributes this to the pressures of modern living and changing lifestyles. Says he: “Recent years have seen great achievements from young people who are armed with degrees and securing high profile jobs earning them mega bucks. This has seen rise to changed lifestyles which has given dating a whole new meaning.

Men are an adventurous lot and some experiment with one night stands for the heck of it. For married men, it may be because they are not getting enough sex at home. Their wives may be indifferent to their needs, or perhaps because they want to try out their wild fantasies, which will be too embarrassing to try out with someone you will share the breakfast table and consequently your life with.

Most men detest emotional attachment and the responsibilities of a steady relationship, they prefer to hit and run and avoid the baggage as Mugo, a banker says: “I hate commitments now that I am building my career and working on my postgraduate programme. And seeing that women have lowered their love bar if I want to get intimate, well, thats no big deal; I know where to look for a quickie.”

The counsellor says that women have entered the scene with a bang due to the feminism campaign. They want to concentrate on their careers hence neglecting getting married and raising children. Some women, who have previously been cheated on, avoid relationships like the plague; they simply cannot trust again.

Dare devil phenomenon

Thuku says even married women have not been left behind in this dare devil phenomenon. Some of them especially the learned ones who are inclined to push for equality are engaging in casual flings to get back at their spouses.

“Woe unto you if she finds out you are unfaithful, she will flirt with the colleague who has been eyeing her, and because she does not want to break up her family, she will not take the relationship to the next level after getting her revenge.”

The modern woman is wary of the demands of commitment; what with her role as an urban working lady and furthering her studies!

She abhors mens domineering character, and because she wants affirmative action, she has redefined her dating profile. One-night-stands allow her the independence she so much craves. She will not have a man calling and texting her at odd hours to know where she is and with whom. She can travel freely, and have the time to be her.

The counsellor asserts that even those in steady relationships have not been spared either.

With changing lifestyles the diet of many people features junk food. This, among other factors lowers libido and one partner may feel left out and sexually starved. Thus he/she will look elsewhere for intimacy; and because they hold the optimism of somehow salvaging their relationships, they will make the flings a one-night thing.

Thuku says because of their tight schedules, couples are not communicating but opt for the undemanding way out, which is the casual fling.

Long distance relationships also contribute to the flings, as Achieng says: “My fiance went to the States two years ago. I cannot love another man but, I also have needs you know,” she winks mischievously. Now she opts for one night stands whenever she has the urge.

“I used to feel guilty but now I console myself saying he probably is doing the same,” Achieng adds.

Thuku notes that one-night-stands stand out for their convenience in that you are not obliged to ever see each other again; so one is free to live as if nothing happened. Hooking up is not an issue for you can flirt anywhere, be it in a matatu or in a queue at the bank.

But the dangers inherent are great. He cites family break-ups, diminishing age-old values, and risk of sexually transmitted diseases and exposure to HIV/ Aids.

I cannot end this better than with the words of Frank Sinatra who said: “If I had as many love affairs as you give me credit for, I would be speaking to you from a jar at a shelf in Harvard medical school”.

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