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Archive for March 1st, 2008

PRESS STATEMENT

Posted by African Press International on March 1, 2008

From Bishop Dr Washington Ogonyo Ngede,
As Kenyans celebrate the political deal signed yesterday between Hon. Eng. Raila Amolo Odinga and President Kibaki, we must also take this early opportunity first thank God for having mercy on our country from the political crisis in which the country was.
Kenyans or anybody in any part of the world who has keenly been following the political events in the country highly appreciate the role played by all quarters that made it possible for the deal to be struck.
It is on that note therefore that we, as Nyanza Church leaders take this early opportunity to sincerely thank H.E Koffi Annan and his Imminent team, the UN, the USA, the EU, the AU led by Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete who has proved to be a real neighbour and the negotiation team from both sides for saving the country.
It is always worthy to give credit where due and as the Holy Book reminds that it is good to give God what belongs to God and to Ceaser what belongs to him.
The team above, including Hon Raila Odinga and President Kibaki have done their part and it is now our plea as Kenyans to the countrys MPs to unite for a common goal so as to have a speedy implementation of the deal contents.
It is our hope as Bishops and we believe it is the same with majority Kenyans that the parliamentarians work as a team in National Assembly to have the constitutional amendments as in line with the historical political deal.
We all know that the interest of the nation overweighs that of an individual and this was also stressed by the two leaders, Hon Raila and President Kibaki, in their speeches to Kenyans and the World immediately after signing the agreement before a crowd that included Annan, President Kikwete and Local and Foreign Diplomats.
Mps should therefore take the interest of this country first and act accordingly starting coming Thursday when parliament opens. Let them work forget their political differences when handling issues of huge national interest.
As the Chairman of Church for Change and Council of Church leaders, I also appeal to religious leaders across the country to continue praying for the country than ever because this is the time we needed Gods help most for Reconcilliation and healing of the country from what had happened in the recent past.
We should pray to Gods mercy and comfort to Kenyans especially those bereaved from the Post-election violence in the country. God Bless Kenya and her People.
Thanks.
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US concerned – Zimbabwe elections

Posted by African Press International on March 1, 2008

From Scott Morgan

During His recent Trip to Africa President Bush took the time to express his concerns regarding another upcoming election. After the highly controversial and violent elections that were held in Kenya this is not the time for another election to be placed under International Scrutiny. This time the eyes of the World will be focusing on Zimbabwe whose Elections will take place on March 29.

What will make this Electoral Cycle different? After all there have been serious doubts in the Freedom of Elections in every cycle since 2000. The results have been the same however. After a violent Campaign Season that seems to grow worse every time the ruling ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front) wins the elections. And what happens to be the result? More Abject Poverty, Violence against the Independent Media and Civil Society Groups that dare to speak out against the violence and erosions of civil liberties.

Since 2002 relations between the United States and Zimbabwe have deteroriated drastically. The US currently has a series of Sanctions currently in place against Harare.Primarally these include no transfers of Police or Military Equipment are allowed to Zimbabwe, Senior Members of the Ruling Party and some of their Family Members are prevented from entering the US under any capacity and some of their financial assets in US Banks are frozen. However Emergency shipments of Food and Medicines are allowed to go through.There have been several High Profile Incidents between US Diplomats and Zimbabwe Security Forces that have raised concern however. On More than one Occasion US Diplomats who have been out in the field observing Elections or Distribution of Food Aid have been accosted by the Zimbabwe National Police. Several Times US Diplomats have been roughed up but nothing like what happened to Former Ambassador Dell. He was almost shot by Zimbabwe Police while taking a Nightly Walk in a Harare Park. So what will the United States do now? President Bush has been very vocal in his Criticism of the Mugabe Government and its record on Human Rights. But the US Embassy in Harare has issued a warning to American Citizens in Zimbabwe. There is a valid concern that violence can return again during the runup period of the elections. So the Embassy has urged US Citizens not to travel outside the Cities. After what occured in Kenya this may be a prudent strategy.In the eyes of many experts Zimbabwe is a Powderkeg just waiting to explode. After More than a Decade of 5 Digit Inflation the Population of Zimbabwe are tired. Any attempt at Freedom of Expression is answered by the Authorities with Force. Any Large Gatherings have to have the Approval of the Police. The reaction of the People after a controversial election may not be something that pleasant to be witnessed.There are several questions that may be asked within the next month. First will the United States be willing to do anything else regarding Zimbabwe than just imposing more sanctions? Will the US press Neighboring States to take a more formidable stand over the next few weeks to not only to insure that a transparent elections occur but if necessary a peaceful transfer of power occurs. And will there be an ample chance for Economic Development if and when there is a change of power within Zimbabwe? Let the Madness begin in Zimbabwe. And watch the World be just as polarized at it has been during other crises in Africa.The Author publishes Confused Eagle online

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Secretary General EAC salutes Kenyan agreement

Posted by African Press International on March 1, 2008

api-correspondent-odera-omolo.jpg<From Leo Odera Omolo, Kisumu – Kenya
The East African Community is extremely elated to learn of the peace settlement that has been reached between H.E. President Mwai Kibaki and Hon. Raila Odinga to end the post-election impasse that had gripped the country over the past two months. This is an achievement in which alI the people of Kenya must share and rejoice. I salute the leadership that has been manifested by President Mwai Kibaki and Hon Raila Odinga which has resulted in the accord that was signed.
.Kenyas return to a state of normalcy, tolerance and national cohesion is fundamental to the realization of the EACs vision of a united, peaceful and prosperous East Africa . I express every confidence in the success and sustainability of the peace settlement and assure the Kenyan people of the EAC solidarity in support to the successful implementation of the accord.

The East African Community is extremely elated to learn of the peace settlement that has been reached between H.E. President Mwai Kibaki and Hon. Raila Odinga to end the post-election impasse that had gripped the country over the past two months. This is an achievement in which alI the people of Kenya must share and rejoice. I salute the leadership that has been manifested by President Mwai Kibaki and Hon Raila Odinga which has resulted in the accord that was signed.

The EAC applauds the accord and commends the efforts made by all the parties concerned and our well wishers in the international community to arrive at expeditious resolution of the conflict which had visited untold suffering, loss of lives or property to innocent Kenyans as well as disruptive impacts on the economies of the neighbouring EAC Partner States.
I take this opportunity to commend the mediation efforts that have been undertaken relentlessly by Mr Kofi Annan and the Eminent Persons. Their work is of historic proportion and will go down in the annals of East African history. I also wish to commend the contribution of the AU Chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete which provided much needed boost to the mediation efforts at a critical time, leading to the attainment of the accord.
By the same token, I pay tribute to the Chairman of the EAC Summit of Heads State, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for spearheading the EACs close engagement with the leadership and people of Kenya throughout this period in the search for a quick, just and lasting solution of the conflict.
Kenyas return to a state of normalcy, tolerance and national cohesion is fundamental to the realization of the EACs vision of a united, peaceful and prosperous East Africa. I express every confidence in the success and sustainability of the peace settlement and assure the Kenyan people of the EAC solidarity in support to the successful implementation of the accord.
Ends
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Rock music group visiting Malawi

Posted by African Press International on March 1, 2008

Lilongwe (Malawi) A rock music group from the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean called Zong is expected in Malawi next Thursday for a three-day visit as part of their tour of African countries, APA has learnt.

An officer of the French Cultural Centre, Nandine Ndabemeye told APA on Saturday that the group will arrive in Blantyre, the countrys commercial city to exchange ideas and experiences with the local rock artists.

Ndabemeye said the group, which is a combination of two men and a woman will also perform a live show at the French Cultural Centre.

“We would like Malawi rock artists to learn modern skills which the group uses while showcasing their talents here,” she said.

The group uses electronic equipment and depicts a picture of social life in Reunion.

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