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Archive for March 5th, 2008

Tough choices lie ahead for ODM as the Kipsigis now demand a cabinet reward in the government

Posted by African Press International on March 5, 2008

api-correspondent-odera-omolo.jpg< From Leo Odera Omolo
By Kipsiele Arap Sugurut (L.O Omolo)
The Orange Democratic Movement is likely to face hard time when the time comes for picking up its MPs for Ministerial appointments in the proposed power sharing government.
Raila Odingas party is likely to encounter myriad of problems in some parts of the country especially in the Southern Rift region.
Already a list of MPs earmarked for the appointments in the power-sharing government has elicited severe and scathing criticism Kipsigis regiion. This is the most populous sub-tribe of the larger Kalenjin ethnic group.The community has 9 (nine) MPs in the 10th parliamentand had voted to the ODM on-man-to-man durinmg last years polls..
The Kipsigis gave ODM close to one million votes during the December 27, 2007 general elections. And the community has a high hope and expectation that it would be rewarded handsomely.when the time for the formation of the much expected government of national unity comes
In the list published this week by the Nairobi publication, the WEEKLY CITIZEN has excluded all the names of Kipsigis MPs and sparked off discontent in some areas with claims that the ODMwas planning to sidelining the Kipsigis .Only the name of theBelgut MP Charles Keter is appearing as having been slated for an Assistant Minister slot in the planned new arrangement.
But the senior most politician in the Kipsigis region is Kipkalya Kones, the MP for Bomet. The next person is Hon Franklin Bett the MP for Buret.
But the man who is said to be the most experienced MP in governemtn matters is the Kuresoi MP Zakayo K.Cheruiyot.he had served in the most powerful position in the last KANU government as the Permanent Secretary in the office of the President in-charge of Provincial Administration and Internal Security.
Cheruiyot is the most respected person within the Kipsigis community .If the ministerial positions are to be distributed evenly to serve the interests of the party supporting communities and on the basis of experience, both Cheruiyot and the Aldai MP Dr.Sally Kosgei and Pentagon member William Ruto deserves the cabinet appointment ,the rest will follow.
In the list published in the WEEKLY CITIZEN the Abagusii ,which gave the ODM less than 200,000 votes is slated for two positions one for Omingo Magara and the other one for Chris M Obure. Magara represented South Mugirango,while Obure a former Finance Minister is the MP for Bobasi-both hails from Gucha.
This publication though is in speculative form has provoked sharp reaction from the Kipsigis community .Local politicians in Kericho ,Buret,Kikellion,Sotik and Bomet districts have appealed to the ODM leader Raila Odinga not to treat community the way Moi used to handle them .The community cannot be taken for granted and therefore demanded adequate representation in the Government ,says Mr Abdi Martin a Kericho politician .We are demanding two Ministerial positions and perhaps with one or two assistant Ministers . The men who deserves these appointments are Kones,Bett and Cheruiyot. And nothing short of this arrangement will be acceptable to us, he added.
Another leader Mr.Joel Arap Chepkwony while praising both President Kibaki and ODM Raila Odinga for their political dynamism and magnanimity appealed to the two to give the Kispsigis their share in the next government Mr.Chepkwony who also head the Small Scale Tea Owners Association appealed to the government to give the farming fraternity top priority in allocating sufficient resources to the sector.
Common rumour making the round in the region is that Kones ,Bett and Cheruiyot will be included in the next government and nothing short of this will satisfy the community.
The ODM choice of Cabinet Ministers might also run into trouble in the old larger Southern Nyanza due to the presence of highly illustrious political personalities such as Dalmas Otieno.He is a former cabinet Minister .But there are also the ODM stalwart like he Ndhiwa MP Joshua Orwa Ojode.
Otieno is the new MP for Rongo while Ojode represented the neighbouring Ndhiwa constituency .Another potential man for the consideration for Ministerial appointment is the new MP for Karachuonyo Eng James Rege who is a former Ps in the information and communication Ministry in the Narc Government.
In the central Nyanza an area which is now sub-divided into Siaya ,Bondo, Rarieda. Kisumu West, Kisumu East and Nyando district .There is likely to be a fourth choice between the colourful Ugenya MP James Aggrey Orengo and the Kisumu Rural MP Professor Peter Anyang Nyongo and perhaps Raila Odingas own elder brother Dr.Oburu Oginga.These three gentlemen are the most experienced politicians in the area.
Nyongo had already served as the Planning Minister in the now dissolved Narc Govenrment .he is likely to be framed fro the Planning or Finance Ministry ;while Orengo is apossible competitor of Ms Martha Karua in the Justice and Constitutional Ministry .But Gerald Otieno Kajwang is another choice.
In Gusii region Obure is likely to face stiffest competition from the likes of Omingo Magara and Charles Onyancha . Dr.Robert Monda (nyaribari Chache) the man who succeeded in overthrowing the giant of Kisii politician Simeno Nyachae would however be a better cartch for the ODM
In western Province the choice of Musalia Mudavadi as one of the two Deputy Prime Minister is a foregone conclusion that ODM will also need the experience of Chris Okemo and Wyclife Oparanya.But when constituency is taken into account George Khaniri the die-hard political associate of Mr.Odinga in the region will not escape his attention .He is the MP for Hamisi in Vihiga district.
ODM will obviously need a woman full cabinet Minister in its list of cabinet position Hon Dr.Sally Kosgei came in hand.
Rumours in other parts says that the Iron lady who represented Aldai in North Nandi district could even compete with Mudavadi in the Deputy Primier slot apart from William Ruto and perhaps Henry Kosgei. The ODM will have to move deep into the North and appoint one MP each from the Turgen and Marakwet communities.
Back to the South Rift William Ole Ntimama (Narok South) though his age has advanced still hold political cloud among the Maasai and his exclusion from the cabinet will bring disillusionment among the Maasai community
Ntimama together with the retired former Army Major General Joseph Nkaisery (Kajiado Central) both deserves inclusion in the next government as there may be always enough room for two Maasais in the cabinet.
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Inter clan battles rages in Kenya over land and property

Posted by African Press International on March 5, 2008

Nairobi(Kenya) Kenya police on Monday said at least 12 people were shot, hacked or burned to death in the latest of a series of inter clan battles over land and property in the Mt. Elgon area near the Kenya-Uganda border.

According to the statement issued to the press in Nairobi by police spokesman, Eric Kiraithe, said 10 houses were also burnt to ashes and six people seriously injured.

According to the Kenya Red Cross Society, a total of 66,000 people (11000 families) have been affected as a result of land clashes in Mt. Elgon.

Meanwhile, the Kenyan government on Monday lifted a month-long curfew imposed in Nakuru town, in the vast rift valley province where close to 100 people were killed, property destroyed and thousands displaced during the electoral crisis, State owned Kenya broadcasting Corporation television announced on Monday.

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Mediators train on conflict resolution

Posted by African Press International on March 5, 2008

mohamed-legally-cole.jpg<FromMohammed Legally-Cole)

The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies in collaboration with Action-Aid, The Gambia recently organised a three-day capacity building refresher training for Mediator at the Baobab Holiday Resort Conference Hall with pertinent issues on conflict resolution, peace building and its impact on the socio-economic and political development in society, forming part of the deliberations.

The training also geared towards constantly nurturing the mechanisms of the Alternative Dispute Resolution so as to broaden the capacities of those dealing with Peace building and conflict resolution.

Mediators who were drawn from all over the country are expected to deliberate on pertinent issues relating to limitations or legal implications of mediation in law, empowerment of women for peace building and mediation, Alternative Dispute Resolution methods as well as strategies, Mediation and Good governance.

Another part of the training would be issues dealing with dispute or conflict and its impact on socio-economic and political development in society, importance of mediation in conflict resolution towards building and maintaining peace in society and mediation with formal courts and its implications on society.

According to the statement delivered on her behalf by Dr. Ebrima Lowe, Chief Executive Officer, Alternative Dispute Resolution Secretariat, Mrs. Marie Saine-Firdaus, Attorney General and Secretary of State for Justice, underscored the importance her department attaches towards nurturing the mechanisms of the Alternative Dispute Resolution.

The ADR mechanisms such as mediation, arbitration, negotiation, and conciliation are indeed to be constantly well nurtured so that capacities of those dealing with conflict resolution would be broadened and in turn benefit parties involved, she indicated.

Having a well focused vision and mission, she added, it is imperative to take cognizance of the fact that one of the ultimate objectives is that we live in a period of attracting foreign investors and one of the salient ways among the many attractions is to have in place effective and efficient dispute resolution mechanism.

SOS Saine-Firdaus noted that it is evident that the Alternative Dispute Resolution encompasses an uncontrollable number of benefits. This, she went on, includes the provision of more satisfying results, allows more flexibility control and participation, facilitates a better understanding of cases and reduces or clears out hostilities between parties.

For her part Mrs. Hannah Foster, Executive Director of the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies reiterated the importance of the project under the African Transformative Justice System, the success of which she hopes will be emulated by other countries in the sub-region.

Other speakers on the occasion include Prof. Mabasa Faal, Member of the Executive Council of the ACDHRS, Mr. Dembo elaborated on the issues dealing with dispute or conflict and its impact on socio-economic and political development in society, importance of mediation in conflict resolution towards building and maintaining peace in society and mediation with formal courts and its implications on society. Dembo Santang Bojang, chief of Kombo Central, among others.

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Rape used as a weapon in some African countries

Posted by African Press International on March 5, 2008

From Scott A Morgan.

There is a saying in American Popular Culture that goes “Same Song Different Jukebox.” A Casual Observer can easily make that determination whenever the UN makes the following statement: Evidence Found of Rape being used in Fighting is (add your country.) When it comes to Africa it appears to be the status quo.Since the end of the Cold War and the resulting Fall of the Soviet Union Policy Makers in the United States and other countries put Africa on the back burner when it came to priorities. So when conflicts erupted in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Darfur there was suprise at the scope of the conflict.

A UNICEF Report discovered that Rape occured in locales that were recovering From Natural Disasters as well.There is another chilling fact that the UNICEF Report revealed as well. Its not only Combatants that are committing these Atrocities but the Civilian Population also. Earlier this year the world watched as Kenya Burnt after a Highly Controversial Election. Hundreds of People were killed in the cycle of violence since the end of December.When Civil Order is disrupted those left vulnerable are the Women, Children and the Infirm. There has also been evidence of those fleeing the fighting being abused by those Peacekeepers sent to Protect them. There has been several reports that UN Missions in the DRC, Liberia and Sierra Leone had failed to protect refugees from Predators. In some cases the attackers wore the Blue Helmets of the United Nations.The cost of Rehabilitation is a cost that has both a financial and Human Cost. The Physcological cost for a Rape Victim is unmeasurable. Especially when the attacker is either a person that they trust or someone in authority that had the job to protect them or the Man sent in by a third party to restore order.

The Financial Costs of the Rehab for trauma and the Physical Injuries can bankrupt a person or even a country that is trying to rebuild after a conflict.How can the problem best be resolved? We have heard suggestions that the training of Security Forces needs to be improved. That in itself is a positive start. Also when there are peacekeepers sent to a conflict zone their missions need to have their powers better defined. Protection of Refugees will also be a need that sorely needs addressing. Of course Resolving the Crisis Peacefully will also work wonders.The Author Publishes Confused Eagle An Online Magazine that deals with US Policies towards Africa.

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