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Archive for March 10th, 2008

Kenya government clarifies: Raila Odinga if PM, is nr 3 just right under VP Kalonzo Musyoka

Posted by African Press International on March 10, 2008

Now it is clear. Many who support Raila, who may become the PM thought he would be having equal powers like the President. They also thought he would be senior to the VP Kalonzo Musyoka.

Now the government has clarified. Anyone who gets the PM seat, and it is highly expected thatRaila Odinga will get it, he will be number 3 man in Kenya hierarchy.

It is also clear that ODM may not get most of the things they want like plum jobs for their hangers-on. The story below is very clear of thing to come.

The PM will serve under the VP and is answerable to the President and sometimes through the VP.

Important appointments – all of them remains in the hands of the President. This might change when the constitutional review has been completed in 12 months time.

It is also clear that Kalonzo and not Raila,will be the leader of government business in parliament.

However, there is hope that leaders will work together for the benefit of Kenyans instead of starting any fights for positioning.


PM to be third in government’s hierarchy

The government has moved to clarify the confusion surrounding the creation of a prime minister’s post, saying his functions will be the co-ordination and supervision of government functions in consultation with the president.

Addressing a joint press conference Monday with government spokesman Dr. Alfred Mutua, Head of the Public Service Francis Muthaurafurther stated that the creation of the prime minister’s office does not interfere with the functions of the vice-president.

According to Muthaura, the prime minister will be placed third in the government’s pecking order.

Muthaura said according to the constitution the Vice President is ranked second to the president and would remain the head of Government Business in Parliament and principal assistant to the President.

He said the PM and his two deputies would have ministerial portfolios and that all ministers including the PM would be answerable to the president who is the appointing authority.

Muthaura clarified that according to the accord signed between President Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga, there was no mention of sharing of parastatals and plum government offices saying some were constitutional offices reserved for direct appointment by the president.


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Kenya – The challenges ahead

Posted by African Press International on March 10, 2008


<From Harisson Ikunda

KENYA is a land of contrast. Barely a month ago was the country was really running desperate as a result of violence occasioned by a disputed presidential election votes tallying. So much destruction of life and property followed the announcement of the poll results which has greatly damaged Kenya’s reputation in the world and left a bad scar.

But that is now past, suffice is to say that a peace deal was signed between the two main protagonists messrs Mai Kibaki and Raila Odinga which was midwifed by retired UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and his team which was boosted by last minute energy injection by Tanzania’s President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete. This is what has given Kenya a new lease of life.

What this heralds is a new complete political and hopefully economic and social dispensation. That the present Kenya’s constitution needs to be amended immediately is not in doubt. This is to cater especially for the new posts of an executive Prime Minister, his deputies and the realignment of the structures of government. A complete overhaul subsequently cannot wait for so long.

Three things suffice and need attention. First our country’s history however rich has a lot of dents and unwisely postponed solutions. This has all the issues to do with land, equity in distribution of resources, tribalism, devolution of power structures, justice and so on. Secondly, the future belongs to whoever moves with the wisdom of the past working with the present and futuristic ideas and ideals. Science technology, new means of property ownership and wealth creation, education, urbanization, competitiveness, crime prevention, taming evil passions like tribalism and so on need quick rethink. These among others would prise open the Kenyan going forward and evolve better governance and development structures.

Thirdly, Kenya needs to be remodeled into a dynamic state. How does it feel that a country like South Korea which was just a banana republic not so long ago, highly densely populated, troubled political past and uncertain neigbourliness, few if any natural resources and with little land mass is today in a class of the rich and powerful. Some of the South Koreas companies like LG can actually run the Kenyan budget. Something is wrong with Africa but can be sorted out.

This means it is high time to remodel our economy, sort out inhibitions and encourage innovativeness. Tourism for instance is yet to have gotten where it should be. In as much as it has been destroyed albeit temporary, it is one industry which can easily be re-nurtured and kick started to greatness and create the many opportunities of wealth creation and employment – it is capable of. But hopefully the new grand coalition with the new desired structures can easily sort this.

It is after all a grand coalition which brings in many niceties which were contained in the election manifestoes. Unless if the manifestoes contained trickery or plans for magic kind of achievements, we can only expect a country which taps in the intelligent pickings that are there to spur the country to great heights. It is high time those who want to claim the honours for nationalism and who have positions of power to sort the mess inherent in Kenya and chart strategies for good future. Infrastructural development is surely one key to open the country to a sure future of prosperity. This and so is security, peace, truth, justice, reconciliations, restitution and so many excellent ideas which Kenyans are opulently and eloquently endowed with.

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Omena fishing ban allows fish breeding

Posted by African Press International on March 10, 2008

From Dickens Wasonga, Kisumu – Kenya
Fresh fears has now engulfed thousands of fishermen on the Kenyan side of Lake Victoria a head of a three month ban on Omena fishing. The ban which is intended to allow for the breeding of the fish species comes to effect yearly from the 1’stApril.
Each year thousands of Omena fishermen are thrown out of employment by the ban while several others sent to prison for fishing during the closed season. Others have in the past lost millions of shillings after their fishing gears were impounded by the fisheries officials and set a blaze by the courts.
Several others have been forced to move to other fishing grounds especially inthe Lake waters of the neighbouring countriesbut only to end upin foreign jails for violating the territorial boundaries.
A spot check by thisjournalist ina number of fish landing beachesrevealed thatmajority of the fishermen want the government to reconsider its position in the ban.
Those who were interviewed suggested that the govenmenbt needs toidentifybreeding areas within the Lake and ensure such areas are protected through-out the year.
Many fishermen are also of the opinion that the ban has never realised its intended objectives since those who are mandated to enforce it fails to do so as expected.
It emerged that the ban has in the pastopened up a fertile groud for corruption to thrive. Once it comes to effect,cartels emerge that ropes up the police,fisheries officials,traders who includes transporters and ends with the beach management leaders.
In abid to defeat the law, fishermen allegedlycollects money which is given to a beach leader who forwards it to the fish scouts patroling the Lake thereby effecting arrests.
The money in most cases ends up into the pockets of senior officers from the fisheries department in the district as protection fee.
However experts in the fisheries fraternity opines that the government policy to impose the ban if applied appropriately will enhance re-stocking the dwindling stock of the fish species in the lake.
The experts said the level of fish stocks was worrying as a result of over fishing and use of illegal fishing methods hence the need to control such practices.
The ban should therefore be viewedby the fishermen as a measure put in place to help them exploit thelake’s resources sustainably.
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Kenya: Engineer under fire

Posted by African Press International on March 10, 2008

api-correspondent-jeff-aguko.jpg<From Jeff Otieno, Kisumu-Kenya
Agroup of trade unionists, residents and other stake holders are now demanding for the sacking or transfer of the long serving Kisumu city Engineer Lawrence Otieno Airo.
In a terse press statement to this journalist the group took issue with the engineer for being insensitive to issues bordering lives of the residents.
They singled outa faultysewer line atthe refurbished fish market at the bus park where the traders have to brave the smell as they sell to the customers.
“This situation started last year despite our persistent pleas to the engineer that it should be repaired.,”said Mrs.Awino a local fish monger.
The group further took issue with the chief officer for exhibiting complecency and arrogance to repair council vehicles.They alleged that some vehicles like the ambulance and the garbage trucks are being repaired by crony mechanics with questionable credentials at whopping costs and interestingly they stall after a few days,thus paralysing the smooth operations of various council key departments.
The repair costs of one vehicle within a period of six months can even buy a brandnew car they alleged.Investigations by this journalist reveals thatthe embattled engineer was transfered early this yearto Vihiga District but he revoked it on circumstances said to be dubious.
Its imperative and interesting to note that early last year his transfer was again revoked after the intervention of the current town clerk Mr.Rashid Mwakiwiwi who wrote to the ministry Permanent Secretary giving him a clean bill of health.
“The newly elected Mayor Mr.Sam Onyango Okelo’s recent vow to restore the cleanliness of the city totally hungs in balance if the kind of insensibility being exhibited by senior Chief officers like Engineer Airo is anything to go by,”they concluded.
Okello recently promised the town residents that he will ensure that the city’s lost glory interms of cleanliness and investor confidence is achieved.
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South Africa: Violent death and political shame in country of tears (opinion)

Posted by African Press International on March 10, 2008

Without faces or names; with neither spine nor heart; unseen and uncaring these now are the people with power over our children. The blood of parents washes the feet of the young. Who is there left to care for us? South Africans can no longer care for themselves.

Eighteen months ago, I wrote in this newspaper that armed men in our house had robbed my son of his childhood. Eighteen months later, it has become a most trivial incident. This week I am reminded how trivial: the Lap family live in Parktown North. They too were involved in the end-of-weekend routine of marshalling children for school; forcing them into readiness; asking their son if his kit was prepared for rugby or hockey trials ahead of a new season. I dont know the family, I wasnt at the house. But we all know the drill.

Nothing in their experience, or mine, or yours, might have prepared them for the onslaught to come. Armed men fortified with the knowledge of an incompetent police force and a crumbling justice system, secured by dope or arrogance (it matters not) burgled an urban life. They killed the father; his son and his wife are critically injured. Regrettably, it is often only proximity that spurs us to action. We cannot raise ourselves to outrage every time death in this country takes on the all-too-frequent garb of an obscenity. Is this any more outrageous than the murder a month ago of Sheldon Cohen or Emily Williams or other murders that were reported as commonplace over the weekend. Certainly not.

Five hundred years ago we were reminded that no man is an island any mans death diminishes me. But in this instance I am pricked by the knowledge of my own familys good fortune. Moreover, my son and the young Lap attend the same school, although in different grades. So I know their routine and ours last Sunday night could not have been too different. We are a nation dying from the pornography of crime. And yet, even so, something has been sucked out of South Africans: it is our ability to respond in a sustained way to the travesty that parades itself as national politics. We have an inability to confront the malignant voice of a regime that, having occupied the moral high ground, now sustains itself (and feeds its adherents both philosophically and by manipulation of the economic system) with cries of racism at every turn. In truth, politics today is no less racist than it was 20 years ago; excepting that it is allied to a monumental incompetence in respect of service delivery that harms black and white alike.

The Visigoths fatten civilised people do nothing. They shrug helplessly at a country of tears and they act in their own interest; which thus far is to shore up their domestic defences or, increasingly again, emigrate.
The international community is unconcerned, we hear no voice joining our trading partners in condemnation; and even if we did, our leaders have no ears to listen. The most immediate issue on the mind of the president of France, in the great tradition of French venality, is to sell power-generation capacity to this country.

And yet the people are never helpless. In 1960, during the course of the Treason Trial, the apartheid government under Hendrik Verwoerd implemented a state of emergency. The defence team for the accused were denied access to their clients during this period. As a result, both the lawyers and their clients agreed that it was impossible to continue with a formal legal defence. The proceedings became a mockery. The defence continued to keep a watching brief in court but the accused enjoyed themselves by conducting their own defence and deliberately making the proceedings trivial and inconsequential. This took place in full view of a watching international community. Once the state of emergency was lifted, the defence team returned to give their clients proper succour. The outcome in 1961 was an acquittal for all the accused, who numbered Nelson Mandela among them.

If men of great stature, accused and defence alike, could act together to defy an unworkable system, why should it be impossible for the parliamentary opposition to signal its concern that the South African political corpus is sick and likely to become terminal. Take conventional opposition politics out of it; forget about the trite nonsense of oaths of allegiance for school children, and the drivel spoken by the chairman of the parliamentary select committee on sport. Let the opposition step back a moment: the president-in-waiting faces serious charges around criminal conduct, ditto the former chief of police. We are led to believe from affidavits that the president may, at the very least, have misled the country about his knowledge of the police chiefs conduct. The only independent investigative and prosecutorial arm of the judiciary is to be dismembered and reorganised and the national executive committee of the ruling party includes individuals who have faced or been charged with (and found guilty of) criminal conduct.

Incompetence is no reason to dismiss a cabinet minister and no politician has even faced censure over the Eskom debacle. Meanwhile, the citizens of this country die from violent criminal acts every day in their homes, at their places of work, in the street. Being a child brings no immunity and the deaths of our children inure others to the enormity of the loss. This right now is our society: sick doesnt begin to describe our plight. There are no doubt obstacles, but if Helen Zille, Patricia de Lille and Bantu Holomisa, et al, could convince their constituencies, the correct approach right now (with respect) is to announce an opposition withdrawal from participation in Parliament and a set of non-partisan guidelines for return.

I would not presume to comment on the nature of a set of nonpartisan principles, but I would guess that issues around mandatory sentencing would be one of them. For my own part, I am no longer opposed to the death sentence for certain crimes. An opposition consensus on withdrawal (and implementation) would most certainly galvanise world opinion on the affront that our current regime represents to civilised behaviour.
SA is run by men behind masks whose currency is the barrel of a gun. The politics of arrogance allows them free reign. Have we reached the end of hope?

*Trisk is an entrepreneur based in Johannesburg.

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Zimbabwe: Mugabe shuts door on Western election observers

Posted by African Press International on March 10, 2008

Harare (Zimbabwe) – The government will not invite observers from countries critical of President Robert Mugabe’s rule to monitor a general election due later this month, a government official said.

The state-controlled Herald newspaper on Friday quoted Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi as telling diplomats in Harare that the government had selected 47 foreign observer teams, “on the basis of reciprocity, objectivity and impartiality in their relationship with Zimbabwe.” “Clearly, those who believe that the only free and fair election is where the opposition wins, have been excluded since the ruling party, ZANU-PF, is poised to score yet another triumph,” Mumbengegwi said.

The southern African country — in the middle of a severe economic and political crisis — votes on March 29 in presidential, parliamentary and council elections. The most important contest will be between Mugabe, who has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980, former ally Simba Makoni and old rival Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the main wing of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Critics say Mugabe has rigged elections since 2000 to cling to power. The veteran leader denies the charge. The Herald said Russia was the only European country invited while 23 African and several Asian nations would also monitor the polls, along with teams from regional economic blocs. Mumbengegwi said all diplomats, including those from the West, accredited to Zimbabwe on a full-time basis could observe the polls.

“Only those diplomats who are accredited on a full time basis — and not those on temporary assignment — and wish to observe the March elections, will be granted accreditation upon their request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he said. Zimbabwe’s government frequently accuses Western countries, especially Britain and the United States, of plotting to unseat Mugabe, mainly over his seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution to blacks.

Analysts say an economic crisis marked by the highest inflation rate in the world at above 100,000 percent and shortages of food, fuel, and electricity had increased pressure on Mugabe but he could still claim victory against a divided opposition.


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Zimbabwe: Widespread apathy ahead of elections

Posted by African Press International on March 10, 2008

Harare (Zimbabwe) – Many too preoccupied with getting by from one day to the next to feel excited about voting.

There is little excitement and much despair among Zimbabwean people in the run-up to harmonised elections set for March 29. The usual euphoria preceding presidential or parliamentary elections is almost absent as the so-called make-or-break polls approach. The elections mark a critical moment in Zimbabwes deepening political and economic crisis, which has seen the former breadbasket of Africa become, in the words of Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, a sinking titanic.

The polls are being held at a time when the countrys economy is at its lowest ever ebb, with the worlds highest inflation rate of over 100,000 per cent, an unemployment rate much higher than 85 per cent, critical food and fuel shortages, and a collapsing infrastructure. President Robert Mugabe, who turned 84 last month, has presided for the past nine years over the worlds fastest shrinking economy and achieved the worlds worst mortality rates.

In the last parliamentary polls in 2000 and presidential elections in 2002, ruling party ZANU-PF and Mugabe came close to their first ever losses since independence. So this years combined local government, parliamentary and presidential elections were predicted to be among the most exciting. This time round, not only is Mugabe facing a stiff challenge from Morgan Tsvangirai from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, MDC, but his former ally Simba Makoni has also entered the race.

According to inside sources, Makoni has the backing of more than 90 per cent of the ruling partys supreme council, the politburo. He is also a former finance minister, and Zimbabwes economic crisis is expected to be a crucial factor in influencing voters. Local and international observers had expected to see the country gripped with election fever in the run up to the race, rather than the current malaise being displayed by both ordinary Zimbabweans and politicians.

Driving around different suburbs in Harare, one does not get the feeling that elections are three weeks away. There are few of the posters of presidential or parliamentary candidates that have been plastered everywhere ahead of past elections. Instead, there is a distinct lack of excitement and even lack of hope among ordinary people. Some say the enormity of another victory from incumbent president Robert Mugabe is weighing heavily on peoples minds, while others say Zimbabweans are more preoccupied with bread-and-butter issues, such as coping with food shortages, to worry about the elections.

In a normal political environment, these are the kinds of issues that would spur people on to participate in the countrys politics. However, in Zimbabwe, where intimidation, political violence and vote rigging are commonplace, the opposite is true. Only once, in a referendum in February 2000, has Mugabe ever lost a popular election, and analysts predict he is not about to lose this one. Many believe that that ZANU-PF will rig the vote. The president controls the entire electoral process, including the counting of the ballots – a fact which has plunged the population into apathy and despair.

Harare resident Amos Chigwida told IWPR that he had neither the energy nor zeal to follow the political campaigns and is more concerned about feeding his children. [The price of] food is going up every single day. Meat is now beyond the reach of the majority of people. Many people cannot afford cooking oil, margarine, soft drinks and beer. Imagine even tomatoes and onions have become unaffordable. So have green vegetables, which were sustaining many families, said Chigwida.

So tell me, what is there to get excited about? I have too many things to worry about than to spend time following rallies or listening to political speeches. We have been told by analysts that Mugabe and ZANU-PF are going to win. So why waste my time, when they are so sure that Mugabe will win? I have lost hope and the more I read about these predictions the more I get depressed.Observers also report there has also been little of the routine violence which is common in Zimbabwe during pre-election periods.

People are hungry. Why fight when you dont even have mealie [maize] meal in your house and have not had bread, tea, milk or sugar in a long time? asked Harare resident Munyaradzi Masango.People do not have the energy – many people are starving and living on one small meal a day. They have more serious things to worry about than to be used in fights which do not have a direct benefit to them or their families – they have learnt this from past experience.

But not everyone is apathetic about the elections. Struggling single mother of three Christine Makumbe believes her vote will make a difference. I pray that Zimbabweans have registered and will go and vote. I dont agree with those that have already given up – every vote counts and each of us can play our part in choosing which direction Zimbabwe should go, she said. For me, hope is important and without it there is no reason to live.

For Makumbe, the thought of another ZANU-PF victory gives her nightmares. I cannot imagine the day after ZANU-PF wins, or a week, a month or another five years of hell. Have people really put into perspective what it will mean for inflation, foreign currency rates, the health delivery system and the education system? she asked. Foreign currency dealer Willis Ncube is one of the few people who would like the economic crisis to continue. He does not worry about how the country can continue to sustain parallel foreign currency rates.

Ncube, who has never been formally employed, became what is referred to as a runner or middleman when the black market for foreign currency began to boom. Over time, he began trading his own cash and has since bought a car and is renting a house in a Harare suburb. Mudhara (the old man – a reference to Mugabe) must win. I cant imagine going into formal employment. I am used to working my own hours and making a quick buck, he said. It is better for me the way things are right now. I cant imagine what I would do if things normalised.

*Florence Mafa is the pseudonym of an IWPR journalist in Zimbabwe.


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Kenya: A fresh start

Posted by African Press International on March 10, 2008

Job creation and legal reforms were top on the list when President Kibaki set the legislative agenda for the Tenth Parliament Thursday.

And in what would signal a fresh start in the way Kenya is governed, the House opened without an official Opposition party for the first time since multi-partyism was re-introduced in 1992. Once the crucial Bills legalising the coalition are passed, MPs from all parties will work as a team to promote national healing. The manifestos of all parties will be used as a framework for new national policies, the President said.
The President urged MPs to become ambassadors of peace and reconciliation. He was confident that Kenya would overcome the post-election strife that cost the country over 1,200 lives.

The four key Bills will legalise the grand coalition and set up a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission. High on the reforms agenda is the Bill to change the way local authorities are governed. The President urged Parliament to pass a law to pave the way for the direct election of mayors. My Government will also re-table the Sessional Paper on Employment Policy for discussion in the House on the urgent and critical matter of providing enough jobs for our young people, said the President.

Priority will be given to activities that improve the livelihoods and conditions of the poor while promoting equitable opportunities for development throughout the country. Slum upgrading, building of public markets in all urban areas and support for small businesses and smallholders will be top on the agenda of the coalition government. President Kibaki also revealed why he and ODM leader Raila Odinga signed the power- sharing deal and peace accord last Thursday: They were answering the cries of Kenyans and had recognised that the country was more important than either of them.

The four Bills, The National Accord and Reconciliation Bill, The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, The Establishment of Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission Bill, and The Establishment of the Ethnic Relations Commission of Kenya Bill will be given priority to ensure the power-sharing accord is legalised and effected. The National Accord and Reconciliation Bill will give legal weight to the agreement signed between President Kibaki and Mr Odinga to create the posts of Prime Minister and two deputies. It will also legalise the proportionate distribution of Cabinet positions between PNU and ODM.

Once it is passed, Mr Odinga will become independent Kenyas second Prime Minister after Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, who held the position briefly. It was obvious from the mood among MPs that the peace deal had eased tensions between them.

The atmosphere in the House was in sharp contrast to the chaos and name-calling that marked the swearing-in of MPs and the election of the Speaker in January. At that time, tempers flared and lawmakers nearly came to blows with each side raising numerous points of order to delay proceedings after the two sides disagreed over the outcome of the December 27 presidential election results. During the State Opening of Parliament Thursday, President Kibaki was received by Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, Mr Odinga, deputy leader of government business Martha Karua and whips from the Government coalition and ODM.

Though Mr Odinga occupied the seat of the Leader of Official Opposition, this time round, MPs from both sides of the House rose when the President made his way into the chamber to occupy the Chair of State from where he delivered his address. Only PNU/government coalition MPs stood during the swearing-in in January. This time, there was spontaneous foot thumping during the Presidents address.

At the Presidents request, the House observed a minutes silence twice to honour Embakasi MP Melitus Mugabe Were and Ainamoi MP David Too, who were short dead in January and the more than 1,200 people killed in the violence sparked by the disputed presidential election results. The President also congratulated the new women MPs, whose number had increased to 21. He also reiterated that the Government would pursue its policy to ensure that women got at least 30 per cent of appointments in the public service.

And to the other MPs, he said: Honourable Members, you must now become the ambassadors of peace and reconciliation in your constituencies, among your communities and throughout the country. Kenyans need to hear and be reassured by their political leaders that they can live, own property and do business in any part of the country without fear of prejudice, harassment or persecution.

The President proposed that a comprehensive policy and law to promote national security and social cohesion be passed for the well-being of the country. With regard to local authorities, the President proposed that a Bill be brought to the House to amend the Local Government Act to enable the direct election of mayors and county council chairmen. “This reform is long overdue and this Parliament should deliberate on it as a matter of priority, he said.

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Liberia: Firestone to invest in rubber wood production

Posted by African Press International on March 10, 2008

Firestone Liberia has announced the opening of the first phase of its operation to process rubber wood. The air-dried rubber wood is a value-added, ecologically sustainable product of its natural rubber operations in Liberia and will create 500 new jobs in the country.

“In 2005, Firestone started an aggressive replanting effort to rehabilitate our rubber tree farming operations following 14 years of civil war which prevented any replanting,” said Dan Admitis, President, Firestone Natural Rubber Company. “Replanting up to 5,000 acres a year means we have a lot of old trees to clear. While we wait for the new trees to reach maturity [around 7 years], we’re excited to be developing a new business for Liberia and providing new jobs.”

Rubber trees will be processed after they reach the end of their lifecycle for producing latex, which is typically around 30 years. The old trees will be cut down and transported to the rubber wood mill. At the mill, the trees will be cut to size, pressure-treated and dried to desired moisture content. The resulting product is an ecologically friendly, durable hardwood that is often used in furniture and flooring throughout the world.

Rubber wood processing required a significant investment by the company in a new plant facility and equipment. The company plans to complete work on its rubber wood factory, located in Division 16, and expand production into veneered and kiln-dried rubber wood later this year. It is expected that production will expand in the coming years, and this will result in additional jobs being created.

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Rwanda: Country awaits French courts’ verdicts

Posted by African Press International on March 10, 2008

Kigali (Rwanda) – Following Wednesday’s request by French prosecutors to have recently arrested Genocide suspect Claver Kamana extradited to Rwanda for trial, Kigali has reiterated its ability to handle the case.

Kamana, a former businessman was arrested in on February 26 following an Interpol red notice issued by the Rwandan Government for his suspected role in the 1994 Genocide. “That is a good move by the French prosecution because that is what we requested them to do. We only hope that the judges will heed this request as well,” John Bosco Mutangana, the spokesperson for Prosecution, told The New Times yesterday.
He said that Rwanda has demonstrated the capacity and willingness to take on these trials.

“Our capacity can be measured in three categories, there is the legal point of view, as our legislation has been adjusted to suit the required standards; there is enhanced capacity in human resources and logistics for the accommodation of the suspects,” said Mutangana. Kamana, who was a property mogul at the time of Genocide, is accused of six counts including Genocide, complicity to commit Genocide among others.
Trials for the extradited suspects will be on first instance by the High Court and appeals will be logged at the Supreme Court.

“Cases at High Court are prosecuted by senior prosecutors,” Mutangana said. Currently there are three suspects in French custody awaiting court ruling for extradition to Rwanda. Apart from Kamana, others are Isaac Kamali, and a Lieutenant Colonel in the ex-FAR Marcel Bivugabagabo. Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Charles Murigande said that the fact that France does not have an extradition treaty with Rwanda should not bar the extraditions. “There are certain laws to which all UN member states are bound for certain crimes, like terrorism and acts of genocide, extradition can take place without a treaty between member countries,” Murigande said.

He said that it depends on the political willingness of a particular country. Three other Genocide suspects are being held in France at the request of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
They are Fr Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, Laurent Bucyibaruta and Dominique Ntawukuriryayo. A French court recently ruled that the former be extradited to ICTR for trial while, the UN tribunal requested that the other two be tried in French courts. The recent arrests of key fugitives came after a government-appointed team of prosecutors and police officers published a list of 96 key suspects hiding in different parts of the world.

Since then, at least ten have been arrested, mostly in European countries.


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