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Archive for March 13th, 2008

The importance of Tea Board of Kenya causes trouble in Sotik

Posted by African Press International on March 13, 2008

api-correspondent-odera-omolo.jpg<From Leo Odera Omolo
Trouble is brewing in Sotik district over the forthcoming elections of a zonal representative at the Tea Board of Kenya
For several years the region was represented by the retired corporate director of James Finlays Tea Company (formerly African Highland Produce Company Ltd) Mr.Titus Korir.
The large scale tea plantation and factories in the area, which are members of the Tea Board of Kenya include Kipkebe Tea Company, Sotik Tea Company, Itibo which is owned by Mrs.Leah Laboso the mother of the recently elected ODM MP for Sotik Mrs Lorna Laboso,Omugusii farmers and Korumbe farm These are the only eligible members of the Tea Board of Kenya..
All these are large scale tea farms, some are with tea processing plants and therefore are qualified for representation slot in the Tea Board of Kenya,but under the previous arrangement,they were represented by Mr.Titus Korir from the James Finlays.tea company as a key player in the tea industry. Mr. Korir has since left the employment of the Kericho and Bureti based firm and hence the need for a change of representation in the TBK
Now that Mr.Korir is no longer an employee of the Finlay Tea Company,the group are demaning that he now relinquish his position at the Tea Board so that they can elect one of their own who will represent the interest of farmers in the zone
Mr.Korir, however, could not be reached to clarify his position as to whether he will defend his seat or not .But the board election is reportedly due for next month.and the campaign has already in top gear.
Mr.Korir whose working relations with other senior managers at the James Finlays Tea Company was not a bed of roses before his departure in huff is the current chairman of the Kericho based Kenya Tea Growers Association, but who is understood not to be eligible for next election since he has caused to be a top managers with James Finlays Tea Company.
Workers in the Tea industry covering Sotik ,Bureti,Kericho and Nandi Hills appeared not to be comfortable with Mr.Korir continuing directing KTDA programme and policies on industrial relation.
They have also appeared to be top management at George Williamson Tea Company at Nandi Hills and Bureti district to withdraw their support of Mr.Korir as the KTGA.
Unliver one of the major players in the Tea industry withdrew its membership of KTGA a couple of years in what was not adequately explained and entered direct negotiations with the Kenya Plantation and Agricultural block whose secretary general is the firebrand Francis Atwoli who is also the secretary general of the workers umbrella body in Kenya (COTU
Atwoli could not be reached for his immediate comment over the KTGA.But he is feeling that persist in both Sotik ,Kericho,Bureti and Nandi Hills tea zones is that the retired former executive could go home honorably and desist from setting orders in other activities which could jeopardize the existing cordial relation between the owners and the multinational tea companies.
But large scale farmers in Sotik are said to be firm that they want to elect a genuine and locally based farmer to represent their interest at the Tea board of Kenya.
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Karua may become the First Kenya Deputy PM

Posted by African Press International on March 13, 2008

As API predicted, Karua may get Deputy Premier post whereby she will be able to watch over Raila Odinga’s shoulders – She will be doing it for PNU!


Women want Karua named deputy premier

Written By:KBC Reporter,Posted: Thu, Mar 13, 2008

A cross section of women representing political parties across the political divide want Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Martha Karua appointed Deputy Prime Minister.

Led by Interparty Women Forum Chairperson Connie Kivuti, the women say Karua should be appointed for the post in accordance with the thirty percent women representation in the government, as directed by President Mwai Kibaki last year.

Irene Njeri of the National Committee Women Congress says the Minister’s credentials as a distinguished politician and lawyer qualifies her for the portfolio.

The Interparty Women Forum Treasurer, Alice Ng’ang’a says ministerial positions should be awarded out of merit and not to represent regions.


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It is better for someone to think of you as a fool than to open your mouth and prove it

Posted by African Press International on March 13, 2008

From Sabina Chege

Salty Coffee: An amazing Love Story

He met her at a party. She was so beautiful, many guys were chasing
after her, while he was so plain and simple, nobody paid attention to

At the end of the party, he invited her to have coffee with him, she
was surprised, but to be polite, she consented. They went to a nice
coffee shop, he was too nervous to say anything, she felt
uncomfortable, she thought, please, let me go home…. suddenly he asked
the waiter.

“would you please give me some salt? I’d like to put it in my coffee.”

Everybody stared at him, How strange! His face turned red, but still,
he put the salt in his coffee and drank it.

She asked him curiously; why you have salt in your coffee? He replied:
“when I was a little boy, I lived near the sea, I like playing in the
sea, I could feel the taste of the sea, just like the taste of the salty
coffee. Now every time I have the salty coffee, I always think of my
childhood, think of my hometown, I miss my hometown so much, I miss my
parents who still live there”. While saying that tears filled his eyes.
She was deeply touched.

That’s his true feelings, from the bottom of his heart. A man who can
share his homesickness, he must be a man who loves home, cares about
home, has ties to his home.

Then she also started to speak, spoke about her faraway hometown, her
childhood, her family. That was a really nice talk, also a beautiful
beginning of their story.

They continued to date. She found that he was actually a man who meets
all her demands; he had
tolerance, was kind hearted, warm, careful. He was such a good person
but she almost missed knowing him! Thanks to his salty coffee!

The story ended just like every beautiful love
story , the princess married the prince, then they lived happily ever
after… And, every time she made coffee for him, she put some
salt in it, as she knew that’s the way he liked it.

After 40 years, he passed away, left her a letter which said: “My
dearest, please forgive me, I have been lying my whole life. This was
the only lie I told you—the salty coffee.

Remember the first time we dated? I was so nervous at that time,
actually I wanted some sugar, but I said salt. It was hard for me to
change it, so I just went ahead.I never thought that could be the start
of our conversation! I tried to tell you the truth many times in my
life, but I was too afraid to do that, as I have promised not to lie to
you about anything. Now I’m dying, I’m afraid of nothing so I can tell
you the truth: I don’t like the salty coffee, what a strange bad taste..
But I have had the salty coffee for my whole life!

Since I met you, I don’t ever feel sorry for everything I did for you.
” Having you with me is the biggest thrill of my whole life. If I can
live a second time around, I would still want to know you and have you
for the rest of my life,even though I have to drink the salty coffee
Her tears made the letter totally wet. One day, someone asked her: how
did the salty coffee taste? It was very sweet, she replied.
Love is not to forget but to forgive, not to see but to understand, not
to hear but to listen, not to let go but to HOLD ON !!!!

Don’t ever leave the one you love for the one you like, because the one
you like will leave you for the one they love. Tonight your true love
will realize how much they love you, between 1 and 4 in the morning.
Tomorrow the shock of your life will
occur. If you break the chain you will have bad luck for 10 yrs if you
don’t pass this on to 15 people in 15 mins including the one from whom
got this..

Forget the things that make you sad …. Remember the things that make
you glad.

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Who is actually running the Eastern Congo?

Posted by African Press International on March 13, 2008

From Scott A MorganThere was a General State of Relief in Central Africa Earlier This Year when the Peace Deal for the Democratic Republic of the Congo was finally signed. After a Decade of both Low-Intensity and High Level Conflict the Country is taking Some Crucial Steps in the Effort to rejoin the Community of Nations.But there is a New Wrinkle in the Situation in the Kivu Provinces. Not all of the Militias have been Disarmed. And what could make the Situation even Worse not all of the Foreign Militias have been Disarmed and Disbanded. And if the Report from a Regional Human Rights Group are True then the Last Demons of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide have not been Exorcised.

The Group in Question is the FDLR. ( Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda) They have been accused by the Kagame Government of playing a role in the Horrendous Events of 1994. There have been reports that state that the FDLR has an Estimated 6,000 People currently in the Eastern DRC. And they have reportedly set up their own Rules and Laws in the Area.What are the Current Activities that they are doing? In the Bunyakiri Region the Group has set up its Own Army and Police Forces. They also Levy Taxes, Have their own Tribunals, and Have Issued Travel Passes for the Local Population. In Some Communities the Militia Force have taken over after Congolese Police and Army Forces have Deserted the Area. In 2007 Kigali and Kinshasa signed a Deal that would Disarm and Repatriate Foreign Militias by Force if Necessary. President Kabila has a Similar Deal with Uganda to Undertake a Similar Mission. Currently MONUC (United Nations Mission in the Congo) announced that it will Progressively Reenforce its Positions in the East of the Country. However at this time there are No Plans for Military Action.Another Part of the Peace Deal covers Intelligence Sharing between the DRC and Rwanda. Burundi and the United States also take Part in this Initiative which has the Goal of Preventing any Further Escalation of Conflict. The Group also has been Investigating the Status of Militias in the Region as well. The Longer the FDLR Operates in this Fashion with Impunity the Greater the Chance for a Border Incident will occur. Also a Clash with either the UN Force or the Government could occur as well. The Efforts by the UN and the Congolese Government to reign in these Militias have not been successful at this juncture. Some Militias had to be beaten in order for their Leadership to be taken into Custody.Another Idea that could be Feasable is to have the FDLR sign the Peace Accords with the Kabila Government. That way they can Become Part of the Process and Not trying Work Around it so that they can Maintain their Power and hold Two Countries under the Threat of Renewed Hostilities. The Author Publishes Confused Eagle

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Cameroon, UNDP sign convention to accelerate Lake Nyos degassing project

Posted by African Press International on March 13, 2008

<From Tansa Musa
YAOUNDE, Mar 13 – Cameroon and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)have this week in Yaounde signed a 46 million U.S. dollar convention to accelerate the process of degassing Lake Nyos and build an artificial embankment to reinforce the natural dam retaining the water so as to make it safe forsome 13,000 people who were displaced followingthe August 1986 disaster toreturn to their fertile land.
Lake Nyos is a deep crater lake in the North-West province of Cameroon that lies on the Cameroon volcanic line that runs from the Pagalu island in the Atlantic ocean through Mount Cameroon to the Oku volcanic peak. Its waters are hemmed in by a natural dam of volcanic rock.
According to scientists, a pocket of magma lies beneath the lakeand leaks carbon dioxide into the water, transforming it into carbonic acid. Nyos is one of only three lakes in the world known to be saturated with carbon dioxide in this way. The others are Lake Monoun which lies some 100 km south-east of Nyos, and Lake Kivu in Rwanda.
On the night of August 21-22, 1986, probably triggered by some volcanic activity or a landslide, there was a sudden burst of a large cloud ofcarbon dioxide from the lake which suffocated some 1,800 people and 3,500 livestock in nearby villages. The survivors of the disaster were displaced to resettlement camps. This was thefirst known large-scale asphyxiation caused by a natural event. After a series of conferences, scientists from all over the world agreed that it was important to degas the lake as a way to preventing a re-occurrence of the disaster. It was agreed that at least five tubes be installed in the lake to ease the release of the gas into the atmosphere. But because of financial difficulties, only one wasinstalled in 2001.
Speaking at the convention signing ceremony, UNDP resident coordinator Sophie de Caen said the thousands of people who were displaced to settlement campsare living under very hard conditions and are poverty-stricken because of lack of resources and social amenities in the camp sites. Sheregretted that their situation is worsened by the fact that they cannotreturn to make use of fertile farmland on their ancestralland because scientists have warned of impending danger as more toxic gas continues to accumulate inside the lake, while the natural dam holding backthe waters of the lake is weakening and can give way, resulting in flooding and destruction of life and property downstream.
The money to be generated by theconvention will therefore serve to implementthe 2007-2010 national programme to make safeand rehabilitate Lake Nyos elaborated by the UNDP and the government of Cameroon in 2007.The programme comprises four components, includingthe security ofLake Nyos, the socio-economicresettlement of thedisplaced population and assistance to the productive sector, the sustainable management of natural resources and protection of the environment, and the improvement of social infrastructure.
Thepriority of the project would betomake the lake safe.The project will therefore immediately acquire two more pipes so as to upgrade the degassing process of thelake, whileon-going studies by the European Union will be completed on a project to build the artificial embankmentto reinforce the naturaldam and prevent its collapse. A breach of the dam, which scientists say couldtake place within 10 years,will release a gigantic flood that would kill as many as 10,000 people down the Katsina river, a tributary of the Benue River, in Cameroon and Nigeria.
As at now, the degassing projectconstitutes of a big pipe placed vertically in the lake. The water in thelake has been initiated to flow vertically through the pipe into a fountain at the surface, thereby draining the lake of its toxic carbon dioxide content.It is estimated to release some 20,000 tonnes of gas per year, while 5,000 tonnes is emitted into the lake by the volcano mantle. To degas the full lake which currently holds some 300 million m3 ofgas, at least 600,000 tonnes will have to be removed annually, which will take about 30 years, scientists say. Hence the decision to install two more tubes to accelerate the degassing process and the construction of the embankment to reinforce the dam.
Also speaking at the occasion,Cameroon’s state minister for Territorial Administration, Hamidou Yaya Marafa emphasised the need to speed up the project tomake thelake safe. Despite warnings from the scientific community, he said many displaced people were already returning to the lake region, attracted by its fertile land and amid fears that people from other parts of the country could move in to occupy their ancestral land.(END)
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Are Polish people suffering in the hands of Norwegians?

Posted by African Press International on March 13, 2008

Building boss denies he exploited workers

The head of a construction firm in Tnsberg returned from holiday this week to fend off strong accusations from state and local officials that he has seriously exploited workers from Poland, violated occupational safety rules and over-billed public agencies. Harald Langemyhr claims he hasn’t done anything wrong.

Construction firm owner Harald Langemyhr denies he exploited Polish workers at his firm’s job sites.


Harald Langemyhr (far right) met some of his Polish workers in Tnsberg, and denied their housing was as bad as authorities said.


“We believe we can document over-billing,” the head of Omsorgsbygg (the municipal agency that owns, manages and develops buildings used for social welfare purposes in Oslo) told newspaper Aftenposten this week.

Per Morten Johansen of Omsorgsbygg believes Langemyhr has over-billed the city in connection with its construction of both a day care center at Sinsen and a nursing home at kern.

Some of Langemyhr’s Polish workers, meanwhile, have claimed that “large amounts” of construction materials were transported from the city’s building sites in Oslo to the site of a villa that Langemyhr is building for himself in Tnsberg, about a 90-minute drive south of Oslo.

“That’s not right,” said Langemyhr.

Several of his workers also claimed they worked on his villa’s building site, but were told to submit timecards saying they’d worked at the city’s building sites.

“That’s certainly not right,” claimed Langemyhr.

Neither he nor his staff have been willing to defend their claims in detail, but say they’re prepared to do so for the state and local authorities. They were ordered to submit documentation by noon on Wednesday.

When asked about the alleged over-billing, Langemyhr’s project leader Gustav Winge said he hadn’t been informed by Omsorgsbygg that it was holding back NOK 6 million in payments until its questions were resolved over bills submitted by Langemyhr.

“Such discussions about billing are not abnormal in the building branch,” Winge said.

Newspaper Aftenposten reported Wednesday that its reporter witnessed piles of documents being shredded at Langemyhr’s offices on Tuesday. No explanation was given for the document destruction.

Charges of worker exploitation against Langemyhr emerged late last week. State and local authorities claim workers from Poland were seriously underpaid, found to be living in overcrowded and unsafe housing and that their pay was being docked every month for the substandard living conditions.

That indicates Langemyhr also profited on the workers’ poor housing, since they collectively paid as much as NOK 10,000 (nearly USD 2,000) a month to live in a container, and NOK 200,000 to live in a house deemed unsafe by local authorities.

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Former fisheries minister comes open as he reveals his diagnosis

Posted by African Press International on March 13, 2008

Former government minister reveals Alzheimer diagnosis

Jan Henry T Olsen, who was Norway’s high-profile fisheries minister in the mid-1990s, revealed Wednesday that he’s suffering from a brain disease believed to be Alzheimer’s. The 51-year-old Olsen hopes he can contribute to more awareness and openness about the dreaded ailment.

Jan Henry T Olsen led Norwegian negotiations with the European Union on fishing matters. He’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease at an age of 51.


Olsen told his hometown newspaper Nordlys in Troms, northern Norway, that he began to suspect something was seriously wrong when he no longer could carry out his work as an adviser for insurance firm Storebrand. Olsen, a long-time member of the Labour Party, left national politics several years ago.

A company doctor at Storebrand arranged testing. A diagnosis of probable Alzheimer’s, which leads to near-total memory loss and loss of bodily functions, was made a few weeks ago after subsequent tests at Ullevl University Hospital in Oslo.

Olsen’s relatively young age made the diagnosis difficult to accept for both the former minister and his wife Laila Lanes. They married about 18 months ago and just a few months later, his wife suspected something was wrong.

“I had traveled to Kirkenes for a seminar and naturally told Jan Henry where I was going,” she told Nordlys. “Just a short while later, Jan Henry called and asked where I was.

“I also was baffled that he had problems remembering the colors of the markers we used to play a board game with Jan Henry’s daughter.”

Olsen is now on sick leave but intends to remain active in the Troms Labour Party for as long as he can. “But at the same time, I realize I have limitations,” he said.

The couple hopes that revealing Olsen’s diagnosis will disspell rumours that he was suffering from a brain tumour or even seemed drunk at times.

“As long as we weren’t open about it, you can say we were contributing to prejudice,” he said.

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The 11th Summit of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference on 13-14 March in the Senegalese capital

Posted by African Press International on March 13, 2008

Dakar (Senegal) Spanish Prime Minister, Jos Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, is expected in Dakar to deliver a speech on his Alliance of Civilisations project during the 11th Summit of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference on 13-14 March in the Senegalese capital, Senegalese foreign affairs minister Sheik Tidiane Gadio said here Tuesday.

In addition to the Spanish Premier, Gadio said the UN Secretary-general, Ban ki-Moon is due Wednesday in Dakar as well as the US envoy to the OIC Summit Sada Cumber who was appointed last 27 February.

The Spanish PM would present a paper on his Alliance of Civilisations project, Gadio said, feeling that it would be an excellent detail for the reconciliation of peoples.

We do not know his schedule. He won the recent Spanish parliamentary elections and should be overwhelmed, Gadio added.

Zapatero whom Gadio said is a great friend of the Ummah launched an initiative in 2004 in collaboration with his Turkish counterpart, Racep Tayyip Erdogan.

On the 60th anniversary of the Arab League in March 2005 in Algiers, Zapatero delivered a memorable speech, saying the narrow vision which mainly identifies terrorism with an Islamic radical and fanatic vision is a serious mistake that unfairly gives rise to a suspicious complicity within all societies and communities.

Such attitude is a serious mistake which thwarts understanding and leads to misunderstanding between cultures, he had explained.

The Alliance of Civilisations aims at bringing the institutions and civil societies closer to overcome the cultural and religious biases and misunderstandings.

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Peace in sight?

Posted by African Press International on March 13, 2008

Dakar – (Senegal) The signing ceremony of the Chad Sudanese peace agreement under the aegis of the Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade is expected to take place Wednesday evening at the State House in Dakar.

The Senegalese mediation in the conflict opposing Chad and its neighbour Sudan, who trade accusations of destabilising each other, will take place in the presence of the UN Secretary General Secretary Ban Ki Moon.

The mediation is taking place a day before the opening of the 11th Summit of the Heads of State and governments of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

The move is aimed at allaying tension between the two after an attempt by Chadian rebels who were allegedly backed by Sudan to oust the regime of the Chadian president early February.

Sudan accuses Chad of supporting Sudanese rebel factions in Darfur, mainly the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) led by members from President Debys Zaghawa ethic group.

Wade said he would commit each country to stop supporting the opponents of the other on their own territories.

The accord includes the disarmament of groups (except the regular armies) under the supervision of both the African Union and EUFOR forces.

Among other things, the document provides that none of the two countries should support rebels against the other.

“We are going to conclude the work that is already started and we wish that everybody signs it”, the Senegalese Foreign Minister, Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, said Tuesday afternoon during the OIC Foreign Ministers meeting.

Chad and Sudan had already signed many accords that were yet to be implemented and in which both countries committed themselves not to support rebels on either sides of their borders.

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Libyan leader becomes a hero

Posted by African Press International on March 13, 2008

libyan-leader.jpg<Libyan leader Khadafi

Niamey (Niger) The Niger Movement for Justice (MNJ) announced the release of 25 hostages among them a Prefect kidnapped in the wake of the movements assault across the country.

Those hostages, mostly Nigerien soldiers, were handed to the Libyan leader, Mouammar Khadafi, the MNJ said in a release issued on Monday on its website.

“This act marks the first anniversary of our movement which has been combating for over one year the Niamey regime,” the source said.

The movement, which is not recognised by the Nigerien authorities, deplored that the “friendly and faithful” release of the prisoners does not favour an approach to dialogue”.

The MNJ members are largely of Tuareg ethnic group. The northern Niger-based rebel group created in February 2007 claims a better socio-economic reinsertion and the hiring of local people by the mining companies operating in this region.

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