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Archive for March 14th, 2008

Relationships shattered

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2008

A fractured relationship

Daniel Cheruiyot looks at the effects of the post-election violence on the ever-strained landlord/tenant association.

The post-election period has witnessed a breakdown of law and order especially in relation to property rights and has further strained the ever poor landlord/tenant relationship. The problem is extremely serious in low income settlements of Nairobi like Kibera, Mathare, Huruma, Dandora and Kariobangi. Tenants as well as landlords have been evicted in equal measure, depending on the numerical strength of the ethnic communities supporting either group.

This problem has brought new and worrying dimensions in the rental property market in terms of landlord/tenant preferences. In the affected areas, landlords no longer base their selection criteria mainly on the ability to pay but more on ethnicity, while the major concern for tenants is not safety from burglars and armed robbers, but the fear of militia from rival communities. Tenants from friendly ethnic groups have come together, taken over certain areas forcing landlords from certain communities to flee. Many of these landlords have not been able to collect the rent from the occupants, even from those willing to pay because of fear of attack.

This has resulted in serious imbalance in occupancy rates with certain urban areas and towns reporting high levels of vacancies. Naivasha, for example, is adversely affected because it had a high population of migrant workers from Western Kenya and Nyanza.

A similar problem has been noted in agricultural properties as well, because there is a sizeable proportion of farmers who lease land for commercial farming. Some of these farmers have not been able to prepare the land in readiness for the planting season and may lose money already paid for the annual leases.

The issue is complicated by the imbalance in urban real estate ownership occasioned by traditional biases in investment portfolios. Various communities in Kenya invest along certain distinct patterns associated with cultural backgrounds. Some prefer to invest in livestock and commercial farming, others in business and urban real estate while others invest in human resource. Such an imbalance and the prevailing animosity may deny some communities the opportunity to work, do business or even buy property in towns were their people do not own any buildings.

If this problem is not urgently and adequately addressed, it is likely to have serious consequences on the property market and the economy in general.

Landlords will lose income and will not be able to meet their financial obligations including mortgage repayments. There will be low food production, leading to high food prices. There will be loss of manpower in farms, research institutions, universities and even skilled artisans and craftsmen in areas like the construction industry. This will discourage investment and slow down the countrys economy and eventually lead to a slump in property values.

The Government, professional bodies like the Institution of Surveyors of Kenya and civil society groups should initiate education programmes targeting landlords and tenants and educate them on the dangers of using unorthodox means of resolving disputes.

As a first step, the Government through the local administration should intervene and restore possession of the premises by peaceful means to the rightful owners. Secondly, formation of local landlords and tenants associations should be encouraged and given legal and administrative support. This should address local rental housing problems. This is to discourage the use of vigilante groups in soughting out rent issues and avoid the formation of illegal cartels that may eventually hijack property management from landlords.

Existing legal bodies like the Rent Tribunal should be reorganised, adequately staffed and given a wider mandate to deal with housing problems even in the squatter settlements.

A law to specifically deal with agricultural tenancies should be enacted. This is to protect tenants from dishonest land owners and land owners from crafty tenants. For example, when a tenant spends a substantial amount of capital on land improvement (bush clearing or soil conservation projects) that tenant should be protected by law until the full costs of these projects are recouped or the lease expires.

Such a law should also ensure that any person occupying property, even temporarily is properly documented and the conditions of stay clearly spelt out to avoid squatter issues, especially on large scale farms and public land.

Such a law should provide for long term leases of even upto ten years or more. This will reduce the need to own land in order to venture into longer term agricultural investments.

If proper legal mechanisms are put in place, owners of large underutilised tracts of land may be reassured and could lease out land to those who need it.

The writer is Head of Valuation Department at Regent Valuers Int. Limited

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Farmers ask for urgent action – they need help

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2008

Story by SHEILA NATURINDA
Publication Date: 3/14/2008

Displaced farmers plead for help

Kenyas farmers displaced by the countrys recent political turmoil today took their pleas for resettlement to the Government and the Orange Democratic Movement.

Prime Minister designate Raila Odinga and Nobel peace laureate Prof Wangari Maathai soon after a meeting with displaced farmers leaders in Nairobi today. Photo/ PETERSON GITHAIGA

The Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers (Kenfap) met jointly with Prime Minister designate Raila Odinga and the Minister of State for Special Programmes, Dr Naomi Shabaan and asked for urgent action to help the farmers.

Kenfap chairman Nduati Kariuki said that about 40 per cent of the estimated 350,000 people displaced by the post-election violence in the country are farmers.

The farmers leader said that his members are the drivers of agricultural production in the country and asked the Government to resettle them back onto their farms.

The violence saw majority farmers leave their lands and this has adversely affected the food hub of the country, said Mr Kariuki.

Mr Kariuki warned that the country risked a heavy food shortage in the next few months following disruption of farming activities.

The association of farmers main objective, he said, was to secure a peaceful coexistence among the farmers, restore farming cycles and re-integrate the communities.

Speaking during the meeting, Dr Shabaan said the Government was already on track to restore peace, and resettle the displaced.

She added that the Government had set aside Sh1 billion to resettle all internally displaced people and that farmers will also receive Government support in the form of agricultural inputs.

The internally displaced are going to be given seeds, fertilizers and other agricultural inputs to assist them revive their farms, she said.

Mr Odinga assured the farmers that land was one of the major reforms the new coalition government was to tackle.

The ODM leader assured the farmers that agriculture and land questions were a priority in the peace building and reconstruction programmes that the Government was undertaking.

The country will automatically face a major food shortage in the near future if the land issue is not tackled urgently, he said.

The ODM leader told farmers that their concerns about insecurity, displacement and rising costs of inputs would be addressed by the Government, adding that a 10 member committee was already working on how to harmonise the manifestoes of PNU and ODM, which had addressed the plight of farmers.

Said the ODM leader: We must protect our farmers at all costs in order to ensure that our country is self sufficient in food security. We have formed a grand coalition Government which is unique in Africa, but not in Europe, and we are harmonising the manifesto of our parties (PNU and ODM), to support our farmers.

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Former MP has died

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2008

Story by CAROLINE WAFULA
Publication Date: 3/14/2008

Former Embakasi MP David Mwenje is dead.

The late David Mwenje. Photo/ FILE

Mr Mwenje, 55, died Thursday evening at Aga Khan University Hospital where he had been admitted since January.

The former MP was admitted to the hospital on January 16. His condition deteriorated and he was transferred taken to Intensive Care where he went into a coma on February 6.

The former MP died barely two months after his successor, Mr Melitus Mugabe Were, was gunned down outside his home at Woodley Estate.

Last week, the High Court allowed Mwenjes two children, Ms Maureen Waithira and Eric Kamau Mwenje, to manage their ailing fathers property.The court however allowed the children limited access to the property.

Earlier in the hearing, the children had asked the court to bar journalists from covering the case in the interests of the patient.

The judge declined, saying Mr Mwenje was a public figure. He, however warned the media to exercise professionalism.

Mr Mwenje served as an assistant Minister for Service Sector in the Ministry of Co-operative Development and Marketing in the Narc government.

The former MP served five terms in the Kenyan Parliament. He was first elected in 1983 on a Kanu ticket and subsequently re-elected on the same ticket in 1988 but shifted to DP in the 1992 election and recaptured the seat during the 1997 election on the same ticket. He was again elected in 2002 on a Narc ticket.

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Investing in women – human resources

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2008

Dr Haja Isatou Njie-Saidy, Vice President of the Republic of The Gambia and Secretary of State for Womens Affairs has said that the attainment of the goal of gender equality and womens empowerment not only in the Gambia but also in the world at large cannot be achieved without the availability of timely and adequate financial human resources and other resources.

VP Njie-Saidy made this remarks last Friday March 7th 2008 in a nation-wide broadcasting, televised on Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS), in her office, while delivering her goodwill message on the occasion of the International Womens Day, March 8th, 2008 on the theme Financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women.

According to her, since 1980, when the national machinery for the advancement of women and girls in The Gambia was created, adequate financing has been a challenge due to limited resources although, government supported by a development partner has endeavoured to ensure the availability of resources, in many and varied ways, but the desired levels are yet to be achieved.

Below is the full text of H.E the Vice President Dr Isatou Njie-Saidys address:-

Fellow Gambians, Fellow Women

You will recall that, every year, on the 8th of March, International Womens Day is celebrated throughout the world with the objective of highlighting that achievements and challenges in the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls at the national and global levels.

This global event has grown from strength to strength and has become an event which brings women and all other stakeholders together to promote and advocate for more cohesive and coordinated interventions towards effectively addressing the critical needs of women in the social, political and economic processes. Each year a relevant theme is identified globally that is deemed most appropriate. This years theme is: financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Fellow Gambians, Fellow Women

In the Gambia, we cannot overemphasize the relevance and timeless of this years theme on Gender equality financing which focus is given by the UN and its other development partners, particularly, during the 52nd session of the commission on the Status of Women in New York from the 25th of February to the 7th of March 2008.

Currently being attended by representative of the DOSWA & Womens Bureau. The attainment of the goal of gender equality and womens empowerment, not only in the Gambia but also in the world at large, cannot be achieved without the availability of timely and adequate financial human material and other resources.

Since 1980, when the national machinery for the advancement of women and girls, in The Gambia was created, adequate financing has been a challenge due to limited resources although, Government supported by A development partner has endeavoured to ensure the availability of resources, in many and varied ways, but the desired levels are yet to be achieved. In the early 90s a project was initiated by government in collaboration with the World Bank a six year multi- sectoral and multi- donor funded Women in Development Project, which aimed at improving the status of women through the provision of resources to sectoral agencies and NGOs in the areas of health, agriculture, credit, community skills improvement, IEC, research, M & E and training.

The project employed the concept of women in development although the strategy was proven to be only partly effective and helped strengthen women related sectors.

Fellow Gambians, Fellow Women

In light of the above, the concept, Gender and Development ( GAD) was adopted in 1995, which employed the strategy of mainstreaming gender perspectives in national programmes and policies at all levels by all actors.

The strategy was endorsed in the Platform for action during the Beijing, China, fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 for the promotion of gender equality which it emphasized as central to addressing all critical areas of concern to men and women. In the same document governments were called upon, together with other stakeholders to promote effected policies of mainstreaming gender perspectives in programmes and policies at national and international levels, complemented by targeted interventions to ensure its full and effective implementation.

Fellow Gambians, Fellow Women

The achievements on the above mentioned areas, include the women in development project and other projects or interventions such as the formulation and ratification of Gambias first Policy for the Advancement of Women and Girls, Mainstreaming of gender and Poverty Project funded by DFID, the drafting of Womens Bill, creation of gender unit at the Department of State for basic and Secondary Education as well as institutionalization of Gender focal Points at other sectoral levels, economic empowerment focused projects under the Department of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and natural Resource, Trade and Employment, Youth and Sports, the Gambia chamber of commerce and Industry, Commercial Banks, Public Institutions, NGOs UN Agencies, other development partners and Civil Society Organisation.

However the situation of women is only partially/ or partly improved. Somewhat, the efforts of all sectors of Government need to be complimented so much by other Stakeholders including Women themselves.

Fellow Gambians, Fellow Women

Even after thirteen years, insufficient complementary resource allocation by donors to government for sectoral gender mainstreaming remained a challenge for all.

The report of the Secretary – General of the UN, on Progress in mainstreaming the gender perspective in the development Implementation and evaluation of national policies and programmes, with a particular focus on financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women, presented during the Fifty- second (52nd) session of the commission on the Status of Women, under item 3 (c) of the provisional agenda, Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and to the special session of the General Assembly entitled Women 2000; gender equality development and peace for the twenty -first century: gender mainstreaming strategy or through targeted interventions for women, require financial resources.

Despite a growing body of evidence demonstrating that gender equality makes good economic sense, and the call for gender mainstreaming in economic and public finance processes, globally, adequate resources has not been systematically allocated. In the fie- years review and appraisal of the implementation of the Platform for Action in 2000 a lack of adequate resources was noted by Member States in all regions as an obstacle to implementation.

The 10 year review and appraisal in 2005 indicated that in many countries domestic and external resources remained insufficient. The need for gender budgeting, Gender planning, programming, monitoring and evaluation is imminent at this point in time than before.

Fellow Gambians, Fellow Women

This confirms and gives an indication of the similarities of national with those of global challenges. Thus proving the lack of adequate financing and ineffective utilization of available resources for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls coupled with the fragmented and uncoordinated actions, lack of awareness and sometimes acceptance of gender concerns and concepts by the majority of the people, sometimes including women themselves.

Fellow Gambians, Fellow Women

This fact was clearly highlighted in report of the midterm review of the womens policy 2006, PRSP 11 2007- 2011, the report of the assessment of womens capacity gaps in decision-making 2007, as well as the Gambias Draft fourth report on CEDAW 2007.

Unfortunately this continues to create bottlenecks for the attainment of national goals as well as goal 3 of the MDGs that is gender equality.

The timeliness and relevance of this years theme cannot be overemphasised. In order to align ourselves with this global and clarion call, we urge all stakeholders (state and non state actors) to re-direct and re-orient their interventions and be committed to financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, through adequate resource allocation for effective mainstreaming of gender perspectives in all sectors and by all actors in the development arena.

Fellow Gambians, Fellow Women

Also during the opening ceremony of the 52nd session of the commission on the status of Women, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Launched a multi-year campaign to end violence against women, he stressed the need for concerted efforts by all stakeholders and made an urgent call to world leaders, Member States, lawmakers, United Nations entities, civil society, the private sector, the media and individuals to work together to end such violence. The Economic and / or Financial Empowerment of Women is one solution towards addressing gender-based domestic violence.

Fellow Gambians, Fellow Women

As we celebrate international womens day, may I kindly remind you that over the past decade, the Government of the Gambia has systematically registered progress in the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Women are now, more than ever before, serving in decision-making positions. Education and health services have improved and increased for all Gambians and womens participation in the ceremony has also gained momentum.

However, we cannot afford to be complacent with this compared to the wide gaps affecting the larger majority of women who sometimes find it difficult to engage themselves in any meaningful development. High illiteracy among women, high maternal and child mortality, poverty, lack of adequate infrastructure, inadequate financing and micro-credit services etc must be overcome. Despite for gains she thanks H.E for providing free maternal health to the country.

In conclusion, the national celebrations, this year, will, therefore, focus on resource mobilisation for adequate gender financing, formulation and validation of national gender policy, capacity building for stakeholders on gender budgeting and gender mainstreaming concepts and other relevant interventions.

The gender policy, programmes, will form the basis towards the Gambias effective and adequate financing for gender equality and the economic empowerment of women.

Within the context of this policy, strategies will be identified for gender budgeting, providing of adequate gender disaggregated date and an effective and well coordinated monitoring and evaluation framework. Of course a national march pass by women will be organised, coordinated by the women Bureau under the supervision of the National Womens Council and Department of State for Women Affairs.

The appropriate date of which will be communicated in due course, by the Womens Bureau and council.

Fellow Gambians, Fellow Women

The relevant arms of Government will surely continue to work towards ensuring the enactment of the 2005 Womens Bill and submission of the Gambias fourth (4th CEDAW report to the UN CEDAW committee, all geared towards empowering women and girls, and the attainment of gender equality.

May Allah the almighty bless us.

From Mohammed Legally-Cole)
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Land disputes cause of clashes

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2008

Some of the perennial and inter-communal land clashes which have been dogging the country for decades ever since she attained her political independence from Great Britain in 1963 could as well be rightly attributed to the colonialists mistakes and biased judgement..
The white settlers backed colonial administration in Kenya was biased against a certain tribe and communities and made wrong judgment while fixing the provincial district and communal boundaries in 1962. This was soon before the lowering of the British Union Jack a year later.
It is therefore wrong to attribute all the recent tribal skirmishes in various parts of western Kenya in particular and in the rest of the country in general as having sparked off by politics. These were the outcome of long nursed intra-communal grudges dating back to the early settlement of the White European Settlers.es
At the early part of the opening of the 20th century especially during the great settlers rush for land position in some parts of the Rift Valley, the colonial administration had seized some land plots at gun point from some communities which they pushed to semi-arid dry areas. .They then settled (white settlers) in the confiscated farms which are arguably the most fertile and arable from the native with total disregard to the short and long term interest of the native people had lived in those areas or ages,
Unless the government in a modern Kenya get deeply involve and try out how to sort out the masses of inter-communal difference over the endless land disputes the chances of recurrence of these clashes cannot be ruled out.
Let us have a look at the seemingly endless skirmishes between member of the Kipsigis and the Abagusii communities as a study case. Before the arrival of the while settlers at the beginning of the 20th century ,the boundaries separating the two communities had stretched along the Sondu River from Mwitinega,Ekerenyo,Ikonge up to the hills of Mokomoni to only a few kilometers east of the present Keroka Town and went up around Nyamasibi and Nyanturago centres in Nyaribari Masaba.
The entire Manga settlement and an area now commonly known as Borabu district were parts of the extended Kipsigis empire .But due to good weather conditions,fertile land good rainfall in Sotik highlands the colonialists forcefully removed the Kipsigis and pushed across Amalo and Ndanai rivers to the relatively less;fertile land in what is known today as lower Bureti area or Roret Division.
Both the Kipsigis and the Abagusii were later forced to make concessions.And .the two communities later reluctantly under intensive suppressions made the truce, which paved the way for the settlement of white settlers in what was later christined as Sotik white Highlands .This was followed by the establishment of Ngoina Tea plantations Sotik Tea Company and Kipkebe Tea company in the area.
Many white farmers introduced large scale dairy farming in the larger Sotikwhere the first KCC milk processing plant was built.It is where the plant stands today next to Itibo tea and dairy farms which is owned by the lots Mr.Fredrick Laboso and straitching to covering wide area Nyansiongo ,Kijauri and nearby locations
White farmers also extended their farming activities in the plains of Sotik side displacing thousand to indigenant Kispisgis people the same is what they did when the removed thousands of Kipsigis villagers out of their ancestral land in Kericho areas from Chebown, Kerenga,Kericho Estates,Kapsongoi,Kitimbe ,Saosa, Kimugu, Cheymen, Cheboswa, Chagaik,Kipkorech and Kapkatungor.All these names bears the relics of the suclans who lived in the area before the farms were handed to the white settlers .
The same with farm names such as Chemogonday which loosely translates as (Kapchomogondek) a prominent sub-clan of thre Kipisgis sub-tribe and the clan of the fomer ex-Semir Chief Cheborge Arap Tengecha who ruled what was known as Location Three of the old larger Kericho district for close to 40 years. .
But strange things happened .the boundaries commission which was appointed by the Colonial Secretary in 1962 and which was headed by one Professor K.W. MacKenzie to look into details of the tribal land problems with sgreat empasieze to take care of the communal interests had totally ignore the pleas made to it by Kipsigis leaders of the time most of them were colonial chiefs. .The Mackenzie commission fragrantly ignored the claims laid over these areas by the Kipsigis people, who were then led by the late Dr.Taiitta Arap Toweett as a member of Colonial Legislative Council representing Southern electoral Areas covering parts of Narok, Kericho and Trans-Mara districts and Ex Senior chief Cheborge Arap Tengecha (chieftan) and handed the entire Sotik Highlands region to the then Kisii district to the chagrins of the Kipsigis and their leaders. This is the bone of contention and the source of perennial tribal land clashes in the area ever since independence..
Ex-Senior Chief Musa Nyandusi of Nyaribari had told the Commission sitting at the Kisii ADC Hall that the old boundary between the Abagusii and the Kipsigis communities used to be at Kipkatet before arrival of whitemen.But because it was the intransigence of the Kipsigis people which had helped them in seizing more land which belonged to the Abagusii people .Chief Nyandusi was so powerful and influential colonial chief who had a lot of wealth.His views were suppoted by the late Ex-Senior Chief Gideon Magakof Kasipul and was also assisted by the late Chief Zakaria Angwenyi Of Kitutu who was the most enlightened among the colonialchiefs of the days
Nyandusi is the father the former Minister Simeon Nyacgae.He had a lot of influence over the white D.Cs and the entire colonial Provincial administration. Kericho district was still part of Nyanza Province and ruled from Kisumu.
Another forceful eviction from ancestral land took place when the entire Uasin Gishu sub-clan of the Maasai was evicted from the plains around Eldoret and sent with their herds of cattle to the Trans=Mara area of Narok
They became easily adapted to the area .But at the bloody expense of the Siria suba clans who were the native and the indiginant of Trans-Mara.being militarily powerful than their host,the Uasin Gishu were later succeeded in driving the Sirisia out of their ancestral land and pushed them to the interior towards the much more fiercest Lioliondo a and the combatant Moitanik sub-clans.
The government stand at the time was that the Abagusii people were densely populated and therefore needed a breathing space. All able Kisiis moved to the settlement areas of Sotik Highland and settled in nearly all large scale farms which were vacated by the departed white settlers at the independence. .
And thereafter the two communities have fought protracted border skirmishes almost every year.
The recent blood let skirmishes did not come as the result of the shooting death of the youthful Ainamoi MP elect Hon David Kimutai Too who was allegedly shot and killed by a Kisii traffic policeman nor did the clashes had anything to do with politically motivated violence caused by the disputed presidential elections results .But due to long standing ernemities caused by injustices associated with biased and unjust distributionm of the contentious land..The enemities only awaited for the slightest provocation.
Another case study is the removal of the Uasin Gishu sub-clan of the Maasai from their ancestral land in Eldoret and its environs ,in 1922 which show them being driven to Trans-mara with their thousands herds of cattle .This was another scheme to pave the way for the white settlers who moved in and established wheat growing farms and dairy farms in the area.
Fortunately the colonial administration did not know or realize that Transmara has the most fertile and arable land with good rainfall animal pasture.
In a fair judgment the colonials should have divided the Sotik settlement into two equal halves.In my view if such a thing had happens then peace and tranquility would have been restored permanently between the Kipsigis and their neigbours the Abagusii.
What has the government in collaboration with the MPs from the community had achieved in brokering the peace is commandable .But it is only a temporary measure which will not last for too long therefore along lost solution must be found to avoid future bloodshed.
Anyone who dare to visit Chebilat town along the present borders could be able to access the degree of enmities between the two communities and will see the need to end the perennial tribal clashes in the area.
api-correspondent-odera-omolo.jpg<From Leo Odera Omolo
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The government should get rid of banned militias

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2008

Commentary
The big question which lingers in the mind of many Kenyans is: Is the Kenya government loosing war on illegal militias or private armies?
In the year 2006, the Commissioner of Police Maj.General Hussein Ali made a no nonsense terse statement to the public .And by his pronouncement all the militia group were banned with immediate effect .Their existence thereafter became illegal and unlawful societies which could endanger the law and order..
But what Kenyans have witnessed in the recent past is a clear testimony that these illegal militia groups are still in business as usual. They have been savegedly attacking innocent people beating up maiming and even killing others with impunity. .
The groups declared as proscribed and banned were listed as Mungiki,Taliban,Kamjesh,Bag Dad Boys,Chinkororo,Amachuina,Kibago and others. But thereafter the statement by the Commissioner of Police ,a lot of water have passed under the bridge.The protracted battles between the Matatu crews and Mungiki in Nairobi and in Nakuru and Eldoret and in other bus terminals have raged on unabated. May lives have been lost and property worth thousands of shillings destroyed in these skirmishes.
In August last year ,the ODM Pentagon member William Ruto who also happens to be at the time the MP for Eldoret North in the Company of his South Mugirango counterpart Omingo Magara and an ODM activist Chris Bichage narrowly escaped death by a whisker as they fled a fund raising meeting venue in Magaras constituency.This iparticular incident has since denegerated a lot of ill-feeling and enemity between the Kalenjin and the Abagusii neighbouring communities which had hitherto lived together haqrmonbiously
The Chinkororo youths numbering between 60 and 80 were clad in red shuka uniforms for their identification. Top police brass in Gucha and Central Kisii districts had also attended the Harambee meeting, which was presided over by the then Minister for Roads and Works Simeon Nyachae.. All and sundry were very much aware that Chinkororo was already a banned and unlawful society. Why didnt the police officer arrest them on the spot?
Earlier before the three ODM leaders flew into the meeting venue in an helicopter,a group members of the banned Chinkororo numbering about 100 youths while clad in what looked like a shuka which meant they were officially in their uniform and armed to the teeth with crude weapons such as bows and arrows,Maasai rungus, swords and machetes.They were paraded before a senior cabinet Minister ,Simeon Nyachae (Roads and Public Works) in full view of police officers.
Nyachae addressed the group an thanked them for protecting the community against its enemies .But soon after this ministerial address the hell broke loose when Ruto, Magara and Bichage arrived at the venue.They were attacked beaten senselessly by the Chinkororos members in full view of police as Nyachae later heaped a lot of praisea on the unlawful militias.. Has Nyachae ever recorded any staterment with the police for encouraging unlawful society to execute acts of war-like and violence? IS THE LAWS IN Kenya being applied selectively?
These youths did not come form heaven or a distance land, but are people who are well known to the villagers members of the Provincial Administration within Gucha district and even to the security intelligence staff. working in the field.
To date no arrest gas been made.And during the recent tribal skirmishes along Sotik-Burabu districts borders four lorry loads of Chinkororo were transported from Gucha and South Kisii areas to boost the perceived war efforts in the frontline after the Kipsigis Morans had overruned Chebilat a small border town and other areas occupied by members of Abagusii community in the Sotik settlement areas stretching from Ekerenyo ,Mokomoni,Chebilat,Nyansiongo and Kijauri.But the outlawed forces could not be of any much help, because the well-drilled Kipsigis morans were able to tame them.the Chinkororo combatant were quickly withdrawn as soon as members of the GSU appeared in the area to beef up the security operation.Other Chinkororo were locvked up by police at Keroka Police Stationan act which provoked members of the Abagusii community to demonstrate and issued a threat of burning down the station. But the patriotic office in charge could not yield to the pressure and stuck to his gun.
In the perceived frontline, the Chinkroros fled the battle field in disray this is because they were no match to the Kalenjin morans. But what emerged clearly is that even the elected leaders have links with these outlawed groups, because someone might have paid for the lorries which transported ther Chinkororos from South Kisii to Keroka..
Last week Mungiki members almost paralysed Nairobi city centre in a demonstration to show the force of strength and it took the regular police force in combination with other security personnel to disperse from city centre
.
When violence broke in Kisumu City and its envieron on December 29th 2007 following the disputed presidential election results, the Kisumu based Bagdad Boys led the looters who ravaged the shops in the City centre.The looting inflicted huge lost to the towns economy, which experts have estimated to be in the region of Kshs .6 billion It has since rendered jobless young people who were employed in the services providing stores smf other business.
.Mungiki men are also reported to have a hand in the Naivasha genocide where unwanted people from other communities were forcefully evicted from their places of work some even burnt to death in their houses.
The Sabaot Land Defense Forces is another dreadful militia groups which has killed close to 500 people in and around Mt.Elgon region in Western Province .The government has since deployed the services of Kenya army ,GSU and other security apparatus to hunt down the perpetrators of the war-like activities in the region.Such military operations usually depletes our national coffers of the much needed cash for development activities.
Has the our national security intelligence unit failed in its duty of detecting such movements in advance and inform the government adequately before they killed the innocent Kenyans? What are the role of the chiefs, Assistant chiefs, DOs and even DCs?
The recently accord of peace signed by President Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga could be a temporary thing and might not have a long tem solution to a lasting peace and harmony; if such unlawful group operates in countryside with impunity killing innocent Kenyans at wills. And getting away scots free. Something ought to be done. I hope the Securiy Minister Prof. George M Saitoti, a man who has had a chequerred political career would move much faster to arrest the situation by ensuring that all the illegal militias groups were routed and eliminated
Mungiki the most dreadful group has killed people in parts of Mt.Kenya region, Nairobi, Kiambu, Naivasha.Most of its members are the well known characters. Why cant the government come out in full blast and wipe these subversive elements out once and for all.
Kenya has enough number of security personnel and it is therefore shameful for the country to allow unlawful groups to tarnish its name.
Many people have began suspecting that there are illegal group could perhaps be in the service of certain senior politicians. If not why are they silent?
api-correspondent-odera-omolo.jpg<From Leo Odera Omolo
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Building peace structures in Kenya should receive priority

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2008

It is in no doubt that the political precipice experienced in Kenya as a result of the controversial 2007 poll is slowly decimating. However the situation on the ground and the political tectonics are far from being stable enough. The reasoning being that Kenya needs to do a total reconstruction of its political, economical and social structures immediately.

We have had a good start resulting from the peace deal brokered by former UN secretary General Kofi Annan between the main protagonists messrs President Mwai Kibaki and ODM leader and Prime Minister Designate Raila Odinga. After the deal was signed the country sighed relief and only awaited operationazation of the deal through implementation and amendments to the constitution.

The prevailing circumstances as much as they look fine however have serious inherent weaknesses. It is obvious there are people, groups or cliques not happy with the new political dispensation. It is apparent some would wish the new political structures being created could be abandoned. It is evident that change is a difficult experience especially of political change which happens to change the resources application, dispensing and utilization spectrum

In addition the fact that there is a deal which has been sealed, does not mean the evils of tribalism, poverty, crime, corruption, hatred, bad cultural practices, discrimination, intolerance and so on have gone away. Political healing should lead and made to immediately spur economic and social healing and justice.

For this to happen laws and structures must be created to ensure that people can live together across the diversity of tribes and races in Kenya while tolerating and peacefully co-existing across the diversity. After all a deep research reveals that the various communities living in Kenya are highly dependent on one another. The political and economic dispensation traversing pre-colonial, colonial and since independence has messed up relationships that suspicions have risen so high. The poll fiasco has only exacerbated and brought to the fore the huge sore existing in peoples mind.

The fact is, Kenyans are highly tribal! People have been comfortable only with one of their own in leadership and that the leadership of exclusion has been the norm since independence (forget the evil colonial one) in high political echelons and even across the non political institutions and set ups. These are what have created the irrational precipitous state of affairs in the country. Right now we have innocent people who have been internally displaced for no apparently reason other than being perceived to be guilty by tribal association with the of leaders of their community which is completely asinine.

There is need to restore hope to the displaced and the society re-engineered to ensure co-existence and resettlements carefully and reasonably accelerated and where possible and after careful examination people need to return to their places they were displaced from but need total assurance on safety. But to cap it all we can’t wait any longer for a constitutional law which would inhibit discrimination, tribalism, violence on those lines and all what they encompass. Kenya is completely ripe for anti tribalism and discrimination law which need to be very intelligently crafted.

api-correspondent-harrison-ikunda.jpg<From Harisson Ikunda

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Insecurity in Kisumu is rising

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2008

BY DICKENS WASONGA-KISUMU.
Residents of Kisumu now want the no-nonsens Nyanza PPO Antony Kibuchi to tackle the rising insecurity which has rocked the lake side city in the past few weeks.
In less than a week three violent robberies were reported within the violence prone Kondelearea alone.
During one such incident a prominent doctor attatched to new Nyanza provincial hospital was shot dead by a group of armed thugs who stormed a bar in the area.
Thethugshad earliershot a woman injuring her seriouslyatBriliant bar just a few meters a way fromwhere the top medic was gunned down.
The woman was rushed to the new Nyanza General hospital on critical condition while the provincial surgion identified as Dr. John Opondo died when being rushed to Agha-khan hospital
They later took off after robbing patrons and the barattendants of unknown amount of money.
During the same week, three suspected criminals were lynched by members of the public.
One was killed at Nyawita estate,another around Nyamasaria and the last one between Kondele and Manyata slums.
The town is yet to recover from the afer-math of the post-election violence which it experienced.
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Raila Odinga will be eliminated soon?

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2008

raila2.jpg<Raila Odinga, ODM leaderand possible incoming prime minister

Kenyan leaders say they have made peace and will accommodate themselves in power and run the country.

This is true in words. Now, word is out that Raila’s life is in danger. Recently it was reported that the security guarding his house were withdrawn by mistake. Allowing security lapse can easily lead to assassination of leaders.

Kenyans have to take things seriously. Tom Mboya was assassinated and the people he represented lost a great deal. Many are now rejoicing that Raila will be appointed the second prime minister of Kenya. And yet many are also celebrating and waiting for his demise.

The security forces should now guard Raila properly as one protects a bronse plate because there is word that he will be eliminate

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Rwandan rebels in eastern DR Congo must lay down their arms – UN security council demands

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2008

Washington DC- (USA) The United Nations Security Council demanded Thursday that Rwandan rebels in eastern DR Congo lay down their arms and threatened further sanctions if fighting continues in the restive border region.

A resolution adopted unanimously by the Council urged warlords and militia fighters in eastern Congo, as well as the government, to take immediate action to implement the peace accord they signed last 23 January committing all sides to a cease-fire followed by a withdrawal of fighters from key areas.

The resolution sponsored by France said the peace deal and a November 9 agreement between DR Congo and Rwanda calling for Congo to disarm Rwandan Hutu rebels based in its territory “represent a major step towards the restoration of lasting peace and stability in the Great Lakes region.”

Five years after the end of back-to-back wars that destroyed much of DR Congo by 2002, sporadic violence has continued to plague the vast nations eastern border region, which is divided up into zones controlled by rival factions.

The resolution also demands that all members of the Interahamwe Hutu militia, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR a Rwandan militia group whose commanders helped organise and participated in Rwandas 1994 genocide and other Rwandan armed groups “lay down their arms.”

The Council asked the Rwandan rebels “to immediately present themselves without any further delay or preconditions to Congolese authorities” and U.N. peacekeepers “for their disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration.”

It also demanded that the Rwandan militias stop recruiting child soldiers, release all their child fighters, and end all forms of violence, including rape and sexual abuse. It stressed the need for those responsible for the violence to be brought to justice.

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Chad: Minister Moussa Doumngor accuses Sudan of supporting the rebels.

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2008

Ndjamena (Chad) Chadian Communication Minister, Moussa Doumngor, on Wednesday evening announced on the national radio a strong rebel foray in south-eastern Chad.

According to the governments spokesperson, the rebel troop coming from Sudan entered the national territory at Moudeina, south-eastern Chad.

Minister Moussa Doumngor accused Sudan of supporting the rebels.

In fact, since the failure to take hold of Ndjamena, the Chadian rebels had not left the national territory, observers noted.

They remained for a few days at the Central part of the country before retreating to the south-east, in the region of Salamat.

Although the coalition, which attacked the capital city, split on leadership issues, it automatically reconstituted itself in support of Gen. Nouri under the term “National Alliance” (AN).

The AN includes the UFDD of Gen. Nouri, FSR of Col. Ahmat Hassaballah Soubiane and the UFDD Fundamental Abdel Wahid Aboud Mackaye.

Another coalition was formed apart from the AN, which is the Union of Forces for Change and Democracy (UFCD) led by Col. Adouma Hassaballah, the former second-in-command after Gen. Nouri.

RFC of Timane Erdimi, comprising essentially Zaghawa tribe members the ethnic group of President Deby, does not belong to any alliance.

Rebel movements even accused RFC of endeavouring to maintain Zaghawa members in power. It was accused of the failure to take-over the capital city last 2nd February because Timane Erdimi contested the leadership of Nouri in the last minute. The coalition troop, including RFC, had then nearly conquered the capital city except the State House.

The foray Minister Doumngor is speaking about is allegedly made by new troops coming to support the rebel groups already present in the Chadian territory, sources said.

A lot of observers think that fighting will resume in the coming days. The website tchadactuel, close to the rebel movement, has already announced looming fights.

This new situation of violence comes when the Senegalese President is endeavouring to reach a peace agreement between Chadian President Idriss Deby and Sudanese President Omar El Bechir, during the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.

The Chadian army, which most leaders died during the latest fights, is preparing to face some hard time in the coming days.

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