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Archive for March 22nd, 2008

Forming the government in Kenya takes time (API)

Posted by African Press International on March 22, 2008

Why new Cabinet could be delayed
Publication Date: 3/22/2008

Published by Korir, API, africanpress@getmail.no source.nation.ke

Story by BERNARD NAMUNANE

Why new cabinet could be delayed

The eagerly-awaited announcement of a new Cabinet may take longer than expected.

President Kibaki and PM-designate Raila Odinga are still working on the final list to find a proper coalition needed for reforms.

Sources close to President Kibaki and Prime Minister-designate Raila Odinga told the Saturday Nation that the two leaders were yet to come up with the final lists of people to be appointed to key positions in government.

The new team from President Kibakis Party of National Unity (PNU) and Mr Odingas Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) will be expected to drive the reform agenda agreed on by the two leaders.

Signs that they two principals were yet to complete the delicate task of government-making were clear when a meeting between them that had been scheduled for State House, Nairobi on Friday afternoon was postponed to Tuesday as the two seek to put together a Cabinet that will satisfy the expectations of Kenyans.

Similar meetings that had been scheduled between the two on Thursday morning and afternoon were postponed for the same reasons. Asked about the meeting on Friday, the head of the Presidential Press Services, Mr Isaiyah Kabira, said: The meeting will be held on Tuesday morning.

Mr Odingas press secretary, Mr Salim Lone, had earlier in the day stated that there was no scheduled meeting between the two leaders who signed an agreement that brought the post-election political crisis to an end.

As far as we are concerned, there is no meeting that will take place between the President and Hon Odinga. In fact, we are at Pentagon House, said Mr Lone.

Public expectations were high on Thursday that President Kibaki would name the full Cabinet. That, however, was not to be. ODM secretary general Anyang Nyongo gave the clearest hint of the intricate negotiations going into the talks.

According to him, ODM has envisaged a 34-member Cabinet and has clustered the positions into five categories.

The President has so far appointed 17 ministers while ODM is expected to nominate MPs to fill the other 17.

According to ODM, the first cluster of service ministries includes Finance, Foreign Affairs, National Planning and Internal Security while the infrastructure cluster has Transport, Information and Communications, and Water and Irrigation.

The third group are service providers including Education, Health, and Gender and Sports while those in the public service cluster are Public Service and Immigration. The ministries of Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Environment and Labour were categorised under productive ministries.

Prof Nyongo said that budgets of individual ministries, their impact in policy formulation and implementation, and the role they play in the development of the country should be considered in the sharing of positions.

The peace deal signed between President Kibaki and Mr Odinga on February 28 provided that portfolio balance be considered in the sharing of power. The deal was signed into law earlier this week. Prof Nyongo said dividing the ministries into cluster as his party had done would facilitate portfolio balance.

That is a task that you cannot do in two hours and I would appeal to President Kibaki and Hon. Raila to take their time to agree, he said.

It also emerged that there had been some unease among PNU MPs who felt that the President was making too many concessions to ODM.

News that a new Cabinet could be named before Easter emerged after MPs unanimously voted to pass a constitutional amendment Bill entrenching the power-sharing deal between ODM and PNU and the National Reconciliation Bill on Thursday. The Bills were speedily assented to by President Kibaki.

On Friday, leaders from PNU and ODM rallied behind President Kibaki and Mr Odinga over the delayed naming of the list of minister and asked Kenyans to give the two leaders time to consult and constitute the new unity government.

Cabinet ministers Amos Kimunya, Noah Wekesa and Laikipia East MP Mwangi Kiunjuri spoke on behalf of their PNU colleagues while MPs Musalia Musalia Mudavadi, Najib Balala, Anyang Nyongo and Chris Okemo spoke on behalf of ODM.

They were unanimous that since the law came into force on Thursday, President Kibaki and Mr Odinga should be allowed to hold adequate consultations before a new Cabinet is named.

Mr Kimunya, the Finance minister, said: The law only came into effect yesterday (Thursday) and the two gentlemen could not work without it. Everything is in their hands and all of us are waiting for the implementation of the law, he said in a telephone interview.

However, Mr Balala said the new Cabinet could be named by Friday after a series of consultations between the President and the PM-designate. He described the high expectations of Kenyans over the naming of the Cabinet as not a major issue and said that the two leaders were negotiating over matters of sharing seats and portfolio balance.

There is nothing extra-ordinary to be expected but the idea is to ensure that there is portfolio balance… Justice and fairness will prevail at the end, he said.

Dr Wekesa, the Science and Technology minister, stated that the consultations were meant to come out with a credible Cabinet that will work in the interest of Kenyans and enact the required reforms.

We all know that consultations over the full Cabinet will take some time. This is not a matter to be rushed through because those taking up positions will be required to serve the interests of Kenyans and it is the appointing authority that will face the wrath of the public if ministers do not work, the minister.

Prof Nyongo, the Kisumu Rural MP, gave the example of Germany where it took a month for former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and his successor Angela Merkel to name a Cabinet.

He said that the quality of the Cabinet will be determined by the efforts expended in drawing up the line-up and not the speed with which ministers are named. Mr Mudavadi said the peace accord had a provision that gave the President and the Prime Minister powers to decide who should be included in the grand coalition Cabinet.

The ODM Pentagon member was answering questions from journalists at the Serena beach hotel in Mombasa where he was on Easter holiday with his family.

Mr Mudavadi dismissed the list of MPs who are said to have been short-listed for the Cabinet posts circulated via SMS and e-mails as illegal and unreliable. I urge politicians and Kenyans to be patient and give a chance to President Kibaki and Mr Odinga to decide about the lists of Cabinet ministers, he said.

Outside interference

Mr Okemo, the Nambale MP, said consultations between the two leaders should be without outside interference to ensure that they craft a Cabinet that achieves both portfolio and regional balance.

Mr Kiunjuri, the Laikipia East MP, asked the two leaders to consider the generation that was driving the countrys economy. It is our expectations that the percentage of the youth in the Cabinet will be high this time round, he said.

It is understood that ODM has been angling for the seat of Local Government minister because the partys councillors control a large number of local authorities.

The high profile ministry is one of the two ministries whose holders wield executive powers. The other is the Finance Ministry.

Sources said President Kibaki wanted PNU to get the Ministry of Agriculture to balance the affiliate parties in PNU. If the party gets the seat, nominated MP Musikari Kombo is likely to occupy it to satisfy Ford Kenya.

However, ODM is also after the seat and is seeking to have Eldoret North MP William Ruto given the ministry because of its high profile. The ministry has over 22 parastatals.

Matters are more complicated in ODM where it is said that Mr Odinga is yet to choose who between MPs Henry Kosgey (Tinderet) and Sally Kosgei (Aldai) to join his Cabinet. They are both from the Nandi sub-tribe and only one seat is slotted for them.

It also emerged that President Kibaki and Mr Odinga were each seeking to agree on the distribution of seats with indications that PNU could retain the Internal Security and Finance dockets.

ODM Kenya which has Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Information minister Samuel Poghisio on board, also expects another seat and at least two assistant ministerial positions.

Additional reporting by Mathias Ringa

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As the public waits for the naming of the Cabinet, politicians are anxious and lobbying for positions

Posted by African Press International on March 22, 2008

Published by Korir, API africanpress@getmail.no source.standard.ke

Story by:David Ohito, Joseph Murimi And Mutinda Mwanzia

A nation waits for two-in-one cabinet

 

Anxiety continues to grip senior politicians and top civil servants as the country waits for a new Cabinet line-up set to be unveiled on Tuesday.

Intense lobbying, jostling and angling for top positions in the Grand Coalition Government continues in all political parties.

But the final list of the much-awaited Cabinet remains a guarded secret with the two principals, President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister-designate, Mr Raila Odinga believed to be working on the fine details.

A publicised meeting between Kibaki and Raila scheduled for Friday, to announce the latter as the countrys second PM, was put off at the last minute.

State House sources said this was to “fine tune” the final Cabinet line-up.

Investigations by The Saturday Standard and interviews with some of the main players revealed behind-the-scenes games, loyalty pledges and canvassing at various levels of the main parties Party of National Unity, ODM, ODM-Kenya and Kanu.

Smaller parties in the coalition are also caught up in the power games, with demands that they should also be considered.

In the Presidents PNU, youthful Members of Parliament were mounting pressure on Kibaki to reserve Cabinet positions for them.

But the MPs, who declined to be named for fear of jeopardising their chances, wondered how the President would accommodate them, having filled the 17 slots reserved for his side with old grey-haired lieutenants.

“We are waiting to see what the President will do. He has already exhausted his slots yet he did not appoint any youth. The remaining slots would go to ODM unless he expands the Cabinet, the MP said.

Last evening, senior ODM leaders including deputy Prime Minister-designate Mr Musalia Mudavadi retreated to Mombasa for the Easter Holidays and also to ease pressure from MPs and supporters lobbying for positions.

Anxious moments also gripped ODM-Kenya MPs over who would join the new Cabinet.

Among the names being floated as possible ministers include party Secretary-General, Mr Mutula Kilonzo, Mr David Musila (Mwingi South), Mr Gideon Ndambuki (Kaiti) and Prof Philip Kaloki (Kibwezi).

mudavadi.jpgODM Pentagon member Mr Musalia Mudavadi on Easter holiday at Mombasa Serena Beach Hotel.

However, the party expects only two more ministers with Vice-President, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka and Kacheliba MP Mr Samuel Poghisio already in Cabinet.Kalonzo holds the Home Affairs portfolio, while Poghisio has the Information and Communication docket.

Sources said PNU hardliners have proposed that the current 17 ministries be spared a reshuffle and that ODM should take the remaining slots.

The sources added that tribal balancing and regional representation were the key determinants.

ODM is reportedly focused on the 2012 General Election, not just sharing of slots in the new Government.

On Thursday evening, ODM top brass held a lengthy meeting-cum-party at the Nairobi home of Railas brother, Dr Oburu Odinga, on those to be included in the Cabinet.

Raila, Pentagon member, Mr William Ruto, Mr Chris Okemo, Mr Wycliffe Oparanya, Mr George Khaniri and Oburu himself were in the meeting.

Sources said the invitations were done selectively.

After Kibaki was sworn-in in early January, he named half of his Cabinet and appointed 17 ministers into various portfolios.

They include Defence, Treasury, Provincial Administration and Internal Security, Communication and Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Special Programmes, Roads and Public Works and Transport.

The PNU side already has Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs, Kalonzo, and Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security, Prof George Saitoti.

The party also has powerful portfolios such as the Ministry for Finance under Mr Amos Kimunya, Ministry of Education through Prof Sam Ongeri, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs under Mr Moses Wetangula.

Other powerful positions under PNU are Ministry of Local Government where Kanu Chairman Mr Uhuru Kenyatta is the boss and Ministry for Information and Communications under ODM-Kenya chairman, Poghisio.

Mr John Munyes is the Minister for Water and Irrigation while Mr Kiraitu Murungi is Minister for Energy.

The Ministry of Roads and Public Works is led by Mr John Michuki while Mr Noah Wekesa is the Minister for Science and Technology.

Ms Martha Karua holds the Justice and Constitutional Affairs portfolio while Kuria MP, Dr Wilfred Machage is Minister for East African Community. The Transport docket is under Matuga MP, Mr Chirau Ali Mwakwere.

The remaining ministries include Health, Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Planning and National Development, Tourism and Wildlife, Livestock and Fisheries Development, Labour and Human Resource Development, Cooperative Development and Marketing, Environment and Natural Resources, and Gender Sports, Culture and Social Services.

Only Mudavadi appeared to be certain of making it to the new Cabinet line-up on the ODM side.

Sources at State House intimated that the new Cabinet would be unveiled on Tuesday and would reflect the principles of the power-sharing deal.

The new Government is also expected to announce fresh appointments in the civil service, parastatal bodies and diplomatic postings.

Sources in PNU said some ministers might be dropped in the new line-up since regions such as Embu have no representative in the current Cabinet.

MPs from Meru are on record demanding two more appointments after the one held by Kiraitu.

They have written to the President, saying because of the more than 500,000 votes they gave him during the General Election, they deserve three Cabinet slots.

Igembe South MP, Mr Mithika Linturi confirmed that they had written to the President urging him to reciprocate their support.

The new position of deputy Prime Minister for PNU is another office being hotly contested.

Names of Uhuru, Karua, Dr Naomi Shabaan, Mr Chirau Ali Mwakwere and Mr Yusuf Haji have featured on the list.

But Uhuru and Karua are considered the front-runners but their competitors argue that they hail from Mt Kenya region where the President also comes from.

Those fronting for regional balancing are rooting for a deputy PM from either North Eastern or Coast provinces.

Mwakwere and Shabaan come from Coast while Haji hails from North Eastern.

Karua leads the Government negotiating team and is being backed by her party, Narc-Kenya, which says she has the right credentials apart from being a woman.

She has also received support from the women movement and sections of the civil society.

Uhuru is being backed by his party, Kanu, which claims to be a major partner in PNU.

MPs from the larger Kiambu and Thika districts are also backing Uhuru.

In ODM-Kenya, Mutula is being supported for a ministerial slot due to his participation in the mediation talks.

Mutula is said to be in good books with both President Kibaki and Prime Minister designate Raila.

And with Kalonzo and Musila hailing from the same district, sources say the other slot should go to an MP from Machakos, Kibwezi or Makueni districts.

This puts either Ndambuki or Kaloki as those likely to be appointed.

Yesterday, Kangundo MP and Government deputy Chief Whip, Mr Johnson Muthama said the appointments were the prerogative of the President and they would accept what they will be given.

“We as ODM-Kenya will accept what we will be offered. The President must also pick the best,” he said.

Muthama said those appointed must deliver and not use the slots as symbols of power.

“The ministers must work for Kenyans since they are the ones who foot their hefty pay,” he added.

Two MPs who rebelled against Kalonzo, Mr Kiema Kilonzo (Mutito) and Mr Charles Kilonzo (Yatta) were hitherto favourites to bag assistant ministers seats.

The duo has accused Kalonzo of high-handedness and running the party affairs single-handedly.

A close aide to the VP said the party had also lobbied for parastatal and ambassadorial appointments for its allies.

“Lobbying is the in thing and our people should not only focus on the Cabinet jobs. There are other many opportunities,” said the aide.

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Racism, a course of concern in South Africa

Posted by African Press International on March 22, 2008

Published by Korir, API africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

Cape Town (South Africa) Racism, discrimination and the cultural divide is a cause for concern in South Africa, political parties and organisations said on Friday, a day which is recognized as Human Rights Day in South Africa, in commemoration of the apartheid atrocities against Africans.

Western Cape acting premier Leonard Ramatlakane said a number of projects would be implemented to assist with racial discrimination in the province.

“We see racial divide in the housing situation in the province, we see it with controversies around sports teams and we even see it in our schools when there is conflict between learners of different race groups,” he said at the Cape Town Festival on Friday.

“There is a definite need for the Home for All campaign and there is definitely a need for One City Many Cultures…Projects such as these can hopefully play a role in helping us remember our history and making sure that we never ever go back to where we come from,” he said.

Pan African Youth Congress president, Hulisani Mmbara, said Government needed to take drastic action and make all racist practices criminal offences, punished by stiffer prison sentences.

The Azanian Peoples Organisation (Azapo) held a Human Rights Day march in Johannesburg which ended at Constitutional Hill in Hillbrow.

Chairman Moemedi Kepadisak said the key objectives of the march was to demand public service delivery and to call upon the Constitutional Court to up-hold and enforce socio-economic rights enshrined in the constitution.

The Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) said that internationally, the objective of human rights was to protect individuals and minorities against discrimination and the abuse of government power.

“In South Africa, certain individuals and minorities experience more discrimination against them. This is the result of the governments racially based policies in sport, in the economy and in the workplace,” said FF Plus leader, Pieter Mulder.

“Unfair benefiting of blacks in the economy and affirmative action in the workplace confirm this. Transformation should mean that equal opportunities are created for all people,” he said.

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South African MPs on a mission to Zimbabwe asked not to engage in loose talk

Posted by African Press International on March 22, 2008

Published by Korir, API africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

Cape Town (South Africa) South African Members of Parliament (MPs) deployed in Zimbabwe under the Southern African Development Community (SADC) observer mission, have been warned against issuing independent statements that could contradict or bring into disrepute the spirit of the Angolan-led delegation.

Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo, foreign affairs deputy director-general for Africa, was briefing the media in Cape Town on Friday before the 54-member delegation of MPs, government officials, non-governmental organisations and electoral commission representatives left for Zimbabwe.

He said that unlike in the past when the government sent its own observer mission, the South African MPs had to accept the fact that they were going to Zimbabwe as representatives of the SADC mission, and not as individuals.

They would be expected to be guided by the SADCs code of conduct, which meant that they would “not seek to score cheap political points” by pronouncing their individual views.

“It should be understood that they are not going to Zimbabwe to endorse any situation, but to objectively monitor the elections,” Mamabolo said.

He said that there was nothing stopping the ruling African National Congress (ANC) or other parties from sending their observer teams, which could then express their own views about the elections to satisfy the political agendas of their respective parties.

The SADC delegation would be expected to spare no effort in intervening where necessary. This was to ensure that Zimbabwes stakeholders were left with no doubt that they acted fairly when dealing with concerns and complaints.

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Egypt and Libya to be linked by a joint electricity project

Posted by African Press International on March 22, 2008

Published by Korir, API africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

Cairo (Egypt) Egypt and Libya have agreed to implement an electricity project that seeks to increase the voltage from 400 to 500 between the two neighbouring north African countries.

The two sides also agreed to take advantage of the difference in times of peak electricity use, to contribute in stabilising the electric grids on both sides and to extend electrical linkage to other countries of the region.

Dr Hassan Younis, egyptian Minister of Electricity made the disclosure on said Friday, upon his arrival from a meeting with the Ministers Libya, Syria, Turkey, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority as well as Lebanon held in Tripoli.

He said the Libya also approved on the development of human resources, technical and financial assistance to the power project between the two countries.

The fledgling company won several contracts in the tune of 3 billions dollars, he said.

Both sides praised the results achieved by the company operating in the area of design and supervision of energy production and electricity transmission networks.

He said the project will oversee the establishment of two new power stations in Misurata and Benghazi in Libya.

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Airline flights resumed

Posted by African Press International on March 22, 2008

Published by Korir, API, africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

Douala (Cameroon) The Cameroonian state-run airline (CAMAIR) has announced that it will resume flights to various destinations at the weekend, the Finance minister said.

Sources said the companys Douala-Paris flight begins Saturday while the internal flights will resume on Sunday.

Two co-liquidators, the Bekolo and Partners Agency have been appointed while the post of the legal expert still remains vacant. Beko and Partners Agency have been given until the end of the year to prove their skills before the government definitely decides on the division, liquidation and privatisation of the CAMIR which is crippled by debts estimated to over 75 billion CFA francs.

At the end of such liquidation process, the new state-run airline, Cameroon airways and Corporation (CAMAIR-CO), created in 2006 will effectively commence operations.

 

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The sweeping of 100 Liberian refugees in Ghana

Posted by African Press International on March 22, 2008

Published by Korir, API africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

Budumbura (Ghana) A team of Ghana Police, Immigration, Customs Excise and Preventive Service and the Ghana Refugee Board, have arrested 100 Liberian refugees at Budumbura Refugees Camp in Ghana for illegal demonstration.

The refugees were sent to the Police Headquarters in Accra on Saturday for screening, pending repatriation to Liberia after staging a massive protest in demand of US$1,000 and repatriation to the United States of America, which the United Nations Commission in Charge of Refugees (UNHCR) failed to meet.

Briefing the media in the course of the exercise, DSP Kwesi Ofori, the Acting Director of Police Public Relations, said the exercise was on-going.

He said Ghanas Interior Ministry was collaborating with Liberian Embassy in Ghana to repatriate the refugees.

APA learnt that some of the arrested refugees have refused to fill embarkment forms at the police headquarters with the excuse that they have left their belongings and children at the Budumburam Camp, about five kilometers from Accra.

About two weeks ago, Liberian refugees staged a hunger strike to back their demand for US$1,000 and repatriation to the US.

Following that action, the police arrested about 500 of them and sent them to Kodiabe Training Camp in the Eastern Region of Ghana.

As at Saturday, some of them were still at the Kodiabe Camp and calm had been restored there.

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Displaced persons to be resettled

Posted by African Press International on March 22, 2008

Published by Korir, API africanpress@gemail.no soure.apa

Nairobi (Kenya) The Kenya Red Cross on Saturday appealed to government in order to quickly resettle and compensate the internally displaced people (IDP), who are languishing in camps following Decembers post-election violence.

An estimated 300,000 people were displaced by the incident.

In a statement issued to the press in Nairobi, the humanitarian agency said that most of the IDPs are willing to return back to their original homes but they lack the means to resettle back.

Hundreds of the displaced persons walked more than 30 kilometres from one camp in Central Kenya and protested in Nairobi on Friday accusing the government for neglecting them and complained of starvation.

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Mmilitia gets nine-day ultimatum to surrender

Posted by African Press International on March 22, 2008

Published by Korir, API africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

Nairobi (Kenya) Kenyan military authorities on Saturday gave a nine-day ultimatum to the dreaded militia called the Saboat Land Defence Force (SLDF) in Mt. Elgon along Kenya-Uganda border to surrender or face a merciless crackdown.

In a statement issued to the press in Nairobi from the police head quarters, said that the government was keen to succeed with the two-week military operation in Mt Elgon region.

The SLDF have been waging a war on residents in the area, in a dispute over irregular land distribution.

SLDF has been credited with the deaths of close to 500 innocent civilians, who were either shot, speared, burnt or hacked with machetes.

Since the SLDF took up arms in mid-2006 in defence of an alleged illegal capture of land from the local Soy community, more than 60,000 people have been displaced.

Earlier this week, about 150 suspected SLDF militia were arrested and charged in court for promoting war-like activities.

The Police have so far recovered at least 35 AK-47 rifles, and 84 rounds of ammunition in the major security operation to flush out the SLDF in Mt Elgon and restore peace and stability in the area.

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Water problem in Kisumu getting resolved

Posted by African Press International on March 22, 2008

From Shem Kosse
Published by Korir, API africanpress@getmail.no
The incessant perennial water problem that has dogged the lakeside city of Kisumu, for decades, is soon becoming a thing of the past.
This follows the move by the French Development (AFD) to fund the citys water supply and sanitation project to the tune of close to 1.8 billion shillings, over two years ago. The project was spread to two phases.
The contract sum of the first phase is a staggering 430 million shillings and the second one that is yet to kick off is a whooping 1.2 billion shillings.
The ongoing former phase-aimed at addressing short term measures-is to re-institute water and sewerage services to its original design capacities, when completed.
While the fate of the latter phase is long-term and lies squarely on successful completion of initial phase is when it will be undertaken. It will address additional production capacities by installing new intake works and additional treatment facility to meet the water demand to the letter.
In an exclusive interview by this journalist, the leading Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Lake Victoria South Water Services Board (LVSWSB) Engineer Patrick Limumba Ombogo who is in charge of overseeing water companiess operations in the larger Nyanza and South rift, disclosed that phase one of the project is almost complete.
Up to date a stupendous 375million shillings have been paid by AFD to the Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company (KIWASCO) which has been used for the better part of the work. And what remains is only reinforcement of distribution lines such bursts lines among others said the soft spoken Ombogo.
The pragmatic Ombogo divulged the key areas that works have been completed so far.
Top on the list is Dunga water intake point, the line stretching between water treatment works and open air market, kibuye. And also at treatment station, 3 pumps stalled and working, so is the Watson tank located at the posh estate of Millimani.
Other twin areas in the long list of completion that are operational after undergoing massive rehabilitation, are the once ineffective Kibuye Water Reservoir and Kisumu Sewerage Treatment plant(KISAT),situated off Kisumu Busia road.
Not left out are the state-of-the-art 30 kiosks, ten stand pipes and 3000 meters of water consumption, purchased.
And majority of the kisumu residents interviewed over the prevailing water situation vis a vis the previous years, thanked the French governments noble gesture and expressed optimism that very soon they will overcome the minimal water hitches bedeviling them, currently.
Its a sigh of relief compared to the yester years. Water is life quipped one, jovially, from the sprawling slums of manyatta, drawing water from kiosk.
KIWASCO, just like other water companies in Nyeri, Nairobi and Eldoret, were formed mainly to make it possible for the government to negotiate loan from donor communities for improvement of water and sewerage services on commercial basis, thus the extension of AFD loan for the government of Kenya, for the same.
Its worth noting that the incumbent vibrancy of the Kiwasco outfit, is courtesy of efficient management of the Managing Director Engineer David Onyango,under the tutelage of the shrewd CEO,Ombogo.
French-funded kisumu water project aside, diplomatic Ombogo has cashed in on his globe-trotting ties to solicit for donors assistance to further fund water supply and sanitation projects in other far-flung regions within his jurisdiction.
Leading the pack of the would-be chief beneficiaries of the offing donor fundings is the expansive Migori district with a package totaling 1billion shillings from African Development Bank (ADB), followed second distant is Rarieda at the cost of 230 million shillings from Japanese International Corporation Association (JICA), Suba is about 100 millions from Italy and tea-zone Kericho, attracted a perk of 10 million shillings from German Technical Corporation (GTZ).
And another kshs 200 and 20 million shillings, is earmarked for good governance in the LVSWSBs board area and Sanitation Diagnostic Studying by UN Habitat, respectively.
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Nigeria’s Kebbi State attends to the needy

Posted by African Press International on March 22, 2008

Published by Korir, APIafricanpress@getmail.no source.apa

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Lagos (Nigeria) The Zakkat Board of Nigerias Kebbi State In northern Nigeria has commenced the disbursement of N12.5 million (about US$90,000) to the needy in state.

Speaking at the disbursement of the Zakkat at the Emir of Gwandus Palace on Friday in Birnin Kebbi, about 700km from Abuja, the Chairman of the board, Professor Abubakar Gwandu, said the amount was part of the N50 million (about US$400,000) Zakkat set aside by the state government.

He said that the Bagudo local government area of the state got the Highest amount of N1.1million (US$7,800) followed by Birnin Kebbi with N875,000 (US$8,900), Jega and Suru received N781,000 (about US$7,900) each while Koko/Besse and Maiyama got N671,000 (about US$6,800) each.

He said that the Board also used part of the N50 million (about US$400,000) for philanthropic activities, including donation to orphanage homes and Islamic organisations in the state.

In his speech at the ceremony, the governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Saidu Dakingari said that his administration had set aside N200 million (about US$18million) for disbursement as Zakkat to the needy in the budget.

The governor charged members of the Board to ensure equitable distribution of all the money meant for disbursement as Zakkat to the people.

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Kenyan Catholics praise the politicians of the 10th parliament

Posted by African Press International on March 22, 2008

Catholics praise 10th Parliament

Story by ANTHONY KITIMO and JAMES KARIUKI

Catholic priests have praised the Tenth Parliament for passing two key Bills that will ensure that Kenyans live in peace in the aftermath of the post-election crisis.

More than 80 priests from Mombasa diocese led by Bishop Boniface Lele said that the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill and the National Accord and Reconciliation Bill passed on Tuesday will help in healing the country following post-election violence that claimed at least 1,000 lives.

Bishop Lele condemned tribalism and urged all Kenyans to desist from the vice. He called on priests to preach peace and reconciliation in their churches to restore harmony in the country.

The parliament has performed its role by passing the National Accord and Reconciliation Act. It is now upon the church and other leaders to preach peace to reconcile Kenyans, said Bishop Lele.

The participation of MPs during debate on the Bills has proved that our leaders are committed to restoring peace and order. We, as Catholic Church leaders, are committed to restoring peace, Bishop Lele promised.

Meanwhile, food and clothes donated to internal refugees in Nyahururu Town are not reaching the intended beneficiaries, it has been learnt.

Addressing 30 refugee families that had gone tothe mayors parlour to lodge a complaint with him, Nyahururu Mayor John Muritu Thursday warned that the Council might consider closing down the refugee camp once it is established that some people had been using the facility to enrich themselves.

Mayor Muritu said the Council was unable to feed the refugees as there was no provision for them in its budget.

The internal refugees said that some influential people were diverting donations meant for them somewhere else.

The families had moved out of the Social Hall camp after well-wishers offered to rent houses for them in the town as they awaited for normalcy to return.

They said that the continued deprivation of food was affecting their childrens health.

Published by Korir, API africanpress@getmail.no source.nation.ke

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ODM restrains the Education minister – this is unheard of in Kenya before.

Posted by African Press International on March 22, 2008

Ministers in Kenya have always done what they want and think. Now theODM is stopping a minister from acting at will. May be there are good thingsto come, now that two big partiesin the country are watching one anothers move now that here is a power sharing deal. (API)_________

Ministrys probe team rejected

Story by NATION Team

The Orange Democratic Movement Thursday rejected a move by the Education Ministry to set up a team to investigate last years Form Four examination results fiasco.

Education Minister Sam Ongeri with Kenya Commercial Bank Group chairperson Susan Mudhune when the bank donated Sh15 million towards education in the country. Photo/HEZRON NJOROGE

The partys parliamentary group said Prof Sam Ongeris team could not be trusted to carry out the inquiry and asked that police must be involved.

The group demanded that an independent body be established to work with police and investigate the Kenya National Examination Council over the worrying anomaly and appropriate measures taken immediately.

ODM does not have confidence in the committee formed by the minister to conduct an investigation into the results. This is a criminal act that police must be involved in its investigations, ODM chief whip Mr Jakoyo Midiwo said at a press conference at Parliament Buildings.

Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor Prof Olive Mugenda will to chair the team. The 15-member committee has 18 days to carry out the investigations and present their report to Prof Ongeri.

Notwithstanding the investigation, Knec has given all schools and candidates up to April 30 to raise any other queries associated with the 2007 KCSE results as provided for in its regulations.

Other members of the committee include Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi of the Anglican Church of Kenya, Prof Abdulghafur Elbusaidy of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, director Kenya Institute of Education, Mrs Lydia Nzomo (committee secretary) and principals of Lenana School and St Georges Secondary School Mr Peter Wanjohi Warui and Mrs Bertha Omanya.

The MPs asked the Government to overhaul Knec as investigations go on. They said all the 2007 KCSE results should be cancelled and the entire examinations remarked.

They spoke a day after Prof Ongeri said only a small fraction of last years KCSE candidates were affected, hence the entire examinations could not be remarked.

The ODM PG claimed there has been mass transfers of teachers from schools in Western, Nyanza and Rift Valley provinces, leading to serious under-staffing in the affected regions.

The group demanded a halt to the practice, saying it was irregular and had resulted in serious inequality in the distribution of teachers since the action was not being reciprocated in other regions.

Teachers Service Commission communication manager Mr Kimutai Ngeno confirmed the transfers but said they were only temporary security measures.

The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education in Trans-Nzoia District Thursday asked on Knec officials to resign. Branch secretary Lusweti Furaha, called on Prof Ongeri to stop protecting incompetent officials at the council, saying they had lost confidence in them.

Published by Korir, API africanpress@getmail.no source.nation.ke

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