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Archive for March 24th, 2008

Marende the Speaker of the National Assembly in support of MP’s wage rise

Posted by African Press International on March 24, 2008

Asking the president to appoint youthfull ministers makes ssense. There has been recycling of ministers who are very aged, some even have problems to understand today’s modern world. It is good to give opportunity to younger people and see whatthey can do for thepeople. We hope Kibaki will listen to the Speaker on the request.

 

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

By Beauttah Omanga

Marende asks Kibaki for youthful Cabinet

National Assembly Speaker, Mr Kenneth Marende, wants President Kibaki to form a youthful and dynamic Cabinet.The Speaker said it would be wrong for the President and ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga, to recycle regulars in the coalition government.

“It is my expectation that the new Cabinet will be dynamic, visionary and with new faces, but not those individuals Kenyans have seen for years,” said Marende.

Talking to the Press after attending Easter prayers at the All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi, the Speaker said a new crop of MPs deserved slots in the Cabinet.

The Speaker made the suggestion ahead of Tuesday when Kibaki and Raila are expected to unveil the new look coalition government. Politicians have been lobbying with each region demanding a share.

Marende, at the same time, defended the speedy passing of the two amendment Bills in the House. He said the Bills were well debated as about 10 MPs contributed.

“I gave MPs, including Othayas Mwai Kibaki and Langata MP, Mr Raila Odinga, to give their views, which were well received,” he said.

The Speaker said it was hypocritical for any leader to accuse the House of rushing the Bills through the House. “At some point I declined to grant a move by an MP to stop the debate and call upon the mover to respond because I wanted more MPs to contribute, which they did,” he said.

Marende, however, differed with the ACK Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, that there was need to reduce the MPs salaries.

In his sermon, Nzimbi had said the MPs huge salaries were not justified and should be cut.

“In the spirit of being mindful of others welfare, it is my view that our MPs salaries ought to be reduced,” he told a congregation that turned up for the Easter Sunday prayers.

But the Speaker said it was wrong to target the MPs, saying they were not the only Kenyans who were highly paid. He singled out some highly paid chief executives whose salaries, he said, deserved reduction.

“I do agree we should harmonise salaries of the highly paid to address equality, but we cannot zero in on MPs when we have some executives earning more than Sh2 million a month,” he said.

Marende said the MPs salaries were justified “since they were a recommendation of an independent commission headed by retired judge, Justice Majid Cocker”.

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African Press International – API

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Impatient politicians excerting pressure to have a cabinet named

Posted by African Press International on March 24, 2008

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

Story by Standard team

More pressure on Kibaki, Raila over new Cabinet

Pressure continued to pile on President Kibaki and the prime minister-designate ahead of their meeting tomorrow, adding to doubt if they will come up with the face of the eagerly awaited Cabinet.Reactions to the pending appointment of the new Cabinet were spurred by reports that the process may have hit a stalemate caused by intense back-stage fighting, vested interests and intrigue.Both Kibaki and Raila spent a quiet Easter Sunday in different locations, none commenting on calls on what criteria to use in forming the new Government, even as it became evident that the puzzle awaiting their meeting at Harambee House on Tuesday was becoming more complicated.

President Kibaki spent Easter Sunday with his family at State House, Nairobi, while Raila and close family members were at the exclusive African Safari Club in the North Coast, Mombasa.

Failure to meet or to name the Cabinet on Tuesday will most likely give credence to reports that backroom intrigue and tussles have made it near impossible for the two leaders to name a Cabinet due to vested interests involved.

A report in our sister paper, The Sunday Standard, indicated that despite a display of friendship and a working arrangement between the partners in the grand coalition, a silent struggle over the formation of a new government is brewing between ODM and PNU.

But sentiments expressed by leaders on Sunday make it clear that Kibaki and Raila will contend with, among other hurdles, regional balance, gender parity, party balance, youth versus the old guard, size of Cabinet and distribution of plum ministries.

Suggestions how to form the new Cabinet mainly came from the National Assembly Speaker, Mr Francis Marende, religious leaders and politicians.

Marende urged President Kibaki to form a dynamic Cabinet with youthful faces. He said it would be wrong for the President and Raila to recycle regulars from past Cabinets in the new government.

“It is my expectation that the new Cabinet will be dynamic, visionary and with new faces; not those Kenyans have seen for years,” said Marende.

Talking to journalists soon after attending Easter prayers at the All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi, the Speaker said the new crop of MPs deserved slots in the Cabinet.

And in his sermon at the All Saints Cathedral, head of the ACK Church, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, said President Kibaki should form a Government that can deliver, not a bloated one to reward communities and individuals.

Nzimbi said the country needed leaders who would deliver and not a group of people who wanted fame and riches.

He said the new look-government must comprise leaders who would heal the country from the effects of the contested election.

“We want a new Kenya for all Kenyans where we will be talking to each other, but not at each other where trust will be the order of the day across the political divide,” Nzimbi said.

At the Holy Family Basilica, Nairobi, head of Catholic Church, John Cardinal Njue, appealed to President Kibaki to appoint people of integrity to the Cabinet.

The prelate also said the appointments should be done fast to stop speculation of a stalemate, adding that posts should not be used to reward loyalists.

“We need selfless leaders who are going to extend the peace accord signed between President Kibaki and Raila,” he said.

He urged Christians to pray that President Kibaki appoints a Cabinet that reflects the wishes and expectations of all Kenyans.

Leave out hardlinersElsewhere, Roads minister, Mr John Michuki, apparently reacting to reports of intrigue over Cabinet positions, asked the two coalition partners to respect each other and avoid making demands that would put the newfound unity into jeopardy.

Speaking in his Kangema constituency, Michuki said no side should be seen pushing the other to the sidelines since the grand coalition was formed with the mission of uniting Kenyans.

“The PNU side should not be pushed to the wall by their ODM colleagues in the coalition Government and vice-versa,” said Michuki.

But former Cabinet minister and Malava MP, Mr Soita Shitanda, insisted that regional balance be considered in forming the new Cabinet.

Shitanda said the coalition was formed to give representation to all regions and none should, therefore, be ignored.

On her part, former MP, Prof Wangari Maathai, called for a lean Government, saying the country could not afford a bloated Cabinet.

“Government is expensive. In an ideal situation, 15 Cabinet ministers would be enough to run the country effectively,” she said.

Maathai was speaking to journalists at Njoro PCEA Church, Nakuru, after a Sunday service. She appealed to President Kibaki and Raila to leave out hardliners from the new Cabinet.

“The grand coalition is aimed at healing and uniting the country. The hardliners would be a stumbling block,” she said.

Maathai said the Cabinet should also ensure regional and gender balance, but should not compromise on merit.

Cotu Secretary-General, Mr Francis Atwoli, backed this view. In a statement, he said: “It is sheer selfishness and utter wickedness for taxpayers, who are already overburdened, to be asked to support a bloated Cabinet.”

Creating more ministries, Atwoli said, would only benefit the political class, while ordinary Kenyans continued to live in abject poverty.

Tinderet MP, Mr Henry Kosgey, expressed hope that a new Cabinet would be in place soon.

“Very soon, you will see the face of the new government,” he said.

Kosgey was speaking during the burial of former Aldai MP, Jim Choge, in Kaspengere, Nandi South District.

ODM-Kenya Secretary-General, Mr Mutula Kilonzo, said Cabinet appointments should be based on merit, not ethnicity.

“There should be no lobbying for the posts. They should be given on merit and not on tribal basis,” said Mutula.

However, it remains to be seen what recipe the meeting between Kibaki and Raila today would cook for a political scene that is becoming restless.

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African Press International – API

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali says she lives a jetset lifestyle in the west with boyfriends and enjoys wine – She louds disrespect for Islam, branding it a violent religion!

Posted by African Press International on March 24, 2008

Published by Korir, API africanpress@getmail.no

Let us get it right before we begin our story: Islam is not a violent religion as some would like the world to believe. All religions in this world has something some people do not like and that does not qualify branding them violent. When the branding and name calling comes from a former Muslim, it isdisgusting and a lie.

In this case, the lady branding Islam to be a violent religion knows too well that the USA would love to hear that. She saidIslam is violent while living in Holland, but after saying so, moves to the US, knowing that she would be welcomed there due to her hate for Islam. Now she is a new US star flying all over the US holding meetings against the Muslims. Should the US allow people to preach hate accross America? Are all Muslims commiting kill crimes in the name of Islam? Have christians ever killed in the name of religion? Has anyone travelled around branding christianity a violent religion? Why is the world terrorising Muslims? Time has come to look into our own hearts and get answers.

Here is her story: Once a Muslim herself, she now says she does not believe in God, and her concentration is focused onfighting the Muslims and ensuring Islam is reformed.To reform things, one has to enter into dialogue with others. Not fightingandinsulting them. She saysher change of heart to hate Islam was caused by Osama Bin Laden and the 911 bombings. Should we really take her seriously on this, or she is merely using the opportunity to gain fame and promote herself?

One does not simply condemn a religion because of having a different opinion. Such behaviour is self-seeking. When she talks, one sees in her a woman who thinks she can single-handedly change how Muslims think or interpret the Koran. If there is anything to be changed, it requires care and togetherness inside the religion itself and not insults from outside the religion.
videoAyaan Hirsi Ali “author of the book “Infidel” here appearing onFOX News Channel.

Watching her appearing on the BBC Hard Talk program, one understands why she has to live carefully and under the care of some security detail. Once a Muslim herself, she says she hates Osama Bin Laden and all he stands for. She is happy to be in the land of opportunity – The USA. She denounces Prophet Mohamed disrespectfully and now feels she is doing justice to the world by smearing Islam as a violent religion.

When asked by the broadcaster what her family thinks of what she is doing, she answers: “If I change back to become a Muslim, my family will forgive me ans welcome me back because of family love.” Is it that simple? A child abonding the family values, going astray and disrespecting the family religion, then come back to be forgiven as if nothing has gone wrong? It must be a simple miracle. What she is doing aginst the Muslims is not a small matter. Here actions makes life more difficult for the Muslim society.

Her featuring on talk shows may have misled her to think that all her listeners in the west applaud the way she is tomenting the Muslims. One talk show host happy to have her on his show went ahead to tell her that she will definately not die a natural death and that his family will be praying for her.

One wonders what she thinks when she hears that! She did not seem to be moved when she was told that and in reality, it is time that she should understand that her way of doing things is condemning all Muslims and branding them as bad people.

If she has a wish to change the way Muslims think, one way or another, she should thread carerfully and enter into dialogue instead of massive insults on cabel networks all over the western world.

Having been born i Somalia, she moved to Kenya where she was cared for by UNHCR as a refugee because of the political situation the had arisen in Somalia at the time after Siad Barre’s regime.

She is publicised that she was forced into marriage by her family and that resulted in her escape to Holland, where she lied about her status in order to get asylum, citizenship and later being elected to Parliament.

When the lie was discovered, she had to resign from Parliament and move in a hurry to America where she has now got the opportunity to appear in many talk shows. Most American love to associate themselves with people who are ready to condemn Islam and the Muslims because the 911 acts that caused havoc in their country is in their minds.

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African Press International (API)

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