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Archive for March 28th, 2008

Political jiggery in Kenya

Posted by African Press International on March 28, 2008

Published by Korir, API africanpress@getmail.nosource.kbc.ke

Written By:Judy Maina/Collins Anampiu

Naming of the cabinet put off again

President Kibaki Friday met with prime minister designate Raila Odinga at Harambee House after the two principals adjourned talks on Wednesday to consult with their respective parties over the formation of a new cabinet.

The meeting reviewed proposals on the crafting of the much anticipated grand cabinet.

However President Kibaki and Odinga adjourned Friday’s meeting to consult further.

Disagreements over the size of the Cabinet and portfolio balance have been the main impediment in the naming of a new coalition Cabinet.

Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, the prime minister designate said immense pressure from party supporters across the political divide for the two party principals to consent to a bloated cabinet had occasioned the delay.

The ODM leader called on Kenyans to exercise patience as they continue to consult. He further added that the planned joint rallies by ODM and the government are still on but hastened to add that this will only materialize after ODM is fully incorporated in the new government.

At the same time ODM says the newly constituted independent review committee was the only body mandate to investigate the controversy surrounding the disputed presidential polls.

Pentagon member Musalia Mudavadi was reacting to an alleged internal memo at the ECK offices demanding statements from the officials who handled last year’s elections.

Mudavadi accused the Electoral Commission of Kenya of allegedly conducting an inquiry while an Independent Review Commission has been set up to investigate its conduct.

Addressing the press Mudavadi says the 24 hour directive issued to officials who handled elections last year to give their statements is intended to intimidate election officials who may wish to testify to the commission.

He called on the officials not to be intimated but to appear before the commission and tell the truth to the committee.

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The German who exported European defilement methods to Kenyan kids taken to court

Posted by African Press International on March 28, 2008

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

pedofile-german.pngA European has been accused of defiling kids in Kenya. Should he be hanged or simply jailed for some years if he is found guilty? They come in the name of helping the Kenyans and they end up exploiting African kids. How many more are out there in children homes doing the same?

Parents and the government shoulddo something in order to safeguard the lives ofKenyan children who fallinto the hands of the white aid workers who end up having sexs with them.

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Written By:Court Reporters

Old Mutual sued for misrepresenting its premium

A man of German origin was Friday charged with defiling three minors in a children’s home in Kiambu district.

Ulrich Karl Heinz Flesch a German national was arraigned before senior principal magistrate Stlla Muketi and charged with three counts of sexual harassment against three boys under the age of 14 years.Flesch was accused of committing the offences on diverse between 2004 and 2006 at Bethlehem Nyumba ya Mkate in Limuru.He denied the offences and was denied bail and remanded until April 23 when the case against him will be heard.Meanwhile Old Mutual Unit Trust has been sued for allegedly misrepresenting facts to an investor who lost over 850 thousand shillings.

Simon Malonza claimed he was told by an Old Mutual agent that he could earn money at an interest rate of 24% but when he sought to terminate the contract with the trust he was told that all the 850 thousand shillings he had invested since July 2006 was not refundable.

Malonza contends that he was not in an insurance contract with Old Mutual and is entitled to all his deposits that he made since the year 2006. Through lawyer Kithi Kilonzo Malonza wants the court to order the Unit Trust to pay back the money, interest and damages.

Elsewhere a woman has been sentenced to death for killing her husband.

Tabitha Wanjiku Mwaura appeared before Justice Nicholas Ombijja who convicted her and sentenced her to death for killing her husband in Kiambu district.

Ombijja said that the prosecution had provided enough evidence against Wanjikuto prove that she killed her husband Peter Mwaura Mbugua by stabbing him six times in the chest and twice in the stomach.

It was alleged that Wanjiku killed her husband after a business dispute. And the Eastlands Matatu saga is far from over as 30 more owners filed a fresh suit challenging the ban order by local government minister Uhuru Kenyatta.

They claim that the order by the minister is draconian and discriminatory. They want the court to quash the order and allow them to operate their Matatus within Nairobi’s city Centre.

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Council issue notice to non-staff occupants to vacate houses.

Posted by African Press International on March 28, 2008

Published by Korir, API africanpress@getmail.no

Story by Dickens Wasonga, freelance journalist, Kisumu – Kenya.
Kisumu city council has given a one -month notice to none -staff tenants who have been occupying its houses especially in the up-market Milimani estate to vacate them.
The move to reposses the council houses was made at full council meeting which was chaired by the city’s new mayor councillor Sam Okello.
The clerk to the council Mr Rashid Mwakiwiwi said the move was in line with the efforts being put in place so thatthe civic body be able to also recover money it is owed by the tenants.
The city clerk revealed that the tenants owe the council over ksh1M in rent arrears with some having to pay between ksh.200,000-5OO,OOO.
The chief officer said senior officers at the council have been forced to live in hostels within the town while people who dont even pay rent enjoy the comfort of the council’sfacilities.
Indepenent investigations revealed that those who have been living in the houses includes big names from the region some of whom are prominent Luo politicians.
Speaking to the press in his office Mr. Mwaiwiwi warned that those who will defy the quit notice will face full force of the law.
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Safaricom: ODM causes chaos on the issue public but Raila approves the sale behind the scenes

Posted by African Press International on March 28, 2008

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

According to BBC television news midday today the 28th March, ODM wanted to turn the Safaricom sale into a political game and threatened toplay football. That is wrong. The Kenyan people are happy to be able to buy shares in the company. Everything is not politics, ODM should learn that. It is now part of the govenment, but if they do not understand that then they should remain in the opposition, a thing they know best.

Kimunya says Raila approved of the sale behind the scenes. Raila’s party, the ODM is shouting loud against the sale because their Chief Whip Jakoyo. Midiwo has not known that Raila approved of the deal in a talk with the Finance Minister.

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Story By David Ohito

Safaricom IPO launched amid fear

President Kibakis and ODM leader, Mr Raila Odingas newfound friendship will be tested on Friday as the biggest-ever share IPO in Kenya and the region begins. The President will be at KICC Nairobi at 8am to launch the Sh50 billion-share sale of Safaricom, 25 per cent of the 60 per cent stake the Government owns in the mobile telephone company.Ten billion shares will be offered to the public, 6.5 billion to local investors and 3.5 billion to foreigners.But Raila and his party, ODM, have opposed the sale and called for a delay to iron out issues over alleged shadowy Mobitelea company that owns shares in Vodafone Kenya, a co-shareholder with the Government in Safaricom.

Raila himself has said ghost owners of Mobitelea were out to enrich themselves using poor peoples investments.

“The sale should be put off until a coalition Cabinet is in place to discuss the matter,” said Raila.

However, Finance minister, Mr Amos Kimunya, has said the claims were unfounded and misplaced. He said he had spoken to Raila earlier and he had endorsed the IPO.

“The reservations over the IPO are not valid. I spoke to Raila and he endorsed the IPO,” the minister said on Wednesday.

Kimunya added: “Raila recognises the implications of his statement on the IPO.”

The minister said Kenyans had been saving to buy the shares and it was fair that they get a chance to fulfil their dreams.

“The issue of Mobitelea will not delay the IPO since the Government is only offloading part of its 60 per cent shares,” he said.

On Thursday, tension heightened when ODM threatened to call mass action outside KICC, the venue of the IPO launch.

The party parliamentary group cited last years Public Investments Committee report, saying it showed that Vodafone acquired 30 per cent of Safaricom from Telkom Kenya on January 25, 1999.

ODM officials, Mr Jakoyo Midiwo (Chief Whip), Mr Omingo Magara (treasurer) and Mr Ababu Namwamba (Parliamentary Group secretary), said the PIC report indicated that the Telkom board granted another 10 per cent shares to Vodafone without approval from the Treasury.

“Concerted efforts that Kenyans be told who owns Mobitelea have fallen on deaf ears, strengthening fears of another historic grand rip-off scheme by politically connected individuals,” Magara said.

The MPs also questioned the arbitrary increase of shares available to foreign investors from the initial 25 per cent to 35 per cent.

“This will deny Kenyans the opportunity to own a good share of the company they have painstakingly built from scratch and instead reward shadowy profiteers,” Magara said.

The MPs demanded a guarantee that Kenyans would not be short-changed.

Party Secretary-General, Prof Anyang Nyongo, sent a statement to newsrooms warning the public and investors, local and foreign, that procedures, including the Privatisation Act 2005, were flouted.

Nyongo claimed that compliance required by the Capital Markets Authority Act and NSE rules had been ignored and the public and investors would engage in a risky investment.

But amid the controversy, not everybody is opposed to the sale of the mobile phone company shares. More than 20 NGOs yesterday told ODM leaders to stop politicising the IPO.

Led by their spokesperson, Ms Daisy Amdany, the NGOs called on Kenyans to ignore the politicians and turn up in large numbers to participate in the unveiling of the IPO.

The group, Kenyans without Borders, said wananchi spend millions of shillings making calls through Safaricom and should thus own the company.

“Politicians should stop misleading Kenyans. We urge retail investors to buy the shares and share in the Safaricom cake,” said Amdany.

Issues have also been raised over alleged conflict of interest. ODM MPs said NSE chairman, Mr Jimnah Mbaru, wore several hats he owns Dyer and Blair Investment Bank, which is an advisor in the IPO, while his Dyer and Blair stockbrokerage is bidding for shares.

Nyongo also claimed that it was irregular for some stockbrokers to also play the double role of advising over the IPO.

“We are opposed to the role of some stock brokerage firms who are acting as advisors to the sale and retailers at the same time,” he said.

The Safaricom shares are billed as the most lucrative investment to be floated by one of Kenyas most successful company.

Thousands of Kenyans have lined up to buy shares once they are floated at the Nairobi Stock Exchange.

Elsewhere, advisors to the IPO want prospective investors to be cautious given the unforeseen risks that could impact negatively on the companys share price.

According to a prospectus released yesterday, there are additional risks and uncertainties, which, although not known to the company or believed to be significant now, may have effect on Safaricoms financial condition or business success.

(Additional reporting by Evelyne Ogutu, Mutinda Mwanzia, Maseme Machuka, James Anyanzwa and Kimathi Njoka)

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Luxembourg minister defends role of EU troops on Chad/Darfur border

Posted by African Press International on March 28, 2008

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

The Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, who is on a visit to Egypt, on Thursday, defended the presence of European Union troops on the Chad/Sudan border, saying it is important to stop the deterioration and violence in Darfur.

Asselborn was speaking in response to questions from journalists during his visit to Egypt about fears of the European Union peacekeeping forces on the Chad border with Darfur overstepping their mandate and being caught in the violence.

He referred in this regard to the important role of the United Nations and its recommendations in this regard to stop the violence and degradation in both Chad and Darfur.

He said: “We in the European Union support the agreements reached within the framework of the UN.”

He explained that France has been in Chad for decades and has 2000 troops there and there was a request to France from the Chadian government to protect refugees in eastern Chad.

In his turn, the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit gave advice on the matter during talks in Cairo with his Luxemburg guest. “As Europeans, you must be careful in this regard and your assistance should be in the humanitarian field only.”

However, the Luxemburg Foreign minister replied; “This is our mission.”

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Several African leaders to attend Africa-India summit, AU says

Posted by African Press International on March 28, 2008

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

The African Union (AU) Commission on Thursday disclosed here the name of African leaders who are scheduled to attend the African-Indian summit in New Delhi, the Indian capital, opening on 4 April 2008.

The AU Commission gave the list as the leaders of Tanzania, Ghana, Libya, Burkina Faso, DR Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Algeria, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Egypt and Ethiopia, as well as AU officials, including the newly elected chairperson of the commission, Jean Ping.

Prior to the heads of state summit on 8 April, ministers and experts will meet at the beginning of April in New Delhi.

The summit aims to reinforce the multidimensional relations existing between Africa and India, and share benefit from the rich historical background as well as natural resources of both Africa and India.

“To that effect, the Africa-India Forum would create an opportunity to give a new dimension to the Africa India cooperation through a concrete action plan and declaration to be adopted during the Summit in New-Delhi,” the AU said.

The Africa-India Forum is also intended to consider the modalities to strengthen the cooperation ties between the two partners in the areas of economic; political; science and technology, research and development; tourism; infrastructure, energy and environment and media and communication.

The Forum would also be an occasion for the sharing and exchange of good practices in harnessing resources from the Diaspora.

“The Forum would be an opportunity to publicise Africa- India partnership. It will come up with concrete proposals and outcomes so as to push forward the existing cooperation between the two partners. The Forum is also expected to adopt a joint declaration of the Africa India partnership that would contain the political commitments of the two sides, as well as an Africa India framework for cooperation,” the AU added.

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Algeria urged to enter into direct talks over protracted Western Sahara crisis

Posted by African Press International on March 28, 2008

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

Morocco on Thursday urged neighbouring Algeria to enter into direct talks over the protracted Western Sahara crisis which has been looming for 33 years, official sources told APA in Morocco.

The issue of the Western Sahara is a “Moroccan-Algerian issue”, the Moroccan Communication Minister, who is also the spokesperson of the government, Khalid Naciri, told a news briefing following an official meeting in Rabat.

He said Rabat was always available and open to discussions with Algiers to end to the conflict, which has had “disastrous consequences”.

The Moroccan Interior Minister, Chakib Benmoussa, dilated in the same sense, saying it was “impossible to reach a settlement” of the conflict “without a total involvement” of Algeria.

“It seems that Algeria has no will to end the Sahara issue”, he deplored in a statement of the governmental council held on the participation of Morocco in the fourth round of negotiations on the Sahara, held last March 16 to 18 in Manhasset near New York. According to him, Algiers “is persisting in its pigheadedness, pushing the other party (Polisario) to escalations and provocation at the buffer zone” of Tifariti.

Whether as an observer, stakeholder or backstage player, Algeria has an important role and we hope that it will sign up for a positive dynamic”, the head of the Moroccan diplomacy, Taib Fassi Fehri, said at the end of that fourth phase of negotiations in which morocco, the Polisario, Algeria and Mauritania have all taken part.

Following the meeting, the representative of the UN Secretary General in the Sahara, Peter Van Walsum, had declared that “the parties have committed themselves to continue negotiations in Manhasset at a date to be commonly agreed upon”.

In 2007, Rabat reocmmended an autonomous status for the Western Sahara, which was placed under Moroccan sovereignty since 1975, when Spanish colonisers left.

But Polisario, with the support of Algeria is claiming “a referendum on self-determination” which Morocco considers “inapplicable”.

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What is wrong with Kenyan leaders? Stagnation: Kofi Annan may step in again

Posted by African Press International on March 28, 2008

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

Story by NATION Team

Cabinet: Annan’s plea to Kibaki and Raila

Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan has urged President Kibaki and Prime Minister-designate Raila Odinga to resolve emerging differences and give Kenyans a new Cabinet, UN sources have said.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (right) and Prime Minister-designate Raila Odinga during the opening of a three-day induction programme for members of the 10th Parliament in Nairobi on Thursday. Photo/VVPS

The sources in Kenya said Mr Annan had told the two leaders to ignore the demands of their allies and agree on the line-up for the grand coalition Cabinet.

The two leaders on Tuesday failed to agree on the size of the Cabinet and balancing of portfolios between PNU and ODM.

Mr Annan is said to have made it clear that the fate of Kenyas political future lay in the hands of the two leaders and that only the two could take the strides needed to end the row.

Taking the next step

Annan said he believes the process of constituting a Cabinet can be successfully completed by the two principals, said the UN source.

He also holds that the task of taking the next step remains in the hands of President Kibaki and Hon Odinga.

It is understood that Mr Annan, who has been keenly following the implementation of the agreement he presided over, had stated that the issue of sharing and distributing Cabinet positions was a matter that could be easily solved by President Kibaki and Mr Odinga.

Delays, he said, should not block the steps that the country was taking towards recovery from post-election violence in which over 1,200 people were killed and more than 350,000 displaced from their homes.

The renewed pressure came as President Kibaki and Mr Odinga failed to meet for a second consecutive day to conclude talks on Cabinet size and portfolio balance.

Both PNU and ODM have been demanding the key ministries of Finance, Internal Security and Local Government. Both Finance and Local Government exercise some executive powers while Internal Security is crucial as the police and provincial administration fall under its docket.

ODM had also held that the current size of the Cabinet should be retained.

While presiding at a passing out parade for police officers in Nairobi Thursday, President Kibaki called for patience as the country embarked on fostering peace and reconciliation among Kenyans.

He reiterated his commitment to an amicable settlement that would in the long run propel the country to prosperity.

And he appealed to Kenyans to play their individual roles in ensuring that the peace that the country has enjoyed over the years prevailed.

In response to the Presidents offer, the ODM press secretary, Mr Salim Lone, said: Mr Odinga welcomes President Kibakis optimism that a deal can be reached on the outstanding issues on the Cabinet and look forward to speedily concluding negotiation so that a coalition government can be formed and Kenya can get back on track again.

Blamed each other

Both PNU and ODM on Wednesday blamed each other for the standoff over the new Cabinet line-up. Some party leaders are reported to have asked Mr Annan to help resolve the standoff.

Mr Annan helped broker the deal which ended a month of violence following the disputed presidential election results.

And Thursday, President Kibaki said: I appeal to Kenyans to be patient as we embark on the painstaking journey of entrenching peace, reconciliation and resettlement of displaced individuals.

I also want to assure all Kenyans of my personal commitment to an amicable political settlement that will get the country back on the path of rapid and equitable economic development and social cohesion. The President was presiding over the passing out parade of 2,135 Administration Police officers and 36 cadets at their training institute in Embakasi. Present during the ceremony were Internal Security minister George Saitoti and Public Service minister Asman Kamama.

During the ceremony the President also announced that the Government would recruit additional officers besides those recruited annually to help combat rising crime in parts of the country.

The recruitment is expected to improve the countrys police to population ratio, which is currently below the UN standard of one officer for every 450 people.

The provision of security and maintenance of law and order are essential to the creation of a conducive environment for the countrys social and economic development, outlined under the Vision 2030, said the President.

And to achieve this, the Government would continue increasing funding to the security arms to ensure accelerated improvement in professionalism in the force.

We want to give them competitive remuneration and decent housing, effective communication equipment and other critical infrastructure, he said.

He disclosed that the Government had introduced a University Graduate Entry Scheme to attract more professionals into the police service.

The President further stated that several Bills had been lined up for debate in Parliament to create a legal environment conducive to fight crime.

The Bills include the Organised Crime Bill, Firearms Amendment and Traffic Bill and Amendments to the Armed Forces Bill to facilitate the recruitment of National Youth Service graduates into the Armed Forces. He also revealed that the Chiefs Act, the Administration Police Act, the Evidence Act and the Kenya Police Act would be reviewed to include modern technology in policing.

This he added would facilitate rapid response to emerging crimes and enable digital tracking of criminals.

Unemployment

This is due to technological developments compounded by unemployment which has led to the emergence of sophisticated crimes, said the President.

And speaking on the dispute over the Cabinet line-up, former Health minister Charity Ngilu said: I am sure the issue of the Cabinet will be sorted out soon by the two principals. We should not put pressure on them to urgently name a Cabinet, neither should we invite Mr Annan to come and mediate. What we need is to have him join in the celebrations.

She said Kenyans were yearning for a Cabinet that can stand the test of time.

Reported by Bernard Namunane and Dave Opiyo

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