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Archive for April 10th, 2008

Kibaki and the 40 chiefs

Posted by African Press International on April 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, api africanpress@getmail.no

The past scandals of the next government

By Gitahi Njeri

Although Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka had the war on corruption as a campaign pledge it was Kibaki who made a specific commitment to keep people alleged to have been involved in corruption out of his government.

Speaking on Jamhuri Day last year the president went ahead to implore Kenyans to elect leaders who were not tainted with corruption

When you go to the polls on 27th December, I urge you to vote for leaders who are fit for public office and with no record of engaging in corrupt practices, he said.

On my part, I make this specific commitment to you; I will appoint a CLEAN HANDS cabinet, made up of men and women of integrity from among the decent men and women that you will elect.

It is instructive that the caps were part of the presidents speech.

Yet today, under the imminent grand coalition government, through a combination of the his desire for political survival as well as that of prime minister designate Raila Odinga and the binding of the National Accord, Kibakis cabinet will be teeming with people who are tainted with corruption.

This week, Kenya Weekly dug into the pasts of the people whose name have been floated as candidates for the various cabinet positions and found out that more than half of the cabinet will be made up of people who have been named in corruption.

1) Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, Vice President

Kalonzo Musyoka, struggled very hard to sell himself to the public as a Mr. Clean from the time Narc government took over power and all the way to the ballot. That was as good as long as the people did not remember his days as a long serving minister in former president Mois government.

But Kalonzos Mr. Clean was almost reduced to the realm of fiction when it emerged that he had been a beneficiary of irregularly allocated land. The whistle that shattered the Mr Clean image was blown by Kalembe Ndile who alleged and stuck to his guns that a piece of land that had been set aside to resettle squatter had been transferred to Musyoka. It is alleged that he was irregularly allocated another piece of land in Mwingi. The land in question in Mwingi was the campsite for Put Sarajevo, a construction company that was building a road in the district.

2) Raila Odinga, Prime Minister

The son of Kenyas first vice president who literally forced his way into the current Kibaki government on a power sharing deal brokered by former UN secretary general, Kofi Annan has also been trying to thrust the image of person who never dipped his hands in the jam can.

But although he has gone to court to redeem his name, he was named in the Ndungu report over irregular allocation of land. The report notes that Raila acquired the land on which the Kisumu Molasses Plant stands at throw away price as a reward for cooperating with former president Mois. In 2001, Raila had led his party NDP into a merger with Mois KANU when a few later then Commissioner of Land, Sammy Mwaita, and the current MP for Baringo Central allocated the 240 hectares of Molasses land to Spectre International, Railas company for a paltry Kshs 3 million.

As the minister for Energy in Mois government he is alleged to have received a fat kickback from a Libyan oil company that wanted a licence to import oil. It is also alleged that part of this kickback was in kind in form of oil supply to his Panafrica Petroleum, a company that was created specifically to receive that kickback.

Later as the Minister for Roads and Public Works, Raila is alleged to have influenced the ministry to single source supply of Bitumen which is used in building roads from Energem, a Canadian company of which he had an interest in. Energem has joint venture agreement with Railas company in the molasses plant.

3) Musalia Mudavadi, Deputy Prime Minister

Cumulatively Mudavadi has presided over the pilferage of KSh170 billion from the government coffers. The ODM number two has been named in the three of the countrys biggest scandals from the Goldenberg Scandal where the country lost upwards of KSh60 billion, to the Anglo Leasing Scandal where the country stood to lose another KSh90 billion to the Mobitelea Saga where it is estimated the country lost KSh20 billion.

The Goldenberg Scandal, the oldest of the three scandals, begun at a time when the ruling party KANU of which he was a senior member was facing the first serious threat to its grip on power from the opposition. Evidence adduced at the Bosire Commission, that investigated the scandal shows that part of the loot in this scandal was used to finance KANUs campaign in 2002. Mudavadi was the minister for finance when the scandal began and he authorized the first payment from the treasury with out questions.

Later as the minister for transport and communication Mudavadi in very unclear circumstances endorsed a plan in which a shell company, Universal Satspace was to sell computers and installed internet services to the postal corporation of Kenya (PCK) at inflated prices was. PCK has since walked out of the deal. Similarly, he was the minister for transport and communication when the Mobitelea scandal began. In the Mobitelea saga, Treasury is estimated to have KSh20 billion.

4) Professor George Saitoti, Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security

Had the government taken the actions recommended by the Bosire Commission of inquiry on the Goldenberg Scandal, the story of the MP for Kajiado North would have changed for the worst.

The commission had recommended the former vice president be prosecuted for the role he played in the scandal where he authorised payment to Goldenberg as export compensation for non existent gold.

Under the weight of the scandal, on February 2006 Saitoti resigned from his position as the minister for education and went to court to challenge the findings of the Bosire Commission. On July, that same year the court ruled that although he had authorized the payment, Saitoti had been acting to acoording to procedure when he made the payments.

(5) Yusuf Mohamed Haji, Minister of State for Defence

The MP for Dujis will not be remembered for his low profile as a player in competitive politics. Rather he will be remembered for his notoriety in abusing his office during his tenure as the Provincial Commissioner Rift Valley. The height of his notoriety was when he forced a judge in Nakuru to jail a civilian for refusing to give him a lift. It so happened that Hajji was trying to get to the office and there was no government vehicle around. Frustrated Hajji flagged down civilian and demanded that he be driven to his office. But the civilian would have none of it. An angry Hajji immediately had him arrested and was in court personally to see to it that the man was jailed. .

Still as PC Rift Valley in 1992, he is accused of having sat back and watched as people murdered each other in the first wave of ethnic cleansing in the province. He had sat in public meetings when some government MPs incited their constituents to attack people of particular ethnic communities. More than 2000 Kenyans were killed in the clashes.

(6) Professor Sam Ongeri, Minister for Education

To many Kenyans, the acronym, KUTIP may not ring a bell. Yet this World Bank funded project is one of the routes that government officials used to siphon public funds. KUTIP, which is short for Kenya Urban Transport Infrastructure Programme began in 1996 with the joint funding from Treasury and the World Bank. The project as the name suggests was intended to upgrade infrastructure urban areas and development of the capacity for local authorities to mainatain it. Treasury had coughed up Kshs 4 billion while World Bank contribution was Kshs 7 billion for the project.

Had it been completed Kutip would have resulted in the dualling of Nairobi’s Ngong Road, the building of pavements and pedestrian lanes in Eastleigh and construction of a new road linking Likoni and Mombasa Road in Nairobi.

Strangely after disbursements of the huge project funds, by 2001 none of these projects went beyond the design stage while similar projects stalled in Central Province.

But the project set off on a wrong footing with government officials at the projects mother ministry, local government, where Ongeri was the minister, demanding bribes from companies involved in the project at every available opportunity.

The crescendo for corruption in the project was in 2002, Gautam Sengupta who was the World Bank project manager in charge of KUTIP admitted in a US court that he had paid a bribe to a senior government official in the ministry of local government.

As the minister, Ongeri was aware of the rot that had crept into the project but by the time he was leaving the ministry he had done nothing to bring the corrupt ministry officials in the ministry to prosecution.

Further more it is alleged, Ongeri himself illegally acquired a four wheel drive vehicle that had been bought for the project purposes and has never returned it to date. The World Bank terminated the project in 2002 after an investigation on the banks officials found that its official were complicit in the corruptions deals.

(7) John Njoroge Michuki, Minister for Roads and Public Works

When he was appointed minister for transport and communication in 2003, Michuki set down to impart a sense of discipline in the chaotic public transport system. His move to gazette public transport rules won him public support as passengers began traveling in dignity in public transport.

But Michuki public support dimmed when it was alleged that he had used his office to unilaterally waive duty on telecommunication equipment imported by Siemens Atea, a company owned by his son Francis Michuki.

As if that was not enough, it was also alleged that the minister had interfered in the tendering process at Kenya Ports Authority for two projects. The first project involved the purchase of 8 cranes worth KSh1.4 billion ($20 million) for the purchase of eight cranes for the port of Mombasa and the other of a similar value for the supply of three tug boats.

In the first tender, it was alleged that Michuki, was fronting the interests of Industrial Plant Ltd , in partnership with Numerical Machining Complex.

(8) Mutula Kilonzo, Minister for lands and Settlement

Former presidents Mois lawyer is known for his sharp intellect and clarity of thought. But the senior counsel, in a bizarre business transaction was paid twenty million by National Social Security Fund (NSSF) for a legal opinion.

Mutula was also named in investigations on the laundering of former Nigerian Dictator Sani Abachas wealth in Kenya. Ashar Ltd a company where Mutula is a director was in 2004 linked with the money laundering scheme where Abachas billions were routed to a Kenyan bank associated with powerful people in Mois government.

In his defence, Mutula says that he was only a nominee for some of his clients which is a standard practice in law. Indeed lawyers can be appointed by their clients to be nominee directors in a company. In the case of Ashar Ltd, Mutula is listed as director together with Anastasia Mululu, a former partner in his law firm, Mutula Kilonzo and Co Advocates.

9) William Ruto, Minister for Local Government

The Eldoret North MP and ODM de facto number three is a true story of a man who left his house one morning a pauper and retuned home in the evening a multi-millionaire. On that December 1997 day, Ruto who was in his first year as MP, got himself through his company Oseng Properties limited, allocated 12 prime plots in Nairobi worth more than KSh100 million. All the plots were previously public utility land but had to be converted for Rutos interests.

Armed with the allotment letters for this plots he approached the struggling now City Finance Bank and Ajay Shahs collapsed Trust Bank for a KSh50 million loan to set up businesses that are the flagships of his wealth today. Trust Bank was to collapse a few months later, while City Finance Bank is still reeling from its huge portfolio of non-performing loans. When Narc government took over power in 2003, to avoid public embarrassment Ruto was forced to silently return the Processional Way which formed part of the 12 plots.

10) Chris Obure, Minister for Special Programmes

Although he served for a short time as the minister for finance in former president Mois government, he left the government with a record of having laid the ground for the one of biggest rip offs at the Treasury.

The Anglo-leasing scandal where the country stood to lose about KSh90 billion began during his tenure at Treasury. It is him who first okayed the leasing finance on governments security project as well PCK deal Unviversal Satspace a shell company that had pretended that it would arrangement for financing, supply of satellite service to general post office. But the deal was a rip off as the service was highly overpriced.

Posta walked out of the deal in 2006.

11) Fred Gumo Minister for Labour and Human Resource

In Mois government Gumo distinguished as master in political thuggery. With violence as his main political weapon Gumo created a private militia which he used to terrorise political enemies and those that he perceived as standing between him and his financial aspirations. From opposition politicians, to priests to journalists, no one was spared Gumos brutal force.

In 1999, in an investigative story published by eXpression Today, Gumo was linked to cartel that was running an intricate drug trade. A few days after the story came out David Makali, the editor who had published it was abducted by Gumos militia and beaten senseless before being abandoned for the dead in Karaura Forest. Before the abduction, Gumo had publicly warned journalists from Luhya community who did not respect their leaders would be beaten up to their senses.

In 2004 Gumo was named by late Karisa Maitha then Minister for local government as one of the politicians that had grabbed public land in the city.

12) Kipkalya Kones, Minister for Water and Irrigation

Kones who has escaped bankruptcy twice is towering politician in Rift valley, perhaps second only to William Ruto. The first time he escaped his debtors trap was in 2001 when he was still a member of parliament. In 2004, the debtors, Diamond Trust Bank, went to court again seeking orders for the MP to be declared bankrupt for failure to pay a debt of KSh4 million.

Kones was named in Ndungu report on land grabbing, as having been a beneficiary of illegal allocation of public utility. The report notes that Kones was illegally allocated 145 acres in the Agricultural Development Corporation Sirikwa scheme where the average allocations were five acres.

The land had been hived from ADC ostensibly to settle squatters, but ended up been divided to prominent in former president Mois government

13) Nyaga, Minister for transport

The first born of Jeremiah Nyaga, former long serving Minister for Home affairs, the ODM nominated MP surprised friends and foes when in 1997 he won a parliamentary seat on a KANU ticket in an area that was predominantly pro-Democratic party (DP).

Thanks to the relationship between the former president and Nyagah the patriarch the younger Nyagah was appointed into the Cabinet. In 2001, as a Minister for Lands and Settlement, Nyagah over saw the biggest excision of forest land in Kenyas history. It was him who okayed the excision of 167,000 acres of forestland in the three major forests; Mt Kenya, Karura and Mau.

In both cases, the forest land was allocated to politicians in the government he served in. In the Mau case, not even the petition by members of the Ogiek community could make him change his mind about the planned excision. The Ogiek had argues the Mau forest was their ancestral land and that the excision would affect their way of life.

14) Otieno Kajwang Minister for Fisheries

From the mid-1990s when Railas political star began to rise, Kajwang easily appeared to have taken a strategic position in the Langata MPs political. It did not escape notice that before Raila took a move, Kajwang had to have screamed about it in the media. To many observers he appeared as the barometer that Raila used to measure political temperatures before making a move. As a result he would have an easy flight to parliament on Railas wings.

But if that shows that he is a good politician, Kajwang soiled his reputation his with professional misconduct as a lawyer. Twice, Kajwang was struck off the advocates register for stealing his clients compensation from insurance companies.

15) Henry Kosgey

The chairman of ODM has emerged as a strong force in Rift Valley politics. Yet his rise to his current stature reads like a lesson on how to bring down public institutions. The MP for Tinderet is still remembered for bringing into the country, Dick Berg the American conman who pretended that he could publicize 4th All Africa Games in 1984. Dick Berg disappeared with all the money that he had been paid.

But even before the All Africa Games debacle that Kosgey had brought down another public asset. Before he joined the company, Kenya national assurance corporation, (KNAC) was a very strong company. But a few years with Kosgey as the Managing Director, the company was declared insolvent, as it could not pay its debts, or meet its clients obligations.

16) Sally Kosgey, minister for public service

The former head of civil service squeezed her position of all the capital it was worth. In what is perhaps a classic case of abuse of office, Dr. Kosgey used her proximity to government information to build her fortune. For example, when NSSF was made the cash cow by its trustees, where well connected people would sell anything for a fortune to the fund, she sold a useless piece land to the fund for KSh174 million. Apparently the land belonged to Kenya Railways and was later turned into a national monument.

Dr Kosgey has also been named in the Ndungu report as one of the beneficiary of the illegal allocation of forests. The report notes that she was allocated 1,170 hectares of land hived off South Nandi Forest in 1999. But, she was to later exchange the land with farmers on a hilly terrain.

17) Dalmas Otieno, Minister for Roads

The former member of president Mois top brass in KANU was very influential in the party that he easily rose to the position of the partys vice chairman. Before he was bundled out of parliament in the first multiparty elections, Dalmas had served in the government in various ministries. But it was during his tenure as the minister for transport and communication that he is alleged to have sunk deep into corrupt deals. As the minister, he is alleged to have to have influenced decisions in three parastatals to withdraw pension contributions from conventional banks to his finance company.

In 1986, in very unclear circumstances Kenya Airways, Kenya Ports Authority, and the giant Kenya Posts and Telecommunications migrated their pension accounts from KCB and National Bank of Kenya to Thabiti Finance where Dalmas was the majority shareholder.

When two years, Thabiti collapsed, it died with more KSh800 million of the pensioners funds from the three parastatals.

18) Ntimama, Minister for Energy (ODM List)

The self appointed spokesperson of the Maasai is perhaps the oldest politician in parliament today, second only to the president. Through out his political career he has emerged as a war like politician ready to incite people to war at the slightest provocation.

Like most of the politicians who served in former president Mois government, Ntimama has also been mentioned in corruption cases. The MP for Narok South was named in the Ndungu where he is listed as a beneficiary of illegal allocation of public. The report says that Ntimama was allocated 34 acres of Moi Ndabi farm which was part of Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) land in Sirikwa scheme.

19) Charity Ngilu, Minister for Health

Ngilus, the only woman in ODMs top organ pentagon may have achieved what no other minister achieved what no other has in the ministry of health. But her helm at the ministry has also been characterized by high level graft. The most memorable incident of graft in which she was involved was when through her influence her daughter received millions of tax payers money ostensibly to organize a two days national womens conference on aids in Nairobi; and where the minister was to be the chief guest. The conference did not take off although women were transported from all over the country to Kasarani Stadium where the event was supposed to have happened. Instead the women were issued with reading and promotional materials and return fares to where they had come from. That was in 2004.

The following year the minister is alleged to have embarked on a purge of the ministry staff and replacing them with people of one ethnic community. The minister also became notorious for blocking investigation of corruption on either her activities or those of her cronies in the ministry. During her tenure she was engaged in long battles with Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission which she accused of which hunt.

20) Orwa Ojode, Minister for Immigration

A former Railas personal assistant, Ojode is said to have helped his employer in developing the plans for deals that have been linked with corruption. The MP for Ndhiwa was named in the Kroll Associates report as having worked for the Moi family in questionable deals.

21) Musa Sirma, Minister for Housing

The former district officer owes his current seat as nominated MP to William Ruto. He had been floored in ODM partys primaries but he blackmailed the party leaders with the threat of defecting to another party.

Sirmas name has constantly been mentioned in relation to destruction of forests. Last year a combined force Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), forest guards and regular police force officers raided his home in Nakuru where they seized about 20 tonnes of sandalwood, which is especially used to make perfumes, worth about KSh75 million.

22) Kiraitu Murungi, Minister for Energy (PNU list)

Kiraitu who has been trying to project himself as Meru political supremo was a respected human rights lawyer before he got into government. To his credit when he got into government and was appointed minister for constitutional affair, he set in motion a series of reforms aimed at improving the standard of living in the country.

But, the image he had struggled to build over a long time came under serious challenge when he was linked to corruption by John Githongo, the exiled former Permanent Secretary for Ethics and Governance.

In a an interview at the British Broadcasting Corporation, Githongo played tapes where a man was asking him (Githongo) to slow down investigation on Anglo Leasing. Githongo claimed the man was Kiraitu.

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African Press International – API

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Mobitelea saga: What do these men know?

Posted by African Press International on April 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, api africanpress@getmail.no

By Gitahi Njeri

For the one last year, the ownership of Mobitelea, the ghost company that has an indirect shareholding at Safaricom has evolved to an enigmatic proportion with the mystery of its ownership deepening by the day.

Not even the investigation by Parliamentary Investment Committee (PIC) which probes public investments has been unable to unravel the mystery of the offshore company registered in the tax haven of the Island of Guersey.

The mystery deepened last week when Independent a UK paper reported that UK governments graft watchdog, Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has dropped investigations citing limitations of “resources”.

The statement from SFO announcing the decision said that SFO director Robert Wardle has the task of allocating resources, taking into account the prospects of success against the demands on resources.

It is with some difficulty that he has decided that the SFO will not adopt this enquiry for investigation” said the statement.

But lawyers have termed SFO decision a flat refusal to be involved in the search of the owners with the probable prodding of the owners of Mobitelea or Vodafone UK.

According John Amena Amendi, although off investors in Guernsey and other tax havens might offer guarantees to investors that their identities will be concealed this does not include a case where a crime has been committed.

On its part PIC, after months of investigations only released a report that recommended further investigation by Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission into the Mobitelea saga.

But in the course of investigation PIC hit the wall in its effort to unravel the mystery forcing it to ask for assistance from SFO. It should be recalled that on several occasions that UK has accused Kenya government of a half hearted efforts to fight corruption.

One of the problems that made PIC to call for help from SFO help was the obstinacy by Vodafone which declared that it was barred by a confidentiality agreement rules to discuss the ownership of Mobitelea.

As late as last week when SFO called of the probe, Vodafone was still clinging on to the same line on confidentiality as the reason it can not disclose the faces behind Mobitelea. The collapse of the SFO leaves Mobitelea owners hiding in the same veil that they have been hiding in before PIC and SFO began their investigations.

Kroll report

So far the only attempt to identify the Mobitelea ownership is the Kroll report which names key people with links to the former president Moi. The report names, Gideon Moi, Nicholas Biwott and Charles Field-Marsham, Biwotts son in law as shareholders in Safaricom.

But the accuracy of the Kroll report has being contested on the basis of the generalities it makes. On the case of Safaricom ownership, the report makes a sweeping statement that the trio owns 40 percent of Safaricom while the government owns the remaining 60 percent.

But the answers to the questions around the ownerships could be closer home than expected. If the traditional standards of the way government transacts business are anything to by then five politicians and two technocrats could have the keys to unlocking the mystery of Mobitelea. The five politicians, include people who have headed the Finance, and transport and communication ministries between 1999 to date while the technocrats served at one served as managing directors at Telkom Kenya between 1999 to 2003 when the deals surrounding the mystery were clinched.

The Kshs 20 billion question?

Curiously only one of these men have been quizzed over what they know about Mobitelea. Further none of them has been interrogated in what they know regarding the transfer of an additional 10 percent of the Safaricoms shares from Telkom to Vodafone Plc yet this could be the origin the Mobitelea saga.

From a casual observer, the two transactions appear unrelated but on a closer scrutiny have more similarities than differences. For example, when calculated at the current value of Safaricom, the value of the extra 10 percent that Vodafone acquired in unclear circumstance from Telkom translates to Kshs 20 billion.

Interestingly calculated on the same value, Vodafone Kenya stake at Safaricom is worth Kshs 80 billion. That means that when Vodafone gave Mobitelea a 25 stake in Vodafone Kenya, it also gave the ghost company a stake in Safaricom worth 20 billion.

Further, the order of events leading to the Mobitelea acquisition of the 25 percent stake in Vodafone Kenya and the reduction of the same stake to 12.5 percent is in itself very curious. According to its registration certificate Mobitelea was registered in July 18, 1999. Two months later on October, according to Telkom Kenya minutes submitted to PIC, Vodafone begins negotiations to increase its shareholding from 30 percent to 40 percent.

The following year, the 10 percent shareholding is transferred from Telkom to VKL. In 2002, which happens to be an election year, Vodafone allocates the 25 percent in VKL to Mobitelea. But on January 2003, when a new government has been elected into office, and only a few months later year later the transfer of the shares to Mobitelea, Vodafone buys back 12.5 percent leaving the ghost firm with only 12.5 percent which is equal to Kshs 10 billion of Safaricoms current value.

Besides in both transactions, it is not clear whether money changed hands in the deals. It is not clear whether Vodafone paid for the extra 10 percent that it acquired from Telkom and in the Mobitelea-Vodafone deal, although the latter has termed the former as a financial investor it is not clear whether Mobitelea paid anything to Vodafone. What is clear though is that Mobitelea is Kshs 20 billion rich in 2002 and Kshs 10 billion in 2003 through Safaricom.

In these two deals the treasury whose interest in these deals was held by Telkom might have lost more than Kshs 20 billion. Which raises question as to why the current government is not interested in investigating the saga? Do the people in the current government know something that we do not know?

The seven men and their secrets

As questions on Mobitelea continue to emerge, what these nine men know regarding the ghost company and behind the scenes deals that led to its stake in Safaricom remains close to their hearts. In the meantime Kenyans are scrambling for the Safaricom IPO.

Musalia Mudavadi,

The ODM number two who is also poised to take one of the twin positions of deputy prime minister in the grand coalition government was a minister of transport and communication in 1999 and 2002 when Mobitelea was born and earned a fat fortune from Kenyas goose that lays the golden egg. It is under his ministry that Kenya Post and Telecommunication (KPTC) the predecessor of Telkom Kenya fell. As a minister he must have been briefed by his permanent secretary of the impending sale of the 10 percent stake of Telkom shares in Safaricom to Vodafone. As such he must have known whether or not Telkom was paid for the additional 10 percent it ceded to Vodafone in Safaricom. The MP for Sabatia must also have been briefed on Vodafone intention to bring on board Mobitelea in the deal.

Curiously Mudavadi has been conspicuously silent on Mobitelea when his ODM counterparts have been vocal on the mystery of Mobitelea.

When we tried to reach him for comment on the saga, Mudavadi was said to be holed up in meetings. But Kibisu Kabatesi his personal assistant quickly rushed to defend him saying he could not have been aware of anything on the saga as he only held the agriculture docket after 1997 general election. However, even Mudavadis personal website confirms that he was moved from Agriculture in 1999 to Transport and communication before the ministry was renamed ministry of transport, information and communication.

Chris Okemo

The MP for Nambale was in charge of finance docket when the mystery began. As the minister for finance he was represented in the board of Telkom by Treasury permanent secretary of the time. He must therefore have been briefed on the impending change of share structure in Safaricom where Telkom was ceding an extra 10 percent to Vodafone. Okemo is therefore best placed to say whether Vodafone actually paid for the 10 percent stake. PIC dismissed as a work of fiction a letter tabled by Michael Joseph claiming that Vodafone had paid US$ 22 million for the 10 percent.

Similarly he must have known that Vodafone was bringing on board Mobitelea as a shareholder in Vodafone Kenya Limited. He was the finance minister when 10 percent Telkom stake was transferred to Vodafone. Like Musalia, Okemo has remained mum on the saga.

It is very unlikely that the two deals especially the transfer of the extra 10 percent shares from Telkom to Vodafone went on without the approval of the Cabinet. If the deals were approved at Cabinet level, certainly it had to have been raised by either Okemo or Mudavadi

Amos Kimunya,

The current minister took over the ministry of finance from Daudi Mwairaria when the government was moving to offload its stakes in Safaricom and Telkom. It has been during his tenure in the first five years of Kibaki administration that government delegation flew to UK to negotiate the sale of 9 percent of its stake in Safaricom to Vodafone. It is also during his tenure that the Mobitelea controversy emerged.

Confronted with questions over Mobitelea, Kimunya has had two distinctive positions. At one point he had said that was not interested in the ownership of Mobitelea since it was a only a part of the Vodafones stake in Safaricom. But recently, the minister has changed his position saying that the government would investigate who the real owners of Mobitelea are.

Mutahi Kagwe

The Mobitelea controversy came to the public limelight in the tenure of this immediate former minister for information and communication and MP for Mukure-ini. It was during his tenure that the government fast tracked plans to sell part of its stake in Safaricom. Part of the process involved governments negotiations with Vodafone Plc in a bid to sell 9 percent of its stake to the UK based company.

It was also during his tenure, last year, that PIC began its investigation of the Mobitelea saga. In the course of the investigation, there were claims by members of PIC that Kagwe had spoken to them urging them to drop the probe because it is hurting some of our friends. Incidentally, at the time that PIC was conducting the probe; the government was trying to woo some members of then opposition KANU to bolster its (government) weakening strength in parliament.

John Michuki

The non-nonsense minister replaced Mudavadi in the transport and communication ministry before president split it in transport and information and communication as separate ministries.

In January 2003, when Vodafone acquired back 12.5 percent stake from Mobitelea, Michuki had taken over as the minister.

John Waweru,

The Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) director general was a member of Telkom board for the three years when the negotiation with Vodafone over an extra 10 percent in Safaricom. That means that he sat in the meetings when Telkom was discussing the extra 10 percent deal.

In 2003 he was appointed the managing director. Both the controversial deals were okayed when he was still a board a member before being elevated to the position of the Managing director and later to his current position in CCK.

As a board member at Telkom he must have known whether Vodafone really paid for the extra 10 percent shareholding in Safaricom or not.

Augustine Cheserem

Cheserem was the managing director at Telkom Kenya when the deals began. He had just replaced the former managing director of the old KP&TC Jan Mutai in the climax of the telecommunication reforms. Cheserem sat through the meetings that discussed and agreed to cede the extra 10 percent to Vodafone. As the chief accounting officer he knows whether Vodafone paid for its new stake or not.

He was also at Telkom in the same position when Vodafone Kenya Limited shareholding structure changed to accommodate Mobitelea. According to the partnership agreement, the two shareholders in Safaricom were supposed to notify each other on the change of shareholding in their structures.

Limited mandate

Asked why PIC team did not interview these people in its investigation, Justin Muturi who chaired the committee in the last parliament explained that his committee could only question people who are holding relevant positions at present while the rest should be investigated by other government agencies. This explains why the committee in its report recommends that Kenya Anti-corruption Commission conducts further investigations.

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African Press International – api

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Press release: Nyanza Council of Church leaders over the cabinet delay

Posted by African Press International on April 10, 2008

Posted to API by
We have waited for enough time for the grand coalition cabinet to be availed and it must be clear to both PNU and ODM leadership that the Kenyan people are loosing their patience over the new cabinet at rapid rate.
As religious leaders, we must remind President Kibaki that he has duty to avert any similar situation that the country went through three months ago and this must only be realized when he (the President) becomes sincere to the ODM team by equally sharing the cabinet portfolios as they agreed.
The Nyanza Council of church leaders therefore petition President Kibaki to, without any further delay, dissolve his cabinet and constitute anew one that must be agreed upon by the ODM team led by Prime-Minister designate Raila Odinga.
By subjecting the current political mood in the country to consulting his ministers and allies, Kenyans cannot be mistaken for blaming Kibaki himself to be the cause of the stalemate over the cabinet.
We must point it out that it has never worked that a President asks individuals if they want to be ministers and which ministries they want to be placed. This is why we call upon Kibaki to realize the seriousness this issue needs by shunning those who surround him hence causing confusion on the agreements he has reached with Hon. Raila Odinga Prime Minister Designate.
If Kenyans were to trust the sincerity of the PNU team and President Kibaki over the agreement they signed with Hon. Raila Odinga before international mediators led by H.E Koffi Annan, then the cabinet ought to have been dissolved immediately the agreement was signed end of February.
Worse still, the President has again failed to do away with his cabinet even after Parliament made amendment in the constitution which paved way for the creation of the Prime Ministers position in the country.
The country is also made to understand that ODM has made a lot of sacrifices in pursuit of peace in Kenya and this has actually made its leader Hon Raila Odinga to stoop too low in abid to ensuring that the power sharing agreement signed was achieved for the interest of the common and majority Kenyans.
Now our serious appeal to the President is: If he is fully committed to save Kenya from chaos and turmoil then he must dissolve his cabinet now and not later and then call Hon Raila Odinga the Prime minister designate to form a New Government of 28 ministers.
We as a council of church leaders still maintain that Kenya deserves a lean cabinet 28 ministers. Should there be need to go past 28, then it must not pass 34 members of the cabinet as our country faces a lot of economic problems and therefore a bloated cabinet will have adverse effect to the already burden Kenyan tax-payers. A full power sharing can not be without Hon Raila Odinga be in the distribution and appointing of Parastatals and permanent secretaries and other government appointees and Ambassadors
In conclusion, we must again reiterate to President Kibaki that the political environment in the country is still not good and the current tension and anxiety mounting over the need of equally and equitably shared cabinet was only worsening the matter. This calls for urgent attention by the President to save Kenya from anxiety.
God bless Kenya.
Signed by the following: –
1. Bishop Dr Washington Ogonyo Ngede, Chairman, Nyanza Council of Church leaders, and Power of Jesus Around the World Church.
2. Arch Bishop Dr. Matthew Ajuoga – Church of Christ in Africa
3. Arch Bishop Silas Owiti – Voice of Salvation and Healing Church
4. Bishop Francis Mwai Abiero Anglican Church Maseno South Diocese
5. Bishop Joshua Koyo Chairman N.C.C.K Nyanza Branch
6. Arch Bishop Julius Otieno – Living Water Church
7. Bishop Zephaniah Ouma Orao – New Wine Church
8. Bishop Mark Kegohi Redeemed Gospel Church.
9. Bishop Felix Ochieng Oruwa C.C.M.I. Church.
10. Rev. Reuben Dali – Salvation Army
11. Bishop Hesbon Omwandho Njera – St. Meshack Church
12. Rev. Richard Odongo – P.A.G Nyanza
13. Bishop George Obul – Genesis Church
14. Bishop Hannington Okoth Olambo Miracle and Wonders Church.
15. Bishop Lister Okinda Word of Life Church.
16 Bishop Jasper Ogello Gospel Fellowship Ministry
17. Bishop Jason Gor Mirambe Children of God Church
18. Bishop Barrack Agalo Great Commission Ministry
19. Rev. Benjamin Ochieng Disciple of Mercies
20.. Bishop Eliakim Mbata Water of Life Church.
21. Rev. William Osen Kisumu Covenant Church.
22. Bishop John Onyango Ober Church of God and Prophecy.
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China ‘uncovers Olympics plot’

Posted by African Press International on April 10, 2008

Published by Korir, api africanpress@getmail.no source.aljazeera

China ‘uncovers Olympics plot’

China has stepped up security ahead of the
Beijing Games on August 8 [AFP]

Chinese authorities say they have uncovered a plot to kidnap foreign journalists, tourists and athletes during the Olympic Games in Beijing.

The announcement came as Beijing came under pressure form the European parliament to open negotiations with the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, after several weeks of protests against Chinese rule.

Wu Heping, China’s public security ministry spokesman, told a news conference on Thursday that 35 people from the western Xinjiang region were beween March 26 and April 6.

“They wanted to make a global impact to sabotage the Beijing Olympics,” Wu said. “We face a real terrorist threat.”

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He said the gang hatched the plot in November and travelled through Xinjiang last month seeking recruits, including those skilled in weapons and explosives production.

Members of the Xinjiang region’s Muslim Uighur ethnic group have been pressing for an independent state, while Beijing has sought to portray the separatists as being linked to global terrorists networks.

However, many experts and analysts have said that there is little evidence to support this and membership of the separatist groups is believed to besmall.

Wu said that another cell, allegedly uncovered in the Xinjiang capital Urumqi in January was planning poison and bomb attacks before the games.

Security heightened

China heightened security following unrest in Tibet, as well as nearby regions with Tibetan populations, and reports of at least one pro-independence demonstration in Xinjiang.

The situation in Tibet has also prompted protests which have disrupted the Olympic torch relay in Athens, London, Paris and San Francisco.

Officials overseeing the torch route in San Francisco on Wednesdaycancelled the planned closing ceremony on the city’s waterfront.

However, the head of the International Olympic Committee, said that the route would not be altered or shortened.

“This scenario [to changethe route]is definitely not on the agenda,” Jacques Rogge said at a news conference in Beijing.

“We are studying together with [organisers] to improve the torch relay, but there is no scenario of either interrupting or bringing [the torch] back directly to Beijing.”

Boycott urged

Meanwhile, the European Parliament urged leaders of the 27 nations in the bloc to boycott the opening ceremony in Beijing if China did not begin talsk with the Dalai Lama.

Olympic torch relay


Modern tradition oftorch relay began in 1936 atBerlin Olympics

This year’sis the longest ever,travelling 137,000km

The torchwill visit 19 nations over 130 days

First destination is Kazakhstan

Onthe final leg, it will travel throughout China, includingTibet andthe summit of Mount Everest

Clickhere to go to the official torch relaysite
(Al Jazeera is not responsible for the content of external websites)

The parliament approved a resolution calling on the governments to explore “the option of non-attendance in the event there is no resumption of dialogue”.

The British prime minister’s office said on Wednesday thatGordon Brown would skip the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.

Brown is thethird major world leader after Angela Merkel, the German chancellor and Stephen Harper, Canada’s prime minister,to announce they are not attending the ceremony.

However, his office said he was not boycotting the Olympics and wouldgo tothe closing ceremony.

The UShas not ruled out a boycott of the Beijing Games but GeorgeBush, the country’s president, has said that he will attend the opening ceremony.

Last week Democrats in the US congress led byNancy Pelosi, the House speaker, urgedBush to consider a boycott to protest against China’s crackdown on demonstrators in Tibet.

The Dalai Lama has said that China has the right to host the Olympics, which are due to go aheadon August 8.

“I support the Chinese host for the world game because China is the most populous nation, ancient nation,” he said.

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Islamist suicide bomber targets AU peacekeepers in Somali capital

Posted by African Press International on April 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, api africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

A suicide car bomb attack targeting the building housing the Burundian contingent of the African Union peacekeepers (AMISOM) near the Somali National University, south of Mogadishu, left four civilians, including the suicide bomber dead, while 10 others, including two Burundian peacekeepers, sustained injuries on Tuesday afternoon, witnesses and officials confirmed to APA.

“As I was sitting near the Burundian camp, a speeding Toyota pick up truck loaded with explosives entered through the gate of the camp, after which I heard a large blast that shook the place,” Elmi Farah, an eyewitness to the incident told APA.

Al-shabab, the military wing of the Islamic Courts Union, claimed responsibility for the attack, which followed another separate mortar shell attack on Ugandan soldiers near the international airport.

“We attacked today both the Burundian and Ugandan soldiers. In the Burundian camp, a car bomb driven by one of our mujahidin fighters, Abdi Asiis Bishaar Abdullahi, drove his car with explosives inside their camp as they were changing duties, resulting in several casualties,” Sheikh Muktar Robow, an Al-Shabab spokesman told APA.

“In the case of the Ugandans, we launched 12 mortar shells inside their camp at Halane near the international airport,” he added.

A spokesman for the African Union peacekeepers, Major Barieyge Bahuko confirmed some casualties among both their soldiers and the civilians.

“A huge explosion rocked the gate of our soldiers-the Burundian contingent-, wounding two of the soldiers while another civilian died on the spot,” the spokesman Major Bahuko said. He added that they were investigating how the incident occurred and who was behind it.

A spokesman of the Burundian army, Captain Clement Cimana also confirmed the incident by telephone to APA, saying a high speed Toyota hit the gate of their camp and exploded. He said two of their soldiers were injured, with one of them seriously.

Three other dead bodies were found near the Burundian camp on Wednesday morning from the suicide car bomb.

This is first time AMISOM peacekeepers from Burundi have been attacked in Mogadishu after four months in the capital, although Islamist insurgents had attacked Ugandan peacekeepers at least four times in the past as the Al-Shabab have vowed to wage attacks on them.

Somalia had been plunged into anarchy after the overthrow of Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, and since then, there has been no effective central authority, leading to constant inter-clan war which left thousands killed or displaced.

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BREAKING NEWS: Raila Odinga, ODM leader in Kenya reportedly taken ill Wednesday night

Posted by African Press International on April 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, api africanpress@getmail.no

If this is true then the PNU hardliners will be blamed. Reports reaching API give a picture of a man who was taken ill after dining with a number of people last evening – wednesday. It was not immediately known who the people in Raila Odinga’s (photo right)company were, but it is suspected that something sinister may have taken place behind the scenes before diner was served.

This, if it has happened, will scare many other politicianswho areconsidered a thorn in the eye by those who do not want to see any ODM influence in the country.

Our sources confirm that Raila was taken ill immediately after eating. It is reported that he complained of stomach ache. Those who served the meal may have to undergo questioning by the authorities to ascertain what transpired, if it really did happen as API has been informed.

It is not long ago that two MPs from ODM were murdered. The Embakasi MP, and Ainamoi MP were murdered and there is word in the air that the killing may have been politically motivated although that has not been indipendently confirmed.

ODM supporters will be angered by this and they will point a finger at PNU. It is, however, wise to wait and get more details before one starts directing blame to anyone.

Kenya will be plunged into chaos if something was to happen to Raila and his Pentagon men and women at this time when the country is struggling to form a Grand Coalition Government. The country is not ready for another riot after the skirmishes that took many livesafter the December elections.

If the damage to the ODM leader’s life is minimal after this reported incident, the best that ODM can do is to ask their supporters to be calm, otherwise the country will be taken back to square one with many people loosing their lives.

API will bring you more details as it comes…………

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Exploring why Kibaki-Raila Cabinet deal stalled

Posted by African Press International on April 10, 2008

Publisher: korir, api africanpress@getmail.no source.nation.ke

Story by BERNARD NAMUNANE

Firm demands on ministerial positions, different interpretations of the National Accord, the lacuna in the agreement and the fate of internal refugees are to blame for the failure by President Kibaki and Prime Minister-designate Raila Odinga to give the country a new Cabinet.

Public anxiety over the procrastination in the announcement of the Cabinet has turned into anger in some parts of the country, while international concern has blossomed into direct intervention by foreign diplomats.

Common ground

President Kibaki and Mr Odinga have failed to find common ground on the naming of the Cabinet because of the positions taken by the sides they represent on the sharing of the seven key ministries of Finance, Internal Security, Foreign Affairs, Local Government, Cabinet Affairs, Energy and Public Service.

The tussle over the ministries is interpreted by each side to mean that should they let them go to their partners in the coalition, then they will become passengers in the new political arrangement.

We do not want to become passengers in the grand coalition. What PNU is doing is to take all the plum ministries and leave the remnants for us, stated Mr Odinga.

The ODM leader submitted that during the four sessions he had with President Kibaki over the formation of the Cabinet, he withdrew their claim on the ministries of Finance, Defence, Internal Security and Justice and Constitutional Affairs in exchange for the dockets of Energy, Transport, Roads, Local Government and Foreign Affairs.

But in agreeing to this, I indicated that we had reached our irreducible minimum. The response to our magnanimity from the other side has been to retract every agreement we have finalised, he complained.

He was referring to the exchange of a series of letters that has resulted in the current stalemate in which the Government side denied ever accepting to let go of the crucial ministries.

In a letter dated April 7, Mr Muthaura on the directions of the President denies the claims of the PM-designate over the key ministries. In the meeting of April 3, contrary to your assertion, it was never agreed that ODM should nominate ministers for the portfolios, he stated.

To stress the weight of this issue, the ODM parliamentary group (PG) has demanded that unless they are given an equal share in the key ministries, their leader may not go back to the consultation table with President Kibaki.

Observed Mr Odinga: This latest crisis in portfolio balance captures the astonishing lengths PNU is willing to go to ensure that it continues to monopolise power.

Hand-in-hand with the standoff over the ministries, PNU and ODM are worlds apart in their interpretations of the national accord and how it affects the executive authority of the President.

Executive

Mr Muthaura, in one of his letters, asserted that the National Accord did not dilute the executive powers of the President who is the Head of Government and Head of State.

He stated: The President continues to be both the Head of State and Head of Government and the recent enactments (read the National Accord and Reconciliation Act and the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Act) did not alter this. Consequently, the constitutional duties of the Vice-President, the Prime Minister, deputy Prime Ministers and ministers is to aid and advise the President.

He referred the ODM to sections 17, 18, 23 and 111 of the Constitution that stipulate the powers of the President.

But ODM hit back, stating that the said sections had been overtaken by the two Acts that came into force three weeks ago.

Parastatals

They averred that executive authority was now jointly exercised by the President and the PM because the constitutional provisions did not apply in the case of the envisioned grand coalition.

By so stating, ODM was making it clear that Mr Odinga should not only be consulted in the naming of the Cabinet, but also the entire Government that includes the Head of Public Service, permanent secretaries, ambassadors and heads of key parastatals.

Third, the gaps in the National Accord signed by the two principals and subsequently enacted by Parliament are to blame for the impasse.

MPs Mutula Kilonzo (Mbooni) and Orwa Ojode (Ndhiwa) say the two sides should urgently come together and draw a Government structure on sharing of ministries, governance organs, conflict resolution and procedures of running the coalition.

There are key issues that were not agreed upon because (chief mediator Kofi) Annan suspended the talks before the mediation team had deliberated on them. Those matters have now come back to haunt us, said Mr Kilonzo, a key member of the PNU mediation team.

For instance, who can call the conflict resolution mechanism? Is it the President or the Prime Minister? posed Mr Kilonzo. Mr Ojode said the National Accord, while stipulating the sunset clause of the grand coalition, failed to provide the way forward should one of the two sides pull out of the arrangement.

It was left open ended. If we differ to irreconcilable levels with PNU, do we go for elections or what happens? This matter should be addressed adequately, he said.

Mr Odinga attempted to address this lacuna in his last letter to the President when he proposed that a joint team of four members be set up to seek a solution to the issues of structure and organisation of government.

It is also emerging that the fate of internal refugees is becoming a concern for PNU, with its members claiming that ODM is using them as bait to get powerful ministries. Mukurwe-ini MP Kabando wa Kabando, Laikipia Easts Mwangi Kiunjuri and Nithis Japheth Kareke Wednesday accused ODM of blackmail, saying its remarks that the suffering Kenyans wont return to their farms and homes unless their political demands were met were sadistic.

Speaking at Parliament Buildings, the MPs said linking the fate of the refugees to Cabinet positions was irresponsible.
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Tension rocks Kenya

Posted by African Press International on April 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, api africanpress@getmail.no source.nation.ke

Tension as Kibaki side told to give up key seats

Story by NATION Team

Britain Wednesday suggested that some of President Kibakis supporters surrender their plum Cabinet posts for sharing with their ODM rivals as some diplomats expressed optimism that the coalition government would be named soon.

Railway transport to Uganda was paralysed after this section of the line that passes through Kibera slum, Nairobi, was uprooted by rioters demanding the naming of a grand coalition cabinet by President Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga. Photo/CHRIS OJOW

UK Foreign secretary David Miliband said in a statement that all sides should be prepared to make concessions, including President Kibakis supporters ceding some powerful portfolios.

His US counterpart, Ms Condoleezza Rice, said she had spoken separately to President Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga on telephone and that they had assured her of their commitment to ensure the power-sharing deal was effected.

Meanwhile, tension mounted in parts of the country over the delay in naming a coalition cabinet and rioting youths uprooted a section of the railway line from Nairobi to western Kenyain the Kibera slums.

The mob

The railway line was first destroyed on Tuesday but the mob returned Wednesday to do more damage.

Another mob stoned cars plying the Kisumu-Kericho road, but were dispersed by police. A similar incident was reported in Busia Town, but again police managed to clear the road.

There was also evidence that police were prepared for possible crowd trouble, with lorries full of police stationed in Nairobis city centre and roads leading to Kibera and Mathare slums.

American ambassador Michael Ranneberger, who has engaged in a flurry of shuttle diplomacy between the President and Mr Odinga, said he was sure the coalition Cabinet would be named soon.

Mr Ranneberger said he met President Kibaki and Mr Odinga on Tuesday, and he came away optimistic about their commitment to forming a grand coalition government.

I dont think there is any need to impose sanctions, the envoy said in an answer to a question from reporters at a news conference in Nairobi. Mr Ranneberger said he viewed a 40-member Cabinet as too large but added that sometimes compromises must be made between what is best and what is politically needed.

His optimism was shared by ambassadors from European and North America who met Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and Cabinet ministers Uhuru Kenyatta and George Saitoti and National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende.

Mr Marende, speaking at a service to commemorate the Rwanda genocide, said he was sure there would be a grand coalition Cabinet before Parliament reopens on Tuesday.

President Kibaki spent the better part of Wednesday at his office in Harambee House. He left the office at 3pm.

No statements

Mr Odinga met a Danish diplomat but there was no public statement issued.

ODM spokesman Salim Lone said the President had not responded to their letter proposing the way forward.

The essential step in the proposal is that a small PNU/ODM group be established, which lays out the essential areas on which there is divergence, he said.

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Africa at large: India unveils new plan for African partners

Posted by African Press International on April 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, api africanpress@getmail.no source.businessDaily.ke

India unveiled a bag of goodies for African partners attending the first India-Africa summit signalling the extent it is ready to go to win hearts in the natural resource-rich continent.

Key among the offers is duty-free access to Indias domestic market and a significant increase in development financing. We recognise the importance of market access in securing the development dimension of international trade, Indias prime minister Manmohan Singh said during the opening of the India-Africa summit in New Delhi. Under the new scheme, India will provide preferential market access for exports from 50 developing countries, 34 in Africa.

The preferential arrangement covers 94 per cent of Indias total tariff lines and provides preferential market access on tariff lines that comprise 92.5 per cent of global exports of all least developed countries (LDCs). The scheme covers several products of interest to Africa including cotton, cocoa, aluminium, copper, cashew nuts, cane sugar, ready-made garments, fish fillets and non-industrial diamonds. Our co-operation must actively co-opt trade and industry in the processes of growth and development in Africa, Dr Singh said.

India also unveiled plans to double the lines of credit to the continent in the next five years. Between 2003/04 and 2008/09, India extended credit lines worth $2.15 billion to support various projects in Africa through the Ex-Im Bank of India. Over the next five years, we will more than double this amount and offer additional lines of credit amounting to $5.4 billion both bilaterally and to the regional economic communities of Africa, said Mr Singh.

President Kibaki was scheduled to attend the talks but called off his trip at the eleventh hour in the wake of a political stalemate between his Party of National Unity (PNU) and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) over the formation of a coalition government. Foreign Affairs minister, Moses Wetangula and senior Trade and Industry ministry officials are representing him at the summit. India said infrastructure development, Information Technology ( IT), telecoms as well as power generation are top on its agenda for Africa.

Indias IT industry is among the most advanced in the world and provides key personnel to Americas Silicon Valley. We will promote activities of small, medium and micro enterprises by making full use of public-private partnerships, said Mr Singh. India also plans to boost its aid kitty to Africa with focus on critical areas such as human resource development and capacity building. Mr Singh said grants in the excess of $500 million had been earmarked for implementation of such projects in the next five to six years.

Away from the economic niceties, India also made known its intention to lean on Africa for support in its quest to get a seat in an expanded UN Security Council. Our shared vision of the world should enable us to work together on the vital challenges facing humanity. No one understands better than India and Africa the need for global institutions to reflect current realities and to build a more equitable global economy and polity Dr Singh said.

India has been lobbying for UN reforms that would open the door for greater representation of the developing world in key global institutions. It is in the race for a permanent seat at the security council together with Germany, Japan, Egypt, Brazil, and South Africa. Of the five permanent members of the UN security council with powers to veto resolutions, three Britain, France and Russia support Indias case.
The New Delhi meeting ending today offers India a chance to win the support of more African nations.

Though China has aggressively invested in Africa, it remains shackled by economic policies at the expense of humanitarian support. A case in point is its perceived laxity to intervene in the Dafuri conflict on the border of Sudan and Chad while it enjoys proceeds from the countrys oil wells. On the education front, India told participants it would strengthen its local capabilities by creating regional and pan-African institutions of higher education, especially in science, IT, vocational training, investment in research and development in renewable energy, and agriculture.

As an immediate measure, we propose to double our long-term scholarships for undergraduates, postgraduates and higher courses and increase the number of training slots under our technical assistance programmes from 1,100 to 1,600 every year, said the prime minister.

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Press Release: KIBAKI OR KENYA; A CHOICE FOR KENYANS TO MAKE.

Posted by African Press International on April 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, api africanpress@getmail.no

Press release: Signed for ODM UK by: Joe Ager, George Muruli, Dr Abdi Greek, Humphrey Philips, Otingo-Onyango, Micky Ouso, Tom Ojanga, Lilian Awuor, Rose Ochwada, Dr. Mary Thomson, Joachim Nyantika, Charles Bosire Dr Ken Chelule.

As intransigence and cunning by PNU continues to frustrate the formation of the Coalition Government and the implementation of the Nation accord and Reconciliation Agreement, it is now clear that Kenyans will have to make a conscious choice whether to keep Kibaki as President and risk making Kenya a failed state, or to remove Kibaki from power and save the country.

The sad truth is that Kibaki is too addicted to exercising absolute power to contemplate sharing real power with ODM. He continues to demonstrate that the consequences of his actions on the citizens do not matter as long as he keeps absolute power.

Even the immortal words of the ninetieth century British diplomat and statesman, Lord Acton , that absolute power corrupts absolutely, do not fully capture the extent to which Kibakis perception of the country and its citizens has been corrupted.

Kibakis determination to retain all powerful ministries at any/all costs depicts him as being:

Absolutely insensitive to the needs and suffering of the Kenyan citizens. Examples abound. Hundreds of thousands of Kenyans remain displaced from their homes, living under intolerable conditions. Businesses flounder from economic stagnation. Investors stay away from Kenya and those who were already in the country relocated overseas due to political uncertainty. Employees are laid off work while job seekers find no work.

Absolutely arrogant. Although ODM has pleaded with Kibaki to minimise public waste by limiting the size of the cabinet to low thirties, he contemptuously dismisses public concern by insisting on a bloated, and ill-affordable forty four ministries on the pretext that he has to satisfy his favoured constituencies.

Absolutely ludicrous and greedy. It is inconceivable that Kibaki does not actually understand the meaning of weighted portfolio balance in power sharing arrangement. He unreasonably allocates to himself all the powerful ministries while giving ODM glorified departments as ministries.

Absolutely reckless with the national security and stability of Kenya. Kibaki would be expected to understand that an extended period of time without a legitimately constituted cabinet is a perfect environment for instability with the full potential of reigniting the post election sectarian violence and deaths. Kibaki is courting just such instability by his intransigence.

Yet Kibaki is not stupid. These obviously unreasonable behaviour is neither accidental nor unavoidable. This behaviour represents an intricate web of negotiating tactics which form part of Kibakis grand strategy to retain absolute power for, hopefully, five years, as he engages the country in a useless, cyclic negotiation which he deliberately designed to be fruitless.

The time has come to call Kibakis bluff.

By this paid advertisement, ODM UK gives notice that ODM Diaspora will hold a public rally at Uhuru Park on the 17 April 2008 from 10.00 am. The rally will be addressed by twenty Diaspora representatives from England, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, the USA, and Tanzania.

The purpose of the rally is:

To warn Kenyans that the real issue in the unending Coalition saga is not distribution of cabinet positions but Kibakis design to retain absolute power for another five years.

To urge Kenyans to organise peaceful demonstrations to pressure Kibaki to resign, since he did not win the December 2007 elections.

To lobby the international community to send a peace keeping force to protect Kenyans against the brutality of Kibakis para-legal armies.

To call and lobby for fresh elections supervised by Judge Krieggler and his team, under the scrutiny of international observers.

In this choice between kibaki and Kenya, we urge Kenyans to choose Kenya.

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Rock fall kills miner in Zambia

Posted by African Press International on April 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, api africanpress@getmail.no

<Story by CHISHALA MUSONDA

MUFULIRA – A miner at Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) in Mufulira, Zambia died this morning when a rock fell on him while four other miners were injured in an underground rock-fall accident.

Mufulira District Commissioner, Dyson Mulwa, confirmed the death of Lottie Kanta saying the accident occurred between 09:00 hours and 09:30 hours at MCM.

The 37 year-old deceased, Mr Kanta, was a jack hammer operator at the MCM.

Mr Mulwa has urged the MCM management to improve the safety at the mine to avoid accidents that claims live almost monthly.

The injured – Webby Shitima, Webby Mwila, Jonas Mpetamopya and Tressford Mpundu – are admitted to Mufuliras Malcolm Watson hospital.

ends..

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SADC to discus Zimbabwe

Posted by African Press International on April 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, api africanpress@getmail.no

<Story by CHISHALA MUSONDA

LUSAKA The President of Zambia and chairman of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), Levy Mwanawasa, has called for an emergency meeting with regional leaders this Saturday to discuss the political impasse in Zimbabwe after the March 29 elections.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is claiming victory of last months elections over ruling ZANU-PF leader and Zimbabwe President – Robert Mugabe.

Given developments immediately following the elections, I have decided, as chair of the Southern Africa Development Community to call an extraordinary summit on Saturday 12th April to discuss ways and means of assisting the people of Zimbabwe with the current impasse as well as adopt a co-ordinated approach to the situation in that country, President Mwanawasa said in a media statement on the prevailing political situation in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabweans voted 11 days ago for the new President but no official results have been released as the opposition is claiming it won outrightly the March 29 elections.

The SADC chairman said: As the people of Zimbabwe await the outcome of the Presidential elections, I wish to appeal to the peace loving people and the international community in general to encourage and support the people of Zimbabwe in their quest to resolve the current political problem they are going through.

In this regard, nothing should be done by anybody that would further give rise to heightened tension in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe on March 29 held Presidential and general elections but the results of the Presidential election have however been inconclusive as no outright winner among the candidates appear to have emerged.

President Mugabe has suffered the first election defeat in his 28-year rule when his ZANU-PF lost control of Parliament in the elections.

ends…

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Military intervention in Kenya is the answer now

Posted by African Press International on April 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, API africanpress@getmail.no

The Team at the Equator

The Team at the Equator
[Picture: MOD]

Kenya, after the last election has gone from bad to worse. People are dying because politicians are unable to agree on how to proceed in order to stabilise the country.

Time has come when the military should step in, dissolve parliament, de-register all political parties, set aside the constitution, declare emergency ruleand run the country. After take over, The military should be in power for 2 years, thereafter prepare the country for modern democracy that will see new people take over leadership.

If the military steps in now, the chaos in the country will stop because the military will not entertain nonsense.


The three men in suit watch the three men in uniform! President Kibaki (middle), Kalonzo Musyoka, the vice president and Raila Odinga). Security forces patrol Nairobis Kibera slums where another 500 metres of the railway line was ripped off on Wednesday in protests over the delay in naming of a new Cabinet. Picture by Stafford Ondego

The diplomats from western countries who are in Nairobi will not have a voice any more to push around the Kenyan people like they are doing now. Why is the west disturbing Kenya so much and not dare go to Zimbabwe.

President Kibaki should dissolve the government and call elections if he wants to survive, instead of giving into unqualified demands that add up to higher numbers everyday. All the demands from ODM originates from western diplomats who are working behind the scenes inside ODM.

Will the western diplomats in Nairobi still make noise if the military takes over and declares emergency rule? It is time to do so and save the Kenyan people from further suffering through unending political bickering engineered by the west, people with business interests in Kenya.

The diplomats would like to see Raila and ODM take over the country so that they get huge contracts for their countrymen. That is a new method to continue colonising the Kenyans.

There is a wake-up call for the military to take charge. Kenya cannot continue entertaining hooligans from Kibera who are destroying the railways that enable trade links with neighbouring countries.

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African Press International – api

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University bursar resigns citing personal reasons

Posted by African Press International on April 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, api africanpress@getmail.no source.newvision.ug

By Fortunate Ahimbisibwe

MAKERERE University bursar Ben Byambabazi has resigned amid claims by the academic staff that the institutions top management has mismanaged its funds. The position of bursar is the fourth highest in the hierarchy of the university.

In a letter to the vice-chancellor, Prof. Livingstone Luboobi, Byambabazi said he would not wait for his contract to expire next year.

A source said Byambabazi wrote the letter on March 25 and copied it to the chairman of the university council, Matthew Rukikaire.

The letter said he would take a long leave, which would end at the same time when his contract also ends.

Byambabazi said he would turn 60 next year, which is the retirement age at the university and was not interested in having his contract renewed.

Byambabazi yesterday said he had quit on personal grounds, adding that he had not been forced out.

I have served the university for a long time and I have decided that I should leave at this particular time. I have made my contribution towards the university and it is time for me to leave. My contract will end next year but I have preferred to leave earlier than that, he said.

Byambabazi has served Makerere University for over 20 years.

Rukikaire yesterday said the management had no objection to Byambabazis resignation.

For us, it is retirement because his contract was about to end, he said.
A source said Byambabazi would hand over office on Friday.

The deputy bursar will take over in acting capacity until the appointments board finds a replacement.

A source close to him said Byambabazi had been affected by the unending conflict between the management and the academic staff.

On April 7, Makerere University Academic Staff Association chief Dr. Augustus Nuwagaba, moved a vote of no confidence in the top management, including the bursar.

He urged Luboobi, his deputy in charge of finance and administration, Prof. David Bakibinga, as well as the university secretary, Sam Akorimo and Byambabazi to resign within 14 days.

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Kenya in chaos again. Dissolving the government and calling new elections the best solution

Posted by African Press International on April 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, api africanpress@getmail.no source.standard.ke

Tension builds up as Kenya awaits Cabinet

By Standard Team

Contingents of riot police were deployed in a Nairobi slum and Kisumu streets on a day characterised by tension, building international pressure and a proposed list of a 20-member Cabinet.

In Mombasa, Busia, Nakuru, Eldoret and Molo, the tension came close to degenerating into violence as the US, Britain and the European Union called for power-sharing and told President Kibaki and Prime Minister-designate, Mr Raila Odinga, that it must be real.

Extra police officers were deployed to guard displaced people at Baraka, Sawmill and Showground camps in Molo and Eldoret respectively where IDPs claimed they were living under threat of attack.

Last night, Kibera, the epicentre of violence at the height of post-election skirmishes, reportedly erupted again with protestors venting their anger on the railway line, cutting off links with the wider region.

The arrival of the police in Kibera, led by Nairobi Area deputy police boss, Mr Julius Ndegwa, appeared to prime the youths for action.

Destruction

Goods destined for neighbouring countries were piling up in Nairobi after the protestors on Tuesday ripped off up to 90 metres of the rail line in the slum.

On Wednesday, the protesters ripped off another 500 metres, effectively cutting off Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Southern Sudan.

Mr Roy Puffett, the RVR managing director, told The Standard: “Rift Valley Railways is disturbed by the incident, which is extremely unfortunate. We are calling on political leaders to tell their supporters about the importance of this railway line.”

He added: “The railway, though serving RVR, is the property of the Kenyan people and they have every reason to protect, not destroy it.”

Fighting between police and protestors was still reportedly going on by the time we went to press.

And in Kisumu, Nyanza PPO, Mr Anthony Kibuchi, said officers had been deployed in the town to “help keep the peace”.

“Police had a rough time repulsing youths who had barricaded roads in Kondele and Awasi,” the PPO, said.

On Tuesday evening, groups harassed motorists on the Kisumu-Kakamega road, near the matatu terminus.

A platoon of armed officers kept vigil at Kondele. Public transport, which had been disrupted the previous day, was back to normal, but some parents did not take their children to school fearing that the chaos could erupt in the town.

In Mombasa, police maintained high presence out of fear that protests elsewhere could be replicated in the town. The local OCPD, Mr Patrick Wafula, called for calm and assured residents that “a meaningful solution to the political stalemate would be found soon”.

Tension, however, remained high in the sprawling Mishomoroni slums, but residents said they would only resort to mass action if it became evident that the talks could not be salvaged.

Threats of violence

In Busia town, businesses were temporarily closed and transport services paralysed when angry youths took to the streets. Traders who feared for their safety hurriedly went home.

Trouble had started when a group of 24 chanting youths demanded that vehicles of people who were purported to be PNU sympathisers leave the bus park.

Tens of long-distance trucks that had crossed from Uganda retreated, while those waiting for clearance to cross into Uganda did so before clearing with Customs for fear of attack.

In Eldoret, police mounted roadblocks on roads leading to the town to ensure that no armed youths were transported.

Motorists had a difficult task removing boulders the youths had used to barricade the Eldoret-Iten road.

But as the tension threatened to boil over into full-scale skirmishes, the ODM spokesman said the party would not make any move until it got a reply to a letter to President Kibaki earlier in the week.

Mr Salim Lone, ODMs director of communications, told The Standard: “The Prime Minister-designate is ready to resume one-on-one talks with the President. But this will only happen after the party gets a response to its letter of April 7, which spelt out our terms of re-engagement.”

ODMs Mr Musalia Mudavadi, had led other Pentagon members to Harambee House on Monday, where the delegation delivered the letter demanding that Kibaki dissolves the half Cabinet and adhere to portfolio balance among a raft of other conditions before resumption of talks.

And just a day after pulling out of the talks on the Cabinet, ODM announced it was ready for elections should they be called.

But it said should elections be called, there must be a framework to prepare for free, fair and legitimate polls, which would include the dissolution of the Electoral Commission of Kenya.

In a statement read by Budalangi MP, Mr Ababu Namwamba, at Parliament Buildings, ODM said it was convinced that “the best way for our country to return to democratic normalcy and lasting harmony is to hold fresh elections that would meet universal standards of integrity to bestow upon the winner absolute, unquestionable and unimpeachable legitimacy to govern the affairs of our land”.

ODM has laid stake on Foreign Affairs, Local Government, Transport, Cabinet Affairs, and Energy ministries, a 50-50 power-sharing arrangement and executive powers for the prime minister.

But PNU is reluctant and insists that the President wields executive powers. They have challenged ODM to another election.

New list of 20 ministries

On Wednesday, President Kibaki spent several hours at his Harambee House office, where he consulted with ministers, Mr Amos Kimunya (Finance), Mr Asman Kamama (Public Service) and Prof George Saitoti (Internal Security) as the new stalemate entered midweek. He arrived at 10 am and left at 3pm without a word for journalists who had camped outside his office all along.

And in the ongoing intrigues, The Standard last night obtained what is believed to be a proposal to scale down the number of Cabinet positions to 20.

It is a radical departure from the bloated 40 ministries ODM and PNU had earlier agreed on. ODM has since walked back on this agreement and says it is for a 34-member Cabinet.

PNU leaders are said to have forwarded the proposal after a Parliamentary Group meeting on Tuesday where the issue of whittling down the number of ministries to 20 was raised.

This would mean that each side gets only 10 slots. It is understood that some party MPs even plan to introduce a Motion in Parliament to limit the number of ministries in law.

In the new proposal, the office of the Vice-President will be in charge of Internal Security and the Provincial Administration.

Sources confided to The Standard that in the line up of ministries starting with the Vice-Presidents position, ODM would be given ministries listed in odd numbers.

The proposed ministries are Defence, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Health, Local Government, Agriculture, Education, Trade and Industry, Roads and Public Works, Planning and National Development, Public Service, Labour and Human Resources Development.

Others are Transport/ Information and Communication, Energy and Environment, Water and Irrigation, Tourism and Wildlife, Lands/Housing and Settlement, Youth/Sports/Gender and Social Services and Co-operative Development and Marketing.

If the proposal is accepted by PNU and ODM, then ODM would take Defence, Foreign Affairs, Health, Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Planning and National Development, Transport/Information and Communication, Water and Irrigation, Lands/Housing and Settlement, Co-operative Development and Marketing.

PNU will get the Vice-Presidency, Finance, Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Local Government, Education, Roads and Public Works, Public Service, Labour and Human Resource Development, Energy and Environment, Tourism and Wildlife, Youth/Sports/Gender and Social Services.

Reports Ben Agina, Patrick Wachira, Cyrus Ombati, Renson Buluma, Allan Kisia, Steve Mkawale, Jane Akinyi, Mangoa Mosota, Ngumbao Kithi, Peter Atsiaya and Vincent Bartoo

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