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Archive for May 8th, 2008

Critics see no reason celebrating Raila’s home-coming, saying ministries headed by Luos look like bones with no meat to chew and that ODM cabinet members from other communities got fat ministries.

Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no

<Story by Leo Odera Omolo in Kisumu 8th May, 2008
Tentative plans and arrangements are in top gear for the homecoming parties to welcome Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga in his birthplace City, Kisumu and in ancestoral home in Bondo.
Kisumuis a wash with behives preparation and activities ahead of the ceremony, which is expected to kick off with a breakfast meeting between the Prime minister and a few invited Luo elders, professionals and church elders at hishouse in Milimani estate, later at a tea party to be followed with discussions at Tom Mboya Labour College not far away from Railas house. This wil be followed by an executive luncheonto be attended byinvited guests.
After the luncheon, the Prime Minister and his entourage will proceed to the Moi Stadium, Kisumu for a public rally. Raila is expected to be received byenthusiastic Luo crowdwho support him. It is also expected that ODM members fromregions outside Nyanza will be in attendance.
On Sunday Raila is expected to attend anotherreception at the Bondo Teachers Training College. But before that, he is expected to call at the home of Mzee Alogo, his only surviving uncle, for a family prayers and blessings. A public rally will take place later in the day in Bondo.
On Monday 12, May, 2008, Raila is expected to be the chief guest at Funyula Market in Busia District for anotherreception to honour the Minister for fisheries development Dr. Paul Otuoma, the man who has since been christened as the giant killer because hetrounced the former Vice President Moody Awori during December 2007 elections. Awori was defending his seat on a PNU ticket, while the Otuomar stood on an ODM ticket.
Railas Luo critics , however, dismissed these eleaborate homecoming parties as inconsequential and uncalled for, arguing that the community came out of the grand coalition with nothing, but a bloated cabinet with nothing worth celebrating.
These critics blame are blaming Raila for not having bargained hard enough for the community. They say the ministries headed by Luos look like bones with no meat to chew, whileODM cabinet members from other communities got fat ministries. They think Mr William Ruto who got the ministery of Agriculture is the one who has the chuicy meat, having so many powerfulparastatal bodies under his ministry. He can distribute plumb positions to his community at will.
One critic, who is a sitting MP gave anexample of Joseph Nyagah co-operative development ministry, which has close to nine parastatals. Another fat ministry is that of the Roads now held by Kipkalya Kones, which is heavily funded by the government, and with a lot of employment opportunities for the youths.
The three ministries, Agriculture, Co-operatives and Roads are the backbone of the country with many jobs to be dished out. Now all of them are in the hands of other communities, leaving the Luos out.
Another ODMs Pentagon member, they argued got the Local government ministry, which has a lot of employment opportunities for skilled and unskilled labour force. It is being held by the deputy Prime Minister Wycl;iff Musalia Mudavadi, And Najib Balala also clinched the fat tourism ministry, while Hon Oparanya got the planning ministry, which is the receiving agent of all the donor funding. Even Mzee William Ntimama is well placed and cannot be compared with any Luo ministers who were only made departmental heads who cannot make any major decision independently without kneeling before other fellow cabinet colleagues and the Head of Civil Service Ambassador Muthaura.
The legislator, who preferred to maintain his anonymity told this writer that the majority of Luo MPs now agree that the community has been short-changed once again. The MP wanted to conceal his identity for fear of possiblereprisal.
The MP compared the ministry given to Dalmas Otieno as rerflectiung senior clerical officer in the OP who should be reporting directly to the head of the civil service before making any important decision on employment of public servants. The Ministry of Lands and and settlement, whose portfolio is held by the Ugenya MP James Aggrey Orengo is an empty shell. There is no land to dish out to the Luos and employment opportunities are not there. And theHealth ministry of prof. Anyang Nyongo is only a departmental section.
Otieno Kajwang is the only well placed Luo Minister, but his important responsibility is only the registration of persons and he can organise the registration of many Luo youths who can be able to identify themsleves and vote in the next elections.This is evident that Luo school leavers, therefore, will have to wait for five good years before they could secure any employment in the government, whereas the minister from mt. Kenya and other regions took away all the fat ministries , which are full of employment opportunities.
It is bad lack for the Luos all the time a new government is formed. The only consolation is that the country is on the way to nomalcy as a result of the negotiations for the restoration of peace and tranquilty.
The players, both international and Kenyans deserve applause for their maturity in giving dialogue a chance.
The common saying, however, is that having half a bread is better than nothing.
Moreover the critics say, Raila Odinga himself ,ended up being made a Prime Minister without Portifollio and therefore the power-sharing arrangement is a trash, and deceitful. It is indeed a sorry state of affairs for the Luo community, a people thathad expected a lot this time around.
ends
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Loopholes that give room for manipulation of election results revealed in the Kenya inquiry

Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2008

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

Now the loopholes are discovered. What will it help now when a grand coalition is on and working. Yes, it will help in the 2012 elections if one seeks to streamline the rules so that Kenya does not see another post-violence after the 2012 presidential elections. The loopholes although very grave, cannot be sealed before the coming by-elections. To change rules, there must amendments after amendmnets and agreements reached by interested groups. We can only expect changes in sealing the loopholes to come when the constitution is being cleaned to suit the present Kenya. API

Revealed: Flaws in presidential election

Story by DAVE OPIYO

Loopholes that give returning officers unlimited powers to determine the results announced in tallying centres during presidential elections were exposed on Wednesday.

Mr Jorgen Kilkilt (above), secretary of the Kriegler commission which is inquiring into election irregularities during the last General Election addresses journalists after yesterdays hearings of the Kriegler commission at KICC.Photos/PETERSON GITHAIGA

Senior officers of the Electoral Commission of Kenya said the figures returning officers announce can only be challenged within 24 hours after which a winner is declared. Only an election petition can overturn the results.

This means that the word of returning officers at the constituency level can override objections raised by agents for presidential candidates when it comes to compiling the national tally.

The revelations also raised the possibility of figures at constituency level being changed at the national tallying centre.

This emerged as the Kriegler commission, probing into events leading to last years disputed presidential election results, heard presentations from top ECK officers for he second day running.

Ballot papers

On Tuesday, the officers, led by ECK secretary Suleiman Chege, had been questioned about the practice of giving voters different ballot papers one at a time for presidential, parliamentary and civic seats.

Some members of the Kriegler commission felt that the system could be abused by allowing voters to cast three ballots for a presidential candidate, and that a better way was to give out the three ballots at once.

The session, at Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi, rekindled memories of the disputes and chaos which followed the announcement of last years presidential election results at the same venue.

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) disputed the tallying which gave President Kibaki victory over Mr Raila Odinga, now the Prime Minister.

More than 1,200 people were killed and over 350,000 displaced during the violence which erupted soon after the announcement of the disputed results. Peace was restored when President Kibaki and Mr Odinga signed a power-sharing deal on February 28.

Members of the Kriegler commission heard that ECK has 48 hours after receiving a petition to resolve the disputes after which only an election petition can change the figures.

According to electoral rules, ECK is supposed to direct a recount or a re-tallying of the votes depending on the nature of the complaint.

There are currently more than 30 parliamentary election petitions pending before the High Court.

Late last year, ODM disputed results announced by ECK in several constituencies and alleged anomalies at the tallying centre.

President Kibaki had been trailing Mr Odinga but overtook the ODM candidate when results from parts of Central and Eastern provinces were released, sparking an outcry from ODM agents at the KICC tallying centre and protests by party supporters in various towns across the country.

It emerged that returning officers wielded so much power in determining the candidate who won an election because they results they transmitted to the ECK headquarters were deemed to be final.

Said Mr Chege: It is always assumed that whatever results are brought to our headquarters by the returning officers are correct, that is why they are normally announced as the final results.

According to ECK electoral rules, other officials did not have the power to make alterations on the results announced at the polling stations.

These officers are supposed to remain accountable for their actions even if their job has been completed. They can still be called upon to give evidence in court if need be, Mr Chege said.

Returning officers are also expected to provide all documents to the commissions headquarters including form 17 the certificate of results in parliamentary election and form 17 A a declaration of the election result, both presidential and parliamentary at the constituency level.

He is also expected to present Form 16 the certificate of results of presidential elections and form 16 A the presidential and parliamentary election declaration of the election results at the polling station.

Mr Chege was responding to queries from commissioner Francis Aywa who also wanted to know what happens if the returning officer did not bring with him all the required documents to the tallying centre just before the results were announced.

The secretary said that in such instances, returning officers are issued with fresh forms to fill at the commissions headquarters.

The revelations sparked fears from members of the Kriegler commission that this could be used to manipulate the results in favour of an individual. However, Mr Chege said that all documents related to the elections were intact and available and could also be produced on demand except in areas where the vote counting process were marred by violence like Kamukunji constituency.

Present during the session were Mrs Jemimah Keli, ECKs senior legal officer and Mr Philip Chepsat, the elections manager.

The Kriegler commission was represented by Justice Johann Kriegler, who is also the commissions chairman, the Vice Chair Lady Justice Imani Daud Aboud and commissioners Horacio Bonee from Argentina, Prof Marangu MMarete, Mrs Catherine Muyeka Mumma, Ms Lucy Kambuni and Mr Francis Angila Aywa all from Kenya. Also present was Mr Jorgen Elkilit, the Kriegler commissions secretary.

The Kriegler commission is among others expected to assess ECKs efficiency and its capacity to discharge its mandate. It will also investigate the vote counting and tallying for the entire election and investigate the organisation and structure of the 2007 electoral operations among other key issues.

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Sudan Donor Conference in Norway on 5-7 May: Rwandese Fugitive Felicen Kabuga got a private audience with two Sudanese delegates

Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no source.mfa.no

Norway was thehost of the Sudan Consortium in Oslo from 5 to 7 May. The conference was to review progress on the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in Sudan, and generate donor pledges to support the further reconstruction and development in Sudan.

In April 2005 Norway hosted the first international donor conference on Sudan, after the signing of the CPA between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) in January 2005.

Representting the Norwegian government, Norways Minister of the Environment and International Development, Mr Erik Solheimspoke warmly about the occassion saying, ” We are very pleased to again be able to host an international donor conference to support peace and development in Sudan” and in emphasis he reiterated, “This is an important opportunity for the Sudan Government of National Unity (GONU), the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) and the international community to reconfirm their commitment to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.”

The period 2005−2011 is known as the interim period of the CPA, after which the people of Sudan will vote in a referendum on whether Southern Sudan shall secede or not. In 2005 international pledges were given for 3 years, and will now be renewed for the period 2008−2011.

The conference was attended by adelegation from Sudan and from international donors. The Sudan Consortium is jointly chaired by the Sudan Government of National Unity, the Government of Southern Sudan and the organisers, the World Bank and the United Nations. Invited participants include a broad range of international development partners.

The parties, together with the UN and the World Bank, have analysed needs for the continued development of all major development sectors in Sudan for the period 2008− 2011. Donors were invited to pledge assistance for these sectors.

The official opening was on 6 May, followed by a Pledging session on 7 May. Participants discussed efforts towards sustainable peace in Darfur in a closed doors session on the first pre-meeting day of the Consortium.

The conference gave the opportunity to the Rwandese wanted man Mr Felicen Kabuga who is wanted for crimes against humanity. He arrived in Oslo on the 23rd of March and it is now clear that he new of the conference that was to take place. He used the opportunity while in Oslo to meet secretly with two delegates from Sudan.

His aim was to request the Sudanese to facilitate a negotiated settlement for his return to Rwanda. Mr Kabuga has stated that he has faith in the South Sudanese because they managed to srike a deal for LRA Kony’s people who will be tried in Uganda instead of being delivered to the international community if the LRA leader signs the agreement with President Museveni.

Kabuga thinks the South Sudanese can use their influence through Museveni in getting President Paul Kagame to get into a deal with him.

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Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2008

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

Against the background of its slogan: Somalia: War Crimes Must Stop”!, Amnesty International on Wednesday, issued a desperate call to Western governments to act urgently and save the human race further executions, gang rape and violence attacks that characterise the political upheaval prevailing in Somalia.

Condemning the disastrous effects of these crimes on teenagers, with all the human rights crisis, Amnesty declares that: Somali and Ethiopian soldiers are to blame for most of these atrocities.

“The world governments must rise up and intervene”, said the human rights charity.

Amnestys Africa deputy programme director, Michelle Kagari, has also warned that: Attacks on civilians by all parties must stop immediately.

Somalia has been ravaged by chaos and civil war since 1991, when warlords overthrew Mohamed Siad Barre and sparked brutal clan infighting.

Ethiopias invasion in December 2006 to install the transitional government in Mogadishu ended up uniting various Islamic militant groups in Somalia, who launched a guerrilla war that has lasted for more than a year.

The United Nations documents that the level of violence is very high in Somalia but in particular Mogadishu is going through its worst time in terms of war for the last 17 years of the conflict.

Deaths of civilians rising each day, with unspeakable displacement of civilians from the war-torn region.

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has consistently expressed concern over the renewed violence and the substantial loss of life, especially among civilians.

Crimes have persisted despite the UN warnings, urging parties to the conflict in Mogadishu to refrain from the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force that endangers the lives of civilians, particularly in heavily populated civilian areas and that any targeting of non-combatants is a violation of international humanitarian law.

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Former child soldier in Taylor trial ends testimony, new witness takes the stand

Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2008

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

A former child soldier witness in the ongoing criminal trial of the former Liberian leader Charles Taylor at the special court for Sierra Leone, TF1-143, completed his evidence on Tuesday morning, as the defense finished its cross-examination and the prosecution conducted a brief re-examination, according to a release issued by the court at The Hague.

When the prosecution sought to call its next witness, whom it said was under protective measures, the defense requested that the protective measures be lifted. After lengthy arguments and deliberations, the judges ruled in favor of the defense and ordered that the witness testify in open court. The prosecution however responded by instead calling another witness.

The day began with Defense Counsel Terry Munyard continuing his cross-examination of prosecution witness TF1-143, focusing his effort on pointing out inconsistencies between the witnesss testimony and his prior statements to the prosecution. Munyard also suggested that there had been tensions between the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC).

Prosecutor Mohamed Bangura conducted a brief examination of the witness, focusing on underlining that the witness had made corrections to previous inconsistent statements, and re-establishing which accounts were final. The witness stated that he was not present at the explosion that killed Saj Musa. He reiterated that he had only met Adama Cut Hand when the rebel forces entered Freetown.

After the release of witness TF1-143, Prosecutor Julia Bailey called the next witness, TF1-215, and stated that this witness was subject to a protection order of Trial Chamber 1. She said that the witness should testify behind a screen and with use of a pseudonym.

After a long arguments between the prosecution and the defense as to whether the new witness should be granted protection, the court adjourned for lunch, and when the request was rejected, Prosecutor Bailey responded by saying that the prosecution would not call TF1-215.

Prosecutor Shyamala Alagendra called the next witness, TF1-028, who introduced herself as a 42 year-old Sierra Leonean, uneducated, and of the Mandinka tribe. She narrated how she and her family fled Freetown in 1998 during the ECOMOG invasion to end the rule of the AFRC/RUF junta.

At that point, the proceedings were adjourned to resume the following morning.

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API

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Senegal pays national tribute to director Sembene Ousmane in June

Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2008

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

Senegal will pay its first national tribute to Sembene Ousmane on 8-9 June which coincides with the first anniversary of the directors death.

Thus, an international conference will be organized at the Sheik Anta Diop University of Dakar, a close friend of Sembene and member of the steering committee, Magueye Kasse, told APA Tuesday.

This conference will bring together academics, art critics and other personalities of the world of art, Pr Kasse said while acknowledging that more is in stock to honour the great writer and film director.

“It is a unanimous will of Senegal and Africa to pay a deserved homage to Sembene,” he added, revealing the Senegalese authorities set up a steering committee for the occasion since months ago.

The Senegalese director was one of the founding-members of Fespaco, a cinematographic meet in Ouagadougou which has become a reference in the African and world 7th art.

He was also a renowned writer whose literary works such as “Gods bits of wood” (Les Bouts de bois de Dieu) or “The Money order” (Le Mandat) are classics still studied in high schools and colleges of the continent.

Sembene died in Dakar at 84, following a long illness.

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API

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Liberian legislature ratifies ECOWAS Convention on proliferation of small arms

Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2008

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

The lower house of Liberias bicameral legislature on Tuesday ratified the ECOWAS Convention on the proliferation of small arms in the sub-region.

The ratification of the ECOWAS convention is part of the process to make it a part of Liberian law which must be upheld.

The ECOWAS Convention on the proliferation of small arms was promulgated by the Economic Community of West African States to discourage conflict, terrorism and hijacking in the sub-region.

The plenary of the lower house ratified the convention during its Tuesday session. The upper house (senate) has to however also pass it before the convention becomes part of Liberian law.

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API

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Kenya: MAJOR NATIONAL FUNDRASING FOR IDPs ON MONDAY

Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2008

President Mwai Kibaki will this coming Monday, May 12, 2008,lead a fundraising ceremony to raise urgently needed funds for the resettling of Internally Displaced Kenyans.

The Government had already allocated kshs 1 billion to establish the Humanitarian Fund which is led by Archbishop Ndingi Mwana Nzeki, but requires at least 30 billion Kenya shillings. The Presidential ceremony will launch the fundraising activities for the Fund so as to bridge the substancial financial gap.

The Government is inviting all Kenyans to participate in this noble venture. Private companies, all leaders, Wananchi and other well-wishers are requested to support the Fund so that our brothers and sisters can be relocated back to their homes.

The Government humbly requests media to prominently highlight this request so as to galvanize all Kenyans and well wishers for this National cause.

The ongoing resttling operation is proceeding better than expected and the Government appreciates the fear some people have of going back to their homes but assures them that security has been beefed up and is being provided in all areas. It may take some time for some people to feel comfortable and the Government understands this, and reiterates that the resettlement is for those who feel ready to go back to their homes and farms.

<Dr. Alfred N. Mutua
Public Communications Secretary &
Government Spokesperson
May 07, 2008
17:30 Hrs

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Kenya: Kajwang says anybody in the country illegally should leave forthwith or be made to disappear

Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no source.kbc.ke

<Otieno Kajwang’ has in his first major duty of government shown he can act decisively. He has directed the commissioner of police to cooperate with immigration officers and uproot an illegal Italian living in the Coast. He should be congratulated andhopehe continues to act in a decisive manner in order to protect Kenyan interests. The scary thing, however, is the way he has spoken because it can be misunderstood.

He is talking about an Italian person illegally in Kenya. A man said to have been in prison in his country. With the Italian mafia in the Italian man’s mind, he will easily misunderstand the minister’s words when he says he will make him and others to disappear if they do not leave the country forthwith.

He has stated that those who are illegal in the country must leave. This is commendable. But if he means they will be made to disappear, the other meaning of the word, then that isopening a way for the immigration and police toshot them on sight and that is an illegal order from the minister. API

Italian national to be deported

Written By:Irene Muchuma

Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang’ on Wednesday asked the police to deport an Italian national Canebio Pietro who has been accused of harassing residents of Kilifi District.

Kajwang said the foreigner has been staying in the country illegally at Kilifi for almost 20 years since he allegedly obtained a Kenyan Identity card (ID) plus a passport through unlawful means.

Kajwang was responding to a petition by local residents, which claims Pietro has been engaging in illegal activities that have adversely affected them.

Kajwang said investigations found the foreigner arrived at the Coast in 1990 without authentic documents after running away from Italy where he was allegedly a prisoner.

“This person is said to have so many criminal cases. His presence is not for the best interest of this country. We ordered for his arrest and he has not been arrested because he is well – connected. If we have already certified he is not a Kenyan and his presence is harming the nation and he is still free, that is a sorry state of affairs,” he said.

Kajwang asked the Police Commissioner Hussein Ali to take the matter seriously and cooperate with Immigration officers to ensure the foreigner is apprehended and removed from the country immediately.

“Any persons who know that they are living in this country illegally should prepare to leave forthwith because we will make sure they disappear,” he said.

Earlier, the Minister toured the Ministry of Immigration offices at Nyayo House in Nairobi where he officially launched the first phase of the computerization system which replaces the old manual system.

Addressing the press and senior Immigration officers, the minister said he was impressed with the commencement of the computerization system adding that the officers could not cope well with the old system of filing and manual registry.

“The computerization system has started well and I am sure this will help to handle the problems that have been frustrating the public. It will also reduce the number of text messages and emails I get in a single day from applicants complaining about the delay of their passports,” he said.

Kajwang said the ministry will also ensure Visa and Permit systems are also computerized to integrate information management systems within the departments while ensuring that citizens get quick service delivery with passport applicants getting the document almost instantly.

“The new systems will cost a lot of money. We will have to go to the treasury to ask for funds because the benefits of the system will as well translate into more revenue collection as there will be service efficiency and revenues will be accounted for properly in all points of collection,” he said.

The minister said he was impressed with the intensified security measures the Immigration Ministry has put in place saying that such precautions will ensure there are no cases of passport forgery.

Speaking during the minister’s tour, Immigration Services Director Joseph Ndathi said the Ministry of Immigration will spend at least 1 billion shillings in automation of passport processing equipment to hasten passport issuance.

He said that the mechanisms to introduce the new method of dispensing the documents have already been put in place with the first phase of computerization ready for implementation.

“We are managing more than 1.3 million files and therefore if a file is misplaced through human error using our manual system it becomes a big problem. So far we have spent 120 milion shillings to complete the first phase and we require something to the tune of 1 billion shillings to complete all the phases,” Ndathi said.

He said phase two of the exercise will embrace the use of Automatic finger print while the third phase will encompass the Visa system.

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Suspiscion within the cabinet delays ministerial duties

Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2008

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

The standard reports that there is suspiscion within the cabinet. Some ministers are loyal to the President only and disregard Raila, the PM who is actually going to supervise their work. The grand coalition will not last if this kind of behaviour is allowed to continue.

Now that all of them are in one government, they have no choice but to work together. Interesting is also the fact that Parliament has passed the motion to have opposition legitimised. Kenya has 3 centers of power now. The presidency, the cabinet and the opposition. API

Why Kibaki is yet to meet Cabinet

By Beauttah Omanga And David Ohito

The dominant but yet-to-be clarified role of Prime Minister Raila Odinga is behind the delay by President Kibaki to convene a Cabinet meeting three weeks after it was sworn in, The Standard can report.

An apparent war of attrition over control of Cabinet, pitting hardliners in President Kibakis Party of National Unity (PNU) against those loyal to Raila and his Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), seems to have forced the delay.

One Cabinet minister conceded: “We are yet to get a working formula. The President is finding it hard to convene a full Cabinet meeting.” It is understood that ministers aligned to Raila want him to co-chair the first full Cabinet meeting. But PNU loyalists and status quo proponents insist the President should carry on his mandate as is defined by law, with the Head of Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet, Mr Francis Muthaura, playing his role as secretary.

To deal with the mistrust and suspicion that seems to pervade it, the Grand Coalition Government has now called a two-day bonding meeting starting tomorrow at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies in Ruaraka, Nairobi.

But even as plans for the meeting that will bring to the table Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka around whom forces opposed to the PMs new role in Government revolve was being finalised, another battle-front opened up in Parliament.

Grand Opposition

The House on Wednesday swiftly passed a motion seeking to formalise the Official Opposition and with it the likelihood that there will now be three fronts in Parliament .

With the passage of the motion, the House is deemed to have ordered its publication in the Gazette and this Bill shall accordingly be so published.

Tomorrows bonding meeting will bring together the President, Vice President, the PM and his deputies, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Musalia Mudavadi, together with all Cabinet ministers and permanent secretaries.

Raila spoke of a policy document that will define how he will discharge his executive authority.

“The Government will release a policy document shortly to clarify the coordinating and supervisory roles I will play,” the PM, speaking at his Treasury office soon after he met with UNEP Executive Director, Mr Achim Steiner, told journalists.

The Langata MP took the opportunity to allay fears of conflict of interest and duplication of duties of his office and those of 40 ministers in the Grand Coalition Cabinet.

Cold war

But he was speaking within a background fraught with suspicion and mistrust.

“There is a cold war between us. There are those who feel there is a clique that wants to take control of Cabinet affairs,” a Party of National Unity (PNU) Cabinet minister, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said of the failure by President Kibaki to convene the important forum in which policy and Government agenda is discussed.

Added the minister: “There is a disagreement on who should take the minutes at Cabinet meetings. There are those who want Raila to take control of the Cabinet, being a supervisor and co-ordinator of all ministers, while his critics feel by allowing him to take charge, the PM would easily render the civil service boss irrelevant, hence deepening the rift between the PNU and ODM-allied ministers.

“Its a tradition that a full Cabinet meeting is held soon after swearing in. It is at such meetings that the President spells out his agenda and sets goals for them.”

The minister, however, said the President could be forced to read the riot act to all ministers and remind them of what is expected of them as Government officials.

It is understood that since no full Cabinet meeting has been convened since the President implemented the National Accord and Reconciliation Act that brought bitter rivals PNU and ODM in a power-sharing arrangement, ministers are still relying on short briefs from their respective PSs to guide them in their duties.

The President is also understood to be meeting a section of Cabinet ministers individually for consultations. But a majority of the ministers from the ODM side of Government are yet to meet the President officially since they were sworn in at State House on April 13, sources told The Standard.

“We are eagerly waiting for a meeting with the President but since he is the one with the authority to convene them, we cant order him to call one. We will have to wait,” an ODM minister said last night.

Last week, a scheduled induction and orientation session for Cabinet ministers, assistant ministers and permanent secretaries was cancelled, with State House explaining that the meeting would be rescheduled.

The meeting was also cancelled on the grounds that the PM was out of the country for treatment.

On Wednesday, a statement from the Prime Ministers office said the bonding meeting will serve as a forum for the participants to share practices that are necessary for ensuring that the Grand Coalition Government policies, strategies and programmes are properly formulated.

The statement signed by Mr David Ngondu, a communications official in the PMs office stated: “Outputs will have to be realised. Networking and team building, which will ultimately hasten the realisation of the vision of the Coalition Government will be emphasised.”

The official said the meeting will further help to create a common understanding of the conduct of the Government business among the ministers, assistant ministers and permanent secretaries so as to create an enabling environment for the running of public affairs.

Tomorrow, presenters at the meeting will cover topics on collective responsibility in Government, principles of ethics and integrity as embodied in the Ministerial Code of Conduct, governance accountability guidelines in the Public Service, Coalition Government and National Cohesion, among others.

They will also be taken through the role of the Public Service Commission of Kenya in Human Resource Management and Performance Contracting in the management of Public Service. Government Image and Media Relations will be covered during the second day.

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Talking to Mungiki will stabilise the situation in Kenya

Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2008

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

We agree with the PM that the government should talk to Mungiki. He is right to compare them with Uganda’s LRA and we must remind that Hizbollah, Hamas and others started small and grew.Thereafter causing havoc and great danger if not listened to. Raila should also encourage the release of Njenga so that when negotiation start, all the Mungiki leadership will speak in one voice and make a lasting peace. API

Raila: Lets talk to Mungiki

By David Ohito
Prime Minister Raila Odinga insists the Government should speak to the outlawed Mungiki sect to understand stheir grievances.

Raila said the talks have been going on and assured the sect followers that the Government was keen to listen to them.

“When there is conflict, we can only reach people through dialogue and we will do so with Mungiki,” the PM said.

He added: “They are alleging historical injustices meted out on them and we must give them a chance to air their grievances.”

Raila, however, declined to push for the release of the jailed sect leader, Maina Njenga, arguing he does not have such powers.

Raila made the first attempt to reach out to the proscribed sect on the day he was sworn-in as the PM.

“I cannot speak on the release of Maina but we want them to table their grievances and seek solutions,” Raila said at a press conference in his Treasury office, on Wednesday.

He said the Government should treat the sect seriously, and gave the example of the Lords Resistance Army in Uganda, which began as a small militia but later snowballed into a guerrilla outfit.

Raila was speaking after meeting Unep Executive Director, Mr Achim Steiner over environmental and security concerns.

He said the diplomatic community had expressed serious concerns over insecurity.

The PM also met the UN World Tourism Organisation secretary-general, Mr Francesco Frangiali, who promised to help market Kenyas image internationally.

Meanwhile, the Government will soon release a policy document detailing the functions of the PM.

Raila allayed fears of conflict of interest and duplication of duties of his office and those of the 40 ministries.

“The system works in many countries and there is a policy document which will clarify duties of my office,” he said.

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Releasing Njenga (Mungikis leader) and negotiating with Mungiki is the right way to go if Kenya cherishes lastingpeace

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African Press International – api

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Kabuga arrived in Norway on the 23rd of March this year after crossing the Swedish/Norway border in Svinesund by car.

Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2008

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

Flicien KabugaMr Felicen Kabuga

The most wanted fugitive met with two members of the Sudanese delegation who were recently in Oslo, Kabuga wants the South Sudanese leaders to organise a meeting between him and the Rwandese authorities in the same way as they managed to organise dialogue between Museveni’s government and Kony of LRA.
Mr Kabuga has elluded justice for many years now. His financial ability has made it possible for him to get whatever he wants. When API spoke to him yesterday evening, he did not sound a dangerous man, but his way of dealing with questions confirms he has realised that he cannot be able to continue hiding. He says if people like Kony of LRA can be dialogued with, he does not see why he cannot be accorded an opportunity as well. He says he is ready to return but wants some conditions to be met. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda issued an international arrest warrant for Kabuga in August 1999 charging him with 11 counts, including genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, and complicity in genocide.
Those who committed genocide should be arrested and charged. Onesuch fugitive Mr Kabuga is in Oslo after arriving in the country on the 23rd of April. He is among friends in one of the best estates in Oslo.
Norway is housing many Rwandese accused of genocide and have been unwilling to do as the UK did last year when UK arrested four Rwandese and charged them in the UK. It is not known whether UK transported them to the UN court sitting in Arusha.

Keeping a fugitive genocider in the country endangers the lives of the residence near the area where such fugitive resides. If an ambush is laid to catch the fugitive, some lives will be lost in the neighbourhood. The best is to catch them unaware and frog-match them to their country of origin to answer charges.

Rwanda should demand from Norway that Kabuga be deported and send to answer the charges.

Kabuga was in a visit to Kenya in December last year. He left Kenya in early January this year to Switzerland where it is said he stayed for 2 weeks before proceeding to Belgium.It did not take long before he visited Sweden. On the 23rd of March, he crossed to Norway where he was ushered into one Oslo apartment by a Rwandese man and a Sudanese woman who was accompanied by a French speaking white male.

Kabuga is seeking ways and means to be accepted back to Rwanda but wants assurance that if he surrenders without bloodshed, he should be dealt with leniently. He is seeking ways and means in Scandinavia because he knows as he says that Norway does not believe in arresting Rwandese and would like to enter into dialogue for his return.

He has also cited that he would like to agree with the Rwandese justice system on a trial in his country but on condition that he is not confined due to his medical condition. His friends say the man wants to clear his name, be in his country, but on restricted bail while the case is going on. He wants to avoid being in jail while the trial is going on and cites medical grounds which he ffears will deteroriate if put in custody immediately he returns.

When asked why he has decided to negotiate a deal, he states that many Rwandese have been forgiven and that he does not see his role as different to the of the others who have appeared before the people courts.

While in Norway, he wants to seek dialogue from the Norwegian authorities on the possibilities of opening a discussion between Norway and Rwanda.

He says he has now no grounds to hide inside Kenya after his country became a member of the East African Community because the Rwandese security can easily swing into action and capture him in Kenya.

Mr Kabuga has promised API an exclisive interview next week where he will discus his immediate plans.API

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Kabuga and wife own villas in posh city estate

By Judy Ogutu
It is now official: Rwandan genocide suspect, Mr Felicien Kabuga, owns property in Kenya.
The Spanish Villas in Nairobis upmarket Kilimani area belong to him and his wife, Ms Mukazitoni Josephine.
On Tuesday, High Court Judge, Justice Muga Apondi, was given a detailed report of what Kabuga and his wife own in an application to freeze his assets.
The revelation is the result of investigation by a team of detectives.
Last December, the AG set up a team and it gave its first report in February.

Disclosed
It disclosed that Kabuga and his wife owned the Sh50 million villas. Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mr Keriako Tobiko, told the court that detectives had established the ownership of the villas. According to their report, there was an agreement on January 26 appointing Kenya Trust Company Ltd as managing agents of the property and to collect rent.
Tobiko told the court that Kabuga might be using the proceeds from his assets to avoid justice.
Tobiko said Kenya Trust Company would collect the rent and deposit the money in their account at the same bank. Documents showed that every quarter, the firm would wire an equivalent of 290,000 French francs to the account in Belgium.
Escape justice
On Tuesday, Tobiko said: “We believe part of or these proceeds are being used by the criminal fugitive to avoid capture and evade justice.”
And Judge Apondi said: “Investigation shows the bank account and transactions the first respondent and his wife have been involved in.”
Documents from the Commercial Bank of Africa indicated that rent collected from the property was deposited in Kabugas account at the bank. He has, however, since closed it.
Justice Apondi said though Kabuga was presumed innocent until proven guilty, he should be subject to the due process of law.
In addition, the judge directed Kenya Trust Company Ltd to deposit with the High Court Registrar rent income and proceeds it received from the villas less the fee for managing the property.
Advertise the case
Further, the court gave the DPP the go ahead to inform the Kabugas of the case in court by advertising it in two newspapers, one regional and the other international.
The judge directed the High Courts deputy registrar to keep the file in safe custody. Tobiko had sought to have the file placed in a strong room because of the nature of the case.
The matter will be mentioned on July 29 to establish the progress made and whether any one shall have responded to the suit by then.
Kabuga, a wealthy businessman and a genocide suspect, has a $5million (Sh310 million) bounty on his head for allegedly masterminding and bankrolling the 1994 genocide Rwanda where 800,000 were killed.
He has been on the run since the International Criminal Tribunal indicted him for genocide with 17 other Rwandans and a warrant issued for his arrest.

Kabuga is accused of international crimes in Rwanda in 1994, ranging from genocide to conspiracy to commit genocide and incitement to commit genocide.

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African Press International – api

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A man who wants to be the MP for Ainamoi constituency in Kenya wants prosperity for all Kenyans

Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2008

Elections is a hot issue in Kenya whenever there is one. Last year, Kenyans went to the polls and took part in what was seen as a good election that saw young blood elected members of parliament. That happiness did not last long. When the presidential election results were announced, Kenyans did not know that havoc was now the next thing they were to deal with for a number of months. Many people lost their lives due to disagreement on who won the elections.

President Kibaki (<left photo) from PNU says he won the elections while his opponent from ODM now the Prime Minister Raila Odinga (right photo>) insists that he was robbed victory.

ODM has been seen as a party championing young blood to be elected to parliament in their hope of bringing change in the country. In ODM, such one young blood in the name of David Cheruiyot Kitur has taken a major step that may see him get into the 10th parliament after the by-elections in Ainamoi on the 11th of June.

Cheruiyot Kitur is ODM Member and a Parliament Aspirant.

David Cheruiyot Kitur runs a successful company in Kenya called Microlan – Africa based in Nairobi. On realising that he has become a success in private business, he turned to community development where he has championed projects that brings development to Ainamoi constituency and the surrounding areas.

Now that he has decided to run in the by-election in June this year, in an effort to take over the seat left vacant by the late MP Mr David Too, who was murdered in cold blood in Eldoret area, it is believed that Mr Kitur wants to take on the huge responsibilities that the slained MP was faced with when he got the mantle from the voters only weeks before he was killed.

Our sources tell us that Mr Kitur is electable and is popular among the electorate that has become tired of recycling leaders who do not bring prosperity to the area.

The sources reaching API is that there are two other strong candidates. The younger brother of the slain MP is also running and with some sympathy votes because of the death of his brother range him as a number 2 strong man followed by a retired Army General in the third place.

According to a report API has received, elders in the area are planning to ask the other contestants – the remaining 13 people, to stand aside and let the 3 men to battle it out. If that happens, it is expected that Mr Kitur will sail in with a majority vote.

If the 13 do not heed the elders, votes will be split among all the 16 candidates and this will also pave way for Mr Kitur who has a visible positive track record to win but with a small margin, followed by the young brother of the slained MP in a number 2 position.

Who is this man by the name of Kitur who wants prosperity for Ainamoi constituents and the Kenyan people?

Introduction of the man who wants to be the people’s MP:

He was born on 3rd January 1963 at Kaitui in Kericho District to Job Arap Sigilai and Rhodah Sigilai. He is married to Rose Chelangat Kitur and they have been blessed with four children.

He went to school at Kaitui for his primary education thereafter went to Tambach Secondary School and St. Patrick’s Iten for his O-level and A level education respectively. He then proceeded to the University of Nairobi from 1984 to 1987 where he graduated with a degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. He later went to Sheffield University, United Kingdom from 1990 to 1991 where he obtained a MSC in Computer Science specializing in Systems Technology.

Leadership Skills:

He has been a leader in many areas from schools through University and now in various professional organizations. He was the Chairman of Kericho District University Students Association (KEDUSA) and also a secretary to the Kipsigis professionals and the Tai initiative group which spearheads development agendas in the greater Kericho. He is a strong member of ODM as he campaigned for various candidates in the 2007 general elections.

Development and Business Activities:

He has succeeded in setting up and running several successful development and business activities like MICROLAN Africa which distributes ICT equipment in East Africa. He has also set up the Nile Heritage which grows and distributes tree seedlings in Kenya and encourages afforestation and environmental conservation.

He is also a chairman of the board of various schools and he has initiated several infrastructure projects and educational activities. Furthermore he has created job opportunities to the youth within Ainamoi and Kenya as a whole.

Achievements in Ainamoi:

He has initiated several tree seedlings projects for women and youth groups. He has also through MICROLAN Africa and RICABS (Rift Valley Institute of Computer Application and Business Studies) trained several people in ICT and Computer Equipment.

Recently he has also trained over 500 youths in entrepreneurial skills and hopes to achieve a target of at least 12,000 new entrepreneurs in Ainamoi within the next few years.

Political Activities:

He first participated in general elections campaigns in 1974 while in primary school and has continued voting every year, and participating in many political activities. As a ODM activist he fully participated in last years elections of several MPs and the people’s president.

His vision for the constituency:

  • Pray for, and uplift God’s work in Ainaimoi
  • Improve education Level
  • Create more Entrepreneurs
  • Improve Livestock Production
  • Improve Revenue from Crops
  • Rural Electrification
  • Water conservation and distribution
  • Better Road Networks
  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Improve Health Services
  • Improve social welfare in sports, gender etc.
  • Better management of CDF, CESS, and BURSARY etc
Kenyans who understand the need to prosper will agree with him on his vision. Having faith in God’s guidance in what is good for the people is a strong message in this man’s vision. The question, however is whether all that he wants to do is possible to achieve over one period in parliament. His efforts, if supported by the voters and former MPs from the area, will definitely succeed in being accomplished and the goals set for the constituency achieved.

Related story:

 

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Kenya: IDPs urged by a Migori businessman to return home

Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no

<Story by Shem Kosse
A Migori based international business magnate has urged all those who were internally displaced in the post poll upheavals to return to their respective homes.
Fred Otieno Rangili who contested the vast Migori parliamentary seat on a PNU ticket and lost due to the strong ODM euphoria in the region told the news conference that signing of the National Peace Accord between the two protagonists- Hon Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga,and the subsequent formation of a grand coalition government by the duo principals has restored state of normalcy in the country.
Those who were forcefully evicted from their land or fled for their dear lives should be free to come back home and till their land since it is a rainy season said the popular Rangili, flanked by area political leaders and elders who promised to preach peace and co-existence.
The post election skirmishes triggered by the announcement of the much discredited and disputed elections by the ECK saw over 1000 thousand Kenyans loosing their lives and over 350,000 thousand people displaced,with, some seeking refuge in the neighboring country and also properties worth billions of shillings destroyed, countrywide.
The Migori leaders call for the IDPs, comes in the wake of the governments move to resettle all the IDPs in an operation dubbed Rudi Nyumbani.
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African Press International – api

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Kenya: David Cheruiyot Kitur declares interest in Ainamoi by-election, promising to guide the constituents into prosperity

Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no

Yes, the by-election is congested already. And yet it depends on what an individual plans for the constituents. The newcomer who has now declared interest in the seat may deliver. This is because he is not tainted from before in anyway as concerns different sorts of scandals. The seat has attracted former losers and former MPs. Those who have had the opportunity to be MPs in the area before should step aside and let the newcomers try and dosomething for the people. It does not mean that those who have been there before are not qualified, but the fact that they have had a chance before, did their part, they should move onand even step in now and give their unconditional support tofresh blood for the seat. by Korir, Chief editor – API

<Story by Leo Odera Omolo

A Prominent Nairobi based business executive has declared his interest in the Ainamoi vacant parliament seat. The by-election which has attracted 16 other aspirants is scheduled to take place on the 11th of June.
David Cheruiyot Kitur, 56 is a holder of bachelor and masters degrees in computer science. he is the Chief Executive of the MICROLAN{AFfrica} a firm, which distributes ICT equipment in East Africa.
Kitur has at one time during his college days had served as the chairman of Kericho District University Student Association{KIDUSA} and also served as the secretary to the Kipsigis Professionals and Tai initiative group, which spearheaded development agendas in the old greater Kericho.
Kitur is a staunch supporter of the orange democratic movement {ODM}, a party which he had vigorously campaigned for during the 2007 general election by supportingits candidates throughout the Kipsigis land.
Born in Kaitui in the larger Belgut constituency in 1963, Kitur received his early educatioin at Kaitui Primary School and then proceeded to Tambach Secondary School and St.Patrick Iten for O AND A level education respectively.
He later joined the university of Nairobi from 1984 to 1987 when he graduated with a degree in electrical and electronics engineering degree. He later moved to the UK and studied at Sheffield University where he obtained an MSC degree in computer science, specializing in systems technology.
Kitur has joined a crowded field of 16 other aspirants, who include the retired former Deputy CGS Lt.Gen.{rtd}John Koech and a senior lecturer at the Moi University Eldoret, Dr. Paul Chepkwny, two former MPs for the area Eng Kipngeno Arap Ngeny and Noah Nondin Arap Too among others.
Mr.Kitur, in a statement has stated that if elected he would pray hard to uplift the work of God in Ainamoi by helping in the spreading of the gospel. He would also improve then standards of education, create more entrepreneurs, improve standards of education in the area, improve roads network for easy transportation of green leaves tea and other cash crops, improve the earning of revenue for the farmers and improve the social welfare and gender.
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African Press International – api

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