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Archive for June 12th, 2008

ODM Passaris was not saved by her beauty, she became unelectable in Embakasi

Posted by African Press International on June 12, 2008

WHAT NEXT? KEEP ASKING, “THIGHS UP – SEE!” I WILL GET WHAT I WANT IN ODM THROUGH RAILA.

https://i1.wp.com/farm3.static.flickr.com/2291/2378381963_7c6ce06e6b.jpg
The ODM woman by name Esther Passaris, Raila’s favourite in the party has failed to get elected to parliament in Embakasi constituency in yesterday’s by-election. She had decided to become ODM’s member of parliament in the area and was campaigned for, by among others, the illegal Mungiki sect, but did not convince those residents who matter in the area to give a parliamentary ticket. Her beauty was not enough to make her sailthrough. Her beauty let her down.

The woman tried also to get to the City council and had high dreams. She wanted to become a councillor, whether elected or nominated, and was ready to go for the mayoral seat backed by Raila Odinga and ODM.

Many observers are now wondering why the eager by the party leader Raila to lift her up to the skies. If she had been elected to represent Embakasi, it was most likely that Raila would have worked hard to have her given a ministerial post, especially with the 2 ODM ministers who died recently in a plane crash enabling vancancies, although sadly as it happened.

What is next for Passaris now?

Raila may decide to make an opening for her in the Prime Minister’s office one way or another, or get her appointed as the head of some important parastatal body. Railais not about to give up on her even as the electorate says NO. She is too beautiful to ignore but what does beauty got to do with leadership qualities?

By The Chief Editor Korir /African Press International – api africanpress@getmail.no

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When is Obama going to come out of the closet?

Posted by African Press International on June 12, 2008

Posted to API by: Author : sisterrosetta (IP: 72.208.130.215 , ip72-208-130-215.ph.ph.cox.net)
URL :
Whois : http://ws.arin.net/cgi-bin/whois.pl?queryinput=72.208.130.215
Comment:
Obama and the giant blogosphere conspiracy – just when is Obama going to come out of the closet?

Wednesday, 11th June 2008

http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/765631/obama-and-the-giant-blogosphere-conspiracy.thtml

EXCERPTS

Todays Guardian reports that Barack Obama is setting up an entire unit to combat virulent rumours about him on the internet. Doubtless one of the blogs in the sights of team Obama is Little Green Footballs, which in the last few days has been excavating examples of wildly anti-Jewish and anti-American prejudice and conspiracy theories posted up by fans on Obamas own website. LGF is making hay with the fact that the Obamanables are belatedly taking (some of) this stuff down from the site while simultaneously insisting that its presence is nothing to do with them because the website has no moderators. Yeah, right.

First is his childhood background. Last November, his campaign website carried a statement with the headline:
Barack Obama Is Not and Has Never Been a Muslim
followed by
Obama never prayed in a mosque. He has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian.
Obama has also said:
I’ve always been a Christian
and
I’ve never practised Islam.

But none of this is true. As is explored in detail on Daniel Pipess website, Obama was enrolled at his primary schools in Indonesia as a Muslim; he attended the mosque during that period; his friends from that time testify that he was a devout Muslim boy. A former teacher at one of these schools, Tine Hahiyary, remembers a young Obama who was quite religious and actively took part in mengaji classes which teach how to read the Koran in Arabic. The blogger from Indonesia who reported this commented:

Mengagi is a word and a term that is accorded the highest value and status in the mindset of fundamentalist societies here in Southeast Asia. To put it quite simply, “mengaji classes” are not something that a non practicing or so-called moderate Muslim family would ever send their child to… The fact that Obama had attended mengaji classes is well known in Indonesia and has left many there wondering just when Obama is going to come out of the closet.

Then there is also Obamas troubling support for the Kenyan opposition leader — and his cousin — Raila Odinga, the leader of the violent uprising a few months ago against the newly elected Kenyan government and who signed a memorandum of understanding with Kenyan Muslims to turn Kenya into an Islamic state governed by sharia law. At the time, the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya released a statement in which church leaders said Odinga comes across as a presumptive Muslim president bent on forcing Islamic law, religion and culture down the throats of the Kenyan people in total disregard of the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of freedom of worship and equal protection of the law for all Kenyans.

As the Atlas Shrugs site reported, Obama actually went to Kenya in 2006 and spoke at rallies in support of Odinga, causing the Kenyan government to denounce him as Railas stooge. Why was Obama supporting such a person? Why has no-one bothered to find out??

These multiple known deceptions by someone who may become President of the United States are deeply alarming. The concealment is the issue. To dismiss such concerns and the related questions they provoke as a smear campaign is to attempt to browbeat into silence those who legitimately raise them and require urgent answers as a matter of the most acute public interest.

Update: In this entry I originally included the following quote from the American Expatriate in Indonesia blog quoted above: ‘Another of Obamas former classmates, Emirsyah Satar, now CEO of Garuda Indonesia, has been quoted as saying: At that time, he was quite religious in Islam but after marrying Michelle, he changed his religion.’ It has been pointed out to me that comments posted on that blog claimed that this was a mistranslation, and that the quote attributed to Satar was written instead by the author of the article.

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API

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Ethiopia hit by cement shortage as price increases by 50%

Posted by African Press International on June 12, 2008

Ethiopia has been hit by a cement shortage while the price of cement has risen by 50 percent at a time when there is a construction boom in the country.

A 100 kg bag of cement is selling for about 38 to 40 US dollars. Last week the price was $30 or less.

The factory price of locally produced cement is $15 for a 100 kg bag but it is very difficult to get cement from the factory unless one has a special permit.

According the ministry of Trade and Industry, by the end of June 2008, eight cement factories with a capacity to produced 767,000 metric tons will start manufacturing, which is expected to alleviate the shortages by half.

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API/source/apa

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Hundreds demonstrate in Somalia in support of Djibouti peace deal

Posted by African Press International on June 12, 2008

Hundreds of demonstrators including women and children supporting the signed peace deal on Monday in Djibouti, paraded and chanted slogans in the streets of Baidoa.

“We love peace; weve been living in anarchy for two decades, now we want to enjoy the air of peace in a prosperous Somalia” Seinab Malak, a demonstrator, told APA.

Baidoas district commissioner, Hassan Mohamed Bikole, addressed the crowd saying: “This is a historic agreement for Somalis, we have to support them by any means because without peace, there will be no development.

Th truce was signed Monday between Somalis government and the opposition alliance based in Asmara to end an Iraqi-style insurgence in the beleaguered capital.

Biadoa is the seat of Somalia transitional federal government, where most of member of parliaments are based for the past two years.

Somalia had been plunged in anarchy after the overthrow of Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 and warlords have since used their clan-based militias to fight each other for power leaving thousands killed and millions displaced.

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API/source/apa

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Posted by African Press International on June 12, 2008

Story by SHEILA MASINDE

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has won three of the five parliamentary seats contested in yesterdays by-elections with the balance as good as taken by its political rival, the Party of National Unity (PNU).

Results announced at dawn by the Electoral Commission officials in the constituencies said ODM clinched the Ainamoi, Wajir North and Emuhaya constituencies. PNU has unassailable lead in Kilgoris and Nairobis Embakasi constituencies where tallying of votes has not yet concluded.

In Ainamoi, Mr Benjamin Langat beat his closest challenger Dr Paul Chepkwony of by garnering 17,352 votes, against the latters 15,454. Langat is a brother of the immediate former MP David Kimutai Too, whose murder in January occasioned the by-election.

Mr Mohammed Gabow of ODM is the new Wajir North MP. Gabow won with 5,769 votes beating Kanus Dr Abdullahi Ali who had 4,732 votes.

Dr Wilbur Ottichilo has won in Emuhaya, with 11,102 votes. His closest rival Mr Julius Sikalo Ochiel of Kaddu managed 8,858 votes. Mr Ochiel contested the results immediately they were announced, saying they had been rigged. Two days ago, the Kaddu candidate claimed that Ottichilo had met with some presiding officers in an attempt to tilt the polls in his favour.

Counting of votes in Embakasi is ongoing at the Kayole Social Hall. PNUs Mr Ferdinand Waititu is currently leading with 35,542 votes against 27,060 for ODMs Esther Passaris. Votes have been counted from 42 of the constituencys 43 stations.

Tallying is also going on in Kilgoris constituency. Former minister Mr Gideon Konchella (PNU) has garnered 33,199 votes against 25,232 of his closest rival Mr Johana Ngeno of ODM. Only six of the 173 polling stations have yet to report their results.

The process was interrupted for about half an hour last night, when Chepalungu MP Isaac Rutto protested that ODM
polling agents had been denied access to some polling stations in some PNU strongholds.

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API – source.nation.ke

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Kenya: ODM retains Ainamoi seat.

Posted by African Press International on June 12, 2008

Written By:Judy Maina

ODM has captured three parliamentary seats with PNU’s Gideon Konchella winning in Kilgoris while Ferdinand Waititu took an early lead in Embakasi in the just concluded by elections.

ODM’s Benjamin Lang’ata is the Mp Elect for Ainamoi where he garnered 17,532 votes with his close UDM competitor Dr. Paul Chepkwony clinching 15,685 votes.

In Emuhaya Wilbur Otichillo of ODM took the lead garnering 10,947 votes against his KADDU counterpart Julius Ochiel who managed 7325 votes.

Wajir North ODM’s Mohamed Gabow won by 5759 votes with his Kanu counterpart Abdullahi Ali clinching 4729 votes.

PNU’s Kilgoris candidate Gideon Konchella hammered his closet ODM rival Johana Ng’eno with 33,119 votes.

Nge’no clinched 25,236 votes.

Counting and tallying is still under way in Embakasi constituency where Ferdinard Waititu has taken an early lead.

So far he has garnered 34,507 votes while her rival Esther Passaris has 26,086 votes.

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API source.kbc.ke

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OVERVIEW OF THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY

Posted by African Press International on June 12, 2008

Forwarded to API by Leo Odera Omolo

Address by the Deputy Secretary General (Projects and Programmes), East African Community, Amb. Julius Onen to the Orientation Seminar for Members of the East African Legislative Assembly from Burundi and Rwanda, AICC, Arusha 11 June 2008

Rt. Honourable Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly

Honourable Members of the Assembly

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am greatly honoured to address this distinguished audience on the occasion of the Orientation Seminar for Members of the East African Legislative Assembly from Rwanda and Burundi. Let me at the outset convey the apologies of the Secretary General, Amb. Juma Mwapachu who had very much looked forward to being here with you today but unfortunately he is indisposed and has assigned me to represent him. On behalf of the Secretariat, I would like to take this opportunity to extend warm welcome to you. We look forward to your valuable contribution to the Community in the discharge of your important responsibilities and assure you of our best co-operation and support.

In making my presentation on an Overview of the EAC I would like to place my address in the context of a reflection on the vision, mission, objectives of the Community, and the expectations of East Africans from the operations of the Community. I will also highlight some of EACs achievements, challenges and prospects and conclude with some observations on the important issue of harmonious relations among the Organs and Institutions of the Committee towards efficient performance and achievement of integration and development objectives.

Vision and Mission of the EAC

The main goal for the East African Community, as an economic and political entity, stems from the desire by the governments of the EAC countries to improve the standard of living of the population through increased competitiveness, value-added production, trade and investment. This is aimed at promoting the sustainable development in the region with a view to creating a prosperous, internationally competitive, secure, stable and politically united region. The five EAC Partner States are keenly aware that with pooling their resources and potential, they are in a better position to realize and sustain common development goals more easily than by national efforts alone.

It should be noted that the justifications for many regional integration arrangements are mainly economic. In the case of East Africa however, the common history, language, culture and personal ties invoke a deep-rooted and longstanding commitment by the Partner States to deepen co-operation in a broad range of political, economic, social and cultural programmes. According to the EAC Treaty, the vision of the Community is to be realised in an incremental progression through the stages of a Customs Union; a Common Market; a Monetary Union; and ultimately a Political Federation of the East African States.

Progress/achievements of the EAC

Steady progress has been made since the resumption of regional co-operation/integration in East Africa through the series of the EAC Development Strategies. The first East African Co-operation Development Strategy (1997-2000) focused on the development of the policy framework for regional co-operation. This culminated in the signing of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.

The Second East African Community Development Strategy (2001-2005) was launched in April 2001. That Strategy focused on the implementation of selected regional projects and programmes; institutional development; and, most significantly, the launching in 2005 of the East African Community Customs Union.

The Third East African Community Development Strategy (2006-2010) was launched in November 2006. This strategy focuses on the consolidation of the Customs Union; establishment of the East African Common Market; deepening infrastructure development, Industrialization , promoting East African agricultural and rural development and the Lake Victoria Basin Development Programme.

Among the significant achievements that have been made since the resumption of regional co-operation in East Africa are those in confidence building and the harmonization of Partner States policies and programmes. A primary objective is the construction of a common East African identity within the vision of a fully integrated East Africa, where there shall be guaranteed movement of factors of production.

Steps already taken in this regard include the introduction of the East African Passport and harmonisation of vehicle transit procedures and requirements to ease border crossing. In addition, policies continue to be pursued towards extending national status treatment to East African nationals in any of the Partner States with respect to access to services in the fields of health, education and training, tourism and communications, among others.

Other achievements include the convertibility of East African currencies. Preparations are underway towards the introduction of a Common Market by 2010 and the ongoing revival of regional co-operation in various fields of research, human resources development and science and technology. Co-operation in political affairs involve activities in the areas of legal and judicial affairs, regional defence and security and co-ordination of foreign policy. Similarly, progress has been made in the identification and development of regional infrastructure projects cutting across roads, railways, civil aviation, posts and telecommunications, energy and the Lake Victoria Basin Development Programme.

Expanding Regional programme

The launching in 2007 of the full operations of the Lake Victoria Basin Commission as well as the establishment of new Commissions, notably the East African Science and Technology Commission, East African Health Research Commission, East African Kiswahili Council and the East African Community Civil Aviation Safety and Oversight Agency have phenomenally expanded the regional programme.

Coupled with this expansion of the regional programme, the encouraging progress of the East African Customs Union, established in 2005, the enlargement of the Community with the Admission of Rwanda and Burundi, the ongoing negotiations of the East African Common Market and the Summit directive that EAC achieves a Monetary Union by 2012, all underscore the serious determination of the East African leadership and citizens to construct a powerful and sustainable East African economic and political bloc.

The region has great potential to turn into an epicentre around which a wider Community could be built. Already, with the admission of Rwanda and Burundi, the resource base of the Community is raised with exciting prospects for rapid progress towards EACs transformation into a middle income economy by the year 2020. Today, we speak of a large regional economic bloc with a combined population of 120 million, land area of 1.85 million square kilometres and a combined gross domestic product of $ 41 billion that bears great prospects and potential for socio-economic transformation. Indeed, the East African Community is strategically located to become the economy hub under an Eastern and Central African economic entity.

Trade, Finance, and Investment

In the area of trade, finance and investments, the EAC Customs Union has proceeded very well. The positive impact of the Customs Union on increased intra-EAC trade and growth of revenue is felt and shared in all the Partner States since the establishment of the Customs Union. All the EAC countries have reported increased revenues as well as increased direct foreign investments (DFIs). These developments give confidence and comfort where, at the beginning, there were expressions of fear and diffidence over the introduction of the Customs Union. Consequently, the mood is upbeat as the negotiations proceed to the establishment of the Common Market.

Transport and Communications

There have been similar achievement and progress in the transport and Communications sector. Steady progress has been maintained on the East African Road Network Project, in particular, the Mombasa Katuna Road (Northern Corridor) and the Dar es Salaam – Mutukula Road (Central Corridor), which have been taken to the implementation stages. Works on these roads are now targeted for completion in the next two years. The construction of the Arusha-Namanga- Athi River road has commenced on the Kenya side to be followed before the end of this year with the commencement of constructions on the Tanzania side. Meanwhile feasibility and design studies continue for the Arusha Holili Taveta Voi; and investment preparations for the Tanga Horohoro Malindi road.

On the Railways sub sector, the East African Railways Master Plan Study has been well sustained and its implementation has been prioritized under the ongoing implementation of the 3rd EAC development Strategy (2006-2010).

In the Civil Aviation sub-sector, the East African Community has established the regional agency to oversee the implementation of the International Civil Aviation Organizations (ICAO) standards and recommended practices towards the enhancement of aviation safety and security. The Partner States have established the EAC Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA) the first such regional arrangement in Africa under the ICAO programme.

Agriculture and food security

EAC continues to place emphasis on agriculture and food security. The instruments in the development of Agriculture and attainment of Food Security for the Community, including the Agriculture and Rural Development Policy and the Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy have been adopted. The East African Agriculture and Rural Development Programme is also one of the identified major planks of the 3rd EAC Development Strategy whose implementation has been placed on a high priority.

Energy

In the Energy sector, the East African Power Master Plan is being implemented within a time frame of up to seven years to a full fledged Regional Power System with the creation of a Power Pool as a central feature. The Power Master Plan will cover both power generation and transmission projects at an estimated cost of US$ 1.2 billion and US$ 600 million respectively for generation and transmission projects over the implementation period.

Tourism and Wildlife Management

A major breakthrough has been made in the tourist sector with the launching of joint marketing of East Africa as a single tourist destination. The EAC Partner States now participate in the World Travel Market (WTM) in London and also in the International Tourism Fair in Berlin jointly under one common exhibition area. It is planned that the East African tourist boards will extend such joint promotion and marketing to the Asian, Far Eastern and American markets in the near future.

Lake Victoria Basin Commission

The Lake Victoria Basin Commission was officially launched on 11 July 2007. The Commission has rolled out the development programmes of the Lake, including safety of navigation, environmental protection and conservation and overall sustainable development of the Lake and its basin with vast investment opportunities identified in the Agriculture, Transport and Communications, Energy, Tourism, Industries, Fishing and Mining and Services sectors among others.

East African Development Bank

The East African Development Bank is pursuing programmes designed to enhance the Banks capacity to play a more substantive and sustainable role as a regional development finance institution through issues of bonds, administration of lines of credit and cross-currency swaps. The Bank is currently engaged in discussions with the African Development Bank and the China Development Bank for increased lines of credit. The Bank is also working out with the EAC concrete proposals on how it can transform itself into a lead agency for promoting regional integration projects, particularly in the infrastructure sub-sectors.

Social Sectors

Under the social sectors, the establishment of the various Commissions, the East African Science and Technology Commission, East African Kiswahili Commission and the East African Health Research Commission has been realized. Also, under the social sectors, the negotiations of the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, Labour, Services, Right of Establishment and Residence are being undertaken jointly with the negotiations of the East African Common Market whose establishment has been prioritized in the Third Development Strategy.

Co-operation with Development Partners

A foremost realization is that effective regional integration and development requires the mobilization of vast resources, both within and outside the region. Admittedly, despite its enormous potential, on its own the EAC region cannot raise adequate resources to meet the huge and often capital intensive investments required.

The EAC is undertaking activities at the global level through agreements and arrangements such as EU-ACP, AGOA, WTO, NEPAD and the International Conference on the Great Lakes (IC/GLR) with a view to tapping the opportunities available in such arrangements and striving to access other markets. These activities include enhancement of the regions negotiation capabilities on trade issues and, on the whole, advancing internal research and development capacity as well as mobilization of resources and adaptation of knowledge and expertise from other areas of the world.

Negotiating as a bloc

Equally crucial, is the need to promote and articulate the interests of the EAC as a bloc and negotiate in that context. A commitment was made by the EAC Partner States in 2002 to act collectively in global trade issues. This commitment has now been rendered more urgent by the EU-ACP structures as regards the negotiations of EPAs and the fulfillment of WTO requirements. This commitment has also come under pressure given the dual membership of the Partner States in COMESA and SADC. A challenge is therefore presented which the EAC Partner States are confronting with courage and objectivity. In particular, the EAC is participating actively in the tripartite forum with COMESA and SADC to forge a close alliance in minimizing the dysfunctions of our dual or multiple memberships in regional economic organizations. Already, a major step has been taken in this regard with the EAC Partner States currently negotiating the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union as an EAC bloc.

Business and Investment climate/opportunities

Like most parts of Africa and the developing world, the EAC region experiences severe effects of the imbalances in the global trading and economic system. EACs main challenge is therefore to work towards the improvement of the terms of trade and to boost the regions productivity through promotion of investments, industries and trade.

The region has rich and varied natural resource base of vast fertile lands, mineral, water, energy, forestry and wildlife resources offering great scope for agricultural, industrial, tourism and trade development and expansion. The EAC countries uphold good governance, free market economy and rule of law as the prerequisites for regional development and global partnership.

Coupled with the need for suitable policies is the challenge to provide reliable and adequate economic infrastructure, which link production to markets, both the regional and the external markets. The ongoing regional infrastructure projects in roads, railways, energy and communications are intended to attract and retain serious investment and providing least cost of doing business in the region. Human resource and science and technology development is considered key to regional integration and development; and it is with this in mind that the EAC has established the East African Science and Technology Commission among other new Commissions targeting key sectors.

Together with these, the Customs Union in place and with the progress towards the establishment of the Common Market, many aspects of which are in fact already being implemented, EAC has established a conducive environment for increased intra-EAC trade and investments in the region. Indeed, the EAC already has on stream a substantial complement of measures , projects and programmes, including the EAC private Sector Development Strategy, EAC Model Investment Code, EAC Joint Export and Investment Promotion Strategy; and the EAC Competition Law and Policy – all which, with diligent application by the relevant authorities as well as the entrepreneurs, should vastly ease trade and investments flow within the East African region.

In addition, the EAC has, over the years, constantly undertaken major investments promotion activities, both in the region and abroad; and to this extent worked in collaboration with, among others, the East African Business Council and the Commonwealth Business Council. These activities will be intensified in the period ahead following the recent establishment of a desk at the EAC Secretariat dedicated to handle matters of investments promotion and private sector development in the Community.

East Africa is thus positioned as a competitive and attractive, new investment and market area with vast investment opportunities in the agro-processing, mining, tourism and fishing industries, manufacturing and services as well as investments in regional infrastructure, including roads, railways, telecommunications, energy and the Lake Victoria Development Programme.

Regional Defence and Security

The realization of a large regional economic bloc bears great strategic and geopolitical significance, imposing on the EAC Partner States enormous responsibility for regional defence and security. To this extent, the EAC Partner States pursue a Memorandum of Understanding for Co-operation in Defence Matters within an elaborate programme of activities, largely of confidence building among the defence forces. These activities include military training, joint operations, technical assistance, visits, information exchange, sports and cultural activities and regular meetings of defence chiefs and other cadre of the defence forces.

However, it is important to note that the EAC Treaty takes a holistic approach in the quest of regional peace and security, having regard to the imperative to address the root causes of conflicts. Rivalry for resources and struggle for power are often the causes of conflicts. Therefore, through its broad range of areas of cooperation, EAC seeks to entrench systems of good governance in guaranteeing equal opportunities and equal participation of all sections of the population in the allocation and management of political and economic resources. Effective mechanisms are brought to bear on the redistribution of resources, both among and within the Partner States, in a manner that would reduce tensions and eliminate conflicts.

By the same token, the EAC is not oblivious to the international dimensions and dynamics in peace and security, particularly the existence of an elaborate and all-powerful alliance of the armaments industry, international arms merchants and governments that use or support arms trade which fuel regional and global conflicts. Moreover, the East African countries have a compelling and strategic mission in establishing wider areas of peace and security beyond the confines of their own borders. This explains EACs contribution to the International Conference on the Great Lakes Process culminating in the signing in 2006 of the Pact of Security, Stability and Development of the Great Lakes Region.

Co-operation in Foreign Policy Co-ordination

The EAC Partner States are implementing a Memorandum of Understanding on Foreign Policy Co-ordination which was signed in 1999. Under the Memorandum of Understanding, the Partner States’ Diplomatic Missions co-ordinate their positions and hold joint briefings and presentations on matters, activities and other initiatives of interest or concern to the Community as well as joint promotion of EAC regional projects.

These joint activities are emphasized especially at the Partner States’ Diplomatic Missions in multilateral stations whereby they hold regular consultations to harmonize positions in multilateral organizations; consult and harmonize positions as well as undertake joint lobbying exercises in multilateral meetings; and co-ordinate positions where appropriate and present joint statements in the multilateral fora as well as other joint promotional activities in, among other areas, trade, investment, tourism and culture to market the Community within the region and abroad.

Strategic regional integration

East African regional integration is viewed as strategic and important from both a regional and continental perspective. To this extent, the EAC is set to accelerate the integration process towards the Political Federation of the East African States. During the exercise that was undertaken last year to find out the views of the East Africans on the Political Federation, the Regional Consultative Process delivered a verdict of broad public support for the idea of Federation among the majority of the East African people that were consulted.

There were however divergences of opinion on the timing and form of such a Federation. Indeed, there were many discordant voices on the question of fast tracking the Federation in relation to the logical stages established in the EAC Treaty, of a Customs Union first, followed by a Common Market, a Monetary Union and finally Political Federation. Be that as it may, the issue was finally settled within the consensus framework to expedite the establishment of a Common Market by 2010 and a Monetary Union by 2012 as we move on to Political Federation.

Organs and Institutions of the Community

In order to fulfil the objectives of the Community and ensure the delivery of the expectations of the people, the Treaty establishes the following Organs: Summit of Heads of State and or Government; Council of Ministers; Co-ordination Committee; Sectoral Committees; East African Court of Justice, East African Legislative Assembly; and Secretariat. The Treaty also provides for Autonomous Institutions of the Community which at the moment are the East African Development Bank, Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation and the Inter-University Council for East Africa.

Furthermore the Treaty sets out clearly the roles and functions of these organs and institutions of the Community, with the underlying principle of the operations of the Community being the complementarity of the roles and functions of the Organs of the Community towards the realization of the regional integration and development objectives. Whereas the Summit of Heads of State gives general direction and impetus to the development of the Community, it is the Council of Ministers that is the main decision making body with responsibility to ensure the proper functioning of the Community.

Similarly, the East African Legislative Assembly and the East African Court of Justice play important roles the Assembly in articulating the will of the people of East Africa and making appropriate legislation for regional unity and development; and the Court in embodying the rule of law and good governance as the hallmarks of the East African Community.

The thrust of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community (1999) is the efficacy and sustainability of regional integration. To this extent, the Treaty was negotiated with great attention to the lessons learnt from the collapse of the former Community (1967-1977). For instance, in vesting the main decision making authority in the Council of Ministers rather than the Summit of Heads of State, the Treaty is influenced by the historical experience.

The former Community had collapsed, among others, due to the breakdown of communications at the apex of the regional organization. The new Treaty therefore vests the responsibility for the proper functioning and development of the Community in the Council of Ministers. The approach gives room to maneuver as disagreements or deadlocks that might arise at the Ministers level are referred to the higher counsels and good offices of the Summit of Heads of State. A less centralized structure of the Community is deemed a more realistic and viable option, taking into account the perceived weaknesses and potentially disruptive attributes of the largely centralized structure of the former Community. It is instructive to note, however, that with the eventual realization of a Political Federation of the East African States, as enshrined in the Treaty, centralized structures and institutions of the projected Federation would logically emerge.

By and large, it is the principle of subsidiarity that defines the relations between the Organs and Institutions of the Community on the one hand and the ranking and prioritization of the regional programme on the other. What can be best done at regional level is handled at the regional level and, likewise, what can be best done at the national level is implemented at the national level. The operations and development of the Community are therefore placed on a process mode towards the realization of the defined strategic objectives. So long as momentum is maintained in the process, the institutional defects or shortcomings that may be evident at the earlier stages are progressively shed off as the integration process climbs higher up the matrix of the set strategic goals.

Inter-Organ relationship

It is in this context that the Organs of the Community play their various roles in providing the impetus and sustaining the political will behind the regional integration process. Most crucial is the realization of popular participation in the activities of the Community. Indeed, the participation of the people is factored into the regional integration process as its motive force. And the regional Assembly, by virtue of its election by the Parliaments of the Partner States has a leading role in this people centered process.

Also, the Treaty emphasizes a synergetic approach to the management of the affairs of the Community. A few examples of this would illustrate the point:

1. The Treaty deliberately establishes that the Members of the Assembly are not directly elected but that they derive their legitimacy from the (organic) link and association with the directly elected National Assemblies of the Partner States;

2. While the Secretariat initiates the Budget process and submits the Budget proposals to the Council of Ministers for consideration, the Council submits the Budget estimates to the East African Legislative Assembly for debate and approval.

3. The Treaty provides for an independent Secretariat that is headed by the Secretary General who is also the principal executive Officer of the Community. But the Secretary General is appointed by the Summit; and the Secretariat itself comes under the direct supervision of the Council of Ministers as well as submits to the oversight role of the Assembly;

4. Although the Treaty specifically mandates the Secretariat to conduct the general promotion and dissemination of information on the Community to the stakeholders, the general public and the international public, the Council of Ministers, the Members of the Assembly as well have important role to play in this important activity. It is in this context that the outreach programme conducted by the Members of the Assembly is significant in strengthening the bond between the people and the organs and institutions of the Community.

5. For its part, the Executive arm of the governments of the EAC Partner States is represented in the regional Legislature through the five ex-officio Members of the Assembly, i.e. the Ministers responsible for regional integration and the Secretariat ex-Officio Members of the Assembly. Thus the Council introduces Bills which are passed by the Assembly and which become Acts of the Community once assented to by the Heads of State; and

6. The interests and role of other stakeholders in the Community are safeguarded under the Treaty as enshrined in the provisions of Article 127 which provides for an enabling environment for the private sector and civil society participation in the regional integration process, right from the decision making to the implementation stages.

All this goes to emphasize that the EAC organs, acting as a collective, provide leadership, direction and control of the regional integration process. They focus attention on the regional integration agenda and ensure the ownership of the agenda among the people, right from the grassroots and constituency levels to the highest decision making levels. The organs and institutions therefore need to stay close to the people. They have to operate close to the reality of the lives of the people thus be in a position to cause a positive transformation in their lives.

Conclusions

The Community is a bold enterprise aimed at the eventual full unification of East Africa. Harmonious operations of the various organs are crucial to the effective and rapid delivery of the expectations of the people in regional integration and development.

It is with this commitment and orientation each Organ or Institution respecting the role and mandate of the other and applying the advantages of synergies – that the Organs and Institutions of the Community have managed the steady progress of the Community over the past 15 years of the resumption of regional co-operation in East Africa as I have narrated at the outset of my presentation.

The challenge ahead is for the continued collaboration of all the Organs and Institutions of the Community in moving forward with the new realignment towards regional integration perspective and approach to solutions and management of social and economic development issues.

Discharging their various roles, the Organs and Institutions of the Community must aim at one thing: the strengthening of the Community as the engine of regional integration, unity and development. The evolvement of strong institutions of the Community an enabling Executive, a vigilant Legislature, an effective Court of Justice and a well equipped Secretariat is a prerequisite for successful regional integration and development. Genuine, collective response and judicious application of synergies to the challenges of regional integration and development is what is called for.

More and more, the people of East Africa should be attuned to facing their challenges collectively as a family through the established institutions, laws and protocols of the Community. This can be achieved only through the progressive strengthening of the authority and mandates of the regional institutions. All the actors, in their various stations and roles should consider that collective approach to solutions is more effective; and that positive resolutions of issues at the regional level inevitably impact on national solutions. The demonstration of this spirit should start with the Organs of the Community themselves and permeate all sectors of life in East Africa.

To the extent that the Organs and Institutions of the Community make an impact on the positive trend towards a new direction of the collective management of the affairs of the region, those who serve in these Organs and Institutions will have deserved and earned the high trust which the East African people have placed in them.

With these remarks, I thank you for your attention and wish you happiness and success in your service of the East African Community.

Thank You

EAC SECRETARIAT

ARUSHA

JUNE 2008

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API

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Weather to blame for crash in Kenya

Posted by African Press International on June 12, 2008

Preliminary investigations into Tuesdays tragic plane crash in which a minister and an assistant minister perished indicate that the ill-fated aircraft was flying in poor visibility at the time of the accident.

Government leaders in a pensive mood as they await the remains of ministers Kipkalya Kones and Lorna Laboso at Wilson Airport, Nairobi.

A statement by the Minister for Transport Mr Chirau Ali Mwakwere has said investigators on the ground had established that the aircraft lost height and hit trees and a roof of a house before crashing.

The light Cessna 210 aircraft registration 5Y-BVE operated by Skytraders Limited crashed near Narok town killing Roads Minister Kipkalya Kones, Home Affairs assistant minister Lorna Laboso, the ministers bodyguard and the pilot.

Remains of the deceased were flown from the scene of the crash Wednesday morning and received by high ranking government officials, MPs, family and friends.

A sombre mood engulfed Wilson airport when the Kenya Air Force choppers carrying the remains and a team of MPs and top government administrators who had flown to the scene in early morning hours, touched down between 11.42 am and 11.45 am.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende led a large number of MPs who turned out to receive the remains of their colleagues.

Emotions ran high and tears flowed freely as they were carried off the chopper and a brief session of prayers and speeches held beside the landing strip.

Mrs Ida Odinga and Aldai MP Sally Kosgei were among those who could not control their tears and sobbed in an emotional embrace. Mr Kones two widows and Ms Labosos close family members wept uncontrollably as they waited for the bodies to arrive.

Mr Mwakweres statement stated that the Government would issue a full report as soon as investigations are completed.

Agriculture Minister William Ruto who led a team of MPs to the scene of accident hours earlier to prepare the bodies for transportation to Nairobi, later described the scene of the crash, the state of the aircraft and the condition of the bodies.

The minister clarified that the plane did not burst into flames as earlier claimed. He ruled out possible engine failure and explained that the Kenya Civil Aviation team on the ground had indicated in its preliminary report that the engines of the aircraft were still running, but were ripped off by the time of the crash.

The KCA team headed by the director of Air Accident Investigations in the Ministry Mr Peter Wakahia has already cordoned off the area and further investigations are ongoing.

Mr Ruto said the wreckage of the aircraft indicated that it was in high speed by the time it smashed into trees and the side of a hill.

From the way it crashed, there was no chance for anyone to survive, the minister said. He explained that the aircrafts wings were ripped off by trees and its main trunk ripped into pieces.

Preliminary investigations had also indicated that the German pilot flying the aircraft was fairly new in the country and might not have mastered the terrain, according to the minister.

Mr Ruto, however, said there may have been a combination of issues that could have caused the accident and urged the KCA team to conduct comprehensive investigations.

Addressing mourners at Wilson airport Mr Odinga who had earlier held a meeting with President Kibaki, said the Government will foot all the burial costs of the deceased.

The Government shall give them decent burial befitting heroes. It is the greatest gift to give them, he said.

He appealed for calm and cautioned against speculation over the cause of the crash.

Let us all be patient so that thorough and conclusive investigations can be done, he said.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka said the country had lost committed ministers. He described the late Kones as a hero in every sense who stood through thick and thin with his Bomet people.

The VP said he had met the late Laboso who was an assistant minister in his office before she embarked on her tragic journey and she had been in high spirits.

She was as cheerful as ever, so exuberant and so dedicated, he stated.

Mr Marende expressed regret that the country had already lost four legislators just within six months.

It is a sad spectacle because the year has been exceptionally difficult for Parliament. It is very sad and painful and we shall miss their contribution and vibrancy, he stated.

Remains of the deceased are being preserved at Lee Funeral Home.

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API source,nation.ke

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The killer to be given court hearing in Kenya

Posted by African Press International on June 12, 2008

Cholmondely to get a hearing date

Written By:Anthony Kaikai

Caption: Tom Cholmondely is charged with killing Robert Njoya at Soysambu farm

The high court has ordered the murder trial against Tom Cholmondely be mentioned on the 18th of June to fix a hearing date.

In a murder trial where TomCholmondely is charged with killing Robert Njoya at Soysambu farm on 10TH May 2006, Justice Muga Apondi has Tuesday directed the Director of Public Prosecution -DPP- to give full instructions to the state counsel in order to fix a hearing date after the court of appeal on Friday rules whetherCholmondely will be required to provide statement of the seven witnesses he intends to call for his defense.

Meanwhile, the case against Naivasha Mp John Njenga Mututho resumed with one witness testifying.

Investigating Officer Peter Changarwa told the court that according to his investigations members of the public claim that Mututho played a vital role in incitement that led to violence and damage of property during the post election violence in Naivasha.

Mututho in his mitigation said the application is an attempt to scorn his name amongst the constituents.

Nairobi ChiefMagistrate Gilbert Mutembei will rule on the matter on 24th of this month.

And in a case where Kenya Premier League LTD-KPL wanted the KFF Nyamweya faction be restrained in interfering with the running of KPL and management of Harambee Star waswithdrawn by mutual conset.

KPL argued that there interest in the matter was solved when the high court gave out a ruling last Friday as they support the management of Hatimy.

Last week the high court recognized Hatimy as the bonafide managers of KFF

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API. source.kbc.ke

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District Council to monitor Apac police operations

Posted by African Press International on June 12, 2008

By Rolex Akena
Apac

Amidst allegations of massive corruption and abuse of power, the police force in Apac district will be subject for discussions in the district local council meetings.

Maruzi County Member of Parliament David Ebong Abongo says the move will help the district monitor activities of the police and streamline their operations in response to public outcry.

Ebong says the move to refer police corruption allegations to the council, follows his recent discussions with the Deputy Inspector General of Police Julius Peter Odwee on the public concerns.

Last week, officials in the district led by the Resident District Commissioner Alex Jurua and the Coordinator of the Apac Anti Corruption Coalition-TAAC Tom Opwonya matched to the Central Police Station and forwarded peoples complaints against police.

The police are accused of concocting defilement cases to amass money from members of the public besides jeopardizing cases forwarded to them for investigation.

Deputy District Police Commander Coxson Obic promised the aggrieved officials that the police would investigate the allegation of corruption against its officers and act accordingly.

The Apac Anti-corruption Coalition had earlier published several cases which were forwarded to police in Apac but were allegedly mishandled at investigations stage.

The cases include shooting and wounding of the Organizations official Tom Opwonya and two others by a police officer at Omodi Hostel in Apac town.

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api

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