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Archive for June 26th, 2008

VP Kalonzo is leader of Government business in Parliament: PM Raila is accountable to parliament, thus accountable to VP Kalonzo’s leadership

Posted by African Press International on June 26, 2008

Now the government has made it clear as to who is the leader of government business in parliament is clarifying that the vice president is the man in charge and that he is also the principal assistant to the president.

Indirectly, this clarifies the position of the prime minister as wel. The prime minister is a supervisor and coordinator of government activities outside parliament. This is a clear indication that the VP is senior because it is in parliament that things happen.

The prime minister is accountable to parliament and the leader of Government business in parliament is the VP, thus stating that the PM is accountable to the VP. (API)

Circular defines roles, silent on protocol

By Martin Mutua The functions of President Kibaki, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have been released in a new circular that defines the specific roles of the 40 ministries in the Grand Coalition Government.

But the circular from the Office of the President does not deal with the seniority row between the Vice-President and the Prime Minister.

It had been hoped that communication from the Presidents office would give guidelines over who is the second in command and end pecking order and protocol rows between Raila and Kalonzo in public functions.

In the document, President Kibaki is the Head of State, retains executive authority and is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, among other functions.

His duties also include organisation of Government business, appointment and terms of service for the Vice-President, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, ministers and assistant ministers.

He is also charged with the responsibility of appointing judges, permanent secretaries, ambassadors and high commissioners, among others.

But the circular is clear that the Vice-President is the principal assistant of the President and the Leader of Government Business in Parliament.

However, the circular is also clear that the Prime Minister is directly accountable to Parliament. His overall performance can only be judged by Parliament. He is in charge of coordination, supervision and execution of Government functions and affairs, including those of ministries.

Raila is also responsible for chairing Cabinet committees, public service reforms and performance contracting, the Efficiency Monitoring Unit, Inspectorate of State Corporations and any other duties as assigned by the President or under the law.

The circular ends two months of confusion and anxiety among ministers and departmental heads.

Roles of new ministries have also been spelt out. The functions of Nairobi Metropolitan Development ministry, under Mr Mutula Kilonzo, have been made distinct from those of Local Government.

Whereas the Local Government ministry, under Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi, will deal with local authorities policy, oversight management and development support to cities, municipalities, towns and county councils, the Metropolitan docket is charged with development of the Nairobi metropolitan and strategy covering several areas.

They include roads, bus and rail infrastructure for the metropolitan, efficient transport system for Nairobi and the Metropolitan and replacing slums with affordable low cost and rental houses.

The ministry is also charged with enforcing planning and zoning regulations, efficient water supply and waste management infrastructure.

Others are promoting, developing and investing in sufficient public utilities, public services and world-class infrastructure that will transform Nairobi into a global competitive city for investment and tourism.

But Local Government will be responsible for local authorities by-laws, administration of Local Government Transfer Fund, National Urban and Metropolitan Areas Development Board as well as oversight of local authorities water and sewerage companies.

The Medical Services ministry, which was hived off, together with Public Health and Sanitation, from the larger Health docket, has huge responsibilities. It is under Prof Anyang Nyongo.

Core functions

It will be in charge of the treatment and management of HIV/Aids and other sexually transmitted, maternity services, rural medical services, clinics and hospitals, registration of doctors and paramedics, nurses and midwives, the National Health of Insurance Fund and Kenya Medical Training Colleges, among others.

The new ministry of Industrialisation, under Mr Henry Kosgey, has been given separate functions from those of Trade, the docket under Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kosgeys functions are an industrialisation policy, quality control and industrial standards. Parastatals such as the Kenya Industrial Research Development, Kenya Industrial Estates, East African Portland Cement Company and Kenya Bureau of standards, among others, fall under the Industrialisation ministry.

The new ministry of Gender, Children and Social Affairs, under Ms Esther Murugi, is charged with the responsibility of setting policies on gender, children and social development.

Other functions are gender affairs and national development, the Women Enterprise Development Fund, promotion and coordination of volunteer services, social welfare for vulnerable groups, community development and programmes and institutions for childrens care and development.

The circular also defines the functions and duties of the Ministry for Justice, Constitutional Affairs and National Cohesion, under Ms Martha Karua, as distinct from those of the Attorney-Generals office.

The Ministry of Justice, Constitutional Affairs and National Cohesion, deals with legal policy, constitutional affairs, constitutional review, anti-corruption strategies, integrity and ethics, political parties, legal aid, advisory services and elections.

Other functions include Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, governance, justice, law and order coordination, human rights and social justice, Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Kenya Law Reform Commission, legal education, the Kenya School of Law and the office of the Ombudsman.

Attorney-General Amos Wako is the Chief Legal Government Adviser and in charge of prosecution, including that of the police, legislative drafting, drafting and vetting of agreements, National Crime Research Centre as well as the Kenya Copyright Board.

Registration of adoptions, books and newspapers, societies, companies and marriages, among others, are also under the AG.

The circular has the names of Kipkalya Kones, the Roads minister, and Assistant minister Lorna Laboso. The two have died in a plane crash two weeks and were buried at the weekend.

According to the document, Kenyas embassy in Seoul, South Korea, is the only one without an ambassador of the countrys 50 embassies worldwide.

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API/Standard.ke

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Young woman found dead in student housing complex

Posted by African Press International on June 26, 2008

The victim’s body was found in one of the apartments in the Anker Studentbolig complex in downtown Oslo, just across the Aker River from the popular Grnerlkka district.

Police were called to the Anker student housing complex around 1am Monday.

PHOTO: AFTENPOSTEN TV

Police have charged the victims 27-year-old husband, and issued warrants for his arrest both in Norway and internationally. He is a citizen of Ethiopia.

The 19-year-old woman was a student. She is a Norwegian citizen but has roots in Ethiopia as well.

Police withheld many details of the case, but said they found blood in the apartment that quickly led them to believe the woman was murdered. They were first summoned to the complex shortly after 1am, by an acquaintance of the woman.

Another woman living in the complex told Aftenposten.no that the murder, initially referred to as a “suspicious death,” didn’t surprise her. She said residents have been robbed in the complex “and it stinks of hash in the corridors. People sell drugs right outside.” She said she was planning to move.

Per Carlenius, managing director of the complex, was traveling in St Petersburg when he got a call about the death, and was heading back to Oslo when Aftenposten called him about 7am.

“This is very sad,” he said. “The neighbourhood has problems, but I’ve always been glad nothing serious has happened inside the complex. We work hard to avoid such things.”

POLITIET

The suspect: Kassa Yafet Gerbrevold being looked for by the Police.
He said he was most keen on finding out exactly what happened, not least to ward off concern among the roughly 1,000 students who are on a list to obtain housing in the complex this fall.

“Many students and parents around the country are wondering what happened, and whether it’s safe,” he said.

Around 1,500 students live in the complex.

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API/source.aftenposteneng

The body of the dead woman was removed early Monday.

PHOTO: SVEIN GUSTAV WILHELMSENPolice were investigating the murder of a 19-year-old woman whose body was found in a student housing complex in downtown Oslo early Monday. Her husband has been charged in the case.

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Team to probe individual accountability for Algiers terrorist attack on UN

Posted by African Press International on June 26, 2008

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Tuesday that he is setting up a group to examine whether any United Nations staff should be held individually accountable over last Decembers deadly terrorist attack on the world bodys premises in Algiers.

Mr. Ban told UN staff in a letter that he was establishing the follow- up group in response to a recommendation issued by the Independent Panel on Safety and Security of UN Personnel and Premises Worldwide, itself created in the wake of the Algiers bombings, which killed 17 staff members and targeted UN offices in the Algerian capital.

The team will work out of UN headquarters in New York and is slated to report back to Mr. Ban within six weeks.

In his letter to staff, the UN Secretary-General stressed that he has not forgotten the sacrifice of those who lost their lives in the Algerian capital, or the suffering of the many other victims or their families.

The Independent Panel, led by Lakhdar Brahimi and comprised of international experts in the field, presented its report to Mr. Ban earlier this month, and the report was released Tuesday with some redactions to avoid revealing details that may pose further threats to the personnel and premises of the organization.

The seven-member panel recommended an independent accountability procedure to consider the responsibilities of key UN staff and offices, saying such a move would help restore staff confidence and morale.

The report also calls for a review of the size of the UN staff presence and the manner in which the UN system does business given overall security considerations and the opportunities presented by modern information and communication technology.

Mr. Ban noted that the panel also underlined the importance of reflection on the larger issue of the UNs public image and what implications this has on staff security, especially in the field.

Mr. Ban also announced that Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security Sir David Veness has resigned, saying he will shoulder full responsibility for any security lapse that may have occurred concerning the Algiers attacks.

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api/apa

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Posted by African Press International on June 26, 2008

Visiting South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini on Monday toured Egypts Bibliotheca Alexandria accompanied by a high-level delegation of ten members to get acquainted with the services and activities provided by the library.

She inspected the most important features of the library such as the manuscripts museum, antiquities museum, digital lab, Planetarium Scientific Center and Hall of Explorations and Civilization\s Panorama.

The guests were briefed on the digitization of the book \”Description of Egypt\”, prepared by French scientists during the French invasion to Egypt from 1798 to 1801.

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api/apa

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Nigeria, Uganda, Burkina set to face African peer review

Posted by African Press International on June 26, 2008

The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) plans to meet on 29 June to finalize reports on the performance of Nigeria, Uganda and Burkina Faso, a reliable source told APAon Tuesday.

According to the source, Togo is expected to endorse its APRM membership, which brings to 29 the number of African countries which have agreed to submit to the Review Mechanism.

The APRM groups nearly two thirds of the African Union member states, showing that most African states want to be assessed by their peers for their economic performance and governance. Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Uganda follow six other countries which were reviewed during the January 2008 African Union summit.

African leaders commended such review which covers political progress, democratic practices, transparency, management and women issues.

The 11th African Union summit is scheduled from 30 June to 1 July in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

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api/apa

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Thabo Mbeki shuns SADC summit in Swaziland

Posted by African Press International on June 26, 2008

South African President Thabo Mbeki would not be joining a Southern African Development Community meeting on Zimbabwe reported to be taking place in Swaziland on Wednesday after a three-day similar gathering in Angola.

\”We are at home the whole day. The president is not going,\” his spokesperson Mukoni Ratshitanga said on Wednesday, adding, \”We have never received an invitation to attend the meeting. Of course, you would need an invitation to attend a meeting of an organ that you are not a member of.\”

The South Africa Broadcasting Corporation reported early Wednesday that following the Angola summit, Swaziland would host a meeting to discuss the crisis in Zimbabwe.

Ratshitanga said Mbeki would be in Cape Town on Wednesday and as far as he knew, the president had no scheduled meetings with representatives of Zimbabwe\s ruling Zanu-PF party or the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

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api/apa

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ECOWAS leaders condemn rebellions in Mali, Niger at Abuja summit

Posted by African Press International on June 26, 2008

The 10 Heads of State and representatives of governments of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in a final communiqu at the end of the 34th Ordinary Session on Tuesday in Abuja, Nigeria, condemned the continued armed attacks against legitimate security forces in the North of Mali and Niger.

They then welcomed the holding of a regional conference on the comprehensive development of the Sahel-Saharan zone.

The Summit also deplored the on-going violence in the Niger Delta region of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, expressed its solidarity with the Government and People of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and applauded the policies initiated byAlhaji Umaru Musa YarAdua for a comprehensive development of the Niger Delta region.

On the other hand, the leaders called upon the militants to desist from all acts of violence and embrace the path of dialogue and understanding to address the problems of the Niger delta area.

They noted the pending elections later this year in Cte dIvoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone, and urged for credible, transparent, free and fair elections in order to consolidate democracy and development in the region.

The leaders expressed delight at the progress made in the peace and national reconciliation process in the Republic of Cote dIvoire, with the implementation of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement on Cte dIvoire and called on the international community to continue to support the efforts in the country.

In particular, it drew attention to the funding gap that still exists for the Ivorian elections and appealed to the donor partners to provide funding urgently in order to ensure the holding of elections on 30th November 2008.

The Heads of State and Government welcomed the creation of the West African Network of Electoral Commissions, facilitated by the ECOWAS Commission and launched earlier this year in Conakry.

On the current global food crisis, the leaders noted with concern the prevailing rising cost of food prices and expressed satisfaction at efforts made individually by Member States to address this challenge.

It also commended the ECOWAS Commission for facilitating an emergency regional consultative meeting on the issue.

The next ordinary session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government will hold in December 2008 in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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api/apa

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THE KRIEGLER COMMISSION THAT IS A NATIONAL BREATHER

Posted by African Press International on June 26, 2008

Permit me to break into the residence of Mutahi Ngunyi’s in-depth political trans-reflections of our leadership and his thoughts disposed in bravery and panegyries of our current political fate.

His collateral objectivity should inspire us more to inquire about his role, as an alleged member of President Kibaki‘s advisory team, that helped sought course for the latter’s second or ‘probably’ third term in office.

Was there political advice that the Last Word columnist as a political scientist, member of a policy and security ‘think-tank’ would have transcendently provided to all PNU hardliners to counter our tribalised electoral affirmation and euphoria that seemed defeating and the aftermath they had as consequence of our self-marginalization?

Many still revere the memory of last year’s general elections and the ethnic species of subsequent violent elections since the year 2002. I remember asking myself, ‘what if Kibaki refuses to concede defeat?’.

(I later wrote on the same and was published –alternative press- a week before the elections.)

Though the Last Word columnist has great and well-hypothesized ideas, creativity and glowing imagination all Kenyans including Kibaki and Raila would, with limited options, do all it takes to make the nation stand as one.

Thus, the Kriegler Commission would never risk to bringing Kenya where it was then, around February and March. In fact what Kenyans and its leaders yearn as history is to literally ‘forget’ the painful and deadly encounters that we had, at the same time use the ‘aftermath’ as lesson for ethno-national amalgamation and political strength when it comes to leadership. All Kenyans would still stand by the arrangement facilitated by Kofi Annan and the recently amended constitution for the life of the coalition government that seems promising. Any secret deals would hold so long as we accept to live as one nation no matter our affiliate differences including ethno-party and political.

Subsequently, Raila as an independent ‘political facilitator’ lost his local opposition badge he wore prior to the elections the time he joined government and became the nation’s second Prime Minister. He has limited choice in the eyes of the International Community, that now have massive trust in him, to act as future ethnic or political party leader. Raila’s political mutation has since gone beyond our borders even as he identifies with ODM and local politics that brought him to where he is now.

On the flip side though, President Kibaki proved a ‘tamed opportunist’ of those who voted for him. I remember once equating PNU to a ‘Party with Numerous Unfoldings’. Former President Moi’s manipulative ‘strategies’ and leadership adjustments helped place Kibaki where he is now. The idea of Kibaki sticking to power seemed ‘foreign’ even as he knew that all was not well. He is keen to leave behind a memorable legacy this time round, different from what previous presidents have left. He would rather retire come 2012 than to ‘regurgitate’ the aftermath of the 2007 elections that has his political connotation, ilk, name, shadow and ‘blood’.

Lastly I wish to remind the Last Word columnist that many more car tyres were burnt in Nairobi than in Eldoret and that the Kriegler Commission is not as such, except when Eldoret is remembered in some other deadly way then, apart from athletics and farming, that is now attracting healing, reconciliation and national unity.

At least the real Kibaki has since stood up for the sake of the nation and proved to be a leader even with the challenges of the post-election aftermath that many of us are still facing.

Many call this a national breather and hope for days to come with or without Kibaki and Raila around.

Mundia Mundia Jnr.

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API

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