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Archive for July 4th, 2008

Wako team wants NSIS chief to step aside, while Kimunya prays for mercy from Kenyan rioting MPs in Nairobi streets

Posted by African Press International on July 4, 2008

Kenyan MPs yesterday rioted in Nairobi streets demanding to have Finance minister Kimunya fired by the President for his involvement in the sale of Regency Hotel. This time, the MPs did the rioting themselves. Normally they call on the members of the public to do it for them while they lunch in expensive hotels and do their own private businesses. Are they doing this because they have a grudge with the minister because he has not given them a raise? (API)

A scheduled Cabinet meeting was called off suddenly. Then the Wako Committee summoned the National Security Intelligence Service chief and grilled him for hours before returning the same verdict: He should step aside.

On the streets of Nairobi and Mombasa, teargas was thrown to disperse protesting university students and civil society members as the push for the resignation of officials linked to the sale of Grand Regency Hotel went a notch higher. Three protesters were arrested and locked up.

The committee met the Intelligence chief and he denied intimidating or threatening any official over the sale of the Grand Regency hotel.

He is accused of being the one who brokered a meeting between the hotel owners and Central Bank.

Sources said he the earlier recommendation that he steps aside for investigation still stood.

It was also a day when protests calling for Kimunyas resignation or sacking intensified in Nairobi and Mombasa and were dispersed by the police. Religious groups, students and professional organisations also added their voice.

Leaders in central Kenya, MPs and former legislators, also told Kimunya to throw in the towel.

A flurry of meetings also took place: By the Cabinet sub-committee appointed by Prime Minister Raila Odinga and the Wako committee investigating the controversial sale of the hotel.

Members of Parliament march in the streets of Nairobi to push for the resignation of Finance minister Amos Kimunya over the controversial sale of Grand Regency Hotel to the Libya Arab African Investment Company (K) Ltd. Last night, a defiant Kimunya was insisting he would not quit.Picture by Stafford Ondego

However, an expected Cabinet meeting did not take place and State House explained that it was postponed because the President had a busy schedule.

Kibaki was expected to chair the much-awaited Cabinet meeting where Kimunyas fate was to be decided.

Director of the Presidential Press Service Isaiah Kabira said on the telephone: “The President has merely postponed the Cabinet meeting, but did not cancel it as such. A new date will be fixed soon.”

But other sources said the meeting was postponed due to discordant voices and divergent positions taken by some ministers over Kimunyas action over the Grand Regency.

Divided cabinet

Ministers who talked to The Standard said Kibaki could not chair a divided Cabinet in which ministers had taken positions against a colleague.

Sources said that soon after the censure Motion against Kimunya on Wednesday evening, some ministers, mainly on the PNU side, met to strategise how to save the minister.

“Some met late into the night and it was agreed that those willing to stand by Kimunya convince the Cabinet, and the President in particular, that the deal was in good faith and for the interest of the country,” said a source.

“If the plan worked, the Cabinet would have issued a statement rendering Parliaments censure irrelevant and giving the President grounds to retain the Finance minister,” said another minister.

However, the plan, the sources added, did not work because some ministers stood their ground and promised to table more evidence before the President and the entire Cabinet to support Parliament that Kimunya was the wrong person at the Treasury.

“Those against Kimunya were prepared to produce dossier that would have instantly compelled the President to ask Kimunya to step aside,” said the sources.

It was after he was briefed over the opposing views in the Cabinet that the President decided to postpone the meeting through Head of the Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Muthaura.

Wildlife and Forestry ministry Noah Wekesa said he received a call from his office that the meeting had been cancelled.

But he said many things could have led to the cancellation.

Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua told journalists at his weekly briefing that the President had a busy schedule in the morning.

“It is the prerogative of the President to call Cabinet meetings or reschedule them. He had a very busy morning and this afternoon (yesterday), he is scheduled to meet a group of Democrats from the US,” said Dr Mutua.

Mutua also announced that the Government had registered a caveat on the land on which the Grand Regency stands to protect the property until investigation was completed.

I am clean

Meanwhile, a defiant Kimunya said he was not in a hurry to resign even as protests raged in the city and Mombasa.

“I am not resigning,” the minister said curtly when reached on the telephone.

He was waiting for the outcome of investigation by the Cabinet sub-committee. Kimunya insisted that he was clean and his accusers must prove him otherwise.

“Where is the evidence that the hotel was sold at the figures being widely claimed? My hands are clean. All my accusers are not pointing to any truth. All relevant offices were aware of this deal,” he said.

Kimunya said he was consulting friends and close confidants over the matter before issuing a statement.

“I am very okay and my conscience is clear. This is political propaganda, but the truth will finally come out,” he said.

Speaking to the Press, Raila said the Grand Coalition Government had no room for corruption, adding that Kimunya was in office until he resigned or was sacked by the President.

He directed Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission Director Aaron Ringera to re-open corruption cases related to Goldenberg.

But pressure continued to mount, with religious leaders and professional organisations calling for Kimunyas sacking.

MPs from central Kenya told the minister to step down to avoid further humiliation and embarrassment should the President finally decide to relieve him of his duties.

Members of the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) called on Kibaki to act tough on corruption. They called on those adversely implicated in the saga to step aside for investigation.

“We cannot really say whether Kimunya should be censured or not since we are not privy to all details. But we support a community (East African) that is free of corruption,” said Mr Otieno Karan on behalf of the legislators.

“All those mentioned in corrupt deals should step aside to allow full investigation just as it happens in neighbouring countries.

“We see that in Tanzania. Anybody mentioned in corruption steps aside. We want a similar situation in Kenya,” he said.

The Parliamentary Committee on Security added its voice to the saga and called on the Government to investigate whether the minister had acted with social and financial propriety.

The controversy over the hotel took a different turn when one of the two former receiver-managers went to court seeking to stop the sale.

Mr Hezekiah Gichohi is demanding more than Sh34 million which he claims the Grand Regency owed him before he was removed in April when the hotel was handed back to Central Bank.

He sued Uhuru Highway Development Company, the Central Bank and Libyan Arab African Investment, the company that is said to have bought the hotel.

Gichohi was appointed by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission as receiver-manager in June, 2003, while Mr Peter Ndaa was picked by Uhuru Highway Development.



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The historical gem of Rusinga Island

Posted by African Press International on July 4, 2008

By Harold AyodoA bloodstained brief case sits on a slab at the Tom Mboya Mausoleum in Rusinga Island, a stark reminder of his murder 39 years ago.

This was the briefcase Mboya had when he was shot. The burial chamber, constructed in 1971, is the shape of the silver bullet believed to have ended the life of the former Cabinet minister.

The black flywhisk the youngest minister in the first Cabinet of 27 after independence carried to political functions is also displayed in the mausoleum.

Mboyas briefcase which is popular with visitors.

“Go and fight like this man who fought for mankinds cause who died because he fought whose battles are still known,” reads an inscription on the marble grave.

The national flag that draped the casket is also tacked in the mausoleum. Also on display is a certificate that made Mboya an honorary citizen of the Kansas City in the US in 1966.

“US ambassador Michael Rannerberger was here recently

Mboyas Mausoleum in Rusinga Island has become a historical site. It was built two years after his death. Picture by Titus Munala

and was so impressed by the certificate that he donated a clock to be hanged next to it,” says Paul Ndiege, 28, the caretaker of the mausoleum. He adds that several tourists visit the site in Lwanda village, Kamsengre, Rusinga West location, annually.

“Visitors come here for many reasons some, like scholars and authors, come for research on TJs life, while others just for social and historical reasons,” says Ndiege.

Ndiege says the dark green suitcase that the minister carried when he was assassinated on a Saturday afternoon on July 5, 1969, interests 99 per cent of visitors.

“Many are amazed that the bloodstained brief case is still intact it is the most photographed item in the mausoleum,” says Ndiege.

The condolence book signed on the day Mboya was buried in his fathers compound 39 years ago is also among the highly valued items.

Tourist attraction

Also preserved for posterity is the black nameplate, a souvenir from the Chinese Government, that stood on the ministers desk. Several flags of the countries he visited and whose leaders paid him a courtesy call are hoisted in the burial chamber.

“People also have a lot of interest on the Bible with the holy water on top, which Mboya was given as a souvenir when on honeymoon in Israel in 1962,” says Ndiege.

The manicured mausoleum, which the Government recently expressed interest to take over as a museum, could pass as a pre-independence library.

Books and laminated newspaper cuttings on the struggles for independence and the role Mboya played are at the entrance.

“Several researchers travel from several corners of the world to dig information on pre-independence most of which are on books written on Mboya,” says Ndiege.



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How Mboya fought back but lost the battle

Posted by African Press International on July 4, 2008

By Peter OrengoIn this second installation on the life and times of Tom Mboya, we revisits the intrigues in the first post-colonial Cabinet that primed the former minister for an early grave.

A serious ethnic power game and a premature Kenyatta succession battle erupted towards the close of the 1960s, providing a fertile ground anyone could use to hatch an assassination plot, The Standard can reveal.

This played out beneath the popularity and growing stature of Thomas Joseph Mboya, who was shot dead by a lone gunman on July 5, 1969, 39 years tomorrow. The killing bore all the hallmarks of a political assassination.

On June 4 1964, Kenyatta received a letter from the Office of the President minister Mbiyu Koinange about an East Africa Federation meeting that the minister did not attend in Kampala, Uganda.

Koinange was responding to an earlier letter by Mboya, the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs.

President Kenyatta (front row, fourth from right) with some of the members of the first post-colonial Cabinet.

In the two-paragraph letter, Koinange pledged and reiterated his personal loyalty to Kenyatta and questioned Mboyas intention in questioning his absence from the meeting.

Koinange wrote: “Sir, you know of my loyalty to you personally, to our Kanu party; of my long loyalty to Kenya and latterly my loyalty for our new independence Council of Ministers.

“I frankly feel there is no need for me to reply to Mr Mboyas letter. It is unfortunate, ill-timed, egoistic and, if I may say so, an irresponsible letter skilfully designed by one of my colleagues to endanger the good working spirit among us.”

Mboya responded 10 days later: “It is with reluctance that I feel I must write in response to Mr Koinanges letter to you dated June 4 on the subject of the working party meeting held recently in Kampala, which he failed to attend.”

He went ahead and derided Koinange: “We waited for Mr Koinange for more than three hours, but he made no effort to send a message about his illness.

“With regard to Mr Koinanges loyalty and his attitude to federation, this is really his own problem and has nothing to do with me, or the letter I wrote you.”

Mboya went on to say Koinange should contact him for discussion instead of reporting the matter to Kenyatta.

Two years later, the two leaders traded accusations, this time corresponding between themselves, on protocol and consultation. A December 16 1967 letter by Koinange reads in part: “His Excellency the President, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, appointed the Hon Joseph Murumbi, the Vice-President, to preside over meetings of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Protocol wars

“It is out of place for you to have suggested that our colleague, the Minister for Finance, the Hon JS Gichuru, should arrange for a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee members to be held in (his) Conference Room And that he should convene a meeting of all ministers under (his) chairmanship. This definitely interferes with the appointment made by the President and should, therefore, be void.”

Mboyas reply was strong and full of innuendos: “I must confess that I am a bit at a loss as regards the comments that you made. I never intended to suggest that he (Gichuru) should take over the management of the Foreign Affairs Committee All I said was that he should facilitate the convening of such a meeting so that these matters (ministers conditions of service) can be resolved.”

Mboya said his personal feeling and duty were to communicate to his colleagues ideas he came across in his travels outside or inside Kenya.

To him, this did not mean interfering with the portfolio of another minister.

“I regret that you should have read anything in my letter which should in any way mean that I thought that Mr Murumbi was no longer responsible for his duties.” He added: “Interpretations which you somehow manage to read into the letters! Perhaps the best thing in communicating with fellow ministers is not through letters, but by discussing problems together.”

The Odinga factor

While the Mboya-Koinage wars were raging on, Jaramogi Oginga Odingas Kenya Peoples Union (KPU) was plotting how to cut down his popularity. This came in the form of a Motion in July 1967 by Mr Oduya Oprong to censure Mboya for allegedly being a CIA agent.

Oprong, born in 1936 and a former Assistant minister and MP for Amagoro, was among politicians who joined Odinga to press for the release of Kenyatta and others from detention before independence.

The Motion was overwhelmingly defeated, and Mboya wrote two letters, one to the Press and another to Kanu members. Mboya termed the evidence tabled in the House as “a discredited attempt at reviving forgeries of 1959”, which he had fought in 1960.

He said it was a poor attempt by the opposition (KPU) to use a book, CIA and American Labour, which merely quoted from another document to smear him.

He said: “This is a case of one being declared guilty by association. The fact that some American trade unionists may be proved to have been associated with the CIA does not lead to the conclusion that anyone or an organisation from Africa who had any contact with American trade unions is a CIA agent.”

Mboya wondered why the Motion was tabled weeks after a Chinese paper attacked his character. To him, this was a campaign designed to sow seeds of suspicion and confusion among MPs and Kenyans.

He called on everyone to be vigilant, since masters behind these activities do not give up easily. He also added that “during Kenyas struggle for independence, we had to seek many friends and assistance from countries around the world”.

Mboya probably made things worse for himself by the clinical and ruthless methods to consign his nemesis, Odinga, to political oblivion. Mboya played a key part in watering down the Independence Constitution to concentrate powers in the presidency.

The manoeuvres did not stop with the Constitution. For instance, Mboya proposed a new Kanu structure in which the party would have eight vice-presidents, one from each of the countrys eight province.

This amendment sailed through and effectively wiped out the power base of Odinga, then the party vice-president. Jaramogi resigned. But Mboyas craftiness did not end there.

Rogue tactics

He led the first-ever delegation of Luo elders, businessmen and intellectuals to visit Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi. A memorandum was presented to the president assuring him of their loyalty to his leadership.

“There are too many careless and reckless statements abroad and here, branding all Luos supporters of KPU and hence anti-Government. What you see here, your Excellency, are the true leaders of the Luo,” Mboya said.

Another constitutional amendment, this time in Parliament, requiring that any candidate who changed political parties seek fresh mandate from the people, swiftly sailed through.

Many people believed that Mboya was being groomed by Kenyatta as a potential successor, a possibility that worried the ruling elite. When Mboya suggested in Parliament that a number of Kikuyu politicians, including members of Kenyattas extended family, were enriching themselves at the expense of other Kenyans, the situation became highly charged.

On July 5 1969, Mboya was slain and the assassin was Kikuyu. This pushed animosity between the Kikuyu and Luo to a new high.

Allegations linking the assassin to prominent Government officials were dismissed, and in the ensuing political turmoil, Kenyatta banned the opposition party, KPU, and arrested Odinga, the leader.



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Raila says he has a cabinet sub-committee to look into Regency hotel scandal – Mutua says no such a thing is on

Posted by African Press International on July 4, 2008

Who should we believe? Raila the PM or the government spokeman? Raila says he has appointed a committee who he says has come with a recommendation for the Finance minister Kimunya to step aside. Now Mutua says there is no such a report. Kibaki was to chair a meeting to discus Kimunya. Raila had told the media that a cabinet meeting was to discus a report that he had recveived from a committee he had formed.

It now seems that Raila does not coordinate with the government spokesman. Who is right?. (API)


The attention of Government has been drawn to media reports about a technical committee of Cabinet having issued a report. Government would like to inform the public that the report has neither reached the Cabinet nor has it received Cabinet attention.

Meanwhile, in view of the enormity of the matter concerning the Grand Regency Hotel, the Government has registered a caveat against the title to protect the property until the Government finalizes on the issues which have arisen in regard to the sale transaction of the property.

The Government will ensure that these issues will not in any way affect our very good relations with the Peoples Libyan Arab Republic.

Dr. Alfred N. Mutua, EBS

3 July 2008

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ICC orders release of Lubanga

Posted by African Press International on July 4, 2008

by Sebastiaan Gottlieb*

If and when he is finally released, Lubanga will initially have to remain in the Netherlands. The United Nations has imposed a travel ban on the former militia leader and he has no official travel documents. A country will subsequently have to be found which is prepared to receive and house him.

Fair trial
Lubanga’s release has provoked strong reactions. The Coalition for the ICC, an association of human rights organisations, called the decision a major blow for the people in Congo who worked to get Lubanga put on trial. However, the coalition’s chairman, William Pace, points out that the ruling at least shows the ICC judges are determined to meet the high standards demanded of a fair trial. “The publishing and sharing of evidence is one of the most problematic aspects of international justice. The independence of the judges is the most important factor affecting the level of international support for the Court.”

The international human rights organisation WITNESS said the release was extremely disturbing and that it was incomprehensible for all the people who have risked their lives to testify against Lubanga and that it was incomprehensible that the court was incapable of obtaining justice for the thousands of children abused as child soldiers.

Lubanga’s progress at the court is also being followed avidly by interested parties in Congo. Lubanga’s victims and those who were ready to give evidence against him are afraid of reprisals if he is freed. His supporters and the children who fought in his militia will regard Lubanga’s release as legitimising the brutal conflict in which they were involved in Uturi, the eastern province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The ICC’s chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo is one of the prominent guests today at the celebrations for the anniversary of the Rome Statute. For him and the other guests, the judges’ decision to abandon the first case to be tried by the Court and to release Lubanga must have been a painful one. It is bound to put a damper on the celebrations.



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Ecowas meets on conflict, peace-building

Posted by African Press International on July 4, 2008

(By Mohammed Legally-Cole)

A four-day Zonal Strategic Planning Meeting on Conflict Prevention and Peace-building, organised by the Ecowas Commission, kicked-off yesterday, at the Jerma Beach Hotel, Kololi.

The meeting seeks to strategize and plan the bottom-up approach to conflict prevention and peace-building. It was also designed to reflect and take practical steps towards consolidating human security in West Africa.

The meeting came barely a year after the first major consultative meeting on the draft Ecowas Conflict Prevention Framework, which took place in Banjul.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr Abdel Fattah Musa, conflict prevention adviser to the Ecowas President, said the 2007 draft Ecowas Conflict Prevention Framework serves as a tool to facilitate cooperation between Ecowas institutions and organs, member states, civil society and external partners. In this collaboration, he continued, challenges of the intermediate and root causes of human insecurity and conflicts in the sub-region would be addressed.

“In January, this year, Ecowas member states adopted the conflict prevention framework at their summit in Ouagadougou. Over the years, Ecowas has amply demonstrated its status as a continental trailblazer in interventions to stop violent conflicts and to build peace. The Gambia is an example to all as a willing troop contributor in this regard, whether in the sub-region or beyond,” he said.

According to Dr Musa, containment of conflict is not enough, as the sub-regional body is often constrained in its actions in circumstances of so-called “local conflicts”.

Several local conflicts have been festering in the region, while new ones are emerging. They [the people] need concrete solidarity and support in their efforts. We are gathered here to further strengthen synergy between member states, civil society and Ecowas resources on the ground, in order to accompany and complement the tireless efforts of our member states to resolve lingering local conflicts such as in Casamance, the Yenga dispute, the Niger Delta, northern Ghana, Mali and Niger, he emphasised.

In her keynote address, Naffie Barry, the deputy permanent secretary at the Department of State for Trade, Industry and Employment, who delivered a statement on behalf of SoS Abdou Colley, said Ecowas member-states cannot achieve their objectives without collective collaboration with key stakeholders.

“Sustainable peace can only be forged, when the people unite, as it is a prerequisite to good governance and development, Ms Barry noted.

Speaking earlier, Afi Yakubu of Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FSDA), expressed gratitude to the Ecowas Commission for its foresight and leadership, which has created the necessary space for more engagement.

“Across the West African sub-region today, we have come to realise that our governments need the input of civil society to grow in as much as civil society can play complementary roles. A strong civil society reflects a strong government and the opposite is true. That is why we place a great premium on this Ecowas Zonal Strategic meeting on conflict prevention and peace-building,” she said..

Other speakers at the ceremony included Moussa Dabal, zonal bureau head and Carlos Salsamendi, the Cuban ambassador to The Gambia. The meeting is being attended by the 16 representatives from Ecowas member countries.



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196 members of The Gambia Armed Forces leave for Darfur

Posted by African Press International on July 4, 2008

(By Mohammed Legally-Cole)

The seventh Gambian contingent (GAMCOY 7), comprising 196 members of the Gambia Armed Forces, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Sainey Bayo, left Gambian soil at 5:00 am this morning June 1st, 2008 for the Sudanese troubled region of Darfur. This latest contingent includes five female soldiers and this contingent will replace Gamcoy 6, whose tour of duty has been successfully completed, following their deployment in December, 2007.

Shortly before their departure, Vice-President Dr Haja Isatou Njie-Saidy bade farewell to the contingent on behalf of the President Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh. Gathered at the July 22nd Square were Ex-president, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, secretaries of state, Major General Lang Tombong Tamba, the chief of Defence Staff of GAF, security chiefs, NAMs, foreign diplomats, families, friends and well wishers bade farewell to the soldiers.

Delivering a farewell statement, Vice-President Njie-Saidy, said a quick solution to the conflict in Darfur has not readily come to hand, inspite of the sustained international peace efforts. However, she maintained that there is no reason to despair.

In this regard, my government’s commitment to fulfill its obligations to the charter and principles of the AU/UN, and the Gambia Armed Forces readiness to participate in peacekeeping endeavours, has been relentless. This trend will continue until peace is achieved and normalcy finally restored in this troubled region, VP Njie-Saidy told the officers and men of GAMCOY 7.

In this context, your role in this humanitarian endeavours is of great significance and importance, as you will not only ensure the security and freedom of movement of the people in your area of responsibility, but your presence will also bring hope to a people who have been greatly deprived of their fundamental rights and freedoms as human beings, she highlighted. The vice-president also advised the contingent to take every precaution to protect themselves from all ills not associated with active duty, especially communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

I have no doubt in my mind that the training that you had undergone, has raised your awareness and enhanced your understanding of the risks and challenges that you will be encountering in the mission area. The nation has confidence in your capabilities and self-esteem, she said, added that On this note, I wish to bid you farewell and pray that Almighty God protects and guide you all, she concluded.

For his part, Major General Lang Tombong Tamba, the chief of Defence Staff of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), said history is being made as GAF recounts with great pride the numerous achievements that it has made in mission areas since 1989, when troops, as protection force, were deployed in military operations in Liberia and subsequently Guinea Bissau in 1999, Liberia for a second time in 2003 and now Darfur.
Major General Tamba revealed that currently, there are 232 Gambian officers and soldiers serving overseas, adding that this represents a huge contribution to peacekeeping efforts by the country. CDS Tamba also extended his compliments on behalf of the president and commander-in-chief of the Gambia Armed Forces, to the government and people of UK, the Republic of France, Turkey, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the United States of America, Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Republic of China on Taiwan and all others, for their diverse contribution towards the advancement of The Gambia Armed Forces. He urged the contingent to maintain peace and perform up to expectation.



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Libya Oil Holdings given go ahead to purchase Kenya Petroleum Refinery shares

Posted by African Press International on July 4, 2008

By Leo Odera Omolo

Reports appearing in the local media indicated that the Kenya Government has finally given Libya Oil Holdings Ltd the go ahead to purchase 50% share of the Mombasa based Kenya Petroleum Refinery Ltd.

It introduced a new twist to battle for the control of the refinery that has pitted the Libyan against Indian conglomerate Essar Group.

The Libyan will be purchasing shares hitherto owned by three European multi-nationals-Shell International Petroleum Ltd, BP Africa Ltd and Chevron Global Energy Inc.

On paper, the arrangement is that the Indians will be accommodated by being offered shares in the Company once the Libyans seal the deal with the three multinationals.

As a matter of facts, the government has had discussions with both the Libyan and the Indians and agreed on an arrangement where the Indians will be accommodated.

According to the latest edition of the Nairobi WEEKLY publication the EASTAFRICAN, whichever way one looks at it, the Indians have been snookered over that deal. Once the Libyans sign a deal with Europeans multinationals, the Indian will have to rely on the benevolence of the former to accommodate them.

The Influential WEEKLY quoted sources at the Treasury as trying to persuade the parties to sign a written document committing them to agree to the accommodation arrangement.

The transaction has been conducted against the background of intense lobbying by influential agents representing the two investors.

At one point, it appeared that the Indian would clinch the deal, especially after they emerged top in the tender floated by shell, Chevron and BP paving the way for the signing of a sale and purchase agreement between the parties.

As Indians waited for the government to waive its pre-empting rights and consummate the deal with the multinationals, the government asked for time to seek an alternative offer for the Libyans.

But on January 29, the Libyans wrote to the Ministry of Energy, declining to respond to the offer on the grounds that the offer the Ministry was giving them was a breach of memorandum of understanding signed between the government of Kenya and Libyan in June last year.

On February 2, they wrote a letter to Finance Minister Amos Kimunya protesting the delay in getting the waiver of pre-emption rights by the government.

we find it difficult to understand the reason for the government needing a further extension of time. We will reluctantly agree to a further extension only until March 14th, said a spokesman of the multinational Companies.

At that stage, the excuse by the government was that they needed to do a due diligence on the Indian Group.



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UN lines up names for possible replacement of Mbeki as Zimbabwe mediator

Posted by African Press International on July 4, 2008

Pressure is building up for the key role of mediating into the prevailing crisis in Zimbabwe to be taken out of the hands of the South African Thabo Mbeki, after the United Nations lined up names Wednesday night in what European Union diplomatic sources tagged as a move to oust Robert Mugabe.

President Mbeki’s soft approach towards Mugabe has been condemned worldwide; amid mounting frustration with the failure of the past and current mediation efforts in the Southern African nation.

Now the UN is considering a shortlist of leading African politicians, including the former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, to help negotiate a political settlement in the country.

Other possible mediators on the UN list include the former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo; the former President of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano; and President John Kufuor of Ghana.

Diplomats said the UN, alongside the United States, are championing the push for greater involvement; aimed at ensuring that Mugabe and other ring-leaders of election abuses in Zimbabwe be slapped with a worldwide travel ban and the freezing of their assets.

A cross section of Western governments had expressed shock that during the African Union (AU) summit in Egypt, the AU leadership stopped short of condemning the fraudulent re-election of Mugabe, even as the African body approved a resolution calling on the Zimbabwean leader to negotiate with the opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who pulled out of the run-off poll after a campaign of violence against him and his supporters.

Though Mbeki has dispatched some of his closest advisers to Harare to push for talks, South Africa has yet to recognise Mugabe’s re-election but has distanced itself from the European Union’s condemnation of the poll.

Observers believed that Mugabe, who has frequently pulled the wool over the eyes of Mr Mbeki, will have a harder time from a United Nations or African Union-led team.

Officials said Thursday that the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, plans to discuss the possible appointment of a new mediator with Mbeki when both men meet in Japan next week for the G8 summit.

The UN boss will also consult Jakaya Kikwete, the Tanzanian President and current AU chairman.

As the search for Mbeki’s replacement intensifies US diplomats across Africa and overseas circulate a proposed blacklist of 12 names as an annexe to a proposed resolution that would take the symbolic step of imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe for the first time since independence in 1980.



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