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Archive for July 5th, 2008

Mwanawasa: Confusion as Zambia denies reports of leader’s death

Posted by African Press International on July 5, 2008

Confusion surrounded the health of the Zambian president, Levy Mwanawasa, yesterday when his government denied reports that he had died in a Paris military hospital after suffering a stroke.

A well-respected South African radio station, Talk Radio 702, first reported that Mwanawasa, 59, was dead, quoting a spokesman for the Zambian high commission as saying that he had “passed on this morning”. The South African president, Thabo Mbeki, received separate confirmation of Mwanawasa’s death, and announced a minute’s silence during a ceremony in Pretoria to mourn victims of the recent xenophobic attacks.

As news agencies flashed the report around the world, tributes began to pour in for Mwanawasa, who was rushed to hospital on Sunday during an African Union summit in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Mwanawasa’s entry on Wikipedia was even amended to show that he was deceased.

However, nobody in France or Zambia had confirmed that Mwanawasa was indeed dead. French government and hospital officials referred all enquiries to Zambia, where information minister Mike Mulongoti soon appeared on state television and radio saying that Mwanawasa was in intensive care, but “making steady progress”. He said the person who spoke to Talk Radio 702 did not work for the Zambian high commission, and accused the South African media of “causing anguish and pain to the Zambian people”. Vice-president Rupiah Banda later issued a government statement saying that the president was “stable” and receiving treatment for hypertension.

Mwanawasa became president in 2001 after defeating the incumbent Frederick Chiluba. He won a second term in 2006, shortly after suffering a mild stroke that required treatment in the UK. He is popular at home and abroad, and had been expected to take the lead in censuring Robert Mugabe during the African Union summit.

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API/The guardian.UK

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LET ODM TAKE THE FINANCE MINISTRY DOCKET

Posted by African Press International on July 5, 2008

Dear Aboge,

There is no such thing as power sharing, the government is PNU and PNU is the government, how can u talk of 50 to 50 yet me and you we know that Raila neither the ODM can make a decision without consulting Kibaki [PNU]

A recent example is the Grand Regency, a cabinet meeting is called , it is put off, kimunya rashes to state hse to meet kibaki and may be kibaki was not alone, the likes of Martha karua, saitoti, muthaura, were there, and we still call this power sharing NO, PNU and Kibaki are in control 100.1%.

Let ODM and RAILA enjoy there time for now until we get liberated other wise, lets keep watch and put down our notes for future reference cos there is no day Hon Raila will stand up by him self and make decision compared to kibaki who will never consult Raila on decision making he does it him self .

Talking of Finance ministry, and security, DAY DREAMING, PNU would rather give ODM all other ministries and remain with the two, they steal the money and use the force to block you, simple.

By Simwa, Victor

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API

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The International Best Interests of the Child and US Child Welfare Industry Hypocrisy

Posted by African Press International on July 5, 2008

Send by Catherine Mills

The phrase “best interests of the child” is a cornerstone of American legal jurisprudence concerning children and children’s rights.
Surprisingly, or perhaps not surprisingly, this fundamental concept is not limited to the United States or other common law countries.

A recent lecture by Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, entitled The Best Interests of the Child – what it means and what it demands from adults, discusses this idea from a European and international human rights perspective as established in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Here are some excerpts:

The idea that society should respect the best interests of the child is seen as fundamental in all cultures.

After all, children do symbolize the survival of the family, the group, the nation and even humanity itself.

From the very first draft of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child . . . it was clear that the principle of the ‘best interests’ should be included and given a prominent position.

The 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child had in fact already evoked the principle, stating that ‘the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration’ in the enactment of laws relating to children, as well as ‘the guiding principle of those responsible for (the child’s) education and guidance’.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child extends the principle to cover all decisions affecting the child.

This is a radical departure.

The best interests of the child shall now be a primary consideration in all actions concerning children – not just actions taken by the state authorities, parliamentary assemblies and judicial bodies but also those taken by relevant private institutions.

The drafters of the Convention not only widened the scope of the principle, but they also made it one of the ‘umbrella’ provisions and thereby important for the overall framework of the Convention.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has taken the principle one step further, defining the best interests of the child as a ‘general principle’ guiding the interpretation of the entire Convention.

Governments – or individual adults – have sometimes misused the ‘best interests of the child’ to justify actions that in reality have violated the rights of the child.

Corporal punishment has been defended with the argument that it teaches children necessary limits and is therefore for their own good in the long run.

Adopted children have been prevented from knowing their biological family ‘in their own interests’.

Children of indigenous peoples have been forcefully removed from their families and placed in boarding schools so that they could be introduced to ‘civilization’, again in the name of their ‘best interests’.

Though necessarily general and incomplete, a reasonable first building block towards the definition of what is in the best interests of the child is the sum total of the norms in the Convention.

This means, for example, that it is in the best interests of the child to: receive education (Art. 28); have family relations (Art. 8); know and be cared for by his or her parents (Art. 7); be heard in matters concerning him or her (Art. 12), and to be respected and seen as an individual person (Art. 16). In the same way, the Convention states what is not in the best interests of the child: for instance, to be exposed to any form of violence (Art. 19); to be wrongly separated from his or her parents (Art. 9); to be subjected to any traditional practices prejudicial to the child’s health (Art. 24); to perform any work that is hazardous or harmful (Art. 32), or to be otherwise exploited or abused (Arts. 33-36).

There is another important aspect of the Convention that is relevant to this discussion: the emphasis on respecting the evolving capacities of the child.

For the best interests of the child to be determined, it is important that the child himself or herself be heard.

With increased age and maturity, the child should be able to influence and decide more.

This obvious point is often forgotten.

Adults tend to discuss what is best for children without seeking their opinions or even listening to them.

Article 12 states that the child who is capable of forming an opinion on matters affecting him or her has the right to express that opinion freely and that the child’s opinion should be given due weight in accordance with his or her age and maturity.

This approach does not necessarily mean that the child can take complete responsibility for the decision.

The spirit of Article 12 is rather to ensure consultation and growing participation than to relinquish all power to the child.

The Convention as a whole gives pointers as to what is good for the child. It also requires that the child be heard and that his or her opinions be taken seriously.

When considering decisions that are likely to affect a child or children considerably, decision makers should always systematically attempt to assess and evaluate the consequences of the proposed action. . . . it is important that children be heard whenever possible, and that their opinions be sought before the final decision is taken.

Children are not the people of tomorrow, but are people of today.

They have a right to be taken seriously, and to be treated with tenderness and respect.

They should be allowed to grow into whoever they were meant to be – the unknown person inside each of them is our hope for the future.

The United States is the only country in the world (except Somalia which has no functioning government) which has not ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
This alone should be an enduring mark of shame for every child advocate, social worker, children’s lawyer, CASA, juvenile court judge, local/state/federal child welfare bureaucrat, the NACC, ABA Center on Children and the Law, and even your humble blogger.
With the coming election and new president, regardless of party, let’s re-dedicate ourselves to passing this UNIVERSAL document dedicated to the rights of the child.




Justice Must Be Seen, To Be Done.

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API

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How much did Kibaki loose in the Anglo-leasing scandle?.

Posted by African Press International on July 5, 2008

Kenyans,

It looks that in Kenya now there are only peace keepers, but NO peace keeping at all.

Raila has joined Kibaki in peace keeping and has told the public to be patient. The question is: does Kibaki have anything to lose in this scandle?. How much did Kibaki loose in the Anglo-leasing scandle?. Almost nothing since he is still the president of Kenya even today. To Raila the case is not the same, when it comes to corruption, stealing of the tax payers money, he Raila should go public and demand Kimunya`s resignation. This Raila should do even if Kibaki is against it or NOT. For Raila to get another sympathy from the international community, the Diaspora, USA, EU, he should show a different leadership from Kibaki, otherwise he will be sharing the same feathers with thieves. Kibaki is not seeking a third term in 2012 but Raila will still be needing voters and perhaps international community support.

Another point is Raila and Kibaki are now holding the country at a very bad stage, the donors, investors are very much now watching, reading all the informations from Kenya about this scandle and how it is being handled. The genue investors or foreign donors are not going to do any genue business with Amos Kimunya. No donors are going to channel their money to Kenyan finance minister if this scandle is not delt with properly.

Last question: Is Kimunya secretely bringing Kenyan money they stole and banked abroad to buy almost all the government properties before 2012 election or what?.And why is Kibaki silent about Amos Kimunya?. Is this a new mafia GEMA has planned to do prior 2012 election so that who ever gets presidency will 100% depend on the GEMA for survival even if one of them is not the president?. I would advice clear thinking Kenyans not to take this scandle as an easy one or like Anglo-leasing. This might be a very big heavy planned economic coupe. They are even selling Oil Refinary and a lot other government firms to the so called Libyan company does n`t this ring a bell or not?.

By Paul Nyandoto
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API

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Lifting the lid – Kenya politics

Posted by African Press International on July 5, 2008

When the Hon James Orengo lifted the lead on the sale of Grand Regency Hotel, Kimunya’s first response was that this was a deal signed between President Kibaki and President Gaddaffi of Libya.

This was truly telling as Kimunya immediately removed the hang man’s noose from his neck, and firmly placed it on the Presidents neck.

Several days down the line, his storyline is changing. First, he denied the involvement of the President and that of Libya. Then, he is now bringing in the name of the Prime Minister. Can this be true?

If this is indeed true, why did he not come out with all the facts at the first instance when he mentioned President Kibaki? Could this have been an after thought to malign and besmirch the name of the Prime Minister?

Be that as it may, this thing stinks, and Kimunya should resign immediately.

He is saying that no one has come up with anything tangible that can compell him to resign. I wonder what type of skin this guy has, for there are several issues with all his 10 fingers of corruption on;
1] He did not advertise the Hotel for sale as is by law required.
2] He did not invite competitive bids from any interested parties.
3] He transacted this sale behind the backs of the Legal Advisor to the Government
4] He did not bring this issue before the cabinet.
5] He pretended to grant amnesty to one Kamlesh Pattni.
6] He undervalued the Hotel
7] ……….

Secondly, his other dealings with De La Rue, Safaricom, Telkom, Kenren, Anglo Leasing payments, etc are all wanting. If these are not as serious for Kimunya, then nothing will ever be.

For the sake of his family, his wife, his daughter, his father, his mother, and his friends, he should resign now.

Odhiambo T Oketch
Komarock Nairobi

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API

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