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Archive for July 25th, 2008

Kenya: Comedian or minister: Could the real Kajwang stand up!

Posted by African Press International on July 25, 2008

By Macharia Gaithoe – mail the author

PostedWednesday, July 232008at08:49

In Summary

Kajwang antics, Defends self against accusations over improper issuance of work permits

I LAUGHED TO TEARS WATCHING on TV last week Immigration minister Otieno Kajwang display his talents as a comic.

The minister had called a press conference to defend himself against allegations of impropriety in the issuing of work permits and citizenship papers, but no hard questions were asked because he had everyone, among the assembled journalists rolling with laughter.

Clearly, if those agitating for his removal as a minister are successful, Mr Kajwang will have no trouble getting a slot as TV comedian.

The eternal Ojwang is getting on in years and the most obvious successor is idling his natural talents away in politics while he would be much more useful getting the whole nation laughing.

You just have to see the range of facial expressions, the variety of accents and the jokes delivered with aplomb and precision to recognise a star in the making.

If Mr Kajwang opts to do a Kimunya and step aside not resign, mind you pending investigations into whatever crime he is accused of, the entertainment world beckons.

Since it is unlikely he will go back to his former profession as a lawyer, I would imagine rival TV stations, particularly those that are in serious need of developing original content and get us away from mind-numbing Mexican soaps and outdated American sitcoms, bidding for his services.

To help Mr Kajwang realise his true vocation and enrich our lives with laughter, it is necessary that we all support the drive to have him step aside.

I am surprised the Parliament lynch mobs have not moved with as much speed as they did with the no confidence vote on Kimunya. And nor has the Prime minister assembled a Cabinet committee composed of Mr Kajwangs accusers to investigate the issue.

Perhaps this might be because the evidence against Mr Kajwang is very thin indeed. The minister is accused of overturning decisions by his technical staff and granting work permits and citizenship papers to all sorts of applicants.

A few cases have been cited, but what is wrong with issuing work permits to skilled professionals like welders and shop assistants? And we all need some spiritual nourishment, so why deny missionaries the opportunity to minister to Kenyans?

Mr Kajwang, in any case, did not do his thing in secrecy like Mr Kimunya and company did in selling the Grand Regency Hotel.

He took the appeals presented by those whose applications had been rejected by Immigration department bosses, interviewed the applicants, and overturned the decisions in writing.

Nothing criminal or unprocedural in that, I would say. But still, it is decidedly odd that the minister personally interviewed the applicants, which suggests that he saw them on the side instead of convening a panel to hear the appeals.

MR KAJWANG, HOWEVER, DEFENDS himself forcefully. He was only exercising the ministerial prerogative. And when he adds that he is actually fighting corruption amongst entrenched cartels in the department that routinely deny work permits to deserving applicants unless bribes are paid, he is likely to earn kudos from long queues of past victims.

If there is something wrong, perhaps we should not so much be looking at what Mr Kajwang did, but at the systems which give ministers so much leeway to make solo decisions on such important matters.

It really should not be for one individual to decide who is allowed to acquire a work permit or Kenyan citizenship.

Any such decisions should be made by a panel that looks into all aspects of the case and makes an informed and impartial decision not clouded by the wrong considerations.

Mr Kajwang is right to wage war against corrupt cartels in his ministry, but that should be by having the wrongdoers caught and prosecuted rather than by taking over their role. That is where he went wrong.

Whether that is enough to have him hung, drawn and quartered, I just do not know, but it was evident the saga presented him the perfect opportunity to display his talents as a comedian.

And that, for me, is good enough reason for him to step aside permanently from politics and work on the craft where he is a natural and where he can cheer up the whole nation.

The smoking ban was well-intended and should go a long way towards helping many of us conquer that infernal habit.

But it is a measure that is in urgent need of proper interpretation, particularly for the benefit of those who are supposed to enforce it.

The police and Nairobi City Council askaris seem to be taking it as a total ban, and consequently have one into overdrive looking for anyone who dares light up except in the privacy of his home.

The strange thing is that we hardly hear of any of those arrested appearing in court because they find it much easier to pay the instant fines demanded by the corrupt custodians of law and order.

Some officers are getting very rich indeed, and mostly because it is so easy to terrorise people on the back of vague restrictions very few understand.



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Uganda: More peacekeepers needed in Somalia

Posted by African Press International on July 25, 2008

Uganda\s Minister of State for Defense, Ruth Nankabirwa, has said that the current troops deployed in war-torn Somalia are not adequate to combat the rising attacks from militants and maintain stability there.

Uganda\s Minister of State for Defense, Ruth Nankabirwa, has said that the current troops deployed in war-torn Somalia are not adequate to combat the rising attacks from militants and maintain stability there.

Nankabirwa made the observation on Tuesday when she appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Internal Affairs to defend her ministry\s ministerial policy statement.

She was reacting to the committee\s queries on the status of the Ugandan peacekeepers deployed in Somalia to protect the transition government in the Horn of Africa state.

Currently, there are 1,500 Ugandan soldiers in that country, a number which is barely enough to stabilise Somalia due to lack of reinforcement of troops from other African countries that had pledged contribution.

She lamented that many other African countries had promised to deploy their troops to the war ravaged country but have not yet honoured that commitment.

The minister revealed that Burundi, which had already sent a battalion to Somalia, was planning to send another contingent, while Nigeria is also expected to send a battalion of its soldiers in the near future.

She implored the African Union to fast track deployment of troops that other nations on the continent have pledged.



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Information from the Norwegian Council for Africa

Posted by African Press International on July 25, 2008

Welcome to NCA’s Cyber Seminar on the 7th of August! Make sure you set aside time for a great discussion in Cyberspace!

This time, well discuss:

The food crisis: Fuel or food?

Must some people starve to produce bio fuel for the West?

With soaring food prices world wide, poor segments of societies across Africa are finding it increasingly difficult to afford food for survival. Demand for bio fuel in western countries has lead to investment in land for bio fuel production by large companies across the continent.

Is bio fuel production in Africa an opportunity to combat hunger and starvation or is it taking land away from much needed food production to the detriment of the poor on the continent? Join in the Cyber Seminar and discuss the impact of bio fuel production on the Food Crisis in Africa.

The Cyber Seminar is a virtual seminar a forum for participants all over the world to engage with each other and with panellists from academia, politics and civil society on issues of current interest to Africa.

For the upcoming session, the topic is the consequences and reasons for the mounting food crisis on the access to food for people in Sub Saharan Africa. Why is food becoming increasingly less accessible for the poorest segments of society? Why are African countries with considerable agricultural landmasses producing crops for export whilst importing expensive food?

Participate in the Cyber Seminar organized by the Norwegian Council for Africa on Thursday the 7th and engage with African Experts on the topic.

Bakari Sadid Nyari, Vice Chairman of Regional Advisory and Information Network Systems (RAINS) in Ghana and
Paul Mbole from NCA (The Norwegian Church Aid) and ZERO (Zero Emission Resource Organisation) in Nairobi, Kenya.

Place: World Wide Web
Date: August 7th
Time: 15.00 17.00 local time Norway (GMT + 1)
you may log in and out of the debate as you wish

The Norwegian Council for Africa works to promote economic, political and social justice in and for Africa. We seek to achieve this goal through the dissemination of accurate, fair and unbiased information. Vital to this endeavour is the promotion of African voices and sources of information.

The Food Crisis: The facts in numbers.

-High food prices entail a daily struggle for more than 2 billion people globally.
– An estimated 100 million people have fallen into poverty in the last 2 years.
– Poor families now spend up to 80% of their budget on food.
– 30 million people face hunger and even death by starvation in Sub Saharan Africa.
– 21 out of 36 countries in food security crisis are in Sub Saharan Africa.
– Sub Saharan Africa imports 45% of its wheat and 84% of its rice.
– Wheat prices are up 120%, rice prices are up 75%.
-An estimated 100 million tonnes of grain per year are being redirected from food to fuel globally.
– Filling a tank of an average car with bio fuel, amounts to the same amount of maize as an average African consumes in a year.



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Posted by African Press International on July 25, 2008

By Leo Odera Omolo

The on-going investigations in the Immigration Ministry should not be confined to the Ministryʼs headquarters at the Nyayo House, but must be extended to the provinces and in the outlaying districts.

It is suspected that there may be hundreds of foreigners unlawfully engaged on employment and illegal businesses in the countryside. It is suspected that some foreigners, especially people of Asian origins from India and Pakistan have gained entry permits and visas using fake academic certificates, readily available for purchase from Indian universities

The fake academic certificates are said to be readily available for purchase by anyone who can afford to raise a few hundred US dollars.These fake certificates are allegedly used in duping immigration officials at the entry point that the holders are highly specialized personnel required for specific kind of jobs, and most of the immigrant workers are quite illiterate and low cadres of labourers.

Armed with these fake certificates, the immigrant workers usually passes through immigration entry points under the guise of being doctors, chartered accountants, educationists etc.Andt soon after acquiring the necessary entry visa, these characters turns up getting involved in employment in spare part shops like ticketing clerks. Some of these people cannot speak or write in English nor speak Swahili.

This is one way of denying educated young Kenyan employment opportunities in firms set up by Indian investors. The practice is very common in the sugar factories and in the construction firms.

Kisumu City is leading other Provinces in the rackets of offering shelter to this category immigrant workers. In addition to the Indians and Pakistanis, there are also many immigrants of European origins who have settled in many parts of the city. These whites have engaged themselves on [petty businesses such as running and managing children orphanage homes, which are scattered all over Kisumu.

Some of these foreigners have engaged themselves on illicit trades such as the export of drugs such as Bhangs. Most of them are retired and tired lots, who came here and then got married to local; women of questionable characters for their own protection. Dunga beach a suburb of Kisumu is leading in housing this category of immigrant workers. Some of the children orphanage homes are fake, and consist of a handful of children of which all are not genuine orphans, but only fake to conceal the truth.

.Surely do we need a Mzungu to come to Kenyan on a work permit only to end up in running a children orphanage home? And of course, all are not well within the Immigration Ministry.These practices started many years ago, and not exclusively during Minister Otieno Kajwangʼs time.

Anybody who dare to conduct a thorough and serious investigation on the immigration status of many foreigners living in this country, particularly in Nyanza would be in for a big puzzle and shock.

The region is full of many foreigners who not only deserve not to be allowed the stay permit, but undesirable characters who should be bundled into the next flight destined for Europe. Majority of these foreign workers did not qualified to be allowed to engaged themselves on any kind of employment or businesses.

The number of these foreigners are running into hundreds. The lucrative business of sales opf citizenships and work permits to foreigners had started during the Nyayo era. At one time, it was alleged that any foreigners who could raise Kshs 100,000 under the table payment plus the government fees had became automatically qualified to be granted Kenyan citizenship, while those who were able to raise between Kshs 50,000 and Kshs 60,000 were qualified for work permit irrespective whther they qualified for such permits or not.

Top senior government officials had engaged a number of wheeler-dealers and power brokers who they were using as go-betweeners and boys for the purpose of negotiating for the deals. Even attractive and pretty office secretaries were also involved. The lucky one also minted a lot of money as they were also entitled for stakes in the deals These wheeler-dealers belonged to a group then known as politically correct lots.

These political conmen were a common sight in five star hotels in Nairobi carrying briefcases filled with already stamped immigration documents in readiness for the big kill and to struck the deals.These people benefited a lot from such rackets. But their action became so harmful to ordinary Kenyans because they had flooded the country with with hundreds of unwanted immigrant workers at the expense of local indigenous Kenyans.

The lucrative business had also attracted some ex-MPs, especially those former legislators from the Rift Valley, who were believed to be close to the corridors of power. It later extended to political activists who were close to cabinet ministers and Permanent Secretaries in the KANU era.

Another case in point, which calls for a thorough investigations by both Police and KACC,is the newly established Kibos Sugar and allied Industries. It is being alleged that the firm had imported close to 20 Indian immigrant workers.The company, which is located at Kibos situated next to the Kibos Prison is still on trial production, but initially produces between 1500 and 1800 bags of sugar per day.

Once a upon a time the immigration officials got the wind and rounded up the alleged foreign workers, but later transpired which facilitated their immediate release from the custody is a matter of public conjecture. None of its close to 500 employees has a written workmanship contract, though they operates in a high risky areas where industrial accidents are so common. In such an unlikely situation of industrial accident, a casual labourer with no written contract cannot lay any claim for compensation following fatal industrial accident.

What has happened to the Labour ministry? What is the Provincial Labour Officers are doing in Kisumu if they cannot pay a visit to such industries with the express purpose of enforcing the labour laws? Such crucial laws are being contravened with impunity .Why? Because of TKK?

We were told that these Indian workers were imported for the purpose of carrying out the installations of complicated sugar cane crushing machineries. But we also believed that forty six years down the line since Kenya became as independent state, it has trained hundreds of thousands of industrial installation mechanics, electronic mechanics, electrical engineers, accountants and in many fields of careers.

It is puzzling that if Mumias Sugar Company, which is the largest white sugar producing mill in this country is wholly manned by local technicians and not even one single mechanic or electrician is sourced from a foreign land. Why should Kibos Mill which is the smallest factory should be allowed to import anybody from India or Pakistan to come and work in this country as a simple mechanic or a clerk or that matter?

These are many issues, which those charged with task iof investigating the Immigration Ministry should into and come out with a lasting solution. This is because it is indeed, the sole responsibility of any responsible government to protect its workers from being exploited by marauding foreigners to come here to only scavanging on the few, but scarce jobs opportunities at the expense of the locals It is indeed, impacting negatively for any investors to dictate his or her own terms on the kind of people they wanted employed in their industrial concerns. In this is in jeopardy with the Kenyans laws, then such investors should as well be told in point blank language to shelves their investors or switch it elsewhere. Any investment must be for the purpose of common good for the country and part of its concerted effort for poverty eradication, and strictly not for arrogance purposes .The existing labour laws governing employers and employees must be strictly uphold.

Also in the category of importing simple labours from India is one Kisumu based building construction firm trading under the business flagship of Bishen Hayer Singh. Despite scooping many road construction contracts worth millions of shillings, this company which is a family business concern has employed Indian workers, even for simple jobs of running its petrol fuel stations. All its clerks and those holding important jobs are alleged to be foreigners, mainly from India. Why should Kenyan entertain this kind of naked discrimination against the locally trained skilled workers?

There should be more question than answers within the corridor of the Immigration headquarters. A certain bunch of briefcase carrying politicians-cum-businessmen have of lately glued themselves around the immigration minister Otieno Kajwangʼ. Most of them political operatives and busy bodies from the larger Southern Nyanza.

These characters have been seen wining and dinning in posh Kisumu Hotels at the weekends, some of them are reportedly swimming in money and can even afford booking themselves rooms in posh hotels whereas these people were not known to be good paying masters a few months ago. What goes on inside the hotels rooms booked by the so-called wheeler-dealers can be anybodyʼs guess. And also not a strange to see some cabals of Asian manipulators trooping at the doorsteps of the hotel rooms. They are quieuing while waiting for their turns to meet the new bosses.

Foreigners from as far as Malindi, Lamu and other parts of the Coast were recently seen as common visitors to the hotels in the lakeside, particularly during weekends. And no coincident, that the notorious wheeler-dealers had also booked themselves in these hotels at the material time.

Some of the whitemen engaged in running children orphans are engaged in marriage of conveniences with the local girls. There is nothing wrong for foreigners lending a hand of assistance to the needy orphans in this country. But they should raise funds at home abroad and channel such donations to the locally established committees to manage such institutions.

It is the hope of many Kenyans that the on-going inquiries in the operations of the Immigration Ministry would yield in something tangible resulting in a number of undeserving foreigners living in this country illegally being send home .Owing to economic recession of the 1990s and 2000s, many manufacturing industries came to a halt spilling thousands of young Kenyans into the street in the pathetic state of joblessness therefore the time is ripe for the government to protect the few jobs that we have here.




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Posted by African Press International on July 25, 2008

By Leo Odera Omolo

THE weekend attack on Finance Assistant Minister Dr. Oburu Oginga in a Kisumu residential estate has attracted severe criticism from the local politicians who have described the incident as a sign of lapse in the Citys security system.

Dr. Oburu Oginga was on Friday night accosted by a gang of five armed thugs as he went to Mosque Estate to drop his second wife to her house when the attack took place.

The Minister had left Nyanza Club at about 11 pm in the company of his wife, an aide and a driver. The attack came as stopped outside the gate while waiting for it to be opened, but all of a sudden the hell broke loose when five armed thugs emerged. One of them produced a gun, while others were armed with machetes (Pangas) and rungus..

The thugs forced the Ministers unarmed aide to lie down, while another went for the driver and demanded for the keys. The driver hesitated, but was immediately slashed with a Panga.

At the same time, some members of the gang who appeared to recognize Dr. Oburu ransacked the vehicle and took five mobile phones. They also fleeced the ministers pockets and made away of with Kshs. 100,000 and his mobile.

A source told us that one of the thugs, told Dr. Oburu Oginga that because they knew him by name as the son of Jaramogi but they were starving without jobs and only wanted something small to eat, but would not harm him..

But politicians say they suspected the attack could be a pre-imitated and politically motivated, and that investigations by police should not take a chance to this angle.

A source told us that Dr. Oburu had left all his official armed body guards in Nairobi and traveled to Kisumu alone on wrong assumption that the city was more or less as his home ground and did not anticipate any threat for his life. In the ensued battle in the darkness, the ministers sleek limousine was damaged with its windscreen smashed.

The minister according to sources, has a palatial house at Tom Mboya Estate also in Kisumu, which is in a very secured compound, but had rented it out and he is using the one at Mosque Estate as a resident for his second wife.

Dr. Oginga has another single storey house, which is located his parents palatial Milimani house overlooking the shores of Lake Victoria where he is living with his first wife Dr. Meary Oburu Oginga, a retired medical doctor..

The attack has been condemned roundly by members of the Luo Council Of Elders who think the attack was not an ordinary robbery but a well calculated plan hatched to intimidate the minister.

A member of the Luo council of Elder Mzee Stephen Othoo from Kagan Location, Rangwe constituency strongly condemned the attack on the minister and appealed to the Kisumu ;police to get rid of undesirable criminal characters .He said leaders in Kenya must always feel free to go their businesses unmolested by hard core criminal elements within the society.

Mzee Othoo, a retired school teacher told the Bondo MP to soldier on with the good work he is doing to the Luo community and to all Kenyans, and not to succumb to cowardice and attack and intimidation, which are the work of the devilish minded criminal elements.

The soft spoken assistant Minister who is also the Chairman of Kisumu Molasses Plant, which is run jointly by the family business flagship the Spectre International Company in joint partnership with multinational firms from South Africa and Canada.

There has been murmurs and complaints by the local communities of Jo-Kogony and Jo-Korando sub-clans on whose land the Molasses plant stands on at Otonglo Market that their people are being discriminated when it comes to employment of the workers at the plant.

There are a total of 114 employees at the plant, but most of them are people who are suspected to be directly related to the Odinga Family and their kiths

At one time the local had circulated leaflets in which the community bitterly complained of being sidelined on employment. And though the majority of the employees are engineers and professionals, the locals wanted their sons and daughters engaged in some unskilled jobs such as sweepers, messengers and watchmen.

Locals have also voiced concern at the high degree of corruption at the plant in terms of discriminative employment at the Molasses plant, .singling out particularly for the scathing criticism the companys Chief Executive Officer {CEO} at the plant Mr. |Israel Agina

Israel Agina has persistently came under severest criticism by the local community which blames him for practicing discriminative policy by way of ensuring that only relatives and members of the Odinga family and few political cronies get the better terms of employment at the plant. Discontent has been going on for the last two years, and even at one time leaflets have appeared in Kisumu streets, which were very critical of the management of the Kisumu Molasses Plant.

These complaints were, however, dismissed as the work of the disgruntled individuals who had approached the management for employment, but failed to secure any.

But It could not immediately be established and confirmed whether the attack on the Minister has anything to do with employment at the Molasses plant. Many people in Kisumu and its environs have dismissed the incident as an isolated case and perhaps a common case of robbery, which of late are said to be very prevalent Kisumus residential estates. And even residents of the posh Milimani estate are said not to be so safe in their highly secured compounds.

Civic leaders have called on the police to intensify evening patrols in most part s of the city, which are of lately appear to be unsafe for both lonely motorist and pedestrians alike. Other sources intimated that some hard-core criminal and carjackers who have fled their hideouts in Nairobi have now taken refuge in Lakeside City after escaping the hawk eyed Nairobi police ant-crime squads.

Dr. Oburu Oginga who is the MP for Bondo is being considered as a moderate Luo politician who is credited for being down to earth and easy-going man among his constituents.

Despite of having been brought up in a high profile political family of the late former Vice President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, the assistant Minister is credited by his constituents for having equitably disbursed the CDF and other government funds meant for rural and economic development activities in his Bondo constituency to the satisfaction of his constituents..

Dr. Oginga first entered the Parliament for the first time in 1994 in a by election following the demise of his father the late Jaramogi who was then the seating MP for Bondo,and successfully retained his seat in 2002 against a troop of five aspirants.

Dr. Oburu recaptured the seat in 2007. He was one of the only five out of the 21 Luo MPs who survived in the last general election. The rest were shown exit door, and although he seemed to be an independent minded person, Dr. Oburu is believed to have a lot of clout and influence over his younger brother, the Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga on both domestic and political matters.




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Posted by African Press International on July 25, 2008

If you were President Kibaki today what would bother you more? Is it the success of free primary or secondary education? Is it the raging succession battles? Is it the East African integration? Is it the West versus the East competing interests in Kenya? Is it the demise of your cronies politically?

To be fair, none of the above should bother the president. For himself becoming president it was not by anointment by a benevolent godfather. His organization skills combined with luck and circumstances prevailing at the time ensured his victory in 2002 polls. In essence whoever becomes his successor should be the least of his bothers. At the same time whatever happens to his tribesman and tribal voting bloc matters little to him. What prudently matters to him is himself, his reputation and his immediate family. Everything else is quite peripheral. The destiny of his tribe or his Mt. Kenya voting bloc does not at all tie to his own. If it does ,it would have been so for Moi and the Kalenjins, which in all honesty and accuracy it has not.

To be fair he should worry more about what happens to Kenya after his departure. This is clearly closely intertwined to his fate. If he guarantees Kenya’s posterity a bright future, by extension his personal and his own will be taken care of. Kenya going asunder goes so with him. This is the price to pay for the kind of Kenya’s presidency.

Kibaki perhaps may be owing so much to several people for sustaining his rule or ensuring his election or re-election thereof. Unfortunately when the history will be written, none of these will feature anywhere. As far as the country is concerned he owes the country a legacy and nobody else. It therefore implies that it is the opportune time to betray his allies and redeem his floundering legacy.

Politics by the way creates memories out of quick and short incidences which one always need to be wary of. A 100 year rule could be remembered by just one single victory or single failure. Already the disputed 2007 presidential election and the chaos that followed has greatly dented the image that the president had probably hoped to cultivate. For one, so many people displaced and a divided nation along tribal lines is not the type achievements that one would want to have in a cv.

Whether he genuinely won the election or not does not matter any more than it did in January 2008. One school of thought is that these chaos could have been avoided. If a new better acceptable constitution order was in place before the election, it is high probable the election would not have split the hairs the way it did. The fact that during his first term and contrary to his promises a new constitution order was not achieved is already a great blot. The fact that the promised 500,000 new jobs a year that turned to be a huge mirage and continued creating a generation of frustrated youth ready to do whatever evil bidding or engaging their energies in evil acts, also hangs in his legacy like an albatross.

How does he go about redeeming his legacy and image. Very simple. Kibaki can do this by simply concentrating on creating mechanisms and pushing through an acceptable new constitution which will re-distribute powers, empower and strengthen institutions of good governance to guarantee future stability. He would need to be wary that his allies and political enemies would obviously be very keen to frustrate this. They have nothing to loose and the blame still reverts to the president. Corruption is still a monster that shames his regime. To hope this would easily go away is just but a dream.

He probably meant well for the country by creating incentives and mechanisms spurring economic growth but unfortunately, this is not sustainable in an un-predictable and shaky political environment. No sane investor would be happy to plan long term in such an environment. Additionally attracting new investors across the whole country in such an environment is simply not tenable. In an environment laden with corruption, the cost of doing business is just insane! Corruption un-enviably creates unjust and dangerous social inequalities in the society.

The upshot is that to sort out Kenya and guarantee peace and hence create a memorable legacy, simply sort our politics. This sorted all the nice economic policies and pillars will fall in place or will rather be strengthened and ensured. The constitution is the biggest monster hanging on Kenya’s prosperity and future co-existence. Forget the ODM and Kibaki multiplicity and often fractious allies. Kibaki as the current president can steal the thunder from all these and ensure a good place in history. It is wise not to fight other peoples battles whether friends or enemies especially during his final term. He has no other opportunity after all!

Mr. president simply sort out the constitution and strengthen institutions of good governance and rid Kenya off corruption. With this your legacymemorable!

By Harrison Mwirigi Ikunda,

Nairobi. Kenya.



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Posted by African Press International on July 25, 2008

The Orange Democratic Movement in Scandinavia (ODM-Scandinavia) and Narc-Kenya Scandinavia wishes to draw the attention of both the Kenyan government and the International community about the case of Mr. George Wachira Kirira who is currently landless and sleeping outside his home with family after his piece of land was fraudulently taken over by Mr. Joe Maina Ruthithi, a corrupt debt collector and fake born again Pentecostal Church of Africa pretender claiming money for an assault allegedly committed in 1982.

According to our Intelligence, Mr Muthithi is a well known extortionist both in Kiamariga and Kabiruini villages who is using his corrupt connections within the land system, the local police and the legal system to steal land from a helpless peasant using a case allegedly committed more than two decades ago.

Being a teacher, a Church elder and knowing that Kirira’s two sons have, in the past, died mysteriously, Mr. Muthithi is the last person who could have been involved in the grabbing of Mr. Kirira’s land through the back door.

According to the East African Standard (21/07/20 8) which reported the case, Mr. Kirira allegedly assaulted Mr. Muthithi in 1982 (26 years ago) after which he was fined Ksh 80,000 but by 1998, the fine had accumulated an interest bringing the total amount to Ksh 240,000. At the time Kirira’s land was fraudulently auctioned this year, the piece of land had a market value of Ksh 4 million.

At the alleged auction, the auctioneer was never named while it is Mr. Muthithi, the corrupt debtor, who allegedly won the bid. In all fairness, both ODM-Scandinavia and Narc-Kenya Scandinavia believes that this was a corrupt and fraudulent deal which should never have taken place in today’s Kenya and under the current Coalition government headed by President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga. What has happened to Mr. Kirira could happen to anybody in Kenya and it is because of the unspeakable level of injustice and corruption that both ODM-Scandinavia and Narc-Kenya Scandinavia have decided to intervene in the case.

We wish to draw the attention of Mr James Orengo, the Minister of Land and Ms Martha Karua, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to the fact that the alleged auction of Mr. Kirira’s land was not only illegal but also unacceptable because so far, the legal process that may have led to the auction remains a secret. Mr. Kirira’s house has been demolished, his land stolen in broad day light, his family left in the cold while his future has suddenly been made uncertain after a dirty deal that needs to be investigated by the Ministry of Land.

ODM-Scandinavia and Narc-Kenya Scandinavia wishes to draw the attention of the Kenyan government to the fact that on January 8th 2003, an attempt by Mr. Kirira to have the case reviewed so that he could auction a piece of the land and repay the debt was rejected by the High Court in Nyeri on November 15th 2007 (see East African Standard 20th July 2008). Instead, Justice Milton Makhandia sitting at the High Court in Nyeri, issued an eviction order against Kirira and without considering the details of the case which tended to favour Mr. Kirira.

As concerned Kenyans in Scandinavia which has been deeply touched by this case, we wish to alert the Kenyan government that it has to intervene in this case otherwise we will have no option but to open a campaign so that Mr. Kirira’s stolen land can be returned so that justice can prevail.

Since the war of liberation led by the Kenya Land and Freedom Army (Mau Mau), the issue of land has never been resolved in Kenya and the open stealing of Mr. Kirira’s land under a new Coalition government is evidence that land grabbing in Kenya is still alive through the back door. It has to be noted that since flag independence, the issue of land has failed to be addressed adequately by three subsequent regimes and the example of Mr. Kirira is a tip of the iceberg.

We take this opportunity to appeal to Kenyans at home and abroad to study Mr. Kirira’s case very carefully because according to our understanding of the case, and after speaking to Mr. Kirira on the phone, there is no justice for the poor land owner and the oppressed in Kenya.

The on-going war in Mau forest emanates from the problem of land which has never been addressed or put on the agenda in Kenyan Parliament. In Mount Elgon, Naivasha, Kiandutu, Molo, Kibira, Korogocho, Mukuru kwa Njenga, Mathare, Soweto, Uasin Gishu, Njiru, large parts of the Rift Valley and Central Province, people are still landless while top politicians currently in government are owning huge tracts of land in our country which are lying idle.

The case of absentee landlords is choking the country when millions of Kenyans are landless. The Ndungu Report is adequate documentation of the state of land grabbing in Kenya, an issue which requires immediate and urgent attention by the current Coalition government of Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga.

We demand that:

1. The Coalition government of Kenya intervene in the case of Mr. Kirira by re-visiting and overturning the judgment made by the corrupt Judge, Mr. Milton Makhandia who presided over the case.

2. The land of Mr. Kirira be returned to him with immediate effect and his demolished house reconstructed at the expense of Mr. Joe Maina Muthuthi who corruptly masterminded or influenced the decision in the case to pave the way for the grabbing of Kirira’s land.

3. Mr. Kirira be compensated for days spent in the cold with his family after his house was demolished and that he also be compensated for psychological torture, humiliation, degradation and human suffering he has already underwent as a result of the grabbing of his land and demolition of his house.

4. The Coalition government address the issue of land urgently through Constitutional reforms and any other measure appropriate in the situation.

5. The Hon James Aggrey Orengo, the Minister of Lands and Settlement make an urgent Ministerial statement over the issue with copies to ODM-Scandinavia and Narc-Kenya Scandinavia.

6. The MP for Mathira Hon Ephraim Maina to react to the issue with immediate effect since the issue concerns one of his own constituents.

7. Representatives of government agencies especially the DC, the DO, Chief, Sub chief, OCPD commanding Kiamariga Police post and others be brought to answer questions as to how such a dirty and criminal deal could have proceeded for a poor Kenyan and his family to be deprived of his ancestral land he has resided on since birth.

If the government cannot take immediate action, ODM Scandinavia and Narc-Kenya Scandinavia wishes to warn the Coalition government that we will never rest until this case is resolved. The two parties will not just open a campaign on the case but will also ensure that this case is dramatized before the International community.

As we write, we wish to add that we are in the process of fund raising to raise the Ksh 240,000 which has led to Mr. Kirira’s land being stolen in broad day light. We are in the process of setting up a bank account to mobilize funds Internationally as a first step to intervening in the case.

We appeal to Kenyans at home and abroad to join in the campaign to help in the recovery of Mr. Kirira’s land. As Kenyans who believe in democracy, human rights, freedom and the rule of law, our position is that we cannot stand by and watch Mr. Kirira’s land being stolen in broad day light and his children being forced to live in mystery through corruption and other illegal deals.

Mrs Hellen Opwapo,
Chairlady, ODM-Scandinavia

Mr. Daniel Mwaura Njuguna
Chairman, Narc-Kenya Scandinavia
Tel: 467036694039

Dated 23rd July 2008


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Posted by African Press International on July 25, 2008

By Leo Odera Omolo

A month ago when this writer came up with an analytical article suggesting that millions of shillings allocated by the government for various development projects in Nyanza might have gone to waste, he was vilified and issued with internet and phone threats.

But according to the latest audit reports and interviews with players involved in the implementation of the revolving constituency development fund (CDF) ,most of the projects have either stalled or failed to take off completely ,millions of government money evaporated in the air.

Millions were channeled to phantom projects whose physical address and locations have remained a mystery if not fictitious. A case in Rongo Constituency is that of a former high school principal turned building contractor who laughed all the way to the bank armed with a cheque of over Kshs 4 million.Mr. Olela has since fled the country on a green permanent residence in the US. Non of the projects, include a bridge at KOMIRE IN North Sakwa Liocation took off the ground.


The money was meant to be payment to the contractor for the construction of two important bridges for access and feeder roads within the constituency which never took off at all.

The contractor (name withheld) later used the cash money to migrate and his entire family to the US. He eventually abandoned his teaching job to start a new life in the comfort of US

People are left wondering how such loss of colossal amount of money could be reconciled in the Rongo CDF book of accounts

In the neighbouring Uriri a commercial water dam which was allocated over kshs 1 million was later switched from its original location and tuned into a family dam. The project was meant for the remote Ongilo area of North Kanyamkago . These are only a few example of bad governance of the CDF funds.

A serious murder case is still relatively being investigated by police in TransNzoia where a former CDF manager was brutally murdered by unknown suspect who is still at large. This particular case is a living testimony that a lot of water might have passed under the bridge.

In Nyatike a group of grieved constituent had moved to the court in Migori and temporarily succeeded in having the CDF account frozen .Such actions were not in vain.

In Ugenya the CDF money is alleged to have been used in the purchasing of a run-down Savanna Hotel which is located next to main Kisumu-Busia road .but it was later remerged with scathing allegations that the facility which was later turned to be used as a CDF office in the constituency is registered on an individuals name, though it was acquired with CDF money. Some of these allegations and rumours needs t be investigated and proof made public in order to restore the confidence of Wananchi that all are well with the public money.

In Nyando there are claims and allegations that a second hand grader was purchased with CDF money instead of a new one and the balance pocketed. These kinds of allegations needs urgent verification and consequently proof.

The latest audit report whose contents were published this week by the Nairobi daily ,THE NATION, explained that many projects earmarked in various constituencies in Nyanza failed largely due to misappropriation of funds allocated to the projects in adequate funding failure to  establish viability of the ventures or shoddy performance by contractors.

In one instance reported by newspaper two years ago a CDF local chairman cunningly and hurriedly registered his wife who had literally used previous experience in the construction work as a contractor and made it sure that the wife got the Lionʼs share in nearly all construction work  undertaken by the CDF.

Most annoying thing is that the inexperienced housewife turned building contractor reportedly use a lot of money bribing experienced and established contractors who made the bidding for tender on her behalf.

Other startling case is the allegations that CDF money was used in buying and slaughtering bulls for widows in one constituency .Part of the money was used in buying bicycles and wheelbarrows as well as constructing iron roofed houses fro the MPʼs supports and cronies .Investigations and additions should pay attention to such claims with the view of asserting their authenticity.

In most constituencies in Nyanza in particular some former MPs who had starling in the ninth Parliament was shown exit door by the electorate  not because of dismal performance is representative of the people  at the National level, but because of biased in the management of School bursary funds, CDF and other revolving funds.

Schools were not spared some headmasters and deputies used the money meant for school for the construction of family houses. Many members of CDF local committees got married to extra spouses.

Areas where a lot of money was siphoned is the procedure of items such as building materials at highly inflated prices >Such materials were sourced from shops run and managed by relatives and friends.

And the worst come at the procurement of vehicles graders. Instead of buying new graders used one were acquired and part of money budgeted for such items were pocketed or shared by relevant busy bodies involved in CDF committees.

Funds have been wasted on health centres, dispensaries, school, rural electrification programmes, road network, bridges and irrigation schemes among others projects.

KACC posted team of investigators in some constituencies but there teams also ended up allegedly compromised and the outcome of such investigations fizzled with no truce. A lot of money was used in hiring political goons who caused mayhem following the disputed presidential elections results in December last year.

Indeed it is the common belief that the financial ministry should have halted the disputed of new CDF money for the time being until after the money allocated in the previous years from 2003 is properly accounted for before releasing fresh allocations.

As a result of these anomalies, accounts managers who were already engaged and seconded to CDF led to CDF committees by the government are recommending changes if the funds allocated for various projects are to be utilized properly.

In some places the former MPs had even appointed their families and friends to serve in the local CDF committee in one area a bar made was named  a CDF committee member .The barmaid was reported to be an alleged concubine of the MP

In most cases the former MPs preferred the use of semi-illiterate CDF committee members in places of enlightened people with experience with the government accounting system. Why?




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The Mau forest debate

Posted by African Press International on July 25, 2008

David & all,

David that is a very good information you have given out, I totaly support you. The goal of a leader is to succed in meeting the needs of his constituents. There is no need that the Mps are saying they are doing their best. They should lead people to better life. Let them participate with the government to find alternative for those Kenyans in mau forest instead of making noises. Our Mps nowadays keep on shouting the word corruption all the time. What do you call people who sit down
together to agree and decide on their own salaries plus expenses? = CORRUPT. They keep on shouting `all are corrupt, but some are more corrupt than others(Kimunya, Uhuru, Kajwang etc)`. Just like in the animal farm; all animals are equal BUT some are more equal than others.
The best option is that the rift valley MPs should call a joint meeting with the government officials and some Mau forest dwellers elders and find a lasting solution for all the families now in Mau forest.

By Paul Nyandoto

>>> david bett wrote 20.07.08 19:20 >>>


The current saga about imminent MAU evictions in October is a crisis that must not
be allowed to happen. First of all, I believe vacating and protecting MAU is not an option neither is it debatable.
It is imperative, a must and long overdue. The debate is where the families affected will move to. My family lives at the very edge of Mau and I myself have good chunk of land along the
Mau area. That is where I grew up, went to school and became the man (murenik ) that I am today. Deep in the tropical rain forest was my home for almost half of my life. Those days, the rain never stopped from morning till evening, from January to January.
The rivers like Mara, Ambusket, Cheptuech, Chepkulo and others were much larger than the seasonal streams they have become today. The bamboo trees were so huge that we carried
water in them. The birds and monkey species were incomparable to anywhere else in the world. The plant and tree canopy species too and beautiful animals that made Mau one of the
greatest treasures of Africa have long disappeared. The cedar and other hardwood and softwood trees that seemed indestructible are today nowhere to be found not only in the Mau but anywhere else in Africa. I mourn the loss of my beautiful childhood habitat that was the Western MAU escapement.

As to the options to the great loss of the Mau, the government needs to immediately identify alternative settlement for those who will be affected then move in fast to reforest the Mau. Rift Valley Politicians who seems to simply shout at anything initiated by the government especially by the Prime Minister have no vision or direction for the future of Kenya except their political
survival. They pretend to be on the side of the people yet have no vision or plans for the
community̓s future survival. They are the same people who recently opposed the legislation for their selfish wages to be taxed. The people of Rift Valley and the rest of Kenya need to hear the truth about their future not political survival tactics of few individuals. The beauty and protection
that Mau forest provides to the East African ecosystem and the people cannot be compromised at any cost. The Prime Minister Raila, must move on without fear to protect our unique treasure in the Mau. True leadership decisions are not made by the mobs but by visionaries.



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Male circumcision is a political scheme to depopulate the Luos

Posted by African Press International on July 25, 2008

By Rev Okoth Otura

In the 1980s the Kenya government, perceived Luo wife inheritance, polygamy and Chira traditions and customs cultural practices as the main cause and reason of high rate of HIV/Aids death in Nyanza, the theory which his regime use as tool to eliminates Luos dissidents and population through Health Care Services across the board.

The late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga security intelligence established under classified information in 1990s, that all Government Hospitals and Clinics in Luo Nyanza were supplied with un-sterile Medical Instruments and thus, many HIV/Aids infections were spread through Un-sterile Medical Injections, Dental/Surgeon Instruments, contaminated multy-dose vials, maternity delivery rooms,( luo children umbilical cords were cut by un-sterile instruments)

A part from other HIV/Aids contraction super highway in luoland, the Kenya government significantly contributed through Health Care Services of transmission and spread among the Luos in Kenya as a persecution due to their opposition stand against the corruption government system.

Despites all these the Luos still overcame this atrocities, and latter Moi had to declare the HIV/Aids a disaster after other tribes were infection increased in alarming rate.

Meanwhile, I support the Luo Counsel of Elders stand to resist the current attempt by the Kenya government to impose male circumcision a health policy on luos. The scientific experience which has failed elsewhere should not be used on the luos just for the sake to please the West. We are perplexed with perpetuation of the Kenya government to have the Luos whip out on the Kenyan map. Let consider:

Uganda is the leading country in prevention against HIV/Aids in world, with the entire tribes not practicing circumcisions except the Bagisu and the Muslims, and yet they rejected the male circumcision, even threaten to ban the tradition and practice.

South Africa is the hardest hit with HIV/AIDS despite male circumcision as customary practice by all the tribes and with provision the best Health Care system in the world.

Some luo elites heads the most busy body NGOs in Kenya under the influenced of the west and therefore, instead of majoring on the major cause of spread of HIV/Aids which is mainly cultural sexual behavioral, poor Health Care Services and poverty, they decided to have Luo community to be their money bag Ginny pig (By trial and Error) for west.

In fact the HIV/Aids among the west is currently spreading in threaten pace, and yet they are not circumcised. Why dont they have their people frog match for forceful circumcision before imposition fail system on the Africans?

It devastating for the Luos MPs to keep silent

The battle on the HIV/Aids needs political will, the Luos MPs and Leaders must step up campaign against this busy body NGOs trying to intimidated and spread stigma among the luo community.



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Is There a Potential For War in Bakissa?

Posted by African Press International on July 25, 2008

By Scott A Morgan

Recent Statements by some senior Military Leaders in Nigeria indicate that there is great displeasure with the outcome of the Border Conflict with neighboring Cameroon. With these statements the chances of War may have increased drastically.

The Chief of the Nigerian Defence Staff General Owoye Azazi told an Ad Hoc Committee of the Nigerian Parliament that Former President Obasanjo did not consult the Military when Nigeria followed the ruling of the International Court of Justice and ceded the Bakissa Peninsula to Cameroon. The Chief also stated that the ceding of Bakissa was not in the best interests of Nigeria.

Another Statement that was made by General Azazi should be of interest to Security Analysits. He expects that if and or when Conflict erupts between the two neighboring States then France will honor its Military Defense Pact with Cameroon. In recent weeks Nigeria has approached both the United States and Britain regarding increasing security in the Niger Delta. But with this information could this be an effort to determine what assistance Nigeria can expect from the Anglo-American Alliance.

One interesting aspect that cannot be overlooked is the status of the People living in the Peninsula. There is a substantial number of English Speakers in the region. These people are not happy either with the UN. It seems that when both Nigeria and Cameroon recieved their respective Independence from their Colonial Powers the People of Bakissa were placed with Nigeria. The Anger towards the UN deals with the fact that their Independence was not even an Option for them to vote on.

In recent months there has been an increase in the disatisfaction amongst the People of the Bakissa Peninsula. There have been sporadic attacks against members of the Cameroonian Military. In at least one instance an attack by Bakassi Rebels was blamed on the Nigerian Military.

Nigeria has the option to appeal the ruling of the ICJ for some time longer. Whether or not the Country will choose this option or launch hostilities is not known at this juncture. It is not known whether or not any potential conflict will be local in scope or has the potential to draw in other neighboring states. But any action without the involvement of the Bakassi People will be shortsighted.

But in the eyes of some people the only thing that is important will be keeping the Oil in the region safe.

The Author Publishes Confused Eagle on the Internet. It can be found at



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The following article was rejected for publication because the topic was too sensitive.

Posted by African Press International on July 25, 2008

From Catherine Mills

Founder & Director, USA Co-Founder, Canadian Chapter
W. David Dunkelberger D.A. Sicheri, MD FRCPC

I see myself as a “social activist.”

I am leading a movement that views government intrusion on the family with skepticism.

I am privy to the “darkest secrets” of this government policy.

People from all over the Province have talked to me about their experience.

I have gotten the whole picture.

The community is very aware of the problem, but it feels powerless.

The community watches and admires my bravery (maybe my foolhardiness, too) as I talk about the problem as I try to take it out of its dark closet.

The problem crosses a broad social economic class, from the welfare class to highly skilled professionals, even the most privileged.

The social welfare system is an inverse pyramid that requires a new, daily supply of our children to run its machinery.

Its appetite is insatiable.

I am an adoptive white mother of 2 grown African-Canadian boys, leading a movement for the biological rights of the family.

I have always considered myself a “Social Democrat.

” I have never voted Republican or PC. Oddly enough this movement has put me in bed with the right wing. I

am puzzled that people want to cut out my writings and read them at PC meetings.

I am equally surprised to find myself on the same page as the John Birch Society.

I think my activism cuts across all political sectors.

The family unit belongs to all of us.

Government has created a social welfare industry that it cannot control, a monster that will swallow up the government that created it.

The “best interests of children and families” are irrelevant to it.

It has to do with jobs, careers and money, most of all money.

After reading the minutes of the Ontario Legislature, I came to the conclusion that this is a conspiracy at the highest level of government.

It is a conspiracy that takes aim at the poor, single, uneducated parent, the vulnerable.

It targets the immigrants, the minorities and the disabled.

It has nothing to do with the “best interests of the child.”

It is a policy that leaves children in drug houses and violent/dangerous situations because the “workers” are too afraid to enter those homes.

It is a system that uses the “Jeffrey Baldwin” situations to call for an increase its own absolute power, wanting more tax dollars and freedom from judicial review.

It is a system that refuses to admit that it was its own CAS agency that screwed up.

The present child welfare industry sees gay couples as a ready and willing market for this glut of children, as a way to download the business problem of too many crown wards.

Without a doubt, many gay couples will do a good job.

Gays should have their legal rights but why “marriage” and not “civil union.”

Like black children in white families, these children in gay homes will grow into adults somewhat disconnected from the mainstream of their society.

Within the extended family, adoption has always had a stigma attached to it.

I have personally felt the pain.

I have similar problems with “euthanasia.

” Why legalize it?

Modern medicine already helps patients to die.

I have only to anticipate the next step, that some government bureaucrat will decide who shall live and who shall die, who is productive and who is not.

“… we must be wary of those who are too willing to end the lives of the elderly and the ill.

If we ever decide that a poor quality of life justifies ending that life, we have taken a step down a slippery slope that places all of us in danger.

There is a difference between allowing nature to take its course and actively assisting death.

The call for euthanasia surfaces in our society periodically, as it is doing now under the guise of “death with dignity” or assisted suicide.

Euthanasia is a concept, it seems to me, that is in direct conflict with a religious and ethical tradition in which the human race is presented with ” a blessing and a curse, life and death,” and we are instructed ‘…therefore, to choose life.

” I believe ‘euthanasia’ lies outside the commonly held life-centered values of the West and cannot be allowed without incurring great social and personal tragedy.

This is not merely an intellectual conundrum.

This issue involves actual human beings at risk… — C. Everett Koop, M.D. *

Is it in society’s best interest to try to preserve the biological family structure?

The unraveling of the rights of children from those of parents makes children mere objects, properties of the State, to be moved around at will.

This may occur for just cause or simply to meet a quota of children in care or for retribution against the parent as in the Carline VandenElsen case.

Remember the Agency must have sufficient numbers of children in care to pay its own bills.

Government will take the child-parent loyalty and convert it to the child-state loyalty.

Parents will be reduced to mere incubators with the State assuming the parental role, parens patriae.

Will the State do a better job than the parent?

We have the example of the residential schools in the aboriginal community.

Did government help the aboriginal family?

The aboriginal family is still continuing to disintegrate before our eyes.

The orphan trains of the 19th and 20th Centuries represent another government policy gone awry.

It targeted poor, immigrant children to execute its own manifest destiny.

In today’s world, we see the continual interference of government in health care, expensive and inefficient.

Government’s policy on environmental issues is smoke and mirrors.

Is the water we drink, safe?

Is the air we breathe, clean?

What can we do as concerned citizens to prevent this new, upcoming fiasco? Government wants “Leave it to Beaver” families.”

Government sets a standard that few can meet because parents and children are imperfect human beings.

Government is using legislation to micro-manage human behaviour.

How silly! Are we machines?

One cannot legislate human behaviour.

Throughout history, religion has served as the vehicle to modify human behaviour.

Is government legislation going to supplant religious training?

Government (McGinty’s Best Start program) is already planning to be in your home from your child’s birth and to age 6 when he enters school.

Then the school system takes over.

Similar home visitation programs are springing up all over North America.

They are an intrusion into the privacy of your home, Government supervising its investment in its (your) child.

Everything leads back to the UN Convention of the Child.

Canada uses this treaty to carry out its agenda but it continually violates the spirit of the Convention.

Only children without parents are entitled to government support for health, food, education, clothing and shelter.

It is not the right of all children.

Why does child poverty continue to escalate?

Are we going to produce a new generation of adults who will work hard and respect their elders?

Will these children be simply self-centered and self-serving?

Through her writings, Hilary Clinton as a spokesperson for this enhanced parental role for government says, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

She goes on about what a wonderful job she and Bill have done with their daughter Chelsea while most of North America yawns and rolls their eyes.

Are our religious leaders not afraid that government will usurp their moral authority?
These religious leaders will find themselves gone, as Government tries to legislate morality.

Will this work? History tells us, not.

I stand convinced that the government’s intrusion into the family will lead to sedition.
There is a growing, vocal reform movement.

Can it be stopped? I think, not.

In my lifetime I have seen the Fascists and Communists come and go.

Religion will now have to out-survive the totalitarian Socialist state.

Dolores A. Sicheri, MD
Lakeshore, Ontario
October 26, 2005

Justice Must Be Seen, To Be Done.



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Another Criticism of a US Policy Towards Africa

Posted by African Press International on July 25, 2008

by Scott A Morgan

The Media Coverage of the Reaction by the United States Government in reference to the Controversial Zimbabwe has been in the open. The Pronouncments by both the State Department and the White House regarding the situation recieved virtually daily coverage. Similar reactions have occured when it comes to the tragic situation in Darfur and the Post-Election Violence that occured in Kenya.

Currently there is a situation that has not made the radar of the Mainstream Media. There is a country which lies in an area that has been considered by several people to be of a vital Security Interest to the United States. This region has two main problems right now. They are Drug Trafficking and Keeping the Oil Production Safe from Insurgents.

Generally when one thinks of US Interests in the Gulf of Guniea Region the thought turns towards two Nations. First is Liberia which has a long historic relationship with the United States and has been reemerging from a decade of violence. The Other is Nigeria which has been working on increasing a security partnership with the United States. But there is one Nation which has yet to see the scrutiny that other countries face when it comes to their relationship with the United States.

One such Country which very few people know about the Internal Situation is Equatorial Guniea. All most people understand about the Country is that it is a source of Petroleum. President Obiang is one of the longest serving leaders in Africa. His Government has effectively banned the PPGE (Progress Party of Equatorial Guniea) and convicted some of the senior leaders after a grossly unfair trial according to the International Norms.

In Previous years there have been other Human Rights Violations that have occured in the Country. Thousands of Immigrants were rounded up in the Capital of Malabo. They were then beaten and expelled from the country. In 2004 there was a coup attempt that resulted in the arrest of 70 People. In recent weeks the British Soldier of Fortune Simon Mann was convicted of his part in the Coup Attempt and sentenced to 30 years.

The Media has ignored some positive news regarding the Country as well. On June 12th of this year 14 Prisoners of Conscience were released from Prison. Some of those released included several Critics of the Current Administration. But in General there is very little information that eminates from the Country. But there have been a couple of things that are interesting. In 2006 the US opened up an Embassy in Malabo. So there has to be some information in the State Department about what is really occuring in the Country. Also President Obiang has visisted the US as well.

The Mann Trial has generated some justifiable interest into what goes on within Equatorial Guniea. President Obiang does have close relations with President Mugabe of Zimbabwe. So that could explain the silence from Malabo during the recent Crisis regarding the Presidential Elections. But as the US increases its Presence in the Gulf of Guniea then the relationships that America has in the region will come under increasing scrutiny.

This in itself will create an opportunity for those Activists in the US who are concerned regarding US Policies towards Africa. At the very least they can call for an openess in the US Dealings with EG. Secondly the US Companies that are doing Oil/Natural Gas Exploration within the Company can find themselves being asked questions regarding their relationships with Malabo. These will be good steps to build upon.

The Author Publishes Confused Eagle on the Internet. It can be found at



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