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Archive for August 1st, 2008

Court to rule on Kabuga’s wife application

Posted by African Press International on August 1, 2008

Written By:Lempaa Suyianka

The High Court is set to rule on the way to forward in a case in which the wife of the Rwandese genocide suspect Felician Kabuga is challenging the freezing orders given by the court in May this year.

Justice Muga Apondi will on Friday give directives on the application seeking to overturn the orders that froze the accounts where money arising out of rent of property suspected to be owned by Kabuga was being deposited.

The Judge made a ruling after the Attorney General and Kabuga’s lawyer made objections against each other.

Mukazitoni Kabuga claims that the Kenyan court has no legal capacity to handle a matter pending before the Rwanda Tribunal while the state wants to cross examine Kabuga’s wife.

Meanwhile the Electoral Commission of Kenya on Thursday conceded to an application by seven civil candidates from Kamukunji constituency to continue with the tallying of votes cast during the last general elections.

On Wednesday, the High Court ordered the Electoral Commission to proceed with the tallying of votes for the Kamukunji Parliamentary seat and on Thursday the Electoral Commission of Kenya conceded to a similar application by the seven candidates who vied for various civic seats in the constituency.

The commission’s lawyer told Justice Joseph Nyamu that the ECK was not opposed to the application that is similar to that of PNU candidate Simon Mbugua.

The court ruled that ECK had no power to cancel the election and that it acted in excess of its powers.

At the same time the court is to hear an application for bail pending the release of jailed Mungiki leader Maina Njenga on September 13.

Njenga wants to be released so that he can attend the funeral of his slain wife.

Njenga was sentenced to five years imprisonment after he was found guilty of being in possession of a firearm and twenty-two rolls of cannabis sativa.



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Heavy rains hits Central Togo

Posted by African Press International on August 1, 2008


Heavy torrential downpour in the last 72 hours has cut off the northern part of Togo from the south of the country leaving in its trail , a state of incalculable devastation, broken down bridges and collapsed buildings in the Haho and Zio districts of the Plateau Region.
The Togolese Minister for Security and Civilian Protection Colonel Mohammed Atcha Titikpina confirmed to-day on radio and T.V that heavy down pour of rains within the last few days have so far led to the collapse of seven major bridges and vital rail lines which connect road networks from the south of Togo to the northern part of the country.
Colonel Titikpina said several farming communities in Zio and Haho in Central Togo have been submerged in water by floods due to rivers overflowing their banks.
Media reports by some Togolese newspapers claim that three persons have so far lost their lives in the floods at Atakpame in the Plateau Region.
The Togolese P.M Komlan Mally has been holding emergency meetings with International organisations about the latest flood disaster and has launched an appeal for urgent humanitarian relief assistance from the International Community.
The precarious situation has compelled the Togo government to create temporary diversions from Togos International Highway that links Lome to the north and neighbouring Burkina Faso through a by-pass in Kpalime and Atakpame in Plateau Region.
Togo national Television has also been showing alarming footage of displaced and distressed villagers being ferried across from their inundated homes into safety by soldiers on rescue missions.
Observers here have expressed fears that since the North of Togo is reputed to be the bread basket of the country, the disconnection of the country into two parts by the torrential rains may lead to temporary food shortages in the south of Togo.



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Egypt rejects any military action against Iran, condemns Iranian hegemony

Posted by African Press International on August 1, 2008

Egypt has rejected any military action against Iran on its nuclear crisis with the west, but at the same time it rejects Iranian attempts to impose hegemony on the region.

The chairman of the committee for Foreign Affairs of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) Mohamed Abdallah accused Iran Wednesday of attempting to penetrate the Gulf and the Middle East in order to reach the Mediterranean coast in Gaza and Lebanon which he said will destabilize the security of the area.

Speaking in a seminar organized by the International Center for Future and Strategic Studies – an influential Egyptian think tank, he said there were Iranian efforts to spread its influence in the Gulf area, disintegrate some Arab countries like Iraq and stretch its influence towards the Mediterranean, which he said would pose the most dangerous challenges to the Arab world.

He stressed that Egypt will spare no effort to extend help to those countries that face these challenges since Egypts national security is an integral part of Arab security.

Abdallah indicated that Egyptian-Gulf relations are always good and strong, adding that there is an Egyptian-Saudi coordination, as well as with other Gulf states to face the challenges directed at the security of the region.

Abdallah also explained that Egypt considers an Iranian film insulting the late President Anwar el-Sadat and praising his assassins as interference in domestic affairs and unacceptable action since it incites violence and encourages terrorism.



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Posted by African Press International on August 1, 2008

Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai arrived Thursday morning in Dakar to meet Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade on the same day, official sources disclosed to APA.

According to a press release, Tsvangirai will ask the Senegalese leaders position on further negotiations between his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and Robert Mugabes ZANU-PF.

Tsvangirai will give a press conference later in the day.

Addressing reporters Tuesday, South African President Thabo Mbeki, the facilitator of the inter-Zimbabwean talks in Pretoria, denied South African media reports that negotiations were not given up, saying they were only put on hold.

“They were suspended for a few days to allow negotiators to return to Harare to consult their constituents before returning to Pretoria,” Mbeki said, adding that the meetings would resume at the end of the week.

“Everything is going on smoothly, the talks should resume in a few days. In the MOU, the parties agree to end their discussions in two weeks,” he said, adding that ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change are really resolved to meeting the deadline they have set”.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe said Wednesday that the peace talks with the two opposition factions grouped within the MDC were continuing normally, adding that he wished they would succeed.

President Thabo Mbeki visited Harare on Wednesday to meet with Mugabe and the opposition as part of his mediation to end the political crisis in Zimbabwe following Marchs disputed elections.

Tsvangirai won the first round but boycotted the runoff, leaving Mugabe to win the poll as a single contestant.



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Cameroonian civil society sues for amendment of the electoral law

Posted by African Press International on August 1, 2008

The Cameroonian civil society under the local chapter of the New Human Rights International NGO and the Coalition of Civil Society Platform for Democracy (PFSCD) has launched a series of activities to get the government to amend the electoral law through the strengthening of the countrys electoral watchdog, ELECAM.

These organisations said they spotted ELECAMs flawed constitution, adding that they feel the electoral watchdog “cannot lead to change in Cameroon in 2011 because it is unfit to guarantee electoral transparency, according to NDH local chapter chairman Hilaire Kamga.

The organisers expressed their concern over the officials appointment of the ELECAM leaders, who only report to the executive director.

The protesters blame the concentration of powers that has led to a mayhem in the electoral observation as the executive director “can appoint whoever he wants, even senior political party officials or ex-convicts without this being regarded as a statutory breach”.

“Since the objective of any electoral law is to guarantee electoral transparency, there is need to work with reliable officials, because if the law does not provide citizens with freedom of expression or fails to allow the majority to identify themselves with their elected officials actions, there is a problem”, the spokesman of the civil society platform said.

Five months before the effective setting up of the ELECAM, the initiators said they undertook lobbying actions for the completion of the project, hoping that “the resolutions will lead to a bill to be submitted to the head of state for further transmission to parliament”.

After the creation of the ELECAM in December 2006 during a parliament had hoc session to replace the national observatory for electoral control and supervision (ONEL), the government pledged to effectively launch the new watchdog after a maximum 84-month period.

The grace period was said to be necessary because of the alleged flaws during the 2002 legislative and 2007 municipal elections as well as the 2004 presidential polls.



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Posted by African Press International on August 1, 2008

President Edward Fenech Adami of Malta on Wednesday informed the Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi that Maltas membership of the European Union will not hinder the continuation, development and enhancement of the friendship between their two friendly neighboring countries.

Speaking during a meeting with Colonel Qaddafi on Wednesday afternoon in Tripoli, the Maltese leader expressed his satisfaction with the level of current contacts between Libya and Malta with the aim of developing a joint project for oil exploration in the Mediterranean for the mutual benefit of the peoples of the two countries.

Official sources report here that President Adami also met with the Libyan Prime Minister Elbugdadi Mahmoudi in Tripoli and discussed with him development of joint cooperation between the two countries in the investment field.

The sources say that the officials of the two countries were scheduled to sign a number of agreements on Thursday relating to taxation, cooperation in fighting illegal immigration and oil exploitation.



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AfDB president begins a two-day official visit to Zambia

Posted by African Press International on August 1, 2008

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Donald Kaberuka, began a two-day official visit to Zambia from Thursday 31 July to 2 August, 2008, according to a press release issued here by the Bank.

While in the Zambian capital, Lusaka, Mr. Kaberuka is scheduled to hold talks with top government officials, including Vice President Rupiah Banda as well as Finance and National Planning Minister, Uganda Peter Magande. He will also participate at the official opening of the AfDB Zambia Field Office in Lusaka.

“The talks will, among others, centre on the strong cooperation between the AfDB Group and the Zambian government. The two sides will also discuss the possibility of leveraging support for Zambias private sector, the release states.

Zambia joined the AfDB in 1966 and first borrowed from the Bank in 1971. The AfDB has since invested close to US$980 million in the Zambian economy. Some US$917 million of this amount went to the public sector while US$58 million has been invested in the private sector, the release adds.

According to the release, these investments have been closely linked to government priorities, including poverty reduction, improved water and energy supply as well as agriculture and infrastructure development.

The AfDBs active portfolio in Zambia currently stands at US$ 220 million, deployed mainly in agriculture, water and sanitation, health, education and multi-sector budget support. Some US$50 million of this portfolio is in the private sector.

The release states that the Banks stated priorities for investments in Zambia will continue to be infrastructure development, energy, governance support and regional integration. It will also continue supporting other government priority areas including the manufacturing, mining, tourism, construction and financial sectors.

The Bank endorses Zambias Fifth National Development and the National Vision 2030 and works to strengthen the local ownership of the countrys development process, the release concludes.



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