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Archive for August 19th, 2008

API can now confirm: Zambia’s President is dead

Posted by African Press International on August 19, 2008

Levy Mwanawasa, The Zambian President is dead

The Zambian president has died. He was the head of SADC and had just attended the AU meeting in Egypt where he got a stroke. Mr Mwanawasa was championing the Zimbabwean course, engaging in what he termed as the liberation of the Zimbabwean people from the hands of Mugabe. It is possible the stroke came due to hard work that caused stress savaging his health.

He was undergoing treatment in France where he was expected to get better treatment but that was not to be.

The government was worried that a revelation of his death to the media,could cause anxiety in the political situation the country. The Acting President is expected to be sworn in as soon as possible so that there is not leadership vacumm in the country. Now that some media outlets have already got word of his death, it will be difficult to keep it a secret anymore.

Recently, he had come head-on with President Mugabe due to his stand on the Zimbabwean problem.

Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa was flown to the French capital, Paris, where he was given specialist medical treatment. He was 59 years old.

Vice-President Rupiah Banda has been the acting president awaiting new elections.

The man who wanted the AU to act on Zimbabwe did not live to see the outcome, now thaty the AU summit has called for a unity government in Zimbabwe.

He was one of the few African leaders who hadtaken a tough line against the ZANU-PF rule in Zimbabwe. He was very symphateic with Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and wanted him to take over from President Mugabe.

Mr Mwanawasa was not in talking terms with the South African President Mr Mbeki. Mbeki was seen as Mugabe’s supporter and Mwanawasa was Svangira’s man.

His death throws SADC countries in disray now when it is important to have a united front front and solve the Zimbabwean problem.

Mwanawasa who had attacked Mugabe before his stroke is among other leaders like Raila Odinga of Kenya who have taken the same stand on Zimbabwe.

This is sad news for SADC countries now that he has died, but Mugabe may be having other thoughts about the death of the man who was asking for his resignation. Nobody expects Mugabe to shed much tears if any.

By Press International – API

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What Washington is willing to Spend in Africa

Posted by African Press International on August 19, 2008

by Scott A Morgan

October 1st begins the new fiscal year in the United States. This year FY 09 marks the end of the Bush Presidency. So in what is his final budget submitted to the Congress how much money does He want to send to Africa?

The Amount of money that both the State Department and the Defense Department wish to spend is just over $1 Billion. Almost half of that amount ($500 Million) will be earmarked for the State Department for Drug Enforcement, Training of Law Enforcement, Anti-Terrorism,Demining and other Programs.

Several Countries will recieve an increase in Foreign Military Funding Projects as well. Ethiopia will receive $1.9 Million which is an increase from the FY 08 package of $843,000. Djibouti receives an increase of $800,000 in the Proposed Aid Package. The DRC will receive $600,000 this year and Nigeria has since a request for $1.35 Million.

Meanwhile the Pentagon will be spending just under $400 Million for its Headquarters in Germany. There currently is no money being allocated for a forward deployment installation. There is some speculation that when France pulls out of its base in Djibouti in 2010 the US may take it over.It is estimated under this current budget proposal that the Pentagon will spend rough $ 400 Billion to train Paramilitary,Police and Regular Armed Forces.

Some of the Money and Arms from the US will be making its way to several trouble spots in Africa. The DRC continues to have problems with several Militias exerting influence in the east of the country. West Africa is a concern as it is used to trans-ship Narcotics from South America to Europe. The US is increasing its Presence in the Gulf of Guinea Region as well due to the Large Amount of oil that is in close proximity to that body of water.

Other Areas that the US are concerned with are the Horn of Africa and the Sahel Region. In the Horn the US has spent Millions of Dollars and even used precision strikes to support Ethiopia as it attempts to prop up the weak Somali Government. Stability in Kenya has to be a concern after the Elections there earlier this year. In the Sahel Region it is believed that Al-Qaida is attempting to get a foothold in the region as well.

In General Africa was on the backburner of the Policy Makers in Washington for a while.The US has generally stood on the sidelines for several African Crises such as what occured in Rwanda.But there has been some positive efforts such as bringing the Warring Factions in Southern Sudan together with the Government for a Peace Accord.

There is some concern that AFRICOM (Africa Command) could be the beginning of an attempt by the US to Militarize the Continent. The stated goal of AFRICOM is not to place boots on African Soil but to assist the African Military Forces. But it is clear that whatever happens in Africa cannot be ignored in Washington.

The Author publishes Confused Eagle on the Internet.It can be found at morganrights.tripod.com

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Sudan’s president in Turkey to attend summit

Posted by African Press International on August 19, 2008

By C. ONUR ANT Associated Press Writer 2008 The Associated Press

Aug. 18, 2008, 11:19AM

ISTANBUL, Turkey A summit of African leaders began in Istanbul on Monday, but the focus was on the visit of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir his first trip abroad since an international court indicted him on genocide charges.

Al-Bashir was accused last month by the International Criminal Court prosecutor of directing genocide in Darfur, Sudan’s troubled region where up to 300,000 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million displaced since 2003.

The prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, requested that an arrest warrant be issued for al-Bashir. A panel of judges is reviewing evidence submitted by Moreno-Ocampo to decide whether there are reasonable grounds to issue the warrant.

Al-Bashir arrived in Istanbul on Monday to attend the three-day Turkey-Africa economic cooperation summit.

Even if an arrest warrant was issued while he was in Turkey, it would be highly unlikely that Turkish authorities would arrest him because the country has not signed the court’s treaty and is not bound by its provisions.

New York-based Human Rights Watch, however, has called on Turkey to express support for the court case during the Sudanese delegation’s visit.

“We would ask you to use this opportunity to make it clear to the government of Sudan that Turkey does not, nor will ever, support impunity for such crimes,” according to a letter read by representatives of the group to Turkish officials.

Al-Bashir has said that Sudan does not recognize the court in The Hague, Netherlands, and will never cooperate with it.

Ethnic African groups in Darfur rebelled against al-Bashir’s government, accusing it of discrimination, and his regime is accused of unleashing Arab militias known as janjaweed that are blamed for atrocities against civilians.

The Turkey-Africa Cooperation Summit, meanwhile, started with talks among high level officials from around 50 countries. Heads of state, including al-Bashir, meet Tuesday afternoon. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was not expected to attend.

The summit in Turkey’s cultural and financial center is part of the country’s intensifying efforts to expand ties and increase trade volume with the African continent.

Turkey has increased its trade volume with African nations from around $5.4 billion to $13 billion in less then three years, and is targeting $30 billion by the end of 2010.

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API/Source.AP

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Losing the power of the flag – former Kenya ministers cry out their sadness. Those in power should learn from them

Posted by African Press International on August 19, 2008

Life out of power; Ministers story

By Standard Team

What do you do when you lose an election, the trappings of power and a jet-set

lifestyle? This is the reality confronting former powerful Cabinet ministers routed in the last General Election.

The Standard

tracked some of the former powermen and made interesting discoveries.

Whereas some confessed that they missed the flag, all were full of advice on the dos and donts while in power.

Some have gone back to class in search of knowledge, while others have found solace in farming and business.

Former Heritage Minister Rashid Shakombo said: “I miss the flag and the power that comes with it. It is not a lie. Everybody would love to be in power. But the truth is I was prepared. Only those who are careless while in power end up miserable without it.”

So what are the former big men up to? We found former Tourism Minister Morris Dzoro in college and his Co-operatives Development colleague, Mr Njeru Ndwiga, farming.

Once powerful Internal Security minister Chris Murungaru is into business in Nairobi, but frequents his former Kieni constituency, where he has a palatial home.

He denied working to recapture the seat he lost in the last elections, saying it was still too early four years to the next election.

Former Roads Minister Simeon Nyachae has kept a low profile since losing his parliamentary seat, and is concentrating on business.

Speaking at a funeral at the weekend, Mr Nyachae said he had quit politics, but would be available for advice from younger politicians.

Others who have kept a low profile include former high-flying Trade minister Mukhisa Kituyi and Mr Moses Akaranga (Public Service).

Mr David Mwiraria is also keeping a low profile, though he still keeps close contacts with the President.

Though he appears to have abandoned active politics, he still handles Narc-Kenya and PNU affairs in North Imenti, where he recently hosted a delegates meeting. He is into farming and business.

Dzoro has a word or two for those still in power: “Nothing is permanent and that is what most politicians dont seem to understand. You must have short, middle and long-term plans regardless of the position you hold in society. That is what saved me.”

And Shakombo chimed in: “Never attempt to divorce yourselves from the people and the ordinary way of living.”

Yet others have settled down quite well in their new status in society.

Said Nyachae recently: “When you are born, God has a plan for you. I had my time and did what I could. I am now comfortable in my new life.”

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Posted by African Press International on August 19, 2008

ByGEORGE OMONSO

A Form Two student, who won Sh1 million, last year, has donated the money to a centre that fights Female Genital Mutilation.

Teresa Cheptoo, 16, from Pokot, won the cash after being crowned Nobel Prize winner in the childrens category. She won the prestigious award due to her advocacy against female circumcision. The winners were picked in New York, US.

On Monday, Cheptoo, who attends Limuru Girls Secondary School, hosted more than 1,200 girls from schools in the larger West Pokot district and taught them the importance of not being circumcised. She said the practice had led to a high school drop-out rate among girls from the area. Female circumcision is illegal in Kenya but some communities are yet to abandon it.

About 1,500 girls from Pokot drop out of school every year to get married after being circumcised.

Mondays celebrations were at Chelombai Primary School in Chepareria Division and were marked with songs, poems and talks whose common theme was anti-FGM.

Cheptoo donated the money to Kipkomoa Advocacy Workshop for Girl Child in West Pokot District, a centre that is about 20 kilometers from Kapenguria Town.

The majority of West Pokot girls who undergo the cutget married soon after they heal.

Last year, a chief from Sok area was attacked and seriously injured after he tried to stop a girls parents from marrying her off.

A similar incident happened in Sigor, where elders attacked a chief after he insisted that a girl who was to married off had to return to school.

Buy desks

Area Kenya National Union of Teachers chairman William Riata said the union had spent Sh300,000 on desks in various schools to encourage girls remain in schools.

He also said the union had started building a library at Chepareria trading centre.

Mr Riata called on the Government to be tough on parents who married off their young daughters.

Speaking separately, Kapenguria member of Parliament Julius Murgor said only education could get the community out of cattle rustling, which also encouraged early marriage.

Young men who raid neighbouring communities for cattle use the stolen animals to pay bride price.

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A golden day for Kenya – joyous day for the Kenyan people

Posted by African Press International on August 19, 2008

Gold came double for Kenya on Monday with Brimin Kipruto (left) winning the 3,000-m steeplechase and Pamela Jelimo (second left) finishing first in the 800-m. Adding the icing on the cake, Richard Mateelong (right) took bronze in the steeplechase while Janeth Jepkosgei won Silver in the 800-m. Photos/MOHAMED AMIN

ByELIAS MAKORI in Beijing

In Summary

  • Jelimo is the first Kenyan woman to win a gold medal at the Olympics.
  • World champion Brimin Kipruto and compatriot Benjamin Kogo cruise to a 1-2 finish in the 3,000 metres steeplechase.
  • Kenya has won all Olympic titles in the 3,000 metres steeplechase save for 1976 and 1980 when it boycotted.

History was written at the Beijing National Stadium last night as Pamela Jelimo and Brimin Kipruto won Kenyas first gold medals at the Olympic Games in spectacular fashion.

Jelimo becomes the first Kenyan woman to win a gold medal at the Olympics, a rather strange statistic given the countrys dominance in athletics over the years.

World champion Brimin Kipruto cruised to victory in the 3,000 metres steeplechase race to maintain a rich Kenyan tradition that started in 1968 when Amos Biwott won the countrys first ever steeplechase gold at the Mexico Olympics in a race that saw Benjamin Kogo complete a Kenyan 1-2 finish.

Kenya has won all Olympic titles in the race since then, apart from the 1976 and 1980 Games in Montreal and Moscow, which Kenya boycotted.

Kenya is the highest placed African nation in 18th place with two gold, three silver and two bronze medals. Ethiopia lie 24th with two gold and one silver while Zimbabwe are 30th on the log with one gold and three silver medals. All of Zimbabwes medals were won by swimmer Kirsty Coventry.

The 18-year-old Jelimos winning time of one minute 54.87 seconds in the 800 metres thriller was also a world junior record. Kenyas world champion, Janeth Jepkosgei, who set the early pace for Jelimo in front of a screaming crowd of 91,000 before Jelimo took charge in the last 400 metres, won the silver medal in 1:56.07.

The Kenya Police runner dedicated her win to her mother, Rhoda Jeptoo Keter, a former athlete herself and a mother of nine who hails from Nandi district.

Im so happy. Its unbelievable. I wanted to reach the final and now that I have won the gold its really great for my family and great for Kenya, Jelimo said.

We planned to run as a team and bring the medals with Janeth and Im happy things went the right way. I dedicate my medal to my mother and to all Kenyans and I urge parents to encourage their children to take up sports along with education I would not be here if my mother did not encourage me to run, she added.

Jepkosgei said they had planned their strategy well ahead of the race. I told her that since she was the stronger one between us, she should just attack the race and go all the way, Jepkosgei, who won the world championships gold medal in Osaka, Japan, last year said.

Im happy the race went that way and Im also happy that Brimin Kipruto won the steeplechase gold medal. Its a great night for Kenya.
On Sunday, Kenya won its first two medals of the 29th Olympic Games which end next Wednesday when Catherine Ndereba and Eunice Jepkorir finished second to take silvers in the marathon and the 3,000 metres steeplechase respectively.

Today, Augustine Choge and Asbel Kiprop will be looking to get more medals for Kenyan when they compete in the 1,500 metres final.

Dickson Wamwiri and Milkah Akinyi begin their competitions in the taekwondo tomorrow morning.

Kenya was also represented in swimming, bowing and rowing at these games.

It was 9.20 pm Beijing time (4.20 pm Kenyan time) when Kipruto crossed the finish line to win the steeplechase, his arms spread out in jubilation after clinching the Olympic title in eight minutes, 10.34 seconds with fellow Kenyan Richard Mateelong finishing third to take the bronze medal in 8:11.01.

Former Algerian Frenchman Mahiedine Maekhissi-B spoilt the Kenyan party by outsprinting Mateelong to take the silver medal, although his extraordinary performance raised eyebrows among athletics analysts here, who have never seen him perform at top level steeplechase competitions before.

I feel great. I knew it was my race and I knew if I was in the leading group with 200 metres to go, I would beat anybody, the 23-year-old, who became the youngest athlete to win a medal in an Olympic steeplechase race when he won silver at the 2004 Games in Athens, said.

Further medals

I was inspired to take up athletics by watching the performances of people like former world record holder Moses Kiptanui winning. I wanted it to be a clean Kenyan 1-2-3 sweep but unfortunately the Frenchman came between us. It is strange because I have never seen this man or competed against him before, Kipruto added.

Further Kenyan medals are expected in the men and womens 1,500 and 5,000 metres races this week and in the mens marathon on the last day of the Games on Sunday. Wamwiri is also one of the Games dark horses in the taekwondo competition where he has a good chance of a top three finish.

The wins prompted huge celebrations across the country and a ferver of patriotism as Kenyans united in celebrating the medals.

From Nairobi to Mombasa, Kisumu to Nyeri to Eldoret and Nakuru, Kenyans who were glued to their television sets broke into celebrations as the athletes romped home to give the country the first gold medals of the Beijing Games.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga was among the first to send his congratulatory message.

I was thrilled along with all Kenyans to learn of Pamela Jelimo and Brimin Kiprutos feats in winning gold medals for our country at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, said Raila in a statement.

I wish to also congratulate the other champions who won silver and bronze medals yesterday. Surely more medals are on the way.

Some Kenyans might be tempted to take this great success in their stride, since we always win Olympic gold and other medals in track events. But the reality is that each medal is a result of painful and long lasting commitment and discipline. No less important, each year the competition for medals gets harder.

So I salute our dear athletes in Beijing, who have done us proud with their victories. I also salute our other athletes, who have given their best for the country and won us praise on the world stage as true sportsmen and sportswomen, the statement said.

In Mombasa, Bobby Onjiko, a watch repairer who had dashed to Club Rio to watch the two races, was ecstatic about the results.

They have done us proud in China and we expect more gold medals before the Olympics are over. Although the economy is hard, these athletes should be given something by every Kenyan of goodwill, said Onjiko.

David Ndau, a taxi driver who abandoned his taxi and rushed to watch the races, was emphatic about Kenya as a running nation.

Kenya has stamped its authority as a powerhouse in the athletics by that incredible performance. The way Jelimo ran reminds you of the gazelle in our wildlife reserves.

Patrick Ochieng, a guard with Guard Force, said he was proud to be a Kenyan. Seeing what our athletes have done today is wonderful, he said.

There was celebration Eldoret town after the victory.

Kapsabet, the home town for Jelimo and Chepkosgei, also broke into celebration. Former steeplechase champion Moses Kiptanui said he watched Kipruto winning the gold and was happy.

What else can I say, it is just happiness, Kiptanui said. He said he was also happy after Jelimo and Jepkosgei crossed the finish line in the first and second position. If the remaining athletes remain focused, we shall get at least four golds, Kiptanui said.

Uasin Gishu Athletics Kenya (AK) spokesman John Kiptum was all joy saying there was immense talent in the country which needed to be tapped.

The pace set by Jelimo and Brimin Kipruto is a challenge to the remaining athletes, Kiptum said.

Athletic fan Richard Yegon, working in a blue chip company, said Kenya was on its way rekindling its lost glory.

If my age could have allowed, I could have joined athletics since it is one straight way to riches, he said.

Eliud Wafula said though he was proud of the athletes raising the Kenyan flag high, the standards of other games were wanting.

We only get our pride from athletics, does it mean that we dont prepare well in other games like boxing? he asked.

Wafula said though the country had done well in giving each constituency Sh1 million to invest in sports, more needed to be done.

We have never ventured in javelin while our history books taught us that the Maasai were good in throwing it.’

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Kenyan lawyers wants to remove the Chief Justice

Posted by African Press International on August 19, 2008

Judges meet as pressure piles on Chief Justice

By Standard Team

Issues of performance and management of the Judiciary return to haunt Chief Justice Evan Gicheru as Judges converge this morning for their most important annual meeting where they take stock of problems affecting the justice system.

The Chief Justice, who is expected to open the annual Judges Colloquium at Mombasa Serena Hotel, has his hands full of controversial issues facing the Judiciary, which the members of the Bench urgently want to deliberate on.

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK), lawyers and some judges who spoke to The Standard in confidence, pointed out trouble areas that they said Gicheru must address head-on if the tip-top integrity of the Judiciary that the Government tried to create in 2003 is to be achieved.

The LSK, which last week threatened to call on the President to appoint a tribunal against the Chief Justice, said Gicheru had his best chance in the five-day meeting to make a turn-around of the Judiciary and stem the tide of criticism.

About 45 judges and 11 others of the Court of Appeal will attend the meeting.

Key issues

Among the issues expected to feature prominently in the agenda is the “impunity” of judges in awarding exorbitant awards in defamation cases, especially against the media, blatantly flouting precedence set by the Court of Appeal.

Some of the most outstanding awards have exposed the weakness in the judgements as the Court of Appeal has whittled them down drastically.

Also facing the judges as they soul-search are issues raised by LSK and other stakeholders yesterday, which point to a big rift between members of the Bench and the Bar.

Grievances between the lawyers and the Judiciary boiled over last Wednesday when a group of lawyers were dispersed by police at the High Court as they sought to see the Chief Justice to protest against a Nakuru magistrate.

The LSK, angered by the police action, took on Gicheru and asked him to deal with issues of performance of magistrates and what they termed “poor management of the Judiciary”. They threatened to call on the President to institute action against him.

The LSK also called for the removal of some of the judicial officers under Gicherus watch who they allege are standing in the way of quick dispensation of justice.

The judges who spoke to The Standard yesterday said this years colloquium may not be business as usual as many of them were set to push for implementation of issues they feel have stalled.

They said the colloquium was a waste of time and that it hardly implements anything they pass.

“One of the things we agreed on last year at the colloquium is that no judge should be transferred from a station before they have stayed for three years. But some of us have been moved even before settling down for eight months,” said one judge, who was heading to Mombasa on Sunday.

Judges said a good number of them were frustrated, and some had rebelled, by some of the decisions made by the CJ like the ruling that all applications against the Government be referred to Nairobi.

They cited the case of Kisumu Judge Joseph Karanja who last month openly went against the directive and made a ruling against the Government in Kisumu.

And prominent lawyers continue to raise concerns on the hefty awards courts have slapped on media houses lately, saying it amounted to impunity on the part of judges who have ignored earlier Appeal Court rulings.

The lawyers are now urging the judges to refer to a libel case against Gicheru versus a publisher in 2005.

This decision saw a libel award of Sh2.25m in favour of the CJ, enhanced by the Court of Appeal to Sh6million at a time when the norm was to declare libel awards between Sh10m and Sh30m.

“Currently, people who are below the CJ in calibre, including magistrates, have been awarded even higher amounts than the Sh6 million he was given and that should be questioned,” said LSK vice-chairman James Mwamu.

The precedent-setting Court of Appeal decision in another KTDA case versus a lawyer that saw the scaling down of a libel award from Sh10m to Sh1.5m by the Appeal Court may be cited to illustrate impunity in awarding for defamation.

Retired Court of Appeal Judge A.B Shah was awarded Sh7m, Advocate Joseph Kiangoi Sh8million and Chief Magistrate Margaret Wachira Sh10m, among other hefty awards are some of the matters judges said they would raise at todays meeting.

LSK said the laws on defamation were overdue for repeal and did not reflect the dynamism of the Kenyan society anymore.

LSKs vice-chairman said: “I strongly propose that laws on defamation be amended and that we borrow lessons from the US example where it is liberal with less hearings.”

“The hefty awards are astronomical and ridiculously high. Bad precedent has been set and I read them as an attempt to stifle the media,” said senior counsel and former Kabete MP Paul Muite.

And the East Africa Law Society chairman Tom Ojienda also decried the inconsistency in the awards: “The hefty awards are varying from case to case. The Judiciary must settle on guidelines to be followed in the awards,” Ojienda said.

“The awards reflect reputation and personality, but certain people perceived to be more important receive less awards. This issue must be settled,” added Ojienda.

Mr Justin Muturi, an advocate and former Siakago MP, says laws of defamation and libel are colonial relics.

“Laws relating to media should all be harnessed under the proposed Freedom of Information Law,” Muturi said

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If the Former Finance minister Kimunya is clean, he should be reinstated immediately

Posted by African Press International on August 19, 2008

KACC exonerates Kimunya over Grand Regency saga

Written By:Collins Anampiu

The Justice Majid Cockar-led commission investigating the controversial sale of the Grand Regency hotel was on Monday told that the former finance minister Amos Kimunya was in no way involved in the sale and transfer of the hotel.

The deputy director of Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) Fatuma Sichale told the commissioner that at no time did KACC involve Kimunya in any consultation or correspondent over the matter.

In cross examination by Prof. Githu Muigai representing the former finance minister Sichale further told the Commission that the Attorney General was not consulted by KACC since the suit was civil.

However Sichale raised more controversy as the lawyer representing the Libyan company that purchased the hotel expressed astonishment that the hotel made a profit of 341 million shillings while under receivership whereas the Libyan firm purchased the hotel with liabilities with the understanding that the hotel was making losses.

It further emerged that the money was never remitted to the Central Bank as required and was kept in a joint account awaiting a ruling from the court on the suit.

The Central Bank accused KACC of filing the suit against former owner of the hotel, businessman Kamlesh Pattni without consultations and went on to appoint receiver managers without CBKs consent.

However the big question for KACC remained why the hotel was sold under Uhuru Highway Limited yet the company had relinquished ownership though the transfer was not formalized.

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Kenya: Promoting peace and security – paramount

Posted by African Press International on August 19, 2008

PM cals for release of post poll violence suspects

Written By:Mac Kemoli,Posted: Mon, Aug 18, 2008

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has emphasized the need to reform the country’s judicial system to make it more efficient and credible.

Odinga also called for the release of post election violence suspects saying authorities that arrested them had themselves taken a political stand in the matter.

Speaking during an international conference on restorative justice and international law, Odinga blamed the plight of youths in police cells on the corrupt judicial system and a partisan police force that took sides when apprehending post election violence suspects.

He said the suspects should be released and be investigated by an independent authority. Raila took issue with the slow pace of peace talks in Zimbabwe saying there was no level playing field between the two principals.

He called on the African union to help in promoting peace through out the continent.

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Kenya: The court gives councilors a go ahead to drag the Deputy PM through the courts

Posted by African Press International on August 19, 2008

Councilors allowed to sue Mudavadi

Written By:Lempaa Suyianka,Posted: Mon, Aug 18, 2008

The High Court on Monday allowed eight councilors to sue Deputy Prime Minister who is also theminister for local government Musalia Mudavadi for revocation of their nominations.

Justice Roselyn Nambuye allowed the councilors to sue Mudavadi for revoking of their nomination by his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta in February this year.

Nambuye said the application by the lawyer Evans Mwangi raised paramount legal issues.

Elsewhere, at the chief magistrate’s court, 11 people were charged with forging Kenya Police recruitment questionnaires.

The eleven led by Simon Kiplagat denied the charge before Nairobi chief acting magistrate Cecilia Githua.

Ten of the suspects were released on 50,000 shilling cash bails each with the hearing set for September 1.

Kiplagat was however denied bail and remanded at Nairobi Central Police for two days to await further investigations.

At the same court, the magistrate renewed a warrant of arrest against Kuresoi MP Zakayo Cheruyot and former finance officer at the office of the president John Agili Olao, charged with awarding Anglo Leasing contracts in 2005.

The prosecution told the magistrate that the first warrant of arrest was issued on June this year but police have not acted on it. Elsewhere, Moses Mumbasi alias Musa Wangila Mukebi denied stealing 20 million shillings from Equity Bank two weeks ago.

He was remanded at Kileleshwa police station until August 20 August when he will be produced in court.

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Mbeki to travel to Zimbabwe to continue power sharing talks

Posted by African Press International on August 19, 2008

President Thabo Mbeki is expected to travel to Harare, Zimbabwe before the end of the week for the continuation of power sharing talks between the ruling Zanu-PF and the two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), according to a statement released here Monday by the presidency.

On Sunday, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit ended in Johannesburg without concluding a Zimbabwean deal. The extra-ordinary summit of the SADC organ of politics, defence, security and co-operation met for three days on the sidelines of the summit in an attempt to broker an agreement between President Robert Mugabe, the two opposition leaders; Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara.

In a statement at the conclusion of the summit, SADC urged the parties to sign any outstanding agreements as a matter of urgency and pledged its commitment to finding a lasting solution in that country.

Mbeki, speaking in his capacity as the new chairperson of SADC, pledged the organisations commitment to finding a lasting solution in Zimbabwe. He appealed to Zimbabwes political parties to sign any outstanding agreements and conclude negotiations as a matter of urgency to restore political stability in country.

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Algeria helps free 26 Malian soldiers held hostage by Touareg rebels

Posted by African Press International on August 19, 2008

Twenty six out of about the one hundred soldiers held hostage by Malian Touareg rebels were freed, thanks to the mediation of Algeria, the Malian government disclosed Sunday evening in a statement in Bamako.

This has been possible because Mali enjoys the “precious support” and “personal involvement” of the Algerian President, Abdul-Aziz Bouteflika, the Malian government said in its statement.

However, the document neither stated the place nor the conditions under which the hostages were freed.

Algeria, the mediator between the central Malian government and the Touareg rebels, contributed to the signing of a “National Covenant” in 1992 in Mali, before being the patron of the signing of another new deal at the outbreak of new hostilities in 2006.

The Algerian mediation, which was interrupted after a cease-fire was concluded last April 3rd in Tripoli, Libya, resumed in May after an intensive flurry of diplomatic activity.

At the same time, as the Algerian brokerage, a national Malian mediation, hailed by the government, is also endeavouring to find a solution to the northern Malian crisis.

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API/Source.apa

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No settlement for Zimbabwe as SADC summit comes to an end

Posted by African Press International on August 19, 2008

Zimbabwe\s ruling Zanu-PF and opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) failed to reach a settlement on the final day of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit where the country\s crisis was high on the agenda.

A spokesperson for the MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said on Sunday that the two parties had failed to agree.

\”We\re finished,\” said George Sibotshiwe, referring to the MDC \s meetings with the regional leaders at the summit.

Asked by the South African Broadcasting Corporation if there was an agreement, he said: \”No, not at all.\”

He declined to discuss details of the talks at the summit, saying only that Tsvangirai had met with the heads of state.

Major stumbling blocks were said to remain in the talks, with much of the disagreement centred on the distribution of power between Tsvangirai and Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.

The remaining areas of contention included whether Mugabe would retain the right to hire and fire ministers and how long a transitional government would remain in place.

Tsvangirai is also reported to have told the The New York Times in an interview that \”it\s better not to have a deal than to have a bad deal.\”

According to the New York Times the MDC wants a clause stating that if one of the parties pulls out of the government of national unity, elections would be held within 90 days, according to the official.

The 14-nation SADC summit wrapped up on Sunday.

On Saturday South African President Thabo Mbeki, the regionally appointed mediator for the Zimbabwe talks, had raised the possibility that a deal could be reached before the end of the meeting.

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API/Source.apa

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Senior US House official on visit to Niger

Posted by African Press International on August 19, 2008

A member of Foreign Affairs Committee staff at the US House of Representatives, Heather Flynn, Monday began a three-day visit to Niger to assess the progress of implementing a 23 million-dollar programme approved to Niger as part of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, sources told APA.

Flynn will meet with Nigerian authorities before visiting community schools participating in the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Threshold programme.

The US official is charged with African affairs and global health at the House of Representatives where she also monitors State Department policies as well as draft legislation.

Launched last March, the 23 million dollar MCC aims to improve girl schooling in the Nigerien regions of Zinder and Tillabery over the next three years, and to help improve the countrys governance and business environment.

At the launch of the account, the government of Niger set up a standing committee for the implementation of the MCC, which also focuses on reducing corruption, and streamlining business creation and land access procedures.

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API/Source.apa

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WFP national officer abducted, murdered in southern Somalia

Posted by African Press International on August 19, 2008

Unidentified Somali gunmen have abducted and later killed the national officer of the World Food Programme (WFP) in Dinsor, about 310 kilometres southwest of Mogadishu, as he was traveling on Friday while on an off-duty weekend visit to his home in Dinsor from his duty station in Waajid, the aid agency said in a statement released in Mogadishu on Monday.

Abdulkadir Diad Mohamed, 33, who joined WFP in June as an administration and finance assistance, was abducted and later shot dead with his driver as he tried to escape, according to reports.

They were three abductees, one of them managed to escape while the driver of Mr. Mohamed and himself was killed, according to the reports we received. We also found blood marks on the scene and the escapee told us that he could hear firing when he was running, Salah Mohamed Arab, a local elder in Dinsor, told APA.

“WFP does not believe his death to be related to the recent spate of targeted attacks on aid workers in Somalia,” WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said in the statement.

I am shocked by this senseless and barbaric attack on one of our staff, Sheeran said. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues.

According to a United Nation report, nineteen aid workers have been killed in Somalia this year alone and thirteen others have been abducted, some of them are still missing.

Insecurity is a major issue for WFP in many parts of the world, including Somalia where it is expanding its operations to feed 2.4 million people by the end of the year. Conflict, drought, hyper-inflation and rising food and fuel prices are pushing more and more people to the edge of survival.

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API/Source.apa

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