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Archive for September 29th, 2008

What’s Lucy doing at the UN with Kibaki?

Posted by African Press International on September 29, 2008

Since when does the first lady attend the General session at the UN. Shouldnt she be visiting with Kenyans in NYC or shoppingthis is weird

cathymush27-Sep-2008 …reply # 92659
N wat’s amusing Wako?

watergate27-Sep-2008 …reply # 92663

mungadelicious27-Sep-2008 …reply # 92666

Yenyewe hi ni upuzi ngani…?
And to think that these are the guys who have always painted Baba Moi as the “enemy”

ochuodho j27-Sep-2008 …reply # 92667
ha ha ha is that karucy the first rady,leave the woman alone she’s got through hell with kibakis mistress ha ha is the entire parliament in New york!

Luambo Makiadi27-Sep-2008 …reply # 92671
I think this lady is out of control…she must have insisted to stay with Kibaki even during the session.

kasmall28-Sep-2008 …reply # 92683
Ai i think this is pushing it a bit too far. Another brain must have been left in kenya for her to have that seat.GRRRRRRRRRRRRR

nash28-Sep-2008 …reply # 92693
ati wats she doing–c she is his “half”——————–wako is ever similing even wen angry n hungry


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Why political parties in Kenya want to sabotage Political Parties Act

Posted by African Press International on September 29, 2008

Parties unite against offending Act

By Joseph Murimi

Major political parties have joined hands to plot an overthrow of the Political Parties Act that they fear may spell their doom.

In a rare show of unity, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), Party of National Unity (PNU) and ODM-K have enlisted the support of 78 political parties to subvert the implementation of the Act.

Several parties are to team up with the Centre for Multi-Party Democracy-Kenya (CMD) to move to court and file a constitutional reference with the aim of declaring the new law unconstitutional.

The suit is to be filed before the end of the week, with firm argument that the law is taking away their freedom of association as enshrined in Section 80 of the Constitution.

The CMD oversight board met last Thursday and concluded that some sections of the new law are “unconstitutional and would lead to the stifling of multi-partyism in Kenya”.

CMD chairman Larry Gumbe confirmed the meeting attended by representatives of all the main political parties including ODM, PNU, Narc Kenya, ODM-K and Safina.

ODM was represented by the founding chairman Mugambi Imanyara, PNU by Secretary-General Albert Kamau, and Narc-Kenya by MPs Danson Mungatana and Katoo ole Metito, among others.

On Sunday, Prof Gumbe said they would join the political parties that are going to court to have the offending sections amended.

He said the board mandated them to negotiate with the Government to see how the law that comes into full force next January 1 could be expeditiously amended.

Gumbe said CMD-K welcomed the efforts being made to streamline and regulate the operations of political parties, but had problems with sections of the new law.

He said one of the areas in conflict with the Constitution was the requirements that political parties must attain 5 per cent of the national vote in two consecutive elections or risk deregistration.

Restrictions of funding

The new law came into effect on July 1 and gave parties a grace period of 180 days to meet the requirements. The period expires on December 31.

Parties are currently racing against time to meet the requirements, including conducting elections and opening branches across the country.

Gumbe takes issue with restrictions of funding of political parties by NGOs as well as the huge amount of money (Sh600,000) set out for registration.

He says this means those who fail to raise the amount would have their freedom of association curtailed, which is against the Constitution.

The requirement that parties be national has also been interpreted to mean that the new law was limiting the freedom of association by denying those who want to come together as a region to do so.

He also took issue with the definition of party branches, saying the decision should be left for parties to decide as they deem fit.

Gumbe says the grounds laid out in the Act for deregistration of the parties are discriminatory.

A requirement that a party that does not field candidates for six years would be deregistered turns parties into “mere election machines contrary to the spirit of multi-partyism, where parties generate policies and project different ideological positions”.

CMD-K also takes issue with the decision of level funding to be made by the Treasury, hence giving the Minister for Finance the power to determine level of funding.

Gumbe says this would give the Government of the day a chance to manipulate the parties. He further questions the immense powers the Act gives to the Registrar of Political Parties.



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Posted by African Press International on September 29, 2008

By Scott Dickensheets


When she gets home early enough, my wife watches Judge Judy, and it always drives me from the room. I can see why she likes the show: My wifes an educator, a line of work rife with students and parents who wont take responsibility for themselves, who expect schools to make everything easy for them. In that context, Judge Judy Sheindlins sharp tongue and no-bullshit demeanor must seem like a welcome corrective.

But I cant stand the old bag. For one thing, Judge Judy isnt really about justice; its about judgment as entertainmentabout the Simon Cowell kick of watching an authority figure empowered to humiliate the silly (and the people before her court seem so consistently clumsy and inarticulate that you finally wonder if theyre screened for precisely those qualities).

Mostly, though, I dislike the shows red-state fantasy of a judiciary seized back from relativist, waffling judges who are more concerned about the niceties of due process than standing up for whats right. Every time Sheindlin curtly shuts up a plaintiff in mid-explanation or barks a lesson in black-and-white morality at some chastened defendant, she mocks the ambiguities of actual justice, to the delight of viewers who believe crooks too easily exploit the complexities of the law. I know, I know. Of course its just a TV show; of course the participants have agreed to be there; of course its all small-claims stuff. I get that.

But we live in a post-nuance world, and Sheindlins badass demeanor and frantic pacejustice is dispensed at lightning speed, her website says, as if shes serving fast foodencourage, in a small but persistent way, a wrongly simplistic view of how the system ought to work.

Plus, that voice! Ach. I have to leave the room just thinking about it.


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Egypt claims 2.2% of Uganda land

Posted by African Press International on September 29, 2008

Image of alibalunywa2

<Story by: Ali Balunywa, AfricaNews reporter in Almere, the Netherlands Photo: Michael Poliza

The Uganda government had allocated to Egypt two million acres of land to grow wheat and corn this year, Egypt`s minister of Agriculture revealed. He asserted that the land was in a number of places. Two million acres is equivalent to 2.2% of Uganda`s total area.
It was not clear whether the land was sold or leased freely, Ugandas Daily Monitor newspaper quoting the Egyptian Al-Ahram Weekly newspaper cited Minister Amin Abaza as saying.

Mbarara District, Uganda

President Museveni wants to make decisions favouring investors without consultations. He has for example given away land in several prime areas in the city free to foreign investors only to regularize the transactions later.

The monitor approached several executives including the Uganda Investment Authority, the Minister of lands and a number of political executives but they said they have no knowledge of the alleged deal.

However Reuters news agency reported recently that Arab countries, many of them oil rich but largely desert, were seeking large patches of land in fertile Africa to grow food for their populations to stem the increasing food prices.

The claim from Cairo came after Egyptian President Hussein Mubarak visited Uganda – for the first time in his 27 years in power – at the end of July. Members of Parliament on 25 September tasked the government to explain the circumstances under which Egyptians are claiming at least 2 per cent of Ugandas fertile agricultural land for wheat and corn plantations.

MP Ms Betty Kamya appealed to government as a matter of urgency to explain the agreement with the Egyptians, believed to be in final stages.

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Zim: Shops begin sales in foreign currency

Posted by African Press International on September 29, 2008

Image of Sam Banda Junior

<Story bySam Banda Junior, AfricaNews reporter in Blantyre, Malawi, Photo: Elles Van Gelder
The Zimbabwe Central Bank has given the go ahead to about 600 shops to start selling their goods in foreign currency in an effort to fight the black market trade and shortage of basic commodities. The Bank believes that the move would stop its citizens from shopping in neighbouring countries.
Zimbabwes Reserve Bank top boss Gideon Gono stressed that the Zimbabwe dollar remained the official currency adding that basic commodities like maize flour would be sold in the local currency only.

Zim dollars_currency_Zimbabwe_Elles van GelderThe country which is in an economic crisis and is struggling with the highest inflation ever at 11 million percent, has been hit by migration of its people in search of greener pastures.

We have successfully accepted about 600 applications, said Gono during a handover of the licenses to the owners. A Reuters News Agency report on Thursday quoted Gono as saying that local manufacturers would be allowed to sell to the licensed shops in foreign currency and that Zimbabweans and foreigners would be able to run the stores.

The report further said the Reserve Bank boss removed foreign currency restrictions for individuals, saying this was meant to allow them to use their foreign currency to buy from the shops.

The Southern African country mostly uses two major currencies – the South African rand and the U.S. dollar. Media reports say basic goods are scarce in Zimbabwe and when they become available they are sold at high prices. Consumers pay less when using cash, which is in short supply, while those using electronic transfers and cheques can pay up to ten times more.

Meanwhile the central bank governor announced that from next Monday the daily Zimbabwe dollar withdrawal limit would be hiked from 1,000 to 20,000. Zimbabwe recently wore a new hope which saw Zanu-PF and opposition political parties strike a power sharing deal.

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Malawi unveils third mobile firm

Posted by African Press International on September 29, 2008

Image of Sam Banda Junior

<Story by Sam Banda Junior, AfricaNews reporter in Blantyre, Malawi


A third mobile phone network operator is to roll out its services in Malawi by 2009. Already the Southern African country has two mobile firms – Zain Malawi and TNM. The two have been in stiff competition with each bringing out new cell phones which are being sold at cheaper prices.
The new mobile firm which should be prepared for a massive competition is known as Globally Advanced Intergrated Network (Gain).The country’s local paper of The Daily Times quoted its directors Peter Lamplugh and Limbani Kalilani as saying they would bring out advanced technology.

mobile phone

We want to offer good services through the best technology that we want to install, Lamplough said adding that they would be using Space Division Multiple Access (SDMA) technology which has better voice quality and speed data.

The country has of late experienced network congestion which has resulted in poor interconnectivity among subscribers. But Gain said SDMA, which uses multiple antennas among others would improve the speed.

Kalilani said the mobile firm was destined to withstand the competition further stressing that being a Malawian company, they would focus on covering rural areas and other places where there is no network coverage.

According to the Daily Times, Gain was granted permission to be the countrys third mobile phone company this year.

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Africa leads in mobile phone subscription

Posted by African Press International on September 29, 2008

The world could reach its four billion mark of mobile phone subscribers by end of 2008, if the drastic increase in mobile phone usage in Africa continues. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) said Africa remains the region with the highest annual growth rate in mobile phone subscribers.
In a press statement, Dr. Hamadoun Tour, the ITU Secretary- General describes this as a viable business opportunity. He said the African continent added over 60 million new mobile subscribers and it represents some 90 percent of all telephone subscribers, and mobile penetration in the region is close to 30 percent.


He added: Less than 65 million new subscribers during 2007. At the beginning of 2008, there were over a quarter of a billion mobile subscribers on the continent. Mobile penetration has risen from just one in 50 people at the beginning of this century to almost one third of the population today. Mobile subscribers are also now more evenly distributed.

The fact that four billion subscribers have been registered worldwide indicates that it is technically feasible to connect the world to the benefits of ICT and that it is a viable business opportunity,” said Dr Tour. Clearly, ICTs have the potential to act as catalysts to achieve the 2015 targets of the MDGs.

He was speaking at the high-level events on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in New York, where he also participated in the UN Private Sector Forums addressing the global food crisis and the role of technological innovation in meeting the MDGs.

Mobile penetration

The statement reveals that while in 2000, mobile penetration stood at only 12 per cent, it surpassed the 50 per cent mark by early 2008. It is estimated to reach about 61 per cent by the end of 2008. Some subscribers, particularly in developing countries reportedly share their mobile phone with others. According to ITU, this has often been cited as the success story of Grameen Phone in rural Bangladesh, for instance.

ITU further highlights that despite high growth rates in the mobile sector, major differences in mobile penetration rates remain between regions and within countries. It reveals that, the impressive growth in the number of mobile cellular subscribers is mainly due to developments in some of the worlds largest markets.

ITU recently published two regional reports for Africa and Asia which indicate how mobile telephony is changing peoples lives. Apart from providing communication services to previously unconnected areas, mobile applications have opened the doors to innovations such as m-commerce to access pricing information for rural farmers and the use of mobile phones to pay for goods and services.

Image of mugira

<Story by: Fredrick Mugira, AfricaNews reporter in Kampala, Uganda Photo: Kevinzim


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