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Archive for October 3rd, 2008

FEARS OVER FOOD SECURITY AS CEREAL OUTPUT DROPS EXPOSING MILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN EAST AFRICA TO DEATH BY STARVATION-UN AGENCY REPORT

Posted by African Press International on October 3, 2008

News Analysis By Leo Odera Omolo

The food security in East Africa could deepen further due to shortages in output of millets and sorghum, the traditional stable cereals for some communities.

According to projections by the United Nations office for the co-ordination of humanitarian Affairs (UN-Ocha), production of the two cereals in Kenya will fall by five percent compared with five-year average, while in the ungovernable Republic of Somalia it will decline by five per cent.

In northern Tanzania and parts of Burundi, production will fall by as much as 15 per cent, although surplus from other regions may even out the deficit nationality in these countries.

The only bright spot in the region is the tiny Republic of Rwanda, where production is expected to go up by two per cent. Declines will also being experienced in Ethiopia and in the Sudan, UN-ocha says in a report just released in Nairobi.

According t the agency, the main reason fro the shortfalls is generalized decline in rainfall across East Africa, which has now gone on for more than a decade.

A study co-ordinated by the US National Aeronautic and space Administration recently related the declining rainfall patterns in the region to the heating up of the Indian Ocean due to global warming.

According to the study, the phenomenon was leading to move rain falling on the ocean itself, as opposed to the winter lands.

In Kenya, UN-Ocha says the largest decrease in millet and Sorghum production will occur in the Rift Valley, the countrys bread basket in Tanzania, most central districts will have normal or above-normal production. Northern districts such as Shinyanga ,Arusha,Mara,Mwanza,Kigoma will however experience shortfalls of up to 10 per cent.

Analyst say that the production shortfalls of the two cereals is expected to hit Kenya particularly hard, given that the production of the countrys stable food grain, maize was seriously disrupted by the post-election crisis earlier in the year.

Many farmers fled their farms during the post-election violence that erupted in the period covering January,February and March 2008. Many of the rural farmers move to the Internally Displaced Peoples camps (IDP) leaving behind maturing food crops un attended in the farms only to find their crops vandalized.

According to estimates by Eastern Africa grain council, Kenya could be forced to import up to six million bags of maize to cover its growing shortfalls, with 1.6 million being imported this year alone.

It is moderately being estimated that close to million Kenyans are facing starvation especially in the north rift of the rift valley province in areas like Baringo, West Pokot, Marakwet, Turkana, and Samburu region.

The acute shortage of food grain is also being experienced in the agriculturally rich region like the south rift districts of Kericho, Bomet, Kisii,Narok Kuria, Bureti and Sotik districts.

Proper farm cultivation was disrupted by the post-election violence that engulfed the country in security sensitive regions like Moho, Uasin Gishu and Nakuru region.

This time around even usually self efficiency in food grains like Kisii, Kuria, and greater Southern Nyanza are reportedly experiencing acute shortage of maize. This has sent the prices of maize skyrocketing to matter double proportions by the rural poor population.

A tin of kg of maize is commonly and popularly known as gorogoro is now fetching as much as 65 which brings a sack of 90kg of maize to ksh.2600/= in the normal circumstances this would cost as little as 800 or 900/= particularly during harvest time.

But of the worker retail prices of food grain coming down . it has shot up by nearly 100% many families in western Kenya can no longer afford one meal a day leave alone the three meals a day . people are reportedly selling their livestock and even pieces of land parcels in order to set the scarce cash for buying food for their families.

The famine is fact aperationg for maize growing areas like Trans Nzoia , Bungoma, and Kakamega region which are the backbone of food grains. Trans Nzoia is known as the granary of Kenya but the post election violence this year has seriously attracted cultivation in these areas exposing millions of Kenyans and other African people to hunger and starvation.

Ends

Leooderaomolo@yahoo.com

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API

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EAC COMMON MARKET PROTOCOL BEGINS TO TAKE SHAPE AS BUJUMBURA ROUND OF TALKS WINDS UP

Posted by African Press International on October 3, 2008

cobs100

Forwarded By LEO ODERA OMOLO

High level delegates break deadlock over contentious issues of rights of residence and establishment

EAC Headquarters, Arusha, 27 September 2008: The third round of the negotiations of the EAC Common Market Protocol was held in Bujumbura , Burundi on 20-27 September 2008. The meeting was attended by Members of the High Level Task Force (HLTF) on the Negotiations of the EAC Common Market Protocol from all the EAC Partner States, Kenya, Uganda , Tanzania , Burundi and Rwanda .

Critical issues

Mr. John Bosco Kanyangoga, Director, Institutional Relations and Policy, Advocacy Department, Private Sector Federation, Rwanda , chaired the meeting. Tanzania was elected Rapporteur and Ms. Grace Naburi, Principal Education Officer, Ministry of Education and Vocational Training acted in that capacity.

Mr. Prudence Sebahizi, Executive Secretary , Rwanda Regional Integration Committee, Mr. Uledi Mussa, Director, Trade, Investments and Productive Sectors, Ministry of East African Co-operation, Tanzania, Mr. Pascal Girukwishaka, Economic Manager, Burundi Coffee Board, Mr. Mosses Kaggwa, Commissioner, Tax Policy Department, Uganda; and Mr. Barrack Ndegwa, Director, Ministry of East African Community, Kenya are leading their respective delegations in the HLTF process.

During the opening of the meeting in Bujumbura on 20 September, the Vice Minister for East African Community Affairs, Burundi , Mr. Nduwimana Deogratias noted that the negotiations were proceeding with very encouraging indications. He said the Bujumbura round was the entry point of negotiations of some of the most crucial issues and critical requirements of a Common Market , including the outstanding issues on the right of establishment, right of residence and free movement of services.

Right of residence

During the eight day Bujumbura round, the delegates reached consensus on a substantial complement of the outstanding issues. Tanzania lifted its objections to the inclusion of the Article on right of residence in the proposed Protocol. The Article on the right of residence is now reinstated providing, among others, that the citizens of the East African Community who are nationals of other Partner States shall have the right of residence in the host Partner States for the purposes of seeking and carrying out an economic activity or employment; and that the right of residence shall include the right to enter and reside in the host Partner State.

Right of establishment

The delegates reached consensus on a number of provisions that will govern the Right of Establishment within the EAC Common Market . They provided in the draft Protocol that the Partner States shall abolish all restrictions on the right of establishment based on nationality of companies, firms and citizens of the Partner States. Such right shall be subject only to limitations justified on grounds of public policy, public security or public health .

With reservations that were recorded by Tanzania, for further consultations, the delegates provided in the draft Protocol that, among others, a national of a Partner State shall be enabled to acquire/ access and use land and buildings situated in the territory of another Partner State for purposes of establishment.

The specific issue of acquiring/accessing land and buildings was referred for further deliberations in the ongoing negotiation process. Tanzania maintained the position that the acquiring/accessing clause in the Article is deleted completely, arguing that it is not a Common Market issue; and this now remains among the matters (bracketed) for further consultations and resolution by the negotiating parties.

Free movement of services

The meeting considered the provisions in the model Protocol that will govern the free movement of services within the EAC Common Market . They reached consensus on a number of key provisions that will govern the free movement of services within the EAC Common Market , in particular, the provision that the Partner States shall progressively remove existing restrictions and shall not introduce any new restrictions that will impede trade in services among the Partner States.

The EAC Secretariat which is providing support services to the HLTF informed the meeting that a study is being undertaken within the framework of EAC-EC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations on the state of play of the services sectors within the Partner States. The study when completed will be made available to the HLTF to inform some of the deliberations on trade in services. An interim report of the study would be tabled in the next meeting of the HLTF in Kampala next month.

Transport policy

Due to time limitations, the meeting was not able to handle the agenda item on Transport Policy but agreed to consider it at the next meeting of the HLTF scheduled for 6 15 October 2008 in Kampala , Uganda . However, an informal meeting of experts on transport agreed on a template of critical issues that will form the basis for negotiations during the forthcoming meeting in Kampala .

Conclusions/way forward

With a determination to conclude the Common Market Protocol within the set time frame of December 2008, the HLTF resolved on the way forward, requesting the EAC Secretariat to provide an inventory of the status of the draft Protocol highlighting what has been agreed upon, what is outstanding and what needs to be referred/considered at higher policy levels of the East African Community, i.e the Co-ordination Committee, Council of Ministers or the Summit to enable expedited progress.

The 3rd round of the negotiations in Bujumbura , 20-27 September 2008 followed the first and second rounds which were held in Kigali and Nairobi on 14-22 April 2008 and 18-23 August 2008 respectively. The HLTF agreed to handle the following items at its next meeting scheduled for 6 15 October 2008 in Kampala , Uganda : Outstanding issues (on Right of Establishment; Right of Residence; Free Movement of Services); Transport Policy; Economic and Monetary Policy Coordination; and Competition and Other Common Rules.

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API

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Case Study 06: How not to announce a resignation!

Posted by African Press International on October 3, 2008

Issued by: Crisis Communications Consultancy

The manner in which the ANC and the Government of South Africa handled the resignation of ministers and deputy ministers following the recall of former President Thabo Mbeki by the ruling party is nothing more than shambolic. The process adopted in the recall is a perfect case study on how not to manage issues related to leadership succession.

The press, big business and ordinary South Africans played an intense guessing game of who will stay and who will go in trying to work out who had in fact resigned and who had not.

This caused an enormous amount of uncertainty among South Africans and left them feeling very vulnerable and rudderless, says Evan Bloom, managing director of Crisis Communications Consultancy. Both the ANC and the government of South Africa missed a perfect opportunity to take control of the situation by using one of the core principles of crisis management – consistent communication with messages of reassurance. This would have stopped the dangerous speculation about the situation.

Of all the Government ministers who resigned, the key figure to South Africans and the international community was undoubtedly Finance Minister Trevor Manuel. On Tuesday 23 September, the Rand felt the pressure and lost nearly 34c in value to the dollar on the back of news that Manuel had resigned together with 10 other cabinet members. The currency was stable at about R7.97 to the US dollar, only to rapidly plummet to R8.21 soon after the announcement.

The Rand then recovered slightly to R8.20 as rumours abounded that a mistake had been made and Manuel’s name had been accidentally included on the resignation list.

According to a Business Report article on 24 September, This was followed by a statement from the treasury that Manuel and his deputy, Jabu Moleketi, had resigned because, “they are both appointed by the president of the republic to serve the country and are duty-bound to resign, given the resignation of Thabo Mbeki”.

That both had said they were ready to “serve the new administration in any capacity deemed fit” left markets uncertain about the future and the rand once again lost ground, though the JSE stabilised.

Business Report further stated that the ANC Youth League told Sapa: “As far as the ANC Youth League is concerned, finance minister Trevor Manuel has not resigned because he said he will still be available to serve in government.”

Can you see the folly? asks Bloom. First Trevor Manuel resigns, then his name was accidentally included,’ then he had in fact resigned and then the ANC Youth League said he had not resigned. This is nothing but blatant, misinformed and inept bungling by the various entities involved in communication.

Jeff Gable, the head of research at Absa Capital, described the announcements as being, “uncoordinated to the point of farce”. He added: “That sort of communication comes at great cost. Confidence of a smooth transition has been shaken. (Business Report, 24 September 2008.)

Of importance here is that throughout the troubled period the market was rife with speculation and conspicuous by its absence was a continuous message of calm and order. What the market needed was a we have it under control and we will announce new ministers at XYZ time’ message from the ANC, continues Bloom.

Now that the mess has settled, it becomes apparent that the snowball that started the avalanche began, according to Cape Argus journalist Sibusiso Ngalwa (24 September 2008), with a press statement issued by President Thabo Mbeki’s spokesperson, Mukoni Ratshitanga. The statement noted that Finance Minister Trevor Manuel had resigned from the government. This not only surprised Manuel, but also ambushed the ANC and some senior government spin doctors because the announcement was totally unexpected.

Consider that this announcement was made while Minister Manuel was in America to meet the world’s finance leaders at an International Monetary Fund (IMF) conference in Washington. So critical was the blunder that Minister Manuel had to cancel his meeting and call an emergency press conference – through a video link from Washington – to not only set the record straight, but also to calm financial jitters.

Sibusiso Ngalwa summed it up perfectly with his article’s heading: Makings of a public relations nightmare. (Cape Argus, 24 September 2008.)

In light of all of this, how should organisations, companies and political parties formulate their succession plan? Bloom suggests the following:

Carry out an HR risk audit
All companies and political parties need to carry out an HR risk audit to see which of their mid- to senior-level managers/ministers could possibly resign or be fired. They also need to consider this worst-case scenario and see if they have the resources in place to deal with a crisis such as an MD or CEO being forced from office or a President being recalled from office.

Have a succession plan in place before the need arises
Based on the risk audit and various scenarios, a succession plan must be formulated and this should be linked to the overall crisis management plan. The succession plan will govern the removal from office of key individuals as well as identifying their replacements and governing their transition into the new office. The crisis management plan must communicate to the various audiences exactly what is happening in the succession plan and what the public can expect.

Consistently monitor the environment for changes
Companies and organisations should be monitoring what is happening within their organisations coupled with external events. They need to consider factors ranging from pressures in the business and political landscape to international market developments. Businesses would be advised to closely scrutinise what their peers are doing as a resignation at a competitor could indicate it may be looking to poach key staff. Political parties should look to public sentiment, approval ratings, comment from independent political analysts, media opinion and comment from civil society as these could also point to possible problems in the party concerned.

Verify all facts
As soon as an issue crops up that requires action, all relevant role players need to verify the facts. It’s no use announcing that the Finance Minister of South Africa has or has not resigned. Did anyone call Manuel in Washington and say to him Hello old chap, should we be announcing this and when, etc.

Have a policy of strategic co-ordination in place
When it comes time to make any announcement, all relevant parties need to meet and decide who is going to make the announcement. Everything must be coordinated and work seamlessly. Stepping out of the process will drive the issue closer to a full-blown crisis situation – as has been demonstrated.

Use one spokesperson
One spokesperson must be used for the duration of the succession announcement. If one considers the above incident there was the Government, the ANC Youth League and Trevor Manuel all announcing conflicting news. Had all parties sat around a table or had a conference call and selected one spokesperson that would speak on behalf of them all, a coordinated and agreed-upon message would have been conveyed.

Have a communication plan and strategy in place to announce resignations and new appointments
Using a single spokesperson must be part of the communications plan and strategy. The actual plan and strategy must identify all stakeholders that will need to be communicated with during any succession crisis. In the Trevor Manuel issue, the strategy and plan would have had the following audiences as key recipients: the local and international media, central banks, investment communities, government departments, relevant NGOs and the citizens of one’s own country. The plan must also contain key messaging, call-out processes, a list of roles and responsibilities, and also core policies and processes.

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API/Source.buzcommunity

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The US locks out Kenyans

Posted by African Press International on October 3, 2008

America bans ECK commissioners

By Joseph Murimi

Pressure continues to pile on ECK chiefs to quit, with the US imposing a travel ban on the 22 commissioners, and EU negotiating a soft landing for them.

This comes ahead of the commissioners meeting with EU ambassadors to Kenya in Nairobi, this morning.

Although the EU representatives in Nairobi refused to divulge details of the agenda of todays meeting with ECK chairman Samuel Kivuitu and his team, impeccable sources intimated to us the ambassadors would be asking them to consider resigning to allow for reforms of the electoral system.

The source from an EU country told The Standard the meeting would explore options for the commissioners to give them a safe exit following the bungled General Election, last year.

“The options include, but are not limited to, the commissioners getting a generous severance pay package,” said the source privy to the planning of the meeting.

The Standard has established from sources within ECK that Kivuitu has come under increasingly heavy pressure to resign as the first step in reforming the electoral body.

ECK commissioners were roundly condemned by the public after the controversial presidential vote tallying that sparked a wave of violence that led to the death of over 1,200 people and the displacement of about 350,000 others in January and February.

A scene during the announcement of the presidential election results at the KICC on December 30, last year. Photo: File/Standard

The exit offer, it emerged on Wednesday, has been on the cards for some time as an option for the commissioners who enjoy security of tenure.

The law states that getting a commissioner out of office before the expiry of their term would require the President to form a tribunal to probe their conduct.

But Kivuitu is said to be unhappy the money offered for him to leave office.

A commissioner, who spoke to us on condition of anonymity, said Kivuitu emerged from a meeting with a senior official of the French Embassy on Wednesday very upset.

According to the commissioner, the embassy official told Kivuitu that if he accepted to resign they (EU) were prepared to pay his dues.

But the EU officials is said to have told Kivuitu that they are ready to come in and help him find another engagement and fund his retirement.

The EUs verdict of the General Election last year was that it fell short of key international and regional standards for democratic elections.

Most significantly, the electoral process suffered from a lack of transparency in the processing and tallying of results, which undermined the confidence in the accuracy of the final results of the presidential election.

They were also ready to find a soft landing for him in form a job if he was interested.

The commissioner said Kivuitu took offence with the suggestion that he gets the money or even a job outside Kenya if he so wished.

A second commissioner we spoke to also confirmed the money and the soft landing offer that Kivuitu had been offered in exchange for his job at the commission.

The commissioner said that the pressure from foreign missions for ECKs top brass to resign amounts to interference with internal affairs of the country.

He added that Kivuitu was appointed by the President under Section 3 of the Constitution, and that calls for him to quit show disrespect for the Constitution.

When we contacted the US embassys press officer Ms Inmi Patterson on Wednesday on the travel ban, she declined to comment, saying they are on holiday.

“I am not aware. We closed office on Tuesday at 4.30 and I would only confirm to you tomorrow when I get back to office,” she told The Standard on telephone.

Cant travel to US

But an official at the embassy said the 22 commissioners were among 30 Kenyans banned from travelling to the US. When the US imposes a travel ban, they do not notify the person affected until they apply for a travel visa.

The official said he was only aware of four commissioners whose visa applications had been turned down at the height of the post-election violence. But he did not disclose their names.

When contacted, ECK commissioner Samuel Ngeny directed The Standard to the US embassy and hung up. “Contact the US embassy in that case,” he said, and hung up his phone.

Vice-chairman Kihara Muttu said he was not aware of the ban.

It also emerged on Wednesday that Kivuitu had been invited for a conference in the United States on November ahead of the November 4 presidential election.

He had been invited by a media organisation to lecture on how to conduct elections, but has not put in his visa application.

Commissioner Jack Tumwa noted that he has not received any notification of any US visa ban.

“Im in the dark just like you. Nothing has been communicated to me yet,” said Tumwa.

Commissioner Alfred Ndambiri said he was not aware of the ban as he left for Brazil where he is leading a team from ECK to observe the countrys municipal elections scheduled for Friday.

And on Wednesday, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka said there was need to reform the Electoral Commission before the 2012 General Election.

On Friday, Kalonzo outlined the processes necessary for the overhaul of the ECK and the entire electoral process before the next General Election.

He said the Cabinet should discuss the Kriegler Report today and make recommendations that would lead to a formulation of a Sessional Paper to be tabled in Parliament.

“Then the necessary legislations will be put in place to ensure the new team facilitates free and fair elections. Everyone knows there is need to reform ECK,” said Kalonzo.

He said the ECK should be lean with about nine commissioners.

He added commissioners should be given an opportunity to defend themselves before they are replaced.

“There is a way of dealing with the matter until the recommendations by Kriegler are implemented,” said Kalonzo, who spoke to The Standard in an interview on Friday.

The Kriegler report proposes overhaul of the ECK.

On Wednesday, Kalonzo said there was need to take legislative steps to reconstitute the commission.

He said the ECK matter should be looked at in a comprehensive manner instead of simply changing individuals.

Additional report by Mutinda Mwanzia

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API/Source.standard.ke

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Farmers Union call for payment of bonuses to sugarcane growers and abolition of cess levy to civic bodies

Posted by African Press International on October 3, 2008

Business News By Leo Odera Omolo

A newly registered organization, which is articulating for the rights of large and small scale sugar cane farmers in Nyanza, Western and Rift Valley cane growing zone has urged the government to compel sugar millers to pay the farmers extra money in the form of bonuses.

The Kenya National Sugar Cane Growers Union is pressing its demand that cane farmers should be paid bonuses like tea, coffee and other cash crops in this country.

The organizationʼs Secretary General Ezra Olodi Okoth disclosed during an exclusive interview with this writer in the lakeside City of Kisumu that his union has ful confidence in the Minister for Agriculture William Ruto as dedicated and committed man who could turn around the ailing sugar industry.

Okoth praised the Ministerʼs recent bold action when he turned down a token gift of sugar by the management of Nzoia Sugar Company in Western Province, and urged other cabinet Minister and top government officials to emulate Rutoʼs steadfastness.

Okoth said that sugar millers were minting huge sums of money as the result of the sales of sugar cane by-products such as Molasses, distilleries, and energy generation, and as such these miller should be compelled to pay the cane farmers some token of money in bonuses.

The union, said Mr. Okoth is also demanding that the government scrapt the cess levy of 80/- per tonne levied on raw cane. The idea of cess levy was a noble one , and the money was originally paid to the local civic bodies to assist them in the maintenance of feeder and access roads in the sugar cane growing zones. But the cess levy funds has proved to be the most abused . Roads traversing the sugarbelt are in pathetic states, in some places impassable, while the civic bodies used the cane cess money financing other projects.

Okoth insisted that the money should be retained by the sugar millers to enable them repair the roads at regular intervals.

He further stated that his union want the government to compulsorily introduce the weighing of cane in the farms during harvest. This, he said, would alleviate the farmers from incurring financial losses as a result of spillage and dropping of cane while being transported to the factories This is in line with the Kenya Sugar Board Act, which was passed by Parliament, and which should be implemented at once.

.Okoth severely criticized the management of Mumias Sugar Company for flatly refusing to adjust the prices of raw cane. Mumias Sugar Company, he said, is still paying farmers Kshs 2300/- while other millers have already effected the increases and were now paying Kshs 2500/- per tonne.

The Secretary-General called for a massive demonstration by cane farmers within Awendo sugar growing zone, scathingly criticizing the management of the Awendo based for refusing to pay PIT money in a refund exercises. All the sugar millers had deducted what was known as Presumptive Income Tax from cane farmers. But President Mwai Kibaki had already ordered the millers to refund the money deducted from the cane farmers earnings.. Her announced that unless the SONY sugar refuns the farmers money within a week he would call for a huge farmers demonstratioin in Awendfo and other towns within the SONY cane growing zones.

Meanwhile sugar cane farmers in Awendo and its environs have urged the government to institute the allegations that the Minister for Public Service Dalmas Otieno owed the Sony Sugar Company a whooping amount of money to the tune of Kshs 4.2 million. The debt, it is further being alleged has been outstanding for more than five years, and the Minister has refused to pay the financial ailing company despite of numerous demands.

Farmers have also urged the government to restrain the Minister from interfering wityh the day to day business and management of Sony Sugar Company by way of influencing the appointment of its staff, particularly the head of the various departments.

We have learnt that SONY sugar at one time last month {September 2008} had two chairmen of the board of directors at ago.

On September 13, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Dr. Romano Kiome wrote an official letter to one Charles Orony Ogalo who it is being alleged is a relative of the Minister Dalmas Otieno as the new chairman of SONY sugar. This happened when the former chairman Herbert Ojwangʼ was still in the office as the company chairman of the board of directors. Ojwangʼ on September 15, 2008, so in between from 8th September to 15th September,Sony Sugar was having two different chairmen of the board of directors.

Farmers in Awendo zone, however, are suspected that Ojwangʼs tribulation came as the result of the company alleged insistence that the Minister should clear his outstanding debts with the Sony Sugar, and as a result of conflict of interests his working relations with the Minister went soured.

The farmers believes that the hard working is a victim of vicious circles of greed and clanism;Mr. Ogalo who hails from Kamagambo, Dalmas Otienoʼs sub-clan will find the going hard, because his appointment is being treated with contempt as an act of clanism.

More over the Sony Sugarʼs CEO Paul Odolla, and the KSB chairman Okoth Obado are all hailing from the neighbouring Uriri constituency, while the bulk of farmers in Awendo Division have no effective representation now that Minister Dalmas Otieno has successfully influenced the appointment of his cousin as the new chairman very little progress can be expected.

Reports from Kisumu says that Minister Dalmas Otieno was over the weekend spotted taking a ride in a vehicle owned by a director of Kibos Sugar and Allied Industries, a firm which is currently being suspected to be clandestinely involved in endless legal tussles in court over the alleged sale of the 10,000 acres nucleus estate farm, which belonged to Miwani Sugar Mill Company.

The Minister, according to our sources, was in Kisumu to attend the home coming party for the MP Kisumu Rural Prof. Anyangʼ Nyongʼo who is also the Minister for Medical Services. The Asians are said to have picked the Minister at the famous Imperial Hotel to the chagrins of the onlooker who felt that cabinet Minister must stop flirtation with cartel of Asian wheeler-dealers.

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API

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First Test for AFRICOM: Who do the Tanks Belong Too?

Posted by African Press International on October 3, 2008

<by Scott A Morgan

What a way for the Intelligence Shop (G-2) for AFRICOM to begin. The Concern and Scrutiny regarding the newest Mililtary Command of the United States may be overshadowed a tad by recent events off the coast of Somalia,

As the efforts to restore a functioning Centralized Government in Somalia continues to flounder there has been an increase in Piracy in one of the World’s busiest shipping regions. Several Nations including the United States have deployed both Naval and Special Forces Assets to the region in an effort to curtail the Criminal Activity.

One of the Vessels that was recently seized has several Intelligence Specialists concerned not only about the cargo but where the cargo was eventually headed to. After all this is one of the most violent regions in the whole world, The Faina is a container ship of Ukranian registry. It was captured within the last ten days. And part of its cargo was 33 T-72 Main Battle Tanks.

Now a guessing game has begun. The Pirates have demanded over $30 Million in Ransom. There are reports that the Tanks were headed to Mombasa, Kenya. The Kenyan Government has stated that they had purchased the Armor from Russia. There have been reports that the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) had acquired the weapons. US Intelligence believes that this is an effort to go around the Arms Embargo against Sudan.

Let us look at these three scenarios. First of all the Initial reaction regarding the Sudanese Government. This would not be the First Time the Russian Federation has attempted to break the Sanctions against Sudan. As a matter of fact the Russians have supported Sudan in the UN on more than one occasion. so this is plausible but i think that the Armor could have been unloaded at Port Sudan.

What about the claims of the Kenyan Government? Well the Armor was headed to a Kenyan Port. This could give the claims some form of legitimacy. There are still concerns regarding Abuse in the Mt. Elgon Region in the West of the Country but on the whole peace and stability are increasing in this country. Unless the Armor is meant to defend the Northern Border with Somalia and/or Ethiopia.

This brings us to the Government of Southern Sudan. This is an autonomous region of Sudan that fought a long protracted Insurgency against Khartoum. There is still a level of distrust towards Khartoum to this very day. Also in recent weeks there have been clashes with the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) which is a Ugandan Militia. The LRA was to have signed a Peace Deal with Kampala after GOSS negotiated a Peace Accord. When it came time to sign it the LRA did not show.

It is most likely that the Armor was most likely headed to either Nairobi or even Khartoum. But with the Armor being seized by the Pirates its possible that the Armor could end up being used in Somalia unless either the ransom is paid or the vessel is liberated by the Naval Elements that have the ship surrounded at this time.

Even though it does not have a forward deployment base or a permanent location this situation is still an interesting way for AFRICOM to start a new year. This is the US reacting to limit to spread of Piracy. Let us hope that AFRICOM is successful.

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

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API

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East African States to have joint safety precautions in Lake Victoria waters

Posted by African Press International on October 3, 2008

<By Leo Odera Omolo

KENYA and other East Africa partners states in the East African Community will soon launch Maritime Administration Units to help in the implementation of the LAKE Victoria Transport Act.

The Act, already endorsed by the three countries is aimed at restoring sanity in the messy lake transport, which has claimed many lives, and reduce the number of accidents.

The Director General of the Kenya Maritime Authority {KMA} Ms Nancy Karigithu said that there was a need to form the units to enforce safety navigation rules in Lake Victoria waters.

The units will ensure safety standards and compliance with construction and regulations governing the lake transport are strictly observed even by neighbouring countries of Uganda and Tanzania

Mr Karigithu said the units would instigate maritime training for all lake users.

The KMA., she disclosed, has put up an office in the lake side City of Kisumu to forsee the establishment of the units and their training, she said, adding that the KMA was currently engaging Beach Management units to help inspects vessels and inform boat owners of the new requirements as provided in the Act.

The Director General said the administrative units of EAC member states would in future, have mandate and power to maintain and administer a registration of all vessels using the lake

They will be expected to conduct regular inspection of vessels to ebnsure the lake was not polluted.. Each unit, would ensure navigation aids such as life jackets, were set up and maintained to prevent fatal accidents.

Ms Karigithu, however, insisted that there was urgent need to develop other regulations to lay down specific technical standards for full compliance and easy implementation of the CT.

The Authority is working with other agencies under the framework of the East Africa Community with the view to ensure the new regulations are put in place.

Meanwhile reports reaching here from Migori district , which is a border district located in the far flung of Southern Nyanza says the official of the Uganda Revenue Authority{URA have seized a fishing island on the Kenyan side of the border and have since hoisted their countrys national flag on the island.

According to the old East African map this island is part and parcel of Kenya. It is situated only about eight kilometers in the eastern shoreline of Lake Victoria.

The URA officials are in the company of a contingent of armed security personnel who are said to be harassing Kenyan fishermen caught while on a fishing expedition. These security men from Uganda, on occasions have seized Kenyan fishermen and preferred flimsy charges of trespass against them, confisticating their fishing gears, boats with outboard engines and other valuable property such as fish nets, money fish etc.

Migingo Island is very close to mainland Kenya and also close to Sori town in Karungu-Bay in Macalder Division of Migori district.

The rocky island for many years been housing Kenyan fishermen, but of lately, like Sigulu Island which is offshore of Busia district in the north, which was seized by the former Uganda despotic ruler Idi Amin in the early 1970s with its 10,000 population of Kenyan fishermen and farmers, who were forcefully made to become naturalized citizens of Uganda by Idi Amin….

Residents and local politicians have place their blame on Kenyan government for not having persued their fate vigorously.

Ends

leooderaomolo@yahoo.com

————

API

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

a

Posted by African Press International on October 3, 2008


Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

Barack Hussein Obama will be, if elected, the first Arab-American President Not black American

Posted by African Press International on October 3, 2008

By Greybeard

Obama, Odinga?

Is this real?

And then theres this email exert from the Obama campaign:

Election Day isnt ahead of us its already here. Early voting has begun in eight states including the key battleground of Ohio, where voting begins today and it will be starting in a dozen more over the next two weeks.

Early voting sure seems like an attempt to get the vote done, before the TRUTH comes out?

Then theres the email with -38- of Obamas Not Exactlys (note in all honesty, Ive only checked out a couple of these statements)

OBAMAS NOT EXACTLYS:

1.) Selma Got Me Born – NOT EXACTLY, your parents felt safe enough tohave you in 1961 – Selma had no effect on your birth, as Selma was in1965. (Google Obama Selma for his full March 4, 2007 speech andarticles about its various untruths.) 2.) Father Was A Goat Herder – NOT EXACTLY, he was a privileged, welleducated youth, who went on to work with the Kenyan Government.3.) Father Was A Proud Freedom Fighter – NOT EXACTLY, he was part of one of the most corrupt and violent governments Kenya has ever had.

4.) My Family Has Strong Ties To African Freedom – NOT EXACTLY, your cousin Raila Odinga has created mass violence in attempting to overturn a legitimate election in 2007, in Kenya . It is the first widespread violence in decades. The current government is pro-American but Odinga wants to overthrow it and establish Muslim Sharia law. Your half-brother, Abongo Obama, is Odingas follower. You interrupted your New Hampshire campaigning to speak to Odinga on the phone.

Obamas cousin Odinga in Kenya ran for president and tried to get Sharia Muslim law in place there. When Odinga lost the elections, his followers have burned Christians homes and then burned men, women and children alive in a Christian church where they took shelter. Obama SUPPORTED his cousin before the election process here started. Google Obama and Odinga and see what you get. No one wants to know the truth.

5.) My Grandmother Has Always Been A Christian – NOT EXACTLY, she does her daily Salat prayers at 5am according to her own interviews. Not to mention, Christianity wouldnt allow her to have been one of 14 wives to 1 man.

6.) My Name is African Swahili – NOT EXACTLY, your name is Arabic and Baraka (from which Barack came) means blessed in that language. Hussein is also Arabic and so is Obama.

Barack Hussein Obama is not half black. If elected, he would be the first Arab-American President, not the first black President. Barack Hussein Obama is 50% Caucasian from his mothers side and 43.75% Arabic and 6.25% African Negro from his fathers side. While Barack Hussein Obamas father was from Kenya , his fathers family was mainly Arabs.. Barack Hussein Obamas father was only 12.5% African Negro and 87.5% Arab (his fathers birth certificate even states hes Arab, not African Negro). From.and for more.go to..

http://www.arcadeathome.com/newsboy.phtml?Barack_Hussein_Obama_-_Arab-American,_only_6.25%25_African

7.) I Never Practiced Islam – NOT EXACTLY, you practiced it daily at school, where you were registered as a Muslim and kept that faith for 31 years, until your wife made you change, so you could run for office.

4-3-08 Article Obama was quite religious in Islam> http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=60559

8.) My School In Indonesia was Christian – NOT EXACTLY, you were registered as Muslim there and got in trouble in Koranic Studies for making faces (check your own book).

February 28, 2008 . Kristoff from the New York Times a year ago: Mr. Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated (itll give Alabama voters heart attacks), Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset. This is just one example of what Pamela is talking about when she says, Obamas narrative is being altered, enhanced and manipulated to whitewash troubling facts.

9.) I Was Fluent In Indonesian – NOT EXACTLY, not one teacher says you could speak the language.

10.) Because I Lived In Indonesia , I Have More Foreign Experience – NOT EXACTLY, you were there from the ages of 6 to 10, and couldnt even speak the language. What did you learn, how to study the Koran and watch cartoons.

11.) I Am Stronger On Foreign Affairs – NOT EXACTLY, except for Africa (surprise) and the Middle East (bigger surprise), you have never been anywhere else on the planet and thus have NO experience with our closest allies.

12.) I Blame My Early Drug Use On Ethnic Confusion – NOT EXACTLY, you were quite content in high school to be Barry Obama, no mention of Kenya and no mention of struggle to identify – your classmates said you were just fine.

13.) An Ebony Article Moved Me To Run For Office – NOT EXACTLY, Ebony has yet to find the article you mention in your book. It doesnt, and never did, exist.

14.) A Life Magazine Article Changed My outlook on Life – NOT EXACTLY, Life has yet to find the article you mention in your book. It doesnt, and never did, exist.

15.) I Wont Run On A National Ticket In 08 – NOT EXACTLY, here you are, despite saying, live on TV, that you would not have enough experience by then, and you are all about having experience first.

16.) Voting Present is Common In Illinois Senate – NOT EXACTLY, they are common for YOU, but not many others have 130 NO VOTES.

17.) Oops, I Misvoted – NOT EXACTLY, only when caught by church groups and Democrats, did you beg to change your misvote.

18.) I Was A Professor Of Law – NOT EXACTLY, you were a senior lecturer ON LEAVE.

19.) I Was A Constitutional Lawyer – NOT EXACTLY, you were a senior lecturer ON LEAVE.

20.) Without Me, There Would Be No Ethics Bill – NOT EXACTLY, you didnt write it, introduce it, change it, or create it.

21.) The Ethics Bill Was Hard To Pass – NOT EXACTLY, it took just 14 days from start to finish.

22.) I Wrote A Tough Nuclear Bill – NOT EXACTLY, your bill was rejected by your own party for its pandering and lack of all regulation – mainly because of your Nuclear donor, Exelon, from which David Axelrod came.

23.) I Have Released My State Records – NOT EXACTLY, as of March, 2008, state bills you sponsored or voted for have yet to be released, exposing all the special interests pork hidden within.

24.) I Took On The Asbestos Altgeld Gardens Mess – NOT EXACTLY, you were part of a large group of people who remedied Altgeld Gardens . You failed to mention anyone else but yourself, in your books.

25.) My Economics Bill Will Help America – NOT EXACTLY, your 111 economic policies were just combined into a proposal which lost 99-0, and even YOU voted against your own bill.

26.) I Have Been A Bold Leader In Illinois – NOT EXACTLY, even your own supporters claim to have not seen BOLD action on your part.

27.) I Passed 26 Of My Own Bills In One Year – NOT EXACTLY, they were not YOUR bills, but rather handed to you, after their creation by a fellow Senator, to assist you in a future bid for higher office.

28.) No One on my campaign contacted Canada about NAFTA – NOT EXACTLY, the Canadian Government issued the names and a memo of the conversation your campaign had with them.

29.) I Am Tough On Terrorism – NOT EXACTLY, you missed the Iran Resolution vote on terrorism and your good friend Ali Abunimah supports the destruction of Israel .

30.) I Want All Votes To Count – NOT EXACTLY, you said let the delegates decide.

31.) I Want Americans To Decide – NOT EXACTLY, you prefer caucuses that limit the vote, confuse the voters, force a public vote, and only operate during small windows of time.

32.) I passed 900 Bills in the State Senate – NOT EXACTLY, you passed 26, most of which you didnt write yourself.

33.) I Believe In Fairness, Not Tactics – NOT EXACTLY, you used tactics to eliminate Alice Palmer from running against you.

34.) I Dont Take PAC Money – NOT EXACTLY, you take loads of it.

35.) I dont Have Lobbyists – NOT EXACTLY, you have over 47 lobbyists, and counting.

36.) My Campaign Had Nothing To Do With The 1984 Ad – NOT EXACTLY, your own campaign worker made the ad on his Apple in one afternoon.

37.) I Have Always Been Against Iraq – NOT EXACTLY, you werent in office to vote against it AND you have voted to fund it every single time.

38.) I Have Always Supported Universal Health Care – NOT EXACTLY, your plan leaves us all to pay for the 15,000,000 who dont have to buy it.

————

API

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | 1 Comment »

 
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