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Archive for October 8th, 2008

Drama as anti-Obama author is deported

Posted by African Press International on October 8, 2008

By David Ohito

An attempt by anti-Obama crusaders to launch a smear campaign ended in a dramatic anti-climax when an American author was bundled out of Nairobi, moments before he could launch his book, The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and The Cult of Personality.

Dr Jerome Corsi, a Republican, was declared persona non grata and deported last night after earlier being detained by Immigration officials.

The charge… engaging in illegal activities in Kenya.

The move came hours before Obama and John McCain took to the stage for the second live TV presidential campaign debate.

Immigration officer Dume Wanda (right) leads Dr Jerome Corsi, the WorldNetDaily writer and author of The Obama Nation, to a waiting security vehicle at Laico Regency hotel, on Tuesday.

[PHOTO: JACOB OTIENO/STANDARD]

On Tuesday, the presidential contest was turning increasingly nasty, as the presidential rivals launched personal attacks against each other. McCain is trailing the Illinois Senator in opinion polls by up to eight points, amid an economic meltdown.

Obama tried to reassure supporters, who are worried that the Republican tactics might work, saying: “One of the things weve done during this campaign, we dont throw the first punch but well throw the last”.

McCain is attempting to tie Obama to controversial Chicago figures and accusing him of not being open with voters about his past, according to Baltimore Sun.

Said Obama: “If John McCain wants to have a character debate, then Im happy to have that debate, because Mr McCains record, despite him calling himself a maverick, actually shows that he is continually somebody who relies on lobbyists for big oil and big corporations, and that he makes decisions oftentimes on what these lobbyists tell him to do”. Arrested and detained alongside Corsi at the Libya owned Laico Regency Hotel in Nairobi was a US freelance journalist Thomas Buella. By the time of going to press, the duo was booked on a British Airways flight that was scheduled to depart from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 11pm.

The Immigration officers, however, said Corsi was “free to apply for a valid work permit to come back and launch his book”.

Sources at Immigration headquarters told The Standard that Corsi and Buella had their visitors passes annulled for violating rules.

Violated Terms

“They violated terms of the visitors pass by engaging in a business and marketing of his book. They required a special permit to do business,” a top Immigration source said.

Corsi claimed he had earlier met with a top Government official, who “gave me a nod to go ahead”.

Trouble started shortly after 9am for the controversial author when a team of Immigration investigators and Administration Police officers arrived at the venue of the launch.

He was questioned before being bundled into a waiting white Land Rover and driven to Nyayo House, the Immigration headquarters.

Pro-Obama youths led by Mr Dennis Thande Hamisi protested outside the hotel, claiming the launch was a smear campaign against the US Democratic presidential candidate.

“We are here to register our displeasure and to oppose the sentiments of the Republican sympathiser and author,” said Thande.

“It is bad propaganda and an affront to the people of Obamas father and grandfather,” Thande said.

Corsi claims the Illinois Senator is a dangerous, radical candidate for the presidency. The book has been described as laden with innuendo and false rumours that Obama was raised a Muslim, attended a radical, black church and is secretly seething with “black rage”.

Yet Obama was raised as a Christian and attended the United Trinity Church. Immigration sources said Corsi arrived in the country on September 30, aboard a British Airways Flight and has been allegedly in hiding. “He declared that he would be staying at Laico Regency Hotel on arrival, but the hotel has since distanced itself from the visitor,” a senior police officer said.

Mr Joseph Mumira, a CID officer at the JKIA, confirmed that Corsi was at the airport for deportation.

As drama unfolded, the Laico Regency Hotel General Manager Solomon Adede issued a press statement disowning the author and the book launch.

Adede said a Mr Peter Mbae, the Editor-in-Chief of Eagle Christian Magazine, booked the book launch.

Considered Embarrassment

Said Adede: “We would like to assure our business partners and the public at large that Laico Regency Hotel is a law abiding institution and does not condone any smear campaigns.Mbae, Corsis publicist, later told Reuters that the author had broken no Immigration rules, but was considered an embarrassment.

“His papers were found to be in order. The passport was fine, his visa was fine,” Mbae said, adding the Government did not want Corsi to launch the book on Kenyan soil hence the hasty deportation. Foreign journalists yesterday camped at Nyayo House, hunting for Corsi after news spread that he had been detained.

A statement announcing Corsis visit said he arrived last week at the invitation of Christian missionaries concerned about the rise of Islam.

Corsi was scheduled to meet Obamas half-brother George Onyango Obama, who Western Press claim is living in abject poverty in Huruma Estate, Nairobi. The claim is part of a campaign to portray Obama as an irresponsible person incapable of leading a country, if he cannot help his brother.

Onyango has come out fighting in support of the US Senator, saying he was not living in squalor and admonished foreign media to stop using him to undermine the Democrat.

—————–

API/Source.standard.ke

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Kenya government deports man who has no love for Obama

Posted by African Press International on October 8, 2008

Drama as anti-Obama author is deported

By David Ohito

The high drama smear campaign characterising the American elections played out in Kenya, thousands of miles away in the land of Illinois Senator Barack Obamas father.

An attempt by anti-Obama crusaders to launch a smear campaign ended in a dramatic anti-climax when an American author was bundled out of Nairobi, moments before he could launch his book, The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and The Cult of Personality.

Dr Jerome Corsi, a Republican, was declared persona non grata and deported last night after earlier being detained by Immigration officials.

The charge… engaging in illegal activities in Kenya.

The move came hours before Obama and John McCain took to the stage for the second live TV presidential campaign debate.

Immigration officer Dume Wanda (right) leads Dr Jerome Corsi, the WorldNetDaily writer and author of The Obama Nation, to a waiting security vehicle at Laico Regency hotel, on Tuesday.

[PHOTO: JACOB OTIENO/STANDARD]

On Tuesday, the presidential contest was turning increasingly nasty, as the presidential rivals launched personal attacks against each other. McCain is trailing the Illinois Senator in opinion polls by up to eight points, amid an economic meltdown.

Obama tried to reassure supporters, who are worried that the Republican tactics might work, saying: “One of the things weve done during this campaign, we dont throw the first punch but well throw the last”.

McCain is attempting to tie Obama to controversial Chicago figures and accusing him of not being open with voters about his past, according to Baltimore Sun.

Said Obama: “If John McCain wants to have a character debate, then Im happy to have that debate, because Mr McCains record, despite him calling himself a maverick, actually shows that he is continually somebody who relies on lobbyists for big oil and big corporations, and that he makes decisions oftentimes on what these lobbyists tell him to do”. Arrested and detained alongside Corsi at the Libya owned Laico Regency Hotel in Nairobi was a US freelance journalist Thomas Buella. By the time of going to press, the duo was booked on a British Airways flight that was scheduled to depart from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 11pm.

The Immigration officers, however, said Corsi was “free to apply for a valid work permit to come back and launch his book”.

Sources at Immigration headquarters told The Standard that Corsi and Buella had their visitors passes annulled for violating rules.

Violated Terms

“They violated terms of the visitors pass by engaging in a business and marketing of his book. They required a special permit to do business,” a top Immigration source said.

Corsi claimed he had earlier met with a top Government official, who “gave me a nod to go ahead”.

Trouble started shortly after 9am for the controversial author when a team of Immigration investigators and Administration Police officers arrived at the venue of the launch.

He was questioned before being bundled into a waiting white Land Rover and driven to Nyayo House, the Immigration headquarters.

Pro-Obama youths led by Mr Dennis Thande Hamisi protested outside the hotel, claiming the launch was a smear campaign against the US Democratic presidential candidate.

“We are here to register our displeasure and to oppose the sentiments of the Republican sympathiser and author,” said Thande.

“It is bad propaganda and an affront to the people of Obamas father and grandfather,” Thande said.

Corsi claims the Illinois Senator is a dangerous, radical candidate for the presidency. The book has been described as laden with innuendo and false rumours that Obama was raised a Muslim, attended a radical, black church and is secretly seething with “black rage”.

Yet Obama was raised as a Christian and attended the United Trinity Church. Immigration sources said Corsi arrived in the country on September 30, aboard a British Airways Flight and has been allegedly in hiding. “He declared that he would be staying at Laico Regency Hotel on arrival, but the hotel has since distanced itself from the visitor,” a senior police officer said.

Mr Joseph Mumira, a CID officer at the JKIA, confirmed that Corsi was at the airport for deportation.

As drama unfolded, the Laico Regency Hotel General Manager Solomon Adede issued a press statement disowning the author and the book launch.

Adede said a Mr Peter Mbae, the Editor-in-Chief of Eagle Christian Magazine, booked the book launch.

Considered Embarrassment

Said Adede: “We would like to assure our business partners and the public at large that Laico Regency Hotel is a law abiding institution and does not condone any smear campaigns.Mbae, Corsis publicist, later told Reuters that the author had broken no Immigration rules, but was considered an embarrassment.

“His papers were found to be in order. The passport was fine, his visa was fine,” Mbae said, adding the Government did not want Corsi to launch the book on Kenyan soil hence the hasty deportation. Foreign journalists yesterday camped at Nyayo House, hunting for Corsi after news spread that he had been detained.

A statement announcing Corsis visit said he arrived last week at the invitation of Christian missionaries concerned about the rise of Islam.

Corsi was scheduled to meet Obamas half-brother George Onyango Obama, who Western Press claim is living in abject poverty in Huruma Estate, Nairobi. The claim is part of a campaign to portray Obama as an irresponsible person incapable of leading a country, if he cannot help his brother.

Onyango has come out fighting in support of the US Senator, saying he was not living in squalor and admonished foreign media to stop using him to undermine the Democrat.

————-

Published by African Press International – API/ Source.standard.ke

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OBAMA – OBAMA – OBAMA> Is he really ready to be The US President?

Posted by African Press International on October 8, 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by bamajules@gmail.com
I recently found these links with information on Obama that I found extremely troubling. One is from an African publication that has no reason for being partisan in our politics; therefore I accept as truth. The other shows a video of Obama speaking, which doesn’t appear to be possible to have edited; therefore I take that as truth also.

Who is this man? Nobody can really answer that question and the mainstream media are hand picking the truths that they want us to know. Why the love affair between the mainstream media and Obama, you’ve got me? I honestly can’t determine why people who were once prominent journalists are not thinking about the best interest of our country and providing us with ALL of the facts.

This is frightening and the links MUST be seen by as many people as possible, so that we may have a chance to stop this man from leading our country down a very dangerous path!

The story is true:

Senator Barack Obama in Kenya > Obama and Odinga: The True Story

——————–

API/Source:http://forums.hannity.com/showthread.php?t=949831

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Posted by African Press International on October 8, 2008

Barack Obama campaigning for Raila Odinga

By Wangui Kanina and Humphrey Malalo

NAIROBI, Oct 7 (Reuters) – Kenyan immigration authorities arrested the U.S. author of a critical book about presidential candidate Barack Obama before its launch on Tuesday and took him to the airport for deportation, witnesses said.
Jerome Corsi arrived at a downtown Nairobi hotel to present his book The Obama Nation.
But he was whisked away by immigration officials and later driven to the airport by police, witnesses said. It happened so fast, they just vanished with him, a hotel worker told Reuters.
Obama is revered in Kenya for his paternal roots here and as a flag bearer for Africa on the international stage.
Corsis book, which critics say is meant to hurt Obamas poll prospects next month, questions whether he could be using drugs and insinuates the Democratic candidate is Muslim rather than Christian.
Local organisers of the book launch said Corsi broke no immigration rules but was considered an embarrassment. A recent poll found that 89 percent of Kenyans want Obama to win the U.S. election, versus three percent for Republican John McCain.
His papers were found to be in order. His passport was fine, his visa was fine, Corsis publicist in Kenya Peter Mbae told Reuters.
But the government did not want him to launch his book on Kenyan soil. Thats why he has been deported.
Immigration and other officials declined to comment.
An invitation to the book launch said the event would expose Obamas deep secret ties to mafia-like groups in Kenya.
During his stay, Corsi also plans to meet Sen. Obamas brother, George Hussein Onyango Obama, who lives on $12 a year in the sprawling Huruma slums and hand him a $1,000 cheque, said the invitation, published in local papers.
Some right-wing U.S. commentators have said the case of George Obama, who is a half-brother, shows Barack Obamas double standards. But George Obama has told media he is happy with his life and that his case has been exaggerated for political ends.
Corsi also co-authored a book which put 2004 Democratic U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry on the defensive during his unsuccessful election campaign. Unfit for Command questioned accounts of an attack on Kerrys boat during the Vietnam war.
One Obama fan in Nairobi, Jack Okinyi, applauded Corsis expulsion. His actions were highly provocative, that he dared bring such a book here. He was lucky that the authorities got him before Kenyans got their hands on him, he said. (Writing by Andrew Cawthorne, Editing by Opheera McDoom)

See also:

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/election2008/story/53592.html

http://www.americasright.com/2008/10/does-this-tin-foil-hat-match-my-pants.html

Here is one of many posts which I posted a while back on the Obama Odinga Connection.

The admin at Hillary Clinton Forum was kind enough to give me free rein on this issue.

I still maintain Barack Obama showed poor judgment and may even have broken the law when he campaigned for Raila Odinga in Kenya.

And when the election results were contested, the incendiary comments Odinga made to his followers led to much suffering and bloodshed.

Friends, Romans, Countrymen Lend Me Your Ears

Mr. Korir at African Press International has a post on this. I knew he would.

https://africanpress.wordpress.com/2008/10/08/obama-and-kenyas-raila-odinga/

Posted by africanpress on October 8, 2008

Heres another skeleton from Obamas closet: Raila Odinga. Obamas father was a member of the same Kenyan tribe (the Luo) as Odinga. Odinga is a socialist supporter of the Islamist opposition in Kenya and is behind much of the social unrest in that country.
Obama has visited Kenya during his time as a US Senator to support and campaign for Odinga.
Take the eight minutes to watch

which lays out the history, and do some googling on Obama and Odinga.
Now Ill be expecting the usual barrage of hate from the Left who simply dont want the truth to be known about their candidate, but thats ok, Im used to it. Messengers are accustomed to being shot at.
Edit: here is some more background:

Senator Barack Obama in Kenya > Obama and Odinga: The True Story

And yes. Im right. ALL the f***ing time, douche. Tough pill, huh.
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<!–[endif]–>

-Flylooper

————————-

API/Source.Rosettasister’sblog

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Deleted

Posted by African Press International on October 8, 2008

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Obama and Kenya’s Raila Odinga

Posted by African Press International on October 8, 2008

Here’s another skeleton from Obama’s closet: Raila Odinga. Obama’s father was a member of the same Kenyan tribe (the Luo) as Odinga. Odinga is a socialist supporter of the Islamist opposition in Kenya and is behind much of the social unrest in that country.

Obama has visited Kenya during his time as a US Senator to support and campaign for Odinga.

Take the eight minutes to watch this video which lays out the history, and do some googling on Obama and Odinga.

Now I’ll be expecting the usual barrage of hate from the Left who simply don’t want the truth to be known about their candidate, but that’s ok, I’m used to it. Messengers are accustomed to being shot at.

Edit: here is some more background: Senator Barack Obama in Kenya > Obama and Odinga: The True Story

__________________Net
“And yes. I’m right. ALL the f***ing time, douche. Tough pill, huh.”
-Flylooper
————–
API/Source.sportbike

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Gambia: Sugar-daddies – short term benefits, long term problems

Posted by African Press International on October 8, 2008

Banjul (Gambia) – The fifteen year old Gambian girl Yasin was among dozens who attended a preparatory meeting for the World Congress Against Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents to be held in Rio, Brazil in November 2008. The preparatory meeting

Talking to members of the press who covered the meeting Yasin, who is expected to attend the Rio Congress, said, “We have to come together. This is really affecting us young children. Sugar-daddies give short term benefits but long-term problems. We can make a difference the future lies in our hands.”

She also opined that children should not be seen as victims of sexual exploitation, but rather the front-line fighters against it.

Save the Children’s West Africa adviser told reporters it is children who are best placed to help address the situation. “They are the primary actors in this because they know the situation best. Abuse is something which is hidden, but kids can share this information by talking to each other together they can help find the solutions.”

Up to 22 children from 15 African countries joined human rights groups, child specialists and non-profit organizations including Plan International, ECPAT, Save the Children Sweden and UNICEF to debate how children can take on a bigger role in the fight against exploitation.

“Children need a voice in society”, 14-year-old Tenicia from South Africa said. “Adults tend to forget about children. Most children don’t know about the dangers of sexual exploitation. They don’t know their rights”.

Although accurate statistics are hard to come by, child rights advocates at the conference agreed sexual exploitation of children is on the rise.

Save the Children’s Mooh says the global economic slump is partly to blame. “The food price crisis and the difficult economic conditions we’re going through can mean that parents are more likely to turn a blind eye to these activities. Children have more and more economic responsibility within the family and this puts pressure on them.”

In Kenya, 80 percent of surveyed child sex-workers said a family member or friend introduced them to sex work according to the International Labor Organization. Young people discussed different forms of exploitation, from sex tourism and sexual violence at school, to forced and early marriages, and sexual violence during and after conflicts.

One suggestion children put forward is to tap into youth-friendly communication tools. Mamadou, 16, from Senegal said “When a child has gone through this exploitation it can be too difficult for them to talk to their family about it or even to a helpline. So, texting a help service could be a better way of making children talk.”

But opening a dialogue is just part of the equation. “When a child is the victim of sexual exploitation by a tourist, he must first get medical help”, says 17-year-old Chamir from Togo, “but the hospital should give that information to the Ministry of Health and also to the Ministry of Tourism that controls the hotels. It’s important that the different departments communicate with each other.”

UNICEF West Africa adviser Joaquim Theis says the heart of any strategy for change should involve children. “The vast majority of children don’t have a choice in life. They aren’t given information; they are not involved in decisions made about them. We need to move beyond these very limited forms of children’s participation and move towards a freedom of expression, of information and decision making their basic civil rights.”

The summit will be co-organized by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and NGO End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT).

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API/Source.The Gambia Journal (Gambia) – October 6, 2008.

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Kenya: Traders in humans risk life behind bars

Posted by African Press International on October 8, 2008

Nairobi (Kenya) – A draft bill forwarded to the Attorney-General threatens to award human traffickers life in prison if it becomes law, after a multi-sectoral committee appointed to write a law against human trafficking and smuggling finished its work.

The Cabinet is expected to study the draft bill before handing it to Parliament this month, according to its authors.

The proposed law does not only target traffickers. Those who abet the crime, including owners or representatives of hotels, bars, villas and brothels that use or employ trafficked people, are considered culprits. They also face lengthy jail terms or life imprisonment, in addition to losing property acquired from the trade.

“We are preparing the Cabinet memo,” said Mr Gilbert Onyango, the chairman of the legal sub-committee that has been drafting the Trafficking in Persons Bill. He is the programme officer in charge of policy and legislative advocacy at the Child Rights Advisory Documentation and Legal Centre (Cradle). “We hope to have a draft bill by the time the House resumes in October.”

This is a reworked version after the AG rejected the draft two years ago. The AG had identified flaws that needed fixing, including a conflict with existing laws. For instance, while the Children’s Act defines a child as a “person” below the age of 18 years, the anti-trafficking draft bill looked at a child as “human being”.

According to Alice Maranga, the Fida awareness programme official, who was part of the technical committee that drafted the bill, human trafficking is the third largest earner of illegal money, after narcotics and arms.

“Penalties should be stiff,” she said.

The draft proposes establishment of the Inter-Agency Board Against Trafficking in Persons charged with overseeing the implementation of programmes and policies against the crime, measures to protect the confidentiality of victims, extradition of suspects, restitution for victims and immunity to victims.

It defines a trafficker and those trafficked. Those trafficked are considered victims and therefore protected by the law.

“At the moment, the Kenyan law deals with victims as if they were criminals,” said Odhiambo, a programme officer at Cradle.

The bill provides for extradition of suspected traffickers or smugglers.

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API/Source.The Nation (Kenya), by Ken Opala – October 6, 2008.

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South Africa: Welcomes ANC defectors

Posted by African Press International on October 8, 2008

Johannesburg (South Africa) – United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa has his sights on an alliance with the new ANC breakaway party.

Holomisa said yesterday it is the business of the new leadership [of the breakaway party] to go to the market and market themselves. The UDM is part of that market, he told The Times last night from George after a ceremony at which new UDM members were welcomed.

His remarks come amid persistent reports that disgruntled members of the ruling party are planning to establish a new political formation. Yesterday, Jacob Zuma and other ANC party leaders reportedly met in an attempt to figure out how to deal with the faction of leaders, unhappy with the treatment of former president Thabo Mbeki, likely to lead a breakaway.

The new party rumoured to be called the ANC Democratic Front, ANC Plus, National African Congress or the Real ANC will, it is believed, be registered with the Independent Electoral Commission in time to contest next years elections.

Holomisa said the country will benefit from a coalition of opposition parties, echoing a call last week from Patricia de Lilles Independent Democrats in Western Cape.

The benefit of the new party will not be for the UDM but for the country. If they succeed in reducing the ANCs two-thirds majority in parliament, it will be good for democracy.

He said a coalition government would augur well for putting a stop to non-accountability and poor service delivery.

If the opposition do well in the elections, they, with the formation of the [breakaway] party, are able to answer those calls that service delivery needs to be improved and that the people need a government that accounts to them, said Holomisa.

He urged leaders of the ANC to accept that their party had finally split.

The Sunday Times yesterday revealed that the decision to formally announce the establishment of a new political party was taken at a secret meeting held in Johannesburg on Friday.

The ANC leadership needs to swallow its pride and accept that the hour has arrived, Holomisa said. The ANC of yesteryear, the much-vaunted broad church, is now split in two.

Holomisa said it might be wise, after next years general election, for all parties and South Africans interested in changing the political landscape to meet and begin the discussion of how we can compete as an alternative government in the 2014 elections.

In the meantime there would be no harm for us to talk after the election about forming coalition governments wherever our combined support outstrips the ANC, he said.

South Africa did not deserve to be a one-party state or to be governed by ANC puppets controlled by communists who dont have the guts to participate in elections.

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API/Source.The Times (South Africa) – October 6, 2008.

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South Africa: Confusion about ANC splinter party (editorial)

Posted by African Press International on October 8, 2008

Johannesburg (South Africa) – It has become the politics of utter puzzlement. There are now so many different takes on whether disaffected ANC members will or wont launch a new splinter party that South Africans could be forgiven for wondering if there is any coherent line even within the new ANC, never mind in the party as a whole.

President Kgalema Motlanthe and ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe say they dont believe there will be a breakaway party. But reading the letter authored on behalf of the ANC national executive committee by Jeff Radebe, it looked almost as if the NEC was trying to force the creation of a breakaway party. Radebe, who was mandated by the NEC to reply to the letter of protest penned by former defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota, seemed to be making a strong effort to drive Lekota and his cronies out of the ANC.

Whether that means a new party is indeed about to be launched is as yet unclear, despite reports indicating the launch is imminent. Nor is it clear what a new, Mbeki-ite party might hope to achieve, or how it would distinguish itself, in ideology or policy terms, from the ANC. Those who support the idea might hope to ensure that the ANC does not succeed in gaining a two-thirds majority in next years election. And that might be no bad thing for SA, opening space for a far more contested and democratic political landscape than we have had until now. But building support for a new party would be tough probably especially so given that the new partys leaders are the people who failed precisely in the run-up to Polokwane to build enough support in the ANCs branches and structures to ensure an Mbeki victory.

This may be exactly what Radebe and others in the new, Zuma-led ANC who are trying to force a breakaway are banking on. Attempts from within the ANC to form new splinter parties have failed in the past. No doubt its hoped that the lesson would be learned if a new party won humiliatingly little support at the polls, scaring off anyone else with thoughts of trying a breakaway in future.

If that is the strategy, it is a risky one. It is at least possible that a new party would garner far more support than expected, and would do more electoral damage. It is possible, too as opposition parties no doubt hope that it could form new alliances that could shake up SAs political landscape.

That, too, would be no bad thing. And even though the goings-on in the ruling party may be causing some uncertainty, even a mild sense of crisis, the prospect of a new party is not something to be feared. If nothing else, what were witnessing is the end of the ANC as a monolithic party overseen by authoritarian leaders.

Far from the control from the top to which we had become accustomed in the heyday of the Mbeki era, there now seems to be very little thought control at all. No longer do disputes and disaffection fester; no longer are they simply muttered about in the ANCs structures; now they are right out there on the front page.

These are not, for the most part, disputes about policy, and in that sense they are not particularly productive. The increasingly vicious tone of some of it must make many loyal ANC members uncomfortable, but they are, in an important sense, about what kind of party the ANC wants to be, and how it will treat divisions within.

Whether or not a new party emerges, the ANC leadership must still deal with the fact that up to 40% of members are not Zuma supporters and feel alienated, and that includes many with experience in government. The tone of the comments by Motlanthe, Mantashe and Zuma suggests they do understand (even if others on the NEC do not) that to keep their party strong they will have to find a way to ensure those people feel welcome within the party. Thats why the way they handle the current disputes is important.

——————

API/Source.Business Day (South Africa) – October 6, 2008.

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Africa at large: China could usher in a new era of banking (opinion)

Posted by African Press International on October 8, 2008

Johannesburg (South Africa) – The dramatic events of the past few weeks, starting with one of the worlds most powerful investment banks Lehman Brothers going to the wall and insurer AIG teetering on the brink, has left a wounded western financial world licking its wounds and looking anew at its model of global finance.

Western finance is bound to change dramatically in the next few years. With depleted balance sheets and heightened credit adversity, the void will probably be filled by new players, notably from China and Japan. This could have important implications for Africa, where the resource boom could lead to attractive opportunities for Chinese banks.

While China has already bought into a number of international financial institutions (including Barclays, Morgan Stanley, JC Flowers), Japanese banks moved quickly to take advantage of the carnage on Wall Street to beef up their presence in investment banking. Mitsubishi UFJ has agreed to take a 10%-20% stake in Morgan Stanley, and Nomura says it will buy the Asia Pacific operations of Lehman Brothers for $225m. And with cash not a problem and subprime exposure a relatively alien concept, Asian banks are poised to expand their global presence further.

For China, expansion into the developed world is fraught with political danger, especially in the US, where suspicion of foreign (and particularly Chinese) investment in big US corporations runs deep. So the alternative is to follow patterns of trade, and this points in one direction: emerging markets, particularly Africa.

The case for Chinas rapid expansion of trade relations with Africa ($72bn at the end of last year) is premised on the need for resources security to ensure continued rapid economic growth. Hence, its biggest trading partners are commodity rich countries of Africa: Sudan, Angola, Nigeria and SA. The format of getting to the commodities has been innovative, but based mostly on the Chinese extracting resources alone or forming joint ventures with governments, such as the Chambishi copper mine in Zambia, or taking stakes in existing projects, such as a 45% stake in an offshore Nigerian oil field by China National Offshore Oil Corporation.

Deals financed in Africa have been mostly through the China Exim Bank in trade finance and project finance. While details of the financing terms are not readily available, it appears from a World Bank study that a great many, if not most, were priced on favourable terms for the recipient countries, and function essentially as an extension of Chinese aid.

The China Development Bank assumes an even more important role, in concert with the China Exim Bank, through investment in the $5bn China-Africa Development Fund. It will be used mainly to support African countries agricultural, manufacturing and energy sectors, and the development of Chinese enterprises in Africa.

But the banking market in Africa remains underdeveloped, and poses challenges for institutions hoping to land increasing market share. Banks will need to develop payment and processing systems to handle international transfers and data-capturing and management information systems to process such data. Crucially, operational and credit risk systems will need to be enhanced. One of the main aims of the Chinese government in opening the banking system to foreign investment has been to gain the necessary expertise to become highly competitive.

But in local markets, and especially emerging markets, local banks may well have an advantage in market information given superior access to corporations, superior relationships and a better understanding of local market conditions. This implies that a foreign bank with little experience in entering foreign markets will need to take a cautious approach. It is likely to start with a fundamental understanding of the key players in the local market, and to approach such institutions with an understanding to co-operate, start joint ventures and eventually to make equity investments. This has been the approach of foreign banks in entering the Chinese banking market.

* Riaan Meyer is a London-based financial analyst and a research associate for the China in Africa Project at the South African Institute of International Affairs.

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API/Source.Business Day (South Africa), by Riaan Meyer – October 6, 2008.

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Botswana: Country losing its shine?

Posted by African Press International on October 8, 2008

Gaborone (Botswana) – Botswana continues to do well in major governance rankings when compared to most Sub-Saharan states. But of late, the country has shown signs of losing a grip on some key governance attributes.

Last week the Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA) launched ‘The State of Governance in Botswana 2004 and the Botswana Governance Assessments at Gaborone Sun. These studies generally show that the country is losing its shine.

The governance assessment study, in particular, is revealing. The study was carried out between 1996 to 2007. BIDPA maintains that a meaningful comparison of progress of governance can only be made if a snapshot view is obtained over a number of years and comparing the medium to the long-term trends over several years. “Governance is a complex phenomenon and no single indicator can be precise or complete,” BIDPA says.

In this case, a set of six indicators, known as the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI), were used to arrive at the findings contained in the study. These indicators are voice and accountability; political stability and absence of violence; government effectiveness; regulatory quality and regulations that permit and promote private sector development; rule of law and control of corruption.

In the region, Botswana’s performance is ranked above average and the country is generally regarded as a star performer in Sub-Saharan Africa. The study however shows that Botswana’s annual WGI performance has been uneven. In the period under study (1996-2007) only three indicators have shown growth.

Political stability has grown by 7.7 percent, government effectiveness by 6.2 percent and control of corruption is the highest at 10.3 percent. In percentile terms, the rule of law remains stagnant. Indicators such as voice and accountability have shown a decline by a whopping 11.7 percent; regulatory quality also went down by 12.1 percent.

While these year-on-year results have not drastically affected Botswana’s governance rankings, a scrutiny of each governance indicator reveals that the uneven pattern of performance has been accompanied by a general decline of the scores.The regulatory quality indicator, according to the report has been in decline since 2002. It fell to about 10 percent below the 1996 level in 2007. This was the lowest indicator in 2007.

“This performance decline is disturbing and worrying, it implies that Botswana may not retain its status as the shining example of good governance in Africa. One interpretation is that Botswana is becoming more similar to other low performing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, the status of Botswana as a shining example when compared to other African countries in terms of various measures of political, social and economic governance is becoming questionable.

This calls for close national introspection, to review policies, legal frameworks, institutions and their functioning, and to devise and adopt measures that may be implemented in order to keep the country at the top of the league in terms of political social and economic governance performance,” the report says.

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API/Source.Mmegi (Botswana) – October 6, 2008.

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Rwanda: Key genocide trials depend on new extradition procedures

Posted by African Press International on October 8, 2008

Kigali (Rwanda) – Rwanda is hoping to convince the International Criminal Tribunal to change its mind over refusing to transfer three genocide suspects to face trial at home, paving the way for extradition procedures to start against dozens of others living abroad in freedom.

In rulings in May and June, the Tanzania-based ICTR blocked applications to hand over the three suspects on the grounds that they might not receive fair trials in Rwanda. The three are alleged to have committed crimes against humanity in the 1994 genocide where 800,000 people, mainly ethnic Tutsis, were massacred.

In three separate but largely similar rulings, ICTR judges raised doubts about the independence of the Rwandan judiciary. Guarantees against outside government pressure on the courts were missing. Judges also expressed concern that defence witnesses could face intimidation. The Rwandan witness protection programme was not robust enough to guarantee them protection.

Some judges were unwilling to hand over the accused because they might face inhumane prison conditions, including isolation and solitary confinement, if convicted.

The ICTR rulings were issued as its U.N. mandate for prosecuting the principle people allegedly responsible for the 1994 genocide draws to a close. All trials should be completed by the end of 2008, a goal which is unlikely to be met. So far, ICTR judges have sentenced 30 people and acquitted five. Eight suspects are still awaiting trial.

The decisions to refuse to hand over the three are a blow to Rwanda’s aim of securing the extradition of others who fled the country at the end of the genocide. In any extradition proceedings, suspects could cite the ICTR view that fair trial conditions do not yet exist in Rwanda, despite massive help from the international community.

In 2007, Rwanda rushed though a bill to abolish the death penalty, removing a major barrier to extradition posted by the ICTR and many abolitionist countries where the accused had fled.

Rwanda had a list of 97 people it wanted to extradite for allegedly masterminding or participating in the genocide, Tharcisse Karugarama, minister of justice, told IPS. “Most of those wanted are still free in many European countries and in North America.”

Their return to face justice in Rwanda was essential for national reconciliation, Theodore Simburudali, president of Ibuka, one of the main genocide survivors’ organisations, told IPS.

Rwanda has been allowed to submit written appeals against the blocking of the transfer of the three. Its lawyers will also be allowed to back-up their arguments by appearing before ICTR judges. The ICTR recognised the progress that had made in reforming Rwanda’s judiciary system, but “some more requirements” were necessary, Hassan Bubacar Jallow, the chief ICTR prosecutor, told IPS.

His comment suggests that ICTR judges could reverse their decisions if Rwanda could show it was introducing more judicial and penal reforms.

In reaching their decisions, ICTR judges listened to the views of four NGOs, including Human Rights Watch. HRW questioned the independence of the Rwandan judiciary. ICTR judges ruling in the case of Yusuf Manyakazi, a former businessman and farmer, suggested that this concern could be met by having a panel of trial judges. Three or more judges were less likely to bend to pressure from outside than a single judge.

But Martin Ngoga, a senior Rwandan prosecutor, rejected any need for changes to the present trial system. “Rwanda has already put in place all the necessary mechanisms to guarantee the international legal rights of the accused to a fair trail,” he told IPS. “Many of those who committed genocide have already been convicted in Rwanda and all trials have been carried out with fairness and impartiality.”

NGOs also gave evidence to the ICTR about the poor prison conditions in Rwanda. Death row was abolished when life imprisonment replaced capital punishment in 2007, but inmates now serving life terms were said to be held in inhumane conditions, including solitary confinement. But Karugarama denied this. “Rwanda has already responded to these allegations”, he said.

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API/Source.Inter Press Service (IPS), by Aimable Twahirwa – October 6, 2008.

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Cape Verde: New positive evaluation by IMF

Posted by African Press International on October 8, 2008

Praia (Cape Verde) – The Cape Verdean economy has once again been given a positive evaluation by the International Monetary Fund, which has just concluded its most recent mission to Cape Verde. A satisfied Cristina Duarte, Cape Verdes Finance Minister, projected 6% to 7% growth for 2009.

Cape Verde has passed for the fifth consecutive time in the twice-yearly evaluation the IMF has been making of the countrys economy since 2006 as a part of the Policy Support Instrument. After two weeks visiting the country, the international institution announced on Friday that it would be giving another positive evaluation to Cape Verdes macroeconomic development.

Commenting on the news, Cape Verdes Minister of Finances and Public Administration, Cristina Duarte, said that the performance of the national economy can be explained by domestic demand, the growth of internal credit and the proper management of public finances.

Apart from this, affirmed Duarte, the measures adopted by the government to confront the international crisis merited the complete approval of the IMF. Among these measures are the adjustment of customs tariffs for basic products, the containment of electricity and water prices, support for the more vulnerable portions of the population and the regularization of domestic fuel prices.

Crowning this positive portrait, the Minister of Finances announced the governments projections for growth of between 6 and 7 percent in 2009. This is a prudent forecast, but the conditions are in place for this growth to happen, for in 2008 there has been an important increase in terms of the balance of trade.

Speaking to the press, IMF mission chief Lamin Leigh said that Cape Verdes main challenge now was to maintain the good macroeconomic performance that has allowed it to strengthen the credibility of its economic policies over the past several years.

In Leighs opinion, Cape Verde should continue to execute structural reforms to sustain the perspectives for growth in the mid-term, reduce poverty and increase the economys resistance to external shocks. Indeed, the discussions of the fifth revision of the Policy Support Instrument were centered on the execution of the 2009 State Budget within the context o the current global economic challenges, the mid-term fiscal picture and the measures for the reinforcement of the management of public finances and debts.

The IMF mission also encouraged Cape Verdean authorities to continue their efforts towards making the economy more flexible and more resistant to foreign shocks. And, although it accepts the emergency measures aimed at rescuing beleaguered water and electricity utility Electra, the IMF advised the government not to generalize the practice of granting state subsidies.

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API/Source.A Semana online (Cape Verde) – October 6, 2008.

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Zimbabwe: Mugabe said to be furious as US envoy plays golf with Tsvangirai

Posted by African Press International on October 8, 2008

Harare (Zimbabwe) – Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been playing golf with the American ambassador in the heat of delicate power sharing talks with President Robert Mugabe, it is revealed today.

Mugabe who accuses Tsvangirai of being a western puppet is said to be angry at what he sees as American interference in Zimbabwes domestic affairs.

By playing golf with Ambassador James McGee, the US top envoy in Zimbabwe, Tsvangirai will not help lower the level of distrust between him and Mugabe as he readies to take the post of Prime Minister in a new inclusive government.

McGee was confronted over the golf course match-ups with the former trade union leader by SW Radio Africas Violet Gonda in an interview on Friday.

He admitted that he had been playing golf with Tsvangirai whom he described as new to the game, but he insisted they were not talking matters of State, we are talking about our poor golf swing.

McGee said he found golf as an opportunity to walk and talk (with Tsvangirai) for four hours.

I did play golf with Morgan Tsvangirai and I have played golf with Morgan Tsvangirai before and I will continue to play golf with Morgan Tsvangirai, the ambassador said after Gonda challenged him on an allegation that you recently played golf with Mr Tsvangirai and that Mr Mugabe was very unhappy about this.

McGee said Mugabe had not personally communicated his anger over his games with Tsvangirai because the two do not talk. He however said he got that second hand that Mugabe was privately indignant.

The envoy insisted the idea behind diplomatic involvement in any country was to be involved with the government and the people who occupy seats in government in that particular country, justifying the time he spends with Tsvangirai on the golf course.

Asked if he had invited other political leaders to play with him apart from the MDC leader, McGee said he had played some of the leading figures here in Zimbabwe, including Zanu PF officials whom he would not name.

Despite the fact that people think we work 24 hours a day, we dont, McGee said. We do need to unwind and have some social relaxation. I enjoy playing golf with Morgan Tsvangirai.

I have been playing the game of golf for almost 50 years and Morgan and I find this an opportunity to walk and talk for four hours. Again we are not talking matters of State; we are talking about our poor golf swing.

In May this year, Mugabe threatened to expel McGee from Zimbabwe, accusing the envoy of interfering in Zimbabwes domestic affairs.

“I am just waiting to see if he makes one more step wrong. He will get out,” Mugabe said.

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API/Source.New Zimbabwe (Harare) – October 6, 2008.

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