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Archive for December 13th, 2008

A story-book, on American elections, people’s emotions created by the elections and the falling apart of families, will serve as therapeutic instrument in a political healing process

Posted by African Press International on December 13, 2008

Today, it is sixty days ago since we broke the Michelle Obama tape. The news brought together many Americans on API site and from that date, they have either become friends and some remaining totally die hard and wild supporters of their views and will not accept to digest new ways of looking at things.

The release of the news about the tape, coincided with the US presidential elections. During the last US presidential elections that saw Barack Obama become the president elect, many Americans got very emotional and without hiding their emotions, expressed them vigorously in many forums, API sites and forums included.

Jimmy, one of API folks has put together the emotional behaviours of the many Americans who opened up during the election time. Some cried, some were angry and some even went ahead to become abusive and lost their family relationships due to divisions in the family on whether to support Obama or McCain for the presidency.

These emotions will be healed when those who became emotional get the opportunity to use the book in a healing process. They will get the opportunity when they are finally given the go ahead to do so by API here on the site.

Many Americans were brought together to this site by the same interests that they so much seemed to cherish, either being a die hard for McCain or Obama. These people have made new friends on the site here and it has become important to put together the events from the 15th October through the 15th December because this has been part of a very important history making. Most of the people will be able to put the faces on the comments they have read earlier and many will even discover that some of their new friends made on this site are their neighbors, people they have only known by the chat or comment posting name.

API, happy to have known all these American people due to the elections, intends to continue friendliness and may be make new history together once more in four years to come when America goes to the polls againto get a new president.

The photographs received and political emails has now been released to Jimmy for his perusal and use those that he deems fit for the story.

API was very pleased to get many Halloween photographs along with other individual photographs and that will be very useful when putting together the story summing up the events of the last two months.

We do not expect any reservations from those who submitted photographs because we believe that was done with the express understanding that anything send to us may be used for publication, done in good faith and is the best for all to remember their participation during such historicalelections.

Chief Editor Korir

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Media Kenyans may need to form a government in the exile?

Posted by African Press International on December 13, 2008

By Rev Okoth Otura

The Christian Democratic Movement of Kenya (CDMK) hereby condemns in the strongest term possible the Kenya corrupt government of drifting the country back into the dark era of the Kanu regime.

It is notable and an obvious fact, that Kanu former and present leaders are operating behind-the-scenes by manoeuvring tactics to reintroduce media stringent law in preparation to rig upcoming general election of 2012 in favourin Internal Security Ministers, Prof. George Saitoti.

The ongoing conspiracy by Kenyan VP Hon Kalonzo, the deputy PM Hon Uhuru and Minister for Internal Security Hon Prof Saitoti, all working in cohesive with Minister of Information and Communication, Mr Samuel Poghisio, is founded and based on greed to ascent to power through intimidation and force.

Kenyans once again is heading for the worse critical crisis in the history of our struggle, at the time when the country is deeply wounded after unsolved flawed election which claimed thousands of lives with several still living in IDPS and refugees camps within and without the country.

The current draconian laws, is a general stereotype of dictators suffering from a paranoid syndrome of losing power to an open democratic system. In the desperate trial to avoid justice for their past ills, these tyrants typically seek to manage the flow of their propaganda information to the public, by setting up draconian laws which generally resort to direct violence to the media houses, with widespread, manipulations, arrests and detention without trial, assassinations and continual threats to the entire democratic voices.

Kenyans will live to regret, if we do not reject these autocratic and unpopular leaders and their dictatorial policy, by defending at all cost, the right of every citizen and journalist freedom to access every information, anytime, anywhere and anyhow.

The current political nightmare is a secret operation of former notorious Kanu elitists, in dreaded scheme to take power back through security forces. The coalition that is among thedesperate threenamely cohorts of ODM- Kalonzo, KANU-Uhuru and PNU-Saitoti the alliance whose architect his the Ex-President Moi, and his cronies. Mois main concern still remain how his sons and sycophants can get back to power under the leadership of Prof Saitoti and continual enslaving Kenyans population indiscriminately.

It is the same old nasty tact of the past regimes in Kenya to use security forces during the electioneering year to continue holding periodical rigged elections.

The Saitoti/Uhuru/Kalonzo alliance is assured of drastically frustrating or derailingthe ambition ofthe Kenyan PM Raila and Minister of Constitutions Hon Martha Karuato provide Kenyans with new Majimbo constitution by next 2009.

Withthe draconian bill in place and authority asserted to the Internal Security minister Saitoti which gives unquestioned powers to raid media houses and disable media equipment, and regulated powersplaced under thecorrupt ODM-K Chairman,the minister of Communication and information “Mr Porgishio”, because of this,these shameless political turncoats and opportunists, are day dreaming that they will frogmarched Kenyans to their miscalculated move without any resistance.

Kenyans are still try to comprehend on the heavy taxes on their shoulders, while their MPs earns the highest salary in the world are not tax, the long awaited Majimbo constitutions may also be shelved, while the corrupt and political correct have killed the reformation of Election Commission of Kenya, again this draconian media bill monster arrives!

The escalation of looting of public funds, killings of innocent citizens and assassination of prominent leaders, with heavy casualties from the disgruntle voices is back.

It is therefore, obvious that Kenya today, is sitting on a time bomb and tensions within the ruling elites, their dented security strategists is real. The two way tensions operations are meant to defend the wealth of these perpetrators accumulated through assassinations, ethnic cleansing and stealing from the public coffers. In essence, they must sweep all thereformsunder the carpet by muzzling the media, the next move will to ban some political parties and civil societies. We can longer wait!

Finally CDMK is widely consulting with other democratic voices in Kenya and in Diaspora to put “Kenya Crisis Constitution Conference” dates and venue will be announced soon.

The delegates shall be drawn from the diasporas and homeland while the main speakers shall come from Major Christian Political Parties in the world and Kenyans civic society representatives; the two days conference is expected to set up a agenda for theformation of the Kenya government in exile.

The battle in between the wealthiest, the elitists and the tax payers, we must stand nowas one people Kenyans.

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API closes Comment box because of misuse by some readers

Posted by African Press International on December 13, 2008

Comment boxes on every article is important to have in order to get feedback from readers on what they think about the artilces.

It is also a very important place for those who wish to share ideas with other readers.
API has decided to close down all comment boxes but instead allow readers to chat about issues API writes about.

To have your say on issues we write about you have the opportunity to do so still even after we close the comment boxes. Our chatroom will be open a number of hours daily and that will give you the oppoertunity to air your views..

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Improper hygiene and no clean water is cholera invitation

Posted by African Press International on December 13, 2008

CONGO: Red Cross sets sights on cholera


Photo: Laudes Martial Mbon/IRIN
A street in Brazzaville. The Red Cross has blamed poor hygiene and sanitation conditions in the south of Congo for a rise in cases of cholera

BRAZZAVILLE, 12 December 2008 (IRIN) – The lack of clean drinking water and proper hygiene fuelled the spread of cholera in the south and southwest of the Republic of Congo, says the Congolese Red Cross, which has just completed a campaign to teach people how to recognise and stem the spread of the disease.

It said the cholera outbreak began in the Boeunza region in February 2008 and that by the end of November 127 cases of the disease and three deaths had been registered.

At least 22 other cases have been reported in the Kinkassa area and in the Pool region, which surrounds the capital, Brazzaville.

In Kinkassa, the patients are under observation. In Bouenza, the disease has been halted and the number of deaths limited thanks to the rapid intervention of the authorities, NGOs and other organisations such as UNICEF [the UN Childrens Fund],” said Yvette Mbazo’o Mve of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

She said the lack of hygiene and clean drinking water explained the rise of cholera which is sometimes called the “dirty-hands disease”.

In Congo, only 14 percent of people have access to clean drinking water in rural areas, while in the towns and cities this rises to nearly 60 percent.

No latrines

“In the affected zones, most people have no latrines and they defecate in the grass or near their homes. They have no access to clean water and simply drink untreated water from lakes or rivers,” she said.

In Loudima, one of the main towns in Bouenza, only 458 people out of a population of 10,500 have latrines at their homes. In Mouindi, a village in the area, only 35 out of 500 have latrines.

The Congolese Red Cross mobilised 120 volunteers to carry out a public awareness campaign between July and December on the dangers of cholera and how to avoid it.

This was done through theatre, sketches and picture boxes,” said Mbazo’o Mve.

Due to this campaign, the number of latrines in Loudima has now risen to 1,222, and locals have built around 400 rubbish pits.

Poor water quality also causes diarrhoeic diseases which are the second main cause of child mortality in the Republic of Congo after malaria, according to the Red Cross.

China recently agreed to provide four million dollars to build up the water distribution network in the northern town of Ogo, which has a population of 10,000.

lmm/rm/am/cb

source.Irin

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Gambian doctors leave their country and their people for better opportunities abroad – Being Selfish

Posted by African Press International on December 13, 2008

GAMBIA: Health worker flight


Photo: Jenjie/Flickr.com
The Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital in Banjul lost 250 trained medical staff over two years

BANJUL, 11 December 2008 (IRIN) – The Gambian government loses up to half of its trainee health workers every year to the private sector or to jobs abroad, causing dangerous shortfalls in patient care in some government hospitals, health workers say.

Half of government-trained public health workers in Gambia including doctors, nurses and managers have left public hospitals and clinics over the past decade and the departure rate is rising, according to Mamat Cham, of the Gambia Department of State for Health.

The Royal Victoria Teaching hospital lost 250 nurses between 2003 and 2005 according to a Gambian Department of Education August 2008 report.

My class had 26 students, but only two now work as government doctors, said a public-sector doctor who asked not to be named. All the rest work for NGOs or have left the country.

Most leave to join private clinics or international NGOs in The Gambia or to go abroad, particularly to the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.

The high attrition rates lead to overworked doctors and dangerous patient neglect, in some cases even death, the doctor said. If you are left with only one doctor when youre supposed to be three, patients will have to wait too long for care.

Cham said shortfalls hit rural areas particularly hard. Our rural health centres and hospitals are now left in the hands of junior nurses because the seniors and other highly skilled nurses and doctors have left.

Why the exodus

Gambias health workers leave the public sector because of low salaries, poor training, a lack of career development opportunities, difficult working conditions, and a lack of equipment, according to ex-government nurse Yero Jallow, who now works in the private sector.

And they leave because they have somewhere to go. In the private sector and in developed countries there is a high demand for skilled medical workers for relatively high-paying jobs.

A government doctor can expect to earn US$ 226 in The Gambia, the unnamed doctor told IRIN, adding that at a private clinic or NGO the same person can earn up to eight times more. In the UK the most junior hospital doctor will earn $48,723 a year, and general practitioners can expect to eventually earn $118,000 to $178,000.

Incentives to stay

Governments of both The Gambia and the UK are taking measures to help keep Gambian health workers in their home country.

The Gambian department of health recently introduced a hardship allowance of $22.30 per month, plus additional monthly risk and on-call allowances, and a responsibility allowance for health officers in charge. It has also put in place hardship allowances for rural postings.

But the health departments Cham said recruiting countries also need to do more by agreeing to limit recruitment numbers.

In February 2008 the UK government was the first country to pass a law limiting the number of doctors from abroad specifically the Commonwealth seeking postings in the National Health Service (NHS).

The legislation was passed to preserve health service jobs for British graduates and is accompanied by a push to train British medical students, with medical school places having doubled since 1997.

The UK government also enforces a code of practice for all NHS employers to prevent developing countries being targeted in international recruitment drives.

[The code] is concerned with the protection of developing countries such as Gambia and seeks to prevent targeted recruitment from developing nations that are experiencing shortages of healthcare staff, said an NHS spokesperson.

Among the 247,000 doctors now registered with the UK General Medical Council, 27 percent come from outside of Britain.

For now the UK is the only country to put such recruitment restrictions in place and the move might help slow Gambias brain drain. Still the laws affect only government jobs and those who choose to join the private health sector are as free as ever to do so.

aj/mc/np

source.irin

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Kenyan media strangled – it is dead by law

Posted by African Press International on December 13, 2008

Media up in arms over passing of bill

Written By:Lilian Mwendo,


Media stakeholders have termed the passage of the communications bill by parliament on Wednesday as an act of revenge following the media’s sustained campaign to have MPs allowances taxed.

Media owners and Kenya journalists associations are now petitioning president Kibaki not to assent to the bill.

Parliament on Thursday unanimously passed the communications amendment bill 2008 without any amendments as requested by media stakeholders.

Above other provisions the bill gives the internal security minister powers to confiscate media house’s equipment if he deems necessary for security matters.

The media stakeholders listed the contentious clauses in the bill which they say are meant to gag the media as:

1. The bill confers on the Minister for Information and Communications excessive powers of control and regulation of every conceivable aspect of the MEDIA and COMMUNICATIONS sector including the CCK itself. Yet the CCK as the communications sector regulator on the fundamental right of freedom of expression, information and opinion ought to be independent and autonomous.

2.If His Excellency the President signs this bill, the granting of licenses for broadcasting and information technologies will be based on capricious regulation. In fact the Bill says licenses can only be granted on the basis of “such other conditions as may be prescribed.” This leaves the bill to complete and utter abuse

3. The Bill confers on the CCK unilateral powers and prerogative for issuance of guidelines for programming codes and programme content contrary to the accepted principle of self-regulation of the media in a democratic state. No longer is content the preserve of the media and the courts of Kenya but through the CCK. They will tell us what to write and speak about, what to show and when with no regard for us.

4.The Minister will now control all media in Kenya.

5. The Bill also negates the role of the statutory Media Council of Kenya.

6. The Bill leaves intact the unconstitutional and draconian powers of the Minister in charge of internal security under section 88 of the principal Act to unilaterally without recourse to the President, Parliament or the courts certify the occurrence of an emergency and exercise the power to enter, search and seize broadcasting stations and apparatus and telecommunications apparatus, determine what broadcasts should be emitted or not, dismantle and dispose of broadcasting stations and apparatus and to intercept and to disclose telecommunications between persons and also to intercept, disclose and dispose postal articles. The Minister can thus obliterate the constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression, property, privacy and protection of law or due process.

7. In sum total, instead of being a facilitator, the proposed law under the Bill will be a stumbling block on the way of development of the information and communications technologies sector and will be a drawback on the gains made on media freedom, freedom of expression, information and opinion since regime change in Kenya in 2002.

The stakeholders vowed to do everything possible to ensure media freedom is not curtailed.

The president rejected the same bill last year leading to the withdrawal of the contentious clauses that threatened freedom of the media.

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source.kbc

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Kenya: Moi regrets the killings – wants ECK overhaul

Posted by African Press International on December 13, 2008

Moi calls for overhaul of ECK

Written By:Rose Kamau,

Frmer President Daniel Arap Moi has thrown his weight behind calls for the overhaul of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK).

According to Moi, all ECK officials from the polling clerks to the commissioners were to blame for the election irregularities experienced last year.

“All the ECK officers were bribed down from the polling stations and if they had acted in a proper manner the election would have ended well,” he said.

Moi who was addressing Naivasha residents expressed regret at the killing of over 40 people in Naivasha during the heat of the post election chaos.

“What happened in this town was terrible and should not be allowed to happen in the future,” he said.

His sentiments came a day after parliament rejected a bill that would have dissolved ECK and introduced a new election body.

On the introduction of cheap maize flour in the market, the former president called for caution adding that the government acted in haste.

He said that the government should have worked with the WFP before introducing the maize meal in the market.

Moi at the same time vehemently opposed the introduction of Genetically Modified Food saying that its after-effects were not known.

“The GMOs are not the normal seeds we are used to and we don’t know what will happen in the next 10-15 years to come,” he said.

Moi called on MPs to pay taxes just like other Kenyans and also called for the construction of new classes to handle the high number of students enrolling in schools following the introduction of the Free Primary Education.

“No new classrooms have been added since I left and this has affected education levels as classes have over 100 pupils each,” he said.

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source.kbc

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Kenyan minister to explain to the court why he signed a deportation order

Posted by African Press International on December 13, 2008

Court summons Saitoti over deportation order

Written By:Rose Kamau/KNA,

Internal Security Minister George Saitoti has been summoned by a Nairobi court to explain the circumstances under which he issued a deportation order for a man charged with being in the country illegally.

Abdulfatah A. Abdi was charged with being in Kenya illegally and using faked documents among other charges.

He was arrested in Eastleigh on July 25, 2008. The minister is alleged to have signed the order on February 18, 2008.

Nairobi Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei concurred with defense lawyer Mbiyu Wakamau that the Minister should produce the deportation order in court personally on January 20 next year and not be represented by senior immigration officer Bernard Mwangangi.

Malindi District Registrar of Persons Mghala Sheriff Karisa Ndurya said Abdi followed all the laid down procedures which included being grilled by local administration and elders before he was issued with a Kenyan ID.

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Source.kbc

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The party for the liberation of Hutu people, agrees to drop the word “Hutu” from the deal struck

Posted by African Press International on December 13, 2008

BURUNDI: Not yet out of the woods


Photo: Jacoline Prinsloo/IRIN
Crowds of Burundians turned up to welcome FNL leader Agathon Rwasa when he returned to Burundi mid-2008

BUJUMBURA, 11 December 2008 (IRIN) – The agreement by Burundis last rebel group to change an unconstitutional ethnic reference in its name and move its forces into assembly sites takes the country significantly closer to peace but still leaves much to be done, according to analysts.

At a summit meeting in Burundis capital on 4 December, the Forces nationales de liberation (FNL) finally dropped its insistence that its political wing, Palipehutu, a contraction of the French words for the Party for the Liberation of the Hutu People, retain the term Hutu in its name, in line with a constitutional ban on such terminology.

At the same summit, President Pierre Nkurunziza agreed to give government jobs to 33 senior FNL members and to release political detainees and prisoners of war, on the understanding that the latter immediately make their way to assembly sites.

The FNL and the government signed a ceasefire in September 2006, but have made only fitful progress towards a formal end to the rebellion.

Regional pressure

It looks like a big breakthrough, said Paul-Simon Handy, head of the Africa security analysis programme in the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies, but it has to be translated into concrete political and military steps such as the socio-economic integration of FNL troops.

Handy attributed the FNLs somewhat sudden climb-down to renewed pressure from countries in the Great Lakes region, which have grown increasingly frustrated with the negative impact on trade caused by Burundis failure to consolidate peace.

Regional pressure has increased over the last month and the FNL has not been getting as many arms as a result of war fatigue, he said.


Photo: IRIN
President Pierre Nkurunziza attended the summit in which the government and the FNL reached an accord

Also, the political crisis in Burundi might have been an incentive for the FNL to integrate now, rather than when the government is stronger, added Handy, noting the country was due to hold elections in 2010.

Efficiency concerns

The summits final communiqu did not explain what jobs would be given to the 33 senior rebels, but Handy suggested that Nkurunziza was counting on the international community to foot at least part of the bill – the price to pay for a cessation of hostilities.

Burundian political analyst and university lecturer Gaspard Nduwayo told IRIN the pressure applied upon the FNL to clinch the deal was a cause for concern.

The deal was imposed on the FNL, which had no option but to accept, he said in Bujumbura. “What this means is that the government has now won legitimacy to fight the FNL if it does not abide by the deal.”

He added that the government had two options regarding the 33 posts: create jobs or dismiss people already in office as a result of previous power-sharing negotiations.

“In either case, the aim would be the distribution of posts rather than [administrative] efficiency,” he added.

Onsime Nduwimana, spokesman for the ruling Conseil national pour la dfense de la dmocratie-Forces pour la dfense de la dmocratie (CNDD-FDD) itself a Hutu rebel group turned political party played down the risk of alienating any of the presidents political beneficiaries.


Photo: Jacoline Prinsloo/IRIN
FNL leader Agathon Rwasa (centre): FNL agreed to change its name at a summit meeting in Bujumbura on 4 December

“No senior member of the CNDD-FDD is worried because of those posts,” he said.

That was missing the point, according to one employee of an international NGO, who asked not to be named.

“Whether the government creates new posts or dismisses some senior government officials to leave room for the FNL, the result is the same, the embezzlement of funds,” he said.

Many Burundians are impatient for a final conclusion to the countrys peace process.

“I hope this time it is the real thing; we have suffered enough in this country,” Bujumbura resident Manas Manirakiza told IRIN.

jb/js/am/mw

source.irin

Published by API

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