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Archive for December 25th, 2008

Kibaki has sealed the fate of the ECK by signing into law the recently passed amendment

Posted by African Press International on December 25, 2008

kibakiand-eckPresident Kibaki has signed into law the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2008.

With his action the President has sealed the fate of the Electoral Commission of Kenya, which now stands disbanded.

174 MPs passed the Bill a week ago in Parliament.

It will replace the ECK with an Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) and also set in motion the review process that will ensure that Kenya gets a new constitution.

The Commission will comprise of nine members.

Already a 27-member parliamentary select committee, chaired by Mandera Central MP Mohammed Abdikadir, has been set up to nominate members of the IIEC.

The IIEC has the mandate to carry out wide ranging electoral reforms, register voters afresh and install new systems of tallying votes to ensure that elections are free, fair and credible.

The new law, which amends Section 47 of the Constitution also provides for a referendum and establishes an Interim Constitutional Court to preside over disputes that are likely to arise from the review process.

The 22 electoral commissioners have since moved to court to contest Parliaments passage of the Bill.

They now want the election of Mwai Kibaki as president of Kenya declared null and void by a court since it is the ECK that presided over the presidential elections.


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Kenya’s attorney General advices the government to disobey court order

Posted by African Press International on December 25, 2008

I advised Munyes to dissolve

NSSF board, says AG

By Evelyn Kwamboka

Attorney-General Amos Wako has confirmed he advised Labour Minister John Munyes to dissolve NSSF parastatal board.

The AG said an order stopping the minister from dissolving the National Social Security Fund board does not annul a decision already made.

Wako said this in response to a letter by an advocate representing the dissolved board.

It stated that the AG would be sued for allegedly advising the minister to disobey court orders.

A lawyer representing Mr Francis Atwoli and his team, Mr Stephen Mwenesi, asked the AG to state whether he told the Labour minister and PS to ignore a court order that barred them from dissolving the board.

“Unless you are able to show to our clients that you did not advise disobedience of a court order as the PS claims you did, we will have no restraint in moving the court to find that the AG as counsel to the minister is in contempt of court for encouraging his clients and parties to the case, in which orders were made, to disobey the orders with impunity,” said Mwenesi.

AGs direction

In a letter to the AG dated December 19, PS Beatrice Kituyi had written to the acting NSSF Managing Trustee that she was in receipt of guidance and direction of the AG that the stay order did not reverse the decision of the minister to dissolve the board.

Yesterday, in a letter signed on behalf of the AG by the Senior Deputy Solicitor General Muthoni Kimani, he confirmed advising the officers.

“Our advice to the ministry was therefore correct and your complaint against our office is unfounded, frivolous and vexatious,” Wako said.

Atwoli and his group had obtained court orders barring the minister from dissolving the board over the organisations Sh1.4 billion dealings with the troubled stockbrokers, Discount Securities Limited.

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The coup leader, Captain Mussa Dadis Camara, heads the list of council members, which includes six civilians.

Posted by African Press International on December 25, 2008

Guinea coup leaders name council

Written By:Claire Wanja/BBC

Coup leaders in Guinea trying to seize power following President Lansana Conte’s death have named a 32-member national council to run the country.

The coup leader, Captain Mussa Dadis Camara, heads the list of council members, which includes six civilians.

Earlier Captain Camara went on state radio to say the government and other institutions had been dissolvedbut Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare denied this and said the government “continues to function”.

Most of the people named as being members of the National Council for Democracy and Development are senior military officers.

They include Lieutenant Colonel Sekouba Konate, who heads an elite army unit.

In its takeover announcement, the plotters said elections would be held within 60 days and an interim president and prime minister would be appointed, according to the Associated Press news agency.

But the situation remains unclear.

Earlier Guinea’s armed forces chief, Gen Diarra Camara, told French TV station France 24 that the coup leaders did not represent most troops.

“I think they are in the minority. They are not the majority in the army,” he said.

National Assembly Speaker Aboubacar Sompare, who – according to Guinea’s constitution – should be in charge of the country until an election is held within 60 days, also said he did not think the entire military backed the putsch plot.

Only a small minority of soldiers areopposing a military takeover.

Coup leaders were trying to win over these loyalists at a meeting at the Alpha Yaya Diallo military base in the capital, Conakry, the source said.

On Tuesday, soldiers supporting the coup, and backed by tanks, appeared on the streets of Conakry.

President Conte, who ruled the West African country with an iron fist for 24 years, died on Monday night after a “long illness”, it was announced in the early hours of Tuesday.

The cause of his death is unknown, but Mr Conte, 74, was a chain-smoker and diabetic who is also believed to have suffered from leukaemia.

Forty days of national mourning have been declared.

Guinea’s neighbours – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast – are enjoying relative stability after years of conflict and there are fears any unrest there could spread and embroil the sub-region in fighting once more.

But just hours after the the president’s death was announced, a junior officer went on state radio to say the army had taken over, and a body called the National Council for Democracy and Development (CNDD) had been set up.

“As of today, the constitution is suspended,” said Capt Moussa Dadis Camara. “The government and the institutions of the republic have been dissolved.”

Capt Camara, who is head of the army’s fuel supplies unit, said the Council would root out corruption and organise fair elections.

Ministers were later ordered to present themselves at the Alpha Yaya Diallo military base “to guarantee their security”, while civilians were told to stay indoors and refrain from looting.

The African Union, European Union and United States led condemnation of the move.

“This seizure of power constitutes a flagrant violation of the Guinean constitution,” African Union commission chief Jean Ping said in a statement.

Mr Ping called for an urgent meeting of the 53-member bloc.

General Conte came to power in 1984 at the head of a military coup to fill the vacuum left by the sudden death of his predecessor, Sekou Toure, who had been president since independence from France in 1958.

He eventually oversaw a return to civilian rule and was elected three times, although critics said the votes were never free or fair.

Although Guinea’s mineral wealth makes it potentially one of Africa’s richest countries, its population of about 10 million is among the poorest in the region.

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Several Kinshasa residents express concern over the origin of the fire arms being collected.

Posted by African Press International on December 25, 2008

DRC: Guns into greenbacks

Photo: MONUC/Kim Sarrazin Gjerstad
In a bid to prevent crime in the capital, citizens are being rewarded for turning in their guns (file photo)

KINSHASA, 15 December 2008 (IRIN) – Hundreds of people in Kinshasa have handed over illegal weapons for cash and cloth in a no-questions-asked campaign to reduce crime in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

AK-47 automatic rifles, Uzi sub-machine guns and rocket launchers were among the 3,000 or so weapons collected over the past three weeks by the Ecumenical Programme for Peace, Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation (PAREC), an NGO.

Those in working order were handed over to the police, the rest were destroyed.

“There have been several hold-ups and attempted murders carried out by armed men in Kinshasa recently and several arms caches have been discovered, said PAREC coordinator, Pastor Daniel Ngoyi Mulunda.

These are the facts that motivated us to take this action, knowing that there have been too many fire arms in circulation in the capital.

Ngoyi said the government had promised not to take any legal action against civilians surrendering their guns. So far, he added, no arrests had been made.

Most of those who handed in weapons were women, Ngoyi said. Upon surrender, the women receive $100 and a length of cloth.

However, several Kinshasa residents expressed concern over the origin of the fire arms being collected.

“I suspect those bringing in arms may be from the armed forces, not civilians,” Benjamin Yogolelo, a former military officer, told IRIN. “And those thousands of weapons could [have been] stolen from military camps. Some people come back many times to hand in different guns and get more money. This is easy money.”

Ngoyi said the police and the media were not allowed to talk to, film or photograph people handing over arms so as to encourage others to do likewise.

Meanwhile, questions are being asked about the highly publicised discovery of four weapons caches in November and the subsequent arrest of former soldiers from Equateur province accused of preparing a coup.

There is more to this story of arms caches than meets the eye because we dont have any real proof that they existed. Only people from Equateur were arrested. We think it could be a set-up to carry out a purge in the army, said Dolly Ibefo, the vice-president of La Voix, a human rights NGO.

Ibefo said the detainees included a woman and her baby, arrested in place of her husband.



Published by API

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