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Archive for December 29th, 2008

Kenyan minister wants to face the tribunal to cleanse himself – Post election violence in Kenya assumed funded by politicians

Posted by African Press International on December 29, 2008

Im ready to face tribunal, says Ruto

By Dedan Okanga

Agriculture Minister William Ruto says he is ready to face the Special Tribunal on post-election violence to redeem his image.

The Minister, who spoke when he hosted thousands of his constituents to a lavish homecoming party at his Sugoi home in Turbo Division, said his political detractors had maligned his name.

“What happened in January was caused by leaders, supported by the Press and cheered on by their supporters,” said Mr Ruto.

He challenged political leaders to take responsibility for what happened instead of narrowing the blame on individuals.

Ruto asked his constituents to brace themselves for tough times, as the truth would come out.

“What will come out will redeem the leaders from the region from some of the negativity that has been attached to them due to the post-election violence,” he said.

Present were Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa, Joshua Kutuny (Cherangany) and Peris Simam, Eldoret South.

Ruto reiterated that the violence was spontaneous and was not planned as was being bandied around.

“The protest was mainly from the youth who had witnessed the bungled electoral process and were intent on making their views known,” he said.

He added: “We want the President to reconvene Parliament early so that we face this tribunal and shame the devil together with the few false witnesses.”

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Posted by African Press International on December 29, 2008

UGANDA/Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi arrives in Uganda in this file photo. PHOTO/ REUTERS



Libya has told Switzerland it must wrap up a probe into the arrest earlier this year of a son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi or face unspecified further sanctions, the foreign ministry said.

Hannibal Gaddafi was arrested by Geneva police on July 15 and was charged with mistreating two domestic employees, a Tunisian woman and a Moroccan man, who later withdrew their formal complaint.

Gaddafi denied the charges and was freed on bail, but the case caused an uproar in Tripoli and led to the detention of two Swiss nationals, who were later released.

Libyas foreign ministry has said the two countries had agreed to set up an independent committee to investigate the incident.

Late on Thursday, the ministry said the committee has now almost completed its probe which showed the arrest was illegal, but the Swiss side was attempting to paper over the truth.

The facts are now clear and display the misuse of authority and infringement of legal procedures by Geneva police but the Swiss side in the committee attempts to issue a final report to save the face of the Swiss authorities, it said.

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What your spouse wants -You may not be aware

Posted by African Press International on December 29, 2008

coupleStop nagging – men get irritated when they are interrogated about every little thing they do. Photo/POSED BY MODELS.

PostedFriday, December 262008at15:46

Nothing epitomises the disillusionment of marriage like the timeless cartoon strip Andy Capp. Andy is a middle-aged man who spends the entire day napping on the sofa while his wife Flo, a disgruntled matronly woman, works from morning to night to pay the bills and support her lazy husband.

When Andy is not napping, he is watching television, enjoying his beloved pint at the local pub, (where he also gets to make passes at the younger women who are more attractive than Flo) getting home in the dead of night much to the chagrin of his wife.

The irony is that Andy pays for his beer using his wifes hard-earned money. He also has a weakness for gambling and his way of making money is betting on horses, never mind that most of the time, his predictions are normally wrong.

Andy, like many women have been known to complain about their husbands, is far from the romantic man Flo married when he proposed to her, he went down on his knee.

Years later however, not even regular counselling sessions can persuade him to take out the trash. And in a scene replayed in many homes, Flo has on numerous occasions packed her bags and left for her mothers house after having a row with her husband.

But Andy is not the only problem in the marriage. Thanks to unflattering clothes and a permanent headscarf which never leaves her head even during those rare occasions when she accompanies Andy to the races or the pub, Flo is no longer a youthful belle.

Also, she rarely has a kind word for her husband, even when shes having an internal dialogue and doesnt raise a finger even when her mother is rude to Andy. Once in a while, she even clobbers him when he is late coming home.

We can afford to laugh at these two characters, especially because, even after all this bickering, they still fondly refer to each other as pet.

Think about it though, were we to replace these cartoon characters with real life people, it wouldnt be so funny because their marriage is an apt representation of many Kenyan marriages, maybe even yours.

Many couples find that their relationship begins to take on a different shape as soon as the honeymoon is over. The man, who was used to seeing his wife looking immaculate all the time, has to get used to waking up to a bleary-eyed stranger with wild-looking hair every morning.

During courtship, he found this sweet and would tousle her hair while teasing her gently, probably because he knew that in a few minutes, she would transform herself into the flawless beauty she became after whipping up some magic with her make-up.

But there is something about marriage that makes women get complacent, too content that they stop paying attention to their looks. After two or three years of marriage, most women stop making an effort to look good for their man like they did during courtship.

After all, whats the point of wearing mascara and lipstick if youre going to spend the entire weekend at home?

A few years later and two children down the line, the slender waist that used to fascinate the man endlessly no longer exists. In its place are love handles which do not feel as nice to hold.

The meals that she used to lovingly prepare are replaced by the bland ones the maid puts together. She is no longer willing to serve the man because she is either not home or is too tired to get up from the sofa.

In some households, the bossy, know-it-all mother-in-law makes an entrance and can make the situation worse if either partner is reluctant to intervene.

The conversation the once loving couple enjoyed also changes. With school fees, homework and bills to talk about, the laughter and the easy banter that they once shared is no longer existent, the activities you enjoyed doing together forgotten in the midst of a harried life.

As for the man, he is no longer the thoughtful chap who surprised you with presents just because. That day he placed a ring on your finger is also the last one he lifted a finger in the kitchen, yet when he was courting you, he would insist that you watch television as he prepared lunch.

But it is not only women who let themselves go. Many men, too, stop paying attention to their looks once they get married.

As his wifes waist disappears, he begins to develop a pot belly and is quite at home with it since he has often heard it said that a pot belly in a man denotes affluence and speaks to the world about his success. But what does his wife think?

He also becomes averse to helping around the house and finds it difficult to pick up after himself, leaving everything to his wife or the maid, never mind the fact that she, too, works from morning to evening.

Such behaviour puts women off and is a major source of discontent in many marriages. If pressed about it, most women will confess to doing housework half-heartedly all the while cursing their husbands for not making an effort to help.

With the year coming to an end, this is probably the best time to start cultivating a new beginning if you are dissatisfied with your marriage.

To help you out, we interviewed a cross-section of married men and women and asked them to tell us how they wanted to see their spouses change and what they wanted them to do differently come the new year.

Forget about the so called best-selling books by foreign authors or a session at a counsellor’s couch this is bound to be more helpful to your marriage since it came from the horses mouth.

What men want

A popular joke goes like this: a man placed an advert in the classified pages of a newspaper which: Wife wanted. The next day, he received a hundred letters. They all said the same thing You can have mine.

Though a man who is frustrated with his wife wouldnt go as far as giving her out to any willing taker, it doesnt mean that he hasnt questioned whether he made the right choice marrying her in the first place.

However, judging from the responses we got from the men we talked to, men also care about their marriages and would want them to last. This is how they want their women to change:

1. Stop nagging
Judging from the frequency with which this one kept coming up, men get irritated when they are interrogated about every little thing they do. They say that women are obsessive about details, even the ones that dont really matter like what their husbands talked about when they met with their friends or expecting minute by minute details of what transpired during the day.

They understand that communication in a relationship is important, but they want you to be satisfied when they choose to give an overview of events because it means that the details arent important. They also resent being reminded to do something. Request them once and when you do, allow them to do it at their own time.
2. Avoid the double standards
Why should you expect men to be open about money when youre secretive with yours? Apparently, this is a major source of antagonism in many marriages. A couple of men said that their wives were dishonest regarding the amount of money they had yet they expected their husbands to declare all they had to the last penny.

One man revealed that just a few months ago, he found out that his wife had a secret bank account. Because of this little secret, their marriage is on the brink of disintegrating.

She obviously doesnt trust me. What else is she keeping from me? the 42-year-old father of two wonders. If you want men to be forthright with you regarding money, let him know about your chamas as well.

3. Girlfriends are a thorn
While men have no problem with their wives spending time with their friends, they feel that some are a bad influence to their marriage. One man said that his wife frequently stayed out late with friends, sometimes arriving after 10pm after their children had already gone to bed.

Another confessed that it bothers him when his wife overstays at a neighbours house. Does it mean that she finds this neighbour more interesting than I am? James, the 32-year-old teacher wonders.

The men also want you to know that even though there is nothing wrong with you having a girls night out once in a while, it is insensitive to make a habit of it. They also want you to stop comparing your friends husbands with him, saying that it only makes him feel belittled especially if youre criticising him.

4. We love our children but
A number of men resented the amount of time their wives lavished on their children. They appreciate that children need to be looked after, but they also want to know that they too matter in your life.

Ever since we got our first child, my wife behaves as if I dont exist any more, yet our son is about to celebrate his second birthday. He only has to throw a tantrum for her to leave everything else and attend to him, Michael, a 34-year-old account laments. The men are feeling neglected and want you to create some time for them.

5. Take an interest in our work
Most men want their wives to be more interested in their jobs and be involved in investment plans for the future. They felt that their wives assume this is their duty and are therefore reluctant to offer ideas or take an active role in making them become a reality.

They want you to know that they would appreciate it if you showed an interest in how they invest the money you make together. One man feared how his wife would cope were something to happen to him because she has no idea how their businesses run.

6. We miss the good-old days
If you thought women were the only ones who miss the long forgotten courtship days, youre wrong. Men too would want to revive the spark that characterised the dating phase.

They feel that women become complacent after a few years of marriage especially where grooming and body image is concerned. Please start paying attention to how you dress and watch your weight.

They also want you to be more interested in sex and not wait for them to initiate it all the time. It also wouldnt hurt if you became more affectionate, smiled more often and laughed at his silly jokes.

7. Dont sulk
Men are human they cant read minds. Most men said sulking irritates them immensely. If they do something that offends you, let them know. Bottling up anger or ill-feelings will not do you or your relationship any good.

What women want

1. Cut the booze
Coming home stinking of alcohol and expecting your wife to cuddle and act all-loving is unrealistic. They want the men to know that it is not only a complete turn-off, but a bad example for the children.

They also hate it when you regularly come home late at night or in the wee hours of the morning because it robs them of the time they should be spending with you.

2. Help out at home
They may not voice it, but they would appreciate it if you did more around the house, including picking up after yourself. One woman felt that her husband behaved as if their two children did not belong to him, and did not bother to help them with their homework, find out how they were performing at school and did not attend school open days.

Another woman, Susan, a 36-year-old telephone operator said that her husband treated their home like a hotel. He only comes home to eat and sleep. I wish he would spend more time at home because this way, we would get to do more things together.

3. Appreciate us
Women, especially those who have been married for a couple of years, feel that their husbands dont appreciate them as they should. Most women said that the men stopped being thoughtful or caring after marriage.

They no longer bought them presents and rarely went out of their way to do things for them. Women want to feel loved and valued, just like you made them feel when you were courting them. They also want to be complimented. Make an effort to notice when they have a new hairstyle or a new dress. It makes them feel you care.

5. Learn to listen
Sometimes women just want to vent, so kindly switch off the television and give her a few minutes of your undivided attention because it gives them a sense of satisfaction. It also tells them that you really care.

6. Be more responsible
Some women felt that their husbands still behaved liked little boys especially when it came to financial matters. One woman felt that her husband, a manager at his place of work, was too liberal with his money.

Whenever we go for an outing with friends, he offers to foot the bill most of time yet the understanding is that everyone should contribute.

Karen, the 40-year-old business woman says that this is a major bone of contention in their marriage, since she feels that they should be saving most of the money that they spend entertaining friends.

So as we begin the new year next week, if you recognise yourself in any of the above situations, make an effort to improve your relationship by changing whatever you may be doing that your spouse doesnt like.

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Tsvangirai gets a new passport – is Mugabe realising that Tvsangirai has his rights as an individual?

Posted by African Press International on December 29, 2008

HARARE, Sunday (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s government has issued a new passport to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has said its earlier refusal to do so showed it was not sincere about a power-sharing deal, an MDC official said on Sunday.

President Robert Mugabe’s government has not renewed Tsvangirai’s passport for the past six months, adding to tensions in negotiations on forming a government.

“He was given his passport but that is his right,” an MDC official said. “While it is a good development, there are outstanding issues to the formation of a unity government.”

Under the power-sharing agreement, Mugabe’s ZANU-PF will have 15 cabinet seats in the new government, Tsvangirai’s MDC 13 and three for a splinter MDC group.

Tsvangirai charges that Mugabe wants the opposition to assume a junior role in the government, accusing the 84-year-old leader of allocating his party all powerful ministries.

He accuses government agents of abducting MDC activists and has threatened to suspend negotiations with ZANU-PF if arrested party members are not brought to court by January 1.

The police last week charged rights campaigner Jestina Mukoko and eight other activists with plotting to overthrow Mugabe. If tried and convicted, they could face the death penalty.

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Will US feel for young presidents spill over to Kenya?

Posted by African Press International on December 29, 2008

Quest for a young Kenyan



In Summary

  • Barring an Obama-type upset where a young, relatively unknown candidate will emerge from obscurity to win the presidency, one of these leaders will be Kenyas next President. Citizens aged below 35 years are at least 60 per cent of the population. They were largely locked out of the top brass in the recent party elections. Will the millions of young voters use their ballot power to tip the scales in 2012?

The possibility that Kenya will have a youthful President at the next election appears more uncertain with the line-up that has filed papers at the office of the Registrar of Political Parties.

Barring an Obama-type upset, where a leader will emerge from obscurity to capture the imagination of a majority of voters in a break from tradition, the shape of things to come will be directed by seven personalities, who are party leaders.

Most of the top leaders who have been unveiled by their political parties as potential presidential candidates in the next General Election have declared that the country was ready for a young president.

Inspired by the election of 47-year-old Barack Obama as the US President last month, the politicians, who are now chairpersons or deputy leaders of their parties, argue that it is time Kenyans embraced a generational change and voted into office a young person.

The leaders cite the high number of MPs below the age of 40 who won their seats in the last General Election as a sign of changing times. They suggested that voters could settle for a leader who is young, arguing that Mr Daniel arap Moi was 54 years when he took over power. But just how young is young?

Those who have so far staked a claim to the presidency are Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, and Deputy Prime ministers Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi. Others are Cabinet ministers Martha Karua, George Saitoti and William Ruto.

They are likely to run for high office themselves or marshall support for other candidates as the race shapes up and dependent on the character the new constitution assumes.

Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi introduced a motion seeking to set the presidential age limit at 65 years.

Backers of the motion, mainly youthful MPs supporting the formation of the grand opposition in Parliament, argue that old politicians are responsible for the ills facing the country.

Mr Odinga has repeatedly said that he favours a parliamentary system of government with a PM who holds executive powers.

He also favours devolution of power to the regions. On the other hand, some MPs allied to Mr Musyoka appear to favour a system where executive power remains with the President who is voted through a universal suffrage system.

Mr Odinga, who will be 67 years in 2012, last week retained his seat as the ODM party leader and is expected to vie for the presidency for the third time.

In the last elections, he put up a spirited campaign for State House on an ODM ticket, but saw his hopes fade with the disputed presidential election result. The Electoral Commission of Kenya declared Mr Kibaki the winner, sparking a wave of violence that was only brought to an end by the intervention of the international community through former UN secretary general Kofi Annan.

Mr Musyoka, Mr Mudavadi, Ms Karua and Mr Ruto said the youth were the majority voters and were not tied down by factors of tribalism, class and regions.

While describing young presidents as inspirational, Mr Musyoka argued that the ideas and policies of an individual candidate were the best determinants of a leader.

There are young presidents who are very inspirational worldwide just as there are old presidents who are very successful. What Kenyans require is a servant leader who will demystify State House by pursuing policies that connect directly with the ordinary person, he told the Sunday Nation on the phone.

The VP, who will be 59 in 2012, said he was proud of the historic achievements of Mr Obama, who is set to be sworn into office as the first black US President on January 20, 2009.

The ODM Kenya leader is expected to take a second stab at the highest political office in the land in the next polls. In the last elections, he was third after Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga.

Mr Mudavadi, the Local Government minister, said the election of Mr Obama had inspired a lot of youthful politicians who were ready to join the fray and fight for the presidency.

The deputy PM said Kenya had in the past elected young leaders. He was referring to former President Moi who became Head of State at 54 years in 1978.

The election of Barack Obama has definitely given a lot of inspiration to youthful politicians and voters. I can see them (voters) going for a youthful person. They would want to have a president they can readily relate with, said the Sabatia MP, who will be 52 years in 2012.

Mr Mudavadi, who was Mr Odingas running mate in the 2007 elections, was recently elected ODM deputy party leader and is expected to go for the presidency in 2012.

There are lots of expectations along that line. If Obama performs well as president, this will definitely encourage youthful leadership. This is an issue that we must not lose sight of, he said.

Prof Saitoti, who will be 67 years in 2012, thinks the youth cannot be ignored because they are expected to play a huge role in the next elections. PNU, he added, will offer them an opportunity to play their role.

Ms Karua said youthful leaders were taking over power the world over and argued that Kenyan voters had shown they were ready to influence generational change in political leadership.

Kenya is changing with the rest of the world and now it is the young generation that is calling the shots. The next president is expected to be a youthful person. I expect Kenyas next president to be much younger, she said.

The Narc Kenya chairperson, who has declared her interest in the presidency and will be 55 in 2012, said that even 24-year-olds were now being elected as MPs.

I entered Parliament at the age of 35 years when it was dominated by octogenarians but, today, we have MPs who are as young as 24 years, she said.

Mr Ruto, the Agriculture minister, said Kenya was ripe for a young president because a majority of the population was below 45 years and it was such a leader who could identify with their needs. He said that the last General Election was a preamble to what will happen in the 2012 elections.

In 2012, the youth will not only come out to vote, but to vote for one of their own, the minister said.

The election of Obama, he said, had shown that it was possible to break away with the traditional prejudices of ethnicity, religion and colour.

The Eldoret North MP, who will be 46 years in 2012 and was last week elected the ODM deputy party leader, said the influence of money on politics was fast losing relevance.

The last elections are a clear example that you can bribe voters but they will vote for whoever they have decided, to vote for, he said.

Also expected to run are Mr Kenyatta, the Kanu chairman, who will be 51 years in 2012. Former Kenya National Commission on Human Rights chairman Maina Kiai also believes Kenya was ready for a young president, citing Mr Obamas election as US president.


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Kenyan ministers may loose positions

Posted by African Press International on December 29, 2008

New law: 16 MPs risk losing seats

Six ministers are among 16 Members of Parliament who risk losing their seats on New Year when the Political Parties Act becomes operational.

Water Minister Charity Ngilu, Sports Minister Hellen Sambili and Housing Minister Soita Shitanda top the list of potential casualties of the law that seeks to inject order and discipline in politics two missing ingredients that gave way to the multiplicity of briefcase parties. Ngilu is the chairperson of Narc, which became a shell after most founder members decamped to ODM, PNU and Narc-Kenya. She is allied to ODM in Parliament. Soita heads New Ford Kenya, and is fighting an injunction that bars the party from conducting elections.


For Sambili, UDM leader Nathaniel Chebelion told The Standard on Sunday that the party had partially complied with the Act and would use the 180 days window provided by temporary registration to put its house in order.

Assistant Ministers Linah Jebii Kilimo (Cooperatives), Wavinya Ndeti (Gender and Sports) and Richard Momoima Onyonka (Foreign Affairs) also risk being locked out by the stringent requirements of the new law that could lead to deregistration of more than 126 of the 168 parties registered under the Societies Act.

The MPs on the chopping board are Walter Nyambati, David Ngugi, John Ngata Kariuki, Cyrus Jirongo, Bonny Khalwale, Robert Monda, Gitobu Imanyara, Francis Baya, David Njuguna and Silas Muteere.

Speaker of National Assembly Kenneth Marende concedes that the new law could force repeat polls if implemented. Citing the confusion caused by clauses on party membership and deregistration of parties, he expressed concern it would be difficult for affected MPs to retain their seats as the Constitution requires lawmakers and councillors to belong to a political party.

Already, the Registrar of Political Parties, Ms Lucy Ndungu, has served notice that there will be no extension of the December 31 deadline as requested by nearly 160 out of 168 political organisations.

“So far, we have granted application certificates to eight parties. Twenty parties have filed the papers and we are still processing their applications. The parties that have complied met all conditions, including those on representation of women,” she says.


ODM Secretary for Legal Affairs Mugambi Imanyara says the ministers and MPs are in a precarious situation as they may no longer be useful to their allies “given Kenyas politics of exigency.”

He, however, does not anticipate application of the law retroactively. He also observed that the risk of the 16 MPs being kicked out is low, citing precedence when the National Development Party was dissolved when it merged with Kanu in 2002. The former NDP MPs were not subjected to by-elections.

The Act is specific on the deregistration of parties that will not have met the requirements that include a head office with a permanent physical and postal addresses, fully functional branch offices, at least 200 members in every province and some governing council positions going to women. However, it is silent on what happens to Members of Parliament and civic leaders if parties that sponsored them cease to exist legally.

It is expected that the number of registered parties will reduce further in June at the expiry of the 180 days the law provides for temporary registration.

If women convince the complaints tribunal, which is yet to be formed, that the registration of their parties was obtained in “a fraudulent manner”, parties like PNU and ODM could be deregistered. Ndungu is in the meantime unconcerned with the unfolding scenario.

“As far as we are concerned, the deadline is still there. We, however, do hope that the remaining parties will file their returns before then,” she says.

In addition, says the registrar, Narc-Kenya, Ford Kenya, Party of Independent Candidates of Kenya, Democratic Party, Grand National Union, Safina and Labour Party of Kenya have complied.


However, MPs and councillors affiliated to Chama Cha Uzalendo, Kenda, Ford-Asili, Peoples Democratic Party, Narc, National Labour Party, Peoples Party of Kenya, Ford-P, Sisi Kwa Sisi and Kaddu could be forced to seek fresh mandate on registered parties. During its national delegates conference at Bomas of Kenya, ODM made two significant changes in its constitution to provide for corporate membership and coalitions.


1. MOGOTIO Hellen Sambili UDM
2. MALAVA Soita Shitanda New Ford-K
3. KITUI CENTRAL Charity Ngilu Narc
4. KATHIANI Wavinya Ndeti CCU
5. KITUTU CHACHE Richard Onyonka PDP
6. KITUTU MASABA Walter Nyambati NLP
7. KINANGOP David Ngugi Sisi kwa Sisi
8. KIRINYAGA CENTRAL John Ngata Kariuki Ford-A
9. LUGARI Cyrus Jirongo Kaddu
10. IKOLOMANI Bonny Khalwale New Ford-K
11. NYARIBARI CHACHE Robert Monda Narc
12. CENTRAL IMENTI Gitobu Imanyara CCM
13. GANZE Francis Baya KADU-A
14. LARI David Njuguna PPK
15. NORTH IMENTI Silas Muteere Mazingira
16. MARAKWET EAST Jebii Kilimo Kenda

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