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Archive for June 1st, 2009

Posted by African Press International on June 1, 2009

IF YOU HAVE EVER WONDERED why the man in your life doesnt talk much when he gets home from work or stares endlessly at the TV, you will be delighted to know that it has little to do with whether or not he loves you.

Scientific research shows that men normally use only 7,000 words a day compared to the 16,000 words that the average woman uses daily to communicate. This means that if the man has used up his 7,000 words at the office, he has none left to use when he gets home.

So those occasional grunts that he emits in response to your questions are actually bonus words that he forces out of himself grudgingly. This hugely significant fact was presented to me during a womens leadership training workshop last week in which the trainers, Normala and her husband Philip Merry, showed women how to survive in a male-dominated work environment and helped them to identify the skills they needed to develop their leadership qualities.

Unlike most management training courses, the emphasis was not on becoming more like men in the workplace, but on using womens unique capabilities to achieve results in work environments that rely heavily on team work. The highlight of the course was an analysis of male and female brains. Since the 1990s, there has been growing evidence and research that shows that biology is, indeed, destiny, particularly in relation to communication skills.

Brain scans show that womens brains are significantly different to mens in one fundamental way their corpus callosums (the bands of tissue that link the cerebral hemispheres) are much bigger. This means that women are able to process information faster than men and have more accurate intuitive judgement, as the larger corpus callosum allows for 30 per cent more connections between the right brain (the creative, emotional side) and the left brain (the logical, rational side).

This biological fact has a significant impact on how women conduct themselves at the workplace. For instance, because women are more intuitive than men, they are more likely to pick up non-verbal cues than men. They are able to decipher what a person means through his/her body language and voice tone, and therefore are able to judge peoples feelings more accurately than men.

MEN, ON THE OTHER HAND, PREFER direct communication through words and are more likely to use quantifiers such as Never or Absolutely, which helps when they are trying to close a deal or assert authority over others, but can be disastrous when team participation is required or when the success of a project depends on how well people get along.

The larger corpus callosum also allows women to do many things simultaneously. Women are natural multi-taskers they can talk on the phone and cook dinner at the same time. Men, on the other hand, can only do one task at a time.

Which explains why men can sit in one position the whole day watching football or reading the newspaper, not doing much else. They are unable to process information from different sources simultaneously.

Although womens brains are far superior to mens, their leadership style is often perceived as unfocused, emotional and relationship-oriented, rather than results-oriented. However, more recent research shows that when it comes to negotiating skills, women are better equipped than men because their style is more collaborative than competitive.

In an article on womens negotiating strengths, Horacio Falcao from Singapore noted that womens collaborative negotiating style assumes the total cake can be enlarged to keep everyone happy as opposed to mens competitive style where there are clear winners and losers.

Unfortunately, this is regarded as a sign of weakness by many, but thankfully, the shift from male to female styles of negotiation are becoming more common in the corporate world. The other big difference is that women expect fairness and justice in their negotiations, says Falcao.

When the negotiation appears to be unfair, they are more likely than men to walk away without confronting or re-negotiating the deal. This leaves them feeling powerless. The upside is that women tend to make more ethical decisions at work than men, which means they are less likely to be corrupt, exploitative or unjust.

But when they get home, they are still confronted with the age-old dilemma: how to get their man to talk to them without switching off all the appliances.

Ms Warah is an editor with the UN. The views expressed here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations.

By RASNA WARAH, rasna.warah@gmail.

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American capitalism gone with a whimper: Prime Minister Putin, less then two months ago, warned Obama and the UK, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster

Posted by African Press International on June 1, 2009

It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century,
especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.

Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their “right” to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our “democracy”. Pride blind the foolish.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different “branches and denominations” were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the “winning” side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the “winning” side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America’s short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the
announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of
hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?

These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees
picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another. They are also usurping the rights, duties and powers of the American congress (parliament). Again, congress has put up little more then a whimper to their masters.

Then came Barack Obama’s command that GM’s (General Motor) president step down from leadership of his company. That is correct, dear reader, in the land of “pure” free markets, the American president now has the power, the self given power, to fire CEOs and we can assume other employees of private companies, at will. Come hither, go dither, the centurion commands his minions.

So it should be no surprise, that the American president has followed this up with a “bold” move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantee of automobile policies. I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too. Prime Minister Putin, less then two months ago, warned Obama and the UK, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our “wise” Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride.

Again, the American public has taken this with barely a whimper…but a
“freeman” whimper.

So, should it be any surprise to discover that the Democratically controlled
Congress of America is working on passing a new regulation that would give the American Treasury department the power to set “fair” maximum salaries,
evaluate performance and control how private companies give out pay raises and bonuses? Senator Barney Franks, a social pervert basking in his homosexuality (of course, amongst the modern, enlightened American societal norm, as well as that of the general West, homosexuality is not only not a looked down upon life choice, but is often praised as a virtue) and his Marxist enlightenment, has led this effort. He stresses that this only affects companies that receive government monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical extreme, this would include any company or industry that has ever received a tax break or incentive.

The Russian owners of American companies and industries should look
thoughtfully at this and the option of closing their facilities down and fleeing the land of the Red as fast as possible. In other words, divest while there is still value left.

The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his
chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only

Stanislav Mishin

Source: Pravda.Ru

Posted in by Diana, USA

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Professor Steven Chu: paint the world white to fight global warming

Posted by African Press International on June 1, 2009

Mark Henderson, Science Editor

As a weapon against global warming, it sounds so simple and low-tech that it could not possibly work. But the idea of using millions of buckets of whitewash to avert climate catastrophe has won the backing of one of the world’s most influential scientists.

Steven Chu, the Nobel prize-winning physicist appointed by President Obama as Energy Secretary, wants to paint the world white. A global initiative to change the colour of roofs, roads and pavements so that they reflect more sunlight and heat could play a big part in containing global warming, he said yesterday.

Speaking at the opening of the St James’s Palace Nobel Laureate Symposium, for which The Times is media partner, Professor Chu said that this approach could have a vast impact. By lightening paved surfaces and roofs to the colour of cement, it would be possible to cut carbon emissions by as much as taking all the world’s cars off the roads for 11 years, he said.

Building regulations should insist that all flat roofs were painted white, and visible tilted roofs could be painted with cool-coloured paints that looked normal, but which absorbed much less heat than conventional dark surfaces. Roads could be lightened to a concrete colour so they would not dazzle drivers in bright sunlight. I think with flat-type roofs you can’t even see, yes, I think you should regulate, Professor Chu said.

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Pale surfaces reflect up to 80 per cent of the sunlight that falls on them, compared with about 20 per cent for dark ones, which is why roofs and walls in hot countries are often whitewashed. An increase in pale surfaces would help to contain climate change both by reflecting more solar radiation into space and by reducing the amount of energy needed to keep buildings cool by air-conditioning.

Professor Chu said that his thinking had been influenced by Art Rosenfeld, a member of the California Energy Commission, who drove through tough new building rules in the state. Since 2005 California has required all flat roofs on commercial buildings to be white; the measure is being expanded to require cool colours on all residential and pitched roofs.

Dr Rosenfeld is also a physicist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, of which Professor Chu was director. Last year Dr Rosenfeld and two colleagues from the laboratory, Hashem Akbari and Surabi Menon, calculated that changing surface colours in 100 of the world’s largest cities could save the equivalent of 44 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide about as much as global carbon emissions are expected to rise by over the next decade.

Professor Chu said: There’s a friend of mine, a colleague of mine, Art Rosenfeld, who’s pushing very hard for a geo-engineering we all believe will be completely benign, and that’s when you have a flat-top roof building, make it white.

Now, you smile, but he’s done a calculation, and if you take all the buildings and make their roofs white and if you make the pavement more of a concrete type of colour rather than a black type of colour, and you do this uniformly . . . it’s the equivalent of reducing the carbon emissions due to all the cars on the road for 11 years.

The US needed to increase its investment in clean energy research, he said, citing high-tech industries that spent 10 to 20 per cent of their income on research. The US was spending $1 trillion on generating electricity, but nothing like the $100 billion to $200 billion on research that would meet that standard, he said.

Readers of The Times can make their own contributions at the Science Central blog.

Painting everything in white! The idea seems good! Unfortunately the backside of every idea exists. Why, imagine that every country in the world paints their roads and roofs in white? What happen: Thousand of hundred billion cubic meters of dust added in the atmosphere.
Why? Indeed, to produce such an amount of material necessary to paint everything in white would need hundred of thousand more industries in the world that would send toxic fumes to the atmosphere, increasing the effect of the green house. For, how sun beans can go back in the sky, if huge carbon clouds and dust prevent them to go?
In matter of global climate, you can’t have your cake and eat it, that’s impossible.

However, every solution is good to be tried.
a) For instance, solar panels could be made such as to be able to reflect sun beams while transforming electromagnetic radiations of light into energy; all houses and building, and public buildings having them; spots to collect extra electric energy produced by those central units built in strategic places.
b) Since cars must be made and painted, paint it in white, and when roads must be looked after, or made, paint them in white.
c.a) Government of all nations must be more careful about what their factories send in the atmosphere.
c.b) A new policy about using cars must be spread in all countries, and public transport driven in clean energies encouraged.
d) And of course, developing some other scientific concepts such as geothermic energy, or internal terrestrial pressure energy, or wells of winds, ocean wave, and so one… are among thousand of other ideas that would help to solve all those issues while encouraging the economic process…

Not forgetting that the idea to paint everything in white may be good for warm countries, but not so much for very cold countries or regions that would have to consume more energy in cold season.

Dan, In the World, World

Not too long ago white roofs used to be in fashion (60s-70s). My house indeed was cooler in summer even though it had inferior insulation compared to today. The problem is modern housing developments have HOA’s (Homeowners Associations) and you can’t put a white shingle roof, they won’t permit it

Rick Cain, Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Chu says, pale surfaces reflect up to 80 per cent of the sunlight that falls on them, compared with about 20 per cent for dark ones.

Ever heard of the URBAN HEAT ISLAND EFFECT, no, google Watts up with that. Steady increase in urbanisation = steady increase in temperature. Not CO2 just urban devel.

Rob, Notts, UK

Source:Nancy’s Blog RightBias/ And Timesonline.UK

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Why did Prime Minister Raila Odinga travel to Iran immediately after his visit to President Obama’s Chicago in the USA? He took ministers belonging to his party and not that of President Kibaki.

Posted by African Press International on June 1, 2009

Iranian President cannot be ObamarisedAhmedinajad and Railaraila-amolo

Raila Odinga, the Prime Minister of Kenya after his visit to the US, travelled to Iran to meet with Ahmedinajad, the Iranian President. We are not saying there is something wrong with that.

It is only that he did so immediately after his visit to the US, and observers believe that the US wants to use him as the middle man between Iran and the US in establishing contacts that will benefit the US in the long run.

It is surprising also that the PM visited the US and did not meet with the US President Obama who he says is his distant relative. And yet , the PM choose to hold the lecture in Chicago, Obama’s home area in Illinois.

We therefore question, what is happening.

One other interesting thing is the fact that the Iranian government dicided to red-carpet Raila, a thing that is only a preserve for heads of state and in this case, that would be Kibaki of Kenya and not Raila. The motive here is questionable. Is Iran sending a message to Kenyans that they prefer Raila as Kenya’s president and not Kibaki?

Ahmedinajad knows very well that President Obama, who is Luo-blood-connected would listen to Raila who is a Luo himself. Not that there is something wrong with that. We are only saying, dealings should be more open than it is so that everyone understands what is going on.

Was it seen as a threat to take PNUministers (allied to Kibaki) to Iran because of some secrets that one wanted to get through with the Iranians without the knowledge of President Kibaki? Is that why the red carpet and the inspection of the guard of honour given to Raila?

Written by Chief Editor Korir /African Press International

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Providing an enabling environment to the down trodden members of our society- a Kenyan story

Posted by African Press International on June 1, 2009


Hope for Victoria children (HOVIC) has donated blankets, food stuffs and built a house for the family of a former notorious Kisumu street Urchin Benard Odhiambo.

Odhiambo who is aged 14 years is now in standard 6 in Nduru Primary School in Kadibo Division Kisumu Town East District courtesy of HOVIC.

The institution through its noble Programme of rehabilitation identified Odhiambo a couple of years ago and retrieved him from the street.

HOVIC has agreed to shoulder all his education and basic needs until he becomes a responsible citizen.

Dr.Joshua Oron the Director of HOVIC who is based in London Britain had to control his emotions when he toured the dilapidated grass thatched tiny 10 by 10 house, housing the parents of Odhiambo together with 8 other children.

For the last couple of years since Odhiambo was retrieved from the streets, Dr. Oron has just been extending his olive branch but has never had an opportunity to pay a courtesy call to their homestead.

To the disbelief of the entire school fraternity and villagers, Dr. Oron ordered for the immediate construction of a semi permanent house which took roughly 10 hours to finish in the full glare of a battery of journalists.

HOVIC has got over 100 children in their support schedule, 33 in primary, 40 secondary and the rest in vacation training institutions.

The school head teacher Teresa Odumba applauded Dr. Orons gesture and appealed to other donors to emulate him.

Odhiambo’s mother aged 35 years while holding her last born child aged 4 months could not hide her joy and broke in tears when she saw building materials and constructors offloading ready to refurbish her grass thatched house.

His father aged 45 who is a labourer in the local rice fields was however dumb founded and just waved to the battery of journalists present saying May Godless you.

HOVIC mission is to provide an enabling environment to the down trodden members of our society and therefore I won’t relent, Dr. Oron told journalists during a brief interview.

The institution is also having a football team to help in the boding process and interaction


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Anyone know what this terrible thing is?

Posted by African Press International on June 1, 2009

You have to be inhuman not to be touched by this painful story. Deeply touched are many and are now joining hands to find out what is wrong with this boy. The specialists in the field should join hands and free him from constant pain that rages in his body.

Out there, there must be someone who knows something that can heal the boy. Come out and do something.

You can email us on and we will communicate it further to the family who will definately appreciate all help that may ease the boy’s pain and give him a normal life. (API)


Stanley Badia, 8, who has a dark blotch covering the stomach, back and groin area. The growth has now formed folds around the young boys waist and back. Photo/MICHAEL MUTE


In Summary

  • Something horrible is eating Stanley, 8. His mum just wants to know what it is

She first noticed an odd black patch on her babys stomach when she held him for the first time.

However, doctors assured Sylvia Atieno that it was a birth mark that would gradually disappear as baby Stanley grew older.

Eight years later, Stanleys body is a sea of moles and folds of dark skin threatening to cover every part of the body. Ms Atieno noticed that the birth mark was growing when Stanley was still a toddler.

She took him to hospital where he was given medicine, but the spots continued to spread to his hands, feet and face.

Formed folds

From a spot, the dark blotch extended to cover the stomach, back and groin area. The growth has now formed folds around the young boys waist and back.

This makes it difficult for him to bend or sit comfortably on a chair.

Ms Atienos life has consisted of monthly visits to Kenyatta National Hospital.

Every time I go to hospital they give me pain killers and advice me to feed him well. Last month the doctors told me that it was a mole disease and that there is no cure, she said.

Born in 2001, Stanley is the first of three children born to Ms Atieno and her husband who works as a casual worker in Dandora.
Unlike other boys his age, Stanley is quiet and withdrawn.

While his classmates at Dandora Primary School play and run around, Stanley often watches from the sidelines.

Sometimes I play with my friends but when my body becomes too painful I stop, murmured the shy boy. He has two friends who he loves to play football with, he said.

In class, Stanley said he cannot sit for long hours because his body becomes sore. During lessons he keeps shifting and standing to ease the pain. The itching causes extra discomfort.

His class teacher, Ms Grace Mbaria, describes him as an average student.

Sometimes he goes out to play like the other children, but other times he stays back during physical education (PE) lessons, she said.

Stanleys mother fears that it may not only be his education that suffers. He does not sleep well and eats very little, she says. Since sitting on the sofa can be painful, he spends most of the time on a carpet laid out especially for him.

During one of the visits to hospital when the doctor was explaining that nothing could be done, young Stanley burst into tears. His mother recounts: He asked me Why is my body different from the other children?

I assure him that one day he will be better but he cried But the doctor said I wont get better. I didnt know what to tell him, said the sad 24-year-old mother.

It is such frustration that drove her to cross the border in search of a traditional medicine man. Accompanied by her sister, and the little boy, she packed her bags and headed to Tanzania.

The herbalist was visibly shocked when he saw Stanley, she narrated. He did not say what he though it was but gave me some syrup, ointment and soap which I was to wash him with.

The travelling and medicine cost a fortune for the young and struggling family. The three got stranded in Tanzania and had to ask a friend to send them money for transport back.

For two months she diligently administered the syrup, spread the ointment and bathed her first-born in the herbs as instructed. There was no improvement.

With the doctors and herbalists having failed her, an exasperated Ms Atieno has only one request: I want to know if there is anyone out there who knows what this disease is.

She asks for specialists or even people who have the disease to tell her of what treatment to administer to her son.

All I give him now is painkillers like Brufen, which only stops the pain for a while, she added.

Her two other children are very healthy so she does not understand what went wrong.

Of her visits to Kenyatta, he says: I wish they could refer me to someone else instead of always prescribing painkillers.

Finding help has now become a community effort with the primary schools headteacher, community health workers and neighbours joining in.

We are all trying to get help for the child, said Terry Wayua, the neighbour who alerted Nation to the boys plight.

Efforts to reach dermatologists at KNH for comment were futile as one was out for the weekend and the other could be only seen by appointment.

Such a rare case

But a consultant physician, Prof S. Bhatt, who had a look at a photograph of Stanley could not hide his shock.

I have never seen something like this before, exclaimed the veteran doctor.

He said in his 30 years of service at the University of Nairobi and the national hospital, he had not come across any case as extensive and rare as Stanleys.

If he has been coming to Kenyatta for the past eight years I am surprised no one has made any diagnosis.

Moles, he said, would have already been surgically removed.

Although he could not give a diagnosis from a photograph and also because that was not his area of speciality, the spots to him indicated a skin disorder, probably cancerous because it keeps growing.

A sample of the tumour would have to be taken for testing at their laboratories.

He offered to forward it to the Dean, School of Health Sciences, as a possible research case.

The University would be interested to take up such a rare case. They have the facilities and specialists at their disposal, he said.

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Alston report: ODM, PNU clash over Geneva team – Is Professor Alston a white racist seeking to divide Kenyans or a man seeking the truth (in only ten days)?

Posted by African Press International on June 1, 2009

The UN appoints a white professor to go and investigate killings in Kenya. He does it in 10 days and comes up with a report. Surely, how can a foreigner who does not know the country get the truth about what happens in Kenya in a 10-day investigation period? Who did he talk to and how could he be able to come up with a report within 10 days?

Is he a racist who wants to divide Kenya or is he a man who wants to heal the political situation in the country and unite the people of Kenya? API

By Standard Team

The stage was being set last night for another rift between coalition partners PNU and ODM over the controversial findings by UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Killings Prof Philip Alston.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga called on the reconstitution of the team being send to Geneva to defend the Government on the Alston report, saying it was not representative.

Prof Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial killings. His report on extrajudicial killings is the subject of a clash between ODM and PNU. On Sunday, ODM threatened to send a parallel team to Geneva.

The delegation comprising Justice minister Mutula Kilonzo, his Internal Security counterpart Prof George Saitoti and Attorney General Amos Wako, were scheduled to leave this morning for Geneva to present the Governments stand that gives a harsh verdict and paints a grim picture of the police on violations of human rights.

In his report, collated from his February trip to Kenya, Prof Alston calls for the sacking of Wako and the Commissioner of Police Major-Gen Hussein Ali for overseeing gross violations of human rights and the killing of at least 500 people on suspicion that they were members of the proscribed Mungiki sect.

Earlier in the day, Lands Minister James Orengo had claimed he would lead a parallel delegation to Geneva, saying the current delegation comprised only PNU ministers.

Human rights abuses

Raila echoed those statements when he demanded that the delegation be reconstituted, saying it was not representative.

“Extrajudicial killings are a weighty matter that cannot be wished away without consultations. The Geneva delegation must be representative of PNU and ODM. There is need to develop a common position,” said Raila, while addressing his Langata constituents in the sprawling Kibera slum.

He said ODMs position was to call for an immediate stop to human rights abuses.

“We have not sat as a Government to discuss (and take) a common stand. The views expressed are personal. It will help to send one united delegation to Geneva,” the PM said, adding: “Extra-judicial killings and abuse of human rights are an international concern about governance. The Government will meet to decide its common position.

“ODM has finalised plans to send a delegation to Geneva to press for adoption of the report,” said Orengo in his Ugenya constituency in Siaya District, Nyanza Province.

Without elaborating, Orengo said the party would make public names of ODM top leaders travelling to Geneva to counter the team to be led by Mutula.

“The party will give names of the partys delegation and more details about the trip tomorrow (today),” said the Ugenya MP.

He was speaking at St Mary Ogeda Catholic Church, in his constituency, during a fundraiser presided over by former Kabete MP Paul Muite.

Stumbling block to change

Orengo criticised members of the delegation, claiming that they have been a stumbling block to the countrys efforts to have political change, and respect of human rights.

Orengo questioned how Wako, whose dismissal the report recommends, could defend the Government. “Saitoti in whose docket police officers mentioned in extra-judicial killings, is also part of the delegation. This is ridiculous,” said Orengo.

Orengo and Muite urged the UN to adopt the report and let the International Criminal Court investigate cases of human rights violations.

Others in the delegation were Kenya National Commission on Human Rights chairman Ms Florence Jaoko and police spokesman Eric Kiraithe.

But Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo said the Geneva mission was not a political parties affair but a Government position, adding that if that were the case, he would have sought broader ODM-K representation.

“Its unfortunate that ODM are not taking this matter seriously. Its a serious matter that cannot be condemned blindly,” he said, adding that the Government representatives were picked from the affected security sectors.

“If they are talking like this,” Mutula went on, “The PM should tell Kenyans whether his recent tour of Iran, where he was only accompanied by ODM ministers, was for the Government or his party. And were the deals that he signed there for ODM or the Government?”

Mutula said the Geneva delegation would proceed to Geneva this morning.

And Prof Saitoti maintained that the Alston Report was “shoddy and not befitting the stature of a professor.”

Alstons rumours and lies

Saitoti and MPs Elias Mbau (Maragwa), George Thuo (Juja), other MPs trashed the report saying it was “porojo tupu” (empty rhetoric) aimed at perpetuating an already existing problem.

Speaking at the Makongeni PCEA church in Nairobi during a fundraiser ceremony, Saitoti took issue with Alston saying: “All of us are in agreement that we have some rogue police officers and that is why we have instituted reforms in the forces, but they need credit where its due too,” added Saitoti.

But former Justice Minister Martha Karua disagreed with her PNU colleagues and called for the implementation of the report.

Karua told off those dismissing the report, saying they are shooting the messenger instead of listening to the message.

“I tell them not to shoot the messenger. I also ask them not to look at him but look at his message,” she said.

Karua said there must be leadership change in the civil service, police, judiciary and AGs chambers for better delivery of services to Kenyans.

Ali said it is inconceivable that anyone would have investigated the activities of Mungiki and the criminal SLDF in just ten days.

“This period is hardly enough to investigate chicken theft, let alone such complex social and security matters,” said Ali.

He added the Alston report lacks verifiable facts that should elicit a rebuttal.

“Its building blocks are rumours and utter lies. Its narrative was predetermined. And the substance is obviously false.”

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New South African leader fails the initial ethics test

Posted by African Press International on June 1, 2009


Jacob Zuma is sworn in as president of South Africa in Pretoria on May 9, 2009. He has been criticised for failing to demonstrate commitment to zero-tolerance for corruption. Photo/REUTERS


On May 9, 2009, South Africans installed Jacob Zuma as their fourth post-apartheid president.

Scattered antagonists were revolted by his unorthodox rise to the pinnacle of power. According to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Zumas presidency is a national disgrace. He did not attend the inauguration ceremonies in protest.

Zumas diehard political enemies, principally the white-dominated official opposition party of the Democratic Alliance (DA), are convinced that Zumas election was an unfortunate aberration.

They have pledged to keep the spotlight trained on his every move until he stumbles. Any signs of wobbling will trigger massive noise from them, enough of it to render Zumas rule truly uncomfortable.

Most South Africans, however, wished the new president well. They seemed to grasp the awesome adversity he faced.

Despite the tarnished image of its leader, the new administration must deliver costly services to the countrys poor in the midst of a crippling economic slowdown.

During the 2009 election campaign, the DA coded anti-Zuma sentiments in three words: corruption, incompetence and immorality. It is against these criteria that the party would judge Zumas leadership.

As Zumas victory became increasingly inevitable, the DA seemed to resign itself to the adage that a leopard does not lose its spots.

Zuma would win but the frailties in his character would find a way to assert themselves and cripple his presidency. Alarmingly, for the msholozi, this vision of the Opposition would soon come close to affirmation.

Ten days into Zumas presidency, a scandalous story exploded that Sbu Ndebele, Zumas new minister of transport, had a week earlier accepted lavish thank you gifts from an organisation of Black road contractors that he had dutifully assisted as the premier of Kwazulu-Natal.

Among Ndebeles elaborate gifts was a luxury S500 Mercedes Benz sedan valued at a whopping nine million shillings.

Initially Ndebele insisted that, despite public protest, he would keep the car as he saw no conflict of interests. After all, he was no longer a Kwazulu-Natal official; he had moved on to national status.

Conflict of interest

But in addition to public outcry, a marriage of convenience had emerged between Cosatu, the South African Communist Party, (which had joined hands with the African National Congress to buoy Zuma to the presidency) and the DA. This group insisted that Ndebele return the car to avoid even an appearance of conflict of interest.

Finding himself in the eye of a political storm, Ndebele chose to seek guidance from the presidency. He was duly advised to keep the car, provided he declared the gift to parliament. But, the advice continued, the ultimate decision was his.

In the end, Ndebele gave the sedan back, not because he considered it inappropriate to keep it, but because keeping it had simply become a political nuisance.

Put another way, Ndebele returned the car because he had been caught. Had the gift not become a political liability of national scale, he would have kept it with a free conscience. Here lies the problem.

As repeatedly noted, a gift that size would have been inappropriate even if Ndebele had already retired from public life. After all, as the premier of Kwazulu-Natal he had just done his job by helping the Black road builders and was paid adequately for it.

Yet, to the bitter end in the 2009 debacle, Ndebele did not express remorse; he never saw the enduring dangers of accepting such gifts. More importantly, President Jacob Zuma did not take advantage of Ndebeles tribulations as an opportunity to set the correct tone of his presidency regarding corruption.

Zuma came to power needing desperately to illustrate commitment to the notion of zero-tolerance for corruption. His response to the Ndebeles fiasco fell far short of that aspiration.

In addition to having to censure erring senior officials occasionally, Zuma needs to cultivate a culture of clean public service as an end in itself.

It may be a good thing that the Ndebele imbroglio occurred so early in his term to wake him up to the ethical perversion he is up against.

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