African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

Archive for June 3rd, 2009

The Obamas are not Ghanaians but: Ancestral hype awaits Obamas in Ghana visit

Posted by African Press International on June 3, 2009

It is not understandable for many. Why is Obama choosing Ghana as the first African country, less prioritising Kenya, the land of his father? Is it a way to tell the Kenyans that his father did not love him when he was born and abandoned by him (the father) in the USA when he raced back to Kenya after his eduction?
We teach children not to be revengeful but to try and understand why their fathers and mothers may have abandoned them when they are young. In some cases it may be economical and in some it may be that the partners that bring the child to this earth start to dislike one another and one of them abandons the marital home leaving the child behind.
However, if Obama does not visit Kenya, that will not kill the spirit of the Kenyan people from progressing in developing their country.
Kenya does not depend on his leadership at all. (API)


An ancestral hoopla seems to be in the offing ahead of the Obamas visit to Ghana in August.

The country has a historical site and many Africans from the Diaspora visit it to see where their great-grand parents passed through to America.

For President Barack Obama, this might not give him any food for thought because he has long connected with his forebears in Kenya. It is his wife, Michelle who would be given the opportunity to reflect on what her forebears suffered on their long journey through this former slave post.

Will the Obamas weep at Cape Coast Castle during their visit? Others before them wept when they entered the enclaves of this former slave post, which was the final leg on the long journey to the new world.

It is yet to be seen whether US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle would also shed tears for the people who either died in the castle or during their voyage to the New World, when they pay a visit during their two-day stay in Ghana.

For some, this is where President Obama and his wife would be given their true education of Black history. Historians say, the castle was first constructed with timber in 1653 and named Carolsborg after King Charles X of Spain for the Swedish Africa Company.

About a decade later, the then Swedish Gold Coast was seized by the Danes and then renamed Danish Gold Coast in 1663. A year later, the British conquered the castle and had it rebuilt and it was from there that they administered the colony and later turned it into the seat of government for the British Gold Coast.

Initially, the castle was used to facilitate trade in timber and gold but it later became the point for the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade until its abolishment.

It has since become a historical site and many Africans from the Diaspora visit the castle to see where their great-grand parents passed through to America.

Ghanaians have been buoyed with the visit yet not much sign is around the capital to suggest that any preparation is taking place. It is the people of Cape Coast who seem to be concerned with how to keep the municipality in shape for the Obamas visit.

Massive clean-up

The Mfantseman municipal chief executive, Mr Henry Kweku Hayfron, has called for a massive clean-up exercise to prepare the municipality for President Obamas visit to the Cape Coast Castle. Accordingly, he has appealed to owners of undeveloped plots, especially in communities along the Accra/Cape Coast highway, to clear them of weed before the visit.

He told the Ghana News Agency that my immediate attention is how to improve sanitation in the municipality, especially at Mankessim, a commercial centre before the visit.

Mr Hayfron said the US President may not use the road but it is possible some members of his entourage may use it and the possibility of some of them making a stop-over at Mankessim cannot be ruled out.

As the country waits, expectations in the streets have risen. Accra taxi driver Solomon Antwi told the Nation: l would not work on the day that President Obama is due to arrive because l want to be part of history to welcome the first Black President of the United States.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama will try to repair US ties to the Islamic world this week in a speech from the Middle East that aides say will reach out to Muslims, but deal with tough issues like the peace process and violent extremism.

Obama, who departs for the region on Tuesday, will use his address to try to repair some of the damage to Americas image caused by the Iraq war, US treatment of military detainees and the lack of progress in Mideast peace talks.

The first stop on the presidents four-day visit to the Middle East and Europe is Saudi Arabia, where he will hold talks with King Abdullah on issues like the Middle East peace process, Irans nuclear programme and energy prices.

Obama travels on Thursday to Cairo, where he will fulfil a campaign promise to deliver a speech to the Islamic world from a major Muslim capital early in his presidency.

Additional report by Reuters

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

Delta: Kenya says it is a travel advisory – The US is seen to play games with Kenya, with the US small King, harassing Kenyans

Posted by African Press International on June 3, 2009

The US AMBASSADOR in Kenya Mr Ranneberger has continued to plague Kenya by harassing Kenyan politicians. He enjoys when he gets a chance to be in the media where he plays a small uncrownedsmall king in Kenya abusing people left and right. He should be given marching orders to leave the country.

If President Obama really loves his ancestral home, Kenya, he should save the country from more abuse by ambassador Ranneberger, a man who was appointed ambassador during George Bush Jr time. George Bush Jr had no heart for Kenya and by allowing the ambassador to continue abusing Kenya, the new administration is allowing Bush to continue his behaviour towards Kenya. (API)


In Summary

  • Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetangula summons US ambassador Michael Ranneberger to his office to demand an explanation.
  • He says the decision amounted to a travel advisory against Kenya, which he said could hurt the tourism sector.
  • Mr Ranneberger at pains to explain the last minute change, saying it was a “postponement” and that flights would resume “soon.”

The Kenya Government has reacted furiously to the US decision to cancel the maiden Delta Airlines flight to Nairobi.

Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetangula summoned US ambassador Michael Ranneberger Wednesday to demand an explanation to the abrupt cancellation of the Airlines’ inaugural flight to Nairobi.

I have summoned the US ambassador to express our governments concern about the cancellation of the Delta flight and particularly the manner and the nature in which it was done, said Mr Wetangula.

Things can be done in a much better manner. Great friends like Kenya and America do not have to communicate through website postings.

He asked the envoy to notify Washington of Kenyas displeasure and demand an explanation about the decision, terming it unacceptable.

He said the decision amounted to a travel advisory against Kenya, which he said could hurt the tourism sector at a time when the government was reaching out to US citizens to invest in the country.

This is unacceptable, it is a covert imposition of a travel advisory against Kenya, many tourists who are planning to come to Kenya could easily read the postings on the website and cancel their trips, the minister said.

The US envoy confirmed that the Kenya government had addressed all the concerns raised by Washington to clear the way for Delta Airlines to start direct flights between the two countries.

We thank the government for enhancing security at the airport, we want American tourists to come to Kenya because it is a very safe destination, he said.

The governments furious reaction stem from a decision by the United States Department of Homeland Security to cancel the Airlines maiden flight from Atlanta, Georgia in the US to Nairobi in order to seek more time to review the flights.

A statement e-mailed to newsrooms by the US embassy in Nairobi on Tuesday evening attributed the decision to last minute issues.

Before summoning Mr Ranneberger to the news conference Wednesday morning, Mr Wetangula had indicated to journalists the steps Kenya had taken to ensure that it met all the security concerns raised by the US prior to the commencement of the flights.

The minister also outlined to journalists the preparations which the government had put in place ahead of the maiden flight, including dispatching Prime Minister Raila Odinga to the US to sign two agreements in order to enable the flights to commence.

He said the government had gone to the extent of dispatching Transport minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere to Atlanta, Georgia to be in the inaugural flight to Nairobi, with a stopover in Dakar, Senegal.

Our minister (Mwakwere) who is in Washington was embarrassed alongside our ambassador (Peter Rateng Ogego) at the last minute when he was boarding a flight from Washington to Atlanta and was told not to go to Atlanta because there was no flight to Nairobi, a furious Wetang’ula complained to the envoy.

Mr Ranneberger was at pains to explain the last minute change, saying it was a postponement and that flights would resume soon.

I very much regret the manner in which the decision reached the government. I have spoke to the prime minister and I have emphasised that it is a postponement and that we will resume soon, he explained.

I have talked to Washington and to Delta and we are certain well have this resolved, he went on.

The envoy attributed the communication lapse to the fact that the decision was taken at the last minute without the US embassy in Nairobi being made aware.

He hinted that the decision was based on security concerns but pointed out that it had nothing to do with the breakdown of law and order in neighbouring Somalia.

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

‘My nightmare of a marriage’ – Suffering men, but doing so silently

Posted by African Press International on June 3, 2009


It is now official: an estimated 1.5 million of the Kenyan men we see walking tall and confident are, in reality, wounded souls. As Dennis*, a self-confessed battered husband, puts it: They are clinging to abusive, cruel wives because their reputations and egos are at stake.

After he lost his first wife to tuberculosis, Dennis married again. But the marriage barely survived a year. The 32-year-old lawyer is obviously scarred by his harrowing ordeal, as he freely sheds tears during the interview. This belies the picture he portrays of the proverbial tall, dark and strong African man.

His first wifes death in 2002 left him a single father. Our son was a year and eight months old and this really affected me. I felt a deep resentment and fear for the future. I lost direction and sought solace in alcohol, he says.

After burying his wife, Dennis took his son to live with his mother in Embakasi. He visited them several times a week. With time, he says, he became used to being a widower and had no immediate plans to re-marry. But in 2004, Dennis met the woman who would become his second wife.

When I first saw her, my heart was filled with warmth. I could not help it – I slipped and fell in love, Dennis recalls. An affair flourished and we would spend a lot of time together. But within a few months, I discovered that I was not the only regular visitor to her house.

There was a very old man who visited her during the day. I became suspicious and started visiting her during the day just to see if I would meet him. From his reactions when he met me, I could tell that we shared the same interests.

Whenever Dennis tried asking his girlfriend about the old man, she would downplay the issue. Their relationship went on for the better part of 2006. Then she became pregnant and I thought this would push her into marrying me fast. I was, at that point, desperately in need of a mother for my son. She had told me she was a single mother of a 10-year-old daughter, and I thought it would be a good idea for my little boy to grow up with a sister and now this baby!

Cut short

His expectations were, however, rudely cut short when the pregnancy disappeared in the fourth month. I woke up one day and her stomach was flat! I asked her what had happened to our baby but there was no answer, Dennis says.

A sharp pain cut through me and I felt betrayed. I could no longer trust her. Then the suspicion and feelings of insecurity set in and I became very depressed. Maybe the pregnancy was not mine after all, I told myself. I suspected the old man. But even with all this going on, I went ahead and married her quietly in February 2007, hoping things would work out.

But that was not to be. First, Dennis discovered that his wife was skipping work. Sometimes she would go only twice a week and other times a whole week would pass without her reporting to work. She worked at a training institution and I found out that the old man was a lecturer there, he says.

There was more to come. I was forced to go without supper on several nights because she refused to cook for me. Then strange men would call her in the middle of the night and I would hear her say she was at her sisters place. Sometimes I pretended to be deeply asleep – I would see her checking to see whether I was asleep – as she flirted with the callers.

Once we had a fight about her behaviour. She was seven months pregnant and I was happy that a baby was on the way. But again, I was shocked to discover that she was no longer pregnant. And again, there was no explanation forthcoming. I got very stressed and started drinking till morning. We fought almost every week.

During the August school holidays, Dennis wife took a trip to her rural home to get her daughter so the newly formed family could be together. She came back with two girls: a 14-year-old in Standard Eight and the 10-year-old who was in Standard Four. I was stunned me because she had never mentioned a second child, Dennis says. I asked her if there were any other children hidden back home so that we could sort out the issue once and for all but she said no.

We moved on, but I discovered later through a friend that the father of the younger girl had dropped them at the bus stage and driven off. I realised that my wife was still seeing this man to whom she had been previously married.

I had also brought my son from my mothers house so we could all bond, but instead of becoming open and free, he withdrew. He would come and sit next to me when I got home from work and start crying for no apparent reason. He would later complain of headaches. I could see that something was terribly wrong but I was afraid of complaining lest I was accused of taking sides.

One incident in particular stuck out. Dennis had come home from work to find his son crying uncontrollably. He followed me to my bedroom and told me he had been beaten by his mother. I asked my wife what had happened and she said my son lacked discipline and she had beaten him as a result.

She got some wire from the kitchen and threatened to give him another beating. This chilled me to the bone. I was in shock. The next day I took time off work and took my son back to my mothers. I could not continue seeing him suffer this way.

Dennis marriage continued to deteriorate. The father of the 10-year-old girl constantly sent his wife intimate text messages and this would lead to fights between the couple. This continued until February 2008, when I could no longer stand the shame. Before we broke up, we had another fight and her daughter joined in.

She hit me and shouted: You stupid man, why are you hitting my mother? You are not my father! I was taken aback but my wife cheered her on. Neighbours came to intervene but my wife chased them away.

It was apparent by now that my wife was dangerous. I called my brothers and we ordered her to go away. But she would not. So I packed some of my belongings and left. That is the day I erased her from my heart. Today, even the thought of her makes me shrink inwardly, especially when I remember the way she totally reduced me to a door mat.

Its been one year and a few months since Dennis second marriage ended, and he says he feels like hes been to hell and back. Marriage is the last thing on his mind now. Its not happening again any time soon, he says. I have become a careful man. I now look at women through very different lenses, unlike before. And before anyone dismisses the so-called Njoka Report, remember there are real cases of real men being abused. I am one of them, and there are many others.

(* Name changed to protect privacy)

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

US direct flight cancelled over security fears: Does US authorities suspect the French plane that crashed was due terrorism act?

Posted by African Press International on June 3, 2009

When there is a disaster affecting the France airline, the US does things quick and as in this case, cancelling flights to Kenya. Do they suspect that the plane that crashed killing all passengers (228 of them) on Mondaycould have been caused by terrorism acts? So we question! (API)

The direct flights planned by an American airline to Nairobi were on Tuesday cancelled over security concerns.

This followed a decision by the United States Department of Homeland Security to seek more time to review the Delta Airlines Atlanta-Nairobi flights, the airline said in a statement issued by its publicists in Nairobi.

The inaugural flight was supposed to touch down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at 4pm on Wednesday from Atlanta, Georgia, after a stopover in Dakar, Senegal. This would have marked the beginning of direct flights between Kenya and the US.

Although the Kenyan Government, through spokesman, Alfred Mutua, maintained that the reasons for the postponement are still not clear, the security situation could have informed the decision.

The Government of Kenya has complied with all the additional security measures requested by Delta and the Nairobi airports security is excellent, Dr Mutua said in a statement.

The new development, especially in the wake of increasing militia activities in Somalia such as those by the al-Shabaab Islamists, may have changed the perception of the officials of the Department of Homeland Security.

Had cleared

The department had cleared the flight, according to a press release issued by the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) and Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) on April 17, 2009.

A statement e-mailed to newsrooms by the US Embassy in Nairobi on Tuesday evening attributed the flights cancellation to last minute issues.

We continue to work with the Government of Kenya and Delta to enable service from Atlanta to Nairobi to begin as soon as possible .We appreciate the substantial effort made by the Government of Kenya to meet international aviation standards, said the embassy.

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

The sentencing of former President may trigger unrest: Madagascar ex-leader jailed in absentia

Posted by African Press International on June 3, 2009



Madagascars exiled former leader Marc Ravalomanana was sentenced in absentia today to four years in jail and a $70 million fine for abuse of office in buying a presidential jet.

Ravalomanana mixed public interests with his personal interests, Mr Justice Minister Christine Razanamahasoa told reporters, announcing the Malagasy courts decision. Ravalomanana is in South Africa seeking international support for a return to Madagascar, where he lost power in March after opposition leader Andry Rajoelina led protests against him and took over with army support.

Mr Rajoelina, who had called Ravalomanana corrupt and dictatorial, has established a transitional authority on the Indian Ocean island and promised an election by late 2010. African nations have generally condemned his takeover, and urged talks between the two rivals.

Ravalomanana allies said the courts decision risked killing negotiations to end the islands political crisis. The oil and mineral-rich island has been rocked by political turmoil since the beginning of the year, worrying foreign investors at a time of low commodity prices, and scaring off tourists.

If this is true, it will seriously harm negotiations, Raharinaivo Andrianantoandro, spokesman for Ravalomananas political party, told Reuters. Ravalomananas government purchased the $60 million Boeing jet late last year, triggering outrage among a population mired in poverty that has seen few tangible benefits from the influx of foreign firms such as Rio Tinto and Sherritt International.

Public funds

Mr Rajoelina, then mayor of the capital Antananarivo, seized on the purchase together with a proposed farmland deal with South Korean industrial giant Daewoo, to lambast Ravalomananas abuse of public funds and accuse him of mismanaging Madagascar.

The court also gave Ravalomananas former Finance and Budget minister Haja Razafinjatovo the same sentence for his role in the jet deal. UN-mediated talks to find a way out of the crisis have stalled as Madagascars political parties fail to agree on a consensus government to rule Madagascar in the run-up to the elections promised by Rajoelina.

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

%d bloggers like this: