African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

Archive for August 21st, 2009

Kenya: Kibaki directs ministries to safeguard roads

Posted by African Press International on August 21, 2009

President Kibaki (left) unveils a plaque to officially launch the construction of the Northern and Eastern bypass at the junction of Embakasi and Kangundo road on Friday. With him are Roads minister Franklin Bett (right) and Kenya Urban Roads Authority director Joseph Nkadayo (centre). Photo/JENNIFER MUIRURI

President Kibaki (left) unveils a plaque to officially launch the construction of the Northern and Eastern bypass at the junction of Embakasi and Kangundo road on Friday. With him are Roads minister Franklin Bett (right) and Kenya Urban Roads Authority director Joseph Nkadayo (centre). Photo/JENNIFER MUIRURI

ByJOHN NGIRACHU

In Summary

  • Road construction projects are likely to be rendered useless if the ministries of Roads and Transport fail to ensure the set load limits are adhered to, says Kibaki.

President Kibaki has ordered the two ministries in charge of roads and transport to protect the governments investments in the roads and transport sector by cracking down on vehicles that exceed axle load limits.
The Head of State said current road construction projects are likely to be rendered useless if the ministries of Roads and Transport fail to ensure the set load limits are adhered to.

The experiences of the last two decades have demonstrated clearly the huge cost implications that result from failure to ensure strict compliance with the permitted axle load limits by cargo carriers, said the President.

Most cargo vehicles, he added, originate from the governments own agencies, the Kenya Ports Authority and the Kenya Pipeline Company, and the two institutions cannot escape responsibility for overloaded vehicles.

The failure to properly maintain roads and provide adequate drainage combined with the damage by overloading on cargo vehicles, especially long-haul trucks, is often blamed for the poor state of Kenyan roads.

Axle loads are monitored at Mariakani, Mlolongo and Gilgil weighbridges on the Mombasa-Nakuru highway and the Transport ministry has banned vehicles bearing four axles from operating on Kenyan roads.

President Kibaki spoke at a construction site at Embakasi at a ceremony to officially launch the construction of two 70-kilometre roads linking Mombasa and Thika Roads and Waiyaki Way while bypassing the city centre.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Roads minister Franklin Bett and his assistant Lee Kinyanjui, Chinese ambassador Deng Hong Bo, Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu and several other MPs attended the launch.

The Northern and Eastern bypasses are expected to reduce congestion in the city centre.

The construction of the Northern and Eastern bypasses began in April and most of the latter is motorable while work is ongoing on the Northern section.

The roads were designed and land acquired for their development in the early 70s and only this year has actual work been done after an initial flurry in 2003 failed due to lack of funding.

Construction of the two roads will cost Sh8.5 billion with the Kenyan government paying 15 per cent (Sh1.2 billion) and the Chinese 85 per cent (Sh7.3 billion).

The work is being undertaken by China Road and Bridge Corporation and is expected to be complete by 2012.

DAILY NATIONNews

News

Kibaki directs ministries to safeguard roads

Share // Bookmark Print Email

Email this article to a friend

Friend’s Email Address

Your Email
Message
Submit Cancel

Rating

President Kibaki (left) unveils a plaque to officially launch the construction of the Northern and Eastern bypass at the junction of Embakasi and Kangundo road on Friday. With him are Roads minister Franklin Bett (right) and Kenya Urban Roads Authority director Joseph Nkadayo (centre). Photo/JENNIFER MUIRURI

ByJOHN NGIRACHUPostedFriday, August 212009at17:02

In Summary

  • Road construction projects are likely to be rendered useless if the ministries of Roads and Transport fail to ensure the set load limits are adhered to, says Kibaki.

The Northern bypass is 31 kilometers long and starts from Ruaka trading centre on Limuru road, overpasses Banana road and reaches Closeburn farm. It then passes Kahawa West and Kamae and proceeds to Ruiru and joins the Eastern bypass.

The Eastern Bypass links Thika Road to Mombasa Road near City Cabanas Restaurant and is 39 kilometres long.

source.nation.ke

Advertisements

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

Kenya story: Ministers named in ADC land probe – Did they grab the land?

Posted by African Press International on August 21, 2009

President Mwai Kibaki chairs a past cabinet ministers meeting at State House, Nairobi. Kenyan ministers and several sitting MPs are among prominent people allocated land earmarked for squatters. Photo/FILE

President Mwai Kibaki chairs a past cabinet ministers meeting at State House, Nairobi. Kenyan ministers and several sitting MPs are among prominent people allocated land earmarked for squatters. Photo/FILE

Kenyan ministers and several sitting MPs are among prominent people allocated land earmarked for squatters.

Others irregularly allocated the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) land include a dozen former MPs, two judges, former permanent secretaries and high ranking military and police officers.

A list tabled in Parliament on Wednesday shows that 423 politicians, top civil servants, parastatal chiefs and security personnel were allocated land at the expense of hundreds of squatters.

The eight ADC farms Nyota, Tall Trees, Sirikwa, Ol Jorrai, Moi Ndabi, Jabali, Zea and Chepchoina are in the fertile Rift Valley Province.

The irregular allocations are the subject of an investigation by the Public Investments Committee, the State corporations watchdog.

The list shows that politicians and other well-connected individuals got between 10 and 300 acres more than the five acres sanctioned by the government.

According to the list, the African Inland Church, where former president Daniel Moi worships, got 40 acres at Ol Jorrai.

Heritage minister William ole Ntimama was allocated 34 acres at the Moi Ndabi settlement scheme while Major-General N.L. Leshan is listed as having been allocated 233 acres in the same scheme.

Former minister Kipkalya Kones is also mentioned.

There is also a Mr Simon Mbugua Thungu who, in Tuesdays hearings was said by Vihiga MP Yusuf Chanzu to have acquired four parcels of land measuring 200 acres.

The tabling of the list was prompted by Molo MP Joseph Kiuna (PNU) who demanded that the beneficiaries be revealed.

Similar names

The Nation cannot expressly say those listed are prominent people because many in the Kalenjin community share similar names.

Also, even under parliamentary privilege, it is difficult to confirm that the names on the list are those of prominent people.

This is the dilemma that ADC boss William Kirwa faced when he appeared before the committee this week.

After being quizzed by chairman Mithika Linturi, he refused to confirm whether a G.K. Saitoti on the list was Internal Security minister George Saitoti.

The ADC boss told the committee to bite the bullet and name the people who acquired the land.

These are your friends; you know them, speak to them and let them surrender the excess portions and pay for the five acres, he said.

The committee now awaits a list of the land title reference numbers before it can positively identify the beneficiaries.

Some of the names on the list similar to those of prominent people include William Ruto and William arap Ruto who own a total of 20 acres.

Other names identical to those of prominent people are Isaac Ruto (Chepalungu MP), W.K.K. Kimalat (former Internal Security PS), Margaret Chemengich (former PS), Ishmael Chelanga (former Eastern PC), Anyara Emukule (judge), Benjamin Kipkurui Langat (Ainamoi MP), Kipngeno Ngeny (a former minister), Reuben Chesire (former MP) and Henry T. ole Ndiema (former principal immigration officer).

Other names are John Serut, Jesse Maizs, Francis Sang, Japheth Ekidor, Nathaniel Tum, Major Magut, Wilson Litole (similar to the former DC who is the sitting Sigor MP), Wilson Chepkwony (former State House comptroller) and David Mwole Kimaiyo (a senior police officer.)

The list has former MPs tagged honourable before the names. They are J.N. Kimkung (former Mt Elgon MP), David Sudi and Francis Kaino (former Marakwet West MPs), Vincent K Too, Japheth Ekidor (former Turkana MP) and G.G. Mokku and Mr Fred Cheserek (former Marakwet East MP).

Sitting Marakwet West MP Boaz Kipchumba Kaino is also listed.

Reports by Alphonce Shiundu, Caroline Wafula and Njeri Rugene

source.nation.ke

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

SAfrican runner wins 800 despite gender questions

Posted by African Press International on August 21, 2009

South Africa’s Caster Semenya celebrates after winning the gold medal in the final of the Women’s 800m during the World Athletics Championships in Berlin on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2009. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

By RYAN LUCAS (AP)

BERLIN Track and field’s ruling body is investigating whether a South African teenager meets the requirements to compete as a woman amid concerns about her dramatic improvement in times, muscular build and deep voice.

Caster Semenya easily won the 800-meter gold medal at the world championships Wednesday, her dominating run coming on the same day the IAAF said she was undergoing a gender test.

Semenya took the lead at the halfway mark and opened a commanding lead in the last 400 meters to win by a massive 2.45 seconds in a world-leading 1 minute, 55.45 seconds. Defending champion Janeth Jepkosgei was second and Jennifer Meadows of Britain was third in 1:57.93.

After crossing the line, Semenya dusted her shoulders with her hands. She did not speak to reporters after the race or attend a news conference.

About three weeks ago, the international federation asked South African track and field authorities to conduct the verification test. Semenya had burst onto the scene by posting a world-leading time of 1:56.72 at the African junior championships in Maruitius.

Ideally, any dispute surrounding an athlete is dealt with before a major competition. But Semenya’s stunning rise from unknown teenage runner to the favorite in the 800 happened almost overnight. That meant the gender test which takes several weeks could not be completed in time.

Before the race, IAAF spokesman Nick Davies stressed this is a “medical issue, not an issue of cheating.” He said the “extremely complex” testing has begun. The process requires a physical medical evaluation and includes reports from a gynecologist, endocrinologist, psychologist, internal medicine specialist and gender expert.

South Africa team manager Phiwe Mlangeni-Tsholetsane would not confirm or deny that Semenya was having such a test.

“We entered Caster as a woman and we want to keep it that way,” Mlangeni-Tsholetsane said. “Our conscience is clear in terms of Caster. We have no reservations at all about that.”

Although medals will be awarded for the 800, the race remains under a cloud until the investigation is closed, and Semenya could be stripped of the gold depending on the test results, IAAF general secretary Pierre Weiss said.

“But today there is no proof and the benefit of doubt must always be in favor of the athlete,” Weiss said.

Semenya’s father, Jacob Semenya, pleaded: “I wish they would leave my daughter alone.”

“She is my little girl. I raised her and I have never doubted her gender. She is a woman and I can repeat that a million times,” Semenya told the Sowetan newspaper.

Semenya’s paternal grandmother, Maputhi Sekgala, also spoke in defense of Semenya.

“The controversy doesn’t bother me that much because I know she’s a woman I raised her myself,” Sekgala told The Times, another South African newspaper.

“What can I do when they call her a man, when she’s really not a man? It is God who made her look that way,” Sekgala said.

Gideon Sam, the president of the SASCOC South Africa’s Olympic governing body congratulated Semenya on a “truly remarkable achievement,” the South African Press Association reported.

“We condemn the way she was linked with such media speculation and allegation, especially on a day she ran in the final of her first major world event. It’s the biggest day of her life,” Sam said.

Semenya’s rivals said they tried not to dwell on the issue before the race.

“I’ve heard a lot of speculation, but all I could do was just keep a level head and go about my business,” Meadows said. “If none of it’s true, I feel very sorry for her.”

One thing not in doubt was Semenya’s outstanding run.

“Nobody else in the world can do that sort of time at the moment,” Meadows said. “She obviously took the race by storm.”

source.ap

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

NOTARIAN PROFESSION TO BE REDYNAMISED IN TOGO

Posted by African Press International on August 21, 2009

madam kadjaka

President Notariat body Madam Kadjaka

Togo Notary Public Chamber laid down an elaborated educational TV and radio interactive programmes to display the crucial role of their profession in the countrys symbiosis between customary and modern laws of inheritance .

At a well attended press conference in Lome on Wednesday the Togolese Association of Notary Public President Madam kadjaka Abougnima Molgah explained that we are going to launch this weekend a fee free national consultations in order to enlighten the general public who is going through some legal problems with regards to inheritance issues and those connected with intestate litigations.

In Togo the importance of this judiciary body is yet to be featured due to the impacts of the customary laws of inheritance conflicts in rural areas.

We are trying now to integrate step by step to creat a symbiosis between the modern and customary laws procedures to avoid any crisis, declared Madam Kadjaka .

According to observers the customary rulings favour men in terms of inheritance conflicts to the detriment of women of children .

In some cases the family of the bereaved can drive away the wife from the house if she has not got any child but it is unfair because as far as they are legally married the woman must also inherit, explained Lawyer Tsolenyanu Koffi , Secretary General of the body.

He also explained that women are mostly marginalized because they do not know their rights .

It will be recalled the first familial inheritance law was adopted in January 1972.

Togo has embarked on vital judicial reforms and modernization of the countrys justice system since 2006 .

By Ekoue Blame, Lome

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

UGANDA: Hungry HIV-positive patients abandon ARVs

Posted by African Press International on August 21, 2009



Photo: Euan Denholm/IRIN
A prolonged dry spell has withered the region’s traditional crops

AMURIA, – HIV-positive patients in drought-hit eastern Uganda are abandoning their anti-retroviral regimens in droves, and leaders fear that unless more food becomes available, they will soon be dealing with drug resistance and death.

“In our assessment in Teso [a sub-region in eastern Uganda], we found that HIV/AIDS patients in the region take their ARV drugs on the understanding of food [being available]; in the absence of food, many stop taking their ARVs and this risks their lives,” Musa Ecweru, State Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, told IRIN/PlusNews.

A prolonged dry spell has withered the region’s traditional crops, leaving hundreds of thousands of people hungry; instead of eating a balanced diet from their farms, they are surviving on a diet of bought maize meal.

“I have never seen a famine like this – people can’t afford a meal for several days,” said Omax Hebron Omeda, Resident Commissioner of eastern Uganda’s Amuria District. “The most affected people are those on ARVs. Very soon, if government doesn’t intervene by scaling up the food supply, people are going to die.”

Julius Ochen, a resident of Amuria, told IRIN/PlusNews that he had stopped taking his HIV medication. “When you take these drugs without eating, they make you weak and reduce your strength – you feel like vomiting,” he said.

“If the government doesn’t address the food crisis, many of us who are on ARVs are going to die,” said Rose Anyiat, another resident.

More on food security and HIV
Food shortages threaten ARV adherence
“We need food”
HIV-positive mums struggle to find safe food for their babies

Keeping patients on drugs

“It’s true that TB drugs and ARVs are very strong; if taken without food, they make someone doze and feel weak, but we encourage our clients to take them,” said Beatrice Okware, branch manager for the AIDS Support Organization in Soroti district.

“We are carrying out sensitization and encouraging our clients on ARVs to continue taking the drugs because if they default, there are side effects,” she added.

Poor nutrition weakens the body’s defences against the virus, hastens progress from HIV to AIDS, and makes it difficult to take ARVs, which can sometimes increase a patient’s appetite. Sufficient food can help reduce some side-effects of ARVs and promote adherence to drug regimens.

Zainabu Akol, director of HIV/AIDS programmes in the Ministry of Health, said health workers in government medical centres were warning patients of the dangers of interrupting their ARV regimens.

“We frankly told them that it’s a choice of life or death,” she said, adding that some patients had heeded the advice and gone back on their drugs.

The government has spent an estimated US$10 million on food for the Teso sub-region, with some specially designated for people living with HIV, but local leaders say much more is needed; local media have reported that more than 40 people in the region have died of hunger since May.

Food gap

“The food being given to our people is just a drop in the ocean,” said Patrick Amuriat, chairman of Teso Parliamentary Group. “What can one cup of beans and two of posho [maize flour] do? It’s just for one meal.”

“We are now giving special attention to people on ARVs; we are discussing with the Ministry of Health to package a special arrangement to help these vulnerable people,” said Minister Ecweru. “They need to be supported with supplementary food to balance their diet.”

A total of 17 districts in northwestern, northeastern and eastern Uganda have been listed as worst-hit by a nationwide drought; another 31 districts are experiencing acute food shortages and four districts have been evaluated as moderately affected.

so/kr/mw source.www.irinnews.org

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

 
%d bloggers like this: