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Archive for September 4th, 2012

Charity Ngilu declares she is running for the presidency in Kenya’s coming elections – 2013

Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2012

She joins a crowded field but when she appeared on the bench on K24TV she was ready with facts that she wanted the Kenyan people to embrace. She has five major things to do in five years. She is being focused with a real manifesto.

Ngilu competed for the presidency in 1997 and had a good showingl. She chose to support President Kibaki in 2002 elections and together with others managed to have Mwai Kibaki take over leadership as Kenya’s third president.
In 2007 she supported Raila Odinga, but her support did not manage to put Raila in State House.

Now Ngilu says it is her turn to be in State House and serve the Kenyan people. Listening to her talk to Jeff Koinange of K24TV, one gets to believe her. The only thing is if she will make it if given the leadership.
She says she can, – so may be Kenyans had better look at her track record.

Jeff Koinange interviews Water Minister, Charity Ngilu
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Ngilu seemed to know what she wants for the Kenyan people when answering Jeff’s questions. She had figures on exported items. She argues that the produce in the country should get priority rather than using large sums of money to bring into the country things the Kenyans can produce themselves, and be self-reliant. The only thing they need is a little push and support by the government. The farmers will vote for her if they are wise.


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Museveni’s daughter: Unclaimed secrets in a box in Kenya for 27 years

Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2012

By Moses Njagih

One cold night in 1982, a group of security agents visited a top Nyeri primary school on a mission to rescue a Standard Two pupil whose life was in danger.

Moving through the shadows, they whisked the girl into a waiting car and drove out of the current day Moi Nyeri Complex Primary School as quietly as they had come.

Natasha Karugire, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni�s daughter.

Few teachers knew of the impending operation, carried out at 3am. Even fewer people knew the girl was the daughter of (current Uganda President) Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, then a guerrilla leader.

“It was a big mystery and her presence was scary for us,” says Mr Geoffrey Kuira, who was then the school principal.

And this is how Natasha Karugire Museveni was saved from State agents of then Ugandan government, which Museveni was fighting.

They had allegedly plotted to capture her and use her as a bait to have the father surrender from waging a guerrilla war against former President Milton Obote.

Hiding place

Today, teachers at the school still wait for her � or even the president � to collect or send for belongings she left there.

Her briefcase with some school essentials would be a treasured memento for the family.

Interviews with her former teachers and classmates indicate the school was more of a hiding place than a place for her to learn. She lived incognito, her identity not even known by classmates or teachers.

Ms Mary Kirichu (top), a teacher at Moi Nyeri Complex Primary School, who was Natasha�s class teacher

Natasha had barely spent two terms at the school when she was roused from sleep and whisked away. It appeared something had gone terribly wrong and Museveni had learnt some people wanted to harm her.

A former classmate Angela Kimaru who was in the same dormitory as Natasha recalls they were always baffled by the way she communicated through letters.

She says Natasha would not write the names of those she was writing letters to on the envelope.

“Her letters were strictly addressed to Mum, Dad, Uncle or Aunt and their Nairobi addresses. No names were written on them. We were later to learn that this was for security reasons as she was supposed to stay incognito,” says Ms Kimaru.

She says teachers and friends only woke up to find she had left and would not be coming back to school.

Due to the haste in which her rescuers acted, Natasha left behind her personal belongings, which are still in the school�s safe custody at Niger Dormitory, where she slept.

Khaki envelope

Ms Angela Kimaru, Natasha�s childhood friend during the interview. [PHOTOS: MOSES NJAGIH/STANDARD/COURTESY]

When the red suitcase was recently opened to reveal its contents, a few personal belongings, her clothes and a pair of white shorts and a red T-shirt used as games uniform were still inside.

Sandwiched in between the clothes is a khaki envelope bearing the address �Dad, P.O. Box 39061, Nairobi�.

But it is the writings, in a red fountain pen, inscribed on the right corner of the inner side of the suitcase that betrays its real owner as �Natasha Museveni�.

The suitcase has remained at the same position for the past 27 years, unmoved, save for the few times the matron has disturbed it for routine wiping to rid it of dust.

“Various administrations have been hoping that may be, one day she might decide to come and pick her belongings and possibly visit her childhood school as many others have done,” says Mr Kanyingi Machira, the principal.

Kuria, the former headmaster, says Natasha was reunited with her other family members who were then fugitives in Nairobi before they were evacuated to Sweden for safety.

Today, Natasha is married to Mr Edwin Karugire and was recently appointed by her father as the Private Secretary to the President in-charge of Household Affairs.

Police sources say Museveni�s intelligence caught wind of the plot against Natasha in the nick of time � a night before it was executed.

He sent emissaries to snatch Natasha from school with the help of Kenya Government officials.

According to her former class teacher, Ms Mary Kirichu, Natasha barely spent two terms at the institution.

Natasha had been enrolled in the school, then known as Nyeri Primary School in 1982.

Kirichu, who is almost retiring after more than 30 years at the school, says she realised the girl was missing when she came to class in the morning to call the register.

“When she did not respond I wondered what was wrong with her. I went to her dormitory to see if she was unwell and that is where I met the matron a Mrs Nyagah, who told me she was collected at night,” she says.

The teacher says details about those who collected Natasha from the institution have never been revealed to other teachers apart from the then principal.

Childhood friend

Her teacher remembers her as a quiet, intelligent and beautiful girl.

“We did not even know she was a daughter of a senior person since she was just one among children of senior people at the school,” says another teacher Ms Catherine Mutua.

Kimaru, her former classmate, says she hopes to meet her childhood friend. She once attempted to visit Natasha when she visited Uganda in 2006, but was discouraged by friends.

“When I visited Kampala three years ago I told some of my friends there that I would attempt to see her but they told me I would not make it since she is always guarded. But I would love to meet her again,” she says.

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Bonny Khalwale is Kenyan MP of Ikolomani Constituency who does things right in Parliament

Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2012

His election as an MP in the Kenyan parliamentary election, 2007 was nullified in February 2011.

Dr Boni Khalwale won back his Ikolomani seat on the 23rd May 2011, beating off a strong challenge from the Orange Democratic Movement, the dominant party in the region. Voters in Ikolomani handed New Ford Kenya’s Dr Khalwale 13,208 votes, followed closely by Mr Bernard Shinali of ODM with 10,702.

Ford People’s Collins Matemba came a distant third with 293 votes. A total of 24, 592 voters out of the registered 35,833 voted in the 63 polling stations in a by-election were seen as a fight between ODM and New Ford-K.

The victory for the man, popularly referred to as the bull-fighter, over Mr Shinali, whom he defeated with a slim margin of 200 votes in the 2007 elections, must have been a relief given the high profile campaigns mounted by the ODM leadership led by deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi.

The defeat is a blow not only to Mr Mudavadi but also ODM which was restamping its authority in the region where it has more MPs than any other party.

Dr Khalwale’s victory may be interpreted as a boost to the presidential ambitions of Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa who camped in the constituency to campaign alongside Housing minister Soita Shitanda for the New Ford-K candidate. Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) chairman Isaack Ahmed Hassan said the results released were provisional as the person mandated to give the final results was the returning officer in Ikolomani.

Mr Hassan commended the officials in Ikolomani for the speedy transmission. He said the results for the final polling centre was transmitted to the IIEC electronic tallying centre at Laico Regency hotel in Nairobi at exactly 7.57pm. (LIVETEXT: Khalwale wins back Ikolomani seat)


Description above from the Wikipedia article Bonny Khalwale , licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here. Community Pages are not affiliated with, or endorsed by, anyone associated with the topic.

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The 16 year-old Norwegian girl Sigrid Schietne who was feared abducted a month ago found murdered

Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2012

The young girl 16 year-old who has been missing for over one month has been found killed and hidden in a bush area in Kolbotn region, a few kilometers outside Oslo.

Two men have been arrested in connection with the case. One 37-year-old and another 64 years old are being questioned by police in connection with her disappearance and murder.

The police will have a press conference tomorrow – Wednesday the 5th.



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Rebel leader surrenders in Chad – will peace return to the region?

Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2012

Surrendering for peaceful settlement?

Abdel Kader Baba Ladde, Chad’s FPR rebel boss has surrendered. He has been handed over to the Central African army.

Baba Ladde, who is the leader of the Popular Front for Recovery (FPR), surrenders after steps were taken by the United Nations negotiated to have him do so.

Baba Ladde claims he fights for the Fula tribe – people he says are spread over many African countries.

The tribe he claims is spread from Senegal in the west to Sudan in the east.

FPR fighters who fled from Chad military offensives regrouped in the Central African Republic in the beginning of 2008. On entering the area, they set up their activities in the Kaga Bandoro region.

Reports say Baba Ladde after he surrendered was taken to Bangui in a plane chartered by the CAR authorities together with his son yesterday afternoon.

More than 100 rebels  still in the Ippy region are waiting to be decommissioned.

Central African mediator Paulin Pomodimo managed did persuade Baba Ladde to return to Ndjamena the capital of Chad, but the former general was not willing to enter into negotiations with the Chadian authorities. He demanded a UN presence. This was seen as a demand by him so that his safety could be guaranteed.


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Education funding during severe drought crises is often neglected

Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2012

Education funding during severe drought crises is often neglected, leaving many children vulnerable to future disasters

OUAGADOUGOU/ABIDJAN,  – In times of severe drought such as in the Sahel or East Africa, food funding often takes priority over other needs like education, yet children who miss out on learning remain vulnerable to future disasters, said British aid group Save the Children.

“There is a lack of understanding. Decision-makers don’t necessarily believe that education should be included in emergency response – education can be a platform to end crises,” said Elin Martinez, co-author of a 2012 report, A Creeping Crisis: The neglect of education in slow-onset emergencies by the NGO.

This year, only 18 percent of the required $30 million in education funding was received for Somalia, the country worst affected by a harsh drought in the Horn of Africa in 2011. Donors have given just four percent of the $9.7 million needed for education in Mali, which has been disrupted by conflict and displacements.

Most schools in northern Mali have been looted or torched, and 80 percent of the education staff has fled to the south of the country. In the Islamist-controlled regions of Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal, education has been suspended. Displaced and refugee school children receive little or no education.

Education that incorporates lessons in environmental conservation, better farming practices and other skills gives children the knowledge to be innovative and cope better with disasters later on in life, Save the Children argued in its report on education funding during crises.

“The humanitarian answers need to include more than what we need for a daily life. We need to look forward. We need to go beyond life saving, and to build the resilience of children and their communities to cope with future droughts, and secure learning that is relevant to children’s needs to get the entire picture,” said Martinez.

The educational needs in the Malian crisis are huge. According the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), more than 53 percent of refugees are children and two-thirds of them should be at school. The UN Education Cluster for Mali estimates that 80 percent of Malian refugee children of primary school age do not have access to education, and 27 percent of displaced students are likely to drop out of school.

In neighbouring Burkina Faso, where the highest number of Malians forced from their homes by conflict and hunger are sheltering, many of the students living in the camps there are no longer going to school.

“I’m really sad that I can’t continue my studies and sit exams. What worries me most is that I don’t know when I’ll ever resume studies,” 18-year-old Fati Walat Haibala told aid group Plan International in Ferério camp in northern Burkina Faso.

Education remains poorly funded in all UN Consolidated Appeal Processes for humanitarian aid. Only seven percent of the $17.8 million needed for education in the Sahel crisis has been donated.

“It is alarming that discussions about how to mitigate drought in east Africa and in the Sahel have failed to incorporate education as part of the key interventions and strategies,” Save the Children noted in its report.

Efforts have been made to offer schooling to the displaced and refugee children. Mali’s education ministry has offered catch-up classes and reintegration of displaced children. In Burkina Faso and Niger, education for refugee children is seriously limited.
“Schools in Burkina cannot absorb the children,” said Sylvana Nzirorera, the deputy head of UNICEF in Burkina Faso. In Mauritania, no education is offered to children.

Most of the children affected by the drought in East Africa and the Sahel are from pastoralist communities, where school attendance is already low due to their nomadic way of life. Droughts further disrupt learning as families have to migrate over long distances in search of water, food and pasture. Save the Children said nomadic communities may also perceive education as undermining social institutions and altering social learning.

“More adapted means have to be offered to serve the needs of the nomads. There is a conflict between the formal academic calendar and their migratory lifestyle,” Martinez said, pointing out that the situation often recurs, but no viable solutions have been applied.

“They often fall off the response. Extra funding is needed to make sure we are targeting them the right way.”

mab/ob/he  source


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Administrating a blood test for malaria in Cambodia

Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2012

Administrating a blood test for malaria in Cambodia

BANGKOK, – Scientists in the USA are looking to use “gene chip technology” to reduce or contain drug resistance to malaria, an increasing problem globally but particularly in Southeast Asia.

Researchers from the US University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health are developing a “gene chip” which could contribute to identifying drug resistance in blood samples.

The goal is to “see resistance as it is emerging, respond in real time and modify strategies to save a drug, such as protecting it with new formulations and combinations tailored to the specific location of emergence,” said the lead researcher, Michael Ferdig. “We now have markers for emerging resistance and new hypotheses that we will use to track down the resistance mechanism.”

Genetic markers or “signposts” are any alteration in the DNA that helps to identify the presence of a specific disease.

Artemisinin is a natural plant product that represents the first-line treatment for malaria, after resistance to chloroquine, an antimalarial previously widely used, forced treatment to change in the early 1970s. Growing resistance to artemisinin in the greater Mekong sub-region – including Cambodia, the southern provinces of China, Lao, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam – means treatment is taking longer to clear parasites.

“Southeast Asia, and in particular western Cambodia, is the region where all resistances in [the parasite] plasmodium falciparum have emerged,” said Francois Nosten, director of the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit along the Thai-Myanmar border, a region which has reported longer treatment times in the past eight years for patients taking artemisinin-based drugs to cure malaria.

However, experts warn that gene chip technology is years away from practical application.

“The gene chip is only at the stage of being developed and not there yet,” said Nosten. “Several groups are competing to find the molecular markers of resistance to artemisinin, but it will take several years before something is usable in the field and we do not have this time to waste.”

According to the World Health Organization, four out 10 people globally who are at risk of becoming infected with malaria live in Southeast Asia.

Migration from highly endemic malarial areas, counterfeit anti-malarial drugs, and the misuse of artemisinin have all contributed to worsening drug resistance, says the agency.

fm/ds/cb  source


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Government frees two UN employees

Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2012

BANGKOK,  – Two local UN staff have been released after being sentenced in a Burmese court for involvement in sectarian violence in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State, says the UN.

“We welcome the release of our colleagues and hope that the remaining aid workers in detention will also be released,” Aye Win, UN spokesman in Myanmar, told IRIN on 30 August.

The two men – employees of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the World Food Programme (WFP) – were released, together with a third aid official working for a UNHCR partner organization.

Their release follows a presidential pardon by Burmese President Thein Sein announced on 28 August.

A court in the town of Maungdaw in Rakhine State had sentenced the three men – all Burmese Muslims – to undisclosed prison terms on 24 August.

Five more men, including one employee of UNHCR, two men working for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and two for Action Against Hunger (ACF), however, remain in detention.

“This is a positive step, but we hope the remaining aid workers will be set free soon,” said UNHCR regional spokeswoman Vivian Tan.

The aid workers were arrested on charges of alleged involvement in communal violence between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in June which left dozens dead, hundreds of homes destroyed, and almost 70,000 displaced.

The Burmese government declared a state of emergency in Rakhine on 10 June and brought in the military to help restore order.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the displaced are currently being housed in 63 camps in Sittwe, Kyauktaw and Maungdaw townships; nine camps in Sittwe are sheltering nearly 60,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), many of them Rohingya.

The Rohingya – an ethnic, linguistic and Muslim minority numbering about 800,000 – have long faced persecution in Myanmar, where they are stateless under Burmese law, rights activists say.

Hundreds of thousands have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh, where they are viewed as illegal migrants, and fare little better, with few legal rights and few employment opportunities.

Following the June violence, the Bangladesh government went on record as saying it was effectively closing its doors to a possible fresh influx from across its border.

Today most Rohingya in Bangladesh live in squalor, receive limited aid and remain vulnerable to arrest, extortion and even physical attack.

According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), there are some 200,000 Rohingyas in Bangladesh, of whom only 28,000 are documented and living in two government camps assisted by the agency. Close to 11,000 live at the Kutupalong camp, with another 17,000 farther south at Nayapara – both within 2km of the Burmese border.

ds/cb source


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