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Archive for March 23rd, 2013

Kenyans discussing the recent elections outcome

Posted by African Press International on March 23, 2013

Brother Ochwangi and the rest.
You wrote very well regarding the Chief Justice and I want to say one thing or two.
First, with due respect, I would say that as long as Dr.Mutunga is the Chief Justice, he will be the one ,together with his entire bench, to decide on Kenya’s election case. We cannot disqualify him at this very moment. Your analysis could have made more sense if we were debating on whether to appoint him Justice or not. But now, he has been chosen, confirmed and works as Chief Justice, so in other words my brother, you are late. You would have brought this great argument when parliament was debating on whether to confirm him or not.
Secondly, to give credibility to the rule of law, let all Kenyan wait and see what the court will decide. Let the campaigning stop. Time for campaigning is over; for the time being unless the court decides otherwise. Let all candidates get this. The people should follow the rule of law. Whatever the decision the court will make, we all must be ready and willing to respect it and follow it. That is what civilized countries do.
I personally don’t care as who becomes the president at this time, what I want to see is Peace. I want to see Kenyan living in peace and children going to school without any problems. So, let the court decide. Our duty at the moment is not to fight as to which judge is connected to whom, but to wait for their ruling and abide by it.
Lastly, it is equally important to remind the court as brother Mangerere as pointed out that this is a real test for the court. Kenyans are watching and the whole world is watching to see if the court will follow the constitution or they will bend it to please their masters. Whatever the outcome from their ruling, it will set a precedent for many years to come.
If you can, please advice the justices to be on the right side of history by being the true champions of the rule of law. Personally I am watching to see how they conduct this important exercise. Let us be patient and respect their opinion whenever they will give it. God bless you all.
Job Ombati
Author, Kenya the Beloved
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From: nyabuto mangerere  Thursday, March 21, 2013 9:53 AM
Subject: [NVK-Mageuzi] Re: [YP_Ke] KENYA’S CHIEF JUSTICE DR. WILLY MUTUNGA & JUSTICE OJWANG SHOULD RECUSE THEMSELVES FROM HEARING THE CORD PETITION

 

Ochwangi,
This a great analysis. It is real a big test which if the Supreme Court passes, we shall all celebrate the Jubilee year as planned and recognize it as Supreme or never. If they don’t pass the biggest test, they will lose all the respect and be labelled as a tribally influenced court without justice that should be bestowed on the will of the people in the new democracy. That will mark the beginning of the new beginning for Africa that real lacks peace.
Nyabuto— On Wed, 3/20/13, David ochwangi  wrote:

Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 8:37 PM

Folks
The recently concluded Kenyan general elections expose yet another soft underbelly of Kenya’s convoluted legal system. The petition challenging the election of President elect Uhuru Kenyatta filed before the Supreme Court offers the best glimpse of how justice is up for grabs and even for sale by special interests at the highest annals of justice, the Supreme Court of Kenya. Not too long ago, Prime Minister Raila Odinga lampooned the courts as phone (Mahakama Bandia, he said) when the court ruled on a March 4 2013 election date. Now he and his CORD coalition have made it abundantly clear, confidently so I may add that it is only the Supreme Court that will grant them the win they claim they were robbed at the ballot box and not the people themselves. What changed? Read on.
The Supreme Court in this context is made up of six unelected Kenyans whose decision is supposed to be final; they can unliterary overturn the will of the people and as it is framed right now, without an explanation until later. So this begs the question, who are these mighty unaccountable Supremos? To an undiscerning observer, it would appear that the Kenyan Supreme Court is indeed an impartial arbiter to this political melee but a closer look tells of a very different story.
The answer is straightforward, look no further than the cozy relationship between Prime Minister Odinga and two of the Supreme Court Judges, Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga and Justice Jactone Boma Ojwang. The bold manner in which Mr. Odinga and his CORD coalition have unreservedly pressured and courted the court only means one thing, the ruling is predetermined and it is only a matter formality before they are handed victory. The Prime Minister and his CORD coalition are so sure of the outcome that they are in full campaign mode with rallies scheduled across the country already.
By definition, a conflict of interest (COI) occurs when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in another. There is no question that for the reasons articulated below these two justices, unless checked in time, are a threat to democracy because of their inherent conflict of interest diametrically aligned to Mr. Odinga and his CORD coalition.
I even venture to speculate that both men voted for Prime Minister Odinga and they are equally frustrated that he did not win and therefore would use their official positions at the Supreme Court to overturn the will of the people. In fairness to these two, I think that all the justices hearing this petition should be required to disclose under oath whom they voted for so as to remove any doubt as to their vested interest in the outcome of the case. Paradoxically, conflict of interest is one of the primary premises cited by Mr. Odinga in his petition against President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta, i.e. That the IEBC and Mr. Kenyatta’s TNA party shared the KENCALL server platforms; as absurd and farfetched and remote as that sounds, Mr. Odinga’s application to the court cites this as one of the grounds why the court must overturn the people’s verdict, I am not making it up. So I say that similarly, by the Prime Minister’s own stated standard, his two friends at the Supreme Court, Justice Mutunga and Justice Ojwang should not be adjudicating Mr. Odinga’s petition. So what exactly are those connections that create the conflict of interest or the impression thereof? You may ask;
  • CHIEF JUSTICE DR. WILLY MUTUNGA:
I personally like Dr. Mutunga and I think he is a good man. However, since his appointment, he has been very publicly outspoken in expressing his displeasure with the possibility of President elect Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto being allowed to run for President and Deputy President respectfully.
Justice Mutunga and the Prime Minister have a history have a history of camaraderie spanning back years from his activism and push for human rights protections and there is no question that his political statements and posturing has been tinged in the Prime Minister’s favor. He was vocal in trying to use the courts to prevent the president elect from running because of chapter 6 of the constitution. Just like the ICC, the Kenyan courts refused to be drawn into the presidential politics but it did not stop there. Dr. Mutunga was the first to report to the media (not the Police) that he and his officers had been threatened by Uhuru’s supporters about the integrity case filed against Uhuru. This turned out to be an amateurish poorly choreographed inside job designed to discredit President elect Kenyatta.
In another instance, Justice Mutunga made several prejudicial statements against Mr. Kenyatta on cases pending before his courts, at one point Mr. Kenyatta’s attorneys had to admonish him and request the courts to restrain the Chief Justice. In yet another incident that shows a pattern of bias against Mr. Kenyatta, Justice Mutunga is said to have made a trip to Arusha Tanzania about a month ago to dissuade the Tanzanian government from hosting the ICC cases against Uhuru and Ruto. Some of you may remember the fiasco at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport where it is alleged that a clerk prevented the CJ from travelling, the truth is the CJ travelled incognito to conceal his real mission to Arusha. He is a VIP who heads the third arm of government- he had no reason to hide his travel unless it was a secret, a secret that was later revealed by the Tanzanians themselves. As recent as two weeks ago, one of his closest friends, Professor Makau Mutua, a diehard supporter of Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Dean of SUNY Buffalo Law School wrote an article on the Daily Nation titled “CJ stands between Kenyans and tyranny or chaos”, in it he practically rubbishes the IEBC role and instead arrogates it to Dr. Mutunga. Professor Makau wrote, “Forget the IEBC for the moment – it’s just a technocratic bureaucracy to organize the elections, and to “collect and count” ballots. That’s why the ultimate legitimacy of an election rests with the Judiciary. This makes Chief Justice Willy Mutunga the most important Kenyan on March 4, and the next few months. That’s the truth.
I am not knocking the IEBC. But important as it is, the IEBC won’t be the final arbiter of who won––or lost––the elections. That solemn task rests with CJ Mutunga’s Judiciary. Nor should state apparatuses – Executive factotums in the civil service, police, armed, and security agencies – play any other role beyond ensuring order and stability. They must remain strictly impartial in the contest. http://elections.nation.co.ke/Blogs/CJ-stands-between-Kenyans-and-tyranny-or-chaos/-/1632026/1709396/-/llkvap/-/index.html
Clearly, the good professor was spiking the ball and teeing up for his friend the Chief Justice to overturn the will of the people and this is consistent with both men’s public posturing of their common goal of designing a government headed by Prime Minister Odinga rather than one elected by the people themselves.
There are yet more reasons why Dr. Mutunga should not be adjudicating the CORD petition. Open Society Foundation, the civil rights group funding the petition in court by civil society also funded Justice Mutunga’s trip to Washington DC recently. That is a conflict like day and night.
Duncan Okello, reported to be at the core group of names from the Civil Society who filed a petition at the Supreme Court asking for annulment of the Presidential Election, has been until recently the Chief of Staff at the Judiciary and Chief Justice Willy Mutunga key Point man, they are close friends.
  • JUSTICE JACKTONE OJWANG:
This one is open book and there shouldn’t even any contest as to whether Justice Ojwang should recuse himself from hearing the petition because it touches on him personally and his entire family. First, sources reveal that Justice Ojwang is married to Professor Colleta Suda, a renowned scholar who is a close confidante of the Prime Minister’s wife mama Ida Odinga. They are both members of ODM, the Prime Minister’s party. Justice Ojwang’s wife also ran for a County seat in Migori on an ODM ticket. Even though she wasn’t elected, she is reportedly on ODM’s list of nominees for political office.
Additionally, it is alleged that Mr. Odinga saved Justice Ojwang in 2011 when the justice’s job was on the line during the purge of the judiciary. Clearly, this is one justice who has absolutely no business hearing the petition filed by his friend the Prime Minister. His stakes in the outcome of the case and the inherent conflict of interest screams aloud and clear. Justice would be irreparably defeated and democracy severely undermined if Justice Ojwang were allowed to adjudicate this case.
Folks, this is not rocket science, these two justices are severely compromised and they may as well be bought and paid for already- we can’t just stand by and watch the people’s will being denigrated without raising the alarm. These men’s associations and track records speak for themselves and no man should be allowed to judge his own cause in or outside the supreme court.
The Kenyan constitution expressly manifestly bestows the supremacy of government on the people themselves and not the Supreme Court. Contrary to what Professor Mutua would have you believe, the people’s prerogative supersedes any and all interference by any branch of government and that includes Justice Willy Mutunga’s Supreme Court. The will of the people must and will always prevail- PERIOD!
End
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Bosco Ntaganda in the ICC’s custody

Posted by African Press International on March 23, 2013

Situation: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Case: The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda

Today, Friday, 22 March 2013, Bosco Ntaganda, against whom the International= Criminal Court (ICC) has issued two arrest warrants, surrendered himself voluntarily and is now in the ICC’s custody. Bosco Ntaganda is currently escorted by an ICC delegation that has left Kigali (Rwanda) heading to the ICC detention centre in The Hague (Netherlands).

Upon arrival, Mr Ntaganda will receive a medical visit and will appear, as s= oon as possible, before the Judges in the presence of a Defence Lawyer. The= date of the initial appearance hearing will be announced soon. During the i= nitial appearance hearing, the Judges of Pre-Trial Chamber II will verify th= e identity of the suspect and the language in which he is able to follow the= proceedings. Mr Ntaganda will be informed of the charges against him. The J= udges will also schedule a date for the opening of the confirmation of chargeses hearing, a preliminary step to decide whether the case will be referred t= o a trial or not.

This is the first time that a suspect has surrendered himself voluntarily to= be in the ICC’s custody. The Court is thankful for the support and cooperation of the Dutch and American authorities, both in Kigali (Rwanda) and in th= e Netherlands. This operation would not have been possible without the support of the Rwandese authorities.

The cooperation of the Congolese State has been essential for the ICC investigations in Ituri and in the Kivus (Democratic Republic of the Congo). The I= CC issued two warrants of arrest for Bosco Ntaganda on 22 August 2006 and on 13 July 2012. As the former alleged Deputy Chief of the General Staff of th= e Forces Patriotiques pour la Lib=E9ration du Congo [Patriotic Forces for th= e Liberation of Congo] (FPLC), Mr Ntaganda is suspected of seven counts of war crimes (enlistment of children under the age of 15, conscription of child= ren under the age of 15, using children under the age of 15 to participate a= ctively in hostilities; murder, attacks against the civilian population, rap= e and sexual slavery, and pillaging) and three counts of crimes against humanity (murder, rape and sexual slavery, and persecution) allegedly committed= in Ituri (Democratic Republic of the Congo) between 1 September 2002 and the end of September 2003.

 

End

source ICC

 

 

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Important support for human rights defenders

Posted by African Press International on March 23, 2013

National legislation that restricts the legitimate work and activities of human rights defenders is unacceptable. This is the key message of a resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today. The resolution was put forward by Norway.

“The adoption of this resolution sends an important signal of support to all the courageous people who are fighting against human rights violations all over the world,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.

The key message of the resolution is that national legislation must be consistent with international human rights law and cannot be misused to restrict the legitimate work and activities of human rights defenders.

The resolution urges states to create a safe and enabling environment in which human rights defenders can operate free from hindrance and insecurity. This contrasts with the situation in many countries where human rights activists are under increasing pressure.

“We must now work to ensure that this resolution is translated into concrete results on the ground and leads to an improvement in the situation of human rights defenders,” Mr Eide said.

The resolution on protecting human rights defenders, which was put forward on the initiative of Norway, was adopted unanimously. A total of 64 countries from all regions of the world co-sponsored the resolution.

Human rights defenders are individuals and organisations that are fighting against discrimination and for justice throughout the world. They include democracy activists, journalists, writers, trade union leaders, lawyers, and campaigners for gay and lesbian rights and for freedom of religion and religious minorities’ rights.

 

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source mfa.norway

 

 

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ICC: Ask the Court’ audio-visual programme concerning the Kenya situation, March 2013

Posted by African Press International on March 23, 2013

New information from the International criminal Court (ICC) regarding the cases The Prosecutor v. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang.

* Questions and Answers on recent developments at the ICC regarding the Situation in Kenya, March 2013.

* ‘Ask the Court’ audio-visual programme concerning the Kenya situation, March 2013

Responding to various questions that have been put to the ICC following several recent developments in the two Kenyan cases before the Court.

Click the link below and get answers:

End

source ICC

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Norway: High-level meeting on energy and development in Oslo on 9 April

Posted by African Press International on March 23, 2013

On 9 April Norway is hosting an international High-Level Meeting on Energy and the post-2015 Development Agenda. The meeting will be opened by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon and will be facilitated by ministers from the three countries organising the meeting, Norway, Mexico and Tanzania.

“Some 1.3 billion people have no access to electricity. Access to clean energy is crucial for global devel­­opment. The high-level meeting in Oslo is an important step towards ensuring that the issue of energy is addressed as effectively as possible in the future,” said Minister of International Development Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås.

Mr Holmås has recently visited Tanzania, which, together with Mexico and Norway, is facilitating a global consultation process on sustainable energy. This forms part of the UN’s efforts to develop a new set of global development goals to replace the UN Millennium Development Goals, which expire in 2015.

Access to energy is often referred to as the “missing Millennium Development Goal” and is regarded as essential for achieving sustainable development. The purpose of the high-level meeting is to sum up the results of the various consultations that have been undertaken around the world and formulate a set of recommendations as input to the new development agenda. The recommendations will be submitted to the UN Secretary-General and his High Level Panel Post 2015.

Mr Holmås will chair the high-level meeting, which will be attended by government ministers, representatives of international organisations, the public and private sectors, financial institutions, civil society and academia.

End

Source mfa.Norway

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Norway: Former Norwegian Prime Minister Bondevik on Kenya politics and Martine Magnussen’s case

Posted by African Press International on March 23, 2013

Mr Kjell Magne Bondevik is the former Norwegian Prime Minister who is presently the President of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights.

His center has been working closely with Kenya political parties before the just concluded General elections. Here he talks about the disputed results after the 4th March elections whereby Raila Odinga has refused to concede defeat by Uhuru Kenyatta. The case is being dealt with by the Supreme Court who will determine the way forward by the 30th of this month March 2013.

Bondevik talks also about the case of Norwegian young lady the late Martine Vik Magnussen who was murdered in London while undergoing her studies there.

The British police say the suspect is a Yemeni man Farouk Abdulhak who was the last man seen with her the day she died. The suspect is holed up in his country after escaping the capture by the British police.

End

 

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