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Archive for June 20th, 2013

Kenya case: President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Trial is scheduled to commence on 12 November 2013

Posted by African Press International on June 20, 2013

Situation: The Republic of Kenya

Case: The Prosecutor v. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta

Today, 20 June 2013, Trial Chamber V(B) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) set the new date of for the commencement of the trial of Mr Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta. The trial is now scheduled to commence on 12 November 2013.

On 26 April 2013, the Trial Chamber determined that the Defence should be gr= anted additional time to prepare for trial due to the delays by the Prosecution in disclosing its evidence. The Trial Chamber invited the Defence to submit observations as to the estimated time it needed to adequately prepare fo= r trial. After receiving these observations, and responses from the Prosecution and the Legal Representative of Victims, the Judges decided to formally vacate the 9 July 2013 date scheduled for the trial’s opening. The new date was set taking into account the Defence’s need for adequate time to prepare its case as well as scheduling and logistical considerations.

Mr Kenyatta is charged, as an indirect co-perpetrator, with five counts of c= rimes against humanity consisting of murder, deportation or forcible transfer, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts allegedly committed during the post-election violence in Kenya in 2007-2008.

End

source: ICC

 

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Kenya; Sugarcane Farmers hit-out at Kenya Sugar Board.

Posted by African Press International on June 20, 2013

  • By Gilbert Ochieng Achieng.

The Kenya Sugar Board is directly responsible for the sugarcane poaching crisis that has nearly crippled the operations of the country’s leading sugar producer Mumias Sugar Company.

More than 500 sugarcane farmers from Busia and Mumias sugar belts yesterday accused the sugar board director for the two belts, Billy Wanjala of being part of the sugarcane poaching syndicate that has gripped the multi-billion shillings business in a stranglehold.

The farmers’ spokesman, Nicholas Makokha Shikanda said Wanjala who is in charge of Mumias and Busia sugar belts that are the lifeline of Mumias Sugar in cane supplies should explain why sugarcane poaching has for the last two years remained rampant in these two belts.

“We also challenge Wanjala to explain why the Kenya Sugar Board introduced West Kenya Sugar Company to buy cane in these belts when it knew that farmers here are all contracted to Mumias Sugar,’ said Shikanda, adding that as a KSB director representing these belts he has failed to spearhead a decisive action to be taken against the poachers.

The irate farmers were reacting to reports carried by a section of the media outlets quoting Wanjala as saying that poor planning and management was responsible for the crisis facing the sugar industry in Busia and Mumias sugar belts.

The Director was also quoted as saying that KSB expected Mumias Sugar to increase sugarcane acreage after releasing Kshs. 140 million to boost sugarcane development in the two areas as he welcomed the sacking of the MSC agriculture and factory managers and calling for the assessment of the current Chief Executive Peter Kebati to ascertain his capabilities.

“We know that. Wanjala has for years been closely operating with the former agriculture manager, West Kenya Sugar Company and the resulting cane poaching crisis. If there had been poor planning and management, Mumias Sugar could not have invested more than Kshs. 3 billion in sugarcane development for the last two years, what is Kshs. 140 million compared to three billion?,” said Shikanda.

The farmers at the same time accused Wanjala and the Sugar Board of introducing West Kenya Sugar Company into a territory occupied by farmers contracted to Mumias Sugar, just about the time Mr. Kebati took over management of Mumias Sugar to deliberately sabotage the company’s operations.

They challenged Wanjala and the Sugar Board to explain why it had completely failed to stamp out the cane poaching crisis and instead given a go ahead to West Kenya Sugar that does not have contracts for cane supplies with any farmer to build a factory in Busia belt under Mumias when it is not qualified.

The farmers defended Mumias Sugar CEO saying that though he had been at the helm for a short period of time, the restructuring programme he has embarked on at Mumias Sugar was the right direction, but KSB must put in place its act and take immediate action to stop sugarcane poaching to save the entire industry from total collapse.

The farmers’ organizing secretary Beatrice Wesonga said since its establishment in 1976, Mumias Sugar has been the most successful and profit-making sugar company in the country.

Apart from producing the largest tonnage of sugar in Kenya, it has the largest product range, because over the decades there was never rampant cane poaching in its zones of operation as is being witnessed today.”

Mrs. Wesonga dismissed. Wanjala’s call for the expansion of sugarcane production acreage in Siaya, Busia, Kakamega and Bungoma Counties saying it was not the solution to the cane shortage crisis since the critical problem was poaching which must be killed once and for all.

She said the Kshs. 140 million loan advanced by the KSB to Mumias Sugar for cane development was a drop in the ocean because the undertaking was very expensive right from land preparation through planting, fertilizers and other farm inputs including crop husbandry costs among others.

The farmers said that they had total confidence with the management of Mumias Sugar and the Company’s ability to succeed in its operations adding that the perception that it was ailing was wrong since the whole business was man-made by a few individuals who were out to make a killing out of the mess.

They further told Wanjala the delayed payments problems being experienced by the company were a direct result of the KSB’s activities and its role in the cane poaching crisis and threatened to ensure that he was voted out of office at the next KSB Directors’ elections.

Ends

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KENYA; Over 700 pupils in Nambale, Busia County infested by jiggers get free treatment

Posted by African Press International on June 20, 2013

  •  By Gilbert Ochieng Achieng.
More than seven hundred pupils and fifty villagers from Walatsi location in Nambale sub-county infested with jiggers were yesterday given free treatment by a civil society organization.

The free medical attention that was provided by an NGO known as Rural Education and Economic Empowerment [REEP] from Butula in collaboration with the International Labour Organization [ILO] donated a total of sh145, 000 to facilitate the exercise.

The pupils who benefited from the free medical camp were drawn from primary schools namely Otiiri, Khwirale Centre, Mwangaza, Musokoto B, Kaludeka as well as Musokoto D.E.B.

International Labour Organization’s planning and coordination officer Consolata Atieno said they decided to undertake the exercise in the area as a matter of urgency following the spread of jigger infestation that had led to the death of two victims this year from the same with scores of them continuing to suffer from jiggers.

“We felt that urgent action needed to be taken to save the situation when we realized that two victims had passed on this year while scores of the residents proceeded to suffer in silence. That is why we put our heads together and agreed to undertake the venture jointly to save lives,” said Atieno.
The two jigger victims who passed away in April and May 2013 were Sarah Masika aged seventeen and Tom Wabwire aged fifty four all hailed from Khwirale Centre in Walatsi sub-location, Bukhayo East location in Nambale district, Busia County.
Bukhayo East location Chief Chripinus Sidialo who also attended the occasion attributed rampant jigger infestation cases to the keeping of various livestock and failure on the part of the residents to maintain high standards of cleanliness in their households.
ENDS.

 

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