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Archive for December 4th, 2013

Should the US President Barack Obama, now in his second and last term in office, be impeached?

Posted by African Press International on December 4, 2013

President Barack Obama has been accused of lying. There are those who say he should not have become the US President because they claim he was not born in the US. To be US President one has to have been born citizen.

Those who have accused him of lying say he was born in Kenya and not the US. What is really right and who is telling a lie? And does it really matter, now that the President is soon completing his second and last term in office?

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Kisumu Local Interactive Platform (K L I P)has received a massive financial boost from the Swedish Government

Posted by African Press International on December 4, 2013

  • BY JEFF OTIENO, Kisumu-Kenya

Kisumu Local Interactive Platform (K L I P)has received a massive financial boost from the Swedish Government to cater for the on going scholarship programmes.

Speaking during  a colourful event in a Kisumu Hotel the Director of the body who is also the Vice Chancellor of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University Prof Stephen G Agong applauded the staggering 3.7 Swedish Cronar grant.Prof Maria Nystrom who is technical advicer of KLIP from Chalmers University Sweden also told the audience during her speech that its under the sterling tulelage of Prof Agong Nowander they will continue with their noble gestures to the body.

The body which is only two years old is so far offering 43 scholarships to PHD students from both Jaramogi University and Maseno University and their specialities covers Eco tourism and market places. Speaking on behalf of Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma,the executive in charge of infrastructure Eng Vincent Kodero vowed to tackle the dilapidated state of roads in the county which he said are a hindrance to KLIP envisaged goals singling out Dunga Beach road as an example.

“We now have the money and the good will is there, count that  the said roads as done Kodera told the audience amid applause”.Dunga Beach has been identified as one of the tourist attractive sites.Also through KLIP initiative, another funding to the tune of millions to tackle waste management has also been received and it will soon roll out in the beginning of the year which will be a milestone.

“Ours is to purely champion for residents agenda and im singling out the July 2013 event in Dunga Beach where 25 locals were trained to market their products from within and without the borders”,Prof Agong said.Prof Agong concluded by hailing the county government under stewardship of Governor Jack  Ranguma and all the stakeholders for the support and conducive atmosphere which he said has enabled them achieve alot.”With the prevailing atmosphere expect more he crowned.”

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Kenya: Leaders in Naivasha opposed to blanket pay package for police officers who fail the vetting process

Posted by African Press International on December 4, 2013

  • BY JACK MARWA, Kenya 

Religious leaders and Members of Country Assembly from the Naivasha Sub-County have opposed blanket pay package for police officers who will be rejected in the vetting exercise.

Speaking to journalists in Naivasha led by Bishop Joseph Wambugu of the Family Care international, the leaders said those found unfit to be in office should be sacked without any pay.

On their part the Members of Country Assembly led by Lakeview county representative Simon
Wanango called for vetting of Inspector General David Kimaiyo.

The Members of Country Assembly also called for the vetting of three deputies police officers (regular police), Grace Kaindi, (Administration Police Samuel Arachi) and CID boss Ndegwa Muhoro as the law requires.

Jointly at a press briefing they said the process targeted all officers as the exercise aimed was investigating on the suitability of all officers in the force.

Earlier National Police Service Commission chairman Johnston Kavuludi had said labour laws require that any employee who resigns or is forced to leave be paid his or her dues

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku had said Treasury would release funds for those found unfit to serve or resign would be compensated.

According to CS the package pay included for those over 50 who would receive their retirement money and one month salary for every year they served and those below who would receive only gratuity.

Ends  

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Kenya: A battle for Bungoma Senatorial seat – By-election December 2013

Posted by African Press International on December 4, 2013

  • BY GODFREY WAMALWA,  BUNGOMA SENATORIAL BY ELECTION ANALYSIS,

The Search for votes  by Candidates  in the ongoing  campaign  in the Bungoma  County Senatorial  seat  by-election slated  for   December 19  have reached fever  pitch even before the  official campaign period  by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries  Commission – IEBC  begins in earnest.

It is  not therefore  surprising that  political  observers and   pundits  have been  filing diverse  reports about  the by-election which  is slated to be one of the most grueling  political fights  ever to be witnessed in Bungoma County in  recent years.  While there are  four candidates   cleared by IEBC to  contest, there is no question that the real fight in this  race  will be  between  the former immediate Senator  Moses Masika   Wetang’ula   of Ford Kenya in the  Cord Coalition  and Musikari Nazi Kombo  of New Ford Kenya  in the Amani Coalition.

At the outset, this  titanic  battle   started much earlier  than the  real election  fight  because  when   Justice Francis Gikonyo of the High Court  sitting in Bungoma nullified Wetang’ula ‘s  election  word went around that Wetang’ula  had committed  and Election  offence of  bribery hence  would be  barred  from  participating  in the by-election.

But it turned water under the  bridge as the same  judge  later  clarified     his ruling, that  he   had not  barred  anyone. Unfortunately  Musikari Kombo and his supporters  got so excited  that they seemed to have been carried away by  the initial decision  of the court following which  they made all and sundry here in Bungoma   believe that Wetang’ula    would  not be  on the ballot  after all  and that  Kombo was set for  a  landslide  field day  and victory  against  former Bumula Mp Bifwoli Wakoli and  Journalist David Makali.

Bungoma political reviewers argue that, the by-election will not be between Kombo and Wetangula. It will be far much bigger than the two. It is likely to pit former PM Raila Odinga and his CORD brigade, against President Uhuru’s Jubilee. CORD shall be fighting two wars, to return the only CORD principal and CORD’s leader of Minority in the senate, and to confirm its firm hold on Western Kenya. Jubilee on the other hand shall seek to cement its upper house ‘tyranny of numbers’ and to prove to CORD that it is pulling the rug from right under its feet in Western.

The general  perception and   consensus   among   majority of the voting Public  in  the County  is that Moses Wetang’ula   is   a victim of vendetta   by the Jubilee Government which has always viewed  him   with suspicion particularly because of  his sometime  hard and uncompromising stance on  a number  of  issues in Governance, land  matters and most of all and  his surprise move to   join   Raila  Odinga and  Kalonzo’s  Cord Coalition in the runner-up to the   2013  General Elections.

The two main contenders , Moses Masika  Wetang’ula  and Musikari Nazi Kombo   have been holding  meetings  and caucuses  to drum up support  for their candidature   in different parts  of the County, but the measure  of what kind and level of support or following  that they are likely  to get from  voters was demonstrated on the subsequent  days when the candidates presented their  nomination papers to the IEBC  and thereafter  addressed Public rallies  at the legendary Posta grounds  in Bungoma.

Kombo was the first one to present his papers after which he addressed a poorly attended public rally at the grounds where  apart from   motor cycle boda boda  riders  who escorted him the whole way from Webuye, and  a trickle  of by standers  he was  accompanied by two members of Parliament, Bungoma Woment Representative Reginalda Wanyonyi and Webuye East Mp Eng. Alfred Wekesa Sambu plus NFK  County Representatives. It was however surprising that  Mps from Kombo’s New Ford Kenya Party skipped the event and have been lukewarm  in their expected support for Kombo whose campaign is being spearheaded by their own  NFK Party Leader Eugene Wamalwa.

Wetang’ula  on his part presented his papers  the following day after Kombo’s  presentation  and immediately thereafter  convened  a well  attended  mammoth  public rally at the Posta Grounds which was  graced  by his co- principals  in Cord Coalition, Raila  Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka  and attended by eight Senators, Twenty Five Members of Parliament and  over Sixty County Representatives drawn from across  the political divide, the region  and  the Nation at large.

Commenting on the  massive attendance and speeches  made at the Posta Grounds Rally by local and visiting politicians, Professor Charles  Kibanani Ngome  of  Masinde Muliro  University  of Science and Technology in Kakamega said that there was no doubt that Wetang’ula   had an upper  hand  and  early head start arising from the apparent mishandling of the Election  petition  filed  against him by  Kombo .

In  the meetings and caucuses, the candidates have been targeting key voter rich constituencies  and  minorities  with hope that these groups  will tilt the scales particularly  against  opponents who are  seen to command massive following  of the predominant Bukusu Luhya sub-tribe.

Webuye East Mp Alfred Sambu and Kombo   has spent a lot of time  persuading  the Tachoni,  a large non-Bukusu  Luhya sub-tribe to rally behind his candidature, but the Tachoni   Elders  led by their Chairman  Wasilwa Wasike   said  that they are against the decision by their MP   to support Kombo  when the issues that have always affected the tachoni have been completely ignored by Kombo.

In a recent meeting in Webuye,NFK leader Eugene Wamalwa said that as the party leader, what he is interested in is to see NFK reclaim the seat, which he said it won, but was denied through electoral fraud. “We are aware CORD campaigns will be about pure propaganda, painting NFK as a Jubilee project, and we are ready for it. The people of Bungoma should know the by-election would be about reclaiming an NFK win that was stolen in the March 4 general elections through fraud. It will be a contest between NFK and Ford Kenya and people should stop hiding behind larger coalitions,” said Wamalwa.

Political observers aver that the contest between Kombo and Wetang’ula, if it comes to be, may go down in history as the toughest and most bruising political battles in Luhya-land since independence.

In a recent political rally at Bungoma posta ground,CORD  leaders came out to paint Jubilee as a coalition that has no interest  to Western people, after locking out the region in major political appointments through what some leaders from the region now refer to as “politics of exclusion”.

There has been some disquiet among the western region people who the Jubilee administration has sidelined the community when it comes to appointments to various senior public offices on   appointment of Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries to parastatal heads and even diplomats, there is a feeling that Jubilee gave the Luhya community a raw deal, perhaps in punishment for the minimal support the coalition got in the last elections.

But recently Webuye East Mp Alfred Sambu in a meeting stated that  President Uhuru  is committed   in reviving the long dead Webuye panpaper mills. This is likely to cause jitters among CORD top brass.

Analysist aver now it is a ripe time for the government  to dangle carrots and throw goodies to the residents of Bungoma in a bid to sway them the Jubilee way. It will not be surprising if some ministry sprang up and the position thrown to someone from the Bukusu soil, or some diplomatic position or senior government office thrown our way.

Virtually all industries in the county are on their death-beds, this could be another good political target by the Jubilee strategists. Governor Lusaka, elected on Amani Coalitions New Ford Kenya (NFK) will be a key link by the Jubilee government in penetrating the county. He is said to have been part of the president Uhuru’s team when he visited China.

He was on hand to welcome Deputy President William Ruto to the region and led the other MPs present in declaring willingness to work with the Jubilee government. Being the governor and in charge of the county’s resources, and coming from a coalition friendly to the government, Lusaka is said to have roots in Tachoni region  has instructed his people to drum up support for Kombo in the senatorial campaigns. But Lusaka has denied that is has remained neutral in the by elections campaigns.

Raila troops  on the other hand are seeking to whip anti-government sentiments, that are already evident on the ground. The Raila,Musyoka,Wetangula  brigade are of the fact that only one Luhya, and a lady for that matter, was appointed to the cabinet. It is also seeking to play the ‘stolen election’ card on the community  the loss by CORD to Jubilee in the March 4 polls elections, believed to have been controversial.

Other  factors that have influenced  the senatorial race  in the county is number of candidates in the race, the battle is  between the candidate backed by Jubilee and that backed by CORD. Amani Coalition has three out of nine MPs and one MP, Hon. John Serut won as an independent candidate. The Amani MPs as well as Hon. Serut  has thrown  his weight behind the Jubilee-backed candidate.

In the last elections, even Amani affiliate parties could not agree on a single candidate, with NFK fielding Kombo and Musalia Mudavadi’s United Democratic Front (UDF) fronting Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi.

 

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Military Continues Working

Posted by African Press International on December 4, 2013

WASHINGTON, December 3, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The Defense Department continues to work with nations in North Africa to promote security and increase stability in the region still feeling the effects of the Arab Spring, Amanda J. Dory, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for African affairs, told a Senate panel today.

Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco are confronting instability and the U.S. military is working to build or strengthen their police and military forces, Dory told the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Near eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs.

“Our strategic approach recognizes that developing strong and responsive defense institutions can support regional stability, allowing partner militaries to operate under civilian authority while respecting the rule of law and international human rights,” Dory said in prepared testimony.

The effects of the Arab Spring in North Africa continue to reverberate within the region and beyond its borders into the Sahelian states of sub-Saharan Africa, she said.

Libya remains a key source of instability in North Africa and the Sahel. After the overthrow of Muammar Gadhafi, there is little government infrastructure inside Libya, Dory said, and certainly no tradition of democracy.

Violence is rampant in Libya and the Libyan government is too weak to control its borders and militias provide what security there is. Arms merchants are shipping Libyan weapons out of the country and these arms are fueling instability from Mali westward, Dory said.

“The Department of Defense is prioritizing its assistance to focus on building Libyan security capacity and on improving the Libyan government’s ability to counter terrorism, counter weapons proliferation and secure and destroy its chemical weapons stockpiles,” she said.

The United States will provide general-purpose-force military training for 5,000-8,000 Libyan personnel, Dory said.

“This training effort is intended to help the [Libyan] government build the military it requires to protect government institutions and maintain order,” she said.

The training of Libyan military personnel may begin next year in Bulgaria.

In Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, DOD maintains close military-to-military ties with their military counterparts. All three are engaged in a security dialogue with the United States and “they share our goals of countering terrorism and enhancing cross-border security,” Dory said.

She added, “We engage with the three governments on a bilateral basis every 12-18 months to ensure our shared security goals are aligned and U.S. government security assistance is prioritized accordingly,”

But all three countries, she said, are feeling the effects of terrorism and growing violent extremism.

In Tunisia, the military deserves tremendous credit for supporting and protecting the population during the country’s democratic transition, Dory said. U.S. assistance to the security sector focuses on counterterrorism support, border security training, she said, and a continuation of long-standing U.S. Foreign Military Financing and International Military Education and Training programs.

Algeria remains a critical security partner in countering regional violent extremist organizations, Dory said.

“Its strategic location in the Maghreb, and its long history combating domestic terrorism and violent extremism, make Algeria a linchpin in the struggle against al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and its affiliates and bringing stability to the region,” she said. “The January 2013 terrorist attack against the In-Amenas oil facility highlighted the growing transnational threats in the region.”

DOD continues to expand engagement with Algeria in cooperation with other U.S. government departments and agencies across a range of activities, to include information sharing and exercises, Dory said.

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, she said, has recognized for years that democratic political and economic reforms are needed in his country.

“During the Arab Awakening, he continued to respond to popular demands for change from within Moroccan society,” Dory said of Morocco’s king. “The United States and the Kingdom of Morocco share a long history of bilateral relations that is enduring and expansive.”

A major non-NATO ally, Morocco “has been a strong partner in the struggle against terrorism, and our bilateral military and political cooperation is growing,” she said.

 

SOURCE

U.S Africa Command

 

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New York Forum Africa 2014 with the theme – the transformation of a continent

Posted by African Press International on December 4, 2013

1,500 business and political leaders and eight heads of state attended last year’s NYFA, the world’s leading pan-African business summit

LIBREVILLE, Gabon, December 3, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ The New York Forum AFRICA (NYFA) (http://www.ny-forum-africa.com) will again be held in Gabon’s capital Libreville in 2014, with the dates announced today as May 23-25. The theme for the Forum – the third to be held in the country – will be the Transformation of a Continent, and it will again be held under the High Patronage of His Excellency President Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of the Gabonese Republic.

More than 1,500 business and political leaders and eight heads of state attended last year’s NYFA, the world’s leading pan-African business summit. In previous years, it focused on recognizing the economic potential of the continent and the imperatives for growth.

In 2014, the NYFA will focus on unlocking the competitiveness of the African economy through building value chains around the transformation of the continent’s natural resources, including its human capital.

President Bongo said: “In Gabon, we are moving away from the old economic model of a land rich in natural resources that made others wealthy, towards a diversified, competitive economy built on the principle that if we can create added value in Africa, we benefit our own people.

“By 2020, we must ban the exports of any products that have not undergone an initial transformation within our own country, so that we can diversify our economy and create higher revenues for our goods and services. It is imperative that we work together swiftly to build up competencies and competitiveness in these value-added industries to ensure we benefit long-term.”

In knowledge economies, such as those in the western world, education is the foundation of economic competitiveness and global prosperity – and is inseparable from the development of human capital. An assessment from the World Bank revealed that human capital contributes more than 60 per cent towards economic development, as compared to physical infrastructure (around 15 per cent) and natural resources (around 20 per cent).

Richard Attias, co-founder of the NYFA, said: “We must ensure that training and capacity building matches the real needs on the ground. With a solid education and good quality vocational training – tailored to the job market and to the local environment – will ensure that African men and women can transform their lives, their environments and their countries. The blossoming of information and communication technologies further adds to the huge potential for the transformation of African economies.”

Last year’s NYFA focused on the six imperatives for African economies to grow (independence, investment, incubation, innovation, infrastructure and inspiration) and played host to a summit of the heads of state of the CEMAC region.

The key themes for the NYFA 2014 include:

•          Transforming the continent’s human capital

•          Transforming natural resources and energy

•          Transforming the land for agriculture

•          Transforming investment into industry

•          Transforming connectivity and digital innovation into jobs

•          Transforming isolated marketing efforts into community and co-operative branding

•          Transforming communities for new African citizenship

And, in a major new development in 2014, the New York Forum AFRICA will play host to a Citizens’ Summit. Sixty Africans, under the age of 30, will take part in a series of round table discussions with ministers, corporations and heads of state to hear first-hand about their challenges, their hopes, their experiences in the workforce.

The findings will form a Citizens’ Manifesto, to be delivered to the top 10 companies in each of the CEMAC states as well as the head of state, and the top three educational institutions, and is an initiative of Train My Generation, the vocational training fund created and set up by the New York Forum AFRICA in 2013.

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About New York Forum

The New York Forum® (http://www.ny-forum.com) was established with the conviction that business has arrived at a crossroads. It is crucial to send a strong optimistic message about the world economy’s future, to work towards redefining corporate governance, to create long-term value, and to re-invent business models through uniting all economic stakeholders.

Our goal focuses on consolidating the link between economic growth and job creation, on the importance of cities as key drivers of dynamism and innovation, on the challenges that are business leaders have to meet within a climate of volatility and uncertainty, and on the special opportunities created by the growth of emerging economies. http://www.ny-forum.com

About Richard Attias & Associates

Richard Attias & Associates (http://www.richardattiasassociates.com) is a strategic communications firm that provides private consultancy, idea initiatives, and live experiences. Our mission is to help leaders, corporations, and nations build their global influence, catalyse innovation, and lead the global exchange of ideas. Thanks to our strategic and operational expertise, we mould unforgettable experiences: interactive platforms, living laboratories of human capital, and cultural and historic exchanges that contribute to fostering a positive change for the international community. http://www.richardattiasassociates.com

SOURCE

Richard Attias & Associates (RAA)

 

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Managing the Influx of Vulnerable Ethiopian Migrants Returning from Saudi Arabia

Posted by African Press International on December 4, 2013

GENEVA, Switzerland, December 3, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Government of Ethiopia are working together to manage the influx of vulnerable Ethiopian migrants returning from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Ethiopia’s Bole International Airport receives an average of 7,000 migrants every day, as the Ethiopian government works around the clock to facilitate organized movement of its citizens from Saudi Arabia. Over 75,000 migrants have returned to Ethiopia since the operation began on 13 November 2013.

Out of the migrants that have arrived to date, 47,479 are men, 25,000 are women and 3,391 are children. 51,000 migrants are still expected to arrive in Addis Ababa in an exercise that the government estimates will be completed by 15 December.

IOM is facilitating airport reception, registration and transportation from the airport to the Transit Centres and onward to the bus station. For their transport home, IOM is providing $50 bus fare. Water and high energy biscuits are also given to the migrants at the airport reception and meals, water and high energy biscuits are provided at the Transit Centres. IOM has set up clinics at the airport where the arriving migrants can receive medical assistance. The arriving migrants have been treated for Upper Respiratory Tract Infections, Trauma, Urinary Tract Infections, pneumonia, dyspepsia and coughs. In collaboration with the Ethiopian Red Cross and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, ambulances are on standby to transfer patients that may need specialized medical attention.

The Ethiopian government has dedicated seven Transit Centres with a carrying capacity of 6,000 individuals in the capital Addis Ababa. In addition, the World Food Programme has provided seven tents that are used for accommodation. Migrants who arrive in the evening are hosted in these Transit Centres overnight and allowed to go home in the morning. Migrants who arrive during the day are allowed to get a bus home. This ensures that the Transit Centres have room to accommodate new arrivals.

Unaccompanied minors are temporarily hosted at the IOM Transit Centre in Addis Ababa as efforts are made to trace their families. In coordination with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC), IOM is assisting in family tracing and re-unifying the minors with their families. The unaccompanied minors are transported to their areas of origin in the company of a social worker and handed over to their parents or guardians.

IOM has set up clinics within these reception centres and migrants who need medical attention are able to readily access it. The clinics are supported by five IOM doctors and 17 nurses including some medical personnel from the Ministry of Health. Psychosocial counselors have also been availed at the Transit Centres for migrants in need of counseling.

In support of the IOM and government initiatives, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has donated non-food items worth $100,000 for use at the Transit Centres. The IRC has also donated NFIs worth $60,000.

Thousands of irregular migrant workers have reportedly been arrested and deported after the expiry of an amnesty period during which the workers were allowed to legalize their status. The measure prompted an exodus of over 1 million foreigners.

 

SOURCE

International Office of Migration (IOM)

 

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