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Archive for May 8th, 2011

Raila Odinga tells PNU folks: Say yes to our (ODM) demand, or we go for snap elections now

Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2011

What will PNU do now? Face the electorate early or accept ODM’s demand as equal partner to be accorded respect for the remaining period before next year’s general elections?

Many observers do not think the MPs now want to have their salaries stopped for the sake of a quick election, one that many of them know will lock them out of the next parliament. We think they will be more interested to continue quarreling until the 2012 elections as they continue to pick the huge salaries that they get.

Raila has got them (PNU) in  a corner this time. There will be no PNU leader or MP who will accept to face the electorate now. Raila must have calculated this very well.

The Kenya Daily Nation online reports today that  “Mr Orengo said the new constitution would only work as expected if Mr Odinga becomes Kenya’s president.”

This is most likely to cause another rift with PNU group who will think ODM party is dictating what should happen during the process of the implementation of the new constitution.

According to the Nation Online, “Mr Midiwo said ODM was not ready to lose the political battle if PNU reneges on the process of constitution-making.” Mr Midiwo is ODM chief Whip in Parliament. He has now stated ODM’s wish to go for early elections saying, ““We will come back to the people if the PNU wing of the coalition government proves to be difficult to accept our equal demand,” warned the ODM chief Whip.”

This follows Mr Raila Odinga’s comments this weekend during a funeral in Ugenya Constituency where the PM told the mourners that ODM was ready to go for snap elections now instead of compromise with PNU on the way forward.

The problem that is proving to be difficult for the leaders to solve is the removal of ODM’s man Mr Namwamba as Chairman of Legal Affairs Committee. The majority of the eleven member committee removed him Thursday saying they no longer had confidence in him. Instead of Namwamba and ODM accepting the removal, the party now wants to retain him or else, snap elections.

A few months ago, the two parties were also locked in a wrangle when President Kibaki appointed a new Chief Justice and other two. The Prime Minister said the President did not consult him and there they were in a wrangle that forced the President to withdraw the nominees.

When the disagreement at the time was boiling high, Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta got very angered and told a press conference that he would no longer sit and keep quiet. He angrily asked reporters; “Does it mean that this country cannot do anything unless Raila said so….

This time around, Uhuru may come out again to defend the PNU, now that the PM Raila Odinga has said no and if PNU does not accept then Raila says there must be elections soon. This will not be easy for those who felt he embarrassed the President during the nomination of The Chief Justice, to keep quiet.

According to Raila, he says he just wants his share of the cake as equal partner in the coalition. His intention is not to derail the implementation but fears that those who opposed the new constitution may be out to stop the implementation process.

However, the more the wrangling, time will be wasted and implementation delay might derail the process.

By Chief Editor Korir

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Kenya 2012 Presidential elections in Kenya with a flow of candidates

Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2011

There are many qualified aspiring candidates. Among them is one woman, former Justice Minister Martha Karua  who resigned her post complaining she was not free to do what she thought was right without interference from the top.

It will, therefore be interesting to see what happens when the campaigns start, with alignments, running mates etc.

It is bound to be a very tough and touchy campaign that might escalate tribal feelings and attachments.

By Chief editor Korir.

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | 14 Comments »

92.86% want Obama to release Osama’s last photos: Will be leaked during US Presidential campaigns if not released; says one US patriot

Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2011

API had polls on for 3 days from 5th May through 7th,May. Our question to readers was as follows: “Should Washington release photographs showing Osama Bin Laden’s killing?

Results came as herebelow:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Certification Needed to Get Congo’s Conflict Minerals Out of Laptops, Cell phones

Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2011

 WASHINGTON – A credible international certification system is badly needed to ensure that minerals used to make tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold are not fueling rape and violence in Congo, the Enough Project said in a report released today.

The report, “Certification: The Path to Conflict-Free Minerals from Congo,” calls for an internationally accepted certification regime for tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold – the so-called conflict minerals – that builds on the lessons of the blood diamond and fair labor certification processes. The certification process should build on and add robustness to the initial certification efforts by Congo and its neighbors through the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, or ICGLR.

The profits from mining conflict minerals are funding the armed commanders who have killed and raped on a mass scale and made the war in eastern Congo the deadliest conflict of this generation, with over 5.4 million people dead to date.

“The minerals that go into our automobiles, electrical products, electronic products, and jewelry need a certification system that has penalties and independent monitoring to weed out the products that fuel violence,” said Enough Project co-founder John Prendergast. “This is an unparalleled moment to create real change in the Congo, act as a positive incentive after the legislation, and shine a light on this deadly trade.”

A certification process for conflict minerals is a critical next step in creating responsible supply chains, the report states. Last year Congress passed legislation that requires companies to trace and audit their supply chains for possible conflict minerals from Congo and its neighboring countries.

Several leading electronics companies are also advocating for certification. Hewlett Packard and Advanced Micro Devices have both been leaders in engaging the State Department for a credible certification process.

The report calls on the United States, through Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, to convene a senior partnership on certification with industry and the ICGLR.

“The United States, as the biggest consumer of these minerals in the form of electronics (not sure of the basis of the assessment-I would bet there is more 3TG used aerospace), is uniquely positioned to take the lead on certification, in partnership with regional governments, the private sector, and civil society,” report co-author and Enough Project Policy Consultant Sasha Lezhnev said. “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, Robert Hormats, are the key actors who should conduct this process.”

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 Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises.

 By Matt Brown, USA

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WHO WILL BE KENYA’S PRESIDENT AFTER KIBAKI?

Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2011

Have been to quite a good number of African countries lately and this has provided me an opportunity to examine what has been hailed as African political and economic renaissance. Have also been able to review the thrust by Asian giants particularly the Chinese in building the African infrastructure and the obvious self interests and aggressive tapping of the Africa’s natural resources in direct competition with the Western and Japanese interests. Very interesting anecdotes could be gathered but obviously the monstrosity of African politics and the influence of Western and emerging Asian powers could not escape scrutiny. The events in Uganda particularly present scary prospects. With Museveni treating Uganda as his personal property to be inherited by his son Muhozi adds to the amazing story of democracy allergic African and Arab rulers. But obviously being Kenyan I could not fail to ask the many Kenyans I meet along the way how they think of their own country.

The biggest concern in Kenya and with Kenyans seems to border on the cost of living and the institution of the presidency. The presidency in Kenya has been a great investment for the country, for individuals and community of origin of the president since independence. It has been a very lucrative position and the most cherished one by individuals and their communities (read tribes). Experiences Kenyans have with the first two presidents have made them wary of the institution and how it is managed. Similarly though the third president who is also the incumbent Mwai Kibaki made some changes in style and conduct there is still some disillusionment with Kenyans. Obviously with tribalism being a deadly cancer in the body fabric of Kenya and how it has domineered in Kenya’s leadership as well as the monster that have become corruption which had been promised some knock outs in the early days of Kibaki presidency, there is a general feeling that though the ground has definitely shifted same evils still stagnate the East African nation.

While interacting with many of the Kenyans especially what may be termed as the masses their biggest concern has obviously been the cost of living in Kenya. There is inherent deep anger in the direction the country is taking and whether the general population would be able to keep their heads up. I walked to some of the leading banks halls lately when students are going back to school for the second term and could overhear parents speaking with a lot of pain over the costs of maintaining their families. Not so surprised that even among the so called middle class some of whom I have meet in foreign countries lately they seem worried about the escalating costs of various items such as fuel, building materials but they were more optimistic about the economic prospects of the country. And oh yes whenever I picked discussions about 2012 elections there is a feeling of being too unsure of what prospects there are there for the country. A large number across the various  ethnic divide do agree that in terms of economic management and supportive systems such as infrastructure Kibaki has excelled.

The biggest worry is that though a large number of the people would be more inspired to vote along ethnic lines many would love to have somebody who will manage the economy well to alleviate Kenya from gripping poverty and tame the runaway unemployment and also stop the corruption which many agree that has been the biggest cost in Kenya that have stagnated any prospects of requisite growth. Obviously the runaway ethnicity is also a big headache to many in Kenya.

I’m not too sure of whether the numerous potential presidential candidates some of whom have declared interests in the post have the ability to take Kenya to the requisite growth paradigm. But it is clearly many are quite sure to appeal to ethnic emotions and alliances to land to the plum position. Others are cunningly exploiting the misfortunes of their friends and rivals especially the Hague bound suspects in a bid to appeal and exploit their ethnic strengths. Methinks Kenya is very ripe for a revolutionary leader. Any who would be able to exploit the numerous problems existing in the country plus the masses of educated but suffering youth would easily land to the presidency come 2012. But surely Kenya needs some peaceful and quiet revolution through the ballot. It’s quite ripe for that.

By Harrison  Mwirigi   Ikunda, Nairobi-Kenya.

The writer is a Consultant and Researcher working for a Not for Profit Organisation with an office in Kenya covering the African region.

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THOSE WHO LIVE BY THE SWORD DIE BY THE SAME

Posted by African Press International on May 8, 2011

It is the holy book the bible which warns humanity against iniquities and that God is on the throne and that he punishes who does evil against their fellow human beings. I have not so far heard of any religion that acknowledges the good and holy God that propagates for evil doing. I have not heard of any good of them which would allow human to destroy fellow human. The US killing of Osama Bin Laden has come as a relief to many in the world. Osama lived by the gun, bombing and killing of fellow human beings and he has fallen to the same gun.

This should serve a warning to many evil people in the world that you can never get away with. I’m usually taken aback by a reader and a contributor who keeps justifying colonialism in a popular Sunday newspaper in Kenya when all and sundry know very well that colonialism was very evil exploitative and condemned and the sure way was its defeat. He probably fights against his conscience and if not he probably has lost it. But it has been proven all over again that you can’t thrive on evil for long. The consequences are usually devastating and this is what has happened to Osama. To add to this there is fear that Al Qaeda and supporting groups like Al Shabaab may revenge for their inspirational leader killing. But you can be sure that the civilized world is keen to take deterrent as well as ruthless actions against this kind. You can’t hope to control people or the world through evil or violence. The world has many good things to do and discover and any hurdles will have to certainly been dealt with the necessary ruthlessness.

I doubt many of the Kenyan leaders took a hard look on the execution of the terrorist’s leader. Looking deeply in Kenya’s past one cannot fail to draw an analogy with Kenya’s political leadership. That KANU was destructive and myopic and acting against the will of the people is not in doubt. KANU’s long rule divided Kenya, destroyed generations and  stagnated Kenya whilst doing evil things against people some of who were either detained unwarranted, killed maimed and so on. But KANU which dreamt of ruling forever met its waterloo in 2002. Still Kenya is still reeling under the wounds KANU inflicted on Kenya. The monsters called tribalism and corruption which has gripped this nation for eons will one day be tamed or controlled properly. It can’t continue to thrive forever.

Without justifying his killing in South Africa,   a white supremacist and a farmer Terre ‘Blanche lived on his own values of hatred and destruction of life. He co founded the far-right Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) that was so much and meted evil against the black population in the then segregated South Africa. He lived by hate and went down by the same  when two farm workers allegedly bludgeoning him to death. Ian Smith a former Rhodesian (now Zimbabwe) president could never imagine a black man ever ruling the country and carried a very brutal campaign against the freedom fighters. Sure as it would be, Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980 with Robert Mugabe as the president. Smith lived his later life a quite a frustrated man with his ideologies completely defeated.

Osama’s death turns a new leaf in the war against terror. Kudos to the President Obama and the Americans. They have demonstrated that America has long memories. US pursue its enemies endlessly no matter how long it takes. America maybe loathed in some quarters even in pockets in the global scale but without America the world could be roughshod by evil elements. America actions in the globe are not always honest but it is a nation which has over the years espoused what democracy and civilization is all about. It suffers from it selfish self like any other body made of humans but it keeps some of the notorious and notoriety on check. In a nutshell with Osama’s death it proves those who live on evil end being consumed themselves and it happens in a fundamental way.

By Harrison  Mwirigi  Ikunda, Nairobi-Kenya

The writer is a Consultant and Researcher working for a Not for Profit Organisation with an office in Kenya covering the African region.

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

 
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