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Archive for October, 2009

African musicians going political

Posted by Administrator on October 31, 2009

By Faith Karimi (CNN)

(CNN) — Kanjii Mbugua storms the stage amid cheers as fans crane their necks to see the Kenyan musician.

His twisted hair and baggy T-shirt are a far cry from his formally dressed fans. He belts out “I’m Just a Man,” one of his trademark songs, and dashes across the stage.

But the 31-year-old Nairobi, Kenya, resident is not a hip-hop or rock artist. And don’t call his music rap, either.

“I’m a socially conscious musician with a strong gospel background,” Mbugua said. “I want to use my music to communicate with our youth about their great potential … of being the solution to Africa’s problems.”

Mbugua is among a generation of young Kenyans who are borrowing a page from groups like U2 and using their songs to address social issues, a clear indication that a fear of authority is waning.

After years of feeling shortchanged by political leaders, some Kenyans are using music to call out politicians in the mostly conservative nation. Their message — in a mixture of English and native languages — is popular with locals.

In “Mteja,” a popular collaborative song by seven Kenyan musicians, a list of government failures scrolls across the video.

“Only 17 percent of Kenyans have access to drinking water,” a message reads. In the background, the group croons about corruption, bad infrastructure and lack of accountability by politicians.

Kenyan musician Eric Wainana became a household name after he released the song “Nchi ya Kitu Kidogo,” which translates from Swahili as “Land of Petty Bribery.” The song, which became an unofficial anthem, left government officials uncomfortable. State-run broadcasters did not play it for years.

But the music is not limited to politics. It reaches out to youth with messages such as “wrap it up” — use condoms — to fight teen pregnancies and diseases such as AIDS, a scourge on the continent.

About 22 million people are living with HIV in Africa, two-thirds of the world’s afflicted, according to the United Nations. Two million people died of AIDS two years ago, and three-quarters of the deaths were in Africa.

“Music stars … can help fast-track awareness about HIV into the hearts and minds of African youth,” Michel Sidibe, director at UNAIDS, said to mark the MTV Africa awards this month. Sidibe called African musicians role models for young people and “protagonists in the fight against the pandemic.”

The concept of using music and media outlets to fight AIDS and social injustices is not entirely new.

Watch how music and politics mix for Nigeria’s Femi Kuti

In 1998, UNAIDS teamed up with MTV to launch Staying Alive, one of the largest HIV awareness programs aimed at youths.

But the campaign, which used films and Web content, did not reach its intended audience in Africa, where most people do not own a television set and have no access to the Internet.

Grassroots approaches involving musicians who play in open fields and school auditoriums reach bigger audiences in developing countries.

“We have about 800 to 1,000 people every time we perform,” said Mbugua, who recently toured high schools and universities as part of Music With a Positive Influence or MWAPI, a collaborative effort among various musicians in Kenya.

As the African music scene has become more vibrant in the past 10 years, so has the influence of the artists. But they are not without their critics, who say the flamboyant lifestyles of the musicians are not in tune with their message.

“They are always in newspapers chasing women and dressed like gangsters,” said Jane Kamau, 23, a college student. “Why should I listen to them and consider them role models?”

Ugandan singer Daniel Kigozi, who uses the stage name Navio, said judging his counterparts based on outer appearances is wrong.

“The dressing is just a representation. … What people admire is the struggle, where they come from,” he said. “They know their audience, they know their story because they have lived it, nearly all of us have been affected by bad governments or indirectly by HIV.”

Kigozi, 25, said African singers can connect with the youth in a way the older generation never will.

“They have the lingo, they can address the issues in a straightforward way through music,” he said. “Some of the youth just need something to look up to, someone to listen to, someone they can connect with.”

CNN

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2 killed, 15 wounded in ethnic, religious violence in Kenyan slum

Posted by Administrator on October 31, 2009

By Tom Odula (CP)

Two people died and 15 others were seriously wounded after machete-wielding rioters broke into violence Saturday over ethnic tensions in Nairobi’s largest slum, officials said.

The violence began after a dozen youths from the Nubian ethnic group were hired to demolish trading stalls in the Kibera slum on behalf of a church that believed the stalls were blocking its path, said Mohammad Gore, a member of a local council.

Later, Luhya tribesmen and traders retaliated by hacking to death a Nubian man in his mid-20s, Gore said.

Nubian youths then attacked people indiscriminately despite pleas from religious leaders for calm. A second person was killed, said Evans Ogwankwa, a local commissioner.

“These (the Nubian youths) are criminals and they should dealt with as such,” said Gore, who is also Nubian.

Andrew Otieno, a doctor at the Makina Clinic in Kibera, said four victims of machete violence had been brought to his clinic, he said. Several shacks were set on fire.

Nubians and Luhya have clashed before. Paramilitary police were patrolling the slum, Gore said, but officials feared Saturday’s violence could flare into a larger conflict.

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Kenyans miss out at music awards

Posted by Administrator on October 31, 2009

By JOHN MUCHIRI in Johannesburg Posted Saturday, October 31 2009 at 21:17

 

Kenyan artistes missed out on prizes at this year’s Channel O Music Video awards on Thursday night in Johannesburg, South Africa, despite being pre-festival favourites.

 

 

The Kenyan triumvirate challenge of Amani, Wahu and Canibal had been widely tipped for success going into the award ceremony hot on the heels of an impressive show at the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs) in Nairobi last month.

 

 

However, the Kenyans lost alongside those from other countries as Nigerian and Namibian musicians stole the show. South Africa, the hosts, bagged only one award. Amani had four nominations, Wahu two and Canibal one.

 

 

However, Kenya won a consolation prize of sorts while Namibian musician Gal Level bagged two awards for songs and videos produced by Ogopa DJs. The glamorous event had nominees enter in style at the red carpet. Wahu came in with her husband and fellow musician Nameless, as Canibal, a Mombasa-based hip-hop musician, arrived with his mother.

 

 

Kenya was well represented in the performances too as Nazizi was among the artistes from across Africa who gave an electrifying performance. Kenyan actress Aimee Ongeso, who is also the presenter of Channel O’s Skika TV show, also presented the Best East African Video award, which went to Uganda’s singer XOD.

 

 

Same category

 

 

This is the same category where Amani’s Tonite video was competing against Wahu’s Sweet Love and Canibal’s I Wish. Wahu also lost in the Best Reggae/Dancehall video, which went to Namibia’s Buffalo Soldier. Amani lost the Best Female Musician award to Nigeria’s Sasha.

 

 

Among the big winners from Nigeria included Naeto C, who bagged the Video of the Year award with his song ‘‘Kini Big Deal’’ and Dare, who took the Best Male video award.

 DAILY NATION

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Kenyan diplomats fight over London post

Posted by Administrator on October 31, 2009

By GITAU wa NJENGA in LONDON Posted Saturday, October 31 2009 at 22:30

There was confusion at the Kenya High Commission in London last week after Joseph Kirugumi Muchemi insisted he was the official Kenyan envoy to the United Kingdom despite having been recalled. But, even as Mr Muchemi maintained he was still the boss, his deputy Addison Chebukaka told the Sunday Nation that Mr Muchemi was now retired and out of the diplomatic service.

Speaking from the high commission, Mr Chebukaka said Mr Muchemi no longer represented Kenya’s interests in the UK. “The old man has been unwell for some time; he’s staying on in London to see his doctors,” said Mr Chebukaka, the acting high commissioner. “I am in charge of the mission now in my capacity as acting high commissioner.”

But Mr Muchemi dismissed Mr Chebukaka’s claims as “far-fetched and pure fantasy”. In an interview in London, Mr Muchemi said he was in good health and on an extended leave. “I am still the high commissioner although I’m on leave . . . my deputy is running the office in my absence,” Mr Muchemi said.

“There is nothing wrong with me as you can see. I’m in good form; these are malicious rumours meant to tarnish my name and reputation.” Mr Muchemi said he had not refused to hand over the office and was making plans to “return home in the future when the time comes’’.

The diplomat said he was still serving as he “prepares to go back home”, but he would not state exactly when he was likely to return to Nairobi. The latest saga at the mission contradicts the Kenya Government’s position on the matter.

Tour of duty

Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Thuita Mwangi said on September 1 that Mr Muchemi had completed his tour of duty. “His term in London has expired. Ambassadors are posted and recalled. He is preparing to come back home,” said Prof Egara Kabaji, the ministry spokesman.

Mr Muchemi is still listed as ambassador on the ministry’s website. Mr Muchemi said he was recalled in May after the expiry of his tour of duty but his contract was extended. He dismissed allegations that he was using powerful connections in government to cling to his job despite his recall.

“I have never refused to hand over office or return home. I am staying on in London to wind up; I have permission to do so,” said Mr Muchemi, who spoke to the Sunday Nation at a Starbucks coffee shop in North London. He arrived at the meeting by bus.

The trappings

Inquiries at the Kenyan mission revealed that Mr Muchemi had been stripped of all the trappings that come with an ambassadorial job in London. A well-placed source said the directive to withdraw services and privileges usually enjoyed by the high commissioner came from Nairobi.

“The high commissioner has no access to the official car and no access to the high commission offices or staff and is under increased pressure to vacate the official residence,” said the source who cannot be named discussing official matters.

The Sunday Nation has established that Mr Muchemi and his family are still living at Kenya House, the ambassadorial residence on Winnington Road in upmarket East Finchley, North London. During the London meeting, the soft spoken Mr Muchemi, 65, was dressed in a frayed suit, a white shirt and a red tie.

His arrival by public transport indicated how life has changed dramatically for the formerly high-flying diplomat, who is used to being chauffeured around in an official ambassadorial car with the personalised plate — KEN 1. Mr Muchemi would not say whether he had access to the mission’s offices.

Acrimonious departure

Mr Muchemi, a close confidant of President Kibaki, was appointed High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in November 2003. Mr Chebukaka has been Mr Muchemi’s deputy since November 2008 following the acrimonious departure of Dr Abel Kenyoru in unclear circumstances.

Mr Chebukaka is a career diplomat who served as Kenya’s Deputy Permanent Representative to Unep in Nairobi. He has also held senior positions in Khartoum and Addis Ababa. Mr Chebukaka said he was undertaking all ambassadorial functions at the mission.

A source told the Sunday Nation that Mr Chebukaka was being deputised by Wanja Michuki, a principal counsellor at the mission. “I have just attended the rehearsals for the Remembrance Day; I will represent Kenya on November 11,” Mr Chebukaka said. Remembrance Sunday is observed across the UK to commemorate the end of the First World War on November 11, 1918 and the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and civilians.

Mr Chebukaka confirmed that he was in office in an acting capacity, awaiting the appointment of the new high commissioner. The new envoy will most likely be posted in time for the crucial Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting to be hosted by the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago from November 27 to 29.

Kenyan envoys to the UK usually accompany the President to CHOGM, which is held every two years. A cross-section of Kenyans in London have been watching events at the mission with interest.

Hour of need

Said a diplomat at the mission: “Mr Muchemi has outlived his usefulness, and the regime is Nairobi has deserted him at his hour of need.” Another well-placed source with close links to the mission said: “President Kibaki has abandoned his old pal; he is now at the mercy of the ministry of Foreign Affairs officials, and the scenario is embarrassing.”

The sources said that although Mr Muchemi was visible and accessible among Kenyan residents in the UK, his diplomatic tour of duty did little to improve Kenya’s image abroad. “He was popular with Kenyans in the UK, but he failed miserably to engage in official capacity,” said a former British diplomat.

“Mr Muchemi’s posting to the UK was unfit for the purpose; he was characteristically laid back,” said a former Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) adviser on Kenya. Kenyans in the UK remember Mr Muchemi for his interesting performance on News Night – a BBC TV programme – when he was questioned on high level corruption in Kenya.

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Ten Kenyan Students taken into custody in India

Posted by Administrator on October 31, 2009

By Team Mangalorean Mysore

Mysore October 31, 2009: Police today took 10 students from Kenya into custody at Dattagalli in the city, for creating nuisance in the locality and also for assaulting the policemen.

Police said the students belonging to JSS Law College in Kuvempunagar, allegedly assaulted three policemen, who went to their residence following a complaint from a neighbour. The students, tenants of a house belonging to a Jayanagar resident, allegedly boozed and created nuisance in the locality till late in the night every day.

The neighbours had advised them to mend their ways but to no avail. One of the desperate neighbours went to the police station in the early hours and sought their assistance. When the policemen arrived at the house of the Kenyans, the students dragged them to a room and started beating them.

The policemen, however, managed to come out and locked the main door of the house from outside. On receiving information from the policemen, an Inspector rushed to the spot with a team of 50 policemen and took the students into custody. They were subjected to medical examination at K R Hospital here, where the doctors found them to be under the influence of alcohol.

The injured policemen were being treated in a private hospital here, police added.

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This man Wako: Failure, strategist or opportunist?

Posted by Administrator on October 30, 2009

The commonest error made by almost all critics of Mr Amos Wako is to underrate him. Yet Mr Amos Shitswila Wako is one of the most intelligent people and a very smart lawyer indeed.

And because people judge him by his deceptively baby-faced smile and affected moronic demeanour, he outwits them all the time.

It comes as a shock to many when they read his curriculum vitae. I doubt any lawyer in Kenya has a better resume.

A student of Alliance Boys High School, Mr Wako, 64, holds three degrees — two in law, a Bachelor and a Masters degree, and one in economics. He is also a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

He has been a member of the most distinguished local, regional, continental and international law organisations and has been elected as chairman of most. He has served three different secretaries general of the United Nations as a special rapporteur on human rights.

At home, he was an accomplished legal practitioner and trial lawyer and managed, at a very young age, to clinch a partnership at the prestigious law firm of Kaplan & Stratton.

Rights abuses

In so far as lawyers go, if there is one who can befit the description “genius” in Kenya, it is Amos Wako.

No less a critic than lawyer and Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara has described Mr Wako’s international reputation as a human right activist as “enviable” and his academic record as “brilliant”.

That President Moi appointed Mr Wako as Kenya’s Attorney–General is a testimony of Moi’s political genius. The appointment having been made at a time when Kenya was under international focus for human rights abuses, many thought that Mr Moi was making a mistake in taking on this reputed human rights activist as his chief law man.

As it turned out, Mr Moi knew his men and Mr Wako’s appointment was a stroke of genius. In less than a year of his appointment, Mr Wako was already being accused of operating as a Kanu youth winger.

Many people who had been to university with him were cautious in their words when he was appointed Attorney–General, even as the rest of the country cheered.

Their disquiet was voiced by a statement that was issued by Dr Gibson Kamau Kuria in July 1991 when he termed Mr Wako’s appointment “both as a great mistake and a disaster for Kenya”.

Mr Imanyara also expressed his discomfort regarding Mr Wako. In an article he wrote in the famous Nairobi Law Monthly, in June 1991, he asked why Mr Wako was active and vocal regarding human rights at International fora but silent when it came to his own country.

“One cannot overlook that activism at the international level carries no major personal risk. On the homefront, however, the situation is different. Police harassment, intimidating surveillance, jail, detention without trial and threats often accompany vocal activism,” wrote Mr Imanyara.

He seemed to suggest that Mr Wako was a coward. That when it came to local issues, he was concerned about his personal interests and would not do anything that could bring adverse consequences on himself.

The hypothesis was given credence a few days ago when Prof William Ochieng wrote asking: “Who is better than Wako?” (DN October 19, 2009).
“I understand very well Mr Wako’s dilemma, having myself worked under a Head of State,” wrote Prof Ochieng. “Every time I opened my mouth, some rugged man came along and told me to shut up.”

Despite the fact that Mr Wako is the Attorney-General of the Republic of Kenya and Section 26 of the Constitution says that in the exercise of the functions vested in him, (he) shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority, Prof Ochieng defends him and says, “Wako may not have acted in certain instances, because he never got cleared to act by his bosses, for good or for strange reasons”.

And Prof Ochieng would know better about Mr Wako fearing to act unless on the direction of the Executive. They not only both served the same master but also, in his article, he says he has known Wako “since we were little boys at Alliance High School”.

But another side of Wako that has never come to the fore is his support of the established order and his protection of the “status quo”.

Prof Ochieng says that while they were at Alliance High School, Mr Wako was a senior house prefect and then a school captain. These are positions that can only be held by a pro-establishment student, particularly in a colonial boys’ high school.

When he left university, he joined the law firm of Kaplan & Stratton where he became a partner. At that time, Kaplan & Stratton was possibly the oldest law firm in Kenya and predominantly European in its ownership. Only a pro-establishment lawyer could ascend to partnership in such a firm in those days.

So, while the likes of Dr John Khaminwa, Mr Lee Muthoga and Mr Paul Muite were fighting the establishment on issues of the rule of law, Mr Wako was senior partner in a European-dominated law firm.

In my book The Black Bar: Corruption and Political Intrigues in Kenya’s Legal Fraternity, I wrote about Mr Wako’s experiences under the establishment while he was chairman of the Law Society of Kenya between 1979 and 1981.

“When Amos Wako succeeded Gautama as chairman in 1979, relations between Njonjo (then Attorney–General) and the African lawyers were at the lowest ebb. Njonjo then decreed that he would no longer meet the council of the LSK, but would allow their representations to be forwarded by its chairman (Amos Wako). That placed Wako in a very vulnerable position. He continuously found himself personally answerable to Njonjo. Njonjo would send messages to him and his vice –chairman Muthoga, saying: “Tell those two boys I’m going to detain them if they don’t shut up”.

“At other times, Njonjo would summon all the partners of the white law firm of Kaplan & Stratton, where Mr Wako had been granted a partnership. He would challenge Wako in front of them, threatening to detain him and advising the partners to vote him out of the firm. The pressure was too much for Wako and he begun to temper his statements and to co-operate with Njonjo.”

Even before he was appointed Attorney-General on May 13, 1991, Mr Wako was an accomplished pro-government lawyer by his own right.

In 1991, the International Bar Association had planned to hold its 23rd biennial conference in Nairobi. But as the dates for the conference drew near, Kenya’s reputation as a human rights abuser got worse.

With international protests piling against the Moi regime, the IBA cancelled Nairobi as the venue and moved the conference to New York. Mr Wako, then still a practising lawyer, protested vehemently against the IBA decision and swore not to attend the New York conference.

Then, upon what many believed to be prodding from the government, he changed his mind and travelled to New York where he gave an address that was in defence of the government.

“IBA must learn to operate in the real world,” he told the New York conference. “The Third World, and, in particular, African nations are complex societies… An approach which springs from holier than thou, moralistic postures or condescending paternalistic attitudes is bound to be counterproductive.”

One of the issues raised by the IBA was the continued detention of political activists in Kenya without trial. On this issue, Mr Wako was to have a chance of expressing his human rights convictions when the Law Society of Kenya held its annual general meeting in March 1991.

A recommendation was tabled calling on the government to repeal all detention laws. When the lawyers were asked to vote in support of the recommendation, Mr Wako abstained.

It was also in 1991 that Mr Wako was accused of being one of the conspirators who wanted Mr Muite and the council of the Law Society of Kenya jailed for their political positions against Mr Moi’s government.

It was stated in an affidavit by one of the members of the council of the LSK that the contempt of court prosecution of Mr Muite and his fellow council members was “conceived, initiated and financed by Amos Wako and Mutula Kilonzo”.

Mr Justice Aaron Ringera, then also a practising lawyer, was one of the conspirators.

For his work in support of the government, Mr Wako had been appointed a director of Kenya Airways and decorated by President Moi by being appointed an Elder of the Burning Spear (EBS).

It is in this background that Mr Wako became the Attorney-General of the Republic of Kenya.

Fallen Angel

Before he had completed two years as Attorney-General, Mr Wako was baptised by the Kenya Human Rights Commission “The Fallen Angel”. His fall from grace had been complete in just a couple of years of his appointment.

On July 2, 1991, in his maiden speech to the National Assembly where he sits as an ex-officio member, Mr Wako urged the members of the Assembly to accord President Moi the highest respect, both in word and deed. He then proceeded to state the following damning words.

“Mr Speaker Sir, a characteristic of the rule of law is that no man, save for the President, is above the law”.

Legal activists were outraged. Dr Kuria, his former classmate at the University of East Africa in Dar-es-Salaam, said: “The speech… demonstrates….. that his grasp of legal principles and Kenyan politics is no better than those of his two immediate predecessors and that the government which appointed him expects him to be a better salesman of the very merchandise the two attempted to sell both within and without Kenya without success.”

At the time, Kenya was in the middle of the political crisis surrounding the re-introduction of multiparty politics. An ugly side of that crisis was the politically instigated ethnic clashes in Rift Valley Province.

Mr Wako ignored the crimes that were being committed. No meaningful person was ever nor has ever been charged with the murders, arson or incitement that accompanied the mayhem.

Instead, as was observed by Africa Watch, a respected international human rights organisation, Mr Wako prosecuted the victims caught carrying weapons in self-defence more than he did the perpetrators.

In their report titled Divide and Rule: State-Sponsored Ethnic Violence in Kenya, for November 1993, the organisation said: “When asked about this imbalance, Attorney-General Amos Wako told Africa Watch; ‘Anyone with a weapon is arrested. It doesn’t matter which group.’ In practice, however, hundreds of armed Kalenjin warriors have wreaked havoc and destruction on other ethnic communities without being arrested or charged for their actions.”

In later years, when a Judicial Commission of Inquiry named suspects of the many crimes committed in this period, Mr Wako ignored the report.

Instead, Mr Wako assisted the government in its crackdown on the opposition. A common method adopted by Mr Wako, last used against Kenyatta by the colonial government, was to charge political agitators away from the capital even when the alleged crimes were committed in the city.

Such fate befell the editors of the government-bashing Society magazine in 1992. They were arrested in Nairobi on charges of sedition but taken to Mombasa where they were charged.

It was estimated that between 1991 and 1993, when the clamour for multiparty democracy was at the highest, the government confiscated more than 300,000 publications. Mr Wako defended the States actions as legal.

But even then, it was difficult to judge Amos Wako because his actions were deceptive. When he became Attorney-General, he withdrew sedition cases filed against several government critics. This dumbfounded his critics and many were still confused when he started cracking down on the dissidents.

What, however, removed all doubts regarding the ethical morality of Mr Wako was his attempt in 1992 to help President Moi steal the election. On November 3, 1992, the Electoral Commission of Kenya surprised the opposition with an election date that gave them barely a month to prepare.

But to everyone’s knowledge, the law gave at least 21 days for parties to nominate their candidates and another 21 days for campaigns. Lawyers for the opposition checked the laws again to confirm this general knowledge but discovered to their utter horror that Mr Wako had amended the electoral laws without going through Parliament.

Using powers granted to the Attorney-General by the Revision of Laws Act to rectify clerical or typographical errors in the laws, Mr Wako had published a legal notice removing the words “ a period not less than twenty-one days” and replaced them with the words “a period not more than twenty-one days”.

When confronted, Wako said his actions were legal and refused to revoke the legal notice despite a very clear warning in the section of law that he was using that said he was not allowed to alter or amend the substance of the law.

The judge who heard the case, Mr Justice Tom Mbaluto, castigated Wako in his ruling on November 12, 1992 and said “the Attorney General’s actions can only be construed to have been a misuse, if not an abuse of the powers conferred upon his office”.

All these things happened before the Goldenberg saga and other corruption scandals that rocked the Moi regime. Mr Wako has been the Attorney-General during the most corrupt years of the country’s history. Not a single grand corruption perpetrator has been convicted.

By the time President Kibaki came to power, Mr Wako had served Mr Moi for 11 years. There was no doubt that Mr Wako would be one of those forced out by the new government made up of the opposition figures he had been persecuting.

Even Mr Wako must have thought that this was the end of the road for him.

It has been seven years and Wako has survived the Kibaki administration’s radical surgeries. He has survived the reign of two of his erstwhile critics, Mr Kiraitu Murungi and Ms Martha Karua, when they sat as minister for Justice. His friend, Mutula Kilonzo, is now minister for Justice. In this respect, Mr Wako is the ultimate survivor.

The Attorney General played with the king-size egos of both Mr Kiraitu and Ms Karua. He let them usurp the powers of the Attorney-General’s office as they indulged in power plays.

Realising that a new AG would likely fight for his turf and reduce the Ministry of Justice into the political shell it otherwise is, it was not in the interest of Mr Kiraitu and Ms Karua to fight for the removal of Amos Wako.

For President Kibaki, he was besieged by Western Province political interests led by then Vice -President Michael Wamalwa, now deceased. Mr Kibaki owed Mr Wamalwa a heavy political debt and Mr Wamalwa had political interests in retaining Mr Wako. If he let Wako go, the position was definitely going to go to someone outside Western Province.

Today, President Kibaki retains Mr Wako for two reasons. First, because his removal will start some serious lobbying and fighting for the position from all provinces and political interests.

And we all know how decisive President Kibaki is and how much he loves such controversial situations.

Secondly, Mr Wako is a proven product — tested and passed. With all the international pressure for reforms and for people to be arrested and charged with corruption and post-election violence, the political establishment needs Mr Wako. He is the only guarantee that regardless of all the clamouring and threats from Western countries, nothing will happen to rock the status quo.

Indeed, the retention of Mr Wako may be the only thing that all the competing political interests in Kenya are agreed upon.

No one wants to gamble with a strong and conscientious Attorney-General. And should he leave office, Amos Wako will likely be replaced with another lawyer doing the bidding for the establishment and the status quo.

Source: Daily Nation

 

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Help Sought In Seeking Missing Kenyan Woman In Ireland

Posted by Administrator on October 30, 2009

Gardaí have appealed for the public’s help in their efforts to locate the whereabouts of a Kenyan national who has gone missing in Dublin.

Ms Evelyn Ndungu went missing from her home at Hatch St., Dublin, on the 16th of October.

Evelyn is 37 years of age, she is 5’7” in height, has black hair and has a number of tattoos on her hands and wrists.

01-6669000, the Garda Confidential Line 1-800-666-111Gardaí at Pearse St. station have called on anyone who may have knowledge of Evelyns whereabouts to contact them at or any Garda Station.

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Kenyan envoy collapses and dies in Brazil

Posted by Administrator on October 30, 2009

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 30 – Kenya’s ambassador to Brazil Pius Namachanja has collapsed and died in the South American nation.

Witnesses say the envoy might have suffered a heart attack.

Namachanja was posted to Brazil in June 2006, after serving at the National Museums of Kenya.

He helped establish the embassy in South America, becoming the first to represent Kenya in the region.

Details in the Brazilian media said Namachanja died in Uberaba in Minas Gerais state, in the southeast region of Brazil.

He was in this city with 26 other ambassadors to know more about the potential of the zebu cow to produce milk.

“He felt unwell by the end of the afternoon, during a visit to a farm and was taken by ambulance to Hospital das Clínicas da Universidade Federal do Triângulo Mineiro,” the reports said.

It was reported that he had four cardio respiratory arrests.  The first one at the farm and three others on the way to the hospital while he was in the ambulance.

The doctor at the ambulance made a cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and used an oxygen tube.

He got to the hospital at 5pm and died around 5.30pm Brazilian time.

This was the second time he was visiting Uberaba.

Latest reports say the body is still in Uberaba and is due to be moved to Brasilia later in the day.

The Kenyan embassy in Brasilia has already contacted the envoy’s family and an official from the chancery has already travelled to Uberaba to collect the body.

It is not clear when the body will be flown back to Kenya.

(Additional reporting by Juliana Holanda in Recife, Brazil)

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Lou Dobbs: Gunshots fired at me, my wife and my house

Posted by Administrator on October 29, 2009

Lou Dobbs said on his radio show that gunshots have been fired at him, his wife, and their home in the past few weeks — and he blames his critics (via NewsBusters).

“They’ve created an atmosphere and they’ve been unrelenting in their propaganda,” Dobbs said on his radio show earlier this week.

“Three weeks ago this morning, a shot was fired at my house where I live,” he said. “My wife was standing out and that followed weeks and weeks of threatening phone calls….this shot was fired with my wife not, I don’t know, 15 feet away and we had had threatening phone calls that I decided not to report because I get threatening phone calls. I now – it’s become part of a way of life – the anger, the hate, the vitriol, but it’s taken a different tone where they’ve threatened my wife. They’ve now fired a shot at my house while my wife was standing next to the car. It’s become something else.”

Dobbs places these shots in the larger context of a culture war that’s being played out across the nation.

“And if anybody thinks that we’re not engaged in a battle for the soul of this country right now, you’re sorely mistaken,” he said.

“My wife has now been, and I have been, shot at, our driver, my house has been shot and hit. An investigation continues. I’ve had bodyguards now and you know what, I’m not in the mood to put up with little fools like Geraldo Rivera,” Dobbs said.

Last week, Rivera trashed Dobbs in a speech over his views towards Latino immigrants.

“It’s time that we really awaken to what is happening in this country,” Dobbs said. “It is ugly, it has to stop, and we have to find the courage to elect congressmen and senators and, yes, presidents who will speak truth, not pander, and not play politically correct games to ensure that truth is the last option.”

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Mungiki sect disbanded, leaders claim

Posted by Administrator on October 29, 2009

BY BERNARD MOMANYI

Mungiki Sect

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 29 – The top leadership of the dreaded Mungiki criminal outfit now claims the organisation has been disbanded.

Spokesman Njuguna Gitau said:  “We want the general public and the government and particularly the police to know that Mungiki no longer exists, he said.

He said the outfit had now been transformed into a political party and appealed all its nearly five million members to publicly denounce the sect that has been previously accused of bizarre killings characterised by beheadings and lately, kidnappings.

“We are now members of the Kenya National Youth Alliance (KENYA). This is a political party like any other, Mr Gitau stated.

He urged Kenyans to stop living in fear and assured the public that its members had been urged to embrace Christianity.

“People should stop living under the threat of a ghost known as Mungiki.  Mungiki no longer exists. Let the police, and other security forces and Provincial Administration take charge of the country’s security and ensure there is peace throughout the nation, he said.

“Even the people of Kirinyaga and Mathira should stop living in fear of reports that Mungiki is planning retaliation over the killing of two Mungiki suspects. There is nothing called Mungiki now. It is a ghost and it does not exist,” he vowed.

He urged religious leaders throughout the country to help former members of Mungiki to embrace Christianity.

“Even our chairman Maina Njenga has been converted to Christianity, ours is now a political party and we are ready to accommodate all the people in our party,” he said but did not reveal if they planned to sponsor candidates for the 2012 General Elections.

“Young people especially from Nairobi and Central and the Rift Valley should no longer be labelled as Mungiki.  Mungiki does not exist,” he said on telephone.

Last week, Mungiki leader Maina Njenga was released from prison after the State dropped murder charges he faced over the killing of 29 people who were massacred in Mathira in April.

He was acquitted alongside 21 of his co-accused following instructions from Attorney General Amos Wako who terminated the case before a Nyeri court.

Mr Njenga has since announced he is saved and plans to be baptised soon.

Mr Njenga and his spokesman appealed to the police to produce six suspected members of the Mungiki who were arrested on Tuesday and have since gone missing.

They said the men were arrested in Nairobi’s Dandora and Kayole estates on suspicion of involvement of criminal activities.

“The six young men were arrested and have not been found, we are calling on the Police Commissioner to intervene and reign in these rogue police officers who are still arresting people for nothing,” he said.

He added: “We don’t want a situation like we had before where young men were arrested, disappeared and were later found murdered,” he said.

Over the past five years, up to 2,000 young men believed to be Mungiki members have disappeared mysteriously while others have been found murdered and their bodies dumped in forests and mortuaries in Nairobi, Central and Eastern Provinces, according to statistics by human rights organisations.

CAPITAL FM

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