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Archive for December 22nd, 2010

Kenyan journalist receives threats for investigating murder

Posted by Administrator on December 22, 2010

New York, December 22, 2010–A Kenyan journalist whose reporting has helped expose and publicize the unsolved 2009 murder of reporter Francis Nyaruri received two anonymous threatening phone calls on Friday warning he could “share Nyaruri’s fate,” according to local journalists. The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on authorities to thoroughly investigate the threats and provide Sam Owida, a reporter for the private daily Nation, with protection.

Owida told CPJ that the caller, who claimed to be part of the local Sungu Sungu militia that operates in western Kenya, asked if he was the journalist who publicized the killing of Nyaruri and said they were “on to him.” In interviews with CPJ, local journalists said they believe two suspects in custody for the murder of Nyaruri may be affiliated with the Sungu Sungu. The threats have forced Owida to take precautions and change locations frequently, he said.  

Local police official Naomi Ichami was quoted in news reports as saying that the district criminal investigation officer had launched an investigation into the matter.

“We are alarmed by the threats against Sam Owida and call on the authorities to thoroughly investigate,” said Tom Rhodes, CPJ’s East Africa consultant. “Authorities must ensure Owida’s safety and revive investigations into Nyaruri’s brutal murder.” 

A close friend of Nyaruri, Owida was the first person to identify the bound and decapitated body of the late reporter. At the private Weekly Citizen, Nyaruri had exposed corruption by the local administration in the western town of Nyamira, the victim’s relatives told CPJ. While many journalists were afraid to cover the story, Owida spoke on vernacular radio stations in western Kenya and published reports in several newspapers highlighting Nyaruri’s murder and subsequent investigations.

Source: http://cpj.org/2010/12/kenyan-journalist-receives-threats-for-investigati.php

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Parliament pulls Kenya from ICC treaty

Posted by Administrator on December 22, 2010

MPs on December 22, 2010 voted unanimously in support of the motion by Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto asking the government to withdraw from the Rome Statute. Photo/FILE

MPs on December 22, 2010 voted unanimously in support of the motion by Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto asking the government to withdraw from the Rome Statute. Photo/FILE

Kenyan MPs on Wednesday night rallied behind a motion seeking to withdraw Kenya from the Rome Statute.

The MPs fully supported the motion by Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto for Kenya to cease being a signatory to the statute which creates the International Criminal Court.

Only Gichugu MP Martha Karua disagreed.

And during the debate on Wednesday night, MPs poured vitriol on the ICC and its chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

They expressed solidarity with the six people named as perpetrators of the post election violence.

They resolved that cases arising from the chaos be handled by local judicial systems.

The motion had been thrown out on Tuesday by Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim for violating the constitution.

However, Mr Ruto amended it to suit constitutional requirements and after giving notice to the House on Wednesday, it was placed for debate.

Supporting the motion, Energy minister Kiraitu Murungi dismissed the ICC as a colonial imperialist court.

“It is only Africans from former colonies who are being tried at the ICC. No American or British will be tried at the ICC and we should not willingly allow ourselves to return to colonialism,’’ he said.

“The fears that we had when we were introducing the international criminal justice system are no longer there.

“There is nothing we cannot handle. As a sovereign country, no other Kenyan who will be tried on foreign land. Let the six go but we have now learnt our lessons.’’

And he defended Head of the Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Muthaura whose name was among those in the Ocampo list saying: “I cannot imagine somebody like Ambassador Mutthaura raping anyone.’’

Ms Karua was the lone voice against the motion, which she described as unfortunate and misguided and pleaded with MPs to think about the interests of poll violence victims.

The Narc Kenya leader challenged President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to accept responsibility for failing to support the establishment of a local tribunal.

“The ICC did not come to us. We beckoned it. It is here by virtue of invitation by none other than the two principals and by extension Parliament,’’ she said.

“If Kenyans were wondering about impunity, this is the face of impunity,’’ she added, saying victims of the violence would be the greatest beneficiary of the ICC process.

Assistant minister Kabando wa Kabando supported the motion defending Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta who has also been named and said “he is now suffering’’ for helping mobilizing resources for victims of the violence.

Seconding, Mr Jeremiah Kioni (Ndaragwa) asked: “Are we surrendering our sovereignty to foreigners?’’

Trade minister Chirau Mwakwere asked the rest of Africa to follow Kenya’s example and withdraw from the Hague.

He was ashamed, he said, to have been the one to sign the Rome Statute in 2005 on behalf of the Government, as Foreign Minister.

MPs who supported were George Nyamweya (nominated PNU) Prof Margaret Kamar (Eldoret East ODM) Shakilla Abdala (Nominated ODM), Peter Munya (Tigania West PNU), Johua Kutuny (Cherangany, ODM), Mohamed Kuti (Livestock Minister), Walter Nyambati (Kitutu Masaba), Jamleck Kamau( Kigumo PNU), Fred Kapondi (Mt Elgon ODM), Adan Duale (Dujis ODM) and Kabando wa Kabando (Mukurweini).

After the debate, the MPs also voted to adjourn for an indefinite recess.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/Parliament%20pulls%20Kenya%20from%20ICC%20treaty/-/1064/1077336/-/v0uyxsz/-/index.html

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Saitoti names suspected drug barons

Posted by Administrator on December 22, 2010

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 22 – Internal Security Minister George Saitoti has named members of Parliament who are suspected of involvement in drug trafficking. 

Professor Saitoti sensationally revealed to a charged House that MPs Gidion Mbuvi (Makadara), Hassan Joho (Kisauni), Assistant Minister Harun Mwau (Kilome) and William Kabogo (Juja) were under investigation by the police over the narcotics trade.

He also said Mombasa businessman Ali Punjani was under the police spotlight.

The Minister was responding to a personal statement by the Makadara MP who had accused senior police officers of harassing and threatening him at his Continental House parliamentary office.

Juja MP William Kabogo later tabled a dossier containing names of alleged drug barons, reportedly authored by US ambassador Michael Ranneberger. Mr Kabogo said Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa and Kamukunji’s Simon Mbugua had been named in the dossier.

Mr Wamalwa objected to the dossier, terming it a smear campaign that was aimed at tarnishing his 2012 presidential ambitions. Speaker Kenneth Marende however ruled that he would first need to authenticate Mr Kabogo’s documents before allowing them in the House.

Mr Joho, on his part, protested being named in the House in connection with the ongoing probe and asked the Speaker to direct that his name be expunged from the records of Parliament until the investigations are completed.

The Kisauni MP said that he was ready to cooperate with police investigations into the matter and sought assurance that those linking him to the trafficking ring should also be prosecuted.

Prof Saitoti said that those found maligning others will face the law as they will be deemed to be obstructing investigations.

At the same time, Prime Minister Raila Odinga has told Parliament that he has formed a task force on the issue.

Mr Odinga said that the he had received the report from the US envoy and appealed to the House to give him two months to conclude investigations into the matter.

Read more: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/Kenyanews/Saitoti-names-suspected-drug-barons.html#ixzz18r7c8nmk

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Kibaki directs parties’ funds to feed IDPs

Posted by Administrator on December 22, 2010

President Kibaki has cancelled the traditional State House Christmas celebrations this year and said funds that would have been spent on the celebrations will now be directed to feed internally displaced people December 22, 2010.

President Kibaki has cancelled the traditional State House Christmas celebrations this year and said funds that would have been spent on the celebrations will now be directed to feed internally displaced people December 22, 2010.

President Kibaki has cancelled the traditional State House Christmas celebrations this year.

Funds that would have been spent on the celebrations will now be directed to feed internally displaced people, according to a statement from the presidency.

The announcement came as Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka disclosed that the government was committed to addressing the plight of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country.

Mr Musyoka gave the government’s pledge that all the IDPs will have been resettled by the end of next year.

The VP spoke when he flagged off lorries carrying a consignment of foodstuffs to be donated to IDPs in Rift Valley Province at the Uhuru Park, Nairobi.

From State House, President Kibaki was reading from the same script as the VP as he cancelled the traditional Christmas celebrations by the First Family.

A three-paragraph statement sent through the Presidential Press Service read, “Their Excellencies the President and the First Lady would like to announce that there will be no parties this festive season at any of the State Houses.”

“Their Excellencies have therefore instructed that the funds that State House allocates for the parties be directed at providing ready- made hot meals to IDPs still staying in camps on both Christmas Day and New Year.”

“Their Excellencies also instructed that adequate foodstuff be availed to the IDPs until a permanent solution is soon found to address the issue of IDPs in the country.”

This will not be the first time the president has cancelled such festivities because of the plight of the IDPs.

In December 2008, President Kibaki called off the traditional New Year’s Eve state festivities at State House Mombasa in a move that was lauded as people sensitive leadership.

For a long time, the Kenyan civil society has been vocal in condemning the unnecessary expense of holding grand state festivities when millions of citizens are suffering from poverty and grand social injustices.

At the Uhuru Park, Mr Musyoka observed that resettling IDPs is part of the Agenda IV. He noted that once the IDP issue is behind Kenyans, it will open the door to the long desired reforms including implementing the new constitution.

“The IDP presence in Kenya remains a serious scar for this nation. It is for this reason that the government is determined the resettle them once and for all, by this time, next year,” said Mr Musyoka.

Mr Musyoka said his ideal Kenya was the one that will not even entertain the prospect of ever having IDPs.

“All I know is that is it is a matter of choice that separate us from saying no to what it took to have them in camps.”

The VP through the Kalonzo Musyoka Foundation will distribute foodstuff worth Sh12 million in Mawingo and show ground camps in Nakuru district.

In the New Year, the distribution moves to camps in Kuresoi.

Mr Musyoka at the same time, urged Kenyans to rededicate themselves in helping the less fortunate members of the society especially during this Christmas season.

“This is the time to share what we have with the less fortunate members of the society since Christmas is time to love one another and share what we have with those who do not have,” he said.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/-/1056/1077064/-/11gkjkoz/-/index.html

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Cellphone removed from Kenyan prisoner’s gut

Posted by Administrator on December 22, 2010

NAIVASHA, Dec 22 – A death row inmate has been operated on to remove a mobile phone from his large intestine, a prison warder said on Wednesday.

Medical teams at a hospital in Naivasha town on Tuesday night extracted a mobile phone wrapped in a plastic bag from the gut of the prisoner after the device showed up on an X-ray.

“There was a mobile phone in the body and it’s worrying the lengths this inmates can go to smuggle things into prison,” prison chief Patrick Mwenda told reporters.

Mr Mwenda did not specify how the inmate, identified as Bernard Kosgey, had introduced the phone into his intestine but said doctors established it had been wedged there for a month.

Earlier, tests with a metal detector had showed that Kosgey was carrying a metallic object but a body search conducted by warders produced nothing.

Read more: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/Kenyanews/Cellphone-removed-from-Kenyan-prisoner%27s-gut-10949.html#ixzz18r4jA6kx

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MPs allege US coerced Kenya to import white maize

Posted by Administrator on December 22, 2010

Kenya Members of parliament Wednesday alleged that the US coerced the government to allow importation of white maize whose moisture content was controversial.

Consequently deputy speaker Farah Maalim has directed a Parliamentary Committee to probe the allegations.

In a letter authored by US Ambassador Michael Rannerberger to industrialization minister Henry Kosgey, the US urged the government to compel the Kenya Bureau of Standards- KEBs- to allow clearance of the white maize whose moisture content was 14 per cent.

In the request Rannerberger explains that since the imports were not for building stocks but for immediate consumption following the government’s declaration of food emergency last January, the moisture content was not a health threat.

But KEBs in rejecting the 19000 metric ton cargo of the white maize from the US indicated that the moisture content exceeded the required 13.5 percent moisture content stipulated for the purpose of building stocks.

But in his correspondence to the minister Rannerberger argued that the maize was not for storage but for immediate consumption and should therefore be cleared.

He claimed that the US federal grain inspection service had cleared the maize and found it to be almost perfect and exceeded all health related standards for which white maize is commonly tested.

He claimed that the continued embargo on the imports at the port of Mombasa was delaying another shipment of about 250,000 tons en route to Kenya.

He said the delay would jeopardize a planned credit guarantee package that was aimed at assisting Kenyan importers and millers pay for those imports.

Industrialization minister Henry Kosgey was at pains to explain why the imports were allowed yet the moisture content bordered on aflatoxin.

He insisted that since the maize was not for storage, it was safe for consumption.

The matter however saw rising emotions with Rannerberger’s conduct featuring prominently as MPs set the stage for heated debate over his conduct through a motion introduced by Silas Ruteere.

Aflatoxin is a silent killer that causes liver cancer and suppresses the immune system. It also retards growth and development in children. People exposed to very high aflatoxin concentrations experience liver failure and rapid death. From 2004 to 2006, nearly 200 unsuspecting people in Kenya died in this manner after eating highly contaminated maize. Aflatoxin is a colorless toxin which is invisible and only laboratory tests can confirm its presence.

Source: http://www.kbc.co.ke/news.asp?nid=68129

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Man hangs himself over daughter’s dowry

Posted by Administrator on December 22, 2010

NYAHURURU, Kenya, Dec 22 – A 53-year-old farmer has hanged himself after he discovered that his wife had married off their 25-year-old daughter and taken bride price behind his back.

The incident occurred at Kiambogo village of Karandi location in Laikipia West district when the man returned home only to be told that her daughter had now been married off.

Confirming the incident, the area chief Philip Kipkorir said William Serem’s beautiful daughter had come home last weekend with a man and scores of his relatives whom she introduced to the parents as her husband to be.

The chief said the family had been notified earlier by their daughter of the intended visit and arrangements to receive and host the “in- laws” in accordance with the Kalenjin tradition.

“The guests dined and wined to their full. The evening came and were about to leave when the head of the family broke the silence and wanted to know how prepared they were to kick off the dowry payment process,” said the chief.

But elders who had accompanied the groom were astonished and said they had come several times earlier where they did the needful and sealed the deal with his wife. The bride’s dad fumed and a heated argument ensued.

Mr Serem left throwing his arms in the air in disappointment saying how he wished that the world would break apart and swallow him if his own daughter’s bride price would be spent without his involvement.

As the guests left, the man is believed to have bought a rope at the nearby Karandi shopping center.

The chief said the deceased failed to return home only for his body to be found dangling on a mango tree early in the morning by passersby.

A report was made at Kinamba police station and his body removed to Nyahururu Hospital mortuary where it is being preserved awaiting burial.

While addressing the residents, the chief adviced parents to involve their family members while making such key decisions to avert similar incidents.

Read more: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/Kenyanews/Man-hangs-himself-over-daughter%92s-dowry-10950.html#ixzz18qlMN9R0

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