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Archive for February 2nd, 2011

Kenyan widower faces deportation

Posted by Administrator on February 2, 2011

This month, the Government sent Steve Onyango a letter informing him that his application for permanent residence has been denied since his sponsor is no longer living

This month, the Government sent Steve Onyango a letter informing him that his application for permanent residence has been denied since his sponsor is no longer living

After 12 years, Kenyan Steve Onyango has been told he’s no longer welcome in Canada, after his wife, and sponsor, died three years ago.

Onyango owns a home in Windsor and works as a parking enforcement officer, yet he may have to leave the life he’s built if government officials get their way.

When his wife Michelle passed away in 2008, his immigration claim died too. This month, the government sent him a letter informing him that his application for permanent residence had been denied because his sponsor was no longer living.

“Losing my wife was quite a loss to me,” said Onyango. “I didn’t realize that immigration would actually take that — me losing my wife — an an excuse to refuse or to deny my application for permanent residency. I was thinking that they would be more compassionate than that.”

Onyango volunteers his time with Habitat for Humanity, the Special Olympics, and as headmaster at the Masonic Lodge.

Friends plan to petition government

When his Canadian friends learned about his situation, they were shocked and decided to do something to try to help.

“I almost fell over,” said Thomas Seal. “I don’t think it’s our government — I don’t think they understand how because of a technicality, that he could just be suddenly up for export.”

Seal wrote a letter on his friend’s behalf to Member of Parliament Jeff Watson, but was told the deportation stands. He has started a petition in hopes the government would reconsider the case on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Onyango is now left waiting for the day he hopes never comes.

“They say I’m subject to removal,” he said. “So to my understanding, that means at any time the border services will get in touch and ask me to leave the country, which is quite scary.”

Onyango said he’s thankful for every day he has in the community he calls home.

“I do love to give back to the community,” he said. “And I’m not a freeloader, so I believe I’m an asset to the Canadian community.”

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/windsor/story/2011/02/02/wdr-kenyan-steve-onyango.html#ixzz1CreEEtSY

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Fresh ethnic violence hits Njoro

Posted by Administrator on February 2, 2011

GEORGE SAYAGIE | NATION Armed youths patrol Witemere Farm on the Njoro-Narok North border on February 02, 2011 where a farmer was killed as he harvested his potatoes. Fierce battles have erupted between two communities in the area following the killing.

GEORGE SAYAGIE | NATION Armed youths patrol Witemere Farm on the Njoro-Narok North border on February 02, 2011 where a farmer was killed as he harvested his potatoes. Fierce battles have erupted between two communities in the area following the killing.

Ethnic violence erupted again in Njoro District of Nakuru County where the farmers and herders fought running battles the whole day.

The combatants, mainly youths, yesterday fought with bows and arrows, swords, clubs and pangas.

The violence erupted on Tuesday after a 70-year-old farmer, Mr Kuria Wakaba, was hacked to death by herders from Likia location of Mau Narok Division. Mr Wakaba was killed in the controversial Witemere area in Likia forest.

The forest has been at the centre of a bitter dispute between the communities, with the herders claiming it as their grazing field while the farmers have continued to till it even after the government declared it a water catchment area.

A witness, Ms Tabitha Muthoni, said that a group of herders found Mr Wakaba harvesting his potatoes and slashed him with swords, killing him instantly.

“I saw another group of four chasing another farmer, Joseph Macharia, shooting at him with arrows,” Ms Muthoni said.

The same herders are said to have attacked Samuel Macharia on a farm in the same area. The two were critically injured and were on Wednesday being treated at the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital in Nakuru.

Joseph was shot twice with an arrow. “One of the arrows got him on the hand and the other in the spine,” a nurse manager at the hospital, Ms Margaret Ombego said.

Ms Ombego said Samuel had deep panga cuts in the head and shoulder. “His right leg was also shot with an arrow,” she said.

On Wednesday, the violence spread across Likia location and other parts of Mau Narok Division, with youths fighting in the forest despite a heavy security presence.

Barricaded

When news of Mr Wakaba’s death spread, the mainly farming community of Likia shopping centre barricaded the Njoro-Mau Narok road.

They attacked a trader who managed to escape, but his vehicle was burned to the ground.

In retaliation, a group of herders at Tipis trading centre, about 20km away, attacked Mr Francis Thuo, poured petrol on him and set him on fire. He was rescued by transporters passing by.

In the afternoon, a group of herders attacked farmers at their shambas near Tipis trading centre as security forces patrolled Likia area.

Four farmers were critically injured, but by the time of going to press, they had not been taken to hospital.

A meeting called by area district officer Dolphine Okondo at Likia trading centre to help ease the tension failed to proceed as the youths threatened to attack each other.

Area DC Jim Njoka said he had not yet established the cause of the fighting.

“I cannot immediately say what the problem is at the moment. However, we will get to the bottom of the matter soon,” he said.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Fresh%20ethnic%20violence%20hits%20Njoro%20/-/1056/1100582/-/15i1w34z/-/index.html

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Kenyan security chiefs’ bid to suspend Ocampo probe fails

Posted by Administrator on February 2, 2011

A bid to suspend the ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s investigations have failed, as Kenya moved its lobbying for a deferral on the Hague cases to the United Nations Security Council.

After securing African Union support, the government is now set to write to the UN Security Council, which under the Rome Statutes, can ask the ICC to suspend the case for 12 months as Kenya sets up a local process to try the suspects, according to Office of the President political strategist Prof Peter Kagwanja.

In a bid to halt Mr Moreno-Ocampo’s investigations, security chiefs and former provincial administrators had asked that his activities in Kenya be stopped until their concerns were addressed.

But ICC Pre-Trial Chamber judges on Monday said they had no powers to stop the investigations.

The security chiefs, who served during the post-election violence period, had also sought assurances that they will not be prosecuted but the judges again declared they had no powers to do so and that only the prosecutor could decide who to charge.

However, the Chamber agreed that they would not be compelled to appear before Lady Justice Kalpana Rawal to give evidence.

The officials include Kingori Mwangi (former provincial police officer), Ernest Mwinyi (provincial commissioner), Hassan Noor (former Rift Valley PC) and PPOs Grace Kaindi and Njue Njagi.

Others are former PCs James Waweru and Paul Olando.

Mr Moreno-Ocampo has expressed his intention to prosecute Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura and Eldoret North MP William Ruto in connection with violence, as well as former police commissioner Hussein Ali, ODM chairman Henry Kosgey and radioman Joshua arap Sang.

The Monday ruling came a day after Mr Ruto’s lawyers appealed against ICC judges’ decision rejecting his attempts to bar the prosecutor from seeking warrants of arrest.

On the deferral issue, Prof Peter Kagwanja, who is in a Kenyan delegation that is in Addis Ababa, said that the plan was now to convince the five Security Council members who hold the veto power.

China has indicated that it is ready to support Kenya’s efforts. Russia and the United States have also expressed support for a local process but which meets international stands.

The other two countries that the Kenyan government is seeking to convince are France and Britain in order to have all the entire Security Council supporting the decision.

The two European countries have been the mos critical over the fight against impunity in Kenya.

The government has pledged to establish a local tribunal, with the help of the UN, to try the Ocampo Six.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Kenyan%20security%20chiefs%20%20bid%20to%20%20suspend%20Ocampo%20probe%20fails%20/-/1056/1100576/-/11qitq4/-/

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Girl raped by father seeks help to join Form 1

Posted by Administrator on February 2, 2011

By ROBERT WANYONYI

A girl who was allegedly raped by her father in Bungoma County has appealed to the Government to compel him to pay for her education.

The girl, who sat her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examinations last year and later got a Form One chance at Busakala Secondary School, is yet to join after her father allegedly refused to pay fees.

The sobbing 15-year-old said the father had wanted to take her by force from her aunt’s place where she has been staying since the alleged rape incident in 2008.

“I suspected that he wanted me to go back home so that he can continue defiling me. I have tried to talk to my mother about what I have been going through, but she has refused to listen to me and instead taken my father’s side,” said the girl.

She said after the 2008 incident, she discovered that she was pregnant. When the father learnt of it, he took her to a mid-wife who performed an abortion.

With the assistance of a local human rights lobby, Muungano Family Empowerment Programme, the young girl sued her father for incest. However, the case has been dragging on at the Bungoma law courts.

The girl has appealed to well-wishers and the relevant Government ministries to assist her join Form One so that she can achieve her dream of becoming a pilot.

Muungano Family Empowerment Programme Co-ordinator Wilberforce Wanyama Lumbuku has urged police to re-arrest the girl’s father and commence fresh investigation after allegations emerged that he had sold off a piece of land, which he had used to bribe officials.

Displaying several copies relating to the girl’s case number 1021 of 2008, Lumbuku called for justice to be done, adding that the father wanted to take the young girl under his custody to continue defiling her.

Raised eyebrows

“He has completely refused to pay fees for her until she accepts to go back into his care. His reasons also raises eyebrows because he has told the girl that even if she finally agrees to go back home, he will only pay fees if she joins a day school and not a boarding school,” said Lumbuku.

The human rights officer also called for tough measures against court officials who were allegedly bribed to mess up the girl’s pursuit for justice.

Source: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000028161&cid=4&ttl=Girl%20raped%20by%20father%20seeks%20help%20to%20join%20Form%201

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Concern over reported threats to Speaker

Posted by Administrator on February 2, 2011

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 2 – The Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende is reported to have received threats ahead of the crucial ruling he is expected to make on Thursday on the controversy surrounding nominations to the offices of Chief Justice, Attorney General, Director of Public Prosecutions and Controller of Budget.

The Speaker has reportedly been threatened with impeachment should his ruling not be in accordance with expectations of one side of the political divide, according to a letter from the International Commission of Jurists to President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

“Unfortunately the threats to the Speaker are a continuation of an intolerant political stance that the country has faced since the announcement in December 2010 by the ICC of the names of six individuals against whom the court has applied for summonses against,” the letter by ICJ Executive Director George Kegoro says.

“The actions by Members of Parliament in relation to the Speaker are an attack on the independence of the Legislature and constitute a threat to the political stability of the country,” Mr Kegoro in the letter which asks the two Principals to give the Speaker protection.

Mr Marende, through his Media Liaison Officer confirmed that there was such a letter, but added that the Speaker had not received any threats directly, but through a third party and viewed the threat as “veiled.”

Mr Marende is expected to rule on Thursday in a dispute over nominations of top judicial positions which have pitted the Prime Minister Raila Odinga against President Mwai Kibaki.

Mr Odinga, along with some ministers from his side of the coalition and rights groups, have dismissed the nominees list saying it was against the spirit of the new Constitution after the officials were named without consultations as required by the new basic law.

The PNU side argues the nominations are legitimate and are meant to improve public confidence in the Judiciary and boost Kenya’s case to hold any trials of people suspected of involvement in the post-election violence rather than at the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

Mr Marende will rule whether MPs should debate and vote on judicial list named by the President.

“I have jurisdiction to decide on this matter.  I will give directions one way or the other on Thursday afternoon,” Mr Marende told the MPs after a heated debate on Tuesday. “The matter which has been canvassed in this House this afternoon is a matter of national importance.”

The Speaker said he was formally notified of the nominations through the Head of Civil Service but also received a letter from Mr Odinga’s office urging him to defer debate on the issue due to the raging conflict.

Should the Speaker rule against a vote, this would be a slap in the face of President Kibaki, whereas allowing the vote could make Mr Odinga’s role in government appear even more impotent as he wants to have an equal role in making nominations.

Mr Odinga has declared the nominations “null and void” but President Kibaki’s allies insist consultations with Mr Odinga did take place.

The Constitution says Parliament must vote either to endorse or reject top state officials before they can take office, unlike in the past when it was the President’s prerogative to appoint them.

Read more: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/Kenyanews/Concern-over-reported-threats-to-Speaker-11519.html#ixzz1CpUTBASF

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