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Archive for March 17th, 2011

Raila to visit the US in April

Posted by Administrator on March 17, 2011

Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga is scheduled to visit the US in April and will meet with Kenyans in the west coast.

Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga is scheduled to visit the US in April and will meet with Kenyans in the west coast.

Dear Kenyans

This is to inform you that the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya, the Rt.Hon Raila Amolo Odinga M.P. EGH will commence an Official visit to
the United States of America from 11th April 2011.
He is scheduled to visit Los Angeles from 16th to 18th April 2011. We have included in the programe a meeting with the Kenyan community residing in the West Coast States of the USA.

This will give us a chance to hear about the current situation in Kenya as well as to get clarification on issues we might have pertaining to the new constitution, diaspora etc.
The meeting will take place on the 17th April 2011, between 2- 6pm at the WILSHIRE HOTEL, LOS ANGELES, 3515 WILSHIRE BLVD, LA CA 90010 TEL:213
381-7411
Because of the tightness of the programe, we would appreciate if those with burning issues they wish to seek a clarification on from the Prime Minister, to send these in advance to the consulate via email address: cg @kenyaconsulatela.com not later than 6th April 2011.

For information only, there will be some snacks and refreshments provided. The hotel charges parking @ $ 6 for the duration of the meeting.
For those intending to fly in from other West Coast States that fall under the jurisdiction of the Consulate, we have negotiated a discounted rate with the same hotel of approximately $99 per night.
For any queries please contact the undersigned through the above email and titled: Query on PM’S visit.

We look forward to meeting you all there.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Jane Miano Mugweh
Deputy Consul General and Coordinator of the function.

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Posted in Announcements | 15 Comments »

Order to deport puts boys at risk

Posted by Administrator on March 17, 2011

CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT / TRIBUNE PHOTO There is very little wheelchair access in Kenya, where 17-year-old Aamir Khandwalla is headed if immigration authorities have their say.

CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT / TRIBUNE PHOTO There is very little wheelchair access in Kenya, where 17-year-old Aamir Khandwalla is headed if immigration authorities have their say.

Sometimes, matters of life and death come down to nuance. Words spoken, or unspoken. An extra sentence or paragraph in a letter. Sometimes, what may appear right to a government official looking at a folder full of documents might feel very wrong to the people whose lives are held in the balance of those documents.

In two weeks, Aamir and Hanzallah Khandwalla, along with their parents and three siblings, are scheduled to be deported back to their native Kenya. Immigration officials say there is no appeal.

The family, which lives in a two-bedroom apartment near Shriners Hospital for Children in Southwest Portland, has been in the United States for eight years. It came here so that Aamir, now 17, and Hanzallah, now 11, could receive medical treatment for a rare genetic disease. In Kenya, they were told, there were no treatments available.

Aamir stands a little more than three feet tall, the result of what physicians believe is Desbuquois Syndrome. A student at Wilson High School, he has legs and a spine that have suffered curves and dislocations. Standing up straight is difficult, to say nothing of walking; he uses a wheelchair for all but the simplest of excursions.

Aamir has had three knee and leg surgeries and has undergone a spinal fusion.

Hanzallah suffers similarly. He was able to walk for the first time only after surgeons at Shriners reconstructed his hips. Eventually he, too, will likely need spinal surgery.

The boys’ skeletons don’t fit together right. They have known joint and bone pain all their lives. Both boys have enlarged aortas, which could someday require surgery. Both boys also appear to be victims of early glaucoma.

Surgeries at Shriners have helped and future surgeries will probably be required, according to their physicians. But those surgeries are unlikely to happen if the boys are deported at the end of March.

Tribune Photo: Christopher Onstott • Portland attorney Nicole Nelson is working free of charge in an effort to keep Hanzallah (left) and Aamir Khandwalla and their family from being sent back to Kenya. The family has until April 1 to leave the U.S.

Tribune Photo: Christopher Onstott • Portland attorney Nicole Nelson is working free of charge in an effort to keep Hanzallah (left) and Aamir Khandwalla and their family from being sent back to Kenya. The family has until April 1 to leave the U.S.

Humanitarian gesture

When the family left Kenya eight years ago, they were told that even the most basic surgeries that Aamir would need could not be done there. Add to that the other maladies that doctors expect to befall Aamir and Hanzallah in the years ahead, and their lives in Kenya, without Western medical care, look perilous.

“It’s just going to be a death sentence for these boys,” says Phillip Smith, who, along with legal partner Nicole Nelson has been providing pro bono legal services for the family. “It just feels so basically wrong.”

The Khandwallas arrived in the United States on a renewable tourist visa, expecting they’d be here six months while Aamir received treatment at Shriners. But the boys do not suffer from a disease or a condition that can be cured. There is no wonder drug available here that is not available in Kenya. Doctors wait and observe and when new medical issues arise, they prescribe new braces or new surgery or new medicine.

In 2009, the family obtained a deferred action visa, which allowed father Mohammed Khandwalla to get a job working the front desk at a local property management firm. The Khandwallas have been supported for the past eight years by family members in Canada and back in Kenya.

Attorney Nelson says the family was right to expect they would be able to renew their deferred action visa for at least a couple more years.

“Deferred action is the wink and the nod saying, ‘We’re not going to go after you,’ ” Nelson says.

The family found help when Oregon U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden wrote immigration officials in support of their staying, and doctors at Shriners did the same.

Yet, two and a half weeks ago U.S. authorities sent a letter telling the Khandwallas they would have to leave the country by the end of the month. The letter offered no explanation for the decision.

Tom Towslee, Wyden’s communications director in Oregon, says a staff member has been in contact with immigration officials on the family’s behalf for years.

“It’s beyond comprehension as to why they would do this,” Towslee says. “They’ve been here for eight years, they’re not getting public assistance, they’re not a burden on society. They want the best medical care available for their children and so do we. And they’re going to get that here and not in Kenya.”

But getting the best medical care in and of itself is not a reason to allow the Khandwallas to stay, immigration authorities say.

Sharon Rummery, spokeswoman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, says the Khandwalla boys are not facing a matter of life and death.

“We’re not seeing an urgent situation here,” Rummery says. “They are children who go to school every day.”

That wink and nod of deferred action, Rummery says, comes with a definition.

“This is a humanitarian gesture that’s entirely discretionary and very rarely used,” she says.

Tribune Photo: Christopher Onstott • Hanzallah Khandwalla (above) and his brother Aamir have the rare genetic disorder Desbuquois Syndrome shared by only a few dozen people in the world. Immigration authorities have decided to send the family home to Kenya, where they will not be able to receive specialized care.

Tribune Photo: Christopher Onstott • Hanzallah Khandwalla (above) and his brother Aamir have the rare genetic disorder Desbuquois Syndrome shared by only a few dozen people in the world. Immigration authorities have decided to send the family home to Kenya, where they will not be able to receive specialized care.

 

‘Here I have dreams’

The nuance of the case lies in letters written by doctors and Shriners staff on behalf of the Khandwalla boys. Immigration officials appear to be placing more emphasis on the section of the letter from Shriners that describes how the hospital will treat Aamir and Hanzalla if they remain in the country. The letter says Shriners will continue to see the boys every six months to monitor their health, and that there are no scheduled surgeries.

The family would prefer that immigration officials consider this section of a letter written by Shriners orthopedic surgeon Dennis Roy: “Continued treatment at a specialized children’s hospital is indicated. … Without this management their underlying condition could lead to adverse health outcomes as well as adverse functional outcomes.”

The letter from Kathie Ramos, Shriners outside services coordinator, can be read as supportive or not, depending on which part of the letter is emphasized, and what the reader is looking to defend.

One part reads: “Only symptomatic treatment is available for Desbuquois Syndrome.” It explains that Shriners’ physicians focus on managing symptoms and preventing further injury to the boys.

But later, in the same letter, Ramos writes: “Not only would they need an experienced pediatric orthopedic surgeon, a pediatric physical therapist, pediatric ophthalmologist, pediatric cardiologist, a geneticist and an orthotist, but they would also need to be followed by a physician familiar with Desbuquois Syndrome.”

There are reportedly fewer than 50 known cases of Desbuquois Syndrome worldwide. The Khandwallas say they are certain they will not have access to any of those specialists in Kenya.

Nuance.

The Khandwallas say that come April 1 they expect to still be in Portland. They aren’t leaving without a continued fight.

“In the middle of treatment how can we leave?” asks mother Faiza Khandwalla.

Since they moved here, the Khandwallas have added two other children to their family, and those two are legal U.S. citizens. Shriners has offered to treat Aamir and Hanzalla free of charge until they are 21. The local Muslim community has come forward with all sorts of support, including offers of food and house furnishings.

Nelson, an immigration attorney for 14 years, says she is willing to continue fighting the case without compensation indefinitely.

“I’ve never had a case where the family has done absolutely everything right. They came with visas and applied for extensions and tried to do everything possible to stay in good status, and then to have it denied, no, I’ve never had it happen to a family with this type of need,” she says.

Aamir, whose primary interest is computer programming, holds out hope that he will stay here. He says he remembers well enough the teasing and taunts he endured in Kenya, and the fact that he was unable to attend school there when he was young because there were no accommodations available for a child with special needs. Here, he says, he has never been treated cruelly.

“There is no life there,” Aamir says of Kenya. “Here, I have dreams and hopes (of things) that I want to do after high school and college. There, I can’t learn anything. My life is worthless over there.”

Source:

Posted in Kenya | 2 Comments »

History made as Speaker to recall MPs

Posted by Administrator on March 17, 2011

Sources in Parliament said Mr Marende had turned to the Standing Orders (House rules) to allow Parliament to resume its sittings after it became apparent that the President, under the new Constitution, had no powers to wind up the last session. Photo/FILE

Sources in Parliament said Mr Marende had turned to the Standing Orders (House rules) to allow Parliament to resume its sittings after it became apparent that the President, under the new Constitution, had no powers to wind up the last session. Photo/FILE

House Speaker Kenneth Marende is this week expected to issue a gazette notice summoning MPs back to Parliament next Tuesday.

Sources in Parliament said Mr Marende had turned to the Standing Orders (House rules) to allow Parliament to resume its sittings after it became apparent that the President, under the new Constitution, had no powers to wind up the last session.

Without the prorogation of the last session, it technically means Parliament won’t begin a new Session, rendering superfluous the President’s role in summoning MPs for a fresh session. (READ: Kenyan MPs on holiday again)

The sources revealed that the Leader of Government Business, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, together with the House Business Committee, had, prior to the adjournment a fortnight ago, expected the President to summon the House within this week.

On Wednesday, calls to MPs we contacted expressed surprise as many of them were sitting back waiting for the Head of State to wind up the Fourth Session and recall them for the Fifth Session.

The powers of the President to dissolve or prorogue Parliament were left out in the new laws. The thinking was that Parliament should set its own calendar to protect it from abuse by the Executive.

Joint-Government Chief Whip (ODM) Jakoyo Midiwo had earlier told Nation Media Group’s Q-FM that the constitutional hitch was not anticipated when the MPs voted to adjourn the sittings indefinitely.

The late resumption of sitting by Parliament puts at risk the budgeting process for next year, because the Budget Policy Statement will also be late. The implementation of the new laws is also at risk.

Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo noted that Parliament has to come back next week to meet the tight deadlines in the implementation of the Constitution.

“I expected Parliament to resume this week, but that’s impossible. So it has to do so next week because we are already running late,” he said.

In seven months after the promulgation of the new Constitution, Parliament has spent most of its time in political wrangling. (READ: MPs call for end to rivalry as House adjourns)

MPs have approved two Bills — the Judicial Service Bill and the Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill — which are awaiting the President’s assent.

Three draft Bills — the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Bill, the Supreme Court Bill and the Independent Offices Bill, are awaiting publication.

The draft Elections Bill is still with the Justice Minister. Treasury is still holding on to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission Bill, in spite of the Bill having been submitted by the Kenya Law Reform Commission weeks ago.

Additional reporting Farell Nalimae and Paul Nabiswa

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/History+made+as+Speaker+to+recall+MPs+/-/1064/1127590/-/ajg61a/-/index.html

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CIC: Kenya general election due in August 2012

Posted by Administrator on March 17, 2011

Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution chairman Charles Nyachae (left) flanked by commissioner Ibrahim Ali address journalists at their offices in Nairobi March 17, 2011. Mr Nyachae said that the next elections will take place on the second Tuesday of August 2012. PHOEBE OKALL

Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution chairman Charles Nyachae (left) flanked by commissioner Ibrahim Ali address journalists at their offices in Nairobi March 17, 2011. Mr Nyachae said that the next elections will take place on the second Tuesday of August 2012. PHOEBE OKALL

The Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution has asserted that the next elections are due in August 2012.

Chairman Charles Nyachae said Thursday that the new Constitution provides that Kenyans will go to the vote on the second Tuesday of August, every fifth year. The last elections were held in 2007.

“In our plain reading of Article 101 of the Constitution, the first General Election under the Constitution, will be held on the second Tuesday of August of the fifth year, namely 2012,” said Mr Nyachae at the Commission’s offices at Delta House, Nairobi Thursday.

The relevant part reads: “A general election of members of Parliament shall be held on the second Tuesday in August in every fifth year.”

Accompanied by commissioners Kamotho Waiganjo and Ibrahim Ali, Mr Nyachae said the constitution took effect immediately after its promulgation and there was nothing to suggest the second Tuesday of August date does not apply to first General Election.

“We are just looking at the constitution itself,” Mr Nyachae said.

Debate on the date when the next General Election will fall has been rife.

Opinion has been divided among MPs as to when the life of the Tenth Parliament end. Some put the date as December 2012, while others are in favour of January 2013.

This can be translated to mean that the earliest the country can go to the polls will be around March 2013.

MPs who back the January 2013 date rely on the Sixth Schedule.

6 (10) says: “The National Assembly existing immediately before the effective date shall continue as the National Assembly for the purposes of this Constitution for its unexpired term.”

The lawmakers insist that since they first sat on January 15, 2008, it follows that their five-year term will expire on January 15, 2013.

Mr Nyachae maintained the implementation of the constitution is on schedule, particularly on implementation of laws required before next Elections despite public anxiety of delays due to political bickering.

“Notwithstanding the late start, we could keep to the timeliness provided in the Constitution and in particular the Fifth schedule to the Constitution,” Mr Nyachae said.

He said the Judicial Service Bill, 2011 and the Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 are awaiting Presidential assent in next few days.

CIC has further completed reviewing the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Bill and will forward it to the Attorney General for publication and later tabling in Parliament.

The Commission expects to receive the Elections Bill from the AG or the Kenya Law Reform Commission next week. The body has also been reviewing the Political Parties Bill.

The IEBC Bill, the Elections Bill and the Political Parties Bill are required to be in place by August and Mr Nyachae was hopeful CIC would meet the deadline.

“We are on schedule and indeed expect to be ahead of schedule in so far as the timelines in the Fifth Schedule are concerned,” Mr Nyachae said.

The chairman said CIC is also working on the Supreme Court Bill, the National Police Service Bill and the National Police Service Commission Bill.

Mr Nyachae termed the IIEC’s concerns over time available to prepare for the first General Elections as legitimate.

“The challenge to all those involved in the implementation process and in particular the IEBC who are established as the Electoral Management Body is to ensure that the intention of the constitution is achieved within those timelines set by the Constitution itself,” Mr Nyachae said.

He said CIC has written to IIEC “with a view to meeting them and assisting in achieving this goal”.

“There is no crisis as regards the implementation of the constitution whether relative to the General Elections or otherwise. Prudence dictates however, that we remain focused and expedite, indeed fast track the process,” Mr Nyachae said.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/-/1064/1127816/-/7pnuka/-/index.html

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Funeral Fundraiser For Baby Viola Sarange Masega

Posted by Administrator on March 17, 2011

Sunrise: October 20th 2010 - Sunset: March 12th 2011

Sunrise: October 20th 2010 - Sunset: March 12th 2011

It’s with deep sorrow that we regret to announce the sudden death of Baby Viola Sarange Masega. The late was a daughter to Mr. & Mrs. Casmir & Jackie Masega of Grand Prairie, TX.

 

Friends and well wishers are meeting everyday at Mr/Mrs. Masega’s residence (2415 Carson Trail Grand Prairie, TX 75052) for prayers and also to comfort the family.

A major fund drive/raiser is scheduled on Saturday March 19th 2011 from 6:00pm, to cover funeral and medical expenses.

—————————————————————————————–

The following Bank Account information can be used for those who are able to make direct deposits.

Account Name: Casmir & Jackline Masega

Bank Name: Bank Of America

Account Number: 488028854559

Zip Code:- 75052

—————————————————————————————–

VENUE:- KYA Ballroom

701 E. Pioneer Parkway,

Arlington Texas 76010

For more information please contact the following:

Innocent Nyaoko: 713-398-8007

Elijah Magutu: 214-650-6338

Stanley Nyasenseria: 817-412-3106

Joyce Omboga: 214-469-5534

Robert Ochwagi: 469-834-6344

Lucy Smith: 214-326-3018

Silas Momanyi: 469-231-5185

Arasa Mose: 972-757-7270

Tom Nyagaka: 972-639-1274

Vicent Tongi: 214-476-8969

Robin Mose: 214-412-5099

Posted in Diaspora News | 2 Comments »

 
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