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Archive for September 10th, 2011

Kenya magazine raided, corruption files stolen

Posted by Administrator on September 10, 2011

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 9 – Burglars raided the offices of the Nairobi Law Monthly magazine on Thursday night and stole computers containing vital information, crippling the publication’s operations.

The magazine’s proprietor Ahmednassir Abdillahi said two night guards at the offices were attacked with machetes and wounded,when they tried to prevent the theft.

The prominent lawyer told journalists that the stolen computers contained vital information and data which was due for publication in the October issue, which commemorates the first anniversary since the magazine was relaunched.

“These are people who knew specifically what they wanted and they have taken it.  But I can tell you Nairobi Law Monthly will not be cowed or intimidated, we will go ahead and publish our next month’s issue and subsequent issues,” Mr Abdillahi said and revealed that the issue will be a 200-page bumper magazine which will focus on major issues covered since October 2010 when it was relaunched.

“These are people who knew what we intend to publish and that is why they have carried out this raid. We will not be intimidated at all,” he added but declined to discuss stories the publication intended to publish. “In fact, after this raid it is now imperative that we must publish.”

He said computers taken away included those of the editors and journalists working at the publication as well as others which contained backup information and the organisation’s data.

Staff of the magazine expressed shock at the raid and called for action from the law enforcement agencies.

The publication’s lawyer Paul Muite said the raid was a government operation and believes it was perpetrated by the police.

“There is no doubt here… this is the work of the police and it is too unfortunate because it is coming a year after we celebrated the promulgation of the new constitution, it shows we are still in those old dark days,” he said.

Mr Muite and Mr Abdillahi said they had reported the matter at the Parklands Police Station.

The raid was also condemned by the publication’s founder Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara who challenged Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti and the Police Commissioner to expedite the investigations.

“Every indication is that these were not normal thugs after computers were vandalised and it shows the threat to media freedom is still real,” Mr Imanyara told a press conference at Parliament buildings.

He said the raid was reminiscent of the dark days when the Nairobi Law Monthly and other media outlets were repeatedly raided and ransacked by former President Daniel arap Moi’s regime.

The Imenti Central MP said that given the police past record: “We do not want a repeat of an appearance of an investigation and want to hear that somebody has been arrested and brought  to justice over this heinous crime.”

“Press freedom is the very essence of a democratic society and it is events such as these that we must condemn in the strongest terms possible and it is a matter that I will raise as soon as Parliament resumes,” he added.

Mr Imanyara also disclosed that the current publisher had indicated the he had been receiving threats following his appointment to the Judicial Service Commission.

He also linked the incident to the campaign against the implementation of the new Constitution.

“The publisher Mr Abdillahi has been threatened on many occasions since he took an active role in the vetting of judicial officers where he is a member.  But he has courageously fought to continue with the tradition of Nairobi Law Monthly but a threat to any media outlet is a threat to all media in this country,” said the Imenti Central MP.

Mr Imanyara said he was aware that the magazine had planned to publish 200 pages of major scandals in the country in their next edition, including an expose into the operations of the Kenya Revenue Authority.

CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes also condemned the raid and urged authorities to swiftly apprehend the perpetrators.

“The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the early morning raid on the Nairobi Law Monthly, clearly designed to silence the investigative publication from their critical reporting,” Rhodes said.

“This is not the first time unknown assailants have raided a Kenyan media house with total impunity. Authorities must break from the past and do everything in their power to identify and arrest the perpetrators of this crime,” he added.

In March 2006, security forces raided the offices of the Standard and KTN in Nairobi and carted away computers before burning copies of newspapers.

The then Internal Security Minister John Michuki admitted at the time that the government was responsible for the raid.

Source: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2011/09/09/state-a-suspect-as-magazine-offices-burgled/


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Horror crash leaves Kenyan woman dead as she collides with fire engine

Posted by Administrator on September 10, 2011

A Kenyan woman has died in a horror smash after her car collided with a fire engine which was driving to save a schoolgirl early today.

The motorist was close to Basildon fire station when her Toyota Yaris was struck by the Essex Fire and Rescue Service vehicle.

Martha Nyaruiru Gakonde, who was from Basildon, was treated for her injuries at the scene but pronounced dead just before 9am today.

Devastation: The crumpled fire engine after it collided with a woman's car in Basildon, Essex

Devastation: The crumpled fire engine after it collided with a woman's car in Basildon, Essex

The car was left in a twisted heap of metal, while the front of the fire engine was left crumpled with the front of its vehicle caved in.

The firefighters had originally been responding to a two-vehicle crash on Pitsea Road, they said.

The crew were less than a minute into their journey when the horror smash happened on the stretch of 40mph road.

None of them were hurt in the accident but witnesses said members of the brigade was visibly upset.

The 11-year-old girl who had been trapped in one of the vehicles was subsequently cut free after sustaining minor injuries.

A police source said early indications were that there had ‘not been any fault’ on the part of the fire engine’s driver.

Wrecked: The crushed remains of the woman's car in Basildon, Essex is left on the roadside

Wrecked: The crushed remains of the woman's car in Basildon, Essex is left on the roadside

The mangled gold Yaris ended up on the side of the road whilst the fire engine ploughed into metal railings before coming to a halt.

Oil and debris covered the one-way road which was not expected to be opened again until the early evening.

The dead woman, thought to live locally, has not been named and police are currently trying to contact her family. (Police named her as Martha Gakonde from Kenya after contacting family)

An Essex Police spokesman said: ‘We were called to a road traffic crash at 9am on Broadmayne, Basildon.

‘Two vehicles were involved, a fire engine and another car. There was one occupant in the car and the driver was certified dead immediately.’

Police said the woman was driving a beige Toyota Yaris which she was freed from after the crash by fire crews using cutting equipment.

Tragedy: Crews have been left distressed after the fatal collision, which happened as they were driving to free a young girl from a car

Tragedy: Crews have been left distressed after the fatal collision, which happened as they were driving to free a young girl from a car

A spokesman from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) said the fire engine was responding to an emergency call where an 11-year-old child was trapped in a vehicle.

A statement on its website said: ‘The appliance was leaving the station responding to an emergency call when the incident happened by the fire station. The alarm was raised by crews.

‘The appliance was responding to a road traffic collision in Ashlyns, Basildon, where an 11-year-old child was trapped in a vehicle.’

Senior Divisional Officer Mark Wilson, who heads Essex fire service’s west command, said: ‘We would like to express our deepest sympathy to the family of the woman involved in this terrible accident.

‘Although full and thorough investigations will be carried out by both the police and fire Service, it is important to remember today that this family is suffering a tragic loss and all of our thoughts are with them. We will offer them our support in any way it is needed.

‘Members of the crew, although unhurt, are extremely distressed and shaken by this tragic incident.

‘They were responding to an emergency call to save a child trapped in another incident nearby – saving life is what they do every day so to be directly involved in an accident with such serious consequences deeply affects all of us.’

Part of the eastbound carriageway was closed for about six hours while forensic collision investigators carried out inquiries.

Essex Police is appealing for witnesses to the collision to call the Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 0300 333 4444.

A spokesman for East of England Ambulance Service said: ‘Ambulance crews who were dealing with an earlier road traffic collision in the area were alerted to a fire engine in collision with a car nearby at 8.56am.

‘Sadly, after everyone’s best efforts, a woman has been pronounced dead at the scene. Our thoughts are with her family at this tragic time.’

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2035404/999-tragedy-woman-driver-killed-smash-engine-way-road-accident.html#

Related Story: Police identify woman in horror fire engine crash

The Late Martha Nyaruiru Gakonde and her husband, Mr. John Njuguna

The Late Martha Nyaruiru Gakonde and her husband, Mr. John Njuguna


A Kenyan lady has passed away in the UK.
The late Martha Nyaruiru Gakonde (left) wife of Mr. John Njuguna (right) of Basildon, Essex was killed by a fire brigade vehicle onFriday 9th September, 2011.

According to some sources Mrs. Njuguna’s car was hit by a fire brigade vehicle on it’s way to attend an emergency. The same sources says
that the fire brigade vehicle lost control and crossed the road going over the road barrier to hit Martha’s car on the other side of the road (see photos below).

The couple originally comes from Limuru,  Kenya. Martha was mother to Nathan Njuguna Mwaura 12yrs, Peter Gakonde Mwaura 11yrs and Kathy Wariara 9yrs.

Martha was Daughter to Mr Gakonde Nyagu and Mrs Catherine Gakonde of Ngarariga, Limuru. She was sister to Grace Wambui – Kenya,
Rosemary Njeri – UK, Benson Nyagu – Kenya, Lydia Muthoni UK, John Mwaniki –USA.

She was sister-in-law to Paul Nganga Njuguna – USA, Hannah Njeri (Mahua) – Formerly USA – Kenya, Rachael Wairimu Njuguna – UK,
David Mwangi Njuguna – Kenya, Jane Wanjiru Njuguna – USA, and Rose Wambui Njuguna –UK.

Friends and relatives are meeting daily from 6.00 pmtill 10.00 for prayers at 27 Wythefield, Basildon, SS13 3EN.
For contribution – Bank Account – Barclays, Name L.N. KAGUATHI, Sort code – 203004, Account 03705056. For more information contact: Lucy – 07878177928, Njuguna – 07898299100, Monica – 07588458622.

Posted in Diaspora News | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Politicians set sights on diaspora votes

Posted by Administrator on September 10, 2011

MP for Gatanga Peter Kenneth addressing Kenyans in Dallas in August 2011

MP for Gatanga Peter Kenneth addressing Kenyans in Dallas in August 2011

The increasing power of Kenyans in the Diaspora has seen politicians training their guns on a constituency that has in the past been disenfranchised.

Among such leaders is Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 assistant minister Peter Kenneth, who recently was on a whirlwind tour of the United States of America.

Mr Kenneth addressed Kenyans in Dallas, Texas, Atlanta in Georgia, Baltimore in Maryland, Delaware, Newark and Jersey in New Jersey.

He also visited Worcester, Lowell and Boston in Massachusetts, Chicago in Illinois, Minneapolis and Minnesota.

Addressing the League of Young Professionals of Kenya in Nairobi immediately after the trip, the Gatanga MP said the diaspora would most likely account for one of the largest voting blocs in the 2012 election.

Largest voting blocs

“Kenyans in the diaspora will have an opportunity to vote in the next elections and I can assure you, this is one of the largest voting blocs which we cannot wish away,” said Mr Kenneth.

Mr Kenneth was in the US between August 20 and 26. Kenyans in the diaspora contribute more than Sh200 billion annually to government coffers, he said and were entitled to have a say in the way the country was managed.

According to the Bill of Rights section 38.(2), every citizen has the right to free, fair and regular elections based on universal suffrage and the free expression of the will of the electors.

It goes ahead to state that every adult citizen has the right, without unreasonable restrictions, to be registered as a voter; and to vote by secret ballot in any election or referendum.

Mr Kenneth said the diaspora played a great role in nation-building and was better placed to provide expertise in important areas of development in line with Vision 2030.

“They contribute to the growth of the private sector through private projects and businesses and they should be given an opportunity to influence national and county government plans and policies to for the common good.”

The MP said Kenyans in the diaspora were the country’s ambassadors.

The founder and executive director of the African Youth League in the United Kingdom, Mr John Kamau, said Kenyan politicians had visited various cities in the country to sell their agendas.

“Mr Kenneth has visited East London and other cities several times. He has unofficially come here at least more than three times and held meeting with Kenyan youth. Prime Minister Raila Odinga has also been here,” said Mr Kamau.

Bring them on board

Nominated MP Mohamed Affey said his party, ODM Kenya, was aware of the critical constituency created by the new Constitution.

The party has started building networks in several cities of the world to ensure all Kenyans are brought on board.

“We want to bring them on board not just because of their votes but also as an important group that will provide us with expertise once our candidate, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, becomes president next year,” said Mr Affey.

Dujis MP Adan Duale agrees with Mr Kenneth that the diaspora would play a significant role in the 2012 elections.

Mr Duale said UDM was wooing Kenyans in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan.

“We already have representatives in those countries and we will intensify our drive beyond our borders to include them because they too are Kenyans,” said Mr Duale.

The party is also building networks in the rest of the world.

According to Foreign Affairs assistant minister Richard Onyonka, it would be an oversight for any politician to overlook the power of the diaspora, given the amount of money they remitted home.

Surveys by the World Bank last year indicated that Kenya came second after Nigeria in investments such as land purchases, building houses and starting businesses from diaspora remittances.

The survey said Kenyans scored 52 per cent after Nigeria at 55 per cent of the share of total investment followed by Burkina Faso at 36 per cent, Uganda at 20 per cent and Senegal at 15 per cent.

Head of the Diaspora Department at the Foreign Affairs ministry Maurice Okoth says there are 3 million Kenyans in the diaspora, both registered and unregistered.

Mr Okoth says such numbers could tilt an election if all of them  voted in the next election.

According to a World Bank/African Development Bank report, migration is a vital lifeline for the continent and about 30 million Africans live outside their home countries, and Kenya contributes 10 per cent of this population.

Largely untapped

Mr Dilip Ratha, the main author of the report and lead economist at the World Bank, says African governments need to strengthen ties between diasporans and home countries to protect migrants.

“The potential of migration for Africa remains largely untapped,” said Mr Ratha.

Independent Interim Electoral Commission chief executive Lawrence Oswago, however, says it is important for proper legislation to be put into place to determine who will be eligible to vote in the election.

He says there is need to objectively debate whether a Kenyan who has been away from the country for several years is eligible to vote.

“We have Kenyans who have been out of the country for over 40 years and we need to ask if these people can actually vote, and if Kenyans in the diaspora were to vote, would they vote in the presidential elections only or for all the positions,” Mr Oswago says.

The IIEC chief executive gives the examples of Britain where you cannot vote if you have been away for more than 15 years; Australia where a six-year absence deprives you of the vote and the US where Americans can vote regardless of how long they have been outside the country.

Every US citizen must vote wherever he/she is, while India does not allow its diaspora population to vote because a big population is resident outside the country.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/Politicians+set+sights+on+diaspora+votes/-/1064/1233440/-/item/1/-/b2x7f/-/index.html


Related Story: I will bring freshness to the Presidency, Peter Kenneth tells US forum

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