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Archive for December 12th, 2011

Dallas very own Sam Maish (Mtalii Styles) offers an immigrant’s prayer for 2011

Posted by Administrator on December 12, 2011

Our very own Sam Maish of Mtalii Designs offers an immigrant’s prayer for 2011

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Posted in Diaspora News | 5 Comments »

Kenyans in US do not understand the constitution, says electoral boss

Posted by Administrator on December 12, 2011

Chief Electoral Officer and current Chief Executive Officer of the Electoral Commission and Boundaries Commission, James Oswago and Commissioner Yusuf Nzibo address Kenyans in Dallas during the Jamhuri day celebrations.

Chief Electoral Officer and current Chief Executive Officer of the Electoral Commission and Boundaries Commission, James Oswago and Commissioner Yusuf Nzibo address Kenyans in Dallas during the Jamhuri day celebrations.

By ANTONY KARANJA in DALLAS, TX

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission interim boss James Oswago lamented that Kenyans in the US are either not reading the constitution or just do not understand what is contained therein.

Oswago said he was disappointed by the level of questions posed at a forum in Dallas, Texas during his team’s tour to educate as well as collect views from Kenyans before the electoral body begins drawing up legislation to enable an estimated three million Kenyans living abroad to vote in the 2012 polls.

The forum was organized by the Midwest Diaspora Advisory Council as part of the Jamhuri day celebrations.

Oswago was accompanied by commissioner Yusuf Nzibo.

“My take from this forum was that either Kenyans here have not read the constitution or they simply do not understand what is contained therein,” Oswago told Jambonewspot.com and the Daily Nation  moments after the event. “The disagreements we were having in there were low level.”

Oswago who was appointed as the electoral commission interim boss last month was clearly frustrated by some questions posed by the forum attendees.

During the question and answer session, a forum attendee sought to know from Oswago the impact on Kenyans in the Diaspora due to a requirement in the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act 2011 which provides for a fine of up to Sh500,000 and a prison term not exceeding 3 years or both for a dual citizen who fails to disclose their newly acquired status within six months.

Oswago who seemed baffled by the question shot back asking whether the questioner had his facts right.

“Who is going to fine you Sh500,000 and where did you get that from?,” he asked the questioner. “I have read the constitution and I have not seen anything like that.”

His answer clearly did not sit well with many in the room as a chorus of “it’s in there” came from all around as Oswago kept on challenging the attendees to prove him wrong by pulling it up on the internet.

He moved on when no one was able to pull it up.

Part III subsection 2 of the Act stipulates that “Every dual citizen shall be under an obligation to make full disclosure of his other citizenship in the prescribed manner within six (6) months of acquiring such other citizenship.”

Part III subsection 3 reads “A dual citizen who shall fail to make full disclosure of his dual citizenship inthe prescribed manner shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding Kshs 500,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years and or both.

The Act however does not clarify what the prescribed manner is.

The forum attendees also shot down suggestions by Oswago that ambassadors can be used as Diaspora returning officers.

When asked after the event whether he had any preliminary plans on where polling stations would be set uparound the US, Oswago said that those who want to vote could travel to Washington DC to cast their votes “for starters.”

“I am not suggesting that you should all go to Washington DC to cast your votes but you people are not giving us any answers.” Oswago said. “If we do not get answers from you, we will write the legislation the way we want.”

Posted in Diaspora News | 13 Comments »

Kenya Protests Ocampo’s Meeting With The Kenyan Diaspora in New York

Posted by Administrator on December 12, 2011

Kenyan ambassador to the US Elkanah Odembo has reportedly protested at the idea of the ICC prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo co-hosting a political discussion on 2012 inthe US. Odembo’s protest is at the instigation of powerful government officials in Nairobi opposed to Friday’s “frank discussion” between Kenyans in the diaspora, ICC officials and select panelists. The topic of discussion is; “peace and justice in Kenya in 2012; how Kenyans in the diaspora can contribute.”

The event is co-organized by the ICC (office of the prosecutor), New York City Bar African Affairs Committee and the Vance Centre of the City Bar. It will be held between 5pm and 7pm at the New York City Bar Association, Stimson Room, 42 West 44th street. “A frank discussion will be held on the interplay between the ICC and the upcoming elections in Kenya in 2012. This interactive event will provide a forum to discuss the role of Kenyans living abroad in contributing to peace and justice in Kenya in 2012,” a flyer emailed to us by Christina Holder, the president of New York City Bar African Affairs Committee says.

By yesterday, it was not clear the exact grounds for Odembo’s protest although sources said it had to do with general theme of alleged political interference with domestic affairs. Reports have since emerged that Ocampo who is scheduled to participate in the discussion alongside incoming prosecutor Fatou Bensouda might have cancelled the event.

Observers had expressed fears that a 2012 election discussion by two top ICC officials before the confirmation of charges decision is predetermines the way the decision will go. This is particularly the fear within the circle of the top ICC suspects. The decisions for both cases- one involving Eldoret North MP William Ruto, Tinderet’s Henry Kosgey and radio journalist Joshua arap Sang and the other involving head of civil service Francis Muthaura, deputy Prime minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former police boss Hussein Ali will be made at the same time.

The decisions are awaited around the 19th of January 2012 but before the January 21st deadline by when they must be made. Other people listed as participants in the discussion are law scholar Prof. Makau Mutua, musician Mashuma Nyatta and actress Lupita Nyongo, the latter whom had not confirmed attendance by the time the flyer was sent to us.

By Friday, Bensouda would be the substantive ICC prosecutor if she is confirmed in the election due to be held today at the 11th session of assembly of state parties to the Rome Statute. The session which starts today ends on December 21st and will also see election of six new judges. Ideally, the prosecutor is supposed to be elected by secret ballot by an absolute majority of the members of the assembly of state parties but the bureau encourages election by consensus. The bureau has already agreed on Bensouda as the consensus candidate.

She will however assume the post on June 16, 2012. She joined the court in September 2004 when she was elected as the deputy prosecutor. Before that, she was working as a legal advisor and trial attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania.

She has also been a General Manager of a commercial bank in Gambia, Senior State Counsel, Principal State Counsel, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Solicitor General and Legal Secretary of Gambia and Attorney General and Minister of Justice. As the AG, Bensouda was the chief legal advisor to the president and cabinet of The Gambia. She holds a masters degree in International maritime law and law of the sea.

Source: http://www.the-star.co.ke/national/national/53519-kenya-protests-of-ocampos-2012-conference-in-the-us

Posted in Kenya | 1 Comment »

Find solution to doctors’ strike, Kibaki orders

Posted by Administrator on December 12, 2011

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 12 – President Mwai Kibaki has for the first time spoken out on the ongoing doctor’s strike that has paralysed operations in public hospitals for the past one week.

In his address to the nation during the Jamhuri day celebrations, President Kibaki directed the Minister for Public Service Dalmas Otieno and all those involved in finding a solution, to immediately conclude the negotiations.

“I am concerned that the doctors have been on strike over the last one week. We need doctors in the hospitals to attend to the many Kenyans needing medical attention on daily basis. I appeal to the doctors to resume work,” the President pleaded.

This is a call that was also echoed by Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

“We have many problems. We have had a drought as well as floods in parts of the country. We have people complaining about the high cost of living. We have talked with the lecturers and doctors and asked them to remain patient,” the Prime Minister said.

 

The doctors’ strike entered its second week on Monday with the medics demanding a 300 percent salary increment, extraneous allowance and improvement of public health facilities.

“We must also adopt a give and take attitude during negotiations in order to avoid a disruption in service delivery in our nation,” the Head of State said.

Hospitals like Kenyatta which is the largest referral have been forced to downsize their operations due to the Industrial action.

Previous negotiations between the government and the Kenya Medicals Practitioners and Pharmacists Union have bore no fruit with both sides sticking to their hard-line stances.

The doctors have thrice rejected government offers terming them inadequate.

The government had proposed to allocate Sh7.1 billion as extraneous allowances to all health workers in seven months, as opposed to the three years it had indicated earlier.

However on the issue of salaries, the government has maintained that it was the duty of the yet to be formed Salaries and remuneration commission.

Source: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2011/12/find-solution-to-doctors-strike-kibaki-orders/

Posted in Kenya | 1 Comment »

Diaspora visitor harassed at Artcaffe in Nairobi

Posted by Administrator on December 12, 2011

By Becky, a London resident

On Saturday 10th December 2011 at 2.21pm, I met my Business Partner and Her friend at the Artcaffe in Junction Nakumatt Mall, Nairobi, Kenya. This was my first time to visit this establishment.

My Business Partner and I sat at a separate table from her friend as we were discussing our business.

After an hour, we paid for our drinks and snacks and left Artcaffe. We then went to the basement where I had packed my new Audi A4 to show them some handbags I had brought from London for my Business Partner. As they both looked at them (in my boot), 2 big burly men appeared from nowhere and asked us in very intimidating tones what we were doing. Before I could even answer those 2 KK Security men and a tall older looking Middle East man materialized. At this point I thought that we were either being car jacked or something was very wrong.

The 3 of us were shaken and wondering what was going on, I quickly explained that I was showing my 2 friends my new handbags. The Middle East man asked me to lock the boot and come aside. I did as he asked and my friends were standing on one side of the car and I was standing on the other with the Middle East man. He explained to me that we were suspected of stealing a hand bag and laptop from Artcaffe and they had CCTV footage proving this.

When I looked at him in disbelief, and asked him if we could go and see the CCTV footage he agreed. At this point 5 more KK Security men appeared and we were frog marched all the way to the Artcaffe. When we got there I demanded to see the CCTV footage, the Middle East man again pulled me aside and told me that I was not a suspect and that it was my business partners friend who was. I told him that if that was the case I still wanted to see the footage and that I could not leave them.

After much confusion of whom had the footage, a short Middle East man accompanied by 2 Middle East women came with a laptop and the older tall Middle East man asked us to go to a handbag shop opposite Artcaffe to see the footage. When we got there, they then refused to show us the footage and told us that we were free to go. The old Middle East Man explained that it was a case of mistaken identity and that the handbag and laptop (which belonged to a tourist) had been stolen on 5th of December 2011.(please note, the 3 of us were not even in Nairobi on this date)

I looked at the elderly Middle East man in disbelief and asked him if he was the owner of Artcaffe, of which he vehemently denied that he was NOT and that he was a shop owner at the Mall and that we was trying to assist us and the Artcaffe solve this issue. At this point a crowd of people and more KK Security had gathered round us.

I then confirmed with him again if we were free to go as we were not the suspects and he categorical said YES!

Disgusted and tired of the whole ordeal I asked my friends we leave and file a complaint later for this harassment.
As we approached the main exit/entrance of the Junction Mall, 5 KK Security men, stopped us and told us we were still suspects and that we should wait for the police to come.

I could not believe this nonsense, a Commander appeared in a KK Security Car with 3 other Security guards and blocked the exit/entrance and surrounded us and told us that we could not leave. I explained to him what had transpired in the last 1hour.

He then told me that the Elderly Middle East man was actually the owner of Artcaffe and that he had told the KK Security that he did NOT want Kikuyus (a major tribe in Kenya) in his premises as they are thieves and that he was 99% sure my business partner and her friend resembled the suspects in the video footage.

At this point it dawned on me that my business partner and her friend were not dressed according to the Artcaffe standard and they did not fit the so called urban chic criteria that can afford a meal at the Artcaffe. And I had been left out as I looked the part and drove an Audi A4!
The most ironic thing is that my Business Partner owns a very big NGO in Kenya that is supported by very many affluent people including 10 businessmen whose businesses are listed on the New York Stock Exchange!

To cut the long horrible ordeal short, we waited for 1.30 Hours for the Police to come, the police saw the footage of which they said that it was so unclear that one could not see the faces of the thief that stole on the 5th of December 2011(Please note it was only 1 thief not 3!)

We went to the nearest Police station (Muthangari Police Station) and wrote statements (although the Police insisted I was not a suspect) but I insisted on doing one as I do NOT Trust Artcaffe. The reason is that if the Owner can Lie to us with a straight face what can he do if given the chance???

My friend I urge you to please boycott this establishment that harasses innocent Kenyans, Racist, Classist and I strongly believe that we do not need foreigners (who we welcome with open hearts) to insight tribal HATRED in a Country that is only getting over the last Post Election Violence as we approach another Election.

Posted in Kenya | 12 Comments »

Mbo-I-Kamiti: Puzzle of murders in battle for multi-billion shilling estates

Posted by Administrator on December 12, 2011

The “curse” of troubled Mbo-I-Kamiti Farmers Company continues after people believed to be hired thugs murdered chairman of the giant land buying firm.

 

It followed the killings of other directors linked to the company in a chain of murders stretching back to 2000, with the police having zero success in arresting those

Even after the murders, the police remain helpless, and no arrests or convictions have been made since the killings began in 2000.

 

The gangland-style murder of former company chairman, Stephen Waweru Njenga last month put him on a long and bloody list of former directors of Mbo-I-Kamiti who have been brutally killed in circumstances said to be linked to leadership rivalries, competition for control of assets and efforts to cover up fraud.

 

The list includes lawyers and accountants. On November 17, Njenga was shot in broad daylight at close range, while on his way from his Githunguri home to Nairobi at about 9.00am. A saloon car blocked his vehicle before a man walked to his window and shot him three times, killing him on the spot.

 

According to witnesses, people in the vehicle that blocked Njenga’s car yelled at him saying they had finally caught up with him before gunning him down. Police said nothing was stolen.

 

Ironically, Njenga was himself a suspect in the killing a former director and treasurer of Mbo-I-Kamiti, Mr James Ngamau Machua, in January this year. A day before his death, Njenga attended the mention of the case in Nairobi where he denied murdering Ngamau.

High Court judge Nicholas Ombija directed him to pay cash bail of Sh1 million to secure his release while awaiting trial. He was ordered to deposit a bond of Sh1 million and two sureties each of the same amount after he applied to be freed, which he did.

 

Njenga had been complaining his life was in danger and even sought the help of police in vain.

 

Even his wife, Jennifer Ngendo, said the murder did not come as a surprise since he had received death threats from unknown people. Njenga was among those who had filed a case at the High Court in Nairobi to block the sale of the firm’s property.

Machua was shot dead as he waited to board a vehicle at the company’s Kabazi estate on January 5, 2010, Kiambu.

 

Mbo-I-Kamiti, created by former Mau Mau freedom fighters and detainees, and now controlled by their children and grandchildren, has known neither peace not profit, since its birth.

 

Mistrust

 

Not even the intervention by the Minister for Cooperative Development, Joseph Nyagah, has helped resolve the problem, which has led to mistrust among shareholders.

 

Kiambu Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD) Samuel Mukindia said investigations into the murder of Njenga are ongoing.

“A murder file has been opened and so far about ten people have been questioned over the same. We are still investigating the incident and the past ones,” he said.

He said the murder of other former directors at the firm remain unsolved.

 

Some now believe Mbo-I–Kamiti is a security threat, and the Government should intervene and compel the firm to subdivide its land and other assets among shareholders and their families, to end the bloodbath.

 

Insiders say police officers dread cases related to Mbo-I-Kamiti because of the chilling manner in which the murderers kill their victims.

 

Two victims, a man and woman were killed in front of their families by thugs who drove nails into their heads in their Kahawa Sukari and Juja residencies respectively in 2001.

 

Police say the killings were linked to their stand in the sale of the company’s property. There are shareholders who want the property sold while another group is opposed.

 

“Shareholder rights should be respected, but the endless fraud and bloodbath are hard to ignore, and call for an extraordinary intervention to end the misery visited on the ordinary shareholders. It is not without precedent. Retired President Moi intervened to end the management and leadership wrangles in former giant land buying companies like Gema Holdings and Ngwataniro Mutukanio,” said Kikuyu Council of Elders Chairman, Mr Wachira Kiago.

 

Mr Ibrahim Mwathane, a Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) expert on land matters and former chairman of the Institution of Surveyors of Kenya, says Mbo-I-Kamiti’s problems have overgrown the capacity of elected directors to contain, and the Government should intervene.

 

“Mbo-I-Kamiti has grown into a hydra-headed monster whose internal leadership cannot control any more” he said. He cited a farm called Thika, off the Thika-Garissa Highway, just after 12thEngineers Battalion in Thika town that had similar challenges in the 1990s.

At the time, the Government stepped in with a task force to oversee its subdivision and allocation of properties to members. It was chaired by the local provincial administration with the Co-operatives ministry as the secretariat. The task force also included members of the local leadership and respective technical officers at the district level.

 

“The task force was able to keep off internal wrangles, review member registers, and take stock of assets which was land. A subdivision was proposed, approved, and implemented and members issued with individual plots that marked the end of bloody wars,” said Mwathane.

 

A regular commentator on land policy matters, Mwathane thinks the knotted Mbo-I-Kamiti problems can only be resolved with outside intervention.

 

“I think Mbo-I-Kamiti is beyond handling by elected directors. The Government must step in and appoint a task force under the relevant Ministry,” he said.

 

Changing fortunes

 

The expansion of the ultra-modern road network passing through Central Kenya, including the Thika superhighway, and repossession and development of the Northern by-pass has changed the fortunes of landowners in the area.

 

Indeed Mbo-I-Kamiti shareholders should ideally be celebrating as the Thika superhighway has converted its properties into some the most coveted prime real estate in the country:

 

Its farms include Anmer and Kabazi on the outskirts of Kiambu town just on the border of the proposed the exclusive Tatu City housing development.

 

Another controversial estate called Twiga Farm, located 5km from Ruiru town on the Thika superhighway is over1,100 acres, but is also tied up by a court case. Company officials put the value of the farm at Sh2.5 billion, according to court records in the case.

 

But shareholders and leaders of the firm have known nothing but bloodshed and intimidation since the company’s founding.

 

Last September, the chairman of the company, Dr Thuo Mathenge, was shot as he entered his compound in Tigoni, Limuru district in Kiambu County. Police said 16 spent cartridges were collected on the scene of the shooting in which Dr Mathenge was injured on the hip and on the legs.

 

In the case of Njenga, he claimed his life was in danger and that people he believed were thugs raided his Kiambu home. Early last week, Gladys Waithera Kamau, another former chairman of controversial farming group claimed she had gone into hiding from her home in Lari district, also in Kiambu County, after “suspicious” people began asking for her whereabouts.

 

The company, which controls a spread of multibillion shillings worth of prime land in the county is riddled with controversies as a large swathe of its former farmland in Kiambu comes under intense interest from high-end property developers.

Njenga had said in a letter to the police that was attacked five times in the two months to November, claiming his assailants were people unhappy with his move to stop the sale of the company’s land.

 

As for the late Machua, his is said to have been involved in a shares certificate verification exercise, which from time to time had been interrupted by confrontations between supporters of the current management and those of their predecessors.

“A lot of people out there are unhappy with my various attempts to protect our company’s assets, but I won’t be cowed. I will soldier on and see to it that shareholders get a chance to enjoy fruits of their assets,” Dr Mathenge said from his Nyeri home

 

Rarely earned dividends

 

From a squabbling company in which shareholders rarely earned dividends going back to the 1990s, the recent expansion of Nairobi city driven by superhighways catapulted the company’s farms to some of the most prime real estate on the outskirts of Kenya’s capital city.

 

But things might yet change for the better for the company. Last month, the company’s management led by Dr Mathenge, announced they had sold their Kiura estate to pay 1,000 workers’ two decades worth of salary arrears, and an Sh540 million National Bank of Kenya debt.

 

According to the chairman, the clearance of the arrears and the bank loan had opened the way for the company to subdivide its land amongst its long-suffering shareholders. But it is noteworthy that the plan to dispose off some of the firm’s assets was the genesis of the bloodshed with some of the older directors strongly opposed to it.

Source: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/sports/InsidePage.php?id=2000048206&cid=4

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Man rewards his donkeys on his graduation day

Posted by Administrator on December 12, 2011

His church members rode in the cart

His church members rode in the cart

John Muiruri Mburu has come from far, and he knows this too well.

On the day of his graduation, he knew the one thing that he owes his success is… wait a minute not his immediate family but his donkeys.

Mburu has been assisted by his donkey to vend water within Naivasha Township.

This has earned him enough to take himself to school and is now the proud holder of a diploma in Theology.

To celebrate his achievements, he decided to take a ride around town with his beasts.

His church members rode on the carts.

This was the case of praising the bridge that carried him over.

He is proud that his donkeys got the recognition

Naivasha residents were all smiles as they milled the streets to congratulate the new graduate.

Source: http://kbc.co.ke/news.asp?nid=73969

Posted in Kenya | 2 Comments »

 
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