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Archive for January 20th, 2012

DEATH AND FUNERAL ANNOUNCEMENT FOR BENTER ANYANGO OGWA

Posted by Administrator on January 20, 2012

The Late Benta Ogwa

The Late Benta Ogwa

On behalf of the Ogwa and Bonyo families we sadly announce the untimely death of Benter Anyango Ogwa; she passed away suddenly on Monday, January 2, 2012.

She leaves behind her dear children, Cassandra, Amos Jr, Dean and Seth. She is survived by her mother Mama Yukabet Ogwa, brothers Gordon Ogwa (Arlington TX) & Gilbert Ogwa; sisters Esther Ochieng, Monica Ouma and Pamela Owidi. Her father was the Late Elias Ogwa and her siblings the late Grace Adede and Lillian Wanga. She was Aunt to Faith Oketch, Christine Masese, Allan Omollo & Wendy Odhiambo (all of Arlington TX)

FUNERAL FUNDRAISER
The Ogwa & Bonyo families cordially invites you to a funeral fundraiser to assist with shipping Benter’s body to Kenya for burial together with other funeral related expenses. The fundraiser will be held THIS Saturday, January 21st 2012 at 8pm.
VENUE: All Nations SDA Church, 3618 Roosevelt Drive, Arlington TX 76016.

For out of town guests who are not able to come for the fundraiser, a “Benter Ogwa Memorial Account” has been set up. Please call any of the committee members below for account information to enable your remittances or deposits.

CELEBRATION OF LIFE SERVICE
The Memorial Service will be held at All Nations SDA Church, 3618 Roosevelt Drive, Arlington TX 76016 on Sunday, January 22 at 3PM.
Prayers and funeral arrangements are held daily (7pm) at her family residence at 3501 Wakefield Ct, Arlington Texas, TX 76015

Benter was a fun loving & compassionate person. Please continue to prayer for her family in this time of need.

For more information please contact the following committee members
• Amos Oketch: 682 558 5343
• George Osano: 817 690 6749
• Tom Orwa: 817 501 6278
• Sarah Jowi: 972 998 7710
• Joshua Okallo: 214 296 7605
• Justus Bollo: 817 681 7701
• George Aduo: 469 766 2572
• Jenny Odhiambo: 817 723 8935
• Steve Aseno: 972 815 9136
• Gordon Ogwa: 682 365 4017

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Posted in Obituaries | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

Spartan life shaped Kenyan’s American way

Posted by Administrator on January 20, 2012

Okwaro Raura, 21 years old and flying for the first time in his life, touched down in San Diego at about 11 p.m. on Jan. 17, 1996. The trip from Nairobi, Kenya, to Amsterdam to Detroit to San Diego lasted 28 hours.

“This is where I’m going to start my life,” he said, having researched the area’s weather and cost of living.

He knew no one. His belongings were stuffed inside one suitcase and a bag slung over his shoulder. He carried $600 in traveler’s checks and a dream.

“This is your chance to be the best you can be,” he said.

Sixteen years later, Raura, 37, is buying a two-bedroom home in Oceanside. He ran track and cross country at Cal State San Marcos, earned U.S. citizenship 18 months ago, graduated college with a business degree and works in business operations for a hair extensions company.

“He was a very dedicated, hard-working athlete and it carried over into other aspects of his life,” said longtime American mile record holder Steve Scott, who coached Raura at Cal State San Marcos.

“The story speaks for itself. That somebody can come over here, not knowing a soul … I know I could never do that.”

On Sunday, competing in the half marathon portion of the Carlsbad Marathon & Half, Raura hopes to break his personal best of 1 hour, 8 minutes.

There were challenges when Raura moved to the North County. At first he paid $15 a night to sleep on a stranger’s couch. He bounced from roommate to roommate. For a while he slept in an oversized closet.

For transportation, Raura initially relied on the bus. Then he bought a bike. He waited nearly three years before buying a car, paying $550 for a Ford Escort.

“It was really old and beat up,” Raura said.

Living an austere lifestyle was not new for the Kenyan. In Africa, he grew up the second oldest of nine children. The family split its time between the big city, Nairobi, and rural life, five hours away by car in Gwassi.

When times were good, Raura’s father worked in accounting for an Italian oil company and the family resided in Nairobi. The apartment included electricity and running water. It was a five-mile walk to school.

“Our walk to school was much more a social event,” he said. “We had friends we’d meet along the way. We’d share stories. Before you knew it, we wera at school.”

When the oil business suffered and Raura father’s would be laid off, the family moved to Gwassi. There was no electricity or running water in the countryside. The family raised cattle, goats and sheep.

When school was not in session, mornings were often spent on fishing boats in nearby Lake Victoria. Afternoons were passed herding animals.

“When you are in tough conditions, sometimes you may not know it until you check out somebody next to you,” Raura said. “We are a product of our environment and working hard shaped my life, as a runner, too.”

He remembers being 9 years old in Kenya and running for prizes. The most common award: a teaspoon of powdered glucose.

He lived in the North County for 3½ years before enrolling at Cal State San Marcos. It took him that long to figure out how to get by. Plus, he was working to send money home to help support his family.

Raura’s father long ago passed away. His mother lives in that same countryside home. Electricity is supposed to arrive this month. He still sends home money to support his siblings’ education. It’s usually $400 a month, sometimes more if there’s a medical need.

“I feel I am fortunate,” he said. “If I can’t spend money on a pair of shoes today, but I can send money home for them to benefit, I feel complete.”

Source: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jan/19/spartan-life-shaped-kenyans-american-way/?page=1#article

Posted in Diaspora News, Kenya | 6 Comments »

Vegas is Home Turf for Kenya

Posted by Administrator on January 20, 2012

Undoubtedly the largest fan base that turns out to cheer on Kenya during the nine-leg global HSBC 7s series are the fans that show up in Las Vegas, and it’s not lost on the players and coaching staff

“Very encouraging,positive impact, creates a home based atmosphere and we look forward to seeing them again in February,” Sydney Ashioya told RUGBYMag.com

Flyer Collins Injera said, “There is something special about Las Vegas, and this atmosphere is considerably heightened when you add the thunderous and whole hearted-cheering of the Kenyan fan base during our play. Undoubtedly an extra wind in our sails”

Returning fly half Lavine Asego, who makes his fifth-consecutive trip to the US, was effusive in his description of the role of the fans. “Its massive. It motivates us, and when we consider that thousands have traveled from out of state at considerable expense, we can’t help but lift our game for them,” he said.

Kenya has twice come just one game short of making the Cup final in USA, losing both times to to New Zealand in the Cup semis.

“When we hear our names chanted by the thousands in the terraces, plus see the sea of faces painted in the Kenyan colors and hear them sing the national anthem, you almost wish the show never ends,” continued Asego.

For many fans living in different parts of the US, the first weekend of February is penciled in months in advance as the weekend when they will all travel and party in Las Vegas.

Many are Kenyans, while others have been drafted in, as Kenya remains the core African side, apart from the Springboks, to consistently get invited to the US leg of the HSBC 7s World series.

Loose forward Victor Oduor confirms this, when he says, “Las Vegas is the only venue in the series where we feel completely at home, both on and off the pitch. The large crowd gives us an extra strength, not to say anything of the million parties that we are expected to attend during that extraordinary weekend. My highlight of the season.”

“Even though this will be my first outing to the US in charge of the team a cursory look at our record in the US,is very positive,” said coach Mitch Ocholla. “The players tell me the fans there are simply fabulous, and I have absolutely no reason to doubt them.”

“We underperformed in the opening three legs, but do let our fans in both Wellington and the US know that the show will be well and truly back on course when we land,” Ocholla added.

Source: http://www.rugbymag.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3144:vegas-is-home-turf-for-kenya&catid=69:usa-sevens-tournament&Itemid=246

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France-based Total acquires 40 pct stake in five offshore blocks in Kenya

Posted by Administrator on January 20, 2012

NAIROBI, Jan 20, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) —

France-based Total has announced its return to Kenya after the acquisition of 40 percent interests in five offshore exploration blocks in the east African nation’s Lamu basin.

Senior Vice President of the Total Group Momar Nguer said during a meeting in Nairobi on Friday with President Mwai Kibaki that the blocks – L5, L7, L11a, L11b and L12 – were previously being operated by Anardarko, a reputable oil and gas company.

“Having failed to make commercial discovery in Kenya in the past, Total has come back after acquiring 40 percent rights in 5 blocks offshore, Lamu basin,” Nguer told Kibaki during the meeting.

Nguer who is in-charge of refining and marketing in Africa and the Middle East, briefed the president on the company’s oil exploration progress in the country.

He said that his company, whose presence in the country span over 50 years, has invested in supply infrastructure, a network of 170 service stations and employed many Kenyans.

Nguer said French petroleum group is also in the process of acquiring 100 percent interests in one of the newly created eight deep water blocks offshore Lamu Basin.

Total in September last year signed agreements to acquire 40 percent interest in five offshore exploration blocks. Subject to the approval of the Kenyan authorities, Total was to acquire 20 percent interest from Anadarko, 5 percent interest from Cove Energy and 15 percent interest from Dynamic Global Advisors.

Post transaction ownership structure of the blocks would be: Anadarko (50 percent, operator), Total (40 percent) and Cove Energy (10 percent).

The blocks are located offshore the Lamu Archipelago in water depths of between 100 and 3,000 meters and covers an area of more than 30,500 sq kms.

A 3,500 sq kms 3D seismic survey is currently underway. If the results are satisfactory, one or more exploration wells will be drilled once the survey has been completed.

Observers say following its recent entry in the exploration and development of reserves in Uganda’s Lake Albert region, and its selection to develop exploration activities in Tanzania, this acquisition is another step in Total’s strategic focus on strengthening its exploration and production presence in East Africa.

Speaking during the meeting, President Kibaki assured the Total Group of companies and other investors of government’s commitment to create an enabling environment to conduct business in the country.

The President commended the company for meeting its tax obligations, thus earning the Kenya Revenue Authority recognition as one of the major tax payers.

Source: http://www.equities.com/news/top-financial-story?val=172136536

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Kenyan football prospect switches commitment from UNC to N.C. State

Posted by Administrator on January 20, 2012

Football prospect Desmond Otieno who switched his commitment from UNC to NC State

Football prospect Desmond Otieno who switched his commitment from UNC to NC State

Desmond Owino, a raw but talented defensive end prospect at Raleigh’s Sanderson High School, has switched his verbal commitment from North Carolina to N.C. State.

Owino, a 6-foot-5, 240-pounder, first made a pledge to the Tar Heels on Nov. 26 when Everett Withers was serving as interim head coach. But when Larry Fedora took over as head coach on Dec. 9, Owino began re-considering his decision.

Sanderson coach Tony Lewis said UNC’s new staff did nothing wrong. But Owino, who only started playing football this season after moving to the United States from Kenya, just felt he made a decision too soon.

“He feels more comfortable,” Lewis said. “He’s very happy with his decision, but there’s also a feeling of, ‘Boy, I’m glad that’s done.’ This was all new to him and his dad, trying to figure out what was best.

“It was a good problem to have, but I think he’s relieved that he’s made his decision. He’s looked at everything and had more facts in front of him.”

Owino, who has been timed at 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash, averaged “five to six” solo tackles and “11 to 12” assists per game this season to earn All-Triangle honors from the Raleigh News & Observer. He is the 21st player to join the N.C. State recruiting class.

“He’s just got those intangibles that you can’t coach. He’s got long arms and big hands,” Lewis said. “They can teach him the game of football.

“He does need to work on his feet. They’re not bad because he can run. And that’s what gives him such an upscale of what can be possible for him. He had never been in weight-room lifting before he got here. I wish I could say (his development this season) was something we did, but it’s not.”

Source: http://www.fayobserver.com/articles/2012/01/18/1151258?sac=Sports

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US based Uhuru Clothing to Launch in Nairobi

Posted by Administrator on January 20, 2012

Thomas Mwicigi and Miss Cecilia Mwangi together with a model

Thomas Mwicigi and Miss Cecilia Mwangi together with a model

The founder and CEO of US Based clothing label Uhuru Clothing has plans to officially launch the brand in his homeland. Thomas Mwicigi told Word Is he is in the country to “I planning for a late March launch where I will invite local and international acts to attend as well as headline.” Uhuru Clothing was founded in Dec 2007 in Dallas Texas out of frustration from a lack of African representation in stores.

While walking through the mall in Dallas on a cold winter day, “I really wanted to wear something African that would represent me as I went from store to store. I was shocked by the lack of African designs. I went up to one lady and she told me they really don’t cater to ‘those people’. Really you don’t cater to 900 million people? Over 3 million people in the U.S? As I left to go home I was determined to make something for myself.”

Thomas has worked on a collaborative work plan with rappers Camp Mulla, Madtraxx and Prezzo to market the brand. “Instead of wearing European brand when they are shooting their music videos, we sat down and talked. They will be wearing Uhuru Clothing on their new upcoming music videos,” Thomas said.

He continued: “Instead of importing clothes to African countries we need to have an African distributor making clothes by Africans for Africans. After Barack Obama became US president there has been an awareness of Africa. Beyonce also wears African outfits in her videos. This is the time to be proud and wear our brands. And it is up to us to produce the brands.” Thomas who has been in the country since December 18 was also checking up on the progress of the Give Africa Hope charity, which he is the goodwill ambassador.

SOURCE: http://www.the-star.co.ke/word-is/word-is/59035-us-based-uhuru-clothing-to-launch-in-nairobi

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Why did Netanyahu choose AIPAC over Kenya and Uganda trip?

Posted by Administrator on January 20, 2012

After trumpeting his upcoming trip to Kenya and Uganda as an historic and political opportunity, the prime minister decided instead to join Peres in Washington.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu

After the Prime Minister’s Office loudly trumpeted that Benjamin Netanyahu would embark at the end of February on an historic visit to Kenya and Uganda, it seems that this endeavor has been buried with barely a whimper.

According to a top government official, the Prime Minister’s Office has informed the foreign ministry that Netanyahu cannot take the trip. Foreign ministry officials are now scratching their heads, wondering how to avoid a diplomatic incident with two African states that had been preparing for the visit.

Netanyahu personally initiated the idea of visiting Africa. In mid-November 2011, the prime minister of Kenya and the president of Uganda visited Israel. Netanyahu met with the two dignitaries, and he told them that he would like to take a trip to their countries in early 2012. The two were enthusiastic, and told Netanyahu that they would be happy to host him.

Having some experience with Netanyahu’s declarations during diplomatic meetings, foreign ministry officials estimated that several months would pass before the Prime Minister’s Office might take a serious look at the possibility of an African visit.

Surprisingly, just a few days after the meetings with the Ugandan president and Kenyan prime minister, the Prime Minister’s Officer announced that Netanyahu was interested in making the visit in February 2012.

Israel’s embassies in Kenya and Uganda initiated contacts with top officials in these two countries, to set dates for the trip. The officials settled on the last week of February. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was poised to join the prime minister on this visit to Africa.

The Prime Minister’s Office disseminated word of the visit in media outlets, stressing the trip’s historical character, it being 40 years since an Israeli prime minister has visited Africa; Levi Eshkol, they noted, visited Africa. This history lesson was not entirely accurate since in the 1980s, then Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir visited Cameroon.

Some media reports about the anticipated visit went as far as to say that Netanyahu would reach the airport in Entebbe, Uganda, to take part in a memorial service for his brother Yoni, who died while commanding the famous Israeli rescue operation there in July 1976.

In speeches, Netanyahu started to mention the need to strengthen ties with African states, both to promote Israeli exports and also to recruit diplomatic support for showdowns in international forums. In a recent government meeting, Netanyahu stated that he would go to Africa to probe possible solutions to the issue of foreign workers who cross into Israel via the Sinai Peninsula.

Yet in recent days, the winds have been blowing in other directions in Netanyahu’s office, and the foreign ministry was informed that the Prime Minister has decided not to embark on the trip.

According to the source, Netanyahu has decided to attend the AIPAC conference in Washington in early March, in lieu of the African journey. The guest of honor at the AIPAC event will be Shimon Peres, and the simultaneous presence of Israel’s president and prime minister in America’s capital will be an unusual occurrence.

Foreign ministry officials were incredulous about this turn of events. Netanyahu’s flip-flop regarding the visit reminded the officials of his handling of an anticipated visit to China in November 2010.

In this earlier case as well, Netanyahu decided to cancel the already-arranged visit; he flew instead to a gathering of Jewish organizations in the US. The Chinese were insulted, and Netanyahu has not subsequently been able to wrest an invitation to Beijing.

“For now, Netanyahu is not traveling to Africa,” says the senior government official. “The idea of a trip remains on the agenda, but it doesn’t look like it will happen in late February. Right now we are waiting to see whether there will be a deferral to another date, or whether Kenya and Uganda will simply be informed of a cancellation.”

The Prime Minister’s Office relays in response that “the prime minister’s trip to Africa, scheduled for next month, has been deferred.”

Source: http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/diplomania/why-did-netanyahu-choose-aipac-over-africa-1.408136

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Singing legend Etta James dies at 73

Posted by Administrator on January 20, 2012

Etta James has died, according to her longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon. She was 73.

Etta James has died, according to her longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon. She was 73.

(CNN) — Etta James, whose assertive, earthy voice lit up such hits as “The Wallflower,” “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” and the wedding favorite “At Last,” has died, according to her longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon. She was 73.

She died from complications from leukemia with her husband, Artis Mills, and her sons by her side, De Leon said.

She was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010, and also suffered from dementia and hepatitis C. James died at a hospital in Riverside, California. She would have turned 74 Wednesday.

” This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world,” De Leon said. “She was a true original who could sing it all — her music defied category.

“I worked with Etta for over 30 years. She was my friend and I will miss her always.”

he powerhouse singer, known as “Miss Peaches,” lived an eventful life. She first hit the charts as a teenager, taking “The Wallflower (Roll With Me, Henry)” — an “answer record” to Hank Ballard’s “Work With Me, Annie” — to No. 1 on the R&B charts in 1955. She joined Chess Records in 1960 and had a string of R&B and pop hits, many with lush string arrangements. After a mid-decade fade, she re-emerged in 1967 with a more hard-edged, soulful sound.

Throughout her career, James overcame a heroin addiction, opened for the Rolling Stones, won six Grammys and was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Despite her ups and downs — including a number of health problems — she maintained an optimistic attitude.

“Most of the songs I sing, they have that blue feeling to it. They have that sorry feeling. And I don’t know what I’m sorry about,” she told CNN’s Denise Quan in 2002. “I don’t!”

Through it all, she was a spitfire beloved by contemporaries and young up-and-comers.

“Etta James is unmanageable, and I’m the closest thing she’s ever had to a manager,” Lupe DeLeon, her manager of 30-plus years, told CNN in admiration.

British songstress Adele named James as one of her favorite singers, along with Aretha Franklin.

“If you were to look up the word singer in the dictionary, you’d see their names,” Adele said in an interview.

Etta James was born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles to a teen mother and unknown father. (She suspected her father was the pool player Minnesota Fats.)

Her birth mother initially took little responsibility and James was raised by a series of people, notably a pair of boardinghouse owners. But she was recognized from a young age for her booming voice, showcased in a South Central Los Angeles church.

In 1950, her mother took her to San Francisco, where James formed a group called the Peaches. Singer Johnny Otis, best known for “Willie and the Hand Jive,” discovered her and had her sing a song he wrote using Ballard’s tune as a model. “The Wallflower,” with responses from “Louie Louie” songwriter Richard Berry, made James an R&B star.

Her signing to Chess introduced her to a broader audience, as the record label’s co-owner, Leonard Chess, believed she should do pop hits. Among her recordings were “Stormy Weather,” the Lena Horne classic originally from 1933; “A Sunday Kind of Love,” which dates from 1946; and most notably, “At Last,” a 1941 number that was originally a hit for Glenn Miller.

James’ version of “At Last” starts out with swooning strings and the singer enters with confident gusto, dazzlingly maintaining a mood of joy and romance. Though the song failed to make the Top 40 upon its 1961 release — though it did hit the R&B Top 10 — its emotional punch has long made it a favorite at weddings.

James’ career suffered in the mid-’60s when the British Invasion took over the pop charts and as she fought some personal demons. But she got a boost when she started recording at Rick Hall’s FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Her hits included the brassy “Tell Mama” and the raw “I’d Rather Go Blind,” the latter later notably covered by Rod Stewart.

She entered rehab in the 1970s for her drug problem but re-established herself with live performances and an album produced by noted R&B mastermind Jerry Wexler. After another stint in rehab — this time at the Betty Ford Clinic — she made a comeback album, “Seven Year Itch,” in 1988.

James mastered a range of styles — from R&B and soul to jazz and blues — but she was always one step behind the popular genre of the day, said Michael Coyle, a Colgate University professor who has written about jazz and R&B and reviews records for Cadence Magazine.

“She never really got her moment in the sun,” Coyle said.

But James soldiered on, and by the end of her life she had made so much meaningful music that she was considered a living legend. “By the mid-’90s, she’s survived so long that people start to look up to her,” Coyle said.

James was portrayed by pop star Beyonce in the 2008 film “Cadillac Records,” about Chess. After Beyonce sang “At Last” at one of President Barack Obama’s 2009 inaugural balls, James lashed out: “I can’t stand Beyonce. She had no business up there singing my song that I’ve been singing forever.” She later told the New York Daily News she was joking.

Earlier this year, news reports revealed that the singer’s estate was being contested in a legal struggle between her husband, Artis Mills, and son Donto James. (Donto and her other son, Sametto, both played in her band.)

Over the years, James had her share of health problems. In the late 1990s she reportedly weighed more than 400 pounds and required a scooter to get around. In 2003 she had gastric bypass surgery and dropped more than half the weight, according to People magazine.

However, until her latest issues, James maintained a steady touring schedule and appeared full of energy even when sitting down — as she sometimes did on stage, due to bad knees and her weight battles.

Even while sitting down, James gave it her all on stage, singing as though possessed, caressing every note like a long-lost love. If that seemed a little much to critics, well, the legendary singer had a show to put on, she told Quan.

“They said that Etta James is still vulgar,” she said in the 2002 interview. “I said, ‘Oh, how dare ’em say I’m still real vulgar! I’m vulgar because I dance in the chair?’ What would they want me to do? Want me to just be still or something like that?

“I gotta do something.”

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/20/showbiz/etta-james-obit/index.html

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Ruto overtakes Kalonzo in Poll

Posted by Administrator on January 20, 2012

Kalonzo and Ruto |File Photo

Kalonzo and Ruto |File Photo

Eldoret North MP William Ruto has overtaken Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka in the latest opinion poll released by Synonate yesterday. Kalonzo has dropped one percentage point to stand at 9 per cent while Ruto has maintained his 10 percent rating which has seen him become third.

Ruto has been in the news in the last few weeks following his squabbles in UDM and his subsequent decision to launch a new party URP last week. He has insisted that he will run for the presidency regardless of the decision by the International Criminal Court expected anytime between now and Monday.

The ICC is due to decide whether six Kenyans, Ruto, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, the Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura, Former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali, former Cabinet Minister Henry Kosgey and Radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang can proceed to full trial. They six are facing charges of committing crimes against humanity in connection with the 2007 post election violence.

The Synovate poll further suggests that if general elections had been held last month, Prime Minister Raila Odinga would have received most of the votes even though he would not have emerged a clear winner thereby necessitating a run off between him and deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.

Raila’s popularity rating has dropped by two percentage points to stand at 32 per cent which is down from 34 per cent in the last quarter. Uhuru’s popularity has also dropped by 2 percentage points to stand at 22 down from 24 percentage points in the last quarter. Narc-Kenya party leader Martha Karua with 4 percent comes in fifth after Ruto and Kalonzo respectively while Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa is sixth with 2 percent.

Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth and former Foreign minister Raphael Tuju whose entry in the presidential race became more definite late last year tie in seventh place with one per cent each. The poll, conducted last month indicates that there is still a good number of Kenyans—17 percent — who are undecided about who they will vote for.

A total nationwide sample size of 2,000 comprising both males and females aged 18 and above was used during the face to face household methodology. A sample of 2,000 is adequate to for making estimates at a national and provincial level. “The sample of drawn by Ipsos-Synovate sample was distributed across the various provinces proportionate to population size (PPS) using census data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS),” said a statement issued by Synovate to explain the poll’s methodology.  “The margin of error for this study lies within +/- 2.2 percent so it is safe to say that there has not been any significant change in the support levels of these candidates,”said Synovate’s managing director Maggy Ireri.

A combined team of Uhuru-Ruto was bound to attract more following from voters in the Rift Valley, Eastern and Central provinces which are also the regions with the most number of people who do not approve of the ICC process. “If Uhuru and Ruto unite to run for the presidency or if they don’t run and back one presidential candidate it is likely that people from their provinces will go along with their combination,” Ireri explained.

The poll indicates that Kenyans are still divided in their support for the ICC process. The Synovate research indicates that 54 percent of Kenyans support the process— a drop of five percent— from 59 percent that supported the process in two months ago. Another 35 percent of those polled said they were opposed to the handling of the election violence cases by the ICC while 11 percent of Kenyans did not have an opinion on the matter.

The study was conducted by Ipsos-Synovate between 12 and 19 December 2011 also shows a steady decline in the public support of the ICC process from 2010. In October 2010 before the list of Ocampo Six was unveiled, support for the ICC process stood at 68 percent and this had declined to 57 percent in December 2010.

In March 2010, support for the ICC process stood at 61 percent. This is the period when the summons to be appear in the Hague were first issued. Between July and October 2011, support for the ICC process varied between 56 percent and 59 percent. Central (46 percent), Rift Valley (40 percent), Eastern (48 percent) and North eastern (49 percent) indicate the least support for the ICC process while Nyanza scores the highest at 76 percent.

While releasing the survey yesterday, Ireri attributed the declining support for the ICC process in the four provinces to the fact that four of the six suspects come from the area. Uhuru is from central, William Ruto, Joshua sang and Henry Kosgey are from Rift valley, Francis Muthaura is from Eastern while Hussein Ali although born in Eldoret, has roots in North Eastern province.

The poll also found out that voters were ignorant of electoral laws, processes and the seats they will be required to vote for. For instance, 72 percent of Kenyans are aware that they will only vote for MPs, other than voting for the President. They seemed unaware that the constitution has provided for positions of governors, senators, women’s representative, county assembly representatives as well as councillors.

Further, only 14 percent of Kenyans are aware of the new electoral positions of women’s representative. The men polled were nearly twice as likely to be aware of the new electoral positions than the women. Coast people indicated the least intention to vote with only 78 per cent of those polled saying they will participate in the forthcoming general elections. The rest of the country indicated that more than 80 per cent of the people would participate in the polls with response from Central province indicating the highest at 89 per cent.

Source: http://www.the-star.co.ke/national/national/58880-ruto-overtakes-kalonzo-in-poll

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ICC Judges to decide fate of Ocampo six on Monday

Posted by Administrator on January 20, 2012

Photo/FILE

Photo/FILE

The International Criminal Court Pre-Trial Court has issued an advisory indicating that Judges will issue decisions confirming or dropping charges against the Ocampo Six on Monday at 1.30pm Kenyan time in Courtroom number one.

The advisory was issued on Friday on ICC’s twitter account @Int’lCrimCourt.

It stated: “On 23 January: ICC Judges to issue decisions on the two Kenya cases and read summaries from Courtroom I. Information shortly on ICC website”

The Ocampo Six suspects include Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and Edloret North MP William Ruto. Others are Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey, radio presenter Joshua arap Sang and Postmaster-General Hussein Ali.

By the time Kenyans gather around TVs and radios at lunchtime on Monday, their six countrymen suspected of bearing the greatest responsibility for the 2007-2008 election-related violence will have known their individual fates.

This is the upshot of the announcement by the International Criminal Court at 11.15 a.m. yesterday that the decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber judges will be made public at 1.30 p.m. on Monday.

It will be 11.30 a.m. at The Hague, Netherlands.

The statement posted on the ICC website, and sent to their 14,862 followers on micro-blogging site Twitter, said “the decisions will be notified in writing to the parties and participants in both cases.”

The judges appeared to have had the public interest on the matter in mind with the changes to the manner in which the decision would be communicated to Kenyans.

“Thereafter (communicating to the parties), the Judges of Pre-Trial Chamber II will appear publicly in Courtroom I at 11:30 (The Hague time) for the sole purpose of informing the public about the outcome of their decisions,” the statement said.

Unlike the confirmation charges and the summons to appear, neither the parties nor the suspects will be present in the Courtroom during this public appearance.

According to the ICC, there are three possible scenarios in the cases against William Ruto, Henry Kosgey, Joshua arap Sang, Francis Muthaura, Uhuru Kenyatta  and Hussein Ali.

The Chamber may confirm the charges, totally or partially, against all or some of the suspects, if they are convinced that there are “substantial grounds” to believe that a suspect has committed an alleged crime.

Confirmation means the case proceeds to full trial, with the Prosecutor presenting his evidence and witnesses and allowing the defence to attempt to punch holes in their evidence and cross-examine the witnesses.

The Chamber can also decline to confirm the charges, meaning the case is terminated and the suspect can go back to their normal lives.

There is however a provision for the Prosecutor to have another go at having the same charges confirmed but upon the presentation of fresh evidence.

“If the authorisation is granted, the Appeals Chamber composed of five Judges may consider the issues identified as appealable by the Pre-Trial Chamber,” the ICC said in a lengthy and elaborate statement published in the press last December.

The ICC however said the provision for appeal does not mean that the hearings on the confirmation of charges would be held a second time.

Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto, have expressed their presidential candidature in the upcoming 2012 general election.

On Thursday, Mr Ruto appealed for calm regardless of a ruling by the ICC on whether to confirm or drop the charges. (READ: Ruto calls for calm ahead of ICC ruling)

On his part, Mr Kenyatta said on Tuesday that his quest to succeed President Kibaki would not be determined by the ICC ruling. (READ: Uhuru and Ruto: ICC ruling will not stop us)

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/ICC+Judges+to+decide+fate+of+Ocampo+six+Monday/-/1064/1310818/-/11vtmjhz/-/

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