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Archive for January 30th, 2012

Kenyan faces life in prison for transporting shabu

Posted by Administrator on January 30, 2012

CEBU. Bureau of Jail Management and Penology personnel escort Kenyan national Asha Atieno Oguto after the court, presided by Judge Toribio Quiwag (background), finds her guilty of transporting illegal drugs into the country. (Allan Cuizon)

CEBU. Bureau of Jail Management and Penology personnel escort Kenyan national Asha Atieno Oguto after the court, presided by Judge Toribio Quiwag (background), finds her guilty of transporting illegal drugs into the country. (Allan Cuizon)

CEBU CITY — Kenyan national Asha Atieno Oguto, who was arrested last year for transporting illegal drugs into the country, was found guilty Monday afternoon.

Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 27 Judge Toribio Quiwag ordered Oguto, 24, to serve life imprisonment and pay a fine of P3 million.

Oguto fainted briefly and, as soon as she regained consciousness, began crying.

Judge Quiwag said Oguto violated Republic Act 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, and that the prosecution proved she owned the two bags containing three kilos of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) that were found when she arrived at Mactan airport back in September 2011.

Defense lawyer Rico Amores said they will seek a reversal of the court’s decision. Oguto refused to issue any statement.

For the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-Central Visayas, the successful prosecution of Oguto will serve as a warning to foreigners who plan to smuggle illegal drugs into the country.

“Let the foreigners beware, they should not bring drugs into our country,” said lawyer Lauro Reyes, NBI-Central Visayas assistant regional director.

In his decision, Judge Quiwag said the prosecution established the operation that led to the Kenyan national’s arrest was valid.

When Oguto was asked by Prosecutor Dinah Jane Gaceta-Portugal whether she owned the brown bag that contained the drugs, the Kenyan national said she did, the decision pointed out.

Oguto has also confirmed that the bag that was inspected at the airport and contained the two packs of shabu was her bag.

The officers who searched Oguto’s bag also followed Sections 2210 and 2212 of Republic Act 1937, otherwise known as the Tariff and Customs Code, the court ruled.

Section 2210 empowers the authorities to search vessels, aircraft, their passengers or boxes and packages on board, “if it shall appear that any breach or violation of the customs and tariff laws of the Philippines has been committed.”

That same law’s Section 2212 empowers the authorizes to search persons arriving in the country from abroad.

Despite the decision, Amores told reporters the fight isn’t over yet. They are ready to seek a review of the decision by the Supreme Court.

With a review pending, Oguto would not have to be transferred yet to the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City and will remain in the Lapu-Lapu City Jail until a final decision is reached.

Just days before Oguto’s sentence was handed down, she reportedly told her spiritual adviser about her fears on the possible outcome of the case.

Fr. Martin Ilozue, a Nigerian missionary of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit in Lapu-Lapu City, told reporters that Oguto fears dying alone in the country.

Ilozue, who is also a spiritual adviser for the detainees in the Lapu-Lapu City Jail, said Oguto is worried about her children.

The decision was handed down a little over four months after Oguto was arrested at the Mactan Cebu International Airport. (JKV/Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 31, 2012.

Posted in Diaspora News | 11 Comments »

Equity boss questioned over shilling woes

Posted by Administrator on January 30, 2012

File | NATION Equity Bank chief executive officer, Dr James Mwangi, during a past function

File | NATION Equity Bank chief executive officer, Dr James Mwangi, during a past function

A parliamentary committee on Monday accused Equity Bank Chief Executive James Mwangi of having a hand in the record depreciation of the shilling in 2011 that worsened the cost of living for majority of Kenyans.

The committee investigating the fall of the shilling accused Mr Mwangi of influencing policy direction by the Central Bank of Kenya.

“We know how much your bank made, and the relationship between you and two others including the governor who took over policy making,” said the chairman of the parliamentary committee Adan Keynan.

Mr Mwangi denied any role in the shilling fall saying Equity Bank’s involvement in the foreign exchange market was insignificant to sway the market.

“I have not in anyway participated in any policy making decision of the government,” Mr Mwangi declined, adding that the bank earned only Sh508 million from forex trading, placing it ninth in the segment.

The bank said the bulk of its foreign exchange trading profit came from South Sudan and not Kenya.

The bank also denied that it was among three banks that the Central Bank had blamed for the decline in the value of the shilling in 2011.

The rapid fall in the local currency in 2011 by 33 per cent from 80 to 107 against the dollar resulted in imported inflation where prices of fuel and other imported raw materials increased pushing up the cost of living beyond the reach of most Kenyans.

This resulted in a drastic hike of interest rate from 7 per cent in October to 18 per cent in December 2011 increasing the burden for borrowers as interest rate went up from 15 per cent to 29 per cent.

The committee was also investigating whether the shilling fall was caused by a need to finance this year’s elections by key policy makers in the government since election years have in the past been preceded by sharp depreciations in the shilling.

Mr Mwangi was also put to task to explain why he sold his stake in Equity Bank ahead of the financial turmoil that the financial sector was set to face and use the funds for speculative purposes.

Mr Mwangi said Equity Bank gets about 3 per cent of its revenue from foreign exchange trading as compared to more than 30 per cent in other banks.

The parliamentary committee also wanted to find out if the bank’s involvement with foreign banks in providing foreign currency loans to local organizations affected the shilling.

Mr Mwangi however said that all foreign currency loans coming to Equity bank are never converted to shillings but are loaned out straight to the recipient organizations.

The bank borrowed about $50 million from China Development Bank, $70 million from the Dutch development bank FMO.

Out this $70 million was loaned to KPLC and $20 million to RVR last year.

The CEO maintained the money was not converted to shillings and therefore had no effect on the currency.

Mr Mwangi said that the bank’s foreign currency holding at any time of the year is normally between $20 and $30 million dollars making it unable to affect the direction of the shilling.

Mr Mwangi instead blamed the shilling woes on high fuel prices and steel prices adding that demand for oil and other manufactured goods did not reduce when the international commodity prices were going up due to cheap credit.

Mr Keynan however said all international triggers that the local banks have been blaming for the fall of the currency have not changed much and the problem could have persisted.

Source: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Corporate+News/Equity+boss+questioned+over+shilling+woes/-/539550/1316894/-/hwqdgt/-/

Posted in Kenya | 3 Comments »

Health Funding Cuts Cause Worries in Nairobi

Posted by Administrator on January 30, 2012

A patient with tuberculosis sits on a bed in 'Tuberculosis Village,' a separate health facility at a clinic run by the medical charity Doctors Without Borders, in the town of Nasir in southeastern Sudan. Along with malaria, tuberculosis is one of the leading killers in Africa, (File June 20, 2009).

A patient with tuberculosis sits on a bed in 'Tuberculosis Village,' a separate health facility at a clinic run by the medical charity Doctors Without Borders, in the town of Nasir in southeastern Sudan. Along with malaria, tuberculosis is one of the leading killers in Africa, (File June 20, 2009).

Several-hundred people gathered in the Kenyan capital Monday to protest funding cuts made by the decade-old The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  The cancellation of the so-called “Round 11,” which would have covered new grants for the prevention and treatment of the three diseases from 2011 to 2013, is being met with criticism and fear in Kenya, Uganda, and all over the world.

Youth counselor Geoffrey Ochieng is very worried about the future.

Prior to starting his anti-retroviral treatment, or ARVs, Ochieng suffered from meningitis and tuberculosis.  But during the five years that he has been taking ARVs, he has had a clean bill of health.

“We always counsel our fellow youths that when you take medication, you are able to live a more awesome life.  But if the medication is not there, then now you think otherwise; what will happen if there is not medication?  So you get worried, he said. “What am I going to do if the medics is stopped?”

Health promoter Siama Musini wonders how her low-income clients in the informal settlement of Kibera will survive in the face of no Round 11. “They have people who we have already enrolled in the program, those who are in need of ARVs.  They might miss the treatment, which will return us back to the 1990s where we used to have around 700 people dying daily in hospitals,” Musini stated.

Musini and Ochieng participated. They were among hundreds of demonstrators in Nairobi’s Uhuru Park Monday calling for the resumption of Round 11.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, supported by donor governments, is among the world’s largest financiers of programs to prevent and treat the three diseases, saving an estimated 100,000 lives each month around the globe.

But some donor governments have not fulfilled their pledges, forcing The Global Fund’s board to cancel their next round of funding.  This means that countries will receive no new money for the prevention or treatment of AIDS, TB, and malaria until 2014.

The Fund has set up what it calls a “transitional funding mechanism,” which covers the continuation of essential services.

Dr. Peter Mugenyi, an expert on AIDS treatment, says thanks to The Global Fund, AIDS has, in his words, “stopped being a death sentence, but became a chronic infection.”  He says he fears a dramatic reversal in gains made in his country Uganda and elsewhere.

“When treatment came to Uganda and other parts of Africa, we saw many people coming up to get tested for HIV.  Many people shunned stigma, which was stopping people going for testing.  The reason why they shunned stigma and why they came up in such big numbers to be tested was because, if they were found positive, they had hope,” Mugenyi said.

He notes that Uganda had submitted a proposal to The Global Fund to implement “prevention of mother to-child transmission programs” that would put pregnant HIV-positive women on ARV treatment so that their babies can be born HIV free.

In Kenya, more than 400,000 people are taking ARVs, but some 500,000 still need the drugs, according to the Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium.

According to the medical aid agency Doctors Without Borders, nearly half of people in developing countries who need HIV treatment now have access, and treatment coverage increased by 30 percent in 2010 alone in sub-Saharan Africa.  It says that a person put on treatment earlier is 96 percent less likely to transmit HIV.

The Global Fund dispersed $8-billion between 2008 and 2010.  It got a substantial boost last week when the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundationsaid it would contribute $750 million to the Fund above its current commitments.

SOURCE: http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/east/Health-Funding-Cuts-Cause-Worries-in-Nairobi-138327744.html

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Kenyans in diaspora increase remittances to cushion relatives

Posted by Administrator on January 30, 2012

In a publication titled Harnessing diasporas released September last year, the International Monetary Fund said that the cost of sending money to Africa was high at an average fee of more than 10 per cent of the principal. Photo/REUTERS

In a publication titled Harnessing diasporas released September last year, the International Monetary Fund said that the cost of sending money to Africa was high at an average fee of more than 10 per cent of the principal. Photo/REUTERS

Kenyans working abroad increased the amount of remittances sent home by 39 per cent last year, helping to cushion their friends and relatives from the rapid rise in consumer prices and also taking advantage of a government-driven diaspora Treasury bonds sale.

Remittances jumped to Sh75.7 billion ($891.1 million) thanks to Central Bank (CBK’s) aggressive marketing of the diaspora-targeted Treasury bonds.

In 2011, the CBK revised its investment procedures to allow Kenyans abroad to open accounts for buying Treasury securities.

“Government’s Savings Development and Infrastructure bonds issues and subsequent awareness campaigns led to increased diaspora interest in investing through these formal channels over this period,” said Charles Koori, director of research at CBK.

A disapora-targeted infrastructure bond sold last year attracted Sh13.5 billion, while a savings bond raised Sh19.5 billion.

Reduced money transfer charges also encouraged more Kenyans to send remittances through formal channels, helping data collection.

“The increased competition among money transfer service providers recently could have resulted in reduced transaction charges and thereby encouraging the use of formal remittance channels,” said Mr Koori. Foreign exchange inflows help to support the shilling, smoothen household budgets and also boost investments, especially in the real estate.

Remittances are the fourth-largest source of foreign exchange in Kenya after export earnings from tea, horticulture and tourism.

In a publication titled Harnessing diasporas released September last year, the International Monetary Fund said that the cost of sending money to Africa was high at an average fee of more than 10 per cent of the principal.

In Kenya, the use of mobile money transfer services, opening of bank agents in the diaspora markets and lowering of fees by players such as Western Union has seen the commission charges decline.

Rising costs of borrowing, however, saw the pace of new constructions slow down late last year as captured in a Hass-Consult market survey released early this month.

Last year saw a rapid rise in the cost of living, with the inflation rate going up in each month of the year except December.

Remittances increased most in December, with Sh7.2 billion ($85.2 million) sent home.

“Usually with the European markets facing challenges there is a tendency to hold money but the remittances increased with the euro crisis indicating that it was needed here more,” said Alex Muiruri, a research analyst at African Alliance Investment Bank.

IMF studies have showed that relatives and friends often send more money home when the recipient country is in an economic downturn or experiences a disaster.

The institution, however, warns that small fluctuations in remittance inflows can pose macro-economic challenges to recipient countries, especially those with large inflows.

The improved transmission of money by persons abroad is seen to have spilled over to this year, with the CBK attributing a strong showing of the shilling last week to the diaspora remittances.

“The appreciation of the Kenya Shilling was mainly because of tight liquidity in the money market, increased dollar inflows from the agriculture sector and foreign investors purchasing of government securities” said CBK in its weekly report.

The shilling touched an all-time-low of 107 units to dollar in October last year, but has since re-gained to the mid-80s range.

Source: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Kenyans+in+diaspora+increase+remittances+to+cushion+relatives++/-/539552/1316928/-/item/0/-/kftvx2z/-/index.html

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Diaspora group working on Kenya presidential debates in the US

Posted by Administrator on January 30, 2012

The Kenya Diaspora Advisory council USA with the leadership of Kenya Diaspora Advisory council of New England is working on organizing presidential debates/town-hall meetings for all of the 2012 presidential candidates.

This will provide a forum for an independent political dialogue that will help the voters indetify leaders based on issues and not tribal affiliations.

The council will organize national debates/town-hall meetings that will see the candindates tour the USA and meet with kenyans in all the key states.

Posted in Diaspora News, Kenya | 1 Comment »

Airline Drama: Stop Racism (FICTION)

Posted by Administrator on January 30, 2012

This  actually never happened but the story goes….

A 50-something year old white woman arrived at her seat and saw that the passenger next to her was a black man. Visibly furious, she called the air hostess.

“What’s the problem, ma?” the hostess asked her
“Can’t you see?” the lady said – “I was given a seat next to a black man. I can’t seat here next to him. You have to change my seat”

– “Please, calm down, ma” – said the hostess
“Unfortunately, all the seats are occupied, but I’m still going to check if we have any.”

The hostess left and returned some minutes later.

“Madam, as I told you, there isn’t any empty seat in this class- economy class.
But I spoke to the captain and he confirmed that there isn’t any empty seats in the economy class. We only have seats in the first class.”

And before the woman said anything, the hostess continued

“Look, it is unusual for our company to allow a passenger from the economy class change to the first class.
However, given the circumstances, the commandant thinks that it would be a scandal to make a passenger travel sat next to an unpleasant person.”

And turning to the black man, the hostess said:

“Which means, Sir, if you would be so nice to pack your handbag, we have reserved you a seat in the first class…”

And all the passengers nearby, who were shocked to see the scene started applauding, some standing on their feet.”


Posted in World News | 13 Comments »

Why (and How) Sex is Important to Men

Posted by Administrator on January 30, 2012

By Everyday Miracles Hub

I have a surprise for you, gentlemen: Your wife probably doesn’t know how important sex is to you.

Now sure, she knows that it’s important. She knows that you (very likely) want more of it than she does. She knows that you sometimes take an attitude when she is less than forthcoming. She also knows that she can use sex as a weapon, denying what she feels is a physical desire of yours.

But she probably doesn’t know that it is an emotional need.

Most of my marriage articles here on hubpages are for men. Why? Because I run a forum for women about the subject of marriage. I prefer not to cross-post content and Google likes it that way, too. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

In this case, however, I understand that this topic is so crucial to men that I wanted to give this article the most exposure possible. Guys, women just don’t understand!

Now I know, I know… Women are so mysterious. There are so many things about us that you just don’t “get” that it might be shocking to you that women don’t understand you much better than you understand them! But it is very, very true that each gender sees the world very differently, and if we’re going to be able to truly communicate, we’re going to need to “get on the same page.”

It isn’t Physical, Ladies!

Sure, men like sex. Most men I know love sex, even. It is a physical pleasure that is incomparable, really. But the physical element of sex is a desire, not a need to be met. Men can live their entire lives without the physical pleasure of sex.

What is more important to your husband or significant other is the emotional need that sex meets.

I understand you, ladies! You don’t necessarily think that men are emotional creatures! They don’t (usually) cry like we do, and they don’t talk it out. They don’t discuss their emotions and they don’t bawl into a tub of ice cream like us. But that doesn’t mean that they are not equally emotional creatures.

Like women, men want affection from their mate. Affection is equally important to members of both genders. But your husband or significant other might not be a cuddler. If he doesn’t seem interested in snuggling up on the sofa to watch tearjerker films with you, it is because his need for affection simply isn’t met in the same way that yours is: His need for affection is met through… You guessed it! Sex.


What He Hears when You Say You Have a Headache

“I have a headache” has become a common joke. Women are exhausted at the end of a day of taking care of household chores and children and don’t feel that they can fit sex into their night. They might be angry with something that their significant other did during the day (or week, or month) and feel that denying him sex is appropriate revenge for his insensitivity to their needs. Or they might genuinely have a headache.

But when you tell your husband that you don’t want to have sex… Or if you make up an excuse not to have sex with him, he hears your rejection, and he might become resentful. He hears you say that you don’t want him, that he isn’t good enough, not big enough, not fit enough.

Men are insecure creatures.

It’s not a Weapon, Girls!

Sex is a genuine, emotional need for your husband or significant other. Please, please do not use this gift as a way to manipulate him or to punish him for some perceived flaw. The key is to forgive him and to give him the respect that he needs as a man. Claiming to have a headache or to be too exhausted to meet his needs is humiliating to him and makes him feel like less of a man. It undermines his self-esteem and can make him feel incredibly unappreciated. Appreciation is very important to a man!

Your husband probably feels that sex is invigorating and energizing. After a long day at work, he probably wants to relax with you: and this is his way of relaxing.

I know, I know. The modern woman is asking herself (and me) “what does it do for me?” I get you, and I get your point. We tend to be a very self-motivated society. Let’s address that issue!

What does “Giving in” Get Me, the Woman?

First things first, you shouldn’t be thinking about sex as “giving in” to his desires. When you married your husband, you promised to love him until death. We are meant to sacrifice for our spouse and for our children. Sometimes sex might be a sacrifice. Some nights you might just feel too tired to engage in sexual activity. And it’s okay to say no. Once in a very great while.

But meeting your husband’s emotional need for sex can reap great rewards for you, as well! When you give of yourself to your man, you open a part of him that you might not have seen previously. You help him to feel refreshed and appreciated. You make him feel desired and desirable. You fulfill him in a way that we as women cannot begin to imagine.

Things start to happen. He becomes more apt to ask you how your day has been, or to offer to cook dinner. He becomes more inclined to romance you a bit more (in your way, rather than his, which is unsurprisingly probably sexual). You might stop having to ask four or five times for him to take out the trash (he might do it on the first request now!).

Great things happen when you begin to meet your husband’s needs. Bearing in mind that your husband has an emotional need for sex, this area of your relationship should not be neglected!

Posted in Features | 13 Comments »

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