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Archive for March 8th, 2012

ABAPFUBUZI: Meet Kigali’s male sex workers

Posted by Administrator on March 8, 2012

It’s Friday evening. Like any other person who wants to go back home, I am waiting for a KBS (Kigali Bus Service) at the Gitega bus stop near Sky Hotel toward Nyamirambo.

A nice Volkswagon Taureg driven by a beautiful lady comes by and parks. Suddenly, a handsome boy in a nice polo shirt and blue jeans pops out of the shadows and enters the car. I wouldn’t have noticed them if it were not for the nice car! But I hear the boy behind me saying: ‘Ah! Yamubonye nyine! Amafaranga araje yimene!’(She got him! He is going to get a lot of money for that!).

Curiosity gets the better of me, and was lucky that the youthful lad who let the cat out of the bag also joined me on the bus. On the bus, a conversation ensures on what the lad joining me called the ‘phenomenon’ of Abapfubuzi in our beautiful City.

So who are ABAPFUBUZI? I sought him out, prying deeper into this issue of the young man, beautiful woman, nice car and money. Welcome to the world of Abapfubuzi. “He is one of them, he is my friend and I knew he was waiting for that lady to go and work for money,” youthful lad tells me about his 20-year old colleague, a Mufupbuzi, which can be literary translated as the ‘one who makes half-cooked food better’.
“Some are single women or women who are not satisfied (in matters of sex) by their husbands;  they go out and look for teenagers who are still ‘strong’ to satisfy their sexual desires,” the youthful lad tells me and adds: “Being handsome is not enough; you have to be an expert in ‘those things’. How do they work? ….What makes them do that risky job? … Some consequences…
Below is the extract of an interview that The Chronicles (TC) had with one of them… Trying to understand the issue better, I sought out one of the Abapfubuzi, who recounted his experiences on condition of anonymity. Call him Jean Paul. A second year student at the Kigali Independent University, Jean Paul is a lanky, handsome lad, the dram man for most women. 

I am told you are  Umupfubuzi? I can’t talk about that!! 

But we talked on the phone and you accepted that I come here and we talk!!? Ah that was you!! Now, yes I am one (Umupfubuzi)

Tell me about it? I will only talk to you under one condition: Promise me that you won’t mention my name!

Yeah! I promise I have been Umupfubuzi for three years now. I completed my secondary studies in 2007 and from then up to 2009 I had no job, no money; I just problems and every second was a struggle! Worse still, I am an orphan, my mother died when I was still a baby (in 1987) and my father died in 2005, from then I struggled a lot as I was the only kid both my parents ever had but my father had other kids who live with their mother. When he died, I went to live with my step mother but life was not easy there. In March 2006, I decided to rent my own house, using the little money inherited from my father. But I also had to pay school fees. I was in S5 and struggled to complete my S6 but failed to get a government scholarship to university. Betwwen 2007 and 2009 it was ‘hell’ for me.

But how did you get involved in this? That’s what I was going to tell you! I have umujama wanjye (a friend of mine) who showed me the way. I told him all my struggles and he told me that he can help me if I accept! When he told me about the type of ‘job’ and convinced me about the money one earns, I didn’t hesitate. He established for me contacts with a beautiful rich woman, who I first met in a restaurant; she liked me and we ‘sealed the deal’!

Are you still together with the woman? No, she went abroad and I got another one! Man, with this job I have almost everything I want!! She gives me everything, sometimes when her husband isn’t around; she gives me their nice car to drive around. But I think by the end of next month (March) I will have bought mine. I am now studying and she got me a nice job, that’s why I look like this! How do you ‘meet’? She calls me and tells me the place; I go there and wait for her! She doesn’t like delays. After ‘we are done’…, she asks me what I want and she gives me money. She is rich man!! If you are a VIP mupfubuzi, you work from home! Just calls!!

Some risks…? Of course!
Like what? Man, we are not allowed to put on condoms! AIDS man!! But that’s a ‘small problem’ when you have been through different life struggles like I did. I don’t care!
Anything else? People out there have to know that we don’t just do it because we are stupid or don’t want to work. Just life struggles!

What others say… As reported by igihe.com, Florence Uwayisaba, Vice-Mayor in charge social affairs in Kicukiro district said that such women are dishonourable. “They have to know that our culture, the Rwandan culture doesn’t allow such things; those women who are seeing abapfubuzi aren’t only destroying their own image, they also destroy the true image of a true Rwandan woman,” Uwayisaba says.

She also has no kind words for the married women who seek the services of the youthful lads. “When you think that you can be satisfied by another man other than your husband, there you are finished!” Uwayisaba adds. For 47-year old Therese Nyirabanzi of Kagugu in Gasabo district, such women are an embarrassment to the Rwandan womenfolk. “I know those women exist. But they have to remember that our values as Rwandan women do not include having sex with boys fit to be called our sons,” Nyirabanzi told The Chronicles.

Source: http://the-chronicles.net/index.php/magazine/575-abapfubuzi-meet-kigalis-male-sex-workers.html

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Posted in Africa | 1 Comment »

US reduces Diversity Visa (Green Card) Lottery interview fees

Posted by Administrator on March 8, 2012

Question:  I’ve heard the price of the Green Card Lottery interview has gone down.  Is this true?

Answer:  I am happy to report the price is greatly reduced.  In fact, this is one of several recent modifications to the Green Card lottery, officially known as the Diversity Visa (DV) program.

The fees, education requirements, and scheduling for the program have all changed this year.  This is of great importance to Kenyans, who have one of the highest rates of participation in the world.

Fee Changes The US government has cut the fee for the DV program nearly in half. Applicants previously paid $819 per person, which could really add up with a large family.  After a careful review of the program, the US has lowered the price to $440.

This amount is calibrated to cover the cost of processing, security checks, interviews and printing.  The US collects no profit from program fees.  One thing to keep in mind is that the money you pay is for the interview, not the visa, and so we provide no refunds to those who are denied.

Educational requirements

According to US visa law, applicants for the DV must have a high school education. While we previously accepted a D plain KCSE average, a C plain average is actually commensurate with an American high school diploma.  From now on, an applicant must have a C plain average to be issued a green card through the DV program.

This not only matches US visa law, but is also best for Kenyan emigrants.  Currently, 37 percent of those with less than a high school education are unemployed in the United States.  We want Kenyan-Americans to thrive in their new country, and education is the key to success.

Scheduling Changes Last year, we did 28 percent of all DV interviews during the month of September. In order to accomplish this, we put most of our other interviews on hold.  This meant long wait times for tourists, students, and other travelers needing interviews.  In fairness to them, we will no longer be scheduling mass numbers of DV appointments in August and September.

DV applicants often book and then cancel appointments as many as five times, certain that they can always reschedule.  Please note that this will no longer be possible.  Once you have booked a DV appointment, please be sure to attend it as there is no guarantee of a second chance.

As always, the US Consular Section stands ready to serve the Kenyan public.  We look forward to assisting you the next time you travel to America.

“Ask the Consul” is a monthly column. Do you have a question for the Consul?  Use this email address to submit your questions for next month’s “Ask the Consul:” AskConsulNairobi@state.gov

SOURCE: CAPITAL FM

Posted in Immigration, Kenya | Comments Off on US reduces Diversity Visa (Green Card) Lottery interview fees

UK accused of seeking Kibaki trial at ICC

Posted by Administrator on March 8, 2012

Britain was on Thursday accused in Parliament of seeking to have President Kibaki indicted over the 2007/8 post-election violence.

MP Charles Kilonzo also accused the United Kingdom of propping up Prime Minister Raila Odinga and pushing for the detention of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto at the International Criminal Court.

A spokesman for the British High Commission, Mr John Bradshaw, described the allegations as preposterous.

“We don’t even bother to comment on it. We have strong respect for Kenya and our good relationship with the Kenya Government will continue,” he said.

“We do not recognise the document discussed in the Kenyan parliament today (Thursday),” he added. MPs demanded an immediate severing of relations with Kenya’s former colonial ruler.

They accused Britain of gross interference in Kenya’s affairs. Mr Kilonzo said the document indicated that the British Government preferred Mr Odinga to be the next president so that he could facilitate the handing over of President Kibaki to the ICC.

The document also indicated that the UK wants Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto arrested for allegedly threatening the security of the country through their so-called “prayer rallies” .

Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale, citing Article 35 on the right to information, said the document had also cast “aspersions” on the House Speaker, saying he had indicated to the British High Commissioner the possibility of a December election in case the two suspects were detained at the Hague.

They also accused British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who was in Kenya recently, of being involved in the conspiracy to detain Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto.

A number of MPs wanted the matter debated but deputy Speaker Farah Maalim said they must first give notice and move a substantive motion.

In his statement, Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetang’ula defended Mr Hague saying during his visit, he was keen on discussing Kenya’s reform programme and the coming elections as well as security issuestouching on Somalia.

“He said Britain will be a reliable friend and partner and will support Kenya as it continues down the path of reform,’’ Mr Wetang’ula said.

During the meeting with President Kibaki, said Mr Wetang’ula, the UK minister “made it very clear that although his country supports the ongoing International Criminal Court process, he did not wish to delve into or comment on individual cases.”

However, MPs demanded to know the relationship between Britain and Kenya in the light of contents of the documents tabled.

“Can the minister consider cutting relations with Britain and our country in light of these revelations,” said Mr Bahari Abdul, the MP for Isiolo South.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/UK+accused+of+seeking+Kibaki+trial+at+ICC+/-/1064/1362248/-/797njlz/-/index.html

Posted in Kenya | 1 Comment »

Kenyan held by DHS in New Mexico for three years denied release

Posted by Administrator on March 8, 2012

Mwangi will continue to be held at the Otero detention facility in New Mexico until a final order of removal is entered against him

By ANTONY KARANJA tgkaranja@jambonewspot.com

A Kenyan man will continue to be in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security after a United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit dismissed his petition for a writ of habeaus corpus. 

Simon Chege Mwangi had lodged an appeal against a ruling by a US District Court in New Mexico dismissing his petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.

Habeaus Corpus is a legal action which has the force of a court order which may compel a prisoner who is unlawfully detained to be released or to be arraigned before a court and the detaining authority to prove before the court that the detention is lawful.

Mwangi came to the US in 2004 and overstayed his visa. He was arrested in 2008 and charged with domestic abuse and was subsequently detained by the DHS for remaining in this country without authorization. He has been in detention since November 2008.

The Kenyan national was subsequently placed in removal proceedings where he admitted he was removable but however applied for asylum, restriction on removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). An immigration judge however denied his applications and ordered him to be removed to Kenya after he testified that he had been a member of the Mungiki sect, which is devoted to “eliminating the western style of life within the country of Kenya.

Mwangi indicated that as a member of this sect, he had participated in robberies, beatings, and forcing women to submit to female genital mutilation. The immigration judge ruled that Mwangi was not eligible for any type of relief  as he had engaged in acts of persecution. Mr. Mwangi appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”), which affirmed the denial of asylum and restriction on removal but remanded to the IJ for further consideration of Mr. Mwangi’s CAT claim.

During removal proceedings, an immigration judge may grant relief allowing an immigrant to remain in the US and apply to be a legal resident if certain requirements are met. However, anyone who has participated in the persecution of persons is not eligible for any relief and is permanently barred for entering the US.

Mwangi was challenging his detention saying that is indefinite and therefore violates his due process rights making it unconstitutional.

He is being held at the Otero detention facility in New Mexico.

Posted in Immigration | 6 Comments »

Kenyan Police Want Henry Banda’s Physical Details

Posted by Administrator on March 8, 2012

KENYAN Police have asked Zambian security wings investigating the whereabouts of former President Rupiah Banda’s son, Henry, to provide physical details that include finger prints.

They also want face recognition and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) saying this is in line with International Police (Interpol) guidelines to authenticate the arrest notice.

This is according to the Kenyan Daily Nation newspaper that ran the article on Tuesday last week.

Kenya’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID) director, Ndegwa Muhoro, was quoted in the Daily Nation newspaper as saying police in that country could not arrest Henry because the warrant of arrest issued by the Zambian Police had not been authenticated by the Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France.

“In the absence of an authenticated warrant, we cannot do anything, even if the police spotted him,” Mr Muhoro said.

He explained that the Zambian Government was expected to furnish Interpol with the “physiological characteristics” related to the shape of the body, fingerprint, face recognition, DNA, palm print, hand geometry, iris recognition and the complexion of the suspect before the arrest could be sanctioned.

Henry is wanted in Zambia to face charges in relation with a Cayman Islands-registered company, RP Capital, that was paid up to US$12.6 million to evaluate the repossessed Zamtel assets during the MMD rule.

The notice commonly referred to as the Red Notice or alert, helps the concerned authorities to locate and arrest suspects and once issued, it would significantly restrict Henry’s ability to cross international borders.

Spokesperson of the team of security wings investigating the matter, Charity Chanda, maintained yesterday that Henry was still wanted by the law enforcement agencies.

Source: http://www.times.co.zm/?p=633

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Kenyan stowaway held, hunt on for another

Posted by Administrator on March 8, 2012

With the Special Branch and local police on the lookout for him since last November, an alleged Kenyan stowaway — who went missing from a vessel that had docked in the city — was finally arrested by the Yellow Gate police in the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) area on March 3.

The police are still trying to trace the location of an alleged Sudanese stowaway, who had also travelled to the city on the same vessel, and jumped ship with him. Police said the vessel from which the two stowaways escaped had embarked from Mombasa in Kenya and had stopped in Oman and Pakistan on its way to Mumbai.

The accused has been identified as Kefa Mwaura N’ganga alias Domminick Esokson (30), police said. The police are on the lookout for Peter Apul (20). “Investigations have revealed that on October 5 last year, Esokson and Apul got aboard the vessel Sea Lion unnoticed by its crew of 12 Russians while the ship was docked in Mombasa. They did not have valid papers. When the Sea Lion had sailed to a distance of around 300 nautical miles from Mombasa, the two were spotted by the Russian captain of the ship, Stauykov Afanasy, on October 7,” said an officer, who did not wish to be named. Esokson and Apul allegedly told the captain of the vessel that their plan had been to travel to Europe or the US in search of employment. Afanasy then informed the owner of the vessel, said the police.

“The Sea Lion also stopped in Sohar and Karachi and the captain brought the two stowaways to the notice of port and immigration authorities there. However, he was forbidden to allow them to step onto Omani or Pakistani soil,” said the officer.

On November 3 last year, the Sea Lion docked at an anchorage in MbPT to take on some cargo. The Mumbai Police’s Special Branch learnt of Esokson and Apul on a routine inspection and told the crew not to let them get off the ship.

“Two days later, the duo went missing from the vessel. The police were told that they were last seen around 6 pm when they were given food and had escaped from a window in their room shortly afterwards. Afanasy was arrested on November 11 for negligence and was released on bail subsequently,” said the officer.

Esokson was finally spotted loitering near the MbPT area on Saturday. The police are now probing his activities during the period he was missing and are grilling him for leads on Apul’s whereabouts.

Source: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/kenyan-stowaway-held-hunt-on-for-another/921652/0

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Kenya gov’t fires 25,000 health workers on strike

Posted by Administrator on March 8, 2012

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya’s government announced Thursday that it had fired 25,000 striking health workers from the country’s public hospitals for defying an order to return to work.

Some 40,000 workers in all — among them, nurses, lab technicians, and dental assistants — launched their strike March 1 over several complaints, including that they are overworked.

Government spokesman Alfred Mutua said the health workers’ names have been deleted from the payroll.

“The government has taken this firm action to alleviate further suffering of innocent Kenyans. It is wrong and unethical, regardless of any disagreement, for a health profession to abscond duty and lead to the loss of life and or suffering of any patient,” Mutua said.

Mutua asked that any unemployed health professional report to the nearest health facility on Friday to apply for the openings.

Alex Orina of the Kenya Health Professionals Society said the government’s announcement is a negotiating tactic and that the government cannot replace 25,000 health workers. He said the health workers are striking because of a heavy workload due to staff shortages, and because of inadequate equipment and supplies.

Orina says some of the nurses have had to deliver babies without surgical gloves, exposing themselves, the mother and the child to infections.

Orina said he could not confirm Kenyan media reports that five people who might otherwise have lived have died during the strike, including reports that a mother and newborn died at the gates of a hospital.

Kenya’s government has come under sharp criticism by international groups for not investing enough in health care.

Doctors from public hospitals went on strike late last year to demand better salaries.

Source: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hJA0U-0edMCfWgEpI34L5lyewr2A?docId=f6ba683cd57c4392819ac7087e46bde7

Posted in Kenya | Comments Off on Kenya gov’t fires 25,000 health workers on strike

Kenyan dies after ‘neglect’ by Chinese hospitals

Posted by Administrator on March 8, 2012

NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 8 – A Kenyan family is protesting what appears to be outright discrimination by hospitals in China which allegedly declined to treat their daughter, leading to her death.

Maureen Mayieka, a 37 year-old business woman, travelled to China on February 21 on a business trip and fell ill three days later but could not access medical treatment in three different hospitals in Guangzhou.

She was involved in the catering business in Kenya.

“Our sister had travelled to China on a business trip and she fell ill. A friend she was with said she started shivering and when she tried to get medical attention, three hospitals declined to treat her because it was at night,” her brother, Ndemo Mayieka, told journalists soon after the body arrived in Kenya on Thursday.

Maureen was a niece to former Cabinet Minister Simeon Nyachae and Information Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo.

“We are told the hospitals kept telling her to come back the following morning,” her brother said.

“In the morning, she again began to shiver and the friend she was with decided to go and get a doctor but by the time they came back she had already passed away,” he added.

He said after Maureen passed away, Chinese authorities did not cooperate with her friend so that the body could be taken to the mortuary.

“In fact, police even almost arrested the friend she was with. I have never heard anything like this anywhere in the world, it is just ridiculous,” he added.

Maureen was to spend a week in China and return to Nairobi last Monday.

Emotions ran high at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and at the Montezuma and Monalisa funeral home when the body arrived in Nairobi.

Maurren’s sister Esther Mayieka protested at the manner in which the body was preserved and shipped, despite the exorbitant fees paid to have it conserved properly.

“I have looked at the body and I am just shocked, it is just in a box with a cotton cloth covering her; you can only see some herbs, they did not even preserve the body properly yet they charged exorbitantly,” Esther said after viewing the body before it was preserved at the mortuary in Nairobi.

The family said it intends to lodge a formal complaint with the Chinese government through the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Nairobi.

Source: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2012/03/kenyan-dies-after-%E2%80%98neglect%E2%80%99-by-chinese-hospitals/

Posted in Kenya | 6 Comments »

Women Shaping the Future of Kenya

Posted by Administrator on March 8, 2012

Secretary Clinton has noted that “What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish.  If women are free from violence, their families will flourish.  If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish.  And when families flourish, communities and nations will flourish.”  These words have particular relevance as we celebrate International Women’s Day around the world and as we continue to make strides for a better future for women and girls.

In December, President Obama released the first-ever U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, charting a roadmap for how the United States will accelerate and institutionalize efforts across the government to advance women’s participation in preventing conflict and keeping peace.  This initiative represents a fundamental change in how the U.S. will approach its diplomatic, military, and development-based support to women in areas of conflict, by ensuring that their perspectives and considerations of gender are woven into the fabric of how the United States approaches peace processes, conflict prevention, the protection of civilians, and humanitarian assistance.

International Women’s Day is also an opportunity to renew the call for action, investment, and commitment to women’s equality.  We are at a moment of historic opportunity.  Secretary Clinton has referred to this era as “the Participation Age.”  This is a time where every individual, regardless of gender or other characteristics, is poised to be a contributing and valued member of their society.

Around the world, we are witnessing examples of the Participation Age.   In Kenya, strong women participate in important ways.  Kenyan women sit in Parliament, head companies and NGOs, and are active in public service.  They are educators and administrators, doctors and nurses, journalists, entertainers, and hold their place proudly among the world’s elite athletes.

Many Kenyan women inspire me to believe that women are the future.  I look at Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai, an environmentalist who woke the world to the importance of ecological preservation.  I look at Woman of Courage award winner Ann Njogu, Executive Director of Centre for Rights Education and Awareness and human rights activist of extraordinary bravery.   I look at Susan Mboya, a top executive of Coca-Cola who also runs an NGO to help Kenyan girls get a university education in the U.S.  I look at Vivian Cheruiyot, an extraordinary athlete who consistently reminds the world that some of the best athletes are not only Kenyan, but are also women.

I have had the honor to meet Kenya’s new generation of women who are saving lives and making a strong impact on their communities.  Wamaitha Mwangi is only 28 years old and has dedicated her life to Kenya’s most vulnerable citizens.  Wamaitha founded the Angel Centre for Abandoned Children, to give babies love, affection, medical care, good nutrition, and a place to call home until they find long term families.  Alice Odera is the Director of Beauty Logic and the First Impressions In-School program to give young girls guidance on the importance of image, personal branding, grooming and career choices.  Alice is also championing the Decade of Action Road Safety Campaign.  Catherine (Sonnie) Gitonga is the Founder and CEO of Scars To Stars Foundation, giving hope by counseling, providing school fees, and motivating young adult orphans to achieve their dreams.

Women are a cornerstone of America’s foreign policy because the simple fact is that no country can hope to move ahead if it is leaving half of its people behind.  Women and girls drive our economies. They build peace and prosperity.  Investing in them means investing in global economic progress, political stability, and greater prosperity for everyone—the world over.  As we honor them today, let us renew our resolve to work for the cause of equality each and every day of the year.

Source: http://blogs.usembassy.gov/nairobi/2012/03/08/women-shaping-the-future-of-kenya/

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Cisco brings together children from the Kenyan slums and their pen pals in Rome

Posted by Administrator on March 8, 2012

Today Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) team had the unique privilege of bringing together two seemingly different groups of people: children who live in a slum in Nairobi, Kenya and their “video pen pals” in Rome. Cisco hosted the event using its TelePresence technology to support the World Food Programme’s video series “Molly’s World: A Girl Films Her Life in a Nairobi Slum.”

We multiplied the impact of this event by broadcasting it live to a worldwide audience via CiscoTV’s Ustream channel on the World Food Programme’s Facebook page. Children in classrooms from London to Brazil to Australia submitted questions through Facebook and Twitter, and Molly and her friends answered them live via Ustream.

The students in Rome and Nairobi discovered their similarities (they like school but dislike homework) and differences (the Kenyan children had never seen snow).

View the recording of the live event on the Cisco YouTube channel (http://youtu.be/K6Lu6-C_Dj8).

Molly has received school meals from WFP for four years. The small video camera she used to record her life was one of 2,500 provided to the World Food Programme by Cisco.

You can help children like Molly and her classmates by contributing to the World Food Programme’s school meals program.

Thank you to my colleagues Gerry Genna, Hital Muraj and Antonio Costa in New York, Nairobi and Rome for hosting the amazing people from WFP.

Source: http://blogs.cisco.com/csr/bringing-worlds-together-over-cisco-telepresence/

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