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Archive for April 4th, 2012

As ICE lauches national “cross check” operation, Kenyan picked up in Massachusetts

Posted by Administrator on April 4, 2012

A dozen people from Central Massachusetts were arrested recently in a six-day national “Cross-Check” enforcement operation conducted by agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

An ICE press release said three people were arrested in Framingham, one in Hudson, one on Ayer, three in Milford, one in Leominster and three in Worcester.
The press release said a 24-year old man described as a Kenyan national who was previously convicted of possession and distribution of illegal narcotics was arrested March 28 in Worcester. ICE Northeast Region Communications Director Ross Feinstein said a second person arrested in Worcester is facing distribution of cocaine, assault and larceny charges while a third was arrested on non-criminal immigration violations.

Mr. Feinstein said he could only release the charges of the people picked up in the operation although the press release said of the 145 people arrested in New England 131 were male and 14 were female.

A Worcester police official said the local department was not involved in the arrests.

The three people arrested in Milford are wanted on a variety of immigration charges. One also faces an assault charge and another was taken in on a previous resisting arrest charge.
The Leominster person is looking at non-criminal fugitive charges while the person arrested in Hudson was wanted on a drunk-driving charge.

The Framingham and Hudson arrests involve various immigration violations, Mr. Feinstein said. Deportation proceedings will begin on all the people arrested during the six-day operation, according to Mr. Feinstein.

A total of 145 convicted criminal aliens and immigration fugitives, including 70 in Massachusetts, were arrested in New England by ICE, according to the press release.
The most severe cases included murder, manslaughter, drug trafficking and sexual crimes against minors, ICE said.

The “Cross Check “ enforcement operation resulted in the arrest of more than 3,100 convicted criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and immigration violators in the six-day nationwide sweep. The operation involved the collaboration of more than 1,900 ICE officers. Arrests occurred in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, three U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
Of the 145 people arrested in New England, 119 had prior criminal convictions including 55 aliens who had multiple criminal violations, the press release said.
Broken down further, 64 of the 119 have felony criminal convictions and 55 have misdemeanor convictions. Six of the 119 are sex offenders.

Nationally, in addition to being convicted criminals, 698 of those arrested were also immigration fugitives who had previously been ordered to leave the country but failed to depart. Additionally, 559 were illegal re-entrants who had been previously removed from the country.

“The results of this targeted enforcement operation underscores ICE’s ongoing commitment to public safety,” said Dorothy Herrara-Nies, field office director of ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operation for New England. “When we focus on the arrest and removal of convicted criminal aliens and immigration fugitives, we get an immediate payback in our communities. Because of the tireless efforts and teamwork of ICE officers and agents, along with our state and local law enforcement officers, there are 145 fewer aliens and fugitives in our neighborhoods across New England.”

Source: http://www.telegram.com/article/20120402/NEWS/120409944/1160/SPECIALSECTIONS04&source=rss

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Pastor Wilson “Mrefu” Relocating to Kenya

Posted by Administrator on April 4, 2012

Pastor Wilson Kiarie a.k.a Mrefu who is relocation to Kenya after being in the US for 22 years

Pastor Wilson Kiarie a.k.a Mrefu who is relocation to Kenya after being in the US for over 10 years

Pastor Wilson Kiarie, after being in America for over ten years is now returning to Kenya. Pastor Wilson previously served with Christ Covenant Church Missouri and most recently Empowerment Christian Center, Farmers Branch,.

Pastor “Mrefu”, as he is commonly known, has been a blessing and source of encouragement to many he encountered with, and will be fondly remembered for his humor and service in the word of God. Wherever he went, regardless of the occasion, “Mrefu”, made sure he invited people to church, keen to reflect the Christ in him.

Pastor Wilson will be joining his wife at Mbaruk Covenant Church in Nakuru, Kenya where they will be ministering together.

“I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to serve the Kenyan church community here in the United States in the capacity that I have, but my mission here is now over, and it’s time to return and minister to our people in Kenya” he told this writer.

His friends have organized, in his honor, a farewell and thanksgiving fellowship on 21st April, 2012 at Empowerment Christian Center, 12879 Josey Lane, Suite 130, Farmers Branch, TX 75234 at 5:00PM.

Your prayers, presents and presence will be highly appreciated. Come let’s celebrate, eat and pray together, as we bid this man farewell. Should you be unable to attend and wish to bid him farewell, you can call him at (214) 218 – 7171 or email.

Posted in Diaspora News | 26 Comments »

One on One with Casper: Devolution of Power

Posted by Administrator on April 4, 2012

Devolution of power pertains to a federalist system’s ability to the spreading of authority across different levels of government and thus reduces the spread and intensity of conflict (Watts, 1996: Ch. 3; Stewart, 1984:61-62).

The devolution of powers doctrine can be found in chapter eleven of the new Kenyan constitution.  One way Watts (1996) states that the three areas where devolution can be examined are legislative decentralization or division of legislative powers at each level of government, administrative decentralization or the assigned administrative responsibilities at each level of government.

Devolving power also helps to reduce conflict that is directed to one sovereign authority by distributing power to several sovereigns, for example, the constituency governments. Devolution of power increases inclusivity.

Baechler (2001) argues that inclusivity of the entire population, elites and non-elites, is essential for peace and development.  He argues that devolution of power is a structural approach that aids in attaining peace and development.  Every member of the society is included and recognized.  Devolution of power also brings governments closer to the people.  In the previous system the government was highly inaccessible, but with constituency governments it is easier for the public to petition government.  According to the Kenyan Constitution

Chapter Eleven devolution promotes democratic and accountable exercise of power, fosters national unity by recognizing diversity, enhances citizen participation and self-governance, and recognizes communities’ rights to manage their own affairs.  Also, it protects and promotes the interests and rights of minorities and marginalized communities, it ensures equitable sharing of national and local resources, it facilitates the decentralization of state organs in their functions and services from the capital of Kenya. In addition, it enhances, checks and balances the separation of powers.

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Mt Kenya Entertainment Presents-An Old School Easter Bash- Saturday April 7th

Posted by Administrator on April 4, 2012

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Kenyan man dies of Cardiac arrest in Worcester, Massachusetts

Posted by Administrator on April 4, 2012

The Late Jackson (Kere) Weru, a Kenyan national in Worcester who passed away on Friday last week. Pic/ FAMILY FILE

The Late Jackson (Kere) Weru, a Kenyan national in Worcester who passed away on Friday last week. Pic/ FAMILY FILE

WORCESTER, Mass., _A Kenyan man passed away last Friday in Worcester, Massachusetts after what family sources described as cardiac arrest.

Jackson (Kere) Weru was found dead at his sister’s apartment at 3 Perry Ave St. Apt 32 in Worcester on Friday morning. He was 43 years old.

Speaking to AjabuAfrica on the phone, Weru’s niece, Vivian Wangari said that the late Kiarie spent the night at his sister’s apartment.  However, when he did not wake up as expected in the morning, his sister decided to check on him.

“My aunt opened the door to the bedroom and saw him lying down looking really sick. We then called 911 immediately,” said Vivian Wangari.

After several attempts to resuscitate him, emergency crew rushed him to the St. Vincent’s Hospital in downtown Worcester where he was pronounced dead on arrival,” added Vivian.

After the unexpected death, shocked family and friends started meeting at the late Weru’s sister’s apartment for prayers and burial planning.

According to the family, parents of the late Kenyan in Kenya were pleading for help to have the body repatriated back home for burial as they try to achieve some closure on the loss of their beloved son. The family is appealing to Kenyans and well-wishers to help them raise about $15,000 needed to ship the body back home for burial.

“Unfortunately, Kere did not have life insurance and we as a family do not have enough funds to send the body back home. We are appealing to Kenyans and friends for help,” said his sister, Catherine Weru.

A memorial service and funds drive event has been planned to take place on Sunday April 8, 2012 at 26 Guilford St, Worcester, MA from 3pm to 6pm.

“We all need to now step up as Kenyans and chip in a little to help this family get funds to send the body back home to honor the desires of the late Kere’s parents. Our social problems are still with us and they are not ending anytime soon,” said Charles Ngeene, organizing secretary of the New England Kenyan Welfare association ( NEKWA) that  had planned to launch in Worcester next week to set up a burial benevolence fund for such deaths in the community  before the unfortunate death struck.
“This is why we as Kenyans need to put our past differences aside in good faith and join hands to make the new welfare organization strong to take care of such unexpected situation of life,” he added.

The welfare organization will launch on Saturday April 14 at the Crown Plaza Hall (Ghanaian Community hall) on 90 Stafford Street in Worcester.

“I think this organization is a very good one for Kenyans as we have now seen this can happen to anyone just like it has happened to Weru,” said the late Kenyan’s cousin, Wallace Gitonga.

The late Weru hailed from Makongeni area of Nairobi city.  He attended Jericho High school in Nairobi before immigrating to the US in 1996 and settled in the city of Worcester MA.
He lives behind his parents, Geoffrey and Unnah Weru of Kenya, brother to Catherine, James (Mwanish), Charles (Wanjo), Winnie and the late Annah Weru. Kere was also the beloved cousin to Esther Karanja, Gitonga, Ngash and Lore Nduati, and uncle to lots of nephews and nieces all from Worcester, MA.

A memorial service and a fund raiser will be held on Sunday, April 8th, 2012 at: 26 Guilford St, Worcester, MA from 3pm to 6pm.
May the Lord keep his soul in eternal peace.

Funeral funds Donations to be sent to: Digital Credit Union (DCU):

Account Name: Vivian Wangari

Account Number: 13160544

Routing Number: 211391825

For more information, please contact:

James Mwaniki Weru: (508) 353-9746

Catherine Weru:          (508) 736-4472

Vivian Wangari:          (508) 308-6643

Charles Wanjohi:         (508) 991-9888

Wallace Gitonga (Worcester):  (508) 868-0962

Esther Karanja:         (508) 685-0974

Lore (Worcester):       (774) 437-0732

Source: http://www.ajabuafrica.com/Tragedy-Kenyan%20man%20dies%20of%20Cardiac%20arrest%20in%20Worcester.html

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The village in Kenya where men fear to tread

Posted by Administrator on April 4, 2012

A Kenyan woman walks with her donkeys carrying water after trekking 6 km (3.7 miles) to the only well with water in the Kenyan town of El Wak, 1,530 km (951 miles) from the capital Nairobi, in this file photo taken on December 19, 2005. REUTERS/Antony Njuguna

A Kenyan woman walks with her donkeys carrying water after trekking 6 km (3.7 miles) to the only well with water in the Kenyan town of El Wak, 1,530 km (951 miles) from the capital Nairobi, in this file photo taken on December 19, 2005. REUTERS/Antony Njuguna

UMOJA, Kenya, Apr 4, 2012 (IPS) – No man, except for those raised here as children, lives in Umoja village in Kenya; one has not for two decades. It is a village only of and for women, women who have been abused, raped, and forced from their homes.

In the culture of northern Kenya’s Samburu district there is a saying: “Men are the head of a body, and women are the neck.” The neck may support the head, but the head is always dominant, towering above. But in this remote village, located in the grasslands of Samburu district, this mantra does not ring true. In Umoja, as one female resident says, “We are our own heads.” Umoja, which means “unity” in Swahili, holds a unique status in the country: it is a village populated solely by women. For more than two decades, no men have been permitted to reside here. The rule is one of the requirements of a community that has fought against overwhelming odds to become a place of refuge for women.

It is a sanctuary where men – who have been the cause of so many problems for these women – are simply not welcome. In the 22 years since its founding, the village has had a significant impact not only on the women who choose to call Umoja home but within the communities that surround it. The example that Umoja has set, coupled with the outreach efforts of its residents, has touched the lives of women in the region.

Celena Green, who is the Africa programme director for an organisation called Vital Voices that works with the women of Umoja, told IPS: “The existence of Umoja has allowed women’s groups in other surrounding villages to learn from the empowerment and pride of the Umoja women.” Women from nearby communities attend workshops in the village that are aimed at educating women and girls about human rights, gender equity, and violence prevention.

When the women return home, Green explained, “they begin to change the culture, demanding a safe, violence free community where women and girls are valued and protected.” “Ideally, no woman or girl should ever have to flee her home to come to Umoja in the first place,” she added. “But ultimately, the aim of Umoja is to provide an emergency safe haven for those women who are in distress, and more importantly to contribute toward building communities where everyone is valued and can succeed.”

Umoja’s history began in 1990, when a collective of 15 Samburu women, who called themselves the Umoja Uaso Women’s Group, began selling beadwork and other goods to raise money for themselves and their families. As the group began to grow financially lucrative, they found themselves facing increasing harassment by men in their communities who felt that economic growth was not appropriate for the women, who traditionally play a subordinate role.

In response, the women, led by matriarch Rebecca Lolosoli, decided to break away and begin their own village, in order to ensure security and cooperation for themselves out of the reach of those who sought to undermine them. Today, Umoja is home to 48 women who have come from all over the country. Their stories vary – some were young girls fleeing forced marriages to old men, others were raped or sexually abused, and several were widows who were shunned by their communities. Moreover, several women residing in the village are Turkana, taking refuge from the tribal violence currently raging in the central region of Isiolo.

The villagers, who rely on the sale of beadwork and profits from a nearby campsite and cultural center, pool their funds as a collective to support themselves. In addition to providing food and basic necessities for village residents, profits are used to cover medical fees and the operation of a school that serves both the village’s children and its adult women who wish to learn basic skills and literacy.

Nagusi Lolemu, an older woman with delicate hands and a melodious voice, is one of the village’s original founders. Sitting in the shade, her nimble fingers string red beads deftly in one fluid, unthinking movement, as she speaks rapidly in Samburu. Lolemu’s story echoes a recurring theme in the village: she was widowed after years of marriage and subsequently rejected by the community she called home. “There were too many single women,” she explained to IPS through a translator.

Single women, who are not permitted to hold property in Samburu culture, and generally are not educated, are viewed as a financial drain on the community. When her husband passed away, she was no longer welcome in her home. Nagusi, who has been living in Umoja for 22 years, has two grown children. She does not question her decision to leave her home for Umoja. “My children are educated, working, and giving back to the family and the community,” she told IPS. “In a regular village, this could not happen.”

In her village – like any other traditional community – there is little opportunity for women’s education and the consequential financial benefits it brings, she explained. Her daughter would have grown up as she did, illiterate and dependent on men for all her basic needs. “Here,” Lolemu said, matter-of-factly, “everyone is equal.” Green echoes this statement, explaining to IPS: “In a traditional village, women may not have had the opportunity to exercise leadership, to be in control of their wealth or resources, and they would more likely experience domestic violence, female genital cutting, child marriage and other traditional practices that discriminate against and physically harm women and children.”

In addition to barring men from residing in the village, the women of Umoja live by a set of self- imposed rules, which, as Lolemu explained, are based on ensuring equality and mutual respect within the village. Residents are required to wear the traditional clothes and intricate beadwork jewelry of their people at all times, in order to preserve and promote their cultural heritage. The practice of female genital mutilation is not permitted. And the only males allowed to sleep in the village are those who have been raised there as children. One of the most striking aspects of Umoja is the women’s attitude towards men.

In a place where men have been the root cause of so many hardships, and, in most cases, the reason the residents fled their homes, it is tempting to think that the victims want nothing more to do with them and are happy to live the rest of their lives surrounded by other women. This is not the case at all – in fact, most of the younger women in the village plan on marrying and raising families.

The difference is that they are going to do it on their own terms. Judy, a 19-year-old resident who fled an arranged marriage to a much older, polygamous man five years ago, is planning on getting married some day. She dates – outside the confines of the village, which is not only permitted but encouraged by the older residents – and is raising a six-month-old named Ivan, who squirms and coos in her arms as she speaks.

One day, she will marry and leave Umoja for her husband’s village. But, until then, she is happy here. When asked if there is anything she misses from her previous life, any element of living in a women’s- only village that she finds lacking, she laughs. “No. Here we have everything,” she says, and smiles. In Umoja, women are not only their own “heads” – each is her entire body.

Source: http://www.trust.org/trustlaw/news/a-kenyan-village-where-men-fear-to-tread

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Kenyan elected official in UK charged with fraud

Posted by Administrator on April 4, 2012

David Munyambu, a councilor in the city of Basildon was charged with fraud

A Kenyan who was elected a councillor in Britain last year was yesterday charged with fraud and forging of documents. Daniel Munyambu, a councilor in Basildon, Essex in the UK, denied three charges of fraud when he appeared before Nairobi chief magistrate Esther Maina. The court heard that Munyambu, who is from Kairi in Kiambu, allegedly forged receipts claiming that they had been issued by Clickett Traders. It is alleged that he committed the offence on or before November 14, 2008 in Kenya.

He was faced with a second count of forging a receipt for £15,800 purporting it to be a genuine and validly issued by Clickett Traders. It is alleged that he committed the offence on or before November 18, 2008. The court further heard that he committed a similar offence between November 1 and 30, 2008 in Nairobi when, with intent to defraud, forged another receipt of £1,800 purporting it to be a genuine receipt issued by the same company.

Munyambu further denied that he obtained £18,000 under false pretences contrary to section 313 of the penal code when he alleged to have imported a Toyota car. Senior superintendant Onesmus Towett asked the court to deny the suspect bail saying that he is a flight risk. But his defence lawyer objected the move saying the offence is bailable. The court will rule on whether to grant him bail on April 10.

Source: The Star

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Nairobi to be Raleigh’s fifth sister city

Posted by Administrator on April 4, 2012

City of Raleigh, Noth Carolina

City of Raleigh, Noth Carolina

The Raleigh City Council today approved the bonding of the City of Oaks and the capital of Kenya as Sister Cities.
The Board of Directors of the Raleigh Sister Cities Association presented its recommendation to the City Council that the Capital City enter into an agreement with Nairobi to make it Raleigh’s fifth such “sibling.”
Efforts are underway to make the Sister City relationship official. Raleigh Sister Cites members are working with Nairobi officials on arrangements for the mayor of Nairobi, the Honorable George Omwera, to be in Raleigh for the bonding ceremony.
On Jan. 12, Mayor Omwera appointed a committee in Nairobi to lead its effort in establishing a successful partnership with Raleigh.  Captain George Njue of Raleigh has lead the effort locally for more than two years.
Both groups were excited by the similarities of the two cities. Both are capitals – Nairobi of the nation of Kenya and Raleigh of the state of North Carolina.
Like Raleigh, Nairobi is home to several institutions of high learning.  As Raleigh is hailed for its leadership in sustainability, Nairobi is home of the United Nations’ Environmental Program.  Nairobi is renowned in East and Central Africa for its dense tree-cover, plethora of green spaces and plentiful parks.  Of course one of the more noticeable characteristics of Raleigh’s physical profile are its more than 6000 acres of park land and 69-mile, 3700 acres greenway system.
Both cities are attractive to 21st century corporations, with Cisco, Airtel and Google all having regional headquarters in Nairobi.  The Kenyan capital has long been a focus of the textile industry in Africa.  Raleigh is world headquarters of Red Hat and home of North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus, a fertile enclave of innovation and research.
The relationship between the people of Nairobi and Raleigh has been growing in recent years. Over the past decade, many Americans of Kenyan decent have made their home in Raleigh and the Triangle. In 2009, Nobel Prize winner and Nairobi resident,  Professor Wangari Mathaai spoke to the student and faculty of Meredith College in a tree planting on their campus, symbolizing the lasting important of environmental stewardship worldwide.
Nairobi also is a Sister City with Denver. Raleigh Sister Cities Sister Cities was created in 1956 by President Dwight David Eisenhower as the “main cog” for international citizen diplomacy.
Raleigh Sister Cities is an affiliate of International Sister Cities, Inc. It was initiated in Raleigh in 1983 with the establishment of Kingston-Upon Hull, United Kingdom, as Raleigh’s first Sister City. Raleigh now has active relationships with Kingston-Upon-Hull and: Compiegne, France; Rostock, Germany and Xiangyang, China.
For further information, contact Gretchen Chapman, president, Raleigh Sister Cities at 919-828-2276 or Capt. George Njue, chair, Nairobi Committee at 919-593-4975.

Source: http://www.raleighnc.gov/home/news/content/CorNews/Articles/NairobiRaleigh.html

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