Friday, June 6, 2008
Revealed: Coalition strategy for wealth
Story by EMMAN OMARI and KENNETH OGOSIA
Publication Date: 6/6/2008
NAIROBI - The Grand Coalition is promising to create 800,000 jobs a year and spread presidential powers to other institutions under a new joint manifesto.
Prime Minister Raila OdingaThe new document has harmonised the pledges made by various political parties ahead of last year’s General Election.
The joint manifesto, expected to also provide a blueprint for Kenya’s economic development, pledges to extend electricity connection to one million households over the next five years.
President Kibaki is expected to launch the new blueprint in Nairobi next week.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga said Thursday that the document was the culmination of work that had been going on behind the scenes.
Speaking in South Africa, where he is attending the World Economic Forum, Mr Odinga said: “The document is ready. It will set out the combined aspirations of the coalition partners for higher economic development and poverty alleviation in our country.”
A copy of the manifesto obtained by the Daily Nation, also promises to create a Truth and Justice Commission to deal with past injustices, including theft of public resources. It will also repeal laws that have criminalised the release of sensitive information that has in the past helped to expose corruption scandals like Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing.
It also promises to make Kenya the commercial hub of eastern Africa.
The creation of a Deputy President’s post is among the key elements of reforms in the policy document. The move is intended to be part of devolution of power, which will be part of writing a new constitution within a year. Another notable proposal is that people with disabilities should be nominated to Parliament.
Planning minister Wycliffe Oparanya is Saturday expected to announce the date on which President Kibaki will unveil the manifesto. This is likely to happen early next week.
The intended reforms are expected to complete the power-sharing formula between PNU and its affiliates and ODM.
Two previous attempts to create the post of Deputy President have failed. The first was through a Constitutional Amendment in 1991. The second time, this was proposed in the draft constitution that was rejected during the 2005 referendum.
Among the other reforms that the manifesto proposes to enact is the passing of laws to criminalise ethnic discrimination and to give local leaders in constituencies and local authorities the power to plan and allocate funds for development projects.
The Official Secrets Act will also be repealed to ensure free flow of information to the public. Another law will also be enacted to give wananchi free access to information as part of the campaign against corruption.
The setting up of the Truth Commission is intended to bring down the curtains on unresolved cases of the past, including corruption scandals, the murders of former Nyandarua North MP JM Kariuki and Foreign minister Robert Ouko.
Although the new coalition has pledged to create 800,000 jobs every year, this is likely to prove a daunting task considering that after the 2002 election, the Narc coalition was unable to fulfil its pledge to create 500,000 jobs a year.
Among other reforms proposed in the draft manifesto is a campaign to review Kenya’s foreign policy with a view to restoring the country’s tarnished image abroad following weeks of post-election violence in which 1,200 people were killed and another 350,000 displaced from their homes. Many foreigners, including tourists, fled the country at the height of the attacks. The industry is yet to recover from the after-effects.
And in line with the Political Parties Act, which will come into force next month, parties will be strengthened and funded by the Government to promote democratic competition.
The Government will also be required to publish an annual report showing public appointments in a move aimed at fostering ethnic and gender balance in the public service. This will include a 50 per cent share for women in all public appointments.
The document was prepared by the National Accord Implementation Committee, which was chaired by Internal Security minister George Saitoti and his Medical Services counterpart, Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o.
But the document expresses concerns over the Government’s inability to raise the Sh31 billion needed to resettle displaced families. Only Sh1.2 billion has been raised locally, leaving a deficit of Sh30 billion.
The programme, which was to run from March to the end of June, is behind schedule.
The President, Vice-President and the Prime Minister have endorsed the document that represents a synthesis of the policies advocated by the three parties during last year’s campaigns.
President Kibaki announced on Madaraka Day last Sunday that he would launch the blueprint next week.
Other key issues highlighted include encouraging transparency, accountability in the management of public affairs, citizens’ participation in governance, building leadership among the youth and entrenching a culture of democratic elections.
Claims that the December elections had not been manipulated sparked weeks of protests in which over 1,200 were killed.
Debate has been raging over whether those implicated in serious crimes during the protests should be prosecuted or pardoned. The document is organised in four main parts. The first section deals with economic policies geared at spurring growth.
The second summarises the challenges facing the country, including the need for better education, health, water services for the marginalised and vulnerable groups and anti-poverty measures targeting the poorest members of the society.
The third section provides a synthesis of reforms contained in the manifestos and fourth is devoted to the country’s foreign policy.
"How Can We Help?"
> Click here for more ideas on how Friends in US can help Friends in Kenya.
> View Talking Points, the slideshow, and related resources for planning your events.
> NEW * Check out a website for peace & social justice in Africa - Fahamu - and click here for their news service Pambazuka News
> Click here to learn about a "thrifty" idea from Friends in Midlothian, Virginia!
> Click here for tips on preparing a Kenyan meal to raise funds and awareness.
> See sample text for press releases to submit to media community calendar editors.
Simple meals and other events to raise funds & awareness for Kenya's post-election crisis recently have been or soon will be happening:
+ Jan. 9 - Quaker Hill Conf. Center (Richmond, IN)
+ Feb. 10 - Northside Friends (Chicago, IL)
+ Feb. 17 - Wilmington Friends (Wilmington, OH)
> Feb. 24 - West Richmond Friends, ESR/BTS, and Earlham College community (Richmond, IN)
> Mar. 2 - William Penn House (Washington, D.C.)
> Mar. 3 - Community Friends (North Avondale - Cincinnati, OH)
> Mar. 8 - Multnomah Friends (Portland, OR)
> Mar. 10 - St. Louis Friends (St. Louis, MO)
> Mar. 13 - Wilmington Friends (Wilmington, DE)
> Mar. 14 - Haddonfield Friends (Haddonfield, NJ)
> Mar. 15 - Haverford Friends (Haverford, PA)
> Mar. 16 - Bethesda Friends (Bethesda, MD)
+ Mar. 29 - Mt. Toby Friends (Leverett, MA) on Quaker Salad Day
> April 6 - Eastern Hills Friends (Anderson Twp. - Cincinnati, OH) note this is new date - rescheduled due to weather
> April 11-13 Blue River Quarterly Meeting (Illinois YM) Craft Fair
+ TBA - Weare Friends (Henniker, NH)
AGLI's David and Gladys Zarembka will be traveling and speaking in US in coming weeks.
> Click here to see their entire schedule.
Let us know about your event so we can share it here!
Kenya: Agreement on Power-Sharing
Published: March 19, 2008
The Kenyan Parliament unanimously approved a power-sharing deal intended to end the crisis that killed at least 1,000 people in postelection violence. Legislators passed the legal changes needed for a coalition government in which President Mwai Kibaki can bring in his rival, Raila Odinga, as prime minister after their agreement last month. The cabinet will be split evenly between the sides to form a unity government, though no date was given for putting the plan into effect.Key points & next steps in Kenya power-sharing deal
> Read full coverage from BBC
Now the hard part begins:
Kenya's political rivals agree to share power, but will they be able to heal a deeply divided nation?
> Read the full AP story from Toronto Star
Many challenges remain:Following the signing of a power-sharing agreement the mood in Kenya's capital is one of relief and hope that life will begin to return to normal. But as Derek Kilner reports from Nairobi, there is an awareness of the many challenges that remain.
> Read the full story from Voice of America
Kenya rivals reach peace agreement:Kenya's rival leaders broke their tense standoff on Thursday, February 28, agreeing to share power in a deal that may end the violence that has engulfed this nation but could be the beginning of a long and difficult political relationship...
> Read full story from Intl Herald Tribune
> NEW * Read the full report: "Kenya in Crisis"
by Intl Crisis Group (Brussels)
Xinhua, China - 1 hour ago
CAPE TOWN, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga told the 18th World Economic Forum on Africa which concluded here on Friday that the grand ...
Kenya PM sees grand coalition as positive example for Africa
www.chinaview.cn 2008-06-06 22:47:30
CAPE TOWN, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga told the 18th World Economic Forum on Africa which concluded here on Friday that the grand coalition that emerged from his country's post-election strife could serve a blueprint for the resolution of ethnic-based conflicts elsewhere in Africa.
"I think the Kenyan experiment is a pioneering one and that it holds hope for the rest of Africa if it succeeds," Odinga said.
Violent clashes erupted after the presidential elections in Kenya in December.
Over 1,500 people died in clashes between rival tribes affiliated to the political parties. Hundreds of thousands were forced to flee their homes.
Calm returned after several months and a deal brokered by former United Nations chief Kofi Annan which saw a power-sharing government, with Odinga sworn in as prime minister in April.
Some observers have questioned how long the coalition can hold together and divisions have already emerged over how to deal with people arrested during the post-election violence.
However, Odinga believes that the coalition government is the best solution to Kenya's and Africa's tribal conflicts.
Editor: Yan Liang
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Obama Cheered in Kenya
NPR - Jun 5, 2008
The TV audience included his grandmother, Sarah Obama, in the village of Kisumu, Kenya. Her neighbors packed into her home to watch with her, too. ...
Obama Cheered in Kenya
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Morning Edition, June 5, 2008 · The world watched on television Tuesday night as Barack Obama gave his victory speech. The TV audience included his grandmother, Sarah Obama, in the village of Kisumu, Kenya, and her neighbors. Other supporters in Kenya, where Obama's late father was from, toasted with a local Kenyan beer nicknamed "Obama Beer."
June 5, 2008
Rejoicing in Kenya at U.S. Triumph of a Sort of Native Son
By REUBEN KYAMA
Kenya— The banner headline across The Kenya Times on Wednesday seemed to say it all, “Obama makes history, beats odds.”
Barack Obama secured the Democratic presidential nomination, villagers in his father’s hometown shouted traditional songs and praised God for the outsized success of a “village son.”
A day after Senator
Here in the capital, office workers turned their attentions to the radio and television stations that constantly replayed Mr. Obama’s victory speech. Unemployed men in the slums toasted the moment with a popular brand of beer, Senator Keg lager, that Kenyans have renamed “Obama.”
John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, has the inexorable advantage of being a white candidate in a largely white nation.
Beneath the sense of joy was cautious optimism. Despite the milestone reached by Mr. Obama, whose father was Kenyan, many Kenyans say that Republicans in the United States remain powerful, well financed and difficult to beat and that Senator
“It’s still too early to celebrate,” Joyce Nkuubi, 45, a florist, said. “He has some more work to do if he’s to defeat McCain.”
The day was certainly not as jubilant as it was when Mr. Obama visited Kenya in 2006 in an orchestrated four-country African tour to raise awareness of AIDS and connect with his roots. Thousands of people lined the streets of Nairobi to catch a glimpse of him, waiting hours in the sun.
But in the west, in Nyangoma-Kogelo, a collection of tin-roofed shacks and rutted dirt roads with little electricity or running water, a celebration occurred without him. Scores of villagers flocked to the home of Sarah Obama, his step-grandmother, to dance in the family compound and pray.
“Everybody there is full of excitement,” Barack Karama, a journalist in western Kenya, said. “There are many journalists, as well as people who are streaming in and out to offer congratulatory messages to the grandmother.”
Ms. Obama said she had predicted the victory, Mr. Karama said.
Many residents of Nyangoma-Kogelo are subsistence farmers, and Mr. Obama has come to represent pride and hope for them.
Because of his celebrity, the village has become something of a focal point, with journalists of many stripes putting up at a nearby port, Kisumu.
“I have spent the whole day here in Kisumu talking with journalists,” said Said Obama, an uncle of the senator.
Many Kenyans seemed to have few expectations that Mr. Obama, if elected president, would suddenly steer American policies to their advantage. But they saw significant, if sometimes indirect benefits.
“Since Obama has his roots in Kenya, it is obvious that Kenya and Africa will receive a lot of international attention,” Maurice Ogola, 31, computer technician, said. “That international limelight on Kenya and Africa is very good.
“We need much foreign aid, we need a lot of help to boost our economic growth, and that can come from a new America. Obama has a lot of potential to bring the much needed change.”
Kenya's 'national hero' BBC News
Kenya's 'national hero'
By Adam Mynott BBC News, Nairobi
Kenyans give their views on the man who may be the next US president
Eighteen months ago, few Kenyans had even heard of Barack Obama.
He was a little known US senator from Illinois. Those who were aware of his existence lived in western Kenya near to the village of Alego-Kogello, 60km (37 miles) from the town of Kisumu where the Kenyan side of his family live.
Now his meteoric rise to political fame has propelled the name Barack Obama onto the lips of millions of Kenyans.
He has Kenyan blood coursing through his veins and has been adopted as a Kenyan national hero, who just might become the most powerful man in the world.
Barack Obama has never lived in Kenya and he has visited the country just three times.
The Kenyan blood comes from his father, Barack Obama senior, who was born in the remote village of Alego where he herded goats as a child.
Interview by appointment
He set off to the New World in search of a broader education. He was a brilliant economist and returned to Kenya to work as a civil servant.
Obama senior died in a road accident in 1982. So Barack Obama's links with Kenya are not strong, but he is said to speak of the country as his "second home".
His grandmother Sarah Obama still lives in the village where she receives an endless stream of journalists and well-wishers wanting to find out more about the US Democratic super-star.
I was in a queue of three other camera teams when I went to see Sarah Obama. Her family insists on appointments being made.
Sarah Obama must have answered the same questions hundreds of times and there will be many more to come in the next six months.
When she's not answering reporters' questions she looks after some cows and a few chickens.
But Sarah Obama has been keeping up with her grandson's progress, and says she is delighted and not surprised by his success.
"He's a good boy, and very clever," she tells me. "I never thought he would become president one day, but Barack's mother kept a close eye on him and made sure he did his studies at school."
Barack Obama is already a Kenyan hero. A school near Alego and at least one bar in Kisumu are named after him.
In the coming weeks, as the November general election gets closer, his fame will grow and grow.
When he joined the race to win the Democratic presidential nomination, hospitals around Kenya reported lots of new-born babies being named Barack.
The Barack Obama phenomenon in Kenya is just starting.
Kenyans I spoke to in Nairobi said they hoped that Mr Obama's links with Kenya and his status as the first African-American to have a serious shot at the US presidency will improve relations between Africa and the US.
Some, though, were brutally realistic, fearing that despite his political credentials he might face defeat "because the US is not yet ready to elect a black man".
Others said that they were proud that a Kenyan had laid out a political programme which had gained respect throughout the world.
Barack Obama's success as a politician stands in stark contrast to many in Kenyan political life.
His nomination has provided welcome relief and distraction against a Kenyan political backdrop.
More than a thousand people were killed in the violence which followed December's disputed general election. There is also a general contempt for the political elite in the country.
Some I spoke to are so enthusiastic about Barack Obama that they have over-looked the fact that his real political battle, against Republican Senator John McCain, is about to begin.
Those Kenyans have already anointed him President of the United States.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2008/06/04 21:29:10 GMT© BBC MMVIII
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Kenya gang slits pastor's throat
AFP - 5 hours agoNAIROBI (AFP) — Suspected members of Kenya's banned Mungiki gang murdered a pastor by slitting his throat and skinned his face in the country's western town ...
Kenya gang slits pastor's throat
5 hours ago
NAIROBI (AFP) — Suspected members of Kenya's banned Mungiki gang murdered a pastor by slitting his throat and skinned his face in the country's western town of Eldoret, police said Friday.
The gruesome murder sparked demonstrations late Thursday by protestors demanding tougher police action against the gang, a mafia-like organisation running an extortion empire in the country and notorious for its brutal methods.
"We are investigating the murder which has been linked to the notorious Mungiki sect members," said Munga Nyale, head of Eldoret's Criminal Investigation Department.
In the capital Nairobi, three suspected Mungiki members were killed in separate incidents, two of them stoned to death by residents.
Police shot dead the third and arrested six Mungiki followers.
The Mungiki gang was once a quasi-religious group of dreadlocked youths who embraced traditional rituals, but it has evolved into a powerful crime ring with political links that police have been trying to eradicate.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Friction within Kenya’s coalition government came to the fore when the president’s security guards clashed with those of the prime minister.
Trouble began when presidential guards barred Raila Odinga’s security men from the VIP podium during independence celebrations.
Military chief Jeremiah Kianga had to intervene to prevent the scuffle from degenerating into a fist fight.
President Kibaki and Mr Odinga signed a power-sharing deal in February.
The agreement followed a dispute over the results of last year’s presidential poll, which left some 1,500 people dead.
The BBC's Noel Mwakugu in Nairobi says suspicion still runs high between ministers from President Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU) and the prime minister’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
On Sunday, it was their guards' turn, as they shoved each other and exchanged insults in yet another show of distrust between the two sides.
The prime minister and his wife had just arrived for the celebrations accompanied by five bodyguards but when only one was allowed into the VIP section, an argument ensued which lead to a scuffle.
Mr Odinga had already taken his seat on the podium.
His guards later retreated and sat among members of the public.
The scuffle broke out shortly before President Kibaki arrived at the venue of the celebrations.
Police say they are investigating the incident.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/africa/7431175.stm
Published: 2008/06/02 11:43:57 GMT© BBC MMVIII
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