Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kenya assures ICC team of commitment


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NAIROBI, Kenya, May 30 - The government on Tuesday re-assured the delegation from the International Criminal Court (ICC) of its commitment and cooperation during the investigations of the key suspects of the 2008 post election violence in Kenya.

ICC Jurisdiction Complimentarity and Cooperation Division Director Phakiso Mochochoko said the Cabinet Committee on ICC matters re-affirmed that it would continue to support the process, but the court was yet to see it practically.

“We have received re-assurances, we have received re-commitments. We can only go by that but it remains to be seen in the actual testing to see how it ends in practice, the government said it is willing to work with the ICC,” he said.

He said the Prosecutor’s office will report Kenya to the judges who will then appeal to the top most political ICC body which is the Assembly of State Parties to rule on any breaches of the cooperation agreement.

Accompanied by Associate International Cooperation Adviser Shamiso Mbizvo the delegation from the Prosecutor’s Office raised concerns over failure by suspects occupying top positions in government to resign.

He said the prosecutor’s office will continue to communicate with the government over that matter.

Mr Mochochoko echoed ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo’s complaint that the government was shielding the suspects as he recalled the ‘shuttle diplomacy’ led by vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.

Willingness to cooperate and the government’s process to defer the Kenyan case and also pull out of the Rome Statue were also points of discussion with the government.

He said the government’s intention was engineered after Mr Ocampo publicised the names of the suspects, a move that raised serious questions of Kenya’s promised cooperation.

Mr Mochochoko further said the court will take action against suspects issuing threats to witnesses.

He said the court was already investigating reports that some of the six suspects were threatening witnesses and once equipped with evidence the court will take action which includes warrants of arrest.

“We are investigating, depending on the outcome we will take appropriate measures including reporting the matter to the judges as it is a serious offence,” he said.

Mr Mochochoko raised concerns with the government over the witness protection programme which he complained was insufficient.

He said it was crucial for Kenya to address the hiccups in the witness protection programme to ensure witnesses will be assured of protection should Kenya decide to carry other investigations into the 2008 post election violence.

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Hashish nabbed at Kenyan airport


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NAIROBI, Kenya May 31 - Police at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport have seized Hashish disguised as vegetables which were destined for the UK.

Airport police told Capital News that they had arrested a man found transporting the drugs which were packed in 88 slabs early Tuesday.

“They were in 20 cartons and disguised as vegetables for export but we suspected something was not right. That is when we seized them,” airport CID chief Joseph Ngisa said.

He said the man arrested was a truck driver who had just delivered the cargo at the airport. Two other men believed to be loaders who had accompanied the driver escaped, police said.

JKIA police chief Philip Tuimur told Capital News that they had invited officials from the Government Chemist and others from the weights and measures to assist them in the investigation as detectives prepared to arraign the suspect in court. He said they had not established the street value of the drugs seized.

“We are carrying out investigations jointly with other arms of the government, the weights and measures officials are assisting us. Government chemist officials are also working with us,” he added.

Mr Tuimur said an investigation had been launched to establish the source of the drugs and also get accomplices of the suspect who is in custody.

“We know he is not alone in this, there must have been people who sent him to deliver the cargo here. Those are the people we want to know where they are,” Mr Tuimur said adding that “the suspect who in custody will definitely face charges in court.”

He did not disclose the charges they intend to prefer against the truck driver.

A detective involved in the investigation told Capital News that they had sent a dispatch to London seeking the support of detectives there to establish the recipient of the cargo.

“We have the details of the person who was to receive this cargo in London, we are now relying on our counterparts there to trace him,” a detective briefing on condition of anonymity said.

On Sunday, two Nigerian men allegedly found trafficking in Cocaine worth Sh5 million were arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Police said the suspects had swallowed the drugs when they were intercepted at the screening area of the airport late Saturday and were immediately detained until Sunday morning when they emitted 182 pellets of Cocaine.

“When profiling passengers, our officers have a way of detecting people who are trafficking in drugs. These two gentlemen had swallowed the drugs and that is why they were detained,” Head of the Anti narcotics unit Sebastian Ndaru said.

He said the men were traveling from Douala, Cameroon to Jakarta, Indonesia when they were intercepted.

Police said Tuesday they are increasingly concerned at the high cases of drug trafficking at the JKIA which is a major hub in the region.

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PM urges Kenyan varsities to style up


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PM Raila Odinga/ File

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 31- Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Tuesday challenged local universities to provide education programmes that matched up to international standards in order for the country to achieve its Vision 2030.

Mr Odinga argued that the programmes should be globally competitive and also promote innovative ideas that can be used to advance the country’s development agenda.

The PM who was speaking during the inauguration of a new engineering complex at the Kenyatta University added that the move would help provide local labor that would be cheap and skilled, as the country gears up for its long term goals.

He further asked the Engineering Registration Board (ERB) in the country to embrace new areas of specialisation in engineering.

“It took the British four years to construct the railway line from Mombasa to Kisumu, nearly 800 kilometers. Yet we have not been able to add a single inch to our railway line since the British left,” he said amidst applause.

The PM also challenged education officials to give more exposure to young scientists arguing that their ideas should not be rejected. He instead urged Kenyans to nature young innovations and guide youths who were developing them.

He has also urged the universities to increase their intake of women so as to promote gender equality. He further urged girls to take up engineering as a career in order to enhance and balance out competition with boys.

“We must keep track of the youthful innovation displayed at the annual science congresses and give our young scientists the exposure they deserve. For example if drama and music festival finalists can perform at State House so can our pioneering young scientists,” he said.

Mr Odinga added that there was need prioritise sciences, technology, engineering and maths so that the country could scale up its capacities for scientific and technological innovations

“In fact I want to challenge all our universities to find ways of identifying and tracking right from their high school days pupils who demonstrate innovative talent and potential,” he said.

He said; “We must all embark on a deliberate effort to raise interest in science and engineering and make and innovation part of our national culture.”

The PM lauded Kenyatta University for prudent utilisation of resources noting the engineering building and an upcoming library have been financed entirely from the University’s internal resources.

The PM directed the ministry of Higher Education to provide adequate resources that could be used to stock local universities.

“I have had a look at the engineering laboratory that has been set up by KU but I must admit that that is not what an engineering lab looks like so I am givining instructions to the Higher Education minister to ensure that the government provides enough funds for these labs,” he said.

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Kenya records decline in smoking


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NAIROBI, Kenya, May 31 – Kenya celebrated this year’s World No Tobacco Day on Tuesday with news that the rate of smoking was decreasing in the country.

Director of Public Health Dr Shahnaaz Sharif said tobacco control efforts in Kenya were bearing fruit seeing a reduction in the rate of smoking.

“As indicated in the 2008-2009 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey, the rate of smoking has decreased from 23 percent in 2003 to 18 percent in 2009. We should therefore accelerate the momentum to achieve more especially in reducing the habit among youth,” stated the Minister.

The rate of tobacco use has been on the rise over the years, according to the Health Ministry, with 18 percent adult males actively smoking and 12.7 percent of school going boys and 6.5 percent of school going girls engaged in smoking.

Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable deaths in the world, continuing to claim 22,100 lives in cancer deaths annually.

Also speaking at the forum, Tobacco Control Board Vice Chair Irene Wanyoike said, for this reason the goal of the Tobacco Control Act to reduce tobacco-related deaths is yet to be realized.

“Kenyans continue to die from tobacco-related diseases. The intention of the FCTC was to reduce tobacco related deaths. Is Kenya backsliding to the delight of the tobacco industry? Who is celebrating today?” she said

Kenya, as member of  the World Heath Organization (WHO), signed and ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) on June 25, 2004 and domesticated it through the Tobacco Control Act 2007.

So far the government has banned smoking in all public places, curbed illegal trade of tobacco products and encouraged tobacco farmers to diversify to healthier alternatives.

Most recently public health officials in conjunction with WHO sought to increase taxes on tobacco products, aiming to discourage consumption and reverse the fall in revenues from the industry since late last year.

If the proposal is successful, cigarette prices will rise and fall with the existing rate of inflation starting in June, following the new budget.

Minister Mugo called upon the Ministry of Finance to formulate a tobacco taxation policy that ensures annual increment in tobacco taxation, every budget year.

This she said would “increase the accumulated tax revenue from tobacco products, which in turn should be channeled to tobacco control interventions in the country.”

Under the Tobacco Control Act, the Ministry is in the process of finalizing pictorial health warnings that will be placed on all packets of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

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House divided over Budget D-day

Written By:Nelly Moraa/Glena Nyamwaya,    Posted: Tue, May 31, 2011

Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta is required to submit the budget estimates by Tuesday next week
Controversy over whether the budget will be read next Wednesday intensified in Parliament today with MPs divided over its constitutionality.
Debate on the issue saw the government split over whether Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta will be in breach of the constitution by reading a budget that has not incorporated public participation.
Proponents of the budget reading next week argued that failure to read the budget will be against the East Africa Treaty that requires all states within the region to present their budgets on the same day.
They claimed government operations will grind to a halt if the government fails to present the budget next Wednesday.
Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo described it as an enormous peril to the region if Kenya fails to comply with the East African Treaty.
However, Lands minister James Orengo insisted that the constitution must be upheld and the minister must display full compliance with the new law.
Gichugu MP Martha Karua who had raised the matter as she sought the Speaker's direction, argued that the pageantry associated with budget reading should not be witnessed this year and parliament should not adjourn its sittings after the budget reading as provided for in article 221 of the constitution.
Budget committee's deadline
The Parliamentary Budget Committee wants Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta to submit the executive budgetary estimates before Tuesday next week to allow public participation before the budget is read.
The committee members met on Tuesday to strategize the way forward after Uhuru failed to submit the estimates two months ago in line with the constitutional requirements.
The committee chair Elius Mbau said if the minister fails to present the estimates, they will seek a ruling from the speaker on the matter.
However, Mbau noted that the move will not deter the committee from tabling the estimates they have received from the Judicial Service Commission and the Parliamentary Service Commission.
The members expressed disappointment on Uhuru for failing to comply with the new law, but said they are confident the matter will be put to rest.
Uhuru ignored Mbau Committee
Gwassi MP John Mbadi claimed the Finance Minister ignored advice from the budget committee in February, urging him to comply with provisions of article 221 of the constitution and table the budgetary estimates to allow public participation.
He said the technocrats at Treasury had informed the minister of the constitution provisions and the need to comply. 
National assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende said as the chair of the parliamentary service commission he had ensured that parliaments budget was ready in April in compliance with the constitution.
Marende will rule next Tuesday on whether Uhuru can read the budget on the 8th June as planned or he must allow public participation through parliament's budget committee as specified in the constitution.
Last Friday the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution chairman Charles Nyachae said the Finance Minister will be going against the law if he presents the budget to Parliament without the public input through the budget committee.
 Uhuru scoffed at the claims insisting that the country cannot be held hostage by constitution time lines.

Kenya to appeal admissibility ruling

Written By:Glena Nyamwaya,    Posted: Tue, May 31, 2011

AG Amos Wako says Kenya will appeal Monday's decision to the ICC's Appeal Chamber on grounds of lthe ack of oral hearing to Kenya
Following Monday's rejection by the International Criminal Court of the admissibility challenge filed by the government, Attorney General Amos Wako says Kenya will appeal against both decisions to the Appeals Chamber of the ICC.
In a statement from Switzerland, Wako says "I have learnt of the decisions of the Pre-Trial Chamber II of I.C.C. dismissing the Government of Kenya's application challenging the admissibility of the two Kenya cases before the I.C.C.  I am surprised that the Pre-Trial Chamber II reached this decision without according, at the very minimum, on oral hearing to the Government of Kenya."
"This issue of giving an opportunity to the state Party which has applied for it, an oral hearing is fundamental to the development of international criminal law. The Government of Kenya is therefore reviewing the ruling with a view of appealing against both decisions to the Appeals Chamber of the I.C.C. In this regard I will be meeting our lawyers, Sir Geoffrey Nice. Q.C. and Rodney Dixon in London on Friday the 3rd of June 2011," read the statement.

Wako adds that "the Government of Kenya is confident that the Appeals Chamber will not only receive up to date information of the progress of investigations that the Pre-Trial Chamber declined to receive, but that, by the time of the hearing of the Appeal, yet further reform will have taken place demonstrating that these cases can be tried in Kenya itself."

He went on to add that, the ultimate success of the Government's application will depend on the manner, speed, determination and unity with which Constitutional reforms are carried out, in particular Judicial and Police Reforms.
On the Judicial reforms, how the current impasse facing the Legal Affairs committee is resolved will be the determining factor as to how soon the three key judicial posts, that is Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and Director of Public Prosecutions, will be filled.
The three will fall into the judicial reforms that will see Kenya get a Supreme Court as well as other judicial mechanisms that can convince the international community of Kenya's commitment and capability to deal with past injustices.
Wako said that any squabbling and acrimonious debate and delays in the timely implementation of the Constitution by legislators only seek to send negative signals making the Government's success difficult.
"Let us therefore, resolve to pursue the reforms soberly, expeditiously and with maximum determination."

Khalwale sworn in yet again!

Written By:Nelly Moraa,    Posted: Tue, May 31, 2011

Dr. Khalwale worn the Ikolomani by-election held on 23rd May to retain his seat
Dr Bonny Khalwale was today sworn in again, as the Ikolomani Member of Parliament. Dr Khalwale took the oath administered by National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende.  
Minutes before his swearing in Tuesday afternoon, Dr. Khalwale received hugs from a number of MPs who congratulated him for his achievement.
Dr. Khalwale‘s term was interrupted  after he lost an election petition filed by ODM's Bernard Shinali.
He however beat Shinali in the recent by election making a comeback to complete his second term.
Dr. Khalwale was first elected in 2002 on a Narc ticket where he served as an assistant minister for East Africa Community.
In 2007 he was elected on a New Ford Kenya ticket, an election that was challenged in court which saw him lose the seat temporarily pending the by election.
He emerged winner in the by election that analysts have perceived as a huge blow to ODM in western province and an indictment on Musalia Mudavadi's influence in western.
Dr Khalwale was escorted by his party chairman and Housing Minister Soita Shitanda and Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa.

Marende to rule on Budget estimates

House Speaker Kenneth Marende will rule on Tuesday whether Kenya's Budget will be read on June 8 May 31, 2011. FILE
House Speaker Kenneth Marende will rule on Tuesday whether Kenya's Budget will be read on June 8 May 31, 2011. FILE
Posted  Tuesday, May 31 2011 at 16:43

House Speaker Kenneth Marende will rule on Tuesday whether Kenya's Budget will be read on June 8.
Mr Marende told MPs that he will deliver his ruling a day before Treasury's planned date to present the budget in Parliament.
Mr Marende told the legislators during Tuesday's afternoon session that they had burdened him with a difficult task especially given that government had talked at "cross purposes".
While Ministers Amos Kimunya and Sam Ongeri said Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta should be allowed to read the estimates, their cabinet colleague James Orengo said Mr Kenyatta should get away with flouting the Constitution.
Earlier, Parliament’s Budget Committee had indicated that Mr Kenyatta would not read the Budget as scheduled on June 8.
Speaking at a meeting at Nairobi’s Continental House, the MPs also resolved to have Mr Kenyatta reprimanded for breaching the Constitution when he failed to submit the estimates as stipulated in the Constitution.
Besides, the MPs said they’ll ask House Speaker Kenneth Marende to force the minister to apologise to the nation for flouting the Constitution and to immediately comply with the requirement that he should submit the budget to the House immediately for scrutiny.
They gave the minister until Tuesday next week, after which, they said, they will tell the Speaker to weigh in and force the minister to present the estimates in Parliament or be banned from conducting business in Parliament.
Later in the afternoon, Ms Martha Karua (Gichugu, Narc Kenya) asked the Speaker to rule on the legal controversy, and as the chairman of the Parliamentary Service Commission, the Speaker took a preliminary view that there was no reason why the minister had failed to submit the budget to the committee for scrutiny.
The frontbench led by Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo, Transport Minister Amos Kimunya and Education Minister Sam Ongeri then lobbied the MPs in Parliament to support the reading of the budget next week saying that it was crucial to push the integration in the East Africa Community forward. But the hawkish backbenchers held that the EAC treaties were inferior to the Constitution and thus the priority in obeying the law was first to the Constitution.
At the Budget Committee, the lawmakers also denied ever granting the minister a 30-day extension to present the Budget, saying they had advised him to seek that extension from Parliament, and still the minister did not do so.
Committee chairman Elias Mbau led members John Mbadi (Gwassi, ODM), Mohammed Abdikadir (Mandera Central, Safina), Ekwee Ethuro (Turkana Central, PNU), Mithika Linturi (Igembe South, Kanu), Danson Mungatana (Garsen, Narc Kenya) and Abdul Bahari (Isiolo South, Kanu) in making the resolution.
The MPs went through the records of their meetings with the Treasury and recorded that on three occasions, the minister had ignored the committee’s rulings and thus, he had to be reprimanded for doing that. Yesterday, Treasury mandarins showed up at the meeting without the minister or the permanent secretary Joseph Kinyua and they were turned away.
Mr Mbau, Mr Mbadi and Mr Linturi said the new Constitution had no provision for Mr Kenyatta to read the budget in the House. They said the law was clear that the minister had to submit the annual estimates to the committee as soon as possible.
The trio cited article 221 of the Constitution as the basis for their assertions, and reading it together with section 31(2) of the Transition and Consequential Clauses, they said, the minister donned the clothes of the Cabinet Secretary as far as budget-making is concerned.
They said the article 221, it that deals with the budget-making process had not been suspended until the next elections, and thus, it had to be complied with.
“Many Kenyans are reading this Constitution and expect compliance. It appears the Executive was ill-prepared,” Mr Ethuro added.
They said there was no reason why Parliament and the Judiciary had submitted the budget yet the Treasury was insisting on holding onto the national budget.
“It could be that some people are trying to pull strings from behind, so we have to be very vigilant,” said Mr Linturi.
Mr Mohammed, the chairman of the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee said the Treasury’s reluctance at complying with article 221 was ill-informed.
“If there’s any particular requirement that has to be fulfilled in the Constitution; it is not a choice about whether you’ll comply or not. You have to comply,” the CIOC chairman said.
He added that the challenge was in transiting from the old dispensation of pompous reading of the Budget to the new one where the budget-making role is the preserve of the Budget Committee and Parliament’s Budget Office. He said the minister was already in contempt of the law and should rectify the problem before the matter moved on.
“We’re not seeking his indulgence. Part of Parliament’s work is oversight, so we demand compliance from the Treasury,” he added.
Mr Mbau said the minister won’t read the Budget, because, according to Parliament’s legal opinion, article 221 took precedence in the process and therefore, if the minister went ahead to read the budget next week, he’d be committing a second breach on the law.
He said the 30-day extension being spoken of by the Treasury was non-existent, because, the minister was meant to tell the nation that he had breached the Constitution and was thus supposed to “confess to the public and seek forgiveness.”
“We asked them to seek that extension from the House to absolve the committee, but they failed,” said Mr Mbau.
All EAC nations are reading their budgets on June 8, for the simultaneous enactment of tariffs on the Common Market

MPs disagree over team to vet nominees

The names of Dr Willy Mutunga (left) and Nancy Barasa (centre) for Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice respectively and Keriako Tobiko (right) for Director of Public Prosecution were submitted to Parliament by President Kibaki. Photos/FILE
The names of Dr Willy Mutunga (left) and Nancy Barasa (centre) for Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice respectively and Keriako Tobiko (right) for Director of Public Prosecution were submitted to Parliament by President Kibaki. Photos/FILE
By JOHN NGIRACHU, jngirachu@ke.nationmedia.com and NJERI RUGENE, nrugene@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted  Tuesday, May 31 2011 at 17:12

Bickering between coalition rivals ODM and PNU has once again delayed the appointment of a new Chief Justice, the deputy and the Director of Public Prosecutions.
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Both parties emerged from a meeting of the House Business Committee at 12.30 p.m. Tuesday with a variety of reasons why the special committee to vet the nominees was not formed.
The list of members of the ad hoc committee would then have been taken to Parliament later in the afternoon for discussion and possible approval, paving the way for the team to start vetting Dr Willy Mutunga, Nancy Baraza and Keriako Tobiko.
But according to Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara, the wrangles between the two parties could be avoided by having the names of the nominees discussed by the whole House as a committee.
Justice minister Mutula Kilonzo appeared to agree with him that Article 166 of the Constitution only provides for “approval by the National Assembly” without reference to a committee.
Mr Imanyara said public participation would be realized by presentation of memoranda from the public to the House through the Speaker.
Mr Kilonzo will respond to Mr Imanyara’s statement on Thursday.
Speaking outside Parliament, Mr Imanyara said if MPs fail to agree on the names by the time of going to press last night, the House should be able to invoke the relevant provisions and discuss the nominees at the plenary.
It emerged that there are suspicions between the two parties over Dr Willy Mutunga, the nominee for the position of Chief Justice as well as over the numbers each will present.
Narc-Kenya chairperson Martha Karua is also understood to have demanded at the meeting of the HBC that her party be represented in the PNU list.
ODM Chief Whip Jakoyo Midiwo told the meeting of Parliament’s most influential committee the party was yet to agree on who among its loyalists would be in the team.
He was confident at a press conference at Parliament Buildings later in the afternoon that the membership of the committee would be known by the end of the HBC meeting later last night.
PNU deputy whip Jeremiah Kioni said at an earlier press conference the party was suspicious of the delay by ODM to name their members to the special committee.
“This (delay), to us, is an indication that there is more to it than we can see,” said Mr Kioni, who represented Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and PNU Chief Whip Johnstone Muthama at the meeting.
“Our colleagues are coming up with every reason in the universe to stall the process. We (usually) agree but then they go behind the door and come up with a reason to delay it further,” said Laikipia West MP Ndiritu Muriithi.
Mr Kioni said PNU would present its six members of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee to the ad hoc committee and allow ODM to select one of its five representatives as chairman.
But according to Mr Midiwo, ODM should have six members in the team due to its strength in the House, and therefore should have a majority as per the Standing Orders.
The 11 members would then be allowed to freely elect the committee’s chairman without any negotiations between their respective parties.
“We agreed yesterday that PNU was going to give us five members but we must ask ourselves why the obsession with those from the Legal Committee,” said Mr Midiwo.
“PNU has sworn, in these corridors that Willy Mutunga becomes the CJ over the dead body of some of them. Don’t chase a rabbit if you have started chasing an elephant. The eye must be on the elephant,” said Mr Midiwo.
An informal agreement between them resulted in Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba heading the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, with the attempt to remove him precipitating the current shenanigans.  
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“The issue of who takes chair and all that was an agreement between me  and George Thuo (the former Juja MP and Chief Whip). Now that I am not properly coexisting with the other whips, I have no business bending over backwards,” said Mr Midiwo.
He alleged that PNU was keen on having the ODM rebels on the list, which the party has vowed will not be the case.   
Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa said on Monday he has resigned from the wrangling committee but Mr Kioni said he had not formally written to the party to communicate his position and had not spoken of it to them.
Mr Kioni admitted that Ms Karua had complained that her party, which was previously affiliated to PNU, was not represented in the ad hoc committee.
The Ndaragwa MP was accompanied by Muturi Mwangi (Kiharu, PNU), Maison Leshoomo (Nominated, PNU), Ndiritu Muriithi (Laikipia West, PNU), George Nyamweya (Nominated, PNU) and Lewis Nguyai (Kikuyu, PNU).

Kibaki urged to secure border

Chairman of the House Defence and Foreign Relations Committee Adan Keynan has urged President Kibaki to secure the country's porous borders May 31, 2011. FILE
Chairman of the House Defence and Foreign Relations Committee Adan Keynan has urged President Kibaki to secure the country's porous borders May 31, 2011. FILE
By ALPHONCE SHIUNDU/ , ashiundu@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted  Tuesday, May 31 2011 at 15:29

Kenya’s sovereignty will remain at risk unless President Kibaki orders the military to secure the country’s porous borders.
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Speaking at a monthly meeting with parliamentary journalists in Nairobi, an MP and a university don said the President had been “held captive by elite interests”, and that’s why cross-border criminals were having a field day raiding the country.
Mr Adan Keynan, the chairman of Parliament’s Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations and Dr Adams Oloo, a political science lecturer at the University of Nairobi, said that unless the President, as the commander-in-chief, asked the military to take charge of the borders, the attacks on Kenyans living near the borders will continue.
“The President should move to secure the borders. Like Uganda, we must put up security posts at intervals of 20km all round our borders,” said Mr Keynan. “Our people near the borders cannot live at the mercy of marauding nomads.”
He said President Kibaki ought to secure the borders because he is the Commander-in-Chief of Kenya’s armed forces.
“When you look at the President, he can either be proactive or laid back. When he is laid back, he becomes a prisoner of elite interests,” Dr Oloo said.
Mr Keynan also said that the absence of a substantive Foreign Affairs minister was also hurting Kenya’s relations abroad. Though his committee edged out the former minister Moses Wetang’ula over corruption allegations, Mr Keynan said the President ought to have found a replacement as soon as possible.
“If I was the chief executive of Kenya, I’d not allow the people of Kenya to be without a minister of foreign affairs for even one hour,” the committee chairman said.
The two said the porous borders plus the tussle between Kenya and Uganda over the Migingo and Ugingo islands in Lake Victoria was also a threat to the integration process within the East Africa Community trading bloc.
Dr Peter Oesterdiekhoff of Germany’s Friedrich Ebert Stiftung noted that the push and pull between Kenya and Uganda was unlikely to cease, because there’s no conflict resolution mechanism within the East Africa Community to sort out such crises.
Dr Oesterdiekhoff said the security threats on Kenya’s borders “do not bode well for the integration process.”
The President also came under fire for failing to protect Kenya’s citizens, more so, following the rendition of some of them to Uganda to face charges of terror. Courts in Kenya have declared the rendition unlawful and asked the government to make sure the Kenyans came back home.
But then, they argued, Kenya has failed to follow up on the process for fear of jeopardizing relations with its biggest trading partner, Uganda.
“Whether Uganda likes it or not, this is realpolitik. We shouldn’t be begging Uganda to trade with us,” the University don said. “If Uganda is not our trading partner, we’ll get another one. That alone should not make us compromise our foreign policy.”

Kenya to appeal ICC admissibility ruling

Attorney General Amos Wako has said Kenya will appeal against the ICC Pre Trial Chamber 11 decisions on its admissibility application May 31, 2011. FILE

Attorney General Amos Wako has said Kenya will appeal against the ICC Pre Trial Chamber 11 decisions on its admissibility application May 31, 2011. FILE

Posted Tuesday, May 31 2011 at 13:19

Kenya has said it will contest the International Criminal Court's ruling that rejected its application to have the Ocampo Six tried locally.

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Attorney General Amos Wako also said Tuesday that the country should move with speed to implement reforms that will ensure such an appeal is successful.

Mr Wako expressed surprise that the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber 11 had made its ruling without giving the government an oral hearing.

"I am surprised that the Pre-Trial Chamber 11 reached this decision without according, at the very minimum, an oral hearing to the Government of Kenya. This issue of giving an opportunity to the state Party, which has applied for it, an oral hearing is fundamental to the development of international criminal law," said Mr Wako is a statement.

"The Government of Kenya is therefore reviewing the ruling with a view to appealing against both decisions to the Appeals Chamber of the ICC.

"In this regard, I will be meeting our lawyers, Sir Geoffrey Nice. Q.C. and Rodney Dixon in London on Friday the 3rd of June," said Mr Wako from Geneva, Switzerland where he is on official duty.

The AG said he was confident that by the time of hearing the appeal, Kenya would have carried out further reforms "demonstrating that these cases can be tried in Kenya itself".

He, however, appealed to the government and specifically MPs to drive reforms with "maximum determination" saying that delays and disagreements were likely to hinder a successful government appeal.

"As I have stated before, the ultimate success of the Government's application will depend on the manner, speed, determination

and unity with which we carry out Constitutional reforms and in particular Judicial and Police Reforms."

"Any squabbling and acrimonious debate and delays in timeous implementation of the Constitution only sends negative signal and makes the Government's success difficult."

On Monday, efforts to have the cases pending at the ICC brought back home were thrown out, with the ICC judges finding the government’s grounds for claiming to be serious about punishing crimes against humanity unconvincing.

In one instance, the government gave the court a letter from the Attorney-General ordering the Commissioner of Police to investigate persons to have masterminded the violence.

However, the letter was written after the government filed the case to have the Ocampo Six tried at home.

Judges, in their ruling, also noted that Kenya is short on measures already taken to punish impunity and long on promises of future action.

In the ruling sent to defence teams, Judges Ekaterina Trendafilova, Cuno Tarfusser and Hans-Peter Kaul declared: "The Chamber hereby rejects government request, determines the case is admissible and orders the (ICC) to notify this decision to the Government of the Republic of Kenya."

The Ocampo Six include Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura, Postmaster General Hussein Ali, Eldoret North MP William Ruto, his Tinderet counterpart Henry Kosgey and radio presenter Joshua Sang.

They have since gone before the Pre-Trial Chamber for an initial appearance. Hearings for the confirmation of charges will begin on September 1 and September 21.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga in Zimbabwe

Survey says Kenyans unhappy with Government




Capital Talk_Koigi Wa Wamwere Part 1

Capital Talk_Koigi Wa Wamwere Part 2

Capital Talk_Koigi Wa Wamwere Part 3

Capital Talk_Koigi Wa Wamwere Part 4

Political Truth Meter

Wanjiru/another Father/DNA Test

Criminal/Owuor Confession

Legal Affairs Comm/HBC Meets

Budget/Politics/Courts Change

ICC Concerns/Admissibility Dismissed

Darubini: Ramadhan Kajembe

Budget Feature

Ad Hoc committee deadlock

Govt losses admissibility case

Ocampo team in town

Update: Stripped hyenas

Curbing hate speech

Governance scorecard

The burning issue

Kazi kwa Vijana phase 2 to be rolled out

joho kongowea

Is another constitutional crisis in the offing?

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Share/Save/Bookmark  Kenya is quickly sliding into a constitutional crisis. The warning last week by the Committee for the Implementation of the Constitution that Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta would be acting contrary to the constitution if he goes ahead and presents his budget next month is just the latest indication of this.
Under the new constitution, Treasury has to have presented the budget for public scrutiny in April. It failed to do so leading to the current stalemate. The parliamentary committee on the budget and Treasury officials are expected to come up with a way forward.
The options available are not encouraging either for the continued implementation of the constitution or the continued operations of the governments.
If the budget is not presented by June, government might be forced to a halt and so too will the various commissions that are charged with the implementation of the constitution. The Waheshimiwas, and the civil service will also not draw their salaries unless Parliament votes for a supplementary allocation.
If — as it could well happen — someone went to court and demanded the dissolution of Parliament, fresh elections could not be held as for example, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries commission is yet to be established.
Its these kind of uncertainties and an unwillingness (inability) of the leaders to give direction that creates a sense that this country is sliding into anarchy and confusion.

Quote of the day: "The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination," Voltaire, French Philosopher and writer who died on May 30,1778

Elderkin Is The Queen Of Black Propaganda

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Share/Save/Bookmark You don’t have to like her. But you have absolutely no choice but to hail Sarah Elderkin’s unparalleled gift in the dark art of propaganda.  Her recent piece in The Star, “Kalonzo Far From the Saint Portrayed”, is yet another nugget in her rather long anthology of pure and poetic palaver. In fact, by the time I was done reading it, I was more awed by Elderkin’s prowess at kneading words into an emotive narrative that can compete with creative writing worthy of an award on the international literary contests circuit.  
Sarah is one of Kenya’s most experienced journalists and indeed among the finest of the lot. Hers is the enduring image of a relic of a nostalgic past where hierarchically, mzungu fashioned him or herself to be deified. That’s how come she holds herself like some sort of a prankster-goddess of media for a specific political axis that thrives, nay is fatally hooked to, rarefied but malodorous propaganda.   
A keen devotee of Kenya’s olden day political renegade agenda, Elderkin was the power beneath the wings of Hilary Ng’weno’s authoritative but now defunct news analysis weekly journal, The Weekly Review.  She was a key Raila camp communications advisor of the 2007 gone-foul presidential election and most likely behind advisories that led to acidic verbal attacks on ODM’s main competitor back in the day. It may seem Elderkin got stuck in the murk of 2007 never to relent even as the world marched on.
Lest you forget, Elderkin is one of Kenya’s few journalists with a long and rich memory of our country’s socio-political evolution. Unlike her less creative peers, Elderkin deploys finer details in her elephantine memory whenever required to extinguish any competition aimed at anyone or anything she considers to bear the slightest mark of her political camp’s nemesis.  
Armed with such vast knowledge and exposure of the makings of modern Kenya, over and above her acidic cynicism, Elderkin takes on just about anyone in the league of her cluster of ‘others’, including President Kibaki, Professor Makau Mutua, DPM Uhuru Kenyatta, but particularly so VP Kalonzo Musyoka. It may seem that of the political lot targeted for Elderkin’s sharp pen, Kalonzo is the enemy Number One. If it is not for the inherent threat he is to Elderkin’s benefactor, I wonder what else could arouse such extreme passions against a seemingly harmless fellow from some far-flung haunt in the depths of Ukambani. But that’s another matter altogether.  
Aside from facts, Elderkin’s artistry in the manufacture of poetic propaganda manifests most readily in three unequalled techniques that she employs with much ingenuity in her writing.
One, hyperbole. If there ever was someone who can inflate an ant hill into an Everest without breaking a sweat, then that person is Sarah Elderkin when it comes to reframing facts and personalities.  In her remarkably long story-telling career, she has found it most exciting to squeeze a gigantic effigy of particular personages while in her very political backyard she has perfected the art of concealing ugly beasts with admirable skill. Woe unto you if you ever find yourself in Elderkin’s opposing camp — you will be on one of the sharpest receiving ends! It is at such times when Elderkin would elevate disdainful and sometimes outright vile caricatures meant to degrade others as indeed cited in her recent piece on Kalonzo.
Two, redundancy. In the last 20 years, the story of Kalonzo and the land saga has been published three times — all of them by Elderkin. Perhaps the story’s very political barrenness forces her to regurgitate it time and again, hoping it would one day stir the political scene to the disadvantage of Kalonzo. But she has failed miserably, and it shows. A whole generation of young Kenyans (this writer included) has come of age over the past two decades to find Sarah going on and on like what they used to call a broken record when some of us were mere young adults.  
Sarah’s sheer obsession with Kalonzo-and-the-land-case is embarrassingly like her Britons’ endless retailing of the story of how they won the football World Cup back in 1966. They will still be telling it in 2066! What’s the problem? Can’t she muck-rake any new dirt on Kalonzo? It’s trite, tiresome and positively morbid the way she carries on about this non-issue and non-subject. And, pray, what would happen if the lady should somehow, against all odds, come up with brand new dirt on the VP — we would no doubt be regaled with the same until 2030 and beyond!

Three, literary animadversion. Sarah’s critical and censorious remarks are designed to disarm and then kill. She opens her piece by denying truthfulness to writer Philip Ndolo and arrogating it to herself. This tactic used to awe village idiots in that long ago time when the mzungu Memsahib and Bwana were they law of the land in this country. It will no longer do. Today, Kenyans have a very keen sense of what it is that they are being sold at any one time by anyone, and not even a deeply and sternly frowning, finger-wagging latter-day Memsahib can intimidate them into not closely examining her wares.
By denigrating Kalonzo across 20 years, Sarah is trying to sell us another political brand — Prime Minister Raila Odinga. She is the ultimate snake oil sales-woman; that is why she begins with ascribing lying and lack of research to the other fellow. But what a waste of sheer effort, for no one who admires Brand Kalonzo can possibly be sold on Brand Raila. Not in this life. And the amazing thing is that the reverse is not true. I rest my case.  

Muthui Kariuki is the Communications Advisor in the Vice President’s Office


Miguna Miguna, BA, LLB, LLM. Prime Minister's Advisor, Coalition Affairs, Joint Secretary of the Permanent Committee on the Management of Grand Coalition Affairs
Office Of The Prime Minister Republic of Kenya.The Prime Minister's Building Po Box 74434-00200 Nairobi, Kenya.
By Miguna Miguna

So – ‘Ruto under pressure to take on Uhuru’ (Star, May 23). No surprises there, then. It had to happen. For all their purported ‘unity’, each of these two and every one of the so-called ‘G7’ group secretly thinks they should be the next president.

On the ground, their ‘unity’ evaporates like early morning dew in the sunshine. And nowhere are the wounds of past conflict and suspicion as deep and festering as between Ruto’s and Uhuru’s purported supporters in the Rift Valley.

It is notable that none of the ‘prayer meetings’ has been held in the volatile South or North Rift. And have the region’s IDPs felt free to return to their homes? They have not. Many have openly said they are too frightened. This alone tells you all you need to know about relations in the Rift Valley.

At the so-called ‘prayer’ meeting after The Hague appearances, ecstatic youth (looking suspiciously ‘under the influence’) clutched posters bearing Uhuru’s portrait and the word ‘President’. There was the occasional Ruto poster, proclaiming ‘Vice-President’, while poor old Kalonzo Musyoka missed out altogether.

Right there and then, we knew the ‘KKK marriage’ was dead. Kalonzo was always on his own. Saitoti peeled off long ago. Only Eugene Wamalwa is still joyously (naively) embracing his flower-girl role. (And Eugene’s so-called Ikolomani beachhead is a particular joke, seeing that he is not even a member of New Ford-Kenya, which only has two MPs anyway. Is this the force Raila should be afraid of?)

Each of the G7 members holds his plans and strategies close to his chest. During the day, they meet, eat and hug. At night, they separately scheme and conspire.

The Star reported that Ruto’s key advisers are not comfortable with the running-mate role. They want Uhuru to back Ruto for president “in reciprocation for the Kalenjin support in 2002 when Uhuru ran on the Kanu ticket but lost”. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.

But the cracks in the Uhuruto alliance are growing. There is already bickering over parliamentary, senate and gubernatorial seats. Isaac Ruto and Julius Kones are reportedly at each other’s throats over the Bomet County governorship. Uhuru allies recently came to blows within the precincts of Parliament.

Apparently, Ruto thinks he can run for president and, after losing (he expects to come third after Raila and Uhuru), he can be Uhuru’s running-mate for the second-round ballot, when he and Uhuru believe they can defeat Raila.

There is nothing unusual about Ruto’s failing to read or understand the Constitution. After all, he opposed it previously without having read it, if his rally pronouncements during the referendum are anything to go by; what he said then bore little relation to what the Constitution actually states.

But his ‘strategists’ should be telling him that the Constitution is crystal clear on this point. If no one wins an overall majority in the first round of the presidential vote, only the top two candidates and their running-mates will be on the second-round ballot. No change of running-mate is permitted. You have to make up your mind. You either want to be president or deputy president. You can’t vie for both.

And regrettably for Ruto and Uhuru, no Kenyan community will all vote for any particular candidate. Kenya has about 22.4 million potential voters aged over 18 and a few more millions in the Diaspora, bringing that close to 25.4 million in all. Only about 1.3 million of them are Kalenjin. Many might vote for Ruto. But a large number will still vote for Raila.

The much-vaunted Central Province (read Kikuyu) votes total about five million maximum. So, even if all Kalenjin and Kikuyu voters backed Uhuru and Ruto, that would be about 6.3 million out of 25.4 million, leaving 19.1 million votes for harvesting. I believe that whoever is the nationalist presidential candidate in 2012 will get a sizeable number of those 19.1 million votes, and emerge victorious.

Nor are post-election coalitions provided for in the Constitution. You choose your party early (six months before any election, says the Constitution) and then you stick with it, come hell or high water.

That means declared presidential candidate Professor James Ole Kiyapi is already ahead of Ruto. Kiyapi has a party. Ruto does not, despite threatening umpteen times to leave ODM and even saying he is now the leader of UDM. He does not have the courage to actualise these empty-debe pronouncements.

Wamalwa, Saitoti and Uhuru are stewing in the same pot. They have no vehicles to State House. And poor old Kalonzo’s is punctured. Nobody knows who owns PNU or the PNU Alliance, and KKK is a chauvinistic chimera that cannot even take you to the barber shop.

What with all this, and the ICC proceedings still hanging like an albatross round their necks, the two ‘presidential front-runners’ are seeing their 2012 plans turning into a nightmare. Imagine what will happen when Moreno-Ocampo’s evidence (especially those NSIS and CCK dossiers against Ruto) starts dripping like ice on Uhuruto.

The KKK (or is it G7?) boat is taking water alarmingly, even before it sets sail. Its exuberant passengers, like those on the ill-fated Titanic, have been making merry and dancing on the deck as if it was Noah’s Ark. But the dreamboat is fast turning into a shipwreck. The alliance is emerging as the phantom it is, and a phantom never won a presidential election.

Mr Miguna is the PM’s adviser on coalition affairs. The views expressed here are his own.

ICC judges throw out Kenya's admissibility case


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NAIROBI, Kenya May 30 - Judges at the International Criminal Court have dismissed a case filed by the Kenya government challenging the admissibility of cases facing five Kenyan leaders and a radio journalist accused of financing or planning the post election violence of 2007.

Presiding judge of the Pre-trial chamber II Ekaterina Trendafilova ruled that the case has no grounds because Kenya has failed to demonstrate that the suspects facing charges at the ICC are facing similar charges in their home country.

“Consequently, the Chamber cannot but determine that the case is admissible following a plain reading of the first half of article 17(l)(a) of the Statute. It follows that there is no need to delve into an examination of unwillingness or inability of the State, in accordance with article 17(2) and (3) of the Statute. The Government's First Request must, therefore, be rejected,” the Judges ruled.

The court said although the information provided by Kenya reveals that instructions were given to investigate the suspects subject to the Court's proceedings.

“The Government of Kenya does not provide the Chamber with any details about the asserted, current investigative steps undertaken. In the Reply, the Government of Kenya alleged that "a file was opened against one of the six suspects [probably Mr Ruto] on account of witness statements taken by the [investigative] team". Yet, it does not provide the Chamber with any information about the time or content of these statements. The Government of Kenya also states that it has instructed the "team of investigators to carry out exhaustive investigations", but it does not explain or show the Chamber any concrete step that has been or is being currently undertaken in this respect,” the three judges of Pretrial Chamber II stated in a ruling issued late Monday.

“In particular, the Chamber lacks information about dates when investigations, if any, have commenced against the three suspects, and whether the suspects were actually questioned or not and if so, the contents of the police or public prosecutions' reports regarding the questioning. The Government of Kenya also fails to provide the Chamber with any information as to the conduct, crimes or the incidents for which the three suspects are being investigated or questioned for. There is equally no record that shows that the relevant witnesses are being or have been questioned. The remaining 26 annexes submitted by the Government of Kenya in support of its claim have no direct relevance to the legal test required under article 17(l)(a) of the Statute.”

Kenya had moved to the ICC court through lawyers—Sir Geoffrey Nice Q.C and Rodney Dixon, Barrister-at-Law—challenging cases facing the six Kenyans who made an initial appearance at The Hague in April.

Attorney General Amos Wako said at the time that the case was filed in accordance with Article 19 of the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court: “Respectfully requesting the Pre-Trial Chamber to determine that the two cases currently before the ICC are inadmissible before the I.C.C”.

Read full rulings here

The ICC ruling comes a day after Ocampo expressed fears that the Kenya government was not committed to delivering justice to victims of the post election violence and accused President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga of shielding suspects.

Ocampo has dispatched a high-powered team from his officer to meet the two leaders to get their assurances on the government’s position on the Kenyan case at The Hague.

“My question to the Kenyan government is this: does the government of Kenya want justice for the victims? We need an unequivocal answer, an answer that Kenyans and the world could understand,” Mr Ocampo said in a strongly-worded statement on Sunday.

“Is the government of Kenya protecting witnesses or protecting the suspects from investigation? That is the question,” he posed.

Attorney General Amos Wako on Monday dismissed Ocampo’s statement and maintained that the Kenya government was committed to delivering justice to the victims of the post election violence.

“I observe with great concern the statements attributed to Luis Moreno Ocampo questioning whether the government is protecting suspects from investigation and whether the government wants justice for the victims. Mr Ocampo has made many other unwarranted remarks,” Wako said in a statement sent from his office.

The team sent by Ocampo to meet the two principals was expected in Nairobi Monday night.

Soon after the government filed the admissibility challenge case, the Outreach Unit of the ICC warned that the case was unlikely to succeed because Kenya had not established a credible judicial mechanism to try the suspects locally.

The Outreach Unit of the ICC advised that such plans could only succeed if the persons accused were facing similar charges at their local national courts at the time of challenging The Hague trials.

"According to article 19 of the Rome statute, the Kenyan government can now challenge the admissibility of those cases, however the challenge has to be based on actual national proceedings prosecutions against the persons against the same crimes," Gilbert Bitti senior legal advisor, of the pre-trial division of ICC said in a programme sent from The Hague.

"You cannot challenge admissibility of cases on the basis of future proceedings before eventually a future court to be established," he had warned.

The government had argued that the cases against the six individuals were not admissible before the ICC because the country is in the process of reforming its judicial and police systems to be able to try them at home.

But the senior legal advisor, of the pre-trial division of ICC Mr Bitti warned that the case was unlikely to succeed.

"You have to challenge if you want to challenge admissibility on the basis of actual national proceedings otherwise the challenge may simply not be successful because that is the drafting and logic of Article 19, you can only challenge the admissibility of the case if you have genuine national prosecutions against the same persons for the same crimes," he added.

Deputy Prime Minister who is also the Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of the Civil Service Ambassador Francis Muthaura, suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto and Tinderet Member of Parliament Henry Kosgey who stepped aside to face charges of abuse of office appeared at the ICC in April where war crime charges were formally read to them.

Others who appeared in court are former Police Commissioner Mohammed Hussein Ali and Radio presenter Joshua arap Sang of Kass FM.

Their summonses to appear were issued in March following a majority ruling by the Pre-Trial Chamber judges who established that the six are criminally responsible for organizing or funding the post election violence which broke out in the country soon after the disputed presidential elections in 2008.

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Read more: http://capitalfm.co.ke/news/Kenyanews/ICC-judges-throw-out-Kenya%92s-admissibility-case-13009.html#ixzz1Nsem29X7

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