There was an error in this gadget

Saturday, April 30, 2011

COVENANT TO REAL CHANGE

Kenyan PM Raila Odinga's Address at Opening of MDC Third National Congress Print E-mail
COVENANT TO REAL CHANGE
Speech by the Rt Hon Raila A. Odinga, EGH, MP
Prime Minister of the Republic Kenya
at the opening of the
Third National Congress of
The Movement for Democratic Change
Bulawayo, April 29, 2011
THE Right Honorable Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe and President of the Movement for Democratic Change; Party officials, distinguished delegates,

Let me begin by congratulating my friend Morgan on his re-election last week as president of this great party. On behalf of my own party, the Orange Democratic Movement, I salute both you and your party supporters for the confidence shown in your leadership.
I congratulate those elected to other leadership positions. Their mandate means assuming major national responsibilities. The first of these is to unite the party. The second is to unite the people of Zimbabwe in a single vision of universal prosperity.
Ladies and gentlemen, Zimbabwe and Kenya have experienced very similar histories since independence - of heroic peoples struggling for liberation from oppression and repression. Many Zimbabweans, like many Kenyans, have paid the ultimate price for a future worth having, dying in order that the nation might live. We share heartfelt grief and respect for their sacrifice.
We have other similarities and links. Several Kenyan leaders were educated here. When Zimbabwe gained independence, a number of Kenyans helped in establishing its key institutions and government structures. It is this kind of bond that makes us partners in democracy and in moving our continent forward. Our respective liberation wars have shown how a downtrodden people can rise up and demand respect. That spirit lives in your party. It must radiate across the nation.
But what, ladies and gentlemen, has happened to the Africa whose liberation our struggles typified? As we look round, we see, to our dismay, nothing but contradictions and paradoxes. Africa, with its 51 independent states and 52nd about to be born, is a continent of great cultural diversity. It is rich in natural resources - minerals, freshwater lakes, rivers and forests. But it is also the poorest of the continents, with the highest child mortality rates and levels of inequality and the lowest human development indices. Some blame colonial rule, others the faulty domestic policies pursued by African leaders.
This blame game is taking us nowhere. I have spent my entire adult life somewhere on the political spectrum - as an observer, an activist, a three-time detainee, a member of parliament, a cabinet minister and now prime minister of my country. I have had much time for analysis and reflection. Of course colonialism messed up Africa, arbitrarily dividing our people, sapping their confidence and pride and exploiting our resources! Of course many African leaders have performed dismally!
But 40 or 50 years since many African nations attained independence, we cannot continue blaming the colonialists for our problems. Since the 1990s, a clear consensus has emerged both within and outside Africa that the problems the continent faces have to do with the way it is governed today. This has led to human rights abuses, the breakdown of the rule of law, the over-centralisation of power, particularly as vested in imperial presidencies, and the accompanying cultures of corruption and impunity. Powerful leaders and their close associates have done as they wished, in the knowledge that nothing would happen to them. Lack of accountability and transparency has fostered official corruption and the plundering of resources meant for development. It is these insidious developments - and not the colonial legacy - that have brought this continent to the brink of ruination, and its people to the desperate situation in which so many millions find themselves today.
But I speak to you as an Afro-optimist and a true believer in pan-Africanism, one who looks forward to the day Africa will be united in its irreversible democratic ideals and sound socio-economic policies. And on this occasion of the MDC's National Convention, I would like to share with you my thoughts on two issues that I strongly believe can help us turn the tide.
The first is that Africa must embrace the culture of constitutionalism. It must invest in the building of institutions that promote and compel sound leadership. That a constitution is indispensable in a modern society is underlined by the fact that the struggle for the second liberation in Africa, which began in the early 1980s, has centred on demand for the enactment of new constitutions. That was our aim in Kenya and it is no less true of Zimbabwe.
We have seen that the mere re-introduction of multi-party politics in Africa, after decades of single-party and military dictatorships, has not solved the governance problem. We have seen that multi-party elections alone will not propel us from institutionalised authoritarian systems to more democratic modes of governance. Not that constitutions of themselves are inviolable. We have not been without constitutions. We have had them, but they have been repeatedly amended at the whim of the ruling elite, and have sustained and entrenched powerful presidents whose word has been law, and who have used their power not for the nation's benefit but for their own enrichment. Where such leaders have refused to give way through the ballot - and let's face it, that is, most of them - military dictatorships have sometimes ensued, and these have fared no better.
In short, political power in Africa has often meant gain and riches for the ruling class and more poverty, deprivation and powerlessness for the ordinary person. We had hoped that new constitutions - new beginnings by the leaders of the Second Liberation, mandated by a better-educated electorate that increasingly knows what it wants and has no qualms about asking for it - would instill in leaders new respect for the laws that govern their lands. One of the great disappointments of the Second Liberation has been that many of the new liberators changed their tune once they got into power. They began to manipulate constitutions to prolong their rule, and coerced their parties into securing support for additional terms or eliminating opponents. Institutionalised corruption, instead of receding, loomed larger than ever.
That brings me to the second problem. Africa has truly been left wanting when it comes to visionary leadership, the kind of leadership that is undistracted in its quest for solid institutions committed to constitutionalism, equity and impartiality. We have failed to elect leaders dedicated to ignoring tribe, religion, region and race in the management of public affairs.
One-party rule might have withered and died with the introduction of political pluralism in the 1990s but its ugly monolithic vestiges linger. In particular, our ballots have yet to be free and fair. A long list of African leaders with questionable democratic credentials has used the pretension of promoting state unity as an excuse for excess, intolerance, repression, and illegal tenure of office. This looks more dangerous than our previous situation. What could be worse than the electorate choosing how and by whom they should be governed, only for their verdict to be ignored? When leaders and governments lack popular support, democracy and good governance cannot be expected, and nations cannot move forward.
This is the tragedy that afflicts Africa today.
Ladies and gentlemen, Zimbabwe must move quickly to resolve its democratic challenges, so that it can take its rightful place as a potential centre for economic growth in this part of the continent. All parties, and particularly the MDC, which will be a critical player, need to invest in building institutions of democracy.
Party policy, and its wholehearted approval by party members, will be one of the keys to success. And no one must ever forget that good resolutions and declarations are fine in themselves but they are not tantamount to victory. That will only come when party structures and processes are people-driven, genuine and devoid of corruption, and provide a clear process for seeking the people's mandate.
Your party must be not only the maker but also the keeper of the promise.
Ladies and gentlemen, finally, as the leader of a party that is, like yours, in a coalition government, I would urge you, as you prepare for the next elections, not to lose sight of the fact that you are in government, and you have government policies to pursue and to deliver. You will have to dig deep into your reservoirs of tolerance and compromise to ensure that this happens, for the alternative would serve neither the MDC nor its partner in government. It would only cripple the nation.
I know it is not easy. But we in Kenya, having reaped a harvest of chaos and death after our disputed 2007 elections, have managed to make useful strides forward. Our Grand Coalition government promulgated a new Constitution last year and is in the process of enacting every part of it. It has not always been an easy alliance, but the spirit of give and take has so far allowed us to make it work.
I commend it to you.
Thank you very much for allowing me this opportunity to share a few thoughts with you here today.
The Rt Hon Raila A Odinga EGH MP
Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya

Minister, MP robbed in night attack

Police are investigating an incident where Housing minister Soita Shitanda and MP Eseli Simiyu were robbed by gunmen in a Webuye hotel April 29, 2011. FILE   
Police are investigating an incident where Housing minister Soita Shitanda and MP Eseli Simiyu were robbed by gunmen in a Webuye hotel April 29, 2011. FILE  
By ERICK NGOBILO,    engobilo@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted  Saturday, April 30 2011 at 15:47

A Cabinet minister and a Member of Parliament were robbed at gunpoint Friday night after gangsters raided their hotel rooms in Webuye.
Housing minister Soita Shitanda and Kimilili MP Eseli Simiyu’s rooms were broken into at around midnight at the Park Villa hotel.
The two legislators were allegedly robbed of mobile phones, a laptop and unknown amount of money.
They were, however, not injured by the thugs.
A guard at the hotel who declined to be named for security reasons said six armed robbers broke into the hotel where they forced staff to lie down before proceeding to the rooms where the MPs were sleeping.
The two leaders had booked into the restaurant last evening after arriving separately from Nairobi on their way to their respective constituencies.
Their guards were not around when the incident occurred as they had checked into alternative hotels in the town.
A team of detectives from Western provincial headquarters are investigating the incident.
Webuye police boss David Muthuri confirmed the incident and said investigations were ongoing. No arrests have been made.
The hotel management also confirmed the incident but did not divulge further information.
Several staff at the hotel are being questioned by the police.
Unconfirmed reports said police had recovered ATM cards, phone sim cards and other documents that had been stolen from the legislators during the incident.
The MPs confirmed the incident but declined to give further information only insisting they were safe.

Kenya: Criminal Election Fund Raising Exposed

Blamuel Njururi Nairobi-Kenya.
April 27, 2011 – Kenya Sugar Board (KSB) has blown the whistle over illegal importation of sugar offloaded at the port of Mombasa last week out of which the government lost $20 million in taxes.
Immediately the Sugar Board announced the multi-million-dollar illegal importation, parliamentarians from cane growing zones issued a statement in which they accused unnamed political colleagues of colluding with sugar barons to import the commodity and flood the Kenyan market in a bid to raise funds for elections next year.
The parliamentarians called on the government to hold the sugar until the requisite taxes are paid. Sugar industry sources say the sugar was imported from Brazil and Thailand.
However, the sugar has been branded Egyptian produce in order to enter the Kenyan market duty free as a product originating from a fellow Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) country. Sources say the sugar is shipped to Egyptian ports where documents of origin are falsified then trans-shipped to Kenya.
Indeed, Egyptian Sugar Integrated Industries, the state corporation which handles sugar exports from Egypt, confirmed, to the Kenya Sugar Board, that falsified documents were used to show the imports were from there. The matter has been reported to the Egyptian ministry of Trade and more details are awaited from them.
Sources at the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC), in Nairobi say the sugar consignment is just a tip of an iceberg atop a mammoth matrix of criminal election fund-raising involving a wide range of commodities and commercial products. They say Kenyans will also see an increase in illicit trade including drugs and human trafficking.
The KACC director, Patrick Lumumba, is on record as saying cases of corruption shoot up in Kenya every 18 months before the general elections for the purposes of fund raising. Documented cases in the past indicate that besides illegal imports, questionable deals are cut which include tender and contract awards as well as dubious procurements and sales of public assets.
As the clock ticks towards the elections, set for August 2012 by the new constitution, flood gates will open for illegal importation of essential commodities such as sugar, maize, wheat, rice along with other quick-sale electronic products, automobiles and household goods. Most of the importers will try to evade duty and other taxes by hook or crook.
Even without elections, Kenya has been a victim of massive import duty evasion and a favorite destination for contraband and counterfeit goods. Recent crackdown by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has yielded tons upon tons of contraband and counterfeit goods all the way from the port of Mombasa to the remotest of villages in rural Kenya.
With the election approaching, senior KRA officials say they will be on full alert to net unscrupulous racketeers and crack down on import cartels out to make hay while the sun shines. However, efforts by both the KRA and the Anticorruption Commission are greatly hampered by endemic corruption that seems to be always capable of successfully wading through the country’s judicial system without being adequately punished.
As matters stand, corruption has grown into a multi-billion-dollar business in Kenya affecting not only commodity imports but also lucrative contracts in public projects. Corruption affects negatively on the economic life of the country and remains a matter of great concern to not only Kenyans but the international community as well.
Short URL: http://associated-news-network.com/?p=34027
Posted by Blamuel Njururi Published on Apr 27 2011 You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.
All email addresses will be validated prior to approval of comment.
Help support our writers, please visit one of our sponsors.
You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Kenya likely honeymoon spot for royal weds

BY AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

facebook Facebook Twitter Email Print  
null
Prince William drives an Aston Martin with his wife Kate/AFP

LONDON, Apr 30 - Prince William and his new bride prepared Saturday for their honeymoon after a wedding watched across the world, but their destination is secret and they want the media to respect their privacy.

After partying through the night as the pomp and splendour of Friday's service gave way to dinner and dancing - and a chance for the younger royals to let their hair down -- the couple were expected to set off for a mystery location.

All that is known is that William has taken two weeks' leave from his job as a Royal Air Force search and rescue pilot.

William has reportedly not even told his new wife where they are going on honeymoon, leaving speculation to grow over possible destinations.

The second-in-line to the throne has a deep love of Africa and he proposed to Kate in Kenya last year, so that has been mooted as a possible honeymoon spot.

Jordan has also been touted as a possibility and would have nostalgic appeal for Kate as her family lived in the kingdom for two years when she was a child.

But given the current upheaval in the Middle East, it would be considered a compromised choice.

A secluded Caribbean island would allow the couple to escape the prying eyes of the media.

Bequia and Necker Island all have the benefit of being easily secured, and Kate's wealthy parents are frequent visitors to the ultra-exclusive Mustique.

Lizard Island, off the coast of Queensland, Australia, has also emerged as a contender.

Whatever the choice, the honeymoon is set to be the first test of the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's relationship with the British press.

William is believed to be determined that after the couple shared their wedding with the world and an estimated one million people on the streets of London, he wants to have some private time with his new wife.

He is known to harbour deep resentment against the media after the death of his mother Diana, princess of Wales, killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997 as she was being pursued by photographers.

The royal family is believed to be prepared to take legal action to prevent any media outlet attempting to disrupt the honeymoon.

Following the wedding of Diana and Prince Charles in 1981, they spent the first stage of their honeymoon in England, staying at the home of the groom's great-uncle.

They then embarked on board the royal yacht Britannia, visiting Gibraltar before cruising to Algeria, Tunisia, Sicily, the Greek islands and Egypt and then going to Scotland to spend time with the royal family at Queen Elizabeth II's private Balmoral estate.

But the Britannia - which solved the headache of royal security for holidays - was decommissioned in 1997.

More details of Friday's wedding service in Westminster Abbey emerged in Saturday's newspapers.

With the help of lipreaders, they said that as Kate walked up the aisle William's best man and brother, Prince Harry, turned to him at the altar and said: "Wait till you see the dress."

The ivory satin and lace wedding dress by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen, featuring a hand-embroidered veil and lace sleeves, received unanimous praise in Saturday's media.

"The House of McQueen and the future Queen surpassed all expectations," said The Times' fashion correspondent.

Harry was said to be the driving force behind Friday's evening party at Buckingham Palace. It featured a disco and a live performance from pop starlet Ellie Goulding and went on until the wee hours of 3:00 am.

Follow us on TWITTER @CapitalFM_Kenya


Read more: http://capitalfm.co.ke/news/Kenyanews/Kenya-likely-honeymoon-spot-for-royal-weds-12600.html#ixzz1L0bgp2I7
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives

Kibaki, Museveni hold talks


Kenya President  Kibaki receives his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni who called on him at State House, Nairobi April 30, 2011. PPS
Kenya President Kibaki receives his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni who called on him at State House, Nairobi April 30, 2011. PPS
By PPS
Posted  Saturday, April 30 2011 at 13:18

President Kibaki has held talks with Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni who paid him a courtesy call at State House Nairobi Saturday.
Related Stories
President Museveni, who arrived this morning, is in the country to attend the Social Economic Transformation and the East African Political Federation Forum.
During their meeting, President Kibaki and President Museveni discussed ways of developing and improving cross-border infrastructure including the proposed construction of a new standard gauge railway line and the Kenya-Uganda petroleum pipeline.
In this regard, President Kibaki expressed Kenya’s commitment to continue improving sections of the Northern Corridor to ease the movement of goods and services between the two countries and the region in general.
The two leaders further discussed the East African integration and agreed that the process should move with speed so that the citizens of member states can fully enjoy the fruits of the regional economic bloc.
The two leaders also underscored the need for peace and stability as the cornerstone of development of the East African Community.

Bull's Eye: On whose side are we on?

Lumumba meets Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executives over Graft in P...

Mutula Blames Parliament for Implementation Delay

Mutula/Plo Graft War

David Rudisha on new world record

Museveni to give a talk in Nairobi

Address by the President of the Movement for Democratic Change, The Right Honourable Morgan Tsvangirai welcoming the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya, Mr. Raila Odinga to the MDC’s Third Party Congress


[image]
Bulawayo, Friday 29 April, 2011

The Right Honourable Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya, Mr. Raila Odinga
Members of the National Standing Committee
Members of the National Executive and Council
Representatives of the Trade Unions and Civil Society
Members of the Diplomatic Corp,
Invited Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Comrades and Friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen, our party and indeed Zimbabwe, is blessed and chosen.

It is with great pleasure that I welcome to this historic Congress, our beloved brother, Comrade, an Icon and Friend of our struggle, The Right Honourable Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya, Mr. Raila Odinga.

Prime Minister Odinga was born on January 7, 1945, in Maseno, Kisumu District, Nyanza Province. He has served as a Member of Parliament for Langata since 1992, was Minister of Energy from 2001 to 2002, and was Minister of Roads, Public Works and Housing from 2003 to 2005.

He was the main opposition candidate in the disputed 2007 presidential election. The Right Honourable Prime Minister Odinga took office in April 2008 and served as a supervisor of a national unity coalition government.

Prime Minister Odinga is the son of the first Vice President of Kenya, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga; Raila's brother, Oburu Odinga, is also currently a Member of Parliament (MP).

Out of the 2007 elections, his party, ODM, got 99 out of 210 seats in the parliament, making the ODM the single largest party in parliament.
Right Honourable Prime Minister, we in the people’s party of excellence, MDC and indeed all Zimbabweans, are proud to have you at this Congress.

The people’s party of excellence, MDC, the majority party in parliament today, is a pro-poor, people-centred social democratic and non-racial movement.

We believe in Constitutionalism, the rule of law and the respect for all the basic freedoms that make a society vibrant. These are the rights that we in Zimbabwe are fighting to enjoy.

Mr Prime Minister, I can assure you that the struggle of the people of the Republic of Kenya and Zimbabwe is the same.

And indeed we share the same goal and objective, that is, to democratize Africa and to make our motherland successful and prosperous and to be counted among many.

We have seen in recent years the rise of post-liberation parties, in Kenya, Zimbabwe and recently in Ivory Coast. This is a sign of generational transformation, the rise of a new group of African leaders concerned with the welfare and future of their people.

A new group of leaders that forms new, dynamic partnerships and embraces new technology to improve the lives of their people.

You are one such leader Mr Prime Minister and we thank you for joining us today at this historic Congress.

With these few remarks, it is my singular honour and privilege to invite you, Right Honourable Prime Minister Odinga to take the floor.


Full Speech by Kenya Prime Minister Raila Odinga at the Third National Congress of The MDC

[image]
Friday, 29 April 2011
THE Right Honorable Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister of the Republ
ic of Zimbabwe and President of the Movement for Democratic Change; Party officials, distinguished delegates, Let me begin by congratulating my friend Morgan on his re-election last week as president of this great party. On behalf of my own party, the Orange Democratic Movement, I salute both you and your party supporters for the confidence shown in your leadership.

I congratulate those elected to other leadership positions. Their mandate means assuming major national responsibilities. The first of these is to unite the party. The second is to unite the people of Zimbabwe in a single vision of universal prosperity.

Ladies and gentlemen, Zimbabwe and Kenya have experienced very similar histories since independence – of heroic peoples struggling for liberation from oppression and repression. Many Zimbabweans, like many Kenyans, have paid the ultimate price for a future worth having, dying in order that the nation might live. We share heartfelt grief and respect for their sacrifice.

We have other similarities and links. Several Kenyan leaders were educated here. When Zimbabwe gained independence, a number of Kenyans helped in establishing its key institutions and government structures.

It is this kind of bond that makes us partners in democracy and in moving our continent forward. Our respective liberation wars have shown how a downtrodden people can rise up and demand respect. That spirit lives in your party. It must radiate across the nation. But what, ladies and gentlemen, has happened to the Africa whose liberation our struggles typified? As we look round, we see, to our dismay, nothing but contradictions and paradoxes.

Africa, with its 51 independent states and 52nd about to be born, is a continent of great cultural diversity. It is rich in natural resources – minerals, freshwater lakes, rivers and forests. But it is also the poorest of the continents, with the highest child mortality rates and levels of inequality and the lowest human development indices. Some blame colonial rule, others the faulty domestic policies pursued by African leaders.

This blame game is taking us nowhere. I have spent my entire adult life somewhere on the political spectrum – as an observer, an activist, a three-time detainee, a member of parliament, a cabinet minister and now prime minister of my country. I have had much time for analysis and reflection. Of course colonialism messed up Africa, arbitrarily dividing our people, sapping their confidence and pride and exploiting our resources! Of course many African leaders have performed dismally!

But 40 or 50 years since many African nations attained independence, we cannot continue blaming the colonialists for our problems. Since the 1990s, a clear consensus has emerged both within and outside Africa that the problems the continent faces have to do with the way it is governed today.

This has led to human rights abuses, the breakdown of the rule of law, the over-centralisation of power, particularly as vested in imperial presidencies, and the accompanying cultures of corruption and impunity.

Powerful leaders and their close associates have done as they wished, in the knowledge that nothing would happen to them. Lack of accountability and transparency has fostered official corruption and the plundering of resources meant for development. It is these insidious developments – and not the colonial legacy – that have brought this continent to the brink of ruination, and its people to the desperate situation in which so many millions find themselves today.

But I speak to you as an Afro-optimist and a true believer in pan-Africanism, one who looks forward to the day Africa will be united in its irreversible democratic ideals and sound socio-economic policies. And on this occasion of the MDC’s National Convention, I would like to share with you my thoughts on two issues that I strongly believe can help us turn the tide.

The first is that Africa must embrace the culture of constitutionalism. It must invest in the building of institutions that promote and compel sound leadership.

That a constitution is indispensable in a modern society is underlined by the fact that the struggle for the second liberation in Africa, which began in the early 1980s, has centred on demand for the enactment of new constitutions. That was our aim in Kenya and it is no less true of Zimbabwe.

We have seen that the mere re-introduction of multi-party politics in Africa, after decades of single-party and military dictatorships, has not solved the governance problem. We have seen that multi-party elections alone will not propel us from institutionalised authoritarian systems to more democratic modes of governance.

Not that constitutions of themselves are inviolable. We have not been without constitutions. We have had them, but they have been repeatedly amended at the whim of the ruling elite, and have sustained and entrenched powerful presidents whose word has been law, and who have used their power not for the nation’s benefit but for their own enrichment. Where such leaders have refused to give way through the ballot – and let’s face it, that is, most of them – military dictatorships have sometimes ensued, and these have fared no better.

In short, political power in Africa has often meant gain and riches for the ruling class and more poverty, deprivation and powerlessness for the ordinary person.

We had hoped that new constitutions – new beginnings by the leaders of the Second Liberation, mandated by a better-educated electorate that increasingly knows what it wants and has no qualms about asking for it – would instill in leaders new respect for the laws that govern their lands.

One of the great disappointments of the Second Liberation has been that many of the new liberators changed their tune once they got into power. They began to manipulate constitutions to prolong their rule, and coerced their parties into securing support for additional terms or eliminating opponents. Institutionalised corruption, instead of receding, loomed larger than ever.

That brings me to the second problem. Africa has truly been left wanting when it comes to visionary leadership, the kind of leadership that is undistracted in its quest for solid institutions committed to constitutionalism, equity and impartiality. We have failed to elect leaders dedicated to ignoring tribe, religion, region and race in the management of public affairs.

One-party rule might have withered and died with the introduction of political pluralism in the 1990s but its ugly monolithic vestiges linger. In particular, our ballots have yet to be free and fair. A long list of African leaders with questionable democratic credentials has used the pretension of promoting state unity as an excuse for excess, intolerance, repression, and illegal tenure of office.

This looks more dangerous than our previous situation. What could be worse than the electorate choosing how and by whom they should be governed, only for their verdict to be ignored? When leaders and governments lack popular support, democracy and good governance cannot be expected, and nations cannot move forward.

This is the tragedy that afflicts Africa today.

Ladies and gentlemen, Zimbabwe must move quickly to resolve its democratic challenges, so that it can take its rightful place as a potential centre for economic growth in this part of the continent. All parties, and particularly the MDC, which will be a critical player, need to invest in building institutions of democracy.

Party policy, and its wholehearted approval by party members, will be one of the keys to success. And no one must ever forget that good resolutions and declarations are fine in themselves but they are not tantamount to victory. That will only come when party structures and processes are people-driven, genuine and devoid of corruption, and provide a clear process for seeking the people’s mandate.

Your party must be not only the maker but also the keeper of the promise. Ladies and gentlemen, finally, as the leader of a party that is, like yours, in a coalition government, I would urge you, as you prepare for the next elections, not to lose sight of the fact that you are in government, and you have government policies to pursue and to deliver.

You will have to dig deep into your reservoirs of tolerance and compromise to ensure that this happens, for the alternative would serve neither the MDC nor its partner in government. It would only cripple the nation.

I know it is not easy. But we in Kenya, having reaped a harvest of chaos and death after our disputed 2007 elections, have managed to make useful strides forward. Our Grand Coalition government promulgated a new Constitution last year and is in the process of enacting every part of it. It has not always been an easy alliance, but the spirit of give and take has so far allowed us to make it work.

I commend it to you.

Thank you very much for allowing me this opportunity to share a few thoughts with you here today.

The Hon Raila A Odinga EGH MP
Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya


US urged to avoid travel bans on Kenya


BY WAMBUI NDONGA

facebook Facebook Twitter Email Print  
null
The Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 29 - House Speaker Kenneth Marende has asked the outgoing American ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger to advise his government against issuing travel bans to Kenya.

Mr Marende who was speaking during the ambassador's farewell party on Thursday argued that the advisories hurt the country's economy and undermined its tourism industry.

He urged the American government to allow direct flights to the country to promote trade and tourism.

"You have lived here quite peacefully and I want you to encourage more Americans to visit magical Kenya. You are also welcome to visit that area where people aim high called Emuhaya (the constituency Mr Marende once represented) and we will install you as an elder," he remarked.

He also challenged the American government to support more Kenyan industries to drive the country's economy in addition to supporting Kenya’s quest for reforms.

Mr Marende noted that several steps had already been taken towards the implementation of the Constitution and that measures had also been taken by the government to cushion Kenyans against the rising cost of living.

He asked Kenyans to remain patient saying that several countries had been marred by violent protests by ordinary citizens who were demanding better governance.

"An American Ambassador in Poland had this advice to the Polish host; that in America when we protest we don't hurl stones at the police, we throw tomatoes and eggs at them. And the Polish host said if we had tomatoes and eggs we wouldn't protest," he said emphasising the need for good governance.

Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai however challenged the government to live by its word and fully implement the Constitution. She argued that the government needed to increase its efforts in sustaining the environment and also protect the ordinary Kenyan.

"We say the right words; the rhetoric is excellent but the actions don't match it. Sometimes we lose that focus and behave as if we are transitory mercenaries. This is the time to turn the tide that has been going on for the last 100 years," she said.

Amb Ranneberger, on his part, maintained that the US government was fully behind Kenya and that it would continue supporting the country's reform agenda. He reiterated his calls to the Kenyan youths asking them to take part in the leadership structures of their country.

"Fundamental reform and change are essential to ensure the future democratic stability and prosperity of Kenya. I'm confident that the Kenyan people will achieve this. But I also fully appreciate the serious challenges ahead; powerful political forces that are struggling to maintain the status quo," he said.

Acting Foreign Affairs Minister and Minister for Internal security George Saitoti commended the Ambassador for his zeal and stance in fighting impunity.

He also emphasised the need for promoting the rule of law saying it would fight corruption.

 Others present were Heritage Minister William ole Ntimama, Lands Minister James Orengo, Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa and various heads of civil societies. 


Follow us TWITTER @CapitalFM_Kenya and  author at https://twitter.com/wambuindonga


Read more: http://capitalfm.co.ke/news/Kenyanews/US-urged-to-avoid-travel-bans-on-Kenya-12595.html#ixzz1KxxHY3jR
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives

Raila Odinga face to face with Robert Mugabe at the State House

by Nare Msupatsila
2011 April 29 15:46:58 | 537 Views
Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga says his country is prepared to help Zimbabwe complete its constitution making process that has been constantly marred by chaos.

“We in Kenya are slightly ahead of Zimbabwe and we have something to share with Zimbabwe particularly in the process of constitution making. So we have offered that we will share some of the information that we have with Zimbabwe so that there is no need to re-invent the wheel. They can use whatever is useful for them here because circumstances are never the same, they differ,” Odinga told journalists at State House Friday afternoon while emerging from a brief meeting with President Robert Mugabe.

The Kenyan Premier flew into Zimbabwe mid morning Friday where he went straight to pay a courtesy call on the Zimbabwean leader. The two emerged from the meeting holding arms and for almost five minutes, were chatting while holding arms.

Odinga, a strong critic of President Robert Mugabe, is in Zimbabwe at the invitation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s mainstream MDC formation and is set to grace the party’s on-going elective congress in Bulawayo.

Odinga refused to comment about Zimbabwe’s coalition government saying the matter was for Zimbabweans.

“That is the issue for Zimbabweans he said,” eliciting a loud giggle from President Mugabe. “We had a very useful meeting. I am very thankful to his Excellency for meeting us,” he said while commenting about his meeting with Mugabe.

“We had a very good meeting with his excellency, President of Zimbabwe. I brought with me greetings from his counterpart President Mwai Kibaki in Kenya. We have basically been comparing notes about developments in Zimbabwe and in Kenya, as you know that Zimbabwe and Kenya share a number of things in common plus we have the colonial legacy between us,” Odinga said.

Mugabe did not speak to journalists but only shook his head and nodded in agreement to what the Kenyan premier was saying after their meeting.

Odinga arrived at the State with his wife and entourage with Deputy Prime Minister, Thokozani Khupe who received him at the Harare International Airport.

Opening the congress on Thursday, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the president of the MDC said Zimbabwe will hold elections in a year's time, contracting Mugabe, who had said elections will be held this year.

Source: RadioVop

Mugabe hosts Kenya's Prime Minister at State House

Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
image

Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga arrived at State House, Harare for a courtesy call on President Mugabe shortly before 2pm.

HARARE - Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga Friday held talks with Zimbawe’s President Robert Mugabe before flying to Bulawayo were he was the guest of honour at the MDC-T Third Congress.
Speaking to journalists after a closed door meeting with Robert Mugabe, Mr. Odinga who was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister, Ms Thokozani Khupe told journalists that he had a fruitful meeting with the President as they discussed  the rough and tough terrain the two countries travelled.
He said Zimbabwe and Kenya share a common history adding that among issues discussed was how the two countries can assist each other in dealing with the current constitutional and other reforms.

Asked about his view on the inclusive government in Zimbabwe, Mr. Odinga said Zimbabwe is a sovereign state which should make its own decisions not to be dictated to by foreigners.
Mr Odinga arrived in Harare Friday on his way to Bulawayo, where he is to open the third National Conference of the Movement for Democratic Change.
The talks focused on the similarities in the history of Kenya and Zimbabwe, the struggle for the liberation of Africa, the continent’s place in world politics, reforms in the two countries and global affairs.
Mr Odinga conveyed greetings from President Mwai Kibaki to President Mugabe.
Reforms in politics
President Mugabe showed strong interest in political developments in Kenya, particularly the unveiling of the new constitution and said Zimbawe looked up to Kenya for a model in reforming the constitution.
He said Zimbabwe had always learnt from Kenya, from the liberation struggle to date, adding that he spent years studying the history of the Mau Mau war of independence.
President Mugabe invited Mr Odinga to stay in the country for a longer period.
Mr Odinga said Kenya and Zimbabwe had links imposed by history and should together work towards reforms in politics.
Mr Odinga promised that Kenya would donate a book on constitution-making to Zimbabwe to guide the southern African nation in its quest for constitutional reforms.
The Prime Minister left Harare shortly after 3pm for Bulawayo.
Zimbabwe’s state media have launched a vicious attack against Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga after he accepted an invitation to be a guest at a congress for a party led by his Harare counterpart Morgan Tsvangirai.
Mr Odinga will officially open Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party congress in the second city of Bulawayo Friday.
State media propaganda against the PM’s party has gone into overdrive in what analysts say is reflection of widening cracks in Zimbabwe’s coalition government.
The state owned Herald newspaper, which usually reflects the thinking in President Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party, described Mr Odinga as a merchant of violence.
“Who then is this Raila Odinga,'' wrote George Rugare Chingarande in the paper’s opinion pages.
“Raila Odinga is a political schizophrenic.
“His rhetoric oozes with refined contemporary democracy dogma, but his actions reveal a very violent and dictatorial streak.
“The exorbitant nature of this obsessive preoccupation with violence is rivalled by a few in modern day African.
A stumbling block
“His proclivity for violence can be traced to his student days.”
President Mugabe’s sympathisers have never forgiven Mr Odinga for calling for the 87-year-old leader’s ouster in a 2008 interview with BBC.
In the interview, Mr Odinga called on African leaders to push Mugabe out of power because he was a stumbling block to political reform in Zimbabwe.
The MDC congress started on Thursday afternoon and ends on Saturday.
Early this month, acerbic comments in the state-owned Sunday Mail newspaper precipitated a diplomatic row between Zimbabwe and South Africa.
One of the paper’s columnists and a former Information minister in Mugabe’s previous government attacked South African President Jacob Zuma saying he was not a suitable mediator in Zimbabwe’s crisis.
President Mugabe had to send emissaries to apologise to Zuma following the public fallout.

MADD MADD WORLD 30/4/11

MADD MADD WORLD

Cartoon 30.04.11

Karua rattles power brokers

By Alex NdegwaThe Kibaki Succession is causing ripples in central Kenya, where efforts at ethnic unity have evoked the fury of a presidential aspirant.
While Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta is seen as the region’s de facto leader, his camp has been criticised for suppressing dissent, particularly that presented by Gichugu MP Martha Karua and Planning Assistant Minister Peter Kenneth.
Environment Minister John Michuki last year sparked controversy, when he declared Uhuru would succeed President Kibaki as the community’s leader. He had hinted anyone eyeing the vote-rich region must recognise Uhuru or brace for a fight.
Karua, who launched her presidential bid on Wednesday, dismissed Michuki’s ‘dictatorial’ suggestions, saying the electorate should decide without coercion.
In Parliament this week, Karua claimed "political thuggery" is being unleashed to cow her into submission. She alleged the attack on her key supporter in Gichugu was politically motivated.
But Uhuru’s camp says contrary to suggestions other competitors are being blocked, the Gatundu South MP’s position has been unity should be sought through competitive primaries.
"The Deputy Prime Minister has said experiences have underscored the need for the region to unite. He has invited those interested in the top job for joint nominations, and made it clear he is prepared to back whoever wins," said Munyori Buku, the DPM’s director of communications.
He added: "The DPM finds intriguing claims it is undemocratic when central Kenya seeks a common position, but democratic when others front one candidate. What is good for the goose should be good for the gander."
"Ethnic mobilisation has been routine since 1963. The plot has been to harvest tribal votes and then the tribal chieftains use the bloc to negotiate for their own political agenda," says Senior Counsel and former Kabete MP, Paul Muite.
But Peter Kagwanja, president of the Africa Policy Institute, says the fright aroused by a united central Kenya onslaught has often led to schemes to contain the influence.
Prof Kagwanja, a member of PNU think tank, alleges ambitions of Karua and Kenneth are driven by outside forces determined to divide central Kenya.
"Some of the wealthy power brokers are tempted to fancy them as providing an ‘Obama Moment’ here," he adds.
The apprehension in the Uhuru camp can be explained through an analysis of voting patterns since the re-introduction of multiparty politics in 1992, when Kikuyu candidates split the vote.
President Moi won first multi-party election in 1992, even though he received 36.7 per cent of the national vote. He exploited a divided opposition after split of the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (Ford) into factions headed by Jaramogi Odinga (Ford-Kenya) and Kenneth Matiba (Ford-Asili).
But political analysts suggest Democratic Party’s Mwai Kibaki run for president in 1992 ruined opposition quest to dislodge Moi.
"Kibaki and Matiba would have secured the best opposition combined vote of 45.7 per cent, enough to comfortably win in five of eight provinces," Roddy Fox wrote in 1996 in a paper, ‘The Bleak Future for Multi-Party Elections in Kenya’.
The 1992 constitutional amendment required the winning presidential candidate, besides polling more votes than any other contenders, should obtain at least 25 per cent of the popular vote in at least five of eight provinces.
Moi secured 1.9 million votes, Matiba 1.4 million (26 per cent), and Kibaki over one million (19.5 per cent).
Matiba and Kibaki split votes in Central, Eastern, and Nairobi provinces considered their strongholds.
Of Central’s 999,824 votes Matiba swept two-thirds (621,401) while Kibaki scooped the other third (344,819).
In Eastern, Kibaki seized nearly half the votes (399,381), while Matiba got 10 per cent (86,710). In Nairobi Matiba secured 164,553 (44 per cent), and Kibaki polled 69,713 (18 per cent).
It was only when Moi was constitutionally barred from contesting in 2002 when Kibaki won, riding on a euphoric opposition alliance, the National Rainbow Coalition, with now Prime Minister Raila Odinga pulling the crowd.
Kibaki won over 62 per cent of the popular vote (3.6 million), defeating Moi’s preferred successor, Uhuru Kenyatta, who polled 1.8 million.
Analysts observe with opposition unity achieved, Kanu’s grip on power was untenable with presidential contest pitting candidates from the same community.
"The presidential fight was between two Kikuyus thus giving an edge to party politics over ethnicity. Raila, Kibaki’s main opponent in the December 2007 presidential election, had supported Kibaki," the Centre for African Studies observed in a paper, ‘The Kenya Crisis: Post-December 2007 Elections’.
Nevertheless Uhuru’s candidature shored up Kanu’s fortunes in Central Province, where the presidential vote rose from 5.6 to 30 per cent. Kanu also held steady in Nairobi where Moi had won 20.6 per cent, and Uhuru took 20.7 per cent.
Uhuru grounded out a third of the votes (308,012) in Central, but Kibaki swept 68 per cent of the vote (701,916).
Kibaki scooped 72 per cent of the Eastern vote, while Uhuru got about a third. Kibaki seized 76 per cent of Nairobi vote, while Uhuru got 20 per cent.
Uhuru conceded defeat, and assumed leadership of official opposition. But he paid Kibaki with the same coin in 2005, when the Government lost a referendum vote. Uhuru backed President Kibaki’s re-election in 2007, possibly for a turn when Kibaki retires next year.
A decade earlier Kibaki had enjoyed the central Kenya bloc vote during the 1997 General Election, which Matiba boycotted - but Moi yet again whipped split opposition.
"Ever since the restoration of multiparty politics in 1992 virtually every major ethnic group has fielded a presidential candidate, and gone on to vote for one of their own," wrote Peter Wanyande in 2006 on ‘Electoral Politics and Election Outcomes in Kenya’.
Muite is optimistic the constitutional requirement the winning presidential candidate receives more than half of the votes cast, and at least 25 per cent of the votes in more than half of the 47 counties, would break the ethnic jinx.
"No community can satisfy this requirement and should none of the candidates pass the threshold, a run-off takes place. The beauty of a run-off is that people get to choose the lesser evil," Muite says.

Raila meets Mugabe, Tsvangirai in Harare

By Steve MkawalePrime Minister Raila Odinga met Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe at State House, Harare, where they discussed various issues, including the country’s constitutional reforms.
Contrary to media reports that Raila was unwelcome, Mugabe urged the premier to share Kenya’s experience in constitutional reforms during his visit.
Mugabe reportedly told Raila that he was free to visit the country and stay as long as he wished.
The PM advised that constant dialogue and willingness to compromise was the answer to Zimbabwe’s quest for a new constitution.
Earlier, Government-owned Press reportedly launched attacks on Raila after he accepted an invitation to a congress for a party led by Mugabe’s archrival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Raila’s entourage headed straight to State House and later travelled to Bulawayo, the country’s second largest city where he was to officially open Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party congress.
The congress was scheduled for Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo where Raila was to give the keynote address.
The State-owned Herald newspaper described Raila as a "merchant of violence".
"Who then is this Raila Odinga?" asked George Rugare Chingarande in the paper’s opinion pages.
Mugabe’s sympathisers have never forgiven Raila for calling for the 87-year-old leader’s exit in a 2008 interview with BBC.
At the congress in Barbourfields Stadium, Bulawayo, Raila received a warm welcome from the delegates and his host, Tsvangirai.
He told the cheering delegates that after 50 years of independence, Africa cannot blame its problems on colonialism. He blamed incompetent and corrupt leadership, lack of democracy and weak institutions for under development in the continent.
"Africa must embrace constitutionalism and the rule of law if it is to develop," he said.
Raila said elections in Africa must be free, fair and transparent.
"Negative ethnicity has denied Africa visionary leadership. Impunity must be fought across Africa," he said.

GIFT


Speaker Kenneth Marende presents a gift to outgoing US ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger at his residence in Nairobi during his farewell party. Photo: Evans Habil/Standard

add corridors


E-mail Print PDF
Share/Save/Bookmark Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s advisor Miguna Miguna and PNU strategist Professor Peter Kagwanja were supposed to face off yet again on the K24's Open Talk on Sunday May 1. Kagwanja opted out and recommended PNU strategist Moses Kuria to represent him. Miguna who had been texting people about his expected repeat match with Kagwanja has also opted out reportedly because he does not want to face off with Kuria.

Raila to campaign for ODM in Ikolomani


E-mail Print PDF
Share/Save/Bookmark PRIME MINISTER Raila Odinga is expected to visit Ikolomani to campaign for ODM candidate Bernard Shinali. The PM who is the party leader will hold rallies across the constituency starting May 7.“The PM is expected to lead party MPs especially from the Western Province. We don’t want him to just pass around but be around for enough time to meet the electorate,” said assistant minister Manyala Keya.
Keya who is Lurambi MP said no party MP was backing Khalwale’s re-election as claimed by those in Khalwale’s camp adding all party MPs will campaign for Shinali. He said the party will adopt a multi-pronged approach to the campaigns for the by-election slated for May 23.
He said party MPs will hold different rallies across the constituency between May 7 and May 14 before conducting a second round in the last week of the campaigns.
The IIEC has already cleared three candidates for the by-election. The Ikolomani seat fell vacant after the High Court in Kakamega nullified Bonny Khalwale's 2007 election.
The commission has cleared Khalwale on New Ford-Kenya candidate and Collins Matemba will run on a Ford-People ticket. Returning Officer Benjamin Tarus said the official campaign period that is to run concurrently with ongoing voter education starts on May 1 and end on May 21 campaigns.
There was an error in this gadget