Thursday, 28 March 2013

Regional health agency launched in Kigali

Patients undergo treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital. Photo/FILE   
Patients undergo treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital. Photo/FILE 
Posted  Thursday, March 28   2013 at  14:33

An agency aimed at facilitating and improving regional health sectors in east Africa was launched in Kigali, Rwanda on Thursday with a call on governments to partner for the benefit of the community.
The East African Health Platform (EAHP) is also geared towards institutional development and harmonisation of policies and legislation aligned to the health undertakings in the region.
It will be driven by private sector and civil society health and pharmaceutical experts from the Partner States.
While launching the platform, the Deputy Secretary General of East African Community for Productive and Social Sectors, Jessica Eriyo said the initiative would help enhance health services in the region.
“We need healthy and productive population which enjoys quality and affordable healthcare within the region. It’s not only in harmony with the East African Community health strategy but also strategically aligns to the current east Africa development strategy,” she said.
She stressed the need for collaboration between governments and private sectors to support the initiative so as to address experts and financials challenges in the health sector.
Ms Eriyo called for more health awareness and sensitisation campaigns to the grassroots level since 70 per cent of diseases that affect citizens are preventable.
Most of the diseases are communication and non communicable.
With the new scheme regional health experts will be able to identify all the challenges and loopholes and then get a common approach on how to improve the well-being of the locals.
Dr Amit Thakker, the chairman of the platform also observed that many people were still suffering from preventable diseases.
“We wanted to launch it first and then we look at the next way of addressing all the challenges affecting the sector by sharing information and working together in the sector,” Dr Thakker said.
He said it was disgraceful to realise that 24 per cent of global diseases still exist in Sub-Saharan Africa, of which east Africa is part of it.
He faulted regional governments for failing to adhere to the Abuja declaration of injecting 15 per cent of national budget in health sector.
“Every two hours in east Africa, a mother dies because of complications while giving birth and every 20 minutes still in the region a baby dies these are issues we need to address,” Dr Thakker said.

Report: Election propaganda widespread in social media

Kenyans have been urged not to use hate speech in social media. Photo/FILE  
Kenyans have been urged not to use hate speech in social media. Photo/FILE  
Posted  Thursday, March 28   2013 at  15:35

The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) on Thursday released its report on the recent elections citing the spread of propaganda through social media.
In its interim report while awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on the presidential petition, the commission said the mainstream media’s decision not to air what was considered controversial or likely to stir conflict gave way to citizen journalism to report on the events.
They said the net effect of the coverage was speculation on “real and imagined issues that found their way out through citizen journalism in the social media."
“While the mainstream media houses decided to govern their coverage around the peace message, the alternative social media, especially Kenyans on Twitter and Facebook, ran amok with all manner of accusations and counter-accusations mainly laced on choice epithets betraying raw ethnic chauvinism or blind political party loyalty,” said KHRC Senior Programme Officer, George Morara.
However, KHRC acknowledged that responsible journalism is crucial for the stability of the country in a potentially volatile situation, such as anomalies in the entire election process.
Among some of the allegations that were common in the social media, Mr Morara said was that civil societies are “agents of imperialism.”
“Despite the taunts being hurled our way, we will remain resolute in our pursuit for human right, guided by the search for peace with truth and justice,” he said.
The report also stated that there were some cases of insecurity reported in some parts of the country during the elections period.
This, it said, caused people to relocate from what they viewed as volatile areas such as Nairobi, Eldoret, Nakuru and Kisumu for fear of being attacked by members of rival communities.
Also, KHRC said that IEBC should have held elections for various seats on different days.
“They were held on the same day – a situation that is dissimilar to most other jurisdictions that contain devolved governance structures, such as Uganda or Nigeria, whose national and local level elections are held at different times,” Executive Director Ms Atsango Chesoni said.
“Given the low levels of civic and voter education conducted by the IEBC and other stakeholders, the voting process was bound to, and indeed resulted in, massive levels of confusion amongst the electorate, who have customarily voted for the three candidates,” she added.

Electronic transmission of results did not fail by 'accident'

Lawyer George Oraro for Raila Odinga at the Supreme Court during the presidential election petition hearing March 27, 2013. Mr Oraro told the court the electronic transmission of the presidential results by the electoral commission did not fail by accident March 28, 2013 BILLY MUTAI
Lawyer George Oraro for Raila Odinga at the Supreme Court during the presidential election petition hearing March 27, 2013. Mr Oraro told the court the electronic transmission of the presidential results by the electoral commission did not fail by accident March 28, 2013 BILLY MUTAI  
By NATION Reporter
Posted  Thursday, March 28   2013 at  16:25

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said the electronic transmission of the presidential results by the electoral commission did not fail by accident.
Through his lawyer, George Oraro, Mr Odinga said mobile phone provider Safaricom had indicated to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) that it was unable to provide network coverage for all polling stations and advised the commission to engage the services of a third party, a decision that was ignored.
The commission, said Mr Oraro, also failed to test their equipment to ensure the smooth flow of information from the polling station as had been advised by Safaricom.
“Furthermore, it was noted that the headsets that were to be used to transmit the results had been in storage from 2010, when the referendum to adopt the new constitution was held,” he said.
"As a result of all these failures, there was no electronic transfer of results. Had the IEBC been willing to listen to this advice and others, it would not have undertaken the election the way it did."
Mr Oraro expressed dismay that when the electronic tallying system failed Mr Odinga’s agents were willing to accommodate the failure through the ‘exhaustive verification’ of all the forms before the results were announced.
"This was however not to be. Our agents were not even allowed to raise objections on the results being announced and instead, they were actually thrown out of the tallying centre. Later on, we were given Form 36 to scrutinise the results but this only lasted for 20 minutes,” said Mr Oraro.
"My client was therefore denied the right to participate in the verification of the results, which was unilaterally done by the commission,” he said.
The lawyer said contrary to the recommendations of the Kriegler Commission, Returning Officers still yielded so much power.
“No one really knows what happens to the election documents once they are handed over to them by the Presiding Officers. It appears that the normally do whatever they want with them.”

Former MP Muturi is National Assembly Speaker

Former Siakago MP Justin Muturi has taken the oath of office after he was elected Speaker of the National Assembly March 28, 2013. FILE 
Former Siakago MP Justin Muturi has taken the oath of office after he was elected Speaker of the National Assembly March 28, 2013. FILE 
Posted  Thursday, March 28   2013 at  17:42

Former Siakago MP Justin Muturi has taken the oath of office after he was elected Speaker of the National Assembly.
Mr Muturi got 219 votes to defeat former Speaker Kenneth Marende who managed 129 votes.
There was one spoiled vote after the second round of voting by the 349 members of the National Assembly.
Mr Muturi was fronted by the Jubilee coalition while Mr Marende had the backing of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy.
"As your Speaker, I will fervently preserve the powers, privileges and immunities of this House, without which, optimal performance would be greatly compromised," said Mr Muturi in his acceptance speech.
"I also purpose to defend and uphold the dignity of this House and to enforce, uncompromised adherence to the Constitution, our laws and the Standing Orders in the management of the business of the House," he said.
With Mr Muturi's election, Jubilee has now taken control of both Houses.
Its candidate Ekwee Ethuro was elected Speaker of the Senate while Kembi Gitura was elected deputy speaker.

It’s sad our leaders didn’t go beyond tribe in choosing petition lawyers

There is a curious trend for choice of lawyers by one petitioner and several respondents over the presidential election at the Supreme Court.
The main petitioner, Raila Odinga has chosen his tribesmen George Oraro and Ochieng’ Oduol to represent him. Isaack Hassan’s choice his tribesman Ahmednassir Abdullahi, while Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto have Fred Ngatia and Katwa Kigen respectively.
Only the IEBC came with a hybrid for its representation but that could be due to the fact that it is an institution.
I’m not rushing into accusing anyone of tribalism and the usual or into interjections of “everyone has a right to legal representation of his or her own choice”.
We may be blaming greed and hatred for fanning tribalism, but the problem could be much bigger than we thought; we may need the intervention of psychologists. It could be emotional weakness and the feeling of insecurity.
When under duress, like when confronted by an ogre, many shout for help from an unlikely source — mama! She held us close to her heart.
Even though our leaders are trying to put up brave faces, we know that they are restless about this presidential petition. They are under serious stress and when push comes to shove, the closest to mama could be tribesman!
Under such pressure, these leaders must have first shared the stress with their tribesmen (possibly in their mother tongue) who swallowed the ogre and advised that help could only come from the nearest mother — tribesman.
So tribalism could be much more entrenched than we thought and the problem could be psychological and not mere hatred. There is no such thing as integrity, transparency, equity, etc when under duress.
Big shame!
Are our leaders playing tribal games with us? In the latest election petition it is evident that our leaders are most ethnic. They would rather be represented by their “own” — their tribesmen.
Is this the kind of change they preached during their campaigns? Is this what they want the people of Kenya to see and embrace? Don’t our leaders have advisers?
Mr Odinga’s lawyer is Oraro, Uhuru’s is Ngatia, Mr Ahmednassir is representing Hassan and Kigen is Ruto’s lawyer. From the names alone you can tell that each leader has his tribesman defending him. It’s a big shame and a pity.

Africog wants Bomet and Nyeri presidential poll results cancelled

African Centre for Open Governance (Africog's) lawyer Kethi Kilonzo at the Supreme Court. Photo/BILLY MUTAI  
African Centre for Open Governance (Africog's) lawyer Kethi Kilonzo at the Supreme Court. Photo/BILLY MUTAI  Nation Media Group

Posted  Wednesday, March 27  2013 at  20:17

A civil society group wants the presidential election results for Bomet and Nyeri counties cancelled over alleged discrepancies in what was announced by the returning officers and the final tally read at Bomas of Kenya.
The Africa Centre for Open Governance’s (Africog) counsel Kethi Kilonzo Wednesday presented video evidence to support the organisation’s argument that the votes for President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta were inflated and those of the other candidates reduced.
The two counties voted overwhelmingly for Mr Kenyatta in the March 4 General Election and cancelling the results could see him not attain the 50 per cent plus one vote required by the Constitution for one to be declared the election winner.
“Elections with such irregularities do not meet the standard. There is only one conclusion that this court can make, presidential election was not valid,” said Ms Kilonzo.
Mr Kenyatta was declared President-elect on March 9 by the independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission having garnered 50.07 per cent of total votes cast, passing the mark by 8,419 votes to avoid a runoff.
The video played at the Supreme Court showed Nyeri County returning officer reading the votes for Mr Kenyatta as 317,881 and for Mr Raila Odinga, who is also challenging the results, as 6,075.
Ms Kilonzo said the summary of Form 36 declared at Bomas of Kenya, however, gave Mr Kenyatta 318,880 votes and Mr Odinga 5,638 votes.
She said Africog’s audit of results announced at constituency level and those declared at Bomas showed a discrepancy of more than one million votes.
The video also showed a form posted on a wall showing the results as announced at the tallying centre which Ms Kilonzo said was different from that on Form 36 presented in court. Results from all polling stations in a constituency were tallied on Form 36.
Senior Counsel Fred Ngatia, appearing for Mr Kenyatta, and Paul Nyamondi, for the IEBC objected to the presentation arguing that Ms Kilonzo had introduced new evidence.
The six Supreme Court judges, led by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, allowed her to proceed saying the respondents would raise the objections during the time allocated to them Thursday.
Ms Kilonzo said the failure of the electronic voter identification and the tallying system gave room for manipulation of the result.
She further identified Charity Primary School polling station in Kieni Constituency and Machakos County as other areas where the number of registered voters was less than the number of total votes cast.
In Charity Primary, she said, there was only one registered voter according to the principal register but Mr Kenyatta garnered 310 votes. The presiding officer, she claimed, did not indicate the number of registered voters on Form 34.
In Machakos, she said, there were 125 special voters but according to Form 36 there were 125 voters with no biometric characteristics.
On Form 36 the number was shown as 3,182. She asked the Director of Public Prosecution to be enjoined to take over the criminal investigations of those who were involved in the alleged manipulations. George Oraro, Mr Odinga’s lawyer, called for the cancellation of the result on the grounds that the whole election was flawed.
He said Mr Kenyatta’s margin above the 50 per cent mark would vanish with proper scrutiny.
“What happened was taking a few votes from one candidate and increasing for the other. If we establish this, the court has a mandate to set aside the elections, it’s not a discretion it’s a constitutional requirement,” said Mr Oraro.
The Supreme Court Wednesday identified issues for determination in the petition as whether Mr Kenyatta and Mr William Ruto were validly elected and declared as President-elect and Deputy President-elect and whether the presidential election was free, fair, credible and conducted in compliance with the law.
It will also rule whether the rejected votes should have been included in determining final tallies of votes in favour of each presidential candidate.

Lawyer fights 'widow sex' tradition in Malawi

From Robyn Curnow and Jenni Watts, CNN
March 21, 2013 - Updated 1047 GMT (1847 HKT)

Lawyer and human rights activist Seodi White has long been an outspoken campaigner for gender justice in Malawi, a country where half its women are married before the age of 18. As the head of the Malawian chapter of Women in Law in Southern Africa (WLSA), White is at the forefront of the battle against inequality, traveling around the country to promote education and to stop young girls from giving up on school and marrying in their early teens.But the prominent activist, who is herself the mother of a young daughter, is not only concerned with the rights of teenage girls. She is also targeting cultural practices that harm older, vulnerable women in Malawi.

'Widow cleansing'
Malawian lawyer (Seodi White, WLSA) fights for girls
Fighting child marriage in Malawi
One such custom, prevalent in the southern tip of the landlocked country, is "widow cleansing," a traditional practice in which a widow is expected to have sexual relations, "in order to cleanse her," explains White. "There is a belief that if she does not sleep with someone, the spirit of her dead husband will come and visit upon her and her family will be cursed," she adds.White says that the practice is not forced upon widows. Instead, she says, the tradition has become so much part of the culture that widows themselves call for it."It's a mindset issue," says White. "Even the widows, they've told me, 'I don't want to die, I don't want a curse to come to my husband.' They cry to be cleansed."

White says the tradition, which involves unprotected sex, thus increasing the chances of HIV infection, has been turned into a business."There are professional cleansers in villages," says White. She says these men charge widows up to $50 for their services, in a country where the minimum wage is less than $1 per day.In this country, to get ahead in life, to beat poverty, you need education.In recent times, there have been several initiatives by White's NGO, as well as other groups, to try and change the situation. One effort is to target the "professional cleansers" in attempt to get them to change their ways."Some have actually come out in the open and said: 'I used to be a commercial cleanser, I'm HIV positive, I've stopped, it's not fine and I go village by village telling other commercial cleansers to stop this, it's a risky taboo behavior.'"

The power of education
A daughter of a professor of English, White grew up in Malawi in a relatively privileged family. She received her law degree in Botswana before moving to the UK to focus on gender and development studies.White saw first-hand the difference that education can make to a woman's life, and that's why all her efforts to promote gender equality -- from campaigning against child marriage and domestic abuse to protecting widows' rights through her work as a lawyer -- have been shaped by the transformative power of education.
"In this country, to get ahead in life, to beat poverty, you need education," she says."I know the difference between an uneducated woman in Malawi and a person of education, as I am, and I decided to use my position to uplift others," adds White."I decided I'm going to dedicate my life to dealing with injustice, just because I don't like it when a structure or system puts others in poverty, puts others in a position of inequality," adds White.

'The dispossession of widows'
Another campaign spearheaded by White is the fight against the prevalent culture of property grabbing, one of the most deep-rooted forms of discrimination suffered by widows in Malawi.White says that all across the country widows are at risk of having their matrimonial property taken by their late husband's relatives, often leaving them and their children homeless."The way our family structures are done is that when a man and a woman get married they are not considered related," says White. "A man is still looked at by his family as he is theirs and the woman is looked at by her family as she is theirs."

White says this entrenched culture, coupled with a prevalent assumption that women do not have an earning capacity, has condemned many widows to acute poverty."When the husband dies," says White, "his people, they come in and say, 'what did our son buy in this house? Where is the stuff?' They don't look at the stuff as belonging to the family."WSLA fought hard for more than 10 years to advance women's rights to keep their marital estate, calling for reform in Malawi's inheritance laws. Its campaign, which met strong resistance, finally succeeded in 2011 when the country's parliament voted to make property grabbing an offense and protect the spouse's and children's share in the deceased's assets."A law is a law -- it might not be like it's working immediately, but it's got staying power," says White, adding that more needs to be done to raise awareness about the reforms and to inform widows of their rights.White says that despite all the difficulties, it is victories like this that make her decision to commit her life in the fight against gender injustice worthwhile."I've been working on this business for 15 years; They've been moments of hope," she says.

Keep the faith, Raila and Kalonzo tell supporters

Cord MPs and Senators follow Supreme Court proceedings on TV March 27, 2013 before a strategy meeting at the Cooperative College in Karen, Nairobi. Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka urged supporters to remain optimistic ahead of the landmark ruling on the presidential election petition. ISAAC ONGIRI  
Cord MPs and Senators follow Supreme Court proceedings on TV March 27, 2013 before a strategy meeting at the Cooperative College in Karen, Nairobi. Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka urged supporters to remain optimistic ahead of the landmark ruling on the presidential election petition. ISAAC ONGIRI  
Posted  Thursday, March 28   2013 at  13:12

Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka have urged supporters to remain optimistic ahead of the landmark ruling on the presidential election petition by the Supreme Court expected Saturday.
Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka met about 160 MPs and Senators from the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) Wednesday evening and encouraged them not lose hope saying they were closely monitoring the political situation in the country with a lot of optimism.
The meeting at the Cooperative College in Karen also strategised on how to engage with other political parties in parliament to ensure the Cord coalition’s agenda succeeds despite its reduced numbers.
At the meeting, Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka told the leaders they are ready to mount a reorganised campaign in case of a run-off urging members to consider Cord’s current predicament a temporary situation.
“This is only a temporary position. Things will soon be all right. Please let's no one lose hope,” Mr Odinga stated.
Mr Musyoka called for calm among party supporters and leaders and expressed confidence that the judicial process would resolve the electoral dispute.
“Let us be bold and courageous. When we are bonded and corded together whatever the issue we shall always triumph. Let us all support this course and work as a team. No one should despair,” Mr Musyoka told Cord leaders.
He also took the opportunity to dismiss speculation about his commitment to the cause insisting: “I will be the last man to leave Cord."
The meeting was also attended by Cord’s East African Legislative Assembly MPs and was also addressed by Wiper Democratic Party (WDP) chairman David Musila and ODM Secretary General  Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o.
“This is a consultative forum to ensure that we engage each other on matters of national importance and for the national good as a coalition so as to drive our legislative agenda,” said Prof Nyong’o.
Kisumu Town West MP Olago Aluoch (Ford Kenya) said that there was an agreement among party members that issues revolving around parliamentary committees be revisited after the recess expected to start Friday.
“We agreed that we take a break and when we are back in six weeks we can then deal with issues of committees," the legislator stated.
The coalition is also expected to nominate at least three of its members to the powerful Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) to be reconstituted after the recess.
Tigania East MP Mpuri Aburi said coalition leaders had agreed to unite and to remain steadfast to ensure the aspirations of their supporters are not lost.
“The strategy is to remain united and to work together. We have agreed that we will move forward together to ensure we push through our desires by working closely with those with whom we share same ideals,” he stated.
The coalition has also planned a major retreat to be convened after the court ruling on Saturday to discuss its future.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Supreme Court throws out Raila's plea on additional evidence

A sitting of the Supreme Court during a status conference on the presidential election petition March 25, 2013. The court has rejected Raila Odinga's application to admit additional evidence in his petition challenging the electoral commission's declaration of Uhuru as President-elect March 26, 2013. BILLY MUTAI    
A sitting of the Supreme Court during a status conference on the presidential election petition March 25, 2013. The court has rejected Raila Odinga's application to admit additional evidence in his petition challenging the electoral commission's declaration of Uhuru as President-elect March 26, 2013. BILLY MUTAI 
By NATION Reporter
Posted  Tuesday, March 26  2013 at  16:56

The Supreme Court has rejected Raila Odinga's application to admit additional evidence in his petition challenging the electoral commission's declaration of Uhuru as President-elect.The judges ordered the 839-page affidavit to be expunged from the court records.Earlier, the court struck out Mr Odinga’s application for a forensic audit of the IEBC Information Technology (IT) system.The Supreme Court ruled that Mr Odinga's application was time barred and could therefore not be allowed.The judges also rejected a request by Katiba Institute to be enjoined in the suit as 'amicus curiae' (friend of the court).The court ruled that the Institute had shown bias against the third and fourth respondents who are Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto.

Supreme Court rejects Raila's application for IEBC IT system audit

The Supreme Court has rejected Raila Odinga’s application for a forensic audit of the IEBC Information Technology (IT) system.The court ruled that Mr Odinga's application was time barred and could therefore not be allowed.The judges also rejected a request by Katiba Institute to be enjoined in the suit as 'amicus curiae' (friend of the court).The court ruled that the Institute had shown bias against the third and fourth respondents who are Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto.

Tight security as re-tallying of presidential votes begins

Observers and journalists wait for the announcement of results at the Bomas of Kenya national elections centre on March 6, 2013. There was tight security at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, the venue of the presidential election vote re-tallying as ordered by the Supreme Court March 26, 2013. FILE
Observers and journalists wait for the announcement of results at the Bomas of Kenya national elections centre on March 6, 2013. There was tight security at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, the venue of the presidential election vote re-tallying as ordered by the Supreme Court March 26, 2013. FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP
Posted  Tuesday, March 26  2013 at  10:41
There was tight security at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, the venue of the presidential election vote re-tallying as ordered by the Supreme Court.A contingent of General Service Unit, regular and administration police kept vigil as the re-tallying was going on.Only the party agents, electoral commission and judiciary officials were allowed at the hall.The media was not allowed to access the hall.On Monday, the Supreme Court ordered the re-tallying of the presidential votes in 22 polling stations across the country.The judges also ordered a fresh scrutiny of all the Form 34 used by the electoral commission in tallying the presidential votes in all the 33,000 polling centres across the country as well as the Form 36s used by entering presidential constituency results.All reports and results must be filed with the court by 4 pm Wednesday.

Supreme Court adjourns, to rule on four applications

From left: Supreme Court Judges Jackton Ojwang, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and Philip Tunoi confer with a court official at the Supreme Court March 25, 2013. The Court adjourned its sitting to 3pm March 26, 2013 when it is expected to give direction on four applications.  BILLY MUTAI
From left: Supreme Court Judges Jackton Ojwang, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and Philip Tunoi confer with a court official at the Supreme Court March 25, 2013. The Court adjourned its sitting to 3pm March 26, 2013 when it is expected to give direction on four applications. BILLY MUTAI 
By NATION Reporter
Posted  Tuesday, March 26  2013 at  12:29

The Supreme Court has adjourned its sitting to 3pm when it is expected to give direction on four applications.The court is expected to rule on Katiba Institute's request to be enjoined in the suit.In court, lawyers representing the different parties opposed the Institute's Yash Pal Ghai prayers to be enjoined in the suit, citing partiality.Jubilee lawyer Fred Ngatia said Katiba Institute had authored an article on implications of a Kenyatta presidency.It has "a deep-seated resentment for the third and fourth respondents (Kenyatta and Ruto)," he told judges.However, Prof Ghai said the Institute represents the public's interest.It is also expected to issue a ruling on the Africa Centre for Open Governance (Africog) application to compel the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to produce the voter register in court.The Court will also rule on Raila Odinga's lead lawyer George Oraro application to introduce additional evidence in the case and Mr Odinga's request for a forensic audit of the IEBC Information Technology (IT) system.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Kenya: Nyanza leaders blame voters for Raila’s election loss and trouble

Posted  Monday, March 25   2013 at  00:30

Some leaders from Luo Nyanza have blamed voters from the region for the poll woes facing Prime Minister Raila Odinga.Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga, Kisumu Deputy Governor Ruth Odinga and MPs Jakoyo Midiwo (Gem) and Gideon Ochanda (Bondo) on Sunday said there was general voter apathy in the region that gave their opponents undue advantage.They said failure of the voters to turn out in large numbers in the region, largely considered to be Mr Odinga’s stronghold, made him vulnerable in the contest as his rivals got full support from their turfs.The leaders, who were meeting voters publicly for the first time since the March 4 polls, were speaking in Rarieda at the funeral of Ms Selina Guda, mother of the proprietor of Nairobi’s Kosewe Hotel, Mr William Osewe.The funeral was also attended by Mr Odinga. The ball was set rolling by Ms Odinga when she blamed voters for selling their IDs just before the election.“Almost 50,000 votes were not cast in Kisumu alone because people sold their ID cards, and then women refused to vote,” she said.
Took issue
On his part, Mr Midiwo took issue with voters who registered to vote in Nairobi and other areas but travelled home just before election for fear of violence.“Why do you have to travel when the war was just about to begin and those votes were the weapons?” he posed.Mr Rasanga echoed the sentiments and asked the mourners to give birth to as many children as they can so as to have the numbers in future.However, Mr Odinga thanked the voters for turning out to vote. “You did well and I thank you for that, just know that the struggle is not over yet,” he said.

Kenya: Kablam! The only language Patrick Shaw spoke

Posted  Tuesday, March 26   2013 at  02:00
It was in Dagoretti in 1986 when I first saw Patrick Shaw in action, a friend of mine recalled. A gang of five had robbed a shop and taken off in a getaway car. The Flying Squad and Shaw showed up in minutes and encircled the area, trapping the suspects.
Shaw parked his trademark Volvo and laid in wait along a road that was the only known way out. As the officers from the Flying Squad began to flush out the suspects, they radioed to Shaw that their vehicle was enroute towards him. Soon, the thugs’ getaway burst through a corner, bearing down on him.
Shaw jumped into the middle of the road, a pistol in each hand, and began to unload on the occupants of the car.
“The driver was the first to he hit, bringing the car to an abrupt halt,” the eyewitness remembers. “His passengers tried to escape, but they were also shot down.”
One by one, the bodies of Shaw’s victims were turned over for identification. As a crowd gathered, Shaw called the fallen criminals by name, then turned to the crowd and, as he always did on such occasions, warned them to stay off crime.
In the midst of all this madness, the Flying Squad dragged in, alive, another suspect, still clutching onto the loot. After perusing through the contents of the bag, Shaw asked the police officers to step aside, raised his pistol and... kablam!
The crowd gasped in horror, unable to believe how a man of the law could execute a suspect in cold blood — and in the full view of the public.
But that was not Shaw’s most famous encounter. It came in 1977, when he gunned down Nairobi’s most infamous gangster Nicholas Mwea, alias Wakinyonga.
Wakinyonga was huge, very rough and tough. He stood out from the crowd courtesy of his dreadlocks, jewellery and fancy clothes. In the ‘70s, a man in dreadlocks stood out like a billboard.
After a spate of violent robberies, the culmination of which was the murder of the CEO of Total Kenya in broad daylight, Wakinyonga became Kenya’s most wanted criminal, and Shaw started hunting him down.
The man had a colourful history with the police and the law courts, but when he learned that Shaw was trailing him, he knew that the end was nigh.
The Standard reported that, as Shaw closed down on him, Wakinyonga dug his own grave in the backyard of the house he lived in and went on a spending spree, buying people crates of beer at Nyakombani Night Club in Nairobi’s Kangemi area.
One night, as he was enjoying his beer, Shaw stepped into the club. Wakinyonga looked up and beheld the burly man smile coyly at him. This was going to be easy for the crime-buster, after all.
After a shoot-out during which several patrons were injured, Wakinyonga lay in a pool of blood, dead. But, even though the official story is that it was Shaw who fired the fatal bullet, an aging taxi driver who says he witnessed it all says Shaw happened into the scene minutes after Wakinyonga had been shot dead by the police, and that the ‘grave’ in his backyard was actually a newly dug pit latrine.
But the drama was not over yet in the Wakinyonga script. At the funeral, as the fallen criminal’s casket was being lowered into his grave, Shaw led a group of police officers into the scene and ordered everyone to lie face-down. Many were arrested for questioning.
That was trademark Shaw. Whenever he gunned down a suspect, he always made a point of showing up at the funeral, where he would arrest a number of mourners, including family members, for questioning. He would then proceed to warn anyone who looked ‘suspect’ to never step in Nairobi, or else...
Many have questioned why the man operated as if he was above the law, why he broke the very rules he was supposed to uphold by playing the role of investigator, judge and executioner.
The explanation given at the time was that Shaw knew that, should the men he arrested be sent to jail, they would come out hardened and even more dangerous. The correctional facilities of the 1970s were nothing to write home about, as were the courts. Many thugs could somehow bribe their way out of the tightest of cases.
In an era where the capacity of the police and the CID was limited, and where corruption and crime were rampant even within the police ranks and the Judiciary, Shaw’s crime-fighting techniques had to be equally unethical and brutal.
One criminal named George Kamau, alias “Slim,” a protégé to Wakinyonga and leader of a gang known as the Disciples of Jesus, knows that all too well where he sleeps, forever.
Slim is alleged to have killed 52 people in the late 1970s and 1980s. After getting off on a series of technicalities or because of scared witnesses withdrawing their testimonies, Slim was finally put away for six years for three separate violent crimes in 1981, but not before threatening to kill Shaw.
A month before Slim was released, Shaw visited Kamiti prison and warned him that, once free, he was to leave Nairobi forever. Slim, of course, ignored the warning and proceeded to do various ‘jobs’ in the city.
It was not long before Shaw decided to put things to rest. One night, as Slim and another suspected criminal named Stephen Mbaraka Karanja whiled the evening away in the city, they were accosted by a team of police officers who bundled them into a car and headed to Karura Forest. There, it is alleged, the two were shot dead on the orders of Shaw.
So, was this man a crime-buster or a psycopath let loose on the streets of Nairobi... with a loaded gun?
Many who spent time with or near him say they were convinced the man had a split personality.
“Despite the extrajudicial killings and his run-ins with the darker side of Nairobi,” one of his informants says, “the man would every now and then exhibit the traits of a humanitarian angel. For instance, he was able to set aside his psycopathic ways and become the principled, fun-loving guy at Starehe Boy’s Centre.”
A police officer he worked with described Shaw as “completely out of control” and “out of bounds of the constitutional description of what an officer should be”.
“He did not report to any particular police station, he used his personal car, and had no fixed jurisdiction,” the retired police officer says, but admits that it was this nature of self-deployment that made Shaw so effective.
To counter the claim that the man reported to no one, and was thus some sort of a one-man vigilante, a former informant cites that Shaw’s rank was Senior Superintendant of Police, and that his position as a police reservist justified his modus operandi.
Despite roiling and toiling with Nairobi’s most wanted, none of them ever got the best of Big Pat Shaw. But in July 1979, the man had his closest shave with a thug.
One Friday afternoon, a gang of three Ugandans stormed into the house of Dr Gulam Mustafa while the family was having lunch. They shot death the Mustafas’ house-help Simon Ngeresa, his wife Jane and Mustafa’s wife Parvin before ransacking the house for loot, after which they harassed Mustafa’s two daughters and a nephew of the family.
While they were still in the house, Shaw pulled up at the family gate. One of the gang members fired through the window of Shaw’s car, hitting him in the shoulder. Shaw sped to Nairobi Hospital for treatment, but the police arrived shortly afterwards to clean up the mess.
One of the gang members was gunned down while bystanders and police captured another. A sub-machine gun was found on the dead suspect, later identified as Marua Wakamune, but Patrick Walimba, the man blamed for shooting Shaw, escaped.
After having the bullet removed, Shaw refused to spend the night at the hospital, upon which Dr Geoffrey Griffin, Starehe’s Director, was called in to talk to his friend.
Griffin arrived at the hospital to find Shaw pacing the hallways. “An assistant administrator with gangrene would be of little use,” Griffin told Shaw, and eventually persuaded him to stay one night and to take it easy.
In 1981, Shaw finally caught up with Walimba and, in the presence of other officers, gunned-down the gangster at a bar in Jerusalem Estate.
It is difficult to estimate, even modestly, how many suspected gangsters Shaw killed.
“Literally hundreds,” one former informant estimates. “At least one fatality a week.”
But the man was, like all men, still mortal. On February 14, 1988, while visiting a friend named David Rowe, Shaw started feeling weak. His heart was failing. It is said he was reading a newspaper when he stood up shouting and fell to his knees, his gun still in its holster. He was rushed to Nairobi Hospital where he was pronounced dead, aged 52.
The next morning, all three major newspapers run front-page stories on the man who was known simply as “crime-buster”. Over the course of the following week, condolences were telephoned and wired in from around the world.
On Saturday, February 20, 1988, the once indomitable Patrick David Shaw was laid to rest. The Starehe school chapel, where the funeral service was held, “was packed to absolute capacity, while hundreds more sat on the grass of the quadrangle”, a newspaper reported.
A group of boys, some of whom considered Shaw their father, carried his coffin past the buildings built under his supervision and through the funds he helped to raise into a hearse. The cortege of police cars and motorcycles that accompanied the man on his final journey to Lang’ata cemetery was two miles long.
“It was like a royal procession,” remembers his sister.
Chief Justice Cecil Miller read a message of condolence from then President Daniel arap Moi, praising Shaw for his “constant, selfless, sacrificial and untiring service to law and order for the benefit of his fellow men”.
Shaw’s close friends, including the late Geoffrey Griffin, scoffed at the notion that Shaw died from anything other than a heart attack. But most in Nairobi, including the students at Starehe, believed foul play was at hand, that the man who lived by the sword had to have died by the sword.
These rumours were only compounded when the students were prevented from viewing the body, a decision Griffin made to prevent the funeral proceedings from being sensationalised.
Later, the Weekly Review, at its time the foremost political magazine in Kenya, carried a story on Shaw highlighting his prowess as a civil servant and crime fighter.
“Mystery always seemed to surround him and the police were probably content to leave matters so in order to enhance the aura of invincibility that surrounded him,” the Weekly Review wrote. One photo of Shaw looking smug was included, with the caption reading simply: “Shaw: awesome reputation”.
The JM Kariuki mystery
“The sun shines for both the evil and the good, but there are those who keep their faces to the sunshine and cannot see their shadow,” Shaw is reported to have once said.
At the time, he had come under scrutiny over his extrajudicial killings and the omnipresence he exhibited in the criminal underworld. It was, however, the disappearance and later murder of politician J M Kariuki that sent shivers down the hitman’s spine. His character had been called to question by MPs, who wondered how the man was always the first to arrive at scenes of crime, way before the police did.
When word went around that Shaw had been involved in the arrest of JM, the world started crumbling all around him. Suddenly, he was no longer a revered crime-buster, but a likely criminal himself.
In 1981, John Keen, then Assistant Minister in the Office of the President, was summoned to give testimony to Parliament on the progress the government had made in controlling crime.
“Nine hundred and eighty one gangsters were arrested in the past year,” he testified. In a supplementary question, one MP asked: “And why is it that Patrick Shaw is always the first to arrive on the scene of a crime and not African police?” Parliament erupted in laughter, but, begrudgingly, Keen responded by saying that all police officers, both Black and White, were “doing a fine job.”
Still, the country was not convinced that the fellow was such a “fine policeman” as claimed, and henceforth viewed him with suspicion.
Did you know?
During the 1982 coup attempt by officers from Kenya Air Force, Shaw was in Europe fundraising for Starehe.
On August 1, a Corporal from KAF named Ngatia was assigned to arrest president Moi. But before doing so he and his fellow rogue officers decided to first head to Starehe and take out Patrick Shaw.
James Dianga, author of the book Kenya, 1982: The Attempted Coup, says Ngatia’s mission to kill Shaw was also fuelled by the fact that Shaw was investigating Ngatia for his role in a series of bank robberies.
Cpl Ngatia was a supporter of Spt Hezekiah Ochuka, one of the senior coup plotters. Ochuka had helped to delay Shaw’s request that the KAF hands over Ngatia for interrogation. In exchange for his assistance, and knowing that Ngatia was in a tough position, Ochuka handed Ngatia the task of arresting president Moi.
Upon hearing of the plot, Shaw immediately flew back to “help sort out the mess”, says his sister. He immediately started interrogating the key suspects, and is said to have been behind the torture of many who were arrested in connection with the failed coup.
Dear reader, David Smith is researching the life of Patrick David Shaw. If you wish to share any information, stories or anecdotes on his personal or professional life (as an agricultural officer, administrator at Starehe and police reservist) or of the real-life characters covered in this story, please email him on The identities of sources will be kept anonymous and in strict confidence.

Kenya: Bishop denies claims snake tried to bite Uhuru at service

PHOTO | FILE Bishop Mary Kagendo Francis of the Kisima cha Neema cha Mwana wa Daudi church with president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta.    
PHOTO | FILE Bishop Mary Kagendo Francis of the Kisima cha Neema cha Mwana wa Daudi church with president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Posted  Tuesday, March 26   2013 at  00:30

A cleric has criticised the media over reports that a snake almost attacked president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta when he worshipped at a church in Mombasa.Bishop Mary Kagendo Francis of the Kisima cha Neema cha Mwana wa Daudi church also denied reports that the snake slithered to where Mr Kenyatta was seated but was shot dead by presidential guards after it attempted to attack the Jubilee leader.The prelate said she learnt of the snake story through the media, and after enquiry discovered that it was only a small green mamba which was killed by a young boy using a stick.Speaking in Kitui after a crusade at her Mulango home, Bishop Kagendo blamed the local media for creating a political storm out of a small incident, adding that citing of wild animals at the garden where her church is situated is common.“We have monkeys, baboons, birds and occasionally see small snakes at our place of worship, but we cannot resort to killing them because we embrace nature,” Bishop Kagendo said.She added that her church attracts huge crowd forcing them to worship outdoors where interacting with wild animals is inevitable.The cleric also down played claims that the snake could have been sent by Uhuru’s political nemesis or witchcraft was involved.She vowed to take unspecified action against those she accused of spreading “alarmist falsehoods.”

Kenya: Six New Ford-K MPs join Jubilee

PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL Mr William Ruto (centre), Mr Eugene Wamalwa (right) and Mr Francis Kaparo after signing the agreement at KICC on March 25, 2013.  
PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL Mr William Ruto (centre), Mr Eugene Wamalwa (right) and Mr Francis Kaparo after signing the agreement at KICC on March 25, 2013.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Posted  Tuesday, March 26   2013 at  00:30

Jubilee coalition on Monday formally signed a post-election pact with Justice minister Eugene Wamalwa’s New Ford-Kenya ahead of the alliance’s retreat on Tuesday.Deputy President-elect William Ruto said with the six New Ford-K MPs joining the alliance, Jubilee would have a majority of 195 seats in the National Assembly besides being the majority party in the Senate.Speaking during the signing ceremony in Nairobi, Mr Ruto, the leader of URP party, said affiliate parties would join the “Jubilee family’’ at today’s retreat at Great Rift Valley Lodge, where the parties would share seats in the National Assembly and the Senate.“We shall go to craft a team that will spearhead the leadership and management of both the Senate and Parliament. Jubilee is committed to go out of its way to create an inclusive government both outside and inside Parliament,’’ he said.Mr Ruto, who with President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta will attend the retreat, pledged that Jubilee would work “openly and transparently’’ with the affiliates “for the best interest of Kenya.’’

Lobbying for top positions in Parliament and the Senate intensified last evening as new entrants joined races for speaker positions.Former MPs Justin Muturi and Abdikadir Mohamed are seeking Jubilee’s support to win the National Assembly Speaker’s seat while Mr Kenneth Marende of Cord is seeking to retain his position.They will battle it out with 12 other candidates who picked application forms on Monday.Garissa Township MP Aden Duale and his Mandera West counterpart Mohamud Mohamed are eyeing Majority Leader’s post in the National Assembly.The coalition will have to pick the candidate for the Senate Majority Leader from Senators-elect Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka Nithi, TNA), Kiraitu Murungi (Meru, APK), Kimani Wamatangi (Kiambu, TNA) and Mutahi Kagwe (Nyeri, Narc).The Senate Speaker competition pits former Turkana Central MP Ekwee Ethuro against former Speaker Francis ole Kaparo.They will face off with Mr Phillip Murgor, Mr Okongo Mogeni, Mr Farah Maalim and six others who have joined the race.And even as the lobbying continued, Senators allied to the Jubilee alliance asked their parties to consider a Majority Leader who is a unifying agent in the Upper House.Cord leaders are also expected to meet in Nairobi today to strategise on how to capture key seats in the two Houses.
Report by Julius Sigei, Billy Muiruri and Njeri Rugene.

Kenya: Much good-natured banter in court

Posted  Tuesday, March 26   2013 at  00:30

The real moment of drama at Monday’s pre-trial conference at the Supreme Court in Nairobi arrived about an hour-and-a-half into the proceedings.Its source was one-time presidential candidate Nazlin Rajput Umar.She had somehow managed to get into the room and sat somewhere in the back before she saw the opportune moment and surged to the front bench, reserved for the lead lawyers, waving a red volume.She was loud and unstoppable, but the thrust of her argument was that Chief Justice Willy Mutunga is biased in favour of Prime Minister Raila Odinga and should not be on the bench.As she rose, the target of her attacks leaned back in the seat, leaving it to his colleagues, who had said nothing since the conference started, to rebut. 

Force her to sit down
Clad in a black buibui and waving her application, she continued talking as Justices Mohammed Ibrahim and Jackton Ojwang urged her to sit down.When the police women approached to remove her, she pointed at them and told the judges she would not be intimidated.It was finally left to Justice Smokin Wanjala to force her to sit down.“You have to go by the authority of this court. If you expect justice, justice cuts both ways. You don’t come to court by your own justice. This court is ready to listen to all Kenyans as long as they are properly before the court. This is not a political rally. It is the court of law. You have to abide by the orders that flow from this bench.”When she attempted a final surge, he held firm.“This court is not going to be held at ransom. You defy that order at your own peril.”Before she interrupted proceedings, the first bite of the cake had been given to a senior member of the Kenyan Bar, Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai.Prof Muigai introduced two words that trended for some time on social media — amicus curiae, Latin for “a friend of the court”.He was granted his request in the afternoon.Prof Muigai likes to speak with much gravity and not many could suppress their laughter when he took a gentle dig at retired Attorney General Amos Wako, who is now a Senator-elect and part of the Cord legal team.“In the past, the Attorney General would be required in court, but he never appeared,” he said.

Kenya has began another week of waiting to know what direction the presidential contest could take.This will be the second suspenseful week of March. The first started on March 4 and ended on the afternoon of Saturday March 9 at the Bomas of Kenya.From the decision by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission sprang the proceedings at the highest court in the land.All eyes will be focused on a wood-panelled chamber at the Supreme Court Building in Nairobi. Before the High Court moved to Milimani, that room was one of the places the court was convened.It is the same room in which Justice Muga Apondi ruled in May 2009 that Tom Cholmonedley would spend seven months in jail for the killing of Robert Njoya, a stonemason from Naivasha.A lot has changed since 2009 though. The judges don’t have to write down every word, there are secretaries typing away, everybody speaks into a microphone, every word spoken there is recorded and there is a digital stopwatch in addition to the analogue clock on the wall.In the afternoon, Justice Mutunga advised lawyer Kethi Kilonzo that she need not burden herself with the black gown members of her profession like to wear.The Supreme Court Building is old — the foundation stone was laid in 1930 — and the institution it hosts has been under constant renewal since August 2010, but the first hurdle was a physical one.

The heat was stifling
It was clear that the high-powered assembly of lawyers plus the journalists and activists who had converged to witness and report on the historical petition could not all fit in the room.Judiciary Registrar Gladys Boss Shollei had to shoo out as many people as she could, saying, as she indicated the gallery: “If you’re not participating, there is more space up there.”She said the judges would not like to have anybody standing in court. Only the lawyers participating could fit in the seven benches in the court.Even with every window opened as wide as possible, the heat was still stifling.A good part of the afternoon and early evening was spent arguing about a voluminous 900-page document with an orange cover and a black spine that was an affidavit filed by Cord.The lawyers passed it amongst them. The judges will decide on Tuesday whether it will be admitted.This morning, the lawyers are supposed to agree with the judges on how the 15 hours over the next two days will be split between them.With the events live on television, we have another dramatic week on our hands.

Kenya: New dawn as governors take over county affairs

PHOTO | DIANA NGILA Nairobi governor-elect Evans Kidero leaves Nyayo House in Nairobi after a meeting with the Transition Authority  officials on March 13.
PHOTO | DIANA NGILA Nairobi governor-elect Evans Kidero leaves Nyayo House in Nairobi after a meeting with the Transition Authority officials on March 13.   NATION MEDIA GROUP

Posted  Tuesday, March 26   2013 at  00:30

Preparations are almost complete for the ceremony to swear in Nairobi governor-elect Evans Kidero on Wednesday.By Monday evening, workers from the City’s Engineering Department were cleaning and repainting the dais at Uhuru Park, the venue of the historic ceremony.Police officers maintained security around the area to ensure workers finished up the job uninterrupted.On Tuesday, they are expected to prepare the sitting arrangement for invited guests.Mr Justice Mbogholi Msagha and magistrate Peter Mulwa will preside over the ceremony expected to start shortly after 10am, according to a schedule released by the Transition Authority.Transition Authority Chairman Kinuthia Wamwangi told Nation at the weekend that county officials would afterwards be expected to prepare for the next budget estimates due in June.At the same time, preparations for swearing in of Coast governor-elect Hassan Joho were in top gear on Monday as Coast residents waited for the historic event to usher in county governments.In Taita Taveta County, governor-elect John Mruttu, whose election was petitioned by Ms Jacinta Mwatela who lost in the March 4 poll, is set to be sworn in.Tents had been taken to Mwatunge Ground at Mwatate which will be the venue of tomorrow’s ceremony.County Commissioner Haroun Khator said security had been beefed up ahead of the exercise.In Kwale, County Commissioner Evans Achoki assured the public that arrangements to swear in Mr Salim Mgalla Mvurya would be complete by Tuesday.Mr Achoki chaired a meeting on Monday morning to make the final touches for the occasion to be held at the Kwale Baraza Park.Tana River County Commissioner Joseph Rotich said plans had been completed for the swearing in of governor-elect Hussein Tuneya Dado.In Mombasa, Town Clerk Tubman Otieno on Monday chaired a meeting of top leaders from the county to prepare for the swearing-in of Mr Ali Hassan Joho.Mr Joho will be sworn in at the Mkomani Agricultural Show Ground.Lamu County Commissioner Steve Ikua could not be reached on phone but sources said Mr Issa Timamy would be sworn in at the Mkunguni Square Ground on the Island.In Nakuru, interim transition coordinating team said they had made all necessary arrangements to ensure the swearing in of Mr Kinuthia Mbugua goes on smoothly.
Reported by Aggrey Mutambo, Daniel Nyassy and Simon Siele

Russian oligarch, Kremlin critic Berezovsky dies in Britain

Posted  Sunday, March 24   2013 at  05:05
Police sealed off the British home of exiled Russian oligarch and Kremlin critic Boris Berezovsky on Sunday and sent in hazardous material experts following the discovery of his body at the house.The 67-year-old was found dead in his mansion in the well-heeled commuter town of Ascot, near London, on Saturday afternoon.
His lawyer Alexander Dobrovinsky said his death may have been suicide brought on by depression over his debts.But since the tycoon survived one assassination attempt in 1995 and remained fearful of other bids to kill him, his death is bound to provoke speculation.Police shut down the streets surrounding the gated property overnight and sent in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) experts to investigate what they described as an "unexplained" death.
Berezovsky's friend and fellow Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko was killed by radioactive poisoning in London in 2006, in what his widow has said was an assassination by Russian agents.
"Specially trained officers are currently at the scene, including CBRN trained officers, who are conducting a number of searches as a precaution," a statement from Thames Valley Police said.
They were present to enable police officers to carry out their work, the statement said. Almost 10 hours after Berezovsky died, his body had still not yet been removed, it added.
Police Superintendent Stuart Greenfield said: "I would like to reassure residents that we are confident there is no risk to the wider community."
Berezovsky was one of handful of businessmen who became billionaires following the privatisation of Russian state assets in the 1990s, but his fortunes had slumped in recent years.
He was a confidante of former president Boris Yeltsin but fell out with his successor, President Vladimir Putin, fleeing Russia in 2000 just in time to escape arrest on fraud charges.
In London, Berezovsky became one of the Kremlin's most outspoken critics, leading a circle of exiled Russian critics that had included Litvinenko before his agonising death.
Paramedics were called to Berezovsky's estate at 3:18 pm (1518 GMT) on Saturday and the Russian was pronounced dead at the scene, the ambulance service said.
"His body was found by his bodyguard," said a spokesman for Berezovsky, refusing to comment on media reports that he had been found in his bath.
In 1995, Berezovsky narrowly escaped an attempt on his life in which his driver was decapitated, and he remained fearful of other attacks.
His lawyer however told Russian state television that he had been informed by contacts in London that Berezovsky had killed himself.
"Berezovsky has been in a terrible state as of late. He was in debt. He felt destroyed," said Dobrovinsky. "He was forced to sell his paintings and other things."
However, the oligarch's friend Demyan Kudryavtsev firmly denied that Berezovsky had killed himself.
"There are no external signs of a suicide," he was quoted as saying by the Prime news agency in Russia.
"There are no signs that he injected himself or swallowed any pills. No one knows why his heart stopped."
Last year, the tycoon lost a bitter multi-million pound legal battle with Russian fellow oligarch Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea Football Club.
Berezovsky had sought more than £3 billion ($4.75 billion, 3.8 billion euros) in damages, accusing Abramovich of blackmail, breach of trust and breach of contract in an oil deal.
When he lost, he agreed to pay Abramovich £35 million ($56 million) in legal costs, although there is speculation that the full fees would come to far more than that.
Berezovsky's private life has also taken its toll. A 2011 divorce with his second wife Galina Besharova was dubbed the costliest in Britain, and there has been a more recent legal wrangle with his partner Elena Gorbunova.
Born on January 23, 1946, in Moscow, Berezovsky worked as an academic for nearly two decades before taking advantage of the peristroika reforms to make his fortune.
However, the fast-talking Muscovite with a taste for the high life fell foul of Putin's crackdown on the oligarchs' political independence. In 2003, Britain granted him political asylum.
After news of Berezovsky's death, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the oligarch had written to Putin a couple of months ago saying he wanted to go home.
"He asked Putin for forgiveness for his mistakes and asked him to obtain the opportunity to return to the motherland," he told Russian state television.
Forbes' Russian-language website published an interview he gave to journalist Ilya Zhegulev, in which he said his "life no longer makes sense" and that there was nothing he wanted more than to return to Russia.
Zhegulev said it had been an informal interview given on Friday evening, which he had not recorded. While he had promised Berezovsky not to publish it he had changed his mind after hearing of his death.

Ghana: Nana Addo's cousin incites NPP supporters to protest

Nana Addo Jaw    

A cousin of the 2012 Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), according to the Africawatch Magazine, has allegedly drafted a plan to incite “thousands” of his party’s supporters to pour out onto the streets as part of a grand scheme to stir what he describes as “anger and international attention” on the election fraud case which is currently before Ghana’s Supreme Court.

Africawatch quotes Nana Akufo Addo’s cousin, whom it did not name, as proposing in a leaked e-mail to some party stalwarts and prominent members that: “…I will suggest that as hearing [in the Ghana Supreme Court] begins, we must activate the back-burner strategy of getting the outside world to hear us too”.

He went on to bemoan that: “The truth is that the country is not showing enough anger”, saying tht: “…Apart from [the] cash-strapped ‘Let My Vote Count’ mobilisation efforts, which [are] receiving luke-warm endorsement and support from the party, what have we done?”

“Isn’t it a serious indictment that we have not been able to mobilise thousands of people onto the streets?” he asked.

“Are we not going to feed on the current anger precipitated by fuel price increases, water and energy crises to express mass anger and mass support for our case?”

Nana Akufo Addo’s cousin is again quoted by the magazine as saying: “We are sleeping…and we shall once again have our tilapia stolen right from our noses in this judicial pond if we don’t wake the heck up with the kind of cacophony that can disturb the tranquillity of the international community.

“Let us get them to pay attention to us even before we mount the witness box to lay out our evidence otherwise this whole thing, I fear will be academic."

He further noted that: “If the reaction of our MPs to my presentation on Wednesday is anything to go by, then I’m afraid we have not yet made our case even to our diehard supporters in Ghana. Many got convinced for the first time. It’s difficult to get people out on the streets if they don’t know or believe in your case."

Nana Akufo Addo, together with his running mate Dr Mahmoud Bawumia and the Party’s National Chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey petitioned the Supreme Court challenging the election results of 2012.

They claim the results were manipulated in favour of the incumbent John Mahama.

The Africawatch publication follows a recent lecture delivered by Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Chairman of the Databank Group, who charged Ghanaians, including the youth, teachers, NGOs, journalists and clerics to stop being quiet and neutral in the search for justice and shun “cowardice and hypocrisy” but rather show some “courage” and “outrage” in the face of what he called “attacks on the integrity of Ghana’s democracy” and the way the nation’s finances are being mishandled.

Ken Ofori Atta made the call when he delivered the second of the William Ofori-Atta (Paa Willie) Institute for Integrity Lectures at the British Council Hall on Tuesday March 12, 2013.

Speaking on ‘Ghana's future: Integrity, Rights, and Responsibilities of Citizens’, Mr Ofori-Atta used the seemingly neutral reaction of important bodies to the election dispute at the Supreme Court and what he referred to as the mishandling of the economy which in his view, has led to a record GHC8.7 billion fiscal deficit to illustrate his point about the worsening integrity deficit in Ghana.

He accused clerics, civil society groups, journalists, Ghana’s middle-class and other important organisations, such as the National Peace Council and the Ghana Bar Association of “cowardice and hypocrisy” and reminded the nation that it was this kind of culture of silence in the face of impunity that forced a young Jerry John Rawlings and his colleagues to stage their revolution of June 4, 1979.

“For me we can cause a revolution with our lack of outrage, with what Rawlings did in 1979, you will realise that this is not merely hyperbolic,” Mr Ofori-Atta cautioned.

He said our democracy risked being destroyed if citizens do not actively ensure that it is built on a foundation of integrity and strengthened by pillars of integrity, predicting that if we continue to build our democracy on lies, deceit and fraud, all the talk of peace, stability and status quo would be meaningless. He also called on the justices of the Supreme Court to be alert to their responsibilities.

“Peace,” he warned, “cannot be attained without due consideration to justice; the two are Siamese twins. Those who hunger and thirst after peace must love justice and pursue it with all their strength and with all their might. Thus, we must overcome not only apathy but also one-sidedness in the peace-justice equation!”

Kenya: SHOCKING: TNA Was IEBC According to this Electronic Footprint

By Omundu

SHOCKING: TNA Was IEBC According to this Electronic Footprint

In Politics on March 25, 2013 at 6:38 pm The data me and few other persons have access to show a shocking manner IEBC and Jubilee used the electronic data to rig the elections. Using data provided by a source at Kencall, TNA was IEBC . TNA used 21 data entry clerks at to enter data both in its server and the server of IEBC through a backdoor entry provided by Kencall.
List of Data Entry Clerks (Names blacked Out to protect them from harm)
List of Data inputters
The server (KENCALL IP: running Windows Server 2008 gave access to the 21 data entry clerks employed by TNA. The same data entry clerks, receiving calls from TNA agents, entered data into IEBC database. The IEBC database had 16 columns including a column called User_ID which had who among the 21 data clerks entered the data. The TNA database called (MARKET RACE) was also hosted on this same server but it lacked the User_ID column.
Rights of the the 21 clerks on the IEBC database
IEBC rights
Rights of the the 21 clerks on the TNA database
TNA rights
Data entered by the 21 clerks on the TNA database
Data from the clerks
Same data mirrored on the IEBC database
Data from the clerks - IEBC
MAC addresses and LOGs of the phones used to call the 21 data clerks based at Kencall
MAC addresses
When CORD discovered this and went to the media (Raila’s press conference around 11am on March 16th), Kencall proceeded and shutdown the IEBC database leaving the Market Race database (TNA database) running because the name could not raise suspicion by anyone.
IEBC database shutdown log
Kencall Hosted IEBC and TNA Data on the same Server
#KenyaDecides: IEBC Chairman Admitted on LIVE TV that Their System Was Hacked
Safaricom’s Statement Regarding IEBC’s System’s Failure is Unconvincing

Kenya: Supreme Court orders scrutiny of Form 34 in all polling stations

The Supreme Court in session on March 25, 2013. Photo/BILLY MUTAI  
The Supreme Court in session on March 25, 2013. Photo/BILLY MUTAI  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Posted  Monday, March 25   2013 at  19:00

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the scrutiny of Forms 34 from all the 33,400 polling stations and all the Forms 36 used in the tallying of the presidential votes.The court also ordered re-tallying of the presidential results in 22 polling stations using Forms 34 and 36 so as to determine the numbers of votes cast over number of registered voters.The exercise will commence on Tuesday from 8am.In the ruling, Justice Smokin Wanjala said the re-tallying would aim to show if the number over votes cast exceeds the number of registered voters.Justice Wanjala also ordered that the results from the 22 polling stations be filed at the Supreme Court registry by Wednesday 4pm after re-tallying.The court also ordered that all the representatives and agents from the petitioners and respondents in the recount process to take an oath.The judges also approved the application by the Attorney General to act as 'a friend of the court' in presidential petitions but dropped the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) application.Cord's lawyer George Oraro said he accepted the admission of the AG to the petition as a friend of the court despite opposing it earlier.The judges also consolidated three petitions and allowed the Cord petition to take lead.

Electronic submission of results
Africog Counsel Keth Kilonzo argued that it is mandatory for the IEBC to transmit the results electronically and a forensic audit was important."IEBC's reasons for the failure of the electronic results transmission are not enough," she said.Ms Kilonzo argued that all parties should be allowed to scrutinise the IEBC system.However, IEBC says production of logs used in the electioneering process is tiresome and cumbersome.IEBC also argued that there was no new petition that was totally different from the petition already in the court.IEBC also told the court that there was no statutory requirement to conduct an electronic election.The commission argued that technology was an additional safeguard as opposed to a requirement.IEBC also said that KenCall, which is a service provider could not co-host the commission's servers with TNA as alleged by the Cord Coalition.IEBC boss Issack Hassan's lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi argued that that applications to access information are not founded in the Constitution."No article provides for the supply of the requests of the petitioners on the IEBC logs," he said."No law that allows the Supreme Court to compel the IEBC to supply the electronic logs required," he added.He argued that the court had no luxury of time to allow for forensic audit of the IEBC IT system.

Jubilee's lawyer Fred Ngatia also argued that an audit on IEBC systems will lead to breach of confidentiality as it holds very crucial and sensitive information.He argued that the forensic audit was out of order since the contractors had not been served or party to the petition.However, lawyer Oduol Ochieng noted that the IEBC had a central server and should therefore be compelled to produce the logs."The electronic logs are not a burden by the IEBC to provide," he said.Mr Ochieng said that the logs will prove why the electronic votes transmission failed and the type of errors encountered.He also said that the third parties lacked independent data because their roles were to provide services to the IEBC.

Controversial constituencies
Mr Ngatia noted that 57 constituencies were set as areas of controversy by the petitioners.He argued that the complaint had been that the votes cast exceeded the number of voters registered.He also said that complaints with direct connections to the electoral process should be dealt with but not those outside it.Mr Ngatia said that the President-elect team had responded to all allegations raised by any of the petitioners who served them.He said that the affidavit filed on Monday contained 122 electoral areas with specific new complaints.He also challenged the court to deny the petitioner time to table new facts tending to amend or add value to the petition.He said that new or extraneous evidence or raising new grounds cannot be allowed at this stage as they will delay the course of justice."A decision to allow submission of new evidence will only serve to deny the defence the right to fair trial," he said.

In a rejoinder, lawyer Ahmednasir argued that there was no legal provision for the petitioner to file new evidence at free will.He argued that there was flooding of evidence without the interpretation of the court.
"The new affidavit has led to the case changing completely as the petition has been amended through the affidavit," he said." I think what respondents are complaining is the flood of new evidence the petitioner is presenting," he added.He also argued that the petition should stop mutating and be confined on areas that can be responded to by all the involved parties.Lawyer Mohamed Nyaoga also argued that the petitioner lacked the material evidence to back its petition.He said that the petitioner was supplied with all the necessary materials by IEBC as requested.Jubilee's lawyer Katwa Kigen says that the move by the petitioner to expand the scope of the petition was outside any legal provisions.

"The law doesn't allow to file affidavit without the leave of the court. The affidavit should be struck out," he said.He also noted that the manner in which the petitioner filed the new affidavit involving over 900 pages was arrogant."Allowing the new affidavit is allowing the case to fall out of time," he said."The new evidence distorts the original petition and amends it to create a new 'animal'," he added.Also, lawyer Njoroge Regeru argued that the new affidavit required a ruling to save on important timelines."The law bars the petitioner from filing new affidavits outside the allowed timelines," he said.Mr Regeru argued that the petitioner was not steadfast in observing the rule of law and should not be allowed to handle the issue casually.However, Africog's lawyer Donald Deya argued that they were not served with the new affidavit and they would only make general remarks in the matter.Mr Deya said that all Forms 34 and 36 should be scrutinised and compared with the numbers in the principal register.

He challenged the court to distinguish between issues raised and the facts before it.In his response, Mr Oraro reminded the court that the IEBC only served the petitioner after being compelled by the High Court.Mr Oraro argued that that the petitioner chose to bring the affidavit in the interest of the court and the petition."There is a need for the respondents to bring all the required material in order to be at par with the petition," he said.Mr Oraro said the petition is challenging the manual tallying system adapted by the IEBC since it was abused in the 2007 General Election.He said that a number of Form 36 were not signed and others had different data from what was finally made public.He argued that that the difference in the tallying as filed by the IEBC can only be verified by scrutinising the Forms 36.Mr Oraro argued that the discrepancies in the numbers in Forms 34 and 36 are part of the malpractices that led to the petition.He also said that no new evidence had been introduced but only exhibits are contained in the affidavit.

Accept court's verdict
Early in the day in his opening remarks, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said the judges will be objective in its ruling on the petition."We as judges are servants of the law. We shall be objective," he said."Supreme court to remain objective. Public should trust us to do our job. Justice should manifest to be done," he added.Dr Mutunga also urged Kenyans to accept the final decision that will be arrived at by the Supreme Court and move on."Whatever decision emerges from this petition, we must march forward," he said.In an earlier session on Monday, the Attorney General Githu Muigai had sought to be enjoined in the petition as amicus curiae or a friend of the court."We can only be enjoined in the case on the discretion of the Court," said AG Muigai.However, Mr Odinga had filed an objection to the Attorney General joining the presidential petition.AG Muigai also argued that his appearance in petition was not to support any party but to lay down law as it is with authorities from across the globe.

"The AG's role is to elucidate on legal issues, not to support any side," he said.However, Mr Abdullahi said his client had no objection with the appearance of AG in the petition.Lawyers Katwa Kigen and Fred Ngatia also had no objection to AG being enjoined in the petition.Notably, lawyer Kethi Kilonzo for Africog argued that issues before court did not require an interpretation of the law to warrant inclusion of the AG.However, Cord's lawyer George Oraro argued that the AG had applied to be enjoined without request from the court or any party."The AG has misinterpreted circumstances under which he can apply to be enjoined in cases before court," he said."An election petition is not a civil proceeding. The government is not defined in the Constitution but state is defined," he added.Mr Oraro argued that in relation to this petition the AG can be enjoined by the Constitution to assist the IEBC.

However, AG Muigai disagreed with Mr Oraro and argued that the petition was a civil matter.AG Muigai argued that as amicus curiae, his office will not impose views on the court hearing Cord's petition against President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta."I have not advised the president-elect, contrary to claims by lawyer George Oraro," he said.Lawyer A.B Shah also lodged an application for the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) to be enjoined in the petitions before the Supreme Court as amicus curiae.

However, LSK faced opposition on its application to be enjoined as amicus curiae in presidential petitions by parties before Supreme Court.Mr Oraro opposed the inclusion of the LSK in petition arguing that the society is partisan.Lawyer Fred Ngatia representing Jubilee Coalition also opposed inclusion of LSK as amicus curiae the society was an observer in the General Election.Mr Ngatia also argued that LSK is on record 'supporting a petitioner.'During the submission, political activist Nazlin Umar disrupted court proceedings for several minutes at the Supreme Court as she attempted to address judges over an application she had filed.Ms Umar said as the "Wanjiku's" lawyer, she was disappointed that her application has been ignored.However, Dr Mutunga said that the Supreme Court will not hear or deal with any petitions, requests or submissions that were done past the allowed time.

Petition consolidation
During the submissions, Jubilee's lawyer Mr Ngatia argued that a couple of preliminary issues had to be addressed before the hearing of the petition.Also, AG Muigai advised the court to give the parties involved time to come up with a conclusive mechanism of what may be required for progress.Mr Ngatia argued that the petition by Cord only raised one issue."The court should consolidate all the petitions and marry all the related issues raised by petitioners and respondents," he said.Lawyer Njoroge Regeru argued that the petitions consolidation were sensible and will lead to arguable case and speedy resolution.Africog's Counsel Keth Kilonzo also argued that matters of fact and matters of law should be consolidated to allow a reasonable suit.However, Mr Oraro said the consolidation of the cases including respondent number three may not hold.Mr Ngatia noted that petitions 4 and 5 had similar issues, contest and engagement and thus could be consolidated.Lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi also argued that petition number 5 bore more weight than 3 and 4 and should be given preference.

Petition mutations
Mr Ahmednasir also asked the court to give directions on the type of petitions to be followed.Mr Ahmednasir argued that his client, Mr Issack Hassan was concerned with continued mutation of the presidential petitions, hence, affecting its expediency.Mr Ngatia also requested the court to give guidance on the petitions to avoid the mutations."There's new evidence being introduced and this means the defence teams must be given time to respondents to all affidavits," he said."There are 122 new electoral areas that are being introduced by the petitioner which bears grave consequences on time," he added.However, Mr Oraro argued that it is within the provisions of law to file new evidence as the hearing continues.On his side, lawyer Harun Ndubi argued that the introduction of affidavits is important at any point.The judges, led by Dr Mutunga, could either dismiss the petition, order a re-count of the presidential votes, settle on a re-run, or rule that the whole process begins afresh with the registration of voters.

The actual hearings of the petition are expected to start on Thursday and could continue un-interrupted until concluded.Apart from the petition filed by Cord's presidential candidate Mr Raila Odinga challenging the declaration of Jubilee's candidate Mr Uhuru Kenyatta as winner of the presidential election, there is another filed by a civil society group, the African Centre for Open Governance (Africog).Also before the court is a petition filed by some members of Mr Kenyatta’s campaign team, social media activists Dennis Itumbi and Moses Kuria and a third person, challenging the inclusion of spoilt ballots in the calculation of votes attained by each candidate.The objections raised by Mr Kenyatta and Deputy President-elect Mr William Ruto, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and its chairman Issack Hassan, will also be narrowed down to what will be argued verbally in court.


Avatarhabari IPV6-Protocols 9 hours ago

I noted the same ""Accept the decision of the supreme court and move on"
I was about to post the same but you beat me to it

Eric Lelei IPV6-Protocols 8 hours ago

I still can't believe it was that difficult to count 12 million votes and say each candidate got so much votes, it's unfair that such simple quantitative issues can end up in court

Wanja Njuguna Eric Lelei 6 hours ago

Eric Lelei - it was not difficult to count 12 million votes and indeed they were counted. But whether they were counted or not is not the issue - the issue is that one person, for the third time, believes he won and has been short changed. And this, the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court needs to resolve. If it goes against him, I pray that this is the last time he will raise this matter again. There comes a time when one needs to sit and ask themself - is it time for me to retire and guide my party to greater heights or should I continue fighting for what I believe in etc etc...

Onjweru Wanja Njuguna 3 hours ago

Wanja Njuguna, you are very subjective and not a democrat. You are not better (in mind and soul) than those who chose to vote Raila. So wait for the SC