Pages

Loading...

Monday, February 28, 2011

My Country, Their Beer

The Nigerian purge of Kenyans at EABL continues unabated as the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Immigration look on in silence.

Qualified Kenyans are being pushed out to create room for ‘Expatriates’. Our corrupt immigration department continues to issue work permits to foreigners yet Kenya has an excess of  qualified  Kenyan talent educated both at home and abroad. Top  executives who have joined EABL from who-knows-where in the last 18 months include Mr Geoff Biggs (sales director), Adesola Sotande (head of finance), Mr Mark Abbey, (group controller) and Mr Cephas Alfebuameh (operations director).

Two senior  Kenyan managers ‘resigned’ from the  beverage manufacturer last week, joining an exodus of top executives from the region’s foremost beer maker in the last six months. EABL group human resource director Alban Mwendar and EABL International managing director Patricia Ithau left the company on Friday. Their resignation was communicated to employees through a circular. Though EABL chief executive Nigerian Seni Adetu is on record stating the company is not pushing anybody to leave the Ruaraka-based beverage firm, the continued exit of top managers and an influx of expatriates is causing disquiet among employees. Among those who have left include Ken Kariuki, former corporate affairs director and Ann Mambo, who headed the sales department. Others are head of strategy George Karanja, group head of financial reporting Stanley Njoroge. Interestingly, however, the company has recorded a significant rise in the number of expatriates, estimated at close to 40, although Adetu said some are not EABL employees, but advisers seconded to the firm by Diageo, which owns 49.9 per cent of EABL.

Analysts suggest that a major cause of the purge could be the gross mishandling of EABL's Ugandan subsidiary, Uganda Breweries Limited, which has been at sixes and sevens over the past few years, completely clueless as Nile Breweries Limited, a subsidiary of SABMiller, has been running circles around them, seemingly at will.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

After the uprising in the Arab world, could America be next?

Events that took place in Tunisia and Egypt and now Libya signify a changing world where the citizens are taking back power that is traditionally exercised by the executive.

These events, dramatic as they are, signify a “wind of change” blowing from “Arab Africa” and quickly transcending boarders to neighbouring countries - particularly Yemen, Bahrain and Jordan. The massive number of banner-waving protesters that we saw on TV epitomised an emerging trend among Africans to revolt against dictatorial regimes decreed by rulers who have not the slightest respect for the rule of law, democracy and respect for human rights. It is such events that put a smile on the faces of leaders in the west.

Closer to home we will recall that not long ago, President Mwai Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Government Spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua criticised Ambassador Michael Ranneberger and other envoys for “dishing out money to youths in the country on the pretext of empowering them to take over leadership.” President Kibaki, in cautiously guarded language, said the government was aware of “three, four or five” people going around the country distributing money and inciting Kenyans. “We have seen them. They are visitors and when they leave, you will remain with nothing.”


The Prime Minister was also in the news calling on Ambassador Michael Ranneberger to stop his political activities among the youth while Dr Mutua accused an unnamed foreign government of paying the youth to topple the government. The general feeling across the world, we must admit, is that the West is keen on regime change in Africa, albeit transversely.

But this sort of “popular” widespread “democratic” uprising is scary. It is not just bad for Africa, but for such countries as United Kingdom and the United States of America as well, and should be discouraged.

Let’s face it, the kind of uprising witnessed in Tunisia and Egypt could as well happen to the US. Perhaps you ask how? But look, did we not notice how similar the grievances of the people in Egypt and Tunisia are to those of people in New Orleans for instance? Are they any different from the suffering of the orphaned and underprivileged children in Pennsylvania?

As was the case in Tunisia and Egypt, where men and women, young and old, gathered in the cities to push the countries’ leadership to surrender, with their dripping tears and oozing blood, so could be the case in the USA.

Over the past few days we watched the cries of men and women and children, thousands of them. What we didn’t ask is whether their cries echo in the rest of Europe. Have we not heard the same cries in US society? Did we not hear them say they were demanding reforms to make their governments more effective, more responsive, and more open? Again let’s face it: contrary to what their corporatised mass media tells us, a majority of Americans want a publicly-managed health care system that provides affordable coverage to everyone. And we
also know that a majority of Americans want a rapid end to continuing occupations of and war against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

And as we watched Tunisia did we not see young professionals, middle class, educated people, complaining bitterly about a lack of opportunity? Is it any different in the US? It could be a little disturbing how well those pictures mirror the US situation. But look, the gap between the rich and the poor is wider in the USA as well.

Now the question one should ask is: Is America so democratic and free that scenes such as those witnessed in Tunisia and Egypt, and now Libya, are not even remotely possible in that country?

Friday, February 25, 2011

The irony of privilege

Libya's 'Michael Corleone' holds fort during happier times.
In 2007, Saif al-Islam Muammar al-Gaddafi filed his PhD thesis at the London School of Economics (whose former chancellor, Tony Giddens, was an advisor to his father). It is called "The Role Of Civil Society In The Democratisation Of Global Governance Institutions: From ‘Soft Power’ to Collective Decision-Making?" However, evidence has since come to light which suggests that the thesis may have been plagiarized. Here's a somewhat relevant if stultifying passage on page 41:

Locke saw people as being able to live together in the state of nature under natural law, irrespective of the policies of the state. This self-sufficiency of society, outside the control of the state, was given weight by the growing power of the economic sphere which was considered part of civil society, not the state. The state is therefore constructed out of, and given legitimacy by, society, which also retains the authority to dissolve the government if it acted unjustly. Other writers continued with this distinction of civil society and government. The state kept its function of maintaining law and order that Hobbes had stressed, but was considered to be separate from society, and the relationship between the two of them was seen to be subject to laws that gained their legitimacy from society, not from the state. For example, Montesquieu saw the state as the governor and society as the governed, with civil law acting as the regulator of the relationship. The importance of law in regulating the way the state and society interacted was obvious to many writers who considered that a government that did not recognise the limitations of law would extend to become an over-reaching tyranny similar to that described by Hobbes in Leviathan.

Unless, of course, the state in question is "daddy's state". If you're interested, read the rest of it here. For evidence of the plagiarism, see here.


ADDENDUM: Statement from the London School of Economics (apology from their website for selling the PhD to Saif Gaddafi for £1.5m)

Statement on Libya
Update: 24 February 2011

Following a meeting of the Academic Board on the 23 February, the School has now decided to refer the full £300,000 received so far from the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation for its North Africa Programme to the LSE Council for review. The School had originally planned to ask Council to consider what to do with the unspent funds, but will now also ask Council to consider whether the School should set aside for purposes agreed with the wider School community funds equivalent in value to the Foundation funds already spent.

The student occupation on this matter has also ended following discussions with the Director. Students are satisfied with LSE's position on the matter, particularly in light of strong support from the student union for the original £1.5 million donation. At the time of the original donation in 2009, the general secretary of LSE Students' Union, wrote to Professor Held: 'It is quite clear that not only is the donation acceptable, it should be encouraged. This is exactly the kind of organisation the School should be associated with - a group struggling for justice under what continues to be, despite reforms, a repressive and brutal regime.'
 
Update: 23 February 2011
A group of students occupied the Senior Dining Room at LSE on the evening of 22 February 2011. The students have made a number of demands concerning the School's links with Libya (“LSE students occupy against university’s ties to Libyan regime”). In particular, they demand that LSE reject further monies from the £1.5 million donation from the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation and use the £300,000 already received to create a scholarship fund for "underprivileged Libyan students".

The LSE Council has stated, in November 2007 and on subsequent occasions, that it is not the practice of the School as an institution to take political positions, unless its own policies and practices are at issue. Of course, individual academics and students are free to take their own positions, individually and collectively, as the School’s Articles of Association make clear.

The LSE Director notes the message from some LSE students. He shares the students’ revulsion at the recent violence and gross violations of human rights in Libya, and much regrets the association of the School’s name with Saif Gaddafi and the actions of the Libyan regime.

The School’s statement of 21 February made clear that School engagement with the present Libyan authorities, covering a number of programmes, has already finished or has been stopped following the events of the weekend of 19-20 February.

In 2009, the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation granted LSE £1.5m for the North Africa Programme. The grant was received in good faith; there was due diligence and discussion in Council. The funding for the Programme was raised by the GICDF from private sector companies. The Foundation raises money on a project-by-project basis in a manner similar to other foundations. The bulk of the Foundation’s activities focus on peace-building, human rights promotion, developing civil society and its organisations, and a series of charitable concerns.

£300,000 of the grant has been received to date. The North Africa Programme was stopped on 21 February and no more instalments of the grant will be accepted. About half has been spent, mainly on research projects on human rights, women and development, democracy and civil society, and economic diversification. No remaining salaries or other costs will be paid from what remains: the School will meet continuing salary and other commitments from central funds. The LSE Council will now consider what to do with the remaining funds, taking into account proposals from the LSE community, including LSE students.
Following a decision by the Academic Board, an LSE degree may only be revoked if there are substantiated concerns about the manner in which it was attained in the first place – for example if there is a later discovery of plagiarism – and not on the basis of any subsequent shortcomings of personal conduct.
A robust process already exists to ensure that donations to LSE are consistent with LSE’s values and standards. Donations that may raise reputational questions are referred to the LSE Council, which includes student representation. The GICDF donation was referred to the Council, which discussed it fully on two occasions and decided, with the consent of the LSE Students’ Union, to accept it.
 
21 February 2011
The School has had a number of links with Libya in recent years. In view of the highly distressing news from Libya over the weekend of 19-20 February, the School has reconsidered those links as a matter of urgency.
LSE Enterprise has delivered executive education programmes to Libyan officials, principally from the Economic Development Board, and managers. That programme has been completed, and no further courses are in preparation. We have also received scholarship funding in respect of advice given to the Libyan Investment Authority in London. No further receipts are anticipated.

LSE Global Governance - a research centre at the School - accepted, with the approval of the School's Council, a grant from the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation, chaired by Saif-al-Islam, one of Colonel Gaddafi's sons and an LSE graduate. This note| from LSE Global Governance explains how that money has been used to date, on a North African programme of study, principally involving civil society issues. In current difficult circumstances across the region, the School has decided to stop new activities under that programme. The Council of the School will keep the position under review.
The School intends to continue its work on democratisation in North Africa funded from other sources unrelated to the Libyan authorities.

See a personal statement |from Professor David Held, Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Governance and Saif's unofficial advisor at the LSE.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

It's open season in Kakamega!

OMG! Look at what Kakamega has turned into. Click here and be prepared to jump out of your skin.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Marende ruling sets proper precedent

By Dr. Gibson Kamau Kuria, SC

Through his ruling on the constitutionality of the process of the nominations of four persons who were to be considered for appointment as Chief Justice, Attorney-General, Director of Public Prosecutions and Director of Budget, Speaker Kenneth Marende has set the country on the right path in ensuring that after 27th August, 2010, the appointment of holders of constitutional offices is a shared responsibility of the Executive and Legislative branches of the Government. 

The ruling, therefore, reflects the new Republic Kenya is.  He is to be commended for that. Previously, it was the responsibility of the Executive alone.

The full implications of that ruling can only be grasped if three factors are borne in mind.

The first factor is that under the new Constitution, the appointment of holders of constitutional offices is a shared task of both the Executive Arm of the Government and the Legislative Arm.  The Judiciary has no role whatsoever.

Under section 166 of the Constitution, the Judicial Service Commission applying the merit criterion alone, recommends to the President the persons to be appointed Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice which he appoints subject to approval of the National Assembly. 

Section 12 of the transition provisions describes the composition of the Executive Arm of the Government during the transition period.  It is made up of the President and the Prime Minister.

In a global study of the appointing process, Honourable Sandra E. Oxner has observed that merit is made up of high moral character, intellectual and analytical ability, sound judgment, integrity and understanding of people and society.  (See Hon. Sandra E. Oxner, The Quality of Judges, in 2003, the World Bank Legal Review, Vol. 1, 321).

Under section 166 of the Constitution, the National Assembly is not limited in the number of nominees it may reject.  In the USA, the Congress has approved 123 out of 159 court nominations made by presidents during the history of that Constitution. There is, therefore, no novelty in the rejection by the National Assembly of four nominees.  The National Assembly should not get tired of doing the right thing by rejecting those whom it ought to reject.

It is the expectation of the Kenyans that the Constitution and the criterion of merit alone will be followed by the President and the Prime Minister in nominating prospective holders of constitutional officers, so that the Parliament gives the approval necessary.

Under section 61 of the former Constitution, the President alone appointed the Chief Justice without reference to any other organ and judges on advice of the Judicial Service Commission.  The radical change which is yet to be embraced, or understood, by all is that the power to appoint holders of constitutional offices is now a shared responsibility of the Executive and Legislature.  Through his/her Member of Parliament, the Kenyan participates in the appointment of holders of constitutional offices.

The second factor which Honourable Marende has got right is the principle that the Constitution allocates different powers to different branches of Government.  The judicial power vested in the Judiciary, through section 160 of the Constitution.  The legislative power is vested in the Parliament, through section 94 of the Constitution. 

Section 130 of the Constitution vests the executive power of the Government in the President, Deputy President and the Cabinet.  It is the Parliament alone which discharges the functions allocated to it.  To do so, it must, of necessity, interpret the Constitution.  That is what Honourable Marende did on Thursday. 

The court's role in the appointment could only arise if somebody were to go to court and complain that either a person who is not eligible for appointment has been appointed through the shared process or that a nominee was wrongly rejected by Parliament.  In that event, the decision of the National Assembly would be reviewed.

The third factor is that where an arm of Government, like the Executive or the Legislature, is given a task by the Constitution, it discharges it, and subsequently, there is a challenge to its decision, the Judiciary has the power to inquire into the allegation.  The court will not inquire into the wisdom or otherwise, of that decision because it is not its power to do so.  It will merely find out whether the process was followed.  There is an apparent confusion as to the respective competences of the Parliament and the Judiciary.

In two Ugandan cases, Olum -v- Attorney-General and Ssemogerere -v- Attorney-General (No. 3), the Supreme Court of Uganda has invalidated an Act of Parliament which was passed without the requisite quorum and in disregard of other applicable constitutional principles.  In Ssemogerere -v Attorney-General, the Supreme Court invalidated a purported constitutional amendment passed without following the right procedure.

Of necessity of the Executive and the Legislature to perform their respective functions, they must interpret the Constitution in the first place.  The suggestion by the Chairman of the Commission on Implementation of the Constitution that the Parliament has no power to give the Constitution its own interpretation, is wrong. 

It is for that reason that Hon. Marende held that the Parliament had constitutional power to discharge its functions notwithstanding the fact that there was a court case and a ruling obtained by citizens who are represented in Parliament and were acting prematurely.
 

Dr Kuria is an advocate and Senior Counsel

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Nakumatt linked to Kenyan Drug Lord

Kilome MP Harun Mwau has vast business interests in the Nakumatt supermarkets chain, a report compiled by a team appointed by Police Commissioner into drug-trafficking allegations against him indicates.

The report says Mr Mwau is a director in 12 other companies that include Mwundo Ltd, Africa Centre for Hope Initiative Everywhere, Harun International Ltd, JH City Ltd, Preme Ltd, JN Records Ltd, Pepe Enterprises Ltd, Sheltown Ltd, Sports Champions Ltd, Tom Brown Ltd, Vitu Ltd and Kuston Kenya Ltd.
It says investigations did not establish any evidence to link Mr Mwau to drug-trafficking.
The former Kenya Anti-Corruption Authority director told investigators the claims were false, malicious and based on rumours. He also dismissed a report by the US embassy linking him to drug-trafficking.
The US embassy dossier had claimed that Mr Kabogo is married to Mr Mwau’s daughter and that he once worked as the Kilome MP’s driver but Mr Mwau denied the claims. “The investigation revealed that he (Mwau) has no daughter and therefore cannot be a father-in-law to Kabogo. He has also never employed Kabogo as a driver,” the report says.
The report says Mr Kabogo’s wife is called Philomena Nduta and is a Kikuyu and not a Kamba, like Mr Mwau. Mr Mwau also denied any links with the Akasha family, saying he had never met any of them.
Mr Ibrahim Akasha, a known drug baron, was shot dead in Amsterdam a decade ago. Mr Mwau said his Pepe inland container depot in Athi River was a “facilitator for faster movement of cargo” and not verification of goods. He also denied claims in the US dossier that a ton of cocaine had been seized at the depot. Mr Kabogo told the investigators he worked at the Controller and Auditor General’s office as an assistant auditor after graduating from Punjab University in India in 1983. He later went to Mombasa and “worked with TOTOTO Home Industries as a business adviser rising to the position of executive director, before quitting in 1994.”

“He (Kabogo) then ventured into buying and selling cars imported from Japan and also started a clearing and forwarding firm by the name Orbit Express Company. This he did up to the year 2002 when he joined politics,” the police report says. Mombasa businessman Ali Badrudin Punjani, told the investigators allegations of him having links with international drug barons and terrorists were a result of business rivalry. The report says the investigations established that the 35-year-old runs a Sh300 million annual turnover business under the flagship of Rising Star Enterprises jointly with his mother Gulbanu Punjani. The company deals in rice, sugar and salt.

Kisauni MP Hassan Joho blamed politics for his being linked to drug-trafficking. He said a “malicious and slanderous” letter had been circulated via internet by a shadowy figure going by the name of Alex Katana.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Kenyatta's son threatens to use "other means" to get his way

Kenya's most high-profile son of impunity


Uhuru Kenyatta was in a rage after Kenneth Marende's historic ruling last night. With fiesty rhetoric, blood-shot eyes and furious table-banging, Jomo's son opened his mouth and confirmed what we'd known all along: that he and his family have always pulled the strings in the Kibaki presidency.

Kibaki's contentious nominations was never about fixing Kenya's judiciary. It was about saving Kenyatta's son from international criminal justice at the Hague. Just as had been Kalonzo Musyoka's 31 Million Shilling cavorting circus with the likes of Gaddaffi, Museveni and Mugabe.

In his tirade, Uhuru also let out the real target of his hate: Raila Odinga, whom he now blames, as for everything else that does not go his way, for Marende's ruling. Uhuru, the country's most high-profile son of impunity, is headed to the International Criminal Court, we hear, for ordering the Mungiki to chop off the heads of Luos in Naivasha, and providing transport in the form of Brookside Dairy trucks for the job. Uhuru's threat to use "other means" to make sure the "executive is respected" sounds like a euphemism for making sure he doesn't end up in the Dutch city.

The threat is reminiscent of tactics used by his father to devastating effect whenever the older Kenyatta did not get his way. One cannot help but think that "other means" were used on J.M. Kariuki. And Pio Gama Pinto. And Thomas Joseph Mboya. But Jomo's son needs to realize that it is impossible to store new wine in old wine skins. The Americans have brought to a screeching halt the short-sighted attempt to "defer" Uhuru's trial at the Hague via the UN Security Council. Things have gone out of his control. Kenyans await the end of impunity.

The Hague stares at Kenyatta's son. Just like those chopped-off heads of innnocent flower farm workers, lined along the highway in Naivasha.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

SIASA DUNI EXCLUSIVE: The blocked Report of the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs on the Nominations to the Offices of Chief Justice, Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions

Are you wondering why it was blocked? Well, wonder no more, because I have in my hands this extremely juicy document. Like everything in Kenya, it's is about protecting the elite. With that out of the way, it's good fodder for a slow Thursday afternoon...













For a complete copy of the PDF document, send an empty email titled Nominations Report PDF to siasaduni@gmail.com

Tanzania munition dump blasts kill at least 17

The blasts went off inside the Gombo la Mboto army base
DAR ES SALAAM — A series of blasts levelled several arms depots at a Tanzanian army base and killed at least 17 people, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda said Thursday, in the second such incident in two years. NTV Kenya, however, reports 32 dead.

The blasts, which the prime minister said also left 145 people wounded, went off inside the Gongola Mboto army base in Dar es Salaam late Wednesday and destroyed several arms and ammunition depots. "By this morning, there were 13 bodies at Amana hospital, two at Temeke hospital and two more at Muhimbili national hospital," he told parliament in a session aired live on state radio.

Pinda said he had convened an emergency security meeting over the blasts and added that the country's armed forces were investigating the incident. There was no indication of foul play and such incidents have happened before in Tanzania. In April 2009, 26 people were killed and hundreds wounded by a string of powerful blasts at an arms depot in Dar es Salaam, which officials said were accidental.

The series of explosions showered the entire city with debris and shrapnel, causing a panic among the population and bringing back memories of the 1998 bombing of the US embassy. The 2009 blasts in the Mbagala district, located around 13 kilometres (eight miles) from the city centre, set off rockets, artillery and mortar shells, and displaced thousands of people.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Libya faces its first Egypt-style protests

Africa's longest-serving leader took power after a 1969 coup.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Libya this (Wednesday) morning in the first sign that the unrest which toppled governments in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt has spread to the North African nation.

Witnesses said protesters in the eastern port city of Benghazi chanted slogans demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi. The Associated Press said that the crowds did not appear to direct their anger at Moammar Gadhafi, who is Africa's longest-serving leader. He has ruled for 41 years.

However, Al-Jazeera reported that sources said the demonstrators chanted slogans against the "corrupt rulers of the country." Al-Jazeera said the protesters had called on citizens to observe Thursday as a "Day of Rage," hoping to emulate the popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia and end Gadhafi's regime. As in the previous uprisings, Libyan activists were using social networking websites including Facebook. Rioting is unusual in oil exporter Libya, where Gadhafi keeps a tight grip on political life. Libya's official news agency did not carry any word of Wednesday's anti-government protests. It reported only that supporters of Gadhafi were holding pro-government demonstrations in Tripoli, Benghazi and other cities.

However, the online edition of Libya's privately-owned Quryna newspaper, which is based in Benghazi, said the crowd were armed with Molotov cocktails and threw stones. It said they protested outside a local government office to demand the release of the human rights activist, and then went to the city's Shajara square where they clashed with police and government supporters. The paper also reported that government supporters had taken over the square. Fourteen people were injured including 10 police officers, but none of the injuries were serious, the newspaper added.

A Benghazi resident contacted by Reuters said the people involved in the clashes were relatives of inmates in Tripoli's Abu Salim jail, where militant Islamists and government opponents have traditionally been held.
Some were relatives of inmates killed at the prison in June 1996, when more than 1,000 prisoners were shot dead. "Last night was a bad night," said the witness, who did not want to be identified. "There were about 500 or 600 people involved. They went to the revolutionary committee (local government headquarters) in Sabri district, and they tried to go to the central revolutionary committee ... They threw stones," he said. "It is calm now."

Following the rioting, a local human rights activist, Mohamed Ternish, told Reuters that the government was to release 110 prisoners jailed for membership of the banned Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
The prisoners are the last members of the group still being held, he added. On Monday, several opposition groups in exile called for the overthrow of Gadhafi and for a peaceful transition of power in Libya.  "Col. Gadhafi and all his family members should relinquish powers," the groups said in a statement.

Idris Al-Mesmari, a Libyan novelist, told Al-Jazeera by telephone that security officials dressed as civilians used tear gas, batons and hot water to disperse the protesters. The news service added there were unconfirmed reports that Al-Mesmari was arrested hours after the interview. An Egyptian blogger, Mohammed Maree, told Al-Jazeera that Gadhafi's government "continues to treat the Libyan people with lead and fire." "This is why we announce our solidarity with the Libyan people and the families of the martyrs until the criminals are punished, starting with Moammar and his family."

Gadhafi came to power 1969 through a military coup and since then he has been ruling the country with no parliament or constitution. Although Gadhafi claims he is only a revolutionary leader with no official status, he holds absolute power. The opposition groups say that in practice he has direct control of the country's politics and its military and security forces. Most analysts say Libya is unlikely to see an uprising along the lines of Tunisia or Egypt.

The government has huge amounts of oil cash which it can use to placate unhappy citizens. Libyan society and public life is built around family and tribal ties, so if there is any challenge to Gadhafi's rule, it is likely to happen behind the scenes and not in the streets.  The crucial test for Gadhafi now is whether the unrest spreads beyond Benghazi to the capital and the west of the country.

People in Benghazi have a history of antagonism with Gadhafi. Many of them did not support him when he came to power in a military coup in 1969, and since then the region has been cut out of much of the largesse handed out by the government from oil revenues, deepening the resentment. When dozens of prisoners accused of membership of a banned Islamist militant group were released last year from Abu Salim, most of them headed east to Benghazi, where their families live.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Siasa Duni Factbox: Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah

In light of the recent upheavals in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, the sixth king to rule one of the world's most conservative nations, will have to speed up reforms to stave off any dissent, analysts and diplomats say.

Here are some facts on Abdullah:

ABDULLAH AS KING:
• Abdullah, as crown prince, launched an overhaul of state education and the judiciary, which were both dominated by puritanical Wahhabi clerics and their supporters.

• His measures were aimed at attracting more foreign investors and give Saudis skills applicable beyond the bloated public sector to prepare for the day when the kingdom's vast mineral resources run out.

• The social and economic reforms he started were to draw young Saudis away from radicalism, but Abdullah made no progress on political reform.

• There is still no elected parliament and protests and political parties are banned.

• In Feb. 2009, Abdullah removed two radical clerics from senior positions, but then a few months later postponed for two years municipal elections in which women had hoped to participate for the first time.


FOREIGN POLICY:
• Abdullah will be remembered for his landmark Arab peace initiative offering Israel normalised ties with Arab states in exchange for the return of Arab land occupied in 1967 — a shift that pleased Washington but failed to get Israeli endorsement.

• Despite a reputation for being more Arab nationalist than his pro-American brother, Abdullah worked to restore ties with Washington clouded by the Sept. 11 attacks and charges that Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi Islam fostered anti-Western violence.

LIFE DETAILS:

• Abdullah was one of King Abd al-Aziz ibn Saud's 37 sons and was born around 1923.

•  For his support of Prince Faisal during Faisal's power struggle with King Saud, Abdullah was rewarded in 1962 with command of the Saudi National Guard.

• In 1975 King Khalid, Faisal's successor, appointed him deputy prime minister, and seven years later King Fahd appointed him crown prince and first deputy prime minister.

• In 1995 Fahd suffered a debilitating stroke, and Abdullah briefly served as regent the following year. Although Fahd subsequently returned to power, Abdullah ran the country and became king after Fahd died in 2005.

• When al Qaeda suicide bombers began a wave of attacks in 2003 aimed at toppling the House of Saud and severing links with an "infidel" West he launched an unprecedented crackdown, warning the battle could last for decades.

• In a family famed for lavish excesses, Abdullah's fondness for retreats at his desert camp marks him out from other princes who preferred to spend summers in Mediterranean palaces.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's, everyone!

A picture is worth 1,000 words, and this one says it better than I ever could.

For our Kampala readers as Elections 2011 approach...

Thought would share with you this e-mail I received...


Dear Comrades,

Please share with others....

We currently do not foresee any trouble during the election period. However, as the dates for elections draw near, we thought it would be useful to offer a few practical tips in the run up to elections from 18th February to 3rd March 2011 just in case there are any disruptions to our ability to work, as well as essential supplies, particularly around the elections period:

 1. Keep emergency supplies of water, candles and matchboxes at home.

2. Have a  2-week stock of non perishable food supplies for your family.

3. Ensure your mobile phone has enough credit and is fully charged at all times.

4. Ensure that your vehicle is topped up with fuel and serviced (maintain at least half a tank of fuel at all times).

5. Keep your ears to the ground. Listen to all news broadcasts updates and follow news updates on local and international TV stations.

6. Unless required, avoid unnecessary movement and keep indoors. When you must move, carry your staff ID.

7. Carry your ID at all times.

8. Save the contacts to your local Police Station.

9. Keep some money (cash) safely with you.

10.  Pack a few necessities in a bag (ready to pick and go) in case you have to move (clothes, torch, matchbox, water, toothbrush/paste, medicine, money, beddings etc).

11.   Lock up early for the night.


***

Note locations of election rallies & avoid if possible.

Monday, 14 February 2011
• Yoweri Museveni, Kawempe North & Kawempe South
• Kizza Besigye, Rubaga North, Makindye & Central Division
• Norbert Mao, Nakawa & Rubaga South

Tuesday, 15 February 2011
• Yoweri Museveni, Nakawa
• Samuel Lubega, Central Division & Makindye

Wednesday, 16 February 2011
• Yoweri Museveni, Central Division - Kololo Airstrip
• Kizza Besigye, Nakawa & Kawempe South
• Norbert Mao, Makindye East
• Samuel Lubega, Rubaga & Kawempe North

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Stimulus Package demystified

Economics 101:

It is a slow day in the Waithaka suburb and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody is living on credit.

A mzungu tourist visiting the area stops at a B&B and lays a 1,000 bob bill on the desk saying he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs to pick one for the night.
 
As soon as he walks upstairs, the receptionist grabs the bill and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher. The butcher takes the 1,000 bob and runs down the street to retire his debt to the slaughter house supervisor, who takes the 1,000 bob and heads off to pay his bill to his supplier, the Co-op.
 
The guy at the Co-op takes the 1,000 bob and runs to pay his debt to the local prostitute, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer services on credit.  The hooker rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill with the receptionist. The receptionist then places the 1,000 bob back on the counter so the tourist will not suspect anything.
 
At that moment the mzungu comes down the stairs, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, picks up the 1,000 bob bill and leaves.
 
1. No one produced anything.
 
2. No one earned anything.
 
However, the whole town is now out of debt and now looks to the future with a lot more optimism.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how a "stimulus package" works.

Friday, February 11, 2011

It's Hague Express as Muthaura admits government complicity in Post Election Violence

Head of public service Francis Muthaura is a man in agony after a tape recording containing a detailed discussion on the alleged role of the government in the 2008 post election violence was released to the media. In the conversation, Muthaura bears it all. It is instructive to note that in the press conference he called yesterday, he did not deny that it is him. Instead, he alleged that the voice clip was manipulated and edited to implicate him. He also confirmed that he paid off the "university student" who made the recording, but refused to divulge just how much. Or if he used public funds.

Enjoy!




 


FOR A COMPRESSED MP3 OF MUTHAURA'S "CONFESSION" (9:34/4.4MB), SEND A BLANK EMAIL HEADED "MUTHAURA TAPE MP3" TO: SIASADUNI@GMAIL.COM.

BREAKING NEWS: Mubarak steps down, army takes over

Vice-President Omar Suleiman makes the announcement
Egypt’s embattled President Hosni Mubarak after a last show of defiance on Thursday has stepped down, Vice-President Omar Suleiman to whom the President's powers have been delgated, announced.

Mr. Mubarak and his family are now at the Red Sea resort city of Sharm-el-Shiekh. State TV has announced that the President would make another appearance on television later on Friday. Huge crowds after Friday prayers began pouring in Cairo’s Tahrir square and other parts of Egypt, not only to protest against Mr. Mubarak’s address, but also to exert pressure on a vacillating military to make up its mind on whether its was siding with the pro-democracy movement.

After Mr. Mubarak’s speech, on state television where he said that he would continue as President till September, a defiant opposition has changed its tactics. More regime symbols were angrily targeted on Friday, with crowds deciding to take their protests directly to the President, by marching towards the heavily guarded Presidential palace. A standoff with the military has commenced there but so far no violence has been reported. Protesters have also in large numbers gathered in Alexandria, outside yet another palace belonging to president. Besides, several hundred people are surrounding the state television building, from where Mr. Mubarak’s address had been broadcast. Disregarding the extra layers of razor wire and heavy military presence, the protesters have successfully blocked people from entering the building.

On Thursday night, crowds at Tahrir Square first anticipating that the President bowing to people’s power would announce that he was stepping down, eventually, taking recourse to a typical Arab insult, held aloft their shoes, facing the President’s televised images, once it became clear that the Mr. Mubarak was not going to meet their expectations. The pro-democracy campaigners are also putting to test the military, which has been issuing mixed signals. On Thursday, the supreme military command had in a communiqué, signaled that it was getting ready for a solid intervention to steer Egypt’s political transition. Many in Tahrir Square had rather optimistically interpreted this as a demonstration of the military’s inclination to mount, as a precursor to a democratic transition, a pro-people coup to force Mr. Mubarak's exit.

But in an about turn, following the president’s address, the military on Friday has issued a statement, largely endorsing Mr. Mubarak’s call. In response to the military’s statement, pro-democracy leader Mohamed Elbaradei wrote on his Twitter page that, “People power’s can't be crushed. We shall prevail. Still hope Army can join.”

Game over: Mubarak flees Cairo

Egypt's presidential palace may be empty at this hour. Al Arabiya television is reporting that embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his family have fled Cairo.

Mubarak, who Thursday night, maintained his intention to stay in office until the September elections, enraging hundreds of thousands of protesters, travelled with his family to the Read Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, according to Al Arabiya television. His exact location however was unknown, with reports from al Jazeera, as well as Twitter, claiming he had left for the United Arab Emirates.

The news comes as protesters moved overnight to the Ittihadiya presidential palace in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis for the first time since protests started in Jan. 25. The protesters gathered up against a barbed wire cordon around the palace, about 50 metres from the palace walls at its closest point. Tanks and soldiers of the elite Republican Guard, responsible for the president's security, surrounded the palace. "The Republican Guard are protecting the presidential palaces," an armed forces source said.

The president often spends time in Sharm el-Sheikh, a popular tourist destination on the Red Sea, and receives guests there.
 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Conje leaves Mathari

A few weeks back Siasa Duni reported that Kenya’s boxing queen, Conjestina “Angel” Achieng’, lost the plot and was admitted at Mathari Mental Hospital. Well, we're glad to announce that she is back and raring to go once again.

Achieng’, also fondly known to her fans as ‘Conje’, was on Tuesday discharged from Mathari Hospital, where she was admitted a fortnight ago. “I want to thank God and all those who have supported me. Let them know that whatever happened is through God’s will,” Achieng’, who is also known in the boxing ring as ‘Hands of Stone’, said on her exit.

She said she would now concentrate on nurturing new boxing talent, adding that she intends to open a centre in Kisumu to train female boxers through the Conjestina Achieng’ Foundation, which she runs. “It’s my dream to see more boxers come up. It’s said charity begins at home and that is why I am heading to Kisumu,” she said. Achieng’ plans to work with the Kisumu-based Odera Kang’o Foundation to set up the boxing centre. The boxer also said she will fly out to the United States next month for further training in conjunction with Kenya Professional Boxing Commission (KPBC).

“I will be in the US to train as a professional boxing coach. I am not sure if I will return to the ring or not but let me see how it goes in the US,” she said. KPBC secretary Shabaan Ogolla said one of the best female coaches in the world, Bonie Canino, will take care of Achieng’s programme while in the US.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Restorative or retributive justice?

This is the video shown to the AU summit that convinced them to support Kenya's deferral of the Ocampo 6 cases.



BREAKING NEWS: South Sudan minister Jimmy Lemi shot dead

Lemi’s killing came only two days after secession
JUBA, Sudan (Reuters) - A minister in the government of South Sudan was shot dead inside his ministry on Wednesday, days after referendum results confirmed the region will become Africa's newest independent state, the army has said.

South Sudan's Interior Minister Gier Chouang Aloung said the attacker was the minister's brother in law. "We want to make very clear there is no political motive whatsoever...it is a family issue... he was killed by his own brother-in-law." South Sudan's army spokesman Philip Aguer said the Minister of Rural Development and Cooperatives, Jimmy Lemi, was shot dead inside the ministry in the heart of the region's capital Juba. "(The attacker) also killed a guard at the door of the ministry," he said.

Aguer said the attacker was under arrest. He had earlier said that the man had committed suicide. Officials said Lemi was a former member of the National Congress Party which dominates the north, who had defected to the south's ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement ahead of April 2010 elections. Security forces had cleared away hundreds of onlookers from around the ministry. A government car with a window smashed was parked inside the building compound. "We...saw a man taking a gun out of the car -- he ran inside and we heard three or four shots," said one witness.

An ambulance moved slowly away from the scene in a funeral procession, followed by dozens of wailing mourners. No motive was immediately clear for the attack, which underlines insecurity and the spread of arms in the region.

Final results of a referendum on independence confirmed on Monday that South Sudan will become the world's newest state on July 9. The region waged a decades-long civil war with Sudan's north which ended with a peace deal six years ago. Violence in the south remains persistent since the end of the north-south civil war. An estimated 3,000 people were killed in ethnic battles and tit-for-tat cattle raids in 2009 alone, although clashes had subsided ahead of the January referendum.

Latest news from Egypt...

"ما هو عليه مع القادة الأفارقة، والتشبث والتمسك دائما على السلطة.
إعطاء الآخرين فرصة من فضلك، هل أنت لا يمل من نفس الوظيفة لأكثر
 من 30 سنوات، اعطاء الآخرين فرصة أأ.".

I'll keep you posted on any developments...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: NCIC bans 'KKK' tag

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission has banned the Use of 'KKK' and the Media has been asked to stop using the tag. It is instructive to note that Uhuru and Kalonzo applied to have it banned...

The NCIC this morning said political tribal alliances would not be tolerated as long as they segregated against other ethnic communities.

NCIC vice chair Mary Onyango told a media briefing in Nairobi that such alliances were already illegal, and the Commission needs not announce their ban. "The law is there and it is not the Commission coming up with it. It is not for us to keep saying that every time people come up with a debate (on ethnic lines), to say, 'don’t go there or don’t do this,'" she said.
The Commission was reacting to the political group under the KKK alliance, which brings together political leaders from the Kikuyu, Kamba and Kalenjin communities ahead of the 2012 General Election. "While political alliances for the common good are encouraged, alliances along ethnic lines which aim to advance exclusionist policies are unlawful," said Ms Onyango.
The alliance, whose existence has since been denied by the same politicians, as a "creation of the media".
In January, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka wrote to the Commission asking it to ban the usage of the phrase "KKK". They argued that the use of the acronym amounted to hate-speech, an offence under the National Cohesion and Integration Act. In the letter addressed to NCIC Chairman Dr Mzalendo Kibunjia titled 'Incessant Contravention of the NCI Act', Mr Musyoka said the KKK tag promoted ethnicism and isolation contrary to the NCI Act, 2008. "The KKK caricature that now dominates the media and some public pronouncements is designed to depict ethnic isolationism whereby the three communities are set against the rest of Kenya’s ethnic groups," he added.
Last week Mr Kibunjia told an editors’ meeting that the Commission was still trying to find out the objectives of its creation before judging it.

Uhuru Kenyatta waxes lyrical on Kameme FM

I have just received a letter. I have not attempted to edit it, and cannot vouch for it, neither confirm nor deny; so I'll leave it to up to you to decide...


Dear Siasa Duni,

This morning I listened to Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta on a show on Kameme FM, and I am disappointed. (The show was between 8-9am, featuring Uhuru and Njogu Wa Njoroge). A couple of things stood out in this show:

When he was asked to give his opinion on the CJ, AG and DPP saga, part of his answer was that the President came up with the list then agita kimudu giake (he called his 'ki-person') and they consulted, then he took the names to parliament. He then said that kimudu giki na andu akio decided to become a problem and claim they were never consulted. The 'kimudu' he is referrring to is the Prime Minister, who is effectively his boss. A caller who referred to himself as Masai reprimanded him, and his explanation was that he was angry, his words were temperature inapanda saa zingine. It reminded me of the time he referred to President Kibaki as the leader who practices a "hands off, legs off, everything off" management system.

When he was asked to give advice on politics, he said that he believes very strongly that Kikuyus must unite under one leader to enable them negotiate with other communities. He is of the opinion that Kikuyus must do what Luos, Luhyas and Kalenjins have done, and that we only become vulnerable when we are divided. He spoke of those calling for internal democracy as being misguided, etc. It made me wonder why he was in Kanu in 2002, and in ODM in 2005. Which side were Kikuyus on during those two occassions?

On the issue of the ICC, he talked about providing resources for blankets and transportation for victims, then he asked a couple of questions: What was he was supposed to do when people are being killed and hundreds of thousands displaced? What were police were expected to do in the circumstances? He then added that if what he did is what he is being told is wrong, he would do it again anyway if circumstances re-occurred. Uhuru was in government at that time. Is he accepting that government was so unable to deal with this situation that they ended up relying on individual resources to sort out PEV victims? Incidentally, does anyone remember a day in Kikuyu Constituency when Uhuru climbed on top of a vehicle bonnet and told the people there to be peaceful, and that he had learnt that Ruto was not his ally, as he had always thought, and would never work with him again? Today they want to make the guy Prime Minister!

I hope someone will take these utterances up with Mzalendo Kibunja and the NCIC. Even more importantly, this cannot be the kind of leadership for Kenya after Kibaki. The kind of contempt shown in those two words kimudu kiu indicate how Uhuru cannot do what Kibaki did in 2007, i.e. humble down and listen to someone he does not agree with, and build a relationship that literally goes against his personal interests, for the sake of Kenya. In fact, with utterances like this we do not need someone to mobilize other communities against Kikuyus. As the Masai caller said, hapo umekosea. Someone who aspires for national leadership cannot get there by asking (especially in public!), for his tribe to practice Kikuyu Nationalism first, then negotiate with other tribes.

I expect to get some serious beef from Uhuru's supporters for this, but we really must speak out. One also wonders whether this is meant to re-inflame tribal passions, maybe to lead to some skirmishes as a sign that Kenya is still unstable and maybe justify why ICC should be deferred. Whatever the case, a warning is going out: if our leadership has not learnt anything from 2007, the rest of us have. We will not stand by and allow anyone to invoke/manipulate tribal emotions to serve personal interests. This time get another game-plan, preferably one that starts from the principle that Kenya is made up of close to 40 million individuals, rather than 42+ tribes. As this generation of Kenyans, we will only accept to be led by someone who understands that tribal interests must take second tier significance to national interests.

So, my message to Uhuru Kenyatta, as a Mugikuyu from Nyeri: I refuse to accept your advice on political strategy for people of Central. In fact, the latest news from NCIC is that that plan is illegal as they have stated that no-one will be allowed to mobilize on the basis of tribe in politics. So please, cora ringi!

Ngunjiri Wambugu
Convenor
KikuyusforChange


PS: Yesterday I was a panelist on the first day of an exciting series of discussions forums that have been facilitated by Transparency International and Dunia Moja Trust. These forums are about Impunity, and they run all week from 6 pm. They are worth attending. However, I mention this in the context above because of what I walked away with from yesterday's forum. One of the participants, a member of Bunge La Mwananchi, stood up and explained impunity in the best and simplest terms I have ever heard. He said Impunity is "Freedom From Punishment."

"Kibaki sought UK invitation for a year" - WikiLeaks

The British Government accepted President Kibaki’s visit to London last year to “deliver tough political messages”, one of America’s leaked diplomatic cables says. The cable also claims the President had sought the invitation for over one year. The trip was to take place on February 23-24, 2010.

But as usual, the Government Repudiator-In-Chief, Dr Alfred Mutua, on Sunday denied the claim, saying that it was the UK that had invited the President but he failed to go due to other commitments.

The cable, dated January 12, 2010, quotes UK’s Horn of Africa team leader, Ms Chloe Hamborg, terming the visit a “difficult decision” and the visit would also be used to “extend the UK’s diplomatic leverage” in Kenya. “It was a ‘difficult decision’ to extend the invitation to Kibaki but indicated that the UK Government ultimately decided in favour of the visit in order to ‘deliver tough political messages’ (including through a one-hour one-on-one meeting with UK Prime Minister Brown) and to ‘extend the UK’s diplomatic leverage’ in Kenya,” the cable claims. Ms Hamborg is said to have explained that the UK wanted to grant the visit “in anticipation of difficult conversations about reform over the coming year”.

The leaks add that the UK wanted to clearly deliver its reform messages in private before it does so in public. Ms Hamborg is also said to have stated that there would “be few deliverables from the visit” relating to some development projects on health or climate change. “She noted that the health package was also in the pipeline and may only be announced during the Kibaki visit,” the cable states. The US embassy in London said, according to the dossier, the UK Government may have decided to invite President Kibaki for political purposes.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Full PPS statementon consultations

His Excellency Mwai Kibaki, the President and Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces of the Republic of Kenya and the Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya have had extensive consultations today on matters of concern to the nation.

The matters discussed by the two Principals were:
(a) the ICC process;
(b) the nominations to fill the Constitutional offices;
(c) resettlement of all IDPs; and
(d) Acting Ministerial appointments.

In regard to the ICC process, the two Principals reiterated the position of the Government that Kenya has always preferred that the cases be dealt with through a local legal mechanism.  To that end, the Grand Coalition Government has embarked on the critical appointments in the Judicialsystem to ensure that the country has a credible local Judicial mechanism to competently and comprehensively deal with the cases relating to post election violence.

Furthermore, the Grand Coalition Government is undertaking diplomatic and legal initiatives with the UN Security Council and the ICC with an appeal that the cases currently being handled by the ICC be deferred for one year and thereafter referred to a competent local mechanism.  The one year deferment will give the country the necessary time to establish the local mechanism as envisaged in the ongoing Constitutional Reforms. This process will be handled through a Grand Coalition bipartisan Cabinet Committee.

On the Issue of the nominations to fill State offices currently under consideration by Parliament, the two Principals agreed to respect the ongoing parliamentary process and its outcome.

Furthermore, the two Principals assured Kenyans that they will observe the letter and spirit of the Constitution in implementation of the Constitution including the appointment to State Offices.

His Excellency the President and the Right Honourable Prime Minister also reviewed the ongoing IDP resettlement affecting the remaining 5,000 families from the Post Election Violence, 3,000 families from Mau and 3,000 families from Embubut.  They acknowledged that 14,000 acres have been identified and the process of purchase was under way.  In that connection, they directed that the purchase of land be speeded up so that the three categories of IDPs are settled simultaneously.

At the same time, and after consultation with the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, H.E. Mwai Kibaki, the President and Commander in Chief of the DefenceForces of Kenya has appointed:
1. Hon. Dalmas Otieno, Minister of State for Public Service to be Acting Minister for Medical Services
2. Hon. Amason Jeffah Kingi, Minister for Fisheries Development to be Acting Minister for Industrialization.

PPS
February 7, 2010

Ocampo 6: I bet you didn't know this...

When ICC judges ruled against an application by William Ruto, many of us got it all wrong as the media interpreted it as a rejection. But a keen eye could have seen that the ruling was an indication of the lengthy process that awaits the Ocampo six and the entire country.

The judges said that as one of those under investigations, the Eldoret North MP did not qualify to make such an application. Their ruling said, among other things, “The only communication envisaged at this stage is conducted between the Pre-Trial Chamber and the Prosecutor.”

The Pre‐Trial Chamber judges could reject Mr Monero-Ocampo’s request to issue summonses to appear, approve it or transform it into an arrest warrant. In assessing the prosecutor’s request, ICC judges may also request more evidence or clarification from the prosecutor.

If the evidence submitted is insufficient, ICC judges will decline to issue either a warrant or a summons. The prosecutor has the right to re-apply if he submits new evidence. Summonses will be issued if judges are satisfied that a suspect will appear voluntarily. If that is not the case, the court will issue arrest warrants. If the chamber agrees with the request, the six individuals identified will go to The Hague to make their initial appearance before the judges.

After an initial hearing, a confirmation of charges hearing takes place. This is the stage where the judges review the evidence and decide whether it is enough to proceed to trial. The six individuals can be represented by their lawyers and present their side of the story. Within a reasonable time before the hearing, the persons named are to be provided with a copy of the document containing the charges and be informed of the evidence on which the Prosecutor intends to rely at the hearing.

Before the hearing, the Prosecutor may continue the investigation and may amend or withdraw any charges but has to inform the named individuals. This explains the reason why Ocampo has been asking for exonerating evidence from some of the six individuals and seeking statements from security chiefs.

At the hearing, those on the prosecutor’s list may object to the charges, challenge the evidence presented by the Prosecutor; and also present their own evidence. The judges will then make their decision. They can confirm the charges and send the case to trial or amend or reject the charges.

According to ICC procedures, there is no time-limit within which ICC judges must decide on the prosecutor’s request for the six summonses. So even the March 2011 date that we have been talking about was just picked from Ocampo’s statement when he came to Kenya in December. And just like he said that he expects the charges, if the judges issue the summonses, they may be confirmed in late 2012 or early 2013.

It is therefore even laughable that people still refer to the Ocampo six as suspects while they have not even been interdicted. Just the same way it is ridiculous to demand that they leave public office and they have not even been charged. And still you cannot block them from running from public office. The Constitution only bars someone who has been convicted from serving a prison term.

So there you go, something about the ICC that you may never see anywhere in the mainstream media.

Green & Yellow - A tribute to the World Champs (and the greatest QB in the world)

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers named Super Bowl XLV MVP, completing 24 of 39 passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns.