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Archive for the month “May, 2017”

Burundi: Persistante des Produits Petroliers au Burundi suite a la Crise Politique qui Secous le Burundi Depuis Avril 2015 (31.05.2017)

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Rwanda: RURA statement regarding handling of Social Media during Elections (31.05.2017)

Two Problems with SGR: First the Cost of Phase 1 and President Kenyatta cowardly blocking of Gov. Joho!

President Uhuru Kenyatta is a coward for not letting the Governor of Mombasa County, the Orange Democratic Movement leader Hassan Ali Joho attend the launch today of the Freight Train at the Port Reitz Station in Mombasa. It seems the Jubilee Party cannot handle opposition and has to freeze them out. Even as the launch of the SGR was happening, the Police escorted him away.

Maybe because the Chinese wrote this about the Kenyan Railway:

Kiraithe added that the government, through the ministries of finance, transport and environment, hasbeen heavily involved in accelerating the completion of the SGR built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation.“But the infrastructure is for Kenyans and has been achieved to improve our living standards,” Kiraithe said. In 2013, President Xi Jinping and his Kenyan counterpart, Kenyatta, witnessed the signing of the memorandum of understanding on financing the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR. The Export Import Bank of China financed 80 percent of the project” (Morangi, 2017).

“I was among a group of people who wrote a letter to the president [Uhuru Kenyatta], specifically with regards to the value for money proposition,” political analyst Tom Mboya told RFI on Tuesday. At a staggering cost of nearly four billion euros–almost entirely funded by China’s Export Import bank– just for the first phase linking the capital Nairobi to the port city Mombasa, there is reason to be concerned, reckons economist Aly-Khan Satchu” (Okello, 2017).

The Presidency statement on it:

President Kenyatta, who was flanked by Deputy President William Ruto and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, said every Kenyan should be proud of the Standard Gauge Railway. “I call upon all Kenyans whatever their political beliefs to celebrate, today we should be together holding hands in celebrations,” said the President moments after the cargo train pulled alongside the Presidential Dias waiting for the flag off. It was song and dance as choirs played patriotic songs apt for the moment. “This is the Kenya we seek and this is the Kenya we want our children to inherit from us and their children to inherit from them,” said President Kenyatta amid applause, cheers and ululation. President Kenyatta said the SGR will make the port of Mombasa more efficient and will enhance the performance of the facility where the Jubilee Government has invested more than Sh60 billion in the last four years” (Presidency, 2017).

By the Statement made by the Presidency yesterday means that the Government spent: 60bn times 4 Shs. 240bn on the Standard Gauge Railway. Still, the East African reported differently earlier in the month: “So far, Sh327 billion has been spent on the first phase of the railway between Mombasa and Nairobi and Sh150 billion on the Nairobi-Naivasha section. With a national population of about 46 million, every Kenyan is set to owe China Sh18,413 in SGR debt once the deal is sealed” (…) “The SGR has been President Kenyatta’s pet project since he came to power” (Mutambo & Omondi, 2017). So if this is true, than the Presidency are dropping different numbers than the papers. Clearly the government trying to look more efficient, than what they are in reality. This should worry since most of the building of the SGR are based on development loans from the Exim Bank.

Is this why the words of and address to this from Joho is so striking:

In the light of this, we hereby demand that

1. That the government release the terms of the contract with the Chinese Exim Bank, the details of disbursement and attendant relavant information

2. The Government of Kenya release all details of the Take or Pay contract between KPA and the financiers? What is the goods threshold and the responsibility of collection of the these fees.

3. Due to conflicting reports, the government clarify in details all charges related to goods and their destinations.

4. The government clarify the method of nomination of goods for rail and the point and implementation of charges.

5. The government clarify the extinction date of the Railway Development Levy on goods and come clean on the amounts collected since.

6. The government release the terms of the port concession, all monies paid and the details of the contract

7. The the Government clarify the details of site selection of Naivasha as a dry port. The feasibility study and the project appraisal report.

8. That the government release the “Willingness to Pay” survey of the goods for meant for railway and the feasibility report of the proposed Naivasha Special Economic Zone.

9. And that the Jubilee government show us their plan for Mombasa” (Hon. Ali Hassan Joho, 31.05.2017).

By all means the Governor of Mombasa wants to know the realities of the SGR, but that is something every single Kenyan deserves as this is the pet-project of Kenyatta. Kenyatta might be proud of Phase 1, but can the government carry the price of the trains and lines. Or is this is a stunt for development?

That the Governor was blocked from the Train Station that is opened in his county, as he was blocked from the relaunch of the ferries in March 2017. Shows that the Jubilee cannot handle opposition or their eyes on their projects. They are so initiated to represent the whole community, that if the community and citizens elects opposition. Than they are not allowed to enter public displays and their launching of projects. This has now been proven twice. That the Jubilee cannot handle NASA leadership or ODM party leaders. If they could than they would have entertained and made it possible for Governor Joho to be at the state functions as he is the local elected leadership of Mombasa county. Is that hard for the President and his deputy?

But the President and his Team is cowards who cannot even have the local government leadership at the launch of SGR at the Port Reitz Station. Peace.

Reference:

Morangi, Lucie – ‘ Chinese-built SGR to improve Kenya’s global standing’ (30.05.2017) link:http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2017-05/30/content_29548836.htm

Mutambo, Aggrey & Omondi, George – ‘Uhuru seeks Sh370bn more to extend railway to Kisumu’ (16.05.2017) link: http://mobile.nation.co.ke/news/Kenya-requests-for-Sh370bn-for-SGR-third-phase/1950946-3928546-15jp48i/index.html

Okello, Christina – ‘Kenya’s ambitious new railway raises cost concerns’ (31.05.2017) link: http://en.rfi.fr/africa/20170530-kenya-4bn-railway-opens-amid-controversy-kenyatta-china

Presidency – ‘New dawn for Kenya as Standard Gauge Railway rolls out services’ (30.05.2017) link: http://www.president.go.ke/2017/05/30/new-dawn-for-kenya-as-standard-gauge-railway-rolls-out-services/

Burundi: Ministere de l’Energi – Communique de Presse no 03/2017 (30.05.2017)

RDC: Oliver Kamitatu rejoint officiellement l’equipe du candidat a l’election presidentenelle de RD Congo Moise Katumbi, en tant que porte-parole (31.05.2017)

UNHCR refers Kenya staff to police after internal investigation finds fraud at Kakuma camp (31.05.2017)

UNHCR has separately launched an independent management review which has made a number of recommendations to accompany the disciplinary actions being taken against those found to have committed malfeasance.

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 31, 2017 – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is implementing a number of measures to strengthen management and oversight of its Kakuma operation in Kenya in light of an internal investigation that found fraud and other serious misconduct.

UNHCR’s investigation was prompted after allegations were received of fraud, corruption, threats and intimidation at the camp.

The investigation confirmed the involvement of five staff, against whom a range of actions have now been taken. These include, in three cases, referral by the UN’s Office of Legal Affairs to the Kenyan police for criminal prosecution – so far resulting in one arrest. Two of the five have resigned, and disciplinary processes are under way against the remaining three.

UNHCR has separately launched an independent management review which has made a number of recommendations to accompany the disciplinary actions being taken against those found to have committed malfeasance.

As further measures to address the situation, and in parallel with the investigation, we immediately suspended normal resettlement submissions from Kakuma and reviewed processes, although no further irregularities have been found. An information campaign is under way, and we are pursuing matters with our partners, including working with them to carry out their own investigations and to deepen anti-fraud awareness and prevention measures.

“Protecting lives is at the core of UNHCR’s work, which makes the betrayal of trust we have seen in this case so galling,” said UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees George Okoth-Obbo. “The management review has provided us an understanding of what happened and allows us now to enhance a number of preventive, assurance, response and corrective measures in management, oversight and operational delivery.”

Philippines: A Clear Message from the Duterte Administration to the Maute Group today!

Today the was a majority from the Senate in passing the Martial Law. This is happening while the skirmishes from the Armed Forces of Philippines (AFP) towards the Maute Group in Marawi City in Lanao Del Sur. The insurgence from Maute Group in the city started at 23rd May 2017. The Government has today sent a clear message to them. Not only in the air, but also through the airways. So that the people of Mindanao should feel safe and rest assured that the state has their interest. Take a look!

AFP Spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr. made the warning as the Maute group members dug in on the eighth day of fighting. “We aired this message in the hope of ending this soon and reducing any more loss of lives and property,” Padilla said in a statement” (…) “President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in the whole island of Mindanao on May 23 while on an official visit to Russia following the attacks by the terror group. Padilla expressed confidence the joint operations of the military and the police would turn out to be successful. “For the terrorists, not surrendering will mean their sure death,” he said” (Reyes, 2017).

In his briefing for diplomats on Tuesday, Cayetano said: “Whatever you sow, you will reap. We believe that if you sow injustice, crime, illegal drugs or narcotics, then you will reap disorder or, in other words, there will be no order nor peace.”(…) “It was our hope that President Duterte would be able to institute the reforms needed by the country without declaring martial law in any part of the country. However due to actual rebellion, terrorism, and the presence of ISIS on Philippine soil, the declaration of martial law in Mindanao became a necessity,” he said” (Esmaquel II, 2017).

So the state has put out a clear message, but the funding the Maute might be more simple than ISIS. That is also connected to the grand issue for the Duterte Administration, the drug-war. The war on drugs and their powers. Like this briefing from Dela Rosa!

In a press briefing on Monday, Dela Rosa said that the Maute group—the self-styled ISIS supporter which has besieged Marawi City in Lanao del Sur since last week—were known to have “protected” drug lords as early as last year. “Even before July 1, when I assumed my post and announced that drug lords should surrender, we received information that majority of drug lords here in Metro Manila, Luzon and Visayas went to Marawi to hold a ‘drug summit.’ And they were protected by the Maute group and narco-politicians,” Dela Rosa said, during the briefing at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City” (…) “Dela Rosa, however, was quick to deny the President’s statements that the Maute brothers were former policemen in Manila dealing in drugs. “They’re not police…they just act like they are (pulis-pulisan) to protect drug lords. That may be why the President said that,” Dela Rosa said, in Filipino” (Maitem, 2017).

Therefore, this might be connection with the drug-war, but that is not sure. So the Maute Group trying to control the area for the sake of narco-politicians. Still, the official from the state is otherwise. Considering it all, this might be plausible as the gear and the units of Maute was the most professional militants I have seen in a while. Their arms and the weapons was modern and therefore someone had to provide the monies for these weapons. Still, this just speculations at this point. The narrative though together with present war on drug-cartels are clearly evident of retaliation.

Still, the key message from today is that the Maute Group should desert their weapons and stop the insurgency in Marawi city by men either supported by terrorist groups or drug-cartels. It is still clear that the Martial law can make sure they are taken down. Unless, they are surrounding to the authorities. Peace.

Reference:

Reyes, Dempsey – ‘Surrender or die, Maute told’ (30.05.2017) link: http://www.manilatimes.net/surrender-die-maute-told/330196/

Esmaquel II, Paterno – ‘Cayetano to diplomats: ‘No abuses’ under martial law’ (30.05.2017) link: http://www.rappler.com/nation/171449-cayetano-diplomats-abuses-martial-law-mindanao

Maitem, Jeoffrey – ‘Bato Dela Rosa confirms Maute Group’s drug links’ (31.05.2017) link: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/900608/bato-dela-rosa-confirms-maute-groups-drug-links#ixzz4iatxOEWs

Daily Monitor forgot the fourth candidate [Byamugisha] for Party President in the FDC!

I was no longer seeing any reason to participate in the FDC because as a youth I saw that we were actively engaging in the full affairs of our party. But following your announcement I can assure you that we are back”Moses Byamugisha

There are already speculation of the inner-party election in the opposition party of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). This coming in the year after the General Election. So the talk of who will become this is already in the making. Not like in the ruling regime, where the handpicked person of the President Museveni is handed the spot. The electoral map will during next month be released as well as the nomination papers will be released later as well. So who will go ahead for the Presidency in the FDC is still to come. But the Daily Monitor piece was missing someone, because they doesn’t take him serious yet. But take a look at the people by the people in DM!

Three people have so far expressed interest in the Opposition Forum for Democratic Change party presidency as the term of the current president, Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu, expires on November 22.

Besides the incumbent, the other aspirants are FDC secretary general Nathan Nandala Mafabi and former Kumi County MP Patrick Amuriat Oboi. Addressing journalists at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi yesterday, the party deputy spokesperson, Mr Paul Mwiru, noted that besides the three candidates, other FDC party members who are interested in vying for this position should prepare to pick their nomination forms” (Mukhaye, 2017).

So, the Daily Monitor expect the incumbent since 2012 Gen. Mugisha Muntu, and also Nathan Nandala Mafabi and Amuriat Oboi are running in this years race for Presidency. Why I am a little confused is why aren’t the paper also saying Moses Byamugisha? We can all expect that Gen. Muntu want to keep his position and lead the party further. Also, that Mafabi is hungry for more and also want to succeed. Oboi is more inner-party candidate with some swagger. Therefore, I was surprised that the Journalist from Daily Monitor didn’t mention Byamugisha!

Byamugisha has been the National Mobiliser in the FDC Youth League, during the recent campaign he did a lot of grassroots work where he worked to bail-out Youth Members who was detained without charges. He has also been a Dr. Kizza Besigye aide, so he knows the structures from the inside and worked within his means. Arrested he has been just by thinking to visit Besigye while under house-arrest, while addressing concern over the exiled FDC member Sam Mugumya and cases has ended himself in jail. Therefore, he knows the price of his political affiliation at this point.

So, when there was an official launch of his candidacy yesterday. You would expect a big media-house as the Monitor Group with their Daily Monitor, to be able to pick up the willing man’s bid for Presidency. Still, they didn’t but they should since his name will be visible and well known. Especially since he is Besigye aide who has been on the campaign trail with him. So there is something fishy when the DM doesn’t mention the brother. Like they have all the stakes at Gen. Muntu and Mafabi, because Oboi will get little or no traction unless he really has a heavy campaign. Time will only tell, but the DM should fess up and apologize for not mentioning the only man who has officially presided his bid. Even Muntu hasn’t said he would like to continue to be the Party President. Peace.

Reference:

Mukhaye, Damali – ‘Three eye FDC top seat’ (30.05.2017) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Three-eye-FDC-top-seat/688334-3947310-a3h7js/index.html

Who knew? That the White House had a Communication Director, but he has now resigned!

Today the Communication Director of the While House Michael Dubke officially resigns. The resignation letter was delivered to President Donald Trump on the 18th May 2017. As the director recalls himself in a statement:

In a private meeting with the President on Thursday, May 18th I tendered my resignation as Assistant to the President for Communications. I offered to remain in the position through the President’s International Trip and he accepted. The reasons for my departure are personal, but it has been my great honor to serve President Trump and this administration. It has also been my distinct pleasure to work side-by-side, day-by-day with the staff of the communications and press departments. This White House is filled with some of the finest and hardest working men and women in the American Government” (Michael Dubke, 30.05.2017).

It is hard to have seen a Communication Director in the White House of late, as the President Trump is never steady on the message, neither is the people representing him like Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Stephen Miller and Kellyanne Conway.

While Katrina Pierson and Boris Epshteyn are now gone already, one has become part of Sinclair Media, while Pierson has left the map totally. Certainly, she can still explain the difference of aircraft’s that is still in use.

Well, what is more worrying is that the White House had a Communication Director like Dubke. Since nothing has seemed controlled or even well messaged out of the Trump Administration. That is also in par because the President counter the message of his people before 24 hours has gone. So it is not Dubke fault, but he would be the fall guy. The guy beaten day-by-day because of the Administration erratic behavior.

Dubke founded Crossroads Media in 2001 and brought it to a level of national prominence during the 2008 presidential campaign. It is “the premier Republican media services firm,” according to a description on its website. And Dubke has “a unique understanding of the relationship between political strategy and public policy development,” the website explains” (Acosta & McKirdy, 2017). So Dubke has worked on his own with media and serviced the current majority party in the Senate and Representatives House at Capitol Hill. So he should have enough experience and know what was coming when getting the Communication Director at the White House.

Still, he couldn’t have envisioned that the White House would be as hazardous or complex as the President and his team isn’t coherent or not portraying itself like so. Therefore, for a person who has some sort of pride in his work or even want his image not tarnished. It is wise that he is stepping down in the midst of speculations and the Russian Probe. This together with the toxic legislation and the lesser popularity of the President. So he is wise in this manner, though it would have been wiser not to even accept the position in the first place.

Today, is just a mark of further speculation of how fragile and how the futile state of the White House. Just months into term of the President. This is the second resignation of this administration, first one since Michael Flynn. If the erratic behavior and the trouble waters doesn’t get cleared. The dirt and the problems will lead to more people resigning. Even as this administration hasn’t hired the needed people in and around the departments and government agencies. Peace.

Reference:

Acosta, Jim & McKirdy, Euan – ‘Officials: Mike Dubke to be named as White House communications director’ (17.02.2017) link: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/17/politics/mike-dubke-to-be-named-white-house-communications-director/

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