News

Kenya, Waso: Furore as councillors give themselves land

By Ali Abdi

Controversy is brewing in Isiolo following claims that councillors allocated themselves land in unclear circumstances.

A councillor, Ismail Galma, who spoke to the Press alongside officials of Waso Trustland Project, said his colleagues allocated themselves tracts of land as ‘retirement package’.

“After failing to get a send-off package from the Government similar to that of MPs, some councillors mooted the idea of acquiring prime land as a fall back strategy,” revealed the Wabera Ward councillor.

He urged his colleagues to give up the land. “We are in a new constitutional dispensation and they cannot get away with some things. It is illegal,’’ said Galma.

Waso Trustland Project coordinator Hassan Shano said the law will catch up with the councillors should they opt to go ahead with their scheme.

“Kenya has changed and they must also change. We will ensure that public land allocated illegally is repossessed and the culprits charged,” warned Shano.

Efforts to get comments from council clerk Maurice Ogolla were unsuccessful. Sources said he was holed up in a meeting with some of the councillors who benefited from the allocation discussing the matter.

At the same time, a councillor admitted to benefiting from controversial land allocations in the vicinity of the proposed Isiolo resort city.

Admitted

Selasio Kiambi of Kiwanjani Ward and chairman of the Works, Town Planning and Market Committee at Isiolo County Council said he was away during the meeting in which he was allocated three acres.

He said should his application be found illegal, he was ready to surrender the plot.

Source Standard Digital

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Ethiopia Ruling Party to Pick Meles Successor

September 13th, 2012

Ethiopia’s ruling coalition says it will choose a successor to late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi at a meeting that begins Friday.

The council of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front is set to hold a two-day meeting in Addis Ababa where it will pick a new chairperson.

A spokesman tells VOA the chairperson will “most likely” be Ethiopia’s new prime minister as well.

Mr. Meles led Ethiopia for 21 years before his death last month from an unidentified illness.

Officials initially said Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn would take his place, but Hailemariam was never sworn in.

Source VOA

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Hassan Sheikh Mohamud: Somalia’s new president profiled

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s dogged determination not to give up on Somalia despite years of conflict, warlordism, piracy and Islamist insurgency has finally paid off.

The peace activist and educational campaigner remained in Somalia throughout the 21-year civil war unlike many other Somali intellectuals.

He defeated former President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in a run-off with a convincing majority of Somali MPs.

Both men hail from the Hawiye clan – one of the country’s main groups based in the capital, Mogadishu. But, unlike his predecessor, clan – which influences all walks of life in Somalia – was not the driving force behind Mr Mohamud’s victory.

Analysts say it is the fact that the academic had not dirtied himself with politics or clan conflicts that set him out from the rest.

Instead, he has won respect for his work in civil society and education, being one of the founders of Mogadishu’s Simad university, where he was a lecturer and served as its first dean for 10 years until he resigned to enter politics.

One of his former students who graduated in 2004 told the BBC he was an easy-going tutor, not quick to anger and an impressive orator.

“He could entertain us for two hours during lectures on management, making jokes and people laugh,” he told the BBC Somali service.

Born in central Hiran province in 1955, he grew up in a middle-class neighbourhood of Mogadishu and graduated from the Somali National University with a technical engineering degree in 1981.

His contemporaries say he was quiet and unassuming and went on to become a teacher before doing a post-graduate degree in Bhopal University, India.

On his return, he joined the Ministry of Education to oversee a teach-training scheme funded by Unesco.

Source BBC

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Eleven killed in violence over land in Kenya

The deaths come weeks after tribesmen killed more than 50 people over land dispute in Kenya’s coastal region. Houses were set on fire and at least 11 villagers were killed in Kenya’s Coastal region, a local elder and the Red Cross has said, in an apparent revenge attack that is part of a long-running dispute over grazing land and water.

The assailants targeted a village in the Tana Delta inhabited by Pokomo farmers late on Thursday, less than three weeks after 100 Pokomo tribesmen armed with spears and machetes attacked an Orma settlement and killed more than 50 people.

“The attack happened last night. We heard gunshots and screams, then there was smoke all over,” said Jillo Dabacha, who chairs a community security group in the Tana Delta area.

“Eleven people were killed,” he said.

Settled Pokomo farmers and semi-nomadic Orma pastoralists have clashed intermittently for years over access to grazing, farm land and water resources.

A Kenyan Red Cross official said local staff confirmed 11 people had been killed.

“The bodies have either gunshot wounds or burns, or both. We have been ferrying the injured to hospital since early morning,” Mwanaisha Hamisi, head of the Kenyan Red Cross in Coastal province, told Reuters.

The bad blood between the two groups re-ignited late last month after the Pokomo accused the pastoralists of grazing cattle on their land.

Top Kenya government officials, among them Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere, have visited the area in the past few weeks, calling for calm and promising to bring the perpetrators to justice.

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ESAT Insight Interview: Dr Gregory Stanton on the legacies of Meles 

Sep 2, 2012

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Ethiopians mourn leader’s death

Aljazeera 22 Aug 2012

The body of Meles Zenawi, the late Ethiopian prime minister, has returned to Addis Ababa, with thousands of mourners gathering on the streets to pay their respects.

Meles, 57, died in a Belgian hospital just before midnight on Monday after contracting an infection, authorities said.

A military band played as the coffin, draped in an Ethiopian flag, was taken on Wednesday from the Ethiopian Airlines flight, a ceremony also attended by political, military and religious leaders as well as diplomats.

His wife Azeb Mesfin, dressed in black, was seen leaving the plane.

Hailemariam Desalegn, the deputy prime minister, 47, who has also been foreign minister since 2010, will take over interim power, Bereket Simon, government spokesman, said.

“Under the Ethiopian constitution the deputy prime minister will take the oath of office before parliament,” he said.

He expected the parliamentarians to convene “as soon as possible”.

Bereket said “everything is stable” in the country.

Lying in state

The coffin was taken to the prime minister’s official residence at the national palace where Meles’ body will lie in state until the funeral, according to national television which broadcast live footage from Addis Ababa streets as the coffin passed slowly.

Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Adow, reporting from the capital, said: “As thousands turned out to mourn their late leader, traffic was heavily congested between the international airport and the premier’s residency, the palace, where the body is supposed to lie in state.

“A state of national mourning has been declared in the country although no set date has been fixed for the funeral. It is also not known whether Meles will be buried in the capital or in his home town in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia.”

Meles was a former rebel who ruled with an iron fist for more than two decades.

He came to power in 1991 after toppling the regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam, set Ethiopia on a path of rapid growth and played a key role in mediating regional conflicts.

However, he also drew criticism for cracking down on opponents and curtailing human rights.

World leaders offered high praise for Meles. Barack Obama, the US president, said Meles deserved “recognition for his lifelong contribution to Ethiopia’s development, particularly his unyielding commitment to Ethiopia’s poor”.

He said Meles had earned his own personal admiration “for his desire to lift millions of Ethiopians out of poverty” through his efforts to improve food security following a meeting at the G8 in May.

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Ethiopia: Meles absence fuels regional anxieties

By Katrina Manson in Nairobi and William Wallis in London

Government officials say Mr Meles, who has not been seen in public since mid-June, is recovering from a serious illness, but they deny opposition rumours that he is dead or dying at a hospital in Brussels.

 An African Union official said Mr Meles had been in regular contact with Thabo Mbeki, South Africa’s former president and AU envoy to Sudan, during recent negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan. He has told AU officials he will be back next month to play a more hands-on role in the next leg of negotiations.

His absence has nevertheless launched a covert succession struggle that threatens to fracture the regime and expose ethnic faultlines at home at a time when the Horn of Africa is struggling to stave off fresh conflicts and overcome terrorist threats.

“We are very concerned about developments in Ethiopia, knowing how fragile the politics are there and the fact there is no clear successor,” Raila Odinga, neighbouring Kenya’s prime minister, told the Financial Times. He admitted that he and other regional leaders were in the dark on Mr Meles’s state of health.

While Ethiopia is a small contributor to regional blocs such as the AU in financial terms, the Ethiopian premier’s vision and diplomacy have ensured the country has remained central to security affairs in a region threatened by terrorism and conflict. He has also become the voice of Africa on wider issues such as climate change and development.

“The competence vacuum [without Mr Meles] will be serious,” says Mehari Taddele Maru at the Institute for Security Studies in Addis Ababa.

“Ethiopia plays an important role of balancing,” says Mr Mehari, pointing to Ethiopia’s pouring cold water on Uganda’s backing for South Sudan earlier this year, a provocation that threatened regional havoc after South Sudan had invaded a Sudanese oilfield, Heglig.

Mr Meles’s government has twice sent troops into Somalia to fight Islamist militants with US support and regularly brokers deals between fractious neighbours.

“Imagine if that influence is not maintained . . . Will there even be consensus on Somalia at the AU without him? If it was not for Ethiopia, the Sudan/South Sudan border conflict that erupted on Heglig could have turned into regional war.”

The Ethiopian leader’s adroit diplomatic abilities, honed in the 21 years since he led a Tigrayan guerrilla army to power in Addis Ababa, have furthered his pan-African role and he remains able to muster international support despite grave misgivings over his human rights record at home. ………………………………………………..Read more on Financial Times

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Xirunesh Dibaba re-writes Olympic history in 10,000m

 

LONDON — The fierce Kenyan-Ethiopian rivalry renewed itself Friday, and the result in the women’s Olympic 10,000 meters was as reliably predictable as it was four years ago: Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba again drew away with a punishing kick to win the gold medal and perhaps establish herself as history’s greatest female distance runner.

Jacob Araptany of Uganda leading a heat of the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase during the first day of track and field at the Olympic Stadium.More Photos »

On a cool night, Dibaba ran the year’s fastest time to win in 30 minutes 20.75 seconds. Sally Kipyego of Kenya (30:26.37) and Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya (30:30.44) ran their personal bests to take silver and bronze. They were the first Kenyan women to win Olympic medals in the 6.2-mile race. Still, they could not match the finishing speed of Dibaba, who won her third career gold medal, the most by any female distance runner.

On Friday, Dibaba moved to the front with about one and a quarter laps remaining in the 25-lap race, alert to Cheruiyot’s powerful kick, and ran the final lap in a searing 62.08 seconds, making the outcome inevitable.

Having regained her fitness after being injured much of the last two years, Dibaba, 27, will next attempt to win the 5,000 meters and repeat the double gold medals she won at the 2008 Beijing Games.

“I have never been happier,” Dibaba said. “I was not even that happy in Beijing. No one has ever done what I did today.” Read more on 

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Images of Ethiopian Forces in Western Media: War-makers as Peacemakers and Containers of Ethnic Clashes in Moyale

Reading news about Western media reports of the ethnic clashes in Moyale, a border area between southern Oromia-Ethiopia and Kenya, one cannot avoid noticing the conspicuous wrong framing of the “Ethiopian National Defense Forces” as ‘containers and peacemakers.’ These kinds of  narrative projections of a strong Ethiopia  plays and replays the age-old predominant, but flawed Western views of the Ethiopian state and ruling elites as dependable champions of stability, counter-terrorism and so forth in Ethiopia and the Horn.
Media outlets such as the BBC, CBS, and the VOA have rushed to  giving all sorts of dangerous credits to the ENDF as a stabilizing force. This is problematic not only for ignoring the composition of the ENDF, as a military force dominated by ethnic Tigire officers and commanders, but also because it makes it difficult for groups suffering massive human rights violations under the current ethno-apartheid regime such as the Oromo and  Ogaden to tell their stories. It makes it an uphill battle for us to prove our just causes for freedom, self-rule, democracy and all other basic human needs.  Our Ethiopianist friends opposed to the regime will be happy to see such international headlines on ethnic clashes since they affirm their “one-Ethiopia” narrative that the current ethnic federalism is not working. Yes, federalism is not working currently. But, the reason clashes happen is not inherently because of ethnic federalism,  but because the regime follows an outdated colonial policy of divide and conquer in Ethiopia–this has nothing to do with federalism or  the sacred article 39 and why they are not working.
What is shocking in this coverage is how the reports are hardly victim-centered. The reports portray the Ethiopian forces as “containers” and “stabilizers”, while most people in the Horn of Africa and Ethiopia know that this is not true at all. In fact, many of the Horn and the Oromian-Ethiopian populations groups know that Ethiopia is behind every major wars  (or inter-state) or ethnic  clashes such as the one that  just caused the deaths of tens of peoples and the displacement of 30,000 members of the affected communities. The framing of the ENDF as “the stabilizing force” hides the fact that the very same force is a force of instability engineered to uphold the mono-ethnic apartheid system in Ethiopia.Have you ever seen reports in major international news media about the massive human rights abuses and crimes against humanity that have been committed by these forces over the last twenty-one years in major Western media such as CBS, BBC, the VOA, where the West has sided with the peoples/civilians who suffer the most? The story of the civilians who suffer the most are reduced to nothing more than numbers here. In contrast, the  ENDF forces are qualified and elaborately described to the levels of saintly “containers” of the so-called ethnic clashes! Oops!The reality is that the regime wants instability at any cost in order to thrive by depicting itself or by getting depicted by the West as a “peacekeeper” nationally and regionally. Instability and terrorism will never go way from the Horn unless the current authoritarian regime is dismantled or unless serious changes are bought about by any means possible. How can a authoritarian-terrorist regime stamp out terrorism where it does not exist? Isn’t terrorism the regime’s main money-legitimacy maker even in places like Somalia?
Read more on Oromo press

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Ethiopia: 20,000 flee Moyale clashes – Red Cross

 

Grazing land - archive picConflicts over land and water rights have caused clashes between local communities in the past
Ethnic clashes in southern Ethiopia are reported to have left at least 18 people dead and 12 others injured.

More than 20,000 people have crossed into Kenya to escape the fighting, the Kenyan Red Cross says.

A spokesman told the BBC that people were continuing to cross the border although Ethiopian government forces had intervened to stop the fighting.

The clashes, in the Moyale area, are thought to have been sparked by a simmering dispute over land rights.

Fighting involving the Borana and Garri communities is said to have started mid-week, and to have continued until Friday.

Local reports speak of armed militias taking up positions in outlying villages on Wednesday, with the fighting spreading to Moyale town, on the Ethiopia-Kenya border, on Thursday.

Many of those who fled across the border into the Kenyan side of Moyale are having to sleep out in the open.

The Red Cross says it is providing those who have been displaced with food, water and tarpaulins.

Read more on BBC
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Oromia: Fierce clash in Moyale, Borana, several die,injured

By T and Derese Tariku

July 27, 2012, Negele Borena (De Birhan Media) – The town of Moyale has fallen under the control of an unknown militia forces who attacked the town yesterday. The militia burned down the police station and the Customs Office. Over 50 people have reportedly died and hundreds have been taken to Yabello and Negele hospitals. A Commander of Oromia Special Police who was sent to reinforce the town as well as four local police were killed. The Ethiopian military stationed at ‘Shawa Ber’ , 2 Km from the town, conspicuously watches as the town is being burned down.

There are sources stating the cause of the clash as being ethnic between the Borena and Begri as usual while others say it was political take over. Somali and Oromo ethnic tribes have always attempted to take hold of the town, source adds. Witness are reporting that they have heard religious chants by those who were marching to the City’s main Bus Station.

Doctors in the area told De Birhan that the situation has been bad. Fighting still ongoing and rumors of the anunknown militia force are controlling the town of Moyalle. He said that injured people are coming to hospital. The road to Moyale has been blocked.

Two helicopters from Kenya are hovering the town.

Another source just informed De Birhan that the Ethiopian armed forces have now intervened are arresting all that they find the town. Several people have gathered around Fekadu Hotel in the town, looking for deceased and injured relatives.

Moyale is a market town on the border of Ethiopia and Kenya, which is split between the two countries: the larger portion is in Ethiopia (in the Oromia Region), and the smaller is in Kenya (the capital of the Moyale District). There are four disputed locations within the Moyale district between the Somali and Oromo regions.

Moyale is the main border post on the Nairobi-Addis Ababa road, lying north of the Dide Galgalu Desert. It is known for its traditional architecture.

Read more on De Birhan

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The Zenawi Paradox: An Ethiopian Leader’s Good and Terrible Legacy

By Armin Rosen,
Zenawi article top.jpgFollowing the news of the past few years, you might get the impression that flamboyance and bellicosity are signature traits of any long-tenured dictator. But for every Muammar Qaddafi there’s a Meles Zenawi, the shrewd, technocratic Prime Minister of Ethiopia. Inside of the country, he’s known for imprisoning his political opponents, withholding development assistance from restive areas, stealing elections, and cracking downon civil society NGOs. In the rest of the world, he’s often praisedfor his impressive economic record, though not for his human rights. Zenawi has attracted Western support by being a responsible steward of aid money, a security partner in a rough region, and a G20 summit invitee.
Now, both his supporters and his detractors may have to contemplate a future without him. Zenawi is in a Brussels hospital with an unspecified stomach ailment that may or may not be fatal, depending upon what news reports you believe. Today, a government spokesperson announced that Zenawi would be taking a leave of absence from running the country, which he’s led since 1991.
From a human rights perspective, Zenawi’srule has been abusive, heavy-handed, and self-interested..Still, his apparently earnest dedication to sustainable development has long attracted international donors, whose money has benefited Ethiopia while propping up his regime. Zenawi, has fostered a friendlier environment for foreigninvestment. Between 2000 and 2010, Ethiopia’s GDP enjoyed a staggering average annual growth rate of 8.8 percent — China-like numbers. The country’s public sector is hardly clean of corruption, but the Ethiopian state isn’t as mismanaged or as predatory as others in the region. It ranks 120th out of 183 governments on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions index, not exactly Scandinavian but still ahead of such regional leaders as Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria.
Read more on The Atlantic

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Kenya: High stakes in contest for  governor seat in Borana 

By PATRICK NZIOKA
Even before campaigns for next year’s elections start officially, the war for political power between two rival communities in Marsabit County has started.Today, there is an uneasy truce following fierce battles earlier in the year between the Borana and Gabra that drew in their cousins from across the Ethiopian border.At stake, many observers say, is the coveted seat of governor and the power, finances and resources the two believe the holder will control.Indeed, Marsabit is one of the 27 counties the National Security Intelligence Service has identified as a potential hotspot during the elections and voting period.It is also under a special watch by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission which is working out strategies of avoiding election-related violence.Dr Mzalendo Kibunjia of the commission says it may be desirable for the communities to negotiate pre-election power sharing deals to reduce the threat of violence.This, for now at least, looks unlikely in Marsabit where the Borana and Gabra are going for the same seat of governor.For a people who have fought constantly over resources for decades, the position has become a do-or-die affair with each community determined to clinch it.

Read more on Daily Nation

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Ethiopia Promises Details of PM Meles’ Health

David Arnold
July 17, 2012
Speculation about the health of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi may be coming to an end soon. After days of rumors and unconfirmed reports that Meles was gravely ill, or even deceased, tfhe Ethiopian government says it will clarify the situation at a news conference on July 18.

The rumors and unconfirmed reports began last week and gained momentum when Meles did not attend a meeting of the African Union in Addis Ababa as expected. There was even speculation about who might succeed Meles if he could not finish his term in office in 2015.

Then on Monday, Ethiopia’s deputy prime minister and foreign minister, Hailemariam Desalegne, confirmed that Meles was indeed ill, but refused to elaborate or say what the illness might be. The speculation increased again.

Meles has been the dominant political figure in this nation of approximately 93 million people since the rebel forces of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front entered the capital, Addis Ababa, in 1991 and ended the 14-year dictatorship of Mengistu Hailemarian. Meles has for more than 20 years served as chairman of the TPLF and the larger Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front that now holds all but one seat in the national parliament.

Until Monday, the government declined comment on Meles’ health. His hand-picked deputy, Desalagne, yesterday told a Bloomberg News correspondent in Addis, “There is no serious illness at all.” He said Meles would “return soon,” but did not talk about the nature of the illness or where the nation’s leader was receiving treatment.

The ambassador for public diplomacy, Getachew Reda, also gave a VOA reporter in the Amharic language service the same account, and refused to identify the illness and where the prime minister is being treated.

Read more on VOA

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Githu and PS differ on appeal

By PAUL OGEMBA

PHOTO | BILLY MUTAI | NATION | FILE Attorney-General Githu Muigai.Attorney-General Githu Muigai has said that his office will stick to the decision not to appeal against a ruling that revoked the appointment of county commissioners.Through State counsel Stella Munyi, Prof Muigai on Tuesday told Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi in Nairobi that he stuck to his earlier position of complying with the ruling and advice to the government not to appeal.

The AG’s office, Ms Munyi said, had no objection to a petition by two activists seeking to compel Internal Security permanent secretary Mutea Iringo to file a notice revoking the appointments and a written confirmation that none of them was in office or continued to exercise powers and functions of the office. “The AG’s opinion is well known, we are ready to comply with the court’s judgment,” she said.

The activists, Mr Charles Omanga and Mr Caleb Okech, want an order compelling Mr Iringo to file a notice revoking the appointment of the 47 county commissioners and a written confirmation that none of them is in office or continues to exercise any powers and functions of the office.

The State counsel differed with the PS over who should represent him in court, saying that it was only the AG with the mandate as per the Constitution to act on behalf of any State office.

Her response sparked a clash with Mr Iringo who wants a petition seeking to compel him to comply with the order amended to allow him to respond appropriately.

Through lawyer Kibe Mungai, the PS termed the application incompetent and sought to have it struck out, arguing that he was wrongfully enjoined since he was not the appointing authority. “The application is seeking orders against the PS and he would wish it to be amended so that he can properly defend himself,” he said.

Asked whether Mr Iringo had powers to instruct a private lawyer to act on behalf of the State, Mr Mungai said his client was acting in his individual capacity as an interested party.

The permanent secretary is on record telling the commissioners to “stay put” immediately after the court declared their posting unconstitutional. He has enlisted the services of Mr Mungai to appeal the ruling despite the AG’s advice not to do so.

Read more on Daily Nation

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Meles misses NEPAD meeting due to health reason

Meles ZenawiMeles Zenawi who was expected to attend the NEPAD meeting  at AU for today this afternoon was unable to be available due to deteriorated health condition. As the current chairperson of NEPAD, Prime Minister Meles is expected to deliver a report to 27th Summit of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC) ahead of the 19th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) to  be kicked off tomorrow here in Addis Ababa.
On behalf of Meles, Senegalese President, Macky Sall opened the meeting and he wished Meles to recover soon.
“PM Meles is not attending this meeting with us this afternoon for health reason. We would like to express that we wish him to recover soon to a better health, President Sall told participants.
Following his disappearance from the public, rumor is growing about Meles’s health condition as no official confirmation was released from government as to whether his health is deteriorated or not.
Specially, Meles has not showed up at the parliament in the last two weeks where he was expected to deliver the already concluded fiscal’ year’s government performance. Following his absence from the parliament, public remains in dark with the growing speculation of his ailing condition, and the next year’s budget has not been endorsed yet. The parliament has not been even officially closed for recess despite one week has already gone from the usual schedule.

Read more on “The Reporter

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Ethiopians deny interests in Marsabit politics

By Moses Njagih

Ethiopian officials have denied claims they are meddling in Marsabit County politics.
It dismissed allegations it is bent on ensuring a local MP does not clinch a top county position for allegedly being sympathetic to the Oromo Liberation Front rebel movement.
Ethiopia has been sucked into the murky politics of the county where two warring Borana community camps have been strategising to clinch the governor’s position, heightening political temperatures in the volatile region.
Talk of Ethiopia trying to influence the county leadership came to the fore after the warring camps, one supporting Moyale MP Mohammud Ali and the other rooting for Chachu Tadicha, crossed the common border into Ethiopia to seek the help of the Borana community leader (Aba Gadha) Guyo Gobba, in a bid to reach a compromise on who the community should back to become governor.
The Abba Gadha is the cultural leader of the community, which also has large presence in Ethiopia.
But it was the outcome of the meeting, declaring Tadicha as the community’s candidate that infuriated Ali’s camp, which later accused the Ethiopian government of dictating proceedings of the meeting to influence the outcome.
Ali, who did not attend the meeting as he was then attending the burials of former Internal Security Minister George Saitoti and his assistant Orwa Ojode, led his camp in revolting against the outcome of the meeting, claiming the same was hijacked by Ethiopian authorities.
The camp claimed a senior Ethiopian administration officer, whose position of the equivalent of a PC, dictated proceedings at the meeting to ensure the MP does not get the nod to contest the post.
Cultural meeting Sources, which the Ethiopia government dismisses, claimed the country is uncomfortable with Ali, as its intelligence reports portray him as being sympathetic to the rebels. Ali’s camp argues it is this agenda that the Ethiopian administrator was keen to see through when he attended the cultural meeting.
“He was the one who was directed to ensure that the MP was not endorsed at the meeting. There is talk on the ground that the Ethiopian government does not want Ali in any leadership position,” said a member of the camp, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.
On the other hand, Tadicha discounts claim that Ethiopia Government officials influenced the decision taken. He, however, admits to the presence of the top administration officials at the Aba Gadha meeting, but insists they were only there to provide security.
Read more on Standard Digital 

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County Commissioners in office despite ruling  

By STANDARD TEAM
President Kibaki lost final bid to have strong arm of central government in running of counties after his Chief Legal Advisor refused to play along.
The Government received the kick in the teeth after Attorney General Githu Muigai, declined to appeal against a High Court decision to revoke Kibaki’s appointment of 47 county commissioners.
In so doing the AG appeared to side with the High Court on the ruling that the appointments violated the Constitution, the National Accord and Reconciliation Act 2008, and breached the one-third-gender rule.
Curiously, the AG’s letter declaring he would not appeal was sent to acting Permanent Secretary for Internal Security and Provincial Administration. Instead of recalling the affected commissioners, the PS asked them to remain at their stations in spite of the court order.
The setback to the President’s wish to stamp Executive authority in the devolved units came a day after Prime Minister Raila Odinga cautioned senior civil servants against ignoring the court order and other constitutional requirements.
“It is not a question of whether one is unhappy and is going to appeal or not. The truth of the matter is that a court ruling must be respected. That is why I am deeply concerned with the directive by the PS (Iringo),” said Raila.
A letter signed by Senior Deputy Solicitor General Muthoni Kimani, who repots to Muigai, and dated Tuesday, July 4, advises the President’s office against appealing.
Still defiant “The Attorney General advises against appealing the High Court decision in the county commissioners’ case,” said Kimani.
The three-paragraph letter kills any hope the Government had in retaining the recently appointed commissioners, largely because if there were to be any appeal, it would be the AG to lodge it.
In her ruling, High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi declared the President had erred in the appointment of the commissioners as he had overlooked a number of Articles in the Constitution. Justice Ngugi said, “The President did not have the legal authority to make such appointments and his decision was against the spirit of the Constitution and the National Accord and Reconciliation Act, which called for consultation and gender balance.”
The list of appointed commissioners had 10 women and 37 men, while the Constitution specifies that no one gender should occupy more than two-thirds in any public appointments.
That notwithstanding, an inquiry by The Standard, showed the commissioners continued working in disregard of the court order. Civil society groups on Tuesday called for the suspension of Iringo for ignoring the court order.  This appears to be what prompted the AG’s office to avoid the controversy. Iringo had earlier asked the commissioners to stay in office with an assurance the AG would overturn the decision through an appeal.
The decision to hire the 47 county commissioners was first mooted by Iringo’s predecessor Francis Kimemia, now the acting Head of Civil Service.  He is now Iringo’s boss and the chief implementer of the President’s and Cabinet decisions.
Kimemia earlier made a futile attempt to appoint county commissioners, but the Prime Minister, the Constitution Implementation Commission, and the civil society rejected the list.
It was argued at the time the appointments disregarded the tenets of devolution as enshrined in the Constitution. Though the initial list was withdrawn, the second came from Kimemia’s office and still bore the footprints of the rescinded breakdown.
Read more on  “Standard Digital”

 

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Leaders contest nomination of Cacuu

By MOSES NJAGIH
A section of leaders from Marsabit County have dismissed a political agreement reached in Ethiopia recently by their rivals.  The leaders accused the country of trying to influence the outcome of next polls in the region.During a meeting in Huruma, Nairobi, the leaders mainly from Borana community asked the Ethiopia Government to stop meddling in Marsabit County politics.
The meeting that was attended by members of the community living in Nairobi was led by Moyale MP Mohammud Ali and Supreme Council of Kenya Muslim (Supkem) Secretary General Aden Wachu. They vowed to reject an alleged decision arrived at a Borana cultural event, under the watch of senior Ethiopian Government authorities, which allegedly endorsed a candidate for Marsabit Governor seat.
A section of Borana leaders had sought the help of their traditional ruler (Abba Gadha) Guyo Gobba to mediate between two aspirants who are eyeing the seat. The meeting took place at Shawa Bare School in Ethiopia. But Ali did not attend the meeting. The traditional ruler declared his opponent Chachu Tadicha as the community’s nominee for the post.
Five meetings
But Monday, members of the community castigated the involvement of Ethiopia leaders in the decision. “The meeting that was held in Ethiopia and under the watch of the country’s senior Government officials had a hidden agenda. We have no problem with Abba Gadha, but we are concerned with the decision taken at the meeting, which was dictated by Ethiopian officials,” said Christopher Galgalo, a member of Borana professional forumat ye.

A Borana Council of Elder member Kanchora Liban said traditions dictate five meetings to be held before a decision is made. He faulted the ruling made, saying it was taken after area MP failed to appear at the meeting. Wachu, who is eyeing Moyale parliamentary seat, urged residents to disregard the decision taken through the influence of Ethiopian authorities and rally behind Ali’s candidature for Marsabit Governor seat.

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Borana elders nominate Cacuu as a candidate for Marsabit County Governer.

By Ali Abdi
The nomination of a top NGO official as the Borana candidate for the seat of Marsabit County governor by Ethiopian elders has generated a storm.
Chachu Tadicha, the Ethiopia Save the Children country director, was picked as the flag-bearer of the community in a meeting in Moyale, Ethiopia, after three days of deliberations.
The meeting was attended by Abba Gadha (the Borana traditional ruler) Guyo Gobba and Ethiopia’s Borana Zone administrator, Guyo Kanu Jillo, among others.
But the verdict had been dismissed as an ‘agenda’ by Ethiopian Government to impose a candidate on Kenyan voters by supporters of Moyale MP Mohamud Ali, who was running against Tadicha.
While Tadicha was present, the MP was said to be involved in the burial of fallen ministers. Elders Abaroba Jattani, Doyo Galgalo and Galma Okotu who represented the MP said his apologies, request for change of venue and postponement of the exercise was rejected by the traditional leaders.
They claimed Tadicha was picked because the MP was absent from the meeting.‘‘We told them Kenya had lost dignitaries in a plane crash and that the MP was a member of the burial committee,’’ said Jattani.
He continued, ‘‘We also told them the meeting should be held on Kenyan soil as it was a Kenyan affair but this was also rejected.’’
Tadicha’s allies led by politician Ibrahim Dambi dismissed the assertions by Ali’s camp, claiming the MP avoided the meeting because he sensed defeat.
‘‘Both sides had requested the help of the Abba Gadha and Tadicha had been picked fairly. The MP should concede defeat and support the torchbearer,’’ said Mr Dambi. He dismissed as propaganda claims that the event was hijacked by Ethiopian government officials, saying officers played their ‘normal roles’

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Spotlight on Kenyan music goes to North Eastern

Friday saw the launch of the fifth edition of the Spotlight on Kenyan Music album at the Alliance Francaise gardens. The volume five edition was recorded at Ketebul and the accompanying documentary, Hot Sounds from Hot Climes, scripted, directed and narrated by John Sibi-Okumu.

This addition attempts to put on the cultural landscape the lesser known intangible cultural heritage of northern Kenyan communities. The album is a bridge linking traditional with contemporary.
This programme has provided a unique opportunity for artistes and cultural groups from the under-developed regions of northern Kenya to participate in a national project.
The event saw a full house of music enthusiasts who gathered to enjoy performances from various North Eastern music groups who donned colourful costumes.
The artistes and communities featured in the album include Isaak Haile (Borana), Mohammed Guyo (Gabbra), Malaika (Borana), Loiyangalani Stars (Turkana), Dofa Hirbo (Burji), Kano Ditata Mamo (Borana), Gaal Lowaria (Dasanach), Gurapau Spirit (El Molo), Bonaya Doti (Konso), Gargar (Somali), Adnan Mohammed (Konso), Abdi Jero (Rendille), Lmetili Generation (Samburu) and Munoyaya (Munoyaya).
The Spotlight on Kenyan Music seeks to provide a platform for promoting music rooted in the diverse musical heritage of the country. It is supported by the French Embassy and Total Kenya.

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