Sunday, October 26, 2014

Moses Wetang'ula Causes A Stand Off At The Airport


A Mombasa-bound Kenya Airways flight on Thursday evening was delayed for several hours after a standoff ensued when the crew insisted that Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula must produce his national identity (ID) card.
All the passengers were told to disembark, with some of them worried that there could be a security issue in the plane.
“The plane was supposed to take off at 8.40pm, but we have been made to wait for several hours as arrangements are made for passengers to board a different plane,” said a Daily Nation reporter, Mr Jeremiah Kiplagat, one of the stranded passengers.
Mr Wetang'ula spoke to his fellow passengers, saying he was at fault for the delay because he was not carrying his ID card, with the KQ crew insisting that it was a required procedure that all passengers identify themselves.
Mr Kiplagat said passengers were moved to a different plane for their flight to Mombasa, ready for take-off from Nairobi some minutes after 11.30pm.
Some of the passengers had started posting on social media that their security might be at risk, before it was clarified that it was Mr Wetang'ula who did not have his identification document.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Uhuru Kenyatta to hand power to William Ruto ahead of ICC case


President Uhuru Kenyatta will appoint William Ruto as Acting President for the duration he will be away attending his case at the International Criminal Court.
President Kenyatta made the unprecedented announcement during an address to a special session of Parliament on Monday.
He said he will revoke Article 147, section 3, to appoint Mr Ruto as Acting President while he attends the ICC status conference next week at the Hague.
The decision means President Kenyatta will attend the status conference in an individual capacity and not as the head of state.
President Kenyatta explained that the decision to hand power to his deputy is meant to ensure that the sovereignty and democratic will of Kenyans will not be subjected to a foreign jurisdiction.
Earlier, the President had met Kenya’s top security organ on Monday morning, before meeting Cabinet secretaries in the afternoon.

Monday, January 23, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Four of the six suspects to face trial - ICC





The International Criminal Court pre-trial chamber has confirmed charges against four of six Kenyan suspects for post-election violence crimes.

The judges confirmed the charges against Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Eldoret North MP William Ruto, Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and Journalist Joshua Sang.

The charges against Tindreret MP Henry Kosgey and Post Master General Hussein Ali were not confirmed.
The ruling delivered at the ICC at The Hague by Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova on Monday stated that they were satisfied by evidence by Louis Moreno Ocampo’s team against Ruto and Sang for crimes committed in Turbo, Nandi Hills, Kapsabet and Eldoret.

Judge Trendafilova stated the charges against Ruto and Sang were crimes against humanity, murder, deportation, forcible transfer and persecution that led to death of hundreds of civilians.

The court dropped the charges against Ali and Kosgey saying the evidence adduced in court was not enough to sustain the charges against them.

Crimes Ocampo claims suspects committed

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta

He is facing charges of crimes against humanity relating to post-election violence in Nakuru and Naivasha in January and February 2008. He was accused of mobilising the outlawed Mungiki group to attack ODM supporters. He is jointly charged with Public service chief Francis Muthaura and former police boss Gen Hussein Ali.

Together with Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura and Postmaster General Hussein Ali, Uhuru is charged with five counts of crimes against humanity. They include murder, deportation or forcible transfer of a population, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution and inhumane acts.

ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo claimed that Kenyatta, as a supporter of President Kibaki, planned, financed, and coordinated the violence perpetrated against the perceived supporters of the President’s rival during post-election violence from 27 December 2007 to 29 February 2008. He is also alleged to have used the Mungiki.

Eldoret North MP William Ruto

He is accused of planning and organizing crimes against PNU supporters. Together with Henry Kosgey, and Joshua Sang, faces charges with three counts of crimes against humanity. They include murder, deportation or forcible transfer of population and persecution, all which constitute a crime against humanity in violation of article 7 (1) (a) (d) and (h) of the Rome Statute.

Joshua Arap Sang

He is the head of operations at the radio station Kass FM, was accused of using his radio broadcasts to send messages of assistance to those committing acts of violence against PNU supporters. He is alleged to have had a role in the organisation of crimes against PNU supporters by using his radio show both to gain support and also to communicate by code to the members of the network.

Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura

As the Cabinet secretary and chairman of the National Security Advisory Committee, was accused of authorising the police to use excessive force against ODM supporters and to facilitate attacks against the opposition. Moreno-Ocampo claimed Muthaura and Uhuru hatched a plan to use an ad hoc organisation comprising Mungiki militia and the police to execute retaliatory attacks.

This was planned during meetings that allegedly took place at State House and Nairobi Members’ Club. He added that Muthaura instructed then Police Commissioner Hussein Ali to ensure the police did not intercept Mungiki as they unleashed terror in Nakuru and Naivasha between January 24 and 31, 2008

Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey

He was accused of planning and organizing crimes against supporters of Party of National Unity (PNU). Together with his co-accused former minister William Samoei Ruto and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang, allegedly established a network with the goal of gaining power in the Rift Valley Province by committing crimes against supporters of the PNU.

It is alleged that after the disputed presidential election of December 2007, members of this network allegedly attached PNU supporters’ homes, killing and torturing civilians, and driving them from their homes. A witness alleged that Kosgey attended planning meetings of the alleged network.

Maj-Gen (rtd) Mohammed Hussein Ali

He is the former Commissioner of Police was accused of facilitating attacks against supporters of the ODM. However, the Chamber ruled that his contribution was not essential to the commission of the crimes and so he was charged with having otherwise contributed to the same crimes.

The ICC Prosecutor alleged that Ali, together with Head of Public Service and Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta developed and executed a plan to attack perceived ODM supporters in the aftermath of the disputed 2007 elections.

The Prosecutor further alleged that that Ali, in his role as Commissioner of the Kenya Police, personally authorised the use of excessive force in attacks against ODM supporters.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

OIL DRILLING SET TO BEGIN IN KENYA



A UK-based firm will start drilling for oil in the Lake Turkana Basin later this month.

Tullow Oil plc, which discovered more than two billion barrels of oil in the Albertine Basin of Uganda three years ago said surveys in Kenya and Ethiopia are complete and that Ngamia-1 well in Kenya is due to spud (the process of beginning to drill a well).

‘’The Weatherford 804 rig has reached the well site in preparation for a late January 2012 spud of the Ngamia well, which has an anticipated depth of 3,000m,’’ it said in its latest operational update in respect of recent production, development and exploration activities.

The firm acknowledged that the imminent drilling is later than originally expected following delays in the mobilisation of the rig.

It said the rig will then move to drill the 4,500m deep Paipai-1 well in Block 10A in the second quarter of 2012 before moving to Ethiopia to drill a well in the South Omo Block in the third quarter of 2012.

‘’The data quality is excellent and there are similarities with the FTG acquired in Uganda in 2009,’’ the firm said, adding that a 1,000km 2D seismic programme is under way in the South Omo Block in Ethiopia.

In Kenya, a 500 km 2D seismic programme has also started in Block 13T, which would be followed by a 1,350km 2D survey in Block 10BA, it added.

The high-impact Mbawa-1 well also in Kenya’s northwest region will be drilled in the third quarter of this

ICC WILL NOT STOP US : UHURU & RUTO DECLARES



Two presidential aspirants on Tuesday vowed to forge ahead with their campaigns even if the International Criminal Court indicts them over the 2008 election violence.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto insisted they would be in the race for the top seat irrespective of what The Hague court rules.

The remarks come just days before the ICC releases its verdict on the pair and four others alleged to have planned, sponsored and executed the chaos in which 1,133 people were killed and 650,000 uprooted from their homes. (READ: Kenya chaos suspects to know fate on January 23)

The others are Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey, Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura, radio presenter Joshua arap Sang and Postmaster-General Hussein Ali.

Mr Kenyatta said on Tuesday after launching the 2012 public Budget hearings at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre:

“My campaign is not anchored on the ICC process, but on an agenda that I have for the country. These are processes that will ultimately come to an end and should not derail our campaigns.

“What is important is for Kenyans not to panic but to remain calm and maintain peace and continue to build the country.”

Separately, Mr Ruto said he was confident that his latest political vehicle, United Republican Party (URP) would form the next government.

“We are going to mobilise support from every part of the country and make sure we are in the next government... the ICC ruling will not distract my course to change the living standards of Kenyans,” he said.

But a civil society group urged the two to step aside if the court rules that they had a case to answer.

The ICC clarified on Monday that the provisions of the Rome Statute did not bar Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto from vying for elective positions even if the charges were confirmed. (READ: Uhuru and Ruto can still run, clarifies ICC)

ICC head of public affairs Fadi El Abdallah, in response to questions on the implications of the court’s verdict, said the decision on whether or not the politicians could vie for the presidency lay with Kenyan courts.

“A candidate’s eligibility in Kenya is governed by Kenyan laws, not by the Rome Statute.

Principles of leadership

“It is for the Kenyan authorities to interpret and apply the national law in that regard,” the ICC said in a paid up advert in daily newspapers.

Chapter Six of the Constitution stipulates that the guiding principles of leadership include “selection on the basis of personal integrity, competence and suitability, or election in free and fair elections’’.

Some analysts say the personal integrity of Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto will come into serious question if they are charged with the murder, rape and displacement of Kenyans during the 2007/08 election violence.

A member of the Cabinet sub-committee handling the ICC cases said they were awaiting the ruling before taking a position on Mr Ruto and Mr Kenyatta’s presidential ambitions.

“Once the decision is taken one way or the other, the Cabinet sub-committee dealing with ICC matters will seek an opinion from the State Law office.

“At the moment, the sub-committee has not discussed the matter,” said the member, who sought anonymity in line with the oath of secrecy binding ministers from disclosing Cabinet matters.

Attorney-General Githu Muigai, who is in charge of the State Law Office, could not be reached for comment.

But the Institute of Education in Democracy (IED) demanded that the two politicians suspend their ambitions until they were fully cleared of the charges facing them.

“Whereas the law may not expressly bar these individuals from running for high office even if the charges are confirmed, the Constitution sets such a high pedestal on issues of integrity, ethics and morality that it is incumbent upon all of us Kenyans to demand of these people to set an example by stepping aside once questions about their integrity are raised.

“It is very much like the allegations facing the Deputy Chief Justice,” said IED executive director Peter Alingo.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Ahmed Isaack Hassan declined to take a stand on the matter when contacted. “We will cross that bridge when we reach it, that is all I can say,” he said.

But Nairobi Metropolitan minister Njeru Githae, who is a lawyer, maintained that there was no law stopping Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto from pursuing their presidential ambitions.

“We are praying that the charges are dropped so that they continue with their presidential ambitions. Before the charges are confirmed, one is deemed not to be facing any charges,” Mr Githae argued.

“Even when the charges are confirmed, one is still deemed to be innocent. Until the charges are proven, there is no criminal, civil, social, political or economic liability on the accused,” he added.

Former Law Society of Kenya vice chairman James Mwamu said the decision on whether Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto can vie for the presidency if the charges are confirmed rested with the IEBC.

“Whereas article 25 of the Constitution dealing with ICC does not stop them from contesting, the IEBC will have to look at Chapter Six of the Constitution and weigh whether the charges facing them amount to a breach of the Integrity chapter,” Mr Mwamu said.

ICC Judges to decide fate of Ocampo six on Monday



The International Criminal Court Pre-Trial Court has issued an advisory indicating that Judges will issue decisions confirming or dropping charges against the Ocampo Six on Monday at 1.30pm Kenyan time in Courtroom number one.

The advisory was issued on Friday on ICC's twitter account @Int'lCrimCourt.

It stated: "On 23 January: ICC Judges to issue decisions on the two Kenya cases and read summaries from Courtroom I. Information shortly on ICC website"

The Ocampo Six suspects include Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and Edloret North MP William Ruto. Others are Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey, radio presenter Joshua arap Sang and Postmaster-General Hussein Ali.

By the time Kenyans gather around TVs and radios at lunchtime on Monday, their six countrymen suspected of bearing the greatest responsibility for the 2007-2008 election-related violence will have known their individual fates.

This is the upshot of the announcement by the International Criminal Court at 11.15 a.m. yesterday that the decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber judges will be made public at 1.30 p.m. on Monday.

It will be 11.30 a.m. at The Hague, Netherlands.

The statement posted on the ICC website, and sent to their 14,862 followers on micro-blogging site Twitter, said “the decisions will be notified in writing to the parties and participants in both cases.”

The judges appeared to have had the public interest on the matter in mind with the changes to the manner in which the decision would be communicated to Kenyans.

“Thereafter (communicating to the parties), the Judges of Pre-Trial Chamber II will appear publicly in Courtroom I at 11:30 (The Hague time) for the sole purpose of informing the public about the outcome of their decisions,” the statement said.

Unlike the confirmation charges and the summons to appear, neither the parties nor the suspects will be present in the Courtroom during this public appearance.

According to the ICC, there are three possible scenarios in the cases against William Ruto, Henry Kosgey, Joshua arap Sang, Francis Muthaura, Uhuru Kenyatta and Hussein Ali.

The Chamber may confirm the charges, totally or partially, against all or some of the suspects, if they are convinced that there are “substantial grounds” to believe that a suspect has committed an alleged crime.

Confirmation means the case proceeds to full trial, with the Prosecutor presenting his evidence and witnesses and allowing the defence to attempt to punch holes in their evidence and cross-examine the witnesses.

The Chamber can also decline to confirm the charges, meaning the case is terminated and the suspect can go back to their normal lives.

There is however a provision for the Prosecutor to have another go at having the same charges confirmed but upon the presentation of fresh evidence.

“If the authorisation is granted, the Appeals Chamber composed of five Judges may consider the issues identified as appealable by the Pre-Trial Chamber,” the ICC said in a lengthy and elaborate statement published in the press last December.

The ICC however said the provision for appeal does not mean that the hearings on the confirmation of charges would be held a second time.

Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto, have expressed their presidential candidature in the upcoming 2012 general election.

On Thursday, Mr Ruto appealed for calm regardless of a ruling by the ICC on whether to confirm or drop the charges. (READ: Ruto calls for calm ahead of ICC ruling)

On his part, Mr Kenyatta said on Tuesday that his quest to succeed President Kibaki would not be determined by the ICC ruling.

Raila Odinga sister, Charged with Fraud

lawyer representing a sister of the Prime Minister has written to Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko, saying his client had been cleared over allegations of misappropriating funds.

Mr Mugambi Imanyara said Ms Beryl Okumu Odinga, a sister of PM Raila Odinga, had neither been asked to appear in court nor informed of the charges, contrary to reports she failed to make an appearance leading to her being summoned.

“If in fact she had been informed of these accusations, this matter would never even have gone to court since she lawfully received the funds as imprest for expenditures in her capacity as chairperson of the Kenya Railways Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme,” said Mr Imanyara.

He said an audit had cleared Ms Odinga and that there was no point at which any irregularity occurred or the amount that was due remained outstanding.

As such, there was no basis for any prosecution to take place, he argued. (READ: Railways board boss Odinga set to face fraud charges)

Not been informed

The DPP confirmed receiving the letter, saying he had not been informed that the matter was settled when the charges were brought up.

Mr Tobiko said he had written to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to confirm if the amount in question was accounted for before withdrawing the case.

Ms Odinga was summoned to appear in court on January 24 to answer charges of unlawful acquisition of public property after she failed to appear alongside three others charged with abuse of office.

She was accused of unlawfully acquiring Sh1.5 million on various dates between March 2009 and January 2011.

Her co-accused, Mr Mathews Kipchumba Tuikong, Mr Ephantus Muriithi Githui and Ms Caroline Nkitore Nyororo, on Tuesday denied the charges and were released on a cash bail of Sh400,000 each or alternative personal bond of Sh1 million and a surety in similar amount.