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ALL AFRICA NEWS AGENCY January 13, 2003 BULLETIN No. 01/03 (c)
Worldwide Faith News <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wed, 15 Jan 2003 12:52:50 -0800
ALL AFRICA NEWS AGENCY January 13, 2003 BULLETIN No. 01/03 (c)
AANA Bulletin is an ecumenical initiative to highlight all endeavours and
experiences of Christians and the people of Africa. AANA Bulletin is
published weekly and, together with the French Edition - Bulletin APTA - is
also available through e-mail. For editorial and subscription details,
AANA Bulletin : Acting Editor - Mitch Odero
Bulletin APTA: Edition en frangais, ridacteur intirimaire : Sylvie Alemba
All Africa News Agency
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POST ELECTION HIGHLIGHTS
Kenyans went to polls last December 27 and voted in a new
government. Former ruling party for 40 years, Kenya African National Union
(KANU), lost the hotly contested elections to a coalition of opposition
parties, National Rainbow Coalition (NARC). NARC has since formed a new
government headed by President Emilio Mwai Kibaki. Following are some
post election reactions and highlights.
Polls Observers Pose Challenges To New Government
NAIROBI (AANA) January 13 - A report released here recently by a domestic
observer group in last December's general elections has described the
country's electoral exercise as a "great success for the democratic cause
among all the people of Africa."
The group, comprising mainly religious organisations such as the Kenya
Episcopal Conference (KEC)/Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC),
the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), the Supreme Council of
Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM), and the Hindu Council among other civic
organisations, nevertheless observed that serious challenges remained for
the new government, the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK), as well as the
These, they said in their preliminary report released here on December 29,
included the persistent problem of pre-election-related violence, voter
intimidation and bribery, and frequent logistical challenges such as
transport and up-to-date voter registration.
The group was concerned about reports from some constituencies that a
number of possibly registered voters were denied the right to vote because
their names were missing from voters' register.
"Clearly, there is an urgent need on the part of the ECK for the voters'
register to be cleaned up for future polls to stop these kinds of problems
that deny Kenyans the right to vote," the observers pointed out.
External observer groups from the Commonwealth, European Union and Carter
Centre, concurred in their preliminary statements that the elections were
generally held in a conducive atmosphere.
The Carter Centre, led by former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda,
concluded their statement with a loaded message: "Kenya's important role as
a leading African nation has been enhanced by these elections and the
country's newly elected leaders should take immediate steps in the fight
against corruption, consolidate democracy, and respect for the rule of law
to lay the groundwork for Kenya's economic and political development," they
Reported by Osman Njuguna
Women Happy With Outcome
NAIROBI (AANA) January 13 - Kenyan women have a positive story to tell.
After years of cries of inadequate women representation in key
decision-making positions, they now can talk of a record 16 women
parliamentarians, out of a previous nine.
The just concluded general elections have seen eight women elected to
parliament through the new ruling party, the National Rainbow Coalition
(NARC) and one from the former ruling party, Kenya African National Union
(KANU). Seven more have been nominated, four by NARC and three by KANU.
In an apparent move to fulfil its pledge of engaging women in key
government positions, NARC has appointed six women in its Cabinet
line-up. Three of the women are full ministers and the remaining three
have been given assistant ministerial posts.
The new government has also engaged four women as permanent secretaries, to
serve as chief executives of their respective ministries. The previous
government had only two.
The former head of the civil service and secretary to the cabinet, Dr.
Sally Kosgey, a woman, was retained in her position. She served in the
previous regime. The story is crowned by the establishment of a ministry
to take care of gender issues.
In his inaugural statement soon after the cabinet appointments on January
3, the new Minister for Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services, Najib
Balala pointed out strongly that his ministry will work hard to address
issues of gender violence among the various forms of discrimination.
Phoebe Asiyo of the Kenya Women Political Caucus, also a commissioner in
the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission, noted: "This historic
appointment is a clear indication of NARC's pragmatic commitment to protect
and promote justice through the construction of a gendered citizenship."
Asiyo said there was no doubt that a greater and proportional
representation of women at all levels was on the way and that gender
discrimination "would soon be a thing of the past."
The League of Kenya Women Voters, a prominent civic education organisation
here, said in a statement that the cabinet appointments by NARC were a
positive move in the direction of ensuring one-third representation of
women in government.
The League's communications officer, Tulezi Clement, says the election of
the nine women to parliament is a clear indication that people are changing
their attitude towards women. "This shows that people have confidence in
women. They are beginning to realise that women too can deliver, just like
their male colleagues," he observes.
He says the struggle to get more women to top positions had not been won
yet but with the emerging trend, this would soon be realised.
Reported by Joyce Mulama
A Recap Of NARC's Pledges
NAIROBI (AANA) January 13 - Kenya's new President, Mwai Kibaki, pledged in
his inaugural speech after being sworn in as the country's third president
on December 30, that his government would bring back the culture of "due
process, accountability and transparency in public office."
Kibaki promised a government that would serve the people and not the
contrary. He said the new National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) government
would make and uphold laws and policies for the general good of the people.
His government, he said, would provide adequate social services to enhance
quality of life of Kenyans. His implication was that the previous regime
had not effectively performed its role.
Following are some key highlights of his commitment to Kenyans:
o Free primary education, which has since been implemented;
o Elimination of corruption by enacting an Anti-corruption Act to
establish an Anti-corruption Authority with powers to prosecute;
o Resumption of the stalled constitutional review process. The new
of Justice and Constitutional Affairs was set up to perform this task and
has promised Kenyans a new Constitution by June this year.
o Affordable health care for all. The Ministry of Health is currently
considering free health services in public hospitals.
o Economic growth, infrastructure development and creation of jobs.
Reported by Joseph K'Amolo
Kibaki's Ascent To Power Was Apparent Years Ago
NAIROBI (AANA) January 13 - Born 71 years ago in Nyeri town, in Central
Province, about 200 kilometres from Nairobi, Emilio Mwai Kibaki is a man
with an envious background. He is considered the most brilliant president
Kenya has ever had. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and
Public Finance from the London School of Economics. He is also a graduate
of the acclaimed Makerere University College in Uganda.
His fame for brilliancy goes back to the days of his studentship in both
primary and secondary school, when he sailed easily as an "A" student all
He joined Makerere University College in 1951, where he emerged top student
four years later. This earned him a scholarship to the London School of
Economics. He left a mark as the first Kenyan to earn a first class
honours degree at the economics school.
Kibaki's leadership qualities became more prominent during his days at
Makerere University. He was leader of the Kenya Student Association and
also vice chairman of the Makerere Students Guild.
After graduating from Makerere, he worked briefly with the Shell Company of
East Africa, Uganda division as an assistant sales manager before joining
the London School of Economics for postgraduate studies. He returned to
Uganda after graduating from the institute to take up a teaching job in
But in 1960, he developed interest in politics. He quit his job as a
lecturer at the then prestigious Makerere University to join the Kenya
African National Union (KANU) party as its executive officer. This was the
period Kenya was jostling for independence from the British colonial
regime. Household figures then in KANU were names like the late Jaramogi
Oginga Odinga, Mzee Jomo Kenyattaa, and the late Tom Mboya, who is said to
have played a role in shaping Kibaki's political career.
Kibaki first contested and won a parliamentary seat in one of Nairobi's
constituency in 1963, before shifting his political base to his home town
(Nyeri) in 1974. He has since been a parliamentarian.
His fame as an astute leader has been acknowledged internationally. In
1974, Time Magazine, in its survey of potential personalities for world
class leadership for the second half of the 20th Century, identified Kibaki
as the only East African who qualified as world-class future leaders.
He holds a record of having been Kenya's longest serving Finance Minister.
He started off as an assistant Minister in 1963 to 1966, before being
elevated to a full Cabinet minister. This was during the reign of Kenya's
first president, the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. In Kenyatta's government,
Mr. Kibaki also briefly served in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry
apart from the finance ministry.
When the immediate former president, Daniel Toroitich arap Moi ascended to
power in 1978, following Kenyatta's death, Kibaki was appointed vice
president, and retained his finance portfolio until 1988.
He quit the ruling party KANU after the advent of multi-partyism in 1992 to
form the Democratic Party of Kenya (DP). He contested the presidency in the
same year but emerged third after Moi (KANU) and Kenneth Matiba of Forum
for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD-Asili) with just over a million votes.
He made his second attempt for the top job in 1997 and was widely expected
to win. He however, came out second. Nevertheless, he seemed to have been
gradually making his way to the top, which he managed in the latest
elections with a whooping 3.6 million votes against his major challegner's
(Uhuru Kenyatta) score of 1.8 million votes.
Mr. Kibaki is married to Lucy Muthoni and they have four grown up
children. He is well known for his sporting activity in golf and is a
member of a number of golf clubs.
Reported by Joseph K'Amollo
The Role Of Media In Africa's Democratisation Process
Title - Media And Democracy in Africa
Editors: Goran Hyden, Michael Leslie and Folu
Publishers: Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, New Jersey
Volume: 260 pages
Year of Publication: 2002
Distributor in U.K: The Africa Book Centre, 38 King Street, London, WC2E
NAIROBI (AANA) January 13 - Through intensive research work, a group of
scholars in the field of communication/Journalism have affirmed that the
media in Africa has played a vital role in the continent's democratisation
While the African media may still be relatively weak, they have come to
play a much more important role than ever before since independence, as
stated in this 260-page book, edited jointly by Goran Hyden, Michael Leslie
and Folu Folarin Ogundimu.
The three are part of eight internationally recognised scholars, from
Nigeria and South Africa, whose joint research on the subject, resulted
into the production of this book. They are professors in US Universities.
The authors have tackled the subject under nine distinct areas:
Communications and Democratisation in Africa; The Media and the Two Waves
of Democracy; Media Laws in Political Transition; and Broadcasting and
Other subjects include: African Politics and American Reporting;
Alternative Small Media and Communicative Spaces; and Media and Democracy
in the Twenty-First Century in Africa.
The authors observe that African countries have carried out constitutional
reforms with regard to the party system and the division of power between
the various branches of government, stressing, "It is important to take a
closer look at what these reforms entail".
The book notes that African transitions are different from those elsewhere
and are equally internally varying. "Scholars have yet to discern
inter-African divergences when it comes to democratisation," say the authors.
They recommend that democratisation of information and knowledge should
become a more prominent aspect of the on-going political transition.
To reflect this concern, there is a need for a legislative framework that
will guarantee all constituent segments of a society-balanced access to
state-owned media and other communication services.
The book states that the importance of Africa in the cold war of
ideologies since independence also worked to perpetuate state control over
media resources in the region.
When it served East/West interests, financial and moral backing was
provided to enhance media services to newborn states, the authors point out.
The book exposes interesting facts: That from Algeria to South Africa and
from Angola to Mozambique, clandestine radio played a role in the
liberation from colonial rule.
The book notes that in the post-colonial era, the media's ability to
support or topple empires created a situation in which broadcasting
facilities became strategic points of control for emergent states. Those
who did not exercise firm enough control over the media ran the risk of
loosing control over the state itself.
The authors conclude by stating: "By claiming that the media are
significant institutions for sustaining democracy, we are not saying that
open media or open communications alone are sufficient conditions for
Reviewed by Osman Njuguna
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