Monday, December 31, 2007

Kenya Election Update: Violence Erupts After Kibaki Declared Winner; Odinga Makes Counter-claim of Victory

Violence erupts after Kibaki sworn in


President Kibaki was sworn in Sunday for a second and final term as Head of State as riots and protests erupted in parts of the country over the disputed presidential results.

And shortly afterwards, the ODM leadership insisted that Kenyans had elected Mr Raila Odinga “as the legitimate president” and were “ready to see him serve democratically”.

The statement read in Nairobi by Narok North MP-elect William Ntimama outlined the party’s plan for today.

After being sworn in at State House Nairobi, President Kibaki asked his opponents to accept the outcome of the polls, which he described as “credible”.

Credible elections

“I thank the ECK, security agents, observers and all other players for remaining committed to the conduct of honest, orderly and credible elections that have enabled the true verdict of the people to prevail,” he said.

In other developments, the Government through Internal Security minister John Michuki suspended all live broadcasts by television and radio stations and threatened to arrest anyone publishing alarming materials.

The live broadcast of Mr Ntimama’s statement from Orange House was interrupted after the order.

Today, the Media council, which regulates journalistic conduct, will meet to consider a response to the minister’s order.

Before announcing the results on KBC television, Mr Kivuitu said: “A lot of things which were said were not correct but one can understand when an election is this close. In an election, there are invariably winners and losers. While the winner celebrates, it is unpleasant to lose. Furthermore, the backers (of the loser) will be disappointed... The contest this year was furious. Negative ethnicity did not help”.

Violence erupted in parts of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kakamega while President Kibaki’s supporters in Central Province and parts of Nairobi broke into celebrations.

The European Union chief election observer, Mr Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, said the ECK had not succeeded in establishing the credibility of the tallying process to the satisfaction of all parties and candidates in the presidential race.

“The result for the Molo constituency, for example, was announced in the presence of EU observers at the constituency tally centre as 50,145 votes for President Kibaki, while the ECK declared the result for the President to be 75,261 votes,” he said.

Doubts remain

“Because of this and other observed irregularities, some doubt remains as to the accuracy of the result of the presidential election as announced today,” he said in a statement.

The President was sworn in by High Court registrar Christine Meoli at 6.35pm within the grounds of State House, Nairobi, exactly five years from the date when he first assumed office in 2003.

Electoral Commission of Kenya chairman Samuel Kivuitu declared President Kibaki duly elected with 4,584,721 votes against ODM presidential candidate Raila Odinga who had 4,352,993 votes.

At the end of the closest presidential race since the reintroduction of multi-party politics in 1992, only 231,728 votes separated President Kibaki and Mr Odinga.

Day of chaos

Sunday’s events were the culmination of a second day of chaos and protests at the manner in which the results were being released.

Demonstrations, looting and burning of property were reported in parts of Nairobi where a commuter bus was reduced to ashes.

Cases of violence were also reported in Kibera, South “B”, Kariobangi North, Jamhuri estate, Komorack, Juja Road and Eastleigh in Nairobi and Eldoret, Kericho and Kisumu.

Suspicion and claims of vote rigging delayed the announcement of the final results for at least six hours.

Politicians from both sides engaged the ECK in a shouting match for much of the morning as they argued over the number of presidential votes that each of their candidates had garnered after Thursday’s election.

The ECK and two agents of every presidential candidate spent Saturday night verifying results from all constituencies except Kajiado North and Molo whose outcome had not been received.

ODM secretary-general Anyang’ Nyong’o said the night-long audit was meant to ensure that the correct figures scored by each were the ones to be announced by the commission.

Prof Nyong’o said ODM would not accept the final outcome unless the verification report was made public.

“The electoral commission must first make public the audit report of all the votes that they went through at night before its chairman announces who the winner of the election is. If the announcement is made without the verification report, we in ODM will find it difficult to accept the results,” he said at a press conference at KICC.

Strong teams from PNU and ODM arrived at the ECK media centre at 8am anxious to know the fate of their presidential candidates.

Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Martha Karua and Mr George Nyamweya represented PNU, while Ugenya MP James Orengo and Mr Otiende Amolo represented ODM.

Exchange of blows

At 11.57am there was a near exchange of blows over seating arrangements at the front row pitting assistant minister Danson Mungatana of PNU and ODM party agent Joseph Misoi.

At 12.06pm Ms Karua and Mr Nyamweya were called from the media centre to join the ODM team upstairs in resolving the deadlock that had delayed the announcement of the results.

When the results were finally announced, Kibaki was declared with winner, followed by Mr Odinga and Mr Kalonzo Musyoka of ODM-Kenya.

Raila also declared 'president'

Publication Date: 12/31/2007

ODM leader Raila Odinga Sunday declared that Kenyans had elected him the President of Kenya just moments before the Electoral Commission released the final results.

However, the results announced by the commission’s chairman showed that President Kibaki had emerged the winner.

Mr Odinga had earlier asked the President to concede defeat.

He told an international news conference at ODM’s Pentagon offices: “The people know that they voted to reject the incumbent and put in place a President and a Government they have faith in. That is why they have elected me President.”

However, he appealed for national calm, telling ODM supporters not to cause any chaos or destroy property.

He demanded that all presidential ballots be brought to Nairobi for a public recount under the full glare of the media and observers.

Deeply disturbed

Mr Odinga added: “Kenyans are deeply disturbed and angered by the attempt of this Government to steal this election through a process that was fraudulent at every step of the way.”

He said he was not going to accept a Kibaki win when the results from all parts of Kenya did not give him the mandate.

“I cannot and would not accept a Kibaki win; the results are there, if I had lost I would have accepted, this is fait accompli (over),” Mr Odinga said.

However, he said he was not declaring himself the President.

“I am not trying to do an Abiola in Kenya... I hope some sanity will prevail,” he added amidst a rare laughter in the tense media conference.

He was referring to an incident in which former Nigerian President Moshood Abiola declared himself President.

And he warned: “If they go ahead and declare Kibaki the winner, the consequences are too grave to contemplate ... look at Ivory Coast one of the most successful countries in West Africa ... we want to remain peaceful, prosperous and democratic.”

The Langata MP-elect challenged President Kibaki to be a statesman “the way he has always claimed” by conceding defeat, saying his Government had lost legitimacy and could not govern.

He talked of massive rigging in some regions, saying that even with the rigged results, ODM tallies from all 210 stations showed that he was ahead of President Kibaki by about 200,000 votes.

However, he said, the real result would have him leading by over 500,000 votes.

He said some ECK officials who were dissatisfied with the election had provided them with information that figures in some of President Kibaki’s strongholds were being inflated so that he could emerge the winner.

Mr Odinga argued that if the genuine results in the remaining 19 constituencies were computed President Kibaki would get 268,530 while he got 318,491, leaving him a winner with about 200,000 votes.

“Despite this deeply flawed process, the result of the presidential vote was still in our favour,” Mr Odinga added.

He said the results were being altered at the ECK offices at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre.

Tight race

Mr Odinga wondered how President Kibaki was going to rule on basis of results from two regions.

The candidate, locked in a tight race with the incumbent, spoke as the nation awaited the outcome of an overnight audit of presidential votes from all the 210 constituencies by the Electoral Commission.

Mr Odinga said the commissioners were under pressure to declare rigged results, but he appealed to them to consult their conscience and not to let Kenyans down.

“It is not true that Mr Kivuitu has no option. He can resign if his conscience tells him he is being forced to declare wrong results,” he said.

Mr Odinga said Kenya was bigger than any single individual and asked for calm and patience nationwide as the electoral process moved on.

He said President Kibaki’s Government had suffered serious defeat in the polls, losing 20 ministers and no longer had the legitimacy to govern.

US and Britain call for acceptance of results

Publication Date: 12/31/2007

The US and the British governments Sunday asked all presidential candidates to accept the results of the just concluded General Election.

A statement from the US embassy said: “We ask all candidates to accept the Commission’s final results and to urge their supporters to reject violence and respect the rule of law. Regardless of the eventual winners of this election, we call on Kenyans across the political spectrum to work together to advance democracy and national development.’’

It praised Kenyans for conducting peaceful elections and condemned the cases of violence.

According to the statement, the ECK did a perfect job and will give Kenyans the president they want.

A US Embassy official, Mr Thomas J. Dowling, called for patience until the commission announces the results and said any concerns about the elections should be addressed to the Electoral Commission.

The US government released another statement from New York, urging Kenyans to accept the final election results calmly, saying it had “great confidence” in the ECK and its chairman, Samuel Kivuitu.

State Department spokesman Tom Casey hailed Kenyans for the “largely peaceful and orderly voting.”

“But,” he added, “we share the Commission’s concerns about reporting delays that have slowed tabulation of final election results.”

A statement by British Foreign Secretary Mr David Milliban and Secretary of State for International Development Mr Douglas Alexander said: “We are disturbed at the violence surrounding the elections. The British government calls for an end to the violence, respect for the democratic process and for all Kenya’s political leaders to act responsibly.

“This is a pivotal moment for Kenya. It is vital that the entire election process meets the expectations of the Kenyan electorate.”

Meanwhile, the National Convention Executive Council, NCEC expressed shock over the incidents of violence and looting that took place in Kisumu, Eldoret, Kericho, Mombasa and Nairobi.

NCEC admonished ECK for incompetence and being sources of delay in releasing elections results.

“NCEC finds it irresponsible, reckless and tantamount to incitement for the top leadership of both ODM and PNU to purport to announce their individual results.

“It is an unfortunate and embarrassing for this country that leaders can be that greedy and hungry for political power to the extent of gambling with people’s lives.

It said that all electoral irregularities and complaints lodged with the ECK by the aggrieved parties must be thoroughly investigated within the shortest time possible and justice done satisfactorily.

“Since the electoral laws do not give a defined limit for the hearing of petitions, there should not be a situation where a case goes on in court for years before it is determined.”

Kibaki wins Kenya vote, protests erupt

Daniel Wallis and Wangui Kanina
Nairobi, Kenya
30 December 2007 07:00

Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki won a second five-year term on Sunday in a disputed election victory that triggered deadly riots by tens of thousands of opposition supporters.

As smoke billowed from protests in Nairobi slums, Kibaki was sworn in on the lawn of State House just an hour after the result was announced, his hand on a Bible. Opposition supporters accused the government of vote-rigging.

The 76-year-old Kibaki urged Kenyans to put aside election "passions" and promised a corruption-free government to forge unity in the polarised East African nation of 36-million, long seen as an island of relative stability in a volatile region.

"I thank all of you for the trust you have bestowed upon me," he said. "I urge all of us to set aside the passions that were excited by the election process and work together."

Some Kibaki supporters celebrated in the streets.

But they were quickly outnumbered by furious supporters of opposition rival Raila Odinga.

Local TV said 10 people were killed in Kisii, in Odinga's ethnic Luo homeland. Police shot into a crowd in Kisumu, killing another three people, residents and witnesses said. A Reuters reporter was attacked in Kisumu.

Odinga has accused the government of widespread rigging -- allegations that had already fuelled two days of ethnic riots.

In Kibera, Nairobi's biggest shantytown, witnesses said protesters burned shacks as they chanted pro-Odinga slogans.

"There's a lot of heat over here. People are out in their thousands," Kibera resident Joshua Odutu said against a backdrop of gunshots, whistles and shouting.

The head of Kenya's electoral commission (ECK), Samuel Kivuitu, declared Kibaki winner amid chaotic scenes at the main vote -allying centre. Kivuitu had to be escorted to safety by paramilitary police.

'Doubt remains'

Chief European Union observer Alexander Graf Lambsdorff said some doubts remained about the accuracy of the final count.

"We believe that, at this time, the ECK, despite the best efforts of its chairperson, has not succeeded in establishing the credibility of the tallying process to the satisfaction of all parties and candidates," he said in a statement.

"We regret that it has not been possible to address irregularities about which both the EU [observer mission] and the ECK have evidence ... some doubt remains as to the accuracy of the result of the presidential election as announced today [Sunday]."

Odinga's officials were locked in a crisis meeting after the announcement and did not immediately comment.

Delays announcing official results have triggered furious protests and ethnic clashes across Kenya.

The few supermarkets and food shops that opened were packed with nervous customers earlier in the day. Shelves of meat, milk, beer, bottled water and other provisions emptied fast.

Business leaders said this weekend's tribal clashes were costing more than $30-million a day in lost taxes -- not to mention looting damage -- and threatened investment in Kenya.

One election observer who asked not to be named said they were "in very little doubt" there had been rigging. -- Reuters

Defeated Kenyan challenger cries foul

Bogonko Bosire
Nairobi, Kenya
31 December 2007 07:28

Defeated opposition candidate Raila Odinga is set to press his claims of vote fraud on Monday at a Nairobi rally to declare him Kenya's "People's President" despite threats of arrest.

Mwai Kibaki was sworn in for a second term as Kenyan president on Sunday after being officially declared the winner, but was quickly forced to order a media blackout as allegations of vote-rigging fuelled widespread riots.

Police shot dead seven people as furious opposition supporters went on the rampage in major cities, bringing to 20 the number of people to have died in poll-related violence since Thursday's election.

Odinga, a flamboyant 62-year-old former political prisoner who led pre-election polls, flatly rejected the result, which had been delayed several times, and called on his supporters to turn out at Monday's rally.

EU monitors questioned the credibility of the vote count, which saw Kibaki overtake his rival's early lead, despite many of his government's ministers losing their seats in parliamentary elections also held on Thursday.

Kibaki called for a "national healing" process as he was sworn in at State House within hours of his victory being announced.

"I urge all of us to set aside the passions that were excited by the election process, and work together as one people with the single purpose of building a strong, united, prosperous and equitable country," he said.

But the conciliatory tone of the 76-year-old's victory speech fell on deaf ears as supporters of Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) rioted in a Nairobi slum and his heartlands in the west.

"There is chaos here and we are struggling to contain the situation," said Peter Kavila, the police commander for western Kenya.

Fires were also set in the port city of Mombasa where police said they were involved in running battles with protestors.

'Legitimate president'

Odinga's party showed no sign of conceding the election.

"We know that the people of Kenya elected Raila Amolo Odinga as their legitimate president and they are ready to see him serve democratically in the capacity," said an ODM statement urging supporters to turn out at Monday's rally.

Kenyan police warned Odinga he would face arrest if he went ahead with the demonstration.

"After due consideration of the prevailing security situation, the meeting is illegal and any person who will attempt to attend this meeting will face the full force of the law," the police commissioner's office said.

Shortly after the Electoral Commission of Kenya declared Kibaki the winner with 4 584 721 votes, compared with 4 352 993 for Odinga, plumes of black smoke billowed into the Nairobi sky above the sprawling Kibera slum as riot police attempted to contain mobs of angry protestors.

Odinga had warned earlier that the Kenyan people were not prepared to accept a rigged election, stoking fears of widespread unrest across the country.

The European Union's team of election observers in Kenya said the electoral commission had failed to ensure the credibility of the presidential vote.

"We regret that it has not been possible to address irregularities about which both the EU EOM [Electoral Observation Mission] and the ECK have evidence," chief EU observer Alexander Graf Lambsdorff said in a statement.

Former colonial ruler Britain expressed "real concerns" at reported "irregularities".

But in Washington, US State Department spokesperson Rob McInturff congratulated Kibaki on his re-election and called on all sides to accept the results despite the fraud allegations.

Kibaki became the country's third president in 2002, ironically with the help of Odinga, and has presided over a period of unprecedented economic growth in the East African nation.

Odinga, who had the support of many of Kenya's poor, had argued in his election campaign that few Kenyans had reaped the benefits of the country's economic success. -- AFP

Zimbabwe Update: Western Propaganda Knows No Boundaries

West’s propaganda against Zim knows no boundaries

By Obi Egbuna

ON July 13 this year, a correspondent for the foreign service of the Washington Post, Craig Timberg, wrote an article entitled "In Zimbabwe fewer affairs and less HIV". Thanks to the anti-Mugabe slant of his work Timberg received front page coverage — a distinction very few journalists can say they have accomplished in their careers as reporters.

This article validated the assertion and sentiments that pro-Mugabe/Zanu-PF supporters worldwide maintain, which is the propaganda war being waged by the West to discredit and isolate Zimbabwe knows no boundaries or parameters.

Timberg highlights a discussion with a maths teacher by the name of Thomas Muza who discusses his struggles of supporting his wife and mistress on a maths teacher’s salary, while Timberg apparently couldn’t resist the temptation of magnifying an example of what he considers decadent behaviour, his motivation for incorporating this in the story should never be mistaken for journalistic integrity or commitment to Western family values.

If Timberg chose to, he could have discussed how Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Health and Child Welfare prioritises prevention with priority on behavioural change.

This is extremely significant because most African countries focus on treatment and care because of limited resources.

Timberg also conveniently excluded Zimbabwe’s national Aids levy which is the only one in the entire world which benefits childheaded households, support groups for people living with Aids, and patients under home-based care.

Because the Washington Post foreign service office that covers stories in the Sadc region is based in South Africa, and Washington’s political muscle has failed to convince countries in the region that it would be advantageous to them to betray Zimbabwe, articles aimed at downplaying President Mugabe and Zanu-PF’s significant achievements should never surprise Africans at home or abroad.

Timberg claimed "Zimbabwe’s experience shows the connection between Aids and economics is not nearly so straightforward".

A sweeping indictment of this nature provides him the luxury of not informing the millions of people who read his article that when Zimbabwe’s applications to the Global Fund for rounds 2, 3, 4 and 6 were denied the decision was made by the former US Secretary of Health Tommy Thompson and his British counterpart Richard Feacham, who were GFTAB’s chairman and executive director. Both gentlemen were adhering to mandates from their respective governments instead of the mandate of GFTAB to assist all people in need of resources.

Timberg went on to talk about how the 18,1 percent in Zimbabwe is higher than all but five countries in the world, instead of informing his readers that the 15 percent decline in HIV/Aids cases in Zimbabwe is the most rapid in the region of Africa, which is one of the worst affected by the deadly pandemic.

Timberg also ignores that Zimbabwe’s blood transfusion programme became a training centre in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, which resulted from the initiative taken by President Mugabe’s Government when the first HIV/Aids case was diagnosed 22 years ago.

In addition to failing to highlight the genocidal implications of using humanitarian aid as a political weapon against Zimbabwe, Timberg failed to inform his readers that the Land Reform Program implemented by President Mugabe and Zanu-PF was the motivating factor for this policy, the fact that the development agencies representing Canada, Sweden and Denmark who were on the ground in Zimbabwe doing HIV/Aids support projects, all informed the Minister and Health and Child Welfare Dr David Parirenyatwa they were instructed by their respective governments to leave Zimbabwe immediately speaks volumes about the compassion the Western world has for Mother Africa and her children.

If Mr Timberg had spoken to Minister Parirenyatwa he would have learned that the World Food Programme’s commitment to assist Zimbabwe is premised on the progress being made by his ministry and the National Aids Council, which is another example of how self-determination stemming from the Third Chimurenga goes beyond the political realm in Zimbabwe.

While George Bush’s emergency plan for Aids relief excluded Zimbabwe, the William J. Clinton Foundation sponsors 10 000 HIV/Aids orphans after initially refusing to provide assistance until he was satisfied with Zimbabwe’s commitment to the eradication of HIV/Aids.

The timing of Timberg’s article is no coincidence, during the Congressional Black Caucuses health brain trust meetings in September of 2006 and May of 2007, many of the health advocacy organisations in attendance discussed how they have ignored the increase of HIV/Aids in our communities in the US because of its obsession with Africa.

This explains why Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California, who chairs CBC’s brain-trust on HIV/Aids or the CBC health liaison Donna Christensen of the Virgin Islands have refused to address this issue, even though they both received a resolution spearheaded by 15 grassroots organisations concerning this matter which was submitted to the UN, Sadc, the African Union, and WHO on April 19 2007.

We know that sometimes journalists — depending on how they were trained — believe that current events take precedence over historical developments, poor Timberg appears to be a victim of this unfortunate orientation.

We remember the Elian Gonzalez situation in Cuba seven years ago when Commandante Fidel Castro boldly proclaimed that US citizens learned more about Cuba in four months than they had in 41 years because of the child’s abduction.

As long as President Mugabe continues to lead the fight against HIV/Aids in Africa’s most challenged region, it will neutralise the ability of US and British imperialism’s political fantasy of a regime change in Zimbabwe.

--The writer is a member of the Pan African Liberation Organisation, and Zimbabwe Cuban Friendship Association

Utilise agric inputs, women told

Herald Reporter

GOVERNMENT has urged women to participate in peri-urban farming and also fully use inputs they receive.

Speaking at the hand over ceremony of 500 bags of compound D fertilizer in Harare yesterday, Deputy Secretary of Lands Cde Noah Mangondo said: "We have distributed 500 bags of fertilizer to women in Mbare and Waterfalls in the hope that they can have good yields next year. We want them to maximise this opportunity."

Women Farming Association has received Government backing to achieve their goals of empowering women through agriculture.

"We managed to give women from all provinces maize seed, fertilizer and even chicks. We are looking forward to seeing positive results from these projects," said Women Farmers Association Harare Province Deputy Co-ordinator Mrs Rose Chirenje.

She said that women have been given an opportunity to showcase themselves through peri-urban farming. "We want urban women to fully participate in agriculture and they should utilise one acre of land, should manage to send two bags of maize to GMB. The rest of their harvest should be to their advantage," said Mrs Chirenje.

Why gender equality remains a mirage

EDITOR — Since time immemorial in every established institution, there is some form of leadership that is expected to operate within the parameters of democratic ethos which entails consultation and participation of all concerned stakeholders.

They are also to be cherished and observed cultural essentials and inherent behavioural values that constitute the framework of the moral fundamentals in every society in its diversity.

These instruments in their intricacy guide and direct the behaviour of every member that forms part of the institution as much as they sought to jealously preserve and consolidate the sanctity of its cultural structures.

Against this background it is neither intransigence nor arrogance on the part of men and husbands to refuse the much-debated about notion of equality relative to control of domestic affairs but is rather a matter of creation and culture, which all parties concede outside law.

In this context statutory laws which affect domestic affairs are apparently regulatory tools to deter selfish and bullish behaviour particularly among men whose sense of superiority seems insatiable.

And this is much welcome.

However, as learnt from experienced precedence and current domestic environment it is proving negative for equality to prevail between a husband and wife.

Regardless of all the concerted efforts, the world in its entirety is trying to modernise the landscape of the system of control, male dominance seems immutable.

In our African society, the dominance or control of domestic affairs is made stronger by the payment and acceptance of lobola.

Whereas it is deservedly regarded as a means to strengthen the relationship between families and again as a symbol of utmost commitment of the husband to marry, it is regarded as guarantee of dominance by men and it is acceptable by the wife’s family.

What makes it more symbolic especially these contemporary days, is its prohibitive nature, which many men so sacrifice to pay.

As such it remains a bitter pill to swallow to be regarded on the same weight with your wife.

Rather the demand at law of equality seems to be tainted with more disharmony than merits as it is proving a sure-fire recipe of infidelity, divorce and the insurgence of small houses.

Otherwise for the merits of equality, to be observed with the utmost reverence it so deserves, lobola should be abolished.

Another question which begs more answers than the present one is why women submissively change their surnames to that of their husbands as soon as they get married. Is it not submission to masculine authority?

It is not a mockery for wives to gently accept their preserved dominion of child tending and the bulk of in-house activities as it has been historically and contemporarily proved as their areas of superiority amongst others.

No wonder why they get preference for the custody of children whenever there happens to be a divorce. Humble acceptance and discharge of each partner’s core functions will minimise domestic disharmony and enhances the life of marriage.

Makanyisa Paul.

South African NPA Says President Mbeki Not Behind Filing of Charges Against Zuma

NPA: Mbeki not behind Zuma charges

Johannesburg, South Africa
30 December 2007 02:02

South Africa's prosecuting chief on Sunday denied claims that President Thabo Mbeki was behind the filing of a string of charges against his rival, Jacob Zuma, the new leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

Allies of Zuma, elected president of the ANC earlier this month, have alleged that the decision to charge Zuma with corruption, fraud, racketeering and money laundering was politically motivated.

But Mokeketedi Mpshe, acting National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head, told a newspaper that the decision to formally charge Zuma on Friday for a trial due to begin in August 2008 was made independently.

"It's got nothing to do with the president," he told the Sunday Independent.

"It's absolute nonsense. [Mbeki] does not even know we were going to charge [Zuma] or what we were going to charge him with."

Zuma's victory over Mbeki in a recent ANC leadership contest has fuelled fears that South Africa is facing a lengthy period of political infighting between two rival centres of power before Mbeki stands down as head of state in 2009.

Zuma was sacked by Mbeki in 2005 after his financial adviser was found guilty of soliciting bribes on his behalf.

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL), one of Zuma's main backers in the leadership contest, directly accused Mbeki on Saturday of being a "behind-the-scenes-player" in the decision to charge Zuma after a lengthy investigation.

Zuma has said he will stand down from the ANC if found guilty of any offence but he has steadfastly insisted on his innocence.


South African prosecutors on Friday slapped Zuma with the charges. Zuma's supporters have cried foul over the timing of this, a little over a week since he was elected leader of the ANC, which may scupper his hopes of becoming head of state in 2009.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) denounced the move as a "politically inspired campaign".

"The timing of the indictment has all the hallmarks of vengeance, deep-seated anger and frustration by the NPA and whoever else is behind this," said Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven. "We are convinced that Jacob Zuma will not have a fair trial."

Zuma's attorney, Michael Hulley, said in a statement mailed to Agence France-Presse that the timing of the indictment was "peculiar" and that it proved the Scorpions were "influenced and their prosecution informed by political considerations".

Pretoria-based political analyst Adam Habib said that while there was nothing legally wrong, the timing of the announcement may be seen as "acrimonious".

"The Zuma camp has been saying for years that there is a political conspiracy -- it will reinforce the view that was already there," he said. -- Sapa-AFP

Just How Dangerous Is Police Work?

Posted by: "kwa357"

Just How Dangerous Is Police Work?

Friday, December 28th, 2007

The news wires buzzed yesterday with stories about an uptick in police fatalities last year. Most stories followed that lead with language about the dangers of police work. I won't deny that police work is more dangerous than your average profession (it's certainly more dangerous than journalism).

I also don't mean to belittle those cops who were killed in the line of duty. Nor will I argue with the fact that there are times when police officers really do put their lives on the line, and that those who do deserve our admiration and gratitude.

But it's also important to get some perspective, here. Browse online police forums, and you'll see cops defending all sorts of bad acts by other cops with lines like, "I'll do whatever we have to do to make it home at night."

Letting statistics like those released yesterday go unchallenged with only the varnish applied by various professional police organizations exagerates the real threat to police officers, and leads to the troubling trend toward militarization we've seen over the last 25 years.

It also allows for police groups and advocates to dismiss
aggressive behavior, excuse improper police shootings, and justify all of those taser videos we've seen over the last couple of years. We should do what we can to diminish the threat to police officers, but not at the expense of the rights and safety of everyone else. Striking the right balance requires a proper assessment of just what sorts of risks police officers actually face.

So just how dangerous is police work?

Generally, police are about three times as likely to be killed on the job as the average American.

It isn't among the top ten most dangerous professions, falling well behind logging, fishing, driving a cab, trash collecting, farming, and truck driving.

Moreover, about half of police killed on the job are
killed in traffic accidents, and most of those are not while in pursuit of a criminal or rushing to the scene of a crime. I don't point this out to diminish the tragedy of those cops killed in routine traffic accidents.

My point is that the number of annual on-the-job
police fatalities doesn't justify giving cops bigger guns, military equipment, and allowing them to use more aggressive and increasingly militaristic tactics.

A military-issue weapon isn't going to prevent traffic accidents. In this context, then, it makes sense to remove from consideration deaths not directly attributable to the "bad guys".

So take out traffic accidents and other non-violent deaths, and you're left with 69 officers killed on the job by criminals last year. That's out of about 850,000 officers nationwide. That breaks down to about 8 deaths per 100,000 officers, or less than twice the national average of on-the-job fatalities.

Now I suppose you could argue that on-the-job police fatalities are low because of the very things I'm arguing against—aggressive tactics, bigger guns and armor, military equipment, etc.

But I'm not sure that's backed by the numbers. On-the-job police fatalities peaked in 1974, at the height of Nixon's war on drugs. They declined throughout the 1970s under Carter's less aggressive drug war, then leveled off in the 1980s under Reagan. The next big drop came in the 1990s, coinciding with a dramatic overall drop in violent crime nationwide.

Probably not coincidentally, the slight increase in police fatalities in 2007 also came during a year that saw a slight uptick in violent crime in general.

Twice the national average means police work certainly carries added risk. But is it the kind of risk that justifies, for example, a more than 1,000 percent increase in the use of SWAT teams over the last 25 years?

Does it justify the fact that our cops that once looked like
this now look like this? Your call, I guess.

Of course, if policymakers were really serious about protecting police officers, there's one thing they could do that would have a dramatic, immediate impact on officer safety: They could end the drug war.

4 Responses to "Just How Dangerous Is Police Work?"

1. #1 | Nando | December 28th, 2007 at 9:21 am

According to the BLS, the police doesn't even make it into the top 10 most dangerous jobs. Police expect us to thank them for putting their lives on the line every day but then they ignore the fisherman who risks his life every day so that he can eat his popcorn shrimp (142 deaths per 100,000), or the pilot who flies him to see his family (88 deaths per 100,000), or the garbage man who cleans up the mess he leaves in front of his house every couple of days (42 deaths per 100,000), and even the drivers who stock his local donut shop so he can have his bear claw every morning (27 deaths per 100,000).

Most Dangerous Jobs
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2. #2 | Nando | December 28th, 2007 at 9:22 am
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3. #3 | SJE | December 28th, 2007 at 9:32 am

Radley: I had the same thoughts when the article came out.
Do you know how many deaths occurred in raids, and a break down by raids of different sorts? How many occured in no-knock, violent entry raids? Also, how many police deaths in mistaken address raids where the home owner shot back?

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4. #4 | Lee | December 28th, 2007 at 10:26 am

How long until we get the police troll with "OMG you hate the
police" or the always noxious, "See how much help you get the next time you need the police."?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Chaka Khan to Take Stage in "The Color Purple" on January 9

December 30, 2007

The Many Shades of Chaka Khan, Now in ‘Purple’

New York Times

THE Broadway stage has seen celebrities come, and it has seen them go, but it may just have to get up off its doubts for Chaka Khan. This R&B and funk star begins performing as the sassy, fearless Sofia in “The Color Purple” on Jan. 9.

Ms. Khan’s list of theatrical credits is short, but her string of Grammy Awards is long, and she is up for two more for “Funk This,” her first studio album in 10 years. Those who remember Ms. Khan as the erstwhile Yvette Marie Stevens, the petite high school student who changed her name when she went to work for the Black Panthers, or as the lead singer of Rufus in the ’70s, or as the leather-and-feathers ’80s disco queen, will have to adjust their Ray-Bans for the musical’s Hoover-era Sofia with her long skirts and history. Until they hear her.

Ms. Khan, 54, takes over the role as the veteran gospel star BeBe Winans joins the production as Sofia’s husband, Harpo, and newcomer Zonya Love starts as Celie. Between rehearsing her numbers at the Broadway Theater, Ms. Khan spoke to Celia McGee. These are excerpts from their conversation.

Q. That’s quite a charm bracelet. What’s on there?

A. This charm, here, represents the three ARCs of Scientology.

Q. Religion is important in “The Color Purple.” Are you a Scientologist?

A. I’m not, never was, never will be. I belong to the religion of the Church of Chaka Khan, and I practice it every day. I live my religion, I consider it a personal thing. But I’ve taken some courses in Scientology, and they’ve been very, very helpful through life’s ups and downs.

Q. With the exception of a few small screen roles and the musical “Mama, I Want to Sing” in London in 1995, which you said you hated, you haven’t acted before. How will you become Sofia?

A. I don’t have to. I am Sofia. We’re so much alike. We’re both nuts. Her fundamental application to life is the same emotionally. She’s one of the forefronters of women’s liberation and the first nonslave black woman who wasn’t a slave to anybody. I’m like that. I’d rather be dead. They might as well hang me. And like me Sofia comes from a matriarchal family. My mother’s side migrated up from Georgia. I had a lot of help from my ancestors with this. I saw such a kinship with the character. Still, I did everything I could to avoid [taking the role].

Q. How so?

A. I met with “The Color Purple” people at some ungodly hour of the morning. Probably around noon. I was a complete bitch at the interview, and it only made them want me more. They said, “You’re perfect!”

Q. Aren’t you more of a Shug Avery, the nightclub singer in the story?

A. Not at all. Though I did know girls like that, who lost count of who they’d been with. I was raised Catholic, and I was very Catholicized sexually. I had more hangups. I could never love like that.

Q. And Steven Spielberg approached you for the Shug role in the movie?

A. He chased me down. But I never considered myself an actress. I would make a good cinematographer, though. I have a great eye, and I can tell how good an actor is.

Q. Judging from the cover art on some of your albums, your official Web site ( and the Chaka Khan Foundation’s (, and some of your old photos, the color purple is significant to you.

A. I’ve done some reading, in anthropology and other places, on what the color can mean. It’s a color of royalty, and of mourning. The Aztecs considered it a mixture of blood and the sky. I’ve just always been attracted to it. Like everyone has a note on the piano that their body resonates to. It’s also the freak color, it’s associated with hippiedom, the free-spirited kind of thing.

Q. Which has always been one of your things. What about the African dance number in the show — does it take you back to your teenage days with the Afro-Arts Theater?

A. It gives me sort of flashbacks.

Q. And there was the period of drugs and alcohol.

A. I led a risky life. It was my youth, that invincibility thing. Then my Pisces side kicked in, and it told me exactly when to stop. Without that, I’d be dead.

Q. Sofia almost dies because of racism. What about racism today?

A. Racism is still very much alive, but it’s become intellectual. It’s practiced in a very high-minded way. It’s all smoke and mirrors. It’s not blatant outright whupping and lynching like in the past. It’s more psychological, and spiritual.

Q. You wrote an autobiography a few years ago. Would you write another book?

A. I may have to. So much of my life has become so much more interesting.

Q. What about those Chakalates chocolates you were involved with? Are you still?

A. Oh yes. We’re looking for a new deal so we can make them with that really dark chocolate that’s good for you.

Q. Do you have a favorite song in the show?

A. I do. But I’m not singing it, Celie sings it. It’s “Lily of the Field,” with those lines, “So many winters grey and summers blue/She must be dead/What kind of God are you?” I also love the one Shug sings to Celie, “Too Beautiful for Words.”

Billie Holiday (1915-1959) Recording From 1956 New York Performance Uncovered

1956 Billie Holiday recording found

December 30, 2007

BOISE, Idaho -- With cocktail glasses clinking in the background, jazz singer Billie Holiday stood near a piano amid partygoers inside an apartment overlooking New York City's Hudson River. She began singing "Good Morning Heartache."

It was Nov. 18, 1956. Tony Scott joined her on clarinet as the voices of others gathered at 340 Riverside Drive, including "Tonight Show" founder Steve Allen, receded into a respectful hush.

This virtually unknown bootleg -- and about 100 cubic feet of additional reel-to-reel audio tapes, newspaper clippings, films and boxes of a writer's working files -- are part of historical material accumulated by musician, producer and critic Leonard Feather in his half-century association with jazz royalty like Holiday. He left it to the University of Idaho's International Jazz Collection when he died at age 80 in 1994.

While copyright laws stymied efforts to make the recordings available to a broader commercial audience, the Moscow, Idaho, school plans to make at least a sampling of Holiday's party performance and other Feather materials available to those attending this February's Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival.

"It's like doing a Ouija board and hearing voices from the other side," said Michael Tarabulski, an archivist at the International Jazz Collection.

How did Feather get Holiday and Scott, a celebrated bebop player who died in March, on tape?

It was Feather playing the piano. The uptown Manhattan apartment belonged to him.

Included in the collection are about 50 of Feather's "Blindfold Tests," where he interviewed greats like Benny Goodman with their eyes covered, an effort to promote fair critiques of new strains of jazz based on how they sounded, not who was playing them.

Feather, a native of England whose updated "Encyclopedia of Jazz" remains an important biographical reference, helped popularize the swing era. Before his death 13 years ago, he often joined his friend Hampton, a percussionist and vibes player, at the University of Idaho's annual jazz festival.

It was this association that convinced him to donate his collection to the university, whose archive also houses historical material from Hampton, trombonist Al Grey and vocalists Joe Williams and Ella Fitzgerald and trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie, Doc Cheatham and Conte Candoli.

The university has had Feather's recordings since 2003, but their contents weren't known until the school finally sent them away to Philadelphia last year to be converted into digital files, a form that historians can use more easily.

"I asked them to give me a call if they found some pretty fantastic stuff," said Tarabulski, who said the phone call he got exceeded his expectations.

By 1956, the 42-year-old Holiday's voice was near its best, even if her liver would fail within three years.

On Nov. 10, 1956, she performed at Carnegie Hall. Eight days later, she was in Feather's living room, where she sang at least eight songs, including "Bless the Child," "Lady Sings the Blues" and "You Go to My Head."

In addition to clarinetist Scott and Allen, nightclub pianist Bobby Short was on hand, as was jazz singer Helen Merrill, who performed with Holiday.

But while some of the material would be a seminal part of any jazz aficionados' personal collection, Tarabulski said copyright laws may prevent that from happening soon.

"Our problem is in making it accessible," Tarabulski said, of the recordings Feather made of conversations and sessions with artists. "He didn't obtain their permission, he was just using it to write his articles. We're loath to put it out on the airwaves, because people could copy it.

"And yet, what a shame."

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Toni Morrison, Award-winning Author and Editor, Featured in CubaNow

Toni Morrison, the afro american la Nobel

By Uriel Medina*

Cubanow--When the jury of the Swedish Academy gave the Nobel literature Price to Toni Morrison in 1993, they emphasized the merits of a “narrative characterised by the visionary force and a high poetic quality that represents an essential dimension of the American reality''.

Therefore, Chloe Anthony Wafford the US novel writer known as Toni Morrison became also the second US writer to receive that award, won in 1938 by Peal S. Buck. Toni was, however, the first afro American to receive it.

Some other colleagues of him had also received the award. Eight writers were distinguished with this price, among them Eugene O’Neill, Sinclair Lewis, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner who she admired, John Steinbeck and three other writers such as the Canadian Samuel Bellow, (1976), the Polish Isaac Bashevis Singer, (1978) and the Russian Iossif Alesandrovich Brodskij, ( 1987) who assumed the US citizenship.

Toni Morrison was born in a working class environment, studied at the Howard University in Washington that is mostly of black people and in the Cornell University of Ithaca. She was graduated in Philology and Humanities.

As other writers, she started in the literature world as an editor and author. Her first work was The Bluest Eyes (1970), a book that not only was the starting point her writing, but that showed her social compromise and that was publisher when she was already 40 years old.

Afterwards came another novels: Sula (1973), La canción de Salomón (Salomon Song) (1977) and La isla de los caballeros (The island of gentleman) (1981), but her name was consolidated with Beloved (1986) with which she won the Pulitzer award and later on was taken to the big screen.

This woman, born in Ohio in 1931, has also taught literature at Texas, Howard and New Cork State Universities and today in Princenton. Toni Morrison also published her sixth novel Jazz and later on Jugando en la oscuridad (Playing in the dark) with great success with the critic and with the public.

She won the Nobel in 1993 when she had Publisher only six titles and had never resign to her poetic in defence of her community. The main topics of her novels is the life of the afro Americans and especially black women, being consistent with the defence of civil rights and the fight against racial and genre discrimination.

In 1999 she Publisher her nine book, Paradise and in 2003 Love. Morrison has also work as dramatist with pieces such as 1986 Dreaming Emmet and is the author of other non fiction prose books about social and political ideas, an example of this are Remember:The Journey to School Integration (April 2004) and The Black Book (1974).

Toni Morrison is very critical about the contemporary reality and about the US society, such as the war in Iraq and has made strong declarations in international stages, such as the opening of the Literary Hall of the XIX Guadalajara International Book Fair, Mexico, when she declared that “the US press has always being an arm of the government” and several times has emphasized that the mass media in her country belongs to “great corporations”. She has also condemned the media manipulations the people are systematically subject to in a process of disinformation:
“they decide what we see, what we listen to and what we read”.

A loyal defender of her ideas, she has pointed out the need to develop, as an alternative, “very deep research journalism”. This journalism, said the author of Beloved “talks about the war, about Bush’s Patriotic Act and has reached the public via internet”.

*The author is a Cuban journalist and writer.

December 28, 2007

More on the Kenya Elections: Both Parties Claim Victory; Chaos Erupts Over Delayed Results; More Women Elected to Parliament

ODM, PNU Claim Victory

The East African Standard (Nairobi)
29 December 2007
By Abiya Ochola and Brian Adero

The outcome of the hotly contested polls appeared headed for a deadlock as the opposition leaders and government ministers both claimed victory.

The Orange Democratic Movement declared its Presidential candidate, Mr Raila Odinga, the winner, and asked President Kibaki to concede defeat and prepare to hand over power.

Kibaki's ministers and officials later called a press conference and announced The Party of National Unity candidate President Mwai Kibaki had won by over 300,000 votes.

The declaration came as violence erupted in Nairobi, Kisumu, Kitale, Busia, Mombasa and Kakamega amid fears that the Government had hatched a plot to rig Kibaki back to power.

Addressing a press conference at Norfork Hotel, ODM running mate, Mr Musalia Mudavadi, read mischief at the delay by ECK in releasing the final tally and warned the Government against exerting undue influence on ECK chairman, Mr Samuel Kivuitu.

"We are clear that ODM has won the election. The will of the people is now known. They have voted out Kibaki sending home at least 18 cabinet ministers including the vice president. They have elected over 91 ODM MPs. Raila Amolo Odinga is therefore the winner and the fourth President of the Republic of Kenya," he said.

According to the results released by the ODM National Voter Monitoring and Tallying System, Raila had won the election garnering 4,215,437 trouncing President Kibaki who came second with 3,748,261. ODM-Kenya's Kalonzo Musyoka came a distant third with 630,849.

The Party of Natinal Unity leaders said Kibaki garnered 4,533,181 votes against ODM candidate Mr Raila Odinga's 4,206,062 votes. Kangaroo results given by any Tom, Dick or Harry deserve every contempt," said the party spokesman.

Science and Technology minister, Dr Noah Wekesa, said the party will however wait for the official results from the Electoral Commission of Kenya. He said they were waiting for the results of three constituencies, Kajiando North and Matuga represented by minister George Saitoti and Chirau Ali Mwakwere respectively.s

Official results, however, showed Odinga heading for a win with 3.73 million votes or 49 percent from 159 of 210 constituencies. Kibaki had 45 percent.

Odinga had led early tallies, but as Kibaki began to narrow the gap overnight, the ODM leaders feared PNU was rigging the presidential vote.

In Kisumu and other pro-opposition western areas, looters targeted businesses owned by members of one community.

"We have just started. We will loot all shops and kill them on sight," Mr Richard Ondigi, 23, a driver, told Reuters.

In Nairobi, streets were deserted as businesses remained closed and public transport vehicles stayed away. Police patrolled the city and ECK center at Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi, remained a no-go zone.

ODM presidential running mate Musalia Mudavadi claimed the party had evidence that Kivuitu was under undue pressure to delay the results and cause disharmony.

"In view of the growing anxiety and restlessness in the country over the extended delay in releasing the presidential results by ECK, we call upon the President to acknowledge and respect the will of Kenyan people and concede defeat."

He further called on Kibaki to direct his officers to begin the process of a smooth handover.

He blamed the riots on "those withholding the results" and wondered why the ECK, despite its modern communication equipment could not complete the job on time.

Asked why the party had gone public to release the result and declare themselves winners, Mudavadi said ODM was sending a strong signal to its opponents not to doctor the results.

Mudavadi said the party was awaiting official ECK results before making another move.

Chaos Erupts Over Delayed Results

The East African Standard (Nairobi)

29 December 2007
By Standard Team

Chaos erupted in several parts of the country over the delay by the Electoral Commission of Kenya to announce presidential results of the just concluded general elections.

In the meantime, disagreements over the results from mainly president Kibaki's strongholds stopped ECK chairman Samuel Kivuitu from releasing the results as agents of the various parties engaged in a shouting march.

ODM-K presidential agent asked the commission to uphold the law strictly. Lawyer James Orengo asked the commission chairman not to release the disputed results but Kivuitu reminded advised them to seek legal redress.

In Homa bay and Migori, more than eight people were injured, some shot by police who tried to quell the riots.

Nyanza, Rift Valley and Western provinces were the most affected, as police lobbed teargas canisters and fired in the air in an attempt to disperse rowdy youths who had barricaded the main highways and lit bonfires.

Campaign portraits of President Kibaki were burnt by the protesters who were singing in praise of ODM Presidential candidate, Raila Odinga.

The main Kericho/Nakuru, Kericho and Sotik/Kisii highways were barricaded by protesting youths as claims of presidential vote rigging spread across the region.

Youths indiscriminately pelted cars with stones in Kakamega, Busia and Bungoma towns where dozens of shops were looted, several people injured and vehicles burnt.

General Service Unit police officers were deployed to quell the riots that started as early as 9 am.

Western provincial police boss Mr Peter Kavilla led the team of officers as they struggled to restore calm.

Hundreds of commuters were stranded as public transport vehicles were withdrawn from the roads.

In Nakuru town, protesters camped at the County Council offices where the tallying of votes had taken place earlier and attempted to set a matatu on fire.

The rowdy youths were protesting the cancellation of civic elections in four wards namely Viwandani, Kivumbini, Nakuru West, and Rhonda.

Members of the public managed to put out the fire before the vehicle was burnt down.

Tension reigned high as businessmen closed their premises in a huff when the news of the chaos spread.

Major supermarkets, stalls, and shops that had only opened in the morning after two days of closure shutdown by 2pm and the streets deserted in fear of looting.

Elections Propel More Women to the Tenth Parliament

The Nation (Nairobi)
29 December 2007
By Barnabas Bii and Mildred Ngesa

Three women in the North Rift have made it to Parliament after edging out seasoned politicians in the just-concluded General Election.

Ms Peris Jepkoech Simam (Eldoret South), Prof Margaret Jepkoech Kamar (Eldoret East) and Dr Sally Kosgei (Aldai) now join former Cabinet minister Linah Jebii Kilimo, who captured the Marakwet East constituency seat for a second term.

Mrs Kilimo, who first set foot in Parliament in the 2002 General Election through the then populous Narc ticket pulled a surprise after she was re-elected on the little known Kenda ticket in a region that mainly voted in ODM candidates.

Also setting history is Prof Kamar, who garnered 31,664 votes to beat a field of 12 candidates. She becomes the first woman to represent the constituency. This also goes for Ms Simam, the first woman to contest and win the Eldoret South parliamentary seat.

In Aldai, Dr Kosgei polled 29,392 votes to break the Choge political dynasty in a constituency that has been dominated by the family. She defeated Mr Jimmy Choge and his uncle Mr Sammy Choge in a field of more than 10 candidates.

The Choge family has in turns represented the constituency for a long time.

For the first time, Uasin Gishu District will have two women parliamentarians - Prof Kamar and Ms Simam - in what is viewed by the electorate as a move to usher in quality leadership.

The two promised to encourage team spirit by working with professional from all sectors to boost the region's socio-economic status.

But what remains a surprise is Mrs Kilimo's win even after ditching Narc for ODM then to the little known Kenda in an ODM dominated region.

Mrs Kilimo scored 9,150 votes to beat ODM's Sammy Tangus, who garnered 7,418 votes. The former Immigration minister, who was sacked after she supported the orange side that won the referendum vote against the proposed constitution in 2005, launched a fierce campaign capitalising on her previous development record. She traversed the expansive constituency, occasionally accompanied by party chairman Paul Kamlesh Pattani, a strategy that eventually worked to her advantage.

Her re-election is proof that Marakwet East constituents have trust in her and she faces a challenge of proving exactly that when parliament re-opens next month.

Prof Kamar and Ms Simam, on the other hand, have an uphill task of fitting into the shoes of their political predecessors and prove that they can do better.

Prof Kamar, a former East Africa Community legislator, has promised to involve her political opponents in development initiatives in Eldoret East.

"This is a victory to the people of Eldoret East. I will involve everybody, including my political opponents and professionals in my development agendas," vowed Prof Kamar.

Ms Simam, who got 39,591 votes to beat 10 other contestants, had a similar victory message.

"I will be a team player. Eldoret South voters have been yearning for development and I promise to involve everybody in achieving that," she said.

North Rift residents used the elections to usher in gender equality in leadership. The election saw some of the seasoned leaders in the region, including former powerful cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott and Agriculture minister Kipruto Kirwa, voted out and a group of young people elected to civic and parliamentary positions.

This could have been the break that women political aspirants had long been holding their breath for.

As the election results unfold, it is becoming clear that women performed much better than many expected.

So far, it seems, the next Parliament will house many more elected and nominated women than the last.

It is in Rift Valley that women have come out shining.

By the time of going to press, five women parliamentary aspirants from the Rift Valley Province had already emerged victorious. All the five are highly rated professionals and doctors.

It is in Eldoret South that Peris Chempchumba of ODM clinched an early lead to floor the outgoing MP David Koros of ODM-K and 10 other male contenders.

In Sotik constituency, ODM's Lorna Chepkemoi Laboso achieved swift victory over 13 opponents to become the new Member of Parliament.

On the United Democratic Movement Party (UDM), Prof Hellen Jepkemoi Sambili clinched the Mogotio parliamentary seat, dethroning Mr Joseph Korir of ODM. Prof Sambili, the wife of the Permanent Secretary for Planning and National Development, Dr Edward Sambili, is also a lecturer at Egerton University.

This brings to six the total number of women aspirants from Rift Valley Province trail-blazing the leadership path in an area where women representation has been lacking.

From Central Province, which registered the highest number of women aspirants, came the early undisputed victory in Gichugu of Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Martha Karua on a PNU ticket.

Ms Karua's win puts her on a pedestal of her own having been a member of Parliament for Gichugu since 1992.

In Nyeri Town, Ms Esther Murugi Mathenge, who secured the PNU ticket, triumphed over 11 male opponents to take up the leadership of the constituency for the next five years.

Her victory, though considered 'small' in the vast province, justifies the high number of women from Central who dared to join the parliamentary race.

Other women in the race who were offering tough competition to their opponents were outgoing parliamentarians Beth Mugo of Dagoretti constituency in Nairobi and Cecily Mbarire of Runyenjes in Eastern Province - both on a PNU ticket - as well as newcomer Elizabeth Ongoro in Nairobi's Kasarani constituency on an ODM ticket.

This in itself is a clear indication that there will be more elected women in the next Parliament, raising the chances for having more women nominated as well.

Kenya Election Update: Odinga Opens Gap in Presidential Lead; Giants Fall; Focus on Parliament

Raila opens gap against Kibaki in State House race

Story by NATION Team
Publication Date: 2007/12/29

ODM presidential candidate Raila Odinga had Friday evening opened a 900,000 votes lead over President Kibaki as counting of presidential ballots entered the second day.

With about half of the votes tallied, Mr Odinga was leading with 3.3 million against the President’s 2.4 million votes.

Mr Odinga, the son of a Kenya’s first vice-president and opposition leader Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, was ahead of President Kibaki in Nyanza, Western, Coast and Rift Valley provinces.

President Kibaki was leading in Central and Eastern while the two were sharing the votes in Nairobi.

Kenyan law requires a winning presidential candidate to not only score a majority vote but also be elected MP and secure at least 25 per cent of the presidential vote in at least five of the eight provinces. Both President Kibaki and Mr Odinga appeared to satisfy these requirements.

Retired president Daniel arap Moi’s campaign for President Kibaki in Rift Valley Province appeared not to have convinced voters even in his own Baringo backyard, where results from several polling stations showed Mr Odinga leading.

Mr Moi’s sons, Gideon, Jonathan and Raymond, who were running for seats in the Rift Valley lost.

Announcing winners

On Friday, Mr Odinga complained to the ECK about what he described as delays in announcing the winners saying this was causing unnecessary anxiety among Kenyans. ECK commissioner Jack Tumwa explained that the commission had to verify and certify results before making them public.

Protests, incidents of violence and claims of attempts to introduce suspect ballot papers or tamper with the seals of ballot boxes were reported in Dagoretti, Kajiado North, Starehe, Embakasi and Kamukunji constituencies.

In some incidents, police had to use tear gas and shoot in the air to disperse rioting mobs.

NGOs asked the Electoral Commission of Kenya to speed up the release of election results. They said the delay was causing unnecessary anxiety and tension between the presidential, parliamentary and civic candidates and their respective parties.

In a statement, the National Convention Executive Council and Centre for Law and Research International, wondered why the media centre set up by ECK at Kenyatta International Conference Centre, was way behind the media houses in giving the public updates of who was winning where and by what margin.

Era of technology

The statement was also signed by Haki Focus, Citizens Coalition for Constitutional Culture and Community Based Development Services.

“In this era of technology, it is surprising that ECK seems to be moving at a snail’s pace in satisfying public hunger for information. There is no reason why ECK could not release provisional information as they wait to receive final confirmation of those results,” the lobby groups said.

But they commended the commission for a job well done in organising and conducting General Election, saying that despite the anxiety and the high stakes in the polls, Kenyans had displayed a high level of tolerance and maturity throughout the voting period.

And in Kisii, police are seeking to interview outgoing Kitutu Chache MP Jimmy Angwenyi following a shooting incident that left one voter dead and another injured at a polling station Friday.

The police want him to record a statement as they launched investigations into the incident that paralysed tallying of votes in the constituency.

Tallying of votes

The man was shot as a group surrounded Mr Angweny who was leaving Marani polling station where tallying of the votes was underway.

The gunshot sent the crowd fleeing in all directions as the man whose identity could not be immediately established remained writhing on the ground with blood gushing from his stomach.

Seconds later another gunshot rang out outside the gate to the polling station, causing further stampede.

A young man was found crying in pain with a gaping wound in the foot. He was later taken to hospital while the body of the shooting victim was taken to a mortuary.

Following the incident, ECK’s district elections coordinator Naftali Otuke rushed to Marani and personally took charge of the final phase of the exercise as the crowd waited impatiently outside.

The process was yet to be concluded by 5pm.

Mr Angwenyi, a PNU candidate, was one of the leading contenders for the Kitutu Chache seat, but by the time of the incident, his rival Richard Onyonka of the People’s Democratic Party was ahead in the race.

Newcomers trounce top politicians

Story by NATION Team
Publication Date: 2007/12/29

At least 20 ministers, including Vice-President Moody Awori, were among the giants who were felled by voters in Thursday’s elections.

The losers included President Kibaki’s long time allies as well as veteran politicians such as former influential Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott.

Former President Moi’s son Gideon lost to former Lands Commissioner Sammy Mwaita.

Two other sons of retired President Moi – Jonathan and Raymond – were also rejected in the historic elections that saw little known newcomers make their way to the 10th Parliament.

A number of assistant ministers, party leaders among them Safina’s Paul Muite and Kanu chief whip Justin Muturi also fell by the way side.

Other losers are ministers Kipruto Kirwa, Raphael Tuju, Kivutha Kibwana, Mohamed Abdi Mahmud, Musikari Kombo, Joseph Munyao, Mutua Katuku, Newton Kulundu, David Mwiraria, Mukhisa Kituyi, Njenga Karume, Henry Obwocha and Simeon Nyachae.

Roads minister Nyachae lost the Nyaribari Chache seat to newcomer Robert Onsare Monda of Narc.

The former Nakuru-based veterinary officer defeated Mr Nyachae by 11, 336 votes to 9,909.

The fate of Paul Sang was also sealed while Njeru Ndwiga was trailing his opponent Emilio Kathuri.

Public Service minister Moses Akaranga lost to ODM presidential running mate Musalia Mudavadi while former Nairobi Water Company chairman Kabando wa Kabando dethroned Information and Communication’s minister Mutahi Kagwe.

Assistant ministers Kalembe Ndile, Raphael Wanjala’s fate was also sealed.

Tourism and Wildlife’s Morris Dzoro was trailing his main rival by the time of going to Press.

Counting disrupted

And Education minister George Saitoti was going through a hard time in his Kajiado North constituency where counting was violently disrupted with claims of rigging.

Mr Awori, who has represented Funyula for 25 uninterrupted years, lost to his bitter rival Dr Paul Otuoma of ODM.

Dr Otuoma sought court orders two weeks ago to block the police from arresting him and two others following the lynching of two people two years ago.

The court granted him a three-month reprieve to enable him campaign.

He told the court he was being harassed and intimidated through unwarranted arrests and prosecutions following his declaration to vie for Parliament against the VP.

Mr Biwott also lost the Keiyo South parliamentary seat which he has represented since 1979 to Mr Jackson Kiptanui of ODM.

An elated Kiptanui described the win as a miracle and appealed to professionals from the area to ‘‘come back home’’ and help develop the constituency.

Agriculture minister Kirwa who has served Cherengany as MP since 1989 was defeated by ODM’s Joshua Kutuni by 13,458 against 11,253.

The 29-year-old Kutuni, in welcoming his victory, said he would serve the cosmopolitan constituency without favouritism.

Dr Kulundu lost to retired auditor Manyala Keya of Ford Kenya who garnered 16,035 votes against Dr Kulundu’s 7,469.

Mr Mwiraria who is the minister for Environment lost to bitter rival Silas Muriuki, a veteran trade unionist and teacher. Mr Muriuki vied on Mazingira Green Party while Mr Mwiraria stood on PNU.

The minister stormed out of the counting hall at Meru school before the final results were announced.

Dr Kituyi lost to Ford Kenya’s Dr David Eseli Simiyu.

Prof Kibwana, one-term MP, lost the Makueni constituency to former Provincial Commissioner Peter Kiilu.

Prof Kibwana was one of President Kibaki’s pointman in Lower Eastern and vied on PNU ticket. Mr Kiilu won on an ODM-K ticket.

Mr Muturi, the outgoing Kanu chief whip and key ally to Kanu chairman Uhuru Kenyatta, lost to bitter rival Lenny Kivuti.

Defence minister Karume was defeated by his bitter rival Stanley Githunguri of Kanu in Kiambaa. Mr Githunguri of Kanu got 69,078 votes against Karume’s 14,304.

Mr Obwocha lost to former provincial medical officer of health, Dr James Gesami.

Mr Kombo lost to his veteran rival Alfred Sambu of ODM in a controversial election that saw the Local Government Minister’s protest the results arguing they were not free.

Mr Muite, a fiery politician who participated in fight for second liberation, was sent home by PNU candidate Lewis Nguyai.

Mr Ndile of TIP was whitewashed by Prof Philip Kaloki of ODM-K.

In Kilome, former MP Mutinda Mutiso failed to sustain the ODM-K wave as he was trounced by former anti-graft czar Harun Mwau.

The polls also saw the return of former powerful permanent secretary Zakayo Cheruiyot who bagged the Kuresoi seat.

Heritage minister Shakombo lost the Likoni seat to former Mombasa mayor Masoud Mwahima of ODM.

The politician got 17,859 votes against Mr Shakombo’s 7,324.
An excited Mwahima led his supporters in Mombasa streets.

With polls over, focus shifts to Parliament

Publication Date: 2007/12/29

The focus shifts to Parliament even as provisional results of the General Election continued to trickle in last evening.

Whichever presidential candidate finally wins has to-by now- be thinking of how to fortify his party’s strength in the august House so as to push through the agenda of his government.

Numbers count in Parliament.

It had by last night began becoming clear that the Tenth Parliament is likely to be dominated by members voted on tickets of the Orange Democratic Party, the Party of National Unity and ODM-Kenya.

However, there are a number of fringe parties whose candidates the tentative results had given their tickets to Parliament. They include Safina, Ford-Kenya, Sisi Kwa Sisi and PICK, among others.

Commodity markets

Political parties and presidential candidates had promised the public a raft of things they would do if they won the elections. The included free secondary education, enhanced security, civil service pay increase, 24-hour economy, new constitution, fairer distribution of public resources, employment, water, commodity markets, and so forth.

These are weighty undertakings that will require resources from the Treasury. Yet others will call for sessional papers and Bills whose passage through Parliament would demand numbers.

For example, any constitutional amendment requires the nod of at least 65 per cent of the 210 MPs. That translates to 145 MPs.

And in the event that either Mr Raila Odinga of ODM wins or Mr Mwai Kibaki recaptures the presidency, the provisional results indicate that none is likely to have more than 144 MPs.

It means that whoever forms the next government must seek support from the fringe parties. This goes in two ways, with different impacts.

One way is to co-opt members of the fringe parties into the cabinet. They would then be expected to reciprocate that by supporting government business in Parliament.

A similar strategy was used by President Kibaki when he introduced the Government of National Unity (GNU) in 2004 when a coalition partner, the Liberal Democratic Party walked out, claiming it had been short-changed.

Semblance of peace

That worked for the government, and it pushed through Parliament a number of Bills and lent it some semblance of peace to concentrate on its legislative and development agenda.

However, GNU became a a hydra whose members largely seemed not to have been reading from the same script. Ripples of discontent came to the fore when some GNU members put unique demands on President Kibaki’s table.

The schisms persisted even after Mr Kibaki cobbled the Party of National Unity. What was meant to be a single front to campaign for President Kibaki’s turned out to be an amalgam of regional political chiefs who only helped throw his campaigns into disorder. Again, some PNU members pulled out and receded to the cocoons of their parent political parties.

The other strategy the next government could use to shore up support for its Bills in Parliament is entering into one-off agreements with fringe parties whenever the need arises to push through its legislative agenda.

Chad Sends French Convicts Home After Convictions For Child Trafficking

Chad sends French convicts home

Six French aid workers jailed in Chad on child trafficking charges will be repatriated on Friday, a Chadian official says.

The six were sentenced to eight years' hard labour in Chad on Wednesday for attempting to kidnap 103 children.

French Justice Minister Rachida Dati had requested that the six Zoe's Ark charity workers serve their sentences in France under a 1976 accord.

The aid workers have insisted they were trying to evacuate orphans from Darfur.

However, most of the children were found to be from Chad, which borders the war-torn western Sudanese region, and had parents who were still alive.

The Chadian official who announced the imminent repatriation on Friday spoke on condition of anonymity.

Chad's Justice Minister Albert Pahimi Padacke told reporters: "I have responded favourably to the transfer request from France this morning".

The case sparked outrage in the former French colony in central Africa.

France has considerable leverage over Chad, BBC Africa analyst Martin Plaut says, with military support from Paris having saved president Idris Deby's government from being overthrown by rebels on a number of occasions.

Ms Dati said she had formally asked Chad for the four men and two women to be transferred to serve their prison sentences in their native country.

But legal proceedings would be required in France to amend the sentences, because the country has no punishment of hard labour.

Controversial operation

French President Nicolas Sarkozy spoke by phone with President Deby on Thursday night about preparations for transferring the six aid workers, President Sarkozy's office said.

The six were arrested in October as they tried to fly the children to France.

Zoe's Ark insisted tribal leaders in Sudan had told them all the children were orphans from Darfur. It said it wanted to save the children's lives and was carrying out a medical evacuation - not an adoption operation.

In statements to police, the families said they had not been told their children were about to be taken abroad.

They claimed that the aid workers misled them into believing the youngsters - aged one to 10 - would be offered temporary local school places.

In November seven Europeans arrested with the six Zoe's Ark workers flew home, accompanied by President Sarkozy.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/12/28 09:38:17 GMT

Zuma to Stand Trial While Masetlha Says Mbeki Must Account to Luthuli House

South Africa's Zuma to Stand Trial

By CELEAN JACOBSON 12.28.07, 5:33 PM ET

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The newly elected leader of South Africa's ruling party was ordered to stand trial on corruption and other charges next year, possibly derailing his attempts to become president.

Jacob Zuma will be tried in the High Court in August on charges of racketeering, money laundering, corruption and fraud, his lawyer Michael Hulley said Friday.

Zuma, 65, defeated President Thabo Mbeki last week in a bitterly contested election for the leadership of African National Congress. The battle left deep rifts in the 85-year-old ANC that Nelson Mandela led to victory over the racist apartheid state.

The ANC leader is traditionally the party's presidential candidate, and its overwhelming backing has ensured election victories first for Mandela in 1994, then Mbeki in 1999 and 2004.

But the prospect of a trial against Zuma raised doubts about whether the party would back his candidacy for the next election in 2009, when Mbeki is constitutionally required to step down.

A popular former guerrilla fighter, Zuma was handing out presents Friday to children at an annual Christmas party in his rural home village in KwaZulu-Natal. He would not answer questions from reporters about the charges.

Zuma, who was acquitted of rape last year, has denied any corruption and has said prosecutors are trying to smear him for political reasons.

In e-mail to The Associated Press, Hulley accused prosecutors of acting "with improper motive calculated to discredit Mr. Zuma and ensure that he claims no leadership role in the political future of our country." He questioned the timing of the prosecution's decision right after the ANC elections.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Tlali Tlali declined to comment Friday.

Hulley didn't provide details on the charges, but Zuma has been under investigation in a bribery scandal involving French arms company Thint.

Mbeki fired Zuma as the country's deputy president in 2005 after Zuma's financial adviser was convicted of trying to elicit bribes from the company.

Prosecutors contend Zuma was aware of efforts to secure the bribes on his behalf in exchange for using his influence to halt an investigation into a multibillion-dollar arms deal between Thint and the government.

Charges against Zuma were thrown out last year on a technicality.

But last week, the country's top prosecutor said he had enough evidence to go back to court. Zuma responded defiantly, saying "take me to court."

Prosecutors pursuing the case against Zuma have won a number of legal victories this year. South Africa's court of appeal ruled that a police seizure of incriminating documents from Zuma's home and office was legal.

The investigation has centered on a $7.1 billion deal for the government to buy ships, submarines, helicopters, jets and other arms from Thint in 1999.

The charismatic Zuma has wide support among the trade unions and other leftist groups, and his election as ANC president raised concern among critics that he would send Africa's largest economy down a populist slide.

But he and Mbeki have gone to great lengths to assure there would be little change in the government's economic direction. Mbeki's market-friendly policies have led to an economic boom, though his detractors say the benefits have not trickled down to the majority of South Africans who remain impoverished.

Zuma, who has little formal education, was a leader in the intelligence services of the ANC's military wing, and, like Mandela, served time at the Robben Island prison during the struggle against apartheid.

Last year, Zuma was acquitted of raping a family friend. But he outraged AIDS activists by testifying that he had unprotected, consensual sex with the HIV-positive woman and then took a shower in the belief that it would protect him from the virus.

Mbeki must account to Luthuli House, says Masetlha

Johannesburg, South Africa
28 December 2007 01:57

Former National Intelligence Agency boss Billy Masetlha, newly elected to the African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee (NEC), says President Thabo Mbeki and his Cabinet will be "recalled" from their government positions unless they "account" to Luthuli House, Business Day reported on Friday.

According to the report, Masetlha said this would happen because ANC leaders were deployed to government posts and were not elected directly to public office.

Masetlha told a gathering of the veterans' association of the ANC's disbanded military wing, Umkhonto weSizwe, on Thursday that the next couple of months were going to be "very difficult" if the government merely paid lip service to ANC resolutions taken at its watershed 52nd conference, which resulted in Mbeki being forced out and Jacob Zuma being elected as its new president, the daily reported.

Masetlha, who was fired by Mbeki, also warned that Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota and his deputy, Mluleki George, could face "disciplinary action" for their conduct leading up to and during the ANC conference in Limpopo last week.

According to the report, the two diehard Mbeki loyalists went public over their opposition to Zuma. Lekota berated Zuma supporters, saying that they were not "thinking properly" and were hooligans for wearing ANC T-shirts emblazoned with Zuma's picture. George held a rally on the sidelines of the ANC's conference, and referred to Zuma supporters as "howlers" who had to be stopped lest they hijacked the "revolution".

Masetlha said that while the ANC had to "heal" itself, certain "tough questions" had to be asked. "We were elected to be of service to the people. Accountability starts now," he said.

"With due respect to the Cabinet, they are going to have to account, and if they defy conference resolutions, they must be recalled." -- Sapa

Books That Will Advance Knowledge of Liberation Movements

Books that will advance knowledge of liberation movements

By Norman (Otis) Richmond

Book Reviewed:

Gerald Horne, “Cold War in A Hot Zone (The United States Confronts Labor and Independence Struggles in the British West Indies)”, Temple University Press 262 pages “The Deepest South (The United States, Brazil, and the African Slave Trade”, New York University Press, 339 pages. Paperback “The White Pacific (U.S. Imperialism and Black Slavery in the South Seas after the Civil War)” University of Hawai’i press 253 pages.

Muhammad Ahmad (Maxwell Stanford, Jr.) “We Will Return in the Whirlwind (Black Radical Organizations 1960-1975)332” pages Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company.

Gerald Horne is possibly the most prolific writer to emerge from Black America since William Edward Burghardt Du Bois. Horne has published three volumes “Cold War in A Hot Zone (The United States Confronts Labor and Independence Struggles in the British West Indies)”, “The Deepest South (The United States, Brazil, and the African Slave Trade”, and “The White Pacific (U.S. Imperialism and Black Slavery in the South Seas after the Civil War)” this year.

Horne’s “Cold War in a Hot Zone” is just what the doctor ordered. He
examines the hidden role U.S. imperialism played in the demise of the Caribbean Labour Congress (CLC) and a united Caribbean. The CLC played a leading role in the struggle for Caribbean sovereignty, federation, and labor rights. Just as the British Empire was collapsing U.S. Imperialism came into the mix. Horne’s reminds us that U.S. Imperialism emerged as the imperialist power after World War II.

Once upon a time many in leadership positions in the CLC posed as
socialist. Robert Bradshaw of St. Kitts- Nevis, Vera Bird of
Antigua-Barbuda and Grantley Adams of Barbados are shining examples.

Ironically, it was Adams who flipped the socialist script to a capitalist
one. In a controversial 1948 speech in Paris, “the man who was to be
rewarded later by being knighted as Sir Grantley Adams, opposed a
resolution on anticolonialism in stridently anticommunist terms”. Adams unfortunately was elected a leader of the CLC. He represented the right-wing of the CLC.

This move by Adams set the stage for the isolation of Guyana’s Cheddi Jagan, who was on the left of the CLC. Jagan supported socialism, the Soviet Union their allies and wanted to fight colonialism. Adams, Bradshaw and Bird all went with Imperialism, which put the brakes on the anti-colonial fight and the CLC collapsed.

Horne maintains that the struggle for an anticolonial federation with
labor in the driver’s seat was crippled ideologically when these
“socialist” posers purged the CLC.which had been in the vanguard. The great Jamaican revolutionary Richard Hart of who is still in the land of the living was a major figure in the CLC. Hart who resides in the UK assisted Horne with this book.

This is a well researched study that quotes Caribbean Canadian and
Caribbean American based scholars like Trinidad & Tobago’s David Trotman, Guyana’s Odida T. Quamina, Jamaica’s Charles Mills, and St.Vincent & the Grenadines Alfie Roberts.

Horne, Moores Professor of History & African-American Studies at the
University of Houston is the author of many books including “Red Seas: Ferdinand And Radical Black Sailors In The United States and Jamaica” and “From the Barrel of a Gun: The United States and the War Against Zimbabwe, 1965-1980”. These two volumes are valuable contributions to Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora.

The second volume by Horne, “The Deepest South” is based on extensive research from archives on five continents; He breaks startling new ground in the history of slavery, uncovering its global dimensions and the degrees to which its defenders want to maintain it. He joins the ranks of Du Bois, Eric Williams, C.L.R. James and Walter Rodney in seeing slavery as having both economic and racial overtones.

Horne’s third book, “The White Pacific” is about the African American
presence in the Pacific. When the worldwide supplies of sugar and cotton were impacted by the Civil War in the United States new areas of production were needed. Horne’s volume demonstrates how the South Pacific was used to feel this imperialist need.

Gerald Horne can be heard on Saturday Morning Live, CKLN-FM 88.1, every Saturday at 11:30am.

Former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, once referred to Max Stanford, as “The most dangerous man in America” when he was the head of that criminal organization. Hoover went on to call Stanford’s organization, the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) “a highly secret, all-Negro, Marxist-Leninist, Chinese Communist oriented organization which advocates guerrilla warfare to obtain its goals.” Stanford today is Dr. Muhammad Ahmad, who teaches in the department of African American Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia.

“We Will Return In The Whirlwind” is Ahmad’s account of the Black
Liberation movement in the United States from 1960 until 1975. Ahmad’s account is an insider’s view of the movement which again is just what the doctor ordered. He was national field chairman of the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) during the mid-1960s and founder of the African People’s Party in the 1970s.

He worked with most of the leadership of the movement including El-Hajj Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X), Robert and Mabel Williams, Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael), Amiri Baraka,James and Grace Boggs, Queen Mother Audley Moore, Marian Kramer and General Gordon Baker Jr.

Death row political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal did a commentary on “We Will Return in the Whirlwind”

Abu-Jamal praised Dr. Ahmad for his book and especially his treatment of key “organic intellectuals” like Queen Mother Moore and organizers in the struggle for world Black liberation.

Dr. Ahmad work is a must read for today’s youth. Mumia’s words echo my sentiments on “We Will Return in the Whirlwind”.

“For today’s young activists, and especially for those who aspire to learn about the accomplishments, and failures of the Black liberation movement, this work is invaluable,” Abu-Jamal said.

Norman (Otis) Richmond can be heard every Thursday on Diasporic Music CKLN-FM 88.1 at 8pm and Saturday on Saturday Morning Live 10am to 1pm.