Archive | March, 2012

Jacqueline, Emily and Belinda Bereaved as Their Sister Passes On in Kenya

March 18, 2012

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The late Olivia passed away on Thursday after illeness

Jacqueline, Emily and Belinda, three Kenya-Stockholmers, have lost their elder sister, Olivia Opiyo (1962-2012) who passed away last Thursday night following illness. The late was also a niece to Christabel, cousin to Dancun Otieno Odera and aunt to Brayo Arwa.

The family of the late Olivia is appealing to friends, well-wishers and sympathisers to assist them following their sudden entry into a sad period of deep mourning. An “Open House” has been set up daily from 19:00 hrs at Jacqueline’s residence at S:t Eriksgatan 14 in Kungsholmen [(T) Fridhemsplan].

A major  Harambee is scheduled for Saturday 31st March 2012 and the venue will be announced later. Donations may be deposited at Jacqueline Zettergren’s SEB account number 5215 01 550 60. For further info contact Jacqueline on: 070-729 61 33 or her son Brayo on 0720-144 726.

Jacqueline Family
Stockholm

NOTE: KSB sends deep condolences to the entire family of the late Olivia during this period of great shock and sorrow. We hope that the family will have the strength and courage to go through this very difficult moment of mourning, sadness and grief. May the Almighty God rest Olivia’s soul in eternal peace.

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Pamela Omiti’s Ten Relatives Perish in Horrible Road Crash

March 18, 2012

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Pamela's relatives died here

Pamela's relatives died here

Pamela Omiti, a Kenya-Stockholmer, has lost 10 relatives in a horrible road crash in Kenya. Speaking to KSB, Pamela said that the relatives were on their way from Usenge to attend a funeral in Kendu Bay when a lorry smashed into a matatu they had hired to transport them to the funeral.

Among those who died instantly were Pamela’s four uncles and their four wives. Others who escaped with critical injuries were rushed to Russia hospital in Kisumu for treatment. According to Pamela, she received news this morning that among those who were rushed to hospital, two cousins died this morning after succumbing to their injuries.

Following the mega-tragedy, Pamela’s family has been plunged into deep mourning. An “Open House” has been set up at Pamela’s residence in Täby for friends to condole with the bereaved family. Pamela was still in shock as she spoke to KSB. She said that she is still trying to come to terms with the tragedy which has struck the family without notice.

The lorry is reported to have lost control before smashing into the matatu. The accident occured at 11.30 at Katito, a few kilometers from Ahero town in Kisumu county.

KSB sends deep condolences Pamela’s family following the shocking news. We hope that the family will have the strength and courage to go through this very difficult moment of great loss and sadness. The tragedy has been published in Kenya’s newspapers including  The Daily Nation.

Okoth Osewe

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Swedish Special Initiative for Democratisation and Freedom of Expression

March 16, 2012

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DEMOCRACY INITIATIVE

Call for Proposals – Swedish Special Initiative for Democratisation and Freedom of Expression

The Government of Sweden has decided to continue the special initiative for democratisation and freedom of expression launched in 2009. The initiative aims at supporting actors for change, individuals, groups and civil society organisations working for democratisation and freedom of expression.

The objective of this Call for Proposals is improved conditions for actors for change to work for enhanced democratisation and freedom of expression. The interventions shall contribute to improved conditions and increased opportunities for actors for change to work for enhanced democratisation and freedom of expression and the reduction of various forms of discrimination and oppression.

Sida invites organisations and other relevant actors to submit a Full Application for programmes/projects which might be considered under this support mechanism. Please read the Guidelines for Applicants (pdf). The Full Application Format and its Annexes can be downloaded from this page, to the right.

Apply before April, 15

This Call for Proposals is open 9 March – 15 April 2012. Applications submitted beyond this deadline will not be considered.

Questions can be sent to

callforproposals_demo1@sida.se

Note! A specific Call for Proposals targeting support to actors for change who use and develop information and communication technologies (ICTs) to strengthen social movements and interests groups working for democratisation and freedom of expression will be launched, most probably in June/July 2012.

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Official Easter Explosion Bash is Here: Get Out and Smell the Spring Season

March 16, 2012

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Kenya and Ocampo 4: UK-ICC Fake Document Download

March 16, 2012

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Click photo to download (pdf 15 pages)

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George Obor’s Fundraising Committee Formed in Stockholm

March 13, 2012

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Late Kenyan to be buried at his ancestral village in Kanyikela

Mr. George Obor: Fund raising on March 24th 2012

Mr. George Obor, the late Kenya-Stockholmer who passed away in Stockholm last Friday, will be buried at his ancestral village in Ndhiwa district, Kanyikela location in South Nyanza. Following his demise, a Fund raising committee has been formed by Kenyans in Stockholm to raise funds for the transportation of Georges’s body to Kenya.

It is estimated that about SEK 65,000 is required to transport George’s body to Kenya (at approximately 50k) and another 15k to carter for tickets of the late Obor’s wife, Monica and the couple’s daughter, Doris. The figure might fluctuate depending on market forces.

Those in the Committee are: Jared Odero (Chairperson), Joseph Goga (Treasurer), Tonny Odera (Secretary), Okoth Osewe and Jasper Orieny (Information & Media), Charles Orwe and Peter Ongolo (George Obor’s family contact), Jared Aroka, Emperor Gor Awino, Otieno Goga, Gideon Nyakwar Oyundi, Jack Weke, Otieno Odera, Patrick Odhiambo, Mrs Hellen Opwapo, Mrs Jane Owili and Mrs Margaret Obondo.

According to information from the Committee, an open House has been set up at the residence of the late George, daily from 17.00hrs. The residence is located at Stävholmsgränd in Skärholmen. A major funds drive will be held on Saturday, 24th March at a venue to be announced later.

Mourners can get to George’s residence as follows: Take the Redline (Tunnelbannan) towards Norsborg then alight at Skärholmen station. Take bus number 173 to Skarpnäck then alight at Lammholmsbacken. Walk backwards towards Shärholmen then turn left. Proceed until you reach Stävholmsgränd 114.

Those who would like to make contributions through a bank deposit can do so via the Bank account of Mr. Peter Ongolo at Swedebank; Account number is 23419540-2. Clearing number is 8327-9. Mr. Ongolo will then report any deposits to the Committee treasurer.

For further information, call the following numbers: 0737209021 (Charles); 0706846401 (Peter); 0735450203 (Jared Odero) or 0736533068 (Osewe).

The Committee is searching for a venue for the 24th March fund raising and further information will be circulated as it becomes available.

Okoth Osewe
Information and Media
George Obor Fundraising Committee

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Double Murder Update: Nyambu Suffers From Serious Mental Disorder

March 13, 2012

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The outcome of a second forensic psychiatric examination shows that Nyambu, who is accused of having drowned her two sons last fall, has a serious mental disorder.  A psychiatric expert had disputed the result of the first examination done in December 2011, thereby prompting a second opinion. He believed that there was considerable uncertainty about the degree of her mental disorder.  The social welfare’s legal counsel who conducted the second forensic psychiatric examination reached the same conclusion: Nyambu has a serious mental disorder and needs psychiatric care.

Nyambu’s trial was concluded on March 12, 2012 at the Attunda District Court. Her advocate asked for manslaughter verdict, while the prosecutor wanted her actions judged as murder. However, both do not want her to be jailed, but given psychiatric help. The prosecutor has asked that she be deported to Kenya after the psychiatric care. The verdict will be delivered on March 19, 2012.

SOURCE

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Jack Mulo Says “Thank You Very Much”

March 12, 2012

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Mr. Jack Mulo, a Kenyan who lost his brother in Kenya, has thanked all Kenyans who responded to his appeal following the demise of his brother. Speaking to KSB, Mr. Mulo said that he is travelling to Kenya today, Monday, 12th March 2012. Mr. Mulo also passed his condolences to the family of the late George Obor who passed away in Stockholm on Friday last week. At KSB, we wish Mr. Mulo a safe journey to Kenya.

Okoth Osewe

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Sacking of Striking Nurses Signals Need for a Workers Party

March 12, 2012

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Without a Workers' Party defending Workers' rights in Kenya will be difficult.

Whenever workers in Kenya take industrial action to demand higher wages, better working conditions, better remuneration or job security, the narrative is usually the same. A strike outbreak is usually followed by negotiations between Workers’ representatives and the government; a deal entailing a “return to work formula” is usually reached; some promises are usually made by the government for the implementation of the deal; the government usually reneges on the promise forcing the affected workers to take a new strike action in a never ending cycle.

The case of the 25,000 Kenyan nurses who have been on strike for more than a week follows the above narrative with one big deviation – that this time around, the striking workers have all been sacked by the Minister for Health, Prof Anyang Nyongo. In doing so, Professor Nyongo has not only violated the Constitution with impunity but has also trampled on the rights of the workers to go on strike. Just like all other strike actions by workers in Kenya which have been defeated in the past, the Nurses’ strike had three major weakness that guaranteed its failure before the strike was even called.

Lack of political support
Although the strike precipitated a huge crisis in the health sector, its first weakness was that it had no political support. None of the political parties in Kenya (including PNU and ODM) supported the workers because it is not in the interest of right-wing or opportunistic parties to support striking workers.

In the absence of political support, the strike action could not be discussed in Parliament as a matter of urgency. The reason for lack of political support is that none of the political parties in Kenya represents Workers’ interests. These parties either represent individuals concerns or inter-ethnic interests of members of the ruling classes at the top of these parties.

Without political support, industrial actions of workers will continue to be defeated and it is for this reason that the Kenya Red Alliance (KRA) believes that workers in Kenya need their own Party. KRA welcomes all the sacked workers and all workers in Kenya to join the Alliance and help materialize political support in the struggle for Workers’ rights in Kenya.

Lack of solidarity
The second weakness of the strike was lack of solidarity from other workers due to lack of “working class politics” in Kenya’s political marketplace. Without a formation like KRA, which could unite Kenyan workers to face the enemy (the capitalist State and its representatives), coordinating solidarity in support of any group of striking workers is difficult.

Kenyan workers are at a stage where although other workers across the country could sympathize with their striking colleagues in other sectors, sympathetic workers may not be able to stage “sympathy strikes” in solidarity with their colleagues because of fear, lack of proper organization and poor coordination.

The Unions, which could coordinate such actions, are themselves weak or led by leaders who are politically bankrupt, corrupt, opportunistic or self-centered. If other workers in other sectors could also lay down their tools to demand the reinstatement of the sacked nurses, the government would be forced to listen because of the impossibility of sacking millions of workers at the same time.

Working class politics is about workers seizing power but due to lack of direction and ideas, workers in Kenya have, and will continue to suffer at the hands of the capitalist ruling class running the government on behalf of thieves and robbers looting public resources for personal enrichment.

KRA is available and could coordinate solidarity strikes by workers across the country but only if workers understands its politics and join the Movement. In the meantime, the corrupt regime running the government of Kenya will continue to use threats of mass sackings to contain the “strike menace” that threatens to bring government services to a standstill.

International connections
The third weakness of the strike is what led to the actual sacking of the striking Nurses. This is lack of International connections to workers. Any Workers’ Movement or Party that seeks to drive working class politics in a given environment has to be connected to fighting Workers’ organizations, Trade Unions, Movements or Political parties around the world. Why?

The threat of mass sackings by the bosses is always alive. Any worker in any sector has financial obligations which have to be met every month and the boss knows this. Under exploitation, poor working conditions or starvation wages, very few workers will resort to strike actions if they know that they could be sacked.

If workers are linked to a local organization, movement or party with connections to similar Workers’ organizations internationally, it can become possible for the local organization or party to send an international appeal for fund raising to address the plight of sacked workers so that they can continue with their struggle while at the same time fulfilling their economic obligations. In the absence of such connections, sacked workers after an industrial action will always be on their own. This is usually a big advantage to governments or bosses exploiting workers in any sector.

An International appeal may not just be for funds. It could also be in the form of pressure on the government to address the plight of workers and to warn against draconian actions such as mass sackings.

The KRA position
KRA condemns the Kenyan government for the drastic action of sacking the striking workers. The Alliance believes that by sacking the workers, Professor Anyang Nyongo acted illegally because the Constitution does not give the Minister the power to unilaterally sack workers exercising their right to go on strike as stipulated in the Constitution.

The sacking of the 25,000 nurses is evidence that the Kenyan government does not care about the welfare of workers across the country. This illegal action should serve as a signal to workers in other sectors that they should begin to organize much more consciously because they are facing a common enemy which is now taking new steps to eradicate possibilities of industrial actions in the future. The sacking of the nurses may appear to be a bold step by the government but, in reality, it is a testing of the waters to establish how workers would react to such draconian and illegal measures.

KRA’s message to the striking workers is that they should not go down on their knees to beg the government to reinstate them but they should fight any scabs being hired by the government to help break the strike. The nurses should set up strike Committees across the country to coordinate the struggle for their reinstatement.

These committees, in conjunction with the Nurses’ Union, should lobby other Workers’ organizations in Kenya to show solidarity with the sacked nurses by staging sympathy strikes to demand for the reinstatement on the sacked nurses.

Today, it is nurses who have been sacked and tomorrow, it will be workers in another sector. The solution to threats by employers to sack striking workers is “coordinated actions” by workers, locally and globally. There is no other solution and the sooner workers in Kenya understand this basic fact, the faster they will move towards uniting to face both the government and exploitative bosses who do not care about Workers’ rights and freedoms.

KRA demands that: all the 25,000 striking workers be reinstated; all conditions presented by the Workers’ representatives should be met; the Minister for Health, Professor Anyang Nyongo, should step down for violating the New Kenyan Constitution by sacking the nurses unilaterally; the Ministry of Health should stop hiring scabs to break the strike because the strike is legitimate; all workers in Kenya should unite to fight a common enemy – the capitalist state and its representatives like Professor Anyang Nyongo who is acting with impunity and in total disregard of the interest of the striking nurses.

Okoth Osewe
Secretary General
Kenya Red Alliance (KRA)

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Shocking Stupidity of American Citizens

March 10, 2012

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