Tag Archives: William Ruto

Week when Sang turned court translator in his ICC trial

Kenya: Language barrier hindered proceedings in the trial of Deputy President William Ruto and Radio journalist Joshua arap Sang at the International Criminal Court (ICC) last week. From Left: Lawyer Katwa Kigen, ICC accused radio journalist Joshua arap Sang and lawyer Joel Bosek outside the ICC courts in past proceedings. Last week, the three came to the aid of the judges by translating witness account from Kalenjin to English On two days, the Trial-Chamber V(a) experienced a hitch in the translation of evidence from Kalenjin dialect to Kiswahili and to English. Many a times, Kenyan lawyers Katwa Kigen and Joel Bosek had to come to the aid of the Prosecution, and even the accused, Mr Sang, offered a hand. “We know this is not your job and we are truly grateful for your assistance to the Chamber,” Judge Osuji told Mr Kigen and Mr Bosek.The epitome of barrier occurred in the transition of Kalenjin phrases used by witness number 409, who began testifying on Thursday. The witness, a resident of Nandi Hills, testifying in Swahili narrated how Mr Ruto and former Cabinet Minister Henry Kosgey used Kalenjin parables to incite members of the community to violence in 2007. The three judges have been comfortably relying on court interpreters to translate evidence from Kiswahili to English. But the problem arose when the witness used Kalenjin words, which he said were coded parables used by Ruto and Mr Kosgey at different ODM rallies in Nandi Hills in October 2007, to urge the community to evict other tribes from the region. Kalenjin words The witness, though not a Kalenjin, said he understands Kalenjin very well. Ruto’s lawyer Karim Khan consistently demanded that the witness be made to pronounce the actual Kalenjin words spoken by his client before the translation could be recorded. The first words said to have been used by Kosgey and Ruto were, makimoche ketit ne kiibu chumbek meaning; “We don’t want the tree that was brought by the white man.” The witness said he understood the words to refer to those people who worked for the white man; the Luhya, Kikuyu and the Kisii. The witness further said the two politicians used the words; kimache kesich ketit tugul ne kiibu chumbek meaning; “The trees should be uprooted,” which the witness understood to mean that the non-Kalenjin should be removed from the area. The witness told the judges that further, Kosgey used another parable “ometai suswek kolanda agoi got” (you have allowed grass to grow up to your houses). He understood him to be referring to the other tribes who had bought land in the area. Every time the witness switched to Kalenjin, Kigen and Bosek offered to assist in the translation as officers of the court, but did it in a process keenly verified by the prosecution and the judges.

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KPA lands Sh450m in new partnership deal

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) have developed a partnership to increase capacity in container trade and improve efficiency at the port. The project funded by the UK and the Netherlands Government to the tune of Sh450.5 million ($53 million) comprises ten components, including infrastructure and facility improvement. The funds will be used to improve capacity of East Africa’s largest port and support the setting up of future port operations. To unlock the trade potential of the Mombasa Port corridor, TMEA CEO Frank Martsaet said KPA and other stakeholders had developed a Mombasa Port Community Charter to guide trade facilitation through the port for national and regional economic growth. Mr Martsaet spoke during a presidential roundtable on the Mombasa Port Community Charter attended by Deputy President William Ruto at State House. He regretted that poor infrastructure, delays in cargo clearance and customs procedures at the port contributed to high cost of doing business. TMEA is a non-profit organisation that supports East African integration through partnerships with national governments, the private sector and civil society. Martsaet acknowledged the ongoing infrastructure developments at the port, which are bound to increase its capacity to handle growing volumes and associated demand for port services. President Kenyatta, who is expected to launch the Community Port Charter later this month, said the Government remained committed to measures and projects that improve productivity at the port of Mombasa. “I’m happy to note that the port stakeholders came together and developed the port charter to increase efficiency of the Mombasa port corridor,” the President said. The Mombasa Port Community Charter spells out a number of broad goals, which include transforming the port to a highly performing landlord port by 2016, and integration of all port community members systems into the Kenya National Electronic single window system by December this year.

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Post election chaos was spontaneous, ICC told

Kenya: The alleged rigging of the General Election spontaneously caused the December 2007 post-election violence, a witness told the International Criminal Court (ICC). Expert witness Herve Maupeu said claims of rigging of the Presidential polls sparked the tension that led to the chaos in the Rift Valley. Prof Maupeu, a French social-political scientist, however, said his evidence was based on reports prepared by other organizations and researchers, some of which he confirmed were not fully accurate. And following the conclusion of his evidence, lawyers representing Deputy President William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua Sang urged the Chamber to be cautions when admitting Prof Maupeu’s written reports as evidence. Maupeu told the judges that the perception of rigging was supported by opinion polls, which indicated that more than 67 per cent of the people believed the election was stolen. “Both sides rigged the elections and it depended on who rigged more than the other,” he said during cross-examination by Mr Ruto’s lawyer David Hooper. He said from the 2005 constitutional referendum, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) had built confidence that they would win the elections and this was supported by opinion polls indicating the election would be a tight contest. Mr Hooper led the witness in trying to deconstruct the prosecution’s case by confirming that the violence was spontaneous and not necessarily planned before the elections. He pointed out to the witness that the delay in releasing the results, coupled with announcements made by the European Union and other human right bodies raised concerns about the rigging. “There were frustrations of many and massive feeling that injustices were being done to the results,” the witness said. Hooper pointed out that a tallying centre at the KICC had been broken into despite the heavy presence of security personnel. Further, the Electoral Commission had 22 members, 19 of whom had been appointed by President Kibaki hence raising questions about their independence. “Would it be unfair to say that Kenya was at the edge of the precipice?” he asked Maupeu who answered in the affirmative. Maupeu had been called as an expert witness.

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DP William Ruto warns corrupt public officers

KERICHO, KENYA: Jubilee government has declared an all-out war against corrupt government officers out to undermine its development agenda. Deputy President William Ruto greets students of Litein High School after a church service at AIC, Litein Speaking during a church meeting at AIC Litein, Kericho County, Deputy President William Ruto warned Government officers who would dare to test the Government’s resolve to fight corruption that stern action will be taken against them. “We are clear that we want to transform the country and if you have been given mandate and authority by Kenyans, you must know that authority comes with responsibility and accountability and therefore, you must serve the interests of Kenyans because we are not going to sit back and let you misuse your authority and do as you wish,” Mr Ruto said. He said the Government would work with all institutions of governance to ensure that corruption, theft, mismanagement and wastage of public funds and other resources do not undermine the country’s development agenda. “It is very clear that unless we rein in on wastage, mismanagement and corruption in Government, our agenda to develop the country will be undermined and we won’t be able to grow the economy by double digits and expand the economy in an effort to create jobs for the unemployed youths,” Ruto said. He said the Government would work with county assemblies, the Senate and Parliament to ensure that corruption and theft of public funds do not derail Government development plans. The deputy President challenged every citizen to demand for prudent use of Government funds and other resources. Ruto told MPs to pass regulations allowing for the disbursement of the Sh6 billion Uwezo Funds, saying the Government was ready to disburse the funds but was being held back by Parliament. Ruto at the same time told parliamentarians to put in place committees in their constituencies that would identify orphans, people with disabilities and between 500-1000 senior citizens above the age of 65 who will benefit from the government’s social welfare kitty that is set to be rolled out beginning March. By NIKKO TANUI, The Standard

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ODM convenes meeting to stem discord ahead of polls

NAIROBI, KENYA: ODM has convened a parliamentary group meeting tomorrow to step up efforts to build consensus among aspirants for various leadership positions ahead of elections. Seated: Senators Otieno Kajwang’ (left), Agnes Zani (right) and MP Paul Otuoma with other leaders after meeting delegates from Bomet, Narok and Kericho counties Sunday in Bomet County. PHOTO: CHARLES NGENO/STANDARD The meeting will also address grievances raised by Coast MPs, who last week threatened the party of dire political consequences if Kilifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro is replaced as Minority Chief Whip. Fifteen MPs from the region, who met party leader Raila Odinga last week, protested a move to relieve Mung’aro of his duties. Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nasir was touted to replace Mung’aro. The meeting comes hot on the heels of fresh appeals by some party members to postpone the national elections set for February 28 and March 1. Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, who quit the race for the deputy chairperson’s position, warned that the elections could plunge the party into chaos if the current divisions are not tackled. “I plead with Raila to postpone the elections and ensure unity prevails before we elect the next officials. ODM is for all of us and we are in it to stay,” Kidero was quoted saying in Butere during a funeral. But Sunday, ODM executive director Magerer Langat said the elections will go on as planned. “Preparations are on course for the delegates conference and as of now, there are no plans to push forward or call off the elections, delegates will converge to elect the new leadership as scheduled,” Langattold The Standard. Tomorrow’s meeting will also be briefed by a technical committee working on a new leadership structure to increase national slots from the current 26 to 31. Last week, nine MPs from Nyanza called for the creation of a leadership structure that will accommodate ‘senior’ and valuable members. REGIONAL BIGWIGS “The Constitution is not cast in stone, what we are saying is that the party comes up with a leadership structure that will ensure both generational and geographical representation,” Gwassi MP John Mbadi said. The committee has proposed the adoption of a leadership structure that was created in the run up to the 2007 General Election, which accommodated the party’s then regional bigwigs. The structure had two deputy party leaders (Musalia Mudavadi and William Ruto) and four deputy chairpersons. By JAMES MBAKA, The Standard

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TNA coup imminent as Sakuda leads MPs to oust Sakaja, Oloo from leadership

Plans for a leadership coup in The National Alliance (TNA) is slowly gaining momentum with a caucus of party MPs set to meet tomorrow to brainstorm over convention of the party’s Parliamentary Group meeting in coming days. Kajiado North MP Moses Ole-Sakuda Kajiado North MP Moses Ole-Sakuda, one of those pushing for leadership overhaul in the party, told The Standard on Sunday, “The first move is to strengthen TNA’s Parliamentary capacity as the party is dwarfed in Parliament by its Jubilee coalition partner URP. Sakuda also said a lot needs to be done at the party and that elections are inevitable in the near future. Earlier in the week, eight MPs had told the TNA chairman, nominated MP Johnson Sakaja, and secretary general Onyango Oloo to leave the party positions to permit the setting up of structures in readiness for 2017 elections. “We begun TNA actively during the by-elections in Kajiado and Kangema and have marched on to win the Presidency. We cannot stop now because somebody is moving out — for if we do we shall be swallowed” Sakuda told The Standard on Sunday. Some of the MPs pushing for change in the party alongside Sakuda include Kanini Kega (Kieni), Jamleck Kamau (Kigumo) and Kimani Njungiri (Bahati). Kega said their plans were intact and that they would remain focused in achieving their objective of seeing a stronger TNA. Most popular Other pro-change legislators are Francis Waweru (Ndaragwa), JM Waiganjo (Ol Joro Orok), Tirus Ngahu (Kangema), Joseph m’Eruaki (Igembe North), Njogu Barua (Gichugu) and Kathuri Murungi (South Imenti). Current TNA officials include chairman Sakaja, Onyango Oloo who was recently appointed chairman of Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA) and Vice chairman Lydia Mokaya who now works in the President’s political office. But TNA MPs feel the party needs a more vibrant leadership given the party leader, President Uhuru Kenyatta is overwhelmed by State affairs. “We need people who can dedicate their entire time in popularising the party. We have not seen any TNA rallies around the country since the March 4 general election,” noted Sakuda. It is believed MPs pushing for change have also been buoyed by opinion polls showing the party is now the most popular party in the country, having overtaken ODM. According to a recent survey by Strategic PR firm, TNA tops as the most popular party followed by ODM, with Deputy President William Ruto’s URP party — a member of the ruling Jubilee coalition — coming third.  It is the first time  TNA has overtaken ODM in popularity. “We need to sustain this kind of popularity until 2017 and beyond. We have the ability to make TNA the party of choice for Kenyans for decades to come,” adds Sakuda. By Stephen Makabila, The Standard

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Uhuru, Ruto battle with ICC over witnesses who took off

Kenya: One of the witnesses that ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda wants compelled to testify against Deputy President William Ruto disappeared from his hotel room as ICC officials were helping him to  apply for a visa ...

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