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Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

 

Prophet T.B. Joshua denies prophesizing in favor of Atiku Abubakar winning

T.B. Joshua-

Many followers of T.B. Joshua of Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, have been waiting for his prophecy regarding Nigeria’s upcoming presidential election in February 2019. Earlier today many outlets in Nigeria and social Media were saying he had tipped his hand for Atiku.

However Prophet T.B. Joshua of Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, has denied releasing any prophecy regarding Nigeria’s upcoming presidential election in February 2019.

Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will slug it out with Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other presidential candidates next month.

According to Prophet Joshua, he was quoted during his annual New Year service as saying: “The election will be closely contested between the two leading political parties but I see Atiku Abubakar winning”.

Prophet T.B. Joshua of Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, has denied releasing any prophecy regarding Nigeria’s upcoming presidential election in February 2019.

President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will slug it out with Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other presidential candidates next month.

According to Prophet Joshua, he was quoted during his annual New Year service as saying: “The election will be closely contested between the two leading political parties but I see Atiku Abubakar winning”.

However, in a statement released on his official Facebook page, Joshua categorically denied the report.

“Prophet T.B. Joshua has not yet released any prophecy for the year, 2019,”the statement began.

“Any prophecy credited to him should be ignored. Emmanuel TV is our means of spreading our message; stay tuned to Emmanuel TV,” it concluded.

The cleric, however, bemoaned the ‘religious spirit’ which has infiltrated Christianity, stressing that “Jesus’ focus is the motive behind what we do” and “Christianity lies in the heart”.

“When you see someone who is doing good, don’t be in a haste to see him as good because you don’t know his motive,” he continued, citing the example of politicians who fail to fulfil election campaigns after being elected to office.

“Jesus looks at our motive behind our action but men look at the action…Jesus tests our heart to reward us.

“Nigeria, we should pray against a stop-over and pray for a smooth democracy,” Joshua stated on December 9th 2018.

Earlier on July 1, 2018, he had warned Nigerians to “pray against the interruption of the democratic practice”.

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Children at risk amid heavy fighting and floods in north-west Syria

Nearly 10,000 children fleeing floods in the area

AMMAN, 3 January 2019 – Children continue to pay the heaviest price due to the escalation in violence in northwest Syria. UNICEF received alarming reports of 80 people killed, including one child.

Many families are fleeing their homes as conflict intensifies, with no place to go but to already overcrowded camps hosting displaced families.

Floods swept through the area on 26 December, affecting nearly 10,000 children in Atmeh, Qah, Deir Ballut, Albab, Jisr Ashughur among other areas. Exposed to harsh winter weather and freezing temperature conditions, children’s lives are hanging by a thread.

The number of impacted children will increase if fighting continues and as more heavy rain is expected. Many of those children have been displaced, some multiple times.

“The suffering of children in northwest Syria has tripled due to this recent escalation of violence, harsh weather conditions and lack of safe refuge. UNICEF calls on all parties fighting in the area and elsewhere in Syria to protect children at all times and allow humanitarian workers to reach children and families in need with lifesaving supplies,” said Geert Cappelaere, Regional Director of UNICEF in the Middle East and North Africa.

UNICEF, with partners on the ground, continues to respond to the increasing needs of children and their families. Just today, UNICEF was able to send 13 trucks with lifesaving supplies to the area. The trucks were loaded with winter clothes, plastic sheets, fuel for heating, micronutrient supplies, high energy biscuits, Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) and tents for temporary classrooms. UNICEF’s partners on the ground are also monitoring health, nutrition and sanitation needs to prevent an outbreak of diseases.

Media Contacts

Juliette Touma
UNICEF Amman
Tel: +962 79 867 4628
Email: jtouma@unicef.org

Joe English
UNICEF New York
Tel: +1 917 893 0692
Email: jenglish@unicef.org


State of music industry and achievements of pacemakers

As the curtains fell on the festivities to bid farewell to the year 2018 and usher in a New Year, local and international music industry will be grappling with voids left by the passing away of popular entertainers.

In January last year, a few days after ushering in the New Year, Kenyans and lovers of Benga music woke to the sad news of the demise of Gabriel Omollo – best known for his zilizopendwa (those which were loved) hit “Lunch time”.

Born in 1939, and raised at the Kenya Railways quarters of Muthurwa and later in Makongeni, Nairobi, Omollo learnt how to play the guitar while at St Peter Claver Primary School.

He also sang in the choir before his career took off in the 1960s after he joined the iconic Equator Sound Band.

While with the band, he had a chance of performing alongside Daudi Kabaka and Fadhili William. He also played the lead bass guitar in the popular Tsotsi composition titled “Pole Musa”.

In September 1974, Omollo was awarded an International Golden Disc after his single “Lunch time” sold more than 150,000 copies in East and West Africa.

Later, in the same year, the singer, who performed at the first Mashujaa Day in 2010 after the promulgation of the Constitution, was also awarded Guinness Stout Effort Award.

He also sang other singles like “Keep Change”, “Mr Kupe”, “Fundi”, “Mpende Mkeo”, “Mchumba Rossy”, among others which were equally popular.

On January 23 last year, South Africa jazz maestro Ramapolo Hugh Masekela breathed his last at the age of 78 after a long battle with prostate cancer.

The founding father of jazz music in South Africa, and who was known for his mastery as a trumpeter, songwriter and composer, is credited for popular songs against apartheid like “Bring him back home”, and “Soweto Blues”. He was the brainchild behind the soundtrack “Sarafina”.

From 1964 to 1966, he was married to singer Miriam Makeba of the popular “Pata Pata” and “Malaika” hit songs.

In Kenya, the death that shook the music industry was the death of Kikuyu benga musician Joseph Kamaru, aged 79.

Kamaru, who hailed from Kangema in Murang’a County, was born in 1939. He started his singing career in 1956 and went on to record many hit songs like “Ndari ya Mwalimu”, which highlighted affairs between wayward teachers and pupils; “Tiga Kuhenia Igoti” (Don’t lie to the court), “Nuu Ucio”, an insight into the issue of promiscuity, “Muhiki wa Mikosi”, a song that highlighted cases of men having close shave encounters with women they met in drinking places, “Uthoni wa Mbathini” (a love affair ignited when two passengers sat next to each other in a bus), among others.

STATE HOUSE

He was buried at his home in Kaharati in Maragua, Murang’a County. The burial was attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, ODM leader Raila Odinga and a host of dignitaries from the country.

During the burial, Catherine Gathoni, sister to the late Kamaru, enjoyed a light moment with President Kenyatta.

Catherine was the voice behind a lady known as Celina and was featured in Kamaru’s songs like “Celina Hingura Murango” among others.

An invite by the President to the musicians to State House flopped after the musicians could not agree on who would represent them.


Building Bridges peace initiative has to be inclusive, participatory

This is to the drivers of the Building Bridges Initiative: You should also carry peace in you. You cannot construct a bridge of peace if your backyard is stinking with hate, tribalism, tribal clashes, discrimination and political rivalry.

Most of us have learnt to suppress the impulses of hate, anxiety and love, reproducing memories of situations in many bad ways.

It’s my utmost prayer that each one of you carry something personal to share with other committee members.

What are you bringing of a traditional, ethical, moral value from your community to share with others?

I want to think good in each one of you, in good faith, that you have no political interest in this endeavour whatsoever.

You were chosen because you have lived in Kenya and witnessed the great things that the nation has gone through unfold.

Remember, the future that you are building has to connect with the young people.

That strong, wasted force that is mobilised every five years with a few shillings to become a danger to everyone, including themselves.

If youth are not involved, sorry, but the committee will be collecting water with a basket and expecting to fill a water tank.

We have more than 40 tribes in Kenya, but the country seems to be fixated on the top three, as if the rest don’t matter. They want to be part of this discussion.

Peace building starts when my grandmother (and fellow seniors) can engage and become part of the dialogue. Involve youth in the dialogue and allow them to say how they feel about the initiative.

Detach yourselves from tribal associations, however much you have a tribe at the end of the day.

Be transparent in your dealings, don’t say one thing as a group and another in your tribal barazas in your villages, which does not create cohesion.

Peace builders have to be God-fearing — not necessarily belonging to any institutionalised, structured hierarchy — and respectful of the people.

Involve women; they do a lot of behind-the-scenes work when it comes to peace initiatives.

Kenyans have to be educated right from kindergarten and up to the highest institutions of learning that peace is a lifelong process, which goes beyond five years or a two-term presidency.

COMMITMENT

Institutions should not be tribalised, and the national map should not only be on paper, but felt in every ministry.

The ‘Agenda Four’ issues should be addressed concretely; same as the ethics and integrity chapter. These should not be politicised or polarised.

Stop the board meetings in Nairobi; get down to peace talks, even on social media platforms, create a concrete day to celebrate national diversity.

Lastly, be patriotic: Bridge builders never write their names on it.

Fr Joseph Baptist Nyamunga, Italy. @omuhulundu


Uphold schoolgirls’ dignity

By EDITORIAL
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The directive by a county commissioner to have pregnancy and female genital mutilation (FGM) tests carried out on girls ahead of yesterday’s reopening of schools is shocking.

If there is an official who is clearly overreaching his mandate, then it is Narok County Commissioner George Natembeya, who reportedly ordered school heads to ensure that all the girls in upper primary and secondary schools are checked at health centres.

First, there is no indication that the Ministry of Education, which is the custodian of policy in this vital sector, had any input in this.

And the question that arises is whether Mr Natembeya even consulted with Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and other top ministry officials, including Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang, or that he feels he can unilaterally effect such measures.

Though teenage pregnancies are, indeed, a major problem countrywide with the country reeling from the reports of many girls who sat last year’s KCPE and KCSE exams in maternity wards or after delivering their babies, this prescription is certainly not the solution.

This is a complex problem that calls for a more comprehensive approach involving all the stakeholders, including parents and teachers.

Such checks are not only an affront to the girls’ dignity; they are also illegal and uncalled-for.

Schoolgirls must not be subjected to this blanket humiliation just to establish if a few of them might be pregnant.

But even if they were, the directive would still run counter to the official policy, which allows girls who get pregnant to have their babies, wean them and go back to school.

The order is therefore nonsensical and should be rejected and condemned by all.

The administrator owes the children, their parents and teachers and apology.

We must not allow such needless disruptions to our children’s education, not least the girls.


Appointments good sign in police reforms

By EDITORIAL
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The appointment of eight top police officers designated as regional commanders marks the first step in the much-talked about reforms that began last year.

The National Police Service is being restructured and part of the undertaking is to consolidate positions and streamline the chain of command.

Last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta outlined several initiatives to change the structure, organisation, operations and kitting of the service.

Various divisions that existed independently — such as Administration Police Service, Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Kenya Police Service — are to be merged and put under the Inspector-General of Police at the national level and specific officers at the regional, county and sub-county levels.

Reforming the police service is pivotal to enhanced enforcement of law and order.

Several attempts have been made in the past to give the police service a fresh shine by recreating its image and functionalities.

A key milestone was at the constitutional level, where what was used to be a “police force” was renamed the National Police Service to mark a major departure.

That henceforth it would be a service institution, not a “force”, which, for various reasons, was associated with brutality and insensitivity.

This latest attempt is meant to push the frontiers and truly give the institution a better image. That is what Kenyans aspire for.

Unfortunately, evidence indicates that all reform programmes are cosmetic. Hardly do they tackle the intractable challenges afflicting the agency.

Thus far, the police service is characterised by brute force, corruption, inefficiencies and irrationalities.

Ordinary citizens fear police more than petty criminals, which is quite absurd.

It is for these reasons that the service perennially takes the dubious distinction of the most corrupt institution.

Conceivably, there are reasons why police officers behave the way they do.

Despite concerted efforts, the training is oriented towards the use of force and less of humane approaches.

Their terms and conditions of service are wanting and living conditions horrible.

Resources and equipment for work are inefficient, rendering them unable to deliver quality service.

Not surprisingly, the police routinely seek out favours from individuals or communities in terms of facilitation to do their work, compromising them.

We acknowledge the steps being made to reorient the service. Structural and organisational changes are vital. However, much more is required.

Far deeper changes are necessary to transform the way the police service operates.

Training must shift dramatically to prioritise human and community relations, and strong ethics instilled and enforced, so that the institution can win the confidence of the public.

Tied to this is proper resource allocation and provision to empower the officers to deliver.


UNHCR appeals for access to refugees on Algeria-Niger border

Read the Arabic version here

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is concerned about the safety of vulnerable individuals from Syria, Yemen and Palestine who are reportedly stranded at Algeria’s southern border with Niger.

UNHCR received information that the group, comprising some 120 Syrian, Palestinian and Yemeni individuals, were detained at the Tamanrasset Centre in southern Algeria before being taken to an area near the Guezzam border post on 26 December.

Some of the individuals in this group are known to UNHCR as registered refugees who have fled conflict and persecution or claim to have attempted to seek international protection in Algeria.

According to information made available to UNHCR, 20 individuals from this group currently remain stranded in the desert, three kilometres from the Guezzam border post where they are exposed to the elements. The other 100 individuals who were taken to the border are unaccounted for.

UNHCR is in contact with the Algerian authorities regarding this incident and advocating for access to assess their protection needs. However, in light of media reports in Algeria suggesting that these people were moved to the border with the agreement of UNHCR we wish to clarify that UNHCR has had no such involvement.

Given the urgent humanitarian imperative in providing assistance to those stranded, UNHCR is appealing to the Algerian authorities for access to those individuals, to address humanitarian needs and to identify those in need of international protection and to ensure their safety.

Recognising the challenges faced by Algeria in responding to mixed movements, UNHCR maintains regular communication with the authorities to address the situation of refugees and asylum seekers, who can be subject to arrest and removal.

Algeria has opened its doors to some 50,000 Syrian refugees who have sought safety in the country and we appeal to the authorities to extend this hospitality to those who need it.

While border management remains a sovereign prerogative of all governments, UNHCR reiterates that border security and international protection are not mutually exclusive.

UNHCR underscores that any person whose life is at risk in their country of origin must be able to access territory and seek asylum in a safe country and each asylum request should be considered individually.

Media contact:

In Geneva, Shabia Mantoo, mantoo@unhcr.org, + 41 79 337 7650 In Amman, Rula Amin, aminr@unhcr.org, +962 790 04 58 49


Deadly Mali attack to be investigated by UN rights experts

An attack on a village in central Mali earlier this week in which at least 37 civilians died, is to be investigated with the help of United Nations human rights experts, the UN stabilization mission in the country (MINUSMA), announced on Thursday.

Women and children were among those killed in Koulogon Peul on Tuesday, according to MINUSMA. It has called for justice for the victims, whose deaths come amid escalating intercommunal clashes, fuelled in part by decades-old disputes over land and cattle by pastoralists across the whole Sahel region and by extremist armed groups.

“I strongly condemn these attacks against civilians in the village of Koulogon Peul and call for the perpetrators to be held accountable,” said Joanne Adamson, MINUSMA Deputy Special Representative.

“It is becoming more and more important to bring an end to violence in the regions of Mopti and Segou. We need to intensify our efforts to find judicial and political solutions,” she insisted.

According to MINUSMA, the latest incident saw unidentified armed assailants attack Koulogon Peul village in Mali’s central Mopti region, at around 5am on New Year’s Day. In addition to those killed and wounded in their homes, houses and granaries were also destroyed on purpose, it said in a statement.

The assailants wore traditional hunting outfits associated with the Dozos people, MINUSMA also reported.

After welcoming the rapid deployment of Malian troops to the site of the attack and the decision to open a police inquiry, the Mission’s communiqué added that “in the coming days”, it will deploy a human rights team to support the probe.

“This work will make it possible to carry out an investigation in the zone where the attack took place”, the MINUSMA statement continued, noting that it would also help to complete evidence-gathering, establish the reasons for the killings and apportion responsibility.

The attack is the latest episode of violence involving self-defence militias and armed groups in Mali, where extremists took over the north of the country in 2012.

Although the French military succeeded in forcing them back, the jihadists have maintained support in communities in the north and centre, causing a significant deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the last 12 months.

Overall, some 7.2 million people living in Mali’s 50 administrative districts, or “cercles”, have been affected by insecurity, drought and flooding.

Among them, 3.2 million require humanitarian assistance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and four regions have acute malnutrition levels above the 10 per cent alert threshold: Gao, Menaka, Segou and Timbuktu.

For the situation in Mali to improve, the effective implementation of the peace agreement in the north needs to happen, OCHA said in its 2019 Global Humanitarian Overview, along with the restoration of law and basic services throughout the country, and the protection of civilians by national and international forces.


Malawi’s Nkhotakota Albino assassins arrested

NKHOTAKOTA-(MaraviPost)-Three people have been arrested in Nkhatabay following the murder of Mr Yasin Phiri a person with albinism which occurred on 1st January 2019 at around 22 hours. Mr Yasin was mercilessly killed in the presence of his 9 old son.

Nkhatabay police has confirmed that intelligence were gathered and the following suspects have been arrested in connection to the case:

1). Fransis Chipateni Kaluwa aged 37 vge Makowola T/ Zilakoma D. Nkhatabay.

2). Ceaser Banda, aged 31, Vge Kauta T/A Fukamapiri D. Nkhatabay

3). Lawrence Theu aged 32 vge Makokola T/A Zilakoma D. Nkhatabay.

Further to that, one suspect namely Kweni full particulars not advised who is believed to have possessed the chopped arms of the deceased is still at large.

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UTM Party primary elections, a shame to democracy for  lack of proper structures

UTM-site-in-the-north-ready-for-primaries. 

By Nenenji Mlangeni

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The newly registered United Transformation Movement (UTM) party tried its political move on holding first ever primary elections for aspirants ahead of this year’s May general elections, but the situation on the ground is so pathetic.

The party under Vice President Saulos Chilima could hold primaries at once in all constituencies across the country when all in all don’t have proper structures for such a political work.

Why the hurry of holding primaries when the house is not in order? Is Chilima and his UTM serious about governing the country?

Below is the some of the pathetic update scenes of the primaries

Drama in UTM primary elections in Blantyre city, as a sitting Member of Parliament for Blantyre South constituency, Allan Ngumuya has tumbled to a new comer in politics,Mabvuto Missi.

A member in of the UTM National Executive Committee, Leonard Chibanja, who is Deputy Director of Publicity, withdrew the race in the same constituency.

In Mzuzu the elections were earlier on delayed because owner of their venue that they booked, MP Frank Mwenefumbo, reportedly changed his mind at eleventh hour.

But our reporter in Mzuzu says the elections have now resumed.

In Likoma, the primaries have also been suspended according to our reporter there.

And our reporter in Dowa, says Dowa UTM’s district governor Mr. Ronnex Kapida has attributed the failure to conduct primary elections today to unavailability of delegates, as aspirants failed to mobilize delegates in their electoral colleges.

In Zomba central Constituency there were no primaries and Mr Noel Masangwi is to be declared official candidate according to his personal assistant.

In Zomba Lisanjala constituency, the UTM primaries will be held tomorrow because one of the candidates has lost a relation.

This is according to UTM constituency governor for Chingale, Changalume and Lisanjala.

Poor organisation marred the UTM primaries in Chikwawa, where they postponed the polls in Chikwawa west and Chikwawa East as in other areas voting committee members had to wait for more than seven hours for the arrival of presiding officers.

For instance at Bwabwali CDSS in Chikwawa Central constituency, there was no presence of any security officers to control the crowds.

Meanwhile, there is drama in Machinga Likwenu constituency where up to now they have not conducted the elections as some contesters are complaining that their supporters were not ferried to the venue.

Presiding Officer Ninety Banda,who is also Deputy Director of Youth in the Eastern region, is in meeting with the contesters’ to determine the way forward.

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