Archive for November 2012

Peter Kenneth: Let the Kenyan Diaspora Vote

I am very saddened by the Cabinet decision that was communicated to Parliament and the Kenyan people by the Minister for Justice & Constitutional Affairs this afternoon that Kenyans in the Diaspora will not be able to vote in the March 4th 2013 General Election.

This decision completely disenfranchises our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora and denies them their democratic right to play their part in determining the future for their country.

Our brother and sisters in the Diaspora are as much stakeholders in this country as anybody else and therefore deserve the right to choose the leadership of this country. Their remittances to their families and friends here are a big source of foreign exchange as well as a critical source of income for many households. Their representation of the Kenyan identity and Brand Kenya abroad are a great source of pride for us all. They must not be relegated to the spectator’s gallery while it is evident that they play such a critical role in our economy.

At the promulgation of the new constitution, it was clear that Kenyans in the Diaspora would be able to vote in all subsequent elections. It was incumbent on the Government of Kenya through the IEBC to ensure that this happened and there has been a whole two years to do that. The logistical, financial and time constraints that have been given as the main reason for this unfortunate occurrence are insufficient and incommensurate to the infringement of the democratic rights of our brothers and sisters who live and work or study abroad. If South Sudan, the youngest state in the world could do it, why can’t Kenya?

I urge all Kenyans in the Diaspora to stand up and oppose this miscarriage of justice in the strongest terms possible until the government listens to them and guarantees them of their right to vote. The fight for the realization of democracy for all Kenyans has been a long and hard one and the enjoyment of those rights cannot be left at the determination of a few individuals.

As I have stated before, I remain committed to the full implementation of the new constitution to the letter which include the rights of Kenyans in Diaspora to vote.


Peter Kenneth

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Tullow Announces Oil Discovery at Twiga South-1, the Second Well in Northern Kenya

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Twiga South-1 exploration well in Block 13T, onshore Kenya, has encountered 30 metres of net oil pay with further potential to be assessed on test and has also encountered a tight fractured rock section with hydrocarbon shows over a gross interval of 796 metres.

Twiga South-1 has been drilled to a total depth of 3,250 metres and has been successfully logged and sampled. Three sandstone reservoir zones, analogous to Ngamia-1, were encountered and moveable oil, with an API greater than 30 degrees, has been recovered to surface. Further potential exists up dip of the well and will be subsequently appraised.  

In addition to the net pay, the well also penetrated a thick section of tight fractured rock below 2,272 metres which had extensive hydrocarbon shows over a gross interval of 796 metres. Moveable oil with an API greater than 30 degrees was also successfully sampled from this section. This tight fractured rock section is a new play-type for the region that will require further evaluation to understand its extent and any productive potential.

The Twiga South structure is the second prospect to be tested in the Lokichar Basin as part of a multi-well drilling campaign in Kenya and Ethiopia and is the first oil discovery in Block 13T. It is located 22km to the north of the Ngamia-1A discovery and further de-risks a number of other similar features on the western margin of the basin.

A series of flow tests will now be conducted on the well over the next 4-8 weeks. Following completion of the testing programme, the rig will move back to flow test the Ngamia-1 well.

Elsewhere in Tullow’s East African Rift basin acreage, a result from the Paipai-1 well in Block 10A in Kenya is expected by the end of the year and the Sabisa-1 well in the South Omo Block in Ethiopia is expected to commence drilling by the end of December.

Tullow has a 50% operated interest in the Twiga South-1 well with Africa Oil holding the remaining 50% interest.

Angus McCoss, Exploration Director, commented,

“Following the basin-opening Ngamia-1 well result earlier this year, I am pleased to announce that our second well in our onshore Kenya rift basins campaign has also discovered oil. This immediate follow on discovery reaffirms the considerable prospectivity of the Lokichar Basin. Having significantly expanded our plans in Kenya and Ethiopia, there is much to look forward to as the exploration campaign and testing programme move ahead.”

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ICC picks Kenyan lawyer, Wilfred Nderitu to represent victims of PEV

Judges at the International Criminal Court have picked a Kenyan lawyer to represent victims of Post-Election Violence in one of the two Kenyan cases at The Hague.

The Trial Chamber picked former Lead Counsel for United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for
Rwanda, Wilfred Nderitu as the new common representatives for victims.

The new Kenyan lawyer replaces Sureta Chana in the case facing Eldoret North MP William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua arap Sang. In their decision, the judges said Nderitu has relevant experience for the  position. 

“The Chamber notes that Mr Nderitu has direct relevant experience for the position, including familiarity with international criminal law practice, knowledge of Kenya, familiarity with the case and experience in interacting with victims, including in the context of the post-election violence in Kenya,” reported the bench.

The judges noted that the court had sent a request for expression of interest in the position that was sent to all lawyers on the Registry list of counsel and also to the Law Society of Kenya.

Alumnus of UoN Nderitu is a former Chair of the Governing Council of the Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ).

The alumnus of University of Nairobi Law School has also served as Duty Counsel with the International Criminal Court tasked with ensuring the observance of the rights of a potential witness during investigations. As a Duty Counsel at the ICC, Nderitu served in the case of the prosecutor against Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony.

Chana who represented the victims during the pre-trial stage had emerged the best in the interviews that were conducted by the registry of the ICC.

She was unwilling to relocate to Kenya, a mandatory requirement that had been set by the trial judges, which led to the termination of her appointment. However, one of the three Judges, Eboe-Osuji, a Nigerian dissented in the ruling, but the majority view prevailed.

Important role 

“The Chamber reiterates that it considers this requirement (to be based in Kenya) to be very important to the overall functionality of the role envisaged for the common legal representative in the new system established by the Chamber in its Decision,” ICC noted.

The court insisted that representation in the best interest of the victims would in many cases require that the common legal representative be in the field attending to the interests of victims, while court proceedings are in progress.

In an earlier application to the judges, Chana had rejected the idea of having a common legal representative practising in Kenya arguing that external pressure would undermine their duties.

She told the judges that external pressures would be more easily brought to bear on a lawyer who is a practitioner in Kenya and whose practice in the country would potentially be threatened by those with  nfluence.

However, the judges in their decision noted that Nderitu fulfils all the criteria set out in the decision and is willing to maintain an on-going presence in Kenya as was required. They said that a victim should benefit from the highest quality representation possible, generally or in the courtroom.

They said that when the common legal representative is out of court meeting the victims, he would be represented by members of the Office of Public Counsel for victims.

However, they insisted that the common legal representative should be able to appear in person upon request and at critical junctures involving victims’ interests.

The court is now finalising everything in readiness for trial proceedings that kicks off in April next year. The case against Ruto and Sang begins on April 10, while the trial of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former head of Public Service Francis Muthaura begins on April 11

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