December 8, 2016

KENYA: Bishop Mugambi Bans Political Campaigns in Churches


MERU DECEMBER 6, 2016(CISA) – Bishop Salesius Mugambi of the Catholic Diocese of Meru has banned political campaigns in churches.

Speaking December 5 on the sidelines of the just concluded Jubilee Year of Mercy celebrations at Consolata Primary School in Meru town, Bishop Mugambi urged politicians to “respect the church.”

“If they are given a chance to greet the people and sell their agenda, let them do it outside the house of God. These houses are blessed and meant for prayer. Priests need to take care of that. A lot of things have happened in the past and we don’t want to go back there,” The Star Newspaper quoted Bishop Mugambi as saying.

He noted that the church is a place of worship and must never be turned into campaign grounds by politicians during and after the August 2017 General elections.

He expressed concern that politicians have resorted to physical fights and use of abusive language urging them “to be tolerant and respect each other.”

In November 2, Bishop Paul Njiru Kariuki of the Catholic Diocese of Embu, in an exhortation letter sent to priests and all Christians in the diocese of Embu banned politicians from using the pulpit to woo voters ahead of the forthcoming 2017 General Elections.

“In the event that the politicians seek to contribute in fundraising, they will only be allowed to do so as church members without expecting to be given a chance to campaign,” said Bishop Kariuki.


NETHERLANDS: Trial of LRA Commander Dominic Ongwen begins at ICC


THE HAGUE DECEMBER 6, 2016 (CISA) – Former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander Dominic Ongwen has today appeared at International Criminal Court (ICC) over war crimes and crimes against humanity.

He faces 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity including; murder, pillage and enslavement, in northern Uganda and neighbouring countries and faces life in prison if convicted, reported, The Guardian.

Ongwen was among the most feared leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which is blamed for the deaths of about 100,000 people and the abduction of 60,000 children across Central Africa.

The specific charges read out in the court focused on a series of attacks on refugee camps between 2004 and 2005, but Ongwen has also been blamed for scores of other atrocities.

One of the worst involved a four-day raid by the LRA on camps in north-eastern Congo in December 2009, in which about 350 civilians were killed and another 250, including at least 80 children, were abducted.

Ongwen has pleaded not guilty and told the court the charges should be brought against the LRA and its leader Joseph Kony, not him. According to his legal team, he is a perpetrator and a victim.

Ongwen was a child soldier and is believed to have been abducted by the LRA when he was ten years old as he walked to school in northern Ugandaand later rose to become a top commander.

He was accused of crimes against humanity, including enslavement leading to ICC issuing an arrest warrant against him in 2005 but was rumoured to have been killed in the same year.

The US offered $5m (£3.3m) reward for information leading to his arrest in 2013 and hee was captured in the Central African Republic in January 2015.

He is said to be the deputy to LRA commander Joseph Kony, who is still on the run. The LRA rebellion began more than two decades ago in northern Uganda with estimated 200-500 fighters – many of them child soldiers.



KENYA: Government to Unveil New Education Curriculum


NAIROBI, DECEMBER 6, 2016(CISA)-The government will move away from the current 8-4-4 education system and unveil a new education curriculum on Thursday December 8.

The new structure 2-6-6-3-3 has three levels: early years, middle school and senior school education.

According to a document from the Ministry of Education and Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), in the early year’s category, children will spend two years in nursery and six years in lower and upper primary, each section divided into three years.

Secondary education will also be split into two – lower and senior – each section taking up three years.

However, in upper secondary, learners will be expected to specialise by taking up either of three paths – arts and sports, social sciences and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“At grade four, learners will be introduced to the optional subjects offered at upper primary to enable them make informed choices at grade seven,” reads the document in part.

Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i said the document is ready and will be presented to stakeholders this week.

“We will present the proposed new curriculum to education stakeholders at a National Curriculum Conference to be held on December 8, 2016, after which we can plan how to implement it,” said Dr Matiang’i.

KICD Chief Executive Officer Jwan Julius said if stakeholders ratify the document this Thursday, piloting will be done from May.

“We shall start piloting of the lower primary, then do a national roll out of the classes in 2018. Other classes will be done on a phased out approach,” Mr Jwan told The Standard Newspaper.

According to the document, children in upper primary– Standard Four to Six – of age nine to 12 will be taught Kiswahili, home science, agriculture, science and technology, religious education, creative arts, physical and health education. Social studies such as citizenship, geography and history will also be taught. Foreign languages (Arabic, French, German and Chinese) will be optional.

“There will be two types of assessment in upper primary. Formative assessment from grades 4-6 will be continuous through individual learners’ portfolios. To transit to grade 7, a national assessment will be administered at grade 6,” reads the document.


DR CONGO: Catholic Nun Murdered in Bukavu


KINSHASA, DECEMBER 6, 2016 ( CISA)- Sr Clara Agano Kahambu, a catholic religious sister of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Christ the King was killed on November 29 at Mater Dei Parish in Bukavu, capital of South Kivu.

Sr Clara who advocated for women’s rights was in her office with a student when a man went up to the guardian saying he had to enroll his daughter at the religious school. When he entered, he threw himself against the nun, killing her with a knife to her neck. The man was captured but the sister died before reaching hospital.

“This true advocate of women’s rights has died at the age of 40. She is added to the long list of human rights defenders who have died in our province,” said a statement issued by the Justice and Peace Diocesan Commission.

Sr Clara Agano was born on July 3, 1976 in Luofu parish, Diocese of Butembo-Beni. She was the daughter of Jean-Pierre and Anastasia Kahindo, fifth in a family with ten children.

She joined the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Christ the King School based in Spalato, on November 16, 2000 in Bukavu and was a Postulant from August 5, 2001.

She began her novitiate on August 25, 2002 and professed her perpetual vows on August 2, 2010.

She was a headmaster of Marie Madeleine School in Bukavu where she taught psychology, pedagogy and catechesis.


S. SUDAN: Remind the Young Generation that We Once had Peace, Bishop Taban Urges Elders

A man waves South Sudan's national flag as he attends the Independence Day celebrations in the capital Juba, July 9, 2011. Tens of thousands of South Sudanese danced and cheered as their new country formally declared its independence on Saturday, a hard-won separation from the north that also plunged the fractured region into a new period of uncertainty. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya (SOUTH SUDAN - Tags: SOCIETY)

JUBA, DECEMBER 6, 2016 (CISA) – Bishop Paride Taban, emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Torit has urged the elders to remind the younger generation how they once had lived in peace and harmony regardless of tribe.

“South Sudanese were never so much tribalistic during my youth. We are dying because we are not sincere with each other,” said the bishop while speaking to Jieng Council of Elders on November 29.

According to the Catholic Radio Network the bishop urged the South Sudanese must learn to internalize the 20 words and eight phrases of peace in order to restore permanent peace in the country.

“The words are: Love, joy, peace, patience, compassion, sympathy, kindness, truthfulness, gentleness, self-control, humility, poverty, forgiveness, mercy, friendship, trust, unity, purity, faith and hope,” said Bishop Taban.

“The phrases are 20, and the eight phrases are: I love you, I miss you, I thank you, I forgive, we forget, together, I am wrong, I am sorry,” Vatican Radio quoted Bishop Taban as saying December 5.

“It is only by internalizing these words can permanent peace return to South Sudan,” added the prelate.

The winner of the 2013 UN’s Sergio Vieira de Mello Prize was echoing a message he has been preaching since the conflict began in 2013.

In 1999, Bishop Emeritus Taban started the Holy Trinity Peace Village in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria state.

The project, which initially began as a demonstration farm later expanded in 2004, to become a village where people from different tribes, nations and religions live and work together.