- Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki has downplayed claims by critics that the grand coalition government is cracking as evidenced by disunity between the President and the Prime Minister.
Mr Kibaki called on Kenyans to avoid listening to those bent on "spreading malice" because "the grand coalition government is united."
“We agreed with Raila to form one government, and we are working together in one government. Those saying we have two governments are spreading fitina (malice),” he said.
Addressing thousands of workers at the 2008 Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Park in the capital Nairobi on Thursday, President Kibaki urged Kenyans to throw away their differences, reconcile and work together to develop their country.
While urging workers to promote messages of peace and reconciliation, the President also ordered employers to reinstate any staff sacked as a result of the post-electoral violence.
He said the problems of the post-electoral violence were caused by Kenyans and not by outsiders, and as such, "it is important for us to accept it and start living and working together as friends."
The Kenyan leader expressed delight over the feedbacks he had received during a recent tour conducted by top government officials, including Mr Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka to the Rift Valley.
Mr Kibaki said apart from being free to live and work anywhere in the country, there is need to help those whose houses were torched to resettle.
The civil society and religious groups have raised concerns over the negative implications of Kenya's 42-member cabinet. But Mr Kibaki said he would have loved to have a leaner cabinet, but he been forced by circumstances beyond his control. He was however confident that the new cabinet will deliver services to the public and champion the unity agenda.
He announced his government's plans to enforce more labour laws to better the conditions of workers. He said despite hues and cries and legal action by the Federation of Kenya Employers and the Law Society of Kenya.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who has been out of the country, was absent at the celebrations.
In a separate development, President Kibaki has fired two High Court judges, Tom Mbaluto and Joseph Vitalis Odero Juma after an investigative tribunal report found that they were "engaged in unethical behaviour."
A suspended judge, Justice Amraphael Mbogholi Msagha, has been reinstated.
Justice Mbaluto was found to have been engaged “in unethical practices and absence of integrity” while performing his office duties, contrary to section 63 (3) of the constitution.
Justice Juma could not escape nine of the 12 allegations levelled against him. He too was "was engaged in unethical practices and absence of integrity in the performance of the functions of judge of the High Court of Kenya."
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.
afrol News - As Malawi faces its worst-ever corruption scandals, donors are now freezing their aid. But Charles Mkula, head of Malawi's journalists, told afrol News that this will only victimise the extremely poor country and create political chaos.
afrol News - Four hangings have already been executed and a fifth is in preparation in Nigeria. The country had imposed a moratorium on state executions in 2006, but governors are now rushed to sign death warrants as President Goodluck Jonathan lifted the ban.
afrol News - In Madagascar, "a largely uncontrolled locust plague" is in development, which by September is expected to infest two-thirds of the large island. If not checked, the locusts will finish off the entire crops of more than half of the population.
afrol News - Despite massive pressure to stop the prosecution of Kenya's recently elected President, Uhuru Kenyatta, the International Criminal Court (ICC) today set a new date for the trial against the state leader. Mr Kenyatta is accused of crimes against humanity.