Baroness Thatcher

Baroness Thatcher was the first woman to be UK prime minister, winning three elections

Former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher has died “peacefully” at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke, her family has announced.

Successor David Cameron called her a “great Briton” and the Queen spoke of her sadness at the death.

Lady Thatcher was Conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990. She was the first woman to hold the role.

She will not have a state funeral but will be accorded the same status as Princess Diana and the Queen Mother.

The ceremony, with full military honours, will take place at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral.

The union jack above Number 10 Downing Street has been lowered to half-mast.

Mr Cameron, who is in Madrid for meetings, has cancelled planned talks in Paris with French President Francois Hollande and will return to the UK later on Monday.

‘Great leader’Lady Thatcher, born Margaret Roberts, served as MP for Finchley, north London, from 1959 to 1992.

Having been education secretary, she successfully challenged former prime minister Edward Heath for her party’s leadership in 1975 and won general elections in 1979, 1983 and 1987.

Lady Thatcher’s government privatised several state-owned industries. She was also in power when the UK went to war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands in 1982.

In a statement on the Downing Street Twitter feed, Mr Cameron said: “It was with great sadness that l learned of Lady Thatcher’s death. We’ve lost a great leader, a great prime minister and a great Briton.”

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “The Queen was sad to hear the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher. Her Majesty will be sending a private message of sympathy to the family.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg described Lady Thatcher as one of the “defining figures in modern British politics”, adding: “She may have divided opinion during her time in politics but everyone will be united today in acknowledging the strength of her personality and the radicalism of her politics.”

London Mayor Boris Johnson tweeted: “Very sad to hear of death of Baroness Thatcher. Her memory will live long after the world has forgotten the grey suits of today’s politics.”

UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage called Lady Thatcher a “great inspiration”, adding: “Whether you loved her or hated her nobody could deny that she was a great patriot, who believed passionately in this country and her people. A towering figure in recent British and political history has passed from the stage. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.”

Lady Thatcher had suffered poor health for several years.

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has suffered another setback in her case against President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta.

Just three months to the start of Uhuru’s trial on July 11 at The Hague, it is emerging that three prosecution witnesses have refused to testify against him.
Witnesses Number 2, 9, and 10 were among the 12 Bensouda relied on to have the charges against Uhuru confirmed by the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II in January last year.

Recently, the prosecutor dropped another, Witness Number 4, in the case against Uhuru citing credibility issues after he recanted his testimony. This also prompted Bensouda to withdraw the charges against Uhuru’s former co-accused, Francis Muthaura, a former Head of the Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet. Uhuru’s lawyers and the prosecution have battled over the implication of the shelving of Witness Number Four’s testimony, with Uhuru insisting charges against him ought to be withdrawn too.

Trial Chamber V judges are yet to rule on the application by Uhuru’s legal team.

In the latest submission to the court, in response to earlier submissions by Uhuru’s lawyers, Bensouda discloses that Witnesses two, nine and 10 have changed their minds after having earlier expressed willingness to, citing security threats and fears of retaliation against their families.

Rethinking decision

In a detailed submission to the three judges of Trial Chamber V, Bensouda explained the circumstances in which each of the witnesses had balked.

“When the Prosecution contacted Witness Two on November 3, 2012, to confirm his availability to testify, he said he was rethinking his decision,” the prosecution says in the court filing dated March 28.

She added: “The Prosecution made several attempts to persuade Witness Two to testify, either as a Prosecution or as a Court witness, but on November 20, 2012, he informed the Prosecution that his decision not to testify was final.”

The Prosecutor also said that Witness Nine informed her office on August 17, last year, that he was unsure whether he could continue to co-operate with her office.

The witness, Bensouda added, developed cold feet due to what she termed as “concerns about retaliation against his family from the accused persons”.

“On August 28, 2012, he indicated that he would testify only if he could do so completely anonymously, because he did not want to put anyone’s life in danger. He reaffirmed this position on September 15, 2012,” the prosecutor said in the submission.

During a psychosocial assessment early last year, Witness 10 had stated that he did not feel like testifying during the trials.

She said that the witness and his lawyer informed the prosecution they had received harassing telephone calls and wanted to withdraw his co-operation.

“When Prosecution representatives met with Witness 10 on August 15, 2012, to discuss his concerns, he stated that he did not want to testify for health and security reasons,” she explained.

Bensouda has insisted witness Number 4 was bribed to recant his evidence. The witness lied that he was present during meetings where retaliatory attacks were planned.

The dropping of the witness has now turned out to be the new battlefront between the prosecution and President-elect Uhuru’s defence team. Uhuru’s lawyers argue that confirmation of charges was based on false testimony and have petitioned the Trial Chamber to refer the case back to the Pre-Trial Chamber II for reconsideration.

The trial in the case against Deputy President-elect William Ruto and Radio Journalist Joshua arap Sang, which is scheduled to begin on May 28, also face similar challenges.

A witness lined up to testify in the Ruto case has since stepped down.

The truth

The witness, who comes from Rift Valley, wrote to the ICC prosecutor withdrawing evidence attributed to him. He asked to have his name removed from the list of prosecution witnesses.

“I have never personally visited any of the homes of William Ruto and I did not witness any event and cannot vouch for the truth or otherwise of any allegation that has been made or attributed to me against him,” said the witness in an affidavit, contrary to his earlier evidence.

But in a submission dated last week, Bensouda maintained that the Pre-Trial Chamber II did not rely on evidence provided by Witness 4 with respect to the infamous State House meeting.

“Even a cursory review of the confirmation decision demonstrates that the Pre-Trial Chamber did not rely on Witness 4’s evidence at all with respect to the December 30, State House meeting. Its findings were based on the evidence of Witnesses 11, 12, and six,” she said

Meanwhile, Common Legal Representative for Victims Fergal Gaynor maintained that the judges should not hesitate to make full use of the Court’s powers to compel the Government to provide the prosecution with critical evidence.

“In cases such as the present case, in which the prosecution has reported State obstruction in attempting to access relevant evidence, and unprecedented levels of witness intimidation…. “The Trial Chamber should not hesitate to make full use of its powers under Article 64(6) (d) and 69(3) to impose appropriate sanctions for any offences against the administration of justice,” said Gaynor.

Integrity or validity

He disapproved the withdrawal of charges against Muthaura, saying the reasons the prosecution gave cannot be allowed to stand as an incentive “to those who would seek to undermine the work of this Court through bribery, intimidation, and blocking access to relevant evidence”.

The victims’ lawyer also opposed a request by Uhuru that his case be referred to the Pre-Trial Chamber.

Gaynor maintained that the Trial Chamber has no jurisdiction under the Rome Statute to entertain any appeal or application for judicial review of the confirmation decision.

He said that Trial Bench has no powers to inquire into the fairness, integrity, or validity of the confirmation proceedings terming the request as a delaying tactic.

Standard Digital News – Kenya : Three more ICC witnesses refuse to testify against Uhuru


loliondo wamasai

Baadhi ya wananchi wa asili ya kimasai wakiwa wameshkilia kadi za CHADEMA baada ya kurudisha zile za CCM Loliondo Jana.

loliondo wamasai 2

Kamanda Lisu akihutubia wananchi wa Loliondo ambao wako kwenye mgogoro mkali na serikali ya CCM inayotaka kupora Ardhi yao na kumpatia mwekezaji!

Taharifa za ndani ya chama cha CHADEMA zinasema mkutano wao uliofanyika April 6 2013 katika kijiji cha Soit Sambu Tarafa ya Loliondo wilaya ya Ngorongoro, imefanikiwa kuvunja ngome hiyo kongwe ya CCM ambako wanaccm zaidi ya 700 walirudisha kadi za ccm,na kuchukua za CHADEMA, Mkutano huo uliohutubiwa na Mkurugenzi wa haki za binadamu wa CHADEMA Kamanda Tundu Lisu, na Waziri kivuli wa utalii Mch Peter Msigwa,pamoja na viongozi wa Mkoa na Wilaya.

Wakati huo huo kwa Upande wa CCM waliofanya mkutano wao Waso mambo hayakuwa mazuri huku Nchemba na timu yake akiamburia hasira za wamasai ambazo kidogo zilitulizwa na Ole sendeka na Lekule, Wamasai walioudhuria mkutano huo walianza kuondoka huku wakiwa wamebeba mabango yanayosema tutapigania ardhi yetu mpaka mwisho.




Government clarifies on decision to provide huge tracks of land to Loliondo residents Thirty nine (39) years ago in 1974, the Government of Tanzania, through its Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism and through Government Notice No. 269 and in line with its now world-renowned and acclaimed Conservation Policy and in accordance with the historical Policy position that all Land is a National Resource, declared through Government Gazette that 4,000 square kilometers in the Loliondo Area in Arusha Region would be re-classified as Loliondo Game Controlled Area for purely wildlife protection.

Effectively, this made Loliondo Game Controlled Area part of the Tanzania’s Protected Area (PA) Network which covers 24 percent of the country’s total land surface. This is one of the highest commitments to wildlife protection anywhere in the world and as mentioned above was made consciously for protection of wildlife and for the benefit of all human kind.

Tanzania’s Protected Area Network includes all the 15 National Parks (NP) and Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), both of which are set aside specifically for non-consumptive use of wildlife resources, 28 Game Reserves (GRs) and 44 Game Controlled Areas (GCAs) of which Loliondo GCA is one of them. Game Reserves and Game Controlled Areas are for consumptive utilization of wildlife such as sport hunting. However, Section 17 of the Wildlife Conservation Act No. 5 of 2009 restricts human activities such as settlements and livestock grazing in these areas.

However, as population has increased and pressures on land have grown greater in recent years in the surrounding areas, the Government has felt it necessary and recognized its primary responsibility of providing land for people in this area, most of whom are landless and whose lives are therefore highly vulnerable.

It was in recognition of this situation and in meeting its primary responsibilities that the Government of Tanzania recently made a decision to de-gazette 2,500 square kilometers of land, out of the gazetted 4,000 square kilometers, to allow local inhabitants of Loliondo area to freely utilize that land for their own community development.
It was also decided that the remaining 1,500 square kilometers of land be retained as Game Controlled Area for continued protection of the wildlife and the environment for the benefit of the present and future generations of humankind.

The Government took this decision with the understanding that environment conservation is as important for eco-system protection as it is for community livelihood and community development. On 26th of March, this year, therefore, Hon. Khamis Sued Kagasheki, Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, using powers invested into him under Wildlife Conservation Act No. 5 of 2009, Section 16 (4) announced this Government position partly also as effort by Government to resolve a land use conflict that has existed in Loliondo Game Controlled Area for the past 20 years.

In his announcement, the Minister made it clear that the Government took that decision to provide land to the growing landless population in the area. In announcing the Government decision, Minister Kagasheki emphasized powers given to him by law to review Game Controlled Areas for the purpose of ascertaining continuation of control of such areas bearing in mind that the1,500 square kilometres retained by Government are significantly important to the entire Serengeti and Ngorongoro ecosystem.

Among other reasons, these 1,500 square kilometers are a crucial breeding area for wildlife, a corridor for iconic great migration of wildlife in particular for millions of wildebeest and a critical water catchment area.
It is therefore a gross and indeed a malicious misrepresentation of facts for a section of people both in and outside of Loliondo Game Controlled Area to claim that the Government of Tanzania was grabbing land from the Loliondo local communities. Who is grabbing land from whom?

First, these people have been living in the area illegally for many years because this land was never allocated to them under any Government arrangement. However, for very compassionate reasons the Government has allowed them to continue living there for all these years. Second, this land has always remained Government land throughout all those years.

The conceivable logic here is that the Government of Tanzania has made unique history of land-grabbing from itself to provide for its citizens in this case. This is a very laudable action and not something for which the Government of Tanzania should take all the bashing which has gone viral on social networks.

What the Government of Tanzania has now done is in fact to provide 62.7 percent of this land of the Loliondo Game Controlled Area to local communities for present and future use and out of Government realization of its responsibilities to provide for its citizens. Surely, no Government in world, can be blamed for meeting its responsibilities to such high levels.

Hon. Khamis Kagasheki

7th April 2013

Email: minister@mnrt.go.tz