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Mudavadi bereaved

By our reporter, April 30 2011
Mzee Alphonce Mulama, father to Mrs. Tessie Musalia, wife of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government Musalia Mudavadi is dead. Mzee Mulama died this morning at 4am at the Eldoret Hospital after a long illness. Burial arrangements are being made for this Saturday May 7, 2011 at his farm in Soi, Lugare District. The DPM flew to Eldoret this morning to be with family at this time of sorrow.

Sewerage: Kakamega residents demand compensation

By John Kabaka, April 29 2011
Over one hundred households in Maraba estate in Kakamega town want to be compensated before moving to create space for construction of sewage ponds by Lake Victoria North Water Services Board. Construction of the ponds stalled last year after residents successfully challenged the construction of the ponds at the environmental tribunal on grounds the project would Impact negatively on their health. They contested that the board had excluded them from the process of preparing an Environmental Impact Assessment report as required and overlooked environmental issues such as pollution. “The board must create a buffer zone around the project by compensating the families around it at the current market value before proceeding with the project,” said Esau Omung’ala the chairman of Maraba Lwatingu residents association. Omung’ala said the board should compensate people living within 300 meters radius from the plant to create a buffer zone. The residents were speaking during an environmental impact assessment public consultation meeting for the stalled sewer project. The project is part of the Sh 3.1 billion Nzoia cluster II by the board to supply water by gravity to Kakamega and Mumias towns. The board has already rehabilitated Shirere ponds and constructed a sewerage plant at Masinde Muliro University. The residents say the project will pollute the Lwatingu stream, which residents use for drawing drinking water unless proper measures are taken. More...

Maraba sewerage kakamega
Maraba Sewerage ponds in Kakamega. Residents want to be compensated before being moved from the neighbourhood. Photo: John Kabaka

Raila to pitch camp in Ikolomani for Shinali

By John Kabaka, April 29 2011
After end of successful nomination paper presentation to the returning officers in Ikolomani constituency, more political power is even expected to light up in Ikolomani. Prime Minister Raila Odinga is expected to camp in Ikolomani to campaign for ODM candidate Bernard Shinali before the by election immediately the campaign door open as from 1st of May. It is said that the big ODM army led by the PM who is also the party leader will hold campaign rallies all over the land of bullfighting commencing May 7, 6 days when the official campaign commences. “The PM is expected to lead party MPs especially from the Western province campaigning for our candidate. We don’t want him to just pass around but be around for enough time to meet the electorate,” said Lurambi legislator Manyala Keya who is teaming up with Shinyalu MP, Justus Kizito to coordinate Shinali's campaign. The three horses Khalwale of New Ford Kenya, Shinali of ODM and Dr. Collins Matemba of Ford-People have been cleared for the race that begun after the Kakamega courts nullified the bullfighter’s election. More...

KACC raises flag over sugar import cartels out to build war chest for 2012 elections

By Bernard Namunane, April 29 2011
The Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission on Thursday warned individuals who want to raise 2012 election campaign funds through sugar and other imports to expect punitive consequences. KACC raised the red flag as it announced it would soon take to court those behind the multi-billion-shilling sugar import racket in which the government is estimated to have lost more than Sh1.6 billion in tax collection. Commission spokesman Nicholas Simani said KACC detectives were at the port of Mombasa and had obtained information that could lead to arrests. The scandal, he said, could be one of the many taking place as some individuals embark on raising funds through imports to finance campaigns for next year’s elections. Mr Simani said KACC had deployed detectives at the port who so far had “credible leads” to have those involved in the money minting scheme arrested. However, he said it was too early to say when the culprits would be arrested. He was referring to disclosure that unscrupulous importers had been flooding the local market with duty-free sugar from non-members of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) countries and also undervaluing the imports. The sugar, suspected to be from Thailand and Brazil, is shipped to ports in Egypt from where it is trans-shipped to Mombasa as originating from there. Kenya Sugar Board chairman Saulo Busolo, who confirmed the imports, said investigations had shown that rogue importers had falsified Comesa certificates of origin and shipping documents to show that the sugar was from Egypt, a Comesa member. More...

Nicholas Simani
Nicholas Simani, spokesman for Kenya Anti Corruption Agency: Sugar cartels have spread corruption to Egypt, Brazil and Thailand.

Croc attacks fisherman

By Justus Ochieng, April 29 2011
A man was rushed to New Nyanza Provincial General Hospital after he was attacked by a crocodile while fishing in Lake Victoria. Maurice Ouma Omire, a resident of Omia Mwalo in Rarieda had gone fishing when the reptile attacked. According to eyewitnesses, the crocodile grabbed his leg and attempted to drag him into the water. East Asembo councillor Portious Adongo said crocodile and hippo attacks in the area are on the increase. He called on the government and the Kenya Wildlife Service to look into means of combating the menace since crocodiles and the hippos have become a threat to the region. More...

Bungoma vandal narrowly escapes death by angry lynch mob in Tororo

By Reuben Olita, April 29 2011
Tororo police in Eastern Uganda are holding a Kenyan who was found red-handed cutting power lines. Vincent Moday, 45, from Bungoma in Western Kenya was found ready handed with over 200 metres of copper power line cables of unknown value. Sources said a paserby noticed power cables dropping suddenly on the ground with a loud bang and raised an alarm when he saw the Kenyan up the electric pole before alerting the local administration who called the police. Tororo DO in charge of crime, Milton Birungi confirmed the arrest of the Kenyan saying he will be arraigned in court once investigations were complete. The DO said irate residents armed themselves and confronted Modayi who was in the company of five other thieves who managed to escape before they were cornered. Lady luck eluded the Kenyan who was still up the electric pole when he was arrested and frogmarched to Mulanda sub-county police post. He was transferred to Tororo Central Police station where he was detained. Vincent Modayi from Bungoma in Western Kenya survived lynching when he was rescued by the police. More...

Teso grads flop: Six graduates who attended police recruitment at Amukura in Teso South did not qualify. DC Denis Omosa said the graduates did not attain some required qualifications. More...
Resettlement of IDPs at Endebes to go on 'wapende wasipende' - PS

By Leonard Wamalwa, April 29 2011
The government has vowed that resettlement of IDPs from Rongai at Endebes will go on despite resistance from locals. Speaking on behalf of the prime minister, Raila Odinga, Permamnent Secretary in the ministry of Special Programs Andrew Mondoh vehemently said the government shall go on with its initial arrangements of settling over 255 families of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Rongai camps in Nakuru in two separate parcels of land in Kwanza District of Trans Nzoia County. Addressing journalists at the Rift Valley North Western Regional commissioner’s office in Kitale, the PS made it clear that the government was not going to bent to any pressure whatsoever to halt or stop its plans to have the IDPs resettled in any part of the country. The PS said that the government had purchased the two parcels of land including one bigger farm in Endebes LR NO. 8164 measuring 600 acres and a small piece of land in Trans Nzoia Kapkoi LR No. 90 and 95 measuring 109 acres to accommodate 221 and 34 families in the two farms respectively. Mondoh noted that the resettlement of the 255 families from Alko camps in Nakuru were not received well by residents and leaders of Trans Nzoia but insisted that the two parcels were strictly government land and the government shall not be directed by any individuals or groups of people on when or where to settle the people. “I want to reiterate that the government resettlement program will go on and the land that was bought was government and no leader will tell the government where to settle the people because that is government land,” said the PS. The PS who had had a marathon four hour meeting with a section of civic leaders from the county led by Kitale deputy mayor Herbert Wambaya and Nzoia county council chairman Samson Bunyasi warned the leaders who are inciting the local communities to reject the IDPs saying that necessary measures shall be taken against them. More...

Endebes Andrew Mondoh
IDPs from Rongai pitch more tents at Endebes on a farm bought by the government. Locals have opposed the move of giving priority to IDPs from afar when local IDPs are still living in squalor. Photo: Leonard Wamalwa

Disabled in Matungu get big cheque

By Shaban Makokha, April 29 2011
Matungu District Commissioner Samson Otieno Kwach has asked people with disability to unite together and initiate income generating projects. Kwach also asked them to seek funds from the government so that they can be able to empower themselves economically. Speaking during the handing over of a cheque worth Kshs. 158,000 to Lukaris Disabled and children centre from the National Council of Persons with Disabilities, Kwach urged the beneficiaries to initiate a culture of saving so that they can realize their profits. He advised them to practice fast running projects which can enable them generate quick funds in a short while. He said such projects as fish mongering, poultry rearing and paraffin selling are some of the projects that generate quick money within a short period. More...

Former MPs appeal for Sabaot redemption: Two former members of parliament have appealed to residents of Mount Elgon to accept back into the community reformed members of the Sabaot Land Defence Forces (SLDF) militia. In a rare show of unity during a three-day peace meeting two former area legislators John Serut and Wilberforce Kisiero joined the elders and victims of SLDF activities in calling for lasting peace in the area. More...
Real war is not TB but stigma, let's fight it - Bungoma health official

By Robert Ilukol, April 29 2011
A nurse at Bungoma South District hospital Mrs. Gertrude Wegulo has urged members of the public to fight stigma if the society is to achieve any meaningful development in the war against TB which is one of the leading killer diseases not only in Kenya but the world over. While featuring in a one hour TB Talk program on West fm, Mrs. Wegulo asked the TB patients not to look down on themselves as this will lead others to stigmatizing and discriminating them. She said “Sometimes it is easy to criticize others instead of helping to change the situation for the better. It’s important that we all take a look at the way we behave and examine the way we act towards others adding that before you rush to judge someone else, learn the facts about TB infection, prevention and treatment” It is worth noting that stigma or discrimination makes an individual feel different, less human, neglected and unwanted. It also makes one feel ignored and gives rise to feelings of loneliness, dejection, self pity and helplessness a situation Mrs. Wegulo said is worse if ignored. Stigma has many forms including but not limited to thoughts, comments, gossip, jokes, name calling, actions, loss of rights and decision making power, condemnation and exclusion or isolation. This she said is harmful to us, our families and communities but quickly added that we can make a difference by changing our own thinking and actions. Mrs. Wegulo further revealed that stigma affects even health workers but urged patients visiting the health facilities not to relent should they find a health worker showing indifference during a visit to screening, not to let it stop them from learning about their health status. More...

Bungoma District Hospital
Bungoma District Hospital, the main health facility in greater Bungoma County. Photo: Westfm
Wonder brick-making machine launched in Trans Nzoia

By Leonard Wamalwa, April 29 2011
Residents of the entire Trans Nzoia County and its environs are bound to benefit from a newly introduced type of bricks that do not need to be bonded by cement while constructing a building. The bricks are only inter-joined without using any bonding material and the only cement used is at the time of plastering where a thin layer of cement is needed. According to the Kinyoro ward councilor Joash Kisiangani, in whose ward the project of producing the new unique bricks has been initiated by the ministry of Housing, the bricks are made out of a mixture of Murram, sand and a little cement to produce the bricks that can be used for construction the following day after production. “Two bags of cement mixed with four wheelbarrows of refined murram and the same amount of sand produces over 80 strong bricks of this kind that are ready for construction with no cement to be used to join them,” said the councilor to journalists at the Birunda market in Saboti constituency where the only project in the entire region has been initiated. More...

Matofali Mpya
The revolutionary brick-making machine that eliminates need for cement. Photo: Leonard Wamalwa
Namachanja cheats death in Mandera road crash

By Joylene Sing'oei, April 29 2011
Acting Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) Chair Tecla Namachanja was involved in a road accident between Rhamu and Elwak in Mandera Central. The Vehicle she was travelling in rolled several times on Thursday near Wargadud but she escaped unhurt with slight bruises on the leg. The driver and a bodyguard also suffered mild injuries and they rushed to Elwak District Hospital for treatment. The commission had completed their witness hearings in Mandera and were headed to Moyale where hearings are set to begin on Saturday. More...

Tecla Namachanja
Tecla Namachanja, acting TJRC chair had a harrowing experience in Mandera when her car rolled several times..
Boda boda thief lynched in Obama's Kogelo village

By Justus Ochieng, Ampril 29 2011
A suspected motor cycle thief was yesterday beaten to death and his body set on fire by irate mob at Kogelo village in Siaya. The mob also burnt down his house and that of his alleged accomplice . The lynching happened just 200 metres from Kogelo police post which is at the home of US president Barack Obama's grandfather. The suspects had been trailed for about 4km from the neighbouring trading centre of Pap Oriang’ before meeting their fate at Kogelo. The villagers are reported to have tortured the suspect the whole night until he revealed his partner in the crime. Later after police had collected the suspect’s body, the villagers decided to torch the house of the brother to the owner of the motor bike who is said to have colluded with the suspect. More...

Khalwale presents papers with a bull-ride as Shinali hits a snag

By John Kabaka, April 27 2011
Fanfare and anxiety marked the presentation of nomination papers by candidates for the Ikolomani by-elections at Makhokho Secondary School. It was a show of might and the candidates assembled convoys of vehicles and accompanying crowds to signify how popular they are. The Interim Independent Electoral Commission received papers from three candidates who have been cleared by their respective parties to contest the seat. They are immediate former area MP Bonny Khalwale of New Ford-K, ODM’s Bernard Shinali and Ford People’s Dr. Collins Matemba. Moments of apprehension pervaded the school compound as two candidates ran into hitches as they presented their papers forcing the Returning Officer Benjamin Tarus who send them off for failure to comply with the electoral regulations as required by the National Assembly and Presidential Elections Act. First to run into a hitch was ODM’s Bernard Shinali who was the first to present his papers when he was turned away after he failed to produce form 9 or parliamentary nominations as required under Cap 7 of the National Assembly and Presidential elections Act. This delayed his clearance by over half an hour. Shinali who was escorted by Assistant Minister Manyala Keya and Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito walked straight to the clearing table. When asked to produce the document, Shinali confidently reached for his document wallet but after shuffling through pages missed the document. He asked to be given ten minutes as he sent for the document but the returning officer Benjamin Tarus ordered him to leave the hall and return after fifteen minutes. More...

Dr Bonny Khalwale
Dr Bonny Khalwale arrives at Makhokho Secondary School in Ikolomani carried shoulder high by supporters and accompanied by his bull. The bullfighter came to present his nomination papers for the forthcoming by-election in Ikolomani constituency after Bernard Shinali successfully petitioned Dr Khalwale's election.
Bernard Shinali
Bernard Shinali (left) presents his nomination papers to the returning officer, Mr Benjamin Tarus which were found to wanting. He was asked to leave and return after he had put his papers in order. Photos: John Kabaka
Youth demo against hiring 'foreigners' for casual jobs

By David Amunya, April 27 2011
Thousands of jobless youths from Uasin Gishu, Lugari, Matete and Likuyani districts blocked activities along the Eldoret- Webuye road while demonstrating against a local road contractor whom they accused of failing to engage residents for casual jobs. The youth who have been camping at the offices of the Maltauro Construction Company at Mwamba Trading Center since September last year protested against the company’s decision of engaging strangers from as far as Narok at the expense of locals. They blocked the highway using rocks and logs grounding traffic operations between the busy towns and forcing commuters to take alternative transport means like bicycles and motor cycles. Police from Lumakanda police station arrived later dispersed the youth and unblocked the highway allowing normal transport to resume after several hours. They later regrouped and engaged the police in running battles. It took intervention of Lugari county council chair David Amaswache and a team of councillors to persuade the youth to disperse. However, Mr. Amaswache warned that as leaders, they will not allow companies operating in the area to hire foreigners at the expense of local youth. He cautioned interference by the provincial administration singling out a district officer whom he accused of fronting for non-locals. Site manager Tom Amunga revealed that non locals who had been hired were professionals who could not be sourced locally. The youth dismissed the explanation with some of them flashing relevant documents. Though after being pressed further by the councillors Mr. Amunga revealed that majority of the non-locals employed at the site especially those from Narok were brought in by the Lugari District Officer Lawrence Ngare who forced him to employ them. More...

Likuyani youth demo
Youth from Lugari, Kakamega and Uasin Gishu engage police in running battles during a demo against a local road contractor accused of 'importing foreigners' from as fas as Narok at the expense of locals. Photo: David Amunya
Low turnout marks police recruitment in Western

By Westfm, April 27 2011
The ongoing national joint recruitment exercise of more than 7,000 trainees in all the 54 centers in Western and North Rift began in earnest today (Wednesday) with a low turnout compared to the previous years. There was also low turnout for females compared to male candidates who showed up at various recruitment centres. For instance, in Kimilili in Bungoma County at the Amutala Centre, most candidates were men with only a handful of women who turned up for the exercise. The same was experienced in Webuye, Kanduyi, Busia district, Kakamega, Vihiga and Mt. Elgon. In Busia district, recruitment involving two divisions Busia Township and Matayos division registered over 450 recruits. However, some were thrown out for failure to adhere to the requirements: having result slips, National Identification Card, others below the C plain grade required. Some candidates were turned away for not satifying physical requirements such as weight, height and some who had scars were not picked. In Lugari, Kakamega County, the exercise carried out at the Lumakanda Township, was officially opened by the District Commissioner Titus Murugu who assured the youth of a fair and transparent exercise. Murugu disclosed that, a total number of those who turned out, 21 will be selected and among them, 10 will join the police force and 11 will join the Administration police. At the Masinde Muliro Stadium, Kanduyi, Bungoma County, a section of the candidates were shocked and expressed dissapointment on learning that they could not be picked for lack of vital documents despite having acquired the minimun requirement of C grade. More...

Revolutionary water filter launched for rural households in Kakamega

By John Kabaka, April 26 2011
With the threats posed by climate change becoming real to Western Kenya residents, an environmentally friendly programme has been launched with an aim of protecting the existing forest cover. The programme, dubbed ’Carbon For Water’, seeks to use water filters to purify and treat drinking water in a bid to promote good health among the residennts while reducing the use of wood for boiling water thus protecting depletion of trees. While launnching the programme at the Masinde Muliro Garden in Kakamega, Mr. Mikkel Vestergaard CEO of Vestergaard Frandsen, said his programme aims at prevention of water born diseases in the region, a follow up of another campaign against malaria, diarrhoea and HIV/Aids the company carried out in Lurambi Constituency in Kakamega County in 2009. Mikkel Frandsen, the CEO of Vestergaard, a company that specializes in disease control textiles said the company will distribute 900,000 Life-Straw family water filters to approximately 90 per cent of all households in the Western Province. He said he is determined to distribute the filters to more than four million residents to assist them access safe drinking water at home. He said the expenses of the filters will be reimbursed through carbon financing and that should the filters develop problems his company will do the repairs free of charge but assured that the filters have a longer life span. “This funding model gives companies in developed countries potential revenue, in the form of carbon credits, for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries,” said Frandsen. “Carbon credits can then be sold to carbon credit buyers that want to reduce their carbon footprint or improve their environmental stewardship. The revenue generated, in large part, will be re-invested into the program to make it sustainable over a 10-year period,” he added. More...

Life Straw Kakamega
A woman uses a lifestraw filter in her house shortly after the programme was launched in Kakamega. Photos: John Kabaka
Kakamega Water Life Straw
Mikkel Vestergaard (centre), CEO Vestergaard Frandsen, the water filtration company demonstrating how his product works during an exhibition at Muliro Gardens, Kakamega yesterday. The company aims to distribute 900,000 filters representing 90% of residents in Western Province.
Luhya get raw deal at ministry

By Dave Opiyo & INS, April 26 2011
There are only 10 Luhyas working in the ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan Development in clear breach of Kenya's ethnic composition rule. The Luhya constitute 14% of Kenya's population and yet form only 8.4% of staff at this ministry in which the Kikuyu have an overwhelming representation of 39.5% disproportionate to their demographic composition of 19%. The minister, Njeru Githae has conceded that his ministry has breached the ethnic composition rule in its staff establishment. The minister said the practice could be largely attributed to over-emphasis by the Public Service Commission on meritocracy during recruitment with disregard to regional and gender balance. The mentality that ministries should recruit their staff from their backyard, he said, is also to blame for the practice in government ministries. Out of the 119 officers at the ministry 47 are from the Kikuyu community, representing 39.5 per cent. This is 3.3 per cent above the benchmark required by the law, which requires that no single community should have more than one third of staff in any government department. According to the report produced by the minister at the Parliamentary Committee on Equal Opportunity meeting, the Luo community has 15 workers (12.5 per cent) at the ministry, Luhya 10 (8.4 per cent), Meru 16 (13.5 per cent) and Kamba 14(11.6 per cent), amongst others. More...

Njeru Githae
Njeru Githae, Nairobi Metropolitan minister has admitted that his ministry has too many Mt Kenya people which is against new rules of ethnic representation.

Kalonzo rented crowds for 'miracle' Uhuru Park rally

By David Ochami, April 26 2011
The ‘miracle’ crowd that attended the launch of Kalonzo Musyoka’s presidential bid at Uhuru Park, Nairobi, in October 2007 was contrived, according a former aide in a new book. Mr Joe Khamisi, in the book The Politics of Betrayal discloses the inside politics of Kalonzo’s presidential bid, arguing the crowds involved rural people brought to Nairobi to give an impression he (Kalonzo) was popular. More...

Bitter sugar war looms between giant millers

By Protus Simiyu, April 26 2011
War is looming between West and Nzoia Sugar Companies over control of sugarcane in Ndivisi zone in Bungoma East district Bungoma County. This comes as a result of a recent massive registration of farmers by West Kenya Sugar Company in the region which for a very long time has been monopolized by Nzoia Sugar Company. Last week one farmer from the area, Joash Nakitare was involved in an ugly incident as Nzoia Sugar Company forcefully ferried sugarcane on his farm which was being harvested by West sugar. Speaking to west Fm, the Ndivisi Location assistant Chief Isaac Sudi confirmed the incident saying the farmer sustained injuries and was treated at the Webuye District Hospital before being allowed to go home. Mr. Sudi appealed to the two companies to solve their squabbles amicably to spare farmers unnecessary injuries and lose of valuables. Mr Sudi regretted that majority of residents have ditched maize farming oblivious of future food security following aggressive seduction by the two companies to contract more farmers. More...

Ethnic tension in Trans Nzoia over resettlement of 'foreign' IDPs

By Leonard Wamalwa, April 21 2011
Normal activities were halted throughout the day in Kitale town and Kwanza constituency as tension rose following the government’s move to bring internally displaced persons from Nakuru to be resettled in a purchased piece of land in Kwanza district. Residents of the entire Trans Nzoia county including leaders from all aspects and local IDPs and squatters rose in arms to counter the government move by confronting the foreign victims who arrived early in the morning today (Wednesday) in lorries, school buses, Nissans among other vehicles headed for their would-be new home that they didn’t manage to set their feet in. Tension started to rise as word went by in many parts of the town and other parts of the county that people had been brought around to be given land to settle on hence prompting many people to come and see the very idps and put in place measures to ensure they do not land on the 600 acre land near Endebes. The residents of the county strategically assigned themselves duties that were geared at barring the foreigners from being accommodated in the land with some going straight to the land in question to guard against any intrusion as others staged demonstrations in the town as they dared the newcomers not to attempt to enter that piece of land lest they regret what brought them in Trans Nzoia. Others went straight to the said piece of land known as Vamia and started rehearsing how they were to allocate themselves the pieces before the new comers arrived with others offering to provide surveillance round the shamba that was recently purchased from an individual in the ongoing resettlement program of the IDPs. Other people engaged the leaders including the provincial administrators over the presence of those idps as most administrators including Trans Nzoia West declining to comment saying the matter was above him and further more was not within his area of jurisdiction despite them camping near his offices. Different groups including the Civil societies such as the Jukwaa la Katiba group led by Eliud Sang and Jared Babu, a press release from the catholic justice and peace commission who read in the same scripts insisting that local IDPs and squatters’ plight should be resolved first before considering any other people from other parts of the country. More...

Endebes ethnic tension
Demonstrators opposed to the resettlement of IDPs from Nakuru in Endebes, Trans Nzoia demand that local IDPs living in camps must be resettled first.
Dr Noah Wekesa
Dr Noah Wekesa atop his car addresses the huge crowd of his constituents opposed to resettlement of 'foreigners' in Endebes while local internally displaced persons are still languishing in camps. Photos by Leonard Wamalwa.

'Plight of local squatters and IDPs must be addressed first before considering people from other parts of Kenya'

Mwana Mbeli chorister honoured

By Joy Wanja, April 21 2011
He easily shakes a leg and boogies at the strike of his one-stringed fiddle, shiriri. As he rose to receive the Head of State Commendation, William Ingosi Moshi played the shiriri and danced rhythmically on the way to the stage, leaving no doubt he is a sprightly septuagenarian. Ingosi, who popularised the vibrant Luhya folk tune Mwana wa mbeli (the firstborn) was on Wednesday among 12 other Kenyans decorated with State medals for their contribution to the arts. The 72-year-old is in his golden years and the State recognition, is a feather to his cap. Ingosi performed many times for Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, in the 1960s. He founded the Ingosi Cultural Band in 1960 and had the enviable chance of playing Mwana wa mbeli - well, some pronounce it mberi - at independence in 1963. Ingosi says he first played Mwana wa mbeli - a traditional Luhya tune - at Jomo Kenyatta’s home in Gatundu. On this occasion, the musician dedicated it to Kenya’s first president. Ingosi received the national medal in recognition of his contribution to music spanning five decades. He is a founder musician of Bomas of Kenya and has travelled to Japan, France, United Kingdom and Holland to perform. More...

william Ingosi Moshi
Musician William Ingosi Moshi (right) after receiving the Head of State Commendation during the presentation of State investiture award at the Permanent Presidential Music Commission Grounds in Nairobi on Wednesday. Mzee Ingosi from Bulukhova sub location in Tiriki, who has been belching music over the past five decades was accompanied by his son Jackson Ingosi (left). Photo: Hezron Njoroge
Kenyan fishermen burnt alive in Uganda

By our reporter, April 21 2011
Port Victoria village is in mourning after three Kenyan fishermen were beaten and burnt alive in Uganda by bloodthirsty mobs who mistook them for thieves yesterday. The charred bodies of Lucas Odinga, Geoffrey Ekesa and Gravely Maria were brought to Port Victoria in Bunyala. A sombre mood engulfed the village with women and children wailing uncontrollably. One woman said, she identified her husband from the teeth.

Case of mistaken identity: Bunyala fishermen mistaken for thieves burnt alive in Uganda
World Grandmother's Day observed in Bungoma

By Nandemu Barasa, April 21 2011
Residents from Kamukuywa, Kimilili Constituency in Bungoma County have been urged to grow traditional crops as a way of boosting their economic status and cure for certain diseases. Speaking at the Kamukuywa District Officer`s headquarters during the world`s Grandmother`s Day celebrations, Mrs Christine Barasa who is in charge of awareness on traditional values, said long ago, crops such as millet, sorghum, sweet potatoes, traditional vegetables among others were used to cure certain diseases and therefore there is need for Kenyans to embrace it once more. Besides being used to treat certain diseases, Mrs Barasa said crops such as Simsim are now on high demand internationally and they can be used as a way of earning a living and thereby improving the living standards of people. She urged residents to grow Simsim and assured them of ready market locally and even internationally. At the same function, grandmothers advised youth not to accept to be moved so fast with the western world and forget their culture only to end up breaking their marriages or failing completely to get married. More...

Kamukuywa grandmothers
This is how we did it: Assorted traditional utensils, baskest, gourds etc on display at Kamukuywa during the World's Gandmother's Day celebrations at Kamukuywa in Bungoma yesterday. Photo: Nandemu Barasa
Luhya woman
A grandmother demonstrates how to grind millet using traditional methods at the World Grandmother's Day fete at Kamukuywa, Bungoma. Photo: Nandemu Barasa
Sickle cell drug trials to begin in Kisumu within a year

By our correspondent, April 21 2011
A sickle cell anaemia drug in development since 1992 is to begin the third phase of trials in Kisumu which has the highest prevalence of the condition in Africa. Researcher Dr Yukata Niihara said he hopes to begin compassionate use of the drug in Kisumu, Kenya, within a year. Dr Niihara was speaking at a private reception for prime minister, Raila Odinga in California hosted by businessman, Amir Heshmatpour. He reportedly explained to the audience Kisumu was a natural place to begin compassionate use of the drug, since as many as one of 50 people there are born with the often fatal disease. "Kisumu is where sickle cell is ... most prevalent, not just in Kenya, but in Africa ... they have the highest number of sickle cell diseases, and what better place to start this project than Kisumu," Malibu Times quoted Niihara saying. Niihara said the drug, an L-glutamine medicine that has not yet been given a commercial name, ameliorates effects of sickle cell by reducing oxidation in red blood cells so they do not deform. The PM told The Malibu Times the drug was "big news in Kenya ... the best thing to happen this century." "You find many ironies; you can invest a lot of resources in these children – treatment and education, but by the time they reach college, they will just die. So it is a hopeless investment, until now. This medicine is going to give them a chance to live normal lives." The paper said the Malibu event came a day after the launch of the US chapter of the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Foundation. Named after the Premier’s father, the foundation addresses health and education issues. Heshmatpour said his company, AFH Holding & Advisory, would be partnering with the foundation to provide medical training. More...

Moses Masika Wetangula
Moses Masika Wetangula, the Sirisia MP and suspended foreign affairs minister: Local IDPs must be given priority before anyone from outside is resettled in Luhyaland.

Ocampo loses again

By Emeka-Mayara, April 21 2011
A judge Thursday refused Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s request to order that suspects declare their wealth. The declaration was among a raft of tougher bail conditions, including being asked to pay some money, that Mr Moreno-Ocampo wanted imposed on Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Public Service boss Francis Muthaura and Postmaster-General Hussein Ali. The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor believes that the three, because of their positions, might interfere with witnesses and affect investigations. ICC Pre-Trial Chamber 1 presiding judge Ekaterina Trendafilova said that some of the conditions had already been rejected by the chamber when it made a decision to summon the suspects. More...

Wetang'ula backs expulsion of IDPs from Nakuru from Endebess

By our correspondents, April 21 2011
Church leaders in Nakuru have condemned the turning away of 200 internally displaced persons who were to be resettled in Kitale. The leaders under the Likia and Beyond Peace and Conflict Resolution said the current trend where host communities reject IDPs is worrying and undermines peace efforts, especially in Rift Valley. Drawn from various denominations and communities, they warned that the rejection of IDPs is a bad sign as the country heads towards the next General Election. In a statement read by Reverend Abraham Mutai, the clergymen said the Constitution protects the right of Kenyans to settle and acquire property in any part of the country. The families arrived in Kitale to take up the 1,000 acres land the Government had purchased for their resettlement. "We want to be taken back to the camp. We fear for our lives here. Let the Government take us back," said Joseph Ayieko, the spokesperson of the IDPs. Leaders led by Ford-Kenya chairman Moses Wetang’ula and Cabinet Minister Dr Noah Wekesa faulted the Government for the foiled resettlement. "If there is land to resettle the IDPs, the Government should give IDPs and squatters in Trans-Nzoia County first priority before considering those from other parts of the country," said Wetangu’la. More...

Shock as government begs Teso youth to take interest-free loans

By Westfm Correspondent, April 20 2011
THE government today (Tuesday) pleaded with Teso youth to apply for interest free loans from the Youth Enterprise Development Fund to empower them economically. The plea came as it emerged that over Sh4 million YEDF allocated to Amagoro constituency in the last financial year had remained Unutilized with the youth shunning the loans. It prompted officials from the Fund's national office in Nairobi to convene a one day workshop to sensitize the youth in Teso on the need to access such loans. Teso North Senior DO, Richard Ajwang’ said it was unheard off for the youth not to take up loans which does not attract any interest and considering the rising cost of living which had engulfed world economies. ” Sh4 million is not small money. I urge you to secure loans, get right businesses, repay the loans and obtain another,” the DO told over 150 youth from Teso North and South at Teso County Council hall in the presence of the Fund credit officer, Safi Hassan, Council chairman, Moses Ote and youth officers, Eliud Ondara and Emmanuel Oigo. More...

Where in the world can you be begged to take free money?

Amagoro, Iteso
We won't touch Sh4m: Iteso youth packed in a hall at Amagoro during a sensitisation workshop. It emerged that the youth have shunned the shs4m youth enterprise fund loans despite being free of interest. Photo:Westfm

Ocampo ordered to release evidence: Pre-Trial Chamber II presiding Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova has ordered Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo to share his evidence with the six Kenyan suspects within the next three weeks. The Argentine lawyer was also ordered to fix location and time before this date where he will open up his evidence to the defence teams as provided for by the court rules. He also was given a timeline within which he must come up with justification for concealment, withholding or obscuring of certain aspects of his evidence that he deems too sensitive to be let out to the suspects and their lawyers. More...
Chiefs, police urged to monitor goldmining in Kakamega to forestall tragedy

By Hilton Otenyo, April 2011
The Geology and Mines department has asked provincial administrators and police to monitor mining activities at the former colonial mines in Kakamega to avoid further deaths. This came after three people suffocated to death in a gold mine at Rosterman, Kakamega last week. Three others are admitted at the Western Provincial General Hospital. Maxwell Wanyonyi, 23, Elly Omondi , 45, and Cosmas Muteshi, 28, suffocated to death in the 45-feet deep mine after it ran out of oxygen. Western provincial Mines and Geology officer Evans Masachi said though the gold prospectors are driven by poverty, their activities, some of which are dangerous, must be monitored to ensure their safety. He said the government had stopped prospecting for the mineral in the area due to technical problems and last week’s deaths of the three miners. Masachi cautioned residents against prospecting for gold in the mines at night. He said last week's deaths were a normal accident but his department is educating miners on the dangers involved. “It is not possible to stop gold speculation because some of the miners are doing so in their own farms,” said Masachi. It has emerged that the three miners suffocated to death after a hose pipe fitted to a generator which they used to drain water from the pits disconnected leaking carbon monoxide in the pit. “We normally go down the pits with a generator because it drains water faster. On that day, the pipe came off and as we struggled to fit it back, it emitted the gas which suffocated my colleagues, ” said one of the survivors. More...

Rosterman Gold Mines, Kakamega
Police control the crowd at Rosterman Gold Mines in Kakamega last week during a fatal accident in which three miners suffocated to death inside an abandoned goldmine pit. Photo: The Star

Wamalwa warned against dividing the Luhya

By Justus Ochieng, April 20 2011
The Western Youth Alliance has advised Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa to tread carefully in the recently formed G7 alliance. Led by chairman Ben Ombima, over fifty youths from Western province said with the leakage of a possible 2012 G7 line up, Wamalwa risks being isolated. They said Wamalwa should play his cards cautiously lest he lose his parliamentary seat comes 2012. “If Wamalwa has not learnt from Deputy PM Musalia Mudavadi’s misfortunes in 2002, then let him continue dividing the Luhya community,” said Ombima. The youth leader accused senior members of the G7 alliance of using Wamalwa under the pretext that they would support him in the elections next year. In the leaked G7 line up for 2012, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta will be the presidential candidate while Eldoret North MP William Ruto will be his running mate. More...

Man slaughters his girlfriend in Samia like a cow

By Frankline Bwire, April 20 2011
Police officers from Busia are looking for a man suspected to have murdered his girlfriend aged 27 years at Muramba village, Ageng’a Location, in Samia district. According to George Ekea, a village elder, Veronica Wafula was found lying dead Tuesday outside their homestead with marks indicating she was stubbed severally and her throat slit. Ekea disclosed that it was more likely the incident was caused by a domestic quarrel between the two. Elsewhere in Butula district, a man was lynched by an angry mob at Buyayi village, Marachi East location, after being suspected to have killed a 42 year old woman. The mob is said to have attacked Vincent Lupondo after blood stains of the late were found to have came from his house, after the body was found dumped at the entrance of his gate. Confirming the incident, Busia Police Boss Erastus Muthamia said that a spear suspected to have been used to kill the late, was found in Lupondo’s house. He added that: “The victim had deep wounds in her chest, believed to have been through the spear.” Meanwhile, in Nambale district, at Nambale Township, a 25 year old woman who took a poisonous substance to commit suicide, died as she was being rushed to the Busia District hospital. More...

Runaway inflation linked to corruption: MPs on Tuesday blamed the high cost of fuel on corruption in the energy sector, inefficiency in the way fuel was handled and the government fuel regulator. Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba led the onslaught on the government as he moved to have the House suspend normal business to discuss the fuel prices as a matter of national concern. More...
Endebess, Kitale
Endebess Internally Displaced Persons camp. Residents have rejected IDPs from Nakuru bused in by the government for resettlement in the area arguing that they should be given priority before 'outsiders'.

Uhuru on the spot over Sh750m bank deal

By Njeri Rugene, April 20 2011
Two MPs on Wednesday sensationally accused Treasury of giving Sh3.8 billion to three banks to lend out at high interest rates, yet the money was meant for soft loans to small traders. The claims by Industrialisation assistant minister Ndiritu Muriithi and Kinangop MP David Ngugi were immediately dismissed by Finance ministry, which said that each bank had been given Sh250 million, bringing the total to Sh750 million. Another Treasury official said banks are supposed to make available in loans five times the amount, meaning they would have been able to lend a total of Sh3.8 billion. More...

Hostile Kitale residents block 'foreign' IDP settlement in Endebess

By Osinde Obare, April 20 2011
Hopes of a better life by 200 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Nakuru who were being transported to their new homes in Trans-Nzoia County were dashed when host communities rejected them. Hopes of the 50 families were shattered when they arrived in Kitale to a hostile reception and strong opposition from the residents. The families who boarded hired Nissan matatus, with their belongings loaded in trucks and lorries were blocked by irate residents from accessing their would-be homes in Endebess. Their arrival triggered tension and provoked demonstrations from local IDPs and thousands of squatters. Members of Umoja Clash Victims and Trans-Nzoia Squatter Alliance staged demonstrations in Kitale to protest the planned resettlement of the families from Nakuru. Residents and local politicians carrying placards blocked the Endebess-Suam Road near Kwanza District Commissioner’s office and refused to give way to the convoy of the IDPs. The IDPs arrived at 6am but could not reach the 1,000 acres of land in Molem purchased by the Government for their resettlemen "We will not allow strangers to take up land here. We have IDPs in the county who are supposed to be resettled first," shouted councilor Philip Sakong. Efforts by police to disperse the protesters yielded no fruits as the host community refused to give away. Leaders, including Kwanza parliamentary hopefuls, Engineer Richard Chesebe and Mrs Jennifer Masis led residents in opposing the resettlement, arguing it was an insult to the locals. More...

Baby born without excretion organs appeals for help

By Frankline Bwire, April 20 2011
A woman who gave birth to a child without excretion organs is appealing to well wishers to come to her aid to enable her meet the operation cost at the Eldoret Referral Hospital. Eunice Wesonga a mother of four from Emalaya village in Bukhayo sub-location in Nambale constituency gave birth to Euphenia Auma on 25th January 2010 at her home, without the aid of a mid-wife, only to realize four days later that her daughter was lacking the urinary and excretory parts. “Nothing was passed out by the child, either through urine or excretion and crying signified the pain she was going through,” said Auma’s mother. She discloses that on realizing the state of her child, she moved to the Busia district hospital, before being referred to the Eldoret referral hospital immediately. Together with her husband Fidelis Wabwire, a Bodaboda operator at Mundika, they have sold their piece of land and some cattle in a bid to rescue their daughter’s life, but things have not moved to their expectations following the medical costs. At the moment, they are expected to meet the cost of three operations at a cost of Sh6000 each, besides admission and other medication costs. She is now appealing to well wishers, various organizations and the area MP Chris Okemo to intervene to aid rescue her daughter’s life. Contributions can be made through the fathers' Fidelis Wabwire Ombalo whose Safaricom M-pesa line is: (+254) ( 0 )715 601638. More...

Eunice Wesonga
Eunice Wesonga, the mother of Euphenia Auma from Emalaya village who was born without excretion organs. The one-year old discharges food waste through tubes inserted in her stomach as the picture on the left shows. The family is poor with teh main income coming from her husband's boda boda business at Mundika, Busia. To help the family meet costs of operations, please telephone: (+254) ( 0 )715 601 638. Photos: Frankline Bwire.

Busia councillors demand benevolence scheme: Busia councillors have asked the Ministry of Local Government to institute a benevolence scheme for civic leaders who die in office. Mayor John Ochiolo said councillors who die while still in active service receive no benefits apart from being showered with praise at burial by politicians who are looking for votes. “It is worthless to be showered with praise before your remains are lowered into the grave. Like MPs, civic leaders need fringe benefits not just praises,” he said. More...
Abandoned polio cripple rescued by Kakamega Hospital

By John Kabaka, April 20 2011
The case of a Matete man crippled by polio and abandoned by his family over the last 30 years has been taken up by Kakamega General Hospital after being highlighted by Westfm. Reuben Wawire has lived in seclusion for more than three decades due to paralysis caused by polio and has never seen nor enjoyed the joys, happiness and sweetness of mother earth since he was born. With our redundant culture and belief, Wawire’s family thought it was wise to abandon and shun him because of a situation he is not to blame but themselves as they could have accorded him a decent living by seeking proper medical attention; they could have taken him for polio immunization as a preventative measure and this sorry situation could have been averted. Wawire, has spent all his life as an outcast, and has been avoided as plague by his close relatives for 30 years after his mother and father died in 1982 and 1986 respectively only to find solace in his grandmother who also died last year. The giving up of his family that they could do nothing else cannot be at all entertained. As any other person who read the story and as the mirror of the society as well I took an initiative to try and find out what can be done. My first meeting was in Kakamega town where I met an old man who had seen the branded microphone and automatically knew that I was indeed from Stesheni ya Kikwetu. His concern touched me as I caught up a motor bike towards the Kakamega General Hospital. At the hospital, I met the medical superintendent Dr. Daniel Alushula who largely confronted the family from what they had done. “This is not acceptable at all how can you do this to a beloved member of the family, they would not have given up on finding a way to help Wawire,” said Dr Alushula. “They should be even sued in a court of law for crime against that for sure,” he remarked in anger. It is surprising and it is something that lest astonished including one Phyllis Wawire the physiotherapist in charge Kakamega general provincial hospital. “I am surprised that for all this years we have talked and preached of disability and that disability is not inability there are still some parents who still hide their disabled children,” said Phyllis Wawire the physiotherapist in charge. More...

Daniel Alushula
Dr Daniel Alushula, the medical superintendent of Kakamega General Hospital: "The family should be sued." Photo: John Kabaka
Youth risk venomous reptiles to remove water hyacinth from Lake Victoria

By Samuel Otieno, April 19 2011
THE manual removal of water hyacinth from Lake Victoria, at a cost of Sh178 million, has began with no safety regulations in place. Thousands of women and youth contracted to remove the water hyacinth thronged into the lake with no safety gear despite a pledge by the Environment PS Ali Mohammed that safety will be key. During the launch of Phase Two of the Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project, Mohammed said nobody will be allowed to remove hyacinth without adequate safety gear. He said the ministry had set out minimum safety standards to be used in awarding tenders for the removal. However, the situation on the ground contradicts his statement. At most of the beaches where hyacinth is being removed, the youths entered into the lake with their own clothes, oblivious of the danger lurking without safety gear. Stakeholders had initially rejected the manual removal of hyacinth saying it was host to venomous reptiles. However one of the service providers Okeyo Owuor said it was the choice of the youths to enter into the lake without safety gear.More...

Thugs slash Bungoma court clerk with pangas

By Reuben Olita, April 20 2011
A Bungoma court clerk is fighting for his life at Moi Referral Hospital in Eldoret after he was attacked by gangsters over the weekend on his way to his house. Nelson Kipruto was cut several times on his head and back but managed to crawl to his Bombo Tano residence in Sinoko area. He lay unconscious in a pool of blood for more than 10 hours before neighbours came to his rescue. Officers from Bungoma law court were among hundreds of people who visited Kipruto at Elgon View Hospital where he was admitted before he was transferred to Eldoret on Sunday afternoon for a CT scan. Eyewitnesses said the court clerk was dropped off near his home by a boda boda on Saturday night after meeting his friends at a popular joint in Bungoma town. He was confronted by a gang of four as headed to his house a few metres away. He was slashed on the head and back with pangas before he was left for dead by the thugs who also robbed him of an unspecified amount of money. A maid on her way to a nearby kiosk the following morning was shocked to find blood stains on the gate and alerted the landlady, Judith Namanda. Namanda followed the blood stains to the victim’s house where he was found lying unconscious and unable to recall what had transpired the night before. He was rushed to hospital. More...

Marende blames the Executive for delays in constitution implementation

By Peter Opiyo, April 20 2011
Parliament has blamed the government for the slow pace in implementation of the new Constitution. National Assembly Speaker Mr Kenneth Marende said even though parliament is committed to the implementation process, its Bills in-tray is starved of crucial pieces of legislation required to implement the Constitution, courtesy of the government’s reluctance. "The larger blame lies with the government, the Bills didn’t come until last week, and they are only two for that matter," said Marende. He was referring to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries commission Bill, which seeks to establish a credible electoral body and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission Bill, tabled in Parliament last week. These are the only Bills introduced by the government since President Kibaki opened Special Session of Parliament on March 22, 2011. During the introduction of the IEBC Bill, nominated MP, George Nyamweya raised concerns that the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee may not scrutinise the Bill owing to the infighting in the Committee. Some members want the Chairman and Budalang’i MP, Ababu Namwamba removed from the position, arguing they have no confidence in him. The dispute is with the Speaker’s office. More...

House to debate soaring food prices: Budalang'i MP Ababu Namwamba has written to the Speaker seeking suspension of House business for a day to discuss the soaring cost of living. By doing this, Parliament would be making a statement and accord weight to the matter that has elicited protests in neighbouring Uganda. More...

Joseph Olita as Idd Amin
Joseph Olita famous for his role as "Idd Amin" in the film the Rise and Fall of Idd Amin.

The retun of 'Idd Amin'

By John Oywa, April 20 2011
The man behind the success of the award winning film- The Rise and Fall of Idi Amin, has resurfaced, years after starring in one of the best ever film to be made in Africa. Mr Joseph Olita, whose towering and bulky physique made him a look-a-like of the former Ugandan dictator is headed back to the big screen, this time with a film called Simbi Nyaima, to be shot in Western Kenya beginning this week. Olita and another international actor and veteran media personality - Oliver Litondo, will play lead roles in the film, whose script has been written by playwright and Maseno University lecturer Otumba Ouko and directed by thespian Aketch Obat Masira. The film Simbi Nyaima, is a production on the mythical Lake Simbi in Karachuonyo, said to have been formed after flood waters swallowed an entire village because of greed and arrogance. More...

Kenyan cleric a candidate in Canadian elections

By George Oywa, April 20 2011
A Kenyan born preacher living in Canada is among hundreds of candidates vying for seat in the country’s federal elections due next month. Rev George Okoth Otura, a former youth leader in both Ford-Kenya and the defunct Liberal Democratic Party has been nominated by the Christian Heritage Party, which fielded candidates in all the 46 electoral districts — the equivalent of Kenya’s constituencies. Otura, 48, is campaigning to capture the York West Electoral District in the city of Toronto. Make History York West is the heart of the multi-culture and racial diversity with close to 200 community’s residents and Otura seeks to use the multi-racial platform and young voters to make history. "I not only want to make history as the first Kenyan to become an MP in the Canadian House of Commons but to prove that leaders is not about the colour of one’s skin," Otura told The Standard on phone from Toronto where he has been living ever since he left Kenyan in 2005. Controversial character A search at the Christian Heritage Party’s website conformed Otura has been nominated to contest the seat. The Canada’s 41st federal election is slated for May 2 and will be the fourth in the past seven years with 308 seats to be contested in the House of Commons. Otura has been a controversial character right from the time he signed up as member of volunteer security team for the late opposition leader he late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. He fled to Canada in 2005 claiming his life was in danger and later founded the Christian Democratic Movement-Kenya. More...

Backward taboos condemn polio cripple to 30 years of darkness

By Joseph Amunya Otieno, April 19 2011
For the last 30 years Reuben Wawire has never enjoyed sunrays. His crime? He has been incapacitated by a paralysis he suffered in 1980 that has rendered him immobile. Under the guise of culture, his family members shunned him and locked him in a tiny dungeon like room in an abandoned house away from the rest. Born in 1974, a healthy baby boy in Makhukhuni village of Matete district, Wawire suffered from polio that left him in the current state. Efforts by family members to have him fully recover failed and was taken back home and confined for all this period. A look at Wawire would easily force rivulets of tears roll down his cheeks. At 37 he looks a 2 or 3 year old suffering from debilitating effects of malnutrition.His abode sends a chill along the spine. Resembling a chicken house and unclean, nobody would imagine that a human being and not an animal has been able to survive in such environment for all this period. A Good Samaritan and church official Beatrice Nafula who has been occasionally taking care of Wawire revealed that he has been confined in an abandoned house formerly inhabited by the late grandmother. “As church members we have to visit him, change his clothing and carry him out to enjoy a little sun light”, she said adding that if that is not done he will remain indoors. Efforts to convince other members of the family to take him in have failed adding that they have branded a bad omen to their community. “Only the late grandmother Sarah Siekunja used to take care but since she passed on last year his condition was deteriorating for the worse,” Nafula observed pointing out that it was now important for the government to step in and bail him out. More...

Rubeun Wawire, polio
Reuben Wawire, now 37 looks like a child, a victim of devastating polio. His family in Matete abandoned him fearing a curse. Below: the grin dungeon where he has lain for the last 30 years without seeing sunlight. Photos: Joseph Otieno
Reuben Wawire, Matete Polio victim
Fire and brimstone cloud Kimilili rally

By Westfm Team, April 19 2011
The weekend was charged with political side shows as the G8 traversed the breath of Western in the domain of Kimilili as they drummed up support for Eugene Wamalwa. It all started in Brigadier, with the entourage comprising of Hons. Ruto, Balala, Mark Too, Kiama Kilonzo, Raphael Wanjala, Eugene, Shitanda, Kombo and Wamang'oli. Uhuru Kenyatta was expected but skipped the event due to unavoidable circumstances. Political punches were thrown, those on the receiving end, must be in the hospital of mental recovery because the blows came fast and furious. Three things were the crux of the road side rallies as they build momentum for the main rally in Kimilili. One very interesting observation was that Hon. Ruto has one clear purpose and goal only; to ensure that he is the defender in the political football analogy in the team against Raila, to ensure that Raila does not become the next president of Kenya. His passion, his mood, his vehement appeal defending his innocence, was a fierce fire in his eyes, one would think, if Raila were around, he would be sublimed by his gaze. Wetangula and Noah Wekesa were not spared either for their relentless efforts to scuttle the process of achieving Luhya unity. More...

Eugene Wamalwa,Kombo,Ruto
Eugene Wamalwa, the Saboti MP (right) addressing a rally in Kimilili, Bungoma watched by from right: Najib Balala, the Mvita MP and minister for tourism, Soita Shitanda, minister for housing, Musikari Kombo, nominated MP and William Ruto, the suspended higher education minister. The leaders shed crocodile tears over the rising commodity price index while at the same time vowing to stop PM Raila Odinga from becoming president next year. Photo: Westfm
Suba Bible launched

By Nicholas Onyuor, April 19 2011
The Ministry of Education and local radio stations have been urged to include the use of minority languages in their programmes to save the languages from extinction. Communications Commission of Kenya chairman Philip Okundi appealed to the Government to include the languages in the curriculum for young ones to learn. He said the minority languages were facing extinction since the younger generation has not been exposed to them. Engineer Okundi said deliberate efforts should be made in regions where these languages were still being spoken to promote the community’s culture and identity. "The Ministry of Education should make teaching of the languages compulsory as a means of promoting the culture of the speakers," he said. He hinted that radio stations were endowed with the opportunities to empower the minority languages and should ensure the languages remained active."Media entrepreneurs should come up with programmes aimed at making the languages active. The curriculum should have them to save them from extinction," he said. Okundi was speaking on Mfangano Island in Suba District where he presided over the launch of a New Testament Bible written in Olusuba, a Bantu language whose speakers have been swallowed by the Luo. A few Suba speakers remain in Migori and Homa Bay while others are in Uganda. More...

Tom Mboya shrine
Tom Mboya's shrine on Rusinga Island. The quintessential Abasuba leader was assasinated in 1969 and with that the opportunity to save the cultural heritage of his people. His language, Olusuba is under threat of extinction according to Unesco. The translation of the Bible into Olusuba is a step forward in preserving the endangered tongue swallowed by the dholuo.
Wamalwa's party to merge with Ruto's, Balala's in bid to capture presidency

By Eric Ngobilo, April 19 2011
With the election still a year and a half away, a new political alliance is being mooted. Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa announced that his party, New Ford Kenya, is to unite with the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and a yet-to-be registered party in a political outfit whose leaders will include suspended Higher Education minister William Ruto. Mr Wamalwa said New Ford Kenya would merge with UDM. The new party will be led by Mvita MP Najib Balala, in a bid to form the next government. They spoke as Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi disclosed that he would contest the presidency on an ODM ticket. Mr Ruto told a rally in Kimilili on Sunday that they had agreed to join forces to win the presidency. “I want to let you know that UDM will form a merger with the Eugene’s New Ford Kenya and another party that Mr Balala will be naming soon to ascend to power,” said Mr Ruto. Mr Balala said: “This is the journey that will produce the next president who will spur the economy of this country to the desired levels.” More...

Mudavadi has not endorsed anyone in Sabatia - Kibisu

By our reporter, April 19 2011
Dr Kibisu-Kabatesi, the Director of Public Communications in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government Mr. Musalia Mudavadi has cautioned Kenyans against worshipping criminality at the expense of integrity in ledership. Dr Kibisu-Kabatesi was speaking in Sabatia over teh weekend during a fundraising event at Kapsambo PAG Church. He helped raise Sh140,000 which will go towards buying music instruments for teh church choir. Dr. Kabatesi said that people should not be allowed to ascend to leadership through lies. He said current national events show that Kenyans risk worshipping criminality at the expense of integrity in leadership. He criticised some local aspirants in Sabatia for claiming they had been recommended for the Sabatia seat by Mr. Musalia. “There are these funeral-politicians who are prophets of cheap lies. Next time they claim at a funeral that they have been blessed by Musalia, don’t let them cheat you; ask them to bring Musalia to tell you himself”, he cautioned.

Kibisu Kabatesi
Chicken auction: Dr. Kibisu-Kabatesi, the Director of Public Communications in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government Mr. Musalia Mudavadi, auctions a chicken in aid of musical instruments for Kapsambo PAG Church in Sabatia District on April 17, 2011. The Director helped raise Ksh140,000. Dr Kabatesi cautioned the people of Sabatia against what he termed as funeral politicians who go round peddling lies to the effect that Musalia Mudavadi, the deputy prime minister has endorsed them for Sabatia parliamentary seat. "Next time they claim at a funeral that they have been blessed by Musalia, don’t let them cheat you; ask them to bring Musalia to tell you himself”, he cautioned.
Christopher Crowther Makokha
VIP mourners pay last respects.
Musalia Mudavadi in Nambale
The line up of VIP mourners.
First MP for Nambale to be buried today

By Our Reporter, April 16 2011
The DPM Musalia will be attending the burial of the late Christopher Crowther Makokha on Saturday April 16, 2011 at Nasewa Village, Bukhayo in Nambale, Busia County. The late Makokha, 84, was the first MP of then Elgon South West (now Nambale and Butula Constituencies) in 1963. He lost the seat in 1966 triggered by his decampment to Jaramogi Odinga's Kenya People's Union (KPU) to Charles Eleseus Asiba who lost to Gerald Masibayi in the general elections of 1969 in a constituency now renamed Busia East. The DPM will be accompanied by several MPs from western region.

Three suffocate to death at Kakamega goldmine

By Hilton Otenyo, Aprl 15 2011
Threee people suffocated in a goldmine at Rosterman in Kakamega on Wednesday evening. Three others are admitted at the Western Provincial General Hospital in Kakamega where they were rushed after the 5pm incident. Maxwell Wanyonyi, 23, Elly Omondi , 45, and Cosmas Muteshi, 28, suffocated to death in the 45-feet deep mine after it ran out of oxygen. They were draining water from the mine so they could be able to look for gold in an adjacent pit when the incident occurred. Doctors yesterday said George Simisa, 23, Andrew Shilongo, 43 and Joel Lukalia, 24 are in a stable condition. A combined team of police, Kakamega municipal fire fighters and members of the public retrieved the three bodies from the pit at 9.00pm after a four-hour operation, under the command of Kakamega police commander Joseph Omijah.“We were on our normal routine when I heard one of the victims call for help and I descended to find out,” said Andrew Shilongo, one of the survivors from his hospital bed yesterday.“ I found them having difficulties in breathing and I rushed back to get a rope. I managed to rescue before falling unconscious. I cannot even tell how I reached here (hospital),” Shilongo said. He said he rushed back up after learning that he too was starting to have difficulties in breathing. He said the group was drawing water from a nearby pit so it would not seap into the one they wanted to dig for gold. More...

Joel Lukalia
Kakamega Goldmine tragedy: Joel Lukalia was rescued just in time but three other miners were not lucky as they suffocated to death in a 45-foor deep pit at Rosterman Gold mines at Ikolomani, Kakamega yesterday. This is the second worst accident in recent memory. In 1987, 11 miners were buried alive at Bukibira mines in Kakamega. Rosterman Goldmines started in 1932 and closed in 1952 but since then locals have continued prospecting for the prized commodity using manual means. CLICK HERE to watch video.
Ikolomani Gold digger
Gold is always good news. That is if you can find it. The prized metal commands millions in international commodity markets. Rosterman Gold Mines may have shut shop in 1952 at Ikolomani (transliteration of goldmine), but that hasn't extinguished the passion with which locals still prosect for the golden stuff at great risk to their lives.
Red Cross to set up greenhouses in every constituency to boost food production

By Justus Ocheing, April 15 2011
The Kenya Red Cross will set up green houses in all constituencies. The head of organisational development Pamellah Indiaka said the programme will be fully implemented in the next one year. The society will construct at least two green houses in each constituency to increase food production in the country. Indiaka said this is part of the Red Cross strategy to promote sustainable development especially in the Lake Victoria basin. She said the Secretariat of the East African Community in collaboration with Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency will also support a number of sustainable socio-economic projects through Red Cross in the Lake Victoria Basin to curb the increasing levels of poverty. The officer was speaking in Kisumu yesterday during the opening of a two-day high plenary meeting on Lake Victoria Partnership Project. The meeting, which brought together a group of Red Cross Secretary Generals and delegates from Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi explored solutions to increasing levels of poverty and worsening health statistics in the five nations.“We shall also explore ways of dealing with environmental degradation in the states which lie along the Lake Victoria Basin,” said Indiaka. More...

New DC calls for speedy clearance of goods at Malaba

By Reuben Olita, April 15 2011
A DC has called for faster clearance of goods at the borders to spur socio-economic development. New Teso North DC Josephine Onunga yesterday said slow clearance of goods at the Malaba border causes perpetual traffic jams which stretch over five kilometres, affecting regional trade. Speaking to the press from her Amagoro office, Onunga who has swapped work stations with Joseph Rotich who moves to Samia, called for efficiency and professionalism in public service delivery. Onunga said the experience she got in other border points of Namanga and Busia where she worked before her latest posting will help address problems associated with drug trafficking and infiltration of illicit small arms. The DC has also sent her condolences to the family of the late Daudi Ekuam who was the first area DC between 1995 and 1997. Onunga is the 12th DC for the area since Ekuam. More...

Maseno school are champs

By Sammy Kitula, April 15 2011
Basketball champions Maseno School have two goals: Win games and extend the playing time for some of their reserves. The national secondary schools boys’ champions showed it was possible to accomplish both in a 109-27 victory over Kangaru School, setting up a semi-final tie against Nairobi’s Upper Hill, who came from 26-37 down at half time to defeat Friends School Kamusinga 63-56. More...

Malaba Kenya
Congestion at Malaba border crossing is a big problem for businesses. The new DC for Teso North, Josephine Onunga has called for speedy clearance of trucks at the customs desk on both sides of the border.

The slain leader of the Sabaot Land Defence Force, Wycliffe Matakwei (in a cap) addressing members of the militia shorlt after which he was killed. His widow, Salome is one of the beneficiaries of land her husband died fighting for two years ago.
1,700 families allocated land in Mt Elgon

By John Nalianya, April 15 2011
More than 1,700 families have been allocated land in Mt Elgon under the Chepyuk settlement scheme. The land had been the cause of conflict in the region, leading to the forming militia groups. The most fierce militia was the Sabaot Land Defence Force that led to the death of more that 1,200 people and 15,000 were displaced. Upper Western regional commissioner Rashid Mohamed who supervised the resettlement termed the exercise a success. “This a major breakthrough to the residents of this region where peace has been elusive for a long time,” said Rashid. He said already, 1,731 families have been allocated 2.5 acres each in the phase three of the settlement scheme . Among the beneficiaries of the allocation is the widow of slain leader of the Sabaot land defence force militia Wyclife Matwekei, Salome Matakwei and the spiritual leader of the group Patrick Komon who was charged and acquitted by a Bungoma court. Salome Matakwei praised the government’s move saying it would bring lasting peace in the region. “Our husbands died while fighting for the land. We are optimistic that settlement will bring lasting peace in this region, ”Salome said. Patrick Komon said justice has been done at last, by allocating land to the rightful residents unlike in the past when political brokers had benefited. More...

Ocampo 6 suspect loses a whooping Sh840m in cash

By our correspondents, April 14 2011
Police are investigating the reported loss of hand luggage containing about Sh840 million in hard cash. The luggage was being carried by one of The Hague suspects at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The police were told the bag had US$10 million in $100 bills. The bills had been tied in bundles and stuffed in the black bag he was seen carrying when he alighted from the plane. "He had it when he came, only his bodyguards have recorded statements. He fears the perception the public would have of him if it were revealed he had with him such huge amount of money. He has asked the police to keep it secret,’’ a senior police officer told The Standard in confidence. When two of his bodyguards were questioned where they were when the bag disappeared, they explained to investigators they had gone to clear their boss’ papers with airport staff. The bodyguards reportedly went looking for the bag on Monday evening – more than ten hours after the politician’s arrival. More...

Alfred Sambu
Webuye MP, Alfred Sambu has been named as those owing millions to City Hall in unpaid property rates. Other big names include Bethwell Kiplagat, the embattled chairman of Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission, George Muhoho, Mama Ngina Kenyatta's brother, Kipng'eno arap Ngeny, a former minister in the Moi government and blue chip corporations.
Sambu named as one of big Nairobi rates defaulters

By Morris Aron, April 14 2011
The reality of the tightening noose on land rate defaulters hit home after City Council of Nairobi Town Clerk Philip Kisia published a list of the culprits. This was the most daring move yet in recovering over Sh14.8 billion owed in unpaid levies. At the same time, City Hall has requested all property buyers to inquire about any arrears due on properties they intend to buy before carrying out ownership transfers. Kisia said there have been several cases of new property owners finding themselves owing lots of monies to the council by not doing due diligence. Among those owing City Hall millions of shillings in rate arrears is former Kenya Airports Authority Managing Director George Muhoho, the embattled Truth Justice and Reconciliation Committee (TJRC) Chairman Bethwel Kiplagat, former minister Kipng’eno arap Ngeny and Member of Parliament, Alfred Sambu. The list also includes Orie Rogo Manduli, Kenya Breweries, Kenya Postal and Telecommunications Corporation, Standard Chartered Bank, Braeburn Ltd, and Loyd Masika. More...

Matungu MP bans new primary schools

By Shabah Makokha, April 14 2011
Matungu MP David Were has banned the establishment of new primary schools in his constituency. Were blamed landowners for starting up schools with the intention of selling the land to CDF at an abnormally hiked price. He said some property owners who donated land for establishment of new schools have moved to court accusing CDF of delayed release of money.“Our people have turned their land into an avenue of making quick money from CDF. Right now I have a case in court where one landowner who donated land for creation of a primary school has accused my office, claiming an abnormal price for the land,” Were said.“An acre of land in Matungu goes for Sh100,000, but when selling to CDF landowners demand as much as Sh300,000 per acre,” he said. Speaking to journalists in his Matungu constituency, Were said from now onwards, CDF shall demand for a title deed before entering into agreement for land sale. More...

David Were
Matungu MP, David Were has banned new primary schools in his constituency as they have proved to be avenues for milking the constituency development fund (CDF).
Teso mourns death of first DC

By Reuben Olita, April 14 2011
Members of Iteso community are mourning the death of their first area DC between 1995 and 1997, Daudi Ekuam. Former Deputy Secretary in the Office of the President Ben Akwara said, as the first Teso DC, the late Ekuam endeared himself to the community as a humble and pragmatic leader. Malaba Town Council chairman, Chrisantus Ipala said during his two year tenure, Ekuam played a universal role in uniting Iteso which had earned autonomy of a district courtesy of retired President Moi. Teso County Council chairman Moses Ote said it was unfortunate that the former area DC had passed on without visiting Teso to see the fruits of his labour. Ekuam, 50, was until his death the chairman of Resource-Based Conflict Network in East and Horn of Africa. Meanwhile, Josephine Onunga has taken over from Joseph Rotich as the Teso North DC, becoming the 12th to occupy the office since Ekuam. Rotich who had served for three years moves to Samia where Onunga was serving. More...

Kakamega High pipped by Alliance Girls in drama fete

By Anthony Njagi, April 14 2011
Kakamega High School were pipped to drama trophy by Alliance Girls in this year's just concluded Kenya Schools and Colleges Drama Festival. Laiser Hill Academy from Ongata Rongai in Rift Valley were third with a play touching on WikiLeaks. Kakamega High School with the play The Innocent, were last year’s winners in the dance category and maintained their trophy in a powerful and well choreographed dance Musumi. The school also won the best choreographer Author Odenyi. Alliance Girls High School were the winners in the secondary school play category. Their play, Hell’s Kitchen also scooped the best director Fred Omondi. Alliance Girls also produced the most talented dramatist, Josephine Okumu. United States International University won in the universities category, with runners up being Catholic University of Eastern Africa and the second runners up being Mount Kenya University The 52nd edition of the Kenya Schools and Colleges drama festival was sponsored by Mumias Sugar. Nakuru Lions, whose play, Facts, is this year’s winner in the primary school category, is expected to present the play. For five years in a row, the pupils have won the primary school plays category. They were followed by Golden Elite School, with their play, Torn Portrait, directed by Allan Ochieng’, a play about the bad influence of parents on children. Carol Academy were third with the play Here They Come. More...

Holland bans Kenyan runners: There is outrage over a move by organisers of the Utrecht Marathon in The Netherlands discouraging Kenyan athletes from competing in - and winning - the annual 42-kilometre race. More...
Kakamega High School
No more Innocent, Kakamega High School continued their winning streak in creative endeavours at the just concluded national schools and colleges drama festival coming second in the plays category after Aliiance Girls of Central.

Ruto to face fresh graft probe

By Cyrus Ombati, April 14 2011
The Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) is considering launching fresh investigations into the fraud case involving Eldoret North MP William Ruto. Sources at the commission Thursday revealed detectives at the anti-graft body intend to write to the director of CID seeking to have files of investigations into the case before they start their probe. "It is clear that public money was lost in the deal and that is why as a commission we want to take up the case and launch fresh investigation. You will be informed when we start," said a senior officer, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the case. The source revealed detectives had been detailed to monitor the case at the High Court before it was dismissed by a magistrate. More...

West Kenya worst hit by seed shortage

By our correspondent, April 14 2011
An acute shortage of seed maize has hit different parts of Kenya, causing fears over planting delays and a poor harvest. The worst hit areas include the country’s main grain growing regions of Rift Valley, Nyanza and Central. In Nyanza Province, the Siaya district agricultural officer, Mr Hudson Nyamwangi, said there was an acute shortage of Kenya Seed maize varieties 516, 515 and 520. “The official price for these varieties per two kilogramme bag was Sh260 but they are now going for Sh350. The retail price for the Panam and Western varieties was Sh270 but they are now retailing at Sh400,” Mr Nyamwangi said. In Central Province, farmers in Kiambu County have delayed planting because there are no seeds. Mr Michael Njuguna, a farmer in Limuru, said he prepared his land for planting a month and a half ago, but the available seeds were not appropriate for the area’s soil and climate. “The seeds in the shops are Pioneer and DK, which do not do well in this area,” Mr Njuguna said. The shortage is said to have been caused by the opening of the East Africa Common market. Traders from Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi are reported to have been buying seeds from stockists in Kenya. More...

Saboti IDPs fault Wamalwa for cavorting with Ocampo 6 while they languish in camps

By John Nalianya, April 12 2011
IDPs at the Teldet camp in Saboti constituency have accused MP Eugene Wamalwa of defending the Ocampo Six while they live in poverty. Chairman Daniel Samburumwo said they were shocked their MP spent hours defending the six suspects who contributed to their ordeal. “We are wondering why our MP is keen seeing the suspects free while he has ignored some of us who are here because of voting for him and his party of national unity,” he said. They questioned the source of the cash used by the 40 MPs who travelled to the Hague last week. “We want the government to come clean and tell us who funded the politicians trip to the Hague," he said. He faulted the alleged reconciliation rallies planned by Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto and Wamalwa saying it could not be achieved yet thousands of internally displaced people still suffer in the camps. More...

Ex Kemri ordered to repay Sh18.5m

By our correspondent, April 13 2011
Former Kenya Medical Research Institute director Davy Koech has been ordered to repay Sh18.5 million by a court. He was accused of illegally obtaining the money from Kemri's account. High Court judge Lady Justice Kalpana Rawal directed Dr Koech to refund the money with interest to the government after finding that he did not give any bona fide defence against the accusations of illegal transfer. More...

Maria Bikeri
Maria Bikeri: husband died a painful death.

Outlawed Sungu Sungu militia strike terror in Kisii

By Amos Nyambane, April 13 2011
A somber mood engulfed two villages in Kisii district after two men were dragged out of their houses and killed. Joseph Bikeri and Stephene Maobe were removed from their houses in Mwamogesa and Bochura villages respectively by people believed to be members of the outlawed Sungu Sungu. The mutilated body of Bikeri which had deep panga cuts in the neck and left arm was discovered about 500 metres from house, lying in a pool of blood with his hands tied behind his back. According to Bikeri’s wife Nyaboke, her husband who works with Scooby Enterprises in Kisii town arrived at home in good mood, only to be attacked at night. Nyaboke said more than 20 people stormed their compound and demanded that they open the door. Before they could do so, the assailants broke down the door and forcedly entered. “They warned against screaming. This made me more terrified because they were dressed in a manner that was scary,” Nyaboke said as tears rolled down. "My husband died a very painful death," she added. More...

Teso teacher caught in the act with his pupil, 15

By Reuben Olita, April 13 2011
A primary school teacher caught red-handed having sex with his pupil has been arrested. Teso OCPD Elphas Korir confirmed the arrest saying the teacher and the pupil had been taken to Kocholia District Hospital to establish whether the 15-year-old girl from Amoni Primary school had been defiled and contracted any disease. Korir said the teacher was nabbed by his colleagues in his rental house in Roiko sub-area near Malaba and handed over to the police, together with the girl who had been missing from home for 18 hours. He said his officers had launched investigations into the amorous teacher before they prefer charges against him.Korir warned teachers against befriending pupils and told them to behave like parents and guardians. The Acting Teso North DEO Peter Simiyu said his office had not been briefed by the school head Zira Luvusi, but promised to address the matter later.Sources said the love affair between the teacher and the girl had gone on for long before they were accosted by other teachers and the girl’s relatives. More...

Kenyans want news blackout for Ocampo 6

By Daniel Wesangula, April 13 2011
Kenya’s online community on Tuesday used social networking sites to urge politicians not to expend their energies on succession politics at the expense of development and uniting Kenyans. Twitter and Facebook users and bloggers reflected increasing anger towards politicians who, they said, were accorded too much space and airtime in mainstream media at the expense of other news. For details log onto gopetition.com. More...

Luhya, Teso leaders pledge to end ethnic animosity

By Reuben Olita, April 12 2011
Three Western Kenya politicians have pledged to end animosity between the Teso and Luhyas. MPs Moses Wetang'ula, Chris Okemo and Sospeter Ojaamong said imaginary border wrangles since independence are to blame. They unveiled the unity pact during the burial of Mama Nelenia Sauke, 83, the mother of former KFF branch vice-chairman David Oliwa at Musokoto village, Nambale. Wetangula praised Ojaamong for the peace between the two communities in the past eight years unlike his predecessors who stirred tribal hatred over meaningless boundaries.“I used to spend sleepless nights before Ojaamong took over in 2002 with his predecessor pushing for boundaries which have no meaning. We need leaders like Ojaamong who deserves support from the Luhyas,” Wetang'ula said. The former foreign affairs minister called for joint investments in education in Bungoma and Busia counties to maintain high education standards in leading schools like Kamusinga, Lugulu, Butula, Kolanya, St Paul’s Amukura and Kibabii. Okemo, the former Finance Minister, endorsed Ojaamong for governor of Busia County saying he is fit for the job because of his outstanding performance as Amagoro MP. More...

Sospeter Ojaamong
From left: Nambale MP, Chris Okemo, Sirisia MP Moses Wetang'ula and Amagoro MP, Sospeter Ojaamong during the burial of Mama Nelenia Sauke, mother of former KFF branch vice chairman, David Oliwa at Musokoto village, Nambale, Busia County over the wekeend.

Meanwhile, Nambale MP, Chris Okemo has endorsed Sospeter Ojaamong for the post of governor in Busia County.

Police, AG trade words over Ruto's acquittal on land fraud charges

By Walter Menya, April 12 2011
Questions are being raised about the prosecution of the fraud case against suspended Cabinet minister William Ruto. The police and the State Law Office, the government’s prosecution arm, traded accusations Wednesday over who was responsible for losing the case. Of the witnesses that the prosecution had lined up, 13 could not be found and five died while the case was going on. Those who made it to the court became hostile to the prosecution, according to Chief Public Prosecutor Keriako Tobiko. Both Police Commissioner Matthew Iteere and Mr Tobiko sought to clear their officers from any blame in the case that also saw Mr Joshua Kulei and Mr Sammy Mwaita set free. Nairobi chief magistrate Gilbert Mutembei acquitted the three on Tuesday. They had been charged with fraudulently obtaining Sh272 million from Kenya Pipeline Corporation by selling it plots in Ngong Forest. The ruling appeared to blame the CID wing of police for failure to investigate and providing the evidence. More...

Prosecution case crumbled after 13 witnesses disappeared, 5 died and others turned hostile to the prosecutor

william samoei ruto
Last smile: Suspended higher education minister William Ruto expresses his relief after being acquitted of corruption charges.
Prof Philipp Bonhoeffer
Prof Philipp Bonhoeffer accused of sodomising Kenyan boys
UK doctor 'sodomised' Kenyan boys

By Gatonye Gatura, April 12 2011
A world renowned heart specialist is facing misconduct proceedings in London over allegations he sexually abused young boys under his care in Kenya. In a case that has been robustly taken up by the UK media, Prof Philipp Bonhoeffer, was suspended from practising two years ago by the UK’s General Medical Council (GMC) - the doctors disciplinary body - prohibiting him to practise as a doctor in that country. Last Friday, his lawyers moved to the High Court in London, arguing the council was being unfair in allowing hearsay evidence against their client to a panel hearing. Questions are being raised over the council’s decision to admit the evidence of a Kenyan witness while refusing to take him to London to testify. The council claims that doing so would expose the man, now married and said to be in his late 20s, to reprisals both from the Kenyan law and people loyal to the specialist. Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya. In 2000, Prof Bonhoeffer performed the world’s first operation to repair a patient’s heart without the need for risky open-heart surgery. Working through Chain of Hope, a UK charity organisaton, where he was chairman of its medical operations, they for many years organised missions to Kenya to attend to children with heart problems.

Nancy Baraza, Roselyn Nambuye escape chop in top judicial jobs race

By Jillo Kadida, April 11 2011
The race of who will be Kenya's next Chief Justice has been reduced to 10 after the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) dropped two candidates. The shortlisted candidates will now face an interview panel in May. Those left to fight it out include nine judges and lawyer Dr Willy Mutunga. Those who have been dropped include Timothy Isaac Bryant, a lawyer in private practice in Nairobi and Edward Torgbor, a Ghanaian judge who has served in Kenya before. Left to battle it out are International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) judge Lee Muthoga, Court of Appeal judges Alnashir Visram, Joseph Nyamu, Riaga Omollo and Samuel Bosire. High Court Judges eyeing the position are Paul Kihara, Msagha Mbogoli, Mary Angawa and Kalpana Rawal. At the same time, eight candidates are left in the race for Deputy CJ after five, including judges William Ouko and Nicholas Ombija were dropped. Deputy CJ candidates who will face the interview panel include judges Roseline Nambuye, Martha Koome, Mary Kasango, Hannah Okwengu, Mary Ang'awa and Joseph Nyamu. The others are lawyers Gladys Shollei and Nancy Baraza. More...

Only 10 candidates left in the race for Chief Justice

George Luchiri Wajackoyah
George Wajackoyah with Nigerian cops.

Wajackoyah in Nigeria

George Luchiri Wajackoyah who has declared an interest in the Kenyan presidency was invited to speak at Voter Declaration Day by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria on March 27 2010. Wajackoyah founded the "Shake the Tree Movement" in 2009, a civil organization whose purpose is to educate people on governance.  Goodluck firmly believes in the need to rid government of corrupt practices and saw value in aligning himself with organizations such as Shake the Tree Movement which promote values of fairness, justice and meritocracy. .

Probe to continue into Kiplagat's past conduct

By Sylvester Ruto, April 12 2011
Investigations into the conduct of former Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission Chairman Bethuel Kiplagat will proceed after a tribunal led by Justice Onesmus Mutungi dismissed an application challenging its jurisdiction. The tribunal ruled Tuesday that Kiplagat's application was defective and incompetent. Justice Mutungi informed Kiplagat's lawyer McCourt Kevin that the tribunal will commence hearing on the matter on April 27th. McCourt demanded that he be furnished with witness statements as required by the rules governing the tribunal. More...

It gets dirtier in London

By a correspondent, April 12 2011
Filth, faecal matter and grime in all its forms are the subject of a new exhibition in London. "Dirt: the Filthy Reality of Everyday Life" features around 200 exhibits ranging from vials of urine to air samples and a floor pattern made from dust found in homes, all of which are used to examine humanity's ambivalent relationship with dirt through the ages. "Dirt is everywhere and we need bits of it and, guiltily, secretly, we are sometimes drawn to it," said Ken Arnold, Director of Public Programmes at the Wellcome Collection, where the exhibition is being held. More...

Ingwe conman busted in Nyeri over police recruitment scam

By Wambugu Kanyi, April 11 2011
Police in Nyeri have arrested a man who have been conning residents that he can help them join Kenya Police Training College in Kiganjo. The man was arrested yesterday at Chaka trading centre, a few meters from the police college, where he has been keeping the youths in one roomed house for the last two weeks. Peter Andala Imbusi was arrested together with 13 young men believed to have fallen into his trap. Central police boss John M’Mbijjiwe said the suspect has been conning young men who part with huge sums of money in efforts to get them positions in the police force. M’Mbijjiwe said that Andala had a fake letter from the Ministry of Defence indicating that he is recommended to do the recruitments. “I want to take this opportunity to caution parents not to be duped by the conmen who will lie to them that they are capable of helping their children get into the Police Force. The recruitment will only take place in April 27 and not earlier than that. It is free of charge and will be conducted in every district,” he said. Among those who had been conned, six were from Western province, three from Nyanza, two from Rift Valley and one from Eastern and Central regions. One of those conned was a Bio Medical Technology graduate from University of Nairobi while others had certificates from various colleges. More...

Peter Andala Imbusi
Peter Andala Imbusi (right) in handcuffs with some of his victims. The conman, believed to be from Western had a fake letter from DoD authorising him to recruit police trainees at Kiganjo. Photo: Star

Ruto cleared of graft charges

By Paul Ogemba, April 12 2011
Eldoret North MP William Ruto has been cleared of corruption charges involving the irregular allocation of part of Ngong forest 10 years ago. Also acquitted were his co-accused Baringo Central MP Sammy Mwaita and Joshua Kulei, who was an aide to former president Moi. They allegedly hived off part of Ngong forest and purported to sell the same to the Kenya Pipeline Company. Mr Ruto was freed due to lack of evidence linking him to the allegations of obtaining KSh9,916,835 from KPC in September 2001. Chief magistrate Gilbert Mutembei said the evidence adduced before court by the prosecution was not sufficient to prove that the accused actually received the money from the parastatal. More...

Kenyan woman killed by Burundian lover in Florida, US

By a correspondent, April 11 2011
A Kenyan woman has been killed in Florida, US after a fight with her boyfriend. Police in Orlando, Florida told US media that Ruth Owino, 34 years, had tried to break off her engagement to a man from Burundi when a fight ensued. She left Kenya for the US five years ago. The boyfriend, Nestor Habarugira, 41 years, was charged on Sunday with the murder. A dispatch from the AP quoted police officers saying that the couple were arguing about ending their relationship when the fight broke out. More...

Sport & sex ruling: The IAAF has approved new regulations regarding the eligibility of females with hyperandrogenism to compete in women's athletics resulting from the gender row over South Africa's Caster Semenya. More...
Mukumu Girls golden jubilee

By Roselyne Obala, April 11 2011
Speaker Kenneth Marende has urged the public to shun leaders who incite them against each other. Mr Marende said Kenyans should reconcile following differences that emerged after the December 2007 presidential elections. He said Kenya is bigger than any individual, adding citizens should never allow leaders to divide them along ethnic lines. "It is the obligation of leaders to contribute to peace building," said the Speaker. He continued: "You can wish me well because I have the ability to lead. Don’t wish me well because I am your tribesman." Marende cautioned Kenyans against paying attention to statements bound to incite ethnic passions. He spoke at Mukumu Girls during celebrations to mark the school’s 50 years of existence. More...

Mukumu Girls School
Mukumu Girls High School originally founded by Ursulines Catholic Order of Holland in 1928, was upgraded to a secondary school in 1961.
Rumba star laid to rest

By George Olwenya, April 10 2011
Rumba maestro Musa Juma was given a heroic send off as thousands of mourners turned out for his burial in Siaya District. Fans, friends, musicians, politicians and people from all walks of life came in their numbers to bury the musician, Saturday. An air of gloom engulfed Lunyu village, Siaya County as an estimated 3,000 mourners from different parts of the country poured into the home.Fans from as far as Uganda led by Vincent Ondiff, former MPs Gor Sunguh, Raphael Wanjala, Otieno Karan, and Siaya County Council chairman Aggrey Onyango led the mourners in paying tribute to the Benga musician. Speakers described Juma as inspiration to upcoming musicians. Wanjala called on local musicians to emulate Juma, who he said was a disciplined musician, if they wanted to remain relevant in the music industry. Over 20 Benga musicians from Nyanza also joined the mourners to say the final farewell to the maestro who died three weeks ago. More...

Kisumu airport ready in 6 months: The expansion of the Kisumu airport into a regional and international hub will be completed in six months time, Transport PS Cyrus Njiru has said. The 2.6 km runway has been expanded and rebuilt to meet the International Air Travel Association standards in addition to modern terminals. More...
Musa Juma burial
Mourners view the remains of rumba artist, Musa Juma who died in Mombasa March 15 2011 at Jomo Kenyatta Show Grounds in Kisumu. Juma, of the leader of Limpopo International Band, was buried at his rural home in Usonga, Siaya County.

Teso mother, 8 children poisoned

By Reuben Olita, April 10 2011
A mother and her seven children have been admitted at Kocholia District Hospital in Teso North district after eating poisoned food. Three of the children were admitted in serious condition but nurses yesterday said they were out of danger. Narrating their ordeal from her hospital bed, the mother, Lonah Chacha, said she was preparing a meal of tea and green bananas when she realised there was no sal tin the house."I sent one of the children to get some from one of our neighbours as the meal was almost ready and the shops are a bit far," she said. Her daughter came back with some some substance she believed was salt wrapped in piece of paper. She sprinkled some of it on the meal and served it to her hungry children."We started feeling bad immediately after eating the meal. The children started complaining of a severe stomachache and sore throat," Chacha said. She said three of the children who had cleared their meal were the most affected. More...

Man arrested for defiling daughter, 8

By Justus Ochieng, April 10 2011
Police in Suba have arrested a 38-year-old man accused of defiling his own daughter. The suspect is said to have been defiling the girl since 2008 when the girl, 8, was just five-years-old. He has also been accused of defiling his five-year-old niece since last month in his Kakomo village. Area police boss Cheruto Githinji said they arrested the suspect after receiving a tip off from members of the public. She said the girls who are pupils at Kings and Queens Academy, were taken to Magunga Health Centre for examination where they were tested and confirmed to have been defiled. Githinji said the suspect will be charged with defilement and incest in Homa Bay. Cases of defilement have been on the increase in South Nyanza Region and have been blamed for rampant drop out of girls from schools. South Nyanza Regional Commissioner Erastus Ekidor has directed members of the chiefs and DOs to crackdown on sex pests. Ekidor told the administrators to arrest and charge the suspects to end the menace. He was addressing a public baraza at Nyandiwa in Suba district. More...

Musalia Mudavadi in Meru
Proof hard work pays: Musalia Mudavadi, the deputy prime minister handing over a certificate to a graduant at Egoji, Meru as the college principal looks on.
Egoji Teachers College, Meru
Everyone remembers a good teacher: After two years of hard work, student teachers graduate to become fully-fledged professionals responsible for moulding careers of millions of Kenyans.
Minute by minute account of ICC proceedings against Uhuru, Muthaura, Ali

By Anthony Kariuki, April 8 2011
16:33 Judge Trendafilova calls an end to the proceedings and thanks all involved in the initial appearance of Mr Muthaura, Mr Kenyatta and Major General Ali. 16:31 Major General Ali's lawyer says his client is concerned with the volume of the documents to be made available and takes issue with the prosecutor's comments over possible unrest back in Kenya. 16:29 Mr Muthaura's lawyer says he expects the documents to be ready on April 18. 16:28 Judge Trendafilova says the Chamber will proceed with its work once the time given to Kenya to complete filing its applications on deferral is over. 16:27 Mr Moreno-Ocampo says the Kenya application challenging the admissibility of the cases is behind his reason to withhold documents. 16:25 Mr Muthaura's counsel tells the court that his client would wish that the hearing date remains the same. He says that the prosecutor should have been in an advanced stage of making available material documents. More...

Ocampo Six Uhuru Muthaura
Don't be vague, its Hague: This is the abiding image of The Hague trials involving six Kenyans accused of bearing the greatest resposnsibility in the 2008 post election violence that left 1,600 people dead and 600,000 misplaced. Kenyan Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta (2nd left), and Cabinet secretary Francis Muthaura (2nd right) attend a hearing at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, on April 8, 2011. They face charges including murder, rape and persecution for allegedly orchestrating post-election violence. Photo: AFP

13 candidates shortlisted for prosecutor's job: The Deputy Public Prosecutor and his deputy are among 13 candidates short-listed, down from the initial 30 applicants for the post of Director of Public Prosecutions. Keriako Tobiko, Oriri Onyango and former Law Society of Kenya chairman Okong’o Omogeni made the final list of candidates to be interviewed next month. An interview panel chaired by Francis Atwoli met yesterday at the Office of the President for the exercise, setting the stage to fill one of the most coveted constitutional offices. Interview dates "Based on an agreed criteria, the panel short-listed 13 candidates whose names are indicated," Titus Ndambuki, PS Public Service and Secretary to the interview panel said, in a statement.. More...
New US visa rules introduced

By our correspondent, April 8 2011
Applicants for US non-immigrant visas can now pay the required fees through M-Pesa or at any PostBank office countrywide. The new system, effected on April 5, will enable applicants wishing to travel to the US to schedule a visa appointment through a new website (http://kenya.usvisa-info.com) or under the aid of a call centre in Kenya (254 20 500 6656) or (0001 703) 439-2302) in the US. “These new procedures, managed by CSC Visa Information Services, should greatly improve and simplify the visa application process,” reads a statement from the US Embassy. More...

Rising poverty in Nambale alarming

By Robert Ochieng, April 8 2011
NAMBALE DC Francis Lenyangume has expressed concern over the alarming poverty level in the district. The DC, who was addressing the stakeholders during a District Executive Committee forum, underscored the importance of agriculture and called upon the department of agriculture to sensitize the local community on food security. Lenyangume called upon the department of agriculture to provide farmers in the district with adequate farm inputs in order to boost food production hence curbing over reliance on food especially maize and other food crops such as beans from Uganda."Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of this country, therefore I am appealing to all the departmental heads and local leaders in the district to work closely with the department of agriculture so as to make it self sufficient in food production. More...

Ayub Ogada
Return of the Native: Ayub Ogada, the celebrated Nyatiti player performing at the Goethe Institute in Nairobi.Ogada is one of the most celebrated musicians in Kenya. He has 70 song titles and has extensively performed in concerts across Europe. Ogada returned to Kenya in 2008 after 20 years in Europe. “I love Nyatiti. She is my first wife, she is my sweetheart,” said Ogada, who is single. He has never thought of marriage, he says. “I don’t feel lonely. As long as I have a roof on my head, I am fine.” Having lived in the UK for 20 years, Ogada came back to Kenya in 2008. He left the UK just the same way he had left Kenya, musically speaking, mysteriously. Twice while in the UK and Italy, he was mistaken for a terrorist. “When I first landed in London, I hadn’t planned to stay for long. But the grilling by the immigration guys actually made me want stay,” he says. Everyday in London, he would go to the underground train stations by 8am, moving from one spot to another just to sing. He says he would stay at the subway stations until 11pm, and usually carried home Sh20,000 or Sh27,000. More...

Five more months of anxiety before Ocampo 6 know their fate

By Anthony Kariuki, April 7 2011
Three of the six key post election violence have made their initial appearance before the International Criminal Court Pre-Trial Chamber and will know whether they will stand trial starting September 1. Eldoret North MP William Ruto, his Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang were represented by their lawyers at the sombre event at The Hague. The hearing was meant to make aware to the suspects the charges facing the three, who ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo believes bear the greatest responsibility for the chaos that left 1,133 people dead and a further 650,00 uprooted from their homes. The prosecution read the charges to the suspects: There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Ruto, Mr Kosgey and Mr Sang committed crimes against humanity of murder, forcible transfer of population and persecution in Kiambaa, Huruma, Langas, Nandi in the Rift Valley. The Chamber also asked the suspects if they were aware of their rights, which they answered in the affirmative. In effect, the suspects are innocent until proven guilty, they have the right to access material incriminating them and right to rebut the charges. Further, there will be no undue delay to prosecute them if the court proceedings go to full trial. More...

William Ruto, Henry Kosgey and Joshua Sang
Ocampo Three at The ICC in The Hague today. From left on the back row: William Ruto, Henry Kosgey and Joshua Sang, the radio journalist.

Moi ordered to pay Sh2bn for detaining ex spy

By Jillo Kadida, April 7 2011
Retired President Moi has been found liable for detaining a senior security official during his rule and ordered to pay Sh2 billion in compensation. In a precedent-setting ruling, the High Court found Mr Moi personally liable for illegal detention of former National Intelligence deputy director Stephen Muriithi. High Court judge Lady Justice Jeanne Gacheche said Mr Moi is liable for detaining Mr Muriithi without trial for three years and ordered him to pay the former detainee Sh50 million as punitive damages and Sh80 million as compensation. The Sh80 million compensation is to earn compound interest at 12 per cent from July 1982. More...

State House to shed 'Kikuyu' image by hiring other tribes

By James Ratemo, April 7 2011
State house has denied responsibility of tribal staff deployment revealed by National Commission and Integration Commission (NCIC) and has shifted blame to line ministries. In a dispatch on Thursday, Comptroller of State House, Dr. Nelson Githinji, promised to follow up the issue with involved ministries to ensure the anomaly is corrected in filling positions still vacant and future deployment. "Indeed, the current staff establishment at State House stands at a 60 percent compliment level, which offers clear opportunities to redress any ethnic imbalance." "State House is not involved in the direct recruitment of staffers, but occasionally requests for secondment of staff from various Ministries." "For public information we wish to point out that State House employees are ordinarily seconded from relevant ministries depending on the requirements of the department at any one time.’" Read the statement in part. More...

Musa Juma, Ochestra Limpopo
Musa Juma, 36, the popular rumba musician who died two weeks ago in Mombasa will be buried on Saturday, April 8 2011 in Usonga, Siaya County. Musa Juma’s death is a shocker to his Limpopo band, coming closely after his brother and musician Omondi Tony died in a car crash in Mombasa last year.
Thousands of Kisumu residents pay respect to fallen rumba star

By Kepher Otieno, April 7 2011
Thousands of fans marched on the streets of Kisumu to pay tribute to Musa Juma, a popular rumba artiste. The crowd escorted the hearse right from Kisumu Airport to the Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground. The hearse made its way through the town’s Oginga Odinga and Jomo Kenyatta streets as residents lined up to pay their last respects. Some of the musician’s fans wailed. Police at some point had a hectic time controlling the crowds led by motorcycle riders. Boda boda riders caused a heavy traffic snarl up along the twin streets and nearly brought business to a standstill for an hour. They hooted, and rode round the town in groups, even as police tried to keep order. Later Thursday afternoon, hundreds queued at the Kisumu Sports Ground, where the hearse made a stopover to allow viewing of the body. . More...

Ethnic audit shows Luhya are undercut in govt jobs

By Peter Leftie, April 6 2011
Kenya is facing a crisis of tribalism after the first ethnic audit of the civil service revealed that the five big communities occupy nearly 70 percent of all government jobs. The survey undertaken by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) gave shocking details of how political patronage and personality-based leadership had reduced the civil service into an exclusive club of the big communities at the expense of the so called small communities. According to the survey, members of the Kikuyu, Kalenjin, Luhya, Kamba and Luo communities occupy 70 per cent of all jobs in the civil service. The Kikuyu lead the pack with 22.3 per cent of all civil service jobs, followed by the Kalenjin (16.7 per cent), Luhya (11.3 per cent), Kamba (9.7 per cent), Luo (9.0 per cent) and Kisii (6.8 per cent). The so-called small communities are at the tail end of the survey, with over twenty having less than one per cent of their population in the civil service. In fact, seven of them have less than 100 members in the civil service each. Among those communities who have less than one per cent of their populations in the civil service include the Teso (0.9 per cent), Samburu (0.6 per cent), Pokomo (0.6 per cent), Kuria (0.5 per cent), and Mbeere (0.5 per cent) among others. The audit also reveals that the Kikuyu and the Kalenjin have a greater share of jobs in the civil service than their populations. Whereas the Kikuyu constitute 17.7% of the Kenyan population, they occupy 22.3% of the civil service jobs. The Kalenjin on the other hand occupy 16.7% of all civil service jobs despite constituting only 13.3% of the population. The Meru also occupy 5.9% of all civil service jobs despite constituting 4.4 per cent of the country’s population, followed by the Kisii who occupy 6.8% of all jobs despite constituting 5.9% of the population.More...

Ocampo Six
The Ocampo Six who have already arrived in The Haque have been ordered to declare their wealth amid fears their assets will be frozen.

Ugandan pastor arrested for defiling 15 girls

By Herbert Ssembongo, April 6 2011
Instead of encouraging them to stay chaste as Christianity demands, a pastor in Entebbe allegedly defiled over 15 girls in five years. Godfrey Waidumba, 32, a clergy at Calvary Church in Nakiwogo, is being held at Entebbe Police Station after he was picked from the church premises on Sunday. According to Entebbe crime chief, Fredrick Wetaya, the latest victim is a 13-year-old girl whom the accused picked from her grandmother’s home on April 2. The suspect reportedly told the woman that he wanted some assistance from her grandchild. “But this man instead took the girl to his home and sexually abused her. The girl immediately informed her grandmother of what the pastor had done,” Wetaya said yesterday. The granny said they rushed to the church and reported the incident to Waidumba’s superiors. More...

ICC orders Ocampo Six to declare their wealth

By our correspondents, April 6 2011
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has ordered post-election violence suspects to declare their wealth. The Standard established the court asked them to provide documents to prove ownership of their property. The move follows revelations that the ICC could freeze bank accounts of suspects found to have a case to answer. One suspect, radio presenter Joshua Sang, confirmed to The Standard the court had ordered him to declare his wealth with supportive documents. "I got the orders to give documents of what I declared as my property to the ICC," Sang told The Standard on the telephone before he departed for The Hague Tuesday. He added: "I have surrendered title deeds for my plot in Eldoret town, my land in Cherangany, a log book for my car, and my bank account". Sang said the court wanted to scrutinise the documents. Efforts to reach Eldoret North MP William Ruto and his Tenderet counterpart Henry Kosgey to confirm if they received similar orders were futile. They are among the ‘Ocampo Six’. Sang also said the court ordered him to declare his relationship with people who contributed in a fund raising to facilitate his travel to The Hague. More...

Pastor beaten for 'stealing' boys in Nakuru

By our correspondents, April 6 2011
There was drama in Naivasha town after a pastor was nabbed with two children he had allegedly stolen from one of the estates. More...

Western farmers plan demo over dissolution of sugar board

By Joel Okwayo, April 6 2011
Cane farmers from Kakamega County have threatened to demonstrate if the Minister for Agriculture, Sally Kosgei, fails to heed their call to dissolve the Kenya Sugar Board (KSB). Drawn from Mumias, West Kenya and Busia sugar zones, the farmers said the board should be disbanded as its term has expired. They said by failing to dissolve KSB, the Government was violating the Sugar Act, which provides for three-year term of office for directors. The three-year period expired last month, but the minister has remained silent. Farmers led by Mumias Sugar cane Growers Association Executive Director Simon Wesechere and former Kenya Sugar cane Growers Association (Kesga) Secretary General Rogers Murunga vowed to take to the streets if Dr Kosgei continues to be quiet. They urged MPs from sugar zones to move a Motion of no confidence against Kosgei. More...

Mumias Town
The main street in Mumias Town where sugar farmers from Mumias, Busia and Bungoma plan to hold a demo to force the government to dissolve Kenya Sugar Board whose mandate has lapsed.
High Court judge among candidates for prosecutor's job

By Margaret Kalekye, April 5 2011
High Court Judge Nicholas Ombija, Chief Public Prosecutor Keriako Tobiko are among 30 applicants who have applied for the post of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). In a statement, the Ministry of Public Service said Tuesday that the process of short-listing the candidates will take place on Friday. Other prominent lawyers who are eyeing the post include, Messrs Dennis Anthony Were, John Oriri Onyango, Patrick Omwenga Kiage, former LSK chairmen, Otiende Omollo, and Erick Okongo Omogeni, Mrs Alice Osebe Ondieki, Mrs. Margaret Anyango Kasera, Tabitha Akoth Wanyama Ouya among others. The President nominee to the position, Kioko Kilukumi was not in the list of the applicants. PSC announced that the interviewing panel for the recruitment of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) post is ready to commence its work to hire the country's public prosecutor. "The Panel would like to inform the general public that the short-listing will be undertaken on Friday, 8th April, 2011 and interviews will be conducted in the second week of May 2011. All names of the short-listed candidates will be published in the print media," read the statement. Secretary General, Central Organization of Trade unions, Mr. Francis Atwoli, will be the Interviewing Panel Chairperson after he was elected unanimously. Members of the panel include Attorney General, Amos Wako, Permanent Secretary, (PS) Ministry of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security, Mr. Francis Kimemia, and PS Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs, Amina Mohammed. More...

Francis Atwoli
Francis Atwoli, the COTU secretary general will be interviewing candidates for the post of Director of Public Prosecutions.
Justice Nicholas Ombija
Justice Nicholas Ombija of the High Court wants to switch from hearing cases to prosecuting the accused. President Kibaki's controversial nominee, Kioko Kilukumi did not apply.
Europeans prepare to start eating insects

By Rebecca Smithers, April 5 2011
Western diners should get used to the idea of eating insects because by 2020 it is "inevitable" they will form an important part of our diet, according to the entomologist who heads up the world's first university centre focusing on insects as a food source. He argues that consumers who have traditionally turned their noses up at six-legged food may have to change their minds as conventional meat becomes more expensive and scarce. In an interview with Wired magazine, Prof Marcel Dicke of Wageningen University said: "The most important thing is getting people prepared, getting used to the idea. Because from 2020 onwards, there won't be much of a choice for us." He wants to persuade people to ditch prejudices about insects, and to persuade manufacturers and suppliers to come up with products that can be sold in "a reassuring and attractive manner". Dicke heads a Netherlands-based four-year programme aiming to produce a scientific and business plan to bring insects to western tables. For centuries insects have been part of the daily diet of humans throughout the world, from the ants and larvae eaten as part of their subsistence diet by the tribes of Africa and Australia to the popular crispy-fried locusts and beetles enjoyed in Thailand. White ants (tsiswa) is part of the Luhya diet, adds Shad Bulimo. More...

Western schools eye trophies as national drama festival begins

By George Orido, April 5 2011
Chavakali Boys, Vihiga Boys, Butere Girls, Kakamega High and Lubinu High are some of the schools from Western ranked top in the annual national schools and colleges drama festival. As schools and colleges countrywide celebrate their creativity in drama from tomorrow in Nairobi, pertinent issues afflicting society will soon take the stage. Ranging from The Hague trials of the Ocampo Six, to institutional corruption; from drug abuse to HIV/ Aids and health; and from crime to classroom challenges affecting students and teachers alike, all roads lead to Lenana School and Bomas of Kenya. The festival’s Executive Secretary, Mr Khaemba Sirengo, was upbeat that this year’s canopy theme of "Enhancing our national values for a better Kenya" will enable students understand the need for healing and national cohesion. The 10-day and 10,000 students–strong festival requires huge amounts of resources, and this year Mumias Sugar Company has sponsored the jamboree to a tune of Sh6.5 million. St Georges Girls, Shimo La Tewa, Maseno school, Alliance Girls’, Vihiga Boys, Gikumene Girls’, lenana School, Agoro Sare, Limuru Girls, Kwale Girls, Ogande Girls’, Westlands Primary, Butere Girls, Kakamega High School, Kwale Girls, and Ramisi Secondary are some of teams to watch. Others are Kenya Institute of Mass Communication, Thika Institute of Technology, East Africa Media Institute, Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Aquinas High School, Karima Girls’, Lubinu High, Chavakali Boys, Menengai High School, St Augustine Mlolongo, Komarock School, Ngala Memorial Girls School, and Chesamis School. More...

St Paul's Lubinu High School
St Paul's Lubinu High School in Mumias has received top billing in this year's schools and colleges drama festival which kicks off tomorrow at Bomas of Kenya. Mumias Sugar Company is the sponsor of this year's event.

61% of Kenyans root for Hague trials

By Walter Menya, April 5 2011
A majority of Kenyans want the Ocampo Six to stand trial at the International Criminal Court, a new opinion poll shows. Of those polled, 61 percent said they prefer the suspected masterminds of Kenya's post election violence to answer charges at The Hague-based court, the survey by research firm Synovate and released Tuesday showed. This represents a marginal one percent increase from a December 2010 poll where 60pc backed the ICC process. More...

NGO claims 40 MPs accompanying Ocampo Six will intimidate witnesses

By Peter Atsiaya, April 5 2011
The civil society has expressed fears MPs accompanying the ‘Ocampo Six’ to The Hague will spy on witnesses. At the same time, former Saboti MP, Captain Davies Nakitare has also dismissed the MPs trip as a waste of resources at a time when they should concentrate on passing various bills in the parliamentary calender, reports Westfm. The National Council of NGOs said it would petition the International Criminal Court’s Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo over the matter. "We petitioned Dutch Ambasador Laetitia Van Den Assum to prevail upon the embassy to deny the MPs visas but she referred us to the ICC," said Ken Wafula, the council’s chairman. Speaking in Eldoret Monday, the group claimed the MPs were on a mission to spy on witness so as to harass them or their families back at home. "We have established that some of the MPs accompanying the ‘Ocampo Six’ have an ill motive. They want to establish who the witnesses are and what they have to say about the suspects," said Wafula. More than 40 MPs are scheduled to travel to The Hague reportedly to show solidarity with the suspects, who include Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto. Wafula, at the same time, criticised the MPs for politicising the ICC issue. More...

Captain Davies Nakitare
Captain Davies Nakitare, former Saboti MP is opposed to the Hague trip by 40 MPs. Captain Nakitare has expressed an interest in Trans Nzoia Senator.

Joshua Sang
Sang aided: Joshua Sang, the journalist who is one of the Ocampo Six, has received legal aid from ICC worth Sh8m.
Western faces acute shortage of blood

By Nicholas Anyuor, April 5 2011
West Kenya has a blood deficit of over 57,000 units meaning hospitals in the region cannot respond to any medical emergency. This was occasioned by low blood donation in 2010 that has now triggered fear in most of the hospitals in the region. Subsequently, Kenya National Transfusion Services (KNTS), Red Cross Society and the Administration Police have launched campaign to collect blood donations in region. In 2010, KNTS only managed a paltry 25,150 units of blood in the region against the targeted 82, 575 units. West Kenya Red Cross Society Blood Donor Recruiter, Mr Simba Benson said April could record the worst low donation of blood since youths in schools and colleges who are donors have gone home. "The demand for blood in the region is high. Blood collection is lowest during school term holidays. The need for blood in the region is also worsened by the poor health indicators coupled with high rate of HIV prevalence rate," he said. The event, dubbed ‘Walk for Blood, walk for Life campaign’ is aimed at bringing 500 repeat donors in five donation centres along the Kakamega-Nyando circuit to collect 2, 500 units of blood. More...

'Walk for Blood' in Kakamega, Nyando aims to collect 2,500 units of blood

Calling on Bamasaaba community in US and Canada

I represent the North America Masaba Cultural Association based in San Diego, CA. Our association is a forum where the Bamasaaba diaspora discuss and implement various socio-economic initiatives.  We hold annual conventions in May and this year we are very much interested in having our Luhya brothers from Kenya in attendance. As you may be aware the Luhya nation extends across the Kenya-Uganda border. Recently the cultural leader of Bamasaaba in Kenya and Ugandan was installed and is expected to be our guest of honor in San Diego. I have made several efforts to reach the Kenyan diapora in the U.S and Canada and would definitely welcome any further help in that direction. We also going to have a world fairtrade day event during the conference where we will invite southern California coffee businesses to explore linkages with coffee farmers on the ground. I would like your assitance in publicizing this event . - otherwise a brief summary can be found here : http://2011agm.drupalgardens.com

Andrew Mungoma
V. President
North America Masaba Cultural Association
Phone: 858-683-3018

Email: amungoma@masaba.org

Roselyn Nambuye, Nancy Baraza among contenders for top judicial positions

By our correspondent, April 4 2011
The Judicial Service Commission has released names of applicants for the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice posts. The names include President Kibaki initial nominee for the Chief Justice post Judge Alnashir Visram and three other appeal court Judges. The list also includes four high court Judges, a Ghanian and three lawyers engaged in private practise in Kenya. The commission is scheduled to shortlist the applicants on Monday next week. Subsequent interviews are set of the first week of May. Besides Judge Visram, other Appellate Judges seeking the Chief Justice post are Joseph Nyamu, Riaga Omollo and Samuel Bosire. High Court Judges eyeing the position are Paul Kihara, Msagha Mbogoli, Mary Angawa and Justice Rawal. Other applicants are Lee Muthoga, Willy Mutunga, Timothy Isaac Bryant and Edward Torgbor, a Ghanian who has practised law in Kenya before. Candidates seeking the deputy Chief Justice position are High Court Judges Roseline Nambuye, William Ouko, Martha Koome, Nicholas Ombija. Others are Gladys Shollei, Solastica Omondi, Pamela Tuitui, Nancy Baraza and Hannah Okwengu. More...

Hannah Okwengu
Justice Hannah Okwengu, one of the learned friends seeking to become Kenya's Deputy Chief Justice.

Sang operated on: Radio journalist Joshua arap Sang was on Sunday discharged from Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret after undergoing an operation on the left arm. Mr Sang, who spoke to journalists after being discharged, said that he was fine and headed to his rural home in Cherangany for prayers ahead of his departure to the Hague on Tuesday night. Sang was involved in a an accident at Mulot in Bomet on Saturday after attending a prayer rally at Bomet. More...
Eugene dismissed as a poor clone of Kijana Wamalwa

By our correspondents, April 4 2011
Presidential hopeful, Eugene Wamalwa, the Saboti MP has been described as a “ poor clone of his brother” (the late VP, Kijana Wamalwa) . “He seems to have taken after his father, who was a colonial chief,.” Prof Chris Wanjala, the university don was quoted as saying. Unlike Eugene, the late VP was a good pupil of Masinde Muliro, and was regarded as one of the greatest Luhya leaders, says Prof Wanjala of teh literature department, university of Nairobi. But Prof Bonaventure Kerre of the Kenya Methodist University believes that Mr Wamalwa’s heritage might work for him. “He comes from a family of rulers. His father was a great leader and came from Kamukuywa in Kimilili which has produced great Luhya leaders such as Elijah Masinde. Even Masinde Muliro was born in Matili, about three kilometres away,” he says. Two weeks ago, Mr Wamalwa finally answered the questions that have been raised about his marital status. At a rally in Bungoma, Mr Wamalwa “unveiled” his wife, Lucy Musundi, to the public. The couple have 10 adopted children, but none of their own. More...

Ever heard of a chicken that underwent sex change?

By our correspondent, April 4 2011
A sex change chicken which began life as an egg-laying hen has turned into a crowing cock. Stunned owner Jeanette Howard, 79, couldn’t believe her eyes or ears when one-year-old Gertie sprouted a distinctive red comb and chin wattle - and started crowing at dawn. Now she plans to re-name Gertie, Bertie. Mrs Howard said she first noticed something was up with Gertie when she started to walk differently from her other two hens, Daisy and Gracie. She has since been reassured by vets that the hen is fine - but that damage to her ovaries could have caused Gertie to develop male characteristics. Experts say sex changes can affect one in 10,000 animals. Mrs Howard said: "I bought three chickens a year ago and they were all laying eggs for me until the end of the year. "They began to moult over the winter and I wasn’t taking a lot of notice. Then one day I heard this crowing noise and I thought ‘Where’s that coming from?’ "I looked into the garden at Gertie and I saw it was coming from her or him." Mrs Howard, of Needingworth in Britain, said Gertie had suddenly developed a scarlet comb, chin wattle and long tail feathers, which are all male characteristics. More...

Ingoko sex change
We know about sex change in humanoid species but one in the winged animals is a rarity. Strange but true is the stuff miracles are made of like the case of Gertie, the English chicken turned cock. The above photo shows how a sex change in the bird species might look like.

Obama for president; again!: US President Barack Obama has announced his intention to stand for a second term in office in 2012. Mr Obama's team released a video on his official website and sent an e-mail to supporters announcing his plans. The president has an online network of millions of Americans and his web campaign was widely seen as a key plank of his election success in 2008. More...
Shock as Kisii mother kills daughter for stealing maize

By Kenan Miruka, April 4 2011
A mother allegedly killed her 14-year-old daughter while trying to discipline her after she stole and sold maize from their store, in Nyangiti Location. The suspect, aged 32, reportedly questioned her daughter before beating her up for close to 30 minutes at 10.30pm on Friday night. The victim, a Standard Seven pupil at a private primary school in Kisii South, allegedly stole an equivalent of four kilogrammes of maize and sold it. The mother beat her as the other children watched helplessly and pleas from the deceased for mercy fell on deaf ears. Police said the girl’s body had cracks on the skull, believed to have been inflicted by the rod her mother used. Nyangiti Location Chief Ogega Rasugu told The Standard the woman dumped her daughter’s body on a chair when she fell silent. The woman’s brother-in-laws rushed to the scene when the cries became too much, but it was too late as the child had died. On realising the child was dead, the woman took off at midnight to her home in Menyinkwa, Kisii Central. More...

Luo fishermen quit Lake Baringo as stocks dwindle

By Harold Ayodo, April 1 2011
He left for a fishing expedition at 6am, but caught only two fish after three hours in Lake Baringo on a Saturday. Reuben Sang says fishing, which has been his family’s main source of livelihood for the past two decades, is no longer a lucrative activity. "Lake Baringo was a gold mine but of late we can go fishing for five hours and return to the shore with empty nets," Sang says. The seasoned fishermen says he could get ten fish and sell to nearby lodges and walk home with at least Sh1, 500 daily."It is unbelievable that nowadays I can walk home with less than Sh300 following the ‘drought’ in the lake," Sang says. Today, prices of catfish that were once abundant have shot to Sh300 up from about Sh150 less than a year ago. Tilapia was another edible species whose stocks have been diminishing over the past two decades. Another fisherman, William Cherotich, says the situation in the lake is so dire that it sometimes takes up to six hours a day to net only three cat fishs. Cherotich says. He says the dwindling stocks have led to a mass exodus of their colleagues – especially from the Luo community – to seek greener pastures elsewhere. More...

Luo fishermen
Lake baringo
Fishing in muddled waters: Fishing is increasingly threatened with collapse. First the government banned fishing of omena (above: dagaa in Kiswahili) in Lake Victoria only to reverse the decision following an outcry. And now stocks on Lake Baringo have dwindled so much that fishermen can hardly make a living leading to an exodus of mainly Luo fishermen.
Youth poly graduates flop in electrical, carpentry exams

By Felista Wangari, April 1 2011
The next time you call a young man to fix your lights or repair the book case, remember to check his credentials first: results from national electrical and carpentry tests indicate that the majority of students enrolled in Kenya’s 63 youth polytechnics failed in these two subjects. Quietly handed over to the Ministry of Youth Affairs without the usual pomp and glamour that goes with the release of national examinations, the National Vocational Certificate of Education and Training (NVCET) results came as the government finalises plans to inject Sh3 billion in the youth polytechnics. They were anything but encouraging: 58 per cent of students who sat national carpentry tests in 2010 failed; six per cent were given referrals. In the electrical and electronics class, 56% failed, while 12% were given referrals. Only four candidates passed in such courses as leatherwork technology. Overall, the performance dropped from 76% pass rate in 2009 to 69% in 2010. More...

Dr Maleche arrested after botched abortion kills teen

By Roselyne Obala, April 1 2011
A doctor who allegedly helped a teenager to procure an abortion, resulting in her death, has surrendered to the police. Police indicated that the doctor who operates a private hospital in Kakamega town was responding to summons issued on Thursday. Kakamega OCPD Joseph Omijah said his officers interrogated the doctor before he recorded a statement with them. "Investigations into the cause of the girl’s death are still ongoing, as we await the results of a post mortem examination," he said, adding the doctor was later set free. "For now, we are going with the statement from the doctor. If it contradicts the post mortem results, we will make an arrest," he added. Omijah said they are yet to get the mother of the girl, as she is said to have fled to her maternal home in Navakholo, Kakamega Central District. On tip off He noted that the doctor presented himself to the police on Thursday evening accompanied by his lawyer. Police acting on a tip off recovered the body of the 18-year-old girl abandoned in one of the rooms at the hospital on Wednesday night. Dr Maleche is the owner of Kakamega Highway Hospital. More...

Ben shinali
Bernard Shinali, who won an election petition against Dr Bonny Khalwale in Ikolomani.

Shinali to bullfight Khalwale

By Augustine Owuor, April 1 2011
Orange Democratic Movement Party has nominated Bernard Masaka Shinali as the candidate for Ikolomani by-election on May 23. ODM Secretary General, Anyang’ Nyong’o, presented the candidate a certificate of nomination at Orange House, on Friday. He added: "Having been no other candidate to show interest in challenging Mr Shinali for the ODM certificate, it was prudent that he be given the opportunity to run for the seat." More...

Church group resists govt move to upgrade schools

By Titus Too, April 1 2011
The African Inland Church (AIC) has said it will challenge Government plan to upgrade some of its schools in the North Rift. The Church said it was unwilling to surrender its institutions to the Government. Bishop Patrice Chumba of AIC North Rift said the Church would write a protest letter to the PS in the Ministry of Education over the review. He said the church and parents had contributed a lot in the development of infrastructure at the schools and would not want to cede the investments to the Government. Kapsabet Girls in Nandi, AIC Chebisaas Boys in Uasin Gishu and Chebara boys in Marakwet, sponsored by AIC, have been proposed for upgrade to national schools. Other schools earmarked for upgrading include Kapsabet Boys, Loreto Girls Matunda and St Patrick Iten. The cleric noted that parents and those who contributed in the development of the institution would be disadvantaged. Paul Kibet, the principal AIC Chebisaas High School and also chairman Uasin Gishu Secondary School Heads Association, supported the Government’s move as it would create more opportunities for candidates. More...

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