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Wycliffe Oparanya
Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya, the planning minister releasing the census results in Nairobi earlier this morning. The results' release has been postponed on two separate occasions fuelling concerns that they were being doctored.
Kenya Sex Equality
Kenya Population census
Population census in historical context. Last year's census was the 8th since the British colonial government carried out the first census in 1897 when Kenya was known as British East African Protectorate..
Kalenjin overtake Luo as Luhya close in on Kikuyu

By John Njiraini, Aug 31 2010
The stark reality of Kenya’s ethnic affiliation has finally been laid bare amid concerns of its implications on a fragile nationhood. In what might raise eyebrows and form the basis of political alliances ahead of 2012 General Election, the Kikuyu have been listed as the leading ethnic group, with a population of 6,622,576. The Luhya are second largest, with a population of 5,338,666 according to the 2009 Population and Housing Census results released on Tuesday. The Kalenjin, which according to the 1989 census were fourth, have now overtaken the Luo to position three, with a population of 4,987,328. The Luo community occupies position four at 4,044,440. The Kamba forms the fifth largest ethnic group, with a population of 3,893,137. Kenyans of Somali origin are at position six at 2,385,572, followed by the Kisii at 2,205,669. The number of Kenyans with Somali origin was, however, nullified due to glaring inconsistencies in the growth of their population, which can be attributed to an influx of foreigners. The Mijikenda and Meru, with 1,960,574 and 1,658,108, close the league of the country’s ethic groups with more than one million people. More...

Luhya tribe
The largest and the not so small tribes.
Migingo has only 131 Kenyans

By Patrick Mayoyo, Aug 31 2010
The tiny Migingo island that has been at the centre of an ownership row between Kenya and Uganda has only 131 Kenyans. The census report says Migingo has 62 Kenyan females and 69 males. However, the figure was disputed by Migingo residents. Mr Juma Ombori, the chairman of Migingo Beach Management Unit, said there are more than 1,000 Kenyans on the island. “The figure of 131 Kenyans on Migingo island as indicated by the national census is misleading,” he said. Mr Ombori said most Kenyans on the disputed island were not counted because of a stand-off between Kenyan and Ugandan security personnel. More...

One wedding and a funeral: Two families that had gathered for their children’s wedding were left in shock after the bride died just hours after the ceremony. Kilifi police boss Grace Kakai said that the bride, Ms Esther Mwenda, died after she finished her first lunch in her new home. More...
Gender balance, finally

By Mutahi Basse, Aug 31 2010
There are 38,610,097 people in Kenya, according to the official 2009 population census figures released on Tuesday. Out of these, men and women seem to have struck a balance, nearly, with 19,192,458 being male and 19,417,639 female. Releasing the results on Tuesday in Nairobi, Planning minister Wycliffe Oparanya, however, said a repeat census has been ordered in eight districts after inconsistencies were noted in the population data for areas in northern Kenya. The districts affected are Lagdera, Wajir East, Mandera Central, Mandera East, Mandera West, Turkana Central, Turkana North, and Turkana South. Mr Oparanya said the inconsistencies in these regions were arising from the rate of population increase being higher than what birth and death rates would support, and age and sex profiles deviating from normal. The census results indicate that Protestants churches enjoy the biggest following in the country, with 18.3 million followers. They are followed by the Catholic Church with 9,010,684 followers while other Christian churches account for 4,559,584 followers. The Muslim population in the country stands at 4,304,798 while that of Hindus is 53,393. More...

Kakamega biggest: Kakamega is the second most populous county after Nairobi, the census results released yesterday show. The third largest is Bungoma followed by Kiambu, Nakuru and Meru. More...
Census results out tomorrow - hopefully!

By Ally Jamah, Aug 30 2010
The eagerly awaited results of the housing and population census conducted last year are expected to be released in Nairobi on Tuesday. In a statement, Director General of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), Anthony Kilele, said Planning Minister Wycliffe Oparanya would lead the ceremony to release the results at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre. The enumeration was done on the night of August 24, last year, followed by intensive data processing, editing, evaluating and analysing of the results. The Government had initially promised to release provisional results by December, last year, but since then the ceremony has been postponed. "This makes Kenya the first African country to release comprehensive census results within one year," he said. More...

Esther Arunga, karachuonyo
Esther Arunga with her signature smile. She has decided not to stand for election in Karachuonyo in 2012.
Esther Arunga's campaign in Kisumu runs into trouble

By Kepher Otieno, Aug 30 2010
There was anxiety in Kisumu town as Placenta Party of Kenya officials made a debut surprise in a bid to sell their ideas. Party chairman Quincy Timberlake and presidential candidate Joseph Hellon were accompanied by their spouses Esther Timberlake and Kuyu Hellon. Anxious crowds surged towards them as they went from street to street. The team attempted to counter negative propaganda about their Finger of God Church, with Timberlake denying claims that they were involved in cult-like activities and that their ways were shrouded in mystery. Hellon claimed they were a force to reckon with and that is why they were being discredited. At one point, the team met a rude shock in one of the popular Bunge La Wananchi bases in the town, when they tried to convince locals that they would offer alternative leadership. More...

Man kills his wife, three children in Kisumu

By Mangoa Mosota, Aug 30 2010
The sins of a brazen father now on the run; a love turned sour; and four wasted lives - three of them children too young to defend themselves against the person they all looked up to before hell broke loose. Outside the house, the heavy rain battering the roof muted their final cries, including that of a helpless girl who was raped before being killed by her own father. There was blood all over the beds in two different rooms. All four lay motionless - a mother and her three children gone in a flash, because of the murderous rage of a man who passed himself along as a caring father to the young ones, and a loving husband to Pamela Achieng, 38. The horror unfolded in Kisumu’s Nyalenda on Saturday night - and Kenyans came to know about it as they trooped to church on Sunday buoyed by the talk in town that this August would be as jinxed as all the others have been. Signs of the feeble struggle Pamela and her children - Winnie Anyango (13) Michael Obwago (9) and Bryan Otieno, (6) put up were discernible from the panga cuts on their necks and heads, and the mess that was their once rented house. More...

Michael Obwago
Nyalenda murder
Top: the victims, Michael Obwago (left), Brian Otieno (centre) and Winnie Anyango. Bottom: Grief-stricken stunned neighbours.
Now you can demand to be served in Kiswahili

By Wahome Thuku, Aug 30 2010
Kiswahili is now an official language, meaning you can demand to be addressed in it in any office. With the promulgation of the new Constitution, Kiswahili has become one of the two official languages in Kenya. Section 7 of the new Constitution declares Kiswahili and English as Lugha Rasmi (official languages) in Kenya. And under Section 7 (1), Kiswahili retains its previous status as Kenya’s national language. For this language, the journey to its new status has been long and grueling. Kiswahili had to overcome all odds in the 1960s and 70s even to be accepted as the national language. On July 25, 1969, then Attorney General Charles Njonjo strongly objected to the introduction of Kiswahili as an official language. Then Embu East MP Kamwithi Munyi had tabled the Motion to have Kiswahili declared the official language in Government offices and in the National Assembly. But according to Mr Njonjo, only 40 per cent of Kenyans then could competently speak in Kiswahili and a lot of work would have to be done to encourage the other 60 per cent to accept the language. Njonjo argued Kiswahili was an Arabic language and if all foreign languages were to be done away with then it should be among them. More...

Khalwale bid to block corrupt MPs from being sworn in collapses

By David Ochami, Aug 28 2010
Members of Parliament took fresh oaths evening in Parliament to conform with the new Constitution, amid calls from a section of MPs to block MPs under investigation for corruption from taking the oath. The oathing was brought forward to yesterday after Members rejected a motion on Thursday evening to have the ceremony this morning. Defined as State Officers, the new charter requires them to take a fresh oath of allegiance. Unlike past oaths, MPs were not required to swear allegiance to the President. With Bible or Koran in hand, they read a printed oath swearing allegiance to "the people and Republic of Kenya" and pledging to protect the new supreme law. Past oaths for MPs required them to swear allegiance and loyalty to the President. Before the start of the ceremony, Speaker Kenneth Marende rejected a petition lodged by Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale seeking to omit MPs with pending criminal cases or probes from taking the oath. More...

Mukhisa Kituyi
Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, former trade minister and MP for Kimilili has shown interest to vie for Senator's post in 2012.

Uganda goes potty over districts: THE demarcation of a district as an administrative unit came with the colonial government. By 1959, Uganda had 16 districts and at the time of independence in 1962 one more district was created. Six years after independence, Milton Obote created one more district. When Idi Amin came to power in 1971, he created one more district. After three years in power, Amin created 19 more districts, raising the total number from 19 to 38. More...
Shitanda, Khaniri, Kituyi declare interest in counties

By Stephen Makabila, Aug 28 2010
With the creation of a Senate - which is expected to be powerful - and the positions of governorship, politicians will be spoilt for choice. This, however, poses a headache for those who have been MPs and ministers. Given the powers Cabinet ministers enjoy, political observers say many would be divided on which positions to go for. "A county like Kakamega with nine constituencies or Bungoma with six constituencies will need someone with massive resources to mount a serious campaign," points out Moi University’s Dr Masibo Lumala. Serving and former ministers have already shown interest in contesting for either senate seats or governorship. Housing Minister Soita Shitanda who is also Malava MPs has already declared he will be contesting for the Kakamega county Senate seat. Assistant Minister George Khaniri who is the Hamisi MP said he has his eyes on Vihiga County. In Elgeyo-Marakwet, Francis Mutwol is eyeing the senator’s seat. Former Turkana Central MP Emmanuel Imana also said he would give the Senate a try. In Bungoma, speculations are rife that former Trade and Industry Minister Dr Mukhisa Kituyi would be going for the governor’s position. More...

Envoys boycott State House luncheon over Bashir

By our correspondents, Aug 28 2010
Kenya could find itself in trouble for hosting Sudan President Omar al-Bashir after the International Criminal Court (ICC) said it would report his presence in the country to the UN Security Council. The ICC yesterday said it would report Bashir’s visit so that appropriate steps might be taken. The world seemed astounded by the Government decision to invite ICC-wanted prime genocide suspect, with Human rights groups protesting. It took Kenyans and the international community by surprise when Bashir strode to Uhuru Park Grounds at 9.16am amid tight security. During an official briefing of the Press on Wednesday, the Government, through the Head of Civil Service, Francis Muthaura, did not say Bashir’s was expected. James Mwamu, the secretary of the East African Law Society demanded an explanation from the Government on how Bashir found his way to the occasion, and why the Government failed to comply the ICC. More...

Amos Wako
Birth of 2nd republic: President Kibaki holds aloft the New Constitution as Attorney General, Amos Wako (right) watches.

ICC reports Kenya to UN over Bashir: The International Criminal Court said Friday that it was reporting indicted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's visit to Kenya to the UN Security Council, so that appropriate steps might be taken. Bashir attended a ceremony in Nairobi Friday to adopt a new constitution for Kenya despite warrants for his arrest issued by the ICC on charges of genocide and war crimes by the ICC. More...
US jails two Kenyan fraudsters

By John Kelley, Aug 28 2010
Two more members of a Kenyan fraud ring have been sentenced to prison in the United States for trying to steal more than $3 million from state governments. Michael Ochenge, 33, received a four-year term, and Albert Gunga, 31, was given 10 months on Friday by a federal judge in the state of West Virginia. They took part in a scheme plotted in Kenya to divert payments intended for US companies that had done work for the state governments of West Virginia, Kansas, Massachusetts, Florida and Ohio. They will be deported to after serving their jail time. More...

Moi Day scrapped

By Oliver Mathenge, Aug 28 2010
Kenyans will enjoy fewer national days, which will be observed as holidays. There will only be three national days – Madaraka Day (June 1 ), Mashujaa Day (October 20) – formerly Kenyatta Day and Jamhuri Day (December 12). This means that Moi Day (October 10) and Labour Day (May 1) are no longer constitutionally recognised as national days. Kiswahili becomes the second official language after English. Previously, Kiswahili was just a national language. This means if one is not conversant with English, they can use Kiswahili, for instances when applying for a job, officially. From Friday, the police cannot arbitrarily arrest someone or search private property. They are now required to explain to the arrested person, in a language that they understand, why they need to arrest them and their right to remain silent. If an offence is punishable by a fine or an imprisonment of less than six months, the suspect cannot be held in custody. Once the president signs this document, every Kenyan has the right to access any information they need, held by the State or any other person. They also have a right to have information on them corrected immediately. More...

Alois Ojeng, Ugenya Chief
An oil tanker explosion at Ugunja market in Ugenya which killed the local chief Alois Ojeng, 57 who was out shopping with his wife.

New districts sneaked in: President Kibaki rushed on Thursday to create 13 new districts before his actions become illegal under the new constitution which he promulgated (signed into law) today. The new districts bring the total number to 271. Moi created 26 in his entire 24 year reign while Kibaki has created a whooping 199. The new districts are Tarbaj, Habaswein, Balambala, Ikutha, Kisasi, Matinyani, Katulani, Londiani, Awendo, Sameta, Kipkelion North, Mashru and Kirinyaga North.
Ugenya chief killed in oil tanker explosion

By our correspondents, Aug 28 2010
A chief died in an accident in which a fuel tanker overturned and exploded at Ugunja trading centre in Ugenya District. Mr Alois Ojeng, 57, who was the chief of North East Ugenya location, had gone shopping with his wife when he was caught up in the tragedy. According to his wife, Mrs Phoebe Onyango, 52, the burning tanker was heading towards where they were seated, prompting them to scamper for safety. The chief collapsed after running for about 200 metres during the Tuesday evening incident. He was taken to the Ambira sub-District Hospital where he died while undergoing treatment. According to the medic in charge of the hospital, Dr Howard Moyia, the chief died from the shock, adding that he might have inhaled petrol fumes. Siaya police boss Maurice Kiplagat said that the driver of the ill-fated tanker carrying 31,000 litres of petrol, which was destined for Rwanda, tried to avoid a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle when it swerved and overturned. Mr Kiplagat blamed cooking on the roadside for the fire. Several food kiosks were also razed. Police officers cordoned off the burning tanker to keep away locals who wanted to siphon fuel. More...

Trust Bashir to spoil Kenya's big day

By James Ratemo, Aug 28 2010
Human rights groups on Friday scolded the Kenyan government for allowing Sudanese president Omar Hassan Al Bashir to take part in the celebration of the country's new constitution. The Human Rights Watch, the global organisation charged to protect civil rights of people, sent a statement urging Kenya to arrest Al-Bashir on Friday if he enters Kenya but call went unheeded. The International Center For Conflict and Policy (ICPC) also called for immediate arrest of Bashir who is wanted by the†International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged human rights violations in Darfur. "Inviting President Bashir to Kenya is an act of impunity and†a clear indication that Kenya is not ready to cooperate with the ICC. His presence here is an insult to the people of Kenya and the victims of the post-election violence," said ICPC executive director Ndung'u Wainaina. Foreign Affair minister, Moses Wetangula was later reported saying, Kenya could not arrest Bashir since he was a state guest hence it could be improper for Kenya to embarrass him. More...

Omar Hassan al Bashir, Sudan president
President Omar Hassan al Bashir, the Sudanese president who has two warrants of arrest against him by the International Criminal Court (ICC) is escorted to Uhuru Park by Tourism minister, Najib Balala. Human rights groups have called for his arrest.

From today, 28 Aug 2010, Kenyans can be citizens of more than one country - legally speaking!
2nd republic's new anthem

Oh Kenya, my country

With peace, love and harmony.

Oh Kenya, my Kenya,

I will always live for thee

The three-minute four-stanza rendition is the brainchild of singer-songwriter Achieng’ Abura, in collaboration with experienced musicians Victor Seii, Suzzane Gachukia and John Katana of Them Mushrooms, Kayamba Africa, among others. The song was recorded at the Samawati Records and engineered by Ulopa of Ulopa Records. Abura said the group has been working closely with the Permanent Presidential Music Commission, which is mandated to vet musicians, dancers, presentation material and other entertainment pieces for presidential entertainment. "It is a great moment in the history of our country. It is a moment that will be recalled by generations to come. I am glad to be part of it," said Jua Cali, the father of genge music. More...

Western teacher bodies facing financial ruin

By Joel Okwayo, Aug 25 2010
Teachers’ organisations from Western Province are facing financial difficulties because of delays by Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to remit members’ dues. The delays have made it impossible for the organisations to process loan applications for members. Savings and credit co-operative societies, burial and benevolent funds, and educational schemes complained they were financially strapped. "We have not received our July dues from TSC, yet we are approaching September," said Kakamega Teachers Benevolent Fund Secretary, Francis Ometty. Mr Ometty explained that over 500 application forms lie unprocessed in his office because there is no money to give members. He noted that worst cases were for the members whose children are sick and admitted in hospital. The official, who was in the company of Kakamega Teachers Benevolent Fund Chairman Patrick Ongaya and treasurer Thadeus Akhwesa, accused the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) for keeping quiet over the matter. More...

Mumias Sugar Company
The collapse of Mumias Outgrowers Company is bad news for more than 80,000 farmers whose entire livelihood depends on cane farming. The farmers have appealed to the Kenya Sugar Board for help with no likelihood Moco will be revived.
Sugar firm collapse leaves 80,000 Mumias farmers in financial limbo

By John Shilitsa, Aug 25 2010
About 80,000 cane growers have petitioned the Kenya Sugar Board to help them recover more than Sh20 million from the Mumias Outgrowers Company (Moco). The cane growers said the funds were deducted by the Mumias Sugar Company through a check-off system from farmers on behalf of Moco, which folded up five months ago. The move came as it emerged that the Moco board of directors had hired 14 of the company’s tractors to transport cane in Nyanza in an effort to raise money to repay Sh21 million borrowed from the KSB against the farmers’ wishes. “We want the KSB to help us recover our money that used to oil Moco’s operations,” the growers told the sugar board’s director in charge of the sugar development fund, Mr Billy Wanjala. The sugar board official was inspecting a Sh128 million bridge construction project. Mr Wanjala cast doubts on the possibility of revamping Moco as it is heavily indebted due to poor management. More...

Miss Mexico
Miss Universe 2010: Jimena Navarette from Mexico is the newly crowned Miss Universe 2010. Miss Navarrete, who has been modeling since she was 15, is Mexico's second Miss Universe. Lupita Jones of Mexico won the title in 1991. Miss Navarrete replaces Miss Universe 2009 Stefania Fernandez of Venezuela. The 59th edition of the pageant, was held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Miss Mexico wins Miss Universe beauty pageant

By Laura Roberts, Aug 24 2010
Miss Navarrete, from Guadalajara, won over the judges in Las Vegas after telling them it was vital to teach children family values. "I want to give my parents a big hug," she said. "There was a lot of effort and a lot of sacrifice." She wore a long red dress for the evening gown competition after previously modelling a violet bikini. When asked how she felt about unsupervised Internet use, Miss Navarrete said the internet is important but parents need to be careful. "I do believe that internet is an indispensable, necessary tool for the present time," she said through an interpreter. "We must be sure to teach them the values that we learned as a family." First runner-up was Miss Jamaica Yendi Phillipps, while second runner-up was Miss Australia Jesinta Campbell. More...

Natasha Metto, Miss Kenya 2010
Miss Kenya 2010 is Natasha Metto. East Africa's performance was dismal. Only Tanzanian, Hellen Dausen and Zambian Alice Musukwa reached the last 83.
Gucha woman kills albino child as a bad omen

By Kenan Miruka, Aug 25 2010
A woman who killed her four-month-old baby because she was an albino has been sentenced to serve one year in jail by a Gucha court. Sara Kemunto Nyabuto, 23, committed the offence on August 2, 2010 at Bokimweri sub location in Nyamache district. Court report reveals the accused claimed her husband had convinced her to kill the baby since she was born with albinism hence a bad omen and a disgrace to the family. The case complicates the drama surrounding people living with albinism and who have been targeted for occult activities. In Tanzania cases of albino killings have been on the rise in the recent past as those involved claim, the albinos have magical powers highly sought by magicians. Kemunto was charged with unlawfully and willfully killing Esther Moraa, the albino child aged four months. On the said date, Rimoro assistant chief sighted a body floating on a river. Investigations commenced to establish whose body it was and it later emerged the body belonged to the accused person The court heard that the accused killed the baby because her current husband did not sire her. More...

Gucha albino
Albinos are increasingly at risk in East Africa. Their body parts prized by witchdoctors, they are hunted or sold then subjected to ritual killings to harvest their body parts believed to confer wealth to clients of the occult.

Hyena attacks woman: A 45-year-old woman is admitted to hospital after she was attacked by a hyena. Ms Cheparwas Lotulia said the beast attacked her when she tried to rescue one of her goats which it had snatched. She told journalists from her Kabarnet District Hospital bed: “Had it not been for my neighbours who heard my cries the hyena would have killed me.” More...
Khalwale case ruling imminent

By Roselyn Obala, Aug 25 2010
Kakamega High Court will make a ruling on petition challenging election of Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale on October 18. The court is expected to accept or reject the application made by Benard Shinali through his lawyer Stephen Mwenesi. The petition seeks a summary judgment on the case arguing there were glaring discrepancies in the election of Khalwale. In his submission before resident Judge, Justice Issac Lenaola, Mwenesi argued that the anomalies after the scrutiny of the ballot boxes and documents, means his client has strong grounds for the court to accept the application. Lenaola said he needed time before making his ruling. Others in the case However despite the application, the counsels for the Khalwale, Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) and Returning officer are also represented in the case. The move would amount to denying their clients a chance to be heard. Ms Aulo and Mr Mukele want the petition to proceed to full measure. More...

500 bogus colleges to go: Over 500 middle level colleges and technical institutions not registered by the government will in the next 21 days be closed down, according to higher education minister, William Ruto. More...
GRADUATION PARTY FOR DENIS MUJIBI who graduated with a doctorate in Animal Science - Statistical Genetics from The University of Alberta, Canada. The party was organised by Dr Mujibi's friends in Edmonton on Saturday, August 21 2010. Dr Mujibi from the Abanyekera clan in Bunyala is proceeding to Nairobi to work for the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) based at Kabete, Nairobi.
Denis Mujibi Denis Mujibi
Denis Mujibi
Ikolomani petitioner smells victory against Khalwale

By Stephen Makabila, Aug 24 2010
An application by a petitioner challenging the election of Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale was heard on Tuesday. In the application, the petitioner Bernard Shinali is seeking a summary judgment on the grounds of admitted facts in the petition. Mr Shinali argues that an inspection of documents ordered by the High Court last month had shown that there were glaring discrepancies which affected the outcome of the poll. The petition is before Kakamega resident Judge Mr Justice Isaac Lenaola. Lawyer Stephen Mwenesi for the petitioner told the court that the inspection of the forms 16 A and 17 A had brought out strong grounds to prove that the conduct of the election in Ikolomani and results were an illegality. He said results in the the gazette notice for Mr Khalwale showed he got 8286 while the tally of votes in 17 A for the MP was 8537. The figures differed with the results entered in words on form 17 A which showed the MP got 8886. The lawyer said his client had narrowly lost to the MP by 265 votes and it would only fair for the court to invalidate the results because of the irregularities. More...

Bonny Khalwale
Dr Bonny Khalwale, the Ikolomani MP is being challenged by a voter, Bernard Shinali who wants the court to rule in his favour as electoral documents show massive irregularties.

Tiger Woods divorced

By our correspondent, Aug 24 2010
The divorce of golfer Tiger Woods and wife Elin Nordegren was finalized Monday, according to a joint statement issued by their attorneys. The marriage's end comes nine months after allegations surfaced that Woods carried on several extramarital affairs. More...

Endorois community demand their ancestral land

By Karanja Njoroge, Aug 24 2010
The Endorois community has demanded the Government implements the ruling of the African Commission calling for restitution of their ancestral land. The Endorois Welfare Council said following the passing of the new Constitution, the Government should implement the recommendations without further delay. The Government had three months to honour the ruling, but after consultation, it was agreed that it should be implemented after the referendum on the new laws," said the Council Chairman Charles Kamuren. In the landmark ruling in February, the African Commission found the Government guilty of violating the human rights of the Endorois, by evicting them from their land to pave way for creation of Lake Bogoria Game Reserve, between 1974 and 1979. The commission asked the Government to return the land to the Endorois and compensate them within three months. The Endorois, are a semi nomadic Kalenjin community numbering some 60,000. More...

Forget MPs, senators and governors to have more clout

By our correspondents, Aug 24 2010
Western province will have four counties (read parliaments) under the new constitution. Although Western now has 23 districts (including two for Iteso), the new counties will take the form of the old districts - Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia and Vihiga. Each county will be headed by an elected governor and represented in the Senate in Nairobi by a Senator. Like in the case of America’s 50 federated States, Kenya’s 47 counties will share sovereignty with the national or State government but reserve the right to determine a set of laws for themselves, for example on revenue collection. Each county will have, in 2012, a county assembly or local parliament under the devolved government arrangement, whose members - except for special interest nominees - will be elected by voters in its various wards. The new laws require that executive authority - as exercised by State officials right up to ministerial level in the current set up - shall be exercised by county executive committees which is made up of County Governor, his or her deputy, and members to be appointed by the governor with the express authority of the county assembly. The Governor of a county would be the equivalent of the Chief Executive Officer of an enterprise. More...

Eugene Wamalwa
Eugene Wamalwa, the Saboti MP led the celebrations marking the 7th anniversary of the death of Kenya's vice president, Michael Kijana Wamalwa at his Kitale home.

World's longest traffic jam: Authorities in China are racing to unscramble the world's longest traffic, a 60-mile tailback stretching from the capital Beijing to the northern province of Inner Mongolia. The jam on the main north-south motorway into Beijing has been blamed on a set of roadworks that is intended to alleviate congestion caused by thousands of trucks bringing coal and perishable goods into the city. More...
Luhya leaders blasted for skipping Wamalwa's rememberance

By Osinde Obare, Aug 24 2010
Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa led family and friends in commemorating the death of his elder brother and former Vice-President Kijana Wamalwa at his Kitale home on Monday. The late VP’s widow, Yvonne, and most Western Province politicians, however skipped the ceremony. Ford-Kenya Chairman Musikari Kombo, Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo, Livestock PS Kenneth Lusaka, Regional PC Wilson Wanyanga, Kitale Deputy Mayor Herbert Wambaya and Luhya Council of Elders Chairman Joseph Otiende attended. Kombo and Jirongo hit at Luhya leaders for skipping the important event, saying some of those who skipped the ceremony were reaping from the late Wamalwa’s political will. "Let us not pretend that we are too busy on some other issue instead of turning to mark the event of an old great hero and reforms crusader," charged Kombo. They said Wamalwa stood for peace and advocated for Luhya unity and urged the council of elders to unite community leaders. Eugene hailed Kenyans for passing the new Constitution, which he said his late brother had for years struggled for. More...

African bishops tell off the West over gays

By AFF, August 24 2010
The Anglican church in the West no longer adheres to the word of God, African bishops said Tuesday at a continental conference attended by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Rowan Williams, the head of the world-wide Anglican Communion, has been criticised by some African church leaders for his tolerant stance on homosexuality. "Today, the West is lacking obedience to the word of God," Reverend Ian Ernest of Mauritius, the head of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa, told journalists. "It is for us (Africans) to redress the situation," he said, adding that he has severed all ties to the Episcopalian churches in Canada and the US that have allowed gays to enter the clergy. The conference host, the Archbishop of Uganda Henry Luke Orombi, said African leaders would use the six-day meeting to voice the concerns about the "ailing church" to Williams. "Homosexuality is incompatible with the word of God," Orombi said. "It is good (that) Archbishop Rowan is here. We are going to express to him where we stand. We are going to explain where our pains are." Orombi also said that disputes over homosexuality had already divided the global Anglican community. More...

Rowan Williams, archbishop of canterbury
Archbishop Rowan Williams, the head of the Anglican Church in the world chats to the general secretary of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), the Rev. Canon Grace Kaiso in Entebbe, Uganda at the start of the African Anglicans Conference. More than 400 Anglican heads from the continent are attending the conference.

Six MPs killed in hotel blast

By our correspondent, Aug 24 2010
Islamist gunmen have stormed a hotel close to Somalia's presidential palace and killed at least 32 people, including six MPs. The BBC's Mohammed Olad Hassan in Mogadishu says the men were disguised as government soldiers. They approached the Muna hotel, opened fire on a guard, then one of them blew himself up inside the building. Sheik Ali Mohamud Rage from the al-Shabab Islamist militia said its "special forces" were behind the raid. Our correspondent says the Muna hotel is popular with government officials, because it is in a government-controlled area and security was seen as tight. More...

TJRC statement recorders begin training in Kakamega

By Rose Kamau, Aug 24 2010
The Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission on Tuesday rolled out a nationwide training of statement takers. The first group of 160 statement takers are being trained simultaneously in Kisumu, Nyeri, Nakuru and Kakamega. The statement takers will be trained in transitional justice and human rights issues, the mandate of the TJRC, gender and statement taking as well as trauma management. Addressing the Nyeri trainees commission chairman Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat said while Kenya was moving into a new era with the promulgation of a new constitution, the country still needed to deal with its past. "As we cross the constitutional bridge to a new Kenya, we need to address the many conflicts of the past that have caused disharmony among Kenyans," Kiplagat said. More...

Husband cuts off wife's legs

By Patrick Jaramogi, Aug 24 2010
A 23-year-old mother of two was admitted at Mulago Hospital after her husband cut her legs with a panga. Her husband, Tom Senkya, a local artist and taxi tout, attacked Goretti Najjuma, a fruit vendor at Kasangati in Wakiso district, on Monday, accusing her of having an affair. The incident occurred at Kazinga in Wakiso district. Najjuma, whose bones were left hanging, was rushed to Capital Health Clinic in Kasangati where her legs were stitched. More...

Late Wamalwa's 7th anniversary celebrated

By our correspondent, August 23 2010
President Mwai Kibaki has paid glowing tribute to the late former Vice-President Michael Kijana Wamalwa and called on Kenyans to emulate his patriotism. As the country Monday commemorates the 7th anniversary since the death of the former Vice-President, President Kibaki recalled that the late Wamalwa played a frontline role in the struggle for reforms in the country, adding that Kenyans shall forever be grateful to the contribution of the great patriot and gentleman. "I cherish the many thoughts we shared together in pushing for reforms both long before and after we formed the Government in 2002 with him as my Vice President," President Kibaki said. Saying the late former Vice-President's memorial is being held shortly after the referendum that ushered in a new constitutional dispensation for the country, the President noted that constitutional reforms were particularly dear to the late Wamalwa who believed they would open a new chapter of freedom, development and prosperity for the country. As the country embarks on the second leg of implementing the constitution, President Kibaki appealed to Kenyans to remember the words of the late Wamalwa that although Kenyans are of many tribes, many religions and many cultures, that is not a weakness but the strength of this republic. The Head of State further recalled the late Wamalwa's assertion that the constitution is the defender of the weak, the protector of the mighty and the not so mighty, and the modern defender of the faiths.

Kijana Wamalwa
Kijana Wamalwa seventh anniversary
Former vice president, Michael Kijana Wamalwa died seven years ago today, August 23.
Catholic Church splits further in Western Kenya

By our correspondents, Aug 23 2010
Another splinter group of the Roman Catholic Church has consecrated its ninth bishop in the country. Independent Catholic Charismatic Church of Kenya ordained Bishop George Odhiaambo Jamba at a ceremony in Ugenya District, on Saturday. Bishop Jamba would lead the church’s mission in Western Kenya. High-ranking officials of the church including Bishop Tom Kiiza of Uganda and its Vicar-General Cyprian Kinzi Musyimi attended the open-air ceremony at Rangala trading centre. Archbishop Anthony Mackiilop, the head of the Independent Catholic Church of Australia Inc, led the ceremony. The church, which is among emerging splinter groups opposed to the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, did not show any difference in style of worship during the occasion. Its rituals of worship, dressing and style are identical to those of their mother church. The church, however, allows its clergy to marry and hold regular jobs as opposed to the mainstream Roman Catholic Church. The Reformed Catholic Church of Kenya, led by Bishop Godfrey Shiundu, is another breakaway Church from the mainstream Catholic Church. More...

Noah Katana Ngala
How times have changed: Former cabinet minister, Noah Katana Ngala in the dock, charged with stealing government property. He was charged jointly with his wife, Ms Isabel Vicky Nzalambi.

Museveni's brother is dead: Hundreds of mourners on Friday thronged Isingiro district for the burial of Emmanuel Bamushabire, a brother of President Yoweri Museveni. Bamushabire, the son of Mzee Amos Kaguta, died of a blood clot at Mayanja Memorial Hospital in Mbarara on Wednesday. Bamushabire, 56, was buried at his home village, Kyenjojo-Isingiro North, in Isingiro district. Mzee Eriya Lisi, Museveni’s paternal uncle and other family elders, attended. However, Mzee Kaguta was absent due to ill-health. More...
Former cabinet minister charged with fraud

By Evelyn Kwamboka, Aug 23 2010
A woman charged along with former cabinet minister Noah Katana Ngala has failed to appear in court to take plea. The court was on Monday told Ms Elizabeth Nyambura Gicheha, who was summoned in July in connection with the sale of the Nairobi Mayor’s residence, is ailing. Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei ordered the case be mentioned on September 3 for purposes of Gicheha taking plea. The court also exempted Ngala and his wife, Ms Isabel Vicky Nzalambi from attending court on that day. They are only expected in court on September 24 when the case against them will be heard. Ngala and the wife are charged along with former Nairobi Mayor John Ndirangu Kariuki and an official in the office of the President, Mr Eustas Mwangi Mungai. More...

Tanzanian president collapses: There are fears for the health of Tanzania's President Jakaya Kikwete after he collapsed at the official launch of his re-election campaign. The BBC's John Ngahyoma in Dar es Salaam says this is the third time the 49-year-old has collapsed in recent years. More...
Ex Emuhaya MP's family bereaved

Alex Muhanji, the son of former Emuhaya MP, the late Sammy Muhanji has died. Alex died in Nairobi Wednesday, August 18 2010 after battling a long illness. Alex's death comes only within days of his son's death (buried last Saturday). His wife died a few years ago. He is survived by his brothers - Butiko (Philadelphia, USA), Onyino (Luanda) and Aineah (Nairobi) and sisters, Ayuma and Flora. Arrangements are underway to transport his body for burial at Essaba, Ebutongoi, Central Bunyore. The tragic family has also lost mum, Grace and brothers, Chief and Muriu.

Uhuru edges out Mudavadi as Raila's deputy - poll

By Alex Ndegwa, Aug 21 2010
Alliance between Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his deputy Uhuru Kenyatta, is the most popular ticket for presidency in the 2012 General Election, says a new opinion poll. Coming weeks after their much-publicised meeting at Raila’s Karen home, where Uhuru led the Kenyatta family to wish the Premier good health, findings from the Infotrak Harris Poll are likely to further fuel speculation on the political alliance involving sons of Kenya’s prominent families. Though the survey says Uhuru leads the pack for running mate for all the presidential candidates, it is his alliance with Raila that is the most popular, drawing the support of nearly one half of all Kenyans. With 43 per cent endorsing Uhuru as Raila’s running mate, hence designating him the presumptive deputy president, the alliance appears to be the potential deal breaker, according to the survey conducted in August. The pollster interviewed 1200 respondents in all the provinces. Consequently, the Kanu chairman elbows out Local Government Musalia Mudavadi, who gets the backing of 23 per cent of respondents for running mate. It is unclear what factors have influenced the relegation of Mudavadi, who is ODM’s deputy leader and marshalled the Western votes in favour of the new constitution in the just-concluded referendum. More...

Robinson Simiyu Mkwama
Nathaniel Mitei
Robinson Simiyu Mkwama (above) the Kitale albino who was rescued just in time before being sold off to Tanzanian witchdoctors by Nathaniel Mitei (below). Albinos are sought after for their body parts by witchdoctors.
Albino case gets international coverage

By Titus Too, Aug 21 2010
The case in which a man was jailed in Tanzania for 17 years for attempted sale of a Kitale albino to witchdoctors received coverage in major international news channels including the BBC, CNN and CBC of Canada. If the transaction had succeeded, Robinson Simiyu Mkwama was to be ritually killed and his body parts used in black magic meant to confer riches to customers. Meanwhile, residents of an estate in Kitale town broke into cheers and tears as they celebrated the rescue of an albino who had been abducted and taken to Tanzania. Neighbours and relatives of the victim said they were glad Mr Mkwama, the man who was earmarked to be sold for Sh20 million, had been rescued. "God is great having rescued our mzungu (Mkwama) who had disappeared since June," said Damaris Wanjiru Kamau, Mkwama’s former employer. At the same time, Teresia Njoki Mutei, the wife of Nathan Mutei, the man who had attempted to sell Mkwama in Tanzania, expressed deep sorrow for her husband’s fate. Mutei was handed a 16-year jail by a Tanzanian court for the offence. With tears rolling down her cheeks, Njoki said when her husband was leaving he claimed he had secured a job to transport maize to Busia. More...

Constitutional 'big day' hangs in the balance

By Jillo Kadida, Aug 20 2010
Two people went to court on Friday in a bid to block the promulgation of the new Constitution. Ms Mary Ariviza, an agent for ‘No’, and Mr Okotch Mondoh, went to the Dispute Resolution Court on Friday, the last possible day for challenges to be filed, to stop the August 27 ceremony. The move is a setback to plans to publish the final results of the referendum in the Kenya Gazette at the end of the 14th day, which would have been on Friday. This would have set in motion the timetable leading to Friday’s pronouncement of the new Constitution by President Kibaki. If the dispute court clears for hearing the petition, plans for the promulgation will be put on hold until the case is determined, according to the Constitution of Kenya Review Act, 2008. Any postponement would be a nightmare for the organisers, who have been working day and night to stage a grand ceremony rivalled only by the Independence Day ceremony in 1963 - complete with invitations to heads of State and other foreign high-profile officials. More...

Violet Mavisi
Violet Mavisi of the Interim Independent Constitutional Dispute Resolution Court who must decide whether to declare the referendum results null and void as sought by litigants.

Facebooked: Facebook Places is a new application for mobile phones that enables Facebook users to alert their friends to their current location. Although the service is currently only available in the US, Facebook said it will be rolling out the tool to other countries shortly. More...
Father kills son in ritual sacrifice

By our correspondents, Aug 21 2010
DAVID Mwesigye suffocated his son to death. He then carried the body from his home in Kisowera along the Mukono-Kayunga road to Godfrey Ssajjabi, a witchdoctor in Kigunga, about 15km on the Kampala-Jinja highway. Under the cover of darkness, the two dug a hole at the edge of the witchdoctor’s compound, placed the body in the hole and planted a banana sucker to avoid suspicion. It was Saturday 23rd September, 2007. Only Mwesigye and the witchdoctor knew that little Derrick Mutebi was no more. At the age of one and a half years, he had been brutally killed by his father, a television technician, the very person who was supposed to nurture him. By coincidence the boy’s mother, Ephransi Namuddu, who had separated from Mwesigye, felt the urge to go and see her son. When she did not find her son in the house, Mwesigye lied to her that the boy was living with his grandmother in Maganjo on the Kampala-Gayaza road. More...

Nairobi's Land Muthurwa up for sale as residents protest

By John Njiraini, Aug 20 2010
A cabal of politicians, businessmen and wheeler-dealers is jostling to take control of a prime land in the heartland of the Nairobi Central Business District. In what is fast shaping up as a contest of the mighty, scheming is in high gear for ownership of Muthurwa Estate land that is up for grabs. The 72-acre prime parcel of land is up for sale with a plan to demolish the old, dirty and dilapidated houses and replace them with ultra-modern housing units, shopping malls, office blocks and parking silos. "The houses in Muthurwa Estate have been condemned because they are an eyesore. We want to sell the land to raise money for the pension scheme," Mathews Tuikong, the Chief Executive of the Kenya Railways Retirement Benefits Scheme (KRSRBS) told Financial Journal. Tuikong says the idea is to develop a complex akin to the Westlands Shopping Centre to serve the people of Eastlands. More...

Muthurwa Estate, Nairobi
"Dallas" as Nairobi's Muthurwa Estate is known, is up for grabs. The former railways living quarters has attracted a cabal of politicians and wheeler dealers but residents are resisting the demolition of the century old landmark even if it has degenerated into an eyesore.

Church files case against poll: A case was on Friday filed at Kenya's referendum court seeking the nullification of the August 4 poll results, the total recount of votes and an audit of the electronic tallying software. Ms Mary Ariviza who represented the religious groups during the referendum has gone to the Interim Independent Constitutional Dispute Resolution Court to have the results declared null and void. More...
Mobile phone wars a boon to Kenyan subscribers

By Macharia Kamau, Aug 20 2010
Mobile phone users are set for a tariff cut bonanza as rival mobile service providers seek to undercut each other to gain market share. Essar Telecom’s Yu has rained on Zain’s parade by matching its new Sh3 per minute tariff on cross-network calls. Subscribers on Essar’s yu network can now call other networks at five cents per second, which adds up to Sh3 per minute in real terms. They will also enjoy SMS at 50 cents only. This leaves Safaricom and Orange Telkom as the most expensive service providers when it comes to cross-network calls. But even as Essar was plotting yu’s fightback, the rivalry between Kenya’s two biggest mobile services firms took an ugly turn, with Zain accusing its main competitor Safaricom of sabotage. Zain alleges the market leader is frustrating Zain subscribers making calls to the Safaricom network, and has filed a complaint with the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK). More...

Govt officials barred from holding foreign bank accounts

By Martin Mutua, Aug 20 2010
State officials are barred from holding foreign bank accounts under the new constitution. This was revealed by Mutula Kilonzo, the justice and constitutional affairs minister in Nairobi yesterday. Speaking at a breakfast meeting organised by the Media Owners Association and Editor's Guild, Mr Mutula said the effect of the new law would be to reduce avenues of corruption. He expressed his disappointment with the manner civic education was conducted before the referendum. "Let me say that I am embarrassed on how civic education was carried out. At one point we had to fight for the money for the exercise," said Mutula. The legislation, he stated, include the Commission on Implementation Bill, the Judicial Services Commission Bill, the Vetting of Judges Bill, the Electoral Bill, and the Supreme Court Bill. "By December, we need to have enacted a new electoral law, and since Kenyans have confidence in the Interim Independent Electoral Commission, I would be seeking to have them confirmed, with more teeth," said Mutula. More...

Mutula Kilonzo
Mutula Kilonzo, the justice and constitutional affairs minister. Unknown to many people, the new constitution bars state officials from having foreign accounts.

Coast cries foul: Members of the Coast Parliamentary Group on Thursday protested at the failure to include ministers from their region in a Cabinet sub-committee that will supervise the implementation of the new Constitution. They said the team’s composition undermined the principle of equal representation enshrined in the new laws. There are four ministers in the Cabinet from the Coast region: Mr Najib Balala (Tourism), Dr Naomi Shaban (Gender), Mr Amason Kingi (Fisheries) and Mr Chirau Mwakwere (Trade). More...
New laws to be effected within one year, not five

By Martin Mutua, Aug 20 2010
The Cabinet has committed itself to full implementation of the new Constitution within one year - not the five set out in the Fifth Schedule. The Cabinet meeting under President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga this week also decided the vetting of judges, completion of Supreme Court laws, and new electoral rules should be complete by Christmas. Sources said the remainder of the year could be the busiest for the Tenth Parliament given that the Government wants to table in the House the Bills it has prioritised. In pursuit of the strict deadline it has set, the Cabinet asked that the drafting of more urgent Bills begin under the auspices of the relevant ministries through the direction of the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General’s office. This means by the time the National Implementation Commission is set up in 90-days as envisaged in the Act, it will find them waiting for its final brush.

MPs want albinos protected from witchdoctors

By Caroline Wafula, Aug 19 2010
The Parliamentary Committee on Equal Opportunities is concerned about the rising insecurity of albinos in Kenya and faulted the Government for failing to take their needs seriously. The chairman Mr Mohammed Affey said the Government is yet to heed to a request to conduct a national census of all people with albinism to determine their exact population. The committee held a meeting on Thursday after which the chairman urged the Government to immediately commission a national head count of the albinos saying this will make it easy to plan for their needs and know where they are. This came against the backdrop of the arrest and imprisonment of a Kenyan man who tried to sell an albino man to witchdoctors in Tanzania. More...
Robinson Simiyu Mkwama
Robinson Simiyu Mkwama, the Kitale albino who was rescued in Mwanza after an attempt to sell him to witchdoctors to be killed in a ritual sacrifice was busted by Tanzanian police.

Phoebe Asiyo
Iron lady: Dr Phoebe Asiyo, former Karachuonyo MP told Luo elders to stop feuding over leadership positions.

New Swahili Bible

A simplified Kiswahili bible version which is easier to understand has been launched in a bid to reach a wider audience in the East African region. The first ever Kiswahili language version of the Africa Bible Commentary (ABC) entitled "Ufafanuzi wa Bibilia Katika Mazingira na utamaduni wa Kiafrika (UBK)" published by WordAlive Publishers Limited gives a section by section interpretation that provides the reader with a contextual, readable and useful guide to the entire Bible. The bible that was launched in Nairobi on Thursday and which has a special relevance to Africa was written and translated by over 70 scholars and experts drawn from across the continent. More...

Feuding Luo elders called to order by iron lady

By our correspondent, Aug 19 2010
Feuding members of the Luo Council of Elders came face to face for the first time at a burial ceremony in Rachuonyo North District. Former Karachuonyo MP Dr Phoebe Asiyo implored them to reconcile for the sake of the community. Dr Asiyo prevailed upon Meshack Riaga Ogalo and Mzee Opiyo Otondi to shake hands as a sign of reconciliation as hundreds of mourners who had gathered at the burial of Mzee Lawi Obuya in Simbi Kogembo applauded. The former MP said the current split among the elders was not healthy and must come to an end. Buoyed by the appreciative mourners who urged her on, Dr Asiyo encouraged Mzee Otondi, who had earlier declined to speak, to rise up and address them. She reminded elders present, who included Odungi Randa, Seth Oluoch and Nyandiko Ongadi, that during wrestling contests in the past, when one threw the rival down, he never stayed on top of him. More...

Catholic Church sued

The Catholic Church is being sued in California by seven people who claim they were sexually abused by a priest several decades ago. The six women and one man accuse the Diocese of Oakland of negligence for hiring the Reverend Stephen Kiesle. They say it was known that there were multiple allegations of abuse against him. He was sentenced to three years probation in 1978 for lewd conduct with two young boys in San Francisco. More...

Catholics still grumpy over referendum defeat

By Lucas Barasa, Aug 19 2010
The Catholic Church Thursday demanded for amendments of new Constitution immediately after it is proclaimed next week. Its top-decision making organ-the Kenya Episcopal Conference headed by John Cardinal Njue insisted that the changes were possible “as a matter of urgency” despite the new Constitution indicating it would be an uphill task. Chapter 16 stipulates that certain sections of the Constitution such as the Bill of Rights can only be amended with the approval of people through a referendum while others would require the support of a million signatures. The amendments must also be approved by both the Senate and the Lower House. Addressing journalists at Holy Family Basilica, the 25 Catholic Bishops cited sections on life, family, reproduction health, equity and justice as those that should be immediately amended. More...

snow in Ol joro orouk
Snow in Kenya! Yes that is correct. A blanket of snow in Ol joro orok, near Nyahururu is alien to this part of the world. In a rare occurrence farmers in Gatimu village in Ol-Joro-Orok division, Central Province are counting losses after their crops were covered by a blanket of snow following heavy rains accompanied by hailstones. The rain that pounded the area Wednesday evening left a trail of destruction in its wake in the incident residents described as bizarre near the Lake Ol-Borosat forest in Nyandarua West district. More...
Phone calls just get cheaper

By our correspondents, Aug 19 2010
Zain Kenya has surprised the market and thrown a major challenge to mobile phone services leader Safaricom by drastically slashing call charges for its subscribers to other networks. Bharti Airtel, which now owns Zain, appears keen on breaking the company’s history of tame marketing, and is using the reduction of inter-connectivity rates by the Communications Commission of Kenya to take Safaricom head-on, with the boldest advertising and predatory pricing ever seen in the local industry. Zain yesterday slashed tariffs on all calls by its prepaid and post-paid Subscribers to other networks to Sh3 per minute, and SMS to Sh1, mocking Safaricom’s slogan "the better option". A line in the adverts, written in Safaricom’s corporate colours, reads: "Going green is not always the better option," and "Going green is not always a great idea." Other players charge between Sh2.50 and Sh5 for SMS services. More...

Kitale man jailed in Tanzania for trying to sell an albino

By our correspondent, Aug 18 2010
A court in Tanzania has sentenced a Kenyan accused of trying to sell an albino to 17 years in jail and a fine of more than $50,000 (Sh 4million). The court sentenced Nathan Mutei after he pleaded guilty to human trafficking. Police said they arrested Mutei in a sting operation as he tried to sell an albino fellow Kenyan for the equivalent of more than $250,000. Albino body parts are prized in parts of Africa, with witch-doctors claiming they have special powers. The albino, Robinson Mkwama, is being escorted home to Kenya with a police guard, the BBC's Eric Nampesya reports from Tanzania. Mutei, 28, was arrested just outside the town of Mwanza. In Tanzania, the body parts of people living with albinism are used by witch-doctors for potions which they tell clients will help make them rich or healthy. Dozens of albinos have been killed, and the killings have spread to neighbouring Burundi. More...

kenya referendum
Kenyans on a campaign trail for the enactment or rejection of the draft constitution. In the event, the draft constitution was passed by 70% of voters but one employer was apparently not happy that his employees participated in the plebiscite and sacked them despite August 4 being gazetted a public holiday.

India may ban BlackBerry: The Indian government is undecided as to whether it will allow Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, to continue operating its corporate email service in the country next month. More...
Three sacked for voting in referendum sue employer

By Evelyn Kwamboka, Aug 18 2010
As Kenyans made history on August 4, three voters unwittingly defied their employer and took the day off. They joined the rest of Kenyans to the ballot box to decide on the new Constitution and shape the country’s destiny. The new law was approved at the referendum with more than 60 per cent voting ‘Yes’. Unfortunately for the three voters, they got the sack for taking part in the historic referendum. Although President Kibaki declared the day a public holiday, the employees’ action to join other Kenyans at the referendum on the new Constitution saw them sacked without benefits. The President had asked employers to allow their staff to participate in the election that was also gazetted. Yesterday, Peter Githinji, Richard Okoth and Millicent Vinaywa moved to the Industrial Court in Nairobi to seek legal redress against Mina Loaf Bakery and its proprietor, Mr Francis Mbugua. More...

Nzoia sugar farmers to strike over new managing director

By Robert Wanyonyi, Aug 18 2010
Prime Minister Raila Odinga has asked for a report on the controversial formation of a new board of directors at Nzoia Sugar Company. Raila had directed Agriculture Minister Sally Kosgei to investigate the matter after receiving a memorandum from cane farmers contracted to the sugar firm, two months ago. Addressing a rally at Bungoma Posta Grounds during the referendum campaigns, the PM had promised action on the matter after getting a report from the minister. Yesterday, the PM’s spokesman Dennis Onyango told The Standard on the telephone that the matter would be resolved. Despite the assurance, more than 3,000 cane farmers have issued a 14-day ultimatum for the matter to be resolved or they will go on strike. "The delay in reconstituting the board is only creating an unnecessary impasse. We will stop delivering cane to the factory within 14 days if the matter is not resolved," warned Nzoia Outgrowers Company Chairman Joash wa Mang’oli. The farmers have opposed Mr Julius Nyarotso’s appointment as the board chairman after former minister Burudi Nabwera’s retirement citing conflict of interests as Mr Nyarotso is a consultant and client of the sugar miller. More...

Nzoia Sugar Company in Bungoma
Nzoia Sugar Company in Bungoma is one of the mainstays of the local economy. However, sugar farmers are unhappy that a new MD, Julius Nyarotso has been appointed against their wishes citing conflict of interests. They have threatened to paralyse operations at the plant if their demands are not met within 14 days.

Nigerian police bribe bosses: Corruption in Nigeria's police has become institutionalised and junior officers are expected to share bribes, US-based Human Rights Watch says. Their report describes a system of "paying returns" when officers are expected to pay up the chain of command a share of extortion money. More...
Ruto excluded from constitution team

By Peter Leftie, Aug 18 2010
The Cabinet on Tuesday took charge of the implementation of the new Constitution by forming a powerful team headed by the two principals to direct the process. The three Cabinet ministers who campaigned against the new law were excluded from the 16-member team, to be led by President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Asked why the ‘No’ ministers were left out, a Cabinet minister who attended the meeting retorted; “They did not indicate their desire to sit in the committee or even protest at their exclusion.” The Cabinet was divided during the referendum campaigns with ministers William Ruto, Samuel Poghisio and Naomi Shaban campaigning for the rejection of the draft. But unlike in 2005 when President Kibaki sacked all the members of his Cabinet who had opposed the draft, this time the ministers were merely shuffled. More...

Kitale man arrested attempting to sell a Luhya albino in Tanzania

By our correspondent, Aug 16 2010
Police in Mwanza have arrested a Kenyan in a guest house attempting to sell an albino, also a Kenyan national. Addressing a press conference in his office, the Mwanza regional police commander, Mr Simon Siro, said Mr Nathan Mutei,28, was selling Mr Robinson Mkwama,20, for Sh400 million. RPC Siro said the two had arrived in Mwanza through illegal routes on August 12 from Kitale in the Rift Valley where Mr Mkwama was working as a hawker. They had no travel documents when they were arrested, he said. According to RPC Siro, both Kenyans are long time friends and belong to the Luhya tribe. He said Mr Mkwama had finished Form IV in Kenya. RPC Siro said Mr Mutei managed to lure Mr Mkwama that he would find him a bus conductor's job in Mwanza through his contacts, assuring him that the job pays well. According to Mr Siro, the two were staying at River Side Hotel in Buzuruga ward, Nyamagana District. The police received a tip from Good Samaritans that there was a man selling an albino, he said, "He was looking for customers from the mining sector believing that they have the money to pay and the secret police posed as customers during their encounter at the hotel at about 4pm on Sunday" RPC Siro refused to disclose the whereabouts of Mr Mkwama or whether he will also be charged for entering Tanzania illegally. But he insisted that the police are keeping him in a safe place as their key witness in the case. Tanzania has witnessed a spate of killings of people with albinism, ostensibly for witchcraft beliefs. The killings forced the government and some international organizations to intervene and take legal action against the killers. More...

Fight over family millions: The saga involving former MP Gerishon Kirima’s family has taken a new twist after it emerged that old man has been taken out of the country. More...
Kenyan albino
The use of albino people in ritual killings is gruesome practice in Tanzania. Now some unscrupulous Kenyans are attempting to capitalise on the macabre act. One Luhya man from Kitale was arrested in Mwanza, Tanzania trying to sell a Luhya albino for Tshs400m.

Malawi's new flag
Malawi's old flag (left) and new (right)

Malawi changes flag: Malawi's government has warned anyone who displays the country's old national flag will face arrest and prosecution. The information minister made the comments nearly a week after the launch of a new one. Until his warning, the BBC's Raphael Tenthani in Malawi says most government offices were still flying the old flag. The new flag features a full sun instead of the old flag's rising sun, to reflect Malawi's change from a developing to a developed nation.

Colombian jet crash
Colombian place crash landed breaking into three pieces but miraculously ONLY one died.

Miracle as plane breaks into three but only one dies

A Boeing 737 passenger jet crashed and broke into three pieces upon landing during a storm at a Colombian island yesterday, but the only fatality was a passenger who died from an apparent heart attack. The plane, carrying 121 passengers and six crew members, was about 80 metres from the San Andres island runway when a suspected lightning strike caused it to land short and slide onto the runway, crumpling the fuselage. The Caribbean island's governor, Pedro Gallardo, said it was extraordinary that almost everyone survived, and joined a chorus calling it a miracle. "We have to give thanks to God," he said. More...

Kalenjin MPs cry wolf: Prime Minister Raila Odinga is being accused of scheming to divide the Rift Valley communities through Cabinet appointments. Three MPs from the North Rift area claimed on Tuesday that their community was being victimised and punished for holding divergent views to what the PM stands for. Citing Monday’s Cabinet reshuffle that saw the appointment of Prof Margaret Kamar (Eldoret East) as the new Assistant Minister for Environment replacing Mr Jackson Kiptanui (Keiyo South), they said the move was a deliberate attempt to sideline the Kalenjins in Government. The fate of Mr Kiptanui who was in charge of the Mineral Resources docket is yet to be known as he was not transferred to any other ministry. More...
Dr Otuoma moved from fisheries to sports

By Martin Mutua, Aug 16 2010
Dr Paul Otuoma, the Funyula MP, has been moved to the ministry of Youth and Sports in a min reshuffle following the conclusion of the August 4 referendum on the new constitution. Dr Otuoma was previously minister for fisheries development. His predecessor, Prof Helen Sambili at Youth and Sports ministry has now been reassigned the Ministry of East African Community. Amason Kingi, who was in the EAC docket, takes over as Minister for Fisheries Development. Meanwhile, three cabinet ministers who campaigned against the draft constitution breathed a sigh of relief after they were spared the rod. Higher Education Minister William Ruto, who led the rebels was left untouched and so was Taveta MP Naomi Shaban who survived but swapped places with Esther Murugi who takes her Special Programmes docket, while she moves to Gender, Children and Social Development. Information Minister Samuel Poghisio was untouched. More...

Paul Nyongesa Otuoma
Dr Paul Nyongesa Otuoma, the Funyula MP has been reshuffled into the Youth and Sports Ministry from Fisheries Development.

Wako blamed for thwarting minister's arrest

The Kenya Police and the office of the Attorney General have come under fresh charges of derailing the arrest and prosecution of newly-appointed Trade minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere over hate speech. The National Cohesion and Integration Commission on Tuesday faulted AG Amos Wako’s office and Matthew Iteere’s Kenya police of failing to act on its recommendations to arrest Mr Mwakwere. More...

400 jobless as Webuye's Panpaper shuts again

By Eric Ngobolo, Aug 16 2010
Two of the four mills at the recently reopened Pan African Paper Mills have been shut again, leaving more than 400 people jobless. The workers had been recalled a few weeks ago to revive operations at the paper factory. Six days before the referendum, President Kibaki reopened it officially, sparking wild celebrations in Webuye Town, where the factory is. Sources said mills Number One and Four have been shut for lack of funds. They said mill Number Two was vandalised beyond repair. The sources said only Sh500 million had been released to revive the mills, yet more than Sh1.1 billion was required. As a result, only 150 workers have been retained but they worked for only 10 days. It also emerged that there were no raw materials and the company was relying on waste paper. Acting managing director Alexander Gatimbu declined to comment, saying the issue was being handled by the government. More...

Hot panted royals: Certain indiscretions shouldn’t spread beyond the imposing walls of a palace. Not so in Swaziland, where one of King Mswati III’s wives has not been entirely loyal. More
Dilemma of Maragoli boy with three kidneys

By Stella Cherono, Aug 16 2010
When Maclaud Chakara suffered severe stomach pains, his mother could only think that he had eaten contaminated food - until a doctor did an ultrasound scan on the 13-year-old and found he had three kidneys. The boy’s mother, Mrs Sarah Ambogo, said the Standard Five pupil in Mbale had no health complications since birth. But one day, he went to fetch water and experienced a sharp pain in his stomach. “Two weeks ago, I decided to take him to hospital,” Mrs Ambogo said on Wednesday last week. Doctors at Vihiga District Hospital suspected he had malaria and gave him drugs, but even after three days, he was still in pain. That is when they carried out an ultrasound on him. In a telephone interview with the Nation, Dr Ahmed Swahir of the Kidney Centre in Nairobi said the existence of more than the normal two kidneys is rare but need not cause alarm. “Some people have even four while others have only one. Many people live a normal life until an ultrasound is conducted on them. That is when they discover they have extra one or more kidneys,” Dr Swahir said. More...

Maclaud Chakara
Rare case of a boy with three kidneys instead of two in Mbale, Vihiga District. The patient, Maclaud Chakara is hospitalised at Vihiga District Hospital in Mbale where his mother, Sarah Ambogo is tending to him. Photo: Tom Otieno

Balala indisposed: Tourism minister Najib Balala was on Monday night admitted in hospital after collapsing in his office following breathing complications. A doctor at Nairobi Hospital, who did not want to be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media, said the minister underwent a minor nasal surgery. More...
Ruto to revive KKK Alliance

By our correspondents, Aug 16 2010
Higher Education minister William Ruto on Sunday hinted at the revival of the Kamba-Kikuyu-Kalenjin alliance. Mr Ruto, who addressed two meetings in Mwala and Machakos Town constituencies, dared those who doubted his ability. “They have woken up a giant. Soon you will see who the giant is,” Mr Ruto said as he led a funds drive in aid of Miu African Inland Church in Mwala constituency. He was accompanied by Information minister Samuel Poghisio and four MPs. Mr Poghisio said Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka was working with Mr Ruto to revive the relationship between the two communities that was started by retired President Daniel arap Moi and Ukambani political maestro Mulu Mutisya. And to drive his point home, Mr Ruto donated Sh400,000 and a further Sh100,000, which he claimed was from Mr Musyoka and Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta. The two ministers spoke as it emerged that ODM legislators who campaigned against the new Constitution are working on a plan B if their party decides to lock them out of crucial parliamentary committees. More...

Little known Keveye Girls School is tops

By our correspondents, Aug 16 2010
Schools from Western Province swept all trophies in performances that focused on reforms in the concluded Kenya Schools and Colleges Music Festivals held in Kakamega. Keveye Girls from Sabatia Constituency topped the list with 92.1 marks to emerge winners. The school also went a head to win the Amnesty International Trophy with a verse on human rights. Keveye further harvested the Vision 2030 Trophy as they emerged position one, beating Mukuyuni Girls from Bungoma, which settled for the second position. Spring Board Academy from Busia was third in the same category. The Class 365 songs, focusing on electoral reforms, saw Bishop Sulumeti Girls from Lurambi constituency take the second slot with 90 marks with Erusui Girls from Hamisi constituency coming in third with 89 marks. The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) donated trophies for performances that focused on governance and reforms. More than ten secondary schools from Nairobi, Rift Valley, Coast and Nyanza provinces entered the competition for the trophies. Private schools also took a centre stage in this year’s competitions as they scoped top awards. Spring Board Academy in Busia won the folk song category. More...

Keveye Girls
Keveye Girls Secondary School in Sabatia, Maragoli emerged the overall winner in this year's Kenya Schools and Colleges Music Festival held at Masinde Muliro University in Kakamega.
Ligale to create 80 new constituencies in 3 months

By Beauttah Omnaga, Aug 13 2010
The national constituency boundary review team is racing against time to create 80 new electoral areas because they would be irrelevant in 2012 if not laid out a year before a General Election. Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission (IIBRC) announced it was set to mark out and gazette new constituencies as soon as the new Constitution is promulgated. The commission’s term ends in December and it is expected to complete the exercise between now and then. The rules are clear; if the new electoral areas are to be co-opted into the national tally in 2012 General Election, they have to have been created 12 months to the exercise or earlier. IIBRC Chairman Andrew Ligale yesterday said the new Constitution makes their work easier, as it specifies the criteria to be followed, which varies for densely and sparsely populated areas. More...

Marende opposes locking out 'No' team: National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende on Friday rejected calls for MPs who opposed the new Constitution to be locked out of the parliamentary team to oversee its implementation while Soita Shitanda asked MPs to remain united as they embark on the implementation. More...
Andrew Mondi Ligale
IIBRC Chair Andrew Ligale (right), IIEC’s Issack Hassan (centre) and National Cohesion and Integration Commission Chair Mzalendo Kibunjia addressing a joint Press conference in Nairobi, Tuesday. Photo: Evans Habil

Esther Arunga
Esther Arunga, former KTN screen queen. She has teamed up with Ruto for 2012 elections.
Esther Arunga shifts base to Mombasa, teams up with Ruto

By Patrick Beja, Aug 13 2010
They came, caused a stir then went dead. Now they have resurrected. A group associated with Placenta Party of Kenya and controversial Finger of God Church have announced shifting base from Nairobi to Mombasa. The group said they would form a political movement with Higher Education minister William Ruto and embark on campaigns for 2012 General Election. Joseph Hellon, wife Veneyard, Quincy Timberlake and Esther Arunga said they have shifted to the coast to launch their political activities. Hellon and Timberlake claimed they were in discussion for a possible formation of a political movement with Mr Ruto with focus on the 2012 polls. Timberlake said they may come up with Red Revolution Movement or Red Conservatives Party. "We want to address issues of land, drug abuse and environment particularly conservation of Mijikenda kaya forests and mangroves at the Coast," said Esther. Timberlake announced he has acquired a house in upmarket Nyali estate where he hoped to enjoy peace with wife Esther. More...

Western MPs feel betrayed over key parliamentary job

By Peter Opiyo, Aug 13 2010
Western Kenya MPs took issue with the appointment of Dr Sally Kosgey as Deputy Leader of Government Business during the ODM Parliamentary Group meeting yesterday. They felt the post should have been given to deputy prime minister, Musalia Mudavadi. The issue was raised by Vihiga MP, Yusuf Chanzu but was told Raila made it. Meanwhile, the political storm stirred by the referendum settled fast inside main parties, but not in Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement. Though Raila has since after the resounding victory by ‘Yes’ side maintained a reconciliatory tone, Members of Parliament from his party who met yesterday made no secret that they want Higher Education, William Ruto, and his so-called ‘rebel’ group stripped of all party and Government positions they hold by virtue of their ODM membership. More...

Baganda women greetings
Thou shall kneel before Him: Nakazibwe Aisha from Katimba village Ssembabule District, offering the traditional Baganda greetings. It is a centuries' old custom that signifies respect for all men aged 20 and above but not one's own children. Photo: Mang'oa Mosota
Unique greeting that has survived for centuries

By Mang'oa Mosota, Aug 13 2010
In remote Katimba village in Uganda’s Ssembabule District, a middle-aged woman kneels for five full minutes. She hands a water basin to her husband, who meticulously, and in no apparent haste, washes his hands before sitting to a meal of matooke and groundnut sauce. It’s only after the man starts eating that the woman rises. Minutes later, we enter another compound and another woman squats. She is intently gazing at me, and I soon realise why. I am the only man in the group, so the squatting gesture is for my eyes only. Nakazibwe Aisha welcomes us to her house, vigorously shaking my hand as she does so. Welcome to the Baganda culture of kneeling as a mark of respect and greeting. "You are like musomesa (teacher in Luganda) and I have to show you respect," the 45-year-old peasant farmer tells me as my Kenyan female acquaintance looks, bewildered. More...

Circumcision season starts in Buluyia

By PlusNews, 12 August 2010
For thousands of young men in western Kenya and eastern Uganda, the month of August heralds the season during which they pass from childhood to manhood through the traditional ritual of circumcision. "Here you are no man if you are not cut," said Lucas Wanyama, a traditional circumciser among the Tiriki people of western Kenya. "Only those who are brave enough to face the knife are men worth talking about." Wanyama still uses traditional instruments to remove the boys' foreskins, and one knife to circumcise several boys. He has heard of HIV and is aware of how it spreads, but insists his methods are safe. "They can't get AIDS because I treat these knives; I heat them in very hot charcoal before I cut the boys so they can't be infected," he said. According to Walter Obiero, clinical manager at western Kenya's Nyanza Reproductive Health Society, using one knife is just one of the risky practices associated with traditional circumcision. “The kinds of ordinary knives used in traditional circumcision leave huge wounds and the technique doesn't ensure uniform healing," he said. "The initiates engage in sex before they are healed, which puts them at high risk of getting infected," Obiero noted. "This is the greatest danger."

Bukusu circumcision rituals
Abasinde (the uncircumcised initiates) going through the pre-cut dance rituals in Bukusu. Here you are not a man if you are not circumcised.

Underlying health risks: A 2007 study carried out in Western Kenya's Bungoma District among the Bukusu people found that men circumcised traditionally experienced twice as many complications as those circumcised medically. Complications delay healing and when combined with premature sexual activity, place young men at even higher risk of HIV.
Busia school wins top award at Kakamega music fete

By Anthony Njagi, Aug 12 2010
The level of performances in this year’s Schools and Colleges National Music Festival went up a notch with teams scoring high marks. The festival, which started on Monday, continues on Thursday with secondary schools taking to the stage at Masinde Muliro University and Kakamega High School in Western Province. In the Special Composition on Vision 2030, Springboard School from Busia presented the winning choral verse by the title “Paradiso’’. The verse, scripted by Mr Allan Chahasi, depicted a post-2030 Kenya as paradise, where peace, love, harmony, and unity reigned. The performers welcomed all Kenyans to embrace Vision 2030 so that Kenya can look like Paradise. This category is sponsored by Kenya Vision 2030. In Hall Eight at the Masinde Muliro University, Joel Ngigi of Gachororo Primary School drove the audience wild with his winning rap performance. The rap category was introduced last year. In the Junior Public Speaking category, the adjudicators were happy with the performances, saying that the pupils were confident on stage. Wycliffe Marangwa of St Mary’s Asumbi emerged tops in this group. In the Kiswahili Choral Verse Speaking on Wildlife Conservation for Posterity, Musa Gitau Primary School from Central Province stood out from the rest. More...

Kakamega Music Festival
Pupils of By Grace Primary School in Central Province present a Kiswahili choral verse “Dawa Hizi’’ on drug abuse in schools during the Kenya Schools and Colleges National Music Festival in Kakamega. Photo: Anthony Njagi

ODM to discipline Ruto

Kenya's coalition partner, the Orange Democratic movement (ODM) party moved to start disciplinary action against Higher Education minister William Ruto and other party members who opposed the passage of the proposed constitution. The party’s Parliamentary Group’s Thursday meeting resolved to lock out the all their MPs who campaigned and voted against the new law from the Parliamentary Oversight Committee, critical to the implementation of the new constitution. 70 MPs attended the meeting. More...

Church loses credibility

By Jeff Otieno, Aug 12 2010
Church leaders, just like politicians, have lost the trust of Kenyans, a new survey has said. According to the Synovate post-referendum poll, only 19 per cent of those interviewed said they fully trusted Church leaders, compared to 17 per cent who said they fully trusted politicians. And it gets worse - 38 per cent said they don’t trust Church leaders at all, a bigger number than the 22 per cent who said they don’t trust politicians at all. But Church leaders dismissed the notion that their credibility had suffered. Replying to questions from the press in a separate meeting, the National Council of Churches of Kenya said Christians still have enough faith in the clergy. “On whether the Church has lost credibility, we state that those claims are not true,” said Canon Peter Karanja, NCCK general-secretary at the end of a two-day executive committee meeting at Jumuia Conference centre, Limuru. More...

Queen Nothando and King Mswati
King Mswati III of Swaziland and Queen Nothando when she caught his roving eye during the annual reed dance and picked her as his 12th wife. She was just 16 then. The young Queen, now 22 and her lover, risk expulsion from the tiny kingdom.
Man jailed for copying article on Swazi royal sex scandal

By our correspondent, Aug 12 2010
Police in Swaziland have arrested a man for making photocopies of a newspaper article that detailed a royal sex scandal today. The Times of Swaziland said 31-year-old Sibusiso Mhlanga was arrested by a plain-clothes police officer who overheard him requesting photocopies of an article from South African newspaper the City Press. The pro-democracy Swaziland Solidarity Network said the article was one of a series of recent reports about an alleged love affair between the country’s justice minister and one of King Mswati III’s wives. Police confirmed Mr Mhlanga’s arrest and said he had been charged with copyright violation, The Times reported. More...

Churches push for speedy constitutional amendments

By Beauttah Omanga, Aug 12 2010
The Catholic Church and umbrella body for protestant churches want the new Constitution opened up for amendments to address their grievances. The leaders who opposed it at the referendum and lost led by Higher Education Minister William Ruto have made it clear they expect the country to renegotiate the contentious issues as soon as possible. "Since the country has decided that amendments be conducted later, we are now proposing as the ‘No’ team that immediate consultations start on both sides," Mr Ruto said on August 5, as he conceded defeat. Yesterday, the National Council of Churches of Kenya threatened to force amendments through the avenues provided by the new Constitution if President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga ‘renege’ on their pre-referendum promises to begin discussions on amendments. Ikolomani MP, Bony Khalwale, challenged NCCK to look for the requisite number of MPs to push the amendments it wants in line with the laws. "NCCK should stop bothering the President and PM but educate themselves on procedures," Dr Khalwale added. More...

Aug 27 a holiday: The government has declared Friday August 27 a public holiday to enable Kenyans witness the promulgation of the new Constitution. More...
Oliver Kisaka
Church leaders, Oliver Kisaka (left) and NCCK secretary general, Canon Karanja at a press conference in Limuru where they called for speedy changes to the new constitution. In a quick rejoinder, Nzamba Kitonga (below), the chairman of Committee of Experts adviced the clerics to wait for at least ten years before pushing for any amendments.
Nzamba Kitonga, chairman CoE
Church told to wait 10 years for changes to new constitution

By Beauttah Omanga, Aug 12 2010
The Committee of Experts now wants the church to let the new constitution serve Kenyans for at least 10 years before dreaming of any amendments. Led by chairman Nzamba Kitonga, the experts who came up with the contents of the new constitution termed as premature the bid by churches to have the new constitution amended now. " The soonest any changes worth their salt should be considered should be at least after 10 years. Any amendments now or any time soon will lead to distortion of the entire document," said the chairman. Kitonga said amending even one clause of a constitution impacts on the entire document leading to distortion and disharmony in its structure. He said once implemented, even those agitating for some changes might be surprised that it might not need any amendments. Addressing a press conference at their offices in Nairobi the experts recommended a prolonged period of patience to allow for the implementation of the new constitution so as to " test its application and efficacy before any amendments are considered in future". More...

Ecology proves a competitive theme at Kakamega music fete

By Anthony Njagi, Aug 11 2010
Impressive performances by lower primary school pupils marked Tuesday’s Kenya Schools and Colleges National Music Festival at Masinde Muliro University Hall Five. The presentations on the second day day of the festival, started shortly after the national anthem with pupils in classes One to Three first on stage in the Original Composition category. The pieces in this competitive category were well-performed. Most performers were able to render their compositions authentic, drawing applause from the audience. The schools which took part included St John’s from Coast, Manyatta Primary from Nyanza, Bright Stars from Rift Valley, Brookfield Academy from Central, Moody Awori Primary from Western and Deliverance Primary from Eastern. Kenya Wildlife Services sponsored the environment category which proved to be very competitive and innovative. More...

eregi teachers college, idakho
Eregi Teachers Training College students rehearsing at Masinde Muliro University grounds in Kakamega at the on going Kenya Schools and Colleges National Music Festival. Photo: Anthony Njagi
Uhuru abandons Wetangula in Tokyo land row

By our correspondent, Aug 11 2010
Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta has distanced the ministry from a controversial diplomatic property deal in Japan. Uhuru yesterday told a parliamentary committee that only Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula should answer questions on the purchase of Sh1.5 billion property in Tokyo, Japan. He accused the Defence and Foreign Relations Committee of harassing his officials and "asking the wrong people the wrong questions". Uhuru and his PS Joseph Kinyua said they "do not micromanage" the Foreign Affairs ministry’s finances. The minister claimed he was not informed about a separate attempt by President Kibaki to secure a free plot from the Japanese government to build a mission following a meeting in Nairobi with a Japanese Senator. More...

Kenneth Marende
Double wharmy no more: House Speaker Kenneth Marende made a historic ruling sixteen months ago that saved the country from institutional collapse. When Kibaki and Raila quarreled over the important position of leader of Government Business in the House, he ruled that he would take over the fuunction until such a time as the two principals have agreed on one candidate.
Raila pulls out, hands Kalonzo disputed House job

By Bernard Namunane, Aug 11 2010
A16-month dispute between President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga over the position of Leader of Government Business in Parliament has finally ended. The resolution to the protracted controversy came after Mr Odinga withdrew his interest in the position, clearing the way for President Kibaki’s choice - Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka. The deal to end the row pitting the Party of National Unity against its coalition partner, the Orange Democratic Movement, was sealed during a meeting between the two principals of the coalition government on Monday. The feud erupted in April last year after Mr Odinga disputed President Kibaki’s decision to appoint Mr Musyoka to the position. The PM argued he was the right man for the job because of his role as coordinator and supervisor of government affairs including ministries. More...

Foreign governments sucked into tribalism row over scholarships

By David Ochami, Aug 11 2010
Higher Education minister William Ruto says just 326 Kenyans have been sent abroad to study in university on foreign scholarships but MPs accuse him of concealing details of ethnic and regional bias behind the awards. According to Samburu East Raphael Letimalo no one from his constituency has been awarded a scholarship to study abroad in the last ten years and questions the criterion used to award. And Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo argues that "these scholarships are a preserve of the minister (in charge of Higher Education) and alleges that in his constituency beneficiaries of scholarships have literally been pulled from the plane as they prepared to fly out when their scholarships "suddenly disappeared." More...

Francis Nduwa
New boss at ports: Francis Nduwa, the new MD of Kenya Ports Authority. Mr Nduwa, has been acting MD since February this year when Mr James Mulewa was suspended following the irregular award of tenders. Nduwa was KPA’s corporate affairs manager. The appointment was made on Wednesday. The Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission investigated the goings-on at the port and sent their report to Attorney-General Amos Wako.
Experts clash over Kibaki's date with new constitution

By our correspondents, Aug 11 2010
President Kibaki’s choice of date for the promulgation of the new constitution continues to draw mixed reactions. While a member of the Committee of Experts (CoE) thinks the August 27 date contradicts the law, the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) Chairman Isaack Hassan defended the President. Mr Hassan said his commission intends to publish the formal referendum results again; a move, which could legalise President Kibaki’s choice of August 27, and not 20. "We will be publishing the results again after the 14 days window period mandatory for anybody with an issue to raise," Hassan told The Standard on telephone. Mr Otiende Amollo, a member of CoE, said their opinion was not sought and that the choice of the date is wrong. He cited Section 47(a) 6 and 7 of the current Constitution and Section 263 of the new one, pointing out that new laws can only be promulgated on or before the 14th day after the publication of the referendum results. More...

Bukusu circumcision rituals postponed due to referendum

By Eric Ngobilo, Aug 10 2010
The Aids war received a major boost on Monday after traditional circumcisers were ordered to use one knife per child. Luhya Elders Forum chairman Patrick Wangamati said the circumcisers have also been told to observe high standards of hygiene. Speaking on Monday during the official launch of the ceremonies at Sikata area in Bungoma, Mr Wangamati said: “Anyone who defies the directive will be barred from carrying out the operations.” He also urged the government to train traditional circumcisers on health and safety issues to reduce the rate of HIV/Aids infection during the operations. “They have trained midwives and we believe the same can be done for circumcisers,” Mr Wangamati said. He pointed out that it was impossible to end the culture and urged the government to work with the community to ensure safety. Mr Wangamati said the launch had been postponed to give locals time to participate in the referendum. The Bukusu circumcision season usually starts on August 1 and more than 3,000 children have already been circumcised. More...

Kenya music festival
All the way from Mombasa to Kakamega: Pupils from Destiny Garden School from Mtongwe, Mombasa, rehearse singing games ahead of the music contest. Kenya Schools and Colleges National Music Festival is being hosted in Kakamega for the first time.

Tokyo land fraud inquiry continues

By Judith Akolo, Aug 10 2010
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Uhuru Kenyatta has dismissed claims of financial irregularities in the acquisition of a piece of land for the Kenyan embassy in Tokyo Japan. Kenyatta and ministry of finance officials who appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on foreign affairs and defense on Tuesday defended his ministry's action in releasing funds to purchase the chancery. Kenyatta made it clear to the committee that it had summoned the wrong ministry to appear before it, over the controversial purchase of a 1.5 billion shillings plot in Tokyo, Japan saying any questions arising from the purchase of the plot in Tokyo ought to be directed to the ministry of foreign affairs and the tendering committee which oversaw the deal. More...

National music fete starts in Kakamega

By Anthony Njagi, Aug 10 2010
The Kenya Schools and Colleges National Music Festival started on a high note, with many teams from all over the country participating at Masinde Muliro University and Kakamega High School. At 6.30am on Monday, the university’s parking area was filled with school buses, showing the enthusiasm the participants had after being delayed by the referendum on the new constitution. Two hundred police officers were sent to the venues and accommodation villages. The performances started well with the Primary Schools English Solo Verse for the Hearing Impaired - Sign Language category. Each of the participants presented the set poem “I will Love my Country”, written by Henry Indangasi. Those who performed were Timina Barasa from St Anthony’s Primary School, Patrick Mule from Kitui School for the Deaf, Njira Ngazi from Kwale School for the Deaf, Ramadhani Beja from Ziwani School for the Deaf and Jackline Akeyo from Kuja School for the Deaf. More...

Mumias cleric pours cold water on those urging for changes to new laws

By Mangoa Mosoti, Aug 10 2010
A clergyman has urged politicians not to derail implementation of the new constitution through demands to tackle contentious issues. ACK Mumias Diocese Bishop Beneah Salala said leaders and Kenyans in general should allow Parliament to pass the necessary legislation for the new laws to be operationalised. "One cannot buy new shoes and then reject them before he or she puts them on," Bishop Salala told The Standard by telephone, yesterday. He said the expectations of a majority of Kenyans are for the new constitution to be effective after President Kibaki promulgates it. More...

Beneah Okumu Salalah
Bishop Beneah Salala of the ACK Mumias Diocese. He warned against introducing amendments at this stage of the new constitutional dispensation as some leaders are proposing as this is tantamount to backroom opposition.
Kalenjin elders call for reconciliation

By Dedan Okang'a, Aug 10 2010
Kalenjin Council of Elders wants politicians from the region who were divided by the referendum campaigns to reconcile. The council said the end of the campaigns should also mark an end to public spats between ministers and MPs who opposed each other since the campaigns began. Led by their chairman, Rtd Major John Seii, the elders accepted the referendum results but asked President Kibaki to spare Cabinet ministers from the Rift Valley who opposed it. Mr Seii said the region would work with the people’s decision but still pursue selected amendments when time is right. William Ruto, the Eldoret East MP, led the Kalenjin in voting overwhelmingly 'No' to the draft constitution while majority of Kenyans voted 'Yes'. More...

Top legal brains differ on correct date for new laws

By our correspondents, Aug 10 2010
President Kibaki has chosen August 27 as the date to promulgate the new constitution after advice from lawyers. Kibaki was advised that the law provided a 28-day window for promulgation of the new laws after the announcement of the final referendum tally. However, the terse announcement by the Presidential Press Service yesterday afternoon created confusion, with lawyers differing on the correct date when the new law should come into force. Attorney-General Amos Wako, Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo and Narc Kenya Chairperson and Gichugu MP Martha Karua said the new date was right, although other lawyers differed with their position. The former Kabete MP advised the President to promulgate the new constitution by August 20 if he wanted to make a mark in history, saying that the new law would come into force by that date, even if Kibaki opted to delay the promulgation ceremony. More...

Soita Shitanda, MP Malava
Soita Shitanda, minister for housing and MP for Malava. Luhya unity is paramount but a Luhya presidential candidate needs support from other communities, he said.

Witness shreds Naomi's evidence: An alleged gift from Liberia's former President Charles Taylor to the model Naomi Campbell has become a key issue in his war crimes trial. The court has been told that Ms Campbell was given uncut stones after a dinner hosted by Nelson Mandela in South Africa in 1997. More...
Fresh bid at Luhya unity

By Osinde Obare, Aug 10 2010
Leaders from Western Province have mandated former Cabinet minister Burudi Nabwera to spearhead unity. Three Cabinet ministers and an MP are seeking to unify the community ahead of the next General Election. Ministers Moses Wetang’ula, Noah Wekesa and Soita Shitanda and Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa also resolved to stop using burials as political platforms to settle scores. Mr Nabwera challenged politicians from Western with presidential ambitions to stop relying on votes from the region, but seek to establish support countrywide. Addressing mourners during the burial of former Assistant Commissioner of Police Solomon Muyundo in Kiminini Trans-Nzoia West District at the weekend, the leaders expressed regret that divisions and unnecessary rivalry had denied the leaders a chance to ascend to the top seat. Shitanda warned those jostling for the top seat not to be cheated that the Luhya vote would help one of them to ascend to power, because they needed support from other communities. More...

Kakamega to host national music festival for the first time

By our correspondent, Aug 9 2010
Security is tight at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology and kakamega High school in Kakamega, Western Province where the 84th edition of the Kenya National Music Festival is taking place. Those wishing to enter the institutions were being screened by security personnel using metal detectors before being ushered in. Over 200 police officers have been deployed to offer security at both the halls where the performances will be staged and in places where the participants are being accommodated. Provincial Police Boss King'ori Mwangi said that the 44 schools in Vihiga, Kakamega and Mumias, districts offering accommodation to participants have each received two extra security officers with reinforcements being brought in from neighbouring districts of Teso, Busia and Bungoma South to patrol the town. "Sniffer dogs will be sent to accommodation venues later in the day," said the PPO on Monday. Mr Mwangi said a police inspector had been sent to Kenya Music Festival's (KMF) secretariat to help in addressing any security need that may arise. The province is hosting the annual event for the first time ever. KMF executive secretary Benson Abwao said the event could not kick off as planed due to the referendum on the new constitution last week and has now been compressed to fit in 6 days instead of the initial 9. The special compositions category has attracted 16 entries with schools tackling issues affecting the society. The themes have been sponsored by 7 organizations. Of the 16, only North Eastern Province failed to send a representative. Over 80 000 participants from all over the country are expected at the fete, all hoping to walk away with the top prizes. More...

Kakamega Town
80,000 enter Kakamega music festival: The main street in Kakamega Town, host to 2010 Kenya Music Festival. More than 80,000 entries have confirmed participation at the annual music fete which is coming to Western Province for the first time. It will be held at the Masinde Muliro University.

Pregnant woman executed in Afghanistan

By our correspondent, Aug 9 2010
The Taliban publicly flogged and then executed a pregnant Afghan widow by shooting her three times in her head for alleged adultery, police said on Monday. Bibi Sanubar, 35, was kept in captivity for three days before she was shot dead in a public trial on Sunday by a local Taliban commander in the Qadis district of the rural western province Badghis. The Taliban accused her of having an "illicit affair" that left her pregnant. She was first punished with 200 lashes in public before being shot, deputy provincial police chief Ghulam Mohammad Sayeedi said. "She was shot in the head in public while she was still pregnant," Mr Sayeedi said. The execution is a grim reminder of the Taliban's harsh six-year rule from 1996 to 2001 in Afghanistan. The radical Islamists staged public stonings or lashings of those found to have committed adultery. More...

Civil society wants Ruto, Shabaan, Poghishio sacked

By Lucas Barasa, Aug 9 2010
Civil society groups Sunday called for the sackings of cabinet ministers who opposed the draft constitution. Under the National Civil Society Congress (NCSC) Katiba Sasa Campaign, the groups further rejected calls by 'No’ leaders for negotiations to address contentious issues in the yet to be promulgated new constitution. Led by NCSC head Maurice Odhiambo, members George Nyongesa, Tom Kagwe, Suba Churchill and Kavetsa Adagala, the groups further launched an initiative to put the government on its toes to ensure the new constitution is fully implemented after President Kibaki signs it into law. “Those who opposed the new constitution should resign, if not the President and the Prime Minister should sack them so that they do not sabotage the implementation of the new laws,” Mr Nyongesa said. More...

Kavetsa Adagala
Fire them: Kavetsa Adagala, the university don and civil society activist wants the 'No' camp ministers fired because they cannot be trusted to implement reform they do not believe in.
Alarm over large number of spoilt votes in Western

By our correspondent, Aug 9 2010
Leaders from Western Province have welcomed a move by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) to investigate the high number of spoilt votes in the just-concluded referendum. Malava ODM chairman Musavi Nambwa and five councillors said the emerging trend was worrying. Malava constituency had 5,000 spoilt votes, Butere 1,061, Mumias 713 and Khwisero 562. “We suspect something serious must have happened leading to such a big number of rejected votes,” they told the Nation on Sunday. Meanwhile, Immigration minister Otieno Kajwang’ and Kasipul Kabondo MP Joseph Magwanga have asked the IIEC to replace election co-ordinators in their respective constituencies. “When wananchi lose confidence in an officer, the only thing to do is to replace him or her,” said Mr Kajwang’. Mr Magwanga said his constituents want the officer assigned to his constituency removed. More...

Mudavadi warns of plot to derail new constitution

By Juma Kwayera, Aug 7 2010
Victorious 'Yes' team has raised the red flag over the losing side’s demands for re-negotiation of the approved constitution, saying it is a plot to erect barriers in the implementation of the new laws. The team said the demands are likely to rekindle the animosity witnessed in the countdown to the Wednesday referendum. The group warns the fresh demands for a re-negotiation of the contested clauses are unnecessary distraction to give the losing side a lifeline. "We will look like we had another agenda in the referendum campaigns if we attempt to put conditions and bottlenecks on the way forward. The overwhelming ratification and tight schedules provided in the new constitution, especially for Parliament, do not allow for any excuses and stalling," read a statement released by Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi. More...

King Mswati and Queen Dube
Sex scandal rocks Swazi kingdom: King Mswati III and one of his 13 queens. His 12th wife, Dube has been caught having an affair with a cabinet minister, Ndumiso Mamba who faces execution if convicted while Queen Nothando Dube will be expelled from the kingdom. More...

Kibaki, Raila to take new oath of office on Aug 20

By our correspondents, Aug 7 2010
Kenya will transit into a new constitutional dispensation in style - the State plans an elaborate public function for August 20, to be attended by foreign dignitaries. During the occasion, President Kibaki will promulgate the new constitution, radically altering governance and institutional face of the republic. The day will be declared a public holiday to allow Kenyans to witness the historic event, according to impeccable sources. The Standard On Saturday has reliably learnt the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been instructed to send invitation cards to Heads of State and Government, as guests to witness the big fete at a venue to be communicated later. The latest information came as the chairman of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC); Ahmed Isaack Hassan published in the Kenya Gazette a notice declaring the official results of the outcome of the August 4 referendum in which Kenyans voted overwhelmingly to endorse the Proposed Constitution. More...

Church to challenge referendum results in court

By Juma Kwayera, Aug 7 2010
The Church, which was part of the ‘No’ campaign, said it was moving to court to contest the referendum outcome. National Council of Churches of Kenya General Secretary, Reverend Peter Karanja, in a statement said the referendum was fraught with irregularities. Malpractices and irregularities "We are saddened by the fact the pre-referendum process was marked by malpractices and irregularities, which continued right into the balloting and tallying phases. This calls into question the validity of the process and its outcome," Karanja said. The ‘Greens’ are apprehensive their rivals are looking for new barriers to block the approved Constitution. "We cannot afford to encumber the legislative process in Parliament with parallel conferencing over what the people have already made a verdict on. I would rather any view on any legislation as provided for under the schedules in the new constitution be argued on the floor of the House rather than hotel boardrooms," Mudavadi said. More...

Canon Peter Karanja
Canon Peter Karanja, the National Council of Churches of Kenya secretary general. Canon Karanja has indicated that the Church will move to court to challenge the results of the referendum following what he called "massive irregularities."

Swazi's royal infidelity: Swaziland's justice minister has resigned following allegations he was having an affair with one of King Mswati III's 13 wives. More...
Western votes as a block for the first time

By Daniel Otieno, Aug 7 2010
Nyanza and Western overwhelmingly endorsed the proposed law except for one constituency each. Kuria, represented by suspended assistant minister Wilfred Machage, was the only constituency where ‘No’ prevailed in Nyanza while Fred Kapondi delivered for the camp in Western. Luo Nyanza is the bastion of Prime Minister Raila Odinga and the outcome of the referendum reinforced the assertion. And Western Province, where a distinctive voting pattern has always been elusive, rallied behind the document, leaving ‘No’ crusade MPs Cyrus Jirongo and Chris Okemo with egg on their faces. Most constituencies in the province embraced the new law, although the only serious campaign rally was held in the last week and the sheer numbers and energy impressed President Kibaki. And that could be the reason the ‘No’ team stayed away. ‘No’ camp leader William Ruto confined his campaigns to the Gusii region where he fared slightly better than in Luo Nyanza. More...

Musalia Mudavadi and Cyrus Jirongo
Perennial rivals: Cyrus Jirongo (left) and Musalia Mudavadi, the DPM.
Mudavadi shows Jirongo who is boss in Luhyaland

By our correspondent, Aug 6 2010
The DPM, who lead the YES campaign in the province, thanked the people and leadership from Western Province, for the overwhelming turnout of over 60%. It is the first time that the region has realized such a high turnout. Hon. Musalia however appeals for a major voter registration and turnout drive when voter registration reopens. The YES campaign garnered a convincing 81.9% (681,264) compared to the 15.3% (127,230) of the votes cast in the province. Out of 1,357,802 registered voters, about 500,000 people did not cast their votes. Kindly accept my congratulations on the results posted by your constituents in the Referendum.

Luhya not using their numbers well enough

By Allan Kisia and Anne Wafula, Aug 6 2010
Western Province recorded low voter turnout in the referendum. In the last days to the exercise, ‘Yes’ MPs traversed the province asking locals to turn out in large numbers. Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi, who is also Sabatia MP, once said unless campaigns were intensified, the ‘Yes’ side would win, but not with a convincing margin. Cabinet ministers Soita Shitanda, Paul Otuoma, Wycliffe Oparanya and Moses Wetang’ula joined Mudavadi in the campaigns while Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa traversed the region with Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Tourism’s Najib Balala. But the referendum results indicated that the region was yet to use its numbers to make a statement. In Mudavadi’s backyard, slightly more than 30,000 of 47,000 registered voters participated in the referendum. In Vihiga, 20,000 of 43,011 registered voted, while in Emuhaya, 38,000 of the 67,000 eligible ones voted. Webuye has more than 67,000 registered, but only 44,000 voted. Funyula constituency has 32,250 registered voters, but only 19,311 participated. Budalang’i constituency recorded a 65 per cent turnout of its 22,598 registered voters. In Nambale, more than 39,000 of the 61,009 registered participated. Amagoro has 77,609 registered voters, but only 53,367 participated. Of the 24 constituencies, only three MPs and a section of clerics were against the document. Only Mt Elgon managed a ‘No’ victory with 27,682 votes against 12,766 ‘Yes’ votes. ‘No’ MPs were Cyrus Jirongo (Lugari), Chris Okemo (Nambale) and Fred Kapondi (Mt Elgon) Lugari won the ‘Yes’ team 52,813 votes, while ‘No’ got 8,818. In Nambale, the ‘Greens’ garnered 33,859 votes against 5,734 votes. More...

Luanda Market, Kenya
Crowds at Luanda Market: Crowds congregate to listen to an evangelist who has pitched camp at Luanda Market in Bunyore. The Luhya have the numbers but they are not putting their numerical advantages to good use. Cynicism and the attitude that somehow 'it's not my job' is the community's major undoing in the competitive race of economic development. Every Luhya man, woman and child must account for their time by participating in various processes of human development including politics, economics, educational as well as socio-cultural aspects. Voter turnout at the just concluded referendum is a case in point. While neighbouring regions returned 90-100% turnout, figures from Western were disappointing.
Lugari and Nambale voters humiliate Jirongo, Okemo

By Peter Leftie, Aug 6 2010
Six Cabinet ministers are among prominent politicians who failed to deliver their constituencies in the referendum. Dr Naomi Shaban, Mr Henry Kosgey, Dr Sally Kosgei, Prof Hellen Sambili, Mr Franklin Bett and Mr Mutula Kilonzo could not rally their constituents to support their camps. Others are top ‘No’ campaigners Mr Kiema Kilonzo (Mutito), Mr Cyrus Jirongo (Lugari), Rev Mutava Musyimi (Gachoka) and Mr Chris Okemo (Nambale). In the ‘Yes’ camp, Mr Lenny Kivuti (Siakago), Mr Joseph Nkaiserry (Kajiado Central) and Mr Gideon Konchella (Kilgoris) lost. Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka overcame a strong ‘No’ wave to deliver 11 of the 17 Lower Eastern constituencies to ‘Yes’. He bagged 26,000 votes against the Reds’ 12,000 for ‘Yes’ in his Mwingi North constituency. Leaders from the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ camps attributed Ukambani’s opposition to the proposed constitution to the strong influence of the Church. More...

Supermodel Naomi Campbell
British supermodel Naomi Campbell.

Naomi Campbell and dirty diamonds: The former head of Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, Jeremy Ractliffe, has said he did receive uncut diamonds from the model Naomi Campbell.He issued a statement after her testimony at the war crimes trial of ex-Liberian leader Charles Taylor. It is alleged she received the gems from Mr Taylor in 1997, which could link him to illegal "blood diamonds". Mr Ractliffe said he was happy to testify in The Hague and had now handed the stones over to the authorities. More...

Official final tally: Yes 66.9%; No 30.1%

By Rose Kamau, Aug 6 2010
The Interim Independent Electoral Commission on Friday gave the final figure of the referendum vote. This followed the tallying of votes from three constituencies whose results had not been included in the figure released on Thursday night. According to the IIEC chairman Isaak Hassan, the inclusion of results from Turkana South, Sirisia and Narok South brings to 6,092,593 representing 66.9% the number of those who voted for the proposed constitution. The number of those who voted against it stands at 2,795,059 or 30.1%. The voter turnout for the country stood at 72.1 percent. The results will now be gazzetted in the Kenya gazzette before the president promulgates the new law within the next 14 days. However Hassan took issue with a section of the media which had painted the country Red and Green depending on where each team got the most votes. More...

Church sulks, claims rigging

By Peter Opiyo, Aug 6 2010
Politicians and clerics in the ‘No’ team were united in calling for consultations over the new constitution, but were divided on the integrity of the referendum. While the politicians praised the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) as having "done fairly well", the clerics claimed the process was marred by irregularities. At separate media briefings at the Bomas of Kenya, they, however, called on Kenyans to maintain peace, even as the clerics failed to concede defeat. The MPs, on their part conceded defeat. Higher Education Minister William Ruto led eight MPs in praising the Interim IIEC and accepted the results. But in a statement read by National Council of Churches of Kenya Secretary General Canon Peter Karanja, the clerics under the banner Kenya Christian Church Leaders, claimed irregularities continued into balloting and tallying phases. More...

Cardinal John Njue
God did not listen to him: Cardinal John Njue, the head of the Catholic Church in Kenya. He led a spirited opposition to the draft constitution urging his flock to reject it at the referendum. In the event nearly 70 percent of Kenyans endorsed it Wednesday clearly defying God's representative on earth.
Ruto carries the day in his tribal homeland

By Vitalis Kimutai, Aug 6 2010
The ‘No’ team carried the day in Eldoret North constituency against the ‘Yes’ side with a margin of 21,690 votes. In the constituency, whose MP is Higher Education Minister William Ruto, the ‘Reds’ garnered 65,007 votes against the ‘Greens’ 43,317. The constituency’s election co-ordinator Japheth Lagat announced the final tally at 8.50am at Uasin Gishu Primary School tallying centre. "A total of 111,275 voters cast their votes of which 2,951 were rejected. The turnout represents more than 80 per cent," Mr Lagat said. Local leaders led by Eldoret Mayor William Rono, ‘No’ team chief agent Isaac Maiyo, ‘Yes’ team chief agent Kipkorir Menjo and Farouk Kibet commended residents for peaceful voting. More...

Moi refuses to concede despite urging Kenyans to accept poll results

By Steve Mkawale, Aug 5 2012
Former President Moi says he is still opposed to certain clauses of the Proposed Constitution. "Now that ‘Yes’ has won, I cannot change my stand, which informed the rejection of the new laws in the first place. The question of land is still emotive and the abolition of provinces," said Moi. Moi said the new law has foreign values, which militates against African morality. Speaking to the Standard Online at his Kabarak home, Moi said the rejection of the new laws by majority of Rift Valley Province residents was a matter of great concern. "My concern now is the rejection of the new laws by residents of this province. They voted overwhelmingly against the new law and made a strong statement, which should not be ignored," said the former head of state. Moi said the abolition of provinces would affect Rift Valley, which he said was not homogeneous. More...

Daniel arap Moi
Still opposed 20 years on: Former President Moi casts his vote at Moi Kabarak Primary School in Rongai constituency. Moi says he is still opposed to the constitution despite majority vote because of what he says is foreign influence and the nettlesome land question. Photo: Boniface Thuku
Saudi Arabia, UAE ban BlackBerry phones

By Jane Wakefield, Aug 5 2010
Saudi Arabia plans to block the messenger function on BlackBerry handsets from Friday while the United Arab Emirates has said it will definitely instigate a similar ban next month. Why has BlackBerry become the thorn in the side of the Gulf states? The case of Research in Motion versus Saudi and the United Arab Emirates seems at first glance to be a relatively simple one. Since the September 11 attacks in 2001, governments around the world have stepped up their snooping powers and communications firms are required to comply with these tough new laws and hand over data when asked. However plenty of other systems, including Gmail and other web-based mail system encrypt their data in similar ways so why has BlackBerry been singled out? UAE has said because RIM automatically sends users' data to oversea servers More...

Ruto concedes defeat as Kenyans get new constitution

By our correspondents, Aug 5 2010
The de-facto leader of the 'No' camp and Higher Education minister William Ruto has led a team of politicians in conceding defeat in Kenya's constitution referendum held on Wednesday. Mr Ruto congratulated Kenyans for conducting themselves peacefully during the referendum. The minister said: "Kenyans have spoken and we respect the decision. All Kenyans are winners." However, the 'No' group called for immediate consultations between the two sides with the aim of amending the contentious issues. Mr Ruto was accompanied by cabinet ministers Naomi Shabaan and Samuel Poghisio and several Members of Parliament allied to the Red camp. He said the international threshold for endorsing a new constitution had not been met, showing that more Kenyans needed to be brought on board.

William Ruto
William Ruto, leader of the 'No' camp has conceded defeat as 69 percent of Kenyans endorse new constitution from 70 percent of polling stations. His partners, especially retired president Moi and the Church are yet to concede defeat.
Mudavadi, Kenyatta, Kiraitu declare victory

By our correspondent, Aug 5 2010
The 'Yes' team has declared referendum victory, as the Interim Independent Electoral Commission cautioned both Yes and No camps against declaring provisional results. The Yes camp leaders described the vote as a breathtaking victory for all Kenyans, adding that it marked the birth of a new republic. Addressing a news conference at Bomas of Kenya, they extended an olive branch to their 'No' rivals to work together with them in implementing a good constitution. "We celebrate this victory with grace. It is a victory for all Kenyans." said Energy minister Kiraitu Murungi, who read a statement on behalf of the team. More...

Okemo, Jirongo humiliated as 80% Luhya vote 'Yes'

By our reporter, Aug 5 2010
Chris Okemo, the MP for Nambale who joined Cyrus Jirongo, the MP for Lugare as the leading forces of the 'No' campaign in Western Province has been delivered an embarrassing defeat by his constituents. According to provisional results, only 15 percent of Nambale residents in the larger Busia district listened to the former finance minister. As for the entire Western, 80 percent voted Yes. The interim results are as follows: Nambale results: Yes 33, 859; No 5,734. Central Yes (645,043), No (107,569); Coast Yes (175,045), No (44,087) ; Eastern Yes (426,799), No (326,134); Nairobi Yes (144,499), No (66,624); North Eastern Yes (59,140) No (2,802); Nyanza Yes (717,005), No (59,255); Rift Valley Yes (363,637) No (822,708); Western Yes (454, 924), No (87, 922). More...

Chris Okemo, Nambale MPCyrus Jirongo
Faces of defeat: Chris Okemo (left), MP for Nambale and Cyrus Jirongo (right), MP for Lugare. They are leaking their wounds after failing to convince the Luhya to vote 'No' in the just concluded referendum in which 80 percent of Western voted 'Yes'. Mr Okemo is said to bear a grudge against the ODM high priests after he was left out in Cabinet appointments despite being seniormost politician from Busia.
Shiundu among the first to vote

By Juvenal Shiundu, Aug 4 2010
By 5.45 am, I had arrived at Kilimani Primary Polling station, Nairobi to cast my 'YES' vote . By arriving at day break, I thought that I would be among the first to get to the ballot box but to my surprise, I found a long queue already and even getting a parking space for my car was a challenge. However, the system was very orderly with different lines according to alphabetical order of the names. By 6.20 am, I had voted and was out. A man standing behind me made a statement which perhaps sums up the mood of the country: "This is the most important vote because we are voting for the future unlike waiting for hours to vote for a counsillor or an MP who will not remember you thereafter."

Capturing mood of the nation

"This is the most important vote because we are voting for the future unlike waiting for hours to vote for a counsillor or an MP who will not remember you thereafter."

'NO' leads, for now: Results from 121 polling stations indicate that the 'No' side has taken a massive lead of 58% of the total votes cast while 'Yes' is trailing with 41%.
Juvenal Muka Shiundu
Juvenal Shiundu queuing to vote in the historic constitutional referendum at Kilimani Primary School, Nairobi early this morning.
Wako to retire a month after 'Yes' win

By Renson Bulima, Aug 4 2010
Attorney General Amos Wako has indicated he is ready to leave office once the Proposed Constitution is passed. Speaking at Nangoma Primary School in Matayos Division moments after casting his vote, Wako said he would gladly retire after helping the country to achieve legal reforms. He said if the Proposed Constitution is passed, Kenyans would remember him as the Attorney General who facilitated constitutional and legal reforms. “If the new constitution is achieved, then I will be ready to move on in 12 months or even a month,” said Wako. He said the new laws will allow him to be in office for the next 12 months awaiting the appointment of the new AG under a new constitution by President Kibaki and Premier Odinga. Wako said he would be available to serve Kenyans in another capacity if called upon. When asked what he planned to do if the ‘No’ camp wins, he retorted: “You know a great historian once said there are issues you do not even contemplate. I do not want to contemplate the ‘No’ win”. He added: “I feel great fulfillment that we now see the possibility of having a new constitution when I am the AG of Kenya.” More...

Amos Wako
Wako's draft legacy: Amos Wako, the Attorney General is good to go if the draft constitution is passed.

'Yes' wins by 71%

The 'Yes' side has recorded a 71 percent win over the 'No' side which polled 26 percent in exit results from one polling station. There are 20,633 polling stations countrywide so the result is insignificant at this stage but is symbolic of the voting patterns expected. Polling closed at 5pm and counting started at 5pm.

Minister clashes with election official

By Edwin Cheserek, Aug 4 2010
An MP clashed with the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) Coordinator over delays in dispatch of polling materials. Marakwet East MP Linah Chebii Kilimo engaged the Marakwet East IIEC coordinator Peter Ole Tiyo in a fierce confrontation charging that the delay was a plot to undermine the The Assistant Minister for Cooperative Development said that she read sinister motive in the inconvenience and non-payment of IIEC officials She claimed that there was also an earlier attempt to shift the tallying centre from Chesoi to Kapsowar Girls High school in Marakwet West constituency. The confrontation nearly degenerated into a fight before other IIEC officers intervened. More...

Kenyan woman shot dead in US: A Kenyan woman who lived with her auntie in Sandy Springs, Georgia, USA was found dead in a bathtub on Thursday evening. A Sandy Springs Police spokesman confirmed to The Standard that Joanne Muthoni, 20, died of profuse bleeding following a gunshot that shuttered her skull. More...
Varsity councils accused of promoting tribalism

By our correspondent, Aug 4 2010
Lecturers are pushing for the reconstitution of university councils, saying the move would help in fighting tribalism at public institutions. The Universities Academic Staff Union national organising secretary, Mr Musalia Edebe, said the councils were partly to blame for the recruitment of vice-chancellors and principals on tribal basis. The official was reacting to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission’s recommendations that the top administration at the institutions be reshuffled to give them a national face. Commission chairman Mzalendo Kibunjia said the universities were headed by people from the communities around them except for those in Nairobi. More...

Isaak Hassan, chairman IIEC
Isaak Hassan, the chairman of Independent Interim Electoral Commission. He blamed delays in Marakwet on the death of a polling officer last evening.
Polling officer dies

By Rose Kamau, Aug 4 2010
IIEC chairman Isaak Hassan says 90 % of polling stations opened in time for the referendum exercise though there were slight delays in a few areas despite the voters turning up as early as 5am. Hassan blamed the delays on various reasons including natural calamities including harsh weather conditions. He cited Marakwet West where the presiding officer died Tuesday night following a short illness. The officer who was a teacher at Queen of Peace Secondary School in Marakwet District, had on Monday evening been admitted to AIC Mission Hospital in Kapsowar complaining of chest problems. An accident in Turkana Central also caused a delay in opening of the exercise in the area. A helicopter was dispatched to airlift voting material and officers to polling station. More...

92% of Luhyas to vote 'Yes'

By our reporter, Aug 3 2010
A poll on the Abeingo website has revealed that 92 percent of Luhya people will vote 'Yes' in tomorrow's referendum. As we went to press, out of 144 respondents, only 10 people said they'll vote 'No' with two abstentions. Meanwhile eearly 70,000 police officers have been sent to different parts of the country to guard voting centres and make sure the people are safe during and after the poll. Police have also set up 10 hotlines for people to report any security threats. Up to 63,000 personnel from regular, administration and special police officers will provide security during the referendum. At the same time, the Independent Interim Electoral Commission decreed an end to campaigns and warned against political advertising and any canvassing for votes. The IIEC started the distribution of voting materials to all the 26,000 polling centres by Monday. More...

Mumias Sugar Company
Kenya Anti Corruption Commission has unearthed a massive cartel of sugar barons who import sugar at the detriment of six million farmers and investors.
Corruption kills hope for 6m sugar farmers, investors

By our correspondent, Aug 3 2010
The anti-graft watchdog has raised the alarm over massive corruption in the Kenya sugar sector. As a result, the bitter news for those who invest in the sweetener locally is that the sector may not be as competitive as in other countries, whose products are set to come to the market with the lifting of Comesa safeguards. Close to six million farmers and other people whose investments in the sector go through the pockets of corrupt individuals within the government, Kenya Sugar Board and the factories have ended up poor. The Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission has cited the appointment and promotion of staff at mills, the process of acquiring loans from the Kenya Sugar Board and the issuance of licences for the importation of duty-free sugar into the country as major channels of corruption paralysing the sector. More...

Court dismisses bid to stop referendum

By Judy Ogutu, Aug 3 2010
A special court has dismissed a women group’s suit seeking to stop the referendum. The Interim Independent Constitutional Dispute Resolution Court said granting such an order would amount to a judicial coup of the people’s constituent power. Judges Scholastica Omondi, Mburugu Kioga and Jamilla Mohamed said they would fold their hands and watch Kenyans exercise their rights. They also said the people’s participation in creating laws is an important component of governance. More...

70,000 police officers; 26,000 polling stations nationwide.
Miguna Miguna
Miguna Miguna, Prime Minister's advisor on coalition affairs has sued the government for torture at the infamous Nyayo House Torture Chambers in 1980s. He has named ex president Moi and AG, Amos Wako as respondents.
Miguna sues Moi for torture

By Evelyn Kwamboka, Aug 3 2010
Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s advisor on coalition affairs now wants to be compensated for allegedly being tortured at the Nyayo House chambers. Mr Miguna Miguna moved to court on Tuesday on grounds Special Branch officers had no legal authority to torture him. Miguna, who was a university students’ leader, was arrested in November 1987 and taken to the Central Police Station where his name was entered in the Occurrence Book. The case is on grounds he was allegedly blindfolded and taken to Nyayo House torture chambers the following day. "I was put in a frozen cell without windows, with a big shinning light bulb that was never put off even when I went to sleep," he said in his affidavit. Miguna claims he was released a few days later and forcefully evacuated from the University of Nairobi and expelled from the institution. More...

Church of God mourns

Dr Byrum Makokha, the head of the Church of God in East Africa, has lost his wife Joy also known as Adava on August 3 2010. Mrs Joy Makokha died while undergoing treatment for cancer in the US yesterday.

Adava is survived by a large and loving family, including her husband Right Reverend Bishop Dr. Byrum Makokha, head of the Church of God in East Africa, four daughters, one son, six grandkids, and a host of people who were part of her family.

For further details, please CLICK here.

Shiundu appointed deputy director of United Nations' IMO in London

By INGONEWS Reporter, Aug 2 2010
Mr Juvenal Muka Shiundu has been promoted to deputy director of the London-based UN body, International Maritime Organisation (IMO) with effect from 1st August 2010. Until his appointment, Mr Shiundu was Head of Africa (Anglophone) Technical Cooperation Division in London. In his new position, Mr Shiundu will also be in charge of institutional development of the IMO, the UN Specialized Agency with global mandate for maritime safety, security and marine environment protection. Mr Shiundu who is also the chairman of Abeingo Community Network (ACN), graduated with a masters degree from World Maritime University based in Maimo, Sweden in 1986. Prior to that he graduated from University of Newcastle upon Tyne in England with an honour's degree in Naval Architecture and Shipbuilding in 1983. He is the first naval architect in sub Saharan Africa. Prior to joining IMO in August 1997, Mr Shiundu was a General Manager of African Marine and General Engineering Company Limited, Mombasa, the largest Shipyard on the East African Coast where he rose up through the ranks in the shipbuilding and ship repairing industry to reach the level of a General Manager. Mr Shiundu is married to Rose and has three offspring - Fulton, Angela and Victor.

Juvenal Muka Shiundu
Juvenal Shiundu: the new deputy director of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in London.
Call to detribalise varsities by shuffling vice chancellors

By our correspondent, Aug 2 2010
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) wants heads of public universities in the country reshuffled to give the institutions a national outlook. Commission national chairman Dr Mzalendo Kibunjia said the composition of vice chancellors in universities and colleges did not reflect the Kenyan face because they have been appointed on ethnic considerations. “Apart from the universities in Nairobi all the others are headed by people who come from the communities in which the institutions have been set up. “If we are to detribalize this country and allow every qualified Kenyan to work anywhere in the country then our institutions of higher learning should be the starting point,” Dr Kibunjia said adding that the commission was pursuing the matter with the Ministry of Higher Education and Technology. More...

Prof Wangila Barasa
Prof Wangila Barasa (left), the vice chancellor of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) with the chancellor, President Mwai Kibaki during a previous convocation in Kakamega. The head of the National Integration and Cohesion Commission, Dr Mzalendo Kibunjia wants university heads like Prof Barasa posted away from tribal home lands.
Birth of a second republic - Yes!

By our correspondents, Aug 1 2010
National leaders used the big rallies in Nairobi on Sunday not only to win a few more Kenyans to their side but also to urge them to turn out to vote on Wednesday. At Uhuru Park, where a light celebratory mood pervaded the ‘Yes’ rally, President Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka took advantage of the occasion to make a strong pitch for support of the proposed law, saying it would mark the birth of “the second republic”. At Dagoretti Corner playground, the ‘No’ team also used the final hours of the campaign to take on the government for allegedly denying them venues to hold their rally as they made their final submission. The team, led by Higher Education minister William Ruto and several church leaders, also accused the ‘Yes’ team of using State resources to frustrate their campaigns. More...

Katiba Mpya Kenya
Kenyans painted Uhuru Park and themselves green - literally to underscore the seriousness with which they want to endorse the draft constitution.
Busia youth stone Ruto's 'No' team

By Renson Buluma, Aug 1 2010
A rowdy mob pelted supporters of "No" side at a rally in Busia town last night. The group, led by Higher Education Minister William Ruto, landed in Busia at about 6.30pm for the rally. Police were forced to fire in the air to disperse the youth who had stormed the rally. Unconfirmed reports indicated that three people were arrested following the incidence. The rally, which was held at Busia Polytechnic grounds, ended at about 7pm. Speakers at the meeting included Ruto and MPs Chris Okemo, Cyrus Jirongo, Fred Kapondi and Jebii Kilimo. Okemo, who is the area MP, condemned the incidence and said all Kenyans had the right to campaign anywhere. "I suspect the youth were paid to disrupt our rally," he added. More...

Chebii Kilimo at Nambale
'No' campaigns in Nambale: Marakwet East MP Jebii Kilimo joined other opponents of the Proposed Constitution in Nambale, Western Province, on Saturday where they urged residents to vote ‘No’ on Wednesday. Photo: Benjamin Sakwa
Kalenjin elders allege 'Yes' rigging plot

By Vitalis Kimutai, Aug 1 2010
The Kalenjin Council of Elders has said the referendum could divide the country at a time it was still smarting from post-election violence. Led by the council chairman major (retired), John Seii, the elders expressed fears over claims of planned rigging of the vote by the ‘Yes’ team. They called on the Interim Independent Electoral Commission to ensure free and fair referendum vote to protect the integrity of the draft. "The wounds of post-election violence still hurt. Many internally displaced persons remain unsettled," Major Seii said. He said the contentious issues of the draft should have been corrected before the referendum vote. The elders reiterated that they were on the ‘No’ side. Seii said a win by a small margin by the ‘Yes’ side at the referendum would rob the draft of legitimacy. More...

It's illegal to campaign for draft laws

By Oliver Mathenge, Aug 1 2010
The Interim Independent Electoral Commission has announced that it is illegal to campaign for or against the proposed constitution on Tuesday. The IIEC CEO James Oswago said that this also includes talk shows, adverts, statements and interviews in the media. “Referendum campaigns end today (Monday), including press talk shows, adverts, statements and interviews. It is illegal to publish or air such messages tomorrow,” an SMS message from the IIEC signed by Mr Oswago said. Referendum regulations published by the IIEC in May indicated that all campaigns must be brought to a halt 48 hours before polling starts. The official campaign period started on July 13 though both the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ teams had started their activities immediately the proposed constitution was published in May. More...

James Oswago
This is it folks: James Oswago, the chief executive officer of the Independent Interim Electoral Commission (centre) at a press conference at Bomas, Nairobi where he warned against campaigning for or against the draft constitution after Monday. He is surrounded by other officials of IIEC.
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