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jomvu mombasa
Residents from the Coastal town of Jomvu, carry a 14 inch python after killing it on December 31, 2009. It was spotted in a swampy area after swallowing a dog. Photo: Gideon Manduku
chinese numbers
Paramilitary policemen stand to form "2010" to welcome the upcoming New Year at a military base in Wuhan December 30, 2009. The Chinese characters read "Happy New Year".
Panic as tremor rocks Eldoret, Kitale, Keiyo

By Dedan Okanga, Dec 31 2009
Panic gripped Eldoret town, villages in Keiyo and parts of Kitale when a tremor rocked the region yesterday. In Eldoret, workers at the Central Business District ran from buildings to safer ground with fears that a second wave could wreak havoc. The midday incident shook high-rise buildings in the town and residential houses where some reported fallen chairs and other light movable objects. The most affected was the busy Kerio Valley Development Authority Plaza (KVDA) where a stampede ensued moments after the incident, as crowds rushed down the stairs screaming while security personnel raised the alarm. More...

Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya
Wycliffe Oparanya, teh planning minister says census results will be released officially on Jan 7 2010.
Census results out on Jan 7, says Oparanya

By Peter Mutai, Dec 31 2009
Results of last year’s national census will be announced next week.Planning Minister Wycliffe Oparanya said data processing was almost complete. "I will announce the results on January 7. This is when the country’s demographic statistics will be known," the minister said. Speaking at Reconciliation Gospel Centre Church in Sotik during the launch of Sotik Constituency’s 2009-2012 Strategic Plan, Oparanya said the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics was all set for the release. Oparanya was accompanied by Roads Minister Franklin Bett, Home Affairs Assistant Minister Beatrice Kones and MPs Magerer Langat Joyce Laboso. More...

Mumias boy only public school pupil in top ten KCPE champs

By our reporter & correspondents, Dec 30 2009
There is only one champ in the top ten of the just released Kenya Certificate of Primary Education. His name: Master Okoth F Onyango from Mumias Central Primary School. He is top because he is the only one from a public school. The rest are from private schools. As celebratory chants of Kenya Certificate Primary Education (KCPE) victors reverberate across the country, occasionally dulled by losers’ silent cries, the results released on Tuesday have once again stirred the old public-versus-private schools debate. The debate springs from the fact only five schools in Rift Valley’s top 100 were public while in Central only three featured in this provincial category. Also, of the top 100 provincial slots in Western Province, only two public schools featured, while in Eastern Province, it was only four. In the category of top 50 nationally, only three came from public schools, while the rest, including the top boy Peter Kamenju and top girl Risper Chemtai, schooled in private institutions. Kamenju was in Lily Academy in Thika, while Chemtai attended Mount St Marys School in Molo, owned by the Catholic Church. More...

Denis Wafula
Denis Wafula is the toast of inmates at Naivasha Maximum Prison after he scored top marks (336) in KCPE. He is serving 14 years for grievous bodily harm.
Top pupil in Western

The top pupil in Western was Solomon Ngoyo Ouma from Hill School, Kakamega. Top girl is Joy Asena Imali also from the same school. He wants to be a pilot in future. They both tied with a score of 434 marks. More...

Retired military lawyer picked to head electoral commission

By our correspondent, Dec 30 2009
A retired military lawyer will head the country’s new secretariat to manage the country’s elections. Retired Major James Oswago was introduced as the country’s new chief electoral officer by the chairman of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC), Mr Issack Hassan. His deputy will be Ms Gladys Boss Shollei, currently the CEO of the National Council for Law Reporting. The secretariat, which includes nine directors, 17 regional electoral coordinators and 210 constituency electoral coordinators, has been employed on a permanent basis. More...

CLICK here to see top 100 KCPE champs
Western girls emerge clever than boys in KCPE results

By our reporter, Dec 29 2009
Girls from Western Province have proved they are clever then boys if the results of this year's Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) is anything to go by. Although boys topped in most provinces, it was girls who ruled the roost in Western and North Eastern. The top girl Joy Asena Imali from Hill School, Kakamega tied with top girl overall in the country, Risper Chemtai Kirui of St Mary's Girl's Molo at 434 marks. Both of them were third overall nationwide. Last year, it was another Luhya girl, Velma Mukhongo who was the best girl overall nationwide. The best candidate, Peter Kamenju Njoroge of Lily Academy in Thika, scored 438 marks, 22 fewer than last year’s candidate while the second candidate was Rabin Oonge Isaac of St George’s Grassland Academy in Nakuru North, who scored 435 marks. . More...

Velma Mukhongo
Velma Mukhongo, the top girl in Kenya last year celebrating her victory with the traditional Luhya gift of ingokho (fowl).

Briton executed in China: A Briton condemned to death by lethal injection after being convicted of smuggling heroin into China was executed this morning. Akmal Shaikh was executed by lethal injection in the early hours of this morning in China after being convicted of smuggling four kilos of heroin. More...
Gay couple face 14 years incarceration in Malawi

By our correspondent, Dec 29 2009
Two gay men arrested in Malawi after getting engaged are to be charged with gross public indecency, police say. "We arrested them because they committed an offence; homosexuality in Malawi is illegal," police spokesman Davie Chingwalu told the BBC. Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza held a traditional engagement ceremony over the weekend - believed to be the first gay couple in Malawi to do so. More...

US goofed over Nigerian 'bomber': The father of terrorism suspect Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab talked about his son with someone from the CIA and a report was prepared, but the report was not circulated outside the agency, a reliable source told CNN's Jeanne Meserve on Tuesday. More..
Nabongo Kingdom joins elders from 42 Kenyan tribes to chart national unity

By Alphonce Shiundu, Dec 29 2009
The time-honoured Kaya elders of the Coast, the fiery Njuri Ncheke of Meru and the royalty of Wanga Kingdom in Mumias are plotting to shape Kenya’s future, away from politics. Last week, they teamed up with the Ker of the Luo, the Kalenjin and Maasai elders and other elders from each of Kenya’s 42 tribes to launch a grassroots network of elders. Even though to the urbane middle-class and the society’s intelligensia, the traditional elders are seen as a bunch of poor illiterates, their influence in the rural areas is significant. They are the courts down there. From puerile marital problems to land disputes, it is the elders who advice the government administrators on what should be done. More...

Nabongo Kingdom
Kalenjin elder Said Keitany (right) at a press conference by Luo, Maasai and Kalenjin elders in Kisumu recently. The elders say they can use their influence at the grassroots to bring stability in the country. At left is Ker Meshack Riaga Ogallo. Photo: Jacob Owiti
Kakamega judge charged with Sh8m fraud

By Sam Kiplagat, Dec 29 2009
Kakamega- based judge Said Juma Chitembwe was on Tuesday arraigned in court on charges of fraud. Mr Justice Chitembwe, who was appointed a judge of the High Court in April this year, denied fraudulently making payment of Sh8 million to a law firm during his tenure as the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) corporation secretary. After spending some time at the court’s basement cells, Mr Justice Chitembwe walked out a freeman after paying cash bail of Sh500,000 to secure his release. The court, meanwhile, issued a summons against his co-accused and former managing trustee of NSSF, Ms Rachel Khavaya Lumbasyo. She was ordered to appear in court on January 6 and plead to the charges against her. More...

Juma Said Chitembwe
Wrong side of the bench: Kakamega judge, Justice Juma Chitembwe in handcuffs after being charged with Sh8m fraud. It is alleged that Justice Chitembwe paid a firm of lawyers fraudulently when he was the secretary of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
Francis Atwoli eyes the presidency in next elections

By our correspondent, Dec 29 2009
Trade unionist Francis Atwoli has given the strongest hint that he’ll be joining politics in the next elections. Mr Atwoli, the Central Organisation of Trade Unions secretary general, gave the hint at Kakamega’s Muliro Gardens where he addressed a huge rally calling for reforms in the country. Mr Atwoli said that “when the time comes” in 2011, he’ll be back in western Kenya, “dressed in the traditional leadership regalia and wielding a spear” to lead the people. Though the rallies that he’s been holding across the country were meant to sensitise Kenyans on the reform agenda, there was a clear indication in Sunday’s utterances that Mr Atwoli was pitching for the presidency or a big elective post in the next government. More...

Halala USA brings a mobile health clinic to residents of Sigalagala

By our reporter, Dec 28 2009
Halala USA has concluded a successful inaugural mobile health clinic in Luhyaland. The event, which was held in Sigalagala on December 19 2009, was attended by hundreds of villagers and district administration officials. The idea of a mobile health clinic was born in 2007 during the Halala annual conference hosted by the New Jersey chapter. “In December 2009 Halala USA came to Kenya with a mission to bring meaningful change to the lives of Western province residents, “said Halala US president, Pius Mwemba. Accompanied by the treasurer, Rose Ballard they traversed far and wide across the province to end up in Sigalagala where a free medical camp was launched amid a huge demand for the service.   Over six hundred people attended the camp and indicated their willingness to partner with Halala to improve the livelihoods of local residents.

Halala Kakamega chapter coming soon: Running alongside the free medical clinic was a conference attended by local leaders, residents of western Kenya and medical professions from western Kenya. The conferences recommended the formation of Halala Kakamega branch and are looking forward to working together with the Nairobi and Mombasa chapters upon their creation to support Halala projects in western Kenya.  Speaking at the Kakamega conference Dr. Isaac Tsikhutsu of Kericho General Hospital offered his services to the organization and is convinced that a mobile clinic project can be established in the region sooner than the projected time if we all support Halala USA in these efforts. The president called upon other Luhya organizations to join Halala to develop the region.  Others who attended the conference included, Halala USA officials, the area counsellor Kakamega county council, Dr. Kennedy Bonji of Iguhu District Hospital, Dr. George Matibayi, Rev. Aggrey Osore of ACK Kakamega, Ms. Alice Kirambi Director CPDA, Mrs. Pauline Makwaka of Maendeleo ya Wanawake Western Kenya, Assistant Chief Commissioner Kenya Scouts Association in charge of Nairobi, Mr Francis Juma and Rosemary Imbayi, the district commissioner, Kakamega East District.

Halala mobile clinic
Residents of Sigalagala in Isukha, Kakamega receiving a free medical check up courtesy of Halala USA whose pet project of a mobile health clinic is slowly bearing fruit.

Women to rule the electoral roost in Western

By Galgalo Bucha, Dec 28 2009
At least 30 women were among 221 election coordinators appointed by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission. The selection followed intense interviews two months ago. According to the IIEC website, the electoral affairs of eight constituencies in Rift Valley Province and six in Western provinces will be in the hands of women. Eastern and Central followed in fourth and fifth positions after IIEC appointed five and four women, respectively, to occupy electoral offices in sections of the two provinces. Coast and Nyanza got three women each as constituency electoral coordinators. In North Eastern Province, all the 11 positions were taken by men. More...

Webuye residents plan demo over Panpaper

Webuye residents plan to protest over the delayed reopening of Pan Paper Mills less than three weeks after a similar demo. The planned demo follows Industrialisation permanent secretary John Lonyangapuo’s assurance two weeks ago that the factory would be back in operation before Christmas. More...

Sirisia lost Sh10m in education fraud - Wetangula

By Robert Wanyonui, Dec 28 2009
Reports on the misuse of Free Primary Education (FPE) funds continued to emerge with Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula claiming his constituency, Sirisia, has lost Sh9.7 million. Mr Wetang’ula said two education officers involved in the scam were only transferred to neighbouring constituencies in Bungoma District. He said the officers were moved after he wrote to the Ministry of Education complaining of misappropriation of school funds. Speaking to the Press in Bungoma town on Monday, the minister said the officers used to accompany school heads to banks to take excess money channeled to the institutions’ accounts. "Every head teacher withdrew Sh100,000, which the officers pocketed. Sh9.7 million was lost from schools in my constituency," the minister claimed. More...

Moses Wetangula
Moses Wetangula, the foreign affairs minister is angry that he reported free primary education funds were being looted but nothing was done about it. His constituency of Sirisia alone lost Sh10m in a Sh10bn scam. The British government has cut off funds in the wake of massive corruption.
New domain names unveiled in Kenya

By Frederick Obura, Dec 28 2009
The Kenya Network Information Centre (Kenic) has launched a new registry system for the registration and management of dot .Ke domain names. Kenic has also launched three new low-priced second level Internet domains and a new registry system. The three domains .me.ke, .mobi.ke, and .info.ke are designed for use of personal names, mobile content and information exchange. "Since Internet is about information, an info.ke address communicates information to people who are looking for it. .me.ke is about you," said Sammy Burucharu Kenic’s chairman. "With these new domains, individuals will now own a country’s domain identity like www.otieno.ke instead of the dominant yahoo or a gmail.com.," Burucharu says. More...

Panic as leaflets in Kericho warn Luos to leave or else...

By Geoffrey Rono, Dec 24 2009
A cabinet minister on Wednesday condemned those behind leaflets circulating in Kericho district telling members of the Luo community to leave the area. Roads minister Franklin Bett said circulation of the leaflets should not be condoned and petitioned the security agents to ensure that the culprits were brought to book as soon as possible so as to restore calm in the district. Mr Bett said this was a matter that could easily cause unnecessary panic and despondency among the communities living in Kericho and urged local detectives to give the issue the seriousness it deserved. More...

Franklin Bett
Franklin Bett, the roads minister urging co-existence of communities in all parts of Kenya.
Wekesa backs down over Mau compensation

By Alphonce Shiundu, Dec 24 2009
The government will compensate big shots who own land in the Mau Forest for the investments on their farms, Cabinet minister Noah Wekesa has said. In what appeared to be backing down from the previous hard-line position on the payouts, Dr Wekesa, who is the Forestry minister, said the beneficiaries will be required to provide valid documents. However, Dr Wekesa said, the government will not be paying for the land. “After all most of these people got the land for free,” he added. More...

Moi reveals the true meaning of KKK - Kumaliza Kenya Kabisa

By Titus Too, Dec 24 2009
Settlers evicted out of Mau Forest should not hand over their title deeds unless the due process is followed, Kanu national vice-chairman Gideon Moi has said. Gideon said yesterday it was not only the issue of resettlement or compensation for the affected, but also the sanctity of title deeds that should be respected. He said some leaders from the Rift Valley were now vocal over the suffering of Mau evictees yet they passed the Cabinet resolution in Parliament."The leaders, if they are sincere, should have stopped the resolution by opposing it in Parliament. They are now just opposing their supervisor," said Gideon. At the same time Gideon dismissed the formation of a political alliance between the Kikuyu, Kalenjin and Kamba (KKK), saying formation of tribal alliances "were shallow and a mentality of the 1960s". He dismissed the KKK terming it "Kumaliza Kenya Kabisa" (to finish Kenya totally). More...

Gideon Moi
Kanu vice-chairman Gideon Moi (right), secretary-general Nick Salat (third left) and other officials at a peace rally at Kapkures Primary School in Eldoret North, Wednesday. The former president Daniel Arap Moi's son has termed the so called Kikuyu, Kalenjin, Kamba alliance (KKK) as a mentality of the 1960s and its front bearers, William Ruto, Kalonzo Musyoka and Uhuru Kenya out to finish Kenya completely. Photo: Peter Ochieng
Ping pong over Mau is about 2012 Kibaki succession

By David Ochami, Dec 24 2009
The fight between Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Deputy PM Uhuru Kenyatta over compensation for large-scale landowners is just the symptom of a vicious political war playing out behind the scenes. The Mau conservation has taken a political dimension with Raila’s allies seeing Uhuru as being part of a conspiracy to isolate the ODM leader ahead of the 2012 elections. The issue, analysts say, was only the trigger that led to the unusual exchange of hard-hitting press releases from the offices of Raila and Uhuru accusing each other of playing "politics with Mau". More...

Julie Ward
Slain British tourist Julie Ward
Key witness in 1988 Julie murder case dies in Denmark

By Peter Atsiaya, Dec 24 2009
A key witness to the murder of British tourist Julie Ward has died jeopardising plans for a fresh inquiry. Valentine Ohuru Kodipo, 36, died in a hospital in Denmark, where he has lived in exile for more than 20 years. Kodipo testified on Ward’s murder, which happened in 1988 at Masai Mara Game Reserve, before seeking refuge in Denmark due to the sensitivity of the case. Speaking to The Standard from Denmark yesterday, his wife Eliena said her husband died on Friday at 10pm. "Doctors said my husband died of heart failure," she said. More...

Poll shows most Kenyans favour Mau evictions

By our correspondents, Dec 23 2009
Eighty-three per cent of Kenyans support Government efforts to evict illegal settlers from Mau Forest and other catchments. And only 23.6 per cent support claims by Rift Valley MPs and some ministers that the Mau rehabilitation and evacuation of settlers is inhumane. According to an opinion poll released on Monday, the crisis over the Mau Forest Complex could derail the reform agenda. Most respondents, however, attribute the current food crisis to drought related to wanton environmental destruction. They also accuse those opposed to the evictions of malice. Conducted between December 12 and December 16 among 3,000 people in all provinces, the poll by Strategic Relations and Research Limited shows support for conservation falls below the national average in the Rift Valley Province at 77.8 per cent. More...

Jacob Keidar, Israel ambassador
Israel envoy installed Bukusu elder

Israel ambassador Jacob Keidar is installed a Bukusu elder at Kabuchai, Bungoma, after commissioning a greenhouse kit donated by his Government to Muyayi Spring organisation on Monday. The envoy urged Kenyans to diversify farming to curb food insecurity. Photo: Benjamin Sakwa

Human faeces caused train crash: Rift Valley Railways on Tuesday blamed “flying toilets” for the train crash that killed two people in Kibera according to executive chairman Brown Ondego. More...
Major cultural swift as Luo adopt circumcision en masse

By Winsley Masese, Dec 23 2009
Some 35,628 men in Nyanza Province have faced the knife in one month.The men from eleven districts underwent voluntary medical male circumcision, in a project carried out under the Rapid Result Initiative (RRI). And the number is likely rise due to high demand from the youth. The exercise was conducted between November 9 and December 20, surpassing the 30,000 target. Releasing the results at a Kisumu hotel on Tuesday, Nyanza PC Francis Mutie said no serious complications were reported. More...

Kenya loses 800 nurses to US yearly

By Kenneth Ogosia, Dec 23 2009
More than 800 nurses leave the country every year to seek employment abroad especially in the United States of America. Most of them are women aged between 30 to 46 years working in the public health sector and are highly qualified, statistics at the Nursing Council of Kenya show. Statistics from the Nursing council of Kenya indicate that on average 840 nurses apply for verification of their certificates with an intention to migrate. More...

New tough rules on hotel industry to nail cowboys

By John Njiraini, Dec 23 2009
Investors in the hospitality industry will from next year be licensed by a new industry regulator before putting up hotels in Kenya. Tourism Minister Najib Balala said he would put out a legal notice to compel potential investors to apply for a licence from the newly established Hotel and Restaurant Authority (HRA). he requirement will not only contain the tendency of hotel, lodges and restaurants cropping up haphazardly, but will also improve the standards of facilities and quality of services. More...

Uhuru Kenyatta
Finance Minister, Uhuru Kenyatta has denied any knowledge that big land owners in Mau forest should be compensated but a record of parliamentary proceedings (Hansard) indicates that when the motion was tabled and passed in August, Uhuru did not oppose it..
Raila accuses Uhuru of mischief & chicanery over Mau

By our correspondents, Dec 23 2009
The debate on compensation of Mau forest evictees has exploded again, further exposing schisms in the Grand Coalition Cabinet. On Tuesday Prime Minister Raila Odinga accused Deputy PM Uhuru Kenyatta of "mischief and political chicanery". The PM is angered by the Uhuru’s denial of any knowledge of a Government plan to compensate large landowners evicted from the Mau Forest Complex. He accused the Finance minister of feigning ignorance of a compensation plan approved by Parliament. The ink had, however, hardly dried on the PM’s press statement when Environment Minister John Michuki also heaved into the raging debate with a declaration that ‘big shots’ would not get a shilling. More...

Wekesa, Uhuru deny big Mau forest grabbers will get a penny

By Athman Amran, Dec 22 2009
The Government has not set aside any money to compensate prominent landowners in the Mau Forest. Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Wildlife and Forestry Minister Noah Wekesa said there was no money set aside for the big landowners in Mau. The two ministers were reacting to a story in a section of the media that the Government had set aside Sh2 billion to compensate the large landowners, most of whom are politicians and wealthy businessmen. The story claimed a senior Government official had confirmed the money would he paid out to the landowners. According to Interim Co-ordinating Secretariat on Mau chairman Noor Hassan Noor there are 2,558 landowners to be compensated. More...

Dr Noah Wekesa
Dr Noah Wekesa, minister for wildflife and forestry alongside his finance counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta have denied the government will pay compensation to big-name land grabbers in Mau Forest. Their denial however has exposed them as bafoons (see opp. story)
Hansard report exposes Uhuru as a bafoon

By David Ochami, Dec 23 2009
The Mau Task Force report was tabled in Parliament by Assistant Minister Alfred Khangati on August 12 and adopted with an amendment on September 15 after intense lobbying by Rift Valley and Central Province MPs. Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta did not oppose the amendment to compel compensation for all settlers despite its financial implications. According to parliamentary rules, the House cannot debate or approve a Motion with financial implications without the authority of the President, which indicates the amended report was adopted with the President’s consent. Before the amendment, Press reports indicated MPs allied to Mr Uhuru and Agriculture William Ruto had entered a quid pro quo pact.More...

Shitanda, Khalwale oppose compensating big-fish Mau forest grabbers

By our correspondent, Dec 20 2009
Housing Minister Soita Shitanda and Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale have said politicians who acquired land in the Mau forest should not be compensated. "Compensation should be for the small people and not political heavyweights who grabbed huge chunks of land at the forest," said Mr Shitanda. Dr Khalwale said: "It seems the Prime Minister has slowed down on settlers who are well connected. Kenyans don’t want politicians who acquired land at the complex to be given a soft landing," he said. More...

Zakayo Cheruiyot
OUTRAGE: The big land grabbers who are now lined up for compensation that is tantamount to official endorsement of corruption and impunity.
Obama closer to health care victory

US President Barack Obama has hailed the Senate's healthcare vote as a "big victory for the American people". Senators voted in the early hours of Monday to end debate on a compromise bill, putting the legislation on course to face a final vote on Christmas Eve. President Obama has set health reform as a key plank of his first term. More...

Ruto is an old-style beggar, says Kosgey

By our correspondent, Dec 20 2009
Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey has criticised his Agriculture counterpart William Ruto for meeting President Kibaki over the Mau eviction. Mr Kosgey faulted the Eldoret North MP saying he had gone on a begging mission before the President when it was the right of the people to be compensated by the Government. "Kibaki does not appropriate the tax payers’ money. It is Parliament that does so and going to beg from him (President) is wrong and an old style of doing things," he said. Kosgey added: "It is demeaning to us as a people that a Cabinet minister has gone to beg the President." More...

Four die, dozens trapped as train derails in Kibera

By our correspondents, Dec 20 2009
Four people have been confirmed dead and three others rescued and rushed to hospital following train mishap in Kibera. Police are at the scene overseeing rescue operations after unknown number of people were trapped under a goods train that derailed and crashed on a crowd in Nairobi’s populous Kibera Slums. There was stampede as residents scrambled for cooking oil, which was flowing from one of the coaches as the trapped victims cried for help. Rescue mission are underway and police have sought assistance from disaster experts to help in evacuating people suspected to be trapped in the coaches following the mishap. A church service that was in progress, several stalls built near the railway lines are some of structures destroyed. More...

Brittant Murphy is dead
Actress dies: Hollywood actress, Brittany Murphy died yesterday of an alleged drug overdose. She was 32. More..
Fresh queries arise over Sh9bn free primary education funds

By Benjamin Muindi, Dec 20 2009
Fresh auditors questions have emerged over the use of Sh9 billion free education money amid speculation that President Kibaki will announce changes at the ministry on Monday. In an audit report, parts of which the Daily Nation has seen, the auditors said they were not sure that the money given to primary and secondary schools as grants to buy books and other teaching materials was used for that purpose. The auditors were also puzzled by an additional Sh2.7 billion given to 600 primary schools to build classrooms, dining halls and dormitories which appear not to have been requested or needed. The ministry has admitted Sh100 million was embezzled and officials have leaked selected parts of the audit report, which show widespread misuse of public funds. The picture painted by the full report must be a lot worse. More...

Uganda gay poll: British MPs criticise BBC

By Jack Malvern, Dec 20 2009
MPs have criticised the BBC for hosting an online debate asking whether homosexuals should be executed. The debate on the Have Your Say website, which was originally entitled “Should homosexuals face execution”, has attracted more than 600 comments, only 200 of which were deemed suitable for publication. Last night it was listed as the most popular forum on the BBC’s website. The corporation changed the headline to “Should Uganda debate gay execution?” after lobbying by the BBC Pride board, which is composed of gay and lesbian staff at the corporation. The forum’s introduction said: “Should homosexuals face execution? Yes, we accept it is a stark and disturbing question. More...

Emmanuel Milingo
Not going quietly: Controversial Catholic cleric, Emmanuel Milingo who was defrocked last week by the Vatican now claims the Holy See executed priests who thought of marriage. Milingo, married to a Korean acupuncturist, says he knows the secret graves where two such priests are buried in Rome.
Milingo says Vatican executed priests who wanted to marry

By our correspondent, Dec 20 2009
Ex-communicated Roman Catholic archbishop Emmanuel Milingo has rejected the decision by Benedict XVI to unfrock, describing it as “invalid” and said he wanted the Roman Catholic Church to pay him pension for the 23 years he worked in Italy. Milingo also claimed that he was aware that the church had in the past executed clerics that came up with intentions of marriage whilst serving as priests. “I know a lot about the church than those condemning me. The church twice executed those who came up with such intentions and I know where they are buried in Rome,” Milingo said. More...

MPs split who between Ongeri, Mutahi should be fired over FPE graft

By our correspondents, Dec 19 2009
The saga surrounding the free primary education funds continued to draw reactions with MPs taking different positions on who is to bear the consequences. Three MPs called for the sacking of Education Minister Sam Ongeri and his PS Karega Mutahi while four others spoke in support of the minister saying the PS should shoulder the blame. Those calling for Ongeri’s sacking were Danson Mungatana (Garsen), Charles Kilonzo (Yatta) and Jeremiah Kioni (Ndaragwa). More...

Prof Karega Mutahi and Sam Ongeri
Tale of two professors: Karega Mutahi (left) and Sam Ongeri are caught up in a corruption scandal that belies their academic credentials.
Political vultures arrive for easy pickings from ODM

By our correspondent, Dec 19 2009
Vice president Kalonzo Musyoka and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta are among over 50 high-ranking politicians attending a fundraiser Tononoka grounds. The PNU stalwarts are in Mvita constituency attending a fundraiser convened by ODM top guns led by Agriculture Minister William Ruto and his Tourism counterpart, Najib Balala, who is also the area MP. The fundraiser, convened by Ruto and Balala, who have broken ranks with their party leader Raila Odinga, is a show of political might between the feuding camps within ODM. More...

Maize scandal returns to haunt Kenyan A-list thieves

By Morris Aron, Dec 19 2009
The maize scandal ghost is back to haunt the National Cereals and Produce Board and a host of business cartels following revelations that much more money was lost than initially thought. A new report by World Bank, Standing Still: Kenya’s slow economic recovery from quadruple shocks, released on Thursday indicates that Kenya public lost an estimated Sh23.4 billion ($30 million) in subsidies and taxes. "What we have is a report that has been thoroughly researched with indications that the high maize prices also contributed to the slow economic growth registered across the year," said Mr Johhanes Zutt, Word Bank country director-Kenya. Initial estimates had indicated that the country had lost just under Sh1 billion from the maize scandal; the World Bank figure however puts the figure much higher. More...

Jane Too
Jane Too speaks to teh media about the plight of the forgotten tribe - Ogiek

Diluted Copenhagen Accord

A new draft for a climate deal in Copenhagen has dropped a reference to an end-2010 deadline for reaching a legally binding treaty that had been in a previous text on Friday. The new draft, obtained by Reuters, also introduced a name for the proposed agreement - the "Copenhagen Accord". More...

Forget Mau evictees, have mercy on Ogiek

By our correspondents, Dec 19 2009
They have lost count of the days they have gone without food. Women trek long distances to fetch water. The sick walk across a 20km rough terrain to seek treatment at Maraba health centre in Nandi South District. This is the story of hundreds of Ogiek (Ndorobo) families at Ng’atipkong village in Tinderet District. They were evicted four years ago from Kipkurere and Cerengonik forests along the common borders of Nandi and Uasin Gishu districts. The evictees have not been resettled despite a presidential directive issued through Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura. Worse still, after their eviction, the Government is yet to rehabilitate the land they once occupied. More...

Ongeri's survival at stake as teacher's union bays for his blood over FPE graft

By our correspondents, Dec 18 2009
Pressure is mounting on Education Minister Sam Ongeri and his PS Karega Mutahi to step aside over the missing free education funds. The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) called for their resignation following the Sh100 million scam involving Free Primary Education funds. Knut’s National Executive Committee also appealed to President Kibaki to sack the two should they fail to resign voluntarily to pave way for investigation. "The minister and the PS have been acting cautious with information and they have even refused to make documents available and engage in talks with education stakeholders," Knut Secretary General Lawrence Majali said in a statement at Knut headquarters. More...

Lawrence Majali
Knut Secretary-General Lawrence Majali (right) with other officials at their office in Nairobi, Thursday. Photo: Andrew Kilonzi

Muslims back hybrid system: Muslims support the hybrid system of government as proposed in the Harmonised Draft Constitution. They, however, recommend that the State President should seek approval from Parliament before declaring a state of emergency or war. In the draft, the State President only needs approval from the Cabinet to do so. More
UK police charge Deya's son with murder

By Gitau wa Njenga, Dec 18 2009
UK police on Wednesday charged a son of embattled London-based Kenyan preacher Gilbert Deya with the murder of his three-year-old boy and the attempted murder of his wife. Mr Paul Otieno Deya, 31, was subsequently detained under Section 2 of the Mental Heath Act. Section 2 of the Act allows compulsory admission for assessment followed by medical treatment for a duration of up to 28 days. A Metropolitan Police spokesman said “A Magistrate’s Court appearance will be postponed until a future date”. Paul was arrested on November 24 after his son, Wilson, was found stabbed to death the previous day. The couple’s 17-month-old daughter, Valerie, was not harmed in the incident. More...

Circumcision blamed for school-girl droupouts in Bugisu

By Irene Nabusoba, Dec 18 2009
THE circumcision (Imbalu) period in the Bugisu sub-region has been found to increase school drop-out rates for the girls. Sarah Muzaki, a development worker, disclosed the findings, when asking for increased interventions for education of girls in the region. Muzaki said girls are particularly vulnerable during the Imbalu celebrations because they are exposed to sexual abuse, especially defilement. She disclosed this at a fundraising dinner held to launch the Bakhaana BaMasaba Girls’ Education Project under the Elgon Education Foundation at Kati Kati Restaurant in Kampala on Wednesday. The Imbalu celebrations, a right of passage for boys into adulthood among the Bamasaba, features local drums popularly known as ‘kadodi’ that are an attraction for the locals, including girls. More...

Bamasaba imbalu
Male circumcision (imbalu) among the Bamasaba (Bagisu) of Uganda has been blamed for causing girls to drop out of school as they join the festivities associated with the popular custom.

SA's HIV-row minister dies: South African ex-Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, criticised for questioning whether HIV causes Aids, has died aged 69 from liver disease. More...
Final day in Copenhagen but still no agreement on climate deal

By our correspondent, Dec 18 2009
Leaders have gathered for the final scheduled day of the UN climate summit, amid uncertainty over the shape of any eventual deal. A draft political agreement drawn up by a small group of countries including the UK, US and Australia was rejected during overnight discussions. Delegates described the situation as "confusing" and "desperate". As well as the leaders' session, talks are scheduled on texts that sources say remain full of fundamental divisions. One developing country negotiator told BBC News that the draft political accord had arrived "as if from God". More...

Ruto attacks Raila as being vengeful against the Kalenjin

By Vitalis Kimutai, Dec 18 2009
Agriculture Minister William Ruto has launched another attack on Prime Minister Raila Odinga calling him an "insensitive and vengeful leader". In a no-holds-barred attack that indicated a widening rift between them, Ruto said the PM was a cold-blooded leader used to intimidation. Ruto said the ODM party leader was using Mau Forest conservation as a revenge platform against current and past Kalenjin leadership. "He is out to impoverish the people in the mistaken belief they would kneel before him," Ruto claimed. Speaking during a programme on a Kalenjin vernacular radio station Chamge FM yesterday, Ruto said Raila was subjecting families in Mau to suffering "to gain international attention hoping he would be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize". But three Nyanza legislators dismissed Ruto’s claims. They sought a sober approach to the differences between the PM and Ruto to avoid breaking the party. More...

William Ruto
William Ruto: Raila is vengeful and insensitive against Kalenjin leaders.
Milingo defrocked: African Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, who practiced exorcism, faith healing and created a scandal in the Catholic Church when he married a Korean woman, has been defrocked, the Vatican said today. More...
Kalenjin elders warn Odinga against links with Gema

By Karanja Njoroge, Dec 18 2009
A group of Rift Valley elders have told Prime Minister Raila Odinga to tread carefully while dealing with the Gikuyu Embu Meru Association (Gema). The Rift Valley Council of Elders claimed Monday’s meeting between the PM and Gema leaders had a political motive. Addressing a press conference in Nakuru, the elders led by council treasurer Gilbert Kabage dismissed Gema as a tribal outfit whose only intention is to protect the interest of a few individuals. "We appreciate what the PM is doing by protecting all the water towers and we support him but not through Gema," Mr Kabage said. The elders said Rift Valley residents have borne the brunt of the drought caused by destruction of the Mau forest and commended the PM for standing firm on the need to conserve the catchments. More...

Brazil sends 700 delegates to Copenhagen earth summit

By Philippe Naughton, Dec 18 2009
The Brazilians have had an official delegation here of no less than 700 people, largely because they took all their NGO activists as official delegate to ensure them access, and you can hear Portuguese more than English. The Brazilians have also been at the heart of the negotiations, battling hard to extract the maximum deal on carbon credits for reforestation - even to the extent of blocking progress on the new competing technology of carbon capture. More...

Microsoft Windows 7
Microsoft's signature logo. The giant software company has agreed to allow users to use a browser of their choice rather than embedding internet explorer as the default..
Microsoft opens windows for rival browsers

By Murad Ahmed, Dec 18 2009
Buy a computer with Windows, the software that runs the overwhelming majority of the world’s personal computers, and by default you become a user of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. But, after years of wrangling about competition and consumer choice, the US group has agreed a deal with the European Commission to supply Windows users with a choice of browsers to surf the web. In return, Brussels yesterday dropped antitrust charges against Microsoft. From March, European users who have Internet Explorer as their default browser will receive a software update with a pop-up menu of browsers. More...

Kenyatta National Hospital
Kenyatta National Hospital, the country's largest referral hospital, has launched a strategic plan covering four years 2008-2012.
Kayamba Africa
Kayamba Afrika stole the show during the launch of Kenyatta National Hospital Strategic Plan in Nairobi yesterday.
Pressure piles on Ongeri to quit over Sh6bn graft in free primary education program

By our reporter & correspondents, Dec 17 2009
Pressure is piling on education minister, Sam Ongeri and PS, Karega Mutahi to quit over massive corruption involving up to Sh6billion in the Free Primary School Education program. Knut Western branch secretaries Godfrey Adongo (Busia), John Wesonga (Mumias), Wycliffe Omuchei (Emuhaya) and Juliana Wabani (Emuhaya) said: "It does not matter how much has been lost, Ongeri and Mutahi must pack and go." Siaya Knut branch executive secretary William Ohonde asked the Government to hold the culprits accountable. The UK has since withheld Sh1.2 billion for FPE until audit queries are addressed and culprits charged and cash recovered. Auditors indicated over Sh100 million had disappeared, but Ongeri says only Sh59 million is lost, and that the figure is likely to come down in a fresh audit. It is feared that up to Sh6 billion could have been lost under the programme. More...

Sam Ongeri
Besieged by graft scandals: Education minister, Prof Sam Ongeri under whose watch up to Sh6bn has been lost in corruption cartels.

Tiger spoof: The Rev Al Sharpton story chastising Tiger Woods for cheating on his wife with only white women is a spoof. More...
How corruption cartels siphoned off education funds as schools struggled

By our correspondents, Dec 17 2009
Stunning revelations of how Free Primary Education Programme (FPE) funds were siphoned from schools to personal accounts by cartels have begun to unravel. Documents made available to The Standard show how some officials in charge of the kitty established a cartel where they secretly diverted money to their private accounts. Extra money was electronically wired to some schools’ accounts before head teachers were forced to refund the excess cash through cheques, which were then paid out to individuals. And yesterday, an angry President Kibaki ordered investigations by Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) into the scandal. KACC announced it had evidence pointing to Sh103 million embezzled and had dispatched forensic investigators to Jogoo House, and to the field to unravel the scam. More...

ODM MP loses his seat

By our correspondent, Dec 16 2009
ODM loses South Mugirango seat after High Court in Kisii nullifies Omingo Magara's election. Magara is the Trade Assistant Minister. More...

Lawyers oppose hybrid system: The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has opposed the hybrid system of governance proposed in the Harmonised Draft Constitution. The LSK chairman Okong’o Omogeni also cautioned the Committee of Experts (CoE) not to allow MPs to tamper with the draft, saying the document should reflect the wishes of Kenyans. More...
Omingo Magara
What next for Omingo Magara, the ODM MP for South Mugirango who has just lost his seat in an election petition?
Chief being hunted for stealing Mau relief food

By our correspondents, Dec 17 2009
Police in Kuresoi are looking for an assistant chief suspected to be behind disappearance of relief food meant for squatters evicted from the forest. Mr John Kibet Mutai of Chematich sub-location went underground on Monday evening after he was directed by his bosses at the district headquarters to record a statement with the police in connection with the disappearance of 30 bags of maize and beans meant for the evictees. The consignment was part of the food ratio allocated to 5,000 families kicked out of the South Western Mau. More...

It's difficult to get rid of illegal districts, says Ligale

By Andrew Ligale, Dec 16 2009
Boundaries are an emotive subject almost everywhere in Kenya. Never has this been more apparent than during the recent public hearings the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission held to educate Kenyans on its mandate. Much of the debate seems to revolve around the distribution of resources rather than the fairness of representation. Despite the public outcry over the liberal creation of districts by the Executive, wananchi appear to have clasped the new administrative units as valued possessions. Letting go will be quite a struggle. The recent hearings, which recorded very high levels of public participation, exposed the dilemma between public desires and the law. More...

Miguna Miguna
Miguna Miguna, Raila Odinga's adviser on coalition matters. He walked out of a joint PNU/ODM meeting convened to discuss draft constitution alleging PNU were going round in circles.
ODM man's outburst on Morocco embarrasses Mudavadi

By our correspondents, Dec 16 2009
On Monday, one of ODM’s representatives on the technical committee walked out of a meeting that had been convened to thrash out a position on a hybrid system that had been agreed upon earlier. Mr Miguna Miguna argued PNU was "going round in circles" and stormed out, leaving a colleague, Mr Mutakha Kangu, behind. Raised eyebrows Yesterday, sources within ODM said Miguna’s action did not sit well with party members in the Permanent Management Committee. His outburst that states like Morocco are "failed states" has also raised eyebrows within diplomatic circles. Mudavadi is currently visiting Morocco on Government business. More...

Mumias Sugar to build Sh3.5bn ethanol plant

By our correspondent, Dec 16 2009
Mumias Sugar Company is constructing a Sh3.5 billion ethanol distillery plant to diversify its revenue base. The miller will also spend another Sh23.4 billion in acquisition of other sugar millers in the region over the next five years. The company yesterday signed an agreement with Indian engineering company, Avant Garde, which will undertake the design, construction and procurement management of the Mumias Ethanol Distillery Project at the sugar miller’s complex in Mumias. Managing Director Evans Kidero said the construction would take 18 months. More...

Evans Kidero
Evans Kidero: Mumias Sugar Managing Director
Free primary education in ICU as UK cuts life support

By our correspondents, Dec 16 2009
Three days after damning revelations on the disappearance of over Sh100 million meant for Free Primary Education Programme, Minister Sam Ongeri sought to downplay the scam. This happened amid fresh allegations that upto Sh6 billion could have been lost under the free primary education programme. Although he said 34 officers had been suspended and that a further audit was ongoing, he still left stakeholders wondering what the full impact of the freezing of funds by the United Kingdom would be. The UK is Kenya’s second biggest bilateral donor. More...

UK thug jailed for tearing a Muslim woman's veil

By a correspondent, Dec 16 2009
A thug who tore off a Muslim woman’s veil in the street has been ordered to pay his victim £1,000 in compensation. Stephen Ard was also given a 16-week jail term, suspended for a year, after admitting a charge of religiously aggravated assault. Magistrates in Leicester heard how his victim, Rehana Sidat, felt “invaded” after the attack and is still scared to walk down the street alone. Ard, of Leicester, wrote a letter of apology to the court and claimed he was left “ashamed and embarrassed” by his behaviour. The court was told the 29-year-old was drunk at the time of the incident, which happened in October in the city. More...

Rehana Sidat
Rehana Sidat of Leicester, UK. Thug tore her veil in a street attack that has left her traumatised. He was charged under new laws in England that prohibit religiously aggravated attacks brought into the statutes after the 9/11 attacks by Islamic extremists on the World Trade Centre in New York.
First African in Aussie sport: A Sudanese refugee has made sporting history by becoming the first African-born player to join an Australian Rules Football League team. Majak Daw, 18, has been signed by one of the competition's most famous clubs, North Melbourne. He hopes his success will encourage other African migrants into the game. More...
Majak Daw
Teso, Butere, Busia, Mt Elgon over 65's to receive monthly allowance of Sh1,500

By Ramadhan Rajab, Dec 16 2009
More than one million aged people will benefit from a Government stipend in the Sh550 million programme, Gender Minister Esther Murugi has announced. The first phase of the special programme targets 33,000 persons above the age of 65 in 44 districts countrywide where every household will receive Sh1,500 monthly. In Western Province, Teso, Butere, Busia, Mt Elgon will become early beneficiaries. Kenya becomes the fourth country in Africa to have a special stipend for its senior citizens after Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa. Some 750 elderly persons each from selected districts will form the first batch of beneficiaries. Once a member has been enrolled to the programme, Murugi explained, he or she can exit only upon death, if the economic livelihood of the household improves, willing withdrawal, or if a household gives false information to enable him qualify for the programme. More...

Esther Murugi
Gender minister Esther Murugi: "Elders will get the money until they die."
Ugandan police moved from Migingo: Ugandan marine police officers based at the disputed Migingo Island in Lake Victoria have been replaced by a new team. The latest move came barely three days after three senior officers were recalled to Bugiri District on suspicion of having shot and seriously injured two Kenyan fishermen on the island. More...
Michuki sued over Sh23m property

By Nancy Akinyi, Dec 16 2009
An estate developer has sued Environment Minister John Michuki and a company associated with him in a suit challenging purported illegal sale of Sh23 million-property. Also sued is the National Bank of Kenya (NBK), Mr David Kariuki trading as Watts Enterprises Auctioneers, Mr Charles Patrick Walker and purchasers of the suit property. Kawamabanjo Ltd and its director Benson Kamande through advocate Gichuki King’ara argue NBK sold a property measuring 7.7 acres over an invalid mortgage. Mr King’ara states the bank, the auctioneer and the said purchasers of the property conspired to sell the property at undervalue of Sh4 million. More...

Moi to be evicted from Mau Forest next month

By our correspondent, Dec 15 2009
Retired President Daniel arap Moi is among prominent people who will be evicted from the Mau Forest in the next phase that begins in January, next year. Prime Minister Raila Odinga said even though owners of large tracts of land of more than 5,000 acres were making attempts to frustrate the evictions, he declared that both gazetted and degazetted forest parcels would be repossessed. He said prominent people were inciting settlers who had earlier been removed from the forest against going to their original homes, the PM revealed the settlers were being used as buffer to protect grabbed land. More...

Daniel arap Moi
Daniel arap Moi is to be evicted from Mau
Bill seeks to abolish dowry

By our correspondent, Dec 15 2009
Couples will not have to pay dowry to get married if the Marriage Bill is passed by Parliament into law. The Bill, which is one of the three family bills undergoing debate, seeks to make payment of dowry optional, and couples who would have stayed together as husband and wife for at least two years will be considered legally married. The other bills include the Matrimonial Property and the Domestic Violence (Family Protection) Bill 2007. According to chairperson of National Commission on Gender and Development Dr Regina Mwatha and lawyer Judy Thongori, said dowry usually leaves women vulnerable when the husband dies. More...

Khalwale, Jirongo clash over role of YK'92

By Juma Kwayera, Dec 15 2009
Chairman of the Parliamentary Accounts Committee Bonny Khalwale says the so called KKK realignment is taking a familiar pattern that was witnessed between 1992 and 2002. "This is a group of non-reformists. It appears they were on a sabbatical in other parties and when their dirty past faded from collective national memory, we are seeing their reunion disguised as reformists," says Dr Khalwale, the Ikolomani MP. Overnight millionaires But Jirongo, the current Lugari MP, dismisses the allegations as mere stereotypes by political rivals who are running scared of the newfound alliance. "Show me one politician today who was not a member of Kanu. Except for the novices of yesterday, we all came from Kanu, and some who enjoy real power today were in the party from as early as 1960," Jirongo told Tuesday Politics. YK’92 is synonymous with the economic crisis that was triggered by World Bank and International Monetary Fund-imposed structural adjustment programmes and suspension of balance of payment support. More...

Sylvester Bifwoli Wakoli
Bifwoli Wakoli, the Butula MP (above) has distanced himself from the so called KKK alliance which has been dismissed as a bid by YK'92 operatives to take power by Ikolomani MP, Bonny Khalwale (below)
Bonny Khalwale
Wakoli denies he is a member of Ruto's KKK Alliance

By our correpondents, Dec 15 2009
Sylvester Bifwoli Wakoli, the assistant lands minister, has dismissed allegations that he is a member of the so called KKK alliance. Cherangani MP, Joshua Kuttuny has singled out the Butula MP as one of the youthful band of legislators ganging up to take power. Stating that the new alliance has nothing to do with YK’92, the vocal MP clarifies that most of those joining hands are youthful legislators with a common ideology to give Kenyans fresh leadership. "I am not and was never a member of the so-called YK’92. Many others like (Saboti MP) Eugene (Wamalwa) and (Konoin MP, Dr Julius) Kones were still in school when this group was operational," he told Tuesday Politics. The MP also singles Lands Assistant minister Bifwoli Wakoli as a crucial member of the new alliance who was not in active politics by then. But Wakoli says the fact that he has been attending harambees with MPs from Rift Valley does not mean he was in any alliance with them. "We meet in fund-raisers and that is all. Whether there is an alliance to emerge I do not know. People should not read much out of fund-raisers organised by politicians," he says. More...

Raila receives moral support from unlikely quarters

By our correspondents, Dec 15 2009
The Gikuyu, Embu and Meru Association (Gema) says it supports Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s policies and described the premier as a leader committed to the welfare of ordinary Kenyans. Following talks with Raila on the constitution, internally displaced people and environmental conservation on Monday its officials claimed the new Gema is apolitical and a promoter of peace and unity. "If you are not supporting the PM, you are against your country," proclaimed Gema’s chairman Lawi Imathiu, a former Methodist bishop who said the organization wants Kenyans "to change our attitude" and "accept our leaders" in a change of perceptions among tribes that voted against Raila in the disputed 2007 polls. More...

Lawi Imathiu and Raila Odinga
Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Lawi Imathiu, the chairman of Gikuyu, Meru and Embu Association (Gema). Photo: Collins Kweyu
Immigration Minister among 43 struck off lawyer's register

By our correspondent, Dec 15 2009
Some 43 lawyers including Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang’ remain struck off the roll of advocates. The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) warned Kenyans against dealing with the advocates, saying it would not be responsible for the consequences. The 43 lawyers are required not to engage in any form of legal practice for a minimum of five years. Another 37 remain suspended for periods ranging from one to six years. LSK published the list in the media to correspond with the society’s elections and ensure those struck off the roll do not participate. More...

Constitutional talks in crisis as ODM rep walks out

By Peter Leftie, Dec 15 2009
Efforts by the Grand Coalition to agree on a common position on the draft constitution suffered a setback on Monday after an ODM negotiator stormed out of the talks. Mr Miguna Miguna, the coalition adviser to Prime Minister Raila Odinga, walked out of a meeting called to resolve differences between ODM and PNU on the roles of the president and the premier under the proposed constitution. The meeting of the six-member technical team, which was to prepare the guiding document for Tuesday’s final meeting of the Grand Coalition Management Committee, was called off as PNU prepared to present its own position to the Committee of Experts. More...

Ogiek community
Ogiek elders march in Eldoret, yesterday. The community wants to revert to its ancestral land in the North Rift. Photo: Peter Ochieng
Imanyara sued by bank for sh3m loan default

By Nancy Akinyi, Dec 15 2009
National Bank of Kenya (NBK) has sued Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara for allegedly failing to repay Sh3 million he owes. The bank wants the commercial court to enter judgement against Mr Imanyara on account of unpaid loan and interest for Sh2,932,379. The bank says it advanced the MP a loan of Sh1 million nearly three years ago, which he has declined to pay. Through its Manager Damaris Gitonya, the bank says Imanyara requested for a loan of Sh1.5 million to pay tuition for his son at Hull University in United Kingdom and he got the Sh1 million. Imanyara and the First Lady, Lucy Kibaki, are also involved in a legal tussle. More...

Rev Al Sharpton blasts Tiger for not cheating with black women

By our correspondent, Dec 15 2009
The Rev. Al Sharpton held a press conference today to blast Tiger Woods for the lack of diversity among his mistresses. Sharpton claims that the lack of African-American women among Woods’ harem will have a negative affect on the black community, specifically young black girls. “Why is it that a man who calls himself black can’t bring himself to cheat on his wife with a black woman?” said Sharpton, speaking to a group of supporters in Harlem. “What does it say to young black girls everywhere when you pass them over? Shame on you, Tiger Woods. What would your daddy say?” Sharpton, who has long championed taking black women as mistresses, said that today’s black athletes need to stop neglecting black women when it comes to extramarital affairs, and should follow the examples of positive black role models such as Jesse Jackson and Martin Luther King, Jr., both of whom cheated on their wives with black women. Sharpton also stressed that cheating with African-American women would help the black community financially by giving black girls the chance to sell their stories to tabloids and gossip magazines. Added Sharpton, “I’m not asking you to not cheat on your wives, I’m just asking you to give back to your own community. More...

Reverend Al Sharpton and Tiger Woods
Cleric Okays wife cheating: Controversial cleric, Rev Al Sharpton (left) and Tiger Woods. The Reverend has hit out at the randy beast for cheating on his wife, Elin Norgred with a string of white mistresses and not a single black woman. He says celebrities should cheat with black women who can then sell lurid stories to tabloids and earn cash as a form of economic empowerment of the community.

Bank refuses man loan for using smiley signature

By our correspondent, Dec 15 2009
A RUSSIAN man was turned down for a loan from his bank in Moscow after he used a smiley symbol for his signature on the paperwork. Vladimir Kirlov, 34, said: "It's been accepted in my passport and on my ID card - I don't see why the bank won't accept it." But bank spokesman Oleg Pavlovich said: "A smiley is a drawing and not a signature." The name of the bank has not been revealed. More...

Miss Gilbraltar wins Miss World 2009
New Miss World 2009, Kaiane Aldorino of Gilbraltar and her predecessor, Ksenia Sukhinova of Russia.
Miss Gilbraltar crowned Miss World 2009

By our correspondent, Dec 14 2009
Miss Gibraltar, Kaiane Aldorino, has won the coveted crown as Miss World 2009, triumphing out of 112 beautiful and talented young women in the 59th Miss World Final from Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg, City of Gold. As the final duty in her reign, Miss World 2008 Ksenia Sukhinova removed the bejeweled crown to place it on the head of her successor as the new Miss World 2009. Taking up her deserved position on the throne, Miss World 2009 was joined by first runner-up Mexico and second runner-up South Africa Lost for words amid all the excitement and emotion of the event, Gibraltar distilled her tear-filled feelings into a few poignant words: “My time has come. I am living a dream that I pray will never end.”The glittering two-hour spectacular showcased the beauty and talent of 112 of the World’s most incredible young women, who have spent one month enjoying the wonders of South Africa. More...

Miss Kenya Fiona KonchellahFiona Konchellah
Kenya was represented at the Miss World Beauty pageant by Fiona Konchellah, a commerce student at the University of Nairobi.

UK's greedy lenders charge 2,350% interest

By Loiuse Barnett, Dec 14 2009
GREEDY lenders are exploiting struggling families by offering Christmas loans with crippling annual interest rates of 2,350 per cent. Families hit by the credit crunch are turning to so-called payday loans because they cannot access extra money from high street banks. And last night there were calls for the Government to clamp down on the loan firms. More...

Ford Kenya to undergo radical changes

By Patrick Mayoyo, Dec 14 2009
Ford Kenya is set to undergo radical changes if members ratify the party’s revised constitution, the Nation learnt on Sunday. According to the new document that is expected to be presented to members during the party’s General Council-cum-National Delegates Congress to be held at the Bomas of Kenya in two months’ time, the top position will be that of party leader and not chairman as is the case now. The party leader will be assisted by two deputy leaders. However, it has emerged that a section of party members is opposed to holding of the GC and the NDC at the same time, saying that the party should hold its grassroots elections first. MP Bifwoli Wakoli has said he was among those opposed to the GC and the NDC being held at the same time, saying those pushing for such an arrangement wanted to hijack the party leadership. More...

Musikari Kombo
New thinking for Kombo: Ford Kenya chairman, Musikari Kombo (left) with Saboti MP, Eugene Wamalwa (centre) and a party official at a past function in Nairobi. The party is meeting again in February; this time to adopt radical proposals. The new proposed constitution will do away with chairman's post replacing it with that of party leader assisted by two deputies. However, the new draft laws have drawn criticism from party faithfuls including Bokoli MP, Bifwoli Wakoli.
Rift Valley leaders dismiss Ruto's KKK alliance

By Vitalis Kimutai, Dec 14 2009
Some Rift Valley leaders have dismissed the proposed alliance between Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Agriculture Minister William Ruto as unworkable and tribal. Kipkelion MP Magerer Langat challenged Ruto to quit ODM now that he had clearly demonstrated he was ready to enter into political pacts with leaders from rival parties. "Ruto should resign as the ODM deputy party leader and also from the Cabinet and roll out his campaigns instead of sabotaging the party from within," said Mr Magerer. More...

Six members of one family crash to death

By our correspondent, Dec 14 2009
Six family members were killed in a road accident in Nyahururu on Sunday. The six were part of a group of people travelling together after a family function at Kipipiri area on the Ol Kalou road. Six other people were injured in the tragedy in which their four-wheel drive vehicle rolled several times before finally landing in a ditch. The injured were taken to the Ol Kalou sub district hospital by good Samaritans. The dead included the woman driver, a woman passenger, two men, a boy and a girl. More...

Fraudsters line up for Mau payments

By our correspondents, Dec 14 2009
Tricksters have infiltrated camps for people evicted from Mau Forest putting into jeopardy the government’s compensation plan. The taxpayer now stands to lose millions of shillings if the imposters are not identified and kicked out, the Nation has learnt. Scores of residents of the reserve areas near the camps have assumed the status of refugees by day and home owners at night, in a ploy to benefit from a resettlement package that may be given to the displaced persons. The government’s own audit has confirmed that nearly 3,000 homesteads in the camps are those of imposters. More...

UK withholds education funds over corruption

By Jeff Otieno, Dec 12 2009
The British Government has withheld a Sh1.2billion grant over the disappearance of funds for the free primary education programme in two government ministries. The bone of contention, the British officials say, is the failure by the ministries of Finance and Education to account for Sh100million, budgeted for constructing new classrooms and buying text books for poor students in poverty ravaged districts. “Unless we see action, mainly arrests and prosecution of those involved in the scam, we will not disburse any more funds,” said the head of the department for international development, DFID, Alistair Fernie. The five-year-old UK project, which started in 2005 is worth around Sh7billion, DFID has, so far, disbursed Sh6.1billion to the Kenya Government. More...

Lucy Kibaki slips
Lucy slips: First Lady Lucy Kibaki slipped on the terraces of Nyayo stadium during the Jamhuri Day celebrations early today. Luckily she was not hurt and was quickly rescued by her aides.
Eldoret's decline is legendary

By Barnabs Bii, Dec 12 2009
It was previously the town that ran as the rest crawled, but that no longer holds true for Eldoret. The town is now facing an economic meltdown as more and more industries close shop while others ship out for lack of business. The town bore the full brunt of the post-election violence, leading to a mass exodus of investors. It is feared that it will take longer before it records economic prosperity unless collapsed industries are revived and new ones established. More...

Wako tells off donors over pace of reforms criticism

By Patrick Beja, Dec 12 2009
Attorney-General Amos Wako has told off the donor community over their pressure on the Government to enact reforms. Instead, the AG asked the donors to fund the reform programme, saying it is costly. "Donors should not merely criticise the Government over the slow pace of reforms. They should support the process by providing resources," he said. Wako also called for urgent creation of the directorate of criminal instigations to ensure professional investigations of cases, including those related to post-election violence. More...




Kibaki speaks for the first time on controversial Mau

By our correspondent, Dec 12 2009
The controversial rehabilitation of Mau Forest Complex will not be stopped, the government has said. Addressing the nation during this year’s Jamhuri day celebrations at Nyayo Stadium on Saturday, President Kibaki said the Grand Coalition Government has taken decisive measures to conserve the five main water towers of Mau, Cherangany, Mt Kenya, Mt Elgon and Aberdares to ensure that forests and water catchments are properly conserved. More...

Shock as govt enters into Sh67bn contract with a ghost Austrian firm

By Alex Ndegwa, Dec 12 2009
An awkward revelation was made in Parliament on Wednesday evening that exposed the casualness with which Government conducts business. One would have been tempted to wave away the ‘oversight’ as inconsequential were it not for the huge project involved and the painful past with dodgy deals that have flushed billions of taxpayers’ money down the drain. The House was debating a Sessional Paper on a road concession agreement worth Sh67 billion tabled by Roads Minister Franklin Bett when backbenchers noted the company the Government had entered into the contract with was yet to be registered. Surprisingly, Bett admitted that was the case. The minister said the international firm had indicated it would seek registration once Parliament approves the concession contract. More...

Franklin Bett
Franklin Bett, the roads minister admitted in Parliament the government was ready to sign a contract with an Austrian firm that has yet to be registered. Bonny Khalwale, MP for Ikolomani reminded the House of Anglo Leasing, Alcazar, Mobitelea scandals that bled the country dry.
KKK alliance names 2012 line up

By our correspondents, Dec 12 2009
Agriculture Minister William Ruto plans to team up with Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta in a new political alliance ahead of the 2012 General Election. According to a section of Rift Valley MPs, the Eldoret North MP would run for president, and Uhuru for Prime Minister. Kalonzo would retain his current seat as VP. But Ruto refused to comment on the line-up, saying he was soliciting support from other communities necessary to win the presidency in the next election. The proposed line-up is bound to generate heat among politicians allied to Kalonzo and Uhuru. More...

ODM, PNU clash on executive powers: Political parties continued to pull apart on the system of government with PNU and ODM fronting mutually exclusive options. PNU reiterated calls for an Executive President elected directly by Kenyans and a Prime Minister appointed by the President. More...

EU says reforms a must before 2012 polls

By Mutinda Mwanzia, Dec 11 2009
The European Union insists the Grand Coalition Government should implement key reforms ahead of the 2012 General Election. A EU delegation met President Kibaki Thursday, and urged leaders to fast track reforms and to avert a recurrence of violence. "What happened in 2007 must not be allowed to recur," said Ms Gunilla Carlsson, the head of the delegation. More...

Draft Constitution in Nairobi
Word on the street: The people get a look at constitution on the streets of Nairobi.
No deal yet but PNU, ODM close power ranks

By our correspondents, Dec 11 2009
There was a ray of hope that Kenya could finally be on the way to getting a new constitution after the squabbling Grand Coalition partners appeared to close ranks. Sources told The Standard that the Grand Coalition Management Committee - which draws its members from both the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and the Party of National Union (PNU) - had agreed on a hybrid system of Government. More...

House team wants Wetangula punished for failing to discipline Ex-London envoy

By our correspondent, Dec 11 2009
The Government has spent Sh7.2 million of taxpayers’ money to rent accommodation for the Kenya High Commissioner to London. A parliamentary committee unearthed the damning expenditure incurred because Joseph Muchemi, the immediate former High Commissioner, declined to surrender the official residence for incoming envoy Ephraim Ngare. The standoff has forced the High Commission to rent an apartment at a cost of 10,307.1 UK pounds (Sh1.2 million) per month. A receipt detailing payments for the apartment is attached to the report a copy of which The Standard obtained. Acting High Commissioner AK Chebukaka wrote to Muchemi on October 29 confirming the new High Commissioner and his family was scheduled to arrive in London on November 5. That did not happen and Muchemi was put up in the rented apartment. The committee wants action taken against Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula for his "inaccurate" response on the matter. More...

Joseph MuchemiFormer Kenyan ambassador to UK, Joseph Muchemi who has refused to return to Nairobi is said to be indisposed in London living at the expense of the taxpayer. Now a Parliamentary Committee wants foreign affairs minister, Moses Wetangula (below) censored for misleading Kenyans.
Moses Wetangula
Cultural beliefs that enslave Kenyan women attached

By Winsley Masese, Dec 11 2009
Change of attitude and acceptance of new lifestyles are major factors in ending gender violence. Oxfam GB, an international NGO, observed that most communities attach certain values on women, which in turn fuel violence against them. "Even in the 21st Century, some people still regard women as the weaker sex," said Oxfam GB official Carol Nyambura. Speaking at a seminar organised by Kenya Female Advisory Organisation at the National Museums in Kisumu, Ms Nyambura called for a change of cultural beliefs that perpetuate gender violence. More...

Lurambi survey shows Kenya can save Sh67bn annually in Malaria fight

By Elizabeth Mwai, Dec 11 2009
Kenya could save Sh67 billion annually if it adopts an integrated approach to fight malaria, HIV and Aids, and diarrhoea. A survey conducted in Lurambi constituency by Vestergaard Frandsen shows for every 1,000 prevented cases of the three diseases, an estimated Sh5.6 million would be saved annually. And the Government plans to adopt the intervention strategy beginning with Western Kenya and targets 1.6 million Kenyans, next year. More...

Answering call of nature banned banned along Nairobi-Nakuru highway

By our correspondents, Dec 11 2009
Motorists who stop to relieve themselves by the roadside will only have themselves to blame if public health officials catch them in the act. In an unprecedented move, the Public Health Department in Naivasha has banned travellers on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway from answering calls of nature in the bush. District public health officer Samuel King’ori said the habit was a health hazard. “Public service vehicle operators stop along the highway to let passengers enjoy some fresh air and also answer the call of nature,” he said. He warned the operators that they risked being arrested. He advised drivers to only stop at places with sanitary facilities. Mr King’ori said the ban had been imposed to curb the spread communicable diseases such as cholera. More...

Michelle Obama
Barack Obama and first lady, Michelle Obama wow onlookers in Oslo when the US boss landed in the Norwegian capital to pick up the Nobel Peace prize.
Obama picks up Nobel Peace prize with war drums

By Roger Boyes, Dec 11 2009
A tense, faintly smiling President Obama turned the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony into a professorial address yesterday, a lecture theatre for expounding to the world why and when the United States was prepared to use force. There was, he admitted in the Oslo City Hall, some controversy over granting the honour to the Commander-in-Chief of an army that was engaged in two wars. The audience, a strange hotchpotch of Hollywood celebrities - the actor Will Smith, the singer Wycliff Jean - pale Scandinavian politicians and some rural Norwegians in folk costume, shifted uneasily at the beginning of the speech when the President talked about the necessity for bloodshed. Although the Nobel prize was established by the inventor of dynamite its laureates try to avoid dwelling on death. More...

Karume's first writ at 80 makes him happier than his immense wealth

By David Ochami, Dec 11 2009
Former Cabinet Minister Njenga Karume is a happy man. Despite little formal education, Mr Karume, 80, is delighted he is now a writer. "Now I am proud I can be called a writer," said Karume, who declares he neither needs a watch to keep time nor a diary to honour appointments and remember historical events. His autobiography ‘Beyond Expectations: From Charcoal to Gold’, which he wrote with the help of Prof Mutu wa Gethoi was launched yesterday in Nairobi. Speakers hailed the former Kiambaa MP and one of Kenya’s richest men as a self-made millionaire, who cherished hard work. Karume rose from poverty to become a rich entrepreneur and power broker. More...

Njenga Karume
Njenga Karume, the MP for Kiambaa and former minister for defence. He rose from a charcoal dealer to become one of Kenya's wealthiest men and a powerful political power broker. He has admitted plotting to change the constitution to bar Daniel arap Moi from ascending to the presidency upon Kenyatta's death. His journey is documented in an autobiography launched in Nairobi yesterday.
Two die transporting the dead

By our correspondent, Dec 11 2009
Two people travelling in a funeral vehicle, died when it overturned in Bahati, Nakuru North District. The body in a coffin fell off the roof and landed in a ditch in the Tuesday night accident. Police boss Johnston Ipara on Wednesday said the two, a 20-year-old man and an eight-year-old boy died while being taken to the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital. Four other people in the funeral party were admitted to hospital with serious injuries. More...

Female cut Bill passed in Uganda: Ugandan parliament yesterday passed a Bill prohibiting female genital mutilation (FGM). It is practised in the north-eastern areas of Uganda among the Sabiny and Karimojong near the border with Kenya's Turkana people. More...
Beet roots as an alternative to sugarcane to be promoted

By our correspondent, Dec 10 2009
The country may soon start extracting sweeteners from alternative crops such as sugar beet, sweet sorghum and other such crops if the Sugar Act is changed to accommodate. A group of farmers have been experimenting on the viability of sugar beet as an alternative in Kenya. Sugar beet belongs to the family of Chenopodiaceae, which includes fodder beet and beet roots also known as red beets. According to Wilfred Geita, a sugar engineer and former employee with Chemilili Sugar Company, and now the chairman of Kariita Sugar Beet Farmers SACCO, Fodder beets and beet roots have been grown in Nyandarua for over 60 years. European settlers grew them for domestic and animal feed. After independence, indigenous Kenyans continued growing them. More...

beet root in Nyandarua
Beet roots may soon supplement sugarcane as a raw material for the production of processed sugar. The crop grows very well in Nyandarua. Photo: Mathew Mwangi
Lake Elementaita is 90% dead

By Wanjiru Macharia, Dec 10 2009
The short rains that pounded the larger Nakuru District for a few days in August, September and November were greeted with a sigh of relief. For a while, residents and tourists marvelled at the replenished Lake Elementaita that had dried up due to the long drought, destruction of its catchment area and the effects of the much publicised climate change. But their joy was short-lived, as the lake, home to thousands of lesser flamingoes, is on its deathbed again, with more than 80 per cent of it having dried up. Other lakes such as Nakuru, Naivasha, Baringo, Solai, Bogoria and Turkana, all in the Rift Valley, have also been affected. More...

Lake Elementaita
Where formerly they could be swimming, people now walk over the dried basin that was once Lake Elementaita which is 90% dried up. Photo: Joseph Kiheri
Parliament closes in on bogus herbalists

By our correspondent, Dec 10 2009
Parliament has initiated measures to put con artists posing as herbal doctors out of business. The House unanimously approved a motion seeking to regulate the herbal medicines sector. Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo (ODM) rallied MPs during debate on the motion seeking to compel the government to formulate a policy to govern the highly ad-hoc nature of herbal medicines sector. His motion was seconded by Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa, who said an oversight body to monitor herbalists was needed. There were 11 MPs in the House when the Bill was passed and the ball is now in the government’s court to draft a law to implement it. The passage of the Bill will see millions of Kenyans who have been unable to access conventional drugs flocking to herbalists without fears of the authenticity of the treatment they will get. More...

Where to get internet's broken links

By our correspondent, Dec 10 2009
What if, the next time you went on the internet, you clicked on a link and nothing happened? What if billions of internet links all stopped working at once? As 2010 approaches, this is exactly the problem that the internet is facing. So great is the concern that the Internet Archive in the United States has already begun what some people are calling one of the most important repair jobs in the web’s history. More...

Dumped husband takes revenge on Church: A husband dumped by his wife was jailed yesterday after using his car to wreck the church he was married in three years earlier. Jilted Robert Knowles, 36, was so enraged after wife Leigh, 28, left him that he lined his car up with the front door, put his foot down and sped through three sets of double doors to the altar. More...
Thousands stranded with old sets as TV goes digital

By our correspondents, Dec 10 2009
Television broadcasting has undergone a historic revolution. From yesterday, TV viewers in Nairobi and its environs can receive digital signals in a trial phase, with the rest of the country expected to go digital by 2012, ahead of the 2015 global deadline. Unveiling the phase one of the transition to Digital Television Broadcasting, President Kibaki directed Ministers of Finance and that of Information and Communication to work out mechanisms of reducing cost of the transition. More...

Tiger ads vanish: Adverts featuring Tiger Woods have vanished from American prime-time broadcast and cable television amid blanket coverage of lurid claims of his infidelity. More...
PNU now accepts hybrid system is way forward

By our correspondents, Dec 10 2009
Political parties meet Thursday to try and resolve the contentious issue of power sharing in the Executive between the President and Prime Minister as proposed in the draft constitution. Indications are that PNU and ODM could soon settle on the proposed hybrid system of government contained in the Harmonised Draft Constitution, with several changes. This follows days of negotiations and long hours of disagreements that have characterised relationship between President Kibaki’s party and that of Prime Minister Raila Odinga. More...

Gitobu Imanyara
Gitobu Imanyara, the Imenti Central MP has been sacked by the powerful Meru Council of Elders known as Njuri Ncheke.
Imanyara thrown out of Njuri Ncheke

By Patrick Muriungi, Dec 10 2009
Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara has been removed from key positions within the Meru Council of Elders, Njuri Ncheke. Also controversially ejected is lawyer Kirimi Mbogo. This follows changes effected in the council’s hierarchy, announced at a meeting at Kanyakine in Meru on Tuesday. Mr Imanyara, who was the council legal advisor and Mr Mbogo, who has been the organising secretary, were removed over alleged indiscipline. More...

Kenya strives to shake off 'worst-dressed' in East Africa label

By Kevin Mwachiro, Dec 9 2009
Kenya's fashion designers are trying to step into the spotlight and overturn their somewhat dull reputation. Within East Africa, Kenyans are renowned for being the worst dressed. Practical and predictable would be the best description of Kenyans' fashion sensibilities. Jeans, T-shirts and suits - one size too big - make up many a wardrobe, with a colour palette of grey and brown. But now more and more Kenyans are embracing local fashion labels. Designers who have worked, showcased or studied abroad are injecting a badly needed new lease of life to the industry. Their collections are bold, bright and, for Kenya, daring. More...

Kenyan fashion models
Inspired by Kenya: Kenyan models in Kenyan-made dresses.
Painless circumcision tool available in Kenya

By Joy Wanja, Dec 9 2009
Mr Gibon Ogada, 46, has every reason to smile. His son has just undergone a safe and painless circumcision. Eleven-year-old Job Ochieng’ used a new sterilised tool, now in the pharmaceutical market. “I looked for an option that involved no open wounds, and had a shorter healing period, so he could return to playing as soon as possible,” Mr Ogada told the Nation at the Kenya Bureau of Standards offices on Tuesday. Mr Ogada should thank Dr Gurcharan Singh, who devoted 20 years of his life to the development of the Tara-Klamp. Dr Gurcharan had earlier come face-to-face with young boys suffering from horrible infections because of poorly performed circumcisions. He travelled around the world searching for better circumcision methods. More...

Male circumcision
Tara-Klamp, the new revolutionary circumcision tool that has hit the Kenyan market. It is said to be painless unlike the traditional knife. Photo: Phoebe Okall
Google swallows website: Google has been criticised for failing to explain why websites can suddenly disappear from the search engine's radar. Marc Pinter-Krainer, a former chief executive of AIM-listed technology company KTS, saw one of his new ventures called Onenewspage.com, penalised in this way in May and despite repeated attempts to find out why remains none the wiser. More...
Woods linked to drink before crash

By Jacqui Goddard, Dec 9 2009
Tiger Woods was investigated for driving while unfit after his wife told a Florida state trooper that he had been drinking before his car crash last month and had been prescribed addictive drugs. Documents released by the Orange-Osceola state attorney’s office in Orlando have revealed that the golfer was suspected by state troopers of being “impaired” when he took his Cadillac Escalade on a brief but wild ride that ended when he hit a fire hydrant and a tree. More...

Africa's drug & crime hub: Drug The head of the UN drugs agency (UNODC) has warned that widespread drug trafficking is transforming Africa into a major crime hub. More...
PLO Lumumba favourite to succeed Ringera at KACC

By Martin Mutua, Dec 9 2009
Kenyans will by tomorrow know whether Parliament will approve Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba (PLO) the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission director. Dr Lumumba’s name, together with those of lawyer Pravin Bowry (Legal Services) and Jane Kerubo Onsongo (Education, Research and Prevention) were picked by the KACC Advisory Board last month. Chairman of the parliamentary committee on Administration of Justice and Legal Affairs Abdikadir Mohammed told The Standard the KACC board had forwarded the names to his committee. More...

PLO Lumumba
PLO Lumumba. His name forwarded along with Pravin Bowry and Jane Kerubo Onsongo to head the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission
Shock as foreigners reach record levels in UK

By Tom Whitehead, Dec 9 2009
More than one in 10 people living in Britain today were born abroad, a record level, new figures show. The proportion of the population who are foreign-born has almost doubled in the past two decades to 11 per cent, or 6.7million people. One of the key factors behind Britain’s population increase has been the flow of migrant workers from Poland, Lithuania and six other Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004. At the same time, the percentage of children being born to foreign mothers has also reached new levels, reported Jil Matheson, the national statistician. More...

Pentecostal churches opposed to Kadhi's court

By James Ratemo, Dec 9 2009
Pentecostal churches have opposed the Draft Constitution for a number of reasons, especially inclusion of the Kadhi’s court. Under the Kenya Christian Constitutional Forum (KCCF), the churches warned they would rally their members to reject the Harmonised Draft if the Committee of Experts (CoE) ignore their submissions. They also argue the draft has a loophole that could sanction same sex marriages and abortion. Their chairman, Bishop Gerry Kibarabara said Kadhi's court should not be anchored in the constitution. More...

Bishop Gerry Kibarara
Bishop Gerry Kibarara, chairman of Kenya Christian Constitutional Forum.
Annan: Big people in Kenya must be arrested and tried

By Isaiah Lucheli, Dec 9 2009
Chief Mediator Kofi Annan turned up the pressure for the need to try chief suspects of the post-election violence. Annan, who was giving his parting speech at the end of six-day visit in Nairobi Tuesday said the arrest and prosecution of powerful politicians suspected to have funded and fanned post-election violence by the International Criminal Court would not frustrate reforms. His remarks are in tandem with those of ICC’s Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo who has said he would like to make Kenya and example of how end impunity. More...

YK '92 team of Ruto, Jirongo wrecked economy - Gumo

By our correspondents, Dec 8 2009
Even though the ODM team retreated to the Coast at the weekend to find a common ground on the draft Constitution and address a rally at Tononoka, it has emerged that closed-door meetings were held to agree on a script that would be used to fight Mr Ruto and Tourism minister Najib Balala. Bits of the strategy, the MPs said, came out during the Tononoka rally when Cabinet ministers Anyang’ Nyong’o and Fred Gumo spoke of the difference between democrats and opportunists, and former Youth for Kanu 92 officials who could not be trusted. Mr Gumo, the Regional Development Authorities minister, also threw a salvo at the former YK92 leaders, whom he accused of contributing to increased inflation due to mass printing of currency “until (retired President Daniel arap) Moi dumped them.” More...

Youth for Kanu '92: Cyrus Jirongo, William Ruto plus Najib Balala
Former YK '92 strongmen Cyrus Jirongo (left) and Agriculture Minister William Ruto ( 2nd right) with Tourism Minister Najib Balala (right) Information Minister Samuel Poghisio (second left) join Pokot dancers in a jig during during a function at Makutano Stadium in West Pokot District on December 5, 2009. Photo: Jared Nyatata

Europe turns heat on US, China: The European Union has rejected the new carbon emission targets tabled by the United States and China and said they were much too weak to prevent catastrophic climate change. More...
Father killed rescuing son from hyena attack in Kajiado

By Ferdinand Mwongela, Dec 8 2009
The mud and wattle hut stands wobbly, with stones piled to hold together the polythene sheets that serve as its roof. It seems solid enough to keep its dwellers out of harm’s way – at least from the vagaries of nature. But natural elements in Kajiado district include wild animals, which locals have learned to tolerate, in spite of their constant, and at times, threatening menace. That was what the John Keroket Lengiok household believed, until last April when, in the dead of night, they were roused from sleep by piercing screams from one of the huts. It was a hyena’s howl but this was no cause for alarm as they were accustomed to them. The worst it could do was to attack the livestock. Or so they thought. Sangiti’s mother, Ndicho, is at her wits end. With the breadwinner gone and the family exhausted its savings – they have spent Sh100,000 already to nurture the boy back to health – their options are virtually running out. Even worse the family wealth is declining rapidly. After Lengiok’s death, and with no grown up sons to take care of his herd, the animals have diminished considerably as his kin take to grabbing the animals. More...

Masai manyattaJohn SangitiJohn Sangiti
Tragedy of one family at the hands of the hyena - both real and human. Above: Ndicho Lengiok outside the manyatta where her son John Sangiti (bottom) was attacked by hyena. Photos: Jenipher Wachie
Muslims protest against noise ban

By our correspondents, Dec 8 2009
Muslims have protested summons issued to Imams by the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) over the new noise regulations. The Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem) also backed Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s weekend directive that places of worship be exempted from the regulation. Supkem Coast Chairman Sheikh Khitamy Mohdhar said the demand to stop places of worship from making noise was against the freedom of religion. More...

Immigration rewards blunders: Bungling border control chiefs behind Britain’s immigration fiasco over the last 12 years have been rewarded for their failure with bonuses of almost £300,000, it was revealed yesterday. More...
Anglo-Leasing: Fresh Sh16bn conspiracy to loot public funds

By our correspondent, Dec 8 2009
The civil society believes there is a fresh conspiracy to steal public funds through a proposal on compensation to Anglo-Leasing companies. Mars Group criticised a proposal to pay money to some of the 18 Anglo-Leasing firms amid reports a parliamentary investigation has not made headway four months after starting probe. The Attorney General’s office is under fresh scrutiny by the Legal Affairs Committee, which has forwarded documents on the 18 contracts. Committee members have accused the AG Amos Wako of being reluctant to co-operate in the parliamentary probe. The committee has not met for several months, according to credible reports, because Parliament’s lawyers have not finished scrutinising the contracts and an audit of court cases and arbitrations. More...

Japhet Kioko
Kongoni OCS Japheth Kioko examines injuries inflicted on the girl after police rescued her from her father. Photo: Antony Gitonga
Father brutalises three-year old daughter with a hot rod and knife

By our correspondent, Dec 8 2009
A Naivasha father has allegedly brutalised his three-year old daughter for wetting her bed. Kongoni OCS Japheth Kioko (photo left) examines injuries inflicted on a three-year-old girl after police rescued her from her father in South Lake, Naivasha. The girl’s father has been arrested for allegedly using a hot rod and a sharp knife to attack his daughter after she wet her bed. But witnesses claim the man vented his anger on the child after he found out his estranged wife had infected him with HIV.

Diaspora remmittances to Kenya drop as recession bites

By our correspondents, Dec 7 2009
The amount of money sent home by Kenyans abroad fell to $53.04 million in October from $53.35 million the month before and the central bank said on Monday that cumulative remittances had dropped 4 percent this year. Remittances are the third-biggest source of foreign exchange for east Africa's biggest economy, following agricultural exports and tourism. Kenyans sent home $504.60 million over January-October compared with $527.14 million over the same period last year, but up from $476.66 million in first 10 months of 2007. Remittances in 2008 totalled a record $611 million, which the central bank says was as a result of Kenyans in the Diaspora responding to cushion relatives against the multiple shocks of drought-induced inflation and post-election violence. More...

Francis Atwoli
Workers voice: Francis Atwoli, the COTU secretary general is not happy at the proposed scrapping of the provincial administration and the hybrid system of government where the president and prime minister share power. He told a worlers' rally in Nakuru over the weekend that Kenyan workers want a powerful president.
Atwoli criticises proposed scrapping of provincial administration

By our correspondents, Dec 7 2009
The Central Organisation for Trade Unions (Cotu) has criticised the Harmonised Draft over its proposals to scrap the Provincial Administration. Secretary General Francis Atwoli said the institution was critical in running Government affairs. Speaking in Nakuru during a rally to sensitise workers on the Draft, Atwoli said the Provincial Administration only needed reforms to embrace democratic ideals. Mr Atwoli also said the workers were opposed to two centres of power in the Executive. "What we need is a powerful president directly elected, not sharing power," he added. He described the arrangement where President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga are sharing power as the worst form of governance. More...

Manyala Keya at Ruto rally

By our correspondents, Dec 7 2009
Ruto has sought to downplay the rift in ODM Sunday by acknowledging party members have differed on several issues. "There is no problem in ODM. There are differences of opinion and that is a test for democracy in ODM," said Ruto who was speaking in Kakamega during a funds drive for a church. His comments were quite different from the previous day when he berated Raila over his style of leadership, saying he regrets backing him for the presidency in 2007. He was accompanied by his Cabinet colleague Samuel Poghisio, assistant ministers Manyala Keya and Asman Kamama and Industrialisation PS John Lonyangapuo. Balala was in Isiolo where Muslim leaders rallied to his defence. Balala, who was presiding over a funds drive for construction of a mosque said the organisers of the meeting in his constituency, did not have the courtesy to involve him. More...

Athanas Manyala Keya
Athanas Manyala Keya, Lurambi MP attended Ruto rally
Raila resists calls to sack ODM rebels Ruto, Balala

By our correspondents, Dec 7 2009
Prime Minister Raila Odinga led the ODM top brass in a well-attended public rally that played out like a show of force in the contest with his party deputy William Ruto. Coming only a day after Ruto led a group of politicians to a rally in Kapenguria where he berated the PM, saying he regrets leading Rift Valley to ODM, the Mombasa rally was billed to be the make-or-break venue for the Ruto-Raila political contest. The crowd at the Tononoka Grounds, the venue of Sunday’s rally was reminiscent of the campaign period when ODM attracted huge numbers to its public meetings. Raila downplayed calls from Coast leaders to sack the two ministers who have openly been criticising him. He instead said ODM was a mass movement, which needed the support of everybody in the party including the rebel leaders. More...

Raila Odinga at Tononoka, Mombasa Najib Balala and William Ruto in Kapenguria
More than 10% of Kenyans are physically disabled

By Ally Jamah, Dec 7 2009
Millions of disabled Kenyans will now access the Sh200 million-fund set up in June. Minister of Gender Esther Murugi officiated the swearing in of the Board of Trustees that would oversee the disbursement of the Disabled Fund this week, setting off a process that many citizens with disabilities have waited with bated breaths. And Phoebe Nyagudi, a board member, said the launch of the fund was a big day for the disabled, who have endured years of discrimination and neglect. Statistics show Kenya has about 4.5 million people with various forms of disabilities, but the figure could be higher since many parents hide their ‘abnormal’ children to avoid social stigma. More...

Married women undermine efforts to eradicate FGM

By our correspondent, Dec 7 2009
Married women who consent to circumcision are undermining the fight against female genital mutilation. Speaking at a reception to honour three girls who trekked for 46 kilometres from Embobut to the Tirap district offices to escape the cut, senior chief Benjamin Kipkemoi said many women had accepted that female genital mutilation was retrogressive but were under immense pressure from their communities to undergo the cut. More...

Kenya elected to prestigious maritime regulatory body

By John Oyuke, Dec 7 2009
Kenya has been elected into the prestigious council of the world maritime regulatory body, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), proving its influence as a significant player in the advancement of global seaborne transport. The country joins the industrialised and advanced maritime countries that would take and make decisions on how to grow global maritime transport system. Kenya was elected in category C comprising 20 States, which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation. By this vote, Kenya gains the right to representation in all major functions of IMO around the world. More...

Kivuitu loses bid to hide facts about bungled elections

By Eveyln Kwamboka, Dec 5 2009
An effort by former Electoral Commission of Kenya commissioners to gag the Standard Group has flopped. High Court Judge Hatari Waweru declined to issue interim orders stopping the media house from reporting matters touching on the former commissioners’ role in the 2007 presidential election, saying it would be an undesirable. The judge said former ECK Chairman Samuel Kivuitu and 21 commissioners were the central players in the disputed 2007 presidential election results. "They (commissioners) were the ones constitutionally charged with the responsibility of supervising and conducting a free and fair elections," he ruled. More...

Samuel Kivuitu
Samuel Kivuitu, former chairman of defunct electoral commission has been denied his prayers to gag the Standard Media House. His ruling that Kibaki had won the elections led to the death of an estimated 1,600 Kenyans. Kivuitu would later do an about turn to declare he wasn't sure who won the presidency.
Kenyatta university rocked by tribalism

By our correspondent, Dec 5 2009
Investigations into student strikes at Kenyatta University early this year now reveal a trend of tribal differences and political divisions that threaten to tear down the institution. Kenyatta University was rocked with two incidents of student unrest all in a span of one month leading to damages estimated at Sh127 million. Its findings, now awaiting debate in Parliament, report a deep entrenchment of what it describes as negative ethnicity and a politicized student fraternity both threatening to shake the institution’s stability. The strikes occurring on March 18 and 29 left one student dead, several others injured and many students and staff suspended and expelled. More...

Raila clashes with Muthaura over draft constitution

By our correspondent, Dec 5 2009
Prime Minister Raila Odinga has protested a move by the Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura to directly involve senior civil servants in the debate on constitution review. In a letter to the Grand Coalition Management Committee, Raila says civil servants should not be compelled to present their views on the Harmonised Draft Constitution. The offices of the Prime Minister and that of the President are also at variance over a meeting of the committee tasked to manage the affairs of the Grand Coalition called by Mr Muthaura today to reportedly get its approval on a bid to amend the Act to extend the public debate period. More...

John Onguto
John Onguto, the branch chairman of Kenya Union of Printing, Publishing and Paper Manufacturers and Allied Workers addresses former employees of Pan Paper at the premises, yesterday. Photo: Benjamin Sakwa

Grim data about Panpaper: 4,000 employees jobless money circulation dropped from sh50m to shs5m per month Chocolate Housing Estate empty Pubs & shops shut Electricity cut Water disconnected Thuggery thrives
Webuye residents excited at the return of 'bad smell'

By Alln Kisia, Dec 5 2009
News that Pan Paper Mills could reopen this month has brought back smiles on the faces of Webuye residents. The once busy town was fast losing its inhabitants, as many moved out in search of employment elsewhere. When operational, the stench from the factory was a put off but residents now long for it. "Without the bad smell we are as good as dead. We want our bad smell back," said Mr John Onguto. Just to show the levels of excitement, residents who missed a copy of The Standard on Wednesday last week have been making copies of the article Pan Paper repairs begin next week, just to reassure themselves. The factory stopped operations on January 28 after KPLC disconnected power due to Sh100 million in unpaid bills. More...

Ruto and company all but decamped from ODM

By our correspondent, Dec 5 2009
Divisions within the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party top leadership are not ebbing away. In fact, the rift between ODM leader and Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his deputy William Ruto threatens to widen as the two apparently plan to lead parallel meetings today. Raila is headed to Mombasa where the party will hold a National Executive Council (NEC), and Parliamentary Group meeting while Ruto is said to be planning a meeting in Rift Valley together with Tourism Minister Najib Balala and other MPs from the region. But even as the meetings are going on, some Rift Valley MPs have vowed to carry on with plans to censure the Prime Minister for his role in the evictions of illegal Mau Forest settlers. More...

Tupac makes it to Vatican: Music from late rapper Tupac Shakur has been included as part of the Vatican's official MySpace Music playlist. More...
Cyrus Jirongo
Youth for Kanu '92 hawks: Cyrus Jirongo (above) and William Ruto with crocodile tears (below)
William Ruto
Deliver us from YK '92 braggadoccios of Jirongo, Ruto

By Kenneth Kwama, Dec 5 2009
The political sharks, who bathed in money in 1992 and made life unbearable for majority of us by driving up inflation, are back. This time, they say they want to liberate us from the mess they created. Former Chairman of the Youth for Kanu (YK) 92 Cyrus Jirongo and his sidekick, Agriculture Minister William Ruto, say this time they will not relent until their mission is accomplished. Jointly, they refer to themselves as "young generation" and together with Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, have crafted a new political alliance to deliver us from the yoke of "old men". This was the crowd that cut the cords of political and financial propriety of our electoral system in 1992 and hacked away at the best interests of our nation. Now, we are looking into the abyss and they are back again posturing as "saviours". was a boy in 1992, but I still remember Jirongo, a bad-mannered, giggly young man, running around the country donning a brown leather jacket and throwing out wads of Sh500 notes into any crowd that yelled Kanu. Little wonder that the Sh500 note was pejoratively referred to as Jirongo. More...

Shiundu urges Luhya to buy shares in Abeingo Holdings

By our reporter, Dec 4 2009
Abeingo Chairman, Juvenal Shiundu has appealed to the Luhya community to buy shares in Abeingo Holdings Limited, a consortium geared towards marshalling investment resources in Western Kenya. Mr Shiundu, who was speaking during the Abeingo Community annual general meeting held recently in London, said that the recent Western Province Investment Conference which was attended by all members of parliament from the region agreed that an investment plan be developed as part of the strategy for promoting economic take off in Luhyaland. Abeingo was represented at the WEPIC conference by Shabanji Opukah.

Wangula Khasiani
Wangula Khasiani, the accountant who has been elected Abeingo treasurer during the organisation's annual general meeting in London on November 21 2009.
Wangula Khasiani elected Abeingo treasurer

By our reporter, Dec 4 2009
Wangula Khasiani, the chartered accountant, has been elected new treasurer of Abeingo Community Network. Mr Khasiani was elected during the organisation's annual general meeting held in London on Saturday, November 21 2009. He replaces the former treasurer, Mrs Neccy Kikaya. Until his election, Ms Marsha Baraza was the acting as treasurer. Mr Khasiani brings impeccable expertise and experience to the nascent organisation and is expected to steer Abeingo to safer financial ground.

Parliament seeks to legalise chang'aa, muratina

By Caroline Wafula, Dec 4 2009
A Bill seeking to legalise local liquors like chang’aa has been endorsed by a parliamentary committee. The Alcoholic Drinks Control Bill was referred to the committee on Administration and National Security for scrutiny after it was introduced in the House for the First Reading by Naivasha MP John Mututho. Now, it will be taken back to the House for the second reading. The Bill seeks to repeal the Chang’aa Prohibition Act. There has been an increased distilling and consumption of the drink despite stringent fines imposed on the offenders. More...

Marama in Australia: Did you know that Marama is a town in Australia? It is a town in the District Council of Karoonda East Murray near Karoonda, South Australia. It has a town hall, post office and an automated telephone exchange. Butere county council should seek twining arrangements. More...
Bill Gates
Eldoret gatecrashed: Bill Gates of Microsoft may be the world's richest man, but when he comes to Eldoret, Kenya few recognise him.

Kisii spoken in West Africa

Did you know that Kisii language (Ekigusii) is spoken in four countries? Guess which ones besides Kenya - Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. Did you also know that Omulogoli and Omugusi were brothers? More...

Bill Gates walks unnoticed in Eldoret

By our correspondents, Dec 4 2009
To many, he was just an ordinary mzungu who was touring Kenya to sample the country’s beauty and serenity. But before recognition could hit any discerning passerby, he was gone. That is the way Bill Gates, the billionaire owner of Microsoft Corporation, walked into a pharmacy in Eldoret on Thursday. It was business as usual on Kenyatta Street before three metallic Land Rover Discovery and a Toyata Regius pulled up near Life Care Pharmaceuticals. Mr Gates clad in a checked shirt, khaki trousers and brown leather shoes, alighted from the Toyota and walked to the chemist to inquire about anti-malaria drugs. The unassuming billionaire passed many people unnoticed, as he arrived in the town where he is supporting hundreds of people on anti-retrovirals under his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. More...

999-year leases to be scrapped as House adopts land policy document

By our correspondents, Dec 4 2009
Parliament has finally adopted the National Land Policy. Members hailed the document as the key to resolving disputes linked to Kenya’s volatile land issues. This paves the way for the Government to implement radical proposals contained in Sessional Paper No 3 of 2009, which becomes the first comprehensive document governing land matters since independence. To do so, the Government will craft legislations to ensure the provisions aimed at addressing the land question becomes a reality. With its passage, all land laws will be consolidated and a National Land Commission established as the custodian of public land and to administer all land across the country. More...

Paul Ndung'u
Paul Ndung'u who chaired the 2005 Land Report in which millions of hectares grabbed by powerful politicians and businessmen were chronicled. Dubbed the Ndung'u Report, the document has informed the Sessional Paper No.3 on land policy adopted by Parliament yesterday.
Ocampo zeroing in on three big suspects

By our correspondents, Dec 4 2009
Details of what Luis Moreno-Ocampo presented to the three judges hearing Kenya’s case at The Hague can today be revealed. He says he believes the violence was planned well before the elections and fanned by politicians. In a 41-page document, the International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor gives reasons why key suspects in the Waki Commission’s ‘secret envelope’ should be brought to account. Mr Moreno-Ocampo’s dossier shows that he has names of persons and groups that were involved, places of alleged commission of crimes and the time. More...

Teachers win major battle against govt over jobs

By Beauttah Omanga, Dec 4 2009
Teachers have scored a decisive victory against the Government in their quest to have graduates offered permanent jobs. The reprieve came yesterday after Prime Minister Raila Odinga announced the Government was ready to allow the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to hire 12,600 teachers on permanent terms. And with that announcement, the Government backed down on a standoff that had lasted for months. But the PM said the move would be effected on condition all teachers welfare unions that have cases in court against the Government withdraw them. More...

Lawrence Majali
Tough talking Lawrence Majali, the secretary general of teacher's union, KNUT. The government has backed down over hiring of 6,500 teachers.
Former minister killed in car crash

By our correspondents, Dec 4 2009
A former Assistant Minister Ronald Kiluta has died. Kiluta died in a Road accident on Lang’ata Road, Nairobi, after his vehicle veered off the highway. He served as MP for Masinga between 1992 and 2002, before he lost the seat to Mr Itwiku Mbai. Lang’ata OCPD Simon ole Kina said police arrived at the scene at 1.30am after motorists reported the accident. "The officers went to the scene and identified the former MP who was alone in the vehicle at the time," said Mr Kina. Ukambani leaders - Kalonzo Musyoka and Charity Ngilu - have sent condeolnces the family of the deceased. More...

Eviction from Mau successful, peaceful - Wekesa

By Peter Orengo, Dec 4 2009
Forestry and Wildlife Minister Noah Wekesa has announced the recovery of more than 24,000 hectares of the Mau Forest. He said the Government recovered about 19,000 hectares in South Western Mau in the first phase of eviction, while another 5,000 hectares has been recovered in the ongoing phase. "The ministry is replanting degraded forest in the complex," he said. Dr Wekesa maintained that the eviction was peaceful. He announced the replanting of more than 1,400 hectares of forestland in the Mau. The work, which started in July, is expected to end in October. More...

Canon Peter Karanja
Canon Peter Karanja, the secretary general of National Council of Churches of Kenya at the Jumuia Conference Centre, Limuru yesterday. NCCK has rejected the idea of executive prime minister proposed in the draft constitution and accused Committee of Experts as being insincere. Photo: Anne Kamoni
Church group wants two drafts subject to referendum

By our correspondents, Dec 4 2009
The National Council of Churches of Kenya has opposed the hybrid system of government proposed in the Harmonised Draft Constitution. Instead it proposes Parliament amends the Constitution of Kenya (Review) Act to mandate the Committee of Experts to present two drafts - one on pure presidential system and the other on pure parliamentary system - at the referendum. The council argues the hybrid system as proposed in the Harmonised Draft Constitution is not acceptable, noting "Kenya has experimented with it in the past with disastrous results". More...

MPs to kick out president easily under draft laws

By our correspondents, Dec 3 2009
The draft constitution has made it easy for Parliament to remove the President from office through a vote of no confidence by divorcing the term of presidency from that of MPs. In effect, passing a vote of no confidence against the President will not, as is in the current constitution, bring to an end the term of office for MPs. The current provision where ending the term of the President means dissolving Parliament has acted as a deterrent for MPs to censure the President even where there are good reasons to pass such a motion. However, to safeguard the President from baseless censures, the process has been made more elaborate by requiring that the Senate must vote to uphold or reject such motions. More...

Atsango Chesoni
Atsango Chesoni, deputy chair, committee of experts on new constitution at a seminar in Nairobi yesterday. Kenyans have only two weeks left to make their views known to the constitutional experts. Photo: Chris Ojow
Obama's power can't help his kin in US

By our correspondent, Dec 3 2009
A Kenyan aunt of US President Barack Obama has told of her anguish at the possibility of some people using her immigration status to attack the American first family. Ms Zeituni Onyango buried her face in her hands and sobbed as she described her anguish over no longer having contact with Mr Obama and his family after the revelation she had been living illegally for years in the United States in public housing. Ms Onyango told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview that she is troubled that her immigration woes have made her a political liability to her nephew. More...

Sh128m IDP money looted as 7,100 families remain destitute

By our correspondents, Dec 3 2009
More than Sh128 million meant for IDPs is unaccounted for as 7,100 families still live in transitional camps. In a report released yesterday, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) said a year and a half since the introduction of the Operation Rudi Nyumbani, some Kenyans still languish in camps. The report accused the Government of misappropriating monies for the displaced. "Corruption allegations against the Provincial Administration and paying clerks were reported in the camps," Commissioner Ann Ngugi said. More...

Zeituni Onyango
Zeituni Onyango, Obama's auntie is an illegal immigrant in US
Moi wants total power by the president and chiefs

By Maseme Machuka, Dec 3 2009
Former President Moi has written to the Committee of Experts (CoE) rejecting the proposal to have executive power shared between a Prime Minister and the President. Moi also cautioned against the scrapping of the Provincial Administration. The former President said Kenya, as a republic, should be governed by a presidential system, with executive authority vested on it. Moi was speaking for the first time on the draft law released last month by the Nzamba Kitonga-led committee. More...

Khangati, Shebesh, Washiali join 21 other MPs to support Raila

By Fred Opiyo, Dec 3 2009
Twenty-four MPs have backed Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s unrelenting efforts to conserve Mau Forest and other water towers. Led by Education Assistant Minister Calist Mwatela, the MPs said they support the PM as he executes his constitutional mandate. Others at the news conference at Parliament Buildings yesterday included Fred Outa (Nyando) Joseph Nkaissery (Kajiado Central), Alfred Khangati (Kanduyi), Millie Odhiambo (Nominated), Rachael Shebesh (Nominated), Benjamin Washiali (Mumias), James Rege (Karachuonyo), John Mbadi (Gwassi), Shakeel Shabbir (Kisumu Town East) and Edwin Yinda (Alego-Usonga). More...

Alfred Khangati
Alfred Khang'ati, the MP for Kanduyi is one of the 24 MPs who showed support for embattled prime minister Raila Odinga who declared in parliament that he is 'unbwogable' (undefeatable).
Mombasa ODM rally not for bashing Ruto & Co - Mudavadi

By Beauttah Omanga, Dec 3 2009
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) retreats to Mombasa amid internal wrangles threatening to tear the party apart. The warring Orange party leaders will seek common ground on issues dividing them, including the Haramonised Draft Constitution and the Mau evictions. The retreat will conclude with a public rally at Tononoka Grounds in Mvita constituency on Saturday, to be addressed by the party’s bigwigs led by Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Yesterday, Deputy party leader Musalia Mudavadi clarified the rally will not be a whipping platform for ministers who have criticised Raila lately, particularly William Ruto (Agriculture) and Najib Balala (Tourism). More...

Eight MPs rally round Raila, dismiss censure motion

By our correspondent, Dec 2 2009
Eight MPs have called for a ‘ceasefire’ between Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Agriculture Minister William Ruto. At the same time, Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi and Foreign Affairs Assistant Minister Richard Onyonka have dismissed those planning a vote of no confindence against the PM. Speaking separately, they termed those plotting the Motion opportunists out for publicity. Mr Mudavadi said the move was ill intentioned and would not "see the light of the day". And Mr Onyonka dared the Rift Valley MPs to go ahead, saying the Motion would be defeated, since majority of MPs supported the PM. Addressing journalists at Parliament Buildings yesterday, the eight MPs drawn from different parties, said those who had issues with the PM to channel them through their party, ODM. More...

Joe Muriuki
Joe Muriuki: First Kenyan to go public as being HIV positive. He is still healthy 20 years on despite not being on anti retrivals. Of the eight people who came together to form a support group in the 1980s, having tested positive, only Muriuki is alive today.
Twenty years on, this man still lives with HIV

By George Orido, Dec 2 2009
Joe Muriuki smiles often, although he often lapses into deep thought about life, and the circumstances that brought him to public limelight. Indeed, he is a public figure in the literal sense of the word, vaguely family yet somewhat mysteriously, the latter attribute stemming from the health condition that few understand, and even fewer can comprehend his longevity, having tested positive for HIV two decades ago. And since that bleak September morning, when he went for a test because of profuse night sweating and unprecedented malaise, his world was in utter turmoil. More...

Rwanda admitted to the Commonwealth

By our correspondent, Dec 2 2009
The Commonwealth has admitted Rwanda as its 54th member. The African country was admitted at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago, a statement from the group said. A Rwandan minister said the move showed his country's "tremendous progress" over the last 15 years. The former colony of Germany and Belgium is the second country to be admitted without a British colonial past or constitutional link to Britain. Mozambique is the only other Commonwealth member without historic UK ties. It joined the organisation 14 years ago. More...

Rwanda genocide Murambi bodies
Murambi bodies capture the Rwandese genocide in which nearly a million people were hacked to death by the Hutu-led intaharamwe militia in 1993-4. The former Belgian colony becomes the 54 member of the Commonwealth and the second country without links to Britain after Mozambique to be admitted to the exclusive club of former British colonies.
Tiger Woods
Tiger and his women: State troopers in Florida last night closed their investigation into Tiger Woods’s car crash, issuing the billion-dollar golfer with a $164 traffic citation for careless driving. More...
Moi era tycoon comes off fighting over Mau land

By John Ngirachu, Dec 2 2009
A prominent beneficiary of allocations in the Mau Forest is vowing to only give it up if the government is ready to pay him. One-time Kanu official Hosea Kiplagat said he owns 500 acres near Kiptagich Tea Factory, 200 acres under tea, and would give it up if government is ready to buy it back. He said he bought it from Mr Justus ole Tipis, a one-time minister in the Moi government and paid stamp duty of Sh20 million. “When I bought it, there was nothing to do with the forest but my lawyers have written to the Kenya Forestry Service and been told that it is in the Mau. I had established that everything about the land was legal before I bought it,” said Mr Kiplagat. More...

Hosea Kiptagat
Hosea Kiptagat, a former power broker in Moi government says the government must compensate him for his 500 acres of land in Mau. He had earlier said he owned only 20 acres.
Google to limit access to free news

Newspaper publishers will now be able to set a limit on the number of free news articles people can read through Google, the company has announced. The concession follows claims from some media companies that the search engine is profiting from online news pages. Under the First Click Free programme, publishers can now prevent unrestricted access to subscription websites. Users who click on more than five articles in a day may be routed to payment or registration pages. More...

Homosexuals in Uganda face the death penalty

By George Ondo, Dec 2 2009
Uganda had many people living with HIV and Aids before the scourge became an issue in Kenya. A lot of Kenya’s interventions are based on lessons from her neighbour. The world also took cue and Uganda was mentioned in donor meetings and Aids conferences as a model for successful intervention. Uganda has introduced a strict legislation outlawing any form or abetting homosexuality. Here are some of its provisions: Any parent who does not denounce their lesbian daughter or gay son to the authorities would be fined Ush5,000,000 (Ksh 200,000) or be imprisoned for three years. Any person alleged to be a homosexual risks life imprisonment and in some circumstances, the death penalty. More...

Kikuyu Council of Elders to hold cultural fete

By our correspondent, Dec 2 2009
The Kikuyu Council of Elders has been given the go-ahead to hold a cultural meeting at Afraha Stadium on Saturday. However, the organisers have been asked to stick to the agenda of the meeting and ensure that security was maintained. Nakuru police chief Johnston Ipara said security would be beefed up at the venue. The coordinator, Mr Zakayo Maina, says the meeting is non-political. More...

Ex MP wins against son: Former Starehe MP Gerishon Kirima Tuesday triumphed in a battle with one of his sons. More....
Mau evictees will be compensated - Raila

By Philip Ruto, Dec 2 2009
Prime Minister Raila Odinga has assured Mau Forest evictees with genuine title deeds, they would get alternative land. On Monday, the Prime Minister met representatives of the squatters and promised them Government help. He also assured those with legal documents of land allocation and may have been kicked out would be compensated. A source privy to the meeting between the PM and the elders said Raila disclosed the Government was finalising the purchase of the land. The evicted settlers have been living in makeshift shelters along the edge of the South Western Mau Forest. More...

Mudavadi grilled over irregular purchase of land for the dead

By our correspondent, Dec 2 2009
A Parliamentary Committee grilled Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi over the purchase of a parcel of land for a cemetery by the Nairobi City Council. Mr Mudavadi and Local Government PS Sammy Kirui were taken to task over the purchase of the controversial land in Mavoko at Sh283million, a deal sealed even before the land was surveyed. The Local Government minister, however, exonerated himself, saying he was left in the dark. The PS was hard pressed to explain why he sanctioned payment before being satisfied the deal was properly done. Kirui admitted the cheque to pay a seller was written months before the deal was reached but blamed omissions on his officers. "I never knew some of the documentations presented to me were forged," he said. More...

Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi
Ping pong for land for the dead: Musalia Mudavadi has exonerated himself over controversial land purchased in Mavoko as Nairobi's new cemetery.
Ruto puts breaks on over Raila censure motion

By Maseme Machuka, Dec 2 2009
Mr Raila Odinga appeared to survive a serious test of his premiership yesterday, after Agriculture Minister William Ruto dismissed a planned confidence vote against him as unnecessary. Ruto, whose lieutenants in Parliament - in conjunction with like-minded MPs - are believed to have been crafting the Motion that appeared to rattle the PM, said the move was "diversionary, uncalled for and unjustified". But yesterday, Raila kept close to his chest his next move following last Friday’s veiled threats of Cabinet sackings, which he dramatically couched as "a huge storm that was coming to sweep the dirt into the ocean". More...

Miss Uganda organisers take a swipe at New Vision reporter

By Joyce Church, Dec 1 2009
The director of Miss Uganda for Miss World Joyce Church disputes and dismisses claims made by Carol Kasujja`s articles in the Sunday Vision on the 24th October 2009 onwards. Below are facts of events and not as suggested by the articles in the Sunday Vision newspaper. We would like the world to know that the New Vision Newspaper management contacted the organisers (Joyce Church), with a view to having an under cover journalist take part in the Miss Uganda 2009 competition to show to the Ugandan public transparency, consistence, a fair and just event and above all to show that bribery would not be involved in the Miss Uganda 2009 competition. The New Vision writer of the articles Carol Kasujja was taken into this competition on that basis and the management knew from the onset that she would be taking part as a planted mole with full management knowledge. More...

Miss Uganda 2009, Maria Namiiro
Maria Namiiro: Miss Uganda 09
UK's white and poor want same handouts as refugees

By Sam Coates, Dec 1 2009
White working-class communities feel a justifiable sense of grievance and deserve additional help reserved for minority groups, a Cabinet minister told union leaders yesterday. John Denham, the Communities Secretary, sparked a row by saying that government agencies and councils should give more priority to poor white communities that feel hard done by because of immigration. More...

Obama's Afghan decision: President Obama has informed several top diplomatic and military officials about his decision regarding new U.S. strategy and troop levels in Afghanistan, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday. More...
3,000 police officers work as cooks, gardeners for seniors

By Kenneth Ogosia, Dec 1 2009
About 3,000 police officers work as cooks, gardeners, drivers, sentries and receptionists for senior commanders. The report of the taskforce on police reforms presented to President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga last month and obtained by the Nation says unless these officers revert to security-related work, reforms will remain a pipe dream. The report, which recommends a major shake-up in the top ranks, exposes serious problems including poor leadership, patronage, corruption and a communication breakdown between the ranks. More...

Kenya Police
Kenya police on hire as cooks
Kenya facing worst cholera outbreak in a decade

By Gatonye Gathura, Dec 1 2009
Kenya is facing its worst cholera outbreak in a decade, and the situation can only worsen; the end of the short rains could push water scarcity deep into next year. While cholera was first reported in Kisumu last December, of the 230 deaths reported across the country so far, almost half of them (119) have occurred in the last one month, which coincided with the onset of the short rains. While forecasting these rains in October, the Metrological Department warned of the possible escalation of cholera and waterborne disease and advocated for sustained water chlorination campaigns. More...

Man paid Sh10,000 to sleep with corpse to fulfil Luo funeral rites

By Winsley Masese, Dec 1 2009
Despite the widespread awareness of HIV and Aids in Nyanza Province, the cultural practice of wife inheritance is not about to die among some members of the community. For Mr Hesbon Anditi, 41, wife inheritance is a lucrative business in Nyando where the practice is followed to the letter lest a bad omen befall family members. Anditi graduated into a commercial widow inheritor when he was promised Sh10,000 to sleep with a woman who had died, but had not been inherited after the death of her husband two days earlier. With the assistance of two elderly women, he performed ‘a cleansing ritual’ and was paid Sh10,000. But his brothers prevailed upon him to stop inheriting, saying it was tarnishing the family’s reputation. More...

tero buru
Tero buru: Young Luo men in tribal regalia ready to perform tero buru (ceremony of driving away death). In another funeral rite, a man is paid to sleep with a dead woman. Photo: Evans-Pritchard
Bid to censure Raila: MPs critical of Prime Minister Raila Odinga want to use a motion to be debated Wednesday to hit back at him. The motion calls for the appointment of Leader of Government Business. More...
Shitanda, Wekesa demand sacking of Ruto, Balala

By our correspondents, Dce 1 2009
Grand confusion reigns within the ruling coalition. Ministers speak at cross-purposes. The President and Prime minister’s directives are being flouted with impunity. The word consensus sounds a pipe dream. Threats of censure motions are being dangled before many a face, including the PM. Then as if this is not enough, the early campaign season has set in - as if 2012 is tomorrow - and public resources such as vehicles and helicopters have been deployed in the name of ‘ensuring development’. Cabinet ministers Charity Ngilu (Water), Franklin Bett (Roads), Soita Shitanda (Housing), Anyang’ Nyong’o (Medical Services), Noah Wekesa (Forestry), Mutula Kilonzo (Justice) and a host of assistant ministers demanded action on errant ministers. More...

Deya vows never to return to Kenya to face justice

By Giatu wa Njenga, Dec 1 2009
Embattled London-based Kenyan preacher Gilbert Deya, who is wanted in Kenya on child trafficking charges, on Friday said he was protected by international law and would never return to Kenya despite the government’s spirited efforts to have him extradited. “I am protected by the UK and international law,” said Deya, 56, in an exclusive interview with the Saturday Nation. “The media has been reporting on my extradition from the UK since 2004, but I’m still here. I’m not going anywhere. My home is here in the UK and the Kenyan authorities can do nothing about it,” said Deya, who spoke to by telephone from his Peckham offices in South London. More...

Gilbert Deya and Raila Odinga
Deya is not for going: Gilbert Deya (second left) and prime minister, Raila Odinga (centre) and some of his family members during good times in London. Deya is wanted in Kenya over child trafficking charges. He is said to have exhausted all legal avenues to remain in the UK and now has to report twice a week at Deptford Police Station failure to which he will be arrested. Photo: NATION
Dreaded Waki envelop to be opened in two weeks' time

By Maseme Machuka, Dec 1 2009
Kenyans may know the contents of the Justice Phillip Waki’s envelope in the next 14 days. Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo said Kenya was entering into "a landmark period" with the ICC Chief prosecutor’s take up of the Kenyan situation. Moreno Ocampo is expected in the country in December. Mr Mutula spoke as the German Government expressed optimism Kenya will co-operate when the names are made public and hand over the suspects with the greatest responsibility to the ICC. German ambassador to Kenya Margit Hellwig-Boette said she was confident the Government would cooperate with the ICC. More...

Philip Waki
Justice Philip Waki: Secret names of Kenyan warlords to be finally spilled in two weeks's time.
Cheap power from Ethiopia worries costly KenGen

By John Njiraini, Dec 1 2009
Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) has raised concerns that plans by the Government to import electricity from Ethiopia could result in its downfall. KenGen managing director Eddy Njoroge, despite admitting the move was necessary in addressing the country’s perennial energy crisis, was quick to point out that the company was not keen on the new strategy. g. More...

Kenya Airways