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Bunyore residents want county governors to have degrees

By John Kabaka, Feb 28 2011
Those interested to vie for the position of senator or governor in Vihiga County will be required to be degree holders stakeholders have said. In memorandum presented to a taskforce on devolved government by residents of Luanda and Emuhaya, the stakeholders said they know the importance counties will play in development and want the right people to head the units. They said that a law to guide the election of County representatives both at the county and senate level must clearly spell out their academic credentials to qualify to run for either post. “Education will this time round be more than a requirement for those seeking the senator and governor slots,” said Abinery Ndiku who read the memorandum to the taskforce sitting at Ebusakami high school. The task force chaired by renowned lawyer Mutakha Kangu was appointed by the Deputy Prime Minister and minister for local Government Musalia Mudavadi to collect views from the public on how they would like the counties governed. The task force is expected to be through with its public hearings by June this year is supposed to come up with a bill on the implementation of the counties to be presented to parliament for enactment by August. While addressing the meeting Friday Engineer George Muyera said a university degree alone will not be enough but holders of such papers must have financial management background. “These posts suits someone who has extensive knowledge on financial matters, someone has been Chief Executive Officer of a financial institution, Accounting and administration ,if we get such like a person then this County will always be on a climbing development ladder,” said Eng Muyera. Emuhaya Mp Wilbur Ottichilo said the leaders and other stake holders from all the four constituencies in the county should create a forum at which they will brainstorm on a suitable location for the county seat. More...

Luanda Emuhaya
Residents from Luanda and Emuhaya in Bunyore at the Vihiga County consultative forum where they presented a memorandum to the Law Reform Commission over the weekend.
Joash Dache and Dr N Ng'eno
Kenya Law Reform Commission Secretary Joash Dache (left) and a commissioner, Dr N. Ngeno during the meeting at Ebusakami Secondary School, Bunyore over the weekend..

New fighting erupts in S. Sudan: At least 10 people have been killed in fighting between rival ethnic groups in Sudan's disputed oil-producing region of Abyei, officials say The clashes between Arab nomads and the southern Dinka Ngok people are the first since a deal between the two sides was agreed last month. Abyei lies on the border between north and south Sudan. The region did not take part in last month's referendum in which southerners voted to split from the north. Abyei is due to vote on whether to join the north or south at a later, unspecified date. The Dinka Ngok think it belongs in the south, while the nomadic Arab Misseriya see it as northern. The heart of their dispute is about grazing rights for cattle, which are central to both communities' traditions and economies. More...
Snake scare disrupts Raila rally in Kakamega

By our correspondent, Feb 28 2011
A massive political rally at Kakamega’s Muliro Gardens addressed by Raila Odinga, the prime minister, was disrupted as the public scrambled to safety over a snake scare. The premier was addressing the gathering when the crowd surged forwards prompting his security detail to rush to the dais. As confusion reigned, Raila remained on the dais with his security around him. However, Western Deputy PPO Thwere Okello and his officers appealed for calm and the rally went on. At the same time, Raila has said p residential hopefuls are free to visit Nyanza at will ahead of the 2012 General Election. This was Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s message to the people of Nyanza as he made his way to a rally at the historic Masinde Muliro Gardens in Kakamega. "I am appealing to you to welcome anybody from outside Nyanza who is keen on visiting," said the PM. More...

Hudson Isagi funeral
Sabatia ODM vice chair buried: Prime Minister Raila Odinga (centre), deputy PM Musalia Mudavadi and wife Tessy pay their last respects to the late Hudson Isagi, vice chairman of ODM Sabatia constituency at Chandumba Primary School on Saturday, February 26, 2011. Photo: Isaac Wale
Kamusinga emerges top school in Western

By Wanyonyi wa Wasike, Feb 28 2011
Song and dance engulfed Friends School Kamusinga as the students received news that the school had topped Western Province again in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) results. The hundreds of students who jammed the school’s social hall to watch the results that were being aired live on Television broke into celebrations immediately names of their colleagues who sat the exams last year were announced by Education Minister Professor Sam Ongeri. “We knew they will make it since they were a very hardworking class. We intend to do even much better this year,” said Kamusinga principal Edwin Namachanja. He added that out of the top ten candidates in Western Kenya, Kamusinga managed to place three candidates. The school had Albert Kabatie at position three, Paul Wangwe at position four and Emase Bildad at position six in the province. Namachanja hailed the commitment by last year’s class citing discipline and fear of God. At neighboring Lugulu girls, students and teachers were equally in a celebratory mood after the institution had Phanice Mirange at position two in the region. Similar celebrations were witnessed at Kimilili Boys High that had a student in position seven and at Kibabii Boys High that posted an improved performance to emerge at position three in Western Kenya. More...

Friends Kamusinga
An outburst of uncontrollable joy greeted Friends School Kamusinga students seen here celebrating as champs of Western in the 2010 KCSE exams. Photo: Wanyonyi wa Wasike


Meanwhile Friends School, Lugulu has emerged as the only school in Western to produce the best top ten female candidate in the country. CLICK HERE to download TOP TEN schools

Bunyore school produces Western's 5th top candidate

By Isaiah Lucheli, Feb 28 2011
Leslie Kathrin Amukonyi who emerged the fifth best overall student in Western Province in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) wants to be a doctor. Amukonyi who emerged the top student at Bunyore girls’ high school attributes her achievement to her teachers, parents, hard work and God. She told The Standard that she had expected to perform well in the examination, as she had been hard working and dedicated in her studies. "I attribute my success to my parents who are my role models, the teachers who inspired me to work hard and my trust in God," she said. Amukonyi who scored 84 points explained that she wanted to take medicine at the university in order to bring change in the lives of many Kenyans who could not afford decent medical care. "I want to be a doctor and bring a smile on the face of many people suffering from various medical complications," she added.More...

Bunyore Girls Secondary School
Bunyore is tops: Bunyore Girls Secondary School students are feeling proud this year. A students at the school, Leslie Kathrin Amukonyi, emerged the 5th top overall student in Western Kenya. The proud girl says she wants to study medicine at university.
Top Teso student wants to be a neurosurgeon

By Westfm correspondent, Feb 28 2011
Bildad Emase, the top KCSE student from Chakol Division in Teso South District in the 2010 exams, wants to be a Neurosurgeon. Emase, 18, who emerged the sixth best student from Western Province, said he would want to emulate American Ben Carson and save the lives of people with skull problems like his desk mate at Friends School Kamusinga, who sat his exams with difficulties following a skull operation. The first born of a single mother, Veronica Obonyo who works with Immigration and Registration of Persons in Bungoma Town attributed his success to his mum who struggled to educate him, hard work, spiritual nourishment and motivation from teachers. Speaking from their residence in Bungoma Government quarters, Emase’s mother, Veronica said she was overjoyed with the sterling performance of her son whom she struggled to bring up singlehandedly. Ms Obonyo said Emase was a focused boy who obeyed and respected what he was told and was always entangled in his books wherever he was at home with minimum supervision unlike other children who need to be pushed to read. Meanwhile, residents of Chamasiri village in Angurai Division took the streets to celebrate the success of Protas Kilong’i who became the first student of Chamasiri Secondary School to score an A-(Minus). More...

Bildad Emase
Teso top student in KCSE exams, Bildad Emase is all smiles in his mother's embrace and other close family members.

Phone tapping becomes law in Uganda

By our correspondent, Feb 28 2011
President Yoweri Museveni has assented to the Regulation of Interception of Communications Act 2007, which authorises the tapping of telephones and other private communication for security purposes. The President assented to the Act on August 5, 2010. The Act provides for the interception and monitoring certain communication in the course of their transmission through telecommunication, postal or any related service or system. The Act, which has now become law, forbids repeated sending of abusive messages and letters. “A person who repeatedly makes abusive telephone calls or causing another person to make abusive telephone calls to the victim, commits an offence,” reads the Act. More...

Bungoma pervert caught making love to a heifer

By Westfm correspondent, Feb 25 2011
Residents of Wekelekha village in Musikoma location, Bungoma county were mesmerized after finding a man completely naked, exhausted and sleeping beside a cow with cow dung smeared all over his body. The cow that belongs to Nyongesa’s family went missing the night before the incident and after a thorough search, Mrs. Clare Nyongesa found her cow under unfortunate circumstances. She reported the matter to Bungoma police station as an angry mob threatened to lynch Wafula Makaa, the zoophilist. Clare said that the cow had been tied so tightly to a tree that it could not move. Villagers have condemned the act and called for cleansing rites to exorcise the community. They have called on all residents of Musikoma to marry and avoid making love to cows. Police officers From Bungoma police station intervened and arrested Wafula before the angry crowd could lynch him. More...

Reuben Odundo
Reuben Odundo, Kenya Revenue Officer inspecting impounded goods at a yard in the border outpost of Malaba.
Three arrested with smuggled goods in Malaba

By Westfm correspondent, Feb 25 2011
Malaba police are holding three people in connection with the smuggled goods that were found hidden under maize bran destined for Eldoret from Kampala. Among those detained include a clearing agent, the driver and conductor of the Mitsubishi canter registration number KBG 015 R that was involved in the syndicate. Narrating the incident to the press at his customs yards offices, the in charge of Administration Police officers at the yard, Joseph Karanja said those arrested are helping the police with investigations. Inspector Karanja said the Canter belonging to Jose Prime Supplies in Eldoret arrived at the Malaba border at 8.30pm on Thursday night with 100 bags of maize bran consignment. But acting on a tip off, Kenya Revenue Authority customs officials requested for the verification of the consignment. More...

Kibaki summons Wako

By Athman Amran, Feb 25 2011
Attorney General Amos Sitswila Wako held a closed door meeting with President Kibaki on Friday, hours after the President’s wing of Government accused him of abdicating his responsibility. Official sources at State House said Wako was summoned to Harambee House for a meeting whose agenda was to discuss the two Bills adopted by Parliament this week before they are assented to by the President. Independent sources within Government circles said the President was very upset by Wako’s handling of court cases contesting the nomination of the Chief Justice and two other senior Judiciary officers. On Thursday, President Kibaki, who had officially opened the new Milimani Courts, turned around looking for Wako after the function and pulled him aside for a brief talk. It emerged yesterday, according to the sources, that he sought the AG to personally inform him about yesterday’s meeting. According to the Constitution, the latest Wako can be replaced is August, but MPs in the President’s party want the AG out of office now because he refused to oppose a case filed against Kibaki’s nominations for the offices of CJ, AG and DPP. More...

Amos Watsilwa Wako
Amos Watsilwa Wako, the outgoing Attorney General. The record serving government's chief legal advisor has come under heavy artillery from PNU hawks for ruling Kibaki's judicial nominations unsconstitutional.

Cash for organs scam: The authorities in South Africa have been duped by a "cash-for-organs" hoax, which turned out to be a publicity stunt for an upcoming horror film. "We pay the best prices for all your body parts and organs," read pamphlets widely circulated in Johannesburg city. More...
Clans to compete in education ranking

By Leonard Korir, Feb 25 2011
Stakeholders in the education sector in Trans Mara have resolved to rank local schools based on clans in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education results to be released on Monday. According to them this would promote healthy completion among clans. The idea proposed by the District Education Officer Margaret Lesuuda is aimed at ending clannism, which is deeply rooted among the locals. Ms Lesuuda pointed out that various Maasai clans have been competing on retrogressive cultures such as fighting and moranism. "The clan issue has often been misused by the Maasai to propagate hatred among them. But we need to reverse the whole thing and build healthy competition right from schools by creating a mutual coexistence," she said. The DEO challenged the three Maasai clans (Moitanik, Siria and Uasin Gishu) to compete academically on the number of students they send to university each year." It is time we measure up ourselves on the number of students we send to various higher learning institutions instead of gauging ourselves on the number of cattle in our possession," said Lesuuda. More...

Chief Justice makes exit

By Jillo Kadida, Feb 25 2011
Kenya’s top judge has made his final ruling - he is going home. Mr Justice Evan Gicheru made his decision to quit the judiciary on Friday, just a day to his exit. He had an option of sitting in the court of appeal after being vetted but he opted to go home. Mr Justice Gicheru’s term as CJ ends on Sunday. Justice Gicheru was expected to carry out one of his last official duties on Friday by chairing a Judicial Service Commission meeting but he did not turn up. On Thursday, he attended the opening of the new Millimani Courthouse, his last public function as CJ. After the function, he said he was yet to make a decision on his retirement. “I will decide on whether to leave or not later. I will not make the decision alone,” he had said. Justice Gicheru was appointed head of the judiciary in 2003 at a time when it was in the spotlight, with calls for major reforms. In the same year he presided over a team that recommended a purge in the judiciary. Among the prominent case he handled in his last days in office is one challenging President Kibaki’s nominations to key justice and budget office jobs. He appointed a three-judge bench to hear the matter.

Evan Gicheru
Going home: Evan Gicheru, the chief justice makes his final ruling - he is going home for good.

Magic of sorry: A pamphlet only known as the ‘Sorry Book’ is said to have been instrumental in uniting communities divided by politics in Burnt Forest. Bloodshed that rocked the cosmopolitan region after the disputed 2007 polls has been replaced by scribbled reconciliation messages mostly in local languages. The words tell of a people’s frustrations and desire to bond after a long spell of silence from the political class that divided them. More...
Mudavadi weighs in on Kakamega public sex scandal

By Shakila Ali, Feb 25 2011
Deputy Prime minister and Minister for Local Government Musalia Mudavadi has called upon Western Kenya residents to ignore the pornographic photos of individuals having sex allegedly at the Masinde Muliro Gardens in Kakamega posted on the internet. Mudavadi told West Fm that Western Kenya residents are very religious who uphold the moral teachings of Christianity and Islam that abhors such activities in the public. The minister however read mischief in the intention of the photos posted just a few days before Prime Minister Raila Odinga holds a rally at the grounds today. Mudavadi said the photos are political and thus called upon anybody who has seen the photos not to take the issue seriously and called upon the people spreading the photos to stop immediately saying they were in bad taste. The minister’s sentiments come after several photos were spread on social sites depicting Masinde Muliro Gardens as a sex ground, where police officers allegedly engaged in the sex racket. More...

Fundraiser for funeral of Hassan Okullo in Texas is tomorrow

Hassan Okullo
Hassan Okullo died Friday Feb 18 in Houston, Texas

We regret to announce the sudden and untimely death of our beloved brother and friend Hassan Okullo in San Diego, CA, on the evening of Friday February 18, 2011. He had taken ill and had been hospitalized for the last two weeks. Hassan was a social butterfly with a contagious laugh and had a kind and gentle soul. We will miss him dearly. We are kindly seeking financial and moral support for the Okullo family from well wishers, friends and those that had the pleasure of knowing him to help send him home as he so desired.

Fundraiser and prayers will be held on Friday February 25, 2011 at 7pm at Steven W. Mulamba’s  residence: 12138 Stone West Dr, Houston TX 77035. Please grace us with your presence and we encourage you to arrive early. For those who are unable to make it, you may deposit your contribution at:

Account Information:
Bank Name:  Chase Bank
Account Name: Hassan A. Okullo
Routing Number: 322271627
Account Number: 1852312841

For further information:

OJ 281-630-4630

Job Konje 832-298-9540

George Mburo 713-835-6523

Protus Onyango 713-505-5428

Renga Mbeche 281-414-1456

Charles Rajuai 832-453-8656

Tony Jatanda 832-613-8812

Dennis Nyakweba 281-704-8374

Belinda Halwenge 832-692-7387

Eda  Demba 832-638-4888

Ruthie Ogutu-Mbeche 281-701-1902

Susan Odhiambo 832-754-6166

FacebookMemorial Hassan Okullo

Bungoma nurses cheat death in ghastly ambulance accident

By Joseph Amunya, Feb 24 2011
Three clinical officers from Bungoma district hospital narrowly escaped death after their ambulance rammed into a West Kenya Sugar Company pick up near Maturu Secondary School along Eldoret - Webuye highway in Matete district. The clinical officers were on their way to Bungoma from the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital where they had taken a patient for scanning after he was admitted in Bungoma hospital with serious body injuries. The accident occurred after a driver of a saloon car which was ahead of the West Kenya Company pick up abruptly applied emergency breaks forcing the pickup driver Mr. Johnston Lutomia to also break abruptly, but the Ambulance driver Bonvanture Okumu who was driving in high speed could not stop due to faulty brakes and rammed into the pickup. The Ambulance driver Mr. Okumu escaped unhurt but the three clinical officer sustained serious injuries. They were rushed to Webuye district hospital for treatment. More...

KCB scholarships for the needy: The KCB foundation through a partnership with Computer for Schools Kenya is contemplating on establishing 18 ICT laboratories at selected schools countrywide at a cost of Sh7.53 million, a move aimed at containing computer illiteracy. This emerged on Monday at a function hosted by the KCB group that saw 20 bright but unfortunate students being issued with scholarships. More...
Matete ambulance accident
Police accident investigators at a scene of a ghastly accident involving a Bungoma Hospital ambulance and a West Kenya Sugar truck at Maturu, neat Matete, Kakamega North yesterday.

Elizabeth Laini
Iteso Cultural Union Culture minister, Elizabeth Laini at Amagoro, Busia yesterday. She was due to be the guest of honour at Iteso Cultural Show at Bomas of Kenya on March but the event is now uncertain.
Swords out as Iteso cultural leaders squabble over event

By Westfm correspondent, Feb 24 2011
Squabbles in the Iteso Cultural Union (ICU) have prompted the Government to cancel the scheduled opening of Teso Village at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi. Arrangements for the formal opening set for March 5 had been finalized with Prime Minister, Raila Odinga and Soroti-based Teso cultural leader, Emormor, Augustine Osuban expected to grace the event. Bomas of Kenya Ltd had already rolled up plans for the big day with the General Manager, Ahmed Quresh setting aside Sh150,000 for the occasion. Narrating the last minute confusion, ICU minister for culture, Elizabeth Laini said the union's Deputy prime minister, Gabriel Itela allegedly ordered for its cancellation. Addressing the press in Amagoro yesterday, Mrs. Laini said Itela who is also the chairman, Kenya chapter allegedly cited lack of procedure and his non involvement in the organization of Teso King's visit to Kenya's capital. In a quick rejoinder, Itela denied claims by the culture minister that he was behind the cancellation of the ceremony saying the claim was aimed at tarnishing his good name and reputation. More...

Couples caught having sex at Muliro Gardens, Kakamega

By Allan Kisia, Feb 24 2011
It was disgrace for residents of Kakamega Town after pictures of couples making it out at a recreational ground were made public. A wild uproar hit the town after explicit pictures taken at the historical Muliro Gardens were circulated on the Internet. Religious leaders from Western Province also condemned Muliro obscenities at Gardens, calling on the Government to take action. Bishops Simon Oketch (ACK, Maseno North Diocese) and Titus Khamala said the images painted Kakamega negatively. "People now think sex in public places is what residents of Kakamega do to pass time," said Rev Khamala.; Rev Oketch said the municipal council and the police should put in place measures to stop such acts from happening. "We are not going to sit back and watch such things happen. It is disgusting and totally unacceptable," he said. Separately, local civic leaders pledged to push for council askaris to be deployed at the gardens. Clearly visible "We were equally shocked when we saw the pictures on the Internet. What makes matters worse is that the acts happened only a few metres from municipal council offices," said Councillor Joe Serenge. More...

Sex at Muliro Gardens, Kakamega
Kakamega police question a couple at a spot in Muliro Gardens notorious for public sex. Photo: Walalahoi

Varsity lecturers, students cheat

By Benjamin Muindi, Feb 24 2011
Lecturers in universities use ideas generated by their students to write dissertations and other academic papers, a national conference on plagiarism (copying another person’s academic work) was told on Thursday. On the other hand, their students cheat in both written exams and projects or have assignments done on their behalf. They also allow colleagues to copy their answers during exams. The forum on “Academic Integrity and Excellence” raised the alarm on the escalating levels of academic cheating and plagiarism in both universities and schools in the country. More...

Poor education standards in Malava derided

By Westfm, Feb 24 2011
Education standards in Kakamega North District are in bad state, businessman George Munji has said. Mr Munji said Kakamega North District had held the last position in KCSE in Western Province for two years in a row. He said that meant that over 90 per cent of high school students were not able to progress to higher learning or enroll in quality technical colleges for various skills. In primary exams Malava held the third position from the bottom. He said he was seeking leadership of Malava to assist the youth empower themselves. Munji was speaking at Friends Secondary School Lwanda in Malava constituency during the Book Harvesting Day. More...

Luhya urged to unite before seeking alliances with others

By Leonard Wamalwa, Feb 23 2011
The Luhya community has been urged to put its house in order before its leaders can go out and seek for leadership support from other communities as they bid for various elective positions in the 2012 general elections. Speaking at the Nzoia county council hall during a funds drive for the funeral of the late former mayor of Kitale town John William Wanjala, leaders of different aspects from the entire Trans Nzoia county said that the distinct divisions in the different sub-tribes of the community were the major undoing factor towards achieving any meaningful leadership positions in the country. Comprised of civic leaders, women leaders, spiritual leaders and a former area Member of Parliament the leaders said that despite some of the leaders from the community aspiring to go for senior leadership positions in the country, they are bound not to make any meaningful achievement if at all there is no unity among them. Immediate former mayor Joshua Werunga said that the differences and rivalry among the community members has seen the loss of prominent leaders under mysterious circumstances with no follow up to have proper investigations launched to establish the people behind such deaths. In an unprecedented move, former Saboti MP Davies Nakitare challenged those calling for unity in the community saying that none of them had ever told him when the community became divided. More...

Leaders killed under suspicious circumstances yet no proper investigations are launched...

Captain Davies Nakitare
Davies Nakitare, former MP for Saboti: When did the Luhya become divided?

Alarm raised over presence of foreign mercenaries in Kenya

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere has denied claims that there are mercenaries in the country targeting members of Prime Minister Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement party. The police boss dismissed the claims by the MPs that there were Israeli mercenaries planted in Whitesands Hotel to stalk the Prime Minister during his recent tour of Mombasa two weeks ago. Iteere said they had carried out investigations and established that during the days the PM was at the hotel there were no Israeli nationals booked. Nominated MP Millie Odhiambo first raised alarm over the presence of the alleged mercenaries on Saturday after she was allegedly attacked and robbed of her property. More...

Woman witchdoctor found with dried baby in Lugari

By Joseph Amunya, Feb 23 2011
Anxiety has engulfed Koromait Village in Lugari district after a woman suspected to be a witchdoctor was found with a dried body of a baby. The woman only identified as Aisha is alleged to be behind the death of several people in the area, was found with the dry body suspected to be of a two or three years old baby which she is believed to be using as a tool for witchcraft. Her secret was revealed after she fell ill and called for a pastor from Webuye to pray for her. Through prayers the pastor who is said to have prophetic powers could tell that the lady was involved in witchcraft. Inquiries from the pastor was strongly objected if she herself in such acts, this forced the man of God to head to her home where the woman was hiding her tools. He was shocked to find the dried body with an open stomach where all the intestines had been removed and instead there was a paper coiled in the position of the intestine containing a long list of names of people whom some are already dead and other still alive waiting to be killed. On realizing that the pastor had found her tools, the woman fled away with her family leaving the pastor in the house. However, angry residents decided to burn the tools, some of them could not avoid shading tears as they reminisced how their beloved ones had died in pain, others were shocked to find their names on the list of those awaiting to meet their fate. More...

Witch had list of names of next victims...

KKK hawks train guns on Wako, Namwamba

By Martin Mutua, Feb 23 2011
President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga consulted afresh as Party of National Unity set on a reprisal mission against Attorney General Amos Wako for declaring President’s nominations unconstitutional. It is believed that, in line with the President’s statement on Tuesday, the consultations centred only on the AG’s position because the Head of State referred that of Chief Justice to the Judicial Service Commission, and the other two to the Public Service Commission. The PNU MPs want Wako removed from office as soon as possible even though his term, unlike that of Chief Justice Evan Gicheru, which ends on Sunday, lapses on August 27. The reasons they want him out are similar to the party’s earlier attempt to either impeach or censure Marende over his ruling that, like Wako’s position, severely dented the President’s case. The President’s party is reportedly angry Wako’s statement in court undermined Kibaki’s argument he acted within his mandate and compromised the Government’s position on the four nominees he withdrew on Tuesday. Raila’s Orange Democratic Movement on the other hand sustained the push for reconstitution of PSC, to which the President referred the nomination of Director of Public Prosecutions and Controller of Budget on the grounds it does not, contrary to the Constitution, reflect the face of Kenya. Apart from fighting to force Wako out of office immediately, many PNU MPs also signed up a petition seeking to remove Budalang’i MP, Ababu Namwamba, as chairman of Justice and Legal Affairs Committee. More...

Ababu Namwamba
PNU/KKK target: Ababu Namwamba, Budalang'i MP and chairman of Justice and Legal Affairs Committee.
Amos Shilitsa Wako
Amos Wako, the Attorney General. PNU/KKK cabal are after his blood for disowning President Kibaki's judicial nominees. Wako told the court on MNonday that the president's action was unconstitutional which was seen as the last straw that broke Kibaki's back and prompted his 180-degree turn by withdrawing the list of nominees.
50,000 qualified candidates to miss university places

By Luke Anami, Feb 23 2011
Less than a third of 81,000 students who qualified to join public universities in 2009 have secured admissions. The Joint Admissions Board (JAB) yesterday announced only 24, 221 of 81, 000 candidates who attained grades C+ and above in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education would be admitted for regular programmes. The board said the rest of the students would access university education either through parallel degree programmes at the public institutions or by joining private institutions. Last year, public universities absorbed 20,000 new students. But despite the increase by 4,000 this year, the institutions still face a challenge due to lack of space. "The remaining 53, 779 will be absorbed through parallel programmes and admissions to private universities," said the Vice-Chancellor of Kenyatta University, Olive Mugenda, who chairs the JAB. The board sat at Nairobi University yesterday before making the announcement. The number of students getting admitted to public universities has doubled in the last three years due to expansion of the institutions that now have 13 colleges. Out of those who secured admissions to public universities, 4,031 will go to University of Nairobi. Moi University shall admit 3,727, Kenyatta University (3,611), Egerton (2,402), and JKUAT (1,182), with the others sharing the rest. More...

France backs UNEP upgrade: France has supported the elevation of the United Nations Environmental Programme (Unep) headquarters in Nairobi to a fully-fledged UN organisation. This statement came as France announced a commitment to donate some Sh88 billion to various projects. More...
Butere, Mumias residents want autonomous counties

By our correspondent, Feb 23 2011
Residents of Butere-Mumias on Wednesday said they would wish to see county governments that enjoy economic and political autonomy. Contributing their views to the taskforce at the Anglican Church of Kenya premises in Mumias, youth representatives Jared Orembe and Zablon Indakwa presented a memorandum to taskforce chairman Mutakha Kangu demanding a clear system defining separation of powers. Women’s leader Elizabeth Efiketi emphasised the importance of affirmative action. Similar sessions were held in Kakamega and Lugari on Wednesday. More...

Mutakha Kangu
Mutakha Kangu, the Butere-Mumias task force chairman who received a memorandum by Butere and Mumias residents calling for autonomy of Kakamega County.
Tragedy hits varsity again as student commits suicide

By John Kabaka, Feb 23 2011
Masinde Muliro University of of Science and Technology continues to have a bad omen as one of its student was found Tuesday morning hanging in the toilet. Henry Chesero Kipton from Baringo, a first year student who is alleged to have wound up his studies on Mondaty evening before he hung himself using his shirt after his fellow students snatched a knife from him for daring to commit suicide. His details were not traced as he was said to be a recluse student. Panic has risen among students in the institution as many wonder what might happen next. A female student was found dead in the University's hostels and her body is lying at Kakamega General Hospital morgue. More...

Busia children's homes face closure

By Frankline Bwire, Feb 23 2011
Owners of children homes in Busia district have been urged to renew their work permits not later than 1st of March or else face closure. Mr. Aston Maungu the children officer in charge of Busia, Nambale and Butula district asserted that the four children homes namely Mama Orphans, Busia Compassionate, Brigita and New Creation had expired certificates. "Some will be closed down if they don’t comply," he said. Mr. Maungu stressed that some people were abusing children in the homes and hence the move was timely to ensure good practice is enhanced as expected. He urged residents from Busia County to shun the traditional way of solving issues that concerned the violation of children rights in the society. "Why should one receive a bag of maize for forgiveness to what is wrong? Protecting the perpetrators will not aid us in any way," he added. He further disclosed that child labour had reduced totally and that children being seen in the town involved in child labour, most hail from Uganda. The Children’s officer revealed that through combined efforts of the public, the fight against abuse of children could be achieved. According to the District children officer, in 2007-2009, 89 cases were witnessed while in 2009-2010, 83 cases were registered. More...

Mama Orphans Home, Busia
Mama Orphans Children's Home in Busia is one of child institutions threatened with closure over expired licenses amid allegations of child abuse in some of the homes. Photo: Frankline Bwire.

Gadaffi declares he'll die in Libya: Libyan ruler Col Muammar Gaddafi is battling to retain control of Tripoli and areas in western Libya as protesters consolidated gains in the east and foreigners continued to flee. Much of the capital is deserted as pro-Gaddafi gunmen roam the streets, with reports of uprisings in western towns such as Misurata, Sabratha and Zawiya. Thousands of foreigners continue to leave, with chaos at Tripoli airport. More...
US launches Sh3.5bn youth program

By our Westfm, Feb 23 2011
The US government has officially launched a youth programme dubbed ‘Yes Youth Can’ Western region in Bungoma County at a colourful ceremony presided over by the outgoing US ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger. The envoy announced that the youth empowerment programme will be having $45 million approximately KSh3.5billion pumped into it to run for 3 years. The project is the first regional component of the Yes Youth Can USAID’s youth empowerment programme, the largest by USAID in the world; as it invest the large amount of money for three years in helping Kenya’s men and women develop their skills, their voice and their prospects achieving the aspirations brought about by the 21st century. The Western Kenya region programme, according to the US envoy, will benefit at least 30, 000 youth from Kakamega, Bungoma and Vihiga Counties in the targeted communities. More...

Michael Ranneberger, Bungoma
US ambassador, Michael Ranneberger with Bungoma Youth Alliance members after launching a US-funded $45m youth empowerment program that will run for three years. It is the largest program of its kind in the world and is expceted to benefit more than 30,000 youth from Bungoma, Kakamega, Vihiga and Busia counties. Photo: Westfm
Kibaki eats humble pie, withdraws judicial list

By our correspondent, Feb 22 2011
Kibaki has withdrawn the list of nominees to constitutional offices ending weeks of political uncertainty and speculation. Kibaki’s move to appoint Kioko Kilukumi (Director of Public Prosecutions), Githu Muigai (Attorney General), Justice Alnashir Visram (Chief justice) and William Kirwa as Controller of Budget led to sharp criticism from both national and international quarters. President Kibaki Prime Minister Raila Odinga was among the first people to question the manner in which the nominations were conducted saying the President acted unconstitutionally unilaterally without consulting him as the national Accord Act stipulates. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was among the latest people to urge both Kibaki and Raila to work together. Making the announcement on Tuesday afternoon, Kibaki said move will allow the Judicial Service Commission to advertise the position of the Chief Justice as Public Service Commission handles the other offices. He also invited Raila for talks on the same issue. Meanwhile the Commission on Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) chairman, Charles Nyachae has sought the intrepretation of the constitution from the Court of Appeal. More...

Patrick Obath
Kenya Private Sector Alliance chairman Patrick Obath (left), and other business community leaders address the Press on the political impasse, Monday. They said the deadlock was bad for the economy. Photo: Gocedi Asutsa

Kenyans evacuated from Libya: Evacuation of Kenyan nationals residing in Libya has begun as clashes between security forces and protesters, that have reportedly left hundreds dead, intensified on Tuesday. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its Public Affairs and Communication department in Nairobi sent assurances to families and relatives of those Kenyans still in Libya that they were all safe though the situation remains tense. There are 60 Kenyans in Libya excluding the Embassy staff and their families. The ministry’s Public Affairs and Communication department said that the mission in Tripoli was in touch with all the Kenyans across the country. More...
Businesses decry political impasse over nominations

By Luke Anami, Feb 22 2011
President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have been urged to adhere to the Constitution when making appointments to constitutional offices now and in the future. Members of the business community also told the two to ensure the new Constitution is implemented in the agreed timeframe to assure investors of security of their businesses. Addressing a news conference yesterday, the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) said Kibaki and Raila must adhere to the guidelines set out by the new Constitution and avoid creating a crisis. Shifting investment "We demand the political leadership to rise above partisan politics at this crucial time in the constitutional transition," said Kepsa Chairman Patrick Obath. Mr Obath said the current impasse on the nominations of Chief Justice, Attorney General, Director of Public Prosecutions and Controller of Budget had eroded investor confidence and should be stopped to avoid further damage to the economy. "We are getting inquiries on what is happening in our country and already there are companies that have decided to invest in Tanzania and lately Uganda because of a hostile political climate being experienced here," Obath lamented. More...

World Bank launches global fellowship program

By our correspondent, Feb 22 2011
The World Bank today announced the launch of a new global fellowship program to tap new expertise into its development work and strengthen its knowledge network. The Fellowship program will enable the Bank to attract global technical and policy experts for three months to a year to provide new perspectives on policy, performance and implementation. Fellows will also contribute to policy analysis, advise governments, promote knowledge sharing, and bring cutting-edge solutions to countries. The first fellow under the program, Michael Joseph, will advise the Bank and governments on spreading the use of mobile phone banking, drawing on his knowledge and experience at the helm of Kenya’s largest telecommunications service provider. “I am really deeply honored to have been selected as the first fellow by the World Bank to share my knowledge and experience in mobile innovations,” said Michael Joseph, former Chief Executive Officer of Safaricom. “I am delighted to work with the leading development institution and be part of the global effort to fight poverty.” Joseph, who remains on the Board of Safaricom, has been credited with the success of the internationally renowned M-pesa, the mobile money platform that enables subscribers to make payments and move cash at a low cost, cutting out intermediaries.

Michael Joseph
Former chief executive officer of Safaricom, the mobile telecommunications firm, Michael Joseph, has won the first World Bank sponsored Fellowship program. The World Bank Fellows Program has been established to encourage the flow of knowledge and innovative ideas between high-level experts who are globally recognized practitioners in their field - within academia, government or the private sector, and interested to come on short-term assignments to the World Bank.
Media owners denounce deadlock over judicial list

By Isaiah Lucheli, Feb 22 2011
President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have been asked to rise above partisan politics and deliver on the promises of the new Constitution. Media Owners Association (MOA) said the principals should be held responsible for the showdown over the controversial nominations of constitutional office bearers. "Over the past couple of weeks we have witnessed an astonishing meltdown of the goodwill and positive spirit that has generally prevailed since August, last year, when the Constitution was promulgated," said MOA Chairman, SK Macharia. He attributed the breakdown to lack of goodwill, brinkmanship, dishonesty and refusal of the leaders to cede ground for the benefit of majority of Kenyans. Addressing the Press following a three-hour meeting, the media owners said Kenyans voted for the new Constitution to end impunity, but not to be treated to quarrels and divisive politics. They were led by their chairman, SK Macharia (Royal Media Services), Mr Kiprono Kittony (Radio Africa), Mr Tom Mshindi (Nation Media Group), Joshua Chepkwony (Kass FM), Paul Coogan (Family Media) and Mr Hannington Gaya (Media 7). More...

Alphaxard Osoro Mogikoyo
Kitutu Masaba MP Walter Nyambati’s lawyer, Mr Alphaxard Osoro Mogikoyo (right) cross examining election petitioner Justus Mong’umbu last week. The lawyer claims, he was attacked by a snake in his hotel room in Kisii. Photo: Benson Nyagesiba

Earthquake rips New Zealand apart: One of New Zealand's largest cities lay in ruins Tuesday night after a powerful earthquake killed at least 65 people, toppled buildings and left scores trapped beneath chunks of concrete. "This is just heartbreaking," New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said during a trip to survey the damage. "This may be New Zealand's darkest day." The 6.3-magnitude quake struck Christchurch during the lunchtime rush. Frantic rescuers scrambled to reach those trapped beneath the rubble hours after the earthquake struck. More...
Police dismiss snake attack claims by lawyer

By Benson Nyagesiba, Feb 22 2011
Police have dismissed claims by a lawyer that he was attacked by a snake and rendered speechless before the snake turned into smoke. A second police investigation report dismissed the attack claims by a lawyer in the Kitutu Masaba election petition. The report in our possession on an investigation conducted by Inspector Koech Khendi says none of the witnesses interviewed confirmed seeing the snake as alleged by Mr Alphaxard Osoro Mogikoyo, who is representing area MP Walter Nyambati. Mr Mogikoyo had claimed that he was preparing for court at 4:20am in his room number 18 in a Kisii hotel when he heard a knock on the main door. Perhaps his colleague Jackson Omwenga, who was in room 19 in the same hotel, wanted to discuss something with him, he thought. When he went to open the door, he did not see anybody, but as he was closing it, he felt a strong push from outside. He though whoever was knocking wanted to enter, but he could not see anybody. But as he was closing it, Mr Mogikoyo said he felt his body being tied and on checking, saw a black snake. He claims he was shocked upon seeing the snake; and tried to scream but he was rendered voiceless. The snake was coiling upwards around his body. More...

Six perish in Chavakali road crash

By John Kabaka, Feb 21 2011
Six people perished when a Nissan Matatu from Eldoret to Chavakali overturned after losing control at Mago along Chavakali-Kapsabet road. According to the Serem OCS Mutua Menden two people died on the spot and the other four died as they were being rushed to hospital. It is also said that the Nissan was having an excess number of passengers on board. “The vehicle was on a very high speed and was having more than expected passengers, that one is very clear if we are having 14 in hospital and already two passed on, on the spot what do you have to say about that,” said Mutua. "Right now, it appears to be a tragic, accidental death," he added. Most of the area residents who talked to West Fm at the scene said it was the driver’s fault that the accident occurred. “You see this is a smooth and clear road with no pot holes like other roads in the region, I think the driver was using the privilege to over speed and after a long smooth drive he lost control and led to this accident,” said Hezbon an area resident. The injured are recuperating at the Kaimosi Mission Hospital while others are at Mbale District Hospital. More...

Mago Market, Maragoli
Mago Market centre on Chavakali-Kapsabet Road, the scene of a ghastly matatu accident which claimed six lives yesterday. According to area police, the speeding matatu was overloaded with passengers.
MMUST student buried

By Joseph Amunya, Feb 21 2011
Elias Weko Mpapale one of the Masinde Muliro University students who perished in a tragic road accident when their bus rammed into a matatu at Matunda in Tranz-Nzoia County, was on Saturday laid to rest at his father's home at Mapengo village, Lugari District, Kakamega County. Sorrow and grief gripped the village as the community mourned the young inspirational and fruitful youth who had initiated several development projects in the area. The 26 year old Elias was a second year Mass Communication student. He was also a youth activist who represented Kakamega County to the national youth forum. Leaders who attended the burial blamed the poor state of the Western Kenya and North Rift roads for the increased number of accidents in the area. Led by the Lugari parliamentary aspirant Mr. Wanjala Mukonyi who is also a MMUST student, the leaders regretted the pathetic condition of the roads in the region saying it was high time for the government to move in quickly and address the condition and save the lives of many innocent Kenyans. His sentiments were echoed by the vice chairman Kenya university students union Samson Nabutola. More...

Elias Weko Mpapala
The burial of Elias Weko Mpapale, the Masinde Muliro University student who persihed in a road crash last week, took place on Saturday in Lugari.

Aggrey Siryoyi Awori
End of Awori dynasty as Aggrey Siryoyi Awori (left) is felled in Uganda polls.
Moody Awori's brother trounced in Uganda polls

By Robert Ilukol, Feb 21 2011
In what seems to be a bizarre incident a woman in Busia Municipality has sent Aggrey Awori a brother to former Kenya Vice president Moody Awori the current minister for Information Communication and Technology (ICT) parking from the ninth parliament. Aggrey a one time presidential candidate was humbled out by an FDC Candidate Kielvin Ataka for race in the Busia Municipality seat. But it’s not Agrey Awor alone who has suffered a set back in the February 18 2011 elections. Others who are currently trailing their opponents include the Uganda National Assembly speaker Edward Ssekand in Bukoto Central, The education minister Namirembe Bitamazire, The 3rd deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Internal Affairs Kirunda Kivenjinja, Omara Atubo Minister for Lands, Isaac Musumba State Minister for International relations but whose wife in Opposition FDC Salaam Musumba won Bugabula South Seat trouncing a Lands Assistant Minister Asuman Kiyingi. Others trailing opponents are Dr. Emmanuel Otaala labour Assistant Minister, Namuyangu Assister Minister for water, Alituma Sambu Assister Minister for Information.

Western, Nyanza leaders vow to defend Marende over ruling

By Joel Okwayo, Feb 21 2011
House Speaker Kenneth Marende has been told not to panic over threats to introduce a censure Motion against him. ODM MPs from Kakamega, Vihiga and Siaya counties - including Ben Washiali, David Were, Yusuf Chanzu, Edwin Yinda, Justus Kizito and Wilbur Ottichillo - said ODM stills holds the majority of MPs in the House and told PNU legislators to stop threatening Marende with a censure motion. The legislators said the process of removing the Speaker and Prime Minister Raila Odinga because they rejected the list of nominees to key constitution offices was bound to flop. "They don’t know what they are saying. The Standing Orders require that the motion be received by the Speaker and discussed by the House Business Committee before it is tabled," said Were. The MPs said there is no way the motion can be discussed in Parliament on Tuesday because the House Business Committee and the Speaker will not have met and agreed to have it tabled. The MPs were speaking at Ekero market in Mumias constituency during an inspection of roads in Butere, Khwisero, Mumias and Matungu constituencies. Youths from Western Province led by James Wamoto and Elphas Were vowed to join other Kenyans in rejecting President Kibaki’s nominees.

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
Yoweri Museveni has been declared winner in Friday's presidential polls.

Museveni wins 4th term as observers cry foul

By our correspondents, Feb 21 2011
President Yoweri Museveni, the flag-bearer of the National Resistance Movement party, was yesterday declared the winner of the February 18, 2011 presidential election. The Electoral Commission chairman, Badru Kiggundu, declared Museveni the winner at Namboole stadium at 4:26pm before journalists and election observers. Museveni polled 68.3% of the votes cast, while his closest rival, Col. Kizza Besigye, of the Forum for Democratic Change, got 26% of the 8,272,760 votes cast. This means that Museveni’s support rose by 10% compared to his score in the 2006 presidential election when he secured 59.2%.. More...

US supports Marende

By our correspondent, Feb 21 2011
Speaker of Parliament Kenneth Marende ruled on February 17 that President Kibaki's nominations to key judicial and budget positions were not consistent with the provisions of the new constitution, highlighting the importance of moving forward on reform transparently and cooperatively. Progress can only be achieved if the President and Prime Minister work together in a collaborative way to implement the constitution, particularly to ensure that appointments are made in a transparent and credible manner. Adoption of Kenya's new constitution in August 2010 was a major milestone in implementing sweeping democratic reforms set out in the National Accord. The National Accord – which is written into the constitution's transitional provisions – calls for the two principals to consult with a view to achieving compromise on key issues. We also encourage the coalition leaders to involve civil society in the constitutional implementation process in order to achieve national consensus. Full implementation of the letter and spirit of the constitution is crucial to realize the promise of a democratically stable and prosperous future for all Kenyans - Philip J. Crowley Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs.

Auctioneers raid Jirongo's home over Sh70m debt

By Cyrus Ombati, Feb 18 2011
Auctioneers on Friday attached part of Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo's household property to recover Sh68.8 million he owes a private company. The auctioneers took away a generator, utensils, cupboards, furniture and other household goods from the city residence as the MP and his family watched helplessly. They arrived at the MP’s Gigiri home in three lorries early in the morning in the company of police to effect a court orders before Jirongo left in a hurry promising to deal with them elsewhere. About 20 youths who were accompanied by 10 police officers arrived at the posh compound and started to load the property unto the waiting lorries. The family asked police not to allow journalists into the compound as the auctioneers went about their work. The auctioneers told journalists they left a stove and said the property may not be worth the contested fee. According to the auctioneer Stephen Karuu, they property will be auctioned after 14 days in accordance with the law. "We gave him seven days to comply with our demands but he failed forcing us to come for the property as directed by the court," he said. More...

Soldier sets himself on fire

By BBC, Feb 18 2011
A former soldier has set himself on fire in front of the official residence of Senegal's president, apparently as part of demands for compensation for military injuries. Bocar Bocoum, 36, has been transferred to Senegal's military hospital, which is close to the presidency. There has been no official comment on the case. Local media report that he was part of a group of army veterans who staged a protest in the capital, Dakar. "I saw a man who had a bottle in his hand and a lighterl," the AFP news agency quotes a witness as saying. More...

Cyrus Jirongo
Cyrus Jirongo, the Lugari MP. His household furniture has been seized over Sh70m debt.

Bogus bishop arrested for conning disabled in Teso

By Westfm correpondent, Feb 18, 2011
A man who had conned many unsuspecting disabled persons in Teso thousands of shillings on pretext he will educate and secure employment for them has been arrested by Teso detectives. Teso District Criminal Investigations Officer, Amos Teben confirmed his arrest saying the man, who proclaimed himself as Senior Bishop Reverend Doctor Paul Okumu Ochowa, was nabbed by detectives in Mumias before he was transferred to Teso. The chairman of Disabled Persons Organization in Teso, Dickson Pekol raised the alarm bell over the dubious activities of the man after receiving complaints from his members who had been conned by the man who had set up an office at Landmark hotel in Angurai. Pekol said the man with Maximum Miracle Mission Church was operating an NGO called Disabled People National Association whose objective was to create employment for the disabled upon payment of sh750 registration fees and a further sh6, 100 for those who need to secure employment. More...

Lugari residents petition govt to build court of law

By Joseph Otieno, Feb 18 2011
Residents of the larger Lugari district are now petitioning the government to establish a court of law in the district and construct a prison to allow the trial and sentencing of law breakers from the area. Led by a retired educationist and a prominent businessman Herman Lovega, the residents disclosed that lots of funds are currently being used to transport suspects from the area for trial in Eldoret, Kitale and Webuye every Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week. “In as much as the government was spending thousands of shillings to transport suspects,” Lovega added “Residents were unable to visit them and assist in provision of evidence for the law to be seen to be followed.” “Since the government had operationalized probation and children affairs offices in the area it was also prudent to have a prison and a court.” More...

Two killed, reporter shot as military release terror on Ugandan voters in Mbale

By our correspondents, Feb 18 2011
There was drama in Mbale, Eastern Uganda following three similar incidents in Bumasagha , Maluku stadium polling stations where a strong NRM supporter accompanied by two armed military men stormed the polling stations unleashing terror on officials and stuffed the ballot papers. According to the Chairman of the Local Council V , Mbale Mr. Bernard Mujasi, the NRM ardent supporter, Hussein Nzandi stuffed the ballot boxes and urged the electoral officials to announce the results which were later taken to Mbale Police before the set closure of polls at 5pm. The scuffle later saw residents storm the Police Station demanding for action to be taken to redress the issue. More...

Kibaki answers Marende

By our correspondent, Feb 18 2011
The row over nominations to four key state jobs was headed to the courts on Friday with President Kibaki saying he would await the verdict of the Constitutional Court on the matter. But Prime Minister Raila Odinga struck a conciliatory tone, declaring there were no winners and losers in Speaker Kenneth Marende’s ruling the nominations unconstitutional. President Kibaki, speaking on the stairs of his Harambee House office - the venue of his signing the National Accord with Mr Odinga ending the post-election violence, said he had acted within the law in nominating the four. They are Mr Justice Alnashir Visram for Chief Justice, Prof Githu Muigai (Attorney General), Mr Kioko Kilukumi (Director of Public Prosecutions) and Mr William Kirwa (Controller of Budget). State House later confirmed the government would not file a new case but will wait for the ruling on the Constitutional case challenging the nominations by the civil society. Chief Justice Chief Justice Evans Gicheru had appointed a three-judge bench to hear the matter from Monday. The bench comprises Lady Justice Kalpana Rawal, Mr Justice George Dulu and Mr Justice Luka Kimaru. More...

Adelaide Khalwale
Bullfighter gored: Former Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale with his two wives, Adelaide (right) and Josephine, follow proceeding at Kakamega High Court Friday. Photo: Benjamin Sakwa
Bernard Shinali
Bernard Shinali, the victorious petitioner who floored the bullfighter, Dr Bonny Khalwale as MP for Ikolomani in today's High Court ruling in Kakamega. Photo: John Kabaka
Khalwale no longer MP

By Roselyne Obala, Feb 18 2011
Vocal Dr Bonny Khalwale is no longer a Member of Parliament. The election of the vibrant former Ikolomani MP, often referred to as the ‘Bullfighter’ owing to his famed love for the sport in Western Kenya, was nullified by the High Court in Kakamega over "fundamental irregularities". The blow to Khalwale made him the tenth MP to suffer the wrath of a Judiciary that is now reasserting itself to take its rightful place in the Government matrix, on the back of the highly contested 2007 General Election that was fraught with irregularities. The petition, filed by Bernard Shinali, put paid to Khalwale’s stint in the 10th Parliament - at least until after the outcome of a by-election in which he will have to fight it out with others - on whose floor Khalwale has been an avid contributor. And it was sweet victory to the ears of Shinali’s supporters after Justice Lenaola - in his 76-page ruling - declared that the MP’s election was fraught with irregularities and cited the general conduct of the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) and Returning Officer Jane Wasilwa.Lenaola directed that the defunct ECK bear the costs of the petition. Khalwale was declared winner with 8,386 votes while Shinali came second with 8,121 votes.More...

Grief overcomes mourners at MMUST students funeral

By John Kabaka, Feb 17 2011
Grief, tears and somber mood engulfed families, friends and the Masinde Muliro University fraternity as the memorial service for the students who perished in a road accident in Matunda Trans- Nzioa County was held at the university’s graduation square. The students died of a road accident last week when the university bus collided in an accident with a passenger’s service vehicle. Evans Mpalapala the second year student leader in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication left many crying and asking God why Him.“Mpalapala was a student and half, a very bright student so disciplined and always to the point, he maintained good relations between the students and the lecturers we have lost a leader who it will take like the other two or more years to get one of the kind,” said the Dean of Students Professor Sigot Asenath. His father Mzee Mpalapala said he had lost a king in his family, someone he had banked on and had believed that he will have a bright future to the family. “There is no day this gent carried cow dung to the school, he was a perfect as from standard one up to class eight, he died a student’s leader at the university, he has left a gap, God gave him to us with two hands and I received him like wisely but let me not question the work of God,” said Mzee Mpalapala. The late Jactone Odero will be laid to rest Thursday as the late and Students leader Elias Mpalapala will be laid to rest on Saturday in Kitale. More...

Jactone Odero
Funeral of two students of Masinde Muliro University killed in an accident last week was held yesterday on university grounds, Kakamega.
Evans Mpalapala
The father of Evans Mpalapala, Mzee Mpalapala in a reflective mood at the funeral of his son. Pix: John Kabaka
Marende overturns Kibaki's judicial nominations

By Alex Ndegwa and Martin Mutua, Feb 17 2011
House Speaker Kenneth Marende’s razor-sharp ruling was sweet to Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement’s ears, and a sting to that of President Kibaki’s Party of National Unity. The crux of the Speaker’s ruling was that the ‘consultations’ between the President and PM as envisaged in the National Accord must result in a ‘compromise’, and was therefore unconstitutional since the PM’s wing of the Grand Coalition Government contested it. "The effect of this Ruling is that this House shall not proceed with any process of approval in respect of the nominations received from [the] President...Additionally, the work of the Departmental Committees of Justice and Finance and their respective Reports, on this matter shall lapse forthwith in their entirety,’’ he ordered. The Speaker added that the House, "shall await nominations for the respective offices to be forwarded in the manner provided for by the Constitution, read in totality and ensuring full compliance therewith." He also warned his ruling was not "a commentary on the suitability" of the four nominees for key constitutional offices. But it was not just ODM, with the exception of section of Rift Valley MPs allied to Eldoret North MP William Ruto, toasting to Speaker’s decision. Professional, rights and other lobby groups, especially those drawing membership from the legal fraternity, saw in the ruling a ‘difficult’ triumph of Kenya’s effort to create a credible, independent and renewed Judiciary. There was, however, a stampede in PNU as its Cabinet ministers, including Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Kiraitu Murungi, led over 30 MPs in disparaging the ruling. More...

Kenneth Otiato Marende
Kenneth Marende, Speaker of the National Assembly has delivered a ruling against judicial nominations (below) that has stunned Kibaki and his PNU wing of government and opened another front for political backstabbing ahead of 2012 general elections.. FULL RULING
Kioko Kilukumi
Khalwale's fate as MP to be known tomorrow Boni Khalwale
Ikolomani MP, Dr Bonny Khalwale.

By Roselyne Obala, Feb 17 2011
Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale will know his fate as a member of the National Assembly when the High Court rules on a petition challenging his election on Friday. Kakamega High Court judge, Justice Isaac Lenaola, is expected to issue his judgement after reading submissions presented by the three counsels. Justice Lenaola settled on Friday’s date after lawyers Julie Aulo, Stephen Mwenesi and Gabriel Mukele gave their final submissions last December. The judge chose the date after Mr Mwenesi responded to submissions by the Ikolomani legislator’s counsel, Ms Aulo. More...

Uganda bans text messaging: Uganda has ordered phone companies to intercept text messages with words or phrases including "Egypt", "bullet," and "people power" ahead of Friday's elections that some fear may turn violent, according to leaked email from state-run Uganda Communications Commission. More...
Ex-MPs Shikuku, Otiende, Kibisu, Ochwada to get Sh1m ex-gratia

By Beauttah Omanga and our reporter, Feb 17 2011
The Cabinet approved ex gratia payment to 46 former MPs who were left out in the previous one-off retirement benefit. The MPs, who served from 1963 to 1983, are set to receive Sh1 million each for the period they served. Among the MPs in Luhyaland to benefit include: Joseph Otiende (94) who served as MP for Vihiga and Kenya's first minister for education, Martin Shikuku (Butere), Arthur Ochwada (Samia) and Peter Kibisu (Sabatia). In 2009, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta announced that each MP was to get Sh1 million, which majority of former MPs have been paid. The remaining 46 were left out in unclear circumstances as the rest of the 464 MPs were paid. In a gazette notice dated April 17, 2009, Uhuru said the payments to the former legislators who include veteran politicians Martin Shikuku and George Nthenge, are to be exempted from income tax so long as "they did not make it back to the National Assembly or if they did, didn’t buy back either period of reckonable service." Yesterday a former MP Wanyiri Kihoro welcomed the Cabinet decision but cautioned that it should not be used as a gateway by Parliament to approve a gratuity of Sh3 million MPs have already proposed.

Joseph Daniel Otiende
Joseph Otiende, former Vihiga MP and Kenya's first minister for education.
Martin Shikuku
Martin Shikuku, former MP for Butere is also in line for the Sh1m payment which as been derided as tokenism given their many years of service and levels of salaries they received then - just Sh6,000.
Asians flee Uganda fearing general election violence

By Westfm correspondent, Feb 17 2011
Hundreds of Asian businessmen are fleeing Uganda fearing to be caught up in possible post election mayhem. Sources in Uganda confirmed today that the mass exodus through Busia, Malaba and Entebbe Airport was puzzling. “All these are attributed to public outbursts by opposition candidates whose effect could threaten the country's economy should the chaos erupt," the source revealed. At the Malaba and Busia borders, Kenya Revenue Authority has reaped millions of shillings in toll charges since Monday when many Asians started arriving with their families. Those interviewed did not give reasons why they were fleeing the country instead of being part of the electoral process. "We just want to take some rest in Kenya before we return to Uganda. It has got nothing to do with the elections,” they said. Other foreigners had also joined in the exodus but the number was minimal compared to those by Asians who have fled in big numbers. Kenyan students in Uganda continued to flock back home following the closure of their institutions. Buses arriving at the border yesterday en route to Kampala reported heavy bookings of Ugandans who were returning home to join other compatriots in casting their votes. Panic buying of goods and foodstuffs by Kenyans in Malaba Uganda marked the last before Ugandans go to the polls today. More...

Police hunt father over an 8-year incestous love affair with his daughter

By Steve Mkawale, Feb 17 2011
Police in Molo are investigating reports of an illicit affair between a man and his daughter. The not-so-secret love affair that has lasted for the past eight years produced three children, though the last-born died last December. On Thursday, a senior police officer in Rift Valley directed local detectives to investigate the relationship and arrest the man, identified as Joseph Chirchir. "I have directed my officers on the ground to liaise with the local children department to rescue the children and arrest the suspect," said the officer who did not want to be named. Kamara location chief Joseph Korir told The Standard on Thursday that Chirchir left his house in the morning after informing his assistant he was going on safari. The chief said he was awaiting directions from his seniors to rescue the children. A local child rights activist Mr Brian Rono said Chirchir called and threatened him of dire consequences for alerting The Standard about the story. More...

Chamakanga, Sabatia
Shocked residents of Chamakanga village, Sabatia examine the pool of blood at a spot where an Administration Policeman, shot himself dead yesterday.

World Bank's to spend Sh2.2bn on hyacinth: World Bank in collaboration with the Government has launched a Sh2.2 billion project to combat hyacinth menace in the Lake Victoria basin. The programme will also boost management of water resources. Dr Francisca Owuor, the project’s national coordinator said the project to be implemented in eight years will also promote cultural and economic activities of communities living around Lake Victoria.Owuor spoke at Kakamega Golf Hotel during a three-day workshop for stakeholders in the region. MPs Manyala Keya (Lurambi) and David Were (Matungu) said they will back the project. More...
Shock engulfs Sabatia as AP commits suicide

By Roselyne Obala, Feb 17 2011
Residents of Chamakanga village in Sabatia District woke up to shocking news that an Administration Police officer (AP) had killed himself. Shock and disbelief engulfed the active village over the incidence that occurred at the home of the AP’s former girlfriend. Locals recalled the deceased’s last moments at a local pub next to his girlfriend’s home, where he appeared jovial and cool. When he was last seen, the officer is said to have excused himself to buy airtime. Western Deputy Provincial Police boss William Thwere Okello said several gunshots were heard soon after, prompting fellow officers to rush to the scene. "The officers found the AP’s body in a pool of blood with gunshot wounds on the head," he said. Grief stricken residents of Chamakanga were unable to come to terms with the incident. They condemned the officer’s decision to take his own life. More...

Fear grips Kenya as MPs fail to agree on nominees

By Alex Ndegwa, Feb 16 2011
Parliament could turn into a theatre of the absurd after fresh disagreements emerged in two House Committees scrutinising the contested nominations to four key constitutional offices. The differences between members of the committees of Finance and Justice and Legal Affairs appeared to compromise the reports already prepared, with the first coming up with two contradictory versions and members of the second disowning one tabled by their chairman on Tuesday. But the only common denominator in the recommendation by the two House Committees, albeit for different reasons, was that of returning Justice Alnashir Visram’s nomination for Chief Justice to the principals. The Party of National Unity wing of the committee, alongside Rift MPs, recommended that the Attorney General nominee, Prof Githu Muigai and that of Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Kioko Kilukumi, proceed to the vetting stage immediately, arguing their nomination was constitutional. They likewise argued Visram’s fell within the law as there were ‘adequate consultations’, but recommended returning it to the two principals, President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga because of the furore it had raised, and the need to protect the credibility of the office of the CJ. More...

Manyala Kenya, Ben Washiali, Justus Kizito
Luhya leaders consult outside Parliament over the fate of judicial nominations that have split the government right in the middle. From left: Musalia Mudavadi, deputy prime minister, Justus Kizito Mugala, MP for Shinyalu, Athanas Keya Manyala, MP for Lurambi and Ben Washiali, MP for Mumias.

Uganda police to monitor facebook, twitter ahead of elections

By our correspondent, Feb 16 2011
Uganda police are to monitor social media networks like blogs, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Asan Kasingye, the Assistant Inspector General of Police, in Kampala Central Police station believes the social media could be abused to foment violence or stir up unrest around the elections. He said that it is possible that hate messages and inflammatory statements could be exchanged on Facebook and Twitter and so the police are monitoring them to guard against riots. Kasingye claims that during the 2009 Buganda riots, some social media were used to stir up the population and cause widespread unrest. More...

Major sugar sector reforms unveiled

By our correspondent, Feb 16 2011
The government has so far disbursed Sh18.87 billion through the Kenya Sugar Board (KSB) to the sugar industry. The disclosure was made as it became clear that Kenya was unable to extend the Common Markets for East and Central Africa (Comesa) safeguards deadline, which has expired. Agriculture assistant minister Gideon Ndambuki informed members that Kenya could not extend the deadline after other Comesa members declined to allow any further extensions. Answering Nyakach MP Pollyns Ochieng (ODM), Mr Ndambuki said the Cabinet had approved a memorandum on reforming the sugar sub-sector with the coming to an end of the Comesa safeguard measures. Mr Ndambuki said the memorandum was being considered by the agriculture committee and that once its report was adopted by the House, the government would move to implement a number of policy guidelines to reform the sugar industry and prepare it to tackle any challenges that would arise with the end of the safeguard measures. More...

How about Butali?

Truckers flee Uganda for fear of election violence

By Westfm correspondent, Feb 16 2011
Ugandan transporters have parked their trucks in major Kenyan towns for fear of being caught in the election mayhem. Only a handful of trucks bearing Uganda registration numbers arrived at the Malaba border town on Wednesday for fear of being caught in post election mayhem that they are anticipating should President Museveni lose in Friday elections. Bulk of the trucks that stretched over three kilometres bore Kenyan registration numbers to confirm the magnitude of the fears gripping the Pearl of African nation. A Kenyan driver, Bashir Olwanda said he had also risked driving up to Malaba and vowed that his truck will remain at the parking yard in Kenya until after the outcome of the Ugandan polls. Customs officials at the border said they had no control over trucks arriving or living the country, adding that the control of trucks was solely in the hands of transporters. “In any case many businessmen dealing with cross border trade are Kenyan transporters to confirm the fact that many trucks crossing into Uganda bore Kenyan registration numbers, “an officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said. In contrast, many of the trucks bearing Ugandan registration numbers were crossing into Kenya en route to Nairobi and Mombasa, perhaps to escape the anticipated volatile situation in Uganda. More...


Bashir Olwanda
Kenyan trucker, Bashir Olwanda and his turnboy have suspended all trips to Uganda until after elections scheduled for this Friday. Photo: Westfm

Opportunity for Western contractors to shine

By our correspondent, Feb 16 2011
The Ministry of Higher Education has advertised tenders for construction of workshops and laboratories in all technical training institutions around the country. Preference will be given to reputable local contractors registered in Category E upon payment of requisite tender fees and bond guarantees. The projects are part of the Economic Stimulus Implementation Program PArt II. In Western, the institutes to be revamped include: Bungoma County - Sang'alo Institute of Science & Technology, Kisiwa Technical Training Institute and Matili Technical Training Institute; Busia County: Bumbe Technical Training Institute; Kakamega County: Shamberere Technical Training Institute, Sigalagala Technical Training Institute and Bushiangala Technical Training Institute; Vihiga: Friends College Kaimosi. CLICK HERE for further details.

Kimilili boy loses Sh95K in wildlife recruitment scam

By Wanyonyi wa Wasike, Feb 16 2011
A young man lost Sh95,000 to suspected Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officials in a failed bid to get recruited during the recent employment of rangers. Moses Watoka Wakora from Kimilili District in Bungoma County narrated to West Fm how four men duped his uncle into giving them the colossal amount of money with a promise that he will be recruited at the KWS Rangers Training College in Manyani. A sobbing Watoka said that he was told not to join his colleagues on the routine vigorous exercise at the Kanduyi stadium with a promise that his issue had been ‘sorted out.’ “I was informed by one of them to proceed to a hotel in Bungoma town to collect my appointment letter and true to his word; I found the letter at the reception. I could not doubt it since it looked very authentic,” said Watoka. The young man said he got the shock of his life when he reported at Manyani only to be informed that the letter that he had been given was fake. Armed with the letter as well as M-pesa money transactions between him and the tricksters, Watoka appealed to KWS Director Dr Julius Kipng’etich to intervene in his matter. Reached on phone to comment on the saga, KWS Director Dr Julius Kipng’etich admitted having heard of the young man’s case but advised him to report the matter to the police for investigations.  More...

Julius Kipng'etich
Julius Kipng'etich, the Kenya Wildlife Director adviced a conned boy to report matter to police for investigation.

Varsity student commits sucide

By Kenan Miruka, Feb 16 2011
A university student has committed suicide at their home in Mosora village, Gucha District. The body of Mathew Ratemo Isoe, 24, was found dangling from his grass-thatched hut on Tuesday afternoon. His father, Ben Isoe Oyieko, said he and his wife had gone to Ratemo’s hut to check how he was faring on because he was sick, but were shocked to find him dead. Ratemo, a First Year student at Egerton University, returned home a week ago to seek further medication after falling sick while in college. More...

Busia Bunge la Mwananchi condemn ICC deferral bid

By Frankline Bwire, Feb 16 2011
Bunge La Mwananchi in Busia County has condemned the quest by a section of the government, led by President Kibaki and the Vice President for the deferral of the International Criminal Court (ICC) case against six major suspects of Kenya’s post election violence. Addressing journalists at Matayos in Busia County, the coordinator for the Bunge La Mwananchi Busia County Mr. Morris Wandera asserted that they have read mischief in the ongoing mixed response to the ICC process by a section of the government. “We are convinced that the said ‘deferral’ is ill motivated and anybody supporting the deferral of the case is Kenya’s enemy. The ‘Ocampo six’ must go to the Hague,” he said. He added that as the government continues on with the formation of a local tribunal to try the suspects of the Kenya’s 2007 post poll violence, it is vital for the suspects to be tried at The Hague. “The local tribunal should reflect the new Kenya, capture the spirit of the new constitution, leaving no room for impunity and manipulations,” said the coordinator. Mr. Wandera noted with concern that Sh31 million was spent on consolidating the support of African states for the deferral of Kenya’s post election case at the Hague. “Wastage of resources, misappropriation of Kenya taxpayers’ money and misplaced priorities by the government should not be tolerated here,” he said. More...

Mudavadi's deputy in Sabatia is dead

By our correspondent, Feb 15 2011
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government, Hon. Musalia Mudavadi  has sent a message of condolence to the family, relatives, friends and the ODM fraternity following the death of Mr. Hudson Isagi. The Late Mr. Hudson Isagi was the DPM’s deputy as ODM Vice-Chairman, Sabatia Branch; Member of the Board of Directors at the National Irrigation Board; and Executive Director of Resource Projects Kenya, an NGO. He was an expert on environmental conservation. The Hudson Isagi who hails from Chandumba in West Maragoli Location of Sabatia District, died at Aga Khan Hospital, Kisumu after a short illness early this morning. “I have lost a great friend, and a very resourceful member of the Sabatia community. Isagi was extremely dedicated to development as a member of Sabatia CDF and was always available to offer realistic advice whenever I required it’, said the DPM. Meanwhile, the late Lillian Avugutsa, sister to Dr. Kibisu-Kabatesi, the Private Secretary and Director of Public Communications in the DPM’s Office will be buried on Saturday February 19, 2011 at her home in Chemilil, Nyando District. 

Panic rocks Butali Sugar as High Court suspends operations

By Roselyne Obala, Feb 15 2011
Confusion and panic rocked Butali Sugar Mills Limited (BSML) after the High Court suspended the firm’s operations. The farmers were angered by the sudden turn of events, barely a month after the miller started crushing cane. They called The Standard offices in Kakamega to inquire on implications of the order and the fate of their cane in the farms. The farmers now want the Government to resolve the matter, arguing that their livelihoods are at stake with the unending court battles between BSML and West Kenya Sugar Company. "Our Government should move in and protect us. We are tired of continuous court cases," they said. A three-judge Bench, comprising of High Court Judges Jeanne Gacheche, George Dulu and Daniel Musinga on Monday reinstated extension orders barring the newly-opened factory from operating. The order now stays in place until the petition by West Kenya Sugar Company is heard and determined in April. BSML staff and over 27,000 farmers woke up on Tuesday to the bad news appearing in a section of the daily newspapers. The residents have called on the Government not to allow investor wars to affect development of the region. More...

Butali Sugar Factory
Butali Sugar Factory in Malava, Kakamega which has been rocked by a High Court judgement to stop operations.

Border security beefed up ahead of Uganda elections: Security has been beefed up along the Kenya-Uganda border ahead of Uganda’s general elections scheduled for Friday this week. Labour Assistant Minister, Sospeter Ojaamong held a 40-minute closed door meeting with Teso North District Commissioner, Joseph Rotich where they discussed on the security situation along the country’s common border with Uganda. Briefing the press after the meeting, Ojaamong who is also the Amagoro MP said a senior military officer had paid a courtesy call on the DC to brief him on the security arrangements. The Legislator urged the government to allow Kenyans registered in Uganda to participate in the elections saying the new constitution provides for dual citizenship. More...
Here's one damn good thing in Samia

By Frankline Wandera, Feb 15 2011
With most parts of the country experiencing prolonged drought, residents of Samia district remain are worried about the decrease in volume of water at the Munana dam, the only source of water supply to most parts of the area. As you pass by, you may think it is a very small dam, but according to the area residents the services it offers to the area people are more than one can imagine. Being the most relied on water source in the area, Munana dam supplies water to Sigalame High school, Sifuyo, Vurudu, Luchululo, Bufuma, Evunyimodi, Dadira and Funyula town among other areas following the enhanced pumping water system. James Wandera, an officer in charge of pumping water at the Munana dam, asserts that some taps in various homes have gone dry due to the decreased levels of water at the dam, despite efforts being undertaken to ensure the water supply is enough. Sylvester Ogutu an area resident reveals that among Wakhungu, Namboboto and Munana dam in Samia district, Munana dam is the mostly relied on in terms of water supply to the area. Mr. Ogutu discloses that some water from the Wakhungu dam drains into the Munana dam, of which from where it flows to Sio River, and eventually flows into Lake Victoria. More...

Munana Dam in Samia
Lifeline: Samia residents use water from Munana Dam to wash their bodaboda bicycles. The dam is a lifeline for outlying locations including Sigalame High School, Sifuyo, Vurudu, Luchululo, Bufuma, Dadira, Evunyimodi and Funyula. Several fish ponds under the Economic Stimulus program have been dug in a bid to create employment opportunities to the people around following the availability of water from the dam. Photo: Frankline Bwire
Okemo's Finance Committee rejects Kibaki's nominee

By our correspondents, Feb 15 2011
One of the House committees interrogating nominations to crucial constitutional offices has ruled the nominee for Controller of Budget is sent back to the two principals to 'consult' afresh. The President’s letter to the Speaker communicating the list disowned by his main coalition partner appeared to be literally resealed and marked ‘return to sender’, even as Kenyans awaited resolution to the impasse threatening to erode, further, the credibility of the four constitutional offices. The ruling set the stage for a return to the negotiating table by President Kibaki who announced the nominations and Prime Minister Raila Odinga who disowned them, saying he was not consulted. The standoff came out when Raila disputed the list, called for a transparent and competitive process, and wrote to the Speaker accusing the President of acting unilaterally, and against the Constitution and National Accord. The Accord is the pillar of his 2008 power-sharing deal with Kibaki. More...

Meanwhiel the fate of three other nominees - Chief Justice, Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions will be delivered tomorrow after Namwamba's Justice Committee sought an extension to prepare their report.

Chris Okemo
Chris Okemo, the Nambale MP who chairs teh Finance Committee has rejected William Kirwa (below) nominated by President Kibaki as Budget Controller.
William Kirwa
Top Bungoma pupil can't join Lenana due to fees

By Osinde Obare, Feb 15 2011
A boy selected to join Lenana High School has not reported due to lack of fees, nearly two weeks after Form One students reported. The dream of Daniel Nyongesa, one of the top Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination pupils, to become a university lecturer, could be shattered owing to the poor financial status of his family. The former pupil at Gidea Primary School in Kwanza Constituency scored 382 marks out of 500 to secure a place at the national school. The boy lost his father in 2004 and his mother, Catherine Nasabwa, a casual labourer at the village, cannot afford to raise fees. Nyongesa’s former head teacher, Enock Mulanda, said he took the boy to report at Lenana and were given one week to raise the fees, but he has not got any money. His mother explained how she has struggled to ensure her son excelled in last year’s KCPE examination. "It has not been smooth going since I lost my husband. Feeding my five children and ensuring they are in school has been a burden to me," said Nasabwa. Elsewhere, another boy facing similar fate reported to Nakuru High School after Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa paid his fees using the local Constituency Development Fund. Dominic Bwire was selected to join Nakuru High after he scored 396 marks from Union Primary School in Kitale. More...


The origins of St. Valentine’s Day lie in the ancient Roman fertility festival Lupercalia, which was celebrated on February 15. During the festival, young women would place their names in a large urn. The young men would draw a name from the urn and then be romantically linked with that young woman for the following year. Still other legends cite the fact that February 14 marked the date when birds began mating. All alien to Luhya culture but then the Luhya have become international; marrying into cultures that would make our ancestors turn in their graves.

Luhya Valentine
Muliro varsity students die in Webuye road crash

By Osinde Obare, Feb 14 2011
Nine people, including two students of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (Mmust), were killed in a road accident along Kitale-Webuye road. The accident occurred after a university bus hit a matatu at Matunda Bridge on Saturday. The nine people died on the spot while 40 others sustained injuries and were taken to nearby health institutions. The bus was ferrying students to a funeral of a colleague in Kiminini, Trans-Nzoia County. Kitale Base Commander Justus Mutono said the bus hit the Nissan when the driver attempted to avoid hitting a pothole. A spokesman for the university, Prof Egara Kabaji confirmed the dead students were Mpapale and Oduor who died on the spot. More...

Masinde Muliro University Bus
Fatal ride: Masinde Muliro University bus that crashed in Matunda, Kitale
Police kill Nyanza's most wanted criminal

By Mangoa Mosota, Feb 14 2011
A wanted criminal in Nyanza Province and his accomplice were shot dead by police in Kisumu. The elite squad shot the middle-aged man on Saturday, less than 24 hours after he allegedly killed four people along the Kisumu-Ahero Road. Police sources said the thug was an audacious criminal, and recently even called a Provincial Administrator to boast of his killings. "He told a DC that he had killed an Oyugis businessman last year, and that police would never find him," said an officer. Most senior police officers in Kisumu were tight-lipped over the incident. Kisumu OCPD Stephen Ng’etich told The Standard he would comment later. More...

Bumula residents furious as police cancel CDF demo for the second time in a week

By Wanyonyi wa Wasike, Feb 14 2011
Police in Bungoma for the second time in a week moved in at the last minute to cancel a demonstration planned by residents of Bumula Constituency to protest against alleged misuse of Constituency Development Funds (CDF). Led by their spokesman Patrick Pamba, hundreds of residents had already started gathering at various venues from as early as 6a.m ready for the demo when they were informed that the exercise had been cancelled. The organizers who had planned a similar demo last week that was also put off by the police were informed at the Bungoma police station that the demo had been put off on security grounds. Upon being informed of the cancellation of the demo, the disappointed residents trooped back to their homes but vowed to push for the truth to be unveiled as reports emanated indicating that millions of shillings earmarked for CDF projects could not be accounted for. Pamba stated that an audit report had revealed that a Sh33 Million water project at Mukwa commissioned by President Mwai Kibaki was not operational adding that the head of State may have been duped to open an incomplete project. More...

Sylvester Wakoli Bifwoli
Besieged: Wakoli Bifwoli, MP for Bumula is a man under siege over alleged misuse of CDF funds which he chairs.

Iteso clash over education: Teso leaders over the weekend clashed over the deteriorating standards of education in the area and called for an end to the embarrassing trend. A stakeholders' meeting in Amagoro chaired by area MP Sospeter Ojaamong was told that Teso North took position 28 out of 28 districts in Western Kenya in last year's KCPE exams. More...
1500 Lugari farmers benefit from new scheme

By Joseph Amunya, Feb 14 2011
The government through the ministry of Agriculture has this year released Sh9.6 million to Lugari district through the National Agricultural Accelerated Input Access Program (NAAIP) to assist over 1,500 farmers. Speaking during a stakeholder’s forum held at a guest house in Lumakanda, District Agricultural Officer (DAO) Saidi Fwamba Wekulo said through the program poor farmers will be enabled to successfully engage in food production and assist in the fight against famine in the country. The project was launched last month and over 1000 farmers enlisted but according to Fwamba the government decided to increase the number to involve more farmers. Under the program, he said an enlisted farmer will receive 50kgs of DAP fertilizer and10kgs of maize seeds and 50kg of CAN fertilizer. At the same time the DAO appealed to farmers in the area to engage in diversified farming and discouraged them from over relying on maize farming. The District Livestock production Officer (DLPO) Wellington Mang’oli advised farmers to concentrate on dairy farming. More...

Eldoret pastor strangles wife to death over money

By Vitalis Kimutai, Feb 14 2011
Residents of Mwanzo Estate in Eldoret town woke up to shocking news that a pastor had strangled his wife and disappeared. The couple is said to have quarrelled over alleged misappropriation of money they collect from tenants as rent of residential houses belonging to the woman’s father, a senior official at Central Organisation of Trade Unions. "The pastor is said to have squandered rent from the tenants and altered records of payments in a ledger book. When his wife found out and confronted him with the facts, a fight broke out leading to the murder," a neighbour who declined to be named told The Standard at the scene. More...

The pastor is said to have squandered rent from the tenants and altered records of payments in a ledger book.

Julius  Kipng'etich
This tusk is elephant!: KWS Director, Julius Kipng’etich (right), and Ian Douglas Hamilton (middle) inspect a tusk at Sarova Taita Hills Lodge grounds on Saturday. It is the largest ever found tusk in the country, weighing 112.5kg. It was recovered by KWS officers during the weeklong Tsavo Aerial elephant Census 2011 in Tsavo Conservation area. Photo: Maarufu Mohamed.
Horror as man hacks mother to death in Nandi County

By Vitalis Kimutai, Feb 14 2011
A man hacked his mother to death in an incident that shocked villagers in Nandi County. The man slashed his mother with a panga on the neck, face and head at Maraba village, Kabolebo Location in Tinderet District. "He arrived home drunk and said he was looking for his brother, whom he wanted to fight with over an undisclosed domestic dispute," Pauline Rono, a local leader told The Standard. Mrs Rono said the suspect’s brother was not home at the time and the man instead picked a quarrel with his mother before he attacked her with the panga. Mr Daniel Tum, a son to the deceased confirmed that his brother hacked their mother to death after he arrived home drunk at night. More...

He arrived home drunk and said he was looking for his brother, whom he wanted to fight with over an undisclosed domestic dispute.

Namwamba's committee receives threats

By our correspondents, Feb 14 2011
Coalition wars are threatening to derail deliberations of two House committees mandated by the Speaker, Kenneth Marende to deliberate on President Kibaki's controversial judicial nominations. Yesterday, it emerged none of them is ready with a report because of sharp divisions within them amid threats against some members of the committtees. On Sunday, the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee promised to announce the resolutions reached by its members by 1pm, but five hours later they emerged from their meeting at the Windsor Hotel empty-handed. Worse still, two Orange Democratic Movement MPs in the committees claimed to have received threats because of the positions they have taken. Nominated MP Millie Odhiambo and Kisumu Town West MP Olago Oluoch claimed they received threats of withdrawal of their personal security, if they did not support Kibaki’s list. Odhiambo also claimed former Justice minister Martha Karua and Gwassi MP John Mbadi received similar threats. "I suspect the threats are because of the ongoing debate, but I will raise the issue with the Speaker and the Commissioner of Police," said Mbadi who is in Finance. "If I am the last woman standing, I would stand for justice, I would not be intimidated," vowed Odhiambo. Olago said: "Clearly it must be linked to the work we are doing." More...

Ababu Namwamba and Millie Odhiambo
Members of the Legal Affairs committee; Chairman Ababu Namwamba (right) and Millie Odhiambo. Ms Odhiambo has confirmed she received threats over her work in the committee that is looking into the constitutionality of President Kibaki's judicial nominations.

Lady A rules at Grammies as Lady G arrives in space shuttle

Country trio Lady Antebellum and pop star Lady Gaga were among the winners at the most prestigious ceremony in the music calendar, the Grammy Awards. Lady Antebellum won five prizes, including song of the year and record of the year for their hit Need You Now. Lady Gaga, who was carried down the Los Angeles event's red carpet in a giant egg, won three awards including best pop vocal album for The Fame Monster. More...

Judges spell out terms for vetting to avoid Ringera-style shambolic purge

By Jibril Adan, Feb 14 2011
Amidst rising uncertainty over their jobs, judges and magistrates have spelt out the terms under which they want to be vetted as a precondition for retention in service. The two groups, however, insist "we shall boldly present ourselves for such vetting so that confidence in the Judiciary is restored". They ask that the process not be a repetition of the shambolic "radical surgery of 2003", and want payment in full of terminal and other benefits, and golden handshakes and special benefits pegged on years of service for those who will either fail the test or opt not to go through it. According to a press release by the Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association (KMJA), what is worrying the judicial officers most is the fact that the new Vetting of Magistrates and Judges Bill sets a higher threshold for retention in service than the Constitution. "While we still affirm our submission to any vetting mechanism, the same should not be allowed to go against laid–down standards of our Constitution,’’ they said. High Court Judge Justice Isaac Lenaola chairs KMJA. More...

We shall boldly present ourselves for such vetting so that confidence in the Judiciary is restored

Vihiga County Forum inaugural meeting held

By our reporter, Feb 12 2011
Deputy Prime Minister, Musalia Mudavadi has said that although Vihiga County is a political, economic, social and cultural entity under the new constitution, it should be run as an economic unit. "Vihiga should first and foremost be seen as an economic expression of our collective responsibilities as residents. We must see the County as a business that requires qualified managers to run it," Hon Mudavadi told delegates at the inaugural meeting on the newly formed Vihiga County Forum in Nairobi. For a long time, Kenyans have decried inequity in the distribution of resources. The key purpose for which County Governments will exist is to mitigate inequity and bestow on Kenyans the right to equitable resource allocation and at the same time the responsibility to micro-manage the resources for their own development. All of us must therefore ensure we understand the Objects of Devolution in Chapter Eleven of the Constitution. More...

Mudavadi's private secretary bereaved

By our correspondent, Feb 12 2011
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government, Hon. Musalia Mudavadi has sent a message of condolence to the family, relatives and friends of the Late Lillian Alivitsa. The late Lillian is the sister to Dr. Kibisu-Kabatesi, the Private Secretary and Director of Public Communications in the DPM’s Office. The late Lillian died this morning at in Nakuru after a long illness. She was a teacher at Koilel High School in Naivasha. Funeral arrangements are underway and a full program will be released shortly.

Joy as tarmacking of dusty Butula-Ejinja Road begins

By Frankline Bwire, Feb 11 2011
Residents from Butula district have welcomed the tarmacking of the 36.8 kilometer road from Ejinja to Bumala, a move that has left many of them with great joy. Mr. James Tindo a taxi driver who has been plying the Ejinja, Bumala road for the past 5 years, asserted that tarmacking of the road will improve transport network of the area. “Many passengers arriving late from Nairobi have been facing difficulties of transport following fear by various vehicle owners to allow them ply the route at night,” he said. Mr. Tindo added that dust had taken control of the road, not forgetting the rainy season that has in most cass attributed to increased fares, despite of the poor state of the road. “Normal price from Bumala to Butula used to be Kshs. 50 compared to the current price of Sh 100, that has left many complaining for many years,” said Mr. Tindo. According to Ignatius Ouma an area resident, one cannot do away with the dust which makes most passengers brown immediately they alight from vehicles. “You cannot believe that someone is travelling despite of the dress he has worn. Some are forced to change from the market centre before they proceed with their journey,” he said. Meanwhile, the MP for Butula Mr. Alfred Odhiambo has appealed for togetherness from the area residents disclosing that it is a great opportunity awarded by the government for them to improve their businesses once the tarmacking will be complete. More...

Butula Ejinja Road
The dusty, 40km Butula-Ejinja Road in Marachi has been approved for tarmacking bringing a relief to local residents. Photo: Frankline Bwire

Kanduyi market to open on Thursdays only

By Silas Kibet Kemboi, Feb 11 2011
The expansion of Bungoma-Malaba highway, traders and matatu operators’ have been forced to use the alternative space outside, Masinde Muliro Stadium in Kanduyi constituency. Speaking during the launch of the market, Bungoma Municipal mayor Mr. Barasa Mbinga and stakeholders said over 400 merchants have registered with the municipal to trade in the new market. ‘’By now over 400 businessmen have registered and we are expecting more, to make Kanduyi market a success.’’ said Mbinga. Mr. Mbinga added that the stakeholders the council and their market representatives had agreed that the market day be on Thursdays of every week to improve the economy of Bungoma County. More...

Doctors shocked at baby's HIV's status

By Arthur Okwemba, Feb 11 2011
An HIV positive woman has delivered an HIV negative baby without any medical intervention. The baby has tested negative for the virus on the most advanced machine used in diagnosing HIV. This is despite her mother not having used any anti-retroviral drugs or other forms of interventions key in preventing the virus from passing to the child during pregnancy. Doctors say that two HIV tests done on the six-month-old’s blood samples using the Polymerase Chain Rectors (PCR) have returned negative results. “Before delivery, we followed her for several months to ensure her viral load was below detectable levels and the CD4 count was in the permitted range for a healthy person,” says Dr Surendra Patel, a researcher and an expert in infectious diseases. By the time the woman was giving birth to her 2.6-kilogramme baby, the doctor says, her viral load (the amount of the active HIV in a person’s blood) was below 20 copies or an undetectable level, and the CD4 count (immune cells that fight infections) was over 600. More...

People power drives Egypt's Mubarak out

Hosni Mubarak has stepped down as president of Egypt, after weeks of protest in Cairo and other cities The news was greeted with a huge outburst of joy and celebration by thousands in Cairo's Tahrir Square - the heart of the demonstrations. Mr Mubarak ruled for 30 years, suppressing dissent and protest, and jailing opponents. US President Barack Obama said that Egypt must now move to civilian and democratic rule. This was not the end but the beginning and there were difficult days ahead, he added, but he was confident the people could find the answers. More...

Scott Gration, US envoy to Kenya
Scott Gration, the US special envoy to Sudan has been named to replace Michael Ranneberger as US ambassador to Kenya in the wake of WikiLeaks diplomatic cables scandal that poisoned relations between Washington DC and Nairobi.

Hosni Mubarak
Hosni Mubarak, until today the president of Egypy has been forced to call it quits after 30 years in power under a blanket of people's revolution.
New US envoy to Kenya named in wake of WikiLeaks scandals

By Dave Opiyo, Feb 11 2011
US ambassador Michael Ranneberger is about to call time on his tenure following the nomination of his successor by President Obama. A statement from the White House Thursday indicated that the US President had nominated Scott Gration - his special envoy to Sudan as his new ambassador in Nairobi. His elevation to the rank of ambassador now requires Senate confirmation. Major General Scott Gration is credited with overseeing a smooth and peaceful referendum vote in which the people of Southern Sudan voted in favour of independence from the North. The vote was considered an accomplishment for the US administration and its special envoy, who initially came under heavy criticism for the perception that he is too soft on Khartoum. "We would like to stress that his departure in no way indicates that this administration is walking away from the many challenges we still face in Sudan, particularly in Darfur," the White House statement said. No replacement for Major General Gration has been named but the Obama administration has in recent months added to its team in Sudan, naming veteran diplomat Princeton Lyman to help the north and the south work out key remaining issues including the division of oil profits and Dane Smith, another long-time US envoy, to work on the Darfur issue. He has previously served as Special Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel and had a stint in US Air Force from 1974 to 2006. More...

Winnie Mandela sued: A South African police officer has laid charges against Nelson Mandela's ex-wife, after the pair clashed when he accused her of speeding, his union says. More...
One killed as ex jailbird runs amok in a Teso village

By Westfm correspondent, Feb 10 2011
A man ran amok Wednesday night killing one person and injuring two in a bizarre incident that has shocked the residents of Changara village, Teso North district. John Okemeri, 63, was hit with a metal bar on the head where he succumbed to the injury while two boda boda riders Oroni Muganda and Job Opagala had their wrists slashed with a panga. Area Chief, Jim Osiromo confirmed the incident saying the killer who was released from custody three months ago was still at large but police were combing Changara hills where he is believed to be hiding. Teso District Criminal Investigations Officer, Amos Teben said his officers were following some leads in a bid to arrest the suspect. Sources said the killer suspect was living with the deceased who had been employed by his father as a work man but he turned against him after he returned from a drinking spree to find rumours that police were looking for him over a sack of maize he had stolen to use the proceeds for buying chang’aa. Before verifying the claims, the irate man pulled the Okemeri from his house and attacked him with blows and kicks before hitting him on the head. He then pulled him for over 20 metres and dumped him in his uncle’s compound. More...

Bungoma Police Station
Bungoma Police Station. Five people have been charged with robbery with violence which carries a mandatory death penalty.

Orengo's links land case queried : Lands Minister James Orengo was on Thursday challenged in Parliament to declare his interest in a controversial sale of government land said to have been illegally acquired by powerful politicians and well connected businessmen. Mr Orengo was said to have acted as a lawyer for former Limuru MP Kuria Kanyingi who bought part of the land belonging to Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (Kari) Potato Research Centre in Tigoni from Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo. More...
Five face death penalty if convicted in Bungoma

By Westfm, Feb 10 2011
Five people were Thursday charged in a Bungoma Court for robbery with violence contrary to section 296(2) of the penal code. Ramadhan Sihachi, Jimmy Ochoke Moseti, Joseph Waweru Mungai, Godwin Telewa Wafula and Robert Njoroge Mburu appeared before Principal Magistrate, Julius Ngarngar denied the charges. The five were charged that on February 7, 2011, at Akichelesit area in Teso North District within Western Province jointly with others not before the court and being armed with dangerous weapons, robbed Joseph Mathionjo Kinyanjui off Sh 666,030. The magistrate accepted the request of Teso CID boss, Amos Teben to have the accused remanded at Malaba police station cells for four days to enable them complete the investigations. Teben said they needed time to liaise with their counterparts in Western province to establish whether the accused could have been involved in some robberies so that the cases could be enjoined. The CID boss said some suspects were arrested as far Nakuru, adding that detectives managed to recover Sh200, 000 which will be used as exhibits in the case. More...

House defers ruling on judicial nominations

By Alex Ndegwa, Feb 10 2011
The fate of the contested nominations to top Judiciary offices will be determined next week. Yesterday, parliamentary committees on Justice and Finance, which are probing the constitutionality of the nominations by President Kibaki to the offices of Chief Justice, Attorney General, Director of Public Prosecutions and Controller of Budget, asked for more time to assess evidence before them. National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende agreed to the request against ODM push to stop discussions on the contentious nominations by the two House committees led by MPs Ababu Namwamba (Budalangi) and Chris Okemo (Nambale). Marende directed the teams to submit the reports on Tuesday when he is expected to rule on the issue. More...

Alnashir Visram
Justice Alnashir Visram whose nomination by President Kibaki has kicked a storm, has been dealt a further blow by Law Society of Kenya which has accused him of perjury. House ruling on the constitutionality of the nominations has been deferred to Tuesday next week.
Manhunt launched for randy Bungoma priest who sodomised 16 boys

By Robert Wanyonyi, Feb 10 2011
Police are looking for a church leader suspected to have sodomised 16 boys at an estate in Bungoma town. The man, who is in his 30s, is alleged to have committed the offence at different dates since the beginning of the year. He has since gone underground after the victims recorded statements about the bizarre activities to the police yesterday. The revelations sparked anger as irate parents stormed the Bungoma Police Station to demand for the immediate arrest of the man. The man is said to have been a houseboy before becoming a businessman and later a priest at a local church. "He used to lure me into a cattle-dip near our home and every time he did bad things on me. He gave me Sh1,000 on each occasion," claimed one of the victims aged nine. More...

Leopard skin gift to Gaddafi sparks storm as tribal elders troop to Tripoli

By Billy Muiruri, Feb 10 2011
It looks like Mr Kamlesh Pattni can never keep out of trouble. Shortly after the architect of the Goldenberg scandal led a delegation of elders to Libya, he is under investigation over the source of a leopard skin presented to President Muammar Gaddafi. The skin was one of the gifts given to Mr Gaddafi when more than 50 Kenyan elders visited his country. It is not yet known how Mr Pattni got hold of the leopard skin and took it to Libya. To export animal trophy outside Kenya, one would normally need permission from the Kenya Wildlife Service. Representing communities Ordinarily, Kenya Wildlife Services has to license either a wild animal or products made out of animal parts to leave the country, said the director Julius Kipng’etich. “Such a gift that involves wild animals or products from the same must be licensed by KWS before leaving the country,” he said. Mr Kipng’etich made it clear that if the consignment was from the country and wrongfully declared, those involved would be charged. Mr Pattni has recently emerged as the unlikely leader of the House of Traditional Elders of Kenya, a group patronised by the oil-rich Gaddafi who is sponsoring similar initiatives across Africa. The so-called House of Traditional Elders of Kenya, was registered on December 22, 2009, with Mr Pattni as chairman and elders claiming to represent major Kenyan communities holding the other offices. Other officials in the Registrar of Societies list are Riaga Ogallo (vice-chairman), Phares Ruteere (secretary-general), and Vincent Mwachiro (treasurer). Former Ol Kejuado County Council chairman Daniel ole Muyaa is the organising secretary, Haji Ahmed is the deputy secretary and Peter Mumia is the national coordinator. There is also Julius Nyarotso as deputy treasurer, Thuita Mwangi as deputy organising secretary and Sam Muumbi as deputy coordinator. More...

Kenyan tribal elders
Kenyan traditional elders meet Libyan leader, Col Muammar Gaddafi (left) in Tripoli under their umbrella organisation, House of Traditional Elders of Kenya led by Kamlesh Pattni (centre), the Goldenberg architect.
Nabongo Peter MumiaNabongo Mumia
Nabongo Peter Mumia II (right), the reigning Wanga traditional king (left) and his grandfather, Nabongo Mumia Shiundu who died in 1949 following one of the most illustrous reigns in Wanga kingdom. Peter Mumia is the national coordinator of the House of Traditional Elders of Kenya.
Lawyers body says proposed CJ unfit for office

By Peter Opiyo, Feb 10 2011
President Kibaki's nominee for Chief Justice suffered credibility doubts when the Law Society of Kenya, which is the largest clientele base for Judiciary, discredited him. Justice Alnashir Visram, whose nomination Kibaki’s allies has attributed to the fact he hails from a minority group deemed neutral in Kenya’s turbulent sea of ethnic politics was accused of perjury. LSK has written him off as unfit to preside over justice. LSK revealed it filed a complaint in Parliament accusing the proposed Chief Justice of committing perjury in 1999, which they are now pulling out and dusting to question his integrity. The umbrella body for Kenya lawyers yesterday presented a memorandum to Parliament’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee questioning the judge’s professional background. He could replace Chief Justice Evan Gicheru if Parliament rules out Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s protestation he was not consulted on the final list, and determines President adhered to the Constitution when he picked the four nominees to key constitutional offices. LSK told the committee probing the nominations of Attorney General, Director of Public Prosecutions and the CJ that Visram swore and signed an affidavit to say he had resigned from a law firm after it was sued for failing to remit proceeds from the sale of property worth Sh14.1 million. But Justice Visram called The Standard newsroom in the evening to dismiss the allegations against him, arguing they were meant to derail his candidature for the job. More...

Kenneth Akide
LSK boss caught napping: Kenneth Akide, chairman of the Law Society of Kenya has been caught off handed in the legal tussle over President Kibaki's controversial nominations. Last week he appeared to endorse the nominees but in a formal presentation to a House Committee investigating the issue, LSK has written Justice Alnashir Visram and Kioko Kilukumi, unfit to hold the powerful offices of Chief Justice and Director of Public Prosecutions, respectively. This apparent contradiction between the chairman and the organisation he represents, has the effect of seriously undermining his leadership.

Rare gorilla twins in Rwanda: Twin mountain gorillas have been born in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. The babies born on 3 February 2011 are only the fifth set of twins ever recorded in the history of Rwanda's mountain gorillas. The last reported birth of mountain gorilla twins was in 2004, according to conservation group The Gorilla Organization. More...
Muthaura caught on tape supporting Mungiki

By our correspondents, Feb 10 2011
Head of Civil Service, Francis Muthaura, is facing a new storm after a tape was released in which he is allegedly admitting supporting the Mungiki during post-election violence. Muthaura, who is in the International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo list of six suspected masterminds of post-election violence, was allegedly taped by two men who visited him in his office early last month. They claimed to be university students who could help mount a public campaign in his favour against the Intenational Criminal Court, shortly after Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo made public the list of suspects. Gem MP, Jakoyo Midiwo, who released the nine-minute audio recording at Parliament Buildings yesterday called on Muthaura to resign, claiming he had admitted involvement in post-election violence. But in an earlier press conference at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi, which was broadcasted live, Muthaura said the tape was a plot to tarnish his name, claiming it was edited to cast him in bad light. "I want to make it very clear that I am not party to these primitive behaviours and I appeal to all Kenyans to dismiss them, " he said. But he admitted giving the two youth money for lunch and transport since he thought they represented a group of students. More...

Ten perish in Malaba bound bus tragedy

By Stephen Mkawale, Feb 9 2011
Ten people have been confirmed dead and 29 injured after a Crown bus headed to Malaba collided with a trailer at Sachangwan along Nakuru-Eldoret highway. The Accident occured at 2.45am today and the injured have been rushed to hospitals in Nakuru. Rescue operations at the scene are being led by Deputy Rift Valley Province Police boss Elias Oduori and Traffic Enforcement Officer, Mary Omar. A soldier attached to 77 Artillery Battalion has been identified among the dead. At teh time of going to press, eight bodies were still at the scene and two bodies at the Rift Valley Provincial hospital. At the provincial hospital, most of the injured have been treated and discharged but nine have been admitted. One of the seriously injured has been taken to theatre for surgery. More...

Fear grips Western in the wake of bus crash

Malaba Bus tragedy
The ill-fated Crown Bus that collided with a trailer at Sachangwan along Nakuru-Eldoret Highway early Wednesday morning. Ten people died and 29 injured. Photo: Boniface Thuku

Minister's assassination spoils independence party for South Sudan

By our correspondent, Feb 9 2011
A minister in the government of South Sudan was shot dead inside his ministry on Wednesday, days after referendum results confirmed the region will become Africa's newest independent state, the region's army said. "The minister for rural development and cooperation has been killed by a driver working at the ministry. He also killed a guard at the door of the ministry then shot himself," South Sudan's army spokesman Philip Aguer said. Final results of a referendum on independence confirmed on Monday that South Sudan will become the world's newest state on July 9. More...

Court declares Wajir MP an alien Muhamud Sirat
Muhamud Sirat: Australian.

By Evelyn Kwamboka, Feb 9 2011
Wajir South MP Muhammud Sirat is now required to take plea in court as an Australian citizen. The Immigration Department alleges he is in the country illegally. Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei made the decision yesterday after dismissing the MP’s attempts to object to being charged as a foreigner. Mr Mutembei said if the MP who was elected to Parliament in a by-election last year feels the State is abusing the court process, he should seek a Judicial Review. More...

Kenya, Uganda agree on ways of solving truck congestion at Malaba

By Westfm correspondent, Feb 9 2011
Kenya and Uganda governments have unveiled measures aimed at combating persistent congestion of trucks at the Malaba border that they said was a threat to regional economy. A six-hour joint meeting between top security teams from the two countries at Jaki Guest House in Malaba, Kenya agreed to enforce the joint 24 hour system between Kenya Revenue Authority and URA to the letter. Officers from the two revenue bodies were warned that any officer who will fail to comply with the round-the clock system will face severe disciplinary measures. The closed door meeting was co-chaired by Tororo Resident District Commissioner, Damulira Kyeyune and Teso North District Commissioner in Kenya, Joseph Rotich. The two partner states also agreed that trucks whose documents have not been processed will be stopped five kilometers away from the customs border points of both states. In Kenya the trucks whose documents are not ready will stop at Koteko area near Amagoro District headquarters while those in Uganda will stop at Kayemba until their papers were processed. The new rules have met the wrath of the clearing agents who blamed the pile up on customs officials whom it claimed were solely to blame for contributing to the constant jam by dillydallying in their work. The chairman of the agents, Stephen Otwane said the move to keep the trucks out of Malaba town was meant to kill business in the border town, adding that thefts on trucks and insecurity will increase once the rule was implemented. More...

Malaba truck congestion
Malaba border is a vital transit point into Uganda and beyond. Arguments over documentation on bote sides of the border have been at the centre of strikes and truck congestion, running into miles and hampering regional trade.

All envoys summoned to Nairobi

By our correspondents, Feb 9 2011
President Kibaki has capped his sustained diplomatic offensive against the International Criminal Court by summoning envoys in strategic Western capitals to Nairobi for a secret brief on his deferral strategy. The recall is aimed at detailing the diplomats on how to win over the countries they serve in to back Kenya’s push for a deferral of its cases at The Hague, through the UN Security Council. It builds on the Sh31million shuttle diplomacy Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka said the President assigned him, to rally African countries behind Kenya’s push for one-year deferral of the cases ‘Ocampo Six’ may face.More...

British woman dies in botched buttocks operation in US

By our correspondent, Feb 9 2011
US police investigating the death of a UK woman who received a cosmetic injection in her buttocks in a hotel room have questioned a woman believed to be linked to the procedure. Investigators say Claudia Adusei, 20, who had travelled from London, died in hospital in Pennsylvania on Tuesday after an injection of silicone. Police executed a search warrant on Tuesday at the home of a woman believed to have set up the appointment online. No arrests have been made in the case. Hotel room procedure Detectives said the liquid silicone injection, thought to have been arranged over the internet, took place at a hotel near Philadelphia International Airport. The woman questioned by police was not placed under arrest, Lt Ray Evers said. More...

Jennifer Lopez butt
Jennifer Lopez and her trademark JLo butt which sparked the craze for big bottoms across US, Europe and South America.
Craze for big buttocks

By Raijini Vaidyanathan, Feb 9 2011
Buttock enhancement treatments are most popular in South America, where many people see a fuller, shapely bottom as a sign of attractiveness - but they are becoming more common in the US. The injection of liquid silicone for cosmetic purposes is banned here, but there is a growing black market. On some websites and chatrooms, it is possible to buy a course of injections and get instructions on how to administer them at home. There have also been reports of so-called "pump-up parties", where women and members of the transgender community inject themselves to enhance their feminine appearance. Figures on the numbers injured or killed by the treatments are not officially recorded, but the number of reported cases are on the rise. More...

Sabatia residents hold demo over insecurity

By John Kabaka, Feb 8 2011
More than 600 residents of Vihiga County Monday morning demonstrated over escalating insecurity in the area. The demonstrations come in the wake of increased attacks to the residents of the County in several areas. Last Thursday night, armed gangsters attacked several markets in Vihiga : Mago, Mudete, Keveye and Vokoli Girl’s School while on Wednesday night, an assistant chief for Vokoli sub location, Joram Mbogani Changusia was hacked to death by thugs. Angry residents marched all the way from Chavakali to Sabatia to Mudete Tea Project, the District Commissioners office and filed their case before they agreed to have talks with the area District Commissioner. However, the Sabatia DC Wiliam Kiprono had a hard time calming the residents who heckled him and called him as lazy and chanted songs demanding for his removal from office. As a result of the havoc, Rajab Munga the OCS for Mbale OCS assured the residents that the security of the place will be beefed in the next two weeks. More...

Orwa Ojode
Orwa Ojode, assistant minister for internal security has assured residents of Vihiga County that the government will beef up security following a spate of murders.

Malaba supermarket raided: Malaba Police in Teso are holding three people in connection to last night’s raid on Neema Supermarket in Malaba Township that left a trail of losses and destruction. Among those nabbed included a security guard with Kangwa security services. There was drama when one of the suspects tried to resist arrest before he was overpowered by two plain clothes officers who chained him before being led to the station. More...
Govt assures Maragoli, Bunyore of security

By Westfm, Feb 8 2011
A day after More than 600 residents of Vihiga County Monday morning demonstrated over what they called escalating insecurity in the area, the government has assured residents they are responding to the issue. Orwa Ojode the assistant minister for State provincial administration and internal security Tuesday told parliament that he was going to dispatch the Elite Squad to Kakamega and Vihiga County to contain the escalating insecurity. He also disclosed that his ministry was in dialogue with the treasury to increase funding to them to be able to replace the old fleet of vehicles with new ones. Mr Ojode was responding to Mr. Wilbur Otichillo the legislator for Emuhaya who had inquired of whether the minister was aware of the state of security in the area and the measures in place to ensure that the area District Commissioner Administration Commandant OCS for Luanda will be provided with a vehicle and when Mwichio Police Patrol Base would be upgraded. More...

Body parts merchant nabbed at a Kakamega mortuary

By our correspondents, Feb 7 2011
A man suspected of trading in male sexual organs was on Tuesday arrested at the Kakamega provincial hospital mortuary. The 58-year-old man is said to have walked to the mortuary and approached a cleaner who he told he was looking for human organs for use in witchcraft. He allegedly tried to sweet-talk the cleaner that it would be easy to obtain the organs from the place without arousing suspicion. Cleaner Niven Muchesia said he was shocked by what the man, who was carrying a black bag, had told him but decided to invite him to an office to get further details. “I immediately informed the officer in charge of the facility who called the security officers,” said Mr Muchesia. When security officers arrived, the man, who was trying to negotiate a price for the organs, panicked and asked to be forgiven. The incident disrupted normal operations with people milling around the mortuary to see the man. The suspect was escorted to the Kakamega police station for questioning. The divisional police chief, Mr Joseph Omijah, said the man, from Lubao market in Kakamega Central district, could have been acting on behalf somebody else. More...

Samia house, namuduru
A grass thatched hut, the traditional Luhya house. Two children were burnt to death in a mysterious fire that gutted their hut at Sidiri village, Namuduru sub location in Samia.

VP's Sh32m shuttle diplomacy: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs alone spent Sh31.5m on Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka's shuttle diplomacy around Africa to seek support for a deferral of ICC cases against six Kenyan suspects. The VP who was on the spot in parliament Tuesday dismissed allegations that the exercise was in futility saying the Kenyan government opted against a direct approach to the ICC. More...
Two children burned to death in Samia

By Frankline Bwire, Feb 8 2011
Two children were burnt to death after fire gutted down their grass thatched house at Sidiri village, Namuduru sub location in Samia district Monday morning. According to Mrs. Jackline Auma the mother of the two children aged 1 and 4 years, she had gone to plough her garden leaving behind her two children still a sleep, disclosing that no fire was lit then. Mrs. Auma asserted that she was alerted by neighbors passing by who noticed huge smoke from her two grass thatched houses. “Nobody at the moment was at home, apart from the children. I don’t know what exactly might have caused all this,” she said. According to Mr. Rojers Ouma an area resident, efforts to aid the children went in vain following the heavy smoke and heat that was being controlled by blowing wind at the moment. Mr. Ouma asserted that nothing was salvaged in the incident, despite the combined efforts to rescue the children. The Busia Police Boss Mr. Erustus Muthamia has appealed to the area residents to be keen during this dry weather season, adding that parents should not leave their children in rooms with fire or near fire sources. More...

Kibaki, Raila secretive nominations exposed

By Alex Ndegwa, Feb 7 2011
President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga overruled recommendation by their aides that four key constitutional offices be filled through a competitive process. The two sides spilt the beans during appearance on behalf of their principals before the House Finance Committee yesterday in Parliament. However, the two sides nonetheless stuck to the conflicting positions their principals have taken. The revelations now paint a different picture of what transpired between Kibaki and Raila in relation to nominations to the top jobs, which have created a rift in the Grand Coalition, and over which the two principals deadlocked again on Monday. It is now emerging the two leaders who have since surrendered resolution of the impasse to the parliamentary committees worked closely on plans to fill the offices at the initial stages before the differences set in. It was far much later that they overruled the technical teams they had selected to advise them on the nominations. More...

Caroli Omondi
Caroli Omondi, PM Raila's assistant.
Francis Muthaura
Francis Muthaura, Kibaki's gatekeeper.
Wamalwa holds talks with Museveni in Mbale

By Robert Wanyonyi, Feb 7 2011
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni held a two-hour meeting with three Kenyan MPs, led by Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa on Sunday. The meeting held at the Mbale State Lodge in the eastern region of Uganda was also attended by Ford-Kenya chairman Musikari Kombo, Assistant Minister Wakoli Bifwoli (Lands) and former Chief of Protocol in the PM’s office Tony Gachoka. The MPs are believed to have secured the chance to meet Museveni thanks to Bamaasaba King Omukuka Wilson Wambibi, who also attended the talks that ran between 9.30pm and 11.30pm. Earlier in the day, Museveni had presided over a military national celebrations at Soroti. "Our talks centred on cultural issues and cross-border relationship," Wamalwa told The Standard yesterday. He said Museveni expressed his support for cultural growth and sustainability, not only in Uganda but also within the East African region. More...

Drunk patient attacks nurse at Kenyatta N. Hospital

By Elizabeth Mwai, Feb 7 2011
A patient roughed up a nurse at the Kenyatta National Hospital. The incident occurred on Monday night at the orthopaedic ward after the patient was told to stop making noise. Deputy Director of Clinical Services Simeon Monda said following the attack, security will be enhanced in wards. "The hospital will do everything possible to ensure the security of its staff and that of patients is guaranteed," said Dr Monda. KNH authorities held a two-hour emergency meeting with about 25 staff representatives to discuss their safety. The nurses requested for continuous surveillance to ensure they are protected from violent patients. This is not the first time that a staffer at the hospital has been assaulted. Speaking to The Standard, Monda said security personnel detected that the patient was drunk but did not inform medical personnel for necessary blood tests to be conducted and stored as evidence. He said patients were taking alcohol, smoking and using drugs in secrecy, especially in the orthopaedic ward. More...

Kisii Town
A main street in Kisii town where a lawyer was attacked by a mysterious snake in his room at Mwalimu Hotel.

Bid to ban farting in Malawi: Two of Malawi's most senior judicial officials are arguing over whether a new bill includes a provision that outlaws breaking wind in public. Justice Minister George Chaponda says the new bill would criminalise flatulence to promote "public decency". "Just go to the toilet when you feel like farting," he told local radio. However, he was directly contradicted by Solicitor General Anthony Kamanga, who says the reference to "fouling the air" means pollution.More...
Shock as snake attacks lawyer at a Kisii hotel

By Robert Nyasato, Feb 7 2011
An election petition against Kitutu Masaba MP Walter Nyambati was adjourned yesterday after a snake reportedly attacked the lead defence lawyer Osoro Mogikoyo at his hotel room in Kisii town. The court was adjourned after hearing that Mogikoyo had been attacked by a snake in his room at Mwalimu Hotel, and could not talk. Counsel for parties in the petition filed by Justus Omiti, Otiende Amolo for the petitioner and Fred Orora for respondents - the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) and Returning Officer Lawrence ole Sempele and Jackson Omwenga for Nyambati rushed to Mogikoyo’s hotel room to ascertain the situation. Mogikoyo, who was in a daze, communicated in writing, saying he heard a knock and push on his door at about 4am, and when he opened the door, a huge black snake attacked him and coiled itself around his neck. More...

Lugari father commits suicide as sons watch

By Joseph Otieno, Feb 6 2011
A somber mood gripped the tiny Binyenya village in Likuyani district after a 47 years old man committed suicide by jumping in a dam as his two sons aged 8 and 6 years watched. The man is said to have decided to end his life after disagreeing with his wife over family matters earlier on. Mr. Francis Mikachi who claimed to be tired of unending quarrels with his wife Margaret Mikachi, left his home Sunday evening accompanied by his two sons saying that he was going for shopping at a nearby market but instead of heading to the market, the man led his children towards the Ayodi Dam. According to the children, he kissed them before jumping into the dam leaving them behind waiting thinking he would swim back but he never showed up. They said that after waiting for hours without seeing their father come back, two minors walked home and narrated the ordeal who later raised the alarm after it dawned to her he had committed suicide. Combined efforts by police and area residents are still going on in search of the body. More...

Lugari fails to submit application for CDF funds

By our correspondent, Feb 6 2011
Lugari is among eight constituencies that have not submitted proposals to access 50 per cent of CDF money allocated n 2009/2010 financial year. Others include Aldai, Baringo North, Kitui South, Lamu East, Lugari, Mathioya, Mwea and Subukia. Planning minister, Wycliffe Oparanya said this means the money, which may amount to about Sh240 million is still lying idle. And former Assistant Minister Enock Kibunguchy argues the CDF Act gives MPs excessive powers over CDF managers. "Some CDF managers are either completely in the dark about what goes on in the constituencies or are sidelined by a powerful clique around MPs," he said. Mr Kibunguchy claimed CDF managers have been reduced to playing transition role from one MP to another after a General Election. "In Lugari, we have raised ten points that, in our view, require investigations. We strongly believe what we have raised might just be a tip of the iceberg and we have forwarded our report to the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission," he added. More...

Enock Kibunguchy
Sitting on honey keg: Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo has been blamed for not submitting claims for millions of CDF funds allocated to his constituency. Former area MP, Dr Enoch Wamalwa Kibunguchy (inset) has petitioned Kenya Anti Corruption Commission to investigate looting and mismanagement of public funds in Lugari.
Kibaki, Raila agree to let House decide judicial jobs

By our correspondent, Feb 6 2011
President Kibaki's office reports they have agreed with Prime Minister Raila Odinga to let parliament decide the fate of the nominees to justice and budget office jobs. The two leaders met at the President's office for one-and-half hours in what was keenly watched across the country in the hope it would finally resolve a controversy triggered by President Kibaki's nominations to four key State jobs on January 28. A statement from the Presidential Press Service said "on the issue of the nominations to fill State offices currently under consideration by Parliament, the two principals agreed to respect the ongoing parliamentary process and its outcome". During the same meeting, Minister of State for Public Service was appointed to also act as Minister for Medical Services, whose substantive leader Prof Peter Anyang' Nyong'o is away in the US seeking treatment. The Minister for Fisheries Amason Jeffah Kingi was named to act in place of Henry Kosgei as Minister for Industrialisation after he was suspended upon being charged with a corruption offence. More...

Diaspora Kenyans form political caucus

By Augustine Oduor, Feb 6 2011
A new political wave of Kenyans in the Diaspora is set to ripple across the country in the run up to 2012 general elections. With all the money and resources, the group has vowed to consolidate their numbers to create a formidable force to take over power from the current leadership. Under the banner Kenyans in Diaspora for Change, the movement hopes to bring together all the Diaspora organizations to chat the way forward ahead of the coming elections. Already, five groups- the Kenya Community Abroad, New Vision Kenya, Kenya Global Unity, the Diaspora Movement of Kenya and the Kenya for Change- have expressed willingness to unite. Speaking to The Standard on Monday, Solomon Kimuyu of Dallas, Texas, an official in the movement said plans are already underway to set up a common kitty that will finance all interested persons from the Diaspora who hope to contest. Dr Shem Ochuodho, one of the conveners of the movement said on-line debates will be organized for all interested candidates for presidency. More...

Wycliffe Oparanya
Wycliffe Oparanya, the planning minister. Talk of a snap election is cheap political gossip, he says.

Fight against FGM continues: As the world marks the eighth anniversary of an Africa-led campaign against female genital mutilation (traditional practice which involves the partial or total removal of female genitalia, undergone by more than 100million girls and women worldwide), the fight against FGM is yet to ripen in areas that still practice the culture. This is a day that rekindles the story on two young sisters who had taken refuge in a forest for three days with neither food nor water in Marakwet West District to escape forced circumcision as well as early planned marriages. More...
Oparanya dismisses talk of snap elections as gossip

By Joel Okwayo, Feb 6 2011
Cabinet Minister Wycliffe Oparanya has ruled out any possibility of the country holding early elections following calls by some legislators to have Parliament dissolved. Mr Oparanya said both ODM and PNU are not ready for elections and termed calls by Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang’ "a big joke". "These are political jokers because nobody is ready for an election. We don’t have an electoral body to oversee the elections. Who will supervise the polls?" he posed. Oparanya, who is the Minister for Planning, said MPs calling for dissolution of Parliament were misguided and added that elections have not been factored in the Budget. The minister told MPs to stop issuing misleading statements in public. Dissolve Parliament He instead asked ministers and MPs to focus on resolving the nominations dispute. Oparanya was speaking at Butere Primary School during a meeting of ODM members and other stakeholders drawn from the constituency. The Director of Vision 2030 Andrew Toboso and the Butere/Mumias County Council Chairman Michael Keya attended the meeting. More...

Two Maragoli girl schools, several market centres attacked Thursday night

Keveye GirlsMago Market, Sabatia
On Thursday night, thugs attached several markets in Maragoli including Mago (left) and Mudete as well as Keveye and Vokoli girl schools. On Wednesday, an assistant chief for Vokoli sub location, Joram Mbogani Changusia was hacked to death by thugs.

By our correspondent, Feb 4 2011
Following the escalating thuggery and murder in Sabatia District, the DPM has spoken to the Police hierarchy at the highest level (PPO and PS Kimemia) and requested that:
·         The security machinery in Sabatia be re-shuffled immediately
·         New security personnel be reinforced by additional personnel
·         Police intensify patrols
·         Police be supplied with equipment such as patrol vehicles.
A spate of mayhem begun on Wednesday when an Assistant Chief was brutally murdered. The murderous spree continued on Thursday night when markets along the Chavakali-Kakamega and Chavakali-Kapsabet roads, and Moi Vokoli Girls and Keveye Gils schools were attacked in a single night beginning 8.00pm. To ensure long-term security alertness, the DPM has requested that the proposal to have Mudete Police Post be made a full Police Station be implemented immediately.

ODM hawk dares PNU to quit grand coalition

By Lucas Barasa, Feb 4 2011
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) will be fine if their Grand Coalition partners Party of National Unity (PNU) were to pull out from the power sharing arrangement, a key member said on Thursday.Immigration minister Otieno Kajwang' told journalists ahead of his party's parliamentary group meeting that threats by PNU to walk out of the coalition were welcome. The ODM went into a grand coalition with the PNU Coalition in 2008 to form a joint government after President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga signed a power sharing agreement to end the chaos that hit the country after the disputed 2007 presidential elections. The violence that emerged out of the dispute left more than 1,000 dead and 650,000 displaced. On Wednesday, the MPs from the PNU said they would write to their chairman Prof George Saitoti to convene a delegates conference so the party can pull out from the coalition by March 4. ODM accepts the challenge that PNU can as well walk out of the coalition. The sooner PNU leaves the better. We are tired of politics of brinkmanship," Mr Kajwang said. Mr Kajwang, however, said it was not enough for PNU to only want to quit but that it should ask President Kibaki to dissolve Parliament so that the country could go to elections.

Otieno Kajwang'
Otieno Kajwang', the immigration minister.
Jamleck Kamau
PNU hawk, Jamleck Kamau, Kigumo MP.
Kisii mother, son chop husband's genitalia

By our correspondent, Feb 4 2011
A woman connived with her son to chop off her husband’s genitals during a quarrel over money. Mr Momanyi Okwemwa of Riang’ombenene in Nyaguta sub-location in Kisii was attacked on Tuesday night after he failed to account for Sh150 from tea earnings of Sh400. Mr Okemwa, a father of seven sons, tried to explain to his wife on getting home how he had spent the money but she insisted that he produce it all. Sought son’s help When he failed to do so, she sought the help of one of her sons and beat the man before cutting his penis with a knife. The two fled and left Mr Okemwa bleeding profusely in his bed. Area chief Zipporah Anunda said Mr Okemwa was taken to Kisii Level-5 hospital where he was stitched and discharged. Mrs Anunda said police were looking for the woman and her son. More...

Man failed to account for Sh150 from tea earnings of Sh400 sparking the ire of his wife who sought help from her son to chop his penis

Teso chief wins 10-year battle to regain his job

By our correspondent, Feb 4 2011
A Bungoma court has ordered the Public Service Commission to reinstate an Assistant Chief from Teso North District after 10 years of protracted legal battle. Robert Ekwenye Okabose, 50, was dismissed on February 21, 2007 by the PSC over claims that the administrator had failed to discharge his duties diligently. This prompted Mr. Okabose to sue his employer with a declaration that his dismissal from employment was unlawful, irregular and un-procedural. Giving the landmark ruling, Bungoma Senior Resident Magistrate, Julius Ng’arng’ar ordered the PSC to reinstate the plaintiff and to be paid his terminal dues inclusive the unpaid half pay salary, cost of the suit amounting to sh58, 750 and interest thereof. The SRM said he had considered the evidence on record and found no evidence tendered to rebut the plaintiff’s evidence on record. The assistant chief’s tribulations started in August 2000 when he was interdicted when a manslaughter case against him was still pending in court. It was followed with dismissal in 2007, three years after the manslaughter case was dismissed with costs. Through his lawyer, Kebira Ocharo, Okabose sued the PSC for wrongful dismissal and demanded for reinstatement and payment for wrongful act which he said had resulted in him leading miserable life with many school going children to take care. More...

Were, Kizito dismiss threats against Marende

By our correspondents, Feb 4 2011
Two MPs from Western province have told Marende not to be shaken by a vote of no confidence threat. MPs Justus Kizito and David Were said Marende is not in Parliament illegally and should not be threatened by legislators who want him out of office. They vowed to stand by Marende over his decision to decline to give a ruling on the controversial list of nominees made by President Kibaki. "We shall stand by Marende whichever way he takes us. Some of these rulings are not easy," said Kizito. Kizito (Shinyalu) and Were (Matungu) explained that regional balance must be given priority during appointments. They expressed shock that the nominations did not take into consideration regional and gender balance. The MPs were speaking in Kakamega in reaction to media reports indicating that Marende had received threats over the matter. "We shall vote overwhelmingly for him if there will be a vote of no confidence," said Kizito. Kizito also told the Party of National Unity to make good their threats of withdrawing from the Grand Coalition Government. More...

Justus Kizito
Justus Kizito, Shinyalu MP and below, David Were, Matungu MP
David Ooko Were
Blow for Raila as Sally Kosgey joins Ruto

By Titus Too, Feb 4 2011
Agriculture Minister Sally Kosgei wants to be counted out of ODM in 2012 General Election. Kosgei joined 20 ODM MPs led by Eldoret North MP William Ruto in a rally in Nandi County. She declared she had joined hands with Ruto to chart a political destiny for the Kalenjin. The minister said she does not care whether she is dropped from the Cabinet, as she was protecting the interests of her community. "I don’t care losing my position as a minister. This flag sometimes is not important to me. I sometimes use it to evade traffic jams in the city," said Kosgei. "I cannot protect positions and abandon the choice of my people. If they chose to go to the mountain we will be there with them and provide leadership. We were not elected to Parliament for beauty contests, but to serve the electorate," said Kosgei. The minister was speaking at Kaptumo grounds after commissioning a Sh550 million Kaptumo Tea Factory in her Aldai constituency. Henry and Sally have been the only key leaders Raila relied on for support from North Rift, ahead of next year’s General Election. More...

Marende's Solomonic ruling calms political storm

By Martin Mutua, Feb 3 2011
Speaker Kenneth Marende tactfully avoided being sucked into standoff between the President and the Prime Minister by giving them a ten-day window to resolve their disagreement and referring the dispute to two House committees. One member decribed it as a ‘Solomonic judgement’ while others praised him for the manner he disarmed both sides to the dispute and brought in a different group to delve into the crisis, which has driven the Grand Coalition into a spin. The Speaker who bore the burden of ruling if the four nominations Mr Raila Odinga accuses President Kibaki of making without regard to exhaustive consultations were within constitutional threshold, passed over the task of verifying the truth of the claims by both sides to the Justice and Finance committees. Underpinning his ruling to the post-election experience that was pacified with Kibaki-Raila power-sharing deal, Marende warned Kenya’s leadership: "It will be a pity and a severe indictment of our collective leadership if in time to come, history shall record of our country in general and of our leadership in particular that we learnt nothing from history." More...

Justice Daniel Musinga
Judicial sting: High Court judge, Justice Daniel Musinga has ruled Kibaki's nominations unconstitutional.
Kenneth Marende
Kenneth Marende, the House Speaker has referred Kibakis's judicial nominations to two House Committes before making a ruling.
High Court declares Kibaki's judicial nominations illegal

By Judy Ogutu, Feb 3 2011
The High Court has declared President Kibaki’s nominations of the Chief Justice, Attorney General, Director of Public Prosecutions and Controller of Budget unconstitutional. In a 27-page ruling, Justice Daniel Musinga yesterday said it would be unconstitutional for any State officer or organ of the State to carry on with the process of the approval and eventual appointment to the four offices based on the nominations made by Kibaki on January 28. With the declaration, he effectively put the process on hold until the hearing of the petition or further orders of the court. The President nominated Justice Alnashir Visram for the CJ position amid a standoff with Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who claimed he was not consulted. Justice Musinga ruled following an application made on Tuesday by women organisations under the G-10 Movement. While making his findings, the judge said the AG, through State counsel Wanjiku Mbiyu, had conceded the President ought to have receivedrecommendation from the Judicial Service Commission. Also with Mbiyu for the AG were State counsel Anthony Ombwayo and Kepha Onyiso. More...

Mwihila Hospital on its deathbed as electricity is cut over unpaid bills

By Joel Okwayo, Feb 3 2011
A mission hospital faces imminent closure due to years of neglect. Kenya Power and Lighting Company has disconnected electricity supply to Mwihila Mission Hospital in Kakamega County due to a Sh400,000 debt. Theatre equipment have been vandalised while the X-Ray section has remained non functional as the machines are too old. The number of patients visiting the hospital has also gone down due to lack of adequate personnel. The house meant for the Medical Hospital Superintendent was taken over by Khwisero DC Rachel Ramkat after the medical boss John Talwa fled during the 2008 post-election violence. "He never came back despite the return of peace," said the Hospital Management Committee Chairman Zadock Mbinji. Mr Mbinji said a surgeon posted to the hospital also left without their knowledge. The hospital, which rests on 11 acres of land, urgently needs Government attention if it has to survive. The hospital has one clerk, one pharmacist and a health records officer in addition to the three nurses. The Standard established on Wednesday that the facility now relies on Church of God Pastor Peter Mmbwabi, a clinical officer who retired from the Government four years ago. More...

Mwihila Hospital has no doctor. It has one clerk, one pharmacist,a health records officer and three nurses

Prof George Eshiwani
Prof George Eshiwani.Aggrey Muchelule
Justice Aggrey MucheluleEvans Bulimo Akula
Khwisero MP, Evans Bulimo Akula
Church of God blamed for mission hospital's collapse

By Joel Okwayo, Feb 3 2011
Western Provincial Public Health Officer, Timothy Olubero has said the future of Mwihila Mission Hospital hangs in the balance after the Church of God refused to hand it over to the Government. Dr Olubero said the Government has deployed one nurse as part of reducing financial costs incurred by the facility. "The church is unable to run it and the best way is to hand it over to the Government," said Olubero. If Mwihila collapses, it will be the second mission hospital to close down in the region after Misikhu Mission Hospital in Webuye. The hospital has not received any funding from the local Constituencies Development Fund. Kakamega Provincial General Hospital Medical Superintendent Daniel Alushula said Mwihila must involve locals in the management of its affairs. He said area MP Evans Akula and professionals who include George Eshiwani and High Court Judge Justice Aggrey Muchelule should be brought on board to revive the facility. More...

Khwisero MP Evans Bulimo Akula and Kisa professionals like George Eshiwani and High Court Judge Justice Aggrey Muchelule should come on board to revive Mwihila Hospital

Chief hacked to death in Vokoli, Sabatia

By Kibisu Kabatesi, Feb 3 2011
The DPM, Hon Musalia Mudavadi and MP for Sabatia strongly condemn the brutal murder of Assistant Chief Mr. Joram Mbogani Chagusia for Vokoli Sub-Location in Sabatia District last night. The Assistant Chief was attached by unknown assailant near an AP Camp and his cries for help went unheeded as he was hacked to death. Acts of vandalism, theft, mugging, gangsters and murder have in the recent past increased in Sabatia under the seeming lethargy of security forces in the area. In most cases, investigations are never carried out. The responsibility of security personnel is to maintain law and order, and protect the people and their property, and failure to perform requires that they be called to account. The security administration in the area must ensure that the murderers of the Assistant Chief and other reported cases are investigated urgently and the culprits brought to book. In the meantime, there is urgent need for an overhaul of security personnel in Sabatia, and those found collaborating with thugs should face the law. DPM calls on the people of Sabatia to exercise restraint and not panic at this time of uncertainty and great provocation.

Kibisu-Kabatesi is the Private Secretary and Director of Public Communication , Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Local Government.

Musalia Mudavadi
Hon Musalia Mudavadi, the deputy prime minister has condemned the brutal murder of Vokoli assistant chief, Joram Mbogani Chagusia yesterday by gangsters.

Mubarak fed up with power: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has said he would like to resign immediately but fears the country would descend into chaos if he did so. In his first interview since anti-government protests began, he told ABC News he was "fed up" with power. More...
Long queues for birth certificates frustrate Kakamega residents

By Kabaka John, Feb 2 2011
Many thought, the days of queuing for birth and deaths certificates could be coming to an end, as the strategic objective of creating and maintaining a computerized database of all registered Births and deaths would be effected from the Ministry Immigration and registration of Persons. The service, which includes the registration of births, marriages and deaths, to be radically transformed using the latest technology. However, Long queues are still being witnessed; people’s faces are wrinkled with the young looking old and the old even older at the Kakamega registration office. Although a birth certificate is the official acknowledgement of a child’s existence by the State, and a precursor to accessing other rights, many Kenyans are yet to get the documents. Many who doubt the placement of this original document are busy checking in the boxes of birth certificates that have not been taken since 1970’s and 80’s. To their disappointment nothing or even anything near to their names is seen. The provincial registration office in the region is missing the birth registration certificates. When contacted, the national office says the books containing the certificates are not available in their offices but in the government printer where they are published and printed. According to the deputy registrar Mr. Alloys Omwenga, the congestion began last year February after parents realized that the birth certificate was a basic need in registering the children to be able to sit for their exams. More...

Kakamega Babies
Queueing for a birth certificate in Kakamega is a frustrating experience. Often it takes days, weeks and perhaps months before residents can get the document, vital for recognition as a Kenyan.

Tanzania Police probe mass grave of infants

By our correspondent, Feb 2 2011
Police in Tanzania are investigating the discovery of a mass grave in Dar es Salaam containing the bodies of 10 newborn babies. Residents of Tanzania's main city found them in a shallow pit about 100m from Mwananyamala Hospital on Monday. Some of the corpses were wrapped in a sheet belonging to the hospital. The BBC's Hassan Mhelela in Dar es Salaam says one person is in custody on suspicion of being involved in the incident which has shocked the nation. More...

Witnesses clash at Ruto, Kulei fraud hearing

By Maureen Ngesa, Feb 2 2011
Conflicting evidence marked the fourth day of hearing of the Sh96 million fraud case against suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto. A witness from the Ministry of Lands said at least 32 plots excised from Ngong forest were legitimately transferred to Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC). Ms Prosina Ndila Mulee, currently the assistant commissioner of lands, said the title deeds issued to KPC were genuine and the right procedure was followed. But Mr Gideon Gathara from the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife said they had petitioned the Attorney-General to revoke the legal notice degazetting the plots. Mr Gathara said the land was still government property and he was not aware of the allotments. But Ms Mulee, who was then senior registrar of titles, said the right procedure was followed in issuing the 32 titles. She said the plots were initially registered under various companies. More...

Busia children
Mothers hold their babies after a seminar in Busia. Western has the highest mortality rate in Kenya, according to a report.

AU backs Kenya over ICC: The African Union has endorsed Kenya's request to delay the International Criminal Court trial of those accused of organising post-election violence. Kenya says it wants the six suspects named by the ICC to be tried at home. More...
Western has highest child mortality rate in Kenya

By Kabaka John, Feb 2 2011
More children under the age of one die every year in Western province than in the rest of the country, a health survey by the National Bureau of Statistics says. Findings by the Kenya Demographic Health Survey 2008-09 indicate that 65 in every 1,000 live births in the province die as compared to the national mortality rate of 59 deaths per 1,000. While the under five mortality is 121 death per 1, 000 live births in Western, the national mortality rate of 84 in every 1, 000, according to the report. The report however says that childhood vaccination in the province and nationally has improved. The survey reports that 73 percent of children aged 12-23 months in the province have received all the basic recommended vaccinations. These include BCG, Measles and three doses each of DPT and polio vaccines. This shows a substantial increase in vaccination from 50 percent in 2003. More...

Marende threatened ahead of key ruling on Kibakis' judicial nominees

By John Ngirahu, Feb 2 2011
Kenya’s attention will on Thursday afternoon be riveted on Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende as he makes a ruling on President Kibaki’s nominees to four key positions under the new Constitution. The Speaker confirmed on Wednesday that he had received veiled threats intended to pressure him to rule in a certain direction or face the risk of a vote of no confidence. Following the threats, lawyers wrote to the two principals protesting over plans by some MPs to censure the Speaker if he rules against the nominations. Through the International Commission of Jurists, the lawyers said: “We have been informed that the Speaker has been threatened with impeachment should his ruling not be in accordance with the expectations of one side of the political divide,.” the letter signed by ICJ executive director George Kegoro, said. Mr Marende confirmed ICJ fears, saying: “I’ve not received threats directly but through third parties. In my view those would be veiled threats.” More...

This will the third time, all eyes will be on Marende to steer the country of political turbulence

House Speaker, Kenneth Marende
Kenneth Otiato Marende, speaker of the National Assembly has received threats ahead of his ruling on Thursday whether or not Kibaki's nominations are an illegality.

99% vote for split of Sudan: After a week-long vote this month, it looks like Southern Sudan will declare its independence from the north. The referendum commission reports that an overwhelming majority supports secession, with 99.57 percent of those polled claiming they voted for independence. If the results are confirmed, Southern Sudan will officially declare statehood on July 9. More...
PNU calls wants coalition govt dissolved

By our correspondent, Feb 2 2011
The Party of National Unity (PNU) is calling for a meeting to discuss withdrawal from the Grand Coalition government by March 4 this year. Party officials on Wednesday wrote to its chairman, Prof George Saitoti, asking him to call for a national delegates conference within 21 days, with a view to discussing the withdrawal agenda. This, they said, would be in accordance with Section 6C of the National Dialogue and Reconciliation Act. The Act states that the coalition shall stand dissolved if the 10th Parliament is dissolved; the coalition parties agree in writing; or one coalition partner withdraws from the coalition by a resolution of the highest decision-making organ of that party in writing. PNU is one of the partners in Kenya’s coalition, with President Kibaki being the most senior member of the party. PNU cited constant wrangling with partner Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party – led by Prime Minister Raila Odinga - as the reason for wanting to break from the coalition. More...

Choice of Chakol Girls as a national school sparks envy, protests

By Westfm correspondent, Feb 1 2011
A section of Teso civic leaders and Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Teso Branch has threatened to petition the Ministry of Education over the elevation of St. Monica Chakol Girls to a National School. Teso County Council chairman, Moses Otee, said the choice of Chakol Girls as one of the two proposed national schools from Busia County was the work of Amagoro MP, Sospeter Ojaamong without consulting other stakeholders. However, former Chakol Central councilor Anthony Opalakadi differed with the council chairman saying the school had the necessary infrastructure to be elevated to the level of a national school citing that it had in the past offered form five and form six classes. He argued that the performance of the school in national examinations has been impressive both on provincial and national level and thus stood a better chance of being a national school from the area. But Otee said the performance of Chakol Girls falls far below that of Salvation Army Kolanya Girls Secondary, Kolanya Boys and St. Paul’s Amukura Boys to confirm that the choice was politically motivated and was not merited. He blamed Amagoro MP, Sospeter Ojaamong for influencing the decision against Kolanya Girls, a Salvation Army run school .More...

Barasa Mbinga
Barasa Mbinga, Bungoma mayor has denied a role in alleged embezzlement of council funds..

Bungoma mayor denies committing a Sh20m fraud

By Silas K Kemboi, Feb 1 2011
The Bungoma Municipal Council mayor Barasa Mbinga has denounced corruption allegations of non-payment of staff and councilors’ allowances as earlier reported in a section of the media. Barasa mbinga said the council has cleared all its outstanding salary arrears to date and termed the reports as malicious to the council. Flanked by his Deputy Mrs. Edith Shitandi and finance chairman, councilor Joseph Maguda, the mayor said the council has passed a resolution in a full council to offset all outstanding debts owed to contractors. More...

Worshippers fight with stones in a Lugari church

By Otieno Joseph, Feb 1 2011
Scores of worshippers were injured after a Sunday service at Binyenya Pentecoastal Assemblies of God (PAG) church turned chaotic when a group of worshipers opposed to the pastor stormed the church demanding his immediate removal. The group which is against the leadership of Rev. Paul Majimbo caused fracas in the middle of the service when their leader Mr. Musa Maganga who had entered the church carrying stones in his briefcase attacked the pastor by pelting the man of God with the stones while he was on the altar where he had bowed down his head and closed his eyes leading the congregation in prayer. Another group that supports the preacher attacked Mr. Maganga in revenge leading to the fight between the two groups bringing the service to an abrupt end, scores of people were injured and rushed to the nearest medical centre for treatment. More...

Besieged Mubarak to quit: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has said he will not stand for re-election in September, as protests against his rule grow. Speaking on state TV, Mr Mubarak promised constitutional reform, but said he wanted to stay until the end of his current presidential term. The announcement came as hundreds of thousands rallied in central Cairo urging him to quit now. More...
Raila tells house of Kibaki's lies, betrayal and backstabbing

By Martin Mutua, Feb 1 2011
Parliament was turned upside down with President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga tearing each other apart over the recent judicial nominations by the President. While Raila made his position known on the floor of the House, Kibaki sent Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka to state his position. The move arose following a request by Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara to Speaker Kenneth Marende to make a ruling on the matter before the names are tabled for debate. Raila maintained no consultations were held between him and the President over the nominations and said he was shocked to learn two of the names Kibaki nominated had never featured when they had met on two occasions. More...

Kenneth Marende asked to intervene

Lake victoria water hyacinth
Water hyacinth, an extremely aggressive weed that saps oxygen from the water making fish survival difficult. The hyacinth mat is so thick that fishermen cannot launch their boats or bring their catch on shore.
Fishermen cry for help to clear water hyacinth

By our correspondent, Feb 1 2011
Fishermen in Kisumu have raised concern over the increasing water hyacinth in Lake Victoria, saying it is reducing fish harvests. Through their club, they are seeking funds to enable them remove the water weed and use it to feed livestock as drought persists. Clearing the lake will also boost the fish catch to feed residents as the drought renders farm produce expensive, they added. A group of young men has already started to clear the hyacinth with their own tools while on boats. Mr Mike Nyaguti, the chairman of Kisumu Magnam Association of Fishermen, has brought together the young fishermen who are determined to clear the hyacinth. More...

Bukhayo residents terrified by python invasion

By Frankline Bwire, Feb 1 2011
Residents from Buriang’i village in Bukhayo west location, Busia County are living in fear following an unusual invasion of pythons that are living among them. Their fear arises when an 11 feet python approximately 3 and a half meters was killed near Nakhomake Bridge a few kilometers from Mundika market. According to the area residents, the python is said to have halted farming exercises at various farms near the bridge for a long time for fear of being attacked. Fredrick Juma who was among the residents, who spotted it, disclosed that through combined efforts people answered their call following the alarm raised and managed to outsmart the serpent. “I saw it by the tail, but on cutting it with my panga, nothing seemed to take place. We were forced to rush for logs before it came out of the hole where it was hiding,” he said. Mr. Juma said that possibilities of reptiles breeding within the area basing on the approximated age of the killed python, many more could still be in the bushes thus sending panic and fear to the residents. The owner of the farm Mr. James Wandera revealed that he was happy and would now cultivate crops in his piece of land after long months of fear due to the snakes. He argued that most of the snakes are washed away by floods, leading them to the farms around the Nakhomake River. They are now appealing to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to intervene and help remove such wild animals that continue to instill fear in the village. Led by Chrispinus Odunga Mauda, the area chief for Buhayo West location, the residents tried to burn the python to ashes but their efforts were futile because they lacked enough materials to carry out the activity and resolved to bury it. More...

bakhayo python
A python killed by residents at Buriang'i village in Bukhayo west location. Photo: Frankline Bwire
Two key constitutional bodies fault Kibaki over judicial appointments

By Peter Opiyo, Feb 1 2011
President Kibaki jetted into the country Monday night from the AU summit in Addis Ababa, and walked straight into opposition from two constitutional Commissions over his nominees to key national offices. The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) was the first to trash the nominations, especially of the Chief Justice, calling for its urgent reversal on the grounds that the Commission was sidestepped, contrary to the provision in the Constitution. And even before the ink could dry on their protest paper, JSC wrote to the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC), a body mandated to oversee the implementation of the new laws, expressing their reservations. The commission, led by Charles Nyachae, backed their stance, and quoted Articles 166, 156, 157 and 228 of the Constitution as read together with Sections 24 and 29 of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, to support its stand that the nominations were unconstitutional. More...

Regional varsity accreditation rejected: East African Community partner states’ Education ministers have rejected a new system of university accreditation in the region. An amendment had been proposed to section 6 of the Inter University Council of East Africa (IUCEA) to allow the body grant regional accreditation for universities. More...
Lady Justice Hannah Okwengu
Lady Justice Hannah Okwengu was supposed to be named deputy Chief Justice in the original line up list before Kibaki unilaterally substituted the names unilaterally thus kicking off a constitutional crisis..

Cairo protests spill into Sudan: Tunis and Cairo-inspired revolutionary fervor spread to Sudan on Sunday, as anti-government demonstrators rallied across major cities, protesting high prices, corruption, unemployment, and the political status quo. This latest challenge to the ruling National Congress Party’s grip on power – headed by President Omar al-Bashir – was met with beatings, tear gas, and arrests by security forces, reportedly resulting in one death. More...
Legal fraternity unite in condemning Kibaki over judicial nominations

By Mutinda Mwanzia, Feb 1 2011
The legal fraternity has faulted President Kibaki over the recent nomination of four individuals to key constitutional offices. Law Society of Kenya, Fida-Kenya, and the International Commission of Jurists said President Kibaki should have adhered to the Constitution and the National Accord by consulting PM Raila Odinga. "Assertions by Raila that he was not consulted are grave. The President is required by Section 24 of Schedule 6 on transition provisions to consult with the PM in the appointment of the Chief Justice," said ICJ Executive Director George Kegoro. "It should not be forgotten that the election of President Kibaki in 2007 could not be ascertained and led to the formation of a coalition government. The principals are equal partners in the governance," said Kegoro. The lawyers said the nominations contravene the spirit and letter of the Constitution and were thus unconstitutional. President Kibaki kicked a storm when he nominated Justice Alnashir Visram to the Chief Justice position, Prof Githu Muigai as Attorney General and Kioko Kilukumi as Director of Public Prosecutions. And yesterday, Kegoro, Fida chairperson Naomi Wagereka and LSK council members Renee Omondi and Ochieng’ Opiyo urged Parliament not to discuss the nominees, adding the Prime Minister and President Kibaki should restart the process. More...

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