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Young bishop from Idakho gets the toughest job

By Francis Mureithi, Feb 27 2010
At 41, Maurice Muhatia Makumba becomes not only the youngest Catholic bishop in Kenya, but also the first to be picked from an educational institution to head a diocese. And on Saturday he will be given the mantle to lead a flock of more than 500,000 Catholics in the Nakuru See during a ceremony that President Kibaki is expected to attend. The Rt Rev Makumba will occupy the position, once held by then firebrand Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki, the retired Archbishop of Nairobi. Fr Makumba was born at Lirhanda village, Kakamega District, in 1968. After completing secondary school at St Charles Lwanga, he joined St Mary’s Major Seminary. He then went to Rome, Italy, where he obtained a bachelors degree at Urbaniana Pontifican University and a masters in philosophy at Pontifical Holy Cross University. He was ordained priest on October 15, 1994. Without the advantage of the vast experience enjoyed by his two predecessors, how will the new bishop address the problems of the magnitude of tribal clashes? “Tribal clashes, whether politically instigated or not, are an evil thing and my focus will be to preach and reconcile the diverse communities in my diocese,” he said. Nakuru, he added, plays an important role in the country’s cohesion because of its diversity as all the 42 Kenyan tribes are represented there. More...

Maurice Muhatia Makumba
Rt Rev Maurice Muhatia Makumba from Lirhanda in Idakho, Kakamega has the unenviable task of bringing peace to a region troubled by politically instigated tribal clashes. He fills the large shoes of larger than life religious figures like retired Ndingi Mwana a'Nzeki whose reign as the archbishop of Nakuru was a thorn in the dictatorial juggernaut of Moi's government.

Feb 28 may become a national holiday: The Kenyan Government is exploring the possibility of designating February 28 a national holiday to commemorate the signing of the National Accord. If adopted, the day will be known as the National Thanksgiving and Cohesion Day and will be celebrated every year. The Nation learnt that the idea was mooted on Thursday at a meeting between President Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and members of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission at Nairobi's Harambee House. More...
Birth certificates: Officers demanding bribes in Western

By our correspondent, Feb 27 2010
Birth certificate registration officials are demanding bribes of Sh1,000 in Western, it has emerged. A Bungoma businessman, Julius Bakasa, said that registration officials were demanding bribes of up to Sh1,000 before issuing the documents. Meanwhile, Kakamega District Civil Registration office is handling all the cases from Vihiga, Butere, Mumias, Emuhaya, Hamisi and the larger Kakamega district. The assistant registrar, Mr Aloise Okwemba, said the office had the records of all births before the new districts were created. He said the office was overwhelmed by the large number people seeking the documents. Since the directive was issued, he said, the office had been issuing more than 500 birth papers daily. In Butere, Planning minister Wycliffe Oparanya said parents should have been given a grace period of at least three years to adhere to the new directive. More...

Kiplagat ignores Tutu, says he won't quit

By our correspondents, Feb 27 2010
Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission Chairman Bethwel Kiplagat says he will not resign. Kiplagat said he will not step aside based on "well-orchestrated media-based lynch mob" and would instead move to court to clear his name over allegations linking him to historial injustices. Kiplagat, who defied calls by former South Africa Truth Commission chair Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the civil society to step down, said he is innocent until proven guilty. Kiplagat wants to be enjoined in a suit filed by five former MPs and human rights activists opposed to his appointment. Meanwhile, Kalenjin Council of Elders led by Maj (Rtd) John Seii, have told off 10 former truth commissioners from various countries led by Tutu for Kiplagat to resign. More...

Desmond Tutu
Gods are angry: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel peace laureate. He asked besieged TJRC chairman, Bethwell Kiplagat to resign in view of allegations of corruption swirling around him but he has chosen to ignore godly voices in pursuit of worldly grandeur.
Marende cuts Mwakere out, declares Matuga vacant

By our correspondents, Feb 27 2010
The countdown to the by-election to choose Matuga’s next MP has begun. In a special Kenya Gazette notice 2239, dated February 25, but issued on Friday, Speaker Kenneth Marende declared the Matuga seat vacant, three weeks after Justice Mohamed Ibrahim of the Mombasa High Court nullified the December 27, 2007, election of Chirau Ali Mwakwere as MP. Said the Speaker: "Pursuant to the provisions of section of the National Assembly and Presidential Elections, I, give notice that the seat in the National Assembly for Matuga Constituency has become vacant." Despite being declared loser in the 2007 election, Mwakwere continued to wield power and even sacked officials at the port of Mombasa, igniting the wrath of Coast leaders. After initially saying he would not appeal the February 5 ruling by Justice Ibrahim, Mwakwere made an about turn and challenged the verdict of the lower court in the Court of Appeal. More...

Jirongo plots with PNU against Raila

By our correspondents, Feb 27 2010
Silas Jirongo, the Lugari MP and leader of Kaddu was the only Luhya leader attending the PNU retreat that is plotting to block Raila Odinga from presidency in 2012. The season of political intrigues is here again, with both President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s political allies plotting how to gain an upper hand ahead of the next General Election. On Friday, it emerged that the Party of National Unity bigwigs - who increasingly believe the PNU tag is a liability in the eyes of the public - were seeking another political vehicle for 2012, even as Raila began a political charm offensive to the ever-elusive Central Province. The political heavyweights from the President’s party retreated to Naivasha to strategise for the killer punch, as the public continued to view ODM as the most popular party in the country - a position that has obtained since before the botched 2007 elections. More...

Anil Kumar Tanna
Anil Kumar Tanna, the Kisumu businessman shot dead by a gang that is terrosing residents of Kisumu. His son was also shot dead last year by gangsters. Residents say the killers make no attempt to hide themselves; walking away from the scenes of murder slowly as if in no hurry. They are described as dark and short.
Kisumu besieged by four-man terror gang

By Mangoa Mosota, Feb 27 2010
Victims describe the criminals as short, dark in complexion and in their mid 20s. They say the gang often walks leisurely and without panic from the scene of their felony with a pistol. A four-man gang believed to be behind separate deaths of three people in Kisumu, last week, has instilled fear among residents of the lakeside town. Businesspeople who used to operate up to 9pm now are forced to close trade as earlier as 6pm. The gang has terrorised tens of residents, robbed them and killed others. In the past two months, the gang is said to have struck in more than ten spots. Last weekend, an Asian businessman was shot dead in Kisumu’s downtown after being robbed of money and other valuables. Two gangsters, armed with a pistol, accosted Anilkumar Tanna of Sonas Entreprises. Witnesses said two others are waiting in a car. More...


african-american-baby-photo.jpgSaturday, 20th March 2010
Venue: 39 Marlborough Road, Dagenham, Essex, RM8 2HU
Time:  4pm onwards
Come and join us as we give thanks for our blessing and extend support to each other.
Susan Kadenge
Chesoni's family wants doctor declared liable for his death 10 years ago

By Wahome Thuku, Feb 26 2010
The family of the late Chief Justice Zacchaeus Chesoni is determined to have his doctor declared liable for his death, which occurred more than 10 years ago. Chesoni’s daughter Atsango has filed a notice to appeal against a 2005 High Court decision, which cleared Dr David Silverstein of professional negligence. Her lawyer Stephen Andere told the Court of Appeal Atsango was in the process of filing the main appeal. And in a related development, Silverstein’s lawyer Peter Gachuhi was forced to withdraw an appeal that had been pending in court since 2001. Chesoni was admitted to Nairobi Hospital on August 24, 1999, complaining of pain in the knee, back and head as well as fever and headache. Silverstein treated him, but he died two weeks later. The family was aggrieved and accused the doctor of professional negligence, claiming he had abandoned Chesoni in hospital. More...

Atsango Chesoni
True leopard: With eyes transfixed on the target, Atsango Chesoni, the lawyer daughter of the late chief justice, Zacchaeus Chesoni, wants Nairobi celebrity doctor, David Silverstein held liable for her father's death 10 years ago.

BBC to downsize: The BBC will close two radio stations, shut half its website and cut spending heavily on imported American programmes in an overhaul of services to be announced next month. More...
UN staff oppose Nairobi's elevated status

By our correspondent, Feb 26 2010
UN staff opposed to the elevation of Nairobi to a higher status have scheduled a meeting next week to push for the reversal of the decision. Workers who did not wish to be named for fear of reprisals said they would use next Thursday’s monthly staff meeting to lobby for the reclassification of the city back to what it used to be. Nairobi hosts UN Habitat and United Nations Environmental Programme headquarters. The elevation of Nairobi from Category C to B by the International Civil Service Commission, the body that handles all employment issues for the UN, took effect on January 1. More...

Uganda seizes Kenyan cattle: More than 3,000 Kenyan families have been rendered destitute after their livestock was allegedly seized by the Ugandan army. The pastoralists had crossed into the neighbouring country in search of pasture when they were rounded up by Ugandan soldiers and their animals seized. Kenya Red Cross Society North Rift regional manager Patrick Nyongesa said 3,645 families at Napitiro, Kalapat, Orolwo, and Karameri areas in North Pokot District urgently needed relief supplies. More...
Past returns to haunt Kiplagat as Tutu calls for his resignation

By Lucianne Limo, Feb 26 2010
Pressure for truth commission Chairman Bethwel Kiplagat to resign continues to mount with former commissioners adding their voice. Ten former truth commissioners from around the world, including South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu, want Ambassador Kiplagat to step down immediately. They said since Kiplagat does not enjoy public confidence, he could put the commission’s work and reputation at risk. They said Kiplagat should step down following disturbing findings by the commission of inquiry into illegal and irregular acquisition of public land, which cited him as a beneficiary of public land. The former truth commissioners and chairpersons include Tutu, Former Chairperson of Sierra Leone Truth Commission Bishop Joseph Christian Humper and Peruvian former Chairperson Salmon Lerner. More...

Bethwel Kiplagat
Bethwell Kiplagat, the Truth commissioner whose past has returned to haunt him.

Men they're cute: MEN have been handed the perfect excuse for admiring a curvy woman – they can’t help themselves. Male brains are programmed to find shapely women attractive, according to scientists. More...
Kenyan economic boom fueled by Somali pirates

By Boniface Ongeri, Feb 26 2010
Many parts of North Eastern Province rely on war-torn Somalia more than they rely on Kenya. From petroleum products, second-hand vehicles and spare parts, electronics, textiles, satellite dishes, mobile phones and sugar, the region’s goods are easily sourced from the chaotic Horn of Africa nation. The goods are cheap considering that they are sourced from the free port of Kismayu and mainly smuggled into Kenya. Most of the goods even find their way to Nairobi and form the bulk of cheap imports sold in the thriving Garissa Lodge bazaars. More...
Garissa Lodge Eastleigh
Eastleigh in Nairobi is to all intents and purposes under the jurisdiction of Somalis.

Ruto finally sacked from key House organ

By Alex Ndegwa, Feb 26 2010
A flurry of secret meetings saw reason prevail in Parliament where MPs finally unanimously voted to form the House Business Committee, breaking a deadlock that threatened to derail constitutional review. The vote effectively locked out Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s party deputy William Ruto and his allies from the HBC. The fear of a public backlash ensuing from the looming paralysis of business barely a day after the House reopened, also nudged backbenchers to keep away from the ODM feud that triggered the crisis. More...

Nyeri guns blessed
Nyeri pastor blesses guns: A Nyeri pastor has stalked controversy by blessings guns. Prayers can move not only mountains, but can also help fight crime hence these Administration Police officers had their guns blessed by Father Michael Kinywa (left) at the PC’s office in Nyeri on Thursday. Photo: George Mulala
70% of Kenyans approve of Ruto, Ongeri suspension

By Athman Amran, Feb 26 2010
Seventy percent of Kenyans support the PM’s move to suspend ministers William Ruto and Sam Ongeri while 75% do not approve of the President’s action to rescind Raila’s action and reinstate the two ministers. At the same time, corruption has overtaken constitution making as the most important issue. According to the poll, 35% of Kenyans feel corruption is the most important issue followed by political instability (29 per cent). Only nine per cent of those polled rated constitutional review as most important. Eighty two per cent want ministers and senior Government officials accused of corruption fired and prosecuted while 6% want corrupt officials to face the death penalty. More...

Parliament held hostage by Ruto, Raila rivalry

By our correspondents, Feb 25 2010
The ODM infighting between Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Agriculture Minister William Ruto spilled to Parliament, paralysing House business. The wrangling between the two political allies-turned-political rivals boiled over when a new list of the powerful House Business Committee was tabled. Mr Ruto’s allies dramatically opposed their party’s replacement of Ruto with party chairman Henry Kosgey in one of four changes. A section of ODM members see the move as an attempt to crack down on dissent in the party. More...

William Ruto and raila Raila gives up fight for leader of govt business

By Jibril Adan, Feb 25 2010
Prime Minister Raila Odinga appeared to retreat to avoid a looming battle with PNU over who should be leader of Government Business in Parliament. ODM’s move not to include his name on the House Business Committee puts him out of the running for the position he had gunned for. The PM’s allies also seemed to be attempting to kill two birds with one stone by removing Agriculture Minister William Ruto and two of his allies from the committee. Mr Ruto, who is also Eldoret North MP, has turned out to be the strongest critic of Raila within ODM. More...

Pastors defend prayers that failed to resurrect dead clerics

By Karanja Njoroge, Feb 25 2010
Clerics have defended a church for holding prayers for resurrection of two pastors in Nakuru. The church leaders, however, said since the two have not returned to life, they would be buried tomorrow. "If the will of the faithful was not done, it does not mean they were not doing according to the will of God," Bishop Charles Marita, chairman of the Nakuru Pastors Fellowship said at a press conference. More than 50 clergymen from various denominations accused the media of sensation. More...

Google bosses convicted in Italy

By our correspondent, Feb 25 2010
An Italian court has convicted three Google executives in a trial over a video showing an autistic teenager being bullied. The Google employees were accused of breaking Italian law by allowing the video to be posted online. Judge Oscar Magi absolved the three of defamation but convicted them of privacy violations. The UK's former Information Commissioner Richard Thomas said the case gave privacy laws a "bad name". More...

Kenyan teen jailed for two murders in UK

By a correspondent, Feb 25 2010
A Kenyan teenager, who took part in a robbery, which left a shop manager dead, was on bail for murder at the time of the killing, it has been revealed. Anthony Maina, 19, played a ‘critical role’ in a plan to steal £30,000 (Sh3.6 million) from the store, five months after he stabbed an A-level student to death for a mobile phone. He was arrested in connection with the killing of Rizwan Darbar,17, in October 2007, but police had to bail him because there was not enough evidence to press charges. More...

Here is the PS who earns more than his boss, Muthaura

By Beauttah Omanga, Feb 25 2010
Government auditors have demanded a personal contract of a senior civil servant to unravel expenditures on him and his family. The auditors want Transport PS Cyrus Njiru’s contract, which he entered with the Government while joining the Civil Service. This is after finding out nearly Sh3.4 million was spent on school fees for his children in private schools, last year, when he was at the Trade Ministry. Questions are also being raised on whether the PS pays tax, following a discovery that in one of the payments made by the Government, there was no indication of tax deductions as is the procedure. More...

Cyrus Njiru
Special One: Cyrus Njiru earns more than his boss, Francis Muthaura. He earns Sh1,050,000 while Muthaura is on Sh780,000 per month.
Queen's car breaks down

By Richard Palmer, Feb 25 2010
THE Queen was forced to hitch a ride with a police officer today after her Bentley broke down in the City of London. Her custom-built limousine, a gift from the motor manufacturer to mark her Golden Jubilee in 2002, failed to start after she emerged from a light lunch inside the Gherkin skyscraper, the third of four engagements in the capital's financial district today. With around 1,000 people watching, the 83-year-old monarch sat in the back while her chauffeur tried in vain to start the car, which she uses on official engagements all over Britain. More...

No more Hummers: General Motors' deal to sell its Hummer brand to a Chinese automaker fell through Wednesday and the company said it now plans to shut down the brand. GM did not give any details about why the agreement to sell Hummer could not be completed. More...
CNN is looking for inspirational community leaders

My name is Natasha and I’m a journalist working for CNN International, based in London. We are in the process of trying to identify inspirational personal stories of African people, who have had an impact on their local communities. The idea is to profile and tell the stories of local people working at grassroots level who are making a difference. They must be still living and working in those communities. We hope to tell these stories over the coming months. These people should not be high-ranking, politicians, musicians or sports men or women. They could be making a difference in terms of entrepreneurial schemes, or through education, health, transport, agronomy etc. An example of the kind of thing we are looking for is the much-publicised story of William Kamkwamba who brought wind power and hence electricity to his village in Malawi. http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/10/05/malawi.wind.boy/index.html Any help you could give on this would be much appreciated. I can be contacted at this email address, or on 0207 693 0980 / 07841 633 393.

Opportunity for talented young journalists in Brussels

By our correspondent, Feb 24 2010
In preparation for the Global Youth Anti-Corruption Forum in Brussels in May 2010, the World Bank Institute and the Global Youth Anti-Corruption Network are looking for talented young journalists to engage with the youth organizations and cover the event. If you know young journalists who might be suitable, please encourage them to apply, and feel free to pass along the information to your network.

CLICK HERE for more information
NEW CONSTITUTION: CLICK HERE to read latest proposed New Constitution

Kenya scores below average in corruption index

By Alex Ndegwa, Feb 24 2010
Kenya has scored poorly in the war against corruption, according to the latest Global Integrity (GI) Report. State accountability is rated "very weak" in the report that indicts the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature. On a chart showing Kenya’s anti-corruption performance on a scale of zero to 100, judicial, executive and legislative accountability record a score of below 60, rated "very weak". At 32, judicial accountability records the lowest score of all the 23 categories assessed, adding to pressure to speed up judicial reforms.

Martha Karua and Amos Wako
AG Amos Wako has an eye for Martha Karua, his former boss turned critic during yesterday's state opening of Parliament.
Arunga: Hellon out on bond but not Timberlake

By our correspondents, Feb 24 2010
Jazz player Nimrod Hellon Onyango is out on bail as police continue with their investigations into the Finger of God Church saga. Hellon and five others were released on Sh20, 000 cash bail after pleading not guilty to the charge of being members of an unlawful society. His partner Quincy Zuma Timberlake remained in custody and is expected to appear before Makadara Magistrate’s court in a case in which he is charged with obtaining money by false pretences. Esther Arunga is still undergoing medical tests before being charged. More...

Luhya leaders seek Marende intervention

By our correspondents, Feb 24 2010
Political suspicion emanating from raw power ambition and disunity among Western Province MPs has now compelled them to seek the intervention-cum-wisdom of National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende. Viewed as being currently politically neutral, Mr Marende, a highly respected personality, is now looked upon to help leaders from the region unite and speak with one voice amid a disintegrating regional economy. The new shift by leaders to embrace Marende instead of Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister for Local Government Musalia Mudavadi is likely to be a wake-up call to the Sabatia MP, who despite his seniority in government, has failed to whip the region solidly behind him. More...

House Speaker, Kenneth Marende
House Speaker, Kenneth Marende leading president Kibaki, prime minister Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka into parliament after the bloodletting of 2008. Luhya leaders want Marende to spearhead unity efforts in Buluyia because of his neutral position.

Kiplagat letters fail to cool temperatures: Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission chairman Bethuel Kiplagat has produced a letter indicating he had acquired the Lavington plot number LR 3734/83 after a request through State House. The letter is dated March 29, 1988.
Mudavadi's partisan interests fail to unite Luhya

By our correspondents, Feb 24 2010
There are those who feel Mudavadi’s partisan interests are his undoing, with points of references being the row sparked by his recent revocation of several nominated civic leaders and the move to curve out the ‘Vihiga county’ covering four constituencies and leave the larger Kakamega with ten constituencies under one county. The move has seen Mudavadi meet opposition from unlikely quarters, including Planning Minister and Butere MP Wycliffe Oparanya, who has been his close associate. However, his allies such as Shinyalu MP Kizito Mugali and Assistant Minister Manyala Keya maintain Mudavadi should remain the undisputed political point man in the region, given his status in government. "Mudavadi should remain the only spokesman of this region because he is the senior most and more experienced politician," said Mr Kizito in Budalang’i constituency recently. More...

Oparanya, Okemo want Kakamega split

By our correspondents, Feb 24 2010
The proposed number of counties to be created in the province if the Harmonised Draft Constitution is adopted has also raised some storm, which forms part of the electoral issues referred to by Shitanda. Oparanya, for example, wants Butere-Mumias to be a county of its own, while Okemo feels the larger Kakamega was too expansive to be under one county. "Western needs at least eight counties instead of the proposed four for fair distribution of resources," said Oparanya. Washiali and Were also share Oparanya’s view, saying it was unacceptable for Butere-Mumias to be under Kakamega county. There has also been a raging row over the revocation of several nominated civic leaders, with Jirongo, whose Lugari constituency was affected, leading the onslaught against Mudavadi. More...

Ruto sacked: The power politics in the coalition government played out in Parliament Wednesday morning after MPs disagreed over membership of the crucial House Business Committee. While the PNU list remained unchanged, ODM replaced three MPs among them William Ruto. More...
Chris Okemo
Chris Okemo, the Nambale MP, agrees with Wycliffe Oparanya that Kakamega with 10 constituencies is too large to remain one county.

Webuye paper mills
Symbol of economic decay: The collapsed Panpaper Mills factory in Webuye.
Jirongo vows to punish Mudavadi over sacked civic officials

By our correspondents, Feb 24 2010
The revocation of councillors in Malava is causing Mudavadi sleepless nights with Lugari MP, Silas Jirongo leading attacks against the deputy prime minister. Mudavadi has been dismissive, maintaining the revocation was an ODM affair. However, Malava ODM branch chairman Musavini Nambwa says he disagreed with Mudavadi on the way the revocation of two ODM councillors in his branch were effected. Musavini noted an ODM councillor’s nomination was revoked in Malava and a non-party member nominated in his place. "It is strange for a Deputy party leader to revoke the nomination of his party member and instead nominate a non-party member. Mudavadi should have consulted the branch leadership," said Musavini. On the economic front, the collapse of Pan-Paper Mills is a thorny issue, given that one year down the line, the Government is yet to revive it. Both President Kibaki and Raila have on separate occasions visited Webuye and pledged the Government’s commitment to revive the company, but the promises have failed to be honoured. The Western Province Investment Conference held last October, and which had Pan-Paper as one of its agendas, has not helped things either. More...

Honourable exit for Idakho man who has seen MPs come and go

By Caroline Wafula, Feb 23 2010
When Mr Absalom Castro Muyeyia Wendo comes out with that authoritative roar with the new session of Parliament on Tuesday at 2.30 pm, it will be with a renewed pride from his deep voice and new spring in his step. The voice roaring through the Chamber calling the House to order usually commands absolute silence as MPs present cease the chatter and rise to attention as the Speaker is ushered in. It is the first voice that rings through the Chamber at the start of every session on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays as well as every State opening. Many know the heavily-built man whose big voice calls the House to attention by only one name, Wendo. The man who dons a green parliamentary Serjeant-at-Arms uniform has been doing this for 24 years, and took great pride last week when he received the Head of State commendation awarded by President Kibaki on the Jamhuri Day Honours List in December. More...

castro Muyeyia wendo
Absalom Castro Muyeyia Wendo (right) with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Kenneth Marende after the Speaker presented a Head of State Commendation medal to him last week. As a deputy Serjeant-at-Arms, Mr Wendo is the man who calls Parliament to order before the beginning of every session. He hails from Ikolomani in Idakho, Kakamega.
Hellon charged with being a member of an illegal church

By Evelyn Kwamboka, Feb 23 2010
The saga surrounding former TV anchor Esther Arunga and Jazz maestro Nimrod Joseph Hellon Onyango is now in court. Hellon appeared in court in the company of Quincy Zuma Timberlake and five others but declined to take plea on grounds that the charge against them was defective. The charge stated that on February 20, at Runda Estate in Nairobi, with others not before court, they were jointly found to be members of an unlawful society commonly known as Finger of God Church. The prosecution asked the court not to release the suspects on cash bail, since Timberlake is allegedly a foreigner. In an affidavit filed in court by the investigating officer Alphonse Lumosi, Timberlake is suspected to be holding a Kenyan identity illegally. Mr Lumosi also stated that Timberlake was charged before the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Nairobi with obtaining money by false pretences and absconded until he was arrested on February 21. More...

lawyer esther arunga
Long arm of the law: Esther Arunga wearing an advocate's robes just after she graduated from law school. The talented former KTN TV anchor has kicked a storm over her association with a controversial church known as Finger of God.
Arunga taken to a psychiatrist before being charged

By our correspondent, Feb 23 2010
Esther Arunga has been released from police cells and did not appear in court as anticipated to undergo counselling and medical tests. Undergo counselling Detectives handling her case said she would also be sent to a psychiatrist to ascertain her mental status. She was released on bond on Sunday night pending the outcome of the medical results. This was after her parents pleaded with police to give her time for counselling and medical tests before they could prefer any charges on her. Police said they might use her as a witness depending on the outcome of the results. Yesterday, the Finger of God Church officials and members arraigned in court claimed the institution was registered in 2007. Their lawyer Harun Ndubi said the certificate of incorporation was issued following a successful application filed at the Attorney General’s office in 2002, but Prosecutor Onesmus Towett said the certificate is for a company and not church as purported by the defense. More...

Raila consulted Muthaura over sacking of Ruto, Ongeri

By our correspondent, Feb 23 2010
Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Monday came face-to-face with Agriculture minister William Ruto at a tense meeting convened to discuss, among others, the thorny issue of the maize scandal that has polarised the Government and further split ODM party. The meeting, attended by 15 ODM ministers, was however sharply divided on whether ministers should be held accountable even in instances where junior officers had a hand in questionable deals. And Raila confirmed that he had not consulted President Kibaki directly before announcing the ‘suspension’ of Ruto and his Education counterpart, Prof Sam Ongeri, though he had held "wide consultations" within Government. It is understood that Raila shared the issue with the Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of Civil Service, Ambassador Francis Muthaura, before taking the action that was later reversed by the Head of State. By virtue of telling Muthaura, by implication, the PM thought their discussion would reach President Kibaki, The Standard can reveal. Meanwhile, Kibaki will perform the official opening of parliament opens today where he will come face to face with Raila. More...

Serena Williams in Nairobi
Tennis champ, Serena Williams jets into Nairobi yesterday. Serena is in town to oversee her school projects in Ukambani which she started in 2008. It is the second time she has come to Kenya.

Dubai con: Hundreds of job seekers on Monday camped at the office of a Mombasa businessman to demand more than Sh6.3 million he swindled from them. They paid Mr Rishad Amana, the businessman, Sh22,500 each for a fake trip to Dubai. More....
Dead pastors 'refuse' to resurrect despite all day prayers

By Stella Mwangi, Feb 23 2010
Faithful of a Nakuru church may now know it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for their two departed pastors to come back to life, like Lazarus in the New Testament. Followers of Kingdom Seekers Fellowship (KSF) church came out on Saturday to attempt a feat no other church may have tried. Led by the church’s overseer Apostle John William Kimani, they prayed all day in front of coffins containing the bodies of the deceased, hoping they would step out and walk. The unprecedented drama palpitated with rising anxiety as the faithful were led by their leaders to believe the dead would sit up. Coffins were opened at different intervals but only the still, cold silence of dead bodies stared back at pall bearers who were told to close the lid and wait for a ‘miracle’ as more prayers were offered. More...

Raila insists Ruto must go

By Peter Opiyo, Feb 22 2010
Prime Minister Raila Odinga seemed intent on insisting ministers who were mentioned in the twin reports on the maize and FPE scandals step aside but was categorical that his party would ask "their own" to step aside. Addressing a huge crowd at Kibera slums in his Lang’ata constituency yesterday soon after arriving from Japan, Raila acknowledged disagreements in the coalition but assured that he would soon meet President Kibaki to resolve the impasse. Although the President and Prime Minister effectively declared a ceasefire when they spoke on the telephone on Wednesday night and asked their lieutenants to cease hostilities, their relationship may not be out of the woods yet. The President and Prime minister differed when Raila announced the suspension of ministers William Ruto of Agriculture and Sam Ongeri of Education a week ago for three months in connection to the loss of Sh2 billion in the maize subsidy programme and disappearance of over Sh100 million for Free Primary Education. President Kibaki revoked the suspensions soon after. More...

Former KTN anchor, Esther Arunga being loaded in a police landrover after being arrested in the controversial church in Runda.
Arunga, Church pastor arrested

By Cyrus Ombati, Feb 22 2010
Police raided the home of former TV anchor Esther Arunga and Jazz maestro Joseph Hellon and arrested them in fresh probe into the activities of the Finger of God church. Also arrested were eight other members of the church found in the house in Runda. CID officers conducted the raid at 2am. The group was first locked up in police cells before they were picked up by detectives from the Serious Crime Unit at CID headquarters and taken in for questioning. Their lawyer Harun Ndubi said police were investigating them for being members of an illegal group despite the fact that the church was legally registered. Ms Arunga and two other women were locked up at the Muthaiga Police Station while Mr Hellon, Mr Timberlake Quincy and other members of the church were locked up at the Gigiri Police Station. More...

Kiplagat given 10 days: Three members of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission will not sit for ten days until issues surrounding the chairman, Mr Bethwel Kiplagat, are resolved. The commissioners, who include vice-chairperson Betty Murungi, want the chairman to respond to issues raised by the public and civil society in ten days. More...
Esther Arunga
Esther Arunga (right) and a member of the Finger of God Ministries at Muthaiga Police Station in Nairobi, after they were arrested Sunday. Photo: Collins Kweyu | VIEW SLIDESHOW
Below: Timberlake Quincy aka Fizzle Dog - said to be the new man bethrothed to Esther.
Timberlake Quincy
Kenyan jailed for fraud in US

By BMJ Muriithi, Feb 22 2010
A Kenyan was jailed for three years in the US for defrauding nuns and religious groups of more than $1 million (Sh76 million). Edward Bosire, 40, appeared before US District judge Charles Clevert in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Friday. The charge stated that Bosire, together with his wife Angelina Martin-Mulu, who was sentenced to three and a half years earlier in the month, swindled nuns and religious groups in Wisconsin while masquerading as political refugees from Kenya. Assistant US Attorney Gordon Giampietro told the court the two swindled their victims by falsely claiming to be suffering from malaria and tuberculosis and in need of money to pay medical expenses. He said through the scam, the defendants made enough money and bought two apartments in Chicago and Bolingbrook, Illinois. More...

Tension as Kibaki, Raila ceasefire meeting cancelled

By Lucas Barasa, Feb 19 2010
The wrangling in the Grand Coalition took a fresh twist on Saturday as the widely anticipated meeting between President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga scheduled for Sunday was called off. The Prime Minister's advisor Salim Lone said the meeting had been put off for a day or two. Speaking to the Nation on phone Mr Lone said: "The meeting between the President and the Prime Minister has been postponed". The Prime Minister, who is on an official tour in Japan, is expected back in the country on Sunday and is expected to address the media when he arrives. Mr Lone however said he could not state reasons for the cancellation of the meeting. More...

Alexander Haig
Alexander Haig failed in his 1988 presidential bid. He died yesterday in Baltimore, Maryland. He is perhaps best remembered when ne bungled Ronald Reagans's assassination by claiming "We're in control."
Ex US secretary of state is dead

By our correspondent, Feb 19 2010
Former US Secretary of State Alexander Haig has died at the age of 85. Mr Haig had been admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on 28 January with complications associated with an infection, his family said. He was chief-of-staff to President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s. More...

Tiger not out woods yet: When Tiger Woods invoked his religious faith during his public apology on Friday, he readily acknowledged that a lot of people would be surprised. "People probably don't realize it," he said, "but I was raised a Buddhist, and I actively practiced my faith from childhood until I drifted away from it in recent years." More...
Esther Arunga for vice president

Joseph Hellon to run for president of Kenya in 2012 with Esther Adongo Arunga as his running mate. She has denied rumours she is pregnant.

Esther, 29, called off a wedding with William Malaba, also a pastor at the Finger of God Church, two weeks ago allegedly because he was picking up girls at the Church.

William Malaba has sued Joseph Hellon for loss of his job and his beloved fiance. The case is coming up for hearing shortly at Kibera Court

Esther lives with Mr Hellon even though he is married. Eight other women live with him. She says she is an adult and can live with whoever and wherever she wants. Esther is a director in Hellon's firm.

Esther Adongo Arunga is a qualified advocate although not practicing. She is a Mluhya by tribe.

Former KTN favourite anchor Esther Arunga and jazz saxophonist cum preacher cum businessman, Joseph Hellon at a press conference in Nairobi. View Slide show
TJRC collapse looms after internal revolt over integrity of Kiplagat

By our correspondents, Feb 19 2010
After weeks of sustained pressure to step down, the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission Chairman Bethwel Kiplagat appears set to quit, as a boycott, even mass resignations, by other commissioners loom. But Kiplagat has on various occasions vowed not to resign, saying he has the integrity to lead the organisation. An internal standoff that has been building up for weeks hit a crisis on Thursday, when the commissioners met Kiplagat to discuss his tenability in light of being adversely mentioned in various reports accusing him of perpetrating impunity and historical injustices he is supposed to investigate.Internal resistance to Kiplagat reached a crisis when four commissioners – Betty Murungi, Gertrude Chawatama, Margaret Shava and Ronald Slye – demanded a meeting to discuss the matter, arguing the credibility of the body was at stake. The other commissioners are Tom Ojienda, Ms Tecla Namachanja, Maj-Gen (Rtd) Ahmed Sheikh Farah, and Berhanu Dinka from Ethiopia. More...

Betty Murungi
Bethwell Kiplagat, the chair of the Truth, Justice and reconciliation Commission with his deputy, Betty Murungi. Kiplagat is under siege over allegations he was involved in land grabbing and murder of Robert Ouko, the very issues he is supposed to investigate.

Govt wants to manipulate TJRC: In another memo, the State is already attempting to manipulate process of digging out the truth about historical injustices. One of the letters that suggests the outcome of the inquiry into historical wrongs has been premeditated, details how the Government, through the Ministry of Justice, has been attempting to manipulate the process. More...
Kibaki, Raila call troops to ceasefire

By Bernard Namunane, Feb 19 2010
High level intervention from key foreign powers has persuaded President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to call a ceasefire on their war of words as they prepare to meet and discuss the rift in the Grand Coalition Government. The two coalition principals spoke on the phone on Wednesday night and agreed to meet as soon as Mr Odinga comes back on Sunday from an official visit to Japan. They also agreed to ask their respective supporters to tone down the rhetoric that has suggested the coalition was on the verge of collapse. Sources said during the 10-minute conversation which started at 8pm, the two agreed to ask their allies to tone down hard-line public statements. More...

Dorothy Angote
Dorothy Angote, the lands PS, told the parliamentary Accounts committee that one of their members Tharaka MP Alex Mwiru, stole funds when he was a civil servant in Nakuru.
Angote stuns House watchdog with news that a member was a thief

By our correspondent, Feb 19 2010
An MP embezzled Sh1.9 million when he was a civil servant, Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee was told on Thursday. Tharaka MP Alex Mwiru is said to have embezzled the money together with a clerk in his office while he served as the District Lands Adjudication Officer in Nakuru, Lands permanent secretary Dorothy Angote told the committee. Mr Mwiru is now a member of the Public Accounts Committee. Ms Angote said the MP used to make Sh44,724 a month as a civil servant but, within 20 months, the ministry found out that Sh1.9 million had been embezzled in the Nakuru District office. More...

Shock as Arunga abandons KTN, fiance, family to live in 'Church'

By our correspondents, Feb 19 2010
Former TV anchor Esther Arunga and her spiritual mentor, jazz musician-cum-preacher Joseph Hellon, on Thursday came out fighting in response to media reports that have put them and their church in the centre of a storm. At a packed press conference at Pizza Garden in Nairobi, the two strongly denied suggestions that they were involved in cult-like activities. Ms Arunga conceded she had quit her job with KTN, called off her planned wedding and was now living in the church mansion. She said there was nothing strange in that because she was an adult and capable of making her own decisions. She also denied that she had shut her family and friends out of her life, although her parents and siblings continued to express concern over her well-being. More...

Esther Arunga
Esther Arunga, the former popular KTN anchor with her spiritual mentor, the jazzist, Joseph Hellon (left) at a press conference in Nairobi. Photo: Hezron Njoroge
Esther Arunga
Former KTN golden girl, Esther Arunga (left) with her new 'family' of Joseph Hellon (right) and his wife. She has abandoned her plum job at KTN, her fiance and family to live in Hellon's Finger of God Church in Runda Estate, Nairobi. View SLIDE SHOW
William Malaba
DUMPED: William Malaba who planned to wed Ms Arunga in April has been dumped and sacked as a preacher.
Rare peaceful demo shocks residents

By Dave Opiyo, Feb 18 2010
Peaceful street protests were held in city streets Wednesday to pressure all ministers involved in graft to resign. Police allowed the procession to go on and provided security, a turn of events that has left many amazed. Previously, many protests have more often than not been outlawed. But on Wednesday, things were different. No tear gas, no running battles and no arrests. Central police boss Richard Mugwai kept a keen but non-hostile eye on the protestors. The demonstrations started shortly after 11am, led by activist Okiyah Omtatah. They met a contingent of General Service Police, complete with anti riot gear, but the officers just stared at them as the they zoomed past singing their songs. More...

Okiyah Omtatah
Anti corruption demo in full gear in Nairobi. They expected to be teargassed but this time around the police just stared. Peaceful for once.
TV star denies she has joined a secret cult

By our correspondent, Feb 18 2010
Esther Arunga, one of Kenya’s well-known television presenters is reported to have been estranged from her family and friends and is now living in a church in Runda. The youthful presenter’s friends and a relative on Tuesday said they were afraid she could have gotten herself too deep into a church whose activities they say are suspicious. The church is said to be run by a man described in entertainment circles as a multi-talented jazz maestro and music teacher. The week-long separation from her friends and relatives has left them worried amid reports that she may have quit her job.Her wedding has also been put on hold. Efforts to contact the jazz artist on Tuesday were unsuccessful as he was said to be unavailable at his Runda residence while calls to his mobile phone and the church’s landline went unanswered. The Nation however managed to reach the presenter on her mobile phone but she said she was fine. According to some former members of the church, about eight more women live in the compound leased to the musician. Membership has grown from 25 to 500. More...

Esther Arunga and William Malaba
Former KTN presenter Esther Arunga with her boyfriend, William Maloba pictured at a friend's wedding in Nairobi. The former KTN hottie has reacted angrily to rumours that she and her boyfriend have joined a secret cult during a media briefing at Garden Pizza restaurant in Nairobi yesterday. Apparently their wedding plans have also taken a knock as rumours swirl around the secret cult based in a house in plush Runda.
World of athletics mourn ex world champ

David lelei

By Francis Mureithi, Feb 18 2010
Kenya's athletics fraternity was on Wednesday thrown into mourning after the death of David Lelei in a road accident on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway. Mr Lelei died on the spot after his vehicle collided with a trailer on Mbaruk Bridge, a black spot near Shiners Boys High School. The former 800 metres and 1,500 metres world champion was travelling to Nakuru with former world 10,000 metres champion Moses Tanui, who survived the crash but suffered serious leg and chest injuries. More...

Raila, Kibaki to meet Sunday to diffuse tension

By our correspondent, Feb 18 2010
Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Wednesday said he was confident that the main partners of the ruling coalition would find a way to end a rift over corruption allegations. Speaking in Tokyo, Japan, where he is on a five-day visit, Mr Odinga said there was no danger of the coalition collapsing. “Sometimes disagreements and misunderstandings will arise between coalition partners. That does not mean that the coalition then collapses,’’ he said. A statement e-mailed to newsrooms by his communications chief Salim Lone, and attributed to ODM, emphasised that despite the dispute, the party remained committed to its role in the coalition. More...

Ingo foxA lesson to all Kenyan politicians negotiating MoU's, power sharing etc. If he doesn't honour the agreement just bite his nose like a a clever fox...
Microsoft integrates Facebook, MySpace into Outlook

Microsoft is integrating social networking services, such as Facebook and MySpace, into the latest version of its desktop email program, Outlook, used by millions of office workers around the world. The technology company has launched a test version of the ‘Outlook Social Connector’, which is the add-on tool developed to allow users to pull in the latest feeds from their networks. Yesterday, the beta software was updated to allow members of the business networking site LinkedIn, to have the latest updates pulled through to their Outlook accounts. More...

Tiger to speak about his infidelity on Friday

By our correspondent, Feb 18 2010
Tiger Woods will speak publicly on Friday for the first time since his bizarre, middle-of-the-night car accident, beginning what his agent called “the process of making amends” for the sex scandal that sent him into hiding for three months. “While Tiger feels that what happened is fundamentally a matter between he and his wife, he also recognizes that he has hurt and let down a lot of other people who were close to him,” his agent Mark Steinberg said in an e-mail. “He also let down his fans. He wants to begin the process of making amends and that’s what he’s going to discuss.” However, Steinberg said Woods will not take any questions from a small group of media. “This is not a press conference,” he said. More...

Tiger Woods
Flexing his muscles, the Tiger is to face the media this Friday.

Nigeria's 'dead' president: MINISTERS appointed by President Umaru Yar’Adua and inherited by Acting President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday split into North/South divide over attempts by some to invoke Section 144 of the Constitution to declare him incapacitated. More...
Bodaboda to wear uniforms

By Juliet Waiswa, Feb 18 2010
Boda-boda cyclists in the city centre will be given uniforms after the completion of the ongoing registration by the traffic Police, the Kampala City Council (KCC) and the office of the RDC announced. Under the registration exercise, identification numbers and later uniforms will be given to all riders recorded. Each division will have its own colour of uniform. “We want to know the riders operating in the city so that we organise them,” said Sarah Kibwika, the acting assistant commissioner for traffic and road safety. More...

Bid to outlaw polygamy: Mifumi, a women's rights organisation has petitioned the Constitutional Court to declare polygamy unconstitutional because it undermines the equality between men and women.
Ghana's lost city

By our reporter, Feb 18 2010
Eighty ancient clay figures have been discovered by archaeologists at The Universities of Manchester and Ghana, showing that a sophisticated society - now forgotten - once existed in West Africa. They are the latest - and most impressive - batch of the beautifully sculpted human and animal figures, between 1400 and 800 years old, unearthed from a series of mysterious mounds in a remote region of Northern Ghana. The mounds, which also contain human skulls, are thought by Ghana's Dr Benjamin Kankpeyeng and Manchester's Professor Tim Insoll to be the sites of ancient shrines. More...

Ghana's lost city
A team of Ghanaian archeologists prepare to excavate a site in Ghana where they have dug up 80 ancient figurines (right). The discoverey has caused excitement and point to a civilised ancient city that existed in Ghana some 1,400 years ago. The project was led by teams from Ghana and Manchester University, UK.
Ghana's lost city
Police car kills two sisters in Bungoma

By our correspondent, Feb 17 2010
Two sisters died when they were knocked down by a vehicle belonging to the police.The accident occurred in Maeni area on the Bungoma-Kitale road at 8pm on Sunday. Mr John Simiyu, the father of Immaculate and Mercy, aged 13 and 14 years respectively, was too grief stricken to speak to the Press. Witnesses said the vehicle was trying to overtake a matatu before it veered off the road and crushed the pupils. News of the deaths sparked protests by wananchi, who threatened to set the vehicle from the Railway Police Station ablaze. “We demand that the driver be charged for the deaths,” they said in a statement. At Buko Primary School, the news of the death of the two was also met with protests. More...

Landmark Hotel

Saudi royal arrested in London over murder

By Lianne Koliri, Feb 17 2010
A member of the Saudi royal family was being quizzed last night after a man believed to be a servant was found battered to death in a room at a top London hotel. The body of the 32-year-old Saudi Arabian national was discovered in a third-floor room at the five-star Landmark Hotel in Marylebone shortly before 5pm on Monday. More...

Cholera kills seven in Western

By our correspondents, Feb 17 2010
Seven people are suspected to have died of cholera in two western Kenya districts. Five of the deaths occurred in Teso North District, area district officer I Linus Rono said on Tuesday. He explained that four people died in Osajai village last week after suffering severe diarrhoea and vomiting. Speaking to journalists at Amagoro, the district headquarters, Mr Rono said area residents had refused to take their sick relatives to the nearby Moding health centre because an elderly woman died just two hours after she went there to attend to her ill husband. He said the residents were now taking the sick to either Malakisi or Kocholia district hospitals. Area medical officer of health Melisa Lutomia denied that there was a cholera epidemic, insisting that it was just an outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting. More...

New constitution inches closer as adversaries close ranks

By Beauttah Omanga, Feb 17 2010
The Committee of Experts on Constitutional Review has struck a deal with the Parliamentary Select Committee. Tuesday’s meeting now hastens the country’s hopes of getting a new constitution. Members of the two committees emerged from a joint five-hour meeting and announced they had agreed on a draft to be presented to Parliament later this month. CoE Chairman Nzamba Kitonga and his PSC counterpart Abidkadir Mohammed said they had found a common ground on all key issues and exuded confidence political difference would not derail the process. More...

Larry Gumbe
Prof Larry Gumbe, chairman of Centre for Multi Party Democracy says Raila was acting within his constitutional powers when he suspended ministers Ruto and Ongeri.
Civil society support Raila over suspension of ministers

By our correspondents, Feb 17 2010
Political parties and civil societies have supported Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s step to suspend two cabinet ministers mentioned in corruption. The parties under the auspices of Centre for Multi-Party Democracy and civil society organisations meeting under the banner of multi-sectoral National Salvation Forum called on the suspended ministers to keep off office until investigation was done. "In the spirit of the National Peace Accord, the Prime Minister has powers to suspend the ministers… otherwise it will be of no use being supervisor and co-ordinator of ministries," said CMD-Kenya Chair Larry Gumbe. More...

ODM to boycott Cabinet meetings until Kibaki shows respect

By our correspondents, Feb 17 2010
The discord in Government took a surprise turn when Prime Minister Raila’s Orange Democratic Movement resolved to boycott Cabinet meetings until the dispute is resolved. The altercation between President Kibaki and Raila over the suspension of two Cabinet ministers over corruption allegations was yesterday characterised by a flurry of meetings and press conferences, with the two principal’s lieutenants going on the attack. Their parties took hardline positions. This was happening amid mounting pressure for Agriculture Minister William Ruto and his Education counterpart Sam Ongeri to quit over the maize and Free Primary cash scandals. More...


Google retreat

By Murad Ahmed, Feb 17 2010
Google has been forced into a hasty revamp of its social networking service Buzz after the new feature was met with a storm of criticism because of gaping privacy flaws. The company today announced it will introduce a prominent "kill button" that will allow people to turn off Buzz altogether. Central to the row is a feature that automatically joined Gmail users to the service but also revealed the identities of the people they e-mailed most frequently. More...

Raila has no powers to suspend ministers - Wako

By our correspondent, Feb 17 2010
Attorney General Amos Wako on Monday said President Kibaki retained the power to appoint and discipline Cabinet ministers. But this should be done in consultation with Prime Minister Raila Odinga, according to the National Accord and Reconciliation Act. Mr Wako said the Act did not give the Prime Minister powers to suspend Cabinet ministers, although President Kibaki could decide to delegate such authority to Mr Odinga. Mr Wako warned that continued friction between coalition partners ODM and PNU could be disastrous for the country, precipitating a constitutional crisis, with the collapse of the government, early elections, and stalled constitutional and electoral reforms as some of the consequences. More...

Mudavadi says Ruto, Ongeri remain suspended

By our correspondents, Feb 16 2010
It became apparent that a major crisis could be in the making when Deputy Prime Minister, Musalia Mudavadi, speaking on behalf of Raila, said Ruto and Ongeri remain suspended."...the law is very clear: On matters of discipline, suspension or interdiction of public officials including Cabinet ministers, the Prime minister has exclusive authority." Mudavadi yesterday said: "The Prime minister as the leader of ODM has declared a dispute between the Coalition partners and seeks the immediate intervention of the African Union, in particular the Office of African Eminent Personalities chaired by Annan to convene a meeting to discuss the current crisis with a view to resolving it." ODM accused Kibaki and his party of usurping the Prime minister’s disciplinary powers and manipulating the Constitution of Kenya and power sharing National Accord that created the grand coalition to suit "parochial" goals. ODM said besides refusing to consult it in political and key civil service appointments, Kibaki disregarded Raila on Saturday when he "purported to suspend for three months several senior government officers, including two in the Prime minister’s office who had earlier voluntarily stepped aside." More...

Musalia Mudavadi
ODM fallout: Deputy PM, Musalia Mudavadi (above) says his colleague William Ruto, the agriculture minister (below) and education minister, Sam Ongeri remain suspended.
William Ruto
Kibaki is greatest impediment to fighting graft

By JJ Kinuthia, Feb 16 2010
Following the dramatic events in the coalition Government last week, most of the attention has been focused on who is the appointing authority in Government. But if the PNU side of Government hoped to exploit the current events to its advantage, it may have to think again. Kibaki may have shown who controls the whip, but in the process, Raila has once again outmaneuvered him in the court of public opinion. It is my belief that Prime Minister Raila Odinga may have deliberately precipitated the storm by calling President Kibaki’s bluff on fighting corruption. To all obvious intents and purposes, Kibaki ‘humiliated’ Raila, but in the aftermath, the only winners were the corruption networks that have called the shots in both the old Kanu regime, and the Government that replaced it in 2003. Former Trade and Industry Minister. Mukhisa Kituyi, said on Sunday evening that Kibaki may or may not be the only appointing authority, depending on which side of the political fence you are sitting on, but he now looks, fair or otherwise, as the chief impediment to fighting corruption in Government. More...

Foreign envoys say Ongeri, Ruto must resign

By our correspondent, Feb 16 2010
The International community joined the heated debate on fighting corruption and asked named ministers to step aside. Despite the raging debate, it appeared across the board that most commentators still wanted the named ministers to step aside until probe clears their names. The US Government, its Canadian and Dutch counterparts lauded the Government efforts in the fight against corruption and asked the grand coalition to stay on course to restore the confidence of the international community. More...

US embassy Michael Ranneberger
US ambassador, Michael Ranneberger: Ruto, Ongeri must be fired.
Wako to decide who is right in Kibaki, raila feud

By our correspondents, Feb 16 2010
Attorney General Amos Wako, who as Attorney General is the Government’s chief legal advisor said he would be giving a comprehensive statement on the matter because the matter is very weighty. The ODM, through Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi, claimed President Kibaki had, by reversing the suspension of the ministers Sam Ongeri and William Ruto, usurped the roles of the PM. More...

Rights groups calls on 'graft' ministers to quit

By Peter Orengo, Feb 16 2010
Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has called on ministers whose ministries have been linked to corruption to resign. The commission Chair Florence Jaoko said evidence showed there was widespread corruption in ministries apart from the Agriculture, Special Programmes and Education. Added Hassan Omar, the vice chair: "Reports had indicated that there was corruption in the two ministries and a decision had to be taken from either principals as the executive authority." He said although the Prime Minister should have consulted the President, he was right on suspending Mr William Ruto and Prof Sam Ongeri. More...

Florence Jaoko
Florence Jaoko, chair of Kenya Human Rights Commission says named ministers must resign to pave way for investigations into their ministries.
Kiplagat says he won't resign from TJRC

By our correspondent, Feb 16 2010
The chairman of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission has no intention of bowing to pressure to resign. Addressing the media after Ms Patricia Mande Nyaundi was sworn in as the chief executive officer of the commission, Mr Bethuel Kiplagat said he was acting within his mandate and that he had no reason to resign. “I am in office legally and working according to the mandate of the commission,” he said. According to Mr Kiplagat, the commission was focused on getting appropriate justice for victims of injustices. Several lobby groups have criticised the appointment of Mr Kiplagat and have called for his resignation. More...

Constitutional crisis as Kibaki, Raila go separate ways over corruption

By Walter Simenya, Feb 15 2010
Does the Prime Minister have the power to suspend or sack a minister or a permanent secretary? Several lawyers and political commentators, reacting to PM Raila Odinga’s decision to suspend Agriculture minister William Ruto and his Education counterpart, Prof Sam Ongeri, said the move was bound to create a constitutional and political crisis. While some argued that the move could be challenged on its constitutionality, others said the PM had the constitutional powers to suspend a Cabinet minister. However, they were in agreement that the action was morally right and went down well with the common person. According to Dr Ben Sihanya, the Dean of the School of Law at the University of Nairobi, the National Accord says that the Prime Minister and the President share power on a 50-50 basis. More..

African countries at Winter Olympics

African countries are represented at the Vancouver Winter Olympics despite not having snow. These are Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal, Algeria and South Africa. Most have only a one-man contigent carrying the spirit of Africa. Well done. The games were marred by the death of Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili just hours before the Games opening ceremony.

Amos WakoOn the spot: Amos Wako's office involved in questionable financial dealings.

Forgotten prisoners

By Patrick Mayoyo, Feb 15 2010
Thousands of people are languishing in prisons country wide - some for as many as 10 years - as they wait for their cases to be determined, the Nation can exclusively reveal. Mr Philip Kipng’etich’s case is one such example of miscarriage of justice. Mr Kipng’etich was accused of murder and has been languishing in remand for the past 10 years, waiting for his case to be finalised. More...

Wako asked to explain how Sh50m was spent

By Bob Odalo, feb 15 2010
The office of the Attorney-General has been asked to explain how it spent Sh50 million in the last financial year. Mr A S Gatumbi, the controller and auditor general, has written to the solicitor general Mr Wanjuki Muchemi, seeking answers over money meant for miscellaneous compensation, which cannot be accounted for. In the letter dated January 6, 2010, Mr Gatumbi said the records on deposits at the State Law office did not add up. “Examination of deposits records at your offices revealed that the government paid miscellaneous compensation claims totalling Sh18.9 million during the year as summarised in the attached appendix,” said the letter. “According to information available, the claims arose mainly from ex-parte judgments delivered by the courts against the Government, as a result of inadequate representation during the hearing of cases.” The auditor said the payments left a lot to be desired, since no explanation was provided by the solicitor general as to why there was inadequate representation, which led to the government losing more than Sh18 million. More...

Kibaki reinstates Ruto, Ongeri hours after Raila suspended them

By our correspondent, Feb 15 2010
It was a day of political intrigues when President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga were pulling apart in the fight against corruption, showing fresh cracks in the Grand Coalition Government. First it was Raila who struck by handing a three-month suspension to Agriculture minister William Ruto as the saga involving the loss of Strategic Maize Reserves made a return and Education minister Prof Sam Ongeri following unrelenting calls for his resignation because of the alleged loss of Free Primary Education funds, he said, sprouted from his role as the overseer of ministers. That was at 3 pm. Four hours later, President Kibaki overturned Raila’s suspension of the two, arguing the neither the Constitution nor the National Accord and Reconciliation Act gives him the power to suspend ministers. The statement further said the Prime Minister had not consulted the President on the matter. More...

FT Nyamu
Gichugu MP Martha Karua yesterday demanded the sacking of more ministers implicated in corruption, during a fundraiser at Gititu AIPCA Church where Tetu MP FT Nyamu presented her with a he-goat. Photo: George Mulala
Ouko's killers are known - Troon

By Peter Leftie, Feb 15 2010
Twenty years since the murder of Dr Robert Ouko, Scotland Yard detective John Troon, who led investigations into the murder, revisits the shocking death that exposed the powerful forces in the Moi regime and helped change the face of Kenyan politics. In an email interview with Sunday Nation, Mr Troon who has since retired and does voluntary work, speaks about the roadblocks that were placed in his way by powerful forces. Their aim was to defeat his efforts to find the killers of Kenya’s most celebrated Foreign Affairs minister . Dr Ouko’s charred remains were discovered at the foot of Got Alila. More...

Sometimes we make love with our eyes.
Sometimes we make love with our hands.
Sometimes we make love with our bodies.
Always we make love with our hearts.
"I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love"
Abeingo Valentine The Editor wishes all our readers a Happy Valentines Day.

May the power of love bring you happiness and light the darkest corners of your lives....

"Better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all."
Raila's officials resign over maize scandal

By our correspondent, Feb 13 2010
The Prime Minister’s Permanent Secretary Mohammed Isahakia has stepped aside until the Maize Scandal saga is resolved. Isahakia’s move comes moments after Caroli Omondi, Administrative Secretary in the Prime Minister’s office also stepped aside. The two were mentioned in the PriceWaterhouseCoopers audit report that called for further investigations on the two. More...

Jitters over delay in distribution of disabled funds

By Ally Jamah, Feb 13 2010
Millions of disabled Kenyans are yet to benefit from the Sh200 million funds allocated for them in the current Budget. The fund’s Board of Trustees was sworn into office in December - six months after the Budget - but its officials say they are not ready to begin disbursing money until March. "We are still working on the procedures to guide us on the disbursement," the chairperson Phitalis Were Masakhwe said last week. But some disabled persons have claimed the board is taking unnecessarily too long given that the money has to be disbursed before June or be returned to the Treasury. The fund is meant for the disabled people who have no other sources of income. Aged persons or single parents with disabled children can also benefit. President Kibaki assented the Persons with Disability Act in 2003 but the board was set up six years later. More...

Mohamed Isahakia
Quit: Permanent secretary in PM's office, Mohamed Isahakia
Caroli Omondi
Quit: Caroli Omondi, administrative secretary in the PM's office
Tony Gachoka
I told you so: Tony Gachoka, former head of protocol in PM's office. He resigned las year.
PM knew about corrupt officials but fail to act - Gachoka

By Gakuu Mathenge, Feb 13 2010
The former head of protocol in the PM’s office, Mr Tony Gachoka, claims he was hounded out of office for demanding that Permanent Secretary Mohammed Isahakia and Raila’s PA, Mr Caroli Omondi, clear their names over the scam. Gachoka, who resigned in March last year, said in an interview that senior officials ganged up against him when he took them to task over the scam. Tony Gachoka Mohammed Isahakia "The PM should have run away from certain individuals at his office. I resigned when I felt I was alone in demanding integrity. After a forensic report condemns them, honest servants are shocked when PM referred to graft suspects under investigations by KACC as innocent civil servants," Gachoka said. More...

Kibaki sacks 8 'graft' officials

By Emmanuel Onyango, Feb 13 2010
President Mwai Kibaki on Saturday asked Government officials mentioned adversely in the Subsidized Maize Scheme Audit Report and the Free Primary Education Programme to step down to allow for independent investigations. In a statement issued from State House Nairobi, President Kibaki said the officials should vacate office for three months to allow for proper, independent and accurate investigations into the allocation and application of funds under the two programmes. Officials mentioned include Permanent Secretaries Dr. Romano Kiome ( Agriculture), Ali Mohamed (Special Programmes), Dr. Mohammed Isahakia (Office of the Prime Minister), Prof. Karega Mutahi (Education). Others are the Administrative Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister Mr. Karoli Omondi and the National Cereals and Produce Board MD Gideon Misoi. More...

Ouko's widow speaks about his murder 20 years later

By our correspondent, Feb 13 2010
Twenty years since the murder of Foreign Affairs minister Robert Ouko, his widow has broken her silence about the tragedy and spoken about life with her husband.Mrs Christabel Ouko has vivid memories of the events just before his death and she still wants to know who killed her husband. Dr Ouko had just returned from a high-powered trip to the United States with President Moi. Once in Nairobi, he took a break to visit his Koru home with his family. But two days after he allowed his wife to return to Nairobi, promising to follow later by air, tragedy struck. More...

Christabel Ouko
Christabel Ouko during the interview with Saturday Nation on February 4, 2010. Twenty years since the murder of Foreign Affairs minister Robert Ouko, his widow has broken her silence about the tragedy. Photo: Jennifer Muiruri
Mob attacks gay wedding party

Kenya’s would-be first gay wedding was violently stopped by protesting youths and police on Friday at Mtwapa near Mombasa, hours before it was due to take place. Police intervened as dozens of Christian and Muslim youth stormed the apartment where three men had been putting up. More..

Luhya MP, Rift Valley minister's title deeds revoked

By David Ohito, Feb 12 2010
Lands Minister James Orengo has accused a Cabinet colleague of attempting to sell land he got for free to the Office of the President for Sh1.2 billion. The details of registration of the land in question were given as LR 209/13332 located at Community area in Nairobi and neighbours Prisons Headquarters. The prime land was allegedly irregularly allocated to Rosestar Ltd, a company associated with the minister from Rift Valley and an MP from Western Province. He ordered the title revoked and asked the Ministry of Immigration to take over the land. Mr Orengo said the Government had repossessed prime parcels of land allotted to powerful individuals and cancelled their title deeds. Accompanied by Housing Minister Soita Shitanda and his Immigration counterpart Otieno Kajwang’, Orengo announced fresh intervention to recover Government land allocated to individuals, but are not developed or are situated in riparian areas. More...

James Orengo
Disciplining land grabbers: Lands minister James Orengo has revoked titles deeds belonging to his cabinet colleagues.

No Valentine in Saudia: If you can’t stand shops filled with roses, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, teddy bears, cards and novelty gifts, Saudi Arabia is the place to be this Valentine’s Day. The country’s feared muttawa - religious police - have launched a campaign to banish from the shelves anything that could be construed as a romantic gift. More
Six senior Govt officials to face trial at The Hague

By Athman Amran, Feb 12 2010
Up to six senior Government officials could face prosecution at the International Criminal Court (ICC) instead of three. US Ambassador-at-Large For War Crimes Stephen Rapp said ICC Chief Prosecutor Louis Moreno-Ocampo expected a favourable ruling from the Pre-Trial Chamber by March "that would lead to the prosecution of about four to six people". "But the prosecution of between four and six people is not the end of the story here. There has to be accountability for other cases also," Mr Rapp said yesterday. The envoy who was speaking during a press conference at the US ambassador Michael Ranneberger’s residence in Nairobi, said it was important that a local tribunal be established so that those who escape the ICC face justice locally. More...

Raila's aide cleared of wrongdoing in maize scam

By our correspondent, Feb 12 2010
The Cabinet cleared PM Raila Odinga’s Chief of Staff Caroli Omondi of wrongdoing in the maize scandal. Yesterday, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Senior Regional Partner and CEO Philip Kinisu said they had received documents from the Cabinet to prove Mr Omondi acted under proper instruction in dealings with the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB). Omondi had been accused of influencing the inclusion of a firm, Afgri, in the tender process to deliver maize and varying the price and amount of cereal the firm was to supply to the board. "At the time we were doing this probe, we were not shown the evidence the Cabinet approved inclusion of this entity in the list (of procurement). Subsequent to that, the information was given to us," Kinisu said. More...

Uhuru Kenyatta
Uhuru Kenyatta, the finance minister and DPM. The Maize Report was handed to his office on December 22, 2009 but why it took a month and half to be released has raised suspicion that Kenyatta timed it to shut up Raila over his crusade against education minister, prof Sam Ongeri and his PS, Karega Mutahi.
Kenyatta on the spot over timing of release of maize report meant only for him

By David Ohito, Feb 12 2010
Circumstances preceding release of the report of the PricewaterhouseCoopers audit on the maize saga can now be revealed. It is also becoming clearer that evidence, which could be used in prosecuting wrongdoers, may have been destroyed or concealed and that the exercise may now be futile. The report of the independent investigation was handed over to Treasury PS Joseph Kinyua before Christmas, last year. The auditors expressed fear evidence may be destroyed because suspects have had ample time. Questions are being asked why the Government chose to make public the findings by leaking it to the Press on Tuesday. It also emerged the report was intended to be for the exclusive use by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance who received it on December 22 last year. More...

Fresh row erupts on disputed Migingo Island

By Elisha Otieno, Feb 12 2010
A fresh row has erupted on the disputed Migingo island in Lake Victoria after Ugandan authorities introduced a patrol levy. Kenyan fishermen, who have refused to pay the Sh500 per day have been threatened with eviction. The Ugandan government has also posted 17 more security officers from Bugiri District to boost manning of the controversial island. “The Ugandans want us to pay Sh500 or two kilogrammes of fish to cater for their patrols every day. We have 210 boats operating on the island and this would amount to Sh105,000 daily… This is an unacceptable form of extortion,” said Mr Paul Odhiambo, a fisherman. More...

Mumias Sugar Company
Cane growing in the Mumias sugarbelt has become uneconomic for farmers due to high costs of production and low returns on investment. Mumias Sugar Company recently annouced super normal profits of 600 per cent but the news was bittersweet for farmers who have abandoned cane growing..
Sugar shortage looms as Mumias farmers abandon growing cane

By John Shilitsa, Feb 12 2010
A serious shortage of sugar cane is looming after some farmers stopped growing the crop, the Kenya Sugar Board has warned. The situation has also been attributed to the diversion of funds intended to develop the raw material by some sugar millers for other projects. KSB on Friday said it was on high alert due to a sharp fall in the supply of sugar cane as some farmers have abandoned growing it citing poor returns. Speaking to the Nation in Mumias Town on Friday, a board director in charge of the Sugar Development Fund, Mr Billy Wanjala, said KSB would soon start lending money to farmers in all sugar zones as one way of dealing with the anticipated shortage. In an advert in the Daily Nation last Friday, the sugar regulatory body invited tenders from firms to run a scheme that offers direct lending services to sugar cane farmers. More...

Methodists to be 'extinct' in merger deal with Anglicans

Ruth Gledhill, Feb 12 2010
The Methodist Church is prepared to be absorbed by the Church of England if that is the price of unity, Britain’s most senior Methodist said yesterday. The Rev David Gamble, president of the Methodist Conference, told the General Synod of the Church of England, meeting at Church House, Westminster: “We are prepared to go out of existence, not because we are declining or failing in mission, but for the sake of mission.” Methodists were “prepared to be changed and even to cease having a separate existence as a Church” if that served the needs of the Kingdom of God. The Church of England and Methodists have been flirting with reconciliation ever since their divorce two centuries ago. Formal talks between the two churches began in the 1960s, but an attempt in 1972 at full unity failed at the last hurdle because Anglo-Catholics were opposed. More...

David Gamble
David Gamble, head of the Methodist Church has announced that the Methodists are willing to go out of business by merging with Church of England.

Facebook too much to handle

The internet has created the illusion of mass intimacy, but 151 friends is an unmanageable number, says an academic. More...

Bill Clinton undergoes emergency heart surgery

By James Bone, Feb 12 2010
Bill Clinton underwent emergency heart surgery last night after he complained of chest pains. The former President, who was reported to have been tired and suffering from a cold after two trips to Haiti since the earthquake, had two stents inserted in one of his coronary arteries at a hospital in New York. He was in good spirits and up and walking around after his surgery. His wife, Hillary, the US Secretary of State, remained in Washington to attend a weekly Oval Office meeting with President Obama before heading back to New York. Mrs Clinton had been scheduled to depart today for a five-day visit to Qatar and Saudi Arabia, but officials said that she would now delay the trip by a day. Mr Obama called Mr Clinton later to wish him a speedy recovery. More...

Justice O'Kubasu implicated in dubious land deal

By Martin Mutua, Feb 11 2010
More than 2,000 private developers who have illegally acquired land are in for a shocker. Sources told The Standard that Lands Minister James Orengo has cancelled title deeds issued to those who illegally acquired public land. The ministry has been compiling a dossier of illegally acquired land and Mr Orengo intended to deal with the matter today. Orengo and Housing Minister Soita Shitanda will also cancel titles deeds for private developers who have built on Government land. Sources said those targeted include big names cited in the Ndung’u Land Report. Some beneficiaries include Minister of State William ole Ntimama, former Assistant Minister the late Kipkalya Kones, Court of Appeal Judge Emmanuel O’Kubasu and Deputy Chief of General Staff Nick Leshan. Mr Ntimama, according to the report, was got 34 acres of Moi Ndabi Farm where Mr Leshan also got 233 acres. Justice Emmanuel O’Kubasu allegedly got 40 acres of ADC Jabali in Nakuru while Judge (Rtd) Gideon Mbito acquired 50 acres of ADC Zea. More...

Emmanuel O'Kubasu
Wrong side of justice: Justice Emmanuel O'Kubasu was allegedly allocated 40 acres of ADC farm in Nakuru. Lands Minister James Orengo and Soita Shitanda, the housing minister, want to revoke 2,000 land titles whose owners got the land illegally as outlined in the Ndung'u Report of 2004.
University student leader deposed

David Osiany

By Lucas Barasa, Feb 11 2010
A Sh20 million kitty. Forty-six thousand members to control. Fame. Popularity and a chance to comment authoritatively on national issues. These are some of the perks that make candidates fight for the leadership of the Students Organisation of Nairobi University (Sonu). It is for these reasons that the last Sonu elections held in May 2009 were highly contested, with Mr David Osiany (above) and Mr John Ngaruiya emerging as top contenders for the chairmanship. Mr Osiany won in the polls reminiscent of the bitter fight between PNU and ODM in the 2007 elections. More...

How ghost firms reaped where they did not sow

By our correspondent, Feb 11 2010
The PricewaterhouseCoopers audit report on the maize scandal exposes how fictitious companies raked in millions of shillings. Others set up just before or after the maize subsidy programme was rolled out, turned into a money-minting venture. It names at least three firms that set up shop and obtained thousands of bags.

Summer Africa Ltd - 22,000 bags.
Korba Investment Ltd - 2000 bags.
Kensomtalia Limited
Buzeki Transporters - 150,000
Interglobal Logistics - 10,000 bags
Wasso Investments Ltd - 10,000 bags
Agrilion - 7,500 bags.

Ghost companies: Even more shocking, according to the report, is that some ‘non-existent’ entities got a share of the spoils. These include:

Elyscom - 58,000 bags
Kunuoz - 11,000 bags
Genesis Maize Millers Ltd - 25,000 bags.
Hybe Construction Limited
Force Field International Ltd. More...

Maseno University
Tribal university: Maseno University in Nyanza. The National Cohesion and Integration Commission has cited the institution as being run on tribal lines along with Chuka University College in Meru.

Civil society to sue Govt over Mau 'big fish' payments

By Lucas Barasa, Feb 11 2010
The Government may be sued to stop it from compensating big land-owners in Mau Forest Complex. Civil society on Thursday said they could collect signatures and mobilise Kenyans to oppose the compensation. This would be following in the footsteps of Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai who successfully stopped the Moi regime from building a multi-storey building at Uhuru Park, Nairobi. More...

Maseno, Chuka varsities cited as citadels of tribalism

By our correspondents, Feb 11 2010
Concerns have been raised over ethnic-based recruitment in Government and institutions of higher learning. The National Cohesion and Integration Commission told a House team the worrying trend contravenes Section 7 of the National Cohesion and Integration Act. Commission Chairman Mzalendo Kibunjia told the Parliament’s Equal Opportunity Committee the Act requires not more than a third of the staff come from one ethnic community. He said some of the universities cited are Maseno and Chuka. More...

Thousands mark 20 years of Mandela's walk to freedom

Thousands of South Africans were today marking the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's walk to freedom after 27 years as the world’s most famous political prisoner. Mr Mandela, now a frail 91-year-old, did not attend the celebrations, although a huge bronze statue of him marching from jail, fist pumping the air, formed a fitting backdrop for the ANC figures to address the faithful. More...

World of fashion mourns Alexander McQueen

By Philippe Naughton, Feb 11 2010
Alexander McQueen, one of Britain's most successful fashion designers, has been found dead after apparently committing suicide at his home in London. The 40-year-old was discovered at his property in Green Street, in London’s West End, shortly after 10am today. It was reported that he had been found hanged. Paramedics were called but he was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said his death is not being treated as suspicious. McQueen had been mourning the loss of his mother, who died on February 2, and had told his followers on Twitter that he had found it hard to come to terms with her death. More...

Alexander McQueen
Alexander McQueen: found dead in his London apartment. He was UK's most successful fashion designer.
Fed up, women launch fight against 'fish for sex' practice in Kisumu

By IRIN, Feb 10 2010
If you were a fishmonger in Kisumu, a city on Lake Victoria in western Kenya, you would have to sleep with the fishermen to get stock to sell so you could make a living. A year ago Lucy Agoya got fed up with the practice and rallied a few women to take a stand against it. So far the group has only attracted 28 members. "Many tell me my work is like rain in a lake - it has no value ... Selling fish here makes money, and I know many women say they would rather have sex and have the money than not do it and remain poor," Agoya told IRIN/PlusNews. "Many women selling fish have died of HIV and many are sick; we have been living at the mercy of fishermen who demand sex before they can give you fish. We have resolved to only buy fish with money and not with our bodies." More...

Wekesa, Kutuny clash in Kitale over constituencies

By Bernard Kwalia, Feb 10 2010
The boundaries review team’s meeting in Kitale turned chaotic on Tuesday when two MPs disagreed on the mode of collecting views. Forestry minister Noah Wekesa and Cherengany MP Joshua Kutuny had a confrontation and security was called in to remove the leaders from the Nzoia county council hall. The MPs had exchanged words for nearly 15 minutes as Mr Andrew Ligale, the chairman of the Interim Independent Boundary Review Commission (IIBRC) tried to gain control of the meeting. Trouble started when Mr Ligale asked constituency representatives to read their resolutions on behalf of others. Mr Kutuny rose to challenge the decision, but this did not go down well with Mr Wekesa, the Kwanza MP. More...

Joshua KutunyNoah Wekesa
Joshua Kutuny, the Cherengani MP (left) and Noah Wekesa, Kwanza MP exchanged harsh words during the boundaries commission hearings.

Super Bowl breaks records

The New Orleans Saints' victory over Indianapolis in the Super Bowl is the most-watched programme in US TV history, early figures show. A record 106.5 million people, watched the game last weekend, according to Nielsen media. More...

Mad rush for birth certificates

By Dave Opiyo, Feb 10 2010
Sheria House was on Tuesday inundated with parents trying to obtain birth certificates for their children. This follows a directive requiring all children to have birth certificates before joining school or even registering for national examinations. There were long queues at the State Law Office as the parents, some with their children in tow, waited for hours to obtain the documents. The new guidelines were announced last year by Education minister Sam Ongeri when he was releasing the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination results. More...

Zuma apologises for love child: South African President Jacob Zuma has apologised for fathering a child with a woman who was not his wife. More...
After Mau, Raila, Ruto find common enemy in maize scandal

By our correspondents, Feb 10 2010
Prime Minister Raila Odinga wants Education Minister Sam Ongeri and his Permanent Secretary to step aside over missing Free Primary Education funds, but now there is a groundswell in his own office. And it is not just at the PM’s 14th floor offices at Treasury Building that an international audit firm investigating the maize scandal has recommended Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate afresh. Over at Nairobi’s Upper Hill area, Pricewaterhouse Coopers also wants investigations to be narrowed down to Agriculture Minister William Ruto’s PS Romano Kiome, and National Cereals and Produce Board Managing Director Gideon Misoi. More...

Gideon MisoiCaroli OmondiRomano KiomeMohamed Isahakia
From left: Gideon Misoi, Caroli Omondi, Romano Kiome and Mohamed Isahakia
Kisii MPs plead with Raila to spare Ongeri

By Beauttah Omanga, Feb 10 2010
Prime Minister Raila Odinga met six MPs from Kisii region but insisted Education Minister Sam Ongeri must give way for investigation. Sources at the Monday meeting said Raila would soon meet Prof Ongeri to urge him to step aside and avoid a possible censure Motion in Parliament over missing free education funds. But by the time of going to Press yesterday, Ongeri said he had not received any invitation from the PM to discuss the matter. More...

MPs get Sh4b to improve constituency roads

By our correspondent, Feb 10 2010
Your MP now has no excuse for dilapidated roads in your constituency. The Government has released more than Sh4 billion for road maintenance in all the 210 constituencies. Roads Minister Franklin Bett said the money had been released through the new Constituency Roads Committees. He said Sh16 million has been put in constituency accounts, while another Sh3 million would be released soon. The monies meant for rural road projects had been lying at the Kenya Rural Roads Authority, awaiting submission of two signatories from all CDF managers. More...

Slumdog pirates to the rescue

In a tiny booth in a teeming Mumbai bazaar sits a potential saviour of the Indian music industry. He’s not a budding sitar player, or a famed Bollywood composer. He’s a mobile phone repairman and a small-time bootlegger. More...

Dr Rowan Williams Anglican Church may split permanently over gays, women

The Archbishop of Canterbury warned yesterday that damaging infighting over women bishops and gay priests could result in a permanent split in the Anglican Communion. Dr Rowan Williams (above) stressed that he did not “want or relish” the prospect of division. More...

Education PS admits improper transfer of funds

By David Ochami, Feb 10 2010
Embattled Education PS Karega Mutahi diverted Sh33 million to the construction of Machakos Teachers Training College two years ago. He admitted before a parliamentary committee investigating him that he did not inform or seek authority of Treasury when he transferred the money from an amount of Sh45.5 million allocated the Ministry for rehabilitation works at Egerton University. "I sincerely apologise to Treasury," Karega said, as he acknowledged the transfer. But the Education Ministry PS argued the transfer was inevitable because Treasury itself had withdrawn money meant for the teachers’ college from its accounts. Yesterday, Prof Karega said he also feared that Treasury might not have authorised the diversion or supplementary budget for the teachers college because the 2006/2007 financial year was ending. More...

Minority tribe wins land case against Kenya govt

By our correspondent, Feb 9 2010
In the early 1970s a minority community was forced to leave their traditional home around Lake Bogoria. The Endorois, who today number about 60,000, had to make way for the creation a game park and tourist facilities. After a long legal battle, Kenya has been ordered to resettle the Endorois by the African Commission for Human and People’s rights. And with the African Union (AU) adopting the Thursday ruling, making it binding, Kenya has no option but to resettle the community. A senior legal advisor for Minority Rights Groups International, Ms Cynthia Morel, who represented the Endorois, says the order must be implemented in three months. More...

Endorois people in their traditional regalia. They have been fighting for their land since 1970 when they were evicted from Lake Bogoria in Rift Valley.
Buying a lethal weapon in Kenya is as easy as ABC

By Cyrus Ombati, Feb 9 2010
Buying a gun and transporting the loaded weapon past numerous police checks without detection has never been that easy. This is what KTN crew proved. Reporters and a cameraman were on assignment in Turkana last week when they managed to not only buy an AK-47 rifle and bullets, but also transport it to Nairobi. The reporters said the weapon was not discovered despite checks on the road from Turkana to Nairobi. They said they initially bought the rifle with seven bullets but spent three while testing if it was functional. KTN Managing Editor Katua Nzile handed over to police the rifle and four bullets to police. More...

Raila, Ongeri face-off as Karua calls PM a hypocrite

By our correspondents, Feb 9 2010
Prime Minister Raila Odinga piled pressure on the Minister for Education Sam Ongeri and told him to his face that he needs to step aside. The dramatic attack on the minister may not have caught Prof Ongeri unawares, but left him tense and uncomfortable as the audience cheered Raila. This happened even as civil society groups issued an ultimatum for Ongeri and his Permanent Secretary Karega Mutahi to step aside to facilitate investigation into the misappropriation of hundreds of millions of shillings from the Free Primary Education kitty. Meanwhile, Gichugu MP, Martha Karua criticised Prime Minister Raila Odinga over his calls for Education Minister Sam Ongeri and PS Karega Mutahi to resign over misuse of funds in the ministry. She said Raila had not displayed similar vigour when other ministers were implicated. More...

Prof Sam Ongeri and Raila Odinga
After harsh words, the corruption combatants afford fake smiles and handshakes. Facing the camera from right is embattled minister for education, Prof Sam Ongeri, finance minister, Uhuru Kenyatta and prime minister, Raila Odinga.

Mwakwere still flying the flag: Transport Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere was on Monday still flying his ministerial flag in spite of a court declaring his election illegal. On Monday, he was driving a black Range Rover sports with all the trappings of his office.More
Process to evict Moi from Mau starts next week

By Lucas Barasa, Feb 9 2010
The process to recover hundreds of acres of land owned by former President Moi and other prominent beneficiaries of Mau Forest Complex started on Tuesday. Permanent secretary Dorothy Angote (Lands) led top Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife officials and those from Local Government in launching the survey of a key part of the forest to set the stage for evictions. The survey is a critical stage in the continuing implementation of Phase III Mau forest repossession, Mr Noor Hassan Noor, the chairman of Interim coordinating secretariat said. The PSs for Local Government, Forestry and Wildlife and Lands will oversee the exercise in Maasai Mau, Oloposmuru, Trans Mara and Southwest Mau. The Kiptagich Tea Factory which is partly owned by former President Moi is in Trans Mara. More...

75 year old Form One student brings shine to rural school

By George Sayagie, Feb 9 2010
The grey-haired man among teenage boys and girls stands out in the Form One class at Korabariet Secondary School. He may be 75 years old, but Mzee Rufinus arap Taa is as excited about joining secondary school as his much younger classmates. But it has not been easy for him. Mzee Taa has had to weather many storms, including ridicule from the community for daring to dream of rubbing shoulders with classmates young enough to be his grandchildren. He scored 266 out of 500 marks in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination to secure a place at the school in Kuresoi District. This was no mean feat. He scored an A in science to emerge the top student in the subject in Kuresoi. He even beat one of his grandchildren. More...

Rufinus arap TaaWho says age is a factor in purusing your educational dreams? Not for Rufinus arap Taa, 75, seen here at play with his classmates at Korabariet Secondary School in Kuresoi District on Monday. Mzee Taa, a herbalist, expects that going to school will enable him to serve his clients better. Photo: Joseph Kiheri
Condoms steal the limelight at an Addis Ababa fashion show

By IRIN, Feb 9 2010
The whims of fashion collided with some of life's harsher realities when, during a recent fashion show in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, condoms were the fabric of choice on the catwalk. At the Condom Clothes Fashion Show - held in January and organized by social marketing group DKT with the Zalef Fine Art and Fashion Design Institute - 10 spectacular dresses made exclusively from 10,000 male and female condoms of all colours, shapes and sizes were on show. "In Ethiopia, condoms have a bad image; people are afraid when they want to buy condoms at the supermarket - they even try to hide the condoms quickly after they have bought them," Emebet Alemu, designer of the dresses and organizer of the shows, told IRIN/PlusNews. "We wanted to change that by using an art event; [maybe] the show will open people’s minds a little ... maybe it will make them [condoms] seem more normal for people." The latex garments were later modelled at four shows - all held under the theme, "Abstain, Be faithful and use Condoms" - at the Hilton Hotel in Ethiopia's capital; there is also a plan for the event to be taken to Adama, a major regional city. The fashion initiative is the latest move by DKT to try to break the stigma associated with condom use in Ethiopia; in 2009, it set up a condom café in Addis, and ran a two-month campaign to distribute condoms and kerosene to house helps in the capital. More...

Condoms fashion show
Condom show: An Ethiopian model wearing an all-condoms garment during a fashion show in Addis Ababa.
Mandela's old law office now a derelict squat

By Andrew Harding, Feb 9 2010
The Johannesburg building that once housed Nelson Mandela's law firm is now a derelict squat. The BBC's Andrew Harding finds that long-stalled plans to turn it into a centre for black lawyers say a lot about the pace of change in modern South Africa. George Bizos shuffles slowly across Fox Street, in the centre of Johannesburg. "There's a derelict building on the next block. Chancellor House. It's full of criminals," he says sharply. Mr Bizos' crumpled, 82-year-old back straightens - his barrister's instincts alerted. "That house," he explains patiently, "is occupied by dozens of squatters who have no other accommodation. They should not be casually categorised as criminals." More...

Civil society accuses TJRC chairman of land grabbing

By our correspondents, Feb 8 2010
Civil society groups have written to the European Union, the US and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) urging them not to support the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC). The activists pressed for the resignation of committee chairman Bethwel Kiplagat, accusing him over past injustices including the infamous Wagalla massacre and land grabbing. Addressing journalists yesterday, Centre for Multi-Party Democracy, Haki-Focus and International Centre for Policy and Conflict officials said the commission has not earned public confidence. "The Ndung’u report on land links him (Kiplagat) to acquisition of land in Kileleshwa, he attended a high level meeting that allegedly planned the Wagalla massacre and has in the past suffered credibility test in international peace process in Mozambique," said Centre for Multi-Party Democracy Executive Director Njeri Kabeberi. But Kiplagat vehemently refuted the claims and also wondered why the civil society was now demanding that all other TJRC commissioners resign. More...

Njeri Kabeberi
Njeri Kabeberi, executive director for Centre for Multi-Party Democracy accuses TJRC chairman, Bethwell Kiplagat of land grabbing and witnessing the infamous Wagalla massacre in 1984.

Disabled marginalised: The draft constitution has been criticised for being insensitive towards the welfare of the disabled by deleting a clause in the Harmonised Draft, which allowed the disabled five per cent representation in elective positions and appointments. More...
Mudavadi rolls up sleeves, terms Ruto allies misguided

By Juma Kwayera, Feb 8 2010
The trouble that has been brewing in the Orange Democratic Movement has reached boiling point, with indications the rebels may soon quit. And for this, Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi blames the rebels whom he asks to ‘regain sanity’. The decision by Mudavadi to roll up his sleeves for a duel with party rebels signals a beginning that could see the rebels finally leave the party. In a rare but candid talk about power tussle in the Orange party, Mudavadi termed as "nonsensical and cheap politics the rush by an individual to claim credit for consensus at the negotiations". Isaac Ruto is on record having said that they misled their supporters into voting for ODM and Raila. But Mudavadi says issuing such an apology to voters was an admission they are likely to make another mistake. More...

Allan Shearer comes to Kisumu on an Aids mission

By Peter Atsiaya, Feb 8 2010
If it was four years ago, Kenyan fans of the British Premier League would be looking out for the next fixture in which former Newcastle striker Allan Shearer might feature in. However, during the weekend, fans of the former dazzling dribbler might have caught up with him in Kisumu where he made a silent visit for a charity event. A flood of goals was not on the mind of the former English Captain who caused a stir as he stood on the balcony of his hotel in Kisumu. Top on his line-up of projects was the small Kochongo village in flood-prone Nyando District, 30 kilometres from Kisumu town, where he intended to show how to score goals against the ravages of HIV and Aids. More...

Allan Shearer in Kisumu
Shearer in Nyando: Orphaned brothers Robert Ouko, right and David Odhiambo chat with the soccer icon Allan Shearer, the former England and New Castle Captain, outside their home in Nyando.The celebrity was visiting an orphans project supported by the UK-based NGO, Comic Relief and the Omega Foundation. Photo: James Keyi
Health sector in ICU as donors fret over graft

By Dann Okoth, Feb 8 2010
Kenya stares a major health crisis in the face amid donor uncertainty, poor management, corruption and apathy. Possible grant freeze and shifting donor priorities could critically affect HIV and Aids, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria programmes and compromise millions of lives, it has emerged. But it is Kenyans’ own inefficiency, corruption and impunity that would be the final nail on the coffin of a well thought out health plan gone terribly awry. News early last week that the Global Fund that supports life saving projects in Kenya might not have enough money to cover future projects sounded alarm bells on the corridors of Afya House. More...

Tiger Woods, wife reunite

By our correspondent, Feb 8 2010
Tiger Woods has reunited with his wife to fix their imploded marriage. Elin Nordegren showed up at Tiger’s sex-addiction clinic yesterday to welcome him back home. “The couple is planning to spend some time alone as they attempt to repair their marriage,” a source close to the family said. Ms Nordegren flew to a Mississippi rehab centre where Tiger has been caged to accompany him home to Florida. Surrounded by heavy security, the couple was spirited out of the Gentle Path centre in Hattiesburg, sources said. Woods spent a month at the low-profile rehab centre undergoing group and individual counselling after his marriage, and image, exploded in a spectacular sex scandal.Woods spent a month at the low-profile rehab centre undergoing group and individual counselling after his marriage, and image, exploded in a spectacular sex scandal. More...

Tiger Woods Affair
The over sexed Tiger and wife
Commission raises flag over tribal appointments

By Alphonce Shiundu, Feb 8 2010
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission has raised alarm over the lopsided ethnic recruitment in some government departments. Speaking to the Nation on Monday, just hours after meeting Prime Minister Raila Odinga at his Treasury office, commission chairman Mzalendo Kibunja said his team had asked the PM to ensure that no government body had more than one-third of its membership from one ethnic group. “Just as he and President Kibaki raised the profile of the fight against corruption in the public service, we felt it had to be the same with National Cohesion,” Dr Kibunja said. The matter of ethnicity in the Public Service has been subject of various complains, with the Parliamentary Committee on Equal Opportunity, having already asked the Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura to ensure that the civil service represented the face of Kenya at all levels. The commissioners want February 28 to be marked as national day. More...

Lugari chief thanks God for computers

By Dedan Okanga, Feb 6 2010
Senior Chief Paul Makete types a letter on his computer, prints it and hands it over to a woman waiting outside his office. He then leans back in his chair, a smile crossing his face. Makete, who initially relied on an old typewriter, has every reason to be happy. He says since he acquired the computer, services have improved. He is able to perform multiple functions, a feat he could only dream of a few months ago. "Previously, we did not have even a photocopier, and when we wanted to summon say 50 people, we had to type 50 letters one by one," he says. His small office, which serves Kongoni location of Lugari District, is perhaps one of the busiest in the district. The three sub-locations he presides over have a population of 50,000 people who look up to him for solutions to their problems. More...

Paul Makete
Chief Paul Makete of Kongoni, Lugari taking delivery of a computer which has revolutionised service delivery. Photo: Peter Ochieng

Boy chops off his penis: A Form Three student is recovering at Nyamira District Hospital after chopping off his genitals. He simply said: “It had given me a lot of troubles.” More...
Guns drawn as Livondo, Kamukunji MP clash

By our correspondent, Feb 6 2010
Police are investigating an incident where a Member of Parliament was alleged to have been involved in a scuffle with a Party of National Unity activist. The disagreement on Wednesday night at a Nairobi hotel was said to have involved Kamukunji MP Simon Mbugua and PNU activist Stanley Livondo. “Mr Livondo was here this morning and we recorded a statement from him so we are investigating the matter,” Central Division police chief Richard Muguai told the Nation. In separate interviews, Mr Mbugua and Mr Livondo said they had a heated argument about party matters. The MP said Mr Livondo accosted him at the pool side. “He came to me and told me that he had suspended me from PNU,” the Kamukunji MP said. He claimed that he had dared Mr Livondo to shoot him after the latter allegedly pulled out a pistol and threatened him. More...

Raila wants Ongeri fired over education fraud

By our correspondent, Feb 6 2010
Prime Minister Raila Odinga wants Education Minister Sam Ongeri sacked to pave way for independent investigations into the loss of millions of shillings for Free Primary Education Programme. But Ongeri hit back terming Raila’s statement part of a political scheme to ‘discredit’ him. He called it "an evil political scheme" hatched last year to bring him down. He accused Raila of carrying out a smear campaign against him and called the Prime Minister’s remarks "embarrassing" and "unfortunate". The Ministry of Education has been in a spot since last December, when UK officials suspended funding, citing the loss of about Sh100 million meant to fund education. Last month the US Government withdrew $7 million (Sh350 million). More...

London High Commission funds: Funds meant for the day-to-day operations at the Kenyan High Commission in London have not been frozen. Instead, they are being treated as being outside the scope of a freezing order that was granted by a London court over a Sh800 million debt case.
Dorothy Angote
Dorothy Angote, permanent secretary for lands and embattled Karega Mutahi, PS education pictured yesterday at the state officials summit.

UNEP upgraded: The Kenyan government is claiming credit for Nairobi’s recent upgrading in a United Nations ranking system that measures comparative quality of life. The International Civil Service Commission, which oversees conditions of service for UN staff members, decided in December to re-categorise Nairobi as a level “B” duty station. The Kenyan capital had been dropped to “C” level in 2001 due to concerns about health and security. he three other cities that host UN agencies – New York, Geneva and Vienna – all have “A” ratings. More...
Eviction of 'mbuta' from Mau begins

By Athman Amran, Feb 6 2010
Preparation for repossession of 45,800 hectares of land in the Mau Forest Complex is complete. The Interim Co-ordinating Secretariat on the forest conservation said on Thursday the land to be repossessed in this phase was owned by some current and former government officials and politicians. A statement from the Secretariat, which is under the Office of the Prime Minister, said several ministries will spearhead the third phase. Chief Co-ordinator Hassan Noor Hassan said the phase follows last year’s repossession of about 21,000 hectares of forest land. More...

Pattni's 7-star hotel

By David Okwemba, Feb 6 2010
After losing out in the battle for the ownership of the Grand Regency Hotel, Nairobi businessman Kamlesh Pattni has now come up with an even grander project; a seven star Sh4 billion hotel complex just up the road from his former gem that was taken over by Libyans. More...

Minister no longer MP

By Willis Oketch, Feb 6 2010
Cabinet Minister Ali Chirau Mwakwere is no longer a Member of Parliament. His election as Matuga MP was nullified, dealing a blow to the Party of National Unity. Justice Mohamed Ibrahim nullified the election after he found Mwakwere was illegally declared the winner. "I have carefully considered the evidence before me and found that Mwakwere was illegally declared as the winner of Matuga constituency seat," Justice Ibrahim said in his ruling at the election petition court in Mombasa, on Thursday. Justice Ibrahim noted that the petitioner Ayub Juma Mwakwesi gave clear and consistent evidence to support his petition. More...

Ali Chirau Mwakwereayub Mwakesi
Blow to PNU: Transport Minister, Ali Chirau Mwakwere and his wife leave Mombasa Law Courts on Thursday dejected after losing his Matuga seat in an election petition filed by a voter, Ayub Mwakele (right).
KACC investigating major land scandals in Mumias

By Wahome Thuku, Feb 5 2010
The Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) has gone overdrive in graft fight. After former director Aaron Ringera’s resignation on October 1 last year, now under acting director John Mutonyi, is now hunting big shots and taking them to court over criminal charges that were pending for years. Since December last year, big names have been arraigned in courts to the surprise of many. The commission is also investigating the embezzlement of Sh103 million meant for Kenya Education Sector Support Project by some officials and mega land scandals in Mumias. More...

mumias town
The main street in Mumias which is reportedly riddled with huge land scandals currently under the watch of Kenya Anti Corruption Commission.

Attempt to block Kenyan case at Hague defeated: An attempt by two Americans to block investigations into possible crimes against humanity in Kenya has been defeated. The two professors had sought to stop International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo from taking over the post-election violence cases. More...
Marende, Kalonzo in US for annual breakfast ritual

By our correspondent, Feb 5 2010
Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka has told the international community that Kenya is on the verge of a new dawn. He said a new constitution would address the past and set the country on the path to progress. Speaking in Washington in the company of House Speaker Kenneth Marende, the VP asked Kenyans not to poke holes on proposals that came out of the Naivasha PSC retreat. Mr Marende spoke on the evolution of parliamentary democracy in Kenya. Meanwhile the VP will address Kenyans today at The Ritz Carlton, from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. More...

Minister's five star hotel a danger to aircraft

By our correspondent, Feb 5 2010
A hotel being built by a minister on land controversially sold by a State corporation could be dangerous to planes landing at the Wilson Airport. Kenya Airports Authority Managing Director George Muhoho on Thursday told a parliamentary watchdog committee the hotel was sitting on land that belonged to the Kenya Civil Aviation. "I am told the building is located at the helicopter turning point," he said. The minister is building a five-star hotel nearby. Mr Muhoho said the authority was never consulted when the land was sold and the buildings started being erected, as the law stipulates.He said Wilson Airport could not be expanded to take bigger planes for lack of land, adding that Mugoya and Highrise estates nearby posed a danger to the planes since they were built on the flight path. More...

Madonna and jesus
Madonna and Jesus split.

Madonna forsakes Jesus

Pop queen Madonna and her toyboy lover have parted ways after running out of things to talk about, it emerged on Wednesday night. Madonna and fashion model Jesus Luz reportedly blamed the 28-year age difference between them and a lack of common interests for the split. More...

Kibaki summons all state officials over corruption

By David Ochami, Feb 5 2010
President Kibaki has summoned all Permanent Secretaries, Provincial Commissioners and chief executives of State corporations to discuss the fight on corruption. Graft is one of the areas the Kibaki administration has not shown any significant achievements in the two terms. With only three years to the end of his second term, it is hoped he will use the meeting to boost confidence on the fight against the vice that has eroded economic gains and cast Kenya in negative light in the international community. The meeting follows intense pressure from the donor community after recent reporting of high profile cases of corruption. However, in most of the mega-corruption cases civil servants have been the ‘small fish’. Most of the major scandals have been linked to high-ranking politicians. More...

Western lawyers call of boycott

By our correspondent, Feb 5 2010
Advocates based at the High Court in Bungoma and Busia have cancelled court boycott scheduled to start on Tuesday. They said on Tuesday that Chief Justice Evan Gicheru had acceded to their demand for an additional judge and there was no justification for the boycott. Led by Law Society of Kenya Bungoma chapter chairman Amos Makokha, the lawyers had said their action was intended to prompt the Chief Justice to send another judge to the area. Bungoma resident judge Florence Muchemi is also in charge of the court in Busia.Former LSK Bungoma chairman John Makali told a press conference in Bungoma that the High Court diary at the two stations for this year was already full. More...

Bungoma Town
Main commercial street in Bungoma Town. Lawyers in Bungoma and Busia had threatened to call a strike over lack of court personnel.
10 US missionaries charged in Haiti: Haiti has charged 10 US missionaries with child abduction and criminal conspiracy for allegedly trying to smuggle 33 children out of the country. Haitian officials said their cases would now be sent to an investigating judge who would decide how to proceed. If convicted they face lengthy jail terms, says the BBC's Paul Adams, in Haiti's quake-hit capital city. More...
Officer charged with murder of Bungoma Red Cross volunteer

By our correspondent, Feb 5 2010
A police officer was on Wednesday charged with the murder of a Kenya Red Cross Society volunteer. However, Corporal Peter Ngilu did not take a plea before a Bungoma magistrate because the statements and exhibits were not ready. He was remanded in prison until March 23. The charge sheet stated that on January 26, at Sikata in Ndengelwa, on the Bungoma-Webuye highway, he murdered Mr Michael Wafula Sululu. The magistrate ordered that Mr Ngilu be charged before Lady Justice Florence Muchemi on the same day in Bungoma. But he was not taken to court immediately because the High Court was sitting in Busia. More...

Khalwale, 5 MPs in US for panel discussion on constitutional reforms

By our reporter, Feb 4 2010
Ikolomani MP, Bonny Khalwale is among Kenyan MPs invited to the US to take part in a panel discussion on constitutional reforms. Entitled: 'Practical Perspectives on Constitutional Reform in Kenya,' the conference is scheduled to take place on Monday February 8 2010 in Washington DC. Among Dr Khalwale's colleagues include Danson Mungatana (MP for Garsen - Narc), John Olago Aluoch ( Kisumu Town West - ODM). The discussions will be moderated by Jennifer Cooke, Director, CSIS Africa Program. The event which is open to public will start from 3:30-5:00 p.m. The venue is 4th Floor Conference Room Center for Strategic and International Studies 1800 K. St. NW, Washington, DC 20006. "With constitutional reform the subject of a heated debate in advance of a scheduled national referendum in June of this year, the CSIS Africa Program is pleased to welcome six members of Kenya's parliament to share the latest developments and their implications for the future of Kenya," a spokesperson for CSIS Africa Program told INGONEWS.

Francine Nijimbere
Francine Njimbere whose husband chopped off her hands as a punishment for bearing only girls.

Largest Yatch: Belgium-based Emocean Yacht Design recently unveiled plans for an extravagant new mega yacht, that would be the world's largest vessel of its type. More...
Woman's hands chopped off for begetting girls only

By IRIN, Feb 4 2010
When her husband cut off her arms in 2008 for giving birth only to girls, life changed drastically for Francine Nijimbere. She fled her home in Burundi's southern province of Makamba and sought refuge in Bujumbura, under the care of the Association for the Protection of the Human Rights of Women (ADDF). In September 2009 ADDF moved her to a suburb where she shares a two-room house with another woman, also a victim of gender-based violence. Nijimbere told IRIN about her life: "ADDF rented this house for us; it supplies us with food. But life is not only food; there are many other things we have to find by ourselves like clothes, soap, body lotion, etc. It is not always easy to get them. All depends on good-hearted people who can offer us this or that," she said. More...

Lawyer of deported Jamaican hate cleric used fake court order

By Evelyn Kwamboka, Feb 4 2010
He may have been deported to his home country, Jamaica, but Muslim Cleric Abdullah al-Faisal remains a mysterious figure. The High Court has now ordered the police to investigate how his advocate obtained a fake court order. Police have until May 11 to unravel the source of the court order, which was served on the Attorney-General’s office last month. It is alleged lawyer Mbugua Mureithi served the AG with an order different from the one issued by High Court Judge Jeanne Gacheche on January 14. More...

Yvonne Chaka Chaka in KogeloUnicef Goodwill Ambassador Yvonne Chaka Chaka (left), Mama Sarah Obama (right) at the launch of a campaign against malaria in Kogelo, Siaya District. Photo: Titus Munala Graft body says constituency increase recipe for disaster

By Athman Amran, Feb 4 2010
A lobby group has added its voice to those opposing an increase in the number of constituencies. Transparency International Kenya Executive Director Job Ogonda said additional MPs, as recommended by the Parliamentary Select Committee on constitution review, would not only be a burden to the taxpayer, but would also make regions with more MPs have more influence on policies. "Why increase the number of MPs on the basis of population instead of issues," he asked at a news conference in Nairobi, yesterday. It is feared regions with sparse population might seek to secede if they would have less say in making policies. More...

Cabinet to discuss reforms, Wako travel ban

By Alex Ndegwa, Feb 4 2010
President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga today convene first Cabinet meeting this year and top on the agenda is fulfillment of their promise of a new constitution. The meeting comes as the review enters the final six months amid mounting pressure from the international community to speed up reforms. To ensure the search for a new constitution - that has entered the final six months according to time frames set out in the Review Act 2008 - stays on course, President Kibaki also summoned Parliament to resume sittings earlier than expected. The Cabinet could also debate the string of travel bans slapped on some ministers, MPs, and top Government officials including the Attorney General by the US, and in some cases, Britain. More...

Katiba Mpya

Oparanya, Jirongo clash on constituency increase: Planning Minister Wycliffe Oparanya has opposed the extra seats and demanded that the issue be revisited. He argued that the seats would strain the economy. Meanwhile Lugari MP, Cyrus Jirongo and four other MPs have supported the expansion of the House to 349 members. They included Dujis MP Aden Dualle, Benjamin Lagat (Ainamoi), Mithika Linturi (Igembe South), and Mohammed Affey (nominated ODM-Kenya).More...
270 head teachers sacked over FPE fraud

By our correspondent, Feb 4 2010
More than 200 school heads were interdicted and surcharged by the end of 2008 in an audit of how Free Primary Education funds were spent since 2003. At the same time, Education PS Karega Mutahi said Britain had not withdrawn money it had allocated to the ministry. The PS said records submitted by 749 schools on how they spent textbook money was questionable. He said action was taken against 270 head teachers following massive irregularities. Meanwhile, three education officials charged in connection with a Sh226 million tender for FPE materials now want their bails reduced. Patrick Mwalwala, Wilson Shivachi and Bernard Onginge say the Sh1 million cash bail granted to them was to high. More...

Zuma's sexual exploits splits a continent over polygamy

By our correspondent, Feb 4 2010
South Africans have largely accepted President Jacob Zuma's polygamy - but revelations that he fathered a child out of wedlock have highlighted a gaping cultural divide. In battling South Africa's HIV/Aids epidemic, the government advocates regular condom use and faithfulness to one partner.Mr Zuma has three wives. And now a four-month-old daughter with another woman - 39-year-old Sonono Khoza whose father is a senior football official. Opposition parties and newspapers, Aids activists and women's rights groups are up in arms - they accuse Mr Zuma of setting a bad example. But the government has denied suggestions that his actions contradict his government's policies on Aids. And the spotlight on Mr Zuma's sex life has once again opened the debate about his polygamy. "Bedroom matters are private matters. President Xuma is an informed chap and he knows what he is doing. He is old enough to be in the council of the wise. Even without formal education,he still reigns! What is the problem people?," retorted Iworete from Bungoma, Kenya. More...

Jacob Zuma and wives
Jacob Zuma, the South African president with his three wives in Davos, Switzerland. Revelations that he has fathered a lovechild despite a generous share of official women has generated a hige debate about the custom of poygamy and whether it is still relevant in modern Africa.

Toyota halts new UK delivery as crisis depeens

Toyota has suspended the delivery of thousands of new cars as the crisis over defective accelerator pedals threatens to engulf the company. The Japanese manufacturer, the biggest car company in the world, revealed last night that 180,865 vehicles in the UK might be affected. More...

Muhoho plots against Wamalwa in airports succession battle

By Martin Mutua, Feb 3 2010
The oldest State corporation managing director is preparing to bow out but not without a storm, even after his contract was controversially extended for 12 months last year. Under the spell of tension and boardroom wars not quite unfamiliar to Kenya Airports Authority, the board of directors met Tuesday and ratified George Muhoho’s retirement. Mr Muhoho’s third contract expires on March 31. Harsh words were exchanged among directors as the meeting dragged into nightfall with Muhoho’s succession being the hottest contested issue. However sources told The Standard Muhoho’s file had gone missing from Human Resource Department, making it difficult to tell how many leave days he had. According to Muhoho, he has only eight. Last week the Ministry of Transport disowned Muhuoho’s advert because it had not been approved by the board, and was being seen as his attempt to manage his succession. When contacted by a local daily, he said there was nothing wrong for a retiring CEO to manage his succession. He did not, however, venture into claims he was refusing to go because he did not want to hand over to his deputy Mr Mathew Wamalwa. More...

Mathew Wamalwa
Mathew Wamalwa, Kenya Airports Authority Deputy Managing Director handing out cheques in Kisumu. He is line to take over from the retiring George Muhoho but apparently Muhoho has waged a plot against him.

Scientologists pitch permanent tent in Haiti: It has Roman Catholics and voodoo spiritualists, Protestants, Rastafarians, Jews and Baha’is. Now Haiti, a nation brimming with piety, looks set to be endowed with another belief system: the Scientologists say that they are here to stay. With an operation called The Volunteer Ministry Disaster Relief for Haiti the Scientologists plan to establish a permanent base in the country. More...
Malawi arrests gay rights activist

Malawian police have arrested a man for putting up gay-rights posters, amid a national debate over homosexuality - which is banned in Malawi. Peter Sawali had put up posters saying: "Gay rights are human rights", on a main road in Blantyre, police said. More...

Snake liar charged

Police with the Department of Natural Resources have charged a woman with possession of a venomous snake after she recently claimed she was bitten by one. Last month, 58-year-old Betsy Nighthorse claimed she was bitten by a cobra that she discovered in a White Marsh parking lot. More...

Cornered by Ocampo, govt relents on witness safety

By our correspondent, Feb 3 2010
A sub-committee of Cabinet has bent backwards to accommodate demands by International Criminal Court for watertight protection of witnesses in anticipated post-election violence trials. Chaired by Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the sub-committee, which will be recommending far-reaching changes to the Witness Protection Act to the main sitting, seeks to give the witness protection absolute independence. Attorney General Amos Wako revealed some of the proposed amendments, expected to easily sail through Cabinet include renaming of the protection unit to Witness Protection Agency. It will be financially autonomous and its far-reaching powers of secrecy would include complete identity change and relocation of witnesses deemed to be in great danger. More...

Amos Wako and Ocampo
Parliament to re open early: President Kibaki has summoned Parliament to reconvene earlier to prepare way for the debate on the Draft Constitution. Parliament is now set to reopen on the 23rd of this month. According to the Constitution Review of Kenya Act 2008, which guides the process, the draft constitution must be tabled in parliament by February 25.
Anger as Mariga's dream of playing in England's premier league is shattered

By Mutwiri Mutuota, Feb 3 2010
While Kenyans turned instant anger against the British Home Office for failing to grant homeboy McDonald Mariga a work permit to play in the Premier League, more anger may be vented against wrangling football authorities when the abortive transfer embarrassment fades out. Kenyans will be hoping the Mariga debacle could be what will sound a wakeup call to prompt drastic action by the Government to resolve soccer wrangles. The wrangling in Kenya, mainly between Kenya Football Federation (KFF) and Football Kenya Limited (FKL) is blamed for the morass that has ran Kenyan football to the ground. According to English laws, a player can only be registered to play in the UK top league if his country is ranked 70 and below by Fifa. Kenya’s latest position in the ratings was 98. In December 2008, Kenya was ranked 68th with Francis Kimanzi then in-charge. However, after falling out with FKL top brass over taking Harambee Stars to a hastily organized friendly in Cairo, Kimanzi was shunted and a nondescript German coach, Antoine Hey hired. Hey led a disastrous seven-month spell where Stars crashed out of 2010 South Africa and Angola tournaments and slid out of top 100 nations, a factor that cost Mariga his Manchester City chance. More...

McDonald Mariga
McDonald Mariga: UK immigration denied him visa because Kenya is not in top 70 FIFA rankings. Instead, Inter Milan have snapped him for a bargain from Parma, also of Italy for a snip £ 2.5m.

Akinyi wins round one against Chinedu in property dispute

By Nancy Akinyi, Feb 3 2010
Businesswoman Joyce Akinyi can rest easy for now after a court dismissed an application to wind up a popular resort. Her estranged husband Anthony Chinedu had applied to have the New Deep West resort, which they owned jointly, sold. More...

Kenyan Diaspora remittances down but still higher - CBK

By Reuters, Feb 3 2010
Kenyans abroad sent home $609 million last year, down from a record $611 million in 2008 but higher in local currency terms, the central bank said on Tuesday. Remittances are a significant source of foreign exchange for east Africa's biggest economy, coming after horticulture, tea and tourism. Day-to-day fluctuations in the local currency market are often driven by remittance flows. Charles Gitari Koori, director of the research department at the Central Bank of Kenya, said after taking into account currency fluctuations, remittances in 2009 came to 47.1 billion shillings, up from 42.3 billion in 2008. Most of the diaspora remittances are used to support investment especially in real estate-construction and investment in equities in the stock market. More...

Uganda govt sets up commission to investigate ritual killings

THE Government has set up a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the increasing number of suspected ritual murder cases. The Minister of Internal Affairs, Kirunda Kivejinja, informed Parliament yesterday that the commission would be headed by retired Supreme Court judge Joseph Mulenga. More...

Ligale's headache over creation of new constituencies

By Alphonce Shiundu, Feb 3 2010
Does Kenya need more constituencies, or is the proposal to increase their number by 80 just another of our lawmakers’ ploys to rob the taxpayer? That’s the question in the minds of many, especially after some politicians and lobby groups objected to the Parliamentary Select Committee’s proposal to increase the number of parliamentary units from the current 210 to 290. For a number of those who attended the Naivasha meetings that passed the proposal, the idea is timely in ensuring equitable distribution of resources, and their proposals have received the thumbs up from a cross-section of professionals. Mathematically speaking, the average population per constituency, going by the latest figures of 40 million Kenyans, is 190,000. The average area for a constituency is 2,771 square kilometres. More...

Andrew Ligale
Andrew Ligale, chairman of the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission. He has a difficult task of pleasing everyone by creating new constituencies.
Kenyan ecologist receives top award

By Casper Waithaka, Feb 3 2010
A Kenyan researcher and conservationist has been awarded the prestigious world ecology award from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Dr David Western, a former Kenya Wildlife Service director and the founder the African Conservation Centre in Kenya, will receive the 2010 World Ecology Award from the Harris World Ecology Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He becomes the second Kenyan to receive the award after Dr Richard Leakey among other prominent recipients including Cable news network (CNN) founder Ted Turner and John Denver. More...

Scholarship set up in Alembi's memory

By our correspondent, Feb 2 2010
Equity Bank has set up a scholarship fund in honour of a leading literary scholar and children’s writer who died recently. It will benefit seven children from Ebwiranyi in Emuhaya constituency. The chief executive officer, Dr James Mwangi, at the weekend said the scheme was in recognition of the role played by Dr Ezekiel Alembi in ensuring that poor orphans get education in the area. He spoke during Dr Alembi’s burial on Saturday. Among the first beneficiaries will be Dr Alembi’s daughter, Abigael. Education Education permanent secretary Karega Mutahi, who also attended, said the education sector had lost “a special person who contributed to the development of education not only in class but also in drama and music”. Similar sentiments were echoed by the Kenyatta University vice chancellor, Prof Olive Mugenda, who said the university had lost a person of integrity and a team player. She said Dr Alembi was set to be elevated to the position of associate professor as his academic papers had already been approved. The burial was attended by thousands of Kenyans, including scholars in theatre, and workers in the publishing and banking sectors. More...

Dr Ezekiel Alembi
Pallbearers carry the casket containing the body of departed scholar, Dr Ezekiel Alembi who was buried at Ebwiranyi in Bunyore over the weekend. The celebrated scholar, playwright and entrepreneur died two weeks ago after suffering a stroke. Photo: NATION

Zuma's lovechild with friend's daughter: President Jacob Zuma is reported to have fathered a child with the daughter of a long-time friend, Irvin Khoza, according to the Sunday Times of South Africa. This brings to 20 the number of children known to have been fathered by President Zuma - along with the 19 he is officially said to have had, with his ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Kate Zuma, who has since died, and his current wives and girlfriends. More...
Minister settles 13 yr-old property case with NSSF

By Nancy Akinyi, Feb 2 2010
Higher Education Minister Sally Kosgei and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) have settled a land suit out of court. Yesterday, the two told Commercial Court judge Justice Muga Apondi they had reached a settlement in the Sh174 million land suit and that what was pending is costs. The court heard the NSSF board is scheduled to meet this Friday to approve the costs. The parties requested for a mention next Thursday to record the terms of settlement. This legal battle dates back 13 years when the Aldai MP held a powerful post in the civil service. The board, through advocate Desterio Oyatsi, argued it was blinded by Kosgei’s influence at the time and could not have entered the sale agreement had it known the property would be gazetted. More...

Sally Kosgei
Dr Sally Kosgei, the higher education minister has settled a 13-year old case with NSSF over a controversial Sh174m property deal. NSSF says she used her powerful position as PS at the time to swindle worker's pensions.
Kadhi courts: Christians to vote No to constitution

By Benjamin Muindi, Feb 2 2010
The constitutional review faces a fresh challenge as Christians on Monday threatened again to scuttle the process unless Islamic courts were removed from the draft. And the clerics also demanded the number of MPs be capped at 250 so that Kenyans don’t shoulder the burden of financing a bloated government. “We state that if the draft constitution to be presented in the referendum does not reflect these cardinal principles, the Christians in Kenya shall reject it in total,” said the National Council of Churches of Kenya secretary-general, the Rev Peter Karanja. He spoke on behalf of the Christian community in the country at a press conference in Nairobi. The Rev Karanja was flanked by representatives from various churches and Christian organisations in the country. No judgment has been delivered on a case filed in 2004 in the High Court, seeking the removal of the courts from the constitution. More...

Wetangula credited with constitutional breakthrough

By our correspodent, Feb 2 2010
As the constitutional talks last week hit a grid lock, it has emerged that certain key members played a key role in ensuring consenus. The sources said ODM deputy leader William Ruto and the PSC chairman Abdikadir Mohamed played crucial roles in making the talks move forward. Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta also played a major role by adopting non-combative approaches during debates, insiders said. Other members whose performance contributed to the consensus reached were Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula and Mwingi South MP David Musila. Among the achievements Ruto is credited for is brokering the deal on the Executive when he proposed a pure presidential system of government, which was supported by the majority. This ensured that one of the biggest anticipated hurdles at the retreat was surmounted with ease. More...

Vyonne Chaka Chaka and Ida Odinga
Yvonne Chaka Chaka, the South African songbird and Ids Odinga, Prime Minister's wife at Serena Hotel, Nairobi where they lanched an appeal for Sh4b HIV fund.
Beyonce's record smash at Grammy's: Pop star Beyonce was the big winner at the prestigious Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, winning six prizes. eyonce has set a new record for the most awards won in a single year by a solo female, and takes her career tally to 16. More...
Scientists crack AIDs puzzle after 20 years of research

By our correspondent, Feb 2 2010
Scientists say they have solved a crucial puzzle about the Aids virus after 20 years of research and that their findings could lead to better treatments of HIV. British and US researchers said they had grown a crystal that enabled them see the structure of an enzyme called integrase, which is found in retroviruses like HIV and is a target for some of the newest HIV medicines. More...

Whistlblower website leaks

WikiLeaks, a whistleblower website that allows people to publish uncensored information anonymously, has suspended operations owing to financial problems. More...

Atwoli warns MPs against scuttling reforms

By our correspondent, Feb 1 2010
The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) has warned politicians against scuttling the Constitution review process. COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli urged Kenyans to support the draft constitution that was handed to the Committee of Experts by the Parliamentary Select Committee. He said the workers union will be sensitizing Kenyans on the new law and conducting civic education ahead of the referendum. Speaking at Kamukunji grounds Atwoli hailed PSC for reaching consensus on various thorny issues. More...

Francis Atwoli
Francis Atwoli, the COTU boss: Let no MP scuttle the constitutional reform process.
Cheating MP caught with pants down

By Stevens Muendo, Feb 1 2010
A youthful flamboyant lawmaker who is a member is of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) that was negotiating a new draft constitution, was recently busted by a colleague in a Naivasha hotel room where he had disappeared with his clandestine lover. The girl is a former beauty queen working with a leading organisation. The legislator and the catwalk model have been an item for the last one-year. The mheshimiwa had left Naivasha Great Rift Hotel (where the committee has been meeting) with his colleague for Naivasha town where they wanted to have some fun before the sessions would resume the next day. More...

Ouko's ghosts return to haunt Truth Commission

By Peter Opiyo, Feb 1 2010
Kenya’s quest for truth, justice and reconciliation that is meant to allow the country drink the sweet waters of healing is quickly turning sour. The Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) began its hearings on a bumpy path as a group of civil societies called for its disbandment. TJRC is expected to unearth the truth about past injustices, grand corruption, land theft and political assassinations between 1963 and February 2008. The commissioners, led by Mr Bethuel Kiplagat, were over the weekend met with hostile residents and activists. Civil activists have taken issue with the appointment of Kiplagat as chairman of the commission, saying he was a long-serving civil servant during the Kanu administration when numerous atrocities - including the murder of Robert Ouko - were committed. Others have said the commission would not be able to adequately address land injustices since most of them were committed before 1963. More...

Robert Ouko
The late Dr Robert Ouko, Kenya's foreign affairs minister who was murdered in February 1990.
Haitians to be resettled in Africa: The African Union (AU) agreed on Sunday to consider a Senegalese proposal to resettle Haiti’s earthquake homeless and possibly create a state for them in Africa. The idea was first floated by Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade who said the history of Haitians as descendants of African slaves gave them the right to a new life on the continent. More...
NCCK, civil society hail new 'constitution'

By Ramadhan Rajab, Feb 1 2010
Religious and civil society groups have congratulated the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitution (PSC) for a job well done. International Centre for Policy and Conflict (ICPC) and Centre for Law and Research International said the committee had made tremendous achievements in arriving at a consensus on sticky constitutional issues. National Council of Churches of Kenya through its secretary-general Canon Peter Karanja said the compromise was a sign of moving Kenya closer to a new constitutional order. More...

Luhyas say No to KKK

In our last month's survey, we asked: Should Luhyas join the KKK (Kikuyu, Kalenjin and Kamba) Alliance? Out of 110 votes, 95% said said No.

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American University in Nairobi