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Mudavadi's arbitration skills gives Kenya a new constitution

By our correspondent, Jan 30 2010
Members of the select team that delivered what is possibly Kenya’s first unifying constitution draft on Friday spoke of the “magic formula” used to reach agreement on the difficult political issues. A group of moderate MPs played a critical role during the 11-day talks at the Great Rift Valley Lodge by stepping in between the sometimes hard-line positions held by a section of ODM and PNU ministers. The role played by the chair in moderating the debate, especially in the company of known arbiters like Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi, Cabinet minister Dr Sally Kosgei and Mwingi South MP David Musila, also went a long way in softening positions during debate on emotive issues of devolution, the Executive and representation, PSC members who spoke to Saturday Nation said.

Ababu Namwamba
Committee of Experts chairman Nzamba Kitonga (left) receives the Naivasha draft from PSC chairman Mohammed Abdikadir and deputy chairman Ababu Namwaba in Nairobi on Friday. Photo: Charles Kimani

Toyota recalling 1.8m cars: Toyota says it is recalling up to 1.8 million cars across Europe, including about 220,000 in the UK, following an accelerator problem. The carmaker says it will recall eight models including the Yaris, the Corolla and the RAV4 sports utility vehicle. On Thursday, Toyota announced it was recalling 1.1 million more cars in the US, a day after suspending sales of eight popular US models. More...
1960s US airlift alumni meet for the first time

By our correspondent, Jan 30 2010
It was a day of joy and excitement when Kenyans who benefited from the Africa Airlift Programme in the 1960s gathered for the first time in Nairobi. The group, commonly known as the Airlift Alumni, mingled and shared experiences of the good old days at a reception organised for them by the US Embassy on Thursday evening. The father of US President Barrack Obama was among the beneficiaries of the programme. It is while he was studying in the US that Obama Sr married a Kansas girl, Ms Ann Dunham, the US President’s mother. Politician Tom Mboya, who was assassinated in 1969, had started the airlift project with the African-American Students Foundation in the US. Nobel laureate Prof Wangari Maathai, who gave the keynote address at the party, recalled that during the time tribalism did not exist. Zawadi Africa Education Fund executive director, Susan Mboya said her mother, the late Pamela, encouraged her to start the program. More...

Mumias makes 560% profit

By Jevans Nyambiage, Jan 30 2010
High sugar prices and cost cutting measures sweetened Mumias Sugar Co Ltd’s pre-tax profit by 561 per cent in the first six months to December 31, 2009. The listed miller’s pre-tax profit increased from Sh231 million in the previous financial year to Sh1.5 billion. A loss and profit statement issued on Friday, indicated that the company returned net revenues of Sh7.7 billion, which is 49 per cent higher than the Sh5.2 billion achieved over the same period last year. “The world’s sugar prices are at an all time high, ranging at $750 per tonne (about Sh57,000). This has resulted in improved sugar selling prices within the period. More...

Evans Kidero
Evans Kidero, Mumias Sugar MD. Profits have soared 561% over the last six months due to strong shilling.
Shock as human sacrifice deaths rise by 800% in Uganda

By Margaret Ziribagwa, Jan 30 2010
THE number of people killed in human sacrifice is on the rise. According to a report obtained from the Police, the number of people killed in human sacrifice increased from three in 2007 to 25 in 2008 and 29 in 2009. In addition, a total of 123 people were still missing by the end of 2009, the majority of them, or 90, were children. Most of them are suspected to having become victims of human sacrifice. To date, 125 suspects have been arrested and 54 were taken to court. They were charged with criminal offences such as murder, abductions, kidnap, causing harm and attempting to sell children. However, nobody has been convicted so far. More...

Extra MPs yes but show me the money - Luhya leaders

By our correspondent, Jan 30 2010
The issue of a bloated Parliament has arisen due to concerns that the country may not have the capacity to pay the wages and bills of the House, an issue the Prime Minister acknowledges is a sticking point. "I know the Parliamentary Select Committee’s proposal to create more seats has raised concern," says Raila, during the meeting in Kakamega. Cabinet ministers Dalmas Otieno, Henry Kosgey, Fred Gumo, Assistant Ministers Manyala Keya, Alfred Khang’ati and Sospeter Ojaamong attended the function. MPs Justus Kizito (Shinyalu), Wilbur Otichillo (Emuhaya), Ben Washiali (Mumias), Rachael Shebesh (nominated) and Alfred Sambu (Webuye) were present. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Bonny Khalwale is particularly unhappy that the cost implications were not considered. Cabinet Ministers Wycliffe Oparanya and Paul Otuoma have also said additional seats would overburden the economy. More...

Sheryl Cwele
Cheryl Cwele, wife of a South African minister. She is charged with running a drug ring involving Turkey, Brazil etc.

SA minister's wife charged with drug trafficking

The wife of South Africa's intelligence minister has been arrested on drug-dealing charges. Sheryl Cwele, the 50-year-old wife of Siyabonga Cwele, appeared in court charged with conspiring to bring cocaine into the country. Mrs Cwele was charged with procuring a woman to collect drugs in Turkey and of getting another woman to smuggle cocaine from Brazil. More...

Wamalwa arrives in Bungoma but no Simama rally

By our correspondent, Jan 30 2010
Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa arrived in Bungoma and his supporters forced him to address them at the town’s bus stage. Wamalwa, whose arrival in town was not expected, had addressed civic leaders at the Bungoma County Council hall. The MP was in town barely a day after police cancelled his much-hyped Simama Kenya rally earlier scheduled for Sunday in Bungoma. More...

Keiyo Marakwet leaders disown delegation to Raila

By our correspondent, Jan 30 2010
MPs and party leaders from Marakwet and Keiyo districts have distanced themselves from a delegation that visited Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Led by Keiyo South ODM chairman Micah Kigen, the leaders said the group did not represent the interest of the two districts. More...

Breakthrough at constitutional talks

By Beauttah Omanga, Jan 29 2010
On Thursday, history thrust on Parliamentary Select Committee Chairman Abdikadir Mohammed the task of briefing the nation on political compromises struck in Naivasha on issues that could have killed the dream for a new constitution. "It was difficult but by the grace of God we did it,’’ sighed Abdikadir, ending the anxiety that had gripped the country from the moment the 26 PSC members checked into Great Rift Valley Lodge on January 17. Incidentally, as if in a rush not to be seen to have mimicked the English saying ‘on the Eleventh Hour’, on Day 10 on Thursday, PSC broke up its retreat with a smile, and a promise to hand its consensus report to the Committee of Experts this afternoon. More...

Francis Oduol
US Undersecretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero (centre), US Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger (left) and Kenya Polytechnic University Principal Francis Oduol at the college on Thursday. Photo: Saidi Hamis

Gates pledges the largest donation ever

Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder and philanthropist, is to make the largest ever single charitable donation with a pledge of $10 billion for vaccine work over the next decade. Mr Gates said that he hoped the coming ten years would be the “decade of the vaccine” . More...

Two million dead people voted in 2007 - US

By our correspondent, Jan 29 2010
A US official revisited the controversial 2007 presidential election when she said her country was aware two million dead voters were not weeded from the electoral register as pressure on reforms mounted. US Undersecretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero said America is aware that there were over two million dead voters whose names remained in the register and ‘voted’ in 2007. "We are aware that over two million dead people voted in 2007, so we will support the process of compiling a new voter register. At a time the whole world is watching Kenya, we want to be there with our support," Ms Otero said. More...

Former Moi aide charged with fraud

By Joshua Ogutu, Jan 29 2010
Businessman Joshua Kulei has been charged with obtaining a total of Sh17.9 million from East African Gas Ltd by false pretences. Mr Kulei and Ashar Ltd are alleged to have jointly obtained Sh12 million from the gas company on May 19, 1999 by falsely pretending Ashar had rendered engineering and foundation laying services on its behalf. He faces an additional count together with Sian Ltd, where they allegedly obtained Sh5,999,890 on June 17, 1999, from the same company by falsely pretending that Sian Ltd had paid land rent, rates and assessment fees on behalf of Gas Company Ltd. And Former Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) MD Ezekiel Komen is charged with breach of trust. More...

Joshua KuleiRoselyn Nambuye
Joshua Kulei (left) and Justice Roselyn Nambuye.
Western tourism circuit to be rebranded

By Kepher Otieno, Jan 29 2010
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has set a side Sh38 million to rebrand Kisumu Impala Sanctuary Park and Ndere Island to open up western tourism circuit. KWS Managing Director Julius Kipng’etich said they have embarked on rebranding all the tourist destinations in the circuit to enhance revenue in the sector. KWS also plans to roll out a similar programme to other national branded parks such as Ruma National Park in Homa Bay, Kakamega Forest, Saiwa Swamp and Mt Elgon. More...

Koinange family feuds over Sh1bn land

By Wahome Thuku, Jan 29 2010
The family of the late Mbiyu Koinange is selling of 100 acres of his land in Nairobi at Sh1 billion. But the family wants the High Court to determine who should buy the land. Lady Justice Roselyn Nambuye is hearing the case. At the centre of the controversy are three companies Jumbo Properties, Centum Investments and a Chinese State corporation Wanho International Holding who are competing for the stake. A different member of the Koinange family sourced each of the companies. And each of the members should pocket Sh100 million as commission for sourcing a buyer. More...

Zuma defends polygamy: South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has defended polygamy during a question and answer session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More...
Three con witchdoctors arrested in Kisii

Three people claiming to be witch doctors have been arrested after allegedly drugging two young men they had “identified as murder suspects”. The youths were suspected of killing a clerk at Nyamache town council a few months ago. Residents were puzzled when the youth started feeding on grass after the witch doctors are said to have performed some magic in Nyamware village, Nyamache District, on Friday. Hundreds of people witnessed the event. The officers rescued the youths and later launched a search for the witch doctors. They tracked the three, among them a woman, to Kiamokama in Masaba District, where they had gone on a similar mission after it was apparent that they were fraudsters. More...

Eugene Wamalwa
Eugene Wamalwa, the Saboti MP who is being supported by President Kibaki's son, Jimmy under the umbrella Simama Kenya for the presidency. His foray into big game political hunt has caused jitters in Western. So far he is only supported by Moses Akaranga, former Sabatia MP and Raphael Wanjala, former Budalang'i legislator.
Wamalwa loses chance as Simama rally is cancelled

By our correspondents, Jan 29 2010
The much-publicised Simama Kenya meeting, scheduled for this Sunday, was called off after the government withdrew its licence, citing security concerns. President Kibaki’s son Jimmy and Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa announced the last-minute cancellation in Nairobi on Thursday. Jimmy is the lobby’s patron. Mr Wamalwa said the Western provincial police boss King’ori Mwangi had personally informed them of the cancellation on phone. The Simama Kenya rally had been viewed as a platform for Mr Wamalwa to dive head-first into the Kibaki succession pool, even though there were jitters within the ODM that he would eat into Mr Odinga’s popularity. However, there are those who see the young Wamalwa’s moves as wishful thinking. ‘‘It’s a pipe dream,’’ said Mr Lucas Watta, a member of the Western Province Elders Advisory Council. More...

Five die in Bungoma oil tanker accident

By Roseline Obala, Jan 28 2010
Five people died in a road accident involving a diesel tanker and a matatu at Ndengelwa in Bungoma District. Another person died from gunshot wounds after police fired in the air to keep away a crowd that wanted to siphon diesel from the tanker. Nine people, including one person with gunshot wounds, were admitted to Bungoma District Hospital in critical condition. The accident happened after a trailer, which was attempting to overtake a lorry heading to Webuye from Bungoma collided with an oncoming Nissan matatu. The tanker was ferrying fuel to Luanda, Uganda, when it hit the matatu along the Webuye-Bungoma Highway at around 7.30pm. More...

Sexy Car
Times are hard and every little helps. So although you can't afford to hire a truck to deliver your building supplies, remember that some savings end up costing you more for what they are worth. I told this is not a truck...
Red Cross man shot dead at Bungoma accident spot

By our correspondent, Jan 28 2010
A Kenya Red Cross volunteer was shot dead by police in Bungoma District as he assisted victims of a road accident in which six people died. Two people died on the spot while four others died at Bungoma District Hospital where they were being treated. A witness, who declined to be named for fear of victimisation, said police shot in the air several times to disperse the crowd siphoning the fuel before opening fire at them. Red Cross youth leader Michael Sululu is said to have been shot as he attended to the driver of the tanker. He is said to have been dressed in official uniform and had a first aid kit. More...

Deya's wife loses bid to block witnesses over fake babies saga

By Nancy Akinyi, Jan 28 2010
Televangelist Gilbert Deya’s wife has lost a bid to bar the prosecution from calling two more witnesses to testify against her in the ‘miracle babies’ case. Kibera Senior Principal Magistrate Grace Nzioka ruled the prosecution was free to call witnesses to prove its case against Mrs Deya. She made the application when the prosecution intimated to court it could not trace two authors of vital documents relating to Mary Deya’s alleged pregnancy and birth. The prosecution told court that in the absence of the two witnesses, it could call experts from Nairobi Hospital to produce the documents in court as exhibits. The prosecution told court that in the absence of the two witnesses, it could call experts from Nairobi Hospital to produce the documents in court as exhibits.More...

Mary Deya
Mary Deya, the wife of controversial UK-based preacher, Gilbert Deya. She is serving a jail term in Kenya over child trafficking.
Lebanese in West Africa: The crash of an Ethiopian aeroplane carrying Lebanese passengers to Addis Ababa has highlighted the strong ties between Lebanon and Africa. Many passengers are believed to have been on their way to West Africa, where Lebanese are the biggest non-African migrant community. There is an apocryphal story of how they came to be there. More...
World class bioscience research facility opens in Nairobi

By Joe Ombuor, Jan 28 2010
A world-class bioscience research facility that has opened its doors in Nairobi is set to move Africa closer to the developed world in agricultural technology. The aptly named Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa (BecA) centre at the International Livestock Research Institute hub brings together a critical mass of scientists from Africa and abroad and is a boon to scientists and students in African national research institutes and universities. The Director, Dr Segenet Kelemu, says the arrival of BecA has consolidated on the African soil, research projects once scattered all over the globe. More....

Constitution: Nearly there but no official word yet

By Beauttah Omanga, Jan 28 2010
On Tuesday the Parliamentary Select Committee returned to divisive issues earlier settled, but on Wednesday it appeared to have pushed the gas pedal to the floorboard. Even before the formal briefing by the review team Chairman, Abdikadir Mohammed, sources reported a breakthrough in some of the potentially divisive clauses. Though the formal briefing was scheduled for 4pm, by 7pm it had not taken place, and the members had instead split into working groups. Later in the evening, the committee told the Press the briefing would wait untill Thursday noon. It is believed this is because the team disagreed on what to tell the country. This was a sign there were still areas of divergence. Sources said the contention was on the percentage of Gross Domestic Product that should be allocated to the proposed counties. Orange Democratic Movement proposed 20 per cent while the Party of National Unity maintained it should remain the current 2.5 per cent allocated to Constituency Development Fund. More...

Barack Hussein Obama
Obama: Change is never easy

By a correspondent, Jan 28 2010
Citing a "deficit of trust" in government by the American people, President Obama's first State of the Union address urged Congress to erode the influence of special interests and work together to confront the nation's most pressing problems. In the nationally televised speech Wednesday night to a joint session of Congress, Obama sought to reassure Americans angry and nervous about the pace of economic recovery that his government understood the challenges and would act boldly to meet them. More...

Highlights of new 'constitution'

Regions to get 12 per cent of GDP. PNU had wanted to retain the current 2.5% given to CDF whereas ODM pushed for 20%.

Cabinet will be made up of 25 ministers, and the decision of how many would be MPs and ‘outsiders’ be left to the President, but subject to parliamentary approval. Any MP promoted to a minister must resign.

Cabinet members shall be referred to as secretaries. In this regard, a Minister of State would be ‘Secretary of State’, while Defence Minister shall be ‘Defence Secretary’

Reintroduction of two-tier Legislature: the national and county levels. Counties to be created are 47, and each shall elect a member to the senate.

Parliamentary elections to be held in August of the election year and presidential elections four months later, in December.

Regions scrapped: ODM had suggested 18 regions but PNU wanted 33. These were scrapped in favour of the current 47 districts which form the Senate.

PNU reverses gear at Naivasha, wants imperial presidency

By Beauttah Omanga, Jan 27 2010
Some members of the Parliamentary Select Committee appeared to engage reverse gear on consensus on pure presidential model, throwing the second round of their retreat into confusion. Some members of the House committee on review upon which President Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and a key committee of Cabinet thrust the task of forging consensus on contentious clauses, yesterday literally made one step backward. Not for the first timr, PNU made a pitch for a model hinging on the current all-powerful presidency whose critics argue compares well with imperial royalty. This push, largely by Party of National Unity side, was met with Orange Democratic Movement’s declaration it is a presidential system checked by strong and effective devolvement of power. The group also came up with fresh demands on almost all key chapters already dealt with. More...

Joseph Peniel
Author Joseph Peniel.

The Haiti you didn't know

Haiti's poverty has been much discussed since its massive earthquake, but little has been said of its rich, and equally fraught, history. For more than two centuries the tiny, at times fragile, republic has inspired black political activism in the United States. Born of the influence of the French and American revolutions, Haiti, once prized as the jewel of the French Empire, changed the course of its history by engineering a revolution that startled the world. More...

Sticking bones of contention

Disagreement on the number of regions, with PNU asking for 33 and ODM sticking to 18, as previously agreed.

Those opposed to pure presidential system agreed by the PSC last week beat an about-turn and demanded the president under this model be allowed to appoint 50 per cent of his Cabinet from outside Parliament.

The MPs also differed on the percentage to be allocated to regions from central government budget. While it had been agreed last Friday at least 20 per cent of the national budget be distributed to regions, PNU changed tune and reduced the percentage to 12 per cent.

Tiny insect in Kisii could save world's coffee industry

By Gatonye Gathura, Jan 27 2010
A tiny insect found in Kisii could save the global coffee industry over Sh39 billion ($500 million) it loses annually to one of the most devastating pests. Researchers from Kenya and the US say the previously-ignored insect feeds on the eggs and larvae of the coffee berry borer and could play a major role in controlling the pest. Dr Juliana Jaramillo from the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi and Dr Eric Chapman from the University of Kentucky in the US, say this discovery could have important implications for the management of coffee throughout the world. More...

Kisii coffee insect
Scientists have discovered that this Kisii predator feeds on the coffee berry borer, which costs the coffee sector $500 worldwide.
US travel advisory against Kenya stays

By Alphonce Shiundu, Jan 27 2010
The US will not lift the travel advisory against Kenya issued to its citizens last July, the US ambassador to Kenya said Tuesday. The move will come as blow to the tourism industry, which is still recovering from the twin effects of the post-election violence and global economic meltdown. US amabassador, Michael Ranneberger linked the ban to the Somali insecurity which often spills into Kenya. More...

Simama rally in Bungoma to shake Western political landscape

By our correspondents, Jan 27 2010
Key political players and professionals in Western Province are watching keenly the unfolding scenario as the clock ticks closer to next weekend’s Simama Kenya rally in Bungoma town. The rally, slated for January 31, and which is supposed to unveil support for Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa’s presidential ambition, has continued to draw support as well as condemnation from across the political divide and amongst the region’s professionals. Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo, who is an ally of Mr Wamalwa, says he will monitor the outcome of the rally. Former Public Service Minister Moses Akaranga says Wamalwa is only one of the leaders from the region who have expressed ambition to contest the presidency. Kimilili MP Eseli Simiyu was more philosophical over the stand-off surrounding the rally. "Wanasema Simama Kenya, kwani wengine wetu tumekalisha Kenya chini? (They say Simama Kenya, have some of us made the country to stagnate)?" Eseli poses. More...

Soros calls for big bank break up: Legendary investor George Soros has called for a radical break-up of banks that are "too big to fail". He also backed US President Barack Obama's proposed reforms to limit the size of banks at the World Economic Forum in Davos. More...
Eugene Ludovic Wamalwa
Eugene Wamalwa, the Saboti MP who is working with Jimmy Kibaki (below) to wrestle presidency.
Jimmy Kibaki
Kibaki directive on media coverage draws criticism

By Augustine Oduor, Jan 27 2010
Lawyers and stakeholders have strongly condemned the directive by the Presidential Press Service barring the media from covering presidential functions without a prior press invite. Speaking on telephone, the Editors Guild chairman Macharia Gaitho termed such a directive "uncalled for and retrogressive". Mr Macharia said the President voluntarily relinquished his privacy by virtue of being the Head of State. "A president can not claim privacy as long as it is not within the confines of his bedroom," he said. The University of Nairobi School of journalism lecturer Peter Oriare termed the directive "an affront to media freedom". City lawyer Paul Mwangi said the perception on public office is that one surrenders his or her right to privacy and is seen as public property. More...

Ten things you didn't know about Davos: The World Economic Forum has been going strong for 40 years - but here are 10 things you probably didn't know about the event. More...
School coding blunder dash pupils' dreams in Kisii

By Kepher Otieno, Jan 27 2010
When he received his KCPE results last month, Allan Odhiambo Okong’o was excited for he had topped is class at Genesis Primary School in Kisii Central. Scoring 392 marks of 500, he missed being among the top 100 performers in Nyanza by a whisker and was confident of making it to his top provincial choice - St Joseph’s High School Rapogi in Uriri. The provincial school claimed its position among Kenya’s top schools in 2005 when it beat Nyanza Province’s academic giants like Maseno, Maranda and St Mary’s Yala high schools in KCSE. But jubilation turned into tears when his father - Joseph Okong’o went to pick his Form One admission letter. Not only did he miss out on his dream school but he had been called to a district school that he had not chosen. Instead he was picked for St Michael’s Nyandema in Migori, a school he had never heard of. More...

Mombasa drug addict
A Mombasa drug addict injects himself with heroine. Drug addicts in the coastal town have resorted to a bizzare way, where they sell drugged blood for Sh50 a pop to those who cannot affort the regular fix.
Cyber crime: The introduction of internet addresses in non-Roman scripts could offer fresh opportunities to cyber-criminals, experts have warned. Next year the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) will for the first time accept internet domain names in non-Roman scripts. More...
Shock as Mombasa druggies inject each other with drugged blood

By Patrick Beja, Jan 27 2010
Drug addicts in Mombasa and other parts of the coast have resorted to shocking methods to feed their expensive habit. A survey in the backstreets of the town and the narrow alleys of the Old Town, where the habit is rampant, revealed addicts who just live for they drugs they take. A man and his wife who live in Majengo Estate share their addiction in a macabre way. The husband, who looks for their daily dose of heroin, goes to the Old Town every morning where he is injected by a peddler. He wobbles back home to find his wife waiting for him. Mombasa residents recently demonstrated against what they termed laxity by Government to end the drug menace in the town. Inset, police haul suspected drug traffickers arrested in Mombasa into a lorry. He draws blood from his hand using a rusty syringe that they keep in the house. He then injects his wife with his drugged blood to pass on his intoxication onto her. More...

Likoni Ferry to go: A government plan to build a bypass linking Mombasa Island to the South Coast may come to fruition in three years. More...
Kibaki bans media from his functions unless invited

By Stephen Makabila, Jan 26 2010
The media will not be allowed to cover all public events attended by President Kibaki. A Presidential Press Service (PPS) dispatch last evening indicated the media will only cover public functions attended by the President if officially notified by State House. The Director of the Media Institute David Makali raised the same concerns in a commentary penned in one of the local dailies yesterday. Last month, journalists were harassed in Central Province while last Friday, the same happened in Nanyuki. "The President is an exalted position by any estimation and the public is interested in his appearance, what he says, how he behaves and everything he does because they pay for it," noted Makali in his commentary. More...

David Makali
David Makali, director of Media Institute: We pay Kibaki.
Five killed in tribal clashes in Trans Mara

By Leonard Korir, Jan 26 2010
At least five people have been killed in the ongoing clashes along Trans Mara East-Trans Mara West districts border since it begun nearly a month ago. In the latest incident, three people were killed Monday night at Kapkatet in Kirindoni Division leaving five others seriously wounded. But local Police boss Titus Yoma said only two people died in the attack. Mr Yoma said the bodies with gunshot wounds have since been taken to Tenwek Mission Hospital Mortuary while the wounded victims are receiving treatment in the same hospital. More...

All judges to be fired

By our correspondents, Jan 26 2010
The Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Review has not come to the rescue of judges who wanted to be spared the trouble of reapplying for their jobs if Kenya adopts a new Constitution. The PSC concurred with recommendations by the Committee of Experts that judicial officers should reapply for their jobs if a new Constitution is adopted. The MPs have agreed that judges should be subjected to a screening process that could lock out many of the current serving judges. It is expected that the procedures to be followed in the screening process would be set out in legislation that would be passed by Parliament after the new Constitution is promulgated. More...

John Olago Aluoch
John Olago Aluoch, Kisumu Town West MP has joined other ODM leaders calling for the sacking of Agriculture minister, William Ruto over his constant sniping at the PM.
Ruto should be sacked - Raila allies

By our correspondents, Jan 26 2010
A fresh war of words has broken out between Agriculture Minister William Ruto and Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s allies. On Monday, Raila’s allies told off Ruto for claiming at the weekend that Raila had turned his back on him after the two worked closely together during the 2007 campaigns. ODM organising secretary Anyang’ Nyong’o rebutted Ruto’s accusations, saying the party had passed resolutions on the issues Ruto was blaming the PM for. He said the minister’s claims on Raila’s stand on post-election violence and Mau were ‘fictitious’. More...

US suspends Sh525m education aid over graft

By Alphonce Shiundu, Jan 26 2010
The US has suspended millions of shillings earmarked for the Kenya education sector. US ambassador Michael Ranneberger on Tuesday said the money-Sh525 million - set to be disbursed to the Education Ministry this year will stay suspended “until there is a credible, independent audit and full accountability.” “Those culpable for the fraud should not merely be sacked, they should be prosecuted and put behind bars,” he said during a luncheon at the Hilton Hotel, Nairobi. However, Education Permanent Secretary Karega Mutahi told the Nation that he was “in the dark” over the funding that the US had suspended. The move comes at a time when several top education officials are under investigation by the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission following a Sh110 million scam in which officials misappropriated Free Primary Education funds. More...

Professor Karega Mutahi
Dark professor: Prof Karega Mutahi, the education permanent secretary. He said he is in the dark about the Sh525m the US ambassador, Michael Rannenberger is talking about suspending. Top education ministry officials are being investigated for swindling Sh110m meant for the Free Primary Education programme.
Constitution: MPs throw out national land commission clauses

By Oliver Mathenge, Jan 26 2010
The Parliamentary Select Committee was Monday reported to have deleted a section in the revised draft establishing a National Lands Commission. The MPs are said to have taken the action because of the anticipated laws that will follow the National Land Policy, which was passed by Parliament in December. “There was a feeling that the issues in the draft will be taken care of by the proposed national land policy,” an MP told the Daily Nation. All references to community land are also said to have been removed from the draft. Unconfirmed reports from the meeting indicated that the MPs want the provisions placed in Acts of Parliament. More...

Police deployed to Bungoma church mired in wrangles

By our correspondent, Jan 25 2010
Police have been deployed to St Mathews Anglican Church in Webuye ahead of a parish council meeting to resolve leadership wrangles. The meeting is expected to decide the fate of church provost Joseph Weswa, who was suspended last week. Regular and Administration Police are watching the church to stop a clash between faithful allied to Bungoma diocese bishop George Mechumo and those opposed to the suspension of Mr Weswa. On Sunday, only a handful of faithful were at the church, with the majority opting not attend the Sunday service. In a memorandum to Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, some of the faithful want the suspension of Mr Weswa revoked. Mr Weswa was last week suspended by Bishop Mechumo after church members locked out three priests who had been deployed to take over the parish. The faithful argue that the suspension was done in bad faith. More...

George Mechumo
Bishop George Welimo (right) mobbed with the faithful after being elected to replace Eliud Wabukala, the archbishop of Church of Kenya.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Split: THE Hollywood golden couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have signed papers paving the way for a legal separation with joint custody of their six children, it was reported last night. More...
UK to drop retirement age

By R. Bennett, Jan 25 2010
Millions of older people will be able to lengthen their working lives under proposals from the equalities watchdog to scrap the compulsory retirement age of 65. It says that the current law discriminates against older people, and that extending the working lives of older people would pump £15 billion into Britain’s ailing economy. In most of Europe workers retire at 65, but in France it is 60 while in US it is 66 although people typically retire at 69. More...

Bungoma to go to Trans Nzoia as Kenya is zoned into 18 regions

By our correspondent, Jan 25 2010
The Parliamentary Select Committee on constitution review will propose Kenya be zoned off into 18 regions. Two experts invited to help the PSC decide the numbers - Prof Peter Aduol and Mr Johnstone Sakanja - convinced the 26 members the proposed numbers were adequate and sustainable. Old Busia and Kakamega districts will be regions of their own, while Bungoma will be carved out and lumped with Trans Nzoia to form another region. Nyanza Province cover the old Kisii, Kuria and all the Luo Nyanza districts. More...

William Ruto
Betrayed: Tearful William Ruto says Raila Odinga dumped him after fighting so hard for him.
Ruto blames Raila for abandoning him

By Peter Mutai, Jan 25 2010
Agriculture Minister William Ruto has blamed Prime Minister Raila Odinga for their differences. Mr Ruto accused the PM of turning his back on him especially after the bungled 2007 General Election. The Eldoret North MP said he sacrificed a lot of his time at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre where the presidential vote-tallying was done and went ahead to negotiate for coalition Government where Raila later became the PM. Ruto was speaking at Kokwet Secondary School in Kipkelion constituency during a funds drive. More...

Constitution: nearly there but scramble for regions remain a sticking issue

By Beauttah Omanga, Jan 25 2010
Members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on constitution review trooped back to Naivasha last evening to wind up the unfinished business on its agenda. Top on the list is the search for consensus on devolution of power as an effective system of checks and balances on the pure presidential model it settled on last week. PSC, which has made tremendous progress in seeking political consensus on the sticky clauses in the revised draft by Committee of Experts, also has two more pressing and potentially controversial issues to settle. The first is the creation and distribution of new constituencies, and the second, how to zone the country into semi-autonomous majimbo blocs.

Musalia Mudavadi and James Orengo
ODM bigwigs Musalia Mudavadi (left) and James Orengo at the Naivasha retreat where PSC is seeking to harmonise the new constitution. Much ground has been covered but sticking points remain. Pic: Anthony Gitonga
Western to get seven more constituencies

By Beauttah Omanga, Jan 25 2010
If the MPs meeting at Naivasha agree, the total number of new constituencies will be 80, on top of the existing 210. There will also be 54 slots for women nominees, three to be picked by each region. Added to 12 general nominations to parliament, this could give Kenya a 356-member chamber. Currently, Central Province has 29 constituencies, Nyanza (32), Eastern (36), Nairobi (8), NEP (11), Rift Valley (49) Coast (21) and Western (24). A Member of the PSC revealed the members unanimously accepted the proposals presented by the experts albeit with allowance for adjustments. Prof Peter Aduol and Mr Johnstone Sakanja, the two experts who were invited by the PSC to help them get the best modality to determine the boundaries told PSC the country could sustain at least 300 seats. More...

Nyanza hospitals targetted by land grabbers

By Kepher Otieno, Jan 25 2010
Private developers have been accused of grabbing more than 50 acres of land belonging to hospitals in Nyanza Province. On Sunday, Nyanza Provincial Director of Medical Health Ojwang’ Lusi revealed the developers targeted public health institutions that lack title deeds. Out of the 57 district hospitals in the region, only two had secured title deeds. "It is only Iyabe in Kisii South District and Suba District hospitals that have processed their title deeds," Dr Lusi disclosed. He said lack of the vital documents made it difficult for most of the health institutions to fence their parcels of land, in effect exposing them to grabbing. More...

Leon Panetta, CIA director
CIA director, Leon Panetta sneaked in and out of Kenya on a spy mission shrouded in mystery.
Hate cleric finally in Jamaica: Controversial Jamaican cleric Abdullah al-Faisal arrived in Jamaica on Friday evening, marking an end to his controversial sojourn in Kenya. The Jamaican press reported his arrival yesterday and published a photograph of the preacher as he exited the Norman Manley International Airport, carrying a hand luggage while pulling a suitcase. More...
The CIA spy who sneaked in and out of Kenya on a sensitive mission

By Cyrus Ombati, Jan 25 2010
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Leon Edward Panetta made a secret visit to Kenya at the weekend where he is believed to have delivered President Barack Obama’s message on governance and terrorism to the Government. Mr Panetta arrived at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Thursday evening and left last evening. We could not confirm reports that he met President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Interestingly, Panetta arrived the same day Jamaican cleric Abdullah Al-Faisal left the country.Senior Government officials declined to comment on the visit terming it "very sensitive". He met with National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) officials led by Director General Michael Gichangi . More...

Breakthrough in constitutional talks as US style presidential system is adopted

By our correspondents, Jan 23 2010
It was expected to be a contentious point that would either break or make the new constitution. But when it came on Thursday, it surprised, nay, shocked even the keenest of observers on both sides of the political aisle at the ease of convergence of opinion. Yet within Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s ODM party inner sanctum, the tabling of a ‘pure’ presidential system before the Parliamentary Select Committee meeting in Naivasha was a masterstroke cleverly weaved together and kept secret for days. It is emerging that ODM top brass, which had for years been advocating a parliamentary system to tame ‘imperial’ presidency met twice last week when it was agreed they would promote a pure presidential system. By drawing the pure presidential system, and getting the meeting in Naivasha to agree to it, ODM seems to have had their way, without arousing suspicion from other members who may have wanted an imperial president as suggested in the draft document.More...

Millie Odhiambo
Step by step, nominated MPs Sophia Abdi (left) and Millie Odhiambo at the PSC retreat in Naivasha, on Friday where a pure presidential system was adopted where the presidential powers are limited. Photo: Anthony Gitonga
Highlights of new katiba

There will be no clandestine promises for positions in government and wanton creation of ministries and political positions to accommodate vested interests.
Tthe president will have his running mate, who will become the vice-president. Out will go the office of the prime minister and the two deputies.
Parliament will have its own calendar. The President will not prorogue Parliament or delay its opening to suit his own political whims. The President will not be able to pick half of the MPs and put them in the Cabinet as is the practice now.
Tthe President will pick members of the Cabinet from outside Parliament. These, like in the US, will be subjected to intensive vetting in Parliament.
There will be 47 members of the senate representing the 47 original districts, excluding those created by former President Moi and President Kibaki.
Iindependent Judiciary whose members are appointed by the President but vetted by Parliament.

Guards throw out journalists from Kibaki function

By Francis Ngige, Jan 23 2010
Journalists were again ejected from a presidential function on Friday. In a second embarrassing incident in a fortnight, the journalists were physically ejected from a funeral service attended by President Kibaki and ministers in Nanyuki. Kibaki had attended the burial ceremony of his cousin George Mwai Gitumbi who died aged 75 years. Presidential Press Service Director Isaiya Kabira regretted the incident and apologised to journalists. More...

Nivah Odwori
Nivah Odwori from Samia in Busia died in Haiti earthquake. She was a relative of Fred Gumo, the minister for R. Devt
Gumo's relative killed in Haiti

By Walter Menya, Jan 23 2010
A sister-in-law to Fred Gumo, the regional development minister is one of the casualties of the Haiti earthquake which has killed more than 100,000 people. On January 3, Nivah Odwori called her mother in Samia to inform her she was going to Haiti to continue with her calling - helping the poor. She worked with UN Volunteers (UNV), offering humanitarian assistance to families in Port-au-Prince. That was to be the last time she ever talked to her family. “We were informed of the sad news on Friday,” said family spokesman Magero Gumo. More...

Kenya sets up an HIV court

By Plus News, Jan 22 2010
The Kenyan government has created the first ever tribunal to handle legal issues relating to HIV, including discrimination against people living with HIV and protecting the confidentiality of medical records. The new tribunal, under the office of the Attorney General, has the status of a subordinate court, with the right to summon witnesses and take evidence. It will handle issues relating to the transmission of HIV, confidentiality, testing, access to healthcare services, discriminatory acts and policies, and HIV-related research. "Nobody can pretend that there haven't been cases of violations and abuse of people living with HIV. When an HIV-positive woman is chased from home, either by in-laws or the husband, you have a serious case of human rights abuse," said Ambrose Rachier, chairperson of the new tribunal. More...

Child traffickers target Haiti orphans

By Martin Fletcher, Jan 23 2010
Thousands of children unaccounted for since Haiti’s earthquake are at risk of falling prey to child traffickers, aid agencies have wearned, as fears were raised over at least 15 children who have vanished from hospitals within the past few days. Unicef, the UN children’s agency, warned that "traffickers fish in pools of vulnerability. We know from past experience that trafficking happens in the chaos that usually follows emergencies." A Unicef adviser, Jean Luc Legrand, said he knew of at least 15 cases of children disappearing from hospitals. Nearly 30 agencies helped by the UN peacekeeping mission and the Haitian government are urgently pooling information and resources to counter the threat. More...

Secondary school scholarships from Cooperative Bank and Jomo Kenyatta Foundation

By our correspondent, Jan 23 2010
Co-operative Bank is awarding Secondary School scholarships to students who sat for last year's KCPE exams but are unable to raise requisite school fees to join form one. We therefore appeal to all of you, if you know of someone (parents) preferably associated (current or past) with a Co-operative Society who is in need of such assistance to contact Finnlemm offices ASAP. CLICK HERE to download full elligibility criteria.

Other scholarships are available from The Jomo Kenyatta Foundation Educational Publishers. CLICK HERE to download an application form. The scholarships cover the entire duration of secondary school education.

Govt spokesman makes a fool of himself over Jamaican cleric

By our correspondent, Jan 22 2010
The drama surrounding controversial Jamaican cleric Abdullah Al Faisal continued as Government contradicted itself on his whereabouts. Even though the police told the High Court Thursday that the preacher had been deported, Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua later told journalists the plane that was to carry Al Faisal to his native Jamaica had developed mechanical problems. But Muslim activists led by Al-Amin Kimathi of Muslim Human Rights organisation (Muhuri) insisted al-Faisal was still being held at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. By late yesterday, Kimathi was still camping at the Airport Police Station, even as police officers insisted Faisal had left. But in a span of less than an hour, Dr Mutua changed his statement and said: "Al Faisal was deported earlier today… He should be arriving at his destination later…" without referring to the earlier mechanical breakdown. More...

Humphreys Munai
Humphreys Munai from Bunyore with his son after returning to Oklahoma, US from Haiti.

Hope for gays in Uganda: A Ugandan MP who proposed introducing the death penalty for some gay people has told a newspaper he is willing to change his draft legislation. In an interview with the Daily Monitor, David Bahati said he had talked to the cabinet about the bill and was willing to "amend some clauses". Earlier in the week the cabinet set up a committee to look at his proposals. More...
Luhya man survives Haiti earthquake, thanks God

By Sammy Cheboi, Jan 22 2010
Mr Humphreys Munai, a Kenyan living and working in America, arrived in Haiti on Monday January 11, on routine assignment. Having spent the night in the now famished country, Mr Munai was taken ill and had to seek treatment. “I went to hospital for a check up before going back to the office. That was the beginning of God’s miracles,” Mr Munai said. “The hospital was swinging. Every building around went down but that one.” Mr Munai is an International Finance Coordinator for World Neighbours, an international organisation working to reduce hunger, diseases and poverty around the world, including East Africa. “Thanks to my praying family led by my parents Rev Wellington and Mrs Eunice Munai. You raised me to make quick decisions,” he said of his parents living in Bunyore, Western Province. He communicated mainly with his brother Alex Munai through email. More...

Kenyans abroad want a constituency

By Antony Gitonga, Jan 22 2010
Kenyans living abroad have called for the creation of an "abroad constituency" in the new constitution. After the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Review agreed to create more constituencies, more than one million Kenyans abroad want one seat reserved for them. Under their umbrella organisation, Kenya Community Abroad, they called for a clause to be included in the harmonised draft allowing for the creation of the constituency. The press release was signed by Mr John Maina.. More...

kenya parliament
Space for hundreds more: Kenya's parliamentary buildings in Nairobi. It currently sits 220 MPs but experts have proposed that Kenya's 40 million population needs a minimum of 300 MPs for effective representation.
Experts recommend 300 constituencies

By our correspondents, Jan 22 2010
Experts have recommended 133, 000 as the minimum population for each constituency, which will make 300 constituencies across the country. Sources say the experts said the country’s 40 million population would adequately be represented in Parliament if a uniform figure was arrived at in creating constituencies. Two experts, Prof Peter Aduol and Johnstern Sakancha, had been called to help resolve a deadlock over representation. The Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitution Review (PSC) was divided on whether to go by the experts’ proposal or stick to their own recommendation to create 56 new electoral areas. More...

Next Kenyan president wont be an MP - MPs agree on new constitution

By our correspondents, Jan 22 2010
Kenya moved closer to a new constitution after Parliamentary Select Committee on review retreat in Naivasha surmounted what appeared to be the trickiest hurdle. PSC Chairman Abdikadir Mohammed said his team had made substantive progress on the Executive and is now dwelling on Devolution, before concluding the emotive Chapter. "We have dealt with the Executive and reached consensus but we will issue a statement after tying it up with Devolution of Power and Propositional Representation, which we are dealing with," said the chairman. More...

Tiger Woods
Sex treatment: Tiger Woods is reportedly holed up in a sex clinic in Massachussetts. More...

Move to downgrade Kiswahili draws fire from scholars

By Ramadhan Rajab, Jan 22 2010
Kiwahili scholars and lobbyists have come out fighting over Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) decision to make Kiswahili in primary schools optional. Chama cha Kiswahili cha Taifa-Kenya (Chakita-Kenya) Chairman Kimani Njogu termed the move unacceptable, out to undermine efforts of integrating Eastern Africa and driven by people hell bent on perpetuating colonialism. "We are greatly disturbed by the policy that is subversive to nationhood and public interests, and at no given time will we accept the direction, as it undermines efforts made in nurturing Kiswahili," Prof Njogu told journalists. He called on the Education ministry to revoke the directive as a matter of urgency.. More...

Kenyan media confuse readers with conflicting numbers of new constituencies to be created

By our reporter, Jan 21 2010
Kenya's mainstream media has churned out hugely conflicting reports regarding the number of constituencies to be created in the news constitutional dispensation. While the NATION reports that the number of MPs is to increase from 222 to 325 with elected MPs increasing to 266 while 59 will be nominated, The STANDARD reports that only 56 new constituencies will be created (see separate story). Meanwhile, Kenya Broadcasting Service (KBC) reports that the number of constituencies will increase by 90 to make the total number of elective representation 300. Confused? You are not alone.

Google snubs China: Google has taken its first concrete step out of China, postponing the launch of two mobile phones produced specifically for the Chinese market. More...
Haiti voodoo
Voodoo state: A Haitian voodoo ritual. The Carribean island, the poorest in the western hemisphere, is also famous for its voodoo culture that is largely associated with slaves from Africa.
France, Voodoo blamed for Haiti's earthquake

By Ben Macintyre, Jan 21 2010
Where does the fault lie in Haiti? For geologists, it lies on the line between the North American and Caribbean tectonic plates. For some, the earthquake is evidence of God’s wrath: the American evangelist Pat Robertson has even suggested that the horror is recompense for some voodoo pact made with the Devil at Haiti’s birth. More sensible voices point to the procession of despots who have plundered Haiti over the years, depriving it of an effective infrastructure and rendering it uniquely vulnerable to natural disaster. But for many Haitians, the fault lies earlier - with Haiti’s colonial experience, the slavers and extortionists of empire who crippled it with debt and permanently stunted the economy. The fault line runs back 200 years, directly to France. More...

Govt no match for teacher power as hardship allowances are restored

By Sam Otieno, Jan 21 2010
Teachers emerged victorious when they forced the Government to back down on plans to slash their hardship allowances. Public Service Minister Dalmas Otieno yesterday announced teachers would continue earning a hardship allowance at the rate of 30 per cent of their salaries. This is welcome news for more than 94,000 teachers who would have been affected if the benefits were slashed. The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) had opposed the Government move to harmonise hardship allowances for teachers and civil servants. The decision to slash teachers’ allowances was announced in October, last year, after the Government agreed to the teachers’ demands to harmonise their salaries with those of other civil servants. More...

kavetsa adagala
Kavetsa Adagala (inset) of the Ufungamano Multi-Sectoral Forum which is pushing for a presidential system in the new constitution but where the elected president in not an MP.
Adagala's group pushes for a president who is not an MP

By Isaiah Lucheli, Jan 21 2010
The Ufungamano Multi-Sectoral Forum has proposed all presidential candidates should not simultaneously contest for parliamentary seats. The forum also supported a presidential system of government and called for the scrapping of the position of prime minister, whether ceremonial or with executive powers. "We do not support a parliamentary system since political parties are weak, unstable and constantly changing. We also oppose PM’s position because it gives perception of parliamentary system and two centres of power," they said in a statement. The officials including chairman Rashmin Chitnis, members Sammy Mwaura, Reverend William Mutiso and Kavetsa Adagala, said two centres of executive authority in the Grand Coalition had resulted in lack of accountability and weak governance. More...

MPs clash over distribution of 56 new constituencies

By our correspondents, Jan 21 2010
Parliamentary Select Committee’s third day sitting in Naivasha deadlocked after members failed to agree on distribution of the proposed 56 constituencies. Consequently, PSC has invited Interim Independent Boundary Review Commission to help unlock the impasse. Negotiations on the Chapter on Representation temporarily stalled even before the review team embarked on the Executive Chapter that has, on the sidelines of Naivasha talks, split the Grand Coalition and threatened to frustrate reforms. The House review team, made up of representatives of President Kibaki’s Party of National Unity and Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement, deadlocked forcing the members to invite two experts to help them reach consensus on distribution of the constituencies this morning. More...

Luhya greetings
Luhya greetings Maddo-style: "If it is yourself then I am not myself."
Govt beats hasty retreat on Kiswahili

A hasty retreat by the Kenyan Government on a new directive that seeks to make Kiswahili an optional subject in Standard Eight exam on Wednesday threw the education sector into confusion. As scholars protested at the radical move, Education permanent secretary Karega Mutahi disowned a Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) circular allowing Standard Eight pupils to make a choice between Kiswahili and the Kenyan Sign Language. More...

Deporting Jamaican hate cleric to cost Sh40m

By our correspondent, Jan 21 2010
The Government requires about Sh40 million to hire a jet to deport Jamaican cleric Abdullah al-Faisal. Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang’ said Kenya will detain the preacher until Government finds a way of deporting him. "It will cost between US$ 400,000 and 500,000 to hire a plane to deport him through West or South Africa and for now we do not have that money because of budgetary constraints," said Mr Kajwang’. Yesterday, sources said al-Faisal was driven out of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at noon where he had been held under tight security. Meanwhile, Muslim leaders have cancelled a nationwide demonstration slated for Friday. At a news conference in Mombasa yesterday, Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) National Chairman Sheikh Mohamed Idris urged Muslims to call off the planned processions. Three routes are proposed: Through Senegal, South Africa and Miami. More...

MPs deal a blow to gay marriages, women rights

By our correspondents, Jan 20 2010
MPs meeting in Naivasha on Tuesday voted to deny women equal rights to men in marriage. Members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the review process also refused to cushion the civil society and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights in the new constitution. Clauses referring to religious groups under this chapter, which they described as bulky, were also struck out. The MPs, on the second day of their meeting, were debating the chapter on the Bill of Rights which they were unable to conclude on Monday. They agreed to eliminate from the draft constitution a clause that was likely to pave the way for gay marriages. More...

Haiti suffers another powerful aftershock

By agencies, Jan 20 2010
The most powerful aftershock yet struck Haiti on Wednesday, shaking more rubble from damaged buildings and sending screaming people running into the streets eight days after the country's capital was devastated by an apocalyptic quake. The extent of additional damage or injuries caused by the magnitude-6.1 temblor was not immediately clear, and Prime Minister Jean-Max said the government was sending a plane and an overland team to check on the situation in Petit-Goave, the center of this morning's aftershock. More...

New York Times to charge online readers

By our correspondent, Jan 20 2010
The New York Times has announced that it is to charge for full access to its website from 2011, the latest newspaper to move in that direction. It said it will introduce a metered system, allowing readers free access to a limited number of articles, before charging for additional content. A similar online payment model has been introduced by the UK's Financial Times and the UK's Sun, Times etc, will follow suit. More...

Obama to push health agenda despite defeat: US President Barack Obama will stick to his agenda including healthcare reforms despite shock defeat in a Massachusetts Senate election, the White House says. More...
Shem Ochuodho summoned over Pipeline graft charges

By Sam Kiplagat, Jan 20 2010
Former Kenya Pipeline Company managing director Shem Ochuodho was Wednesday summoned to appear in court over alleged fraud. An anti-corruption court, sitting in Nairobi, also summoned a former chairman of the KPC board Maurice Dantas over alleged conspiracy to defraud the state corporation of Sh827 million. State counsel Mungai Warui informed the court that the two suspects were out of the country although the prosecution had prepared charges against them. He asked the court to give him two weeks after which they would confirm whether the two would appear and plead to the charges. More...

Shem Ochuodho
Former Kenya Pipeline MD, Dr Shem Ochuodho has been summoned over shs827m fraud allegations. Dr Ochuodho is alleged to have entered into fraudulent transactions between May 2003 and June 2004 with a firm called Triple A.
Marende declines to declares Onyonka's seat vacant

By Peter Leftie, Jan 20 2010
National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende has saved Kitutu Chache constituents the trouble of going into a by-election after declining to declare the seat vacant. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which sponsored the current MP, Foreign Affairs assistant minister Richard Onyonka, had written to the Speaker in November and December last year, asking him to declare the seat vacant because the MP had shifted his allegiance to “other political entities”. Through Nchogu, Omwanza and Nyasimi Advocates, PDP further argued that the Registrar of Political Parties had “confirmed” to them that Mr Onyonka is not a member of the party and that he does not belong to any other political party. More...

Kenyan student pilot dies in US plane crash

By BMJ Muriithi, Jan 20 2010
A Kenyan student-pilot died when a single-engine Cessna plane he was flying crashed in Michigan, USA. David Otai, 23, died in a Sunday morning crash that also killed fellow student, Emma Biagioni, 20. College officials said Otai, who was a licensed pilot, rented the plane and was accompanied by his passenger as they flew out from Tulip City Airport. He reported having problems to the Muskegon Control Centre, which oversees the area flight zone. The crash occurred around 11:30am. The plane had just taken off from the airport when it went down in a soya bean field. The Allegan County Sheriff’s office said Otai had sent a distress call just before the incident. More...

David Otai
Flying death: The late David Otai, 23, a Kenyan sophomore student died in Michigan while taking his flight lessons. He crashed to death alongside a fellow stuent, Emma Biagioni, 20. Otai was already licensed to fly small planes.
Sh 1,500 per month slum welfare project fails to take off

By Ramadhan Rajab, Jan 20 2010
A proposal to have the poor on a Sh1,500 monthly cash allowance is still awaiting Cabinet approval, Gender, Children and Social Development Minister Esther Murugi has stated. Last year the Government launched the pilot food-security program using cash transfers, to transform lives of country’s poor families. Speaking in Korogocho slums, yesterday, Murugi praised the initiative, saying it would address the nutritional needs of targeted families. More

Java boss bailed from Kamiti: Former Java Coffee House manager John Cardon Wagner has been released from Kamiti Maximum Prison under tight conditions pending his appeal. More
Obama intervenes as PNU, ODM lock horns on type of presidency

By Biketi Kikechi, Jan 20 2010
America’s President Barack Obama Tuesday evening called President Kibaki in Nairobi and Prime minister Raila Odinga in Singapore with the message ‘Give Kenyans a new constitution’, sources told The Standard. But before the son a Kenyan father made the calls, sources said, he first sent his envoy in Kenya to State House with a written message for Kibaki and Raila. It was here Mr Michael Ranneberger was said to have delivered the message and time of the call, believed to have been set for 8pm. Obama, the most persistent leader in the West pushing Kenya to embrace constitutional reforms, intensified the pressure on the two as a key House Committee raced against time to reach consensus on sticky clauses in the Revised Harmonised Draft. More...

Ababu Namwamba
Ababu Namwamba, Parliamentary Select Committee on constitutional review Vice Chairman (centre) consults with members Uhuru Kenyatta (right) and James Orengo during the second day of the Naivasha retreat on the Revised Harmonised Draft. Photo: Antony Gitonga
Ocampo dismisses US lawyers' attempt to block Kenyan case

By Peter Opiyo, Jan 20 2010
International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has dismissed a bid to block the court from handling Kenya’s case as "unfounded". Speaking to The Standard on telephone from The Hague, Netherlands, Mr Moreno-Ocampo said attempts to block the pre-trial chamber from giving a go-ahead for commencement of investigations do not hold water. Last week two American professors filed a suit at The Hague arguing Kenya’s case does not meet the Court’s threshold of crimes against humanity, and that it is ‘overstretched’ and ‘exaggerated’. More...

Dr Alembi to be buried on Saturday, Jan 30

By our reporter, Jan 18 2010
The late Dr Ezekiel Alembi (right) will be buried on Saturday, January 30 2010 at his home in Ekwanda, Bunyore, the funeral committee has announced. The committee is chaired by Hon. Dr. Wilbur Ottichilo, MP for Emuhaya who worked closely with the late Dr Alembi to make the Abanyole Cultural Festival what it is today. Other members include Prof. Olive Mugenda, Vice chancellor, Kenyatta University where the late was chairman of the department of literature and Dr. James Mwangi (CEO) Equity Bank where Dr Alembi was a director. Other sub committees were also formed to make sure the send off will be as great as the man himself.

Dr Ezekiel Alembi
Dr Ezekiel Alembi
Raila hands over Mau to Wekesa to escape political missiles from Ruto

By our correspondents, Jan 18 2010
Plans are underway to de-link the restoration of Mau Forest from politics. The Standard has learnt there is a strategy to hand over the remaining phases of the recovery of the forest to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). Sources privy to the arrangement said on Monday the move was aimed at depoliticising the rehabilitation of the vital water tower, which has been engulfed in political feuds over the manner in which evictions should be carried out. The move comes after Prime Minister Raila Odinga launched a tree-planting exercise in Kiptunga Forest where more than 20,000 tree seedlings were planted last week. More...

Dr Noah Wekesa
Dr Noah Wekesa, the minister for wildlife will now take charge of Mau rehabilitation after PM, Raila Odinga was advised to change tact. The premier has been under heavy artillery attack from sections of Kalenjin MPs led by William Ruto, the agriculture minister.
Moi's church locked in leadership row

Bishop Silas Yego

By Peter Mutai, Jan 18 2010
The rift between African Inland Church bishops Silas Yego (above) and David Mbuvi is seemingly widening. Bishop Mbuvi, who has locked horns with Bishop Yego, ordained six pastors at Tengecha Boys Secondary School in Bureti District. The ceremony took place barely two weeks after former President Moi called for unity in the church. More...

Kenyan to rot in US prison for killing 4-year old son

By John Oywa, Jan 18 2010
A Kenyan father has been handed life imprisonment in the United States for killing his son. Mr Gideon Omondi was found guilty of killing Ritchie, 4, by holding him under water for five minutes following differences with his wife Hellen Omondi in 2006. Omondi, 36, who was studying engineering in Santa Ana, was convicted of first-degree murder by Superior Court Judge William R Froeberg, according to Orange County Register website. More...

Gideon Omondi
Gideon Omondi from Manyatta in Kisumu has been sentenced to life imprisonment for killing his son aged just 4.
Khalwale threatens to resist Sh1bn earmarked for Mau forest grabbers

By our correspondents, Jan 18 2010
The Parliamentary Account Committee (PAC) has threatened it would resist plans to spend Sh1 billion to pay out individuals who own land in Mau Forest. Chairman Bonny Khalwale said the committee would investigate alleged withdrawal of the cash from the Consolidated account for the pay out deal without approval of Parliament. "I want to assure Kenyans that PAC and Parliament would resist the move," said Dr Khalwale. He noted that when Parliament passed the Budget in June last year it did not approve such compensation deal. More...

Hybrid killed as MP adopt presidential, parliamentary systems

By our correspondents, Jan 19 2010
The hybrid system proposed by Committee of Experts on Constitutional Review will not be on your referendum ballot paper. The system would have seen Executive authority shared out between a President and a Prime minister. The Parliamentary Select Committee on constitutional review, to which CoE handed the revised draft, plans to refine two sets of draft from which Kenyans will pick either a presidential or parliamentary system. This way, the House Committee expects to easily seal a deal on the clauses that were slowing progress towards a new constitution. More...

Ababu Namwamba
Will they will they notOrengo with PSC Vice-Chairman Ababu Namwamba (centre) at the Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha, on Monday. Pic: Antony Gitonga

Kenyan dies in Ohio, US: A Kenyan was found dead in his apartment in Finlay, Ohio last Friday. Mr Francis Peter Mungao, 37, was living alone in Finlay, according to mwakilishi.com.
16 Somali MPs arrested for being in Kenya illegally

By Cyrus Ombati, Jan 19 2010
Eleven Somali MPs are among 400 illegal immigrants arrested in Nairobi, police say. However, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported 16 legislators were arrested. According to BBC, the Somalia embassy in Nairobi confirmed government officials, including former Army General Yusuf "Dumal" Hussein, had been arrested. The suspects were netted on Sunday night in a crackdown on illegal immigrants. Detectives said they suspect some of those arrested are members of Al-Shabaab or their sympathisers. More...

Three Kenyans die in USA

By our correspondent, Jan 18 2010
Three Kenyans have died in the America this year. Mr Charles Mogaka passed away on January 13, 2010 of complications from brain surgery at Grady Hospital. Atlanta, GA. Meanwhile, a 37 year old Kenyan was found dead in his apt in Finlay Ohio on Friday. Mr. Francis Peter Mungao was living alone in Finlay, a small town in Ohio, which according to Jane Nyakio Mwaura, his sister in-law, has a very low Kenyan population. Twenty three year old Elizabeth Mutindi Mbithi in Pomona, CA. Elizabeth died in her sleep on Wednesday morning Jan 6th 2010. She is survived by her parents; Patrick Mbithi Munyao & Florence Siana Munyao; Older brother, Sam Mbithi Munyao. More...

charles mogakaFrancis Peter MungaoElizabeth Mutindi Mbithi
The late Charles Mogaka (left) died of complications from heart surgery at Grady Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia. Mr Francis Mungao (centre) was found dead in his apartment in Ohio. He lived alone. While 23-year old Elizabeth Mutindi Mbithi died peacefully in her sleep in Pomona, California on January 6 2010. No one knows what killed the young woman.
Secret letters reveal Kibaki is a backstabber and supports KKK Alliance

By Juma Kwayera, Jan 17 2010
The Mau controversy has blown the lid off the latent wars President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have been struggling to suppress. It has also emerged that Kibaki is not a lame-duck president as alleged often. Secret letters from State House and Office of the President show he is at the centre of the feuds in his own Party of National Unity (PNU) and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). The letters, which refer to meetings the President has held with his lieutenants at State House on various occasions, provide rare evidence of how Kibaki was using the Mau forest controversy to repay his political debts and railroad his succession by scuttling potential threats in PNU and ODM. More...

Mwai Kibaki, Musalia Mudavadi
Watch your back: One of you will betray you. Secret letters reveal that President Kibaki is a scheming backstabber quietly promoting Kikuyu, Kalenjin Kamba Alliance (so called KKK) at the expense of PM, Raila Odinga.
Atwoli wants Luhya leaders to boycott Cabinet sittings to force Panpaper's revival

By Joel Okwayo, Jan 17 2010
Western Province Ministers and MPs have been challenged to boycott Cabinet and parliamentary sittings until the Webuye Pan Paper Mills is revived. Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) Secretary General Francis Atwoli said the politicians should push Treasury to release Sh500 million set aside for the revival of the mill. Mr Atwoli claimed that President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga had worked out plans to revive the factory but Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta was the stumbling block. He said he met Kibaki and established that the Head of State had approved the money for revival of the mill. "The signature to have the money released has delayed, also because Cabinet Ministers Noah Wekesa and Henry Kosgei have not signed the Cabinet paper," Atwoli said. More...

Bunyore loses a shining star

By Shad Bulimo, Jan 17 2010
The cruel hand of death has robbed Kenya in general and the people of Bunyore in particular, a shining star. Dr Ezekiel Alembi, the academic, poet, playwright and entrepreneur, died on Saturday at Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Nairobi aged just 49 of a heart attack.

An accomplished academic, Dr Alembi was also known for his entrepreneurial and creative abilities. As a director of Equity Bank, the late Alembi was in the vanguard of sensitising the youth of Bunyore to seek loans and start business enterprises. He was the chairman of the Literature Department at Kenyatta University and also a director of Kenyatta University Radio. Dr Alembi was the National Chairman of the Kenya Schools and Colleges Drama Festival, the African President of the International Festival of Young Playwrights and also Vice President for the International Society for Folk Narrative Research in charge of Africa.

He has authored numerous articles and children's books and won many awards including the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature. Among his works include: James Mwangi: People’s Banker, Masinde Muliro: A Rebel With a Course; Jaramogi Oginga Odinga: People’s Revolutionary, Andisi and the Cat, Brave Girls, The Tortoise Song and Kwa Nini Ndovu Hali Nyama.

While Dr Alembi’s death at the prime of his life is a great loss to Kenya, for the people of Bunyore his passing is especially cruel. Not only was he a role model for Abanyole, his passion for putting Abanyole culture on the world map was particularly notable. He was the brains behind the revival of Bunyore Cultural Festival held each year in December at Ebusakami. His approach in delivering important messages of development through interactive people’s theatre resonated rather effectively with the youth of Bunyore.

Born at Ebwiranyi sub location in 1960, Dr Alembi started his educational journey at Ziwani Primary School in Taita Taveta where his parents worked before completing his primary education at Ebwiranyi Primary School. From here he joined Kakamega High School for his ‘O’ Levels and proceeded to Kangaru Boys High School in Eastern Province for his ‘A’ Levels. He then joined Kenyatta University graduating with a Bachelor of Education Degree in 1988. He enrolled for a Masters Degree in Literature at the same institution graduating in 1991. In 1997 he enrolled for a doctorate programme at the University of Helsinki in Finland where he graduated in 2002 with a PhD. His thesis was entitled: Construction of Abanyole Worldview through Okhukoma Poetry.

Dr Alembi who died after a short illness leaves behind a widow, Patricia and five children – two boys and three girls. Funeral arrangements are underway.

Ezekiel Alembi
Dr Ezekiel Alembi doing what he loved best: teaching and playwrighting. He died yesterday, Saturday, January 16 2010 of a suspected heart attack while undergoing treatment at Mater Hospital, Nairobi.
MPs to force agreement on draft constitution

By our correspondents, Jan 17 2010
A group of back-bench MPs is planning to reject the extremist stance taken by the big political parties and force a compromise at the consensus talks called by the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution. The MPs, who are members of the PSC and from various political parties, said they will be not swayed by the “hard-line positions” taken by the Party of National Unity and its coalition partner, the Orange Democratic Movement. ODM tends to favour a parliamentary, with a powerful prime minister elected by MPs. PNU says it wants a presidential system, where the president will be powerful, but checked by other institutions. A PSC retreat to hammer out an agreement begins in Naivasha Monday. Clamour for two drafts - one proposing a Presidential system of government and the second a Parliamentary arrangement - is gaining currency among MPs, who are not members of the PSC, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) and civil society. More...

Ruto jumps onto tree planting bandwagon

By our correspondents, Jan 17 2010
Agriculture minister William Ruto has said he will launch a countrywide tree planting drive. Mr Ruto, who has been at loggerheads with the Prime Minister Raila Odinga over the conservation of the Mau Forest, says the tree planting exercise should not be restricted to the water towers but should be a nationwide affair. More...

Four dead in City protests over Jamaican Islamic hate cleric

By our correspondents, Jan 16 2010
At least four people died and 15 were wounded, some seriously, when a protest called by a group of Muslim youth to protest the arrest of a radical Jamaican-born cleric turned violent in Nairobi. However, an official with the Muslim Human Rights Forum Farouk Machanje and Jamia Mosque Committee officials claimed five people had died and 20 injured in the protests. Police dismissed the reports, saying only two people had died by 7pm on Friday. The death toll was expected to rise as youths with knife and gunshot wounds were rushed to hospital as the clashes went on into the night. More...

Jamia Mosque, Naiirobi
Supporters of Sheikh Abdallah al Faisal, the Jamaican Islamic cleric who is stranded in Kenya rampage through Nairobi streets causing damage to vehicles, business premises and buildings worth millions of shillings were damaged.
Raila soldiers on in Mau as Ruto's allies stay away

By Alex Kiprotich, Jan 16 2010
Rift Valley MPs made good their threat and skipped the launch of the national tree-planting exercise to restore the dilapidated Mau Complex. The exercise launched by the Prime Minister Raila Odinga was only attended by three Kalenjin MPs allied to Raila - Mr Magerer Langat, Mr Henry Kosgey and Mr Musa Sirma. In what looked like a coordinated effort to embarrass the PM, settlers in the Mau also kept off the function. A large number of those who turned up were from the neighbouring Maasai community and some from the Ogiek. The two communities were joined by a large group of NGOs and donors. More...

Raila Odinga in Mau
Raila Odinga leads the tree planting in Mau Forest which was skipped by Rift Valley MPs allied to agriculture minister, William Ruto.

Ringera to enjoy perks for 10 years: Former anti-corruption Czar Aaron Ringera may have been ousted from office under pressure but that did not strip him of hefty benefits, the Nation can reveal. An exit clause in his contract ensures he continues to enjoy chauffeur-driven limousines and bodyguards for the next 10 years. More...
'Waki List' witnesses receive death threats

By Dedan Okanga, Jan 16 2010
Intrigue and suspicion surround claims that persons who testified to the Commission of Inquiry on Post Election Violence (Cipev) led by justice Philip Waki have received death threats. It is still not clear how the identities of the key witnesses who testified in camera were revealed or known to their alleged tormentors. Their identities were to remain secret for their safety and the eventual indicting of masterminds of the violence. The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) claims that Waki Commission insiders could have leaked the identities of the victims. Centre for Human Rights and Democracy executive director Ken Wafula says delays in effecting the programme could expose more witnesses to danger. More...

Russia denies ATM conman is its citizen

By a correspondent, Jan 16 2010
A European man whose nationality is yet to be established has been charged with stealing Sh126,000 after he was arrested two days ago over fake credit cards. Mr Robert Schumann on Friday denied two counts of stealing from a bank and being illegally in Kenya. Meanwhile, the Russian Embassy yesterday denied claims that the man is their citizen. Ambassador Valery Yegoshkin, in a press statement, dismissed reports that the man, who had identified himself as a Russian diplomat, as he was not in possession of neither a diplomatic identification card nor a passport to prove his citizenship. More...

Teddy Pendergrass
TP is dead: Teddy Pendergrass, the iconic R&B crooner died yesterday aged 59.
Head-on collission kills four mourners in Matayos, Busia

By our correspondent, Jan 16 2010
Four died when a pick-up carrying mourners collided head-on with a lorry at Matayos trading centre on the Busia-Kisumu highway. The lorry was heading to Busia from Matayos while the pick-up was heading to Samia. Those who died were three mourners in the pick-up and the driver of the lorry. Busia district commissioner Gitonga Mwiandi and local police boss Micheni Muthamia visited the scene. More...

50,000 dead in Haiti: An estimated 50,000 people persihed in Haiti earthquate, according to Red Cross. More...
Two PhD positions in Switzerland

By our correspondent, Jan 16 2010
The Centre for African Studies Basel calls for applications for two doctoral positions funded by the Humer Foundation (Humer-Stiftung zur Förderung des wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchses). The research is to be carried out within the framework of the interdisciplinary programme "Living the City", which addresses processes of invention and intervention in the dynamics of urbanisation in Africa. The funding over a period of three years corresponds to the rates of the Swiss National Research Foundation and invites promising young researchers to commit themselves fully to their projects. More...

Haiti's dead
Helpless: A man hold his little dead daughter in his hands; just one of thousands of dead in the Haitian earthquake tragedy.
Up to 100,000 could be dead in Haiti

By Hellen Kennedy, Jan 16 2010
A city lay shattered and its people struggled without the most basic medical help Wednesday as officials predicted the death toll from Haiti's cataclysmic earthquake would top 100,000. The televised scenes of horror - fathers carrying dead babies, mothers lying bleeding in enormous piles of rubble - galvanized the world to help the desperate Haitians. As dusk approached, the first of a global fleet of air transports began to land, bearing medical supplies, food and water in hopes of heading off an even worse humanitarian catastrophe. The capital Port-au-Prince was largely destroyed. Shrouded bodies lined the streets as dazed survivors scrabbled in the debris for loved ones. More...

Kenyan warlords behind American's bid to stop the Hague - Muite, Mwamu

By Beauttah Omanga, Jan 15 2010
The Law Society of Kenya and lawyer Paul Muite have said the move by two Americans to stop the International Criminal Court (ICC) from investigating the post-election violence will not succeed. LSK Vice-Chairman James Mwamu and Mr Muite said it would be ridiculous for an international court to stop investigation into any alleged crime. The two lawyers said the post-election violence perpetrators wanted to derail the process at the expense of the victims who want to see justice done and impunity addressed. More...

Robert Schumann
Russian fraudster nabbed in Nairobi.
Russian fraudster caught stealing from ATM's

By Cyrus Ombati, Jan 15 2010
A Russian has been arrested stealing money from an ATM in Nairobi.The man, who first claimed he was a diplomat, was found with 107 ATM cards and some Sh140,000, which he had withdrawn. He was found busy withdrawing the money from CFC Stanbic Bank on Kimathi Street, Thursday morning. He had a laptop and electronic Visa cards when security officers at the bank became suspicious.Yesterday was the second day he had visited the same ATM dispenser in two days. Security officials said he had visited on Wednesday and withdrew an unknown amount of money. The ATM cardsare believed to have been stolen. More...

Bizarre twist in Kenya's Hague case as two Americans want case stopped

By Ben Agina, Jan 15 2010
Two prominent Americans have launched a bid to block International Criminal Court from handling Kenya’s post-election violence trials. Their suit echoes an earlier objection by a Belgian non-governmental organisation with the same aim. The two, a lawyer and a political science professor, filed a suit on Tuesday that has raised questions as to their interest in the matter. More...

James MwamuPaul Muite
On whose behalf are American lawyers seeking to stop the Hague case? James Mwamu (left) and Paul Muite wonder.
Kibaki, Raila clash on new constitution

By David Ohito, Jan 15 2010
President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga met Thursday evening to examine proposals floated to break the impasse on Executive Chapter of Revised Harmonised Draft Constitution but it all came to zero. The principals and their lieutenants met for four hours and forty minutes but failed to strike a deal, clearly showing the coalition partners are still digging into their hard line positions. More...

Budalang'i floods control in jeopardy as Sh55m is stolen

By Ouma Wanzala, Jan 13 2010
The Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission has been urged to expedite investigations into the loss of Sh55 million meant for flood control in Budalangi and 13 other districts in Western Kenya. Former Water and Irrigation assistant minister Raphael Wanjala regretted that funds meant to be used in rehabilitating dykes and construction of dams to fight floods which have been causing havoc in the region had gone into individuals’ pockets. The former Budalangi MP was speaking during the burial of former assistant commissioner of police Nicodemus Diffu at Bulemia village in Bunyala district. More...

Raphael Bitta Sauti Wanjala
Former Budalang'i MP Raphael Bitta Sauti Wanjala has charged that Sh55m meant to contain Budalang'i floods has been looted. Former Water and Irrigation assistant minister has been MP for the area twice. The current MP is the youthful Ababu Namwamba, a lawyer.
Ecological tragedy as Kibaki tosses Raila to hang in Mau

By our correspondents, Jan 14 2010
Prime Minister Raila Odinga Wednesday allayed fears that the Mau Forest tree planting exercise was in danger saying it will go ahead on schedule. He also added that he believes President Kibaki will attend the Friday re-afforestation of the country's largest water tower, contrary to reports that he would give the ceremony a miss. But a statement from President Kibaki's office pointed to the possibility that he might not attend the tree planting as he will be in another event on the same day, effectively contradicting the PM's position. "President Mwai Kibaki will this Friday 15th January, 2010 witness the swearing in of Judges of the Interim Independent Constitutional Dispute Resolution Court (IICDRC). More...

Parastatal boss arrested over Sh75m school funds theft

By Sam Otieno, Jan 14 2010
The Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) has arrested a managing director of a parastatal over a scandal involving Sh75 million. KACC officers picked up Benson Anyona, the MD of Schools Equipment Production Unit (Sepu), which falls under the Ministry of Education. The unit is charged with designing and producing science equipment. Also arrested are Mr Anyona’s deputy Bernard Ongige, and two procurement officers Patrick Mwavala and Wilson Shivachi and a security officer Edward Makamu. More...

Miguna Miguna
Under attack: Miguna Miguna
Miguna Miguna charged with sexual assault in Canada

By our correspondent, Jan 14 2010
Prime Minister Raila Odinga has finally spoken over his embattled adviser on coalition affairs. Yesterday, the PM told a Press conference Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang’ would issue a comprehensive statement on the matter. Raila spoke as pressure for him to sack Miguna Miguna, accused of being a foreigner, mounted. In a paid up advert in a daily newspaper yesterday, PNU Coalition Movement presented photos of two passports allegedly held by Mr Miguna. It indicated that Miguna, who is also a member of the Grand Coalition Consensus Committee, had faced three sexual assault charges in Canada in 2003. Court documents identified him as a Canadian citizen. More...

PNU alleges draft constitution was rigged

By our correspondents, Jan 14 2010
President Kibaki’s side in Grand Coalition came out with guns blazing dismissing the Revised Harmonised Draft released by Committee of Experts as a fraud against Kenyans. In what could be the biggest jolt to the renewed quest for a new Constitution as per the 2008 power-sharing deal between President Kibaki and Prime minister Raila Odinga, six senior Party of National Unity Cabinet members accused CoE of doctoring the views it received from Kenyans. The six who are unlikely to have acted without clearance by the President, given the sensitivity of the phase the review process has reached, were Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Deputy Prime minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Prof George Saitoti, Mutula Kilonzo, Kiraitu Murungi and Beth Mugo. More...

Charity Ngilu, Henry Kosgei
ODM big wigs from left: Charity Ngilu, Henry Kosgey and Anyang Nyong' accused PNU of dishonesty. Below from left is Uhuru Kenyatta, Kalonzo Musyoka, Beth Mugo and Mutula Kilonzo.
Beth Mugo, Mutula Kilonzo
Kenyans may never get new constitution as ODM accuses PNU of acting in bad faith

By Maseme Machuka, Jan 14 2010
The Orange Democratic Movement has hit out at its PNU coalition partner for dismissing the Final Harmonised Draft Constitution. ODM termed it "an act of bad faith, which undermines national efforts at consensus building." Party deputy leader Musalia Mudavadi, who read the statement, said they were shocked at the public statement issued by PNU in the middle of consultations. The meeting chaired by PM Raila Odinga agreed that a "presidential system was responsible for ethnisation of politics and dictatorship." More

District schools are academic slums, says Dr Maurice Amutabi

By Wachira Kigotho, Jan 13 2010
Many district secondary schools have never sent a student to university. Dr Maurice Amutabi, an assistant professor at Central Washington University, says low-cost private secondary schools are merchants of education wastage. "Low-cost private secondary schools are perhaps the worst and saddest thing ever to happen to the education sector, says Dr Amutabi. Most of the schools lack the necessary learning facilities and quite often are located in backstreets in urban areas. "Learners are crammed and squeezed in poorly ventilated and poor lit rooms in the name of schools," says Dr Amutabi, a former educational researcher at Moi University. Above all, they are rarely inspected by the Ministry of Education. These schools are scheduled to admit about 150,000 students. Most of those pupils will be graduates of public primary schools and urban slums. But this has nothing to do with discrimination or social profiling by education officials but admission to the national and public provincial secondary schools favours children attending high-cost private schools. More...

Maurice Amutabi
Dr Maurice Nyamanga Amutabi, Assistant professor at Central Washington University, USA.
Haiti's earthquake kills thousands: Haitian President Rene Preval has said thousands of people are feared dead following a huge quake which has devastated the country's capital. UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the head of the UN mission in Haiti and his deputy were among more than 100 staff missing. The 7.0-magnitude quake, Haiti's worst in two centuries, struck south of Port-au-Prince, on Tuesday. More...
Kenyans use 500,000 condoms per day

By Beauttah Omanga, Jan 13 2010
Couples and those in stable relations are increasingly under the danger of HIV infection. And as a measure for the success of anti-Aids drive, Kenyans are now using 15 million condoms monthly up from seven million. According to the UNAids Executive Director Michel Sidibe and Public Health Minister Beth Mugo, nearly half of new infections are occurring among couples. Mugo stunned the audience at KICC with a revelation that Kenyans were consuming a total of 15 million condoms monthly. More...

Google to pull out of China: Internet giant Google has said it may end its operations in China following a "sophisticated and targeted" cyber attack originating from the country. It did not accuse Beijing directly, but said it was no longer willing to censor its Chinese search engine - google.cn. More...
Poisoned chalice as Kibaki abandons Raila's Mau mission

By our correspondents, Jan 13 2010
President Kibaki may not be going to Mau Forest on Friday for the symbolic launch of a national tree-planting programme with Prime Minister Raila Odinga. The Standard established the exercise, widely publicised by Raila, is likely to flop because Kibaki is silent and State House has not confirmed attendance. Our sources further revealed even the PM’s office was still in the dark on the President’s participation in what Raila had taken pride in as the second and most aggressive phase in the reclamation of the endangered Mau Forest water tower. It is not clear whether the symbolic tree planting exercise will go on at all. More...

Miguna Miguna
Isolated: Miguna Miguna, Raila's spokesman on coalition affairs. His attack on Moi has not gone down well with other Luo Nyanza leaders.
Nyanza ministers, MPs disown Raila's spokesman

By Isaiah Lucheli, Jan 13 2010
Two Cabinet Ministers and eight MPs have accused Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s advisor on coalition of overstepping his mandate. The leaders defended former President Moi over attacks by Miguna Miguna in a section of the Press over the Mau Forest and said his remarks were personal. They accused Mr Miguna of making many unfounded and misleading utterances in public without consulting the party, occasionally being misconstrued to be the party position. The statement was read by Migori MP, John Pesa and signed by: ministers Dalmas Otieno and Otieno Kajwang’, MPs James Rege, Fred Outa, Cyprian Omollo, Otieno Ogindo, Olago Aluoch, Nicholas Gumbo and Omondi Anyanga. More...

Ayimba named the first full time national rugby coach

By Ayumba Ayodi, Jan 13 2010
Over three years of superlative work finally yielded dividends for the charismatic national sevens rugby team coach Benjamin Ayimba when Kenya Rugby Football Union (KRFU) handed him a three-year contract. The 33-year-old former Impala and Nondescript winger is the first national rugby coach to be engaged on a full-time basis. His contract will now enable him concentrate fully in moulding structures that will sustain the current national sevens team’s form. The coach could, however, not disclose details of the contract, saying not everything has been finalised. It was also revealed that 22 core players on the team have been contracted for the second year running and are expected to sign their contracts by Friday. More...

Benjamin Ayimba
Charismatic and sporty: Kenya Rugby Coach, Benjamin Ayimba has become the first national rugby coach to be engaged on a full time basis. The 33-year old charismatic coach has been awarded a three-year contract - the first to be engaged full time. Next month, he will lead the Kenya squad to the seven a side tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Disabled people's law comes into effect

By Walter Menya, Jan 13 2010
After years of relying on the generosity of their able-bodied family members and friends, persons with disability in Kenya have cause to welcome the new year with smiles. Soon, they will be able to access public buildings, operate public telephones and board public service vehicles (PSVs) on their own, thanks to a 2003 Act of Parliament that came into effect almost seven years later. Nominated councillor and founder of Kenyan Paraplegic Organisation Timothy Wetang’ula said this is the best thing to happen to the 1.6 million Kenyans who live with disabilities. “I think it’s great because I have had to depend on fellow councillors for long at City Hall where I work,” he said. More...

Kenyans to vote on two constitution drafts

By Beauttah Omanga, Jan 12 2010
The two main blocs of the Grand Coalition were bogged down in meetings on Monday as they raced against time to forge consensus on the most divisive aspect in the Harmonised Draft Constitution. President Kibaki dispatched Deputy Prime minister Uhuru Kenyatta to chair a meeting of his party’s consensus seekers at Harambee House. On the other hand at Treasury Building, Prime minister Raila Odinga chaired a meeting of his side. The day closed with reports the two meetings could have sounded the death knell on the option of a hybrid system - where Executive authority would be shared out between a presidency and premiership - proposed by the Committee of Experts. The two sides are negotiating for adoption of an undiluted system of governance. More...

Hussein Ali
Post Master General, Major Hussein Ali has been banned from travelling to US.

US bans ex police boss

Is Post master general major general Hussein Ali banned from traveling to the US? Ali failed to travel to the Las Vegas, US to attend an ICT conference amid speculation that he failed to get the travel visa. He joins the AG, Amos Wako as top government officials banned from USA.

Stuck with Jamaican hate cleric, Kenya considers hiring a jumbo jet to Kingston

By our correspondent, Jan 12 2010
No country wants him. Airlines have rejected him. Now the Government may have to hire a long-haul plane to fly embattled Jamaican cleric Abdullah Al-Faisal to his home country. Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang’ said the controversial Muslim preacher would be flown directly to Jamaica if all countries where commercial flights land deny him transit visas. Kajwang’ did not, however, say how much it would cost to hire a plane for Al-Faisal. Sources in the Government revealed negotiations with some European countries are ongoing to have Al-Faisal granted transit visas that will enable him travel to Jamaica. Impeccable sources, however, told us that Government officials are considering a proposal by a group of businessmen from Saudi Arabia who are willing to foot the bill for the cleric to be flown to Jamaica. More...

Kenyan woman thrown out of top floor window in Saudi Arabia

By Kibiwott Koross, Jan 12 2010
A Kenyan woman is accusing her Saudi employer of throwing her out of a third floor window, breaking her legs and hands. Another maid, just rescued by relatives, said she had to live on dog food because her employers neither fed her nor allowed her out of the house. Ms Fatma Athman, of Kisauni, Mombasa, returned to the country last week with broken limbs and stories of near-slavery in Saudi Arabia where she was employed as a maid last May. She was lucky, she said, she landed in a swimming pool and not on the pavement. Now she is dependent on others to help her even with the simplest of chores. More...

Fatma Athman
Saudi slave: Crippled but lucky to be alive, Fatma Athman whose Saudi Arabian employer tossed her out of his third floor window yelling she was better off dead. She returned to Kenya last week with the horror tale. G. Maundu
Parents lock out teachers, demand their transfer

By Renson Mnyamwezi, Jan 12 2010
A primary school in Mwatate District in Taita has been closed indefinitely after parents withdrew their children to protest against poor performance in national examinations. Angry parents of Dembwa Primary School padlocked all classrooms and the main gate yesterday morning and barred pupils, teachers and education officials from accessing the school. They demanded transfer of all teachers, accusing them of laxity. More...

MP threatens journalist: A Nairobi MP has been accused of threatening NTV managing editor Linus Kaikai at a city hotel. More...
Shikuku, Jirongo support Zuma on polygamy

By Daniel Wesangula, Jan 11 2010
Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo, who has three wives, says there is nothing wrong with the practice so long as the man “can comfortably provide for each one of them (the wives)”. “They are what define us as a nation and as a civilisation. I grew up in a society in which polygamy was the only way to go,” said Mr Jirongo, adding that polygamy has made him a better man, a better husband and a better father. “In short, it has made me a complete family man. And I am proud of it because all my wives understand me and understand each other. I’d prefer men to be more honest in their dealings with the opposite sex. I better have three women at home instead of running around with other people’s wives every evening. Look what happened to Bill Clinton and Tiger Woods.”Former Butere MP Martin Shikuku, 77, said many people opposed to polygamy were simply aping alien cultures. “Those who say it is bad should look within themselves and decide which Western cultures to follow. Some of them like monogamy are a sham, and we should be brave enough to reject them,” said Mr Shikuku, who declares himself a proud and unapologetic polygamist. “There are millions of people around the world married to one spouse but still feel hollow inside. I have no regrets, I’m a polygamist and a very happy one.” More...

Togo pulls out of Africa Cup after tragedy: Togo's footballers flew home from the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday as the tournament got under way in Angola. The players had been keen to stay but Togo president Faure Gnassingbe urged them to withdraw after Friday's gun attack which killed three people. More...
Jacob Zuma
South African president, Jacob Zuma and his fifth wife Thabe during their traditional Zulu wedding. Condemned by Western media, Luhya leaders MArtin Shikuku (bottom left) and Silas Jirongo (bottom right) support him.
Martin ShikukuSilas Jirongo
Rattle snake is back to bite Kenyan journalists

By Maseme Machuka, Jan 11 2010
The country’s robust media environment was sullen over the weekend as gains on media freedom dimmed after the gazettement of new laws meant to regulate broadcasting. It has emerged that the State launched the fresh assault on the media without consultations with critical stakeholders. Lawyers, media stakeholders and the public have termed the draconian regulations unlawful and insisted should be repealed. The new law seeks to define how news is written and presented, how apologies should be crafted and how adverts should be run. More...

John Michuki
Rattle snake: John Michuki, the Environment minister whose famous political quote is: "If you rattle the snake, expect to be bitten," in reference to the raid on the Standard Media House when he was minister for internal security in 2006. The government has introduced draconian media laws that would do precisely what Michuki started.
US warns Uganda Airways of terrorist attack in Sudan

By our correspondent, Jan 11 2010
The US embassy in the Sudanese capital Khartoum has warned of a possible attack on Air Uganda planes. The embassy said it had information that US travellers faced a potential threat between Juba in Sudan and the Ugandan capital, Kampala. But the Sudanese foreign ministry said the threat was "not serious". Sudan is on a list of 14 countries where US-bound passengers will be subjected to extra searches following the attempted plane bombing last month. Other Sudanese officials said they had known of a potential threat for some time. The AFP news agency reported that one plane en route to Juba was diverted as a precaution. More...

Dramatic twist as deported Jamaican Islamic hate preacher returns to Kenya

By Cyrus Ombati, Jan 11 2010
The saga surrounding controversial Jamaican Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal took a new twist after he was deported back from Nigeria. The cleric was transiting through Nigeria to the Gambia where he would have been put on an onward flight to his country Jamaica. Al-Faisal was deported on Thursday morning to Gambia through Nigeria but on reaching Lagos, a flight that was supposed to fly him to Banjul declined to take him. His lawyer in Nairobi Mbugua Mureithi who was on Sunday accompanied by Muslim human rights leaders said he was deported back to Kenya on Saturday morning. Kajwang’ told the media last Thursday that Al-Faisal had been deported to Gambia. "As I speak now he is in Banjul. He requested to be taken there and after authorities in Gambia agreed to receive him we did what was required," said Kajwang’. More...

Sheikh Abdullah al Faisal
Jamaican hate-cleric, Sheikh Abdullah al Faisal whose return to Kenya is giving nightmares to immigration minister, Otieno Kajwang' (below) who lied that the cleric was in Banjul.
Otieno Kajwang'
Pronounced dead 10 years ago, Ahero rice irrigation scheme bounces back to life

By Anderson Ojwang', Jan 11 2010
A programme initiated by the Government last year has injected fresh life into the Ahero rice irrigation scheme in Nyando District that stalled over 10 years ago. Supported by funding from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, the programme has put at least 10,000 acres under rice, and farmers at the scheme recorded bumper harvest. While farmers now have to conquer the challenges of storage, marketing the crop and floods, their lot has improved compared to the years when poverty stalked their lives daily. More...

Fake cement factory busted: Uganda police are holding two men suspected of manufacturing fake cement. Robert Rwekwema, the director of Royal Tech Services, a company based in Mutungo, Nakawa division and his employee, Mark Ssembera, were taken to Jinja Road Police Station on Saturday. Police reportedly found the suspects with packing and sealing machines, empty bags, electronic cables, a sieve and a weighing scale. More...

Crisis in education as 250,000 miss Form One

By Sam Otieno, Jan 9 2010
Almost a quarter-million students who sat last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations will not join secondary school this year. Specifically, a total of 241,121 pupils out of the 727,054 candidates who sat the examinations will miss Form One places in public and private secondary schools. The few prestigious national schools will only admit 3,296 students out of whom 1,866 will be boys and 1,430 girls. Provincial secondary schools will accommodate 129,287 pupils comprising 69,517 boys and 60,130 girls. District schools will open their doors to 301, 682 comprising 149, 986 boys and 151, 696 girls. Private schools on the other hand will admit 51,308 students, 23,179 of them boys and 28,129 girls. More...

Refugee crowned king: A refugee from Derbyshire, UK has been crowned king of a Nigerian province. More
Okong'o Omogeni
Outgoing chairman of Law Society of Kenya, Okong'o Omogeni. Western branch officials accuse his regime as being largely moribund.
New spin on census results:President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga ordered the shelving of the preliminary census report due to incomplete coverage of all districts. It was to be released on Thursday. Planning minister Wycliffe Oparanya said the leaders resolved on Wednesday that all the 256 districts be included in the report. More...
Law society is moribund, say Western branch officials

By our correspondents, Jan 9 2010
The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) is moribund and needs new leadership, lawyers from western Kenya say. The lawyers, led by LSK Western Kenya chairman Jude Ragot, said the society had lost touch with issues affecting lawyers and the country and had become a passive player in national matters. The outgoing chairman is Okong'o Omogeni. Speaking at the same function, LSK Vice Chairman James Mwamu, one of the candidates for the chair, asked the lawyers to elect him. He said he would chart a new chapter for the society if elected. More...
Catherine Mwamu
Going for it: James Mwamu and his wife Catherine.

Kenyans furious over massive pay hike for MPs

By our correspondents, Jan 9 2010
Kenyans are furious with the planned massive pay rise for MPs. In a move that has raised public outrage, the Akiwumi Tribunal has awarded legislators new hefty pay packages and also upheld their stand not to pay taxes on allowances. According to a report by retired Justice Akilano Akiwumi-led team, a copy of which is in possession of The Standard On Saturday, the salary increment from Sh851,000 to Sh896,000 for the 222 MPs works to an additional annual burden of about Sh120 million to the Exchequer. The Akiwumi team suggests only Sh350,000 of the new wage should be taxed. This figure excludes the new salaries and perks of Prime Minister Raila Odinga (Sh1.67m), Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (Sh 1.31m) and Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende (Sh 1.26), among other key Government officials. A Muslim cleric calls the move unacceptable, and contemptuous to the suffering Kenyan. The Kenya Muslim Advisory Council National chairman, Sheikh Juma Ngao, describes the move as dangerous for the rundown economy. More...

Justice Akilano Akiwumi
Retired judge, Justice Akilano Akiwumi has proposed massive hike on MPs' pay.
Kenneth Otiato Marende
Big earners: Speaker Kenneth Marende takes home Sh1.26m per month thanks to the Akiwumi report which has angered Kenyans.
Raila, Musyoka pecking order dispute now solved

By our reporter, Jan 9 2010
The matter of seniority between Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka which exploded into a crisis early in the life of the grand coalition government, seems to have now been solved. At stake was who between the two earned more and therefore senior. At the time, Francis Muthaura, the secretary to the cabinet kicked off the storm by announcing that Raila and Kalonzo should eran same salary. ODM hawks saw this as an attempt to undermine Raila and the PM refused to take any wages until the matter was resolved. In effect it means that for the last two years, Raila hasn't earned a cent only drawing wages of an ordinary MP. In the new arrangement, PM will earn Sh1.67m, the Vice president Sh 1.31m while Speaker of the National Assembly, Kenneth Marende will take home Sh 1.26 per month.

Kenyans want executive president: Majority of Kenyans are unhappy with the Executive provisions as proposed in the Harmonized Draft Constitution, a new survey has shown. The study by Synovate pollster reveals 62 per cent of citizens do not support power sharing between President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga. More...
Editors furious as govt sneaks in draconian media laws

By Kenneth Ogosia, Jan 9 2010
The government on Friday gazetted new laws that will regulate the broadcast media, setting the stage for a battle with Media Owners and journalists. Information and Communication PS Bitange Ndemo announced that the Kenya Communications (Broadcasting) regulations 2009 became law from January 1, this year, and TV stations must now brace for hard times including possible closure. The chairman of the Kenya Editors’ Guild, Mr Macharia Gaitho, described the regulations as retrogressive and obnoxious. More...

Bitange Ndemo
Bitange Ndemo, PS information ministry: No government can allow unfettered freedom.
Massive perks for Kenya's 1st, 2nd and 3rd ladies

By our correspondents, Jan 9 2010
The spouses of the country’s top three leaders are set to earn huge allowances once the leaders retire from active politics. A report by the Akilano Akiwumi tribunal proposes that the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act be changed to give “some benefits” to the First Lady so that “she can continue to discharge those duties that she did while the President was in office.” If passed in Parliament, past, present and future First Ladies will enjoy the allowances. More...

Truth about delay of census results revealed - they're rigged

By Kenneth Ogosia, Jan 8 2010
The government cancelled the release of preliminary census results following doubts about abnormally high figures in some regions. A source in Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s office, who declined to be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media, said alarming figures were detected from some areas. A team of experts will conduct a verification survey to confirm the truth about the figures in favour of some regions and communities, he added. The chief executive officer of Africa Corporate Governance Advisory Services, Mr Karugor Gatamah, said: “The credibility of the national census is at stake with the ongoing saga over the release of the results.” Planning minister Wycliffe Oparanya said the postponement had been occasioned, in part, by the current implementation by the government of various important national projects, which require more comprehensive information than would have been released in the provisional report. More...

Eugene Wamalwa, the Saboti MP declaring his intention to stand for presidency in 2012. He says he doesn't want to play BESTMAN. He wants the BRIDE!!! Go for it Owase..
30 freeze to death as icy weather grips Europe

By our correspondent, Jan 8 2010
The icy weather gripping parts of Europe has disrupted flights at airports in the UK, France, the Irish Republic and the Netherlands. Many flights were delayed or cancelled at Orly airport in Paris, Dublin airport and Amsterdam-Schiphol, as well as major UK airports. In Germany, at least nine homeless men aged from 42 to 62 froze to death. Snowstorms and sub-zero temperatures have killed at least 30 people across Europe as well as severely disrupting air, rail and road transport. More...

Victims of post election violence will never get justice - AG's report

By Jibril Adan, Jan 8 2010
Atrocities committed during post-election crisis following the disputed 2007 polls may never be dealt with conclusively, after all. A report prepared by the Attorney-General’s office on the status of prosecutions of such cases dampens hopes for aggrieved Kenyans of ever getting justice. The report by the Team on Review of Post-Election Violence Related Cases in all provinces except North Eastern, does not include details on Nairobi cases because the police did not provide required data. The report says: "The team called and wrote to the Provincial Police Officer, Nairobi on November 4, last year, calling for files. However, as at the date of this report, the team had not received any file or response to the letter." More...

Javan Ombaso Sagero
Laikipia DC, Javan Ombaso Sagero.
Sacked judge fights to get his job back: One of the 23 judges axed during the 2003 judicial purge wants to revive a case in which he criticised the findings of a tribunal that recommended his removal from the Judiciary. Justice Thomas Mbaluto is urging the Court of Appeal to reinstate his decided case. More...
Laikipia DC charged with stealing Sh8m IDP funds

By our correspondent, Jan 8 2010
A District Commissioner has become the first public servant to be charged with alleged misappropriation of funds for resettlement of displaced families. Laikipia West DC Javan Ombaso Sagero Thursday appeared before a Nakuru court to answer charges of defrauding the IDPs in Molo more than Sh8 million. Laikipia West DC Javan Ombaso Sagero in the dock at a Nakuru court, Thursday. Sagero denied all three counts preferred against him by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) before Nakuru Senior Principal Magistrate John Kingori. More...

Soldier shot dead over debt: Disagreement over a debt between a policeman and a Prisons officer turned tragic when a soldier was accidentally shot dead in Eldoret. More...
Raila is 65: Happy Birthday Mr PM

By Isaiah Lucheli, Jan 8 2010
Prime Minister Raila Odinga expressed a strong commitment to oversee reforms and a new constitution for the country this year as he marked his 65th birthday. The Prime Minister said he was determined to see the country get a new constitution, end corruption and inefficiency in Government in order to improve its economic standing in the world. Raila said: "We must end corruption, inefficiency and bureaucracy in Government. Corruption must particularly be faced head-on and this office must be at the forefront." Speaking to his staff during a party they hosted for him to mark his birthday Thursday, the PM reflected on his life, which he said has been that of struggle almost from birth, noting that even to retain his African names (Raila Odinga) was a fight. More...

Raila Agwambo
Happy Birthday Mr Prime Minister. Reflecting on his life, Raila said even to keep hi sname was a struggle. Three times he was sent away from examination centres because the colonial government wanted Christian names.
Jamaican hate-cleric finally deported to Gambia

By Cyrus Ombati, Jan 8 2010
Controversial Jamaican Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal was finally deported to Gambia Thursday morning after being stuck in Nairobi for three days. Sheikh Al-Faisal boarded a Kenya Airways flight from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Lagos, Nigeria where he connected on another flight to Banjul in Gambia. Nigeria agreed to grant the cleric a transit visa on his way to the West African nation. More...

'Black monkey' jibe lands British GI in court:A British Army officer on Wednesday denied assaulting a senior police officer and using derogatory words against him. He is alleged to have called the officer a “black monkey." David Robins was arraigned before Kibera senior principal magistrate Grace Nzioka under tight security. More...
Appropriate technology institute to be established in Western Kenya

By Shad Bulimo, Jan 8 2010
A new institute to train people to create or rehabilitate technology-based enterprises is to be established in Western Province. Going by the name Victoria Institute of Science and Technology (VIST), its vision is to foster an entrepreneurial culture by applying science, technology, engineering and mathematics for sustainable development. The institute is the brainchild of Prof Calestous Juma, currently Professor of the Practice of International Development and Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project at the John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Massachussetts, USA. Prof Juma is no stranger to midwifing world class appropriate technology institutions. In 1988, he launched the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) in Nairobi. Started as a Kenyan institution, ACTS has grown to become a world class centre of technological studies excellence. VIST will try take the values of ACTS higher and hopes to implement its mandate though business, education and research. "Our values include the pursuit of excellence in transforming knowledge into goods and services to meet the needs of the residents of the Lake Victoria region," said Prof Juma of his new ground breaking initiative. "We will execute this vision through partnerships and cooperation with other local, regional, national and international organizations." More...

Calestous Juma
Prof Calestous Juma of Harvard. He started ACTS, went to Harvard and is now back with VIST.

Draft constitution hits brickwall

By our correspondents, Jan 8 2010
President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga met with the members they picked to hammer out a consensus on contentious issues in the Harmonised Draft Constitution but once again hit a deadlock. Raila and Kibaki meet coalition team but disagree on Executive ahead of today’s (Friday) CoE’s release of final draft. The two met the Coalition Management Committee, which is made up of representatives of Party of National Unity and Orange Democratic Movement, hours to today’s crucial date in the country’s new push for a new constitution. Today, the Committee of Experts (CoE) will present its final outline of the Harmonised Draft Constitution - enriched by the views Kenyans gave in the 30-day period their opinions were being sought - to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitution Review. More...

The brains behind Victoria Institute of Science and Technology

By our reporter, Jan 8 2010
Prof Calestous Juma is Professor of the Practice of International Development and Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project. He also directs the Agricultural Innovation in Africa Project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is a former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and Founding Director of the African Centre for Technology Studies in Nairobi, and he also served as Chancellor of the University of Guyana. He has been elected to several scientific academies including the Royal Society of London, the US National Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, and the UK Royal Academy of Engineering. He has won several international awards for his work on sustainable development. He holds a PhD in science and technology policy studies and has written widely on science, technology, and environment. He teaches courses in developmental policy as part of theMPA/ID Program. He is lead author of Innovation: Applying Knowledge in Development. He is editor of the International Journal of Technology and Globalisation and International Journal of Biotechnology.

Oparanya fuels rumours as census results are delayed again

By Stephen Makabila, Jan 7 2010
The Government, for a second time, postponed the release of the much-anticipated Population and Housing Census provisional results. The indefinite postponement yesterday came as a surprise to the public, which has been waiting since last August to know the results. A two-page signed statement by Planning and National Development Minister Wycliffe Oparanya indicated the release of the results had been pushed ahead. An earlier release date, December 8, was also cancelled. "This has been occasioned, in part, by the fact that the Government is currently implementing various important national activities, which require more comprehensive information than would have been released in the provisional report," read Mr Oparanya’s statement faxed to newsrooms last evening. More...

Wycliffe Oparanya
Wycliffe Oparanya, minister for planning and development.
Google's smartphone: Google has unveiled a new smartphone to rival iphone. Nexus One was launched yesterday. More...
US tourist, daughter mauled to death by elephant

By Reuters, Jan 7 2010
An elephant killed a US tourist and her one-year-old daughter near Mount Kenya during a holiday in the east African country, police sources said on Wednesday. Few other details were immediately available, but the police sources said the pair were with a guide on Tuesday when the elephant charged at them from behind and trampled them to death. Four other people in the walking group escaped unhurt. Conflict between wildlife and humans has escalated in Kenya in recent years, with increasing cases of elephants destroying villagers' harvests in areas near the country's national parks. More...

Airlines refuse to fly deported Jamaican Islamic cleric

By Dave Opiyo, Jan 7 2010
Airlines on Wednesday refused to allow radical Jamaican preacher Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal aboard their aircraft, frustrating efforts of the Kenyan Government to deport him. At the same time, mystery deepened over who invited him to Kenya, with Muslim leaders denying knowledge of his visit. Mr al-Faisal was held at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi for most of the day on Wednesday, as the government looked for an alternative way to take him home. On Wednesday night the government was still looking for a plane to carry Mr al-Faisal and was hopeful that one would be found. Mr al-Faisal, born Trevor William Forrest, was convicted in Britain on terrorism-related charges in 2003 and deported on release in 2007. On arrival in Jamaica, the Islamic Council of Jamaica banned him from preaching in its mosques, a local paper reported on Wednesday. More...

Adulterer beheaded

By Ali Nambule, Jan 7 2010
Residents of Mabaale LCI Kiragga parish in Masaka district were yesterday morning shocked when they found the body of one of their fellow villager with the neck slit and private parts cut off. The area LCI chairman, Joseph Nkulire, identified the deceased as Peter Kiwanuka, 35. His body was found abandoned in a thicket near a community centre. The Masaka deputy CID chief, Stephen Etyang, said he suspected the man to have been killed while committing adultery. “We have recovered knickers and a half-petty belonging to an unidentified woman. I think the deceased was making love with that woman and someone killed him in the process,” Etyang explained to The New Vision." More...

MP's bold plan to reward virgins

By Renson Mnyamwezi, Jan 7 2010
Wundanyi MP Thomas Mwadeghu has announced plans to introduce an awards scheme for couples who wed while still virgins. The constituency scheme is intended to benefit young, unmarried youth by promoting faithfulness. Addressing university students during a party hosted in Wundanyi town, Mwadeghu urged the young men and women to retain their chastity and avoid engaging in reckless sexual behaviour. "Sex should be within marriage where it must be enjoyed to the maximum. Any extramarital intercourse is against biblical teachings," the MP warned. He continued: "The hymen is an important mark of a woman’s covenant with God to preserve her chastity, and it should only be broken in marriage." More...

Mudavadi's bold plan to kick out corrupt civic bosses

By Bernard Namunane, Jan 7 2010
A plan to end punch-ups in local authorities and rid them of corruption has been proposed. Under the plan, the number of councils will be slashed, the power to elect mayors and council chairpersons taken away from councillors and illiterate civic bosses locked out of leadership. The bold plan is contained in a new law to be taken to Parliament when MPs return from holiday in March. The proposed law wants mayors and council chairpersons elected directly by voters in elections supervised by the electoral commission to serve five-year terms. More...

Busia headmaster held over theft: The Police in Busia have arrested a primary school head teacher for allegedly stealing teaching materials worth sh1m. The suspect was identified as Hilary Otwomo, the head teacher of Marachi Primary School in Busia town. More...
Musalia Mudavadi
Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi, deputy PM and minister for local government.

Kabila sacks 3,000 civil servants: Almost 3,000 government employees have been sacked - or forcibly retired - in the Democratic Republic of Congo. President Joseph Kabila fired more than 100 people accused of corruption from the ministry of finance and other government departments. More...
Minister's Hummer kills motorcyclist

By Peterson Githaiga, Jan 7 2010
A motorcyclist died on the spot when he was involved in a crash with a minister’s car on the Nairobi-Namanga road. Roads minister Franklin Bett, who was being driven to his Nairobi office, escaped unhurt during the 6.45am accident. His driver, too, was not injured. The crash occurred about three kilometres from the minister’s home in Kitengela. Witnesses at the scene of the accident said that the man, who was identified as Shadrack Muthama, had stopped to pick up a passenger in the middle of the road when he was hit from behind. “The driver of the minister’s car braked, but it was already too late,” said Mr John Makau, who said he saw the accident happening. Mr Makau said the motorcyclist appeared to be preparing to make a U-turn when the minister’s Hummer hit him. More...

Lumbasyo grilled over NSSF theft charges

By our correspondent, Jan 6 2010
Anti-graft officials have grilled former National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Managing Trustee Rachael Lumbasyo. She faced the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) officials over the ongoing investigation on alleged corruption at the employees’ pension fund, a year ago. KACC officials said Ms Lumbasyo is expected in court today, facing corruption related charges. They said they were also looking for a lawyer identified only as Mr Kipkenda, but by last evening they had not arrested him. The officials said Lumbasyo’s case would be enjoined with that of Kakamega High Court Judge Said Juma Chitembwe, who was charged in court, last week. More...

Rachel Lumbasyo
Former NSSF managing director, Rachel Lumbasyo. She was in court yesterday charged with stealing NSSF funds.
New electoral officials sworn as PNU protests

By our correspondent, Jan 6 2010
The CEO and recently appointed directors by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission on Tuesday started to perform their duties amid protests from PNU. The team led by a retired military lawyer, Mr James Oswago, will head the commission’s secretariat which will manage the country’s elections. PNU Nominated MP James Nyamweya on Tuesday complained that the team was composed of partisan political activists who vied for seat during the 2007 General Election whose results were disputed. More...

Deported Jamaican Islamic cleric stranded at border after Tanzania disowns him

By Cyrus Ombati, Jan 6 2010
Controversial Jamaican Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal was deported to Tanzania by road after international airlines declined to fly him. Faisal was driven to the Kenya-Tanzania border and handed over to the authorities in Tanzania on Monday evening. Immigration and anti-terrorism officials said they deported him to Tanzania because that was where he came from on December 24. However, last evening sources said Faisal was at Namanga border after immigration officials in Tanzania refused to take him in. Kenyan immigration officials had on Monday evening handed him to Tanzania since that was where he originated. But the Tanzanians changed their minds hours later and tried to chase him out. More...

Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal
Fiery Jamaican Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal is stranded at Namanga border after Tanzania refused to take him in.

PLO's fate to be known tomorrow: Kenyans will by tomorrow know whether Parliament will approve Patrick Lumumba the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission director. More...
Kenya's foreign reserves shrink as recession bites

By our correspondent, Jan 6 2010
The country’s balance of payments surplus shrank to Sh3.4 billion ($45 million) in the year to September 2009 from Sh21.5 billion ($287 million) a year-ago, the Central Bank of Kenya said in its latest economic review. "The deterioration was due to an increase in the current account deficit by 38.5 per cent, which offset a 20.8 per cent increase in the surplus of the capital and financial account," the Monthly Economic Review said. Balance of payment is the systematic record of all economic transactions between residents of one country and residents of other countries (including the governments). More...

Govt fumbles over matatu strike as Saitoti issues empty threats

By our correspondent, Jan 6 2010
The countrywide matatu (public taxis) strike may have ended and the killer El Nino floods subsided but the Government was still left with egg on its face. Both crises exposed its legendary knack for knee-jerk reactions, moving in and wailing for help when the kraal has been emptied. The strike was called off a day after crisis talks led by nternal Security Assistant Minister Orwa Ojode at Harambee House, probably because all senior Cabinet members are still on holiday. More...

Orwa Ojode
Hard to believe any serious government would let its citizens risk their lives riding on top of rail carriages as this photo shows in Nairobi.
New twist in Moi's Mau land allocation saga deal

By Kipchumba Kemei, Dec 6 2010
Details have emerged of how former President Moi acquired the land neighbouring Mau Forest complex in early 1978. Documents obtained by The Standard show the land occupied by Kiptagich Tea Estate was never part of the complex. The documents that include minutes for the full council meeting chaired by then Narok County Council Chairman William ole Ntimama (now Heritage Minister) passed the resolution to allocate the land to Mr Moi. The minutes indicated the former President made a formal request to the local authority. More...

Mau Forest
Mau Forest is now a pale shadow fo itself.
Raila, Kibaki to lead tree planting in Mau Forest

By Beauttah Omanga, Jan 6 2010
The politics of Mau Forest conservation bounces back to top the national agenda next Wednesday when President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga travel there for a tree-planting ceremony. Raila yesterday declared yet again there was no going back on clearance of human settlement, removal of big plantation owners and all forms of encroachment on Kenya’s leading water tower. He spoke shortly after retired President Moi defended his acquisition of the land on which Kiptagich Tea Estate sits, saying it was on the periphery of the forest. Moi added he only owns 25 per cent of the estate, which was allocated to him by Narok County Council in the 1970s. More...

Cultists attempt to chop off man's genitals in Bungoma

By Robert Wanyonyi, Jan 5 2010
A middle-aged man is in critical condition at Bungoma District Hospital after suspected cultists attempted to chop off his private parts. The victim is recuperating at the hospital after doctors stitched back his severed private parts. A nurse attends to a man, 30, on Monday after assailants almost severed his private parts. Photo: Benjamin Sakwa/Standard The bizarre incident, which happened at Mjini Estate, Bungoma town, took locals by surprise. According to a nurse at the hospital Zaituni Aguvana, the victim could hardly speak as he was still traumatised. The man was reportedly lured to a drinking spree by his assailants who later dragged him to an unknown place. They are then said to have attempted to cut off his private parts. More...

Bungoma genitalia
A nurse attends to a man who survived a bizarre incident in which cultists attempted to chop off his private parts in Bungoma.
Minister receives death threat

By Kepher Otieno, Jan 5 2010
The Government has issued an alert warning of suspected conmen on the loose, who are circulating sms threat messages. The messages are targeting Cabinet ministers, MPs, businessmen and other leaders, Internal Security Assistant Minister Orwa Ojode has disclosed. More...

Education funds looting report to shock Kenyans

By our correspondents, Jan 5 2010
Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) says a report on the investigation into the Free Primary Education (FPE) funds scandal "will shock Kenyans." As schools reopened on Monday amid transport problems across the country, KACC acting director Parminus Mutonyi announced they had finalised its report and would be released this week. KACC spokesman Nicholas Simani said: "Our investigators are through with the findings and the report to be availed to the media this week will shock many on how the money was misappropriated." Sources said only Director of Basic Education Leah Rotich recorded a statement on her duties.More...

Called by mangoes to riches

By Winsley Masese, Jan 5 2010
Having worked as a farm manager in Nairobi and Central Province for 22 years, Richard Obote, 48, felt he had acquired enough skills to venture into horticulture. On his one and a half-acre farm in Holo, Kisumu West District, mangos threaten to bring down tree branches, a manifestation of a worthy plunge. One mango tree fetches him Sh7,000 in a season. From 600 trees, Obote pockets Sh4.2 million a season. He makes up to Sh6.1million in a good season. In a year, Obote counts two harvesting seasons - July to August and December to January. This posts his earnings to between Sh8.4million to 12.2 million a year. More...

Richard Obote
Richard Obote tends to his mangoes which have made him a millionaire.
Evangelical churches launch attack against "prophet" over graft

By James Munyeki, Jan 5 2010
Evangelical churches have launched a scathing attack on self-proclaimed Prophet David Owuor over his allegations that churches were engaging in corruption. The Federation of Evangelical and Independent Christian Churches of Kenya (FEICCK) says Dr Owuor’s claims were not only unfounded but also uncalled for. They described the evangelist as a lone-ranger. More...

Fiery Jamaican Islamic cleric to be deported

By our correspondents, Jan 5 2010
Cabinet minister Otieno Kajwang’ on Sunday signed a deportation order for Jamaican Islamic cleric Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal. The sheikh was arrested by the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit in Mombasa. The cleric, who entered Kenya through the Lunga Lunga border point from Tanzania, is to be deported to Jamaica this week. Al-Faisal was deported from Britain after serving a five-year jail sentence on terror-related charges. The cleric has previously been denied entry into Kenya. Before his arrival in Kenya, he had travelled to Nigeria, Angola, Mozambique, Swaziland, Malawi, and Tanzania. More...

Joseph Oyugi MagwangaLuck to be alive but not his wife: Kasipul Kabondo MP, James Oyugi Magwanga. MP survives accident but loses his wife

By our correspondents, Jan 5 2010
Kasipul Kabondo MP Joseph Oyugi Magwanga escaped death Monday night during a tragic road accident along Kericho - Nakuru highway, but lost his wife in the wake. The 8pm accident occurred near Chepsir shopping centre, 25km from Kericho Town. According to Kericho OCPD Peterson Maelo, the MP, his five children and a bodyguard were rushed to Salom Hospital in Kericho by good samaritans and admitted in stable condition. The MP, who spoke to the Nation, disclosed that he was yet to know the fate of his second born son. More...

Nabongo Mumia is the greatest Luhya of all time - poll

By our reporter, Jan 4 2010
Our online poll has identified Nabongo Mumia as the greatest Luhya individual of all time. The legendary Wanga king received 31% of the vote (61 votes out of 200) in a poll in which veteran politician, Martin Shikuku from Butere narrowly beat Masinde Muliro from Bukusu with one vote to come second. The former king of Mululu, Substone Budamba Mudavadi from Maragoli came a surprise fourth while the only Kenyan to be canonised, the late Archibishop Maurice Otunga from Bukusu came a distant fifth. The tail was held by Canon Awori, the prolific patriarch of the famous Awori family from Samia in Busia. He sired 18 children from one wife, nearly all of whom became great scientists, businessmen, doctors, politicians and academics. The former vice president, Dr Arthur Moody Awori, former chairman of Nation Media, Hannington Awori, late Prof Nelson Awori carried out the first kidney transplant in East Africa wile in Uganda, Aggrey Awori once challenged Yoweri Museveni to the presidency.

Wanga King
Sixty years since he died, Nabongo Mumia is still regarded as the greatest Luhya of all time, according to an online poll. Whatever his shortcomings, the former Wanga King was recognised by the British as King of Luhya, Luo and Kalenjin with his kingdom extending all the way to Naivasha.
Moi admits stake in Mau Forest

By our correspondent, Jan 4 2010
Retired President Daniel arap Moi has, for the first time acknowledged he owns a stake in the controversial Kiptagich tea estate. Mr Moi said that the land on which the factory stands is on the edge of the Mau forest and not inside the water tower. He said it was allocated to him by the Narok County Council. The former president spoke amid a storm of protests over reported proposals by the Cabinet to compensate Mau landowners. Mr Moi said he only owned 25 per cent of the factory. More...

24 dead as New Year floods pound Kenya

By our correspondents, Jan 4 2010
The country confronted its first disaster of the New Year as flash floods struck villages killing people, sweeping away their animals and destroying homes, schools and health centres. The sigh of relief that greeted the onset of the rains after the failure of the March-September long rains turned into groans of pain and utter helplessness in some parts Kenya as the raging waters turned into a destructive machine. The national death-toll from the flood chaos stood at 24 last evening, including five bodies counted in Turkana East, and a similar number reported to have died on Saturday night as flooding ravaged Rongai, Marigat and Mogotio Districts in the Rift Valley. More...

The flash scenes across large parts of Kenya as desperate wananchi try to wade to safety to their lives.
Kenya Airways

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