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West Kenya sugar firm in Kabras shuts down due to cane shortage

By John Kabaka, July 29 2011
West Kenya Sugar Company has shut down one of her mills due to an acute shortage of sugar cane following the licensing of the rival Butali sugar company in March. The company management said that cane deliveries by farmers to the factory had dropped from 2, 700 tons daily three months ago to 1, 000, prompting the closure of the white House mill. That processes white sugar. The factory with a daily crushing capacity of 3, 500 tonnes is now doing 1, 000 tonnes per day due to the shortage. The company management said that the 56, 000 acres of land under the crop would be depleted in the next one month, expressing fears that the factory may be forced to close down due to the shortage. The company Human Resource and Administration Manager Michael Michumo said that the company is not producing white sugar after the closure of the mill dubbed Whitehouse. Michumo said that the company is currently implementing a number of measures aimed at mitigating the situation by encouraging more farmers to deliver their produce for crushing. Under the measures, the company has taken up a big percentage of transport costs from the farmer by removal of transport zones and increased payment to farmers. Farmers have been paying between Sh 413 and 1,100 per ton for transport. More...

10 unlicenced Bungoma lawyers barred: Ten Bungoma advocates have been barred by the Bungoma law courts registrar from appearing on behalf of their clients. The deputy registrar Julius Ngarngar acting on instructions from high court registrar Florence Muchemi said the lawyers had not been cleared by the Law Society of Kenya. More...
butali sugar, kabras
The newly established Butali Sugar Factory in Malava is blamed for starving West Kenya Sugar Company of cane.

Bukhayo cow thief jailed for 5 years

By Frankline Bwire, July 29 2011
A man has been jailed for five years by a Busia court, with no option of a fine, in connection with the theft of a cow worth Sh 20,000. The accused Gilbert Cliff Ochieng a resident of Bukesa village, Bukhayo West location in Matayos division of Busia district, had stolen the cow belonging to Celestine Akinyi, as was revealed by the charge sheet. Testifying before the Busia resident magistrate Mildred Munyekenye, the owner of the cow, said that on 4th of June 2011, she locked her two cows in the cow shed, only to discover the following morning that one of her cows was missing. The accused however denied having committed the offence, a move that prompted the court to initiate a full hearing. The court proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused had actually committed the offence, contrary to section 278 of the penal code hence the court handed him a five year jail sentence. At the same court, a middle aged man has been committed to one year jail with an option of a fine of Sh 15,000 for causing actual bodily harm to his wife who is a provincial administrator. Geoffrey Okuku a resident of Esikulu sub location, Bukhayo West Location in Busia district, committed the offence on 21st October last year at trailer in Hotel, where he unlawfully subjected his wife to actual bodily harm contrary to section 251 of the penal code. More...

Lurambi CDF accused of wasting Sh20m on substandard projects

By Hilton Otenyo, July 28 2011
THE National Taxpayers Association has accused CDF projects management committees of misusing over Sh20 million allocated to projects by the fund in Lurambi constituency. In a report card for the social audit for Lurambi constituency released on Monday, the association accused the committees of wasting Sh20,420,000 on 26 badly implemented projects. The association said that the money was wasted on use of substandard material implementation of the 26 projects with an aim of pocketing part of the allocation by CDF committee. “A large chunk of the money the report indicates as wasted was wasted at the project committee stages where after disbursement of the funds, the committees failed to comply with the bills of quantities they files,” said Regional co-ordinator Martin Lapisa. The report card however scored area MP Manyala Keya between 60 and 80 per cent on the management of the fund with many of the projects completed and in use. The research conducted between January and October 2010 assessed schools, bridges, health facilities and toilets funded by allocation for the years 2007/08. The report says Sh. 131 million has been spend on projects well implemented since the introduction of CDF in 2003 with 67 projects still ongoing while Sh. 600, 000 has been spent on abandoned projects and an additional Sh 320, 000 on ghost projects. The report recommends that Keya pushes for completion of all incomplete projects and reduce by 80 percent the badly implemented projects. Lapisa said that the association contacted research on the use of the fund within the same financial year in 28 other constituencies in the country whose results would be released soon. More...

athanas keya manyala
Lurambi MP, Athanas Keya Manyala. While his personal score was above 60%, overall Lurambi CDF fared poorly squandering sh20m on sub standard materials.

Kisii global soapstone conference starts Monday

By Angwenyi Gichana, July 28 2011
Preparations for the inaugural International Stone Sculpture Symposium 2011 to be held at Tabaka, Kisii County as from August 1 have been completed, organisers said yesterday. Symposium chairman Elkana Ong’esa and coordinator Gerard Motondi said international sculptors and scholars will start arriving from today for the month long event which is sponsored by UNESCO through the International Fund for Diversity (IFCD). “The stage is set for the symposium because we have done all the preparations,” said Motondi. More...

Kimilili to repossess undeveloped plots from next week

By John Nalianya, July 28 2011
Kimilili Municipal Council will repossess all undeveloped plots in the town, starting next week. Speaking in her office, Kimilili mayor Florence Wekesa said the plots had been given to some business people for the construction of business premises in 2006 but have never been developed denying the council millions in uncollected revenues. “Plans are in the pipeline to repossess over 200 plots in the town so that they are given to people who are ready to develop Kimilili,” she said. The mayor said they have lost close to Sh5 million in uncollected rent revenues that could have been used in running the council services to the residents of the town and its environs. The mayor said that lack of developing the plots contravenes the local authority laws which state that undeveloped plots within the municipal jurisdiction in two years consecutively should be repossessed and allocated to serious investors who will help in the growth of the town. “We have been failing to pay workers, repay the LATF money, and offer good services to residents of this town because of a few individuals who are sitting on plots for years without developing them so that they also help the council,” said Mrs.Wekesa. However one of the beneficiaries John Khaoya said the move is unfair as they spent a lot of money buying the plots. More...

Lugari traders plead for modern market at Kipkaren

By Joseph Otieno, July 28 2011
Business people at Kipkaren Trading center have passionately appealed to Lugari County Council (LCC) to construct a modern market to promote rural agri-business and commerce in the area. Led by their spokesman Luka Cheresem, the businessmen said that the current market requires a facelift and construction of more stalls to accommodate expanding business opportunities made available by neighboring communities. They further complained of the market’s poor sanitation facilities that are characterized by a dilapidated drainage system. They said that if modernized, the area had the potential of providing booming business opportunities enough to plough back improved revenue to the council. It was highlighted that currently, traders were operating under trees and along the road and that a majority of them had lost their lives after being run over or hit by speeding motorists as they hawked their merchandise along the busy Eldoret- Webuye highway. Cheserem challenged the council to take back into its possession all grabbed land at the center and use it to develop a market with modern facilities to allow traders have an easy time. They observed that there was no need of having a modern bus park at the market without corresponding infrastructure aimed at boosting local commerce. The chairman Lugari County Council Mr. David Amaswache however promised to modernize the town as soon as more funding was made available to the council. He at the same time challenged them to be prioritizing such projects during the local authority service delivery action plan (LASDAP). His sentiments were echoed by the town clerk Mr. Benjamin Orwa who also disclosed that the council was planning on the appropriate modality to reclaim its encroached market centers saying that a section of Matunda and Kipkarren market that initially belonged to Lugari had been taken by Wareng County Council and that the whole of Turbo market had totally been taken by Wareng Council. More...

kipkaren, lugari
Roadside traders at Kipkaren trading centre in Lugari District. Traders have appealed to Lugari County Council to construct a modern market to reflect the growth of Kipkaren. Photo: Joseph Otieno

Jirongo denies undermining Mudavadi

By Joseph Otieno, July 28 2011
Barely two days before Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo officially announces his presidential ambition, has he denied undermining Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government Musalia Mudavadi. The Lugari legislator, instead of making the announcement in his Lugari Constituency in Kakamega County, he will be announcing it at Mbale grounds, in Vihiga County. Though the MP continues to receive criticism over his move to ditch his Kenya African Democratic Development Union [KADDU] and join the United Democratic Movement [UDM] and also over his decision to launch his presidential campaigns in Vihiga instead of it in his Lugari constituency, the legislature has refuted claims by some leaders from the region that he is a politics spoiler and that by him choosing Mbale as his official launching venue was a clear indication he was out to fight the Mudavadi and portray him as a leader who cannot consolidate Western votes. More...

Randy teacher flees lynch mob: POLICE in Nyatike have launched a man hunt for a primary school deputy head teacher who is alleged to have defiled his pupil. Nyatike OCPD Samuel Anampiu said the deputy at Angugo Primary School fled after the mother of the girl went to his house within the school compound. The OCPD said the mother of the 16-year-old girl inquired about her daughter's whereabouts and was informed that she went to school. The mother got up early the next morning and headed straight to the head teachers house. She had previously cautioned him against having an affair with her daughter. More...
Woman's stolen body exhumed following a Hamisi court order

By John Kabaka, July 27 2011
The body of a woman, 25, is being held at the Mbale District Hospital Mortuary after being exhumed following a court order. Judith Manule Livoi’s body was allegedly stolen from Mukumu Hospital Mortuary in Kakamega County by her husband where she was admitted following a long illness filed by her parents at Hamisi District Magistrate’s court after the deceased’s body was not found. According to a close relative, the deceased had been married secretly in a civil wedding to Alex Nandwa who is a resident of Koibarak village, Cheptul Location in Aldai Division in the neighbouring Nandi County. This is the same location where the alleged secret burial is said to have taken place and the body exhumed after nine days. “The deceased tasseled to a long illness after being abandoned by her husband in the house. She was later rushed to hospital by her father Mr. David Ndakatwa who later cleared the bill after her death” said the relative who sought anonymity. “The bone of contention is that the parents of the deceased did not recognize her marriage to Alex Nandwa who had not consulted them. The husband of the deceased was required to pay dowry to her parents before being allowed to bury her, according to Luhyia customary law” added the relative. The matter is yet to be heard to determine where the body will eventually be buried. The body is being preserved at the Mbale District Hospital Mortuary. More...

judith manule livoi
Relatives of Judith Manule Livoi taking her exhumed body to the Mbale Distict Hospital Mortuary following a court order sought by her parents who found her body missing or stolen when they turned up at Mukumu mortuary to pick it up. Photo: John Kabaka

15 injured as Matatu crashes in Mumias

By Shaban Makokha, July 27 2011
Over 15 people escaped death narrowly when two vehicles collided along Kakamega-Mumias road. The passengers were left in critical condition after a Nissan matatu crashed head on with a Probox during the 11am accident that took place by the gate of St Mary’s Girls’ secondary school. Confirming the accident, Mumias OCPD George Seda said casualties were rushed to St Mary’s hospital with serious injuries. Eyewitnesses said the accident occurred when the driver of the matatu heading to Kakamega tried to overtake another matatu headed in the same direction. “The matatu was over-speeding and efforts by the driver of the Probox to move to the roadside did not help,” said Ali Mumali who witnessed the accident. More...

Busia sugar farmers threaten to paralyse Mumias over sale of land in Nasewa

By Frankline Bwire, July 27 2011
Stakeholders from Busia cane growing zone have threatened to paralyze activities of Mumias Sugar Company over the alleged sale of Nasewa land. Addressing journalists in Nambale, the chairman of the Bukhayo council of elders Jonathan Wabala, said that the piece of land is purported to have been sold to Kaplony Enterprise Limited by the Mumias sugar company, without their consent. Accompanied by the chairman of the Busia Outgrowers Company limited Stephen Omuse Wabala dismissed claims of Busia sugar Company owing Mumias Company Sh11 million, saying that it could not justify the selling of 341.2 hectare of land belonging to the community. “The sale of the land looks to be very fraudulent with no basis at all. Mumias has been using the Nasewa land for a long time following an agreement rested between the two companies for duration of five years, which ended on the 30th of June,” said Wabala. Wabala added that as a stakeholder’s forum committee, they have resolved that Mumias Company should stop claiming to be the owners of the land, as per the expiry of the time they had agreed, maintaining that it has no right to call for it sale. He petitioned the government to intervene and help resolve the land issue as it appeared in the land office records in Busia that it had been sold, a move that he said should be investigated. More...

Nasewa Busia
Busia Sugar outgrowers have threatened to paralyse operations of Mumias Sugar Factory if the sugar miller giant goes ahead to dispose of Nasewa land. Photo: Frankline Bwire

Teso pupils in tears as trip to Nakuru national music festival is cancelled following transport hitch

By Reuben Olita, July 27 2011
PUPILS from three primary schools in Teso North district will not attend The National Music Festivals in Nakuru due to a transport hitch. Pupils from St Mathew Moru, Akichelesit and Malaba Township primary schools broke down to tears following the cancellation. Teso North DEO Wangatho Maina said the two buses hired to transport the children were not insured. The ECD pupils of St Mathew Moru had performed for Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba who had promised to visit them to support them in the competitions in Nakuru. The failed trip puts the Ministry of Education in the spotlight over its failure to make arrangements to get insurance cover for school buses countrywide when they expire. Education ministry spokesman Bogita Ongeri has denied claims that his ministry had stopped providing insurance cover for school buses. The denial followed inspection reports that Bishop Sulumeti Girls School bus that was involved in an accident, injuring over 40 pupils, had no insurance. More...

Murder in the city - police retrieve weapons in the ceiling

By Cyrus Ombati, July 27 2011
The murder weapon that was used to kill a 26-year- old woman in Nairobi's South C estate at the weekend has been recovered. Police on Wednesday said they recovered a knife and a club on the ceiling of the house where the body of Ms Metrine Lisutsa Khavai was found after unknown people killed her. Also recovered were pieces of clothes that the killers used to wipe her blood after stabbing the woman in the chest several times. She also had injuries on her neck. The victim worked with Co-operative Bank as a teller and was married with a girl aged two. Makadara OCPD Tom Atuti said they have recorded statements from various people including the woman’s relatives and investigations are ongoing. According to her friends and relatives, Ms Khavai was alone in the house when she met her death on the night of July 23. Other relatives said there had been a misunderstanding amongst some members of her family. Her husband had travelled to Eldoret with their daughter leaving her alone. More...

alice muhonja kirambi
Alice Muhonja Kirambi, teh secretary general of Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organisation has said that although Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is a brilliant concept, it's actualisation is hampered by political patronage from incumbent MPs who handpick committee members and interfere in project implementation.
Kirambi wants MPs barred from CDF management

By Hilton Otenyo, July 27 2011
MAENDELEO Ya Wanawake Organisation wants MPs removed from management of CDF funds to increase efficiency of the kitties. National secretary Alice Kirambi yesterday said though establishment of the fund was a good idea, involvement of politicians in its management was defeating its purpose. “The idea is good but the mechanism used in management does not emphasise on community participation,” said Kirambi. She said politicians ended up appointing their cronies to the funds committees thereby leading to misuse of the funds. Kirambi spoke during a one day workshop for the second African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) for Kenya at Kakamega Golf Hotel. More...

High Court blocks Busolo's election to sugar board

By Westfm reporters, July 26 2011
The Bungoma High Court Tuesday blocked the gazettement of Saulo Busolo as the new Director for the Kenya Sugar Board (KSB) representing the Nzoia sugar zone. According to a court order issued by Judge Florence N. Muchemi of Bungoma High Court, the petitioner Eliud Wafula Maelo alleged that during the July 21st election exercise, there massive irregularities that were against the set regulations . Maelo cited that, most of his supporters were barred from casting their votes at various centers resulting into electoral violence and he further claimed that agent supporters of the elected director were seen being ferried to polling centers with the Webuye Constituency vehicles. The court order issued Tuesday read: “That the defendant herein by themselves their servants and or agents be restrained from gazetting the results of the elections held on 21st July 2011 of the Kenya Sugar Board for the Nzoia zone until this application is heard inter parties.” Ealier, few days before the election, the Kenya Sugar Board had revoked the nomination of John Wekesa Wasike and Wilson Khaemba Munyang’anyi pursuant to the regulation 9(7) of the Sugar (Elections) Regulations, 2002 according to Humphery Mwangi the returning Officer. As a consequence of the revocation, John Wekesa Wasike went to Bungoma Law courts to stop the election in the affected zone where he was seeking to be elected until the matter was resolved as to why his nomination had been revoked by the Ministry of Agriculture. More...

saul busolo
Gazettement blocked: Saul Busolo whose election as the Nzoia representative to Kenya Sugar Board had been blocked by the Bungoma High Court following a successful petition that cited irregularities over his election.

Wanga urged to end early marriages

By Shaban Makokha, July 26 2011
Lang'ata District Education Officer Ann Shiundu has called on parents in South Wanga division in Mumias to promote education of their children. Shiundu asked parents to cooperate with teachers to enhance the warring standards of education in the area. Speaking at Bumia girls’ secondary school during South Wanga Education Day where she was the guest of honour, Shiundu emphasised on quality education to enable students cope with life's challenges. Shiundu who was joined by Mumias branch Knut executive secretary John Wesonga warned parents against early marriages to their daughters. More...

Kuria community claim it's marginalised by Luo and Kisii

By Samuel Otieno, July 26 2011
The Kuria community feels rejected by the government. While presenting their views to the TJRC, leaders from the region said at one point, through the defunct Kuria Political Union, they approached the Tanzania government for help. While presenting the community memorandum to the TJRC hearing, councillor Daniel Chacha, who presented the Memo on behalf of the MP, said the decision was arrived at following massive marginalisation by the Kenyan government. However, the desire was opposed by the Kenyan government with a promise to look into the issue but nothing has been done. He said the community is often merged with Luos and Kisiis due to their minority status. “The Kuria people have suffered political injustices from their neighbours because they are the minority within Nyanza,” said Chacha. Among the things the community cited as a pointer to marginalisation was lack of tarmacked roads in Kuria. The civic leader said the expectation of the community was not met by the new constitution. He said despite the rest of the country enjoying devolution through the county, Kuria community are doomed to suffer in the hands of the Luo community who have big population in the new Migori County. More...

Controversy rages over Lugari District headquarters

By Joseph Otieno, July 26 2011
Leaders in Lugari districts have failed to reach a consensus on the appropriate site for the district headquarters between the proposed Panpaper and Lumakanda prompting the Lugari ward councilor Musa Wangila Makhapila to make an appeal to the district commissioner Titus Murugu to ignore the wrangle and move to the new proposed site. Speaking to West Fm Makhapila said the construction of various offices at Panpaper had been completed, and it was better for the DC to lead his team of departmental heads to the new district headquarters. The councilor (in set) said that unavailability of water which the DC was using as a reason for not moving there had been solved after ministry of Water and Irrigation spent about Sh3million to drill and supply water within Panpaper town and its environs adding that the government has used Sh100million to put up the new headquarters and therefore there was no excuse for the DC not to move there. He said thirteen years since it was hived from Kakamega district Lugari has remained undeveloped because the residents were still at crossroad on whether to initiate development projects Lumakanda which is the current district headquarter or at Panpaper the proposed site. More...

Lugari district
District Commissioner's offices at Webuye. Controversy is raging over district headquarters with leaders split between Webuye and Lumakanda (below). Photo: Joseph Otieno
Farmer discovers HIV herbal 'drug'

By Leonard Wamalwa, July 24 2011
Kenyans and people from the East African region who have been making endless trips to Loliondo in neighboring Tanzania to seek for treatment from Pastor Ambilikile Mwasapile may soon change their direction of Travel to Trans Nzoia County following allegations of discovery of a tree that has the same healing powers. A farmer in Trans Nzoia has alleged that Capparis Tomentosa tree that is found in his botanical garden has healed patients suffering from many diseases including HIV/AIDS, all types of Cancer, Epilepsy, Gout, Athritis and a series of other diseases. Bornface Ndura in his mid 60s who owns the Kitale Nature Conservancy situated less than 10 kilometers from Kitale town along the Kitale-Kapenguria Road has said that he started testing the drug on patients six years ago and has proved that it can heal the diseases within a short period of using it. Ndura whose conservancy also includes animals born with diverse deformities said that the discovered tree is related with the Biblical Hyssop tree that is referred to in the Bible and thus has the hand of God in its magic to heal. “I have been researching on over 800 plant species in my botanical garden and discovered that this plant Capparis Tomentosa which is a cousin of Capparis Spinosa which Theologers believe was the Hyssop which Moses used during the Pass Over and which God directed Moses so many times to use and heal diseases is indeed a cure,” said Ndura. He revealed that over ten diseases have been cured Cancer and HIV/Aids which he said has successfully treated noting that it is a great booster of the CD4 counts. The conservationist however said that he was just revealing the discovery to the World but cautioned against people flocking to his conservancy seeking for medication saying that he does not have the passion of being a doctor but instead called upon them to plant the tree and use it for curative purposes in their homes. More...

HIV tree
Capparis Tomentosa, dubbed "HIV tree" which a Kitale farmer claims heals HIV/Aids.
Boniface Ndura
Boniface Ndura, the farmer at teh centre of the wonder plant talking to journalists at his farm in Kitale. Photos: Leonard Wamalwa

Sirisia civic polls postponed again: The July26 civic elections in Sirisia in Bungoma County were not held. The move follows a court injunction that barred the Mr George Kumo the Town Clerk from presiding over the elections. The move angered the councilors who begun exchanging words with the clerk culminating into a fight bringing things to a standstill at the council. The civic leaders blamed Mr. Kumo, the town clerk for colluding with the current chairman, a Mr. Noah Misiko Buluma to deny them a chance to exercise their political right. More...
Rescue efforts fail to rescue man buried in toilet for 4 days

By Leonard Wamalwa, July 26 2011
Rescue efforts to bring a middle aged man, Peter Nyongesa trapped underground entered its fourth day, with the last attempt being futile Monday. Nyongesa has been trapped in a 60 foot bore hole since Friday afternoon after the walls collapsed. Residents of Orombe village in Sitatunga location of Cherangani Constituency have been unsuccessful in their efforts to retrieve the body. Thousands of villagers, relatives and onlookers thronged the home of Benson Makanga who had hired the deceased as they anxiously awaited with hopes that the body of Nyongesa may eventually be retrieved by volunteers who were busy digging the soil that collapsed on him. However, villagers have accused the government for not assisting them with the necessary machinery and support to easily get the body out of the over 60 feet pit-hole. “We are surprised by our leaders and the government because since our friend was involved in the accident on Friday we haven’t had the necessary support that we expect from the government,” said Benson Simiyu Wasike who was working with the late Nyongesa at the time of the accident. More...

peter nyongesa
Body trapped in a 60ft latrine: The pit latrine in which Peter Nyongesa was trapped after walls collapsed burying him alive last Friday afternoon. Four days after the incident, his body has not been retrieved despite hundreds of volunteers using crude means to reach him. Residents are raging at local leaders and the government for failing to provide heavy machinery that can easily dig his body out. At the time of going to press, rescue efforts had not yielded results; not just yet. Photo: Leonard Wamalwa
Bright 11-year old Bumula girl seeks kidney donor

By John Nalianya, July 21 2011
An 11-year-old girl from Bumula constituency with a troublesome kidney failure is appealing for a well-wisher to donate to a kidney to her. Ruth Nafuna from Kimwanga Village developed the kidney problem at the age of three. Her parents who are peasants have sold virtually everything to pay for her dialysis. But despite her problem Nafuna is always at the top of her class. She hopes to do her KCPE this year. “I know somebody out there will donate a kidney to me,“ she said. Her father Davis Kituyi who was willing to donate a kidney says he could not do so because doctors at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital told him their blood groups are not compatible and none of the family members had a blood group that was compatible. Nafuna can be contacted through the headteacher of Kimwaga Primary. More...

Corruption mars sugar board's voting in Busia, Mumias

By Frankline Bwire, July 21 2011
The Busia-Mumias zone sugar board cane farmers election received complaints of non registered farmers being allowed to vote without due regard to the laid down sugar board election regulations. Mr. Stephen Omuse one of the nine candidates contesting for directorship claimed that some farmers who were not registered were allowed to vote, a move which is against the set rules. Omuse said that some of his colleagues had gone to the extent of bribing voters to convince them to vote for them in a bid to increase their number of votes. He added that: ”The election is flawed and some candidates have gone to the extent of carrying farmers not registered to vote, more so at the Benga and Buhuyi polling stations in Marachi, which I have witnessed,” Alfred Okring a representative of cane farmers for Lwanyange area said that they were against the conduct of the elections, and as farmers, they will demand the elections be cancelled, adding that the criteria used to register voters was marred with corruption. “We are quite sure that we will not get a director who will articulate for the needs of farmers in this area, due to the irregularities being witnessed in several polling stations,” said okring. He maintained that if their grievances are not given priority, they will mobilize farmers to demonstrate against the results that will be announced at the Kakamega Municipal Council. A spot check undertaken by West Fm at the Benga polling station in Nambale district revealed that several farmers had distanced themselves from the polling station, awaiting bribes from various contesters. More...

nambale sugar
A voter casting his vote at the Benga polling station in Nambale district. A section of farmers have claimed that some candidates are dishing money to woe voters in the Busia- Mumias zone. Photo: Frankline Bwire

Busia gets Sh3bn from Finland for food

By Gilbert Ochieng, July 21 2011
THE Government in collaboration with Finland have earmarked Sh3 billion for a five-year programme aimed at addressing food insecurity in Busia county. Programme director Sakwa Mwangala made the disclosure during a district level consultative forum at the Busia District Information and Documentation Centre yesterday. Mwangala said the overall objective of the programme, dubbed ”Programme for Agriculture and Livelihood in Western Communities” is to contribute to poverty reduction by improving the living standards and livelihoods of the people in the Busia County. More...

Sugar farmers elect new officials in Nzoia

By Westfm, July 21 2011
Saul Busolo has been declared the Nzoia Sugar belt farmers representative after emerging victorious in Thursday’s Kenya sugar Board elections. Busolo was declared the winner by the Presiding officer Nzoia Zone Zipporah Mukonyi after receiving 1966 votes against his fellow aspirants Eliud Wafula Maelo who earned 1605, Isaac Mukenya 1077, David Wafula 398, Simon Msalange 140, Trenk Mukinginyi 92 and leading from behind Bramuel Watiti. Mukonyi disclosed that out of the 5416 votes cast, 95 were invalid. Ewing Makhakha Mwombe was also declared the West Kenya/Butali sugar zone farmers representative with 4142 votes followed closely by Simon Jomo Indwale 1932, Fanuel Munialo Walusula 492, Benjamin Imbogo 537, and Philip Mbway Nganasa getting 691 votes. Subsequently, Mumias/Busia Sugar Belt will be represented by Billy Wanjala who managed to defeat 9 contenders for the same seat with 3711 votes. Those who contested against him were: Eng. Mohamed Mukwara 2491, Vincent Mumia 1368, John Paul Wakungwi 1241, Stephen Omuse 1627, Faustino Othieno 954, Alexander Musumba 410, Simon Wanjala 148, and Fredrick Okwara who received 82 votes. Statistics at the Western provincial agriculture offices show that 42,000 growers were registered during the exercises that ended last week in Mumias and Busia, West Kenya/Butali and Nzoia sugar zones. Mumias and Busia, the largest zone has 94,000 farmers, Nzoia boasts of 50,000 while West Kenya and Butali zone has 54,000 growers. More...

saul busolo
Saul Busolo, the newly elected sugar farmer's representative in Nzoia Sugar Belt.
Khalid Njiraini Tianga
Khalid Njiraini Tianga from Mombasa who wants to become Emuhaya MP.
Mombasa businessman to contest in Emuhaya

By Hilton Otenyo, July 21 2011
A Mombasa businessman Khalid Njiraini has told parliamentary aspirants to organise a popularity contest to avoid confrontational campaigns next year. Njiraini who has said he will contest Emuhaya parliamentary seat on an ODM ticket said some candidates had resorted to smear campaigns through the media. He warned such actions can only polarise campaigns and make them violent. “We must avoid this antagonistic approach to politics because it all begun like that in 2007 and Kenyans ended up killing each other senselessly,” said Njiraini. Speaking at Luanda Market, Njiraini said parliament should tighten rules on elections campaigns so they are conducted within the new constitution. He pointed out that the country was in the process of changing its structures and campaigns for elective positions should be issue based instead of money and individualism. Njiraini criticised opinion polls on presidential candidates saying the findings did not reflect the true position on the ground. More...

Luhya-Luo boundary dispute resurfaces at TJRC hearings

By our correspondents, July 20 2011
The TJRC concluded its hearings in Kisumu with a long standing boundary row between Luos and their Luhya neighbours coming into focus. A memorandum presented by the Luo community yesterday states that they are seeking the reconstitution of the border between Nyanza and Western provinces. Presenting the memorandum on behalf of the Kisumo Luo Union, Dr Israel Kodiaga said the unclear boundary that divides the clans into two different provinces has stalled development in the area caused by tribal conflict. Kodiaga said Luos living inside Western Province with part of their families in Nyanza have been discriminated against and stigmatised by the administration of Western Province. The group wants the boundary redrawn to solidify clans which they say should not be separated by province. He said apart from marginalisation on administrative issues, those living around the region have also undergone economic oppression. He cited the issue of the molasses plant that was started during the time of former Foreign Affairs minister Robert Ouko to support sugar cane farmers, but only revived long after his death. More...

Maseno Equator monument
Symbol of division: Maseno Equator, the iconic monument that divides the world into two latitudinal halves. At the local level, Maseno, where the monument is located is subject to a long running dispute between the Luhya and Luo. While Maseno is officially listed as being part of Nyanza, majority of inhabitants are Banyore. It remains one of the sticking points in Luo-Luhya relations and has been for the last 70 years since colonial era when the British colonial administrators excised it from native Abahando clansmen to build church, school, veterinary and agricultural station and later a Government Training Instute, the precursor to Siriba Teachers College and now Maseno University.
Village in shock as cow gives birth to a two-legged calf

By Protus Simiyu, July 20 2011
Residents of Luyekhe village in East Sang’alo, Bungoma South District were left in wonder and dismay after a cow delivered a two legged calf early Tuesday morning. After word went round of what had happened, the home of Martin Ngongesa Wanambisi, the owner of the cow that delivered the calf was filled with residents who came to witness the wonder. Mr. Nyongesa was tongue tied as he watched in disbelief as neighbours conversed in low tones in small groups as other s remained silent trying to come to terms with the wonder calf. Mr. Nyongesa said that his cow had calved earlier a normal calf but was surprised with the second calf which had no fore legs despite having been mounted by a neighbours bull that fertilsed it for the first time. Villagers also showed their shock with the calf saying that the bull has been the one fertilizing their cows and wondered how this came to be. One of the villagers, John Paul, said he has never witnessed such in the whole neighborhood adding that the incident is one of its kind which has left both old and young in great shock. “This has never happened in our region, I have heard of three legged calves elsewhere but not two-legged,’’ John Paul narrated. According to the elderly who were also among the crowd, they had no explanation as based on traditions and could only, without certainty, say that it could be a sign of wealth to the family. While the cow calved, the owner was not around and a neighbor Mr Joseph Mukanda, who was around as the cow delivered, the calf had problems coming out and he had to help in pulling it out. He said he was shocked in the manner in which the calf appeared as normally, its the legs which first come out but not for this one. He said he tried to locate the legs for close to an hour but when he feared the cow could be in danger; he decided to pull the calf by the head. More...

lunyekhe two-legged calf
A villager, Joseph Mukanda holding the two legged calf that has shocked Luyekhe residents in Bungoma County. Photos: Protus Simiyu
sang'alo two-legged cow
A bad omen or zoological accident?: The two-legged calf healthy in all respects except it has two not four legs. This type of unusual happenings are often interpreted as work of the occult.

Sh7m looted from Funyula CDF: The National Taxpayers Association has said that out of Sh44.2 million allocated to Funyula Constituency, Samia district, by the Constituencies Development Fund, Sh7.2 million had been misused. The association says the amount which translates to 15 per cent of the total was wasted through poor implementation of projects. The allocation was for 2006/7. More...
7 'pastors' arrested with witchcraft tools in Lugari

By Joseph A Otieno, July 20 2011
At least 7 people from Lugari alleged to be pastors have been arrested with witch craft paraphernalia in a crusade at Munyuki Center. Witness say, the false preachers are foreigners in the area, illegally held a crusade at the center attracting huge crowd where many were called for repentance and saved, but drama unfolded when one resident Luke Simiyu Mulati filed a complaint at Lumakanda police station claiming that one of the men of God had lured his 15 year old form two student of Munyuki secondary school and was hiding her at an unknown place. secondary school. Confirming the arrest, area police boss John Leshimpiro said that it seems that the people have been using Gods name in vain as they perform witchcraft to make money from unsuspecting Christian. The police boss said the five men and two ladies identified as Fredrick Lanapata Ogerem, Keznin Mabonga, Alex Jommo Ankolole, Eric Wasike Juma , Jared Okusi, Nancy Atiang’ and Angeline Naliaka, will be arraigned before a court of law and charged of being in possession of witchcraft tools. The pastors who closed their crusade on Sunday after arriving in the area last week on Thursday 14th were still hanging around as they preparing to leave to their destiny today. Police went and combed their residential yester night to rescue the juvenile from early marriage. After searching the house they didn’t find the minor there and the pastors claimed to know nothing about the girl. This made the officers to force the senior pastor to open his saloon car which was parked outside the house for them to search inside, instead of the girl, the officers were shocked to find an assorted witchcraft paraphenalia which included, animal horns, marine shells, ashes substance bottles, feathers, dried snails and lizards used and unused condoms among other. More...

witchcraft in Lugari
Witchcraft paraphernalia: A broken pot spills out its lethal contents of witchcraft paraphernalia in one previous raid in Teso. In Lugari, people masquerading as pastors have been bursted to be no more than witches, conmen or paedophiles. They are said to foreigners, believed to come from Teso and were caught red handed with items of witchcraft in their cars during a crusade in Lugari yesterday. Photo: Westfm

Leaflets warn Bukusu to leave Mumias

By John Nalianya, July 20 2011
Police in Bungoma have launched investigations on the motive and author of threat leaflets thrown within Bungoma town and its environs on Monday night. The leaflets read in part ”Wabukusu mjitayarishe Kuhamna Mumias , Wamalwa Eugene Usahau kura ya wa Wanga , Mnyala Khang'ati amewaharibia ”. Boda boda rider Moses Wafula said he saw two people on two motor bikes on Monday night dump the papers but he thought they were usual advertisements for private colleges or crusades. "We saw two people riding motor bikes around 12 midnight throwing the papers but we didn't bother as we thought they were fliers for advertisements not until people started reading them in the morning," he said. Bungoma deputy police boss Mutume Mawaeu said police had already launched investigations. More...

Omtatah & Co remanded over match to State House

By Roseleen Nzioka, July 20 2011
Thirty-one activists led by Okoiti Omtatah who protested outside State House, Nairobi were remanded in police custody until July 25. The activists refused to identify themselves in court, as they faced charges of creating disturbances. The activists who were arrested on Tuesday and appeared in court on Wednesday were demanding the sacking of Education Minister Prof Sam Ongeri over the loss of billions of shillings meant for free education. Police intercepted the activists at State House Avenue as they were heading to present their demand to President Kibaki. The activists interrupted court proceedings by singing and chanting patriotic songs including the National Anthem. Mr Omtatah identified himself, but the other activists refused to disclose their identities and instead demanded that their case be referred to the Chief Justice. More...

Okoiti Omtatah
Matata in court: Okoiti Omtatah, the chief activist in court today to answer charges of causing disturbance over his match to State House to demand sacking of education minister, Prof Sam Ongeri. The activists refused to identify themselves and disrupted court proceedings by chanting patriotic songs including the National Anthem.
Curtain draws on Nabutola corruption case

By Roy Agoya, July 20 2011
The former Ministry of Tourism PS Rebecca Nabutola and former Kenya Tourist Board MD, Ong'ong'a Achien'g should be held responsible for abetting corruption, a trial court was told yesterday. The prosecution said the two should be put on their defence alongside businessman Duncan Muriuki Kaguuru in a case they are charged with 11 counts of abuse of office and defrauding the ministry of Sh9 million. Muriuki's company Maniago Safaris allegedly received the fraudulent fund for a trip to the Maasai Mara that never took place. Prosecutor Mungai Warui in a closing submission said a corruption case had been established against the three and urged the court to order them to defend themselves. An audit at the KTB for 2007/08 that revealed suspect funds were released to Muriuki's Maniago Safaris. More...

Ochuka's family accuses Wetang'ula of keeping them in darkness during coup trials

By Anderson Ojwang', July 19 2011
The family of the suspected 1982 coup leader Hezekiah Ochuka told Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) that a lawyer given by the Government to represent him did not involve them in the proceedings and matters relating to the case. Ochuka’s nephew Robert Onyango Akuro told the commission the lawyer Moses Wetang’ula who is now the Ford-Kenya chairman did not contact the family and never shared anything Ochuka told him. "Wetang’ula never contacted the family and has shared nothing with the family that Ochuka told him. We do not know why the lawyer never bothered to consult and inform us about Ochuka," he told the Commission. He claimed there was a letter Ochuka had written to the family giving the names of the lawyers he wanted to represent him but the family was poor and could not afford the legal fees. Onyango said Ochuka was not given the opportunity to choose his lawyer and Wetang’ula was chosen by the Government. He said attempts by the family to meet with former President Moi to plead for Ochuka were thwarted by security officers and the family became ostracised. "Our family has been abandoned and nobody would associate with us for fear of arrest," he told the Commission. Onyango said they have not received any official documents of Ochuka including his death certificate, and other personal records. More...

Hezekiah Ochuka
Hezekia Ochuka, the Kenya Airforce soldier who led the 1982 coup against the regime of President Daniel arap Moi. Ochuka was tried and hanged but his family claims his lawyer, Moses Wetangula (below) did not involve them nor were they given his body for burial according to Luo customary rites.
moses wetangula
Parents seek daughter's protection against Opus Dei

By Martin Mutua, July 19 2011
A 25-year-old woman got a reprieve after a High Court issued orders to stop anyone from interfering with her affairs. This means Ms Sophie Naliaka Kibanani will go on with life as usual pending hearing of a case her parents have lodged claiming members of Opus Dei organisation have confined her. "In the interim period, no one should interfere with affairs of Sophie, and I mean no one — not the police, her parents or clan," ordered Justice Daniel Musinga. Naliaka’s parents, Dr Charles Kibanani Ngome and Helen Maindi Kibanani have filed a case at the High Court claiming their daughter is illegally in confinement of Opus Dei, which they believe is a secretive Catholic organisation. Naliaka told the judge she was of sound mind and had joined Opus Dei as a numerary member on December 11, 2008. Through her advocate, Mr James Nyiha she had filed an application seeking to set aside the order directing that she be produced in court. Her parents have sued the Attorney General, Director of Public Prosecution, Commissioner of Police, Strathmore Education Trust Registered Trustees, Irene Ngunjiri, the Director Fanusi Study Centre and Otero Espanola alias Maria, the Director of Keri House. Naliaka’s lawyer also sought for orders protecting her from being harassed. The case will be heard on October 24. More...

Kitale bishop arrested over mother-in-law's death

By Leonard Wamalwa, July 19 2011
A bishop of a local church in Kitale town, Trans Nzoia County, is being held at the Kitale police station for allegedly killing his mother-in-law on Sunday. Bishop Abraham Wafula Wekesa of Mt. Elgon Bible Christian Ministry was arrested today morning in Gatua-Bondeni village of Milimani location in Trans Nzoia West district after villagers accosted him as he was delivering the coffin he intended to bury his mother in-law whom the villagers were yet to come to terms with her mysterious death. According to the villagers and area Chief Sylvester Momanyi, the Bishop had delivered the body of the deceased Kokola Sevenzia 52 on a motorbike at midnight at her house and left without notifying anybody. "Abraham brought the body of his mother in-law in the middle of the night on a motorbike and left immediately without notifying anybody over her death," said a neighbor. Sevenzia whom the neighbors claimed was last seen on Saturday was healthy and had not complained of any sickness but they were shocked to see her mutilated body that had no eyes, no tongue and had burns that looked like acid burns when it was found. The suspected bishop who is married to the only daughter and child of the deceased is alleged to have informed some villagers earlier that her mother in-law was sick and had died at Mukumu Hospital and was making arrangements to bring her body using a hospital ambulance. The villagers claimed that the woman might have been killed on Sunday and her body kept in a maize plantation before her body was later delivered with a lot of dirt and had pollen grains on it and was not in a coffin as it is usual for somebody who dies in a hospital. They further noted that the woman might have been killed by her son-in-law in conjunction with his wife so that they could take over her plot with rental houses. Further information has revealed that he had earlier on sold a section of the plot without the knowledge of the deceased. More...

Bishop Abraham Wafula Wekesa
Bishop Abraham Wafula Wekesa being escorted to cells at Kitale Police Station where he is being held on suspicion of murdering his mother in law. Photos: Leonard Wamalwa
Thomas Mukabwa
Thomas Mukabwa a cousin of the deceased, Kokola Sevenzia, displaying her photo to journalists.
Okemo, Gichuru claim money laundering was not a crime in Kenya before 2009

By our correspondent, July 19 2011
Nambale MP Chris Okemo and former KPLC boss Samuel Gichuru have accused the State of delaying the proceedings of a case in which they are challenging the jurisdiction of a court in the Island of Jersey. According to their lawyer Fred Ngatia, the State law office has taken over two months to respond to an application they made in the High Court seeking to be spared money laundering charges in Jersey on grounds that the offence was not a crime in Kenya when it was allegedly committed. “The State has not replied to our application neither have they given us the list of authorities that give them the mandate to proceed with extradition process against Mr Okemo and Mr Gichuru,” the lawyer said. Replying affidavit But State counsel Patrick Kiage said they were not delaying the proceedings, adding that it is the issue of commissioning several documents that has not made it possible to reply to the application. He promised to serve the two with a replying affidavit by close of business on Monday, but had not done so by evening. Mr Okemo and Mr Gichuru argued that prior to the enactment of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2009, it was not an offence in Kenya, hence the charges do not satisfy the dual criminality principle. They also want a declaration that no fair trial can take place within the peculiar court systems operated by the Island of Jersey, and that the issue can only be decided in the constitutional petition in the High Court and not any other court. More...

Okemo accuses govt of causing him agony

Atsango Chesoni
Atsango Chesoni, the newly appointed Kenya Human RIghts Commission boss. Atsango is teh daughter of the former chief justice, the late Zaccheuss Chesoni from Kabras, Kakamega.
chris okemo
Chris Okemo, the Nambale MP who is wanted in Jersey on money laundering charges. If convicted he faces up to 15 years in jail.
Atsango Chesoni is new human rights boss

By Lucianne Limo, July 19 2011
Former Deputy Chairperson of the Committee of Experts on Constitutional Review, Atsango Chesoni is the new executive Director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) Atsango on Tuesday officially took over the helm of the human rights body from Muthoni Wanyeki who is proceeding to France for further studies. Munyeki leaves by the end of the month after four years at the commission. “I was asked to head the commission and I accepted. I am very excited with my new posting as KCHR is the grandmother of all the human rights organization in the country,” Chesoni said. She said the human rights situation has changed tremendously in the past where human rights activists were persecuted and arrested for defending the rights of Kenyans. “This is an exciting moment in history where civil society will have the opportunity to work with state agencies to improve human rights of all Kenyans,” said Chesoni. Chesoni attributes this new dispensation to the new constitution and even the appointment of Chief Justice Willy Mutunga who once worked at KCHR. Chesoni has worked as a consultant on governance, gender, human rights, anti-corruption and democracy issues. She also has extensive experience working as human rights monitor both at the national and regional levels and has worked as a policy and legal reform adviser to several institutions including the Government, the African Union and several bilateral and multilateral institutions. She has written extensively on human rights, constitutionalism, institutional reform, regionalism, women rights, violence against women and gender mainstreaming in Kenya, South Sudan, etc. More...

Kitale pastor arraigned in court on murder charges

By Bernard Kwalia, July 18 2011
A Pentecostal Assemblies of God pastor who allegedly stabbed to death an expectant student in Trans-Nzoia County was on Monday arraigned in Kitale high court. He pleaded not guilty to murder. The suspect, pastor Charles Okera, 26, appeared before lady justice Martha Koome where he denied involvement in the murder of the form four Yuya secondary school student. Court prosecutor Kitale state council Ms Brenda Bartoo told the court that on July 7 at Yuya area at around 6 pm the pastor stabbed to death the expectant student. Lady Justice Koome ordered that the suspect be remanded at Kitale main prison till November 1, the next hearing of the case. A Postmortem conducted at Cherengany nursing home in Kitale showed that the expectant student died of deep cuts after she was stabbed seven times at the throat. The late Scolastica Abei 17, a form four candidate at Yuya secondary had deed knife injuries at the neck. According to Kitale district pathologist Dr Blasteus Kakunda multiple injuries at the throat and a round the neck could have caused the student's death. Dr Kakunda also extracted triplets (six-month old boys) sharing one placenta from the deceased's womb. The police also took the pastor for medical check up at Kitale district hospital where he was found mentally fit. The form four student was carrying a 6-month pregnancy from a year-old relationship with the pastor. The illicit love was discovered after the student confessed to her parents that she had been impregnated by the clergyman. More...

Murdered student, 17, was six months pregnant with triplets

Charles Okera
Pastor Charles Okera of Pentecostal Assemblies church looking scruffy in a Kitale Court Monday, July 18 2011 where he is charged with butchering a 17-year old pregnant student who was his secret lover.

Bonny Khalwale
Dr Bonny Khalwale. By ditching his own KADDU party and joining Ruto's UDM, Jirongo is a traitor,says the Ikolomani legislator.

Khalwale takes potshots at Jirongo for joining Ruto's UDM party

By Joseph Otieno, July 18 2011
New Ford Kenya party Secretary General Dr. Bonny Khalwale has launched a scathing attack against Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo for allegedly trying to split the Western Kenya vote. The Ikolomani legislator has criticized Jirongo for ditching his own party KADDU, for UDM saying that the legislator was well known for playing spoiling game in politics whenever he sensed he was on the wrong footing. He accused Jirongo of trying to split the Luhya vote further by declaring he will go for the presidency in the 2012 elections. Instead of choosing UDM, Khalwale said it would have been wise for Jirongo to join New Ford Kenya and face Eugene Wamalwa in the nomination and whoever emerged victor, gets full support for the presidency. Urging him to swallow his pride and join them in the race for the presidency together, Khalwale said Jirongo’s spoiling tricks will never succeed. The Ikolomani MP, who has since declared his interest to run for the senator’s seat in Kakamega County, said that New Ford Kenya had gained popularity in the region and was now spreading to other parts of the country observing that this was the only vehicle that would redeem Kenyans from poor leadership. More...

Jirongo is well known for playing spoiling game in politics whenever he sensed he was on the wrong footing

Vihiga man with a bullet in his arm for the last 3 years appeals for help

By John Kabaka, July 15 2011
A middle aged man Eliud Gabile Khalwale from Chamakhele village, Sabatia district, in Vihiga County is in urgent need of a medical operation to remove a bullet that is stuck in his right arm for over three years now. Mr. Eliud claims to have sustained the injury after being shot during the 2007/08 post election violence along the Mbale- Chavakali road. Eliud confirms to have visited the Vihiga district hospital in 2008 where doctors revealed to him after an x-ray operation that there was a bullet sticking in his right hand and recommended for an operation to have it removed. “ I have been living with a bullet in my hand for the last three years and I am unable to provide for my family because my arm can no longer work, have tried to look for justice in various offices but all in vain,” lamented Eliud bitterly. Eliud who is a father of three and married to Rose Kashara, is among three survivors in Vihiga County who have been confirmed to have bullets lodged in parts of their bodies, following the injuries they endured during the chaos that marred the country after the disputed 2007 general elections. The two other victims are Ronald Azenga and Wycliffe Buisio. Eliud says he has since been seeking for assistance from well-wishers to help him facilitate the operation, which he says is costly, but all his efforts haves been in vain. Human right activists from Western Right Empowerment Network led by Tom Onzere are appealing to the government to immediately intervene and help Eliud and the two other victims live a healthy and normal life by meeting their medical expenses. “A lot of money is spent on settling the IDPS yet there are other people who were affected by the post election violence and have never received any assistance yet they are victims of the same violence,” said Onzere. Onzere added that a local tribunal should be put in place to try the key perpetrators of the post election violence. More...

eliud Gabile Khalwale
Eliud Gabile Khalwale from Vihiga who was shot during the post election violence in 2008. Below is Mr Khalwale's arm in which a bullet has been lodged for the last three years. He says he has been everywhere and approached everyone, but so far help has eluded him. Photos: John Kabaka
eliud gabile

Residents baffled at pupil's sudden death

By Reuben Olita, July 15 2011
A 15-year-old standard eight pupil of Kasing’e primary school in Kakurikit sub-location, Teso North District collapsed and died in a
bizarre incident that has shocked teachers and pupils. Musa Bakira was studying with two of his colleagues during lunch break when he collapsed and was pronounced dead by nurses from nearby Ang'urai Health Centre who arrived moments later. More...

Chanzu accuses Jirongo of undermining Mudavadi

By Hilton Otenyo, July 15 2011
Vihiga MP Yusuf Chanzu has told KADDU chairman Cyrus Jirongo to stop undermining elected leaders from Western province in his quest for Luhya unity. Chanzu said that Jirongo’s attempt to use councilors in Vihiga County to clear the ground for him for what he terms Luhya unity amounts to undermining MPs in the area. “I am not opposed to Jirongo but his approach to politics. He should join ODM and strengthen Mudavadi if he feels he is weak instead of undermining him alongside other MPs,” said Chanzu. Chanzu said that any attempt to unite people in the province should be done through consultations involving all elected leaders from the area. Chanzu spoke while launching a Sh4 million Mang’ong’o water project in South Maragoli. “I am wondering why Jirongo chose to begin his unity meetings in Sabatia constituency instead of his own Lugari constituency. Is he running away from Lugarui because he lacks a following?” Chanzu posed. Chanzu was reacting to a meeting planned by Jirongo at Mbale municipal grounds on July 30 to drum up support for Luhya unity. Councillors from Vihiga County have since opposed the rally and accused Jirongo of planning to use the meeting to horse trade with Eldoret North MP William Ruto. The civic leaders said they read mischief in Jirongo’s move after learning that a permit issued by police for meeting indicated that it was a UDM rally. Yesterday, Chanzu said that MPs from the county would make personal decision as to whether to attend the meeting or not. He added he would personally not attend. It will be the second time Jirongo, who has declared he will run for the presidency next year, will be initiating Luhya unity talks. His bid for unity in 2005 flopped. More...

Wetangula's fate in the balance as Tokyo property probe stalls

By Alex Ndegwa, July 15 2011
An investigation into the controversial purchase of embassy property in Tokyo, Japan, in which taxpayers could have lost Sh1 billion has stalled, a parliamentary committee heard. KACC Director PLO Lumumba said, the anti-graft agency has completed local investigations but is yet to secure the cooperation of the Japanese to facilitate Kacc detectives conduct a probe in Tokyo. Lumumba said Kacc made the latest contact a week ago but Tokyo responded they needed one more month to allow Kacc to visit Japanese territory. He added authorities have also insisted that interrogations by Kacc detectives must be conducted in Japanese. “We completed the local component of the Tokyo affair a long time ago but our investigations would be incomplete without the Japanese bit,” Lumumba said. Public uproar He made the remarks before the Budget committee during the scrutiny of Kacc’s budget at County Hall yesterday. The public uproar following the Tokyo saga prompted the resignations of Sirisia MP Moses Wetangula as Foreign Affairs Minister and Mr Thuita Mwangi as Permanent Secretary to pave way for investigations. The Sh1.6 billion paid for the purchase in 2009 of the premises housing the embassy and ambassador’s residence in Tokyo was allegedly inflated. Lumumba had cited the incident as an example of difficulties in securing mutual legal assistance from foreign agencies, which has hamstrung Kacc from cracking some high profile graft cases. More...

julius nyarotso
Julius Nyarotso, the erstwhile chairman of Nzoia Sugar Company whose tenure has been revoked by President Mwai Kibaki. His place has been taken over by former MP for Bumula, Lawrence Sifuna. Photo: Westfm

Kizito calls for expansion of tertiary colleges

By Julius Otenyo, July 15 2011
Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito has urged the Government to invest in middle level colleges to create a pool of skilled labour to steer the county governments forward.Kizito said the Government should stop take over of middle level colleges by public universities saying they are crucial for practical technical skills. He expressed concern that only Kibabii and Kigumo diploma teacher colleges were still in existence while the rest have been taken over and converted into university campuses. He was speaking at St. Aquinas Teachers College in Sabatia constituency during graduation of 277 P1 teachers. More...

Ex Bumula MP, Sifuna appointed Nzoia Sugar boss

By Westfm, July 15 2011
President Mwai kibaki has appointed former Bumula legislator Lawrence Simiyu Sifuna has been appointed as the new chairman of Nzoia Sugar Company Limited for a period of three years. According to the Kenya Gazette No. 8003 of 15/07/2011, Sifuna’s term had begun 21st January 2011 while that of Eng. Juklius Nyarotso is being revoked. Before the revocation of Eng Nyarotso’s term, some party factions (Ford Kenya and ODM) had opposed his appointment as chairman of the board in place of Mr. Burudi Nabwera whose term had expired. Some of the stakeholders had cited that Mr Nyarotso, a former chairman of the Kenya Sugar Board (KSB), was not a suitable candidate for the position because of an alleged conflict of interest of having worked as a consultant for the factory and was also a contractor and a supplier. In response, he had “Let’s get the facts right. It’s true that before I was appointed as chairman, my company used to win tenders here but I ceased showing interest according to the State Corporations Act. My company has no interest whatsoever in Nzoia at the moment.” His response had been after complaints from famers over the purchase of a wrong crystallizer machine that had compromised production at Nzoia Sugar Company. More...

Kakamega airstrip expanded as Busia stalls due to lack of land

By Joel Okwayo, July 15 2011
The Government has formulated a policy aimed at linking all 47 counties through air transport. The policy will also ensure that each county establishes an airstrip while those already in existence will be upgraded to the required national and international standards. PS in the Ministry of Transport Cyrus Njiru said the move aims at improving air connectivity between the counties as part of promoting national cohesion and economic growth. “We are upgrading some of the existing airstrips in line with Vision 2030,” said Dr Njiru. The PS was inspecting Kakamega airstrip, which is being expanded at a cost of Sh90 million. The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) Managing Director, Steven Gichuki, Regional Manager Peter Wafula and the Western Regional Commissioner Peter Okwanyo accompanied him. Njiru said tourism services are set to improve in western Kenya following the completion of the Kisumu International Airport. He announced that the airport, which is 95 per cent complete, would be commissioned next month. The PS said the Sh3 billion project would make it easier for farmers in the region to export their produce abroad. “We have inspected the work and all is well. We can commission the project at any time because the runway is complete,” said Njiru. Eng Gichuki said it was regrettable that the expansion of the Busia airstrip has hit a snag due to lack of land. He appealed to the Busia Municipal Council to provide the required land. Gichuki’s remarks come barely a month after the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Transport, David Were, said the Government should allocate adequate funds to expand airstrips. More...

kakamega airstrip
Passengers undergoing final checks before boarding a plane at Kakamega Airstrip. The government has spent sh90m upgrading the airstrip as part of linking all 47 counties by air. Photo: Fileken wafula
NGO Council chairman, Ken Wafula (right) and Paul Melly, deputy chairman of Standard Group in Nairobi.

Top politician involved in illegal trade: A top politician from Western Kenya is being accused of illegally selling sandalwood. Exports of the sweet-smelling wood have been banned because the plant is threatened with extinction in Kenya. But sources at the Kenya Forest Service say stockpiles of the plant, normally held by the government after being seized from illegal exports, are slowly disappearing from government custody, are are being re-exported illegally. More...
Briefcase NGOs to be deregistered

By Mark Kapchanga, July 15 2011
A plan to streamline the operations of NGOs has been drawn. The umbrella body, the National Council of Non-Governmental Organisations, says all registered NGOs, estimated to be 7,000, will undergo a special audit. Council chairman Ken Wafula said institutions found to have overlapping functions and those with questionable resource use would be deregistered. “We are starting by regulating the sector because donors and the public have seen a lot of gaps in the operationalisation of NGOs,” said Wafula when council officials paid a courtesy call on the Standard Group Deputy Chairman and Chief Strategist Paul Melly at the Standard Group Centre, yesterday. Members should also subscribe to good conduct and proper use of resources,” he said. Mr Melly said NGOs have to remain relevant, especially at this time of the implementation of the new Constitution. Wafula said they would make public registered organisations, the source of their funding as well as their location to increase transparency and accountability. The council’s chief executive office Kevinnah Loyatum blamed the previous regime for the proliferation of briefcase NGOs. “The civil society has over the last decade become fragmented by wrangles, divided leadership and weak institutions,” she said. More...

Bungoma boda boda confront DC over police harassment

By Protus Simiyu, July 14 2011
Motorbike bodaboda operators in Bungoma West District have raised complaints against police harassments while terming it a threat to their business. The traders have called upon the area DC Mr. Paul Merinyang’ to intervene and bring to an end the culture of traffic police from Chesikaki police station from forcing them to remit bribes from them without issuing transaction receipts. While complaining about today’s incident where 10 motorbikes were impounded without police giving satisfactory reasons, the operators threatened to put down their tools of trade and bring everything to a standstill. ‘’These people want to reap where they did not sow and we are determined to bring it to an end through whatsoever means,’’ they charged. They maintained that the DC should lead from the front and end corruption on the roads in the entire district through taking proper legal action against the perpetrators of the vice. “We have over 260 motorbikes on this road and every rider has to part with not less than 200 every day and those who claim to be advocate of the people remain numb,’’ operators pointed out. Further the bodaboda operators lamented over the pathetic state of Chwele-Lwakhakha road which is almost impassable during the rainy season while the local leaders remain aloof. More...

Boda boda cycle taxis have boomed across Kenya and so has the work of law enforcement officers out to ensure safety of passengers is prioritised. Howver in Bungoma West District, operators are claiming police are demanding bribes without which they impound their taxis without valid reasons. Photo: file

Student's suicide attempt foiled: A form two student of St. Mary’s School Yala was yesterday rescued by Administration Police officers after an attempted suicide at the new Nyanza Provincial headquarters building. The boy, 15, who was in full uniform said he had been sent home for school fees on Tuesday but could not get the money from his father. The boy went up to the fourteenth floor of the building before he attempted to jump. More...
Govt bans traditional midwives in Matungu

By Shaban Makokha, July 14 2011
The government has banned traditional birth attendants from conducting home deliveries in Matungu district. The district medical officer of health William Alaguen said many mothers have died in the hands of the midwives. Speaking in a workshop on maternal health at Shiembekho cultural centre yesterday, Alaguen asked chiefs to ensure no mother gives birthat home. “The TBAs (birth attendants) lack delivery pads, techniques and can enhance the spread of HIV/Aids from one mother to another and even to the new born babies. They use the same gloves to handle several mothers oblivious of the dangers they expose them to,” he said. Alaguen said skilled delivery services are cheaper and safer compared to traditional methods. He asked expectant mothers to shun reports that health facilities are expensive saying the government has subsidised the services. “The TBAs are aged and lack modern techniques in ante-natal care. They massage the womb which can kill the unborn baby because massaging separates the baby from the placenta,” said the district medical officer. More...

Busia residents sell 'free' mosquito nets to Uganda

By Frankline Bwire, July 14 2011
Medical officers in Busia have cautioned the beneficiaries of treated mosquito nets (ITNs) who are allegedly selling the nets they have been issued with at a throw away price instead of using the same for intended purpose. Busia District Medical Officer of Health (DMOH) Dr. Evans Kiplagat said his office has received claims that some of the beneficiaries are disposing the nets to a neighboring country. Addressing journalists at the hospital’s board room, the medical officer said the beneficiaries from Mabunge and Kisoko in Nambale division are selling the mosquito nets at sh. 200 and 300 respectively, whereas the beneficiaries from Marachi estate within Busia Municipality are selling the same for sh. 200. He added that some brokers who are operating underground are buying items from the beneficiaries at a throw away price and selling the same to their clients in Uganda between sh. 300 to 400. “We are surprised to note that some of the beneficiaries instead of using the nets to protect them against malaria, have opted to sell the same at a throw away price to brokers who are out to capitalize on the same for their personal gain,” said the medical officer. He said;”Medical personnel in collaboration with the provincial administration from the respective areas will undertake surveillance to ensure the beneficiaries from the respective area of jurisdiction are not selling the nets.” Dr. Kiplagat added that the target was 118,964 households out of which only 112,270 had been reached registering coverage of 94.8 per cent. He at the same time cautioned the beneficiaries against using the nets for farming activities, adding that it is against the law and that stern legal action will be taken against those involved. More...

busia mosquitos
Residents of Mt Elgon queue to receive treated mosquito nets in an anti malaria campaign that covers the whole of western. However, in Busia, health officials have noticed that as soon as residents get the nets, they ship them for sell in Uganda. Photo: Westfm

2,500 suffer malaria weekly in Webuye

By Rosemary Wachiye, July 14 2011
Malaria is among the leading killer diseases in Bungoma East district, a senior health officer in the district has revealed. This revelation comes in the wake of distribution of Mosquito treated nets across the country in a bid to curb the deaths associated with the disease. A routine survey carried out in the area by the District Surveillance Officer from the Webuye District Hospital Mr. Samuel Malenya; found out 1,118 adults and 1,076 children under the age of five years had been reported to have suffered from the disease for the week ending July 9, 2011. According to Mr. Malenya, the government had tried to implement the domestic spraying in homes but it was not as effective as had been expected thus the decision to issue treated nets to Kenyans. He also added that children under five years and expectant mothers are more prone to contacting the disease and that is why previously the government used to give priority to them in issuing of treated mosquito nets. More...

Slain Kitale schoolgirl was expecting triplets

By Osinde Obare, July 14 2011
Emotions ran high at Cherangani Nursing Home in Kitale after triplets were extracted from the body of a student allegedly stabbed to death by a pastor to cover up their love affair. Relatives were moved to tears when the foetuses were removed from her body during post-mortem examination. The public streamed to the hospital to see the male triplets. Business at the busy hospital was interrupted by curious wananchi. The operation to remove the foetuses was conducted by a medic based at Kitale District Hospital. Wailing relatives broke down as they mourned the Form Four student of a school in Trans-Nzoia East District. The girl was killed last Friday after the pastor allegedly stabbed her to death using a kitchen knife. The student was carrying a five-month pregnancy from a year-old relationship with the pastor when she met her death. The student had confessed to her parents that the clergyman had impregnated her. The student, 17, was a Sunday school teacher at a church the pastor heads. After the pregnancy was revealed, the matter was reported to police, who arrested and arraigned the pastor in Kitale Law Court where he was charged with defilement. The pastor reportedly intercepted the student as she returned home after attending antenatal clinic at Kitale District Hospital. On the fateful day, the two met at Kibomet Africa Inland Church where the girl found the pastor waiting for her. They talked and then as the student left to board a matatu she was allegedly stabbed several times by the pastor. More...

matakwei sabaot
The slain Sabaot Land Defence Force leader, Wyclifee Matakwei (centre) talking to media. Now Sabaot women are complaining that their men are no longer sexually active after enduring genital torture at the hands of security forces.

Thugs raid Nambale M-Pesa shop, steal Sh387,000

By Gilbert Ochieng, July 14 2011
Three armed thugs raided an M-Pesa shop in Nambale and made away with Sh387,000. Busia deputy police boss Francis Nguli said the owner of the shop, who operates several M-Pesa outlets had withdrawn Sh500,000 from a bank in Kakamega to supply to them. He then proceeded to Koyonzo trading centre where he deposited Sh114,000 to an M-pesa agent. On reaching Mungatsi trading centre where he was to deposit the remaining Sh387,000, three men riding on a motorcyle and dressed in jungle green uniform arrived and ordered him to hand over the cash. After grabbing the cash, the three armed robbers fired in the air to scare curious members of the public  before escaping to Buyofu. More...

Sabaot women claim their men are sexually inactive

Vitalis Kimutai, July 14 2011
Hundreds of men in Mt Elgon were rendered sexually inactive as a result of torture during a military operation. Boys, young and elderly men in the region had their private parts pricked with sharp objects, including needles, razor blades, copper wires and hit with blunt objects. Women testifying during a National Inquiry on Sexual and Reproductive Health session conducted by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights in Kitale said hundreds of men were no longer productive. "As a result of the torture they underwent in the hands of soldiers and the Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF), the men can no longer sire children neither can they have meaningful sexual intercourse with their spouses," a woman revealed. Another woman stated that as a result of the humiliation, most men had since fled their homes, leaving their families behind as they sought jobs in towns. "Majority of them cannot live with the shame especially after their wives and children learned of what had befallen them after they were tied to trees in the forest and tortured," she said. The men are said to have sustained injuries on their testicles and are yet to receive medical treatment or counselling. "It is sad that our husbands and sons were subjected to crude methods of vasectomy by the soldiers and SLDF operatives and are no longer productive," a woman said. Military personnel deployed to the region by the Government to crack down on SLDF - who had subjected residents to a reign of terror - have been accused of raping and torturing locals. More...

Okemo's former PA receives death threats over allegations he gave secrets to UK envoy

By Frankline Bwire, July 13 2011
Former personal assistant (PA) to the Nambale MP Chris Okemo is seeking government protection, after receiving messages through his cell phone threatening his life. Peter Odima who was the MPs PA since 1998 to 2002, said that he received several messages from persons he suspects are close allies of Okemo, warning him that his life will be terminated if the MP is extradited to the United Kingdom to face criminal charges of money laundering and corruption. Odima said that he received the threats following allegations that he issued some evidence to the British high commissioner Rob Mcaire following the alleged money laundering and corruption case. “It has degenerated into hatred whereby the Okemo followers have gone to the extent of writing me threatening sms saying they will kill my family and I under allegations that am the one giving the information to the US ambassador,” he said. He disclosed that one of the messages he received, stated that:”Odima u think ur smart enough? The UK ambassador won’t save you from death. Okemo got u from scratches and u will get back .mbwa.” Odima maintains that despite having reported at the Central and Muthaiga police stations in Nairobi over the threats received, he feels that the life of his 80 year old mother remains in danger, adding that police officers should intervene to aid him. Speaking to journalists in Busia town, Odima called upon the followers of Okemo to avoid threatening him, but to follow the matter in a legal way, adding that he has never made such reports. The Nambale MP is facing charges for allegedly receiving up to sh. 900 million in bribes from companies interested in contracts in the energy industry between 1998 and 2002, a time when Mr. Odima served as his personal assistant. More...

Peter Odima
Text messages on Peter Odima's phone threatening his life. Mr Odima is a former personal assistant to Nambale MP, Chris Okemo who is fighting extradition to Jersey to face money laundering charges. Photos: Frankline Nabwire
Peter Odima, Okemo PA
Jirongo loses grip on Lugari as rival candidate wins civic polls

By Josephy Amunya, July 13 2011
Despite efforts by Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo drumming up full support to councilor Musa Wangila Makhapila of the Orange Democratic Party - ODM in the race to the Lugari County Council chairman seat, David Lichenga Amaswache of KADDU proved him wrong and showed that the party was not yet dead by clinching the Lugari county council chairman seat to take the helm of the council for the third term. Weeks ago the legislator had in recent days; Jirongo had officially announced ditching his KADDU party for United Democratic Movement (UDM) affiliated to Eldoret North Mp William Ruto. Jirongo had said it aimed at improving his political affiliations as he prepares to join the grand match to State House later next year. The seat had attracted two contestants councilor David Amaswache of Mautuma ward who enjoyed massive support from the deputy premier and minister for Local Government Musalia Mudavadi against his only opponent Musa Wangila Makhapila of Lugari ward who enjoyed support from the area MP Cyrus Jirongo. With the two seemingly running neck to neck each contestant ridding on the support of 9 councilors each, something went wrong in the Makhapila’s camp the last minute making him to lose one vote to Amaswache’s camp giving him victory. Amaswache trounced his opponent by garnering 11 votes against Makhapila’s 9. The election results are seen by some as the Jirongo’s falling popularity as Mr. Amaswache has declared his interest the Lugari parliamentary seat and an unconfirmed reports indicates that he might vying for the seat on New Ford Kenya ticket in the next general election. More...

David Lichenga Amaswache
David Lichange Amaswache is carried shoulder high after trouncing a candidate supported by Lugari MP, Cyrus Jirongo. Ironically, councillor Amaswache won on Jirngo's party, KADDU which the Lugari legislator has abandoned to join UDM associated with William Ruto, the embattled kingpin of Kalenjin politics. Photo: David Amunya
John Shimaka
ODM redeems itself in Kakamega: John Shimaka, the newly elected chairman of Kakamega County Council inelections that saw ODM sweep seats across the board after losing mayoral polls to a nondescript party on Monday. The election brought back the memories of exactly what happened in the Ikolomani by election as some councilors from the ODM party turned rebels and campaigned for New Ford Kenya candidates. More...
Luhya community urged to exorcise jinx of vice presidency

By John Kabaka, July 13 2011
The vice president slot in Kenyan Government is a jinxed position for Western region, Housing Minister Soita Shitanda has said. Shitanda said that the region would not accept to be a running mate to any other candidate in the 2012 elections because the past record has shown the seat is ominous for people from the province. He pointed out that Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government Musalia Mudavadi was voted out as Sabatia MP in 2002 election, three months after he was appointed to the position by retired president Moi. “When then Ford Kenya chairman Michael Wamalwa was named VP in 2003, he died after about a year and former VP Moody Awori who was named VP after him was voted out in 2007. “We don’t want that seat again,” said Shitanda. Shitanda said that though Western province has held the VP’s slot more time than any other region, the region’s past political spirits is against it. Speaking in his Malava constituency, Shitanda said that any politician from the province who will accept to be running mate to candidates from other regions would be doing so at his or her political peril. More...

soita shitanda
No. 2 no more: Soita Shitanda, the Malava MP and minister for housing. He says the number two slot in Kenya's political hierarchy is a jinxed position for the Luhya.

Farmers want board autonomy: Sugarcane farmers from Western province have petitioned the government to make Kenya Sugar Board an independent body. The farmers drawn from Bumula in Bungoma County, Mumias and Kabras in Kakamega County and Busia asked for freedom of the board from government interference. More...
Jirongo's Mbale rally runs into trouble

By Hilton Otenyo, July 13 2011
A meeting planned by Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo to unite Luhya leaders ahead of next year’s elections has run into hurdles. Yesterday civic leaders learnt that a permit issued by police for the meeting to be held on July 30 at Mbale Municipal Grounds in Vihiga County, indicate that it is a UDM rally. A section of the councillors have accused the Lugari MP of planning to use them for horse trading with Eldoret North MP William Ruto. Nominated councillor Gladys Alalo said that a meeting convened by 27 out of 30 ODM civic leaders in Vihiga County has rejected the plans until their area MPs issue direction. More...

Ouko to feature at TJRC: The TJRC hearings in Kisumu is expected to be a battlefield after locals vowed to revisit the controversial molasses plant, the Robert Ouko murder. More...
Okemo, Gichuru passports impounded as they fight extradition to Jersey

By Paul Ogemba, July 12 2011
Nambale MP Chris Okemo and former Kenya Power and Lighting Company managing director Samuel Gichuru were on Monday barred from leaving the country by a court. Principal magistrate Grace Macharia took away their passports and ordered them to pay cash bail of Sh1 million each when they surrendered to her to avoid arrest. The two are wanted in Jersey for trial on charges of corruption and money laundering. (READ: Kenya to give up Okemo, Gichuru) They presented themselves to court after striking a deal with the Director of Public Prosecutions through state counsel Mungai Warui. According to the agreement, they surrendered to the court and the DPP withdrew a request to have them arrested and detained. Their court appearance kicked off the process of extraditing them to Jersey to face criminal charges. Asking the court to allow the government to send them abroad, Mr Warui told the magistrate that the DPP had received sufficient evidence from Jersey to warrant him seek to have them tried in the UK. “The DPP has confirmed that the alleged offences committed by the suspects are extraditable. “We request that the court proceed with their committal as provided under Chapter 77 laws of Kenya,” Mr Warui said. He said that under Section 7(1) of the Commonwealth Extradition Act, it is the Attorney General who can authorise extradition of a suspect to another country but the new Constitution has conferred the powers to the DPP’s office, adding, that’s the reason the application is signed by Mr Keriako Tobiko. More...

Chris Okemo and Samuel Gichuru
Highs and lows: The sullen faces of Samuel Gichuru and Chris Okemo illustrate the lowest point in their lives as they battle to avoid being extradited to the UK principality of Jersey to face trial on money laundering charges.

Lugari leaders won't follow Jirongo to UDM

By Stephen Makabila, July 12 2011
Cyrus Jirongo, the only Opposition MP in Tenth Parliament, requires no introduction. That the Lugari MP and chairman of Kaddu has presidential ambition is equally no secret. In his home turf, his tribesmen at times whisper he is the most versatile and moneyed political son of their land. In recent days, Jirongo has been in the news indicating he would seek presidential nomination on a UDM ticket, on the basis that Kaddu was a corporate member of the party." As things stand now, we are three individuals keen on using UDM ticket to contest the presidency,’’ said Jirongo, in Mombasa last weekend. This, however, has not gone down well with his allies. "Jirongo is a good leader but his decision to run on the UDM ticket was made without consulting Lugari voters," says Barasa Wambulwa, a Lugari councillor and an ally to the MP. Wambulwa goes on: "He can join UDM but we assure him not many will follow him there. UDM cannot unite the people of Western." Apart from Jirongo, others eyeing the UDM ticket are Eldoret North MP William Ruto and Trade Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere. Jirongo has indicated he would be launching his presidential bid for the top office in Mbale on July 30. More...

Serut accuses Kapondi of killing civilians in Mt Elgon

By Eric Ngobilo, July 12 2011
Former Mt Elgon MP John Serut sobbed on Monday as he told the truth team how he was almost killed at the height of militia activities in the area. Mr Serut said he was shot at by members of the Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF) militia but the bullet missed him narrowly. He told the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission that he knew his assailants, but nothing had been done to them although he had reported the incident. He denied any involvement with a group called Moorland, a militia group that was said to have been operating in the area alongside Janjawit and the SLDF. The wrong hands The former MP said many people who gave information to the police were killed after the officers disclosed their identities to the militia. “The information we gave to the police ended up in the wrong hands. That is why many people were killed.” Several of his relatives among them an assistant chief, he said, were killed by the SLDF at the height of the militia activities in 2008. He said despite numerous reports to the authorities, no action was taken. Mr Serut accused former MP Wilberforce Kisiero of misleading the government on the identities of the perpetrators of the mayhem. “I was shocked when the government I was serving started investigating me.” He said former Internal Security minister John Michuki also decided to sideline him in the quest for a solution to the problem. “I was barred from attending meetings the minister held while he toured the area despite my being in government.” He said he almost resigned but was afraid his security detail would be withdrawn, putting his life at greater risk. “I had to choose between resigning and putting my life and that of my family at risk. I chose to stay in government,” Mr Serut said. The commissioners told him to stop mentioning names when he accused current MP, Mr Fred Kapondi, of having a hand in the attacks on civilians. More...

Bunyala leaders call for revival of Okondo poly

By Gilbert Ochieng, July 12 2011
Leaders from Bunyala are calling for the revival of a youth polytechnic to enable school leavers acquire technical training skills.The institute was initiated by former MP Peter Habenga Okondo. Led by James Opiyo and Wellington Wandera, the leaders said there was need to establish a youth polytechnic that will take the place of Nayera Youth Polytechnic in order to accommodate the youth who have either completed or failed to proceed with education due to varied reasons. The leaders accused Okondo's successors of neglecting projects the former legislator had started. More...

John Serut
John Serut, former Mt Elgon MP.
Fred Kapondi
Fred Kapondi, the current Mt Elgon MP who is accused by a former legislator of killing civilians during the Mt Elgon clashes.

Pastor arrested after killing pregnant student

By Stephen Makabila, July 12 2011
A pastor allegedly stabbed a pregnant schoolgirl to death in a chilling assault in Trans-Nzoia County. The Form Four student was five months pregnant after supposedly being in a relationship with the pastor for a year. The illicit love was discovered after the student told to her parents that the clergyman had impregnated her. More...

Bethuel Kiplagat
Bethuel Kiplagat: accused of stealing land

Kapondi answers Serut, denies links with Sabaot militia

By Eric Ngobilo, July 12 2011
A politician has denied sponsoring clashes that affected the Mt Elgon region in 2007. Mt Elgon MP Fred Kapondi denied before the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) in Bungoma of having any links with the Sabaot Land Defense Force that carried out mayhem in the region. Mr Kapondi has instead accused politicians of linking him to the militia group, which spread terror and wrecked havoc to the residents of Mt Elgon region. Mr Kapondi said main reason of conflicts in the area arises from the land distribution in Chebyuk area. He said during the political campaigns to the run up of 2002 general elections, the residents were promised by a rival party that residents will not be evicted from Chebyuk and title deeds will be issued. Mr Kapondi notes that the election pledges went unfulfilled triggering tension in Chebyuk. He said the militia was mainly targeting residents from Cheptais for eviction from the settlement scheme. Mr Kapondi had unsuccessfully through lawyer Mr Omundi Bw’Onchiri tried to not to appear before TJRC stating that he court was handling his case. Mr Kapondi also alleged how he was wrongfully charged for murder in 2007. More...

Kiplagat grabbed 120 acres belonging to a co-op

By John Nalianya, July 12 2011
Embattled TJRC chairperson Bethwel Kiplagat was yesterday accused of grabbing land in Kitale. Testifying during the commission's hearings in Bungoma, Omulimi Erastus, the secretary of the Liyavo farmer co-operative accused Kiplagat of grabbing 120 acres belonging to the farm during the Moi regime. Omulimi narrated to the Truth team that the Liyavo farmers cooperative had been given to the landless as a loan which the Kenyatta government had borrowed from the British. "We were given the allotment letters in November 1972 with President Kenyatta at the Maridadi stadium in Kitale. Each beneficiary getting two and a half acres each,” Omulimi said. Omulimi said Kenyatta had warned them to be weary of grabbers in government. He said they later cleared servicing their loan in 1978 and started subdividing the 2,802 acres among the 150 members of the society. He however said that it was at this time that 750 acres from the was snatched by influential people in government including Kiplagat. More...

Khalwale, Ruto urge MPs to stop whinging and pay taxes

By John Kabaka, July 12 2011
Legislators who are evading paying taxes have been urged to either pay tax or resign as members of parliament so that others who are willing to pay tax can be elected. Addressing mourners during the burial of the late Mzee Jacton Mwachi a father to Malava Boys Principal Daniel Mwachi and area education officer Makana Mwachi in Namanja village Malava constituency Butali area, Dr Bonni Khalwale the Ikolomani legislator said members of parliament had to respect the law. “I have heard that the mps who don’t want to pay tax are planning to frustrate government functions just because they are needed to pay their taxes, I would like to urge the legislators that you are the ones that fought for the constitution that says you should pay taxes,” said Khalwale. Khalwale said it is an act of cowardice of the highest order for Mps to interfere with parliament programmes because of individual’s selfish sake. “It is an act of cowardice to curtail parliament programmes because of our sake, if you are an mp and you not willing to be taxed you are free to step aside and another person willing to be taxed will be elected to fill up your position,” said the Ikolomani mp. The same view was echoed by the Eldoret North mp Wiliam Ruto who said the MPs must pay taxes without being begged because it is clearly stipulated in the constitution of the land. More...

Jackton Mwachi
Ikolomani MP, Dr Bonny Khalwale (left) whispers a word to William Ruto, the suspended Higher Education minister during burial of Mzee Jacton Mwachi, the father of Malava Boys principal, Daniel Mwachi. Photo: John Kabaka

Mob lynches father who sacrificed son

By Andrew Musinguzi, July 12 2011
A man who is alleged to have sacrificed his 14-year old son has been lynched by a mob. Angry residents of Kyamushanju Bufunjo sub-county in the western district of Kyenjojo stormed a Police post, picked the suspect from the cells and lynched him. The man only identified as Magambo is alleged to have killed his son only identified as Maniraguha before chopping off his tongue, lips, throat and pocking out the eyes and took the body parts an unknown place. Magambo later run to Police and claimed that his son had been murdered by unknown assailants only to be arrested after Police doubted his varying statements. Angry residents wielding pangas, axes sticks and harmers invaded the Police post, broke into its cells and lynched the suspect. More...

Little known party wins mayoral polls in Kakamega

By John Kabaka, July 8 2011
By virtue of being in a popular political party, cannot not help one ascend to power, as many Kenyans have been fully enlightened. These was clearly seen in the Kakamega municipality mayoral election that saw Alliance for Restoration of Democracy in Kenya, a party many Kenyans do not know of, produce the new Mayor for Kakamega municipal council. Mathias Sichere , the Mahiakalo ward councilor, was elected the new mayor unopposed. Sichere now takes over the office that was held by ODM’s Vincent Anjeche the outgoing mayor. It was interesting to note that though the former mayor did not defend his seat most of the ODM councillors supported the election of Sichere who fortunately went without opposition. The victory of such a small and little known party according to analysts means a lot considering the support of the party in the larger Kakamega County. The Kakamega municipality has a long way to go in terms of environment; matatu menace among other challeges, something that the newly elected mayor says will be his first rock to move out of his way as he assumes office in less than the coming 16 months. “We have had problems with security, cleanliness and other problems in the municipality but something like what I have mentioned are of great importance and must be addressed like yesterday, we will work in conjunction with the police to make sure we curb the security menace in this municipality,” said Sichere. He as well promised to bring to order the Matatu menace in town. “The public transport operations within the town will be given the priority and I call stakeholders to co-operate with the council to make sure we have great change,” said the newly elected mayor. More...

Even ODM councillors supported Sichere

Mathias Sichere
Mathias Sichere, the new Kakamega mayor won unopposed despite being fronted by a little known party called Alliance for Restoration of Democracy. Photo: John Kabaka
Olemi Wafula
Olemi Wafula, the re-elected Busia Mayor. Photo: Frankline Bwire

Africa's 54th state is born: South Sudan has become the world's newest nation, the climax of a process made possible by the 2005 peace deal that ended a long and bloody civil war. Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon are among international dignitaries attending celebrations in the capital, Juba. More...
Busia mayoral elections marred by accusations

By Franjline Bwire, July 8 2011
Tension ran high at the Busia County Council, after a section of councilors, traded blames a move that prompted police officers to intervene, to help resolve the conflict, before the election exercise began. A source that did not want to be disclosed said that rivalry among two camps of the councilors, was the main attribution of the chaos witnessed, adding that some of them were not contended with the positions given, despite having undertaken their separate elections while in Emuhaya where they had camped for a duration of two weeks. The election, presided over by the Council Clerk Mr. George Maruti saw, Councilor Charles Olemu of Funyula North civic ward, recapture his seat as the chairman of the Busia County council unopposed. Councilor Egesa Sikoyo scooped the position of vice chairman, while Josephat Wandera of Elugulu civic ward in Butula won the post of chair of Finance, Staff and General Purposes committee. Audit committee department was secured by councilor Fred Mugeni unopposed, as councilor Margaret Aluku was elected to head the Education, Housing and Social services and the position of Anti-corruption committee won by councilor Patrick Gomba of Marachi west ward of unopposed. Bunyala North civic ward leader Samuel Magoba won the post of Environment and Natural Resources, minus a deputy, after councilor Lilian Onyach declined to take the position, despite having proposed by her colleagues. Town Planning, Works and Market committee position was won by Councilor David Okado, while councilor Pamba was elected his deputy. More...

Out of 23 councillors, 6 stayed away in protest

No more siri kali as govt avails all records online

By James Ratemo, July 8 2011
President Mwai Kibaki on Friday launched a key website making Kenya the first country in sub sahara Africa to offer loads of government data to its citizens. The government has released several large datasets, including the national census and statistics on government spending at national and county level to enhance transparency in governance and access to information. The data presented in user-friendly format is now available online via an open data portal (www.opendata.go.ke). Currently much of the public data is in hard copy and other static formats that make their use close to impossible. Worse still, to access such data one has to seek clearance from authorities in relevant ministries or purchase it from the Government printer after going through a bureaucratic clearance process. In an interview with Nation, Dr Ndemo said the website will be one of the first and largest government data portals in sub-Saharan Africa. “With the open data portal, such obstacles will be a thing of the past. Information is power and we are aiming to empower citizens by enhancing their access to usable data that was not accessible easily to the public,” said Ministry of Information Permanent Secretary, Dr Bitange Ndemo. “For the first time, Kenyans will have information about their community at their fingertips allowing them to make informed decisions at a personal level—currently most decisions people make are not scientific since they are not based on data yet data is available but inaccessible,” he added. The PS said the portal is part of an initiative of pushing local content to the Internet and to offer over 70,000 Kenyans who graduate from Kenyan colleges annually to manipulate the data for beneficial use. More...

siri kali portal
President Mwai Kibaki clicks the button to launch the e-government web portal at KICC yesterday. Looking on is Information minister Samuel Poghisio (left) and his PS, Dr Bitange Ndemo.

New law seeks to legalise polygamy but ban dowry

By Francis Mureithi, July 8 2011
Payment of dowry is illegal but polygamy is allowed. Those proposals are included in the new Marriage Bill released by the Commission for Implementation of the Constitution yesterday which seeks to introduce sweeping changes in the institution of marriage. The Bill will legalize 'come-we-stay' arrangements. “Where it is proved that a man and woman having capacity to marry have lived together openly for at least two years in such circumstances as to have acquired the reputation of being husband and wife, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that they were duly married,” says article 7 of the Bill. Thousands of people live together as married couples, especially in urban areas. If passed, this proposal will greatly assist those women and children who have in the past been disinherited on the death of their husbands and fathers because there had been no formal marriage. And for prospective in-laws who have commercialized dowry by demanding cash payments of up to Sh2 million, the Bill provides that there will be no legal provisions for a family or anyone to demand payment. More...

Malakisi town clerk suspended over corruption charges

By Reuben Olita, July 8 2011
Two top officers of Malakisi town council have been sent on compulsory leave pending investigations into funds mismanagement. Cleophas Mutonyi (town clerk) and John Shitambi (treasurer) were sent home by the provincial Local Government officer Patrick Malombe. The decision to send the two on forced leave followed a two-hour closed door meeting between Malombe and council officials at Malakisi Town hall. Speaking to hundreds of residents who had gathered outside the hall, Malombe said the order takes effect with immediate effect. He named Andrew Saratuki as acting clerk and Callistus Chippo, acting treasurer. Sources said about Sh6 million have been lost in fictitious projects. More...

Fake IDPs invade camp to gain Kenyan entry

By Reuben Olita, July 8 2011
About 70 Kenyan IDPs who returned from Kiryandongo camp in Uganda yesterday claimed there were some impostor IDPs. The refugees claimed that the government was losing millions of shillings in financing people who were masquerading as IDPs. James Shimata who spoke on behalf of 31 IDP families, said there is no honesty in these people in Uganda as refugees. “It’s a pity some people who are yet to be repatriated pose as Kenyan refugees while they are Ugandan nationals from Malaba and Busia Uganda," he said. More...

Mariga's sister lands a historic deal in US college sport

By Philip Onyango, July 7 2011
The Wanyama family this week scored another major first in sport when Mercy Ayitso Wanyama landed a Sh20 million, four-year basketball scholarship to play for the California Baptist University. The younger sister of Harambee Stars’ midfielder McDonald Mariga and former Shimba Hills star forward Purity Auma Odhiambo are on the verge of being the first Kenyans to play in USA’s elite National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) league. John Marcum, head coach at California Baptist, flew in last week to seal the deal with two talented forwards who have also been named in Kenya’s team to the All Africa Games in Maputo in September. The university has pursued Wanyama, who graduated from Langata High School last year, and Odhiambo, a student at Uganda Christian University in Uganda, for two years. “I have watched Mercy Wanyama play and I believe she is the right talent for my college,” said Marcum, who with fellow US college basketball coach Tony Mauldin watched Wanyama’s Storms beat Gladiators 66-61 in the National Classic league in Nairobi on Friday. Her brother Victor Mugabe has been in Europe playing football, and is now on the verge of finalizing his contract with the Celtic Rangers. Their brother MacDonald Mariga made history by being the first Kenyan football player to be in the UEFA Champions League, and is currently signed with Internatzionale, aka Inter (Milan). The children seem to have inherited their sporting talent from their father, former AFC Leopards winger Noah Wanyama, currently part of the Technical Advisory team at the AFC Club (Additional reporting by Westfm). More...

Mercy Ayitso Wanyama
Mercy Ayitso Wanyama, a younger sister of McDonald Mariga, the AC Milan superstar, showing her dribbling skills that landed her a shs20m four-year contract in US College basketball league.

Sacked civic leader loses bid to regain his job

By Simbi Kusimba, July 7 2011
A Bungoma councillor who was sacked by Local Government minister Musalia Mudavadi will not get his job back soon. The High Court in Bungoma has issued an order stating that the sacking stands. Judge Florence Muchemi ordered that the termination of Richard Kwoba Nabibia as public officer "be stayed" Lawyer John Makali had gone to court under a certificate of urgency and argued that his client "had been stripped of his position irregularly." Makali said Mudavadi and Attorney General Amos Wako "intend to fill up the same position irregularly and in total breach of the law". Nabiba was appointed through the Kenya Gazzette notice of April 11, 2008 by then Local Government minister Uhuru Kenyatta to serve for a five-year term. The lawyer said the term "is yet to expire and no written reasons were given nor were statutory provisions cited by the minister for revoking his appointment." More...

Activities at Matunda hospital disrupted as abandoned man dies

By John Otieno, July 7 2011
Activities at the Matunda sub-district hospital in Likuyani district were disrupted Wednesday for a while after an unknown person died few minutes after he was dumped in the hospital compound by unknown men. According to the area police boss John Leshimpiro, the incidence occurred at about 10:00AM when the two unknown men entered the hospital carrying the victim on an unregistered motorbike, dumped him there and left quickly without uttering a word. He added that the nurse on duty at that time was forced to was rush to save the victim who was in a coma, but even before the nurse attended to him before he died. Leshimpiro further explained that the victim had deep cuts on his head and hands and that he had also been beaten using blunt objects. The OCPD said that it was difficult to establish what led to his assassination, where it took place and also those responsible since the person remains unknown. More...

Vihiga councillors threaten to ditch ODM: Over 400 delegates in Vihiga have threatened to abandon ODM should the forthcoming party grassroots elections fail to be free and fair. The delegates consequently called on the ODM’s top leadership to avert a fallout in one of the party’s strongholds in Western Province. Speaking during a meeting that brought together delegates from five locations, the party’s branch vice chairman Japheth Havi said democracy in the party will be tested in the countrywide elections. More...
Parliamentary records since 1959 go online

By Fredrick Obura, July 7 2011
Kenyans can now access records of parliamentary proceedings dating back from 1959 online. This follows digitisation of parliamentary Hansard by the Kenya Law Report, Google Kenya, Kenya ICT Board, and the National Assembly. Speaking yesterday during the official launch in Nairobi, Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza said the move was aimed at improving access to information by the public. "We are witnessing another milestone in improving access of parliamentary information to the public," she said. The four partners have made it easier to access parliamentary proceedings through selected portals such as www.kenyalaw.org, www.parliament.go.ke, and the www.google .co.ke. Information and Communication PS Bitange Ndemo said the development presents Kenyans with an opportunity to know whether issues affecting them at the local level are being raised for debate. The availability of parliamentary Hansard online is expected to enhance capacity of organisations such as the National Council for Law reporting in managing and distributing public information. Mr Michael Murungi of National Council for Law reporting said the initiative would help his organisation develop and implement an open, technology-neutral standard for the management of current and future public legal information. Ms Jennifer Shamalla, the convenor ICT/Intellectual Property Rights Committee urged the Government to reduce internet and computer prices to enable all Kenyans access the parliamentary report. More...

nancy baraza
Nancy Barasa, deputy chief justice. 'We are witnessing a milestone in accessing information.'
jennifer shamallla
Jennifer Shamalla, the convenor of ICT/intellectual property rights committee said internet charges should be reduced and computer prices lowered to enable many Kenyans access information.
Vihiga men rush to get circumcised

By John Kabaka, July 7 2011
Over 50 male students between the ages of 20 and 35 have showed up to face the cut in the ongoing health week being held at the Kaimosi teachers training college. “I am 26 years old and I had not underwent this act, and when I heard about this free service I decided to come up and handle it head on, i have been circumcised now and I didn’t feel any pain as people say, the experts did it professionally and am glad am now a real man as many say, am glad, I urge my fellow colleagues who haven’t done it to present themselves before the week is over to face the cut, it is not as they think,” said David Omondi just after the cut. The world is changing and I wouldn’t have remained this for life even though my community is against it doesn’t allow the cut, it is not something that one can be afraid of, you just man up own up to the practitioners and allow them to do their work, it’s interesting I can say,” said one of the newly circumcised who wanted his name not to be mentioned. This is said to be one of the ways the HIV infection is reduced by up to 60 percent, medics have said. “Our main aim is to tell the student the importance of personal health and especially to advise them on how they can protect themselves against dangerous infections,” said Tersia Mbelesi Kaimosi Teachers Training College Principal. The Health Week in Kaimosi commenced on Tuesday and ends tomorrow (Friday). The weeklong event will be closed by the National Aids Control Council Director Prof Alloys Orago. More...

10 witches escape death narrowly in Kwanza as houses are torched

By Leonard Wamalwa, July 6 2011
Over ten people suspected to be witches from Goseta and Ziwani villages of Kwanza district in Trans Nzoia County narrowly escaped death after police officers salvaged them from the hands of angry villagers who were baying for their blood. The ten witches among them elderly men and women with a few youth were cornered by villagers who claimed that they had been pumped in while they were scrutinizing their lists of people they had killed and those on the death list. Villagers claim that an exercise book was recovered from the group with a long list of the people they targeted in their witches hence had decided to lynch them before security officers came in and took them away to the Kitale police station where they are being held. “They have killed our children, husbands, mothers and everybody in this area and have no mercy on anybody they want to get rid of hence hampering development in the area where we educate children but cannot be employment due to the witches of those people,” said one woman amid shouts and cries from the chanting villagers. The villagers told journalists that the group of the witches have been a thorn in the their flesh for a long time having killed over 12 people since the beginning of this year with three more on the list of those to die in a short while to come. “The book that we recovered from them had the list of all witches, the people who had died and their names ticked and those to die soon. The three listed were to die from 23/7/2011 and 1/8/2011 with a meeting scheduled for 8/8/2011 to review and evaluate the accomplished job and then constitute a new list on their targets,” revealed one bitter youth. After the suspects were hurriedly taken away by a police vehicle to the police station the villagers therefore resorted into burning the houses and destroying the property of the suspects. More...

kwanza witches
Villagers pursue a woman (3rd left) suspected to be a witch and owner of the house burning as her son follows behind her. Photos: Leonard wamalwa
luhya witch house
The kitchen of a house belonging to an alleged witch in Kwanza burns down but the main house is spared after police arrive in time. Apparently witch hunters had drawn out a list of targets in which three suspected witches were to die from 23/7/2011 and 1/8/2011 with a meeting scheduled for 8/8/2011 to review and evaluate the accomplished job and then constitute a new list on their targets.
Okemo, Gichuru used fake identifications in Jersey

By David Ochami, July 6 2011
Two prominent Kenyans fighting extradition request by Jersey court misrepresented themselves, concealing the fact one was then a Cabinet minister and the other head of a key parastatal. A stunning claim is also made that one of the recipients of the kickbacks funnelled through the accounts owned by the two then was another Cabinet minister referred to as ANO and a cabal of corrupt personalities referred to as ‘SG Mafia’. According to documents filed in court in the Island in May, when Nambale MP Chris Okemo opened a bank account in Jersey several years ago, he presented himself as a ‘self-employed economist’. Jersey investigators further claim the account was used to pass and conceal proceeds of crime. The same document allege Okemo’s co-suspect, Samuel Gichuru, former Managing Director of Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) presented himself only as "a lawyer by profession." Gichuru, who in his heydays had strong links with powerful Kanu politicians, purportedly did this in a dispute when a firm he allegedly had hired to manage his Windward Trading Company questioned some of these transactions and subsequently froze his finances. Detective Lee Turner made the allegations in his sworn affidavit filed at the magistrate’s court in Jersey Island. More...

Sam Gichuru
Samuel Gichuru, the former MD of Kenya Power and Lighting. He misrepresented himself as a lawyer in Jersey while Okemo gave his profession as a self employed economist.
chivale, chwele
A Chwele resident receives free mosquito nets from a medical officer yesterday. The nationwide exercise was however marked by a low turnout in Chwele, Bungoma County.
Low turnout at Chwele marks start of free mosquito nets countrywide

By Daniel Wafula, July 6 2011
The government has yet made another effort in helping the Kenyan citizens to live free from Malaria by giving out mosquito nets. The giving out of nets was officially launched on Wednesday across the country. However there was low turnout in Chwele, Bungoma County a situation attributed to it being the first day of the exercise in the area as many people had not been made aware of the exercise. An estimated amount of 87, 246 people were registered in the whole of the Bungoma Central district with about 16 distribution centers. Though some areas had not received nets by Wednesday evening, those places with more net supply were required to give out some to those with low supply. According to the District Malaria Coordinator Mr. Francis Fwamba, this move is aimed at significantly reducing the infectivity rates of Malaria and it might even assert Kenya as a Malaria free country by 2012. One net is allocated to two people in a family so the number of family members determines how many nets one gets. Mr. Fwamba said that the nets being given out for children and pregnant women had already helped to bring down malaria cases in the hospital from 245 to 40 people diagnosed with malaria in the preceding two weeks. More...

Family seeks justice for student leader Titus Adungosi

By Frankline Bwire, July 6 2011
The family of a former Nairobi University student leader, Tito Oloo Adungosi who died while serving a 10 year jail term for his involvement in the 1982 coup attempt, has urged the Truth Justice and Reconciliation commission (TJRC) to aid them unravel the mystery surrounding his death. National secretary of Victims and Survivors Network Okodoi Maskini Odero, who is also the family spokesman, informed TJRC commissioners led by presiding chair Tecla Namachanja, that they suspect there was a foul play in the demise of Adungosi, who was a resident of Alomodoi village in Teso South district. “Nobody has ever told us the cause of his death, despite having contacted the Prime Minister who on his part said the cause of his death was that his lungs were punctured while in Kamiti prison where he was being confined,” said odero, adding that no postmortem examination had been conducted to establish the cause of the death. He said:”The government was worried about the late, given that he was a tough minded leader who fought for changes and they suspected that if released, he would join the opposition ranks and even get to the level of Brigedia Odongo, hence becoming a formidable force and threat to the government of the day.” The family spokesperson added that no one had ever informed the family about the demise of the former chairman of the Student Organization of Nairobi University (SONU), a situation that caused a lot of concern to the Teso community. “As a family, we feel that the government owes us an apology over the death of our son to whom we had banked all our hopes,” they said adding that there was suspicion he had been killed towards the end of his tenure. He also called for a monument to be established in Busia County to remind the future generation of a martyr of the second liberation. “Though he did not live to enjoy the fruits of his labor, an institution should be set up to immortalize his name,” He believes that if the commission takes the attention expected to the memorandum which the family presented to them, then truth will be ascertained to ensure legal action is taken against the perpetrators. He said that Adungosi was a third year student in the faculty of architecture, design and development, was jailed on the September 24, 1982, for his activities during the abortive coup attempt, before he was later convicted by the then Chief Magistrate, Mr. Abdul Rauf. On her part, the late Adungosi’s mother Marciana Adungosi aged 101 accused the former regime for interfering with the burial arrangements forcing them to go against the traditional burial rituals of the Teso community. More...

Cane farmers protest: Farmers contracted to supply cane to Nzoia Sugar Company are crying foul over a move by the company to supply their cane to Mumias Sugar Company. Speaking during a farmers meeting in Mabanga, the farmers said that the move had increased the transport cost which is levied on them and consequently reducing profits. More..
Titus Adungosi
Titus Adungosi, the university student leader who died in prison under mysterious circumstances while serving a 10-year jail term for his role in the coup attempt against Moi on August 1 1982.
Marciana Adungosi
Marciana Adungosi, the 101-year old mother of Titus 'Tito' Adungosi, the student leader who died in prison. The then government of President Moi even interfered with the burial arrangements forcing the family to go against the customs of the Teso community.

Court allows woman to woman marriage

By Maureen Mudi, July 6 2011
The High Court in Mombasa has made a landmark ruling allowing a woman who was ‘married’ to another woman to inherit her late 'husband's' property worth millions of shillings. Justice Jackton Ojwang ruled that Nandi customary law entitled Monica Jesang Katam and her children to take over the estate of her 'husband'. He dismissed an application by Jackson Chepkwony and Selina Jemaiyo Tirop, who had moved to court to object the issuance of letters of administration to Katam for the estate of Cherotich Kimong’ony Kibserea. In traditional Kalenjin culture, a barren woman could 'marry' another woman who would proceed to bear their children by men who would have no obligation towards them or their children. The children would belong to the barren woman or 'husband' as she had paid bride price. The practice also spread to neighbouring Kisii but has now largely died out. The name Chepkwony, meaning 'of a woman', traditionally signified that someone was a child of a marriage between two women. Woman-woman marriage was found among Nandi, Kipsigis, and, since about the mid-twentieth century, among Keiyo. It is however not customary among other Kalenjin sub tribes. More...

Okemo extradition to Jersey all but certain as DPP okays proceedings

By our correspondent, July 6 2011
The Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko has given authority for the extradition proceedings against Nambale MP Chris Okemo and former Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) boss Samuel Gichuru to have them charged in Jersey with fraud and money laundering. On receipt of a joint report prepared by officers from the DPP office and Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission and on the request by Island of Jersey for the extradition of the two, Tobiko was satisfied that the request met all the legal and evidential requirements. "On receipt of a joint report prepared by officers from the DPP and Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) on the request by the Island of Jersey for the extradition of Okemo and Gichuru and being satisfied that the request meets all the legal and evidential requirements, the DPP gave authority for the request to proceed," a statement from the DPP’s office said. Tobiko on Wednesday sent a team to court to file application for the extradition of the two accused and seek warrants of their arrest. Tobiko’s decision came a day after the British High Commissioner to Kenya Rob Macaire met Attorney General Amos Wako and stressed the need to expedite the extradition proceedings against Okemo and Gichuru. Last month Okemo and Gichuru lost a bid to oppose the extradition proceedings with the court ruling that their case was premature as no extradition proceedings had commenced at the time they filed the suit. Speaking after a meeting with Attorney General Amos Wako on Tuesday, Rob Macaire said there was a strong case against the two individuals and that the authorities in Jersey were determined to have this case taken forward. More...

Chris okemo
Nambale MP Chris Okemo looks certain to be extradited to the UK principality of Jersey to face charges of money laundering along with former MD of Kenya Power and Lighting, Samuel Gichuru.
Boniface Mganga
Boniface Mganga, ex MP for Voi and founder of Muungano Choir died last night in a road accident in Taita. He had just declared his interest in the governor's seat in Taita-Taveta County. At the time of his death Mganga, 52, was chairman of Utalii College board of directors.
Ex MP, Muungano Choir founder dead

By Renson Mnyamwezi, July 6 2011
Former Voi MP Boniface Mganga died on the spot on Tuesday night in a grisly road accident along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway. Police said the accident occurred near Tsavo River, some 50 kilometers away from Voi town. Mganga who is also a former assistant minister was alone at the time of the accident. The scene of the accident is regarded as one of the major black spots in the country. It is within the same stretch where former scholar, Katama Mkangi died in a road accident a couple of years ago. Police said the deceased was alone in his Prado vehicle and was traveling from Nairobi to his Mbololo rural home when he met his death. Until his death, Mganga, 52 was the chairman of the Kenya Utalii College Board of Directors. The former musician cum politician was elected as the Voi MP in 2002 until the current MP Dan Mwazo floored him in the 2007 general elections. Mganga who served as an administrator during the Kanu regime is a renowned choir master. The former legislator is the founder member of the Muungano Choir, which he formed in Nairobi in 1979 after graduating from the University of Nairobi the same year. The choir has toured many countries and has produced the worldwide distribution recording of the African Mass, MISSA LUBA. More...

Musalia Mudavadi
New US envoys calls on Mudavadi: Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister Local Government Musalia Mudavadi (right) chats with the US Ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration who paid a courtesy call on the Deputy Premier at his Jogoo House ‘A’ office, Nairobi, today, Wednesday, July 6, 2011. Ambassador Gration replaced former US ambassador to Kenya , Michael Ranneberger who was caught in the crosshairs of WikiLeaks cable scandals.
Police rescue trapped Malakisi town clerk

By Reuben Olita, July 6 2011
Police yesterday rescued Malakisi town clerk Cleophas Mukembele from irate residents who wanted to evict him out of office. Over 200 people stormed the council offices to eject Mukembele over alleged embezzlement of council funds. Police whisked him away through the back door. Youth leader Pelek Owase claimed that about Sh3.1 million meant for Kazi kwa Vijana is an uncounted. The residents also claimed that Sh700,000 meant for a contractor had  not been paid while Sh14 million Local Authority Transfer Funds had not been used since April. They appealed to deputy prime minister Musalia Mudavadi to transfer the the town clerk, treasurer and administrator. They demanded that external auditors be sent to to carry out an audit. The residents denied media reports that the failure to read the budget last Thursday was caused by political differences between New Ford-Kenya and Ford-Kenya, but it was due to absence of the clerk and the missing funds. More...

Lumakanda still sleepy 10 years after becoming Lugari HQ

By John Otieno, July 5 2011
Since it was officially launched ten years ago Lumakanda open market in Lugari District has never witnessed any serious business as it has failed to attracted traders and investors. Despite being the current District Headquarters there’s little human activities going on at the said market. Poor physical condition of the market has been singled out as major reason as to why the market has never attracted traders as it is hilly and rocky and the traders are forced to showcase their goods on the rocks and this has scared them away. On each market day you will hardly find more than ten traders at the market. Generally Lumakanda town like some other urban centers in most settlement scheme started with settlement of colonial farmers in the larger Lugari district. It did not grow rapidly due to lack of impetus like lack of industry, infrastructure and commerce. The general picture of Lumakanda town on both government and private land is characterized with very old buildings and mushrooming of informal structures which do not follow any order of planning. This scenario calls for planning intervention to achieve order, efficiency, harmony and compatible urban environment. Origin of Lumakanda town Lumakanda is derived from a Luhya word ‘khurikanda’ meaning reconstruction or amends after the tribal wars among the Luhyas, Kalenjin and the Maasai. The current Lumakanda location was originally owned by five white settlers whereby the present town area was owned by C. J. Morrison Law and was named block A. His farmhouse is the oldest building in town, it later became the headquarters of the settlement scheme and called Turbo complex [present Lumakanda]. The farm house was built in 1930s and is currently used as a church and offices by the Pentecostal Assemblies God.

Lumakanda, Lugari District headquarters is no more than a sleepy hamlet without any urban infrastructure. Ten years after it was designated as district headquarters, the local open-air market attracts less than 10 traders on any given market day. Photo: Westfm

Wamalwa takes campaign to Wetangula's backyard

By Westfm, July5 2011
As the Eugene Wamalwa wave gradually gains momentum through the entire Bungoma county, with rallies spanning across the breath of his arch rival Moses Wetangula's backyard, political analysts say that his candidature will be a key fundamental factor in determining who will face PM Raila Amolo Odinga. Sentiments of Luhya unity, voter registration, youth employment and development agenda took centre stage as Eugene and crew went out in full force to sell their agenda and seek supporters for his presidential bid. Speaker after speaker implored upon leaders from the region to focus on unity that can be used as a vehicle to champion the needs and dreams of the people from the region. “The differences that have existed between the Bukusu's and the rest of the sub-dialects of the Luhya people, should come to an end, for the entire region is to suppor Eugene's candidature,” asserted Hon. Soita Shitanda, MP for Malava and New Ford Kenya party leader. He added that as the Chairman of the New Ford Kenya, he was presidential material but he had opted to shelve his dream and support that of Eugene for the betterment of the Luhya community. Hon. Bonny Khalwale tickled the mammoth crowd when he castigated Hon. Wentangula and Hon. Bifwoli Wakoli to abandon their fruitless dreams of becoming the next president as it amounted to the Luhya community washing their dirty linen in public. More...

Rugby coach Anyimba fired

By Ayumba Ayodi, July 5 2011
The entire national sevens rugby team’s technical bench has been fired. Sources in the team disclosed that the top four have already received their termination letters from the National Squads and Elite Performance committee headed by former professional star, Edward Rombo. However, the source indicated that the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) board is yet to discuss or endorse the sacking. But the acting general manager, Barbara Kokonya, said the Union would communicate officially before the end of the day on Monday. Those targeted are said to be head coach Benjamin Ayimba, assistant coach Felix “Toti” Ochieng, team manager Oscar Osir and alternative team manager Newton Ong’alo. Physical and conditioning coach The 2009 national sevens champions Strathmore coach, Mitch Ocholla, is reported to have taken over the reins from Ayimba. The former Impala and Kenya team winger/centre will be assisted by Charles Cardovillis. Cardovillis is a former Nondescript and Kenya team utility back. Mwamba Rugby Football Club team manager, John Mbae, will serve under the same capacity at the national sevens team. The fate of team’s physical and conditioning coach, Geoffrey Kimani, was not known but sources disclosed that he has retained his portfolio. More...

Benjamin Anyimba
Sacked: Kenya national rugby coach, Benjamin Anyimba.
Chris Okemo
Nambale MP Chris Okemo facing extradition to UK on money laundering charges along with Sam Gichuru, former KPLC CEO.
US piles pressure on Okemo extradition

By Caroline Wafula, July 5 2011
Britain on Tuesday piled pressure on the government for the extradition of Nambale MP Chris Okemo and former parastatal chief Samuel Gichuru on corruption charges. British High Commissioner to Kenya Rob Macaire said the fraud cases were solid and rejected arguments that the two should not be extradited given the claims that the charges were not offences in Kenya when they were committed. In a meeting with the Attorney General Amos Wako, Mr Macaire said there is sufficient evidence for extraditing the two. Mr Macaire noted that the case involving businessman Yagnesh Devani, who is wanted in Kenya over the Sh7.6 billion Triton Petroleum scam will be heard on on July 11. However, AG Amos Wako noted that investigations are being conducted by the prosecutions office and the British government will be notified on the progress. Mr Okemo and Mr Gichuru have been accused of taking bribes amounting to Sh900 million from foreign businesses that had contracts with KPLC. Mr Gichuru was the KPLC boss between 1983 and 2003 and it was during his tenure that the company was partially privatised. More...

Marende relied on Wako's advice that MPs are tax exempt

By our correspondents, July 5 2011
Attorney General Amos Wako wrote two letters to the House Speaker advising that MPs should not pay tax in their current term. Mr Wako, the chief government adviser, also said the term “tax” was not defined in the new Constitution. The two letters were written less than a month before the August 4 referendum on the draft constitution. The letters are believed to have influenced a majority of MPs to support the draft as some had threatened to campaign against the document if their pay was taxed. Mr Wako said in one of the letters that the issue of taxation was not “as clear cut as it looks”. Mr Wako argued that sections of the old constitution dealing with the Executive and National Accord should remain in force until after the next General Election, including MPs’ salaries. In the letters that he described as “my opinion”, Mr Wako said requirements in the new constitution that would have made it mandatory for MPs to pay tax would be suspended until after next year’s General Election. But he admitted that under the new Constitution, “no law may exclude or authorise the exclusion of a state officer from payment of tax”. Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo has said the use of the word “may” would be used discretionally, meaning that MPs could be exempted from paying taxes nonetheless. Under Article 260, Mr Wako said, a state officer includes an MP. More...

Goons hired to sabotage Malakisi budget: Budget reading in Malakisi Town Council was halted as opposing groups of councilors hired goons to block the finance chairman Ignatius Nalianya presenting the budget to Wananchi. Hardly had the finance chair begun reading the budget at the town Hall, than the highly charged youth rocked the room causing commotion that brought things to a standstill. More...
Kenneth Marende and Amos Wako
Attorney General Amos Wako (left) and House Speaker Kenneth Marende going through a legal document. The two learned friends are embroled in a raging national storm over MPs taxation with Marende saying his opposition to legislators paying tax is based on advice given by Wako.

TJRC in Busia told of Iteso pain

By Iyan Richard and Frankline Bwire, July 5 2011
Busia residents narrated their perspectives, expressing concern over the increased cases of violence against Women and children in Teso Community. Speaking during a public hearing held by the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission(TJRC) at the County Council of Busia, Mary Emadau a councilor and a teacher by profession in Malaba, said that 90 per cent of issues affecting women in Teso is gender based violence. Emadau expressed concern that women and children continue to be subjected to psychological abuses, among them assault, besides the physical abuse including rape and defilement. She noted that some women in the area experience harsh treatment which can even lead to death. She cited a case in which a man beat his wife to death, only for him and the police officers to issue out a report that she died of pneumonia. She added that similar cases have continued to be on the increase in the community, with the perpetrators walking scot free. “Several perpetrators have taken advantage of money to settle scores, when such cases, including rape arise, a move that has made it difficult for justice to be undertaken against those involved,” said Emadau. More...

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