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65-year old cattle thief stoned, roasted to death in Bungoma

By Trixi Luvindi and Tawai Toywa, June 30 2011
Angry residence of Kibuke in Mayanja area Thursday morning stoned and set ablaze a 65 year old suspect cattle thief after he attempted to sell the animal at the local market at a throw away price. The man identified as Wanyama Kingi, allegedly stole the bull from Mr. Titus Simiyu Wednesday night. A spirited search for the bull was mounted by neigbours after word went round that the bull was missing but the search had born no fruits after combing through the village until the owner received a call from a friend who said he had spotted a bull resembling the lost one at the market. The man in possession was immediately attacked by residents once the bull was identified as stolen. However, the man cheated death by a whisker when he said that he had only bought the bull and pointed to Mr. Wanyama as the man who had sold it to him. This shifted the attention of the angry mob to the thief who descended on him with all manner of weapons ignoring his cries for mercy. After a thorough beating, he was set ablaze using paraffin that to the mobs' disappointment, did not do the trick, after several attempts, the fire caught on and eventually killed him. According to the infuriated residents, Wanyama has gotten away with petty theft for over seventeen years but his 40 days had come. Wanyama died at noon and his scorched body was left in the hot midday sun on display to motorists in the middle of the road. More...

Wanyama Kingi
Roasted alive like a burnt sacrifice: A cattle thief suspect identified as Wanyama Kingi was doused in kerosene and set alight at Kibuke in Mayanja, Bungoma today.
Wanyama Kingi is dead
Forty days of a thief: The suspect finally succumbed to flames and collapsed dead at noon as the lynch mob watched. Residents described him as a seasoned petty thief who terrorised them for 17 years. His waterloo came when he alleedly stole a bull belonging to Titus Simiyu and tried to sell in on the local cattle market but a villager identified it and alerted the owner. Photos: Westfm
Kakamega lawyer jailed for two years for stealing MP's phone

By Roselyn Obala, June 30 2011
A lawyer found himself on the opposite side of the law after he was found guilty of stealing a mobile phone. Derrick Mango, jointly with others not before court, were found guilty of stealing a Blackberry mobile phone worth Sh50,000 and handling stolen property. The accused, who appeared before Kakamega Resident Magistrate, Peter Ooko, was charged with stealing a mobile phone belonging to Gender and Children Affairs Assistant Minister Manyala Keya. “Going by evidence on record, I have no doubt whatsoever that the phone actually belongs to Mr Keya,” said the Magistrate. “In my findings, without any direct evidence linking the accused, the lost phone was actually found in his possession three weeks after it was reported stolen,” stated the magistrate. Ooko said the accused could not claim any property rights over the phone. The phone has since been returned to the owner. The learned friend was sentenced to two years imprisonment or a fine of Sh20, 000. The lawyer was found in possession of the mobile phone on January 16, last year, in his office at Derrick Mango and Company Advocates in Kakamega. Mango denied the charge and said he was not at Golf Hotel, Kakamega, on the day the mobile phone was stolen. Keya, who is also the MP for Lurambi, and Investigating Officer, Inspector Godfrey Mangesa testified in the case. The assistant minister told the court how he lost his mobile phone at Golf Hotel, on December 23, 2009 where he had been invited for a funds drive in aid of a local hospital. Keya filed a report at the Criminal Investigations Department in Nairobi on December 28, 2009. More...

Manyala Keya
Lurambi MP, Manyala Keya lost his blackberry phone at Kakamega Golf Hotel.

Cane farmer's victory: The Government has yielded to pressure from cane farmers to postpone the Kenya Sugar Board (KSB) elections. The elections will now be held on July 21 and not July 12 as Agriculture Minister Sally Kosgei had earlier announced. Over 400, 000 cane farmers in the sugar cane growing zones will elect new directors of the board. Acting KSB Chief Executive Officer Solomon Odera said the elections were postponed to allow farmers to register as voters. Farmers from Nzoia and Mumias had vowed to move to court to block the elections if the dates were not adjusted. More...
Doctor arrested for attempting to defile 15-year old patient

By Vincent Mabatuk, June 30 2011
A doctor who attempted to defile his patient has been arrested in Koibatek District. Police were called to Equator Dispensary after a Form One student who had gone for treatment allegedly stormed out of the facility complaining of sexual harassment by the doctor. Confirming the incident, Koibatek area police boss Karisa Mwaringa said the 15 year-old student visited the Government-run medical facility after complaining of illness. However, while she was inside, the doctor told her to accompany him to an examination room for further screening. But while inside the dark room, the suspect started touching her private parts forcing her to flee and inform her teachers about the incident. The doctor has since been arrested and is waiting to be arraigned in an Eldama Ravine court. Mid this month, another doctor was arrested in the same district after defiling a Standard Seven pupil under similar circumstances. More...

Pokomo lullaby that became Kenya's national anthem

By Mark Agutu, June 30 2011
B-e-e mdondo b-e-,e B-e-e mdondo b-e-,e Akudhobee niganie, Huende hukawabige, Wantu wa makondeni, Mwezi u-ya-wa chw-e-e-e. This Pokomo song might not strike Kenyans as being of any significance, nationalistic or otherwise. For it is just a lullaby with words whose meaning is far removed from anything to do with national pride or politics… until, that is, someone sings it out aloud. Then it would dawn on listeners that what they are hearing is the tune of Kenya’s National Anthem. Just how did a simple village lullaby end up lending its tune to a song whose stanzas highlight the country’s sovereignty and its people’s resolve to protect and defend it? The man credited with crafting the Anthem has the answer… although his role has been largely forgotten and ignored. Mzee Galana Morowa Menza lives in Wenje, Galole in Tana River County. Seated in the shade of a tree outside his makuti-thatched mud hut, he is graceful in old age, enjoying the company of his grandchildren. Despite his age – his national identity card gives 1919 as his year of birth, making him a sprightly 92 – Mzee Galana demonstrates an inbred courtesy, rising to his feet and offering visitors his own seat. As a young boy, he says, juggling school and cattle rearing, he found education to be fun, made more interesting by his German missionary teacher Herman Muller assisted by Mr Amos Chadhoro. While at school he became interested in music that later it became a pastime that would take him many places. He left school in class six at the onset of World War Two and together with other young men, were rounded up to work as guides for the British forces engaging the Italians in East Africa. More...

galana menza
Mzee Galana Menza at his Wenje village home in Galole, Tana River. His tune was used to compose the National Anthem but has nothing to show for it. Photo: Laban Walloga

Vihiga residents displaced without compensation

By John Kabaka, June 28 2011
Cases of displacement of people from the ancestral lands to other infertile rocky areas and injuries during the post election period prevailed the second day of the truth justice and reconciliation commission hearings in Kakamega Municipal Hall. Many of the witnesses said after being displaced by force without any notice and consultation. Instead they were taken to rocky lands where they were expected to settle without any compensation of the destroyed wealth in the former lands. A spokesman for teh group, Pius Ahenda Ogalo said the land they were sent to was very rocky and no fertile soil would be seen. “We were moved in the year 1986 and we taken to that place where there was no land but stony place, no fertile soil would be seen but small stones that nothing would grow on, even if I took you to the place, you will be full of mercies, you could even run away if you looked at the water we use,” said Ogalo He said his wealth was destroyed including his house, animals, coffee plants, banana plantations and yet he was not compensated in any way. “We have big problems in Shiru we have no health facilities, we have no water we walk for a very long distance in search of Medicare it is only recently that the area member of parliament built us a school in the region,” said Ogalo. More than 28 families were moved to pave way for government offices and schools in Mbale and Vokoli. More...

Western youth challenged to become entrepreneurs

By Carolyn Wamalwa, June 30 2011
Youth from western province have been deemed as individuals who have for a long time shunned away from starting and investing in their own businesses as a source of stable income. This was revealed this Thursday by the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEFD) Chief Executive Officer Mwatata Mwangale during the ongoing Youth Enterprise exhibition held at the KICC Nairobi. “Western Kenya is one of the regions that for quite some time, we have had a low uptake of loans, but now slowly things are changing, we have had issues of low uptake as well as appreciating culture of entrepreneurship. I encourage youth from the region to know that it is possible and we are ready to partner with them to help them grow, nurture and mentor them to be able to create their own business,” he said. In an exclusive interview with West Fm, Mwangale confirmed that there had been for a long time the problem with the youth from certain regions in the country including the Coast, South Nyanza, North Eastern and Western embracing the initiative and showing up to secure loans that will help them better their lives through starting own business ventures, a trend of which he confirms that has slowly started fading away, but says that more youth need to show up and acquaint themselves with the fund. Mwangale further urged those interested in the fund to come together in groups and better still form SACCOs as a way of speeding up the processes of loan approval, giving an example of youth from Kisumu who work as Boda boda cyclists and have come together to form a SACCO, which in turn wants to be delegated with the responsibility of a financial institution to be issuing the loans the youth in the region. “We are now encouraging the youth to come together as a group and form SACCOs, because it is easier to allocate funds when they are together. More...

Mwatata Mwangale
Mwatata Mwangale, the chief executive of Youth Enterprise Development Fund. He challenged youth from Western to take up business.

Amagoro MP relinguishes ODM post in to vie for top post in Busia County

By Reuben Olita, June 30 2011
The Amagoro ODM chairman has stepped down ahead of countrywide grassroots elections that start tomorrow. Sospeter Ojaamong said he relinquished his position to contest for the chairmanship at the county level, which will be more appropriate as he is also interested in the Busia governor post. The location elections will be held on Saturday, constituency on Sunday and county elections on Monday. Ojaamong said he has formally delinked himself from Amagoro to Teso in line with the new constitution and the recent split of the constituency into two. The MP said he is seeking the top seat in the county owing to his vast experience over two decades as Ford Kenya vice chairman, NDP National Secretary General and KANU Deputy Secretary General. With Ojaamong out of Amagoro constituency, the battle to succeed him is gaining momentum with his deputy Peter Ipara hoping to take up the vacant position.

Academic programs affected as Maseno faces shs300m shortfall

By Mathews Ndanyi, June 30 2011
Maseno University requires more than Sh300 million to facilitate proper running of its programmes. Vice Chancellor Dominic Makawiti says the university has a shortfall in its annual budget and can not operate smoothly without adequate funding. He said they are in the process of implementing the university’s strategic plan and the budget shortfall had affected some of the panned activities. The VC said the university management is working to raise part of the money through alternative means including parallel degree programmes at the college. “Some of our programmes have been affected but we ensure that the key areas are running smoothly. We plan to raise the shortfall through internal mechanisms,” said Makawiti. The VC was speaking in Eldoret where he officially opened the 2011 E-Learning workshop for the university’s staff. Maseno’s e-Learning director Dr Betty Ogange was present at the opening. He said the university has developed more courses which attract high enrolment which is one of the main sources for revenue for the university. “Since we started the Kisumu Town Campus it has achieved tremendous and amazing growth making it a key campus for our university and we plan to expand it even further,” said Makawiti. Maseno has also introduced attractive courses at the Homa Bay Campus through which the university had been able to raise an additional Sh7 million. The e-Learning programmes are geared towards helping students to access university education without attending lectures. More...


Disabled start getting welfare

By Daniel Saenyi, June 29 2011
In the implementation of the constitution, the government has taken the disabled in consideration by providing them with the disability fund to cater for their needs. Chwele district disability fund was officially launched by the District officer Miss. Dorothy Nyukuri on 28th June 2011. Disabled people are not commonly seen moving around in the society because of stigma, and in some cases, disability is inability. Some people are extensively crippled that they can’t get through life without help. As much as disability is a pity in most cases, some cases are brought about by total arrogance or ignorance of the parents like Polio disabilities. Some parents skip the vaccinations and later blame it on the government for not helping out. Mrs. Rose Om’malia, the District Social Development Officer for Chwele said that the government has issued Sh 667 million in the current budget for the disabled and Sh 335 million for people with severe disabilities. The launch of the fund experienced a low turn out because people are not aware of the launch yet. More...

dorothy nyukuri, chwele
Kenya's disabled no longer have to suffer the indignity of discrimination and economin privation. It is a small step in securing financial independence for this segment of society. This was the scene at Chwele, Bungoma at the start of disability fund handouts.
Workers paralyse services at Nambale due to wage dispute

By Frankline Bwire and Iyan Richard
More than 30 Nambale Town Council workers paralyzed work yesterday, in demand for their dues worth sh. 7 million not paid for the last five months. Camping at their office premises, the workers boycotted the collection of tax at the market, giving it an added advantage to the traders. Addressing the workers, the Secretary of the Kenya Local Government Workers Union Western Area Mr. Juvenalis Orao urged the workers to resume their duties, asserting that they will receive their dues by Friday. “They should receive their pay for duties they undertook in November and December 2010, besides April, May and June 2011. It is their right to demand for their sweat,” he said. He expressed concern that some council workers had taken loans but the council was not remitting the money to the bank for a full year, resulting to some of them receiving notices from bank authorities. He said that Nambale has a lot of funds being collected through taxes, but misuse of council resources by certain officials had made the town to lag behind in terms of development. Orao maintained that corrupt officials will not be tolerated, adding that they are set to meet on 13 th next month, when they will scrutinize the council’s documents to ascertain the truth. “The council cannot fight corruption if workers can go for six months without pay, yet they are the ones who collect the money." He challenged the Union officials to be vigilant to ensure that the workers’ rights are not abused, calling upon for togetherness in the undertaking of duties as expected. On his part, the Town clerk Robert Luvisi, assured them to contain the situation to ensure that duties return to normal. The Nambale town council collects between sh. 25,000 and sh. 30,000 on Tuesday, while sh.60,000 on Saturday being the only market days for the town. More...

nambale council
All roads lead to Nambale but today no one was being served as the council services suffered a paralysis occasioned by striking workers demanding wage arrears of more than shs7m. Photo: Frankline Bwire

G7 on a 3-day blitz in Bungoma

By Simbi Kusimba, June 29 2011
Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa, Eldoret North counterpart William Ruto and Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta have finalized plans to stage a three-day political blitz to drum support for their nascent G7 Alliance in Bungoma County from Friday to Sunday. The three will be bolstered by New Ford Kenya party leader and Housing minister Soita Shitanda and Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale at the five rallies which organizers have already notified police in Bungoma. The rallies will kick off with the homecoming party of councillor Benjamin Wekesa in Kimilili North on Friday. The G7 players who all nurse ambitions to succeed President Kibaki when he retires next year will then make a foray into the Bumula backyard of Lands assistant minister Bifwoli Wakoli on Saturday. Wakoli has also declared interest in the presidency. Interestingly, the three have lined up three rallies on Sunday at Nalondo, Mukhweya and Chwele markets in Sirisia constituency represented by Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang'ula, another presidential contender; who is battling Wamalwa for support in Bungoma. More...

Fish farming goes full steam in Lugari, Shinyalu, Malava

By Joseph Otieno, June 29 2011
Farmers in Lugari, Shinyalu and Malava districts have been urged to venture into fish farming as a sure way of strengthening their income. Speaking while presenting over 41,000 fingerlings to 41 farmers in Lugari, Fisheries officer John Gitau underlined the value of fish farming arguing that it ensured increased domestic incomes and at the same time provided a balanced diet. He noted that the government had set aside millions of shillings through the economic stimulus project with a view to promoting fish farming among rural communities. Gitau pointed out the government has been able under the first phase to sink over 200 fish ponds in 140 Constituencies countrywide adding that benefiting farmers were also given fingerlings accompanied with feeds. More...

SHinyalu Malava fish
A happy Lugari farmer receives fingerlings from a fisheries officer, Mr John Gitau during a ceremony at Lumakanda, Lugari. The campaign to boost fish farming costs shs50,000 per farmer. Photo: Joseph Otieno
Cartels frustrating land reforms, says PS Angote

By Steve Mkawale, June 29 2011
Corruption cartels have ganged up to frustrate reforms at the Ministry of Lands, PS Dorothy Angote has said. She said the cartels are not happy with the new management system at Ardhi House that would curb rampant corruption. "People are not happy with the new system that has made Kenyans seek services from this institution rather than individuals," said the PS. Ms Angote said the new management system has enabled the ministry for the first time to collect Sh7.6 billion in revenue for the current financial year. "By Friday last week, we had collected Sh7 billion from stamp duty and land rates this financial year. In 2000-2010 Sh6 billion was collected. All this is because we have completely changed the systems here and many people are not happy," she said. Angote said brokers were scared of the introduction of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure and National Spatial Planning systems that have eliminated corruption. "The brokers are not happy with computerisation of land documents and are now spreading propaganda about operations at the ministry, " she said. The PS disclosed that the ministry is investigating about 165 law firms over stamp duty evasion. More...

Cartels are not happy with the new management system at Ardhi House that would curb rampant corruption

dorothy angote
Dorothy Angote, lands permanent secretary. Cartels are frustrating her efforts at reforming land management in Kenya, she says.
amos wako
Embattled Attorney General, Amos Wako: 'It wasn't me'.
Wako denies delaying crucial bill as rights body call for his sacking

By our correspondent, June 29 2011
The Attorney-General on Wednesday deflected the blame directed at his office for the delay in presenting the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Bill, 2011, for assent. “The delay is as a result of procedural steps between Parliament and the AG’s office before a Bill gets signed to become law,” the State Law Office said. This Bill lays the foundation for electoral zones and setting up the electoral commission. Attorney-General Amos Wako, who is abroad on an official trip, said that even though Parliament approved the Bill on May 31, it was not until June 15 that the National Assembly forwarded it for him to put final touches and to present to the President. Upon receipt of the Bill and Hansard records of the proceedings prior to the Third Reading, Mr Wako said, he spent seven days going through the documents and had thus finalised his bit. He said he submitted the Bill to Parliament for approval on June 21. “This was particularly crucial as the Bill had been extensively amended before passage. “It is also the procedure that before a Bill is presented for assent, the Clerk must certify it as a true copy of the Bill as passed by the National Assembly,” the AG said in a statement signed by Dominic Onyango, the public relations officer at the State Law Office. More...

Boda boda dies as he crashes into matatu in Malaba

By Reuben Olita, June 28 2011
A boda boda operator crashed into a matatu in Malaba yesterday morning. Meshack Imo, 35, was thrown under the matatu and was trapped underneath the engine in the Malaba-Busia road accident. Malaba residents helped to retrieve the body after the matatu was overturned. A man who was being ferried on the motorcycle suffered broken limbs and was rushed to Kocholia District Hospital. Siraji Wanja, a welder said the matatu which was being driven by a tout was trying to negotiate a corner at high speed when it collided with the on-coming cylist. The cyclist's father, Sebastiano Inagai, fainted when he saw the remains of his son. Meshack's widow, Beatrice Amusugut, 30, said life will not be the same again as her husband was the breadwinner in her family of six. Residents blamed Malaba Town Council for failing to construct the Malaba-Busia road. But council chairman Chrisntus Ipala said the Kenya Roads Authority which maintains the roads and should be held accountable. The matatu which is owned by a prominent Malaba businessman was towed to the Malaba police station. Residents had stormed the Malaba police station to view the body which had been brought to the station en route to the mortuary but the police to sent them away. The police removed the body to Bungoma District Hospital mortuary as they launched investigations into the incident. More...

Meshack Imo
Curious onlookers mill around the undercarriage of a matatu in which a boda boda taxi cyclist was trapped to death yesterday.

Migori gets a university

President Mwai Kibaki has elevated Moi Institute of Technology-Kitere in Migori into a university college. The President confirmed the new status in a gazette notice published on Friday. The university in Rongo will operate as a constituent of Moi University and is expected to be fully operational in the next academic year.

Fire destroys businesses in Makutano, Bungoma

By Westfm, June 28 2011
It was looting galore at Makutano near Kanduyi Township in Bungoma as a raging fire gutted down a building destroying businesses and property worth thousands of shillings. The ravenous fire that exploded at around 10am spread through the premise forcing the roof to cave in and charred woods to spark all over the place. A KPLC official at the scene said that the cause of the fire might be due to an electrical fault in one of the shops. An entrepreneur at the building lost 15 computers which are said to have been acquired through a bank loan and was yet to complete loan repayment. At the time the entrepreneur was in great shock that she would not speak. A neighboring retail shop had all its merchandise up in flames as a hungry mass made fortune on others misery as they looted without sympathy to the affected. West Fm has since learnt that none of the business was insured against the risk. Residence and well wishers tried to salvage some properties from the burning premise as they waited impatiently for the sluggish Municipal council Firefighters to come to their rescue. The fire fighting truck arrived after most of the building had been destroyed. More...

One entrepreneur lost 15 computers acquired through a bank loan which she was still paying

Makutano fire
A fireman battles an inferno that gutted shops at Makutano in Bungoma leaving businesses staring at millions of losses. Photo: Westfm

Secondary school deputy commits suicide

By Justus Ochieng, June 28 2011
The body of deputy principal of Kero Siret Mixed Secondary School in Nandi North was over the weekend found dangling from a roof top of a church. Charles Owino Okoth, 43, is said to have committed suicide at Kit Nyasaye Church in Komenya, Siaya district. A pastor of the church said he found the body dangling from the roof. He raised an alarm attracting a huge crowd. the police were later called in. Siaya police boss Stephen Cheteka said no suicide note was recovered from the scene. He said a bus ticket was retrieved from his body indicating that the deceased had travelled from Kisumu to Siaya on Thursday last week. The OCPD added that the body had no physical injuries. The OCDP said police have launched investigations to ascertain the reason behind the suicide. More...

Land grabber drew pistol on protesting students, TJRC told

By Benson Amadala, June 28 2011
Complaints of grabbed land and eviction of families from their homes dominated proceedings as the Truth commission began public hearings in Kakamega. A primary school head teacher told the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission he feared for his life after speaking up about alleged grabbing of the institution’s land. The witness, Mr David Ikunza said he received threats whenever he raised the issue of the land, which he claimed was illegally allocated to a private developer. Mr Ikunza said the school lost the land to the developer in 2004. A confrontation erupted at the school when the developer sent his workers to beat up pupils who were trying to pull down a perimeter wall under construction on the land. He told the commission that is chaired by Ms Tecla Namachanja (pictured left) that a former Kakamega OCS had drawn his pistol and threatened to shoot the pupils after they started pelting workers with stones. Two pupils were injured in the incident, he explained. Mr Ikunza said the police and Lands ministry officials did nothing to help resolve the matter, forcing the school to seek legal redress. “I have been receiving threats on this matter and I fear something nasty could happen to me because of what I have told this commission,” said Mr Ikunza. The commissioners told him to report any more threats for investigations. In Vihiga County, families moved from Mbale and Vokoli to create room for construction of a secondary school presented a memorandum, seeking to be compensated. More...

simon nabukwesi
Simon Nabukwesi, Kenya's High Commissioner to Canada.

Envoy opposed to provincial school upgrade

By Westfm reporters, June 27 2011
Uplifting of selected schools into national schools in every province continues elicit diverse reactions from leaders in western Kenya as they fear missing on admission chances should the quota system be used. The Quota system provides for 65 per cent chance for locals in the area to be accepted to the provincial schools but if they are upgraded, the locals will get lower chance of about 15 per cent. In Western province, Lugulu and Kamusinga boys are among the proposed schools for the upgrade, however, the Kenyan High Commissioner to Canada Mr. Simon Nabukwess is against the proposed move. He said that Kamusinga is among the top schools in the country even though it is a provincial school. More...

Hunt is on for 19 underage girls married off to elderly men

By Nick Oluoch, June 28 2011
The Provincial Administration in Kuria West District has embarked on a mission to rescue 19 underage schoolgirls allegedly married off by their parents in the last one week. Chiefs and children’s officers have been combing the entire district and the neighbouring Kuria East to locate the homes where the pupils are living. Speaking yesterday, area children’s officer John Langat admitted it had been an uphill task winning the war against child marriages in the region as new cases emerge each day. "Out of the 19 new cases reported this week, 11 girls dropped out of various schools in Nyanchabo sub-location" he said adding that some of them have married men as old as 50. Most of the mismatched unions occurred during the month of May, which saw four girls, two in class eight and the others in class six and seven drop out from a primary school in Masaba division. Langat who was addressing the press in his Kehancha office said four other married girls were aged between 12 and 16. The illegal marriages were consented by either one of the pupils’ parent or both after they got a promise of a hefty dowry said Langat. More...

Ministry holds health seminar for Bungoma youth

By Trix Luvindi and Tawai Toywa, June 28 2011
Hundreds of Bungoma residents were over the weekend treated to a free educational seminar sponsored by the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation dubbed the The C Date. Under the theme ‘ Don’t take chances, take control’ the event is being held across the country during weekends aimed at entertaining and educating the youth on various issues that affect them directly or Those who turned up at the seminar held at Kanduyi, were taught about contraceptives, Financial management, HIV/AIDS, Nutrition and personal and general beauty and Hygiene. The main focus of the workshop however was about contraceptives. Both women and men were given an opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge about the different contraceptives available in the market at the current, their use, advantages and side effects. Through the tutors at the workshop attendants got to ask questions about contraceptives and have various myths surrounding the concept dispelled. At the same time, the officials offered guidance and counseling to the youth and encouraging them to know their HIV/AIDS status Under the financial tent dubbed ‘Jipange’ the youth were taught how to manage themselves financially and how prepare, groom and conduct themselves when attending an interview. More...

bungoma dating
Hundreds of Bungoma residents were over the weekend treated to a free educational seminar sponsored by the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation dubbed the The C Date. Photo: Westfm

KWS to revamp parks in Western

By Justus Ochieng, June 28 2011
The Kenya Wildlife Service will rehabilitate and restock game parks and national reserves in Western to increase revenue collection. The KWS assistant director in charge of Western region Daniel Onsembe said the Western tourism circuit has diversified attraction sites which need to be rehabilitated. He said with the recent rehabilitation of the Kisumu Impala Sanctuary and the caves, KWS has managed to collect Sh15 million revenue last year and that they expect the figure to double. Onsembe was speaking at a workshop in Siaya town on the planned gazettement of Lake Kanyaboli to a game reserve. He said plans are underway to introduce three rhinos at the Ruma and Impala sanctuary. More...

Jirongo kills his one-man party, joins Ruto's UDM

By Joseph Otieno, June 27 2011
He said the move was aimed at improving his political affiliations as he prepares to join the grant match to State House later next year. The move also has served a death knell to his former party KADDU where he was currently the only Member of Parliament on the party’s ticket. Jirongo, as he announced his move, lauded UDM pointing out that theparty was now assuming a national outlook. His official presidential campaigns, he said will kick off next month where he anticipates addressing the crowd at Mbale grounds in Vihiga County on July 30th, the turf of his political nemesis Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government Musalia Mudavadi. The Lugari legislator however was fast to say that he had just went back to his party, that together with former Cherangany MP Kipruto arap Kirwa founded in the 90’s after they fell out with retired president Daniel arap Moi in KANU. The MP who was addressing his constituents at the Pan Paper grounds pledged to ensure that squatters who were settled in the Mautuma forest were issued with title deeds to avoid the replication of the Mau forest saga. His announcement also coincides that of Tindret MP Henry Kosgey who said he was with William Ruto and would support him in his bid for the presidency. However, Jirongo’s move seems to have poked holes in the Luhya unity that he has been preaching alongside MPs Eugene Wamalwa, Wakoli Bifwoli, Chris Okemo among others as he did not chose to join either of their parties. Recently, during the homecoming party for Ikolomani MP Dr. Bonny Khalwale, Jirongo was challenged by Khalwale to say which side he was standing and which seat he will be vying in the 2012 elections. More...

Musikari Kombo
Peace envoy: From left Bungoma County Council Chairman Julius Bakasa, nominated MP Musikari Kombo and the Mt.Elgon MP Fred Kapondi at Sendera SA Church in Mt Elgon during a funds drive over the weekend.

Cyrus Jirongo
Cyrus Jirongo, the Lugari MP: Ditched his own party, KADDU to join William Ruto's UDM thus poking holes in any attempt to unify the Luhya behind one political vehicle.

Nzoia changes name: The annual general meeting for the embattled Nzoia Outgrowers Company was at the weekend held despite a group of farmers going to court to have it canceled. The meeting, held at the Mabanga Farmers Training Institute, saw the farmers change the company to Nzoia Outgrowers Limited Mpya. More...
Kombo goes to Mt Elgon on a peace mission

By Protus Simiyu, June27 2011
Nominated Member of Parliament Musikari Kombo led a delegation of over thirty councilors to Mt. Elgon in a bit to foster unity and coexistence among the major tribes within Bungoma County ahead of next year’s general elections that will realize the formation of County Governments under the new constitution. Kombo told residents of Mt. Elgon that Bungoma County has the potential to become Kenya’s power house only if there is peace, unity, coexistence and good visionary leadership. He assured the Sabaoti, Teso and Tachoni communities that they will not be left out in the leadership and governance of the expansive county. ‘’We must look for the best way how to share the seats equally and equitably because we are under one county,’’ Kombo asserted. The MP warned the inhabitants of the mountain to forget the past and work closely with other communities for their own prosperity and the entire Bungoma County. Owing to fertile soils and good climatic conditions in the region, he was optimistic the County is able to produce enough food to feed the whole of Western region, Nyanza and part of Rift Valley only if important strategic measures are put in place and implemented to the latter. Adding that the availability of historic caves and pigmy elephants in Mt Elgon-that cannot be found anywhere else in the world-are best examples that can bring foreign money through tourism if tapped. Kombo urged people of Mt Elgon to support the Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa in his presidential bid saying he is able to unite the whole country. Further he urged the old to swallow their pride, embrace and support youthful leaders insisting that time for real change is ripe come 2012. More...

Family of dead Mwau car detective suspect foul play

By Nyambega Gisesa, June 27 2011
The detective who died while investigating Kilome MP Harun Mwau’s vehicle shooting was also a key investigator in the Sh6.4 billion cocaine haul case in 2004. Corporal Gerald Wasike Wanyama collapsed after bleeding from the mouth and nose at Nairobi’s Central Police Station on Saturday. Mr Wanyama, a crime scene officer with connections to Interpol, was also part of the police team involved in the rescue operation during the Nakumatt fire in 2009. Nicknamed “Mrefu” by his friends, his towering image was often captured by photojournalists alongside the cocaine haul throughout the investigations. On Sunday, more than 30 family members and friends, some of whom travelled from as far as Kakamega, visited his home in Pangani to mourn the officer who served the police force for 19 years. “We have lost a pillar in our family, a role model and a dedicated police officer who swore to serve and protect the nation even when faced with danger,” said his nephew Jammins Majimbo, who lived with him. On his sitting room table, there were piles of paper, a dictionary, Interpol training manuals and empty tablet packs. Mr Wanyama had swallowed 24 anti-malaria tablets several days before his mysterious death. He also downed eight tablets used to relieve pain and irritation. Family members who spoke to the Nation said that they suspected foul play in his death. “He was feeling fine since Wednesday... There was no sign of ill health,” his brother Fred Malava said. Officers who spoke to the family said that Mr Wanyama asked for sick leave on Monday and Tuesday and returned to work on Wednesday. He is survived by a wife and three children. More...

patrick ikunza
TJRC CEO Patricia Nyaundi (right) makes a statement during the ongoing Commission hearings at Kakamega as Kakamega Primary School headteacher Patrick Ikunza quenches his thirst. Photo: John Kabaka

TJRC begins hearing tales of injustices in Western

By John Kabaka, June 27 2011
The Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission has finally pitched camp in Kakamega for hearings to provide victims, perpetrators and the general public with a forum of non retributive truth telling. The hearings are being led by the commission’s Chief Executive Officer Patricia Nyaundi. “We are expecting more from the people of this region and we are optimistic that what has been pressing them will be relived for the time we will be here,” she said. Ms Patricia is together with Commissioners Berhanu Dinka from Ethiopia and commissioner retired Major General Sheikh Ahmed Farah. The commission has this morning (Monday) heard from various people in the region. The first one was the head teacher of Kakamega Primary Mr Patrick Ikunza over the issues of school land grabbing. “We have had matters over the issue and what we now want is TJRC help us even more as a community and not as enemies,” said Ikunza. Others included Godfrey Sasala Wekesa a resident whose duty in the forces was terminated in circumstances that are not clear. Mama Truphosa Saisi Olwali is also expected to give her account over the post election extra judicial killings. The hearings are set for two days Monday and Tuesday before the commission heads to Busia County. The final phase of the TJRC runs from 1st August 2010 to November 2011. More...

Marende escapes wrath of Kenyans in US over MPs refusal to pay taxes

By Chris Wamalwa, June 27 2011
House speaker Kenneth Marende apparently escaped the wrath of Kenyans living in the US over the raging taxation issue when he cancelled a meeting that had been scheduled with them Monday. It is believed that the Speaker, who has been in Europe since the taxation saga exploded on the national scene, was under pressure from members of Parliament to rush back home to provide direction on the issue. It was reported in the media that fifty-six MPs had petitioned Marende to recall Parliament to discuss the tax issue, which pits legislators against the electorate. Marende was therefore forced to skip his date with Kenyans in the US despite the fact that the Kenyan Embassy in the US had extensively advertised the meeting. Kenyans in the Diaspora have been frustrated and angered by reports that the MPs are once again trying to wriggle out paying taxes as directed by Kenya Revenue Authority. Marende was to meet with Kenyans living in the US at a cocktail party hosted by Kenya’s ambassador to the USA, Elkanah Odembo at his residence. More...

Breaking news...

Raila pays Sh3.4m tax

Mutava Musyimi pays Sh1.9m

Gerald Wasike Wanyama
Central Police Station where Detective Gerald Wasike Wanyama worked.

Busia mayor refutes reports 50 workers face sacking

By Frankline Bwire, June 27 2011
Busia Mayor John Ojiolloh has dismissed allegations that about 50 workers at the municipal council will be laid off. Mr. Ojiolloh contradicted an earlier statement released by the Council treasurer Slyvace Obondo asserting that despite the layoff targeting to enhance better service delivery, they have come up with a criteria which will be used. He disclosed that those with 55 years and above will be the main target, with those willing to retire voluntarily, besides those with severe health problems. He added that the information released earlier on by certain media houses, was misleading and should not demoralize workers’ morale to undertake their duties. “The person who gave out the information, did not consult the officers in charge,” said Ojiolloh. The Mayor noted that a huge amount of the council’s revenue was directed towards salaries, registering an increased wage bill from sh. 3.5 million to sh. 6 million. “Despite the current number of 143 staff members, contrary to the expected number of 80, we will work together to ensure all is successful,” he said. More...

Detective probing Mwau car shooting drops dead

By Zadock Angira, June 27 2011
A detective who was probing the gun attack on Kilome MP Harun Mwau's vehicle collapsed and died Saturday. Corporal Gerald Wasike, who was attached to the Scenes of Crime at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), started bleeding from the nose and mouth before collapsing, police said. He was rushed to the Nairobi Outpatient Clinic but was pronounced dead on arrival. The officer was examining Mr Mwau's Range Rover at the time of the mysterious incident at the Central Police Station. He was together with his two colleagues and had been assigned the duty of carrying out further forensic and ballistic examination on Mr Mwau’s car that was sprayed with bullets on Thursday night. Corporal Wasike was one of the officers conducting forensic ballistic examination on Mr Mwau’s Range Rover to establish the effects of the bullets on the car and how they could have been fired. By analyzing the interaction of a projectile with its target, detectives are in a position to establish the type and calibre of firearm used. The driver’s door had three bullet holes while the rear right door had one bullet hole. One bullet exited through the co-driver’s door, and the driver’s window was completely shattered by the bullets. More...

Nancy Barasa Politicos meet justices

By Ingwe, June 24 2011
The official portrait of the newly appointed chief justice, Dr Willy Mutunga and his deputy (seated 2nd left), Nancy Baraza (left), director of public prosecutions Kerako Tobiko (right) as they gel with the political class, President Mwai Kibaki (3rd left) and prime minister Raila Odinga (2nd right). Ms Baraza (left) brought her sons: Michael Baraza 28 (standing left), and Yuri Baraza 27 (second left) to witness the crowning moment of her career. The sons' father is John Baraza who now lives in England. The judicial officials were sworn into office on Monday after undergoing gruelling public interviews. They are expected to hit the ground running and initiate reforms that will make courts more transparent and judicious.

Webuye council on the brink of financial collapse

By Rosemary Wachiye, June 24 2011
Webuye Municipal Council is facing a financial crisis after it failed to qualify for Local Authority Transfer Fund (LATF) in last year’s and this financial year’s budget owing to the fact that it owes the government over Sh 70 million in debt. The Webuye Municipal council, Mayor Mr. John Ngome, told the press that the Municipal council could not meet the set deadline of May 31ST of paying off the debts it owed the government. “The council did not manage to meet the set deadline to pay off the debts hence could not qualify for the LATF funding,” said Mr. Ngome. Last year, the council expected to receive Sh 29 Million while this year it expected to receive Sh.41 Million, a fund that would pay the municipal workers and enable the council to carry out diverse developments in Webuye town. “Right now we have arrears of over Sh70 million that the government is supposed to give this council,” said Mr. Ngome. Webuye Municipal is among other nine councils country wide that have not received the LATF funding this financial year though it is the only council in Western Province. “The pay for our workers comes from LATF, we don’t know what will happen soon, since the council is facing a hard financial time, the projects we had started are stalled because we lack funds,” said Mr.Ngome. The efforts by the Municipal Council to get a loan of Sh 50Million, to be able to offset its withstanding debts, were however not successful as they did not produce a letter from the treasury extending the deadline for paying off the debt. More...

john ngome, webuye mayor
Fully robed Webuye mayor, His Worship John Ngome (left) and deputy during a previous function. The council has failed to qualify for Local Authorities Transfer Fund for reneging on past financial commitments.

Omtatah vows to continue demo until Ongeri bows out

By Elizabeth Were, June 24 2011
Civil society activists led by Okoiti Omtatah of Kenyans for Justice and Development Foundation have said they will camp at Jogoo House until Education Minister Sam Ongeri and his PS James Ole Kiyiapi resign over the missing Sh4.2 billion Free Primary Education funds. KACC boss P L O Lumumba has said that the minister and PS should take responsibility for the loss and resign. The group has vowed to keep vigil all day, every day until Ongeri and Kiyiapi step down to pave way for investigations. “ More...

Trans Nzoia East residents hold demo over insecurity

By Leonard Wamalwa, June 24 2011
Residents of Sibanga market and its environs in Trans Nzoia east District staged a peaceful demonstration complaining of the escalating insecurity in the area that has led to them experiencing numerous attacks from gangsters regularly. The residents accuse the Sibanga police patrol base police officers and the area police reservists whom they claimed work in conjunction with some criminals to terrorize them and delay in responding to their calls whenever they are attacked by thugs despite staying a few meters from the market. “These police officers take over 3 hours to come to the scene of attack after ensuring that the thugs who are armed with guns suspected to be belonging to the police reservists are long gone,” they said. They claimed the police reservists harass, arrest and even stealing from them for no apparent reason and even molest their wives in the name of possessing illegal brews including Chang’aa but do nothing to protect them from the gangsters. The patrol base that has less than five officers is said to have been taken over by the home guards that have since pitched camp there instead of keeping surveillance in the villages. “The police reservists arrest our husbands who drive motorbikes and sometimes those who drink local brews and lock them up at the base and then come knocking at our doors to harass us sexually because they know our men have been locked up,” claimed one woman during the demonstration. They have called for a total reshuffle of the police officers at the patrol base and the disbandment of the KPRs in the area whom they said have contributed a lot to the escalation of insecurity in the area and wanted to be involved in the recruitment process of the same security agents. “We want all officers at this base to be transferred and new ones be brought because these ones have overstayed and now collaborate a lot with the gangsters and we also want the patrol base to be upgraded to a full police post or police station to have the number of officers increased and facilities improved,” noted their chairman Muchiri Matandi. More...

Sibanga, Trans Nzoia
Sibanga residents wave placards at the Sibanga market centre in Trans Nzoia East early today during a demo against escalating insecurity in the area. Photo: Leonard Wamalwa

Water borne disease outbreak looms as water shortage bites in Teso, Bumula

By Reuben Olita, June 24 2011
An acute water shortage has hit Teso North district and Bumula in Bungoma for the past three weeks raising fears of an outbreak of water borne diseases. The most affected areas are Amagoro, Angurai and Malakisi divisions. Amagoro businessman George Ndoto said water scarcity has paralysed operations in the town with Kocholia District Hospital especially hard hit and Netima Secondary School closing down. Following the crisis, Ndoto said residents have been forced to fetch water from the nearby Malakisi River. Teso District Water Officer Kenyoru Oyaro confirmed the scarcity saying it was due to a shortage of aluminium sulphate used for treating water. He said the Malakisi treatment works which produces 1,900 cubic metres per day had run out of the chemical. Oyaro said normal water supply will resume by today after the Water ministry intervened. The water officer said the shortage at Bishop Sulumeti Girls in Angurai will be solved in the next two days. The school is still coming to terms with the loss of of a 25-capacity school bus that was used to transport water from the nearest stream for use by the students. More...

Jirongo seeks apology from paper over reports his wealth is linked to YK92

By Fredrick Obura, June 24 2011
Lugari Member of Parliament Cyrus Jirongo is seeking an apology from The Star newspaper for damages he was caused by an article carried in the newspaper on May 24, last year. In a petition filed before the Media Council of Kenya, the MP is demanding for same space correction to help control damages inflicted on him and family members by the article titled ‘Kenyans Beware YK92 is Back’. In his argument Thursday, Jirongo accused the media house of maliciously publishing an article touching on him without seeking his side of the story. “I take offence in the fact that the media house published the article yet it new very well the implications it has on my life and those of my family members,” he said. “I am very well known to the author - Caroline Mutoko, she has my contacts and could have reached me for comments,” he said. Acquired tracts of land In his argument Jirongo alleged the article portrayed him in bad light through insinuation that he is a corrupt individual who illegally acquired large tracts of land in Nairobi through the defunct YK92 grouping. He also distanced himself from allegations that he was involved in printing of money in the run up to 1992 General Election and that YK92 members are overnight millionaires. Jirongo, who could not produce documents before the media council panel to support how he acquired his wealth, said his is a case of hard work and patience. “I have been a businessman interested in real estate, as the chairman of YK92 I did not benefit from the outfit,” he said. More...

silas jirongo
Lugari MP, Silas Jirongo: "I was already a wealthy man before becoming chairman of YK92".

Office shunned over witchcraft

By our correspondent, June 24 2011
Wycliffe Ibanda, the new LC5 chairman for Kaliro district, entered his office on a Friday morning and found a black polythene bag (kaveera) stuffed with fetishes, hidden behind his chair. He would not have seen it immediately had a visitor not drawn his attention to a bed bug that was making its rounds on his chair. “Where has it come from?’ Ibanda wondered, as he got up to swat the little thing. But before he could raise his hand, Ibanda saw the un-believable: Behind his seat was a polythene bag with a piece of paper with words written in Arabic, some dry roots, a piece of animal skin and crushed herbs in it. The acting chief administrative officer, Haruna Kamba, rushed to Ibanda’s office to find out what was wrong. More...

Mt Elgon rape victms speak out at TJRC hearings

By Westfm, June 24 2011
The government has urged to set up an institution that will take up the responsibilities of counseling the victims of post election violence and victims of human rights abuse in Mt Elgon after the end of Truth Justice and Reconciliation public hearings so that they continue to have peace of mind. “For truthful reconciliation to occur the victims and perpetrators all forms of violence in the country need to be taught about forgiveness and how to overcome fear and trauma,” said Ms Mary Noble from Feminenza. She said that the victims could end up being left vulnerable and confused after the end of TJRC unless they are frequently counseled so that they forgive and overcome their fears. Ms Noble said that the presence of national dialogue and reconciliation need to be felt in villages and town for real reconciliation and forgiveness to occur. Speaking in Eldoret after holding a forgiveness and reconciliation training for 25 women in Rift valley and Mt Elgon, Ms Noble said that there was need for victims and perpetrators to speak about what happened so that they can be able to move on. “There is need to create a platform that will enable rape victims and others who were affected by various conflicts to speak out openly and understand that it was not their faultt,” she said. More...

Butere village lit with joy as woman delivers quintuplets

By Joseph Manyasa, June 23 2011
There was joy and happiness at Ebukaya village in Butere district when a 37 year old mother gave birth to quintuplets (five babies) at Butere District hospital. Many people who heard of the were shocked as they have never witnessed such in the village and could not believe leading to many thronging the hospital while others filled the home to have a glimpse of the mother and her babies. Just like the locals, the mother, only identified by one name as Mrs. Amina, was surprised when she delivered the three boys and two girls weighing 800grammes, the second was 1kilogramme, the third 900grammes, fourth 1kilogramme while the fifth one weighed 800grammes respectively according to hospital records. Surprisingly, even the doctors who had been attending to her before delivery, had no clue she would give birth to more than a baby as they were also shocked. They argued that being her fifth delivery, they did not expect her to be carrying five children and also because she has never had such an experience before. Some of the people who gathered at the hospital said that it was a message from God to the community terming it a blessing while others said that was a bad omen. Because the children were weak, the doctors referred her to the Kakamega Provincial Hospital for specialized medical attention. Unfortunately, four of the children have since died. Three died while on the way to Kakamega while the fourth one was pronounced dead on arrival at Kakamega. The father of the children Mr Salim Machioanga said they only bless the lord who had given them the children and so it was good to take them again. The doctor who was taking care of the children and their mother Mrs Jacinta Angote said the mother and surviving baby were out of danger. More...

Athanas Manyala Keya
Disbaled people who often face all manner of stigma and discrimination will start receiving a token monthly allowance. The fund, to be launched in Kakamega tomorrow, is worth Shs400m.

Disabled fund to be launched in Kakamega

By John Kabaka, June 23 2011
The Government will this Friday launch the National Disability Fund in Kakamega. Gender assistant Minister Manyala Keya today said that the fund will carter for ten people with severe disabilities in each of the 210 constituencies in the country. Keya who is Lurambi MP said that the Government set aside Sh 200 million for launching of the fund last financial year but the disbursement delayed to take off as planned due to unavoidable circumstances. He said that treasury had voted Sh 400million in the current budget noting the fund would be able to cover more people this year. “Those to be paid in this quarter of the year will receive Sh. 4.500 each being payment for three months because the disbursement was slated to start in April but delayed,” said Keya. He pointed out that each severely disabled person will receive a stipend of Sh 1, 500 every month to subsidize their cost of living. Keya said that the money would be given to people caring for the disabled. This, he said, would encourage people to take care of the severely disabled adding that some people with disability had been shunned by the community. More...

Traders anger as market rots away

By Amugasha Kalengeka and Daniel Wafula, June 23 2011
Five years down the line since the conception of construction of a market square at Myanga market in West Bukusu, nothing seems to be moving beyond the mere skeleton of mortar and iron already erected. Traders continue to languish in the open spaces, exposed to the scorching sun and biting cold despite the governments spending a fortune in the multi-million project. Toilets are barely enough to accommodate hundreds of buyers and a host of traders who throng the market every Wednesday and Saturday. It is pathetic, Mary Nafula 37, not her real name, laments that at some point she is forced to duck into a nearby bush for a long call risking the wrath of the county council and irate members of the society. The task to construct market square was awarded to Trapezoid Contactors through a competitive tender in 2006. The work on the skeleton as it stands today began in April last year. Nalianya Wekesa the clerk to the council attributed the slow progress inadequate workers on the site and general laxity on the part of the contractor. Mr.Nalianya called upon the building contactor to fast track the process because the council is losing out a lot of tax money due tax evasion by traders. In his defense the site construction engineer, Thomson Owaka said that getting money from the government is a long process and it doesn’t make it easier when they release it at their own pace, but he assured the public that the construction done in the next six months. More...

Myanga Market, West Bukusu
Construction work on Myanga market stalled five years ago. Council is blaming Trapezoid Contractors for the lucklustre performance.

Kayamba lead singer is dead

By George Orido, June 23 2011
Bius Obunde, the man whose melodious first tenor shaped the famed Kayamba Afrika's choral music, has died from pulmonary complications at a Nairobi hospital aged 42. News of his death shocked the music fraternity, many of who remember him as a colleague, teacher, manager, composer and an inspiring singer. “He is the top three tenor soloists in the country, and his vocal prowess was enviable,” said Nicholas Emodiah, who was the deputy choirmaster at National Hospital Insurance Fund choir. At Kayamba Afrika, Obunde teamed up with young talents including Juma Odemba to revolutionise a music genre that infused ethnic sound with modern Acappella. More...

Trouble brews as Chwele businesses protest high taxes

By Daniel Saenyi, June 22 2011
Trouble is brewing between the Bungoma Central district administration and local boda boda operators over tax collection at Chwele town, Bungoma County. The boda boda taxi operators have raised concern over the raised tax money from Sh40 to Sh80. After the town was elevated into the district headquarters for Bungoma Central district, money collected from various business operators at the market has been raised as the town struggles to attain expectations of its newly acquired status. In the implementation of the new taxes that is meant to fund developmental projects in the town, some of the public transport operators claim that they pay more than enough to the council and yet no roads have been constructed or repaired. They claim the council officers are even found collecting money along the village roads from any business or business operator. The road from Chwele to Lwakhakha is in very bad condition yet it is the one with many roadblocks taking money from motorbike operators’ as tax for the towns’ development. According to motorbike riders, the road has at least 8 road blocks. Mr. Kennedy Wamalwa, a motorbike operator said that they even took the initiative as motorbike riders and come together to repair the road from Nalondo to Msese, and immediately it was finished, county council operators put stops to collect taxes. Chwele is only town with this many county council stops in Bungoma County yet there is little development being done. Public transporters claim that they even pay more than once a day and this is hard on them especially in these hard economic times. However, officers from the district office at the town said that the claims are baseless because they only collect taxes once per day from every business person. They also denied the allegations that the riders came together and repaired the road from Nalondo to Msese saying that they are just riders and they have no way of acquiring the capital for the repairs of the road. More...

Chwele town, bungoma
Chwele is a market township at a crossroads. Like other rural market centres, it is littered with shops, kiosks, markets and nowadays, the ubiquitous bodaboda cycle taxis. Somehow, the people feel energised to influence events rather than accept 'orders from above' what with the power of the internet, new constitution and mobile commuications. Specifically, the bodaboda operators have opposed 100% increase in taxation and are planning to revolt. Photo: Daniel Saenyi

Teso man bites, swallows cousin's lip in brawl

By Reuben Olita, June 22 2011
A 30-year-old man from Agonget village in Teso North district is due to undergo an operation after his cousin bit off and swallowed his lower lip. Fred Onyapidi was rushed to New Nyanza General hospital, Kisumu, where doctors said the man's lips have to be restored via plastic surgery. Narrating the incident, Onyunyur sub-location assistant chief, David Emojong, said Onyapidi was on a chang'aa drinking spree at his cousin’s house when a fight broke out. The assistant chief said after taking one too many, Onyapidi was told to leave but he refused. Subsequent arguments led to the fight. Onyapidi was overpowered and in the process his lower lip bitten off. He also sustained deep cuts in his back. Neighbours rushed him to Kocholia district hospital but was referred to Bungoma district hospital and later Kisumu. The assistant chief said on interrogation, the man admitted he swallowed the lower lip. The bloody fight and the swallowed lip has left many tongues wagging in Osajai location. He added that the man could not tolerate his cousin's dancing antics with a married sister. Emojong has vowed to push for the closure of all drink dens selling illicit alcohol. More...

Busia residents enraged as fleeing matatu kills two-year old child

By Frankline Bwire, June 22 2011
A two and a half year old child was killed, in an incident that has left two women nursing wounds at the Busia District hospital after being knocked down by a Nissan that was escaping a crackdown laid by traffic officers at the Busia stage. According to eye witnesses, the vehicle rammed into the two women, killing the child, when traffic officers tried to arrest the vehicles that were at the Busia stage. The Youth leader for Busia District Mr. Innocent Masiga condemned the crackdown exercise undertaken by traffic officers, asserting that they should have informed the matatu owners of the exercise. “Matatu owners have SACCOS, which the officers could have informed to make them alert, instead of involving themselves in the act of chasing vehicles, which are carrying passengers. Busia stage has a lot of vehicles and an abrupt move could have resulted to death of many,” he charged. He added that exercise undertaken by the officers was after extorting money from the owners of the vehicles caught, with no inspection done on those netted. “They are after collecting sh. 5000 from various vehicles, with no intention of ascertaining the exact problem of the vehicles,” He vowed that they will not allow interference by police officers, through exercises undertaken in crude manners forgetting legal laws supposed to be adhered to. The driver of the vehicle was subjected to mob justice by the public immediately the incident occurred, some few minutes before being rescued by police officers, who took him to the police station. More...

Busia matatu
Onlookers at the scene of an accident in Busia Town where a matatu knocked dead a two-year old child as it tried to fleee from enforcement officers. Photo: Frankline Bwire

Busia council to sack 50 workers

By Gilbert Ochieng, June 22 2011
Fifty Busia Municipal Council workers will be laid off in a new plan to improve service delivery. Council treasurer Slyvace Obondo said the council’s failure to provide efficient services had prompted the changes. He said lots of cash that would have been spent on service delivery is used to pay salaries. Obondo said once this is done, the council will be in a position to reduce the wage bill from Sh6 million to Sh3.5 million adding that the council can only raise Sh4 million a month from revenue which is below the wage bill. He attributed rising debt in the council to the monthly deduction from the devolved funds to pay its outstanding workers dues, thus hindering development. More...

Middle aged man lynched in Likuyani for destroying neighbor's fence

By Joseph Otieno, June 21 2011
An irate mob yesterday attacked a middle aged man and eventually killed him for allegedly destroying a neighbor’s perimeter fence in Matunda Likuyani district. Confirming the incident area police chief John Leshimpiro said the deceased Simon Simiyu Mufunyi (32) was found destroying a perimeter fence marking the boundary between his farm and Samuel Mburu’s . John Leshimpiro officer commanding police division [OCPD] larger Lugari district. When he sensed danger, Leshimpiro added the deceased attempted to flee into a maize plantation but was cornered and attacked with all manner of crude weapons occasioning his death. His body has been removed to Kitale District Hospital mortuary for post mortem. Leshimpiro revealed investigations into the incidence have been launched with a view to arresting suspected ring leaders. He warned residents against taking the law into their own hands adding that proper legal mechanisms existed. Elsewhere, the Government has appointed a new assistant chief for Mwiba sub location in Likuyani district following ten month suspense. This was occasioned by the resignation of former chief Christopher Mambili who left for greener pastures. Albert Simiyu Wekesa will officially be installed later this week by area DO 1 Kimaru Kemboi. More...

MPs tax shocker: MPs have been hit with a massive tax demand after the taxman concluded that their total income plus allowances were subject to Pay-As-You-Earn as soon as the new Constitution became law. The taxman now wants the MPs to pay back taxes from August last year, coming to nearly Sh2.9 million each. More...

Athanas Manyala Keya
Athanas Manyala Keya, the Lurambi MP. Leaflets are circulating in Kakamega town warning the MP and his sympathisers of dire consequencies should a division in Kakamega central which belongs to Batsotso be moved to new district or constituency of Navakhoko where Abanyala ba Ndombi reside.

Joint survey for Migingo

By our correspondent, June 21 2011
The Kenyan and Ugandan governments are re-launching a fresh survey to determine the exact ownership of the disputed island of Migingo. The island on Lake Victoria has been a matter of dispute between the two governments for years - most recently since 2008. Experts from both sides will immediately begin work to determine the exact position of the border between the two states, using concessions already agreed upon by the leaders of the two states. Uganda's president Yoweri Museveni and Prime minister Raila Odinga agreed to re -o the survey as a critical step towards ensuring the continuity of the cordial relations between Kenya and Uganda. More...

Leaflets threaten Lurambi MP for ceding Butsotso territory to Banyala of Navakholo

By John Kabaka, June 21 2011
After West Fm amplified the issue of threat paper circulation in market places home and roads of Kakamega town, the police have since taken a step. The Kakamega Police Commandant Mr Joseph Omijah said investigations were in progress to establish those circulating the leaflets. He said a group of leaders who were unhappy with the decision to have the location form part of the new district were using the issue to try and incite communities against each other. Mr Omijah said the District security team had planned a meeting in Butsotso North to reassure residents over the matter. The leaflets that were circulated issuing threats to a local mp that he is linked with the movement of a certain community from where it is to the newly formed Navakholo district and constituency. The MP has received threats over plans to have a location in Kakamega central district moved to the proposed Navakholo district. Lurambi MP Manyala Keya has since recorded a statement with police after he found leaflets dropped near his compound in Kakamega and in the neighbourhood. The leaflets warn of unspecified action to be taken against Mr Keya should Butsotso North location be moved to Navakholo. It reads, “Beware there will be bloodshed in Lurambi constituency if Butsotso North is moved to the proposed Navakholo constituency or District, Manyala Keya and his supporters will be the target and should bear responsibility for his dirty and treacherous political survival strategy to dismember the Butsotso sub community.” More...

Rat infested Bungoma market closed on hygiene grounds

By Toywa Muyoti, June 21 2011
Bungoma Municipal Market has been closed to pave way for a cleaning and fumigation exercise after the elapse of a 21 day notice came to an end Monday. The Ministry of Public Health had given the three week deadline for the deadline to Bungoma Municipal council for the collection of accumulated garbage and unblock all sewer systems in the market, but this was not heeded. Mr. Ken Kundu from the ministry said that they had been conducting routine checks after every three months since the market was last closed in 2007. He said that the municipal council had been maintaining the market until recently when they started neglecting their duties. He confirmed that in their last three checks he reported the increasing number of rodents that endangered the health of the business people. Kundu said that the sewerage system at the market has blocked making it difficult for business people and vendors to conduct their business effectively saying that, “The sewerage systems needed to be expanded to cater for expansion with the increasing number of the buyers and sellers.” More...

bungoma market
Traders at the Bungoma Market moving their wares to temporary accommodation after the facility was closed for a massive clean up and fumigation to rid it of rodents.

Council funds diverted: Bungoma municipal council chiefs  are on a spot for diverting of funds meant development projects in the municipality to settle debts. The officers were quizzed by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Authority. Seating at the municipal council hall in Bungoma town , the committee chaired by coastal MP Thomas Mwadegu took issue with the council chiefs for using the local authority transfer fund allocated by the Ministry of Local Government for development projects to settle it debts. More...

Keya, Ottichilo 'betray' ODM at Khalwale's victory fete

By Allan Kisia and Roselyne Obala, June 21 2011
A party to celebrate Dr Bonny Khalwale's victory in Ikolomani by-election may have exposed ODM MPs who were not fully behind their party candidate in last month’s by-elections. Four ODM MPs attended the homecoming fete held at Malinya Grounds in Ikolomani last Saturday. Gender Assistant minister Manyala Keya, who is the legislator for Lurambi and his Emuhaya counterpart Wilbur Otichillo were among ODM MPs from Western Province who turned up. Eldoret North MP William Ruto and his Eldama Ravine counterpart Moses Lessonet were present as were 12 ODM civic leaders from Vihiga County. In their speeches, Keya and Otichillo indicated that they did not grace the homecoming just to congratulate Khalwale for the victory, but also to celebrate his triumph. Ironically, Keya and Otichillo spearheaded campaigns for ODM party candidate Bernard Shinali. The two had during the campaigns criss-crossed the constituency accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi, the MP for Sabatia. Soon after the May 23 polls, Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito, who was in the frontline campaigning for the party said ODM lost the seat because of wrangling forces from within. Kizito claimed a scheme had been hatched to portray Mudavadi as a weak politician who could not consolidate the Luhya vote and thus be a challenger or running mate to Prime Minister Raila. He said the party could not have won because some ODM MPs were not fully behind their candidate. More...

Manyala Keya
From left: Stanley Livondo, a PNU activist, Keya Manyala, MP for Lurambi, Soita Shitanda, housing minister, William Ruto and Eugene Wamalwa, MP for Saboti at Malinya grounds where they attended Dr Bonny Khalwale's re-election victory on Saturday.

20 prostitutes nabbed in Kisumu's redlight district

By Samuel Otieno, June 21 2011
More than 20 prostitutes were on Sunday night arrested in Kisumu town in a joint raid between the Kisumu police officers and municipal council askaris. The arrest came weeks after the council Askaris nabbed more than 70 girls in a similar operation. The girls were arrested in streets and brothels in the town. The girls were yesterday taken to the Kisumu Municipal Court and each fined Sh1,000 for loitering. They were later for STDs at the New Nyanza General hospital. Kisumu municipal council Inspectorate Israel Olik said those who will be found infected with HIV/Aids Virus will be charged for spreading the diseases. More...

Khalwale's fighting bulls damage Ruto's chopper at Ikolomani

By Allan Kisia, June 21 2011
Celebrations to mark Bonny Khalwale's re-election as MP for Ikolomani turned chaotic for a moment when bulls locked horns during speeches. The fighting bulls rammed into a chopper that flew in Eldoret North MP William Ruto, denting the tail. Armed police officers guarding two choppers at Malinya Grounds had a hectic time chasing away the bulls after their handlers lost control of them. The bulls locked horns just as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta begun addressing the crowd. Uhuru had to cut short his speech due to the sudden shouting and movement behind the VIP dias. Isikuti dancers began moving up and down as if possessed, cheering up the two bulls. The chopper was assessed and declared able to fly. "We sometimes get bigger dents compared to this one when we hit birds up in the sky," Captain Paul Denge said. Celebrations to mark Dr Khalwale’s re-election started with bull fighting contests early in the morning. Dozens of bulls were brought to Malinya Grounds for the competitions. After the morning showdown, the bulls were taken to the periphery of the grounds as people listened to the speeches. More...

Panpaper to be privatised

By Rosemary Wachiye, June 20 2011
The fate of the stalled Webuye Paper factory will be known in a month’s time, area MP Alfred Sambu has said. This announcement has come at a time when most of the former workers stay at home jobless with a few trying to engage in small businesses to sustain their daily lives. Mr. Sambu said that the wrangles that have marred the paper factory would be addressed and a solution arrived and thus reviving the factory. He explained that the cause for the delay in the revival was because Kenyan laws have made it difficult for the government to revive. He added that the previous owners and shareholders of the company were foreigners hence giving the government a hard time to pay their debts. “The owners of Pan Paper mills were foreigners and the laws of the country protects foreign investors in the country hence it has been hard to revive the company and easily do away with the former owners, it’s now that the government is working towards making the company a private entity,” said Mr.Sambu. He said they are working on privatization of the company through bringing in a government receiver who will be able to run the company on behalf of the government making it a private entity. “It has been hard for the company to remove the current receiver of the short term lenders and put in place long term lenders from the government,” said Mr.Sambu “The deal; to privatize the company is already in progress done and that the company fulfills all the conditions, the only thing left is the signing the required documents and I can assure you in a month’s time all this will be taken care of,” said Mr.Sambu. More...

alfred sambu
Alfred Sambu, the Webuye MP in whose constituency Pan African Paper Mills is situated. The troubled firm's fate will be known in a month's time, says the legislator.

Ministry denies it has withdrawn school bus insurance

By Reuben Olita, June 20 2011
The Ministry of Education on Friday denied claims by Labour assistant minister that they had withdrawn insurance covers for all school buses countrywide. Sospeter Ojaamong, who is also the Amagoro MP in Teso, had railed at the Ministry for abdicating its duty of providing insurance covers to school buses. The attack by the MP followed reports that the bus belonging to Bishop Sulumeti Girls Secondary that was involved in a road accident had no insurance cover. Over 40 students were injured, 15 of them seriously. The bus belonging to Bishop Sulumeti Girls lost control at Akoret area near Amagoro before rolling three times with all 47 passengers sustaining injuries. Four students who were still admitted at Bungoma District hospital were discharged on Friday, leaving only two students still admitted and one teacher, Vitalis Wanyama whose condition is reportedly very critical. However, spokesman Bogita Ongeri said claims that the ministry had withdrawn insurance covers for all school buses across the country were not true. “We insure school buses once the submissions have been made. It appears Bishop Sulumeti did not make their submissions, or it came late,” Ongeri said. More...

Wamalwa endorsed as Luhya leader at Ikolomani fete

By Westfm, June 20 2011
Western politics took a different turn yesterday when various political leaders endorsed Eugene Wamalwa as the de facto leader of the Luhya community, at the behest of the relevance of unity among the eighteen dialects of the Luhya community. The event was teh homecoming party for newly re-elected Ikolomani MP, Dr Bonny Khalwale. Every speaker urged the Luhya community to be united. To seek unity so as to be able to bargain on a national table on issues both political and development. Hon. Shitanda said time had come for the people of Western to stop being second options. To stop being the bride that is sought by all others to support them in their agendas yet we have no one to support the Western people in there’s. He used the analogy of how the Kikuyu’s through the late president Jomo Kenyatta had ruled for 15 years hence disqualifying Uhuru Kenyatta from contesting. Same for the Kalenjin through Moi thus Ruto has no basis to contest. He bemoaned the fact that the Luhya community was always being sought as the backup plan and that it was time we went out to seek the help of those we have helped in the past. The Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto categorically endorsed Eugene as the de facto Luhya leader and spoke of the need to work together to meet Raila Odinga come 2012. More...

Sacked Prof Kubasu wastes away in Bushiangala village

By Nyambega Gisesa, June 20 2011
As early as 4 a.m., long before thousands of cocks in this peasant farming and gold-mining village crow to announce a new day, the professor wakes up to find something to do to kill the boredom that comes from being unemployed. In Bushiangala village, Kakamega County - a place where there are as many churches as there are houses, where polygamy is the rule and fathers do not count their children, Prof Sammy Kubasu has made a name for himself as being educated, experienced and out of work. “Today, I woke up and travelled to Kakamega town to spend time with boda boda operators,” Prof Kubasu told the Sunday Nation. The town, located about 10 km away, connects to the village through Bukura, then Shikulu wa Amasumbwa, Musoli and Isulu using Sigalagala road. A ready ear As one of the most popular sons of Bushiangala - the other one being PNU activist Stanley Livondo, boda boda riders, jobless youth, elderly men who can no longer work and even the village women who love to gossip have found a ready ear in him. Village drunkards are at his door as early as 6 a.m., not to wheedle some coins for a drink from the Prof, but to console their neighbour who has recently joined their jobless ranks. A drink early in the morning makes the idle day pass unnoticed, they tell him. At his home, Prof Kubasu is a very respected man, having risen from a family that could barely educate him (his master’s and PhD studies were funded by a German foundation on the basis of his neediness and merit) to be the head of the country’s university staff union -- the University Association Staff Union (Uasu). On March 25, 2010, he was re-elected secretary-general of the Uasu chapter at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST). On May 20, lecturers unanimously voted to keep him as their national chairman. More...

Sammy Kubasu
Prof Samuel Kubasu, the chairman of Universities Staff Union (Uasu) during elections last May at Maseno University. Prof Kubasu was sacked from his teaching job at Masinde Muliro University following his refusal to take up an appointment as head of a department.

Ex-Zambian president is dead

Fredrick Chiluba
Former Zambian President Fredrick Chiluba died Saturday night in Lusaka. Mr Chiluba, 68, who ruled Zambia between 1991 and 2001, died in the early hours of Saturday in “his bedroom” at his Lusaka residence, said Emmanuel Mwamba, his spokesperson. A trade unionist, Mr Chiluba was credited with the reintroduction of multiparty politics in Zambia after seeing off the challenge of the incumbent, Kenneth Kaunda in 1991. More...

Anglican Church to allow gay clergy

By AFP, June 20 2011
The Anglican Church is set to approve controversial guidelines allowing openly homosexual clergy to become bishops. In a paper due to be published on Monday, the Church will seek to move in line with the Equality Act by updating its rules to permit celibate homosexual men to be promoted. The paper, entitled "Choosing Bishops - The Equality Act 2010", provides legal guidelines for those considering candidates for promotion and spells out that sexuality must not be a factor in the final decision. "A person's sexual orientation is in itself irrelevant to their suitability for episcopal office or indeed ordained ministry," the paper said. However, the report does advise that church leaders could block a candidate if "the appointment of the candidate would cause division and disunity within the diocese in question. "It is clearly the case that a significant number of Anglicans, on grounds of strongly held religious conviction, believe that a Christian leader should not enter into a civil partnership, even if celibate, because it involves forming an exclusive, lifelong bond with someone of the same sex," it added. "It is equally clear that many other Anglicans believe that it is appropriate that clergy who are gay by orientation enter into civil partnerships, even though the discipline of the Church requires them to remain sexually abstinent," the paper continued. More...

Internet set for major changes

By our correspondent, June 20 2011
A global internet body has voted to allow the creation of new website domain suffixes, the biggest change for the online world in years. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) plans to dramatically increase the number of domain endings from the current 22. Internet address names will end with almost any word and be in any language. Icann will begin taking applications next year, with corporations and cities expected to be among the first. "Icann has opened the internet's addressing system to the limitless possibilities of the human imagination," said Rod Beckstrom, president and chief executive officer for Icann. "No one can predict where this historic decision will take us." There will be several hundred new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs), which could include such addresses as .google, .coke, or even .BBC. There are currently 22 gTLDs, as well as about 250 country-level domain names such as .uk or .de. It will cost $185,000 (£114,000) to apply for the suffixes, and companies would need to show they have a legitimate claim to the name they are buying. More...

Existing generic top level domains
  • .com : companies, now broader
  • .edu : educational institutions
  • .gov : government institutions
  • .int : international organisations, e.g. Interpol
  • .mil : military organisations
  • .net : networking technologies, now broader
  • .org : non-profit organisations
  • .arpa : first ever domain, now technical use
  • .aero : air travel industry
  • .biz : business alternative to .com
  • .coop : co-operatives
  • .info : information, but open for general use
  • .museum : museums
  • .name : personal names - johnsmith.name
  • .pro : professionals, e.g. doctors
  • .asia: Asian websites
  • .cat : Catalan language
  • .jobs : employment websites
  • .mobi : mobile phones
  • .post : postal services
  • .tel : telecoms
  • .travel : travel
35,000 invited to a bullfighting carnival in Ikolomani

By John Kabaka and Ingwe, June 17 2011
More than 35,000 people will swoop on Ikolomani for a grand carnival dubbed homecoming party for Dr Bonny Khalwale who recently recaptured his seat after May 21 by-election. Ikolomani is all systems go with the roads heading to Malinya stadium colored with banana stems in readiness to welcome the invited guests. Khalwale says the ceremony is very open and everybody from all over the nation is welcome. “We are expecting more than 35,000 guests from all over the nation and we are not locking anybody out including our opponents,” said Khalwale. The event will be opened by bull fighting of over 28 bulls at the Malinya stadium as from 7am in the morning followed by live performances from various local artists. Khalwale received support from a coalition of PNU sympathisers including Eldoret North MP William Ruto who Khalwale at one time, fought viciously over the maize scandal. The fruits of the massive support were seen when the IIEC announced Khalwale the winner of the by-election by a wide margin against his rival. Immediately after the results were announced, Khalwale promised the locals that he was determined to accomplish the projects he had started earlier before the next general elections under the new Constitution. The bullfighter has also made it clear that he will be vying the seat of Senator in Kakamega County under the devolved government. More...

Dr Bonny Khalwale
Khalwale juu juu kabisa: Dr Bonny Khalwale, the Ikolomani MP after being sworn in following a by-election victory on May 21 2011.

Parents blamed for soliciting sex pests

By Leonard Wamalwa, June 17 2011
Parents in Kwanza District of Trans Nzoia County are blamed for soliciting money from sex pest making it difficult for the suspected offenders to be brought to book. In a ceremony to celebrate the Day African child held at Cheberem primary school Speaker after speaker pointed an accusing finger at these parents are believed to position money ahead of the welfare of their children. More...

MP in trouble for peddling fake documents to disparage Mudavadi

By our correspondent, June 17 2011
Members of Parliament have called for suspension of Makadara MP Gidion Mbuvi for uttering what they described as fake documents to ‘discredit’ Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi. They argued that the MP had misused Parliament privilege to table unauthentic documents and tarnished the reputation of the House. Now MPs want him to be named, a sanction under Parliament’s Standing Orders that include suspension from the House for between four to 21 days, denial of allowances and privileges that come with attending the plenary. Mbuvi’s problems arose from a statement he made in Parliament on Tuesday alleging that proxies of the deputy Prime Minister and Local Government minister and his PS Karega Mutahi demanded bribes to secure tenders for construction of markets in Makadara constituency under the Economic Stimulus Package. The MP tabled a letter signed by Mr Paul Ndirangu purportedly from the aggrieved contractor Pancy General Contractors. But yesterday Mudavadi told Parliament that the alleged contractor is not registered with Kenya’s tax and engineering registration authorities and tabled supporting letters from the Kenya Revenue Authority and Registrar of Companies. More...

gidion sonko mbuvi
Gidion 'Sonko" Mbuvi, the flamboyant Makadara MP. Tabled fake documents in Parliament alleging corruption on the part of Mudavadi.
Musalia Mudavadi
Musalia Mudavadi, the deputy prime minister and minister for local government.
Teacher killed in Mumias road accident just days before earning his first salary

By John Kabaka, June 17 2011
A primary school teacher was killed yesterday evening in a grizzly road accident at Savanna along the Kakamega–Mumias Road. Mr. Murila Maurice of St. Joseph Academy in Kakamega was run down by a speeding car while leaving the school for home after remedial classes early in the night. The vehicle driver sped off leaving the teacher dead on the tarmac road. An eye witness to the accident said that the car heading to Mumias from Kakamega hit him from behind killing him on the spot. According to eye witness, the accident victim succumbed to severe bleeding from a split on the head after the heavy hit. Murila from Shiyunzu village, was a newly employed teacher was awaiting to earn his first salary at the end of this month. He died leaving behind a wife along with a one month old baby. His body was ferried to Kakamega General Hospital to await collection by relatives. The Kakamega Mumias road is notorious for road accidents with police report indicating an average of two to three deaths in a month. According eye witness, two weeks ago another middle aged man died after being hit a by a salon car. “Every month we burry people involved in accidents on this road, ” said Mathews. More...

Pokot comunity outlaws female circumcision

By Leonard Wamalwa, June 16 2011
In a colorful ceremony held at the Makutano stadium in Pokot West district the members of the community unanimously declared and signed an agreement to bring to an end the practice that they had practiced for decades as one of their cultural beliefs that they had been reluctant to part with despite the generational and technological changes. The declaration that was witnessed by an assistant minister in the ministry of gender, children and social development, Athanas Manyala Keya, the permanent secretary in that ministry Dr. James Nyikal, Kapenguria Member of Parliament Julius Murgor among other prominent personalities from the region saw people from diverse aspects of life from the community endorse the final drawing down of the curtains on the culture. Speaking during the declaration, the assistant minister noted that FGM is still an issue of national concern revealing that the prevalence rate is still at 27.1percent down from 32pc in 2003 with five communities still continuing to cut their girls and women in the country. The minister added that in a demographic survey done in 2008/2009 it was established that North Eastern province has the highest number of women cut at 97.5pc, Eastern 35.8pc, Nyanza 33.8pc, Rift Valley 32.1pc, Central 26.5pc, Nairobi 13.8pc, Coast 10.0pc and Western with the least at 0.8pc. However, the minister said that the tabling in parliament of the prohibition of FGM Bill 2010is a milestone and proposes stiffer sentences and ensures that women of all ages are protected thus filling the gap in the children’s act, 2001 which offers protection to only those below 18 years. More...

pokot female circumcisors
Pokot female circumcisors at the Makutano Stadium ceremony in which they signed a declaration to stop female genital mutilation. Photo: Leonard Wamalwa

Patients die from negligence by doctors

By Gilbert Ochieng, June 16 2011
Bunyala residents have appealed to the government to probe alleged death of patients due to negligence at Port Victoria district hospital. The residents have accused doctors at the hospital of not attending to patients in critical conditions as quckly as possible. They said a patient who was taken to the hospital recently from Marenga village has died. The residents claim laxity by the doctors has caused the death of several patients seeking emergency treatment. “The patient was one of two patients who had been rushed to the health facility last Thursday in critical condition ,” they said. The residents said when the condition of the two patients deteriorated, the medics decided to transfer them to Busia district hospital. One of them died on the way, they said. More...

Dr Wanjala appointed Supreme Court judge

By Roseleen Nzioka, June 16 2011
President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have appointed the first ever Kenya Supreme Court judges. Those appointed are Justice Philip Tunoi, Justice Jackton Ojwang, Justice Mohammed Ibrahim, Ms Njoki Ndungu and Dr Smokin Wanjala. The five were among 26 candidates interviewed for the positions. According to the Constitution, the Supreme Court will be charged with the interpretation of the Constitution and will have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and determine disputes relating to the elections to the office of President. The five judges together with the Chief Justice and his deputy will make a seven-judge bench of Kenya’s first ever Supreme Court. The Chief Justice will serve as the President of the Supreme Court while his deputy will be the Vice President. The nominees for the CJ Willy Mutunga and deputy CJ Nancy Baraza were vetted and approved by the Judicial Service Commission and also approved by Parliament on Wednesday and now await formal appointment by President Kibaki. More...

Willy Mutunga
Dr Willy Mutunga, Kenya's new chief justice.
Nancy Barasa
Nancy Barasa, deputy chief justice.
Barasa, Mutunga to assume judicial offices next week

By Antony Kariuki, June 16 2011
Kenya has a new Chief Justice following the appointment of Willy Mutunga who was approved for the position by Parliament Wednesday. In a gazette notice, President Kibaki also appointed his deputy Nancy Baraza and the Keriako Tobiko as the Director of Public Prosecutions. This means that the three could assume office as early as next week. Their swearing in ceremony in scheduled for Monday at State House, Nairobi. Earlier Thursday, Dr Mutunga said that his pressing challenge would be to reform the Judiciary and assured Kenyans he would restore their faith in the institution. "Obviously, my greatest challenge will be to manage the astronomical expectations of a Kenyan people who long lost their faith in their judiciary but now believe I wave a magic wand," said Dr Mutunga, who will be the first CJ under the new constitutional dispensation. "This is an issue I must address the moment I have taken the Oath of Office of the Chief Justice under the new constitution. I look forward to talking to Kenyans immediately I am sworn in." He will be the head of a seven-bench Supreme Court as its President with Ms Baraza as Vice President. More...

Where mosquito nets are used to make poultry pens while humans die from malaria

By John Kabaka, June 15 2011
Much more needs to be done in achieving the goal of ensuring everyone understands the benefits of using a treated mosquito net to ensure preventable disease Malaria, however it has been a point of concern for the regional health sectors that most people in the Western region have always misused mosquito nets. The nets that are meant for sleeping under to offer protection from mosquito biting that cause malaria have been made vegetable garden fences. In some areas they are as well used as fishing nets especially the Malava area, both in fish ponds and rivers. This has made the Kakamega District Public Health Officer Mr. Fred Amudavi to come up strongly with an urge that the residents should stop with an immediate effect. Amudavi urged the residents to make good use of the nets and stop making them fences on their gardens. “It is a big challenge we are facing in the larger region, we have found out that many of the families in the region are misusing the nets, they have made them fences to their garden to check on animal and birds from the vegetables but that is not the right way to use them,” remarked Amudavi. He said it was saddening to learn that some of the families using the nets as fences and fishing nets do not sleep under a net endangering their lives even more. “You see a net as a fence in a homestead and like to know whether the family has one to protect them from the mosquito bites but it shocks to learn that such families have no nets in their bedroom, does that mean they value the plants more than themselves, one wonders,” said Amudavi. He said the nets are specifically for protection from mosquitoes that cause malaria and they should not be misused. He said his office is now engaging the school heads to talk to the pupils about the benefit of the nets for the dissemination of information to the parents since children are better tools of information as seen in the recent past. More...

Ongeri's head on chopping board: Prime Minister Raila Odinga has firmly stated that Education Minister Sam Ongeri must take political responsibility for the Sh4.6 billion fraud in the ministry. The PM said there was no need for further investigations as the audit report by the Finance ministry had already made its findings and named those responsible, overruling an earlier statement by Prof Ongeri that police needed more time to close in on culprits. More...
Fred Amudavi
Misused and abused: Mosquito nets being used to make a poultry house in a Bungoma homestead. Photo: David Indeje

Martin Shikuku hospitalised Martin Shikuku
Martin Shikuku at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi. Photo: Stephen Mudiari

By our correspondent, June 15 2011
Veteran politician Martin Shikuku, who is recovering at Kenyatta National Hospital, will be discharged soon. According to doctors attending to him, the former Butere MP is only undergoing routine medical checks. Head doctor Antony Were declined to reveal the nature of treatment Mr Shikuku was undergoing, citing patient-doctor confidentiality. On Wednesday, Medical Services Minister Anyang’ Nyong’o and permanent secretary Mary Ngari paid the politician a visit, and said the government would do whatever it can to help. “As you can see, Mr Shikuku is in good condition and we hope he will be out of hospital soon. We want to offer him the support he deserves,” Prof Nyong’o said. Journalists were later allowed into Mr Shikuku’s room in the hospital’s private wing, where he lay in bed receiving a drip. He declined to speak to journalists, saying he needed to rest, but allowed them to take photographs. The veteran politician was admitted to the hospital at the weekend, but information about his condition has been kept under the lid. More...

Albinos in Western suffer abuse, beatings and social exclusion

By Trix Luvindi and Toywa Muyoti, June 15 2011
In an effort to battle the stigma and prejudice against albinism in Western Kenya, where individuals afflicted with the pigmentation disorder are beaten, and secluded from the community, the Albino Child Support Programme are pushing education as a sustainable way to keep albino children safe and improve their lives. “If they can get an education, an albino child can level the playing field for themselves within their society. In rural Kenya an educated person is revered above all others and above all, the attitudes towards them in society will shift,” said Mrs. Mary Kiptoo the Director of the Albino Child Support Programme. In an exclusive interview with West Fm, Mrs Kiptoo urged parents and guardians of albino children not to hide them away in their homes but to take them to school like other children since they are just as intelligent as other school going children. She emphasized the fact albino children are the same as other children the only difference being that they have no dark skin pigmentation in their skin and therefore should not be treated any differently from other children. During the interview it was revealed that albino children face various challenges in there day to day lives that are unnecessary. Many albino babies are abandoned at birth while some are sold to have their parts used for by voodoo practitioners. She dispelled the belief and urged wananchi to shun such misguided beliefs since they serve to endanger the lives of Albino people in general. According to the Director of the Brce Foundation Mr. Mattihijs provides visually impaired albino children with books to enhance their education as well as procure prescription glasses for them. Albino children are very sensitive to the sun that makes then susceptible to skin cancer the organization provides them with hats to shield them from the sun. In celebrating the World albino Day at Bungoma poster grounds today (Wednesday), many albinos pointed out that the biggest challenge they face is stigmatization from the society so they urged the society to see them as normal people. More...

Vihiga disabled get equipment

By Gilbert Ochieng, June 15 2011
Some 45 people with disabilities from Vihiga county yesterday received an assortment of machines from the Social Services Department. The sewing, knitting, welding and carpentry machines were bought by the National Fund for the Disabled. Handing over the items,Vihiga DO John Cheruiyot said the machines that cost Sh600,000 will enable the disabled participate fully in national development. Cheruiyot asked the beneficiaries to enrolling at Itando Vocational Rehabilitation Centre to acquire skills so that they can effectively utilise the machines. Harun Galava, one of the beneficiaries lauded the government for providing them with the machines saying they would enable them to engage in income generating activities. More...

Bungoma albino children
Children with albinism congregate in Bungoma during the Albino Day celebrations to highlight their plight. Photo: Daniel Saenyi

Bungoma woman arrested for mutilating 3-year old stepdaughter's genitals

By Trixi Luvindi and Tawai Toywa, June 15 2011
A three and half year old girl is nursing injuries at the Bungoma district hospital after her step-mother inflicted severe injuries on her legs and private parts using an unsterile razor blade as punishment. Blessing Wesonga has been persevering mistreatment from Ester Awino, the step mother according to the neighbors who wanted to lynch her before she was rescued by the Bungoma Adiministration Police. Neighbours disclosed that Mildred Wasakwa, the mother of the recuperating girl, was chased from her marital home by the husband Mr. Oscar Wesonga who is working in Mombasa. The neighbours narrated the tale of mistreatment that blessing has been going through every day with Mrs. Esther Owino denying her food and brutaly canning her every time she has a meal at the neighbors’ house. “When Esther Awino is confronted about her harsh treatment towards the baby she returns insults to the neighbours and asks them to take the baby and live with her,” said a neighbor. More...
Blessing Wesonga
Three-year old Blessing Wesonga whose private parts have been molested by her 20-year old stepmother, Esther Awino (below). The baby's father works in Mombasa while her mother was chased away. Photos: Trix Luvindi
Esther Awino

Star rises for Dr Smokin Wanjala as he bags seat on Supreme Court

By Roseleen Nzoika, June 15 2011
The Judicial Service Commission has disclosed the names of five nominees for Kenya’s Supreme Court. Lawyer Ms Njoki Ndung’u, Appeal Court judge Philip Tunoi, High Court judges Jackton Ojwang, Mohammed Ibrahim and former Kenya Anti- Corruption Commission assistant director Dr Smokin Wanjala are the five candidates picked by JSC to serve in the country’s highest court. While making the announcement Judicial Service Commission acting Chairperson Christine Mango said they had picked five candidates with the necessary diversity, deep intellect, profound standing, impeccable integrity and appropriate experience. The five were among 26 candidates interviewed for the positions. The Supreme Court nominees will not require approval by MPs, but will be forwarded to the President for appointment. The Supreme Court shall comprise the Chief Justice who shall be the President of the Court and the Deputy CJ who shall be the Vice President plus the five judges. According to the Constitution, the Supreme Court will be charged with the interpretation of the Constitution and will have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and determine disputes relating to the elections to the office of President. The Judicial Service Commission has already nominated Dr Willy Mutunga, Ms Nancy Baraza and Keriako Tobiko as CJ, deputy CJ and DPP respectively. More...

Smokin Wanjala
Rising smoke: Dr Smokin Charles Wanjala, who resigned his position as deputy director of the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission, has had a turnaround in his professional fortunes. Today, he is one of five names from 26 applicants nominated for the coveted job of Supreme Court judge.

Khalwale's re-appointment to key House Committee hits a snag

By our correspondent, June 15 2011
Confusion in the PNU wing on Wednesday delayed the reappointment of Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale, back into the influential House Business Committee and the Public Accounts Committee. Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, who is also the Leader of Government Business, was stopped in his tracks by Mr Joseph Gitari (Kirinyaga Central, PNU) who insisted the PNU whip had been promised a seat in the PAC. The MP did not table the letter, but even so, he told the House that he had been taken round in circles since his election in February this year in a by-election, and now it seemed, his right as a backbencher to sit in a committee was being denied. Mr Gitari said he will table the letter on Thursday afternoon. Although the letter is not binding, MPs told Mr Musyoka and the PNU whip, Johnstone Muthama, that they were being unfair to Mr Gitari after which Musyoka then withdrew Dr Khalwale’s reappointment. More...

Barasa, Mutunga, Tobiko pass final hurdle for top judicial jobs

By Alphonce Shiundu, June 15 2011
Parliament has approved Dr Willy Mutunga as Chief Justice as well as Nancy Baraza as Deputy Chief Justice and Mr Keriako Tobiko as director of public prosecutions after acrimonious debate. The three will now await appointment by President Kibaki to take office. Earlier, Members of Parliament (MPs) cleared the way for Mr Tobiko's approval after they voted to disregard parts of a vetting report that questioned his integrity and competence. MPs amended the report of the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee to delete a recommendation to have the nominee for the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Keriako Tobiko, approved without the grave allegations against him - for competence and integrity - being investigated. Mr Mohammed Affey (nominated, ODM-K) engineered the amendment saying there was no reason why Mr Tobiko had to be investigated. More...
Nancy Barasa
Nancy Barasa, the deputy Chief Justice nominee cleared by Parliament today.

Lack of public libraries hinder development in Western

By Eric Lumbasi, June 14 2011
The government through relevant ministries has been challenged to set up more public libraries in Western Kenya to foster dissemination of vital information among the people of the region. The presence of public libraries will boost the need for the locals to get informed, learn and get entertainment besides having a chance to document their history. Lack of the facilities in the region has been blamed for poor performance in public schools as students lack a place to carry out their research. For instance, the entire Bungoma County has only one active Community library situated at Kimilili. This has raised concern among the residents as they call upon leaders, stakeholders and the ministries of Education, Information and National Heritage to rise to the occasion and initiate establishment of libraries in the entire region. According to Mrs. Rachael Andisi, the officer in charge of the Kimilili community library, people have focused on developing other sectors of the economy and disregarded the information sector. “Western region has only three community libraries namely Kakamega, Kimilili and Lusumu which are supposed to serve a population of over 4 million people in this region. I therefore, call upon the government and sponsors in this region to come up and set up more libraries,” said Andisi. More...

Kimilili Library
Kimilili Community Library is the only public library in Bungoma County.
Racheal Andisi
Rachael Andisi, the librarian at Kimilili Community Library - iInformation deficit is a major hindrance to development. Photos: Eric Lumbasi
Terik to start vernacular lessons to save endangered language

By Titus Too, June 14 2011
A minority Kalenjin sub-tribe is enlisting services of retired teachers to teach mother tongue in order to protect their dialect. The Terik community, through Terik Essential Programmes Agency for Development (TEPAD) has embarked on the programmes targeting pupils at lower primary levels. Terik Council of Elders chairman John Bor and his TEPAD counterpart Mark Ragor said pupils attend mother tongue classes for 30 minutes thrice a week. The officials said the Terik community received its code for the first time during the last census. Mr Bor and Mr Ragor who spoke during a TEPAD meeting at Kapsengere Primary School disclosed that the retired teachers are paid a small fee by the agency. Ragor said a school-feeding programme initiated by TEPAD in collaboration with Japanese Agency for International Development at Terik location has improved standards of education. "Because of a feeding programme for class seven and eight, and lower primary, enrollment has improved and several pupils have qualified for places in National schools," he said. The leaders urged the Government not to sideline minority groups in public appointments. They added that the Terik community fully supports implementation of the new Constitution. The community resides mainly in Kapsengere, Kapkerer and Tambua locations, in Aldai Division of Nandi South District. More...

New Nzoia board promises better deal for sugar farmers

By Rosemary Wachiye, June 14 2011
The Nzoia sugarcane farmers are set to benefit from the new management at the Nzoia Out growers company (NOCO) the company’s Managing Director, Mr. Kingsley Mutali has said. Mr.Mutali urged cane farmers to support the new management in its service so that it can benefit both farmers and the company. Speaking at one of the polling centers in Bukembe primary during the elections for the District 1 and 5 Directors over the weekend, Mr. Mutali expressed his bitterness towards the former management that was trying to stop the elections of the new directors. “The former management has been in court recently to stop the election of directors and this is because they have something to hide and want to continue being in power past the required time,” said Mr. Mutali. He also revealed that there had never been Annual General Meetings in five years in a row and that the former management was in fear that with the new management the meetings will take place leading to farmers asking for accountability of the past five years’ service. “With the new elected directors there will definitely be Annual General Meetings (AGM) contrary to the previous management to give a chance to the farmer’s representatives to view the working of the company,” said Mr. Mutali. More...

Nzoia Sugar
Nzoia Sugar Company has changed management with new bosses promsing annual general meetings so every member can air their views on the running of the company.
Kitale mayor quits race

Charles Bonyo
Quit: Charles Bonyo, the Kitale mayor

By Leonard Wamalwa, June 14 2011
As the campaigns and lobbying for the posts of mayors for municipal councils and chairmen for County and town councils starts to gain momentum across the country, Kitale town mayor Charles Bonyo has announced his decision not to defend his seat. Speaking to journalists in his office the Masaba ward councilor who has been mayor for two years said that the decision was to pave way for his fellow youthful councilors to take over the leadership at the municipality. The mayor however, noted that by keeping off the race of mayorship it does not mean he has ceased or bowed out of politics and leadership because he was still councilor of Masaba ward and was looking forward to vie for a seat in next year’s general elections under the new constitution. He revealed that he shall give the necessary support to the vying candidates who include former Mayor Joshua Werunga, the current deputy mayor Herbert Wambaya and councilors David Lutta and Simon Lozi who have already started campaigning. More...

Wife quits marital home over sexless life

By John Kabaka, June 14 2011
A woman has deserted her husband on the suburbs of Kakamega town over her husband’s excessive consumption of illicit brew. The move comes at a time when there are increased cases of drinking illicit brew leading to death and physical impairness of many people in the country. In Kakamega case, the young lady in her early twenties has accused her husband of failing to perform his conjugal duties due to excessive consumption chang’aa. The collapse of the marriage which was arranged by their parents has come after the woman failed to convince her husband to stop drinking. According to a source, the husband drinks chang’aa daily using money he gets from the households. She as well alleges that the handsome but unable to perform man steals money for the drink from the house. After all avenues were exhausted the woman packed her clothes and left the matrimonial home. The most angered and surprised mother in-law who wondered why the woman was breaking the marriage and yet she provides to the couple all that they needed. However as she left, the young lady sneered at her mother in-law telling her that there was something more a woman needs in a marriage than merely eating and sleeping. A source said that the lady left with her one year old child whose father is yet to be known as she never had an affair with her husband in the marriage. As the local saying goes it is only the mother that knows the father of the children. There has been talk that the child might have been sired by a workman who spends most of the time with the lady while her husband goes to drink and sleep. However the issue has been taken as a top family secret for fear of demeaning the man’s manhood. More...

Farmers' building stopped

By John Nalianya, June 14 2011
The construction of the multi-million Ushirika Building in Bungoma has been stopped. This follows an appeal by a group of contractors to the public procurement administrative board. The building that will cost Sh34 million belongs to a group of coffee cooperative societies who have come together under the Bungoma cooperative union. In a suit, Bumula contractors have accused Bungoma cooperative union for not following the Procurement Act. More...

Community, govt in conflict over viability of Nandi Forest Dam

By John Kabaka, June 13 2011
The lake basin development authority has invited scientists to give their opinion on whether a multi million shillings dam set to be built in Nandi forest should go on or not. The authority’s managing director Kabok Aguko has said they were seeking a scientific opinion because bio-diversity and eco system issues cannot be taken for granted. Eng. Aguko said this at the closing ceremony of the three day international conference on tropical forests at the Masinde Muliro University Science and Technology in Kakamega town. The Nandi forest dam which is envisaged to boost power supply in Western Kenya has enlisted strong opposition from the local; community who fear it could cause serious environment consenguences to people down stream and the forest. The proposed dam construction is t cost over Sh20 billion multi-purpose dam in Nandi with more than 3,000 acres of Nandi South Forest to be destroyed to create space for the project. The suspension follows complaints from environmentalists and politicians who demanded the project shelved. Due to the strong opposition the lake basin authority has suspended construction of the dam until environmental issues surrounding the project are ironed out. Aguko said the Nandi dam was among the dams the authority intends to build on river Nzoia at Webuye and Magwagwa on Sondu River to increase power supply in the region. He hailed Masinde Muliro University for organizing the conference to come up with a report on how Kakamega forest and other water towers in the country could be conserved. Eng Aguko said as part of the authority’s contribution to take part in the rehabilitation and conservation of Mau forest. Others who spoke at the occasion included a representative of the government of Japan Professor Higashi Seiko who said his country has signed an international protocol to conserve tropical rainforests of which Kakamega forest is a beneficiary. More...

Nandi Dam
Officers inspect the multi-purpose Nandi Dam whose construction has been suspended to allow for expert advice. Photo: courtesy of Kenya Forests Working Group

Finally some justice for Mt Elgon rape victims

By Wanyonyi wa Wasike, June 13 2011
Hundreds of women who were raped during land skirmishes in Mount Elgon District have finally been incorporated in a program to rehabilitate them. The program that targets over 400 victims has been initiated in Kapsokwony, Kopsiro, Cheptais and Kaptama locations in the district by Mwatikho Torture Survivors Organization, a local human rights group. The group's director Mr Taiga Wanyanja said that most of the victims are in dire need of medical care, counseling as well as legal redress on those who committed human rights violations against them. "We have already reached 85 victims in our first week of operation and we intend to extent to other areas because many of the victims stay deep in the rural areas," announced Wanyanja. He added that apart from the rehabilitation program, most of the women are finding a rare forum to share their experiences with their colleagues. He added that this is one way in which Mwatikho wants the victims to share their stories and reduce the post-traumatic stress that hits most victims. The human rights official added that after listening to the stories, the group will document all cases with a view to pursuing the culprits in court since most of those who committed the atrocities are well known but are roaming freely in villages in the area. "We will ensure that justice is finally done to the victims because majority of those women that we have dealt with have confided in us that they know their aggressors," said Wanyanja. More...

Atwoli defends embattled Tobiko's nomination as DPP

By Luke Anami, June 13 2011
Central Organisation of Trade Union’s boss, Francis Atwoli, and Local Government Permanent Secretary (PS), Titus Ndambuki, have defended the nomination of Kerioko Tobiko, saying Public Service Commission (PSC) rules do not compel interviewing of candidates in public. Atwoli, who chaired the panel that nominated Tobiko for the position of Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), dismissed the comments of Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) chairman, Abdikadir Mohammed, that the process was flawed. "The CIOC should note that there is nothing in the Constitution and/or in any known laws of Kenya that requires that the appointment of the DPP be done in the glare of cameras as was the case in the appointment of the Chief Justice and the Deputy Chief Justice. Transparency does not entail the public watching the process," Atwoli said. "The panel I chaired was composed of highly experienced individuals and people of integrity. At no stage did any law require us to conduct the process in public." Atwoli, in a statement from Geneva, was quick to add that the process of short-listing Tobiko was one of the most credible. He dismissed Abdikadir’s comments that their panel did not receive reports from the National Security Intelligence Service, Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, and the Kenya Revenue Authority. More...

Anne Nasimiyu
The Standard Three pupil of St Joseph Primary School in Trans Nzoia West heavily bandaged at a Kitale hospital. He was hijacked by a female teacher who took him to her house for a thorough beating allegedly for stealing her avocados. Photo: Leonard Wamalwa

Farmer kills son with a hoe

By Justus Ochieng, June 13 2011
A 45-year-old farmer beat his 15-year-old son to death for failing to weed a plot he had been allocated. The man allegedly hit the teenager with a hoe and killed him on the spot. The boy's mother said her son, a Standard Five pupil at Boro Primary School, Central Alego location of Boro division, was given the weeding chore on Saturday. He did not complete the work and left a small portion which he intended to work on yesterday. His father has since gone missing after the tragedy. He only called his wife to let her know where she would find their son and to inform her he was going to commit suicide. The police have launched a man hunt. More...

Teacher on the run after kidnapping and assaulting a pupil at her house

By Leonard Wamalwa, June 13 2011
A primary school teacher has gone under cover after she assaulted an eight-year old class 3 pupil of St Joseph’s primary school in Grass Land location of Trans Nzoia West district on Wednesday. The nursery school teacher is said to have assaulted the boy after hijacking him on the way and dragging him to her house in Standard Estate where she beat and assaulted him using various weapons including cooking stick, walking stick and blows. According to the boy’s mother Anne Nasimiyu, her son was beaten by the teacher on Wednesday and Thursday consecutively claiming that he had stolen her Avocados from her house. Grassland Chief Isaac Mutirithia confirmed the incident saying that the boy who received serious injuries on both hands, head, mouth and legs was undergoing treatment at the Kitale district hospital as efforts to arrest the suspect were still going on. The administrator hinted that he was liaising with his administration police officers to track the teacher who has since ducked noting that her whereabouts are well known to his office and it wouldn’t take long before they catch up with her. “As we speak the madam has run away but we are intensifying the search for her arrest to ensure that she takes responsibility for her deeds,” said Chief Mutirithia. More...

Alarm as 85% of babies in Butere are born at home

By Shaban Makokha, June 10 2011
The government has raised concern over the increasing number of home births in Butere district. DC Seif Matata said more than 74 per cent of babies in the district are born at home, adding that the women have ignored the need for antenatal programs. Consequently, Matata noted that maternal deaths in the district have gone up as traditional birth attendants lack the capacity to deal with complications during birth. Talking to The Star in his Butere, Matata said the rate of maternal mortality could be high despite the district having sufficient health facilities. He called upon residents of Butere to take advantage of the available facilities “because some people are admiring them”. “I am surprised that women in this district are staying away from antenatal clinics despite being aware of the dangers involved during childbirth,” he said However, a number of women from the district have blamed the hospital staff as being the major cause of their staying away. They alleged that the staff harass and even beat them during labour pains. “Why should you go for more trouble at the time when you need comfort,” lamented a victim Rosebela Mureka. Mureka vowed never to deliver in hospital until she is assured of thorough reforms in the nursing fraternity. She recalled how she was molested and even left to deliver on her own at the Butere District Hospital two years ago. More...

Isaac Okwaro Ochoni
Isaac Okwaro Ochoni, the three-year old Iteso boy with a rare form of eye cancer that pops out eyes. Daisy Eye Cancer Fund has sprang to his rescue and taken him for treatment at Moi Referral Hospital in Eldoret.

Youth demand elections: Hundreds of youths from Bungoma have protested the cancellation of National Youth Council elections. Business was paralysed as the over a hundred youth called for elections. More...
Pop-eyed cancer child in Teso gets help

By Westfm reporters, June 10 2011
Daisy’s Eye Cancer Fund has come to the aid of Isaac Okwaro Ochonu, 3, a third in a family of three sons from kuwang’amur village who is ailing from retinoblastoma (fast growing eye cancer affecting babies and young children.) Ms. Harriet Kavere an Ophthalmic officer at the Busia District Hospital said that the child was suffering from retina blastiphorm a childhood tumor which affects part of the eye called the retina, a layer behind the eye. “It is congenital meaning that the child is born with it and presents itself later after the child is three to five years. The patient is born with it, a sign of having a problem with the genes,” she said. Daisy Eye Cancer Fund in collaboration with the Kenya National Retinoblastoma Strategy that was launched in September 2008. Together West Fm, doctors who have been very helpful in helping the child include: Dr. Ambrose Fwamba the Public Health officer Busia District hospital, Mr. Idewa from the Eye Unit Busia, Dr. Evans Medical Health officer and Brian Ouma Okeya the CEO Daisy’s Eye Cancer. They are also collaborating with Dr. Kahaki Kimani, Director of the retinoblastoma program at Kenyatta National Hospital, and Prof. Jorry Odede OGW, Director of Ophthalmology at MTRH. More...

Four thugs including a woman lynched at Kamkuywa, Bungoma

By Eric Lumbasi, June 10 2011
Mob justice and lynching saw four alleged thugs being killed in Kamkuywa Market early Friday morning. Taking law in their own hands, residents of living within the market stoned up four people after they were caught stealing valuables from one a nearby house. According to the area village elder Miriam Wanambuka two of them were staying in a one roomed house which she happened to be their landlord. “He dropped the television and tried to run away but a mob armed with stones managed to truck him down before descending on him mercilessly to death. The other three were ambushed in the rented house which is usually their meeting point. One was a woman who is said to be their cook. They were frog matched to the market centre and also stoned to death,” said Wanambuka. Wanambuka added that that she was very much suspicious of their character since they could sleep during the day and disappear mysteriously during the night yet they did not specify where they always went to. Joseph Mubwami the area Councilor said the level of security in the area had steadily risen with people being robbed of their property each passing day. “My people have been living in fear each passing day as the thugs normally target the rich especially during the night to rob them. In a previous incident a businessman at the market was seriously injured and robbed off his valuables by armed robbers,” Said Mubwani. Leonard Khayota the chairman of the security and peace committee in Kimilili District urged the police to intensify security in the area and organize patrols especially during the night in order to curb the increased rates of crime in the area. More...

kamkuywa thug
An alleged thug lies dead, a victim of mob justice in Kamkuywa, Bungoma
Kamkuywa woman thug
A woman alleged to have been the cook of the Kamkuywa thugs was not spared in the lynching either. Photos: Eric Lumbasi
Bungoma-based journalist wins global award

By John Oywa, June 10 2011
A journalist with the Standard Group has won a prestigious award for his work on human rights issues. Mr Robert Wanyonyi who works for the Group from Bungoma County beat 2,611contestants from across the world to bag the Human Rights Watch’s 2011 Hellman- Grant. Wanyonyi’s winning story captured how police killed a Red Cross worker who had rushed to rescue accident victims in Bungoma last year. The story was aired on the Kenya Television Network (KTN), one of the Standard Group’s stables. Besides cash award, a camera and a laptop, Wanyonyi, 37, will also benefit from a scholarship. Yesterday, Wanyonyi described the award as a pleasant surprise. " I entered the competition but I didn’t expect to beat all other contestants. It is a big honour and I thank my editors and colleagues at KTN for giving me an enabling working environment". Standard Group’s Managing Editor–Broadcasting Services, Kizito Namulanda congratulated Wanyonyi saying his award was an encouragement to other journalists working in the region. The Hellman-Hammet grant recognises writers who have suffered persecution as a result of their work, reporting of extra judicial killings and other human rights abuses. It is also intended to help focus attention on free expression. Last year, the prize went to an Iraqi journalist. More...

Violet Mavisi
Violet Mavisi, the retired judge being interviewed for the position of supreme court judge yesterday in Nairobi. .

Wako receives huge files from Jersey on Okemo

By Lucas Barasa, June 10 2011
Kenya's Attorney-General Amos Wako on Friday confirmed receiving files from authorities in Jersey on the warrants of arrest against former top government officials Chris Okemo and Samuel Gichuru. Mr Wako said he had received ‘voluminous documents’ from Jersey and asked Chief Public Prosecutor Keriako Tobiko to constitute a team to attend to them. He described the files as complex and voluminous, and directed Mr Tobiko to "immediately constitute a high level team, if he has not done so already, to study and analyse the supporting documentation and deal with the matter soonest". More...

Violet Mavisi declares same-sex marriages illegal

By our correspondent, June 10 2011
The interview panel for Supreme Court candidates Friday questioned retired judge Violet Mavisi about how she would apply the Constitution on abortion and same-sex marriages, if appointed. At the same time, Mombasa-based judge Jackton Boma Ojwang was pressed to defend his judgments which the Court of Appeal had overturned, on the fifth day of the interviews. They were the last to face the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) panel this week, and were questioned on their suitability, including past judgments and writings, relevant experience and legal philosophy. JSC member Emily Ominde asked retired judge Mavisi: Does Article 26(4) allow abortion, and does Article 45(2) allow same-sex marriages?” The candidate responded that those sections were clear. “The Constitution is very clear: same-sex relations are not allowed. The law says – and it is very clear – abortion is not allowed,” she said adding that the Constitution, however, gave an exception for the latter. “The court will have to determine whether the mother’s life was in danger,” she said. She told the panel that, if appointed, she would take to the Supreme Court her vast experience on human rights issues, which she said she had gathered from the time she was a member of the National Commission on Human Rights, a public prosecutor, a consultant and an advocate. More...

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Rare cancer pops out boy's eyes

By Frankline Bwire, June 9 2011
A three year old boy from Teso South District remains in danger following a cancer infection, which has left both of his eyes popping out. Isaac Okwaro Ochonu, a third born in a family of three sons from Kuwang’amor village, is now admitted at the Busia District hospital, with his parents seeking to raise over Sh. 600,000 from well wishers, for therapy at the Moi Referral hospital in Eldoret. The child’s father Mr. Evans Ochonu a 26 year old peasant farmer reveals that it all started with the itching of the eyes which resulted to tears oozing out before reddening. Mr. Ochonu adds that he has taken his child to various hospitals including Tororo and Mulago in Uganda, not forgetting Alupe, but the disease could not be cured. “I was forced to return home from Uganda, with my son due to the high financial demands for treatment, despite Isaac being the first one to be affected with the unique disease which has intruded into my family,” said the saddened father. World Health Organization Polio surveillance officer Mr. John Ogange in collaboration with the Busia Medical Officer of Health Mr. Evans Kiplang’at said that the polio campaign team noticed child’s weakness of the limbs, also known as flaccid paralysis and decided to take him to the Busia hospital. They noted that the family was so poor and could not afford fare to take the child to hospital, despite having been advised by the health officers, who were carrying out the door to door vaccination of children less than five years against polio. Ms. Harriet Kavere an Ophthalmic officer at the Busia District Hospital said that the child was suffering from retina blastiphorm a childhood tumor which affects part of the eye called the retina, a layer behind the eye. “It is congenital meaning that the child is born with it and presents itself later after the child is three to five years. The patient is born with it, a sign of having a problem with the genes,” she said. Kavere added that the eye could be removed during the early stages and cancer contained, but during the late stages, the patient requires chemotherapy. More...

Isaac Okwaro Ochonu
Isaac Okwaro Ochonu, the three-year old Iteso boy with a rare form of cancer that manifests itself through popped out eyes. His peasant mother looks at him helplessly at Busia District hospital where he has been referred to Eldoret for specialised treatment at a cost of shs600,000. Photos: Frankline Bwire
Helpless parents Evans Ochonu, a 26 year old peasant farmer and his wife Catherine Alice stare at the circumstances with a sense of foreboding. To help them, please phone or sms this number: (+254)73670364
Govt depts at war over shoddy workmanship of a Lugari school

By Joseph Otieno, June 9 2011
A legal squabble is in the offing between government departments in Lugari district over the reconstruction of a collapsed school building. Public health officer Festus Anaya has threatened court action against all those involved in the construction of a class at Ivona primary school in Mautuma location. That puts him in a collision cause with the public works department that allegedly supervised the construction. According to Anaya, his department advised the school committee to bring down all the walls and begin a fresh of the CDF sponsored classroom block but the public works department only supervised for the repair of walls, a situation Anaya describes as dangerous. He said his officers advised for the stoppage after noticing that the building had been erected using poor materials but the committee and the contractor ignored their advice and continued. “This led to the collapse of a section of the building”, he said adding that if allowed to be completed in that manner it will pause a great danger to the pupils as well as teachers in future. As a result, he pointed out he had been compelled to take legal action against those involved to save the lives of the users in future. He lamented that public works officials led by one Charles Nyachieo the deputy district works officer allegedly visited the site and advised the committee and the contractor to ignore advice from his department. “He only gave the contractor the go a head of repairing the collapsed section instead of bringing down the whole building”, he said. More...

mautuma primary school
A curious onlooker marvels at the collapsed walls of Mautuma Primary School in Lugari District. The CDF-sponsored construction has evolved into a blame game between public works department and public health. Photo: Joseph Otieno

Central Bank is after your coins

By our correspondent, June 9 2011
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has launched a two-week campaign to encourage Kenyans to release the coins they have in their possession, in exchange for notes in a bid to enhance circulation of coins. The campaign, which has been dubbed Coin Week, will begin on June 20 and end on July 1. CBK’s director of currency operations and branch administration department, James Teko Lokoyetum, noted that it will ensure that the coins still acting as legal tender are available. More...

Rain storm blows off classroom at Misikhu Girls School, Bungoma

By Rosemary Wachiye, June 9 2011
A heavy rain storm blew off the roof of Misikhu Girls primary, in Bungoma East, destroying a dormitory, a class, a teacher’s house and latrines that were fallen on by huge trees that surround the school premises Wednesday. The pupils were in class when the incident took place but some of the pupils stated that they had a bang from the boarding section of the school and when they retired to their dormitories after their evening classes they found their books and beddings rained on and the whole dormitory roof flown off. “We were in class when it was raining then we heard a bang but did not know what had caused it,” said Sheila Mung’oma a class seven pupil. “Our books have been rained on, our bedding, food that we had in our boxes and right now we are left with nothing. It’s so bad that whatever happened yesterday happened,” said Caren Wamachali the school captain. As much as there were no people harm towards the pupils, the school head teacher, Mrs .Judith Wafula complained of the massive damage the rain had caused the school. “The damage caused by the storm felling trees on our classroom, a teacher’s house and the blowing off of the roofs form the girl’s dormitory will cost us Sh1.5 Million to reinstate the school back to the way it was,” said Mrs.Wafula. More...

Misikhu Girls school
The roof of Misikhu Girls Primary School dormitory was ripped off by strong winds yesterday exposing the students to the elements. Photo: Rosemary Wachiye
Kiplagat to be recalled over Wagalla massacre

By Ally Jamah, June 9 2011
Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) is considering recalling Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat to testify on the Wagalla Massacre after he released fresh evidence. TJRC commissioners yesterday expressed surprise that in an interview he granted a local TV station yesterday, Kiplagat cited documents that he had not mentioned during his testimony on Monday. More...

Nancy Barasa sails through final vetting for deputy CJ

By John Ngirachu, June 9 2011
A parliamentary panel has approved three nominees for the key justice system offices of Chief Justice (CJ), the Deputy Chief Justice (DCJ) and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Parliament’s Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) unanimously approved the nominations of Dr Willy Mutunga and Ms Nancy Barasa but faltered when it came to Mr Tobiko. “The first recommendation of the committee is that all names be approved for appointment,” said Committee chairman Abdikadir Mohammed at a brief press conference. The second part of the recommendations needed some explaining and Mr Mohammed said 21 of the 23 MPs present at a morning meeting had voted for Dr Mutunga. Ms Barasa’s nomination was approved by all of those present at the meeting, said Mr Mohammed. Four MPs in the 27-member team were reported to have been out of the country. The committee was split down the middle when it came to voting on Mr Tobiko’s nomination; 11 voted for and 11 against him, with one MP choosing to abstain. “In deliberations thereafter, because we have to give one recommendation to the House, our recommendation to the House is that the recommendation is a go,” said Mr Mohammed. He said the report to the House would contain the key issues raised on each of the nominees, with particular emphasis on those raised against Mr Tobiko, which forced the committee to meet for an extra day. More...

Nancy Barasa
Nancy Barasa, deputy chief justice nominee clears final hurdle.
Keriako Tobiko
Keriako Tobiko, director of public prosecutions nominee. Parliamentary committee split 50-50 over his nomination amid allegations of bribery.
Tax evaders hunted to fund Uhuru's monstrous Sh1.15 trillion budget

By Peter Kiragu, June 9 2011
Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday walked a tightrope while presenting his Budget for 2011/12. He had to fund increased government spending of Sh1.15 trillion while minimising the burden on Kenyans already reeling from difficult economic times. In his delicate balancing act, he removed one nuisance from ordinary employees who only have one source of income by exempting them from the annual ritual of making annual tax returns and leaving the duty of filing PAYE returns to employers. The budget maintained Value Added Tax at 16 percent pending the outcome of an ongoing review of the VAT regime. Uhuru presented what is Kenya’s biggest budget yet focusing on food security, implementation of the new constitution and improvement of infrastructure as well as constituency development. However he has a huge deficit to bridge. With total expected receipts of Sh970.7 billion (including loans and grants), and total expenditures at Sh1.15 trillion, Uhuru is facing a deficit of Sh184.3 billion. Uhuru allocated some Sh20bn for implementing the new constitution; increased allocation to CDF funds to Sh17.2 billion. Some Sh4.2bn will be used to resettle the IDPs and Mau Forest evictees while Sh5bn has been set aside for 2012 general election. More...

Bungoma educators call for scrapping of 'best teacher' awards

By Daniel Saenyi and Eric Lumbasi, June 8 2011
The Best teacher, best principal and best head teacher awards are the most prestigious awards most teachers look forward to on an education day. However, this year, the awards have been met with a lot of controversies as some teachers insist that they should be done away with. Some teachers have suggested that the award should cease to exist because it demoralizes some teachers as opposed to its intention. They argued that teachers may work hard to try to be recognized by the public but in the end their efforts are fruitless, so they decide not to perform because they are not appreciated. The District Education Officer for Bungoma South District Mr. Japheth Shitubi proposed that the Secondary Schools Heads Association review the award because instead of encouraging teachers, it demoralizes them as opposed to its objective. “The intention for the award was good but it has ended up serving the opposite as some teachers get their self esteem shot down. The criteria put forward for choosing this teachers has served its purpose for some time but it has its own flaws as we experienced this year thus leading to calls by teachers to remove the award. This award has led to teachers being subjective instead of being objective so if the criteria can be reviewed it will be of benefit to the teachers and the entire education sector,” Said Mr. Shitubi. The criteria used to select the deserving teachers are the question on every teacher’s mind the moment the topic is brought up. The criterion the ministry of Education uses to identify the teachers is not known to the public so everyone is kept in the dark hoping they are chosen when they were not considered. Education facilities differ in many ways, private schools are different from public schools, and they should consider this when making the decision over whom to be awarded.

best teacher
Education Assistant Minister Ayiecho Olweny awarding a best performing teacher during an Education day ceremony in Matungu recently. In Bungoma, teachers say the scheme is demoralising to those instructors who work hard only not to be recognised. Photo: Westfm

Wife hacks husband's lover to death in Kimilili

By Joan Wesakulila, June 8 2011
Tension is high in Kinyikeu village Khamulati Sub-location in Kimilili District after a middle aged woman hacked another to death on suspicion of having a love affair with his husband. Sources told West Fm that Ms Roseline Nafula, wife to Asmin Shitanda, had been getting information that her husband was involved in a love affair with another woman identified as Ms Diana Simbi but had remained calm as the two rejoiced in their romance. However, the wrath of Ms Nafula was laid bare when she was alerted by her husband’s drinking friends of the way ward behavior of her husband when they could not withstand a public display of their slandering behavior. Drama started at the drinking den Shitanda had gone for a drinking spree as usual, but when he had taken much, he stood up to leave but was followed by the woman and started to beg him for money for personal use but her hands were doing much of the begging as she was seen caressing Shitanda romantically prompting those at the changaa den to alert his wife. On getting the news, the enraged wife arrived in a furry where a fierce fight ensued between the two women but it became worse when Shitanda’s wife attacked Ms Simbi with a knife hacking her to death. More...

Smokin Wanjala grilled over his resignation from KACC

Isaiah Lucheli, June 8 2011
The Attorney General Amos Wako took former Kenya-Anti Corruption Commission (Kacc) assistant director Smokin Charles Wanjala to task over his resignation from the commission. In response Mr Wanjala said he does not regret resigning despite President Kibaki renewing his term. "I learnt of the renewal of my contract after I arrived back in Nairobi from official duty in Mombasa. I was informed that my term had been extended and had been published in the Kenya Gazette," he said. The lawyer further told the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) that he had not planned to reapply for the job and when pressure from Parliament and civic bodies mounted he opted to resign. "There was an outcry from the public, Parliament and civil society and I realised my time in the office was untenable. You cannot continue staying in office when the people you are supposed to serve oppose your appointment," he said. He told the commission that his resignation had nothing to do with his performance. Kacc directors resigned after Parliament annulled their tenure on October 16, last year to protest their unilateral reappointment by the President on October 1. Kacc director Justice Aaron Ringera and his deputy Mrs Fatuma Sichale tendered their resignation letters to President Kibaki two weeks after Wanjala, quit. MPs accused President Kibaki of disregarding the law in appointing Mr Ringera without consultation with the KACC Advisory Board and Parliament. Wanjala told the panel that some judicial officials have elevated themselves to very high levels that they do not look like part of the society they are working for. Rampant corruption, expeditious disposal of cases and impunity in the judiciary, he said, should be tackled seriously to reform it and build public trust. More...

smokin charles wanjala
Smokin Wanjala, the former deputy director of KACC was interviewed today for the position of supreme court judge.

Fish farming takes root in western

Protus Simiyu, June 8 2011
Farmers in Bungoma County have been urged to embrace fish farming as one way of empowering themselves economically. The Manager of Chwele Fish Farming Mr. Lazarus Imbwayo said fish farming has a bright future hence farmers should not hesitate to join the fish industry. Imbwayo said the Chwele project is basically engaged in production of fingerlings which are supplied to fish farmers throughout the expansive Bungoma County. Speaking to West Fm in Chwele at the site of project-Chwele Dam, the manager revealed that apart from producing fingerlings, they are also engaged in educating farmers on how they can establish fish ponds on their farms adding that fish farming does not require large pieces of land. ‘’We are educating farmers on how to pick appropriate pond sites, pond construction and fish production at the lowest input possible,’’ Imbwayo noted. More...

If you speak Oluluyia in public offices, you'll be arrested ... soon

By Alphonce Shiundu, June 8 2011
Parliament has approved a motion banning the use of vernacular in public offices. This means that if the government agrees with the House resolution, it will be illegal to speak mother-tongue in offices. The motion survived a onslaught from the frontbench and backbenchers who had termed it as “unconstitutional” and “superfluous” because the Constitution has already directed that the official languages are English and Kiswahili. As soon as the temporary deputy Speaker Gitobu Imanyara put the motion to a verbal vote, MPs hugged the motion sponsor Elias Mbau (Maragua, PNU), and raised their hands amid shouts of ‘hooray!’ and ‘Yes’, to celebrate the passage of the motion. Though Mr Mbau had expected support for the motion after its constitutionality was approved by the Speaker’s Office, he was shocked when the Public Service Ministry, through its assistant minister Aden Sugow, opposed the motion terming it as impractical. “It is very difficult for the Ministry to infringe on the rights of civil servants. It is difficult to implement that. It is hard to punish workers for speaking vernacular,” said Mr Sugow. An angry Mr Mbau lashed out at the assistant minister and the others who opposed the motion like Dr Boni Khalwale (Ikolomani, New Ford Kenya), assistant ministers Peter Munya, Lee Kinyanjui and Aden Duale. Mr Ntoitha M’mithiaru (Igembe North) noted that the Constitution had already labelled English and Kiswahili as official languages and there was no point for Parliament to debate a “superfluous motion”.

Bishop Sulumeti accused of blocking building of Lugari Church

By Joseph Otieno, June 7 2011
St. Boniface Catholic Church Kipkaren faithful have called on their Bishop to allow them construct a modern worshipping church building in the area. The faithful observed that despite being ready to start the project Bishop Phillip Sulumeti had declined to grant them permission to allow the project commence. For over a decade now, the project has failed to take off as a result of unwillingness of the Bishop Sulumeti, they lamented. “We bought construction materials and dug a foundation way back in 1997, we approached the bishop to bless the place before we could start building but instead of blessings he stopped the whole process up to now,” they said. They revealed they have been conducting prayers in a dilapidated mud structure lamenting that preachers deployed at the church are moved immediately they begin pushing the project. “Since the stopping of the exercise, the church has had a number of priests but any one of them who tries to push for the project is transferred with immediate effect,” they lamented. The irony is that the church is situated closer to the rural home of the bishop. They pointed out that the poor state of the church has compelled some worshippers to join other denominations. They are now appealing to the Bishop to come clear on why he had declined to grant the requisite permission arguing that the delay was detrimental to the church. Efforts to get comments from the bishop were futile as a father who picked his phone declined to comment on the matter nor even passing on the phone arguing that only the bishop was entitled to comment on such matters but he was busy with other matters. More...

St Boniface Kipkaren Catholic Church
The dilapidated St Bonfiface Kipkaren Catholic Church in Lugari which had been earmarked for upgrade in 1997. According to the faithful, the project stalled after head of Catholic Church in Kakamega Bishop Philip Sulumeti declined to grant permsission.
Bishop Philip Sulumeti
Bishop Philip Sulumeti, the head of the Catholic Church in Kakamega. He is accused by the Catholic faithful of Kipkaren in Lugari of being the stmbling block in the construction of a new church.
Deputy CJ-nominee Nancy Baraza denies she is lesbian

By John Ngirachu, June 7 2011
The lives of the man and woman who could become Kenya's next Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice were Wednesday laid bare in the ongoing vetting by a committee of Parliament. Dr Willy Mutunga, the nominee for Chief Justice was put to task over his career in law and civil rights activism as well as his sexuality and the stud in his ear that have become the subject of public debate. Nancy Baraza, who is nominated to become Kenya’s first ever Deputy Chief Justice, was also questioned by members of the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) about her family values, sexuality and links with the gay and lesbian community. Ms Baraza said her doctorate thesis, seen to be the cause of this discomfort, was informed by her experiences during her work at the defunct Constitution of Kenya Review Commission and the Kenya Law Review Commission. She said the result of her research would eventually help Kenyans, and especially the health sector, where the gays and lesbians are not catered for. Ms Baraza said she has through her research established that the Kenya Medical Research Institute puts the gays and lesbians at 15 per cent of the Kenyan population, which the National Aids and STIs Control Programme is grappling with. “Those who say I’m supporting them (gays and lesbians) are jumping the gun. I have gone into the unknown. I have no findings yet,” said Ms Baraza. She caused laughter when she said: “I’m not a lesbian. If I were a lesbian, there are some very good friends of mine in this room (and) I would have dated them.” More...

Sick Mumias man kills wife: Police in Mumias were yesterday looking fo a man who allegedly killed his wife and escaped in Matungu district. Area police chief George Seda said John Mukoya Wanga, 41, allegedly killed his wife Mwanarabu Munandi Mukoya, 37, over the weekend and went underground. Neighbours said the couple quarreled over the ailing husband's plan to sell part of their and use the money for medication. More...
nancy baraza
Nancy Baraza, teh deputy chief justice nominee was grilled by a constitutional oversight implementation committee early today in Nairobi. She is writing a PhD on homosexuality but strongly denied she is a lesbian.

Baby dumped in Kitale bush

Kibomet Baby
Body of an infant dumped in a Kitale bush

By Leonard Wamalwa, June 7 2011
Barely one day after a one day old infant was rescued from a toilet in a village in Kitale town, another body of an infant of the same age has been recovered in another village just a few meters away from Monday's incident in the same Kibomet location of Trans Nzoia West district. The body of the baby boy with the placenta was recovered inside a fence in a maize plantation at Stage Choma village along the Kitale-Kapenguria road Monday afternoon. Women witnesses believed that the baby was delivered safely after attaining the 9 month period was dumped there during the day arguing that if it was dumped there the previous night then it would be smelly and probably could have been eaten by dogs or other predators around. More...

Five armed robbers shot dead in Busia

By Frankline Bwire, June 7 2011
Five thugs were gunned down and weapons recovered at Khunyangu area in Butula District, following an attempted robbery in the area. Confirming the incident, Butula District Commissioner Mr. Bosek Lang’at said that the thugs armed with an AK 47, a pistol and a homemade gun, were tracked down by the flying squad in collaboration with the CID officers who managed to ambush them on Monday night. Lang’at revealed that:” We highly suspect they are the ones who have been terrorizing the residents in the last incidences that occurred in areas of Bumala, Nambale and Ogallo,” He added that they have launched investigations to ascertain those connected with the five, calling upon the public to present vital information to the police officers, relevant to the incident. The DC disclosed that among the thugs gunned down in the incident, one hails from Mayoni, while another one from Khunyangu area. “The remaining three have not been identified, but investigations are on to unravel their identity. Those involved in these acts come from this same area and the public should be vigilant and ensure they are reported,” said Lang’at. He has however maintained that those found to be involved; the long arm of the law will be undertaken against them immediately. “We will not entertain such culprits who are after terrorizing the public,” he said. More...

Ligaga wins Sh6.4m agaist Coca Cola: Coca-Cola East and Central Africa has been ordered to pay its former Human Resource manager Sh6.4 million as compensation for what was termed as unfair termination of employment. Justice James Rika of the Industrial Court ruled that Maria Ligaga, who now works with Mumias Sugar Company in the same department, should be paid within 30 days of delivery of the award. Ligaga sued Coca-Cola for unfair termination of contract of her employment. More...
Justice O'Kubasu opposes creation of Supreme Court

By Isaiah Lucheli, June 7 2011
Court of Appeal Judge Emmanuel O’Kubasu was grilled for more than ten minutes in camera by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in the ongoing vetting of Supreme Court judges. The chairperson of JSC, Prof Christine Mango, asked the media to switch off their cameras and vacate the room to enable the commissioners to interrogate the judge in private. O’Kubasu had earlier told the commission that numerous challenges dogged the Judiciary, which were to blame for case backlog and inefficiency in the judicial body. "The Judiciary has been turned into a punching bag for everyone. We work in the midst of people and we are facing many challenges such as lack of manpower and money to facilitate smooth operations," said the judge. He intimated that there was no reason to create the Supreme Court; instead the Appeal Court should have been strengthened. Responding to a question from Commissioner Ahmednassir Abdulahi about the challenges the Judiciary was facing, O’Kubasu explained that the High Court had 46 judges while the Court of Appeal had ten, who were expected to handle a huge workload. "As we all know, family planning has not taken root in the country and the population has been increasing. This translates to more cases for the judges and the situation has been worsening each year while staffing has remained the same for several years," he said. On corruption, Judge O’Kubasu exonerated magistrates and judges from the accusations. "Brokers are operating along court corridors collecting money from unsuspecting individuals with cases pending in court on claims that they would facilitate the ruling in their favour. This also applies to friends of judges and magistrates," he said. More...

Emmanuel Okubasu
Justice Emmanuel O'Kubasu, the Court of Appeal judge being grilled early today during interviews for judges of the newly-created Supreme Court of Kenya in Nairobi.
Kenneth Otiato Marende
House Speaker, Kenneth Marende, in a new show of political powerplay, castigated Uhuru Kenyatta for flouting the law and ordered him to make a ministerial statement in Parliament.
Marende scolds Uhuru for breaking the law, orders him to read statement

By Roseleen Nzioka, June 7 2011
House Speaker Kenneth Marende has directed Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta to read a ministerial statement in Parliament on Wednesday at 3.30pm outlining the government's budget estimates. This is the first time Kenyans will witness a presentation of the government’s budget estimates without the traditional funfare they are accustomed to. In the past the President would attend the session in the House; Parliament would shelve all other House business to focus on the budget speech; the traditional budget suitcase would be paraded and photographed with the minister and his assistants. Marende’s ruling on whether or not a budget speech would be read in Parliament, came a few hours after a Nairobi court dismissed a case filed by an NGO seeking to stop Finance Minister Uhuru from reading budget the tomorrow (Wednesday). Mr Marende at the same time castigated Uhuru for failing to abide by the provisions of the new Constitution regarding the process of presenting the budget. Marende said the new laws regarding budget estimates and specifically Article 221 are in force and operational. Marende said the controversy over the relevance of the new law could have been avoided as the Constitution is supreme over other laws. He said at all times the Constitution must take precedence over legislation. Marende warned Uhuru and other ministers against using other forums to address issues that should ideally be discussed and resolved by Parliament. More...

Forget Mau, Kakamega Forest is disappearing faster under our eyes

By John Kabaka, June 7 2011
Kakamega forest, is under attack, from inside and out, for many years. Logging for commercially valuable timber, and clear-felling of indigenous forest to make way for plantations according to Hassan Noor the chairman of the Mau forest conservation secretariat. “ Kakamega forest is under threats as there is a lot of charcoal burning and animal grazing in the area which might kill the entire forest”, observed Hassan adding that the political mayhem in the country should not affect the conservation issue as President Kibaki and the Prime Minister Raila Odinga are in full support on conservation of the water towers. He also cautioned politicians from getting closer to forest conservation bids as it happened when Mau rehabilitation had just commenced. “We know politics is part of us and we saw many politicians come in when we were trying to preserve and conserve Mau so I urge them to juts stay out of this and leave forest conservation to move on smoothly because the issue is not for political gain but all well for all Kenyans in all spheres of this land, they should just stay away of this” said Noor. Hassan encouraged Kenyans to try and plant more of bamboos as compared to other trees as it has many benefits as just compared to any other tree. “We have destroyed our forests because of poverty; bamboo trees are more of benefit as you can firewood, you can make furniture out of it, housing materials and even creative arts, it is a tree that can save many need of our people everywhere,” said the former provincial commissioner. Noor also said that the main cause of deterioration of Kakamega forest is animal grazing in the forests as he urged the local authority to try and control it. More...

“We should take the steps very fast or else lose the forest the same way we could have lost Mau, and with the temperature of this area, am telling you Kakamega can be down before anyone knows"
Kakamega Forest conference
Pannelists at the International Conference on Tropical Forest Resources held at Masinde Muliro University in Kakamega. The conference was attended by delegates from Japan, USA, Europe and Africa. Photo: John Kabaka
Alice Kaudia and Hassan Noor
Alice Kaudia of the environment ministry and Hassan Noor of Mau Secretariat during a break at the conference.
One day old baby rescued from toilet in Kitale

By Leonard Wamalwa, June 5 2011
A one-day old baby is fighting for its life at the Kitale district hospital after it was recovered from a toilet in Kibomet location of Trans Nzoia West district after it was dumped there by its mother immediately after she gave birth. The incident took place at Norec village early in the morning after a resident who had gone for a call of nature heard a child crying loudly inside the toilet that he had gone prompting him to alert the neighbors and area acting chief Joseph Togom who mobilized people immediately to safely dig the toilet and fortunately, recovered the baby boy. According to the chief, the baby was wrapped in a shopping paper bag from one of the Supermarkets in Kitale town with the placenta still intact. “We dug the toilet from the sides through the cooperation of the residents and my community policing team led by area village elder Margaret Nekesa and rushed him to the hospital immediately,” said chief Togom. The administrator confirmed that the child was in a stable condition and undergoing treatment at the hospital. Later in the day the chief confirmed that a woman who was suspected to have committed the shocking incident had been arrested and when interrogated admitted that she was the mother of the child and was even still bleeding at the time she was arrested by the chief and his foot soldiers. He said that the suspect had been taken for treatment at the hospital and taken back to the police cells in Kitale police station awaiting investigations and eventual prosecution. When I visited the hospital the handsome baby was in the hands of a group of happy mothers who were all smiles after having saved a life of such an innocent creature of God.

margaret nekesa
Baby Moses rescued from the toilet rests in peace on the laps of a good samaritan in Kitale. The baby's mother has been arrested and is being held at Kitale Police station pending prosecution. Photo: Leonard Wamalwa

New circumcision gadget being tested in Homa Bay

Stakeholders are engaged in a pilot study on a gadget touted to speed up male circumcision. The device known as the Shang Ring could help Kenya and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa meet the rising demand for Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision services and prevent the spread of HIV. The provincial male circumcision taskforce said the device will revolutionize how male circumcision services are offered in areas hardest hit by the HIV epidemic since there will be no use of surgical. More...

Kisumu-Busia truck drivers warned against luring school girls

By Justus Ochieng, June 5 2011
Ugunja DC has warned truck drivers who ply the Kisumu-Busia highway against luring school girls with money in exchange for sex. Kipkech Lotiatia said the drivers dock at night in Ugunja town soliciting. He said a number of girls have dropped out of school to venture into prostitution. The drivers conspire with local car wash youths who in turn approach the ladies and negotiate for cash, Kipkech said. “I therefore direct the area chief and his assistant to mark the lodgings where the girls spend the night with the truck drivers for the culprits to be nabbed,” he said. The DC called on the local community policing team to work with locals to tame the escalating vice in the district. Kipkech was speaking after receiving complaints from Ugunja town council vice chairman Odhiambo Rombo over the drivers' behaviour. More...

One dead in city blast

At least one person was killed when a powerful explosion went off behind a petrol station along Kirinyaga Road in downtown Nairobi. It was a lucky escape for scores of mechanics and motorists who would have flocked the area if it were a weekday. The explosion injured 41 people, six of whom are critically wounded and undergoing treatment in various city hospitals. More...

Wekesa denies Sh12m bribe to allow IDPs resettle in Kwanza

By Leonard Wanyama, June 5 2011
Dr Noah Wekesa, the Kwanza MP has refuted claims that he had been bribed Sh12 million by the government to accept the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) resettled at Molem and Kapkoi in his constituency. He said those spreading the rumor were just after tarnishing his name in the pretext of campaigns and should shun the move because he is a clean man never linked to any corruption deals in his political career. However Wekesa who had been involved in an ugly incident of exchange of words with civic leader during the Madaraka Day celebrations at Endebes district headquarters grounds said that his initial position was to have the IDPs and landless people in the entire Trans Nzoia County be resettled before considering others from outside the region. He added that despite championing for his people’s plight he had no otherwise as a member of the cabinet but to support the government process of resettling the displaced persons brought about by the 2007/2008 post-elections violence. More...

noah wekesa
Cha cha one step right, one step left: Dr Noah Wekesa, the Saboti MP and minister for wildlife taking dancing lessons from a faithful during a fundraiser for Kolongolo Catholic Church in Kwanza, Trans Nzoia over the weekend. The minister denies he took bribe to soften his dramatised opposition to resettlement of IDPs from Nakuru in his constituency. Photo: Leonard Wamalwa
Education pundits clash over scrapping of primary exams

By Augustine Oduor, June 5 2011
The debate on reforming Kenya’s education sector elicited strong reactions as Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) warned against scrapping the 8-4-4 system, arguing it is the best in the region. Knec opposed the proposal by Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) and challenged those against the system to produce tangible research-based evidence against it. In his proposals to the Education Review Task force, Knec Chief Executive Paul Wasanga defended the assessment methods under the system, saying they provide the true measure of value added progress. Mr Wasanga said the country is not ready for school-based continuous assessment tests as has been proposed by some scholars and ruled out its viability in the Kenyan context. Proposals have been made to allow students sit only one national exam at the end of secondary education to determine their admission to higher training institutions. If the proposal is adopted school-based assessment tests could replace Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams done at the end of eight-year primary school studies. Proponents of the idea argue that the new system will place less emphasis on exams, as teachers would concentrate more on teaching. In her proposals to the Education Review Taskforce, KIE Director Lydia Nzomo maintained that students should sit only one national exam at the end of secondary education. She said the school-based exams undertaken at that level will be purely for purposes of quality assurance, and all pupils will be promoted to the next level of education. More...

Paul Wasanga
Paul Wasanga, the chief executive of Knec is opposed to proposals by Kenya Institute of Education to scrap KCPE.
Lydia Nzomo
Lydia Nzomo, the director of KIE who wants the 8-4-4 system of education scrapped. Kenya National Union of Teachers national chairman Wilson Sosion is opposed to scrapping it while Sammy Kubasu, the chairman of the Universities Academic Staff Union, said primary education years should be reduced to seven.
Blow to Okemo, Gichuru as judge throws out their bid to stop extradition to UK

By Jillo Kadida, June 5 2011
The High Court on Monday declined to grant orders against the extradition of Chris Okemo and Samuel Gichuru to the United Kingdom over corruption. The judge, Justice Nicholas Ombija, said the case was speculative because the government had taken no action so far that could be deemed to infringe on the constitutional rights of the two. The judge ruled the two can later choose to resume the case if the government commences extradition proceedings against them. Mr Okemo is the member of parliament for Nambale and served former president Daniel arap Moi as minister for energy and minister for finance. Mr Gichuru is a former chief executive of the state utility Kenya Power and Lightning Company (KPLC). A court in Jersey, UK has issued an international warrant for their arrest over alleged bribery during a procurement process. More...

Lecturer's tragedy: A lecturer’s plans of travelling to Europe for a study tour ended tragically after his wife, two children and a friend who drove him to the airport died in a road accident on their way back home. More...
Busia residents urged to exploit border opportunities

By Frankline Bwire, June 3 2011
The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) MP Gervase Akhaabi has called on the business community to invest in Busia County, following the ongoing integration of the East African Community. Akhaabi said that Busia residents should take advantage of Busia and Malaba border points, which are a gate way of goods into and out of East Africa. “This should be an opportunity to know where there are avenues for investment in the neighboring countries. Let us utilize this chance to focus on ways in which we can benefit, following the advantage that we have in our community,” he said. He noted that the old community was about leaders deciding what was good for the society, compared to the new one which is centered on the people’s needs and interests. He condemned the increased roadblocks being witnessed in several parts of the country, to check goods being transported to other countries, adding that most of the people undertaking the check up exercise are illiterate about issues of the customs. “Especially the police officers do not have knowledge on what is expected, a move that has contributed to corruption on the roads. But new measures are coming up to do away with the roadblocks,” said Akhaabi. More...

Gervase Akhaabi
The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) MP Gervase Akhaabi, consulting with Hon. Christopher Nakuleu EALA MP in Busia town. Photo: Frankline Bwire

Passing of an anti-apartheid legend: South Africa is mourning one of the leading lights of the anti-apartheid movement, Albertina Sisulu, who has died aged 92. Mrs Sisulu was the widow of Walter Sisulu, a friend and mentor of former South African President Nelson Mandela. A political figure in her own right, she was active in the women's league of the African National Congress (ANC). ANC spokesman Brian Sokutu said Mrs Sisulu had dedicated her life to bringing democracy to South Africa. More...
Okemo, Gichuru begin fight against extradition to UK

By James Kinyua, June 3 2011
Nambale Mp Chris Okemo and former KPLC Managing Director Samuel Gichuru have moved to court seeking to stop the government from extraditing them to the UK to face money laundering charges. The two claim the intended removal from Kenya is against their rights. They are pleading with the High Court to block the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the lower Courts from conducting the extradition process until the case is heard and determined. High Court judge Nicolas Ombija has now directed that the case be heard on Monday next week after the Attorney General is served with the suit papers. More...

Chris Okemo and Samuel Gichuru
Extradition fight: Nambale MP, Chris Okemo (left) and former parastatal chief, Samuel Gichuru. Arrest warrants have issued against them for money laundering by UK's principality of Jersey.
Three Kenyans killed on Ugandan island

By our correspondent, June 3 2011
Budalang’i’s Ababu Namwamba sought an explanation from the government on three Kenyans killed in Maning village in Sigulu island in Uganda on April 18. The MP asked if action had been taken to ensure justice for the victims and compensation to their families. He also asked about guarantees for the safety of Kenyans trading in Lake Victoria waters and bring to an the end constant harassment and killings of Kenyans by Ugandans. In reply, assistant minister for foreign affairs, Mr Richard Onyonka said Kenyans should not point fingers at Uganda since it is not clear who attacked first. More...

Road contractor quits after ODM loses Ikolomani seat

By our correspondents, June 3 2011
The contractor who did ground breaking for construction of the Sigalagala-Butere-Sidindi road in the countdown to the just-concluded Ikolomani by-election has left the site. The contractor, Associated Building and Civil Engineering Contractors Ltd, was unveiled by Prime Minister Raila Odinga on May 19 when he commissioned tarmacking of the road in what many claimed was a campaign ploy. The PM announced the road to cost Sh1.9 billion would be done in two phases and the contractor was expected to hand over the completed project to the Government in 24 months. A spot check by the Star yesterday established the contractor removed the earthmovers and other equipment from the site at Musoli Market on Sunday, May 22, the day before the elections, and three days after the road project had been commissioned. This caused further speculation that the commissioning of the road works may have been a campaign gimmick by the PM to earn his ODM party votes. We could not reach the contractors yesterday to establish the status of the construction. However, an engineer in the district who did not want his name published explained that the contractor would be back on the site in two months. "A contractor normally arrives on site two months after the contract is awarded to allow for any appeals in the award process. That period has not elapsed but ODM launched the construction, anyway, perhaps to gain political mileage before the by-election. The contractor will be back after the two months period elapses," the engineer explained. The plaque unveiled by the PM to commission the road was removed by Bonny Khalwale's supporters on the same day. More...

Sigalagala Butere Sidindi Road
Raila Odinga, the prime minister unveils the plaque commemorating the tarmacking of Sigalagala-Butere-Sidindi Road just days before the May 23rd Ikolomani by-election in which an ODM candidate, Bernard Shinali lost to incumbent, Dr Bonny Khalwale of New Ford Kenya.

Govt refutes claims Ikolomani road construction is abandoned

By Hilton Otenyo, June 3 2011
The Government yesterday refuted claims that a contractor hired to build a road in Ikolomani had abandoned work. Ikolomani DC Philip Nzungo said the contractor Associated Building and Civil Engineering was mobilising his equipment. There were claims the contractor abandoned work after the ODM party candidate lost in the Ikolomani constituency by-elections. “The contractor is on site as we speak. His surveyors are doing road mapping before actual road construction begins,” said Nzungo. He accused those claiming that the contractor had left the site of playing politics. While addressing a press conference after being sworn in as MP Ikolomani, by-election winner Bonny Khalwale said the contractor had removed the earthmovers and other equipment from site after ODM lost the seat in last Monday's by-election. Locals interviewed told the Star that the contractor left site three days after the commissioning of tarmacking the roads by Prime Minister Raila Odinga a day before the by-election won by Khalwale. Yesterday, engineers at the ministry of Roads headquarters declined to comment on the status of the road and referred the Star to the Kakamega regional manager. We could not reach him for comment. The DC said the road would be tarmacked by the government as planned because the tender for the construction of the road had already been awarded. More...

Mumias police kill gangstar

By S Makokha, June 3 11
Administration Policemen in Mumias yesterday night gunned down a member of a seven-man gang during a shootout at a petrol station they had raided. Another six members of the gang escaped with gunshot wounds. The gang had attempted to rob a petrol station at Mayoni shopping centre on the Mumias-Bungoma road. Mumias DC Francis Komen said the gangsters had murdered a watchman and tied up three others before proceeding to rob attendants at the Kenol Petrol Station at Mayoni trading centre. “The group of seven gangsters attacked at around 2.45am but were overpowered by the Administration Police,” said Komen The DC said. The man murdered was identified as Geoffrey Nzomo and hails from Kitui. More...

Polio vaccination to start in Western, Nyanza, R. Valley

Carolyn Wamalwa, June 2 2011
The ministry of public health and sanitation has announced plans to roll out polio vaccination in 22 districts in Western, Nyanza and Rift Valley provinces bordering Uganda, following a comprehensive polio risk analysis carried out by the ministry officials in February this year. The move follows a confirmed incident of polio in Bugiri district of Eastern Uganda of which is said to be genetic similar to the case that was detected in Turkana district in Kenya in February 2009. Making the announcement, Director of Public Health Dr. Shahnaz Sharrif said that the vaccination exercise that is to be conducted from 4th to 8th of June will form the fourth phase of polio vaccination after the success of the first three conducted from November 2010 to January this year.He further confirmed that the ministry together with development partners will be injecting a total of Kshs. 62 million for the exercise which targets to have 1.2 million children under the age of five years. The 22 districts to be covered include Rarieda, Bondo, Siaya, Turkana North, Turkana south, Turkana central, Pokot North, West Pokot, Pokot central, Kwanza, Trans Nzoia east, Trans Nzoia west, Mt. Elgon, Teso north, Teso south, Bungoma south, Bungoma west , Bungoma north, Bungoma east, Bunyala, Samia and Busia districts. Sharrif says that the door to door exercise will see ministry officials visit households to offer their services and further appealed to parents to allow their children to undergo vaccination, so as to be safe from such infections. “I wish to appeal to all parents in the 22 targeted districts to present their children aged less than five years for vaccination during the campaign. In addition, children aged six months to five years who have not received vitamin A supplementation within the last one month or during the just concluded ‘malezi bora’ exercise will be given vitamin A. Let me assure the general public that the vaccines and vitamin A which will be used during the exercise are safe to be administered to the children,” he said. More...

nambale polio vaccinations
Polio vaccination for children in Western, Nyanza and Rift Valley is set to begin. Photo: Westfm

Journalists, police bribed during Ikolomani by-elections - report

By John Kabaka, June 2 2011
The polls occasioned by a successful election petition filed by Bernard Shinali on grounds that his victory had been stolen by Khalwale were awash with bribery, misuse of state resources and violence. The parties’ campaign teams bribed police officers, Journalists and voters alike to ensure the seat was never won by the opponents. A report by the Institute for Education in Democracy (IED) team that observed the polls says journalists were bribed to give biased coverage in favour of candidates who gave them money. Police officers led by the Kakamega south division commander Abdi Galgalo are alleged to have been bribed to a blind eye to electoral malpractices after receiving bribes from the candidates. It says senior and junior police officers were bribed at the home of a Kenyan UN-Habitat envoy, Yvonne Khamati, who hails from the constituency to ignore the voter bribery that was going on there. The report says PNU campaign team led by activist Stanley Livondo used Government vehicles with changed registrations to further stage hooliganism on ODM supporters in areas perceived to be hostile to New Ford K candidate Boni Khalwale. The report was compiled by the lead IED observer for Ikolomani by election Ben Bella Oyalo. More...

Marende sidesteps troubled House team over vetting of top judicial officers

By Alex Ndegwa, June 2 2011
The Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) will now begin vetting nominees for the positions of Chief Justice, his deputy and Director of Public Prosecutions on Monday. Speaker Kenneth Marende sidestepped the troubled Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, alongside the stillborn ad hoc committee proposed to vet the nominees, and referred the issue to the CIOC. The CIOC will submit its recommendations on the nomination of Dr Willy Mutunga for post of Chief Justice, Nancy Barasa as his deputy and Mr Keriako Tobiko as Director of Public Prosecutions to the House on Wednesday, 21 days after President Kibaki presented the names to Parliament. It is the second time the CIOC chaired by Abdikadir Mohammed has been asked to intervene to unlock the deadlock occasioned by the power struggle rocking the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee. The Committee drafted amendments to the Bill setting up the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, which was passed by Parliament on Tuesday night. Overrule suggestions Thursday, Marende ruled that CIOC has the "mandate and responsibility to ensure the full implementation of the Constitution," overruling suggestions that the Committee had no powers to vet the nominees. At a news conference attended by Justice minister Mutula Kilonzo, Committee members Beth Mugo, Millie Odhiambo and David Ngugi, Abdikadir said the three nominees would appear before the Committee on Tuesday morning and invited the public to present submissions. More...

Justice and Legal Affairs Committe is currently deadlocked by PNU/ODM battles

Joshua Werunga
Joshua Werunga, ex Kitale mayor exchanged bitter words with Wildlife minister, Dr Noah Wekesa during Madaraka Day celebrations in Kwanza. Mr Werunga later announced he had defected from Ford Kenya to New Ford Kenya party headed by Saboti MP, Eugene Wamalwa.
Noah Wekesa
Dr Noah Wekesa, minister for wildlife and forestry and MP for Kwanza. He accused local councillors for receiving bribes to allow Kikuyu IDPs from Nakuru settle in Kwanza, an accusation that triggered the clash..
Minister, ex Kitale mayor draw swords in Kwanza

By Leonard Wamalwa, June 2 2011
Madaraka Day celebrations in Kwanza District of Trans Nzoia County experienced tense and dramatic incidences that were as a result of the bitter exchange of words between area MP who is also minister for Wildlife and Forestry Dr. Noah Wekesa and former Kitale Mayor Joshua Werunga. Tension started to rise at the Endebes district headquarters grounds where the celebrations were being held after the councilors who had attended the function started hitting at the minister on numerous issues affecting the residents accusing him of letting down his constituents. The councilors delved on the issue of the Internally Displaced persons-IDPs accusing the minister for having claimed that some councilors had been bribed to allow the victims from Nakuru landing ground at the two government farms in Molem and Kapkoi calling on him to clear the air on the claims. The civic leaders further said that the Members of Parliament should address the issue of the high cost of living rocking Kenyans lest they will have it rough come next year’s general elections. Councilor Werunga claimed that the MPs are gambling with the lives of Kenyans by hoarding maize in order to make huge profits to enable them campaign comfortably in the next general elections. Hell broke loose when the former mayor who is the councilor for Lesos Joshua Werunga claimed that one prominent leader from the area had been given Sh12 million to allow the IDPs in the area and later on pretended to be standing with the residents and other leaders to dispute the government’s move to bring the IDPs. More...

MPs approve new constituencies

By Martin Mutua, June 1 2011
Parliament sat through Tuesday to midnight and approved the 80 new constituencies drawn by disbanded Ligale Commission, but over which political parties deadlocked last November. The House also gave its seal of approval to the raft of strident rules that will govern the electoral process and conduct of election managers, with a bias for individual responsibility and heavy penalties for malpractice and misconduct. The approval of the new electoral units, which pushes the number of constituencies from 210 to 290, will redraw the country’s political map. It will also raise the stakes for political parties during the General Election due next year. The new units are contained in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Bill 2011 that crossed the trickiest hurdle on Tuesday. Following the adoption of the Ligale report, Western will get nine more constituencies to take the tally to 33 as follows:

Vihiga County: Hamisi, Vihiga, Sabatia, Emuhaya and Luanda (new).

Busia County: Teso North, Teso South (split from Amagoro), Nambale, Matayos (new), Butula, Funyula and Budalang'i.

Bungoma County: Mt Elgon, Sirisia, Kabuchai (new), Kanduyi, Webuye, Bokoli (new), Kimilili and Tongaren (new).

Kakamega County: Lugari, Likuyani (new), Malava, Lurambi, Navakholo (new), Mumias, Mumias East (new), Matungu, Butere, Khwisero, Shinyalu and Ikolomani. More...

Cibudeus Nyamari
Cibudeus Nyamari, the Busia District Forest officer. Urged Busia residents to plant trees to conserve the environment.

Kibaki declares war over Migigo, Ugigo: Kibaki: President Kibaki has stated that the disputed islands of Migingo and Ugingo belong to Kenya. The Head of State assured Kenyans that the Government was committed to providing security to all. The President broke his silence over the row with Uganda over the Islands in Lake Victoria. More...
Red flag raised over destruction of trees in Busia County

By Frankline Bwire, June 1 2011
Busia District Forest Officer Mr. Cibudeus Nyamari has expressed concern over the increased destruction rate of trees by residents. Mr. Nyamari said that demand for tree products is so high in both Samia and Busia districts, with very few individuals having interest of conserving the environment. He added that most of the hills were being affected through the burning of charcoal which has had a bad effect on the environment. He maintained that rehabilitation of hills in the area remains a great challenge, with cases of fires being rampant, as several people still focus on immediate grass for their cattle, after burning the old grass. He advised farmers in the larger County of Busia, to channel their efforts in the planting of trees, with appropriate species besides cultivating food crops, to ensure proper conservation of the environment. Speaking at the Busia cultural centre, where he led a tree planting exercise at the cultural centre, the Forest officer revealed that in most parts of the district, trees above 20 years were so few, with only fruit trees remaining in most homesteads. More...

Teachers rough up Butere-Mumias civic boss for accusing them of molesting pupils

By Daniel Saenyi and Eric Lumbasi
The much anticipated Education Day in Matungu District was marked by much fight and war of words among distinguished guests at the event. Butere Mumias county council chairman Michael Keya was roughed up by angry teachers after commenting that teachers do take advantage of their professionalism to molest their students. Teachers were infuriated by these remarks to the extent of attempting to beat up the Council chairman. An unapologetic Mr. Keya was rescued by police from the angry mob. After the event the executive secretary for KNUT Matungu district Mr. John Wesonga was sneaked out by police because he was being accused by supporters of Mr. Keya for allegedly starting the riot. Mr. Keya accused an ODM councilor who had many supporters who gave the police a hard time with frequent interference of the meeting. Earlier, ODM official of Matungu were denied access to dine with the minister who also stirred conflict between members of the public and a head teacher who denied them access. It appears that this event was the one that stimulated the rude remarks by Mr. Keya who felt that it was not good to be denied access to talk to their M.P because they are the ones who elected him and they have a right to talk to him. The Assistant Minister for Education Hon. Ayeko Olweny was very disappointed with teacher’s behavior and condemned it saying it showed lack of discipline and respect. More...

Respectable professionals felt betrayed by wild allegations that they sexually exploit pupils
Matungu teacher fracas
Administration police keep the peace during Education Day rally in Matungu after teachers attempted to rough up the Mumias-Butere civic chairman, Micheal Keya over remarks that teachers sexually exploited their pupils.

Teso pastor and his ass
Pastor's ass: A Teso cleric, Pastor Peter Opuko could think of no other way to convey God's prophetic message than to post it prominently on the beast of burden, the ass during today's Madaraka Day celebrations in Amagoro Photo: Frankline Bwire. More...
Bungoma cane farmers protest postponement of elections

By John Nalianya, June 1 2011
Bungoma cane farmers in the Nzoia sugar belt are up in arms over the delayed Kenya Sugar Board elections. The elections had been scheduled for the May 28, but were abruptly postponed to a future date by the sugar board in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture. Speaking after a farmers meeting in Mabanga, farmers led by Bramwel Watiti accused the current Kenya Sugar Board chairman Saulo Busolo for deliberately delaying the elections after sensing defeat. Watiti said the tenure of the current office bearers had elapsed two months ago and elections were to to be held immediately as stipulated by law and wondered why the Kenya Sugar Board called off the polls. The farmers called on the sugar board to immediately set the date for the elections failure which they will go to court. Delaying the elections had given the incumbent office bearers time to break the law and because most of them are likely to lose their seats. “The entire board knows its going home and that's why they are dillydallying,” Watiti said. Wilson Khaemba, an aspirant in the forthcoming elections, called on the Ministry of Agriculture to dissolve the board because of ignoring election rules. “The last elections were held on 27 May 2008 and the act is quiet clear that election should be held after three years,” he said. Chairman Busolo could not be reached for comment as he did not answer his phone despite numerous calls. The campaigns for the elections are on top gear with aspirants using the war on corruption as the main campaign platform. This comes at a time when former directors of the Nzoia out growers company including its chairman Joash Wamang'oli were recently arraigned in a Bungoma court over corruptions and abuse of office charges. More...

Eugene Ludovic Wamalwa
Saboti MP, Eugene Wamalwa: I do not want to be part of the controversy in Justice and Legal Affairs Committee."

Wamalwa quits House legal team

By our correspondent, June 1 2011
Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa has resigned from the Legal Affairs Committee in a quest to have the body dissolved. The wrangles in the team were frustrating the implementation of the new Constitution, he said, “and I do not want to be part of the controversy”. The New Ford Kenya party leader said there were other committee members who were equally frustrated and asked them to join him in resigning. He disassociated himself from an ad hoc committee whose duties include vetting the nominees for the posts of Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and Director of Public Prosecution. “We should treat the root of this problem. The Legal Affairs committee should be reconstituted afresh,” Mr Wamalwa said in Nakuru. More...

Nandi elders conduct cleansing ceremony for Ruto, Kosgey, Sang

By Paul Ilado, June 1 2011
Nandi elders have 'cleansed' the community of what they term betrayal over the post-election violence. About 100 elders from Talai clan carried out the secret ceremony in Kabiyet area which is home to the most respected and revered elders of the Nandi Community. The elders who performed the ceremony said the ceremony was necessary because three of the Ocampo Six are from the Nandi community and that some of the witnesses expected to testify are also from the Nandi community. “Our people are betraying each other,” said one of the elders. Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey, Eldoret North's William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua arap Sang are all from the Nandi Community. The three were not informed of the ceremony and were not required to be present. The elders, however, said the betrayal emanates from a curse imposed on the community in 1890 by an elder, Orkoiyot Kipnyolei arap Turgat, who was the father of legendary Nandi leader Koitalel arap Samoei. However differences have emerged within the community after another group rejected the ceremony. Ten elders including Mzee Burgei Tuwei, Silvester Tanui arap Chemwor, Christopher Koiyoki and councillor David arap Sulo expressed outrage over the ceremony. More...

Ruto's quest for State House is a victim of a foreboding curse imposed on the community in 1890 by an elder, Orkoiyot Kipnyolei arap Turgat, who was the father of legendary Nandi leader Koitalel arap Samoei.

Matungu short of 322 teachers as standards drop

By Shaban Makokha, June 1 2011
Acute shortage of teachers in Matungu district has been blamed for the district’s performance in national exams. District education officer William Sugut said shortage of staff to monitor school programme is a second factor. Sugut pointed out that the district has a shortage of 322 teachers with primary schools being the most affected. He said the primary sector has a deficit of 192 while secondary schools lack 130 teachers. Speaking during the district’s second academic day at Mwira Secondary School, the DEO noted Matungu is capable of achieving better results. The district has an enrollment of 47,770 pupils in primary and 7,208 in secondary. The total number of primary schools is 61 with 22 secondary schools. Sugut urged teachers, board of governors, parents and school committees to double their efforts despite the current shortage of teachers “in order to attain quality grades in the national examinations”. Area MP David Were challenged stakeholders to formulate strategies that would help improve exam results. He promised a school bus to the top schools every year to motivate students. Lubanga Secondary School got a bus for the best 2009 KCSE results. More...

David Were
David Were, Matungu MP. He has promised to buy a school bus every year for a top school as an incentive to achieve better results.

Barasa, Mutunga to be approved Thursday: The House Business Committee (HBC) could on Thursday take a drastic move to approve names of the three judicial nominees. The move is aimed at side-stepping supremacy battle between President Kibaki’s PNU and Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s ODM, who have failed to agree on the composition of two House committees to scrutinise the names. More...
Grandfather jailed for 30 years for defiling a minor

By Gilbert Ochieng, June 1 2011
A 67-year-old man has been sentenced to 30 years imprisonment by a Busia principal magistrate court for defiling a 10-year-old school girl. According to the charge sheet availed to the Star today, the culprit, Emmanuel Odido committed the offence on the 29 May 2009 at Okado village, Bunyala-North location in Bunyala district. The charge sheet further states that the culprit intentionally and unlawfully had carnal knowledge of the minor infecting her with gonorrhea. Three prosecution witnesses, one of whom was the victims mother, testified in court. While delivering the judgement, Busia magistrate M.W. Njagi said the crime was serious and the stiff sentence will serve as a warning to potential criminals. More...

A 67 year old man defiled a 10 year old girl and infected her gonorrhea in Bunyala North Location, Busia County

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