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Annan jets in Nairobi today

By April Fools Day, April 1 2008
Kenya Times reports today that Kofi Annan is jetting into Nairobi today to sort out the cabinet stalemate accompanied by his predecessor, Boutros Boutros Ghali. Also coming are Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete and his predecessor, Benjamin Mkapa as is also Graca Machel, Nelson Mandela's wife. At first glance, the headlines sound plausible: Shark leaps from ocean to attack a hovering helicopter. Mild winter brings Swiss a bumper spaghetti crop. Taco Bell Corporation purchases Liberty Bell from U.S. Government. Alabama legislature votes to change the value of the mathematical constant pi. But they are all lies.

Happy April Fools' Day. In celebration of the day, National Geographic News has compiled a listing of some of the greatest hoaxes in history. They are the lies, darned lies, and whoppers that have been perpetrated on the gullible and unsuspecting, probably since humans evolved the art of speech. More>>>

Immigrants in Britain. Apprarently they contribute less than they consume, according to House of Lords controversial report contrary to Labour's statistics that show immigrants make a net contribution to the economy.

UK immigrants are pests - Lords

By Tom Whitehead, March 31 2008
LABOUR must cap immigration after its myths on the benefits of an open door policy were torn to shreds by a powerful group of peers yesterday. In a devastating attack, a House of Lords inquiry said there was no economic benefit from migration. The point-by-point onslaught also laid bare the arguments which ministers have used for allowing record numbers to come here. The report called on the Government to now impose a limit on numbers after concluding that migrants themselves were the “biggest winners” of current policy. One peer, an economist, warned that Britain will face pressure from migrants wanting to come here for the next 50 years at least. More>>>
princess diana
Beautiful Princess Diana: Murdered or not?

queen and prince philip
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, cleared of all murder and conspiracy charges at the inquest into the death of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed

Diana was not murdered

By our correspondent, March 31 2008
Princess Diana was not murdered. The Coroner at the princess of Wales inquest, Lord Justice Baker, said yesterday that "there was not a shred of evidence that the princess was murdered" putting paid ten years of conspiracy theories fronted by Mohamed al Fayed, the owner of Harrods and father to Diana's lover, Dodi Fayed who perished with her in the Paris car crash ten years ago. More>>>

mohamed al fayed
The fiery Mohamed al Fayed: What next?

Kibaki's cabinet meeting turns stormy

By a correspondent, March 31 2008
A special five-hour meeting chaired by President Kibaki turned stormy and threatened to split the Cabinet as ministers differed over ODM’s demands for a lean Government and portfolio balance.

The meeting, which began at 10.30am in President Kibaki’s Harambee House office, elicited passions when the issue of implementation of the National Accord and Reconciliation Act came up although it was not among the issues listed for discussion.

After the emotive issue, it was apparent that the Cabinet had split into two distinct opinions. Sources at the meeting told The Standard that though power-sharing was not on the agenda, it persisted for long after a minister suggested that President Kibaki speeds up the naming of a new Cabinet. More>>>

Rigging secrets revealed

By Beauttah Omanga, March 31 2008
Glaring irregularities that contributed to last year’s chaotic General Election have been laid bare in a confidential Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) report compiled for the organisation’s self-evaluation workshop.

Among the glaring errors that marred the smooth conduct of the elections include the commission allowing some returning officers in the tallying room at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) to alter forms 17B, which contained details of votes cast in each constituency.

According to the document, other irregularities included incidents of returning officers filling results in wrong forms, while others failed to follow procedure while making corrections. But the most shocking revelation in the report is that some returning officers went to the KICC tallying centre without proper election results, which are usually entered on form 17A. More>>>

Double tragedy for Rachuonyo man

By INGONEWS Reporter and agencies, March 31 2008
A man whose family perished in the post election violence in Naivasha is facing double tragedy after his home and farm submerged in Rachuonyo where more than 20 houses have been submerged, crops destroyed and businesses closed as floods continue to wreak havoc in Rachuonyo and Naivasha.

Mr Orinda Ndege, was among residents counting their losses in East Karachuonyo. Ndege, whose family perished in a Naivasha arson attack, said his farm had been submerged. "We have lost a lot because the cost of seeds and fertiliser is very high,’’ said Ndege. Mr Gideon Odero of the Kenya Red Cross Society said the houses were submerged in Kodhoch, West Karachuonyo division.

"We have counted more than 20 (submerged) houses in Kodhoch, but there could be more in Koyugi, Kawadhgone Nyongo and Wagwe. We are monitoring the situation,’’ he said. Odero said volunteers were on alert in case flooding spread to Konyango Jieri, Osodo, Kobala and Wang’ Chieng’ in East Karachuonyo. In Nyakach, 40 families were displaced and three people killed last week. More>>>

UK probe fails to unmask Mobitelea

By Paul Redfern, March 31 2008
An investigation by the British government’s Serious Fraud Office into the complex issue of Mobitelea’s share of the Kenyan mobile phone giant Safaricom has not resolved the matter, it has been revealed. Following last week’s opening of the sale of 25 per cent of the shares in Safaricom, The Times newspaper of London said that concerns over the company’s ownership, which involves the UK telecommunications firm Vodafone, had been investigated.

“Reports claimed that the company was a secret third party owner of Safaricom and could be backed by senior Kenyan politicians or their families.  (But) despite enquiries last year by the British Serious Fraud Office and a Kenyan parliamentary watchdog, ownership remains unknown,” the newspaper said. More>>>

robert mugabe
Robert Mugabe casts his vote in Zimbabwe's general elections. But delay in announcing results recalls scenes similar to Kenya's chaotic December 2007 elections.

Mugabe does a Kibaki

By INGONEWS Reporter and agencies, March 31 2008
Pressure is mounting and suspicions growing that the delay in relaying election results in Zimbabwe is a copycat choreography of Kibaki's rigging of the presidential vote in Kenya. Zimbabweans look at election results taped onto the wall of a tent in the suburb of Mbare, in Harare, Sunday, March 30, 2008. Zimbabwe's main opposition party on Sunday claimed an early lead in elections, including in a rural stronghold of President Robert Mugabe, in an apparent effort to thwart any attempt to rig the vote count.

kakamega town
Internally Displaced Persons have returned to their homes in Kakamega and Mumias.

Orina murder suspect goes into hiding

By our correspondents, March 31 2008
A Government firearm could have been used to kill the Saboti Constituency Development Fund Manager, Joshua Orina. Police in Kitale said they were investigating reports that the prime suspect in Orina’s murder used a Government firearm. The man, a former CDF official who is on the run, had been given a revolver because he was a top official in community policing in Rift Valley Province. Local police boss, Mr Bernard Muli, and the deputy Criminal Investigation Officer, Mr David Kitur, said they were conducting investigation to establish whether the suspect used the gun or another one to kill Orina. More>>>

50,000 IDP's return to Western

By Roselyne Obala and Karanja Njoroge, March 31 2008
More than 50,000 displaced people in Western Province have returned to their homes. Western PC, Mr Abdul Mwasserah, said of the 55,000 IDPs in camps at the start of the year, only 4,400 remain.

He said the Government would ensure the remaining IDPs were not affected by the current rainy season. "Their basic needs have been taken care of," he said. The PC said all the IDPs would return home soon. He said some operate businesses in Kakamega and Mumias districts during the day, but retreat to the camps at night. "These people will need time to rebuild trust with their neighbours before they can be accommodated in the communities they lived in," he said. But some of the people interviewed at the Kakamega Police Station said they were experiencing hardship. More>>>

Baby medicines to be withdrawn

By Evelyn Ogutu, March 31 2008
Popular cough and fever medicines for babies could be withdrawn over safety fears. Manufacturers have been asked to repackage 117 products with new dosage instructions to avoid overdose. The UK Commission on Human Medicines said some of the drugs should be banned for children under two years. They include Calpol Night, Otrivine child nasal drops and Benylin. But pharmaceutical dealers in Kenya said the drugs are safe as long as they are used as prescribed. Dr William Mwati of Glaxo SmithKline assured parents that Calpol is safe. More>>>

Mt Elgon politicians arrested

By our correspondents, March 31 2008
Three councillors and a retired chief have been arrested in the security operation in Mt Elgon District. Security officers are holding nominated councillors, Mr Pius Muyei and Mr Bismarck Bokose, Kongiti Councillor, Mr Moses Tulukon, and retired chief, Mr Enock Chemutai. The three were arrested in Kopsiro and Kaptama.

Following the arrests, other councillors from Mt Elgon constituency are said to have fled. Mt Elgon DC, Mr Mohamed Birik, could not confirm the arrests, but said innocent civilians taken for questioning would be released. "Security officers will release all those who have no connection with illegal groups," the DC said on Monday. One time world athletics champion, Mr Ben Jipcho, was also arrested, but released after questioning. More>>>

20 govt officials looted Saboti CDF

By Osinde Obare and Philip Mwakio, March 31 2008
Up to 20 Government officials participated in squandering the Saboti CDF cash. The names, which were allegedly forwarded to the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, included those of senior officials in Trans Nzoia and other districts. Meanwhile, leaders in Saboti, led by Milimani Ward Councillor, Mr Hebert Wabaye, have called for the speedy arrest of the prime suspect. Wabaye also asked the national management of CDF to start an independent audit of the kitty to bring to book those implicated in misuse and possible death of the manager. More>>>

Atwoli, Ruto call for early elections

By our correspondent, March 30 2008
Central Organisation Trade Unions secretary-general Francis Atwoli joined Eldoret North MP William Ruto in pushing for fresh elections if the two leaders fail to agree on a new Cabinet. Mr Atwoli said the international community should put pressure on the Government to hold fresh elections if no agreement is reached. He also said he was ready to help negotiate the sharing of ministries.

“If nothing happens this week, we will be forced into an early election and I can assure you, that is not what Kenyans want,” said Mr Atwoli. But this proposal was rejected by various political leaders. More>>>

william Ruto
William Ruto at an Eldoret press conference yesterday. He said if the President cannot name a cabinet, he should call for fresh elections

Cabinet crisis: Kibaki calls emergency meeting

By our correspondent, March 30 2008
President Kibaki is expected to chair a Cabinet meeting today as pressure increases on him and ODM leader Raila Odinga to agree on the sharing of ministerial seats under a grand coalition government. A Government source said today’s meeting would discuss the “state of the nation”. However, he did not elaborate.

Last week, the President and Mr Odinga, the Prime Minister-designate, failed to agree on the size of a new Cabinet once their parties enter into a grand coalition. President Kibaki’s PNU had proposed 38 seats, down from 44, but ODM has insisted that the Cabinet should have no more than 34 ministers. More>>>

Hunt them like rats

By Allan Kisia and Daniel Nzia, March 30 2008
It is now a full-blown hunt for militia in Mt Elgon District after the Government’s amnesty expired. Heavily armed officers extended the operation to villages in Kapsokwony Division, which houses the district headquarters. Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF) fighters had been given up to Sunday to surrender and hand in weapons.

Western PC, Mr Abdul Mwasserah, said only 37 AK-47 rifles and several hundred rounds of ammunition had been recovered since the operation started three weeks ago. Kapsokwony residents said security officers moved door- to-door in search of SLDF suspects. The operation had been concentrated in Cheptais and Kopsiro divisions. More>>>

Ministry lost shs200m in Nyanza election violence

By Mangoa Mosota, March 30 2008
The Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development lost Sh200 million in Nyanza Province during post-election violence. The deputy Permanent Secretary, Mr John Nandasaba, said the ministry’s property was extensively damaged. "Offices were burnt, while computers, vehicles and furniture were vandalised," said Nandasaba, adding that the most affected places were Bondo, Homa Bay, Rachuonyo and Migori. "We have carried out a survey on what we lost, although I am not allowed to give the actual figures," the official told The Standard. At the same time, Nandasaba said the Government had released Sh150 million to mitigate against the damage. More>>>

Cholera outbreak in Budalang'i

By our correspondent, March 30 2008
A cholera outbreak has been reported in Budalang’i, Western Province. Western Provincial Medical Officer, Dr Onudu Olang’o, yesterday said seven people were undergoing treatment at Port Victoria Sub-District Hospital.

"We have not had any deaths since the outbreak of the disease. We have taken measures to avert further spread," he said. Olang’o said medical experts were on high alert and there were enough drugs to contain the situation. He added that the onset of long rains contributed to cholera and urged residents to maintain high hygienic standards. More>>>

Cholera kills 40 in Nyanza

By a correspondent, March 30 2008
Thirty-nine people in Nyanza Province have succumbed to cholera since January. More than 450 cases have been reported in hospitals in the same period. The Nyanza Provincial Medical Officer, Dr Jackson Kioko, said the epidemic began in Suba and Siaya districts. "The outbreak then spread to Homa Bay District and Kisumu," Kioko said. He said health workers had contained the outbreak in Siaya and Rongo, adding that Migori District was particularly hard hit with more than ten deaths reported. "We had 30 cases last week, while a similar number of patients are seeking treatment in various health centres in the district," he said. More>>>

Floods kill 3 in Nyakach

By a correspondent, March 30 2008
Three people drowned and property was destroyed following heavy rains countrywide. The Government has urged residents of Nyakach to move to higher ground after three bodies were recovered in overflowing Nyando River. Lower Nyakach DO, Mr Philip Nzei, said the bodies were found in Kasai. He said the victims, all middle-aged men, had not been identified.

Last week, heavy rains pounded Nyando District, raising fear in the flood-prone area. In Naivasha town, hundreds of commuters were stranded as floods covered kilometres of tarmac road. Residents watched as property, including animals, was washed away. More>>>

Shs8b con in the fishing industry

By Mangoa Mosota, March 30 2008
Out of the Sh8 billion fetched from the fishing industry annually, fishermen earn only 10-20 per cent. Speaking at Omena Stakeholders forum in Kisumu over the weekened, the deputy PS, Ministry of Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development, John Nandasaba regretted that despite fishing activity having intensified in the lake over the last 20 years, fishermen continued to be exploited by middlemen..

Nandasaba advised industry stakeholders to emulate miraa traders who follow the product to the markets in Europe, and earn maximum profits. "In 1980 there were about 6,000 boats on the lake. This increased to more than 15, 000 in 1990, and presently there are more than 20, 000," he said. More>>>

Sour deal as Miwani's sold at a smelly 99% discount

By Ayub Savula , March 29 2008
The over Sh2 billion worth Miwani Sugar Company (MSC) has been sold for only Sh28 million. The auctioneers sold the firm to the highest bidder during a public auction in Kisumu. The sale took place despite the fact that the valuation of the factory last year indicated that it is worth Sh2.7 billion.

Documents obtained by The Sunday Standard indicated that the new investor paid up the money and changed the ownership of the factory to his company. The land on which the factory also stands was transferred to the new investor, an issue the farmers have protested against. Farmers in the Nyando Sugar belt want the Government to reverse the deal. More>>>

Spreading wings stateside: Warwick University alumni met for a get together at the residence of the British Consulate in Los Angeles. From left, Jimmy, George Wajackoyah, Nick and Kate.

Take mine away but don't give us 44 ministries - Wekesa

By a correspondent, March 29 2008
Cabinet minister Dr Noah Wekesa has dismissed the idea of a 44-member Cabinet as "ridiculous." "We do not need 44 ministers. It does not make sense. People will laugh at us. We will be the laughingstock of Africa," Wekesa said. "Even if my ministry is to be taken and given to somebody else, let it go if that will make us avoid having 44 ministers. We need money for schools, roads and to resettle displaced persons, not paying 44 ministers," the minister added.

Wekesa called for a review of existing ministries to assign them responsibilities that will make them almost equal. That, he said, would take away the notion that some ministries are more important than others. Kajwang’ however, said whatever the size of the Cabinet, ODM would not accept "fringe ministries." More>>>

Wesonga wins global award

By Adelaide Changole, March 27 2008
A Nation digital journalist, David Wesonga, is this year’s winner of the coveted Adeste Gold medal, a world prize that recognises young unsung heroes. Mr Wesonga, also a poet, was announced the 2008 winner of the prize during a teleconference between Nairobi and Canada. 

The Adeste medal is awarded annually to unsung heroes below age 40 for achievements in humanity, social justice, technology, arts and medicine. “He was picked out of thousands of nominees. The nominees were evaluated by an international board constituted by the Yes Foundation,” the foundation’s head Ms Jo Lee Ann Mansell, a Canadian philanthropist, said during the teleconference. More>>>.

proud luhya winner
Boy done us proud: David Wesonga is congratulated by NMG Internet editor, Churchill Otieno on being announced the global overall winner of Adeste Award through teleconference by a panel of experts in Canada on Thursday 27th March 2008. Photo/ANTHONY KAMAU

Noose hangs over grand coalition

By David Ohito, March 28 2008
President Kibaki and Prime Minister-designate Raila Odinga have hit the wall yet again on the twin issues of portfolio balance and size of the Cabinet. But the most contentious issue of the day, and which could frustrate the naming of a new Cabinet soon was the Party of National Unity’s revision of its proposal on the size of the Cabinet from the 38 it has always pushed for to 44.

Raila’s Orange Democratic Movement has insisted on 34, but was surprised when they walked into the meeting at Harambee House to be confronted by PNU’s latest move. Raila claimed Kibaki was under pressure to appoint ministers from inside PNU, but he should like himself in ODM, say No! Sources revealed the meeting could not even move to the trickier part of discussing the names to constitute the Grand National Coalition because of the stalemate on numbers. ODM’s demand for diplomatic postings and prime parastatal jobs on the other hand piqued Kibaki’s team. More>>>

nyanza hospital
Patients are having a rough ride at Nyanza General Hospital which is grappling with myriad problems.

Nyanza hospital causes rather than treats illnesses

By Jonah Onyango, March 28 2008
The Nyanza Provincial Hospital is in a deplorable condition. The hospital is grappling with myriad problems, including an acute accommodation and water crisis that has compromised sanitation and threatened to halt vital operations. Children aged under five are crowded in an old ward after being evacuated from another, whose ceiling caved in last week.

The ward, which has a capacity to accommodate 40 patients, has consequently been overstretched to hold more than 150 children and their parents, who fear that their children might develop new infections as a result of the congestion. The crisis follows a cholera outbreak in the province, which has killed more than 30 people and left 400 others sick in the past two months. On Thursday, The Standard witnessed the appalling state of the hospital. Up to five children were sharing a single bed as their parents slept on the floor, some under the beds. More>>>

Safaricom IPO kicks off despite opposition

By Abiya Ochola, March 28 2008
President Kibaki rang the bell to kick-start the grand sale of Safaricom shares through an Initial Public Offer (IPO). But his key ally in the Grand Coalition Government, Prime Minister-designate, Mr Raila Odinga, skipped the key function, although he belatedly urged Kenyans to buy the shares. Raila said he had discussed with President Kibaki the contentious issues around the offer and was hopeful that they would be resolved.

The undertones of an Orange Democratic Movement protest were evident as no member in the party hierarchy turned up for what would have been the first official public function officiated by the coalition partners.

The ODM boycott on Friday, after a protracted controversy, brought into sharp focus the firmness of the coalition government. In the last few days, Raila’s lieutenants, Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o, Mr William Ruto and Mrs Charity Ngilu, have demanded that the Safaricom IPO, which will see the Government offload 10 billion shares worth Sh50 billion, be shelved until all outstanding issues are resolved. More>>>

Missing Saboti CDF manager murdered over shs100m case

By Osinde Obare, March 28 2008
The Saboti Constituency Development Fund (CDF) manager who went missing a week ago has been murdered. The decomposing body of Joshua Orina was discovered at the Nuclear Sugar Plantation estate of Nzoia Sugar Company in Bungoma at 2pm yon Thursday.

Two suspects who were arrested on Wednesday in Kitale led the police to the site. Kitale deputy OCPD, Mr Eliud Okello, said: "The search team led by the deputy DCIO, Mr David Kitur, collected the body."

Four spent cartridges fired from an American Colt pistol were also recovered.

The murder sparked protests from local leaders, including Saboti MP, Mr Eugene Wamalwa.

"They have killed an innocent man to cover up their evil deeds. We demand that the police arrest those behind the killing," demanded Wamalwa.

Orina was abducted last Wednesday in Kitale town after a senior CDF official summoned him. According to the police, the suspects were arrested after CCTV cameras captured them withdrawing money from Orina’s bank accounts in Bungoma and Kitale. More>>>

Terminal 5
Terminal illness at Heathrow's T5

By a correspondent, March 28 2008
The chaotic scenes as the new Terminal 5 at Heathrow opened yesterday were a classic example of a British public relations cock-up.

BA Willie Walsh

Instead of being met with a high-tech, hassle-free travel experience, passengers were faced with overcrowding, delays, cancellations, ill-trained staff and baggage chaos. British Airways has exclusive use of T5. More>>>

Backbench MPs to form opposition - Marende

By Peter Opiyo, March 28 2008
Parliament has no Official Opposition party but the House Speaker says backbenchers will play the role. Speaking at a workshop for the 216 MPs on Thursday, Mr Kenneth Marende downplayed fears that with a coalition Government, there would be no checks and balances. "I have no doubt that backbenchers will play the oversight role effectively," Marende said.

He said through parliamentary committees, MPs who would not be in the Cabinet would keep the Government in check. Opposition MPs head committees such as the Public Investments and Public Accounts. The Speaker said the workshop was crucial because 70 per cent of MPs were new and had to learn House rules.

Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Dr William Shija, urged MPs to unite for the sake of the nation. He denounced post-election violence, and asked MPs to offer good leadership. Foreign Affairs minister, Mr Moses Wetangula, who also sits in the CPA executive committee, urged MPs to join the association.

Ruto summoned by human rights body
A member of Parliament was on Friday summoned by the Government’s human rights watchdog investigating the post-election clashes. Eldoret North’s William Ruto arrived at the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights’ offices in Nairobi at 8am and was questioned for almost two hours. More>>>

Worst traffic jam in Nairobi ever:
Hundreds of motorists and commuters were stranded for more than six hours in one of the worst traffic jams in Nairobi. All roads to the East and South of the city were clogged on Thursday night. The snarl-up was severe on Jogoo, Mombasa and Outering roads. More>>>

Famine looms

By Ayub Savula, March 26 2008
Fifteen MPs have sounded an alarm over looming famine. The Rift Valley leaders urged the Government to subsidise farm inputs, whose prices have increased due to post-election violence. In a statement Eldoret North MP, Mr William Ruto, read on Tuesday at Parliament Buildings, the leaders said most farmers had not started planting because of lack of seeds and fertiliser.

Rift Valley Province is the country’s granary and produces most of the maize and wheat. "The planting season is on and farmers have not started planting because many have not even ploughed their land due to high cost of diesel for farming machinery, fertiliser and seeds," said Ruto. He asked the Agriculture ministry to issue a statement on the matter to avert food shortage and starvation. More>>>

Annan contacted as anxiety grips nation over delayed cabinet

By Jibril Adan and Bernard Namunane, March 26 2008
The Government coalition and ODM have contacted former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan to help them break the stalemate over how they should share Cabinet positions as anxiety continues to grip Kenyans and the international community over the delayed naming of a new Cabinet. On Tuesday, President Kibaki and Prime Minister-designate Raila Odinga, failed to agree on the size and portfolio balance of the Cabinet.

Sources from both sides confirmed that Mr Annan, who succeeded in brokering a deal to end a post-election l crisis, had spoken to President Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga on phone. The international community expressed concerned over the hitch in sharing of portfolios. On Wednesday, a diplomat said they were watching the situation and hoped that the two leaders would agree. The source, who requested anonymity, added: "The new Cabinet should be lean, efficient and capable of restoring progress." More>>>

Secret letters reveal tensions between Kibaki, Raila

By Ben Agina, March 26 2008
Secret letters are being used to keep negotiations for an acceptable Grand Coalition Cabinet going after a one-on-one engagement between President Kibaki and Prime Minister-designate Raila Odinga took a knock on Tuesday.

But it remained unclear if this new strange mode of transacting the affair was a sign that the public show of comradeship displayed by both leaders since the signing of the peace accord last month was a facade. In themselves, the exchanges in the letters reflect two fundamentally different positions over exactly what transpired between the two leaders behind closed doors at Harambee House on the material day. More>>>

Shadowy Safaricom owners cloud shares sale

By Philip Mulee and Daniel Luseno, March 26 2008
THE government was yesterday engaged in a fierce war of words with ODM leaders over the sale of Safaricom shares with the later claiming the exercise scheduled for tomorrow was a major rip-off on the Kenyan people.

Even as Finance Minister Amos Kimunya maintained that the sale of the multi-billion shares would kick off as planned, the ODM, a key partner in the grand coalition government, called for its postponement until the real shareholders of Mobitelea are known.

The ODM leaders, Raila Odinga, William Ruto, Najib Balala, Charity Ngilu and Prof Anyang Nyongo want the sale of Safaricom shares halted until a new Government is in place. Elsewhere Mutitu MP Kiema Kilonzo separately claimed that Kenyans would be cheated through a rip-off of Sh10 billion by the Mobitelea Ventures Limited if they go a head to buy the shares, before its owners are made public. More>>>

M-Pesa denied UK license

By Kenyalondonnews team, March 26 2008
It would have been a great step in money transfer for Kenyans who have struggled with Money Transfer Companies that have and continue to make substantial profits from senders abroad.

Reports indicate that efforts by the Safaricom group to introduce the service here in the UK have hit a snag.  “Plans by mobile phone company Safaricom to introduce its money transfer service to UK have hit a regulatory barrier with authorities demanding that the operator meets a set of conditions.  It has emerged that UK authorities are demanding that Safaricom meets the regulatory requirements governing banking, money transfers and exchange rates before it can be allowed to enter into the lucrative international money transfer business. More>>>

Sex change man is pregnant

By Emily Smith, March 26 2008
A BLOKE with a beard sent shockwaves round the world yesterday when he announced: “I’m PREGNANT.” Thomas Beatie, 34, released this astonishing photo showing his swollen belly - and said it felt “incredible” to be a pregnant man.

He revealed he is due to give birth on July 3. And he told how he was fertilised using donor sperm because his wife Nancy cannot have children. American Thomas - a transsexual who was actually born female - admitted that his amazing pregnancy would create “legal, political and social unknowns”. More>>>

Shikwati gets top global honours

By Kenneth Kwama, March 25 2008
At the beginning of this month, Mr James Shikwati got an unexpected call from the World Economic Forum (WEF). It was out of the blue. But that is how the founder of Inter Region Economic Network (IREN), an economic think tank, found out he was amongst the most influential young leaders in the world.

"Sometimes you work but you don’t know that other people are noticing. I was surprised, but also felt honoured to be mentioned amongst young global leaders," says Shikwati. Shikwati was recognised for initiating, developing and driving innovative solutions on important global issues. Shikwati and Mr Mugo Kibati, CEO East African Cables are the only Kenyans in the list that also includes President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo. They joined 243 other leading executives, public figures and intellectuals chosen from around the world.

He has been facilitating forums for universities, farmers, policy makers and think tanks to inculcate entrepreneurship, market economics dynamics and awareness on topical issues to inform policy and attract investment. Although well intentioned, Shikwati who partly crusades against giving of aid to Africa as a way to encourage self-sufficiency and eliminate poverty, has at times drawn ire from a cross section of the populace critical of his unorthodox approach. More>>>

Shikwati, founder of IREN

Have you seen Orina, the shs100m man?

By Osinde Obare, March 25 2008
Saboti Constituency Development Fund (CDF) manager, Mr Joshua Orina, has gone missing for over a week. Orina’s wife Jemima Nyamusi and relatives have agonised over his whereabouts. "He left me at a supermarket and hiked a boda boda (taxi) to meet a CDF officer who had summoned him," Nyamusi said on Tuesday.

Fear has gripped the family after reports suggested he may have been abducted. Kitale residents claim Orina could have been kidnapped to stop investigation he had started into the disappearance of Sh100 million. Detectives have since interrogated two senior CDF officials and retained their mobile phone handsets to assist with investigation. The search for Orina has been extended to five towns in Western Province. Among the towns being combed are Bungoma, Kakamega, Mumias, Kimilili and Vihiga. Kitale OCPD, Mr Bernard Muli, said officers had earlier visited Nasianda village in Bungoma, after a signal was picked from the area.

Trans Nzoia West DC, Mr Francis Mutie, and his Kitale East counterpart, Mr Seif Matata, told journalists in Kitale that efforts to trace Orina had been intensified. Saboti MP, Mr Eugene Wamalwa, and a youth leader, Mr Alfayo Muganda, urged the police to move swiftly and settle the matter.

Power sharing or power dealing?

By our correspondent, March 25 2008
The historic power sharing deal signed by President Mwai Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga that ended the country’s worst political stalemate was yesterday on the brink of collapse after the two leaders failed to agree on the distribution of Cabinet positions. In a meeting yesterday, the two disagreed over the fundamental structure of the coalition Cabinet, its size and the occupiers of a range of plum ministries. More>>>

Senior Luhya police, military officers face the chop

By David Ohito and Shad Bulimo, March 25 2008
Two senior Luhya police and military officers are among those whose heads are on the chopping board after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 55. They include Siaya OCPD, Humprey Wanzala and Col Vincent Anami. They are among several Officers Commanding Police Divisions (OCPDs) across the country to be facing retirement after attaining the mandatory age. Others are Mr Julius Muthuri, the Embakasi OCPD. In the military, Deputy Vice Chief of General Staff, Lt Julius Karangi, is set for retirement next year while Maj Gen Jones Muthui, the Deputy Army Commander, is set for retirement by December.

A group of experienced senior officers are alleged to be earmarked for retirement by next year. Majority of the officers are in middle level positions. They include Brigadier Philip Chebe, Lt Col Bosco Odhiambo, Lt Col Dickson Muhandik, and Col Vincent Anami.

In the Kenya Air Force, Colonel Seth Shava, who served as Laikipia Air base Commander and has remained a colonel for nine years, is due for retirement. Shava is respected as one of the most experienced fighter pilots in the Kenya Air Force. Impeccable sources said the person who was named as deputy commander of KAF was his junior by six years. More>>>

Mwakwere succeeds Matano as Kaya elder

By Mathias Ringa, March 25 2008
Kaya elders from the nine Mijikenda sub tribes have anointed Transport minister Ali Chirau Mwakwere as their community leader.

Mr Mwakwere was anointed in a colourful ceremony in which Mijikenda cultural rites were performed. Dozens of people attended the occasion at Kaya Kinondo in Kwale District. He takes over from the late Robert Matano who died three weeks ago. The elders, led by Mr Charo Menza Tuva of Kaya Giriama, took Mr Mwakwere inside Kaya Kinondo forest.More>>>

Kibaki, Raila to tour refuge camps jointly

President Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga will this week tour Rift Valley Province and address internal refugees. The Rift Valley is one of the provinces that bore the brunt of the post-election violence. Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka told a hushed House that the two leaders would visit some of the camps set up in the province for the more than 300,000 refugees. The VP, who is also the leader of Government business, told Dr David Eseli Simiyu (Kimilili, Ford-K): “The tour will be relevant to IDPs because the entire Government machinery will also move there to assess their needs.” More>>>

Luhya shelf life as short as Simon Makonde

By Shad Bulimo, March 25 2008
Recent events in Kenya have called into question the role of ethnicity in Kenya’s development and in particular the position, place and role of the Luhya in Kenya. “We think we are generating wealth by working but actually we are doing it for others,” said Prof David Kikaya, the academic and UN consultant

Prof Kikaya, who contested unsuccessfully for Saboti Parliamentary seat in last year’s general election, was briefing Abeingo Community Network committee members in London yesterday. He urged the community to take control of their economic destiny by accumulating wealth through savings and capital creation. He said, if you plot the life of a typical Luhya, you’ll find the bare facts chilling. He lives his village in Shimalabandu, boards a matatu (owned by a Kikuyu) to Kakamega to board a bus (owned by a Kikuyu) on his way to work in Nairobi. On the way, he stops at the local kiosk (owned by a Kikuyu) to buy soda and biscuits. If he is too tired to walk to the bus stop, he hires a boda boda (owned by a Kikuyu but rented to a Luhya rider).

When he arrives in Nairobi, he boards another matatu (owned by a Kikuyu) to take him to Kawangware. On the way to his house (rented from a Kikuyu), he stops at a street market to buy sukumawiki, onions and tomatoes (from a Kikuyu trader) and a local shop (owned by a Kikuyu shopkeeper) to stock up on some groceries. He then stops a local butchery (owned by a Kikuyu) before arriving at his rented house (owned by a Kikuyu). In the morning, he goes to work either for a Kikuyu or a Mhindi. Over the weekend, he decides life is worthless if you don’t enjoy yourself. His way of enjoying life is to go the local bar (owned by a Kikuyu) to drink some tuskers. If he is religiously-inclined, he might go to one of the evangelical churches (owned by a Kikuyu or Nigerian) where tithe is emphasised more than spiritual nourishment. When he dies after a life of “hard” (read manual) work, his remains are transported to his ancestral home in a coffin (bought from a Kikuyu) and bus hired from (you guessed it … a Kikuyu). More>>>

david kikaya
Don't let Kenda suffer same fate as Simon Makonde:

Prof David Kikaya and his granddaughter, Kenda Amugune: Unless Luhyas begin to take hold of capital ownership, we shall be condemning Kenda and children like her to a life rather like that of Simon Makonde: All Luhya people must not let her life be like that of Simon Makonde.

Supermodel Naomi to set up modelling school in Kenya

By our correspondents, March 24 2008
Super model, Ms Naomi Campbell will establish a drug rehabilitation centre and modelling school in Kenya. Campbell, who arrived in Malindi on Friday in a private jet, said she was discussing the matter with a prominent person in Nairobi.

She was addressing a news conference on Monday at Lion in the Sun Hotel in Casuarina, Malindi, where she spent the Easter holiday. Campbell said: "I decided to establish a rehabilitation centre after seeing many productive people get addicted." She urged foreigners to tour Kenya, saying she had ignored advice against her visit. "Malindi is a town I always yearn to visit. What happened in Kenya has passed. It is now safe," she said.

The model urged the Government to expand Malindi Airport to receive direct flights from Europe. She also clarified that billionaire Fabio Briatore, the hotel’s owner, was not her lover. More>>>

Wakoli roots for Karua

By Edwin Mutai, March 24 2008
Bumula MP Sylvester Wakoli has urged President Kibaki to appoint Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Martha Karua as deputy Prime Minister. More>>>

naomi campbell
Super model Naomi Campbell loves Kenya not Formula One Billionare, Fabio Briatore

Investigate corruption at Kisumu Council - MPs

By Peter Atsiaya, March 24 2008
Two MPs want the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) to investigate alleged corruption at the Kisumu Town Hall. Kisumu Town West MP, Mr Olago Aluoch, and his Kisumu Town East counterpart, Mr Shakeel Shabir, said officials and politicians behind the scam should be prosecuted and their bank accounts frozen.

They were reacting to an exclusive story in yesterday’s edition of The Standard that disclosed that the council’s debts amounted to more than Sh500 million. More>>>

Anxiety grips nation as cabinet is delayed

By our correspondent, March 25 2008
Prime Minister designate Raila Odinga has emerged from a meeting with President Kibaki to say they were not ready yet to name a coalition Cabinet. Mr Odinga told journalists they had covered a bit of ground but more consultations was needed.

Asked when he expected the new Cabinet to be announced, Mr Odinga replied “I don’t know." The Orange Democratic Movement leader said consultations will continue on structure of a coalition Government. The two leaders are required to jointly name ministers under the national accord brokered by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan last month that ended two months of violence. More>>>

Not my job to organise opposition - Marende

By Beauttah Omanga, March 24 2008
National Assembly Speaker, Mr Kenneth Marende, has dismissed an appeal by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) to recognise a coalition of smaller parties as the Official Opposition in the House.

The Speaker said it was not his responsibility to organise the conduct of political parties in Parliament, but to guide the MPs as they legislate. Omogeni maintained that for quality debates and passing of laws and Bills that will benefit the citizenry, there was need for an opposition recognised by the House. More>>>

House Speaker, Kenneth Marende and his wife at a church service in Nairobi on Sunday. He his remit is to facilitate debate in Parliament.

Transport chaos in Western

By our correspondent, March 24 2008
Hundreds of commuters returning to various destinations after the Easter holidays were on Sunday stranded in Western Province for lack of transport. Some had to travel to Kisumu and Eldoret to catch buses to Nairobi. Buses took advantage of the situation to increase fares. Passengers from Kakamega to Nairobi were charged between Sh1,400 and Sh1,800. Easy Coach, which charges Sh950 for the trip, had been fully booked. Akamba and Crown buses to the city were also booked.

The Matatu Welfare Association National Organising Secretary, Mr Fred Chitechi, blamed the situation on post-election violence. He said many operators had withdrawn their vehicles. Passengers from Mumias, Busia, Bungoma, Webuye and Vihiga had to contend with the fare increases. Matatus charged Sh130 from Mumias to Kakamega instead of Sh100. Travellers to Busia from Mumias paid Sh200, up from Sh150. Mr Henry Okhako, who was travelling from Busia to Mumias town, said commuters were scrambling for the few vehicles available. More>>>

Wabukala backs Moi over civil servants

By Stephen Makabila, March 24 2008
The National Council of Churches of Kenya National Chairman, Bishop Eliud Wabukala, has backed retired President Moi’s warning on the dangers of a partisan Civil Service. Wabukala said the Civil Service should be left out of the power-sharing pact between PNU and ODM.

"If we are going to divide the Civil Service on a 50-50 basis as part of the power-sharing agreement, this country will sink because everything will be politicised," said Wabukala. He said the country survived the recent political crisis because of its non-partisan Civil Service and that the situation should not change. More>>>

Sabaot militia surrenders as 1,000 are arrested, arms cache recovered

By Isaiah Lucheli, March 22 2008
Two hundred grenades have been recovered and 1,000 suspects arrested in the ongoing military operation against the Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF) militia in Mt Elgon. Area DC, Mr Mohammed Birik, said the weapons were recovered from houses in Cheptais and Kopsiro division, and in caves. "We have so far recovered 200 grenades, 30 guns and an assortment of military and police uniforms, including those worn by Uganda’s security forces," he said. More>>>

Last week, 17 SLDF members surrendered to the security personnel. Each of them handed over his AK-47 rifle. Human rights groups have indicated that the ragtag army has killed about 600 people and displaced more than 40,000 in the last one and a half years. The ongoing security operation to root out the SLDF started more than two weeks ago and more than 320 suspects have been arrested and three shot dead. Western PC, Mr Abdul Mwaserah, says 75 suspects were released after interrogation while others were taken to court. More>>>

Whistleblower speaks out: Remember him? This is Kipkemoi arap Kirui, the ECK whistleblower who in the glare of the world spoke of blatant rigging of presidential elections. Now in asylum in Europe, he's enrolled on a human rights degree course. More>>>

Political cabinet
Haggling over cabinet positions has moved into top gear as the two principals - Kibaki and Raila appear to be under siege from their charges. More>>>
jomo kenyatta
Above the law: Jomo Kenyatta
Fuata Nyayo: Moi's footsteps to ruin
mwai kibakiFor whom the bell tolls: Mwai Kibaki:

Sun sets on all too powerful presidency

By Mugo Munene, March 22 2008
Mzee Jomo Kenyatta built it, Daniel arap Moi fortified it and Mwai Kibaki is living it. But the all-powerful presidency that controls the lives of Kenyans from the cradle to the grave is headed for the grave in the current wave of reforms expected to last for the next year. The first signs came from Parliament this week where the constitution was amended to create the positions of prime minister and deputy prime ministers and where key political players – President Kibaki and Prime Minister-designate Raila Odinga - promised a new constitution in one year. It was the first time in the country’s history that a sitting president participated in debate in Parliament, a move which was almost unthinkable just a few years ago. More>>>

Dr Kaseje and his wife, Margaret:

Kisumu gets medical university

By Harold Ayodo and Shad Bulimo, March 22 2008
One man's commitment to administer health and education to those in difficult, war-torn situations, has led to the establishment of a specialised university to train key medical personnel across the Great Lakes region.

Prof Dan Kaseje founded the Great Lakes University of Kisumu (GLUK) that trains health students from across the continent. Before establishing the university, Kaseje set up the Tropical Institute of Community Health and Development in Africa in 1998. The institution later became GLUK, and is set to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

"GLUK operates under a Letter of Interim Authority issued by the Commission for Higher Education on June 30, 2006," he says. Kaseje, who is the university vice-chancellor, says the institution’s aim is to bridge training with service delivery programmes, focusing on the needs of the most vulnerable communities. "GLUK develops, tests and disseminates models and innovations in health and development through research," he says. More>>>

Bungled politics, bungled exams

By our correspondent, March 22, 2008
The integrity and credibility of the Kenya National Examinations Council continued to erode as leaders, parents and teachers demanded its disbandment. The body is under fire over its handling of last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination, which saw the results of 4,438 candidates from 857 schools recalled for "slight adjustments".

Education minister, Prof Sam Ongeri, conceded that KNEC’s handling of the exams was a "national embarrassment’’. Prof Ongeri, who replaced Internal Security minister Prof George Saitoti, released the initial results, but last week, he set up a 15-member team to probe the fiasco. Though still struggling to downplay the problem which he said affected a negligible number of candidates who wrote the exams — o.6 per cent - the minister said those found to have meddled with the exercise will each carry their cross. More>>>

1963-2008: Politics come full circle

By our special correspondent, March 22 2008
Forty five years after Kenya’s independence, the country’s political metamorphosis seems to have come a full circle with the governance structure and ethnic composition in position of leadership appearing similar now as it was over four decades ago. Most glaring of the similarities is the office of the prime minister. More>>>

Ojiambo bitter at Kalonzo's betrayal

By Peter Atsiaya, March 21 2008
Dr Julia Ojiambo has finally spoken, weeks after the Vice-President, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, denied her nomination to Parliament. The ODM-Kenya deputy leader said her political career was far from over. Ojiambo, who was Kalonzo’s running mate in the last election, explained that she had no ill feelings against the VP. The former nominated MP, who also lost her bid for the Funyula parliamentary seat, said she was still in the political arena. She warned those who had written her off of a strong comeback.

"ODM-Kenya betrayed me by denying me nomination as MP. Hata hivyo makosa yalifanyika na nimesahau, naangalia mbele (a mistake was done, but I have forgotten that and I’m focused on the future)," she said. Speaking to The Standard on telephone, Ojiambo said she was strengthening the Labour Party of Kenya (LPK). Ojiambo was expected to get one of the two ODM-Kenya slots for parliamentary nomination due to her support for Kalonzo. More>>>

Muthaura faces the chop

By INGONEWS Reporter and correspondents, March 21 2008
Top civil servants over 55 years are in the crosshairs after they were earmarked for axing under the new power-sharing pact, The Standard can report. On Thursday, plans to retire all ‘grey-haired’ permanent secretaries, parastatal heads and other senior civil servants were being finalised to give way for youthful faces.

Among those to go are Public Service Head, Francis Muthaura, who last week caused a stir by his uninformed clarification of the new power sharing accord. Others are permanent secretaries Prof Karega Mutahi, 65 (Education), Mr Patrick Nyoike, 60 (Energy) and Mr Gerishon Ikiara, 57 (Transport), KRA Commissioner-General Michael Waweru, Kenya Airports Authority Managing Director George Muhoho, Kenya Civil Aviation Director General Chris Kutto, Kenya Tourist Board Managing Director Ochieng Ong’ong’a, Kenya Pipeline boss George Okungu, KenGen MD Eddy Njoroge and Internal Security PS Cyrus Gituai, High Commissioner to London, Joseph Muchemi. More>>>

Police not me are guilty - Kibor

By our correspondents, March 21 2008
A politician accused of masterminding post-election violence has denied any involvement and accused authorities of a witch-hunt against his community. "I am an old man, my age does not allow me to go to war," said Mr Jackson Kibor, 73, the ODM chairman of elders in the Rift Valley.

In an interview with Reuters, the veteran politician denied assertions by the police and US-based Human Rights Watch that he was among local elders who financed and plotted attacks against another community. "It is a lie. I do not have money to give out. There is no evidence to support the accusations. I was at home during the trouble," Kibor said on Wednesday at a hotel in Eldoret town."If they wanted to know who killed people, they should arrest the police first because many people were felled by bullets and ordinary Kenyans do not have bullets," Kibor added More>>>

muruli visit
Back row from left: Catherine Muhunzu, Frida Wandera, Rachael Mirindo, Abigael Khalakuba, Elizabeth Iminza and Susan Kivayi. Front Row: Janet Muruli, Catherine Condron and Neccy Kikaya.

mama muruli
Mama Muruli surrounded by daughter, Janet and son, George

Abeingo visits Mama Muruli: Abeingo Community Outreach Team, recently paid a courtesy to Mama Muruli who is recovering at home after being discharged from hospital. The trip was organised by Wangula Khasiani, the chartered accountant. Mama Muruli is the mother of Mabel Mark, the London housing entrepreneur. At the time of the visit, Mabel was away on a business trip to Africa.

gusii dance
Damary Moranga of Getome Primary School in Gucha leads colleagues in a dance during the Nyanza Province Primary Schools Drama Festivals.

Ang'ila appointed to review team

By Philip Mulee and Edwin Mutai, March 20 2008
THE Independent Review Committee (IREC) began its formal sessions yesterday morning after being sworn in, with its Chairman Johann Kreigler expressing confidence that it would unravel the truth about the disputed December 27, general election. The independent panel starts inquiry into the disputed and now discredited presidential polls that saw Mwai Kibaki controversially declared winner amid claims of electoral fraud.

The election scrutiny team is expected to conduct public hearings at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre next Tuesday. The Committee includes two international experts, Tanzanian Lady Justice Imani Daudi Aboud and Dr Horacio Boneo of Argentina and four Kenyan experts, Prof. Marangu M’Marete, Ms Catherine Muyeka Mumma, Mr Francis Ang’ila and Ms Lucy Kambuni. More>>>

From left: Wangula Khasiani, Henry Muhunzu, George Muruli and Catherine Muhunzu during the visit to Mama Muruli. Wangula organised the outreach mission to wish the patient quick recovery.

Ex Saboti MP arrested over fraud

By Osinde Obare, March 20 2008
Former Saboti MP, Mr Davis Nakitare, spent a night at Kitale Prison after he was arrested over alleged fraud. Kitale Chief Principal Magistrate, Mrs Wilbroda Juma, had released Nakitare on a Sh700,000 bond on Tuesday. He had presented himself to the court to face charges of promoting warlike activities.

But police seized him as the judicial officers processed his surety. He recorded a statement over suspicion of receiving Sh900,000 from Mr Martin Ngomat by false pretence and issuing bad cheques. He denied the charges and was released on a Sh300,000 bond. But his freedom was cut short when the court rejected a title deed as surety, saying he had failed to produce a certified search from the Ministry of Lands.

Mt Elgon County Council Chairman, Benson Chesikak addressing press in Eldoret

85 Sabaot charged

By Allan Kisia, March 20 2008
Eighty five suspected Mt Elgon militia has been charged, bringing the total of Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF) suspects charged to 252. They were accused in a Sirisia court of promoting war-like activities between July, 2006 and March 3 2008. More>>>

Woman killed, 1,000 injured in Mt Elgon

By our correspondents, March 20 2008
A woman was killed and more than 1, 000 people have been treated for injuries during the military operation in Mt Elgon District. The Kenya Red Cross Society Secretary-General, Mr Abbas Gullet, said most of the injured were arrested on suspicion of being members of the Sabaot Land Defense Force (SLDF).

He denied that the victims had bullet wounds, saying they were treated for tissue injuries. "Most of them were men. They were injured during screening by security forces searching for SLDF members," said the official.

Gullet also disclosed that a woman was killed in the area. "Suspected SLDF members are said to have beaten the woman and she succumbed to the injuries this morning," he said. More>>>

80 constituencies won't get CDF

By Judy Ogutu and Shad Bulimo, March 20 2008
Up to eighty dozy MPs have not formed their Constituency Development Fund (CDF) committees despite last week’s deadline. At the time of going to press, we were unable to establish whether any western MPs had neglected the most important aspect of their remit.

Consequently, they cannot access CDF money for their constituencies. The CDF Act bars any individual from accessing the funds in the absence of a committee.

Mr Nixon Ng’ang’a, the National Management Committee spokesperson, said money was only released on the strength of request for funds for specific projects from a list compiled by the committees. By Saturday, the deadline, only 130 MPs had submitted names of the 15-member CDF committees. More>>>

Lobbying intensifies over cabinet

By a correspondent, March 20 2008
Lobbying and negotiations over the number of cabinet posts in the anticipated coalition government and which party takes what position intensified yesterday with the partners staking their claims on portfolios considered crucial.

Kenya Times has reliably learnt that the discussions have narrowed down on the size of the cabinet and portfolios to be shared between President Mwai Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU) and Prime Minister-designate Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). More>>>

Civil society wants MPs salaries reduced by shs400,000 per month

Civil society has asked President Kibaki to form a lean Cabinet and ignore pressure to reward individuals. In a statement on Wednesday, the groups suggested 23 ministries be formed. They want a ministry to deal with development of the North Eastern region.

"As we continue to appreciate the steps being made towards bringing the country out of the crisis, we look forward to a lean, effective and sensitive Government that will deliver and be representative of the peoples’ aspirations," read part of the statement.

They also demanded that MPs’ salaries be reduced by Sh400,000 a month as their contribution to the rebuilding of the nation. "This will contribute more than Sh1 billion per year and Sh5.3 billion in the next five years. We believe this move will augur well as we plead with donor international friends for assistance," said Prof Larry Gumbe, a member of the group. More>>>

civil societyCivil Society members addressing the press in Nairobi.

3rd mobile launched
Kenya's third mobile phone company will launch in June. Econet chief executive, Mr Phillip Mudimu, said the firm has started rolling out its network. More>>>
John Githongo addressing Kenya Society members yesterday

Bounce not handshakes signals new Kenya

By Shad Bulimo, London March 19 2008
Forget the handshakes between President Mwai Kibaki and ODM Prime Minister-designate, Raila Odinga; instead, watch the bounce of the man in the street. Important though they are the handshakes between hitherto political enemies are useless if they cannot inspire confidence of displaced Kenyans to quickly return to their homes and businesses.  “The speed at which this happens will signal that Kenyans have learnt the bitter lessons of ethnic chivalry and embarked on a new road to peace, justice and equal chance to economic opportunity, “ said former Permanent Secretary for Ethics and Governance, Mr John Githongo. Addressing members of Kenya Society in London yesterday, Mr Githongo, the self-exiled anti-corruption czar, said that yes the political class on both side of the political divide must come together and demonstrate that a new spirit to embrace diversity without acrimony is truly here and they are part of the lot that are writing a new chapter for Kenya but the agreement must be backed by genuine warmth of the heart and spirit that should be seen to flow in the veins of mama mboga who should feel free and safe enough to plough her trade in Karatina or Kisumu. More>>>

Sabaot leader ambushes army on radio interview

By Robert Wanyonyi, March 18 2008
An interview by Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF) leader with a local FM station threw security operations in Mt Elgon into high alert. Security officers conducting the operation were taken aback by the phone interview Mr John Kanai gave to West FM, a radio station that covers Western and North Rift regions. Officers went to the radio station offices in Bungoma town to get his number but they were told the call was made from a concealed number. In the interview, Kanai accused the Government of bombing innocent civilians. "Hao watu wanatafuta kile hawawezi kuona. Kwa nini wanaumiza raia? (The security officers are looking for something they cannot find. Why are they hurting civilians?") he asked. More>>>

shad bulimo and john githongo
Abeingo Editor, Shad Bulimo (middle) with John Githongo and other Kenyans
wangula khasiani
An agitated Wangula Khasiani stressing a point to John Githongo
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Abeingo Treasury, Neccy Kikaya making her contribution to the debate
john baraza
John Baraza (left) in the audience listening to Githongo talk

Kibaki signs away some of his power to Raila

By Patrick Wachira, March 18 2008
It is now official. Kenya will have the position of executive Prime minister. This was after President Kibaki last night assented to a Bill passed by Parliament creating the post. Mr Raila Odinga is waiting to step into the office, becoming only its second holder after its was scrapped in 1964 by the nation’s founding father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. The Cabinet could now be named anytime from today. More>>>

Three charged with Were murder

By Judy Ogutu, March 18 2008
Three men alleged to have attacked and robbed former Embakasi MP, Mellitus Were, have denied a robbery with violence charge. Mr James Omondi Odera , Mr Wycliffe Walibwa Simiyu and Mr Paul Otieno Omondi on Tuesday told a Nairobi court that they were innocent. The three are accused of killing the MP after violently robbing him of Sh2,000 and a mobile phone. Charged alongside the three are Ms Mary Muthoni Wamaitha and Ms Josephine Wamaitha Wahome who faced charges of illegal possession of two pistols and eight rounds of ammunition. More>>>

Githongo appointed VP of World Vision

By Shad Bulimo, March 19 2008
Former Permanent Secretary for Ethics and Governance, Mr John Githongo has been appointed Vice President of World Vision, the international charity. Mr Githongo who has been an associate fellow at Oxford Uiversity, since fleeing Kenya in fear of his life over his stance on grand corruption, takes over the post immediately. The Milton Keynes based charity is active in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Live House: House Speaker Kenneth Marende has allowed live coverage of parliamentary proceedings.

Food-for-sex scandal at IDP camp

By Robert Nyasato, March 17 2008
A sex scandal involving mothers, their daughters and humanitarian organisations’ officials has been reported in a camp for displaced people. Displaced people at Nyamira’s Ekerenyo Camp, home to 1,500 victims of post-election violence, on Monday told a meeting that mothers were offering their daughters for sex in exchange for food, money, shelter and bedding.

Red Cross male volunteers were accused of demanding sexual favours from women in exchange for food. Two women, who sought anonymity, lamented that they were denied tents after they turned down volunteers’ sexual demands and were now sharing one with ten others. But the Red Cross official in charge of the camp, Mr Benson Owade, denied the food-for-sex allegations and promised to investigate.

Many displaced people, however, said since Owade was posted to the camp recently, the situation had changed for the better. A representative of displaced people, Mr Makori Nyabuto, said desperate women had turned to prostitution after their employers, multinational tea estates, failed to pay salaries. More>>>

Inflation soars to 300%

By Judy Ogutu, March 17 2008
Prices for essential commodities have skyrocketed by as much as 300% as consumers grapple with the effects of post-election chaos. The worst affected are fruits and vegetables. A kilogramme of tomatoes now costs Sh60 up from Sh30 just two months ago.

Ms Jane Njeri, a trader at Karatina Open Air Market, says there is an acute shortage of tomatoes and green vegetables, hence the price surge. "We are getting very little from farmers and the demand for vegetables is high. We are forced to increase the price," said Njeri.

At the Nyeri open-air market, a kilogramme of tomatoes is selling at Sh50. Traders from as far as Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu travel to Karatina and Nyeri for tomatoes. The prices of potatoes have also gone up. In Nakuru town, a 110kg bag of potatoes has shot up by nearly 300 per cent to Sh3,500 from Sh600 in March last year.

In Nairobi, a 110kg bag of potatoes costs Sh3,500 up from Sh1,500 two months ago. The price of tomatoes and onions has increased by about 50 per cent in the same period. Vegetable prices have also gone up in the last two weeks. Traders in Nairobi have doubled the price of cabbages, sukuma wiki, onions, and tomatoes. Most of the produce is from Subukia, Mau Narok, Molo and Timboroa.. More>>>

AU wants root and branch overhaul of Kenya's institutions

By Amos Kareithi, March 17 2008
The African Union wants President Kibaki and Prime minister-designate, Mr Raila Odinga, to tackle poverty, corruption and land issues. In a joint communique in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, after a special session during which the continental body was briefed about Kenya, it was further resolved that unemployment be addressed.

During the meeting, which was attended by members of the peace and security committee chaired by Egypt, Prof Oluyemi Adeniji briefed members. Adeniji took over the mantle of the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation team from former UN Secretary General, Dr Kofi Annan.

Five representatives of civil society had been camping in Ethiopia to lobby delegates to ensure that historical injustices such as inequitable distribution of resources, are discussed.It was also resolved that public finance and revenue management systems and institutions be reformed and accountability and transparency strengthened More>>>

kenya brand
Brand Kenya Corporation launched to market the country as a package rather like South Africa, Uganda, Morocco.

Kenya rebranded as a commodity

By Dave Opiyo, March 17 2008
A new board to brand and market Kenya abroad has been formed. The new State corporation, to be known as the Brand Kenya Board, will come up with strategies that will help improve the country’s profile and reputation abroad. t will be the first time that modern marketing techniques will be used to sell the country and its products.

In doing so, Kenya will be joining the ranks of countries such as South Africa, Egypt, the US, Uganda, Australia and the Bahamas, which are branded and sold abroad as commodities. Kenya can sell its tourism, tea and coffee, and also services such as banking, advertising and accountancy. The State corporation will step up efforts of repairing the country’s image abroad dented by the post-election violence. 

This means that the country will now be presented to the outside world as a brand in order to attract more investment. In a legal notice issued on Monday, President Kibaki said the Brand Kenya Board will consist of 15 members including a non-executive chairman to be appointed by the President.  More>>>

Funyula rattled as priest appointed to head CDF board

By our correspondents, March 17 2008
A row has erupted at Nangina Catholic Parish following the appointment of the priest in charge as Constituency Development Fund chairman. Father Maurice Langiri took over from Mr Amstrong Kasuku but his appointment has rubbed area residents and Catholic faithful the wrong way. A number of faithful demonstrated in Funyula Town calling for the priest’s resignation, saying religious leaders should not engage in political activities that could compromise their stand. More>>>

School heads must produce results or else...

By Joel Okwayo, March 17 2008
Secondary school head teachers will soon sign performance contracts, Education Secretary, Prof George Godia, has said. He said principals, school management committees and the Government would draw the contracts in an effort to improve academic standards.

Godia said heads of teachers training colleges had signed the contracts. Speaking at Kakamega High School during the AGM at the weekend, Godia directed schools to adhere to the Government’s fees guideline.

Lurambi MP, Mr Manyala Keya, and the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers First Vice-Chairman, Mr Zadock Kisienya, also attended the function. More>>>

kakamega high
Kakamega High School where Godia announced that head teachers would sign performance contracts. Kakamega is the quintessential boys school in Western Province.

Kamusinga to sue over results

By Allan Kisia, March 17 2008
A secondary school in Western Province plans to sue the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) over anomalies in last year’s KCSE results. Parents at Friends School Kamusinga High in Kimilili, an academic giant in the region and nationally, have set up a committee to plan the suit.

The Western School Heads Association recently demanded that the Government reassesses the results of all schools. The team to sue the council was formed during the school’s annual general meeting on Saturday. More than 30 candidates were affected by the anomalies. Association chairman, Mr Simon Nabukwesi, who is also the principal of Kamusinga, said the Government should rank schools afresh. "This is the best way of ensuring anomalies that emerged in the results are properly addressed," he said.

After the Government released KCSE results last month, it emerged that there were discrepancies in the mean scores in various schools. Yesterday, Nabukwesi said he was concerned that cases of examination anomalies had increased. More>>>

Caught in the act but chang'aa will never go away - legal or not. Did you know that Scotch whisky was like chang'aa, illegal? Brewers of whisky in Scotland did running battles with the police just like chang'aa brewers in Kenya but eventually sense and sensibility prevailed. Legalise chang'aa like Konyagi and Waragi in neighbouring Tanzania and Uganda, respectively.

Time to legalise chang'aa

By Samuel Otieno, March 16 2008
Chang’aa distillation and consumption continue to thrive in all parts of the country despite a ban in 1980. But this may soon change if forces within the business and policy analysts succeed in a campaign to get the drink legalised. Policy analysts calling for the legalisation of chang’aa – which is particularly vibrant in Nairobi’s informal settlements – say the ban only succeeded in pushing the business underground.

Analysts also want appropriate regulatory measures for the industry, saying the ban is untenable and undesirable due to state complicity. The Chang’aa Prohibition Act, which was enacted in 1980 and revised in 1981, criminalises the manufacture, sale, supply, consumption and possession of chang’aa, or without lawful excuse possession of any implement, apparatus or utensils designed or adapted or adapted for the distillation of chang’aa. More>>>

Mayor without official residence

By Vincent Bartoo, March 16 2008
The Eldoret mayor and the municipal engineer have no official residences after the buildings were sold in post-election unrest. The mayor’s house was sold last month and the engineer’s in January in suspect transactions. The Eldoret Municipal Council has now gone to the High Court in an effort to repossess the two houses. The civic body wants injunction orders obtained by the two buyers, barring it from accessing the two houses, overturned. Mr Hosea Ruto and Ms Anne Cherop sought the orders after acquiring title deeds for the two properties in what the council claimed was a fraudulent acquisition. More>>>

Food shortages looming in EA

By Harold Ayodo, March 16 2008
Scientists have warned of a food shortage and increased poverty due to continuous environmental degradation. The experts from East Africa, at a regional seminar in Mwanza, Tanzania, said that massive dilapidation of the environment could increase poverty to more than 65 per cent. More>>>

Ruto clears major road block

By Shad Bulimo and Vincent Bartoo, March 16 2008
One of the road blocks threatening to tear ODM apart was who between Musalia Mudavadi and William Ruto would get the deputy prime minister's post. Huge tribal undercurrents have been played out between Luhya and Kalenjin elders - each claiming the slot. That must have been causing Raila Odinga, the prime minister-designate, sleepless nights. Thankfully, headaches, heartaches and spin doctoring no more as Ruto yesterday backed Sabatia MP, , for the position.

He said the turn of events following last year’s General Election would make it unrealistic for him to press for the position. In the power line up envisaged by ODM as it went to the elections last year, Ruto was widely expected to become prime minister and Mudavadi, who is the deputy party leader, was to get the vice-presidency. The post of prime minister was to be created through constitutional reforms and Ruto was expected to get it.

But events linked to the outcome of the presidential elections meant that ODM would not form the Government on its own, throwing its earlier plans in disarray. On Sunday, Ruto broke his silence on the issue amid calls by his supporters to claim the seat. He asserted that he backed Mudavadi for the job and said he would do this for the sake of ODM’s unity. More>>>

Eldoret North MP, William Ruto

Mark this week
This week promises to be a defining moment in Kenya’s political history as major developments take shape in a move that would drastically change the conduct of politics and governance. More>>>

Torture chambers of Mt Elgon

By Biketi Kikechi, March 16 2008
More than 800 people have been interrogated and released from an operation camp in Mt Elgon. They may be free, but they loathe to remember the harrowing experience they went through in the hands of the security officers at Kapkoto Primary School Camp.

"Kila mtu, iwe mzee ama kijana, alipata majeraha baada ya kupigwa kwa yale masaa machache tulipokokuwa huko Kapkoto (Almost every man, old or young, is nursing some injury because of the beatings we received at Kapkoto)," said one of the victims whose name is withheld for safety reasons.

A Red Cross volunteer, Dr Mohammed Said, told The Standard that they had treated more than 1,000 people with minor injuries. "In the course of the operation, some get injuries from trying to escape while others are injured during interrogation," he said. More than 1,000 people were arrested last week when the operation moved to Cheptais Division. More>>>

Biggest, largest share offer

By Kimathi Njoka, March 14 2008
With as little as Sh10,000, Kenyans would acquire a stake in the region’s most profitable company, Safaricom Ltd. Announcing what could be the region’s largest Initial Public Offer (IPO), Finance minister, Mr Amos Kimunya said the pricing was aimed at bringing on board as many investors as possible.

The IPO has been priced at Sh5 per share for a minimum of 2000 shares, translating to an investment of Sh10,000. The Government is offloading a 25 per cent stake or 10 billion shares through the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE), an offer expected to net Sh50 billion in gross proceeds to finance development programmes. More>>>

raila and kibaki
lynch mob
The pictures that you never thought you could see in your lifetime - Raila and Kibaki's son, Jimmy. A few weeks ago, either of them would have been lynched if caught offside.
Pressure from Kenyans across the globe brought sense and sensibility to bear to PNU hardliners

The price of freedom is ... priceless!


Setback for Nambuye in corruption case

By John Osoro, March 14 2008
Corruption allegations levelled against Justice Roselyne Nambuye will be investigated and findings made, the tribunal appointed to probe the judge’s conduct has ruled. The tribunal ruled that the President did not have powers under section 62(6) of the Constitution to terminate the investigations into the conduct of the judge whose suspension he ordered lifted. Nambuye’s name was deleted from the list of judges named by a team headed by Justice Aaron Ringera which probed corruption at the Judiciary, through a Kenya Gazette notice No 8829 that also lifted her suspension. More>>

300 held in Mt Elgon

By M’mbolo Bulemi, March 14 2008
POLICE say that at least 14 AK-47 riffles and 284 rounds of ammunitions have been recovered in the ongoing security operation in the troubled Mt Elgon district. According to Police spokesman Erick Kiraithe, the police and the military have also interrogated over 300 suspects and recovered hundreds of machetes, bows and poisoned arrows.

 Also recovered was an assortment of 93 police uniforms, he said, must have been stolen from the Kenyan military and from the Ugandan army. Kiraithe added that a number of hideouts for the criminals including Kipkeu and Kaptoi caves had been combed during the operation. More>>>

Villagers stunned by dead body

By Ken Langat, March 14 2008
A body of a secondary student was yesterday morning found lying on a road at Kapsuser trading centre in Belgut constituency of Kericho district. Lemon Mutai’s body was discovered by residents who were walking along the road. More>>>

david mwenje
Ex-MP Mwenje dead
Former Embakasi MP, David Mwenje, has died aged 55. Mwenje died at the Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi last evening after battling with an ailment for almost three months. His daughter, Ms Maurine Waithira, confirmed that Mwenje passed on shortly after 6pm. He was admitted to the hospital in mid January before being moved to the ICU, where he died while undergoing treatment.

Dining with the enemy

By our correspondent, March 13 2008
Party of National Unity (PNU) hardliners, some of them President Kibaki’s most astute defenders, appear to be warming up to Mr Raila Odinga, the Prime minister-designate. Last night, it remained unclear whose initiative it was that led to the seemingly thawing of relations even as MPs continued displaying unity, with debate on the Presidential Speech starting in earnest. "There’s need to bond. We must be seen to be working together," a PNU MP told The Standard on condition of anonymity.

While the scenario painted a picture of a crystallising coalition and a deliberate effort to bond, there were also questions over whether what was being witnessed wasn’t mere political expediency at its best. Yet, the pattern that began emerging on Wednesday night with a high profile visit to the Karen home of the ODM leader and what initially looked like a coincidental lunchtime encounter at Nairobi’s Grand Regency Hotel appeared to suggest a thawing of what was hitherto very frosty relations. More>>>

Maseno varsity, local NGO pioneer HIV treatment

By John Oywa, March 13 2008
Kenya could soon start mass production of a rare food supplement that scientists believe prolongs the lives of HIV/Aids and cancer patients. The supplement, Spirulina, is said to have helped millions of Aids and cancer patients bounce back to life in Asia and many African countries where it was discovered.

Scientists and public health experts at Maseno University are collaborating with two NGOs to establish Spirulina’s impact on poor people living with HIV/Aids. Prof Wilson Odero, the director of the School of Public Health and Community Development at the university, said that he was part of the research team.The Standard has learnt that Kisumu Kids Empowerment Organisation, an NGO, was producing Spirulina at the town’s Tom Mboya Estate and had enlisted the help of researchers.

The NGO also trains members of women groups in Kisumu and its environs to grow algae in ponds, from which the Spirulina will be harvested. Ms Els Wijt-Mulder, the Kisumu Kids Organisation director-general, who introduced the supplement in Kenya, said she was working with 20 women groups, six of which had started projects. More>>>

displaced women in naivasha camps
Displaced women living at Nakuru showground.

165 children sexually abused per month

By Evelyn Ogutu, March 13 2008
Sex pests are on the prowl and are mostly targeting children. As other crimes decrease, police say defilement incidents rose by 37 per cent last year. Despite the enactment of the Sexual Offences Act two years ago, the 2007 police crime statistics show 165 children were defiled every month, which translates to six minors daily. More>>>

Migori health official arrested

By Tom Rachuonyo and Hassan Adan, March 13 2008
Migori Criminal Investigations Department (CID) officers have arrested a senior ministry of Health official following claims of misuse of funds. The suspect was picked yesterday from his office at the Migori District Hospital and interrogated for several hours by the detectives. Several documents were also picked from the facility to help in the probe. More>>>

Kenyan picked for French Open

By Kenneth Nato, March 13 2008
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has appointed Kenya Lawn Tennis Association (KLTA) assistant Secretary General Patrick Kamuhia to officiate in the 2008 French Open tournament. Kamuhia will be a chair umpire in the qualifying rounds which will have a draw of 96 players and in the main rounds which will have a draw of 64 Players. More>>>

1,500 sick after deadly toxic leak

By KLN, March 13 2008
Hundreds of Kenyans have fallen ill after a chemical consignment was dumped on the roadside near the port city of Mombasa, officials told AFP on Thursday. According to a local official, up to 1500 people have sought treatment at local hospitals, complaining mainly of chest pains and respiratory problems they believe were caused by the leaking container. More>>>

Buried after 9 yrs in mortuary

By Steve Munyiri, March 13 2008
The body of a Nyeri man, which has been lying at a local mortuary for nine years, has finally been buried. What started as a minor family feud over ownership of a piece of land, ended up being a nine-year “grave” ordeal for the family in Nyeri South District that had been hassling in the corridors of justice in their quest to bury a loved one.

The family of Mzee Elijah Ngatia was until a few days ago torn between burying the remains of their eldest son on a different piece of land from the disputed one, or leaving it to be detained over more than Sh1.3 million accumulated mortuary charge. More>>>

Nakitare subpoenaed over militia links

By Jillo Kadida, March 13 2008
Former Saboti MP Davis Nakitare has been ordered to appear before a Kitale magistrate on Tuesday. Mr Nakitare is being sought by the police after more than 200 men were arrested at his farm in Kwanza. The suspects were allegedly taking part in illegal military training.

Mr Nakitare is expected to deposit cash bail of Sh20,000 at the High Court. The order was given by Mr Justice Jacktone Boma Ojwang’ after an application by the former MP. The judge further directed him to personally appear before the High Court deputy registrar this morning to make sure he has complied with court orders. More>>>

Inquiries that go nowhere

By Lucas Barasa and Shad Bulimo, March 13 2008
The Electoral Commission of Kenya team will be questioned at a public inquiry over their role in the disputed presidential elections. The hearings will be similar to those of the Goldenberg Commission, which was led by Mr Justice Samuel Bosire. Commissions of inquiry in Kenya are merely a water cooling mechanism to arrest public anger and then dump the report as soon it is released. Think Ouko, Artur brothers, Goldenberg, etc and you get the picture.

President Kibaki gazetted the names of the seven members of the commission of inquiry to be headed by South African judge Johann Kriegler. More>>>

From Philadelphia with medicine and sport

By INGONEWS Reporter, March 14 2008
Help is coming to the people of Kenya in different forms. Even before the elections, a Kenyan based in the USA, Mr Charles Wambulwa had organized a medical outreach mission to Kenya later this year. The chaos brought by the post election violence now makes that mission much more urgent. Dubbed ILOM (Inspire a Life Outreach Ministry) the mission will be offering direct medical care, conduct public health education in simple techniques to curtail spread of cholera, dysentery and typhoid in camps.

While medical attention is critical, the team will use the opportunity to encourage communities to engage in activities that promote peace such as sports. In that regard, any financial or material help would be appreciated.  We will need trophies, jerseys, soccer balls, basket balls, running shoes, playing shoes and any other sports equipment.  A church in Philadelphia (African Christian ministry) has embraced and incorporated ILOM.  I will leave for Kenya on 15 April and stay for 9 weeks. I can be contacted using the details below:
Charles Wambulwa, MD
633 West Rittenhouse Street, Apt A412
Philadelphia, PA 19144
Tel:  267 982 9562

Kivuitu has no where to hide:
Wherever the disgraced chairman of ECK Samwel Kivuitu goes, he gets heckled. He came under fire for the third day running as wananchi confronted him in Mombasa demanding he tells them what transpired after the December 27 polls. Kivuitu had just had lunch at the Rozina Restaurant along Moi Avenue, and was heading to his car. More>>>

MP's poisoned by leaflets

By Shad Bulimo, March 13 2008
The warthog is one of those animals who like Francis Muthaura has very short memory. In the sea, the warthog’s equivalent is a fish called mkizi in Kiswahili which when rattled, jumps in anger directly into the fisherman’s boat for easy capture. Dr Muthaura may be the head of the civil service but his statement purporting to clarify the structure of the new coalition government in the making is rather like the warthog’s choice with mkizi (Dr Douglas Mutua – Government Spokesman) in tow. The two faces represent the past, vested interests that Kenyans voted to delink themselves with. Forces of evil never give up easily. We saw them frustrating Kofi Annan to the point the mild mannered Ghanaian former UN Secretary General almost threw in the towel.

Now we learn that these forces have infiltrated the august house with evil literature circulated to all MPs in a grand conspiracy to undermine the relative peace reclaimed through the signing of the National Accord between President Kibaki and ODM Prime Minister-Designate, Raila Odinga. Francis Thuo, the government chief whip has owned up to the leaflets but only to the extent that they originated from his office; by whom no one knows. But the poison in the four-point leaflets is venomous enough to return Kenya to the brink of total collapse.    

Raila cautions against Warthog's syndrome

By a correspondent, March 12 2008
Members of Parliament unanimously agreed to fast track the power sharing deal even as a mysterious document that pointed to a conspiracy to undermine debate shockingly found its way into the august House. This afternoon, Parliament begins debate on a crucial proposed law - marking a key step towards legalising the power-sharing arrangement signed by President Kibaki and Mr Raila Odinga, the Prime Minister-designate and leader of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). On Wednesday, MPs unanimously approved a Procedural Motion to fast track the introduction and subsequent debate of two Bills to legislate the February 28 peace deal. Speaking for the first time in the Tenth Parliament, Raila cautioned against the "warthog’s syndrome of forgetfulness" now that Kenya had been pulled from the brink. More>>>

father in law and his wives
Man and his two brides: Wilson Mulunda Ndunde with his two wives, Rosemary Bosco (traditionally a daughter-in-law) and Susie Ayuma Nyangala (right) addressing the Press at their village. Photo/STEPHEN AGWATTA

Clash of cultures as father in law becomes husband

By Benson Amadala, March 12 2008
A sleepy village in Kakamega North District has been engulfed in a furious storm over the decision by a 45-year-old widow to be inherited by her father in-law. The mother of two has defied tradition and provoked the wrath of the Abatsikha clan of the Wanga upon herself.

The woman, who was married to a member of the Kabras sub-tribe, has stunned villagers after she accepted to be inherited by the uncle to her former husband two months ago.  The bizarre relationship between Rosemary Bosco and her new-found love Wilson Mulunda Ndunde has shocked relatives and puzzled villagers in Mukaba, Mahira sub-location. More>>>

Who needs foreign tourists?

By Barnabas Bii, March 12 2008
When eight unemployed residents of Keiyo District ventured into domestic tourism as a means of earning a living, the initiative was dismissed by many as a waste of time and resources. ut this did not deter the enterprising residents from pursuing their goal, and four years down the line, their determination has earned them celebrity status in the community and among stakeholders in the tourism industry. And as the sector, which has consistently been the country’s top revenue earner, struggles to overcome the challenges of post-election violence, members of Kerio-Tingwa Eco-Tourism have all the reasons to smile. More>>>

ODM, PNU MPs condemn Muthaura

By our correspondents, March 11 2008
MPs on both sides of the political divide have roundly condemned the statement by Francis Muthaura purporting to reflect the structure of the coalition government and accused him of undermining the spirit of National Accord.

Lugari MP, Mr Cyrus Jirongo, and his Vihiga counterpart, Mr Yusuf Chanzu, said only President Kibaki and ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga, should comment on the structure of Government. ODM’s Kisumu Town West MP, Mr Olago Aluoch, and his Nyando colleague, Mr Fred Outa, said Muthaura was campaigning to retain his position. Other MPs who dismissed Muthaura’s statement were Mr Nicholas Gumbo (Rarieda), Mr George Khaniri (Hamisi), Mr William Cheptumo (Baringo North) and Mr Charles Lilechi (Shinyalu). More>>>

Pro-government MPs have lashed out at the Head of Civil Service, Mr Francis Muthaura, over his remarks on the structure of the proposed grand coalition Government. And Senior Counsel and former Kikuyu MP, Mr Paul Muite, dismissed Muthaura’s assertion that the PM would "co-ordinate and supervise Government functions under the authority of the President". He said once the post was anchored in the Constitution, the holder would exercise executive authority.

"Let no one be under any illusion on the effect of the proposed amendment to Section 16 of the Constitution (to establish the post) because it will vest executive authority on the office of Prime Minister," he said. Speaking separately on Tuesday, Mr Emilio Kathuri (Manyatta), Mr Peter Gitau (Mwea) and Mr Jeremiah Kioni of Ndaragwa said the Secretary to the Cabinet should "keep quiet". More>>>

robert matano
The last sighting of the fallen coast political king

Last photo alive: Shirikisho Party of Kenya Secretary-General and Director of Programmes, Sheikh Juma Ngao (left), former Tourism minister, Mr Morris Dzoro, Transport minister, Mr Chirau Ali Mwakwere (right), with former Kanu Secretary-General and Cabinet minister, Robert Stanley Matano at his home in Mazeras, Mombasa on Friday. Looking on is Matano’s wife, Mama Ruth Matano. More>>>

Military attacks journalists in Mt Elgon

By Isaiah Lucheli, March 11 2008
Journalists covering the military operation in Mt Elgon were beaten, their cameras confiscated and TV footage deleted. Military officers accosted them in Cheptais as they alighted from the vehicle to take pictures. Mr Sammy Cheboi, a reporter with Nation Media Group and Mr Hillary Obinda, a cameraman, were slapped several times then forced to kneel down. More>>>

Fear grips Mt Elgon
The military operation against militia in Mt Elgon District entered its second day, with the Government dismissing claims that security forces were targeting civilians. Helicopters bombed parts of Cheptais Division as the ground operation intensified, with hundreds of youths rounded up in villages while more people continued to flee the district. More>>>
turkwell gorge
The stalled multi-billion Turkwell Gorge power project may be in line for revival.

White elephants receive private lifeline

By Sam Kiplagat, March 11 2008
A number of government projects under the Regional Development Authorities are up for grabs by the private sector. The Government has signed an agreement to work with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance with the aim of reviving some of its stalled projects across the country. Regional Development permanent secretary David Stower says the private sector could support projects under the Regional Development Authorities to achieve full potential, among them the Tana-Delta Rice Irrigation Project, Emali Livestock Multiplication Project, various projects under Lake Basin Development Authority,Ewaso Ng’iro North Development Authority and Coast Development Authority. More>>>

Dr Okutoyi loses bid to practice

By Jillo Kadida, March 11 2008
A dentist has lost her first bid to halt the decision by a medical practitioners and dentists board to cancel her practising certificate over alleged negligence. This follows a decision by the High Court not to grant Dr Praxades Okutoyi a temporary order to allow her to practise. Declining the plea by the dentist, Mr Justice Alnashir Visram said the public interest in the case outweighed that of Dr Okutoyi. The dentist’s practising certificate was cancelled on November 29, 2007. The board’s decision meant that she stands suspended from practice for the next three years. More>>>

mt elgon
Medics attend to the injured in Mt Elgon

Fresh ethnic violence flares

By our correspondent, March 11 2008
Eight people were killed Tuesday in a new wave of ethnic violence in Laikipia West and Narok South districts. In Laikipia West, a 46-year-old woman and her three children were killed at Aiyam village as the clashes entered their seventh day.

District commissioner Julius Mutula said that the raiders shot their victims at close range before fleeing. Security personnel were tracking them down, he said. The incident brings to 15 the number of people killed in clashes in Aiyam. The four bodies were taken to Nyahururu District Hospital mortuary. More>>>

Crucial election files disappear

By Gitonga Marete, Mrach 11 2008
Mystery surrounds the disappearance of three files containing vital information on the December 27 General Election. The files went missing on Monday when a group of activists stormed into an Electoral Commission of Kenya meeting in Kilifi. On Tuesday, it emerged that files went missing when the group confronted ECK chairman Samuel Kivuitu and other commissioners at the Sun ‘N’ Sand Beach Resort. The activists were demanding that the commissioners resign to pave way for investigations into claims of election irregularities. More>>>

Police postings de-ethnicised

By Abdulmasad Ali, March 11 2008
Close to 1,000 police officers throughout the country are being transferred from their home districts to other areas, the Nation has learnt. Reliable sources confirmed that if, for example, a police officer comes from Coast province, then he or she has to work in another province, a move meant to de-ethnicise the force after the chaos that followed the disputed presidential election results. Most officers are believed to have taken sides in discharging their duties or just stood by as the people went on the rampage and broke the law.  More>>>

No real power sharing after all

By Shad Bulimo and Bernard Namunane, March 10 2008
The power sharing accord that has restored relative calm in the country following discredited presidential polls last year may just be an illusion after all. A storm is brewing over the powers of the Prime Minister after the Head of the Civil Service revealed the structure of the new coalition government Monday. According to Mr Francis Muthaura, who is also the Secretary to the Cabinet, the President will retain the powers to appoint the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers and Cabinet ministers under the power-sharing agreement brokered by Mr Kofi Annan. Just why government functionaries chose to speak on a matter that is clearly beyond their remit under the terms of the accord hammered out by Kofi Annan remains a mystery but ODM has quickly read mischief and roundly condemned it. More>>>

muthaura and mutua
Throwing spanner in the works: Can the government of President Kibaki ever be trusted? Dr Alfred Mutua and Francis Muthaura spelling out the pecking order of governmen in which contrary to expectations, President Kibaki still retains imperial powers.

ODM condemns Muthaura's statement

By our correspondent, March 10 2008
ODM has roundly condemned a statement by Head of Civil Service, Francis Muthaura that Raila Odinga is only number three in the pecking order of the new government without executive authority. Dr Amukowa Anangwe, Mr Salim Lone and former MPs Peter Odoyo and Philip Okundi of ODM had said that Mr Muthaura had no authority “to interpret the deal signed between President Kibaki and Mr Odinga”.

Dr Anangwe said the National Accord states that: “The Prime Minister shall have authority to co-ordinate and supervise the execution of the functions and affairs of the Government, including those of Ministries." Any statement touching on those functions can only be issued by Kibaki and Raila, he said. More>>>

sabaot milita
Army peration to wipe out Sabaot militia

Ex minister dies: Former Minister and Kanu Secretary general, Robert Matano is dead. Mr Matano, 83 died of old age at his Mazeras farm in Mombasa. He leaves behind two widows, 16 children and 20 grandchildren.

Residents scapper as army swoops on Sabaot militia

By our correspondent, March 10 2008
A combined operation of the Army and paramilitary police swooped on villages in Mt Elgon District at dawn as scared residents of all ages scampered for dear life. In what is being billed as the biggest operation in the country since the Shifta wars of the 1960s, the no-nonsense officers attacked from the air and on the ground.

A resident, Mr Kiberenge arap Ndiwa, who fled from Chepsiro in the district said: "Ndege iko inamwaga moto kila mahali huko milimani (Helicopters are spitting fire everywhere in the hills)." Whole villages and shopping centres had been turned into ghost areas. At the same time, the Government imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the troubled Kitale and Mt Elgon regions - Trans Nzoia West, Trans Nzoia East and Kwanza districts.. More>>>

Kivuitu's team flees from lynch mob

By Abdalla Seif, March 10 2008
CHAOTIC scenes erupted at a Mombasa hotel when members of civil society groups stormed a meeting of Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) officials led by Chairman Samuel Kivuitu, and demanded that they be ejected from the venue. The civil society groups, who were on a retreat at the hotel, became agitated on learning that the ECK team was equally holding a meeting at the same venue.

“We demand that you immediately vacate these premises and stop messing up with the investigations into your criminal activities,” said the groups’ officials. They demanded that the hotel management evicts the ECK officials, saying they could not share the venue with the disgraced team following the post-election crisis that left more than 1, 000 dead, with over 500, 0000 others displaced. Apart from Kivuitu and a few officials who remained in the room, the rest of the commissioners fled for dear lives from the marauding civil society members More>>>

Africans revolt against Gay Anglicism

By Hassan Kulundu, March 9 2008
A fresh storm over human sexuality is brewing in the Anglican Church as African Provinces, especially Ugandan and Kenyan, threaten to boycott the church’s upcoming annual Lambeth Conference in England.

At the centre of the storm is whether homosexual priests should be entertained in the Anglican Communion, especially after the 2003 ordination of Gene Robinson, a confessed homosexual, as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, USA. Most African Anglican faithful have expressed outrage over the ordination of gay priests and have even called for severance of links with the American Episcopal church for condoning homosexuals.. More>>>

Marende urges IDPs to return

By our correspondent, March 9 2008
House Speaker Kenneth Marende Sunday asked displaced families to return to their homes as the Government was determined to restore security. Mr Marende said the victims should have faith in the Government which did not want to see some Kenyans suffering in camps.

The Speaker said that the Government will assist those whose properties were burnt to rebuild them. “We should continue coexisting peacefully,” he told journalists outside the Nakuru Christian Centre after attending a church service.

He said every Kenyan has a right to own property and live in any part of the country without fear. More>>>

ECK officials to be prosecuted

By our correspondent, March 9 2008
Electoral Commission of Kenya officials who may have tampered with election results thus unleashing the wave of violence that saw 1,500 people massacred and 600,000 displaced, will be prosecuted, the Attorney General, Amos Wako has said. The days of people who killed others and destroyed property during the post-election violence are numbered, he warned.

“Kenyans feel that the culture of impunity is going on. But let me assure you that we must now ensure that this culture is dealt with once and for all,” he told the annual Law Society of Kenya dinner at the weekend.

Mr Wako said he had approved several cases for prosecution of individuals involved in the election related violence. Last week, MPs from the Rift Valley had proposed that those behind the violence be pardoned after President Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga signed a power-sharing agreement. Investigations will be extended into the conduct of Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) officials whose actions or inactions may have sparked the violence. More>>>

Two funerals and a wedding:
Raaila Odinga addressing mourners at the funeral of Bukusu Council of Elders Chairman, Joseph Khaoya who died together with his wife, Bethseba on the same day.

Strange twist of fate as Khaoya and wife die same day

By Shad Bulimo, Stephen Makabila and John Muganda, March 9 2008
Fate works in mysterious ways. As if by appointment, man and wife chose to die the same day, hold joint funeralsand be buried at the appointed hour. This strange and almost bizzare scenario was played out yesterday in the sleepy village of Luanda in Kanduyi, Bungoma. It was here that mourners were treated to two funerals and one wedding between the Chairman of the Bukusu Council of Elders, Joseph Khaoya and his wife, Bethseba. Mr Khaoya, a former assistant minister drew mourners from the political world in the shape of Prime Minister-designate, Raila Odinga Sabatia MP Mr Musalia Mudavadi and 14 MPs.

As usual, the politicians use funerals as platforms to gain political mileage. This time, Raila used the opportunity to preach his new-found reconciliation sing song. He said he and President Kibaki had agreed to forgive each other for the sake of healing and reconciling the nation and urged Kenyans to embrace the anticipated changes.. "Real work on reforms is going to start in two weeks’ time when the new-look Cabinet is unveiled," Raila said in his speech at the funeral. Mudavadi urged communities from western Kenya to remain united and committed to the political cause. More>>>

Luyali Liyai is dead

By our correspondent, 09 March 2008
Veteran Mombasa civic politician, Ezekiel Luyali Liyai has died. Liyai has been synonymous with Shimanji Ward in Mombasa where he has been councillor since the 1970's. He is a Tiriki from Hamisi. He was buried yesterday at Senende in Hamisi.

shabanji opuka
From left (front row) Abeingo Chairman, Juvenal Shiundu, Treasurer, Neccy Kikaya, Shabanji Opukah and Organising Secretary, Aggrey Kikaya. From left (back row) Committee member Boni Wanda, Projects Director John Baraza and Secretary, Shad Bulimo
Former BAT Manager in London, Shabanji Opukah looks relaxed enjoying his retirement. He's now involved in politics and community work in Kakamega.
shiundu and shabanji
Whatever Shabanji had said to tickle Shiundu's ribs will remain a secret only the two of them can reveal

Opukah decries 'mbekho' mentality

By Shad Bulimo, March 8 2008
Former BAT Manager in London, Mr Shabanji Opukah has said that only economic empowerment will free the Luhya from the shackles of dependency and grinding poverty. Opukah, a founder member of the Abeingo Community Network said that our people must change their attitudes or forever remain spectators in the economic power game.

He deplored the culture of mbekho ( give me) whereby villagers expect to be given goodies rather than work or better still, search for them. Opukah, who tried unsuccessfully to unseat Wycliffe Oparanya, the MP for Butere during the last general elections, said that organisations like Abeingo have an important role to play in educating our people and mobilising resources to give the Luhya a stake in capital ownership.

"You can count on me to run around on behalf of Abeingo to ensure that our people do not always ask for fish but learn how to fish," he said. Opukah on a brief visit to London was speaking during an informal meeting with Abeingo Committee members in London Thursday. He leaves London for Kakamega this weekend.

Mudavadi should give way to Ruto

By Shad Bulimo, March 8 2008

Although the party hierarchy demands that Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi becomes Raila Odinga's deputy, realistically the post of deputy premier should go to William Ruto. This is not a slap on Mudavadi's credibility - he has demonstrated courage and strong leadership during campaigns and the tough negotiations that brokered the power sharing accord. However, given the current geopolitical arithmetic, I suggest that Mudavadi takes another strategic retreat and let Ruto take over despite the resolution of Luhya MPs that they expect him to be named deputy premier.

I say this because, in terms of seniority, the Luhya already have the third most powerful job in the land - House Speaker, Kenneth Marende and because we are now entering an era of give and take, I feel Mudavadi should exercise statesmanship and let go of the deputy premier. In exchange, he should get a ministry with some meat from which he can use as a springboard to unite the Luhya and re-launch his presidential ambitions for 2012.

Three dead, houses torched in fresh border violence

By our correpondent, March 7 2008
Tension is high on the Borabu/Sotik border after more houses were burnt on Thursday in separate attacks. In the first incident, armed raiders struck Chepng’ombe village in Manga but were repulsed by villagers. But they set three houses on fire during the 10 pm incident. District Commissioner, Mr Humphrey Nakitare, claimed that some people were burning their own houses to claim compensation from the Government.

North Pokot: Two people including the DC, Mr Joseph Motari, were injured during a gun battle between police and bandits.
Turkana/West Pokot:
Bandits shot and killed two people. The thugs struck Kainuk trading centre and shot dead a police reservist and a charcoal dealer.
Police shot two people killing one, and arrested 14 others for invading a private farm. More>>>

Nakumatt comes to Kakamega

By Peter Atsiaya, March 7 2008
Supermarket giant, Nakumatt Holdings will spend Sh470 million for expansion in Western Kenya this year. Operations Director, Mr Thiaragarajan Ramamurthy, says the firm would construct more outlets in the region. Speaking in Kisumu, yesterday, Ramamurthy said construction of an outlet in Kakamega at a cost of Sh170 million is underway.

"Nakumatt plans to invest a further Sh300 million in strategic stores upgrade and related expansion works in the larger Nyanza region," he explained. He said another outlet would be opened in Eldoret. More>>>

This time I mean business - Kibaki

By Eric Shimoli, March 6 2008
Job creation and legal reforms were top on the list when President Kibaki set the legislative agenda for the Tenth Parliament Thursday. And in what would signal a fresh start in the way Kenya is governed, the House opened without an official Opposition party for the first time since multi-partyism was re-introduced in 1992.

Once the crucial Bills legalising the coalition are passed, MPs from all parties will work as a team to promote national healing. The manifestos of all parties will be used as a framework for new national policies, the President said. The President urged MPs “to become ambassadors of peace and reconciliation”. He was confident that Kenya would overcome the post-election strife. More>>>

The power men: President Mwai Kibaki sandwiched by his vice Kalonzo Musyoka (left) and Prime Minister-Designate Raila Odinga. Two weeks ago it would have been a miracle to see a picture like this.

Marende - overhaul electoral system

By Faith Muiruri, March 6 2008
SPEAKER of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende has called for a complete overhaul of the electoral system in the country to avert experiencing a similar problem witnessed in the disputed presidential polls. Marende said ECK was to blame for the post-election crisis which plunged the country into chaos leaving 1,000 people dead and property valued at billions of shillings destroyed.

In his keynote speech during the official opening of the Second Session of the 10th Parliament, Marende said there was an urgent need to evaluate Kenyan electoral systems because the chaos witnessed in the last elections were triggered by events which took place after the people had cast their votes to preferred candidates. He said Kenyans went to the polls and voted freely, in big numbers and without compulsion adding that the genesis of the problem had its epicentre at the Electoral Commission of Kenya. More>>>

Maseno orphan champion dead

By Shad Bulimo, March 7 2008
The 2006 Yara Prize winner, Ms Fidelis Wainaina passed away yesterday afternoon at the Aga-Khan Hospital, Nairobi. Ms.Wainaina originally founded the Maseno Interchristian Child Self Help Group (MICH) to support orphans and street children. Her organisation works at village level to keep children off the streets, enabling families led by widows or orphans to continue to farm their land and cater for themselves in a sustainable way. Agricultural innovations and new low cost technologies developed by agricultural research programs active in the area are transmitted through MICH, which has developed into a network of communities sharing best practice and resources. Approximately 80 demonstration sites have been set up in over 20 villages in the Kisumu-Maseno area near Lake Victoria in Western Kenya. Over the past decade, malnourishment has been eradicated in these communities and income has increased significantly. More

fidelis wainaina
Ms Fidelis Wainaina, founder of Maseno Interchristian Child Self Help died yesterday in Nairobi.

Where millionaires dare, eagles scatter

By a correspondent, March 6 2008
Money traders in the economically depressed African country say the Zimbabwean currency has tumbled to a record low of 25 million for a single U.S. dollar. The black market exchange rate for the U.S. dollar first broke through the $1-million Zimbabwe mark in late October. Since then the plummet has been even more dramatic amid political uncertainty and an annual inflation rate topping 100,000 per cent. hat has led holders of hard currency - such as U.S. dollars - to hang on to their money at a time when the central bank is pumping more local cash into the market to pay its bills. Zimbabwean dollars are now available mostly in bundles of $100,000 and $200,000 notes. More>>>

zim dollars
Imagine carrying bundles of money in the streets and no one is bothered to rob let alone look at you twice. Welcome to Zim madness.

joram shijenje
Late Joram Shijenje, Chairman of Halala, Maryland: Shot dead in Baltimore, USA. See also obituaries

Luhya student shot dead in US

By Chris Wamalwa and Shad Bulimo, March 6 2008
A Kenyan student was shot and killed in Baltimore, Maryland, in the US, in what the family termed a "brutal assassination". Joram Shijenje, 34, who hails from Liranda village in Kakamega, was shot in an apartment complex parking lot in Essex at 1am on Tuesday, as he got out of his vehicle from work. Joram was the chairman of Halala Maryland Chapter.

The motive of the killing was not immediately established. Speaking to The Standard on telephone from Baltimore, Mr Victor Savani Elolo, a relative, said the news shocked them. Elolo said the family believed their son, a student at the Community College of Baltimore, who also did three jobs, was assassinated because he was shot from behind as he was getting out of his car. "We suspect he was assassinated because according to the police, after being shot in the back, the killer never took anything from him or his car. There was also no indication of a struggle," he said. Baltimore County Police, said Shijenje was dead by the time authorities got to the scene. - Standard .

Sh85b swindled each year

By James Anyanzwa, March 6 2008
Kenya losses about Sh85 billion yearly through corruption. Mr Mumo Matemu, the Kenya Revenue Authority’s commissioner in charge of support service department said the amount lost is enough to tarmac 1000km of road.

Matemu, said corruption had reduced resources for public service and increased costs of goods and services. Kenya is ranked by graft watchdog, Transparency International’s latest report on global corruption at number 144.

Mr Matemu was addressing a consultative meeting also attended by KRA officials and key stakeholders in the clearing and forwarding sub-sector. More>>>

ida odinga
Ida Odinga won't lose any sleep over Lucy's tantrums

Lucy can't stand Ida

By INGONEWS Reporter and agencies, March 6 2008
Speculation is rife and rumour mills have gone into overdrive mode as to why First Lady Lucy Kibaki absented herself from an historic moment - the State opening of the Tenth (read New) Parliament. Her seat on the Speaker’s row just above the main entrance to the Chamber remained vacant throughout the one-and-a-half hour ceremony. Officially she was resting after a bout of some illness but that hasn't stopped whispers that she simply cannot stand being inches away from Mrs Ida Odinga, her nemesis for the State Bed..

Meanwhile, the changing fortunes of Prime Minister-designate, Mr Raila Odinga’s family were evident as his wife, Ida, sat on the third seat to the right of the one preserved for the First Lady. The President’s daughter, Judy, sat to the left of her mother’s seat . More>>>

lucy kibaki
Lucy Kibaki is said to loathe Ida Odinga
Power dinner:
ABOVE: Picture shows from left Kenneth Marende at dinner table with Hudson Kwendo Khasakhala based in USA and his family in Nairobi. Marende, then MP for Emuhaya had paid a courtsey call on the family of Eric Edward Khasakhala, Emuhaya's first MP. LEFT: Marende watches his wife bids bye to Mrs Florence Khasakhala.
When nothing else will do: A cow each for Annan, Machel and Mkapa for being there in Kenya's hour of need.

Annan gets cow as a gift

By INGONEWS Reporter and correspondents
There is no bigger gift that Kenyans can possibly give to Kofi Annan and his team of Eminent African Persons for striking gold in Kenya's muddled politcal waters than cows. Among Hindus, the cow is as close to God as it gets while the Masaai of Kenya believe all cattle in the world belong to them. Across tribes and regions around the world, besides land, the cow symbolises wealth and ownership of the means of production. It was perhaps with this hindsight that Eldoret farmer, Mr Erick Korir gave his cows to Annan and his team as a special gift of appreciation for successfully brokering a peace deal between President Mwai Kibaki and ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga.

"The mediators should know that Kenyans have appreciated their efforts," said Korir, a resident of Ndaraweta in Bomet. Speaking to The Standard in Kericho town yesterday, Korir said Annan, former Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa and former South African First Lady Mrs Graca Machel, would each receive a cow. More>>>

Stockbroker goes in receivership

By a correspndent, March 4 2008
Financially distressed and scandal - ridden brokerage house Nyaga Stockbrokers has gone into receivership. The event puts the savings of an estimated 200,000 investors at risk.

Last year, another stock brocker Francis Thuo, went under. Consequently, market regulator, Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has suspended the broker from conducting any transactions at the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE), pending forensic audit. More>>>

Two women, three men charged with Were murder

By Evelyn Kwamboka, March 4 2008
Five people have been charged with the murder of Embakasi MP, Melitus Mugabe Were. The suspects, who did not take a plea, were yesterday escorted to the Nairobi Law Courts under tight security, and later driven to Kilimani Police Station. Senior Principal State Counsel, Mr Vincent Wohoro, said investigation into the January 29 murder at the MP’s Woodley Estate home were incomplete.

He requested for more time, saying the prosecution was waiting for forensic reports. The suspects are Mr James Omondi, alias Castro, Ms Josephine Wamaitha Wahome and Mr Wyclife Walibwa Simiyu, alias Zimbo. Others are Ms Mary Muthoni Wamaitha and Mr Paul Otieno Omondi, aka Baba.

Omondi, Simiyu and Baba also face charges of allegedly robbing the MP of a Nokia mobile phone and Sh2,000.Police also say Otieno, Muthoni and Wahome were found with two illegal pistols and eight rounds of ammunition on February 21 in Waithaka, Nairobi. More>>>

Suspects of Mellitus Were, the slain Embakasi MP murder being taken to court yesterday.

Widow cleared of husband murder - 8 yrs on

By Judy Ogutu, March 4 2008
After eight years in custody, prison doors flung open for a widow charged with her husband’s murder. Mrs Margaret Shida burst into tears after a Nairobi High Court declared her not guilty yesterday. It was an emotional scene as relatives prayed and hugged Shida, who has been at Lang’ata Women’s Prison since 2001. She has denied killing Mr Linos Limisi Chovondo on June 15, 2001. Mr Justice Onesmus Mutungi set her free after the prosecution failed to produce witnesses. This means Chovondo’s killer could remain unknown.

Kibaki, Raila meet again

By Lucas Baraza, March 4 2008
President Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga have had their first meeting to discuss implementation of the peace deal they signed last week. The two leaders held a two hour meeting at the President’s Harambee House office in Nairobi. Meanwhile, President Kibaki met members of his colaition and they resolved unanimously to bury the hatchet and support fully the power sharing accord signed last week. More>>>

Nakuru curfew lifted

By James Kutai, March 3 2008
THE Government has lifted the curfew imposed in Nakuru town and its environs following the post-election violence. Rift Valley Provincial Commissioner, Hassan Noor Hassan, said the security committee had reviewed the situation and was convinced normalcy had been restored to most parts of the region. The curfew was imposed in January after more than 28 people were killed in post-election violence that hit Mwariki, Kaptembwa, Kwa Ronda and Githima estates. More>>>

Sack Kivuitu, urge ODM legislators

By Gilbert Ochieng, March 3 2008
TWO ODM legislators from Western Province have called for the resignation of  the chairman of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) Samuel Kivuitu and his team over  the damage they caused to the country. Butula MP Alfred Odhiambo and his Budalang’i counterpart Ababu Namwamba said ECK was to blame for the post-election violence and the commissioners should “honourably resign as they lacked the moral authority to remain in their positions.”

Kisumu rising from ashes

By our correspondents, March 3 2008
Contrary to popular belief, Kisumu Town is far from ruined. Attempts to compare it to violence-prone cities like Mogadishu in Somalia are also misleading because the lakeside town is thriving after being rocked by post-election violence in December and January.  Repair works have also started on buildings that were burnt down in the central business district. The only challenge the town’s residents have to contend with is the increased cost of living. More>>>

13 dead, family burnt alive

By Osinde Obare, March 3 2008
Thirteen people, including five family members, were killed when suspected Sabaot Land Defense Force (SLDF) gang raided a trading centre in Trans-Nzoia West District. The family belonged to a Kenya Police Reservist, who the raiders accuse of betrayal.

Police said failure by residents to pay the militia illegal protection fees could have caused the attack at Embakasi, Saboti constituency, Monday morning. Six children aged below five and two women were admitted to the Kitale District Hospital with burns and cuts. The reservist, Mr Rabson Mbuya, survived the attack but his relatives were burnt after the raiders set ablaze their houses in the 3am ambush.

He lost his wife, Mary, and children - Sofia, 6, Titus, 8, and Samuel, 3, and a house help identified as Moses. Two other children were admitted to hospital with 90 per cent burns. A pregnant woman was also burnt inside her house.

Out of the casualties, four had gun wounds while three others had their heads chopped off. Kitale West DC, Mr Francis Mutie, led the security team to the area. Local MP, Mr Eugene Wamalwa, also visited the market. More>>>

London to Kisumu flights loom

By John Oywa, March 2008
The Sh2.6 billion Kisumu Airport expansion project will start next month. Once completed, the new airport would put Kisumu at par with regional towns like Entebbe in Uganda and Mwanza in Tanzania that receive direct international flights. Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) officials on Monday moved to allay fears that the programme would become a stalled project.

The Authority’s Projects Manager, Mr Philemon Chamwada, said the delay in starting the project was regrettable and assured the town’s business fraternity it was still on course. "Work is starting at the site next month. A contractor is about to move to the site," he said.

Chamwada said KAA is evaluating three international contractors, one of whom will be picked for the project that takes 22 months. He said the expansion, expected to start this month, was delayed following uncertainty occasioned by post-election skirmishes. More>>>

bunyore girls
Bunyore Girls High School has produced the 2nd best KCSE student in Kenya.

World Bank hails power accord
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have welcomed the power-sharing agreement and expressed optimism it would revive reforms agenda, and reduce corruption and poverty. Mr Robert B Zoellick, World Bank Group president, said the new political arrangement would also spur economic growth. More>>>

Bunyore Girls produces the best in Kenya

By Allan Kisia and Shad Bulimo, March 2 2008
Mary Mukutsa from Bunyore Girls High School is the number two brightest girl in the country in the just released Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education results. Mary who hails from Kabras in Kakamega has now set her eyes on neurosurgeon. She was 19th best student overall in a stunning performance that has uplifted the spirits and hopes of girls from Western Kenya.

Ms Mary Mukutsa says her brilliant performance was as a result of hard work, determination and focus."I want to be a neurosurgeon and that is why I worked very hard to fulfil my dream," said the 18-year-old. Bunyore Girls High School turned ecstatic after learning that it had produced the second top girl nationally. Learning was briefly disrupted as students cheered when Mukutsa arrived at the school.

The principal, Mrs Rose Waswa, described Mukutsa as a humble girl who was committed to her work. "We knew the girl would perform well because she listened to instructions and rarely disappointed anyone," said Waswa. News that she was number 19 overall and second top girl candidate reached Mukutsa as she was doing house chores. When The Saturday Standard arrived at her home in Shamoni village in Malava constituency, Mukutsa was still savouring her moment of glory. "We are definitely going to organise a party to celebrate her performance," her mother, Mrs Rose Wayera, said. Mukutsa thanked her teachers for her performance, saying they wanted nothing short of number one from her. - Standard

bunyore girls choir
Bunyore Girl's School choir singing to the glory of Mary Mukutsa

Achode appointed registrar
The High Court Registrar, Mrs Christine Meoli, has been moved to Thika as Chief Magistrate in a reshuffle announced by Chief Justice Evan Gicheru. Ms Lydia Achode has replaced Meoli in an acting capacity. Achode has been the High Court Chief Administrator until her recent appointment. More>>>



Born a Kikuyu, just found out he's Luhya!

By Wambura Wainaina, March 2 2008
My friend Dickson was born in Naivasha in 1972.  From what he is told his father Mr Joseph Mwanzala died when he was 8 although he has no recollection of him.  He hailed from Kakamega exactly where is not known.  He worked as a supervisor at the flower factory in Naivasha.  He has older brothers from a different mother whom he is trying very hard to contact.  They lived in Naivasha and have moved back to Kakamega and one in Narok.  He was to go to Kenya in February to look for them but because of what has been going on did not think it is wise but is desperate to meet his other family. Anyone with information should contact Nyambura Wainaina on nyamburamoses@yahoo.co.uk


ODM won't settle for 2nd class ministries - Mudavadi

By Shad Bulimo and Peter Atsiaya, March 2 2008
Musalia Mudavadi has said ODM will not settle for second rate cabinet positions in the new power sharing arrangement hammered out last week. Most of the senior and strategic cabinet positions have already been filled with PNU ministers leaving only agriculture and health as serious ministries.

Meanwhile both ODM and PNU are faced with a major challenge of distributing Cabinet positions in the new power-sharing structure, said teh Sabatia MP and warned MPs against sabotaging the power sharing process. "MPs should not be a stumbling block to the passing of the Bill or the proposed constitutional amendments when tabled in Parliament," he added. Mudavadi was speaking at the weekend during the funeral of Mr Jorum Kahi, at Mukomo village in Sabatia Constituency, on Sunday. More>>>

2,500 police recruits expelled

By Cyrus Ombati, March 2 2008
Nearly half of the 5,000 National Youth Service (NYS) recruits absorbed into the police force have been sent home. Officials said on Sunday about 1,500 of them remained at the Gilgil NYS training college for a crash programme before being absorbed into the police force. The more than 2,500 recruits who were sent home are unfit to join the force, trainers said. This means the targeted number of the recruits has not been achieved.Several candidates who had been taken to the college and later sent home visited our newsroom to protest against their expulsion.

Some were kicked out for being short, forging documents, not meeting the educational requirements, and being too old - among other issues. For the first time, police absorbed NYS recruits in what was seen as part of measures to counter the post-election violence. More>>>

South African judge to chair poll review team

By Ben Agina, March 2 2008
Former head of South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission, Judge Christiaan Kriegler, is to chair the Independent Review Committee that will investigate the 2007 General Election, The Standard has learnt. The committee, which commences its sittings on March 15, will investigate all aspects of the presidential election and make findings and recommendations to improve future electoral processes.

Kriegler, 76, headed South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission, which ran the country’s first democratic elections in 1994, and was instrumental in establishing the permanent electoral commission, which he chaired until 1999. More>>>

Kibaki's farm torched

By our correspondent, March 2 2008
A fire destroyed 40 acres of a farm owned by President Mwai Kibaki in Nyeri North District on Sunday. Fire fighters from Nanyuki Airbase, Nyeri and Karatina municipalities joined the police in putting out the fire, allegedly started by a mad man, near Naro Moru town.

Area OCPD, Mr Kirunya M’ninditu, said the police had arrested the suspected arsonist. The fire, that started at 12.30pm, spread through the livestock farm before it was extinguished at 3pm. M’ninditu said no injuries of people or the livestock were reported. More>>>

martha karua
Martha Karua show the media a copy of her visa to Switzerland

Karua denies visa claims

By Martin Mutua, March 2 2008
The list of Kenyans banned from travelling to some European Union countries and the United States grew to 20, even as mystery deepened over a Cabinet minister blocked from travelling to Geneva, Switzerland, on official duty. Sources within the diplomatic and security circles told The Standard that as many as 20 individuals may not be allowed to enter some foreign countries.

The individuals, mainly politicians and businessmen, are being accused of either playing a role in the post-election violence or frustrating the ongoing mediation talks. But before Kenyans could be told who the Cabinet minister denied a visa to Geneva was following media reports on Sunday, Justice minister Ms Martha Karua - who had not been named in our reports - sprung a swift denial that she had been blocked from travelling to the Switzerland. Karua spoke during a well-attended news conference she called to dismiss the media reports. More>>>

Church, varsity urge MPs to move fast

By Stephen Makabila , March 2 2008
The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) has appealed to MPs from PNU and ODM to promote the power sharing agreement. The NCCK national chairman, Bishop Eliud Wabukala, said MPs should work together to realise the objectives of the agreement that has restored hope among Kenyans after two months of political uncertainty.

"Kenyans are waiting and we want them (MPs) to work together when Parliament reopens on Thursday. They should ensure the agreement is implemented to unite the country and promote peace," said Wabukala.

Separately, the Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) has also urged MPs to ensure they quickly complete debate on the contents of the agreement when Parliament reopens. Uasu national chairman, Dr Sammy Kubasu, said the agreement would help to ensure normalcy resumed in the universities.

One dead, 30 homes burnt in Kwanza in revenge attack

By our correspondent, March 2 2008
ONE person was killed and 30 houses torched at Luya farm in the troubled newly created Kwanza district. Members of a community from Luya farm in Kwanza torched houses that belong to their rival community in what was said to be a revenge attack after one person of the former community was allegedly shot dead by suspected cattle raiders from the latter community.

 Reports from the affected villages indicate that armed raiders struck Luya farm, shot one person dead and attempted to drive away over 100 herds of cattle but were repulsed by police who responded swiftly. Yesterday, Kwanza district officer Hesbon Kitasi, who confirmed the attack, said they were hunting for people behind the burning of the houses and killing. More>>>

Luhya leaders defend Nakitare over militia links

By our correspondents, March 2 2008
Cabinet minister Moses Wetang’ula wants the youths arrested on the farm of former Saboti MP Davis Nakitare while allegedly undergoing illegal military training released. The minister termed the issue as a “private matter” and said the over 200 youths should be set free unconditionally. “Mr Nakitare has been the defender of the community and whatever was taking place in his farm was a private affair,” he said.

Ford-Kenya chairman Musikari Kombo and Kimilili MP David Simiyu accused the police of harassing Mr Nakitare’s farm workers. The leaders who were speaking at Bokoli in Webuye constituency cautioned the Government against detaining the youths who they said were innocent. More>>>

Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Martha Karua: Not welcome in Switzerland.

Karua denied visa to Geneva

By Shad Bulimo and agencies, March 2 2008
A cabinet minister believed to be Martha Karua has become the first victim of a visa ban the Western governments have been threatening to slap on those perceived to be inimical to the power sharing talks anchored by Kofi Annan. Reports indicate that the tough-talking PNU die hard, was to travel to Geneva yesterday to attend an international forum dubbed "Session of State Counsel Law" in Geneva that is scheduled to start on Monday. She applied for her visa on Tuesday but on Thursday she was formally informed that the application had failed. Instead, it is the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Dorothy Angote who is leading the Kenyan delegation to the forum. Following the hitch, the Minister is said to have returned the Sh 200,000 imprest to the ministry."

Martha Karua is the lead negotiator for PNU at the peace talks. When the talks resumed on Friday following the signing of the power sharing accord on Thursday, Karua was conspicuous by her absence. Her colleague, Moses Wetangula, the foreign affairs minister, explained that she was engaged elsewhere. On February 19 2008, a statement from the Swiss Embassy consular, Mr Arthur Mattli said his country would take measures against leaders seen to have held back the talks. Koffi Annan has on many occasions said that a few people in the mediation team were a hindrance to an agreement. At one time Martha Karua was reported to have insulted Mr Annan and walked out of the meeting room. She is also reported to have had a spat with Graca Machel.

Ms Karua now joins a list of high profile individuals who have been blacklisted by various western countries among them, David Mwiraria, Nicholas Biwott and Dr Chris Murungaru. A visa ban in one western country often means others take the cue. Ms Karua is not new to controversy. Eyebrows were raised in 2004 she was car jacked at 1.00am in the company of Catholic priest, Father Dominic Wamungunda. In the same year she was at loggerheads with Kiss FM presenters Caroline Mutuku and Walter Mongare over her handling of the water crisis in Nairobi. Karua is one of Kibaki's die hard supporters and strongly believes that Kibaki won elections fairly despite glaring irregularities witnessed by local and international observer teams. She famously retorted that those aggrieved by the results should go to court.

Children stranded in Kisumu

By our correspondent, March 1 2008
As efforts begin to resettle the internally displaced persons, 15 displaced children are still stranded in Kisumu yet to be re-united with their families. They are among more than 200 unaccompanied children who sought refuge at various internally displaced persons camps in the town during the political crisis.

Nyanza Provincial Children’s Officer, Mr Charles Ondogo, said the children are at the orphanage because they have not traced their families. And in Eldoret, ACK Bishop Thomas Kogo wants all displaced people resettled before the grand coalition is officially formed. He also called for security for the displaced people who wished to go back to their homes. Kogo said there will be food shortage if the IDPs do not go back to their farms before the end of the planting season. More>>>

Annan replaced by Nigerian

By our correspondents, March 1 2008
Seasoned Nigerian diplomat, Ambassador Oluyemi Adeniji, takes over as chair of the mediation talks this morning. He is relieving Dr Kofi Annan who steered the process for a month leading to last Thursday’s power sharing deal. Annan will leave for Kampala, Uganda, on Sunday, where he will chair a board meeting of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.

In a dispatch, Annan said he would then head to Geneva to attend to "much unfinished business". Annan’s co-mediator, former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa returned home yesterday. Also back in South Africa is Mrs Graca Machel, another member of the mediation team, who left last week. More>>>

Reconstruction begins with sh1.75b from US

By our correspondent, March 1 2008
Reconstruction of structures destroyed during the post-election violence has started after Thursday’s signing of power-sharing deal between President Kibaki and Mr Raila Odinga. The American Government will provide Sh1.75b ($25million) to help the reconstruction process.

In Kibera, the rebuilding of Toi Market has started. Traders who had fled the area are returning. The US ambassador to Kenya, Mr Michael Ranneberger announced the pledge on behalf of his government.

Ranneberger said the money would be used to support the implementation of the political agreement and resettlement of the displaced. He said the US will also continue to provide funds for humanitarian assistance.The money is being channelled to the Kenya Red Cross. At Mathare camp, the displaced welcomed the power-sharing deal but asked the Government for help them to rebuild their homes. More>>>