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Deya still a wanted man in Kenya over child trafficking

By Evelyn Kwamboka, March 31 2010
A different court may hear a child theft case against Britain-based preacher Gilbert Deya’s wife. Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei on Tuesday ordered the case touching on the "miracle babies saga" against Mrs Mary Deya be mentioned on April 1, to take a hearing date. This comes few months after Principal Magistrate Stella Muketi who was handling the case, was transferred outside Nairobi. In the case, the archbishop’s wife is charged with stealing five children and obtaining their birth registration by false pretence. A warrant for Deya’s arrest over his claims that he helps barren women conceive miraculously is still in force. More...

Gilbert Deya
Gilbert Deya, the London based preacher wanted in Kenya over child traffiking allegations. His wife, Mary Deya, an accomplice, is already in Kenyan custody.
Kiplagat's nightmares only just beginning at TJRC

By our correspondents, March 31 2010
The Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) faces threats of being paralysed through court actions or disbandment by a parliamentary committee. A group of civil societies are now out on a mission to remove Bethuel Kiplagat as the chairman of the commission. Sources privy to the on-goings at the commission said former Vice-chairperson Betty Murungi could have been a victim of this wide plot by the civil societies. The civil society groups’ strategy to cripple the commission and to push Kiplagat out was first mooted during a meeting involving several organisations held on March 3, at a Nairobi hotel. More...

NSSF loses Sh1.6b through fraudulent share trading

By our correspondent, March 31 2010
Eighteen months ago it emerged National Social Security Fund officials allowed Discount Securities Limited to gamble with workers’ savings and lost Sh1.6 billion in the process, but no one has been charged. Two-and-half months ago, long after Discount Securities Limited sunk with workers’ funds, the Attorney General Amos Wako gave Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission consent to prosecute the suspects, but no one has been charged. The Kenya Gazette notice by Mr Wako details inquiry into allegations NSSF lost pension funds through irregular trading in shares through Discount Securities. The notice reveals investigations found out the brokerage firm was one of the approved stockbrokers NSSF used in the purchase of shares in accordance with its policy. "It was also established that whereas NSSF had made payments totaling Sh2.3 billion to Discount Securities for the purchase of shares, the firm had not fully accounted for the same,’’ reads the notice. More...

Discount Securities
Discount Securities was taken over by Capital Markets Authority after irregular trading at the Nairobi Stock Exchange saw NSSF lose Sh1.6bn of workers' pension money.

Ghanaians love their dead

By Elizabeth Ohene, March 31 2010
I have been attending a lot of funerals recently and this has brought back to the fore my morbid fascination with funerals. Even though in the Ghanaian context, "morbid" is hardly the word to use for funerals. We love funerals here and they are a veritable spectacle better experienced than described. The attitude towards the dead and funerals would seem to indicate that a dead Ghanaian is worth far more than a live one. More...

Kalonzo cries fowl after Raila tours Machakos

By Alex Ndegwa, March 31 2010
Prime Minister Raila Odinga and the Orange Democratic Movement still top popularity ratings, a new opinion poll shows. At 36 per cent, Raila leads potential presidential contenders, followed at 12 per cent by Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, who launched his harshest attack on the PM on Monday, reviving their rivalry. Kalonzo accused Raila of hitting the campaign trail early under the guise of inspecting development projects and vowed to also roll out immediately his 2012 presidential campaign. Speaking in Machakos, barely two weeks after Raila toured the area, Kalonzo said his enemies had mistaken his ‘cool’ nature for cowardice. "Raila comes to Ukambani and they call him Ngumbau (hero); he goes to Central Province and Meru and they call him Njamba (champion); people attending his rallies are given T-shirts bearing his portraits ... is this not early 2012 campaigns?" the VP asked. More...

Beer Coffin
A drunkard's coffin is a beer bottle
Bible coffin
A devout Christian meets the maker in Bible...
Uterus coffin
Uterus-shaped coffin. Fertile...
Shoe coffin
A shoemaker may go down with his shoes
Hammer coffin
A carpenter's coffin is a hammer
Elephant coffin
Elegant like an elephant
HIV campaign targets Bungoma prostitutes, matatu touts, truck drivers

By our correspondents, March 30 2010
An anti-HIV/Aids campaign targeting prostitutes, matatu crews and long-distance truck drivers has been launched in Bungoma West District. Funded by the National Aids Control Council, the campaign is coordinated by the Bungoma West Organisation for Community Empowerment, an umbrella body for more than 15 local NGOs. Speaking during the launch at Faith Church in Sirisia constituency, the organisation’s director, Mrs Jacklyne Nandako, said the programme was prompted by increased HIV/Aids prevalence in the area. Mrs Nandako said her organisation would provide counselling and training together with free testing services and anti-retroviral drugs to those affected. More...

The main street in Bungoma. The centre of commercial activity is also a haven for illicit sex by commercial sex workers and their clients. Now an ambitious HIV awareness programme has been launched targetting prostitutes, matatu touts and long disatnec drivers. The initiative is being coordinated by Bungoma West Organisation for Community Empowerment, an umbrella body for more than 15 local NGOs.
5,000 teachers infected by HIV get assistance

By our correspondents, March 30 2010
More than 5,000 teachers infected with HIV are being assisted to get drugs and nutritional supplements, according to the Teachers Service Commission. Hundreds of others were dying due to stigma, Ms Jemima Nindo, the head of the commission’s HIV/Aids control unit, said on Wednesday. She said that in 2003, only three teachers had admitted that they were HIV-positive but the number rose to 70 in 2004. By February this year, the 5,000 teachers who had admitted that they were infected were getting assistance from the TSC. Ms Nindo appealed to secondary school heads attending a workshop at Kapsabet Boys High in Nandi District to assign the affected teachers lighter duties. More...

Ruto faces expulsion from ODM

By our correspondent, March 30 2010
The Orange Democratic Movement has accused its deputy leader of leading a group of renegade MPs to block the new constitution. It asked Mr William Ruto, and his allies to resign from the party or face disciplinary action, which could include suspension or expulsion. In a statement read by its secretary for international affairs, Mr Josephat Nanok, the Agriculture minister’s group was accused of playing ‘‘tribal and divisive politics’’ with the aim of defeating the proposed constitution. The Forestry assistant minister said in the statement, which also accused Mr Ruto of using threats and blackmail to get support for his position on the new law, was sanctioned by the party leadership. The ODM fallout is likely to spill into Parliament on Thursday when MPs vote to approve or reject the proposed new constitution. More...

Olago Aluoch and Josephat Nanok
Mean faced about Ruto: Wildlife and Forestry assistant minister Josephat Nanok (right) and Kisumu Town West MP Olago Aluoch during the media briefing at Orange House on Monday. Photo: James Njuguna
One dead as plane crashes in Nairobi

By our correspondent, March 30 2010
A person was killed on Monday when a light aircraft crashed in Nairobi. The aircraft crashed at 4.30pm in a heavy downpour at Mutuini area in Dagoretti, witnesses said. Ms Mary Njuguna told the Nation that she was in the house with her six children when the incident occurred. “We heard the roar of an aeroplane engine, like it was coming towards us,” she said. “Initially, I did not take it seriously, but the roar of the aircraft was getting louder, when I suddenly heard a loud bang.” “We rushed out, and found that it was a plane crash and the wreckage was next to our house. Dagoretti CID officer Joseph Ng’ang’a said: “As you can see we only have one body here. But we are still not sure whether there are others.” Earlier reports had indicated that there were three people in the plane, said to have flown from Laikipia. More...

Nairobi plane crash
Police at the scene of the plane crash in Nairobi Kenyan drank driver jailed for killing two women in London

A Kenyan man has been jailed for 16 years by a London court for killing two compatriots. Aloise Mburu, 24, appeared before a Southwark Inner Crown Court charged with causing death by dangerous driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, and driving a motor vehicle without insurance. He pleaded guilty to three counts and admitted causing the death of Ms Perpetua Wendy Muthoni Muchemi and Ms Tabitha Shiro Njenga on July 25 last year in East London. More...

Ritual killing suspected as twins bodies are found dumped in Bungoma toilet

By Eric Ngobilo, March 30 2010
Villagers have retrieved the bodies of twin boys who were allegedly thrown into a pit latrine by their parents. Emotions ran high as the villagers of Katome in Bungoma West District dug up the latrine on Sunday to recover the bodies. The babies were allegedly dumped into the latrine while still alive eight days ago. Neighbours said the twins were about two weeks old. Angry villagers hurled insults at the boys’ parents and spat on them as the latrine was emptied amid heavy rains. Earlier, the father led journalists to a homestead where he showed them two graves, claiming that the babies were buried there. But villagers said he was lying and led the journalists to the latrine. At one point, the man tried to flee but was caught by the villagers and frog-marched back to the scene. After three hours of digging, the twins’ bodies were retrieved. Many villagers, unable to restrain themselves, wailed. More...

Herdsboy with golden legs

By David Macharia, March 30 2010
An entire nation cheered feverishly as Joseph Ebuya powered his way to win the elusive gold medal in the blue riband 12-kilometre men’s race. One would imagine that the one Kenyan who would have been cheering loudest on Sunday night was the 23-year-old’s, father, but that was not the case as his eyes were heavy with sleep. Mzee Nawowuna Long’ole had spent Saturday night battling a herd of elephants on maize plantation in the outskirts of Nyahururu Town. He only learnt of his first-born son’s performance at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in the Polish city of Bydgoszcz from friends who called to break the good news. The family does not have a television set and relies on radio reports to know what is happening in the outside world. The father said they'll travel to Nairobi to welcome his son. More...

Joseph Ebuya
Just run man: Kenya’s world champion Joseph Ebuya (centre), second-placed Teklemariam Medhin of Eritrea (left) and third- placed Moses Kipsiro of Uganda with their medals after the men’s 12-kilometre race at the World Cross-Country Championships in Poland on Sunday. Photo: Reuters
Huge car racket exposed in Mombasa

By our correspondents, March 29 2010
Car dealers are conning Kenyans of millions of shillings by selling them vehicles which are older than the eight years recommended by law. Vehicles that are more than eight years are finding their way into the local market, investigations by the Kenya Revenue Authority and the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission have revealed. According to the agencies, the vehicle importation racket masterminded by unscrupulous car dealers, has seen buyers pay high prices believing that the cars are less than eight years when they are actually 10 to 15 years old. The racket involves falsifying the vehicles’ documents including the bills of lading and the pre-shipment certificates that are supposed to confirm the year of manufacture. More...

Timothy Njoya in Mudete
Mudete hosts Njoya: Retired PCEA Reverend Timothy Njoya says a new constitution should help reduce the gap between the rich and the poor. He was addressing journalists after a service at Mudete Victory Harvest Church in Sabatia on Sunday. Photo: Benjamin Sakwa
Govt spokesman won't pay, can't pay

By Martin Mutua, March 29 2010
Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua is embroiled in a tussle with a contractor over delayed payments of Sh3 million. And the Ministry of Public Works has warned Dr Mutua that failure to pay the money was in breach of contract, which will cost the Government unnecessary expenses as the amount continues to attract interest. The issue at hand is a project in which the contractor undertook work to partition Mutua’s office in Bima House, Mombasa. More...

Man U fan stabbed in Lamu: After claiming the life of a die-hard Kenyan fan a year ago, the curse of the English Premier League, the world’s richest football league, has struck again. More...
Crisis in TJRC as Kiplagat's vice-chair quits

By Martin Mutua, March 29 2010
The Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission vice Chairperson Mrs Betty Murungi has resigned. Murungi cited the criticism she had levelled against her chairman Mr Bethwel Kiplagat as reason for her resignation. In a communication to Kiplagat over her move, Murungi noted that given the public position she had expressed with regards to the TJRC chair, she was unable to continue in her position. Murungi, who is out of the country, has asked the commissioners to elect another vice chair but stated that she will continue being a commissioner.Over the weekend, Murungi together with Ronald Slye, another foreign commissioner, co-wrote an opinion article together published in a section of the media in which they openly demanded the resignation of Kiplagat as the TJRC chairman on the strength of three allegations facing him. More...

Betty Murungi
The lady's not for turning: Betty Murungi, vice chair, Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission quits her post. Over the weekend she demanded that TJRC chair, Bethwell Kiplagat resigns over his alleged involvement in land grabbing scandals, Ouko murder and Wagalla Massacre in North Eastern province.
Did Kenya buy defective choppers from China?

By David Okwemba, March 29 2010
Did Kenya buy defective helicopters from China? That is the question being asked by military engineers after it became apparent that eight Chinese choppers delivered to Nairobi in January have not been flown. The helicopters were bought from a company that has previously supplied planes to Kenya. However, the ministry of Defence said the helicopters had not been grounded but did not explain why they have not taken to the air three months after they were delivered. “We wish to state that so far we do not have any Z-9 helicopters which are grounded,” the DoD spokesman Bogita Ongeri said in response to enquiries about the aircraft. But engineers at DoD said the military utility helicopters had never been airborne since they were delivered in January. Sources at DoD said several of the eight helicopters were meant to beef up the VIP fleet that is usually at the disposal of the President, Prime Minister and the Vice-President. More...

Bifwoli gets godly in fight against draft constitution

By our correspondent, March 27 2010
Lands assistant minister Bifwoli Wakoli (Bumula, Ford Kenya) asked the MPs not to pass the draft without amending “some obvious flaws”. “I will only support this document with amendments,” said Mr Wakoli. “The fact that Kenyans have been yearning for a new constitution should not mean that we give them a bad one like the one before us. We need to make amendments.” He cited his theological studies at a Catholic seminary between 1962 and 1975 as evidence that “before I was, God knew me and knew my name and knew I would live.” “How then do you suppose that life begins after two people go to bed, it doesn’t work that way. This (clause) has to be deleted,” said the assistant minister. More...

Sylvester Bifwoli Wakoli
Sylvester Bifwoli Wakoli, the Bumula MP and assistant minister for lands said yesterday he will not support new constitution unless abortion laws are amended because 'God knows you even before your are born.' Mr Wakoli also took issue with clauses about land and the right of workers. He said it was nonsense to fix minium and maxium amount of acreage an individual can own.
14 ambassadors recalled in long awaited reshuffle

By Lucas Baraza, March 27 2010
At least 14 Kenyan ambassadors and 115 junior staff have been recalled in a shuffle by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Nation has learnt. Those recalled include Dr Sospeter Machage (Russia), Mr Mutuma Kathurima (Germany), Mr Rateng Oginga Ogego (US) and Ms Ann Nyikuli (Italy). Others are Mr Mwakai Kikonde Sio (Spain) and Mr Lazarus Amayo (Zambia). The Nation confirmed that most of those affected had served since 2003 when President Kibaki took over power. Richard Onyoka, the foreign affairs assistant minister confirmed the long-serving Kenyan High Commissioner to the UK Joseph Muchemi was also replaced two weeks ago after overstaying his welcome by more than two years. More...

Nation fined Sh14m for defaming Kamotho & sons

By Judy Ogutu. March 27 2010
A media firm has been ordered to pay former Cabinet Minister Joseph Kamotho and his three sons Sh14 million for defamation. Nation Media Group yesterday lost an appeal it had lodged in the highest court of the land challenging the award. Kamotho, his sons Charles Githii, James and David sued the firm for defaming them in a radio programme known as ‘Changamka’ on January 18, 2001. On July 1, 2005, High Court Judge, Justice Jacton Boma Ojwang’ concluded that the four had been defamed and awarded them damages. Nation Media Group was ordered to pay the former minister Sh7 million in general and aggravated damages, Githii Sh3 million, James Sh2.5 million and David Sh1.5 million. The four said the words they were complaining about were published falsely and maliciously. More...

Kenneth Akide
Kenneth Akide, the new chairman of the Law Society of Kenya. He beat James Mwamu to replace Okong'o Omogeni who served two terms. James Mwamu is the chairman of the Western branch of LSK while Omogeni is also chairman of Kenya Anti Corruption Commission Advisory Board.
Law Society elects new chair amid rigging claims

By our correspondent, March 27 2010
The Law Society of Kenya got a new chairman, Kenneth Akide on Saturday. The incoming chairman replaces Mr Okong’o Omogeni, who has led the society for two terms. According to sources, Mr Akide is said to have enjoyed the support of lawyers operating from Nairobi and Mombasa. Mr Akide beat Kisumu-based lawyer Mr James Mwamu and long serving council member Mr Evans Monari to the post. The announcement of the new chairman was done at Saturday’s annual general meeting. Claims of vote rigging and other irregularities, however, threatened the election’s credibility, prompting Mr Akide to call for a review of the society’s election regulations, saying they were outdated. More...

Rift Valley MPs ditch Raila

By Edwin Cheserek, March 27 2010
Rift Valley will not support Prime Minister Raila Odinga in the 2012 General Elections, Agriculture Minister William Ruto has said. Ruto also warned Rift Valley MPs who are still supporting Raila saying they had gone astray. "The politics of Rift Valley is going in one direction and those who are not in this direction have gone astray and we will deal with them," he said. The Eldoret North MP called on the local residents to ignore the said MPs and support one of their own come the 2012 polls. Ruto accused Raila of turning his back on the people who supported him in the 2007 General Elections. He cited the Mau evictions, which the PM spearheaded, alleged unfair distribution of Cabinet and neglect of ODM youths in the region who were arrested over the post election violence. More...

Linah Cheibii Kilimo
Linah Chebii Kilimo, the Marakwet East MP challenged Kalenjin MPs to quit ODM.
Ruto warns of trouble in phase three of Mau evictions

By James Munyeki, March 27 2010
Leaders in Rift Valley Province have opposed the third phase of evictions from the Mau Forest. They vowed to block the move expected to take place next week and instead called on proper measures to resettle those who would be affected. Led by Agriculture Minister William Ruto, the leaders asked the Government to put in place proper compensation measures. Mr Ruto questioned the past evictions. "We should not just evict people in the name of environmental conservation. Proper measures should first be made so that we do not create another lot of IDPs," he said. The leaders criticised the past Mau evictions and cautioned that such occurrence should not happen at the controversial Marmanet Forest in Laikipia. More...

Leggy women MPs raise temperatures in the House

By Isaac Ongiri, March 26 2010
WOMEN'S dressing yesterday sparked a battle of the sexes in Parliament. Women MPs were furious that a journalist took a picture of their legs while in the chambers. But a male MP joined the charged debate to complain that the women have been "dressing badly". Women said, the photo published by the Standard on Monday, is sexist. Sally Kosgey said the publication of the photo was an abuse on women in Kenya while Milly Odhiambo said women MPs have the right to wear what they want. She wondered why the photojournalist was interested in their legs. And Martha Karua asked Speaker Kenneth Marende to take action against the photographer. Marende said he will rule on the Standard photo next Tuesday. But Benjamin Washiali complained that some female MPs are sometimes skimpily dressed. "Some of us have been disturbed by the way some of our female colleagues dress," Washiali said. More...Millie OdhiamboSally Kosgey
Millie Odhiambo the ODM nominated MP and Dr Sally Kosgey, the Aldai MP and minister for Higher Education. Not happy about their legs in public.

Martha Karua
Indecent exposure: Gichugu MP, Martha Karua sitting badly. She asked the speaker, Kenneth Marende to take action photographers. As if photos lie...
Mudavadi sues KACC over cemeteries fraud saga

By Judy Ogutu, March 26 2010
Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi has sued the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) and its acting director for allegedly defaming him. Consequently, Mr Mudavadi is seeking general and aggravated damages from KACC and Mr John Mutonyi. The deputy PM claims on March 8, a letter signed by Mutonyi was written and addressed to Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura touching on investigation on the cemetery saga. Attached to the letter was a report "claimed to be an interim report of investigation carried out by the commission into an anonymous complaint about an alleged fraudulent acquisition of 120-acre parcel of land by the City Council of Nairobi for cemetery use at an inflated price of Sh2.4 million per acre". More...

Musalia Mudavadi
Musalia Mudavadi, the deputy PM and minister for local government has sued the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission and its acting director, Dr John Mutonyi for defamation over the cemeteries land scandal.
Constitution pingpong: Now they agree; now they don't

By our correspondents, March 26 2010
Calls to amend the Proposed Constitution grew bolder even as opponents refused to be swayed, setting the stage for a showdown next week. Parliament will on Wednesday vote on the proposed amendments. Lands Minister James Orengo declared that without devolution "we are back to square one", apparently lobbying for introduction of 25 regions to complete the three-tier system of Government ODM has termed an "irreducible minimum." "If we are creating regions and counties on the basis of ethnicity, then we have missed the point on devolution. The way to look at devolution is about governance," said Mr Orengo. Kenyan lawmakers have outlined at least 19 sections they want changed in the country's proposed constitution currently undergoing debate in Parliament. More...

Kenya's Ocampo 20 to know their fate next week

By our correspondents, March 25 2010
The International Criminal Court Pre-Trial Chamber will next week rule if its Chief Prosecutor should investigate and charge 20 prominent Kenyans with crimes against humanity. Luis Moreno-Ocampo handed over Justice Phillip Waki list to the Pre-Trial judges after they asked him to provide more information and names of those he intends to investigate. The judges said they wanted more information to help them decide whether to allow him to proceed. Speaking at his residence in Brussels, Belgium, Mr Moreno-Ocampo expressed optimism the judges would approve investigations into Kenya’s key suspects of the 2008 post-election violence "soon". More...

Isaac Ruto
Isaac Ruto, the Chapalungu MP introduced a motion to have amendments to the constitution decided by a simple 51% majority. House speaker, Kenneth Marende, however ruled that any amendments needed two thirds majority. And with that ruling put paid any attempts by either PNU or ODM brigades to mutilate the draft constitution.
Marende blocks attempt to mutilate draft constitution

By Martin Mutua, March 25 2010
Speaker Kenneth Marende has dashed any hopes by Members of Parliament to amend the Proposed Constitution through a simple majority. The Speaker ruled that any amendment to the draft must be supported by two-thirds majority of Members. Mr Marende said what was before the House was a Draft Constitution submitted to the Parliamentary Select Committee by the Committee of Experts and not a document authored by seven people. He said: "It is the culmination of a comprehensive process of the review of the Constitution by the people of Kenya. It is a document that is the product of a process in which the National Assembly has been adequately involved at all stages." More...

Lawyer wins whooping Sh600m from Kenya Govt in Hague case

By Nancy Akinyi, March 25 2010
An advocate has been awarded more than Sh600 million for representing the Government in a case at The Hague. The High Court ordered that Mr Kenneth Kiplagat be paid the money, although he had sought Sh3,398,193,491. Kiplagat had filed a bill against the Government in relation to his work in the World Duty Free case that was decided at The Hague in 2006. The bill of costs included Sh1.2 billion claim for filing Government replies, helping the Attorney General Amos Wako prepare for arbitration and his travelling allowances, among others. Deputy Registrar Shadrack Okato yesterday awarded him Sh600,341,251 after dismissing a preliminary objection by the AG. The Government yesterday suffered a double blow in relation to the said multi-million shilling claim as another application before Commercial Court judge Luka Kimaru was dismissed. Mr Okato’s ruling was delivered in the afternoon as the government cried foul. More...

Landmark victory for Kenyan lawyer, Kenneth Kiplagat. Court awards him Sh600m, a fraction of Sh3.4m he claimed Kenya owed him for services rendered in Duty Free case at the Hague.
Russian sues Kenya in US for Sh4bn gold scam

By Anthony Karanja, March 25 2010
A Russian has sued Kenya, seeking Sh3.9 billion ($50 million) over lost profits in a gold sale. Mr Andrew Vilenchik, an immigrant in the US, has sued the Republic of Kenya in a Minneapolis court. He says he wanted to buy gold and hired Mr John Saina, a Minneapolis-based consultant from Kenya in 2009 to help him do so. In May 2009, a group that claimed to own a gold mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo approached Mr Saina claiming that they had 3,700 kilos of gold for sale at a cost of $70 million (Sh5.4 billion). Mr Vilenchik, 31, who manages Community Finance Group, authorised Mr Saina to buy 300 kilos at a cost of $5.7 million. Mr Saina met officials of the firm that claimed to have the gold, together with a customs agent and G4S security guards at Hazina Towers in Nairobi, where he saw the gold and had it verified. Mr Vilenchik wired $350,000 (Sh27 million) for customs fees, but the gold was not given to him, on claims that additional documents were needed from Customs and the UN, claims that were false. More...

John Gakuo, former Nairobi Town Clerk
John Gakuo, former Nairobi Town Clerk. Although credited with the beautification of Nairobi during his tenure, he was however adversely mentioned in the Cemeteries scam that cost tax payers Sh260m. John Mutonyi, the director of Kenya Anti Corruption Commission said yesterday that investigations into the cemeteries and maize scam are alsmost ready to be forwarded to Amos Wako.
Cemeteries fraud official receives death threats

By our correspondents, March 25 2010
A top Nairobi City Council official who opposed the Sh283 million fraudulent purchase cemetery land has now been placed under police protection following several threats on his life. Mr Peter Tom Odongo, the acting director of Planning recorded a statement at the Central Police station Wednesday morning after receiving several threats from unknown people. A report by the parliamentary committee on Local Government singles out Mr Odongo and his former boss, Mr Peter Kibinda as among brave City Hall officials who tried to block the purchase of the cemetery land as the right procedures had not been followed. Meanwhile John Mutonyi, the director of Kenya Anti Corruption Commission announced yesterday that the anti-graft team would open more regional offices. KACC has offices only in Nairobi and Mombasa. It plans to open another in Kisumu. More...

Lugari farmers abandon maize, shift to high-yielding amaranth

By Pius Sawa, March 24 2010
Western Kenya's Lugari district has long been a maize-growing area. But worsening drought, believed linked to climate change, has made the region's once-reliable staple an increasing risk. "When I planted maize, the rains disappeared when the maize had reached knee height. The whole farm dried up and I had nothing for food. My children could not go to school because I relied on maize as a cash crop also," said Dan Asembo Shaban, a farmer and a father of five. But farmers like Shaban have found an answer to their problems: Shifting to new crops that are both drought resistant and income-boosting. Shaban now has divided his one-and-a-half-acre farm into plots for sweet potatoes, grain amaranth, cassava and sunflowers. He also grows a variety of maize called Pioneer that matures in a quick seventy five days. A quarter-acre of sweet potatoes, he says, produces ten times as much income as the same plot of maize would have brought. More...

Roselida Atieno
Roselida Atieno, a farmer in western Kenya's Lugari district, weeds her young amaranth crop. The quick-growing, high-protein grain is replacing traditional maize crops in the drought-hit district and boosting income for farmers. Photo: Pius Sawa
Google wins against Louis Vuitton in trademark suit

By our correspondents, March 24 2010
Google today won the latest stage in a legal battle with luxury goods manufacturers after Europe’s highest court ruled that the search engine does not breach companies’ rights by allowing online advertisers to buy key search words. The European Court of Justice ruled that allowing third parties to buy brand names as key advertising words, which link to their online stores, did not violate luxury goods trademarks, owned by the likes of LVMH, owner of the Louis Vuitton brand. Google does not disclose sales figures from the paid adverts, but it makes 97 per cent of its $24 billion annual revenue from advertising. The paid adverts, known as AdWords, allow businesses, including competitors, to buy their rivals’ trademarks as keywords. More...

Rural community in Busia appeals for water tanks, pumps to start irrigation

By our reporter, March 24 2010
A rural community in Butula, Busia has built a borehole through self help initiatives and are appealing to sponsors and donors to help them secure a pump and storage tanks. In addition to domestic use, they want to use the water to irrigate their crops and stop relying on rain farming which has become increasingly unreliable. "We settled on irrigation to get rid of the hunger that affects most of our members especially children orphaned by A.I.D.S, widows and widowers, grand mothers and fathers, the women and the community in general, " said secretary Gentrix Mwadani. "We request sponsorship to help us buy water storage tanks, a pump, return valves and hose pipes to irrigate our farms so that we can stop relying on rain cycles that are unreliable." The organisation can be contacted on Tel: +254 (0) 731 397 602 or Email: raindropcommunitygroup@yahoo.com.

Butula raindrop community
Members of the Butula Raindrop community gather around a borehole they constructed through self-help initiatives. Now they are seeking donations of water tanks to store water for irrigatition and achieve food self sufficiency.
Census results now due in August as scepticism grows

By our correspondent, March 24 2010
The much awaited results of last year’s census will be released before the end of August, the Nation has learnt. Planning minister Wycliffe Oparanya said a comprehensive analysis of the data collected during the exercise was still going on and was optimistic that the results will be ready by then. 'The figures are still being processed...our officers are working in shifts - 24 hours a day - to ensure that the results are ready and are announced between June and August,” said the minister. He spoke in Nairobi on Wednesday moments after launching the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics strategic plan for the years 2008-2012 and its service charter. The government has twice postponed the release of the much-anticipated Population and Housing Census provisional results raising questions as to why the move was taken. More...

Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya
Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya, minister for planning and MP for Butere. Census results now due in August, he said amid speculation some sections of government could be doctoring them. Photo: Hezron Njoroge

Islamic court bans twitter: An Islamic court in Nigeria has banned a rights group from hosting debates on the Twitter and Facebook websites on the use of amputations as a punishment. More...
Queries over loss of Sh150m IDP money in Western

By our correspondents, March 24 2010
The Provincial Administration has denied claims that money meant to pay internally displaced people was missing. The Western Kenya Human Rights Watch at the weekend asked Special Programmes minister Naomi Shaban to investigate the alleged loss of Sh150 million. Mt Elgon district commissioner Kassim Farah said the names that were missing from the list of those to be compensated had been removed at the Special Programmes ministry’s head office because of lack of crucial information. Mr Farah said an initial 282 names had been removed from the list of people who were to receive Sh10,000. He added that another 350 names were deleted, bringing the total number of those missing from the list to 632. The initial list had 6,346 people, the DC said. More...

Constitution: Case of if you can't beat them join them as MPs close ranks

By our correspondents, March 24 2010
After two decades of acrimony, abortive horse-trading attempts, political compromises that backfired, and suffocating spell of the Executive, Parliament gave the country a good start to a new constitution. Parliament shed the divisive politics of Grand Coalition, members closed ranks on contentious clauses, exuded selflessness and patriotism, and spoke in one voice. Kenyans followed the proceedings beamed live on television keenly, bemused by how quickly the Grand Coalition partners rallied behind the undiluted draft drawn by the Committee of Experts because of the stark reality no one side could marshal the numbers to alter it. More...

Kenya Poly principal shot

By Cyrus Ombati, March 24 2010
Kenya Polytechnic University College Principal Francis Aduol was shot by a gang, which stole nothing from him. Prof Aduol is now admitted to the Nairobi Hospital after the gang attack near his home in Lavington estate, Nairobi. More...

Nicholas Kipyator Biwott
Former powerful minister, Nicholas Kipyator Biwott is said to be gravitating towards Raila's ODM as felled Rift Valley political heavyweights plot to clip William Ruto's powers.

Oprah settles defamation suit

Oprah Winfrey has settled a defamation lawsuit filed by the former headmistress of a South Africa girls' school set up by the US TV star. Nomvuho Mzamane had claimed Winfrey defamed her in remarks in 2007, in the wake of a scandal over alleged sex abuse at the school. More...

Biwott to 'support' Raila in 2012 as Rift Valley politics take a seismic shift

By Vitalis Kimutai, March 24 2010
Heightened political activity in Rift Valley and internal rifts within the ODM party has accorded former political heavyweights and legislators from the region an opportunity to plot a comeback. With elected MPs engrossed in verbal battles to undermine Prime Minister Raila Odinga and boost the profile of Agriculture minister William Ruto, the former legislators are having a field day with the electorate. In the absence of area MPs, occasionally holed up in Nairobi for "strategic meetings" or travelling across the country to promote a new political alliance, the leaders have been busy carrying out various development projects including funds drives. The apparent vacuum has quickly been filled by former Cabinet ministers Nicholas Biwott, Kipruto Kirwa, Paul Sang, Assistant minister Stephen Tarus and Nominated MPs Mark Too and Zipporah Kittony, who have kicked off early campaigns. There are claims that Biwott, who wants an additional constituency to be named Keiyo East carved out of Keiyo South and Keiyo North constituencies, is gravitating towards the Raila-led ODM. More...

Longest foot bridge in Africa opens in Malindi

By Daniel Nyassy, March 24 2010
A new bridge has brought joy and relief to scores of villagers in Malindi District, who have been terrorised by crocodiles for decades. The suspension bridge across River Galana in Bombi village nearly, 100 kilometres west of Malindi Town, cost Sh20 million and it is the longest of its kind in Africa, according to its builders. Before it was built, crocodiles had it easy, feasting on both villagers and their animals as they crossed the river. Those lucky to escape from the jaws of the reptiles still have scars on their bodies, permanent reminders of their encounters with the beasts. More...

Malindi bridge
A bridge too late: The new bridge allows residents of Bombi in Malindi to cross the crocodile and hippo infested River Galana safely. Photo: Daniel Nyassy
Kombo, Jirongo, Livondo support Eugene for president

By our correspondents, March 23 2010
Ford-Kenya Chairman Musikari Kombo has endorsed Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa’s presidential bid. And by giving him the nod, Mr Kombo has sent a deliberate roar on his supposed succession game plan in the Lion party. The Nominated MP also cautioned presidential hopefuls from Western Province against undermining each other, but work as a team to ensure the community ascends to power. Lang’ata politician Stanley Livondo also threw his weight behind Eugene and urged Luhya leaders to stop sabotaging the march to State House. Yesterday, Eugene landed at Kenyatta Stadium to a heroic reception from a jubilant crowd shouting, "Our president is here." More...

Cyrus Jirongo
Kaddu's days numbered: Cyrus Jirongo, the Kaddu leader and MP for Lugari said over the weekened he is ready to dissolve his party and give way to Eugene Wamalwa who is Jimmy Kibaki's pointman in Western province. He is the only MP under his party.
Jirongo ready to dissolve Kaddu and play 2nd fiddle

By our correspondent, March 23 2010
Ford Kenya chairman, Musikari Kombo has accused some Luhya politicians of watering down the community’s quest to take the presidency. "Like a father, I have come here to endorse your candidature and I am committed to bringing unity among our people for a common political goal," he said. And the crowd cheered him wildly when he pledged to support Eugene’s bid and called for the unity of the community. Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo, who is also eyeing the presidency, urged Eugene to push ahead with his political ambitions. Jirongo also said he was ready to dissolve his party, Kaddu and join other local leaders. More...

Constitution may now pass as it is after MPs fail to agree

By our correspondents, March 23 2010
The meeting at Kenya Institute of Administration failed to reach consensus on disputed clauses trebling chances the CoE draft MPs initially opened up for amendments may now be debated in the House today in its undiluted state. The 30-day period that Parliament has to debate the document lapses next week. Sources at the meeting revealed that MPs pushing for amendments developed cold feet after they saw it turning into a facade as each ethnic bloc sought to have the proposed regions under its belt increased for political advantage. Coupled with the elusiveness of consensus on divisive clauses in the Proposed Constitution, as well as the stark reality no one side may be able to raise the 145 MPs to pass amendments through the House, the Members reluctantly warmed up to the draft they were running away from. More...

Koffi Annan and Mwai Kibaki
Annan is back: Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan and President Mwai Kibaki at an earlier function. Mr Annan is back in Kenya today at a time when some political forces are against his continued role in enforcing the National Accord which ended post election violence.
Mudavadi warns Jimmy Kibaki over loose talk

By our correspondent, March 23 2010
Musalia Mudavadi, the deputy prime minister and ODM vice chairman has said his party has also vowed to reject any proposal to postpone the effective date of the new constitution any further than 14 days after the referendum results are gazetted. "Any attempt to remove the Transitional Clauses as proposed by CoE would jeopardise the transition to a new constitutional dispensation," said Mudavadi. Among other issues, the clauses compel the President to continue consulting the PM on governance issues as outlined in the Accord after the promulgation of the new document. Resolve dispute President Kibaki’s son Jimmy is among those who have rejected the involvement of Annan in resolving the dispute between PNU and ODM. More...

Mariga's father is Noah Wanyama of Abaluhya FC

By Piers Edward & our reporter, March 23 2010
McDonald Mariga, Kenya's sensational football superstar now in top flight club soccer in Europe comes from a family blessed with sporting prowess. His father, Noah Wanyama was a dashing winger for Abaluhya FC (renamed AFC Leopards) in the 70's and 80's. His brother, Thomas Wanyama plays for Kenyan national champs, Sofapaka while another brother, Victor Mugabe plays professional footbsll in Belgium. And the Wanyama girls have not been left behind either. Although only 17, Mercy Wanyama, a Langata High School student, is captain of the school basketball team and is overall games captain. Amid the hullabaloo surrounding Jose Mourinho’s return to Chelsea on Tuesday last week, there was one player at Stamford Bridge who also has claims to be a ‘special one’. The moment may have gone unnoticed in London but not in Nairobi where McDonald Mariga’s mum was blowing, yes, a vuvuzela as her son became the first East African - to play in the Champions League. More...

McDonald Wanyama Mariga
Top flight: McDonald Mariga of Inter Milan.
Google out of China

By Mike Harvey, March 23 2010
China hit back at Google last night after the internet search giant closed its flagship Chinese site, carrying out a threat issued two months ago in a dispute over censorship. The company stopped censoring its search results in China and redirected users of the Google.cn service to its uncensored Google.com.hk site based in Hong Kong. . More...

Historic win for Obama

A day after winning the health reforms on which President Obama has staked his first term in office, the White House dismissed threats to repeal the historic Bill and challenged Republicans to fight it on its substance. Republican lawyers in at least 12 states announced repeal attempts yesterday, based on claims that the Bill to extend health insurance to 95 per cent of Americans for the first time infringes on states’ rights. More...

'Disappeared' deputy PC has vital evidence on post poll violence

By John Ngirachu, March 22 2010
A senior provincial administrator, who has expressed fears for his life is ranked as a ‘high profile witness’ in case of any trials connected to the post-election violence, it was revealed on Sunday. The statutory Kenya National Commission on Human Rights demanded that the government provide Nyanza deputy provincial commissioner Oku Kaunya with extra security or even move him to safety in another country. “Mr Kaunya is one of the high-profile witnesses and his armed escort should be boosted in the wake of the reported threats, which are understood to be the reason he went missing for three days last week,” the KNCHR vice-chairman Hassan Omar, said. Mr Omar said the government also has the option of moving Mr Kaunya to a foreign station, if he continues to feel unsafe in the country. The human rights body is among organisations that carried out independent investigations into post-election violence and their reports are believed to form the basis on which the International Criminal Court (ICC) has called for the prosecution of 20 prominent Kenyans. Mr Hassan said the former Administration Police Training College commandant may have been among senior police officers who testified in camera to the Waki Commission on post-election violence. More...

Oku Kaunya
Oku Kaunya, the deputy Nyanza PC who disappeared for three days being resurfacing in Kakamega is said to be the top witness in post election violence that claimed the lives of more than 1,600 Kenyans in 2008. Photo: Isaac Wale

Make or break for Obama: A vote is under way in the US House of Representatives on a healthcare reform bill at the heart of President Barack Obama's domestic agenda. The result, after impassioned debate, is expected to be very close, with no Republicans supporting the measure. More...
Dodgy deployment of 1,600 APs in ODM zones at the heart of threats against witnesses

By our correspondents, March 22 2010
The role of Administration Police in the 2007 General Election is at the heart of a campaign of threats and intimidation that have seen a deputy provincial commissioner report threats to his life. Reports of the disappearance of Mr Oku Kaunya - who surfaced at a press conference on Saturday surrounded by top provincial security officials - has triggered fresh fears about the safety of potential witnesses for Kenya’s post-election violence case at the International Criminal Court. Mr Kaunya was in charge of the Administration Police Training College (APTC) in December 2007 when a controversial training programme for 1,600 APs was carried out in the run up to the General Election. More...

Wanted international terrorist escapes from Busia custody

By our correspondents, March 22 2010
The country is on high alert after a wanted terrorist Immigration officials arrested at Busia border post mysteriously disappeared from police custody. The man, identified as Hussein Hashi Farah, is on the list of prohibited immigrants. He holds an Australian Passport. Sources say the suspect was arrested on March 13 as he tried to gain entry into Kenya. Top detectives including those from the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit have been dispatched to trace the suspect. Two anti-terror police units will be launched at Busia and Malaba border points this week. Sources said following the disappearance, the Australian Government has expressed concern over the incident and written to the Ministry of Immigration demanding to know the whereabouts of the suspect. "The Australian Government has written to us demanding explanations because the suspect is linked to terrorist activities back in their country," the officer said. More...

John Wanyela
John Wanyela, chairman of Kenya Bankers Association. He has issued guidelines to bankers on how to combat increasing online fraud.

Kenya's Sh27bn arms puchase queried: The government was on Sunday on the spot over its massive expenditure on military hardware. A whopping Sh27 billion ($348 million) was used to buy combat aircraft, helicopters, grenade launchers and other light arms in a single year, according to a report by a peace studies institute. More...
Bank loses Sh60m to online fraudster

By Cyrus Ombati, March 22 2010
Banks have been put on alert over increasing multi-million fraud cases through a recently introduced money transfer system within the industry. The recent incident involved CFC Stanbic Bank whereby a fraudster stole more than Sh60 million from an account. The man, who is on the loose, faked his identity and convinced workers at the bank headquarters to transfer the money to his account in a different bank through the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and then wired the same to another account in Dubai. Detectives said they had frozen part of the $800,000 in the Dubai account. Two weeks ago, fraudsters attempted to transfer Sh30 million from an account at I&M Bank to their account but were detected. KBA CEO John Wanyela said there has been increased cases of fraud through the system but banks have been advised on the way forward. "We have told them to ensure their staff are trustworthy because such incidents cannot happen without the involvement of an insider," said Mr Wanyela. More...

Missing deputy PC found alive in Kakamega

By Rachel Ombaka, March 20 2010
Nyanza central deputy PC Oku Kaunya, who was on Friday reported to have gone missing, has been found. Mr Kaunya held a press conference on Saturday morning in Kakamega Town to allay fears of his disappearance. He said he had been visiting a friend in the town for the past three days and had not gone missing, contrary to reports in the media. “I want to dispel rumours and media reports that I have gone missing. I am on leave and I went to a place in Vihiga to visit a friend and there was poor mobile phone network that is why I have not been able to communicate with my family,” he said. His wife, Millicent Kaunya, had on Friday recorded a statement at Kisumu police station saying she could not trace her husband, who had earlier told her that his life was in danger. Mr Kaunya confirmed that he had received death threats and reported to the police who were now conducting investigations. More...

Oku Kaunya with Mudasia
Deputy PC Oku Kaunya presents a certificate to the Principal of Mudasa Academy, Vihiga Mrs Mudanyi during the school's thanksgiving ceremony in February 2010. Photo: Jacob Owiti
MPs now agree on 60 senators - for now

By Stephen Makabila, March 20 2010
The country will have a 60-member senate if the Proposed Constitution is approved at the expected a referendum. The MPs consensus building retreat at the Kenya Institute of Administration (KIA) settled on 25 devolved regions and each is supposed to elect two senators. "According to what we have agreed on, each region will elect a man and a woman as senators, bring the number to 50. Ten others will be nominated on special seats to add up to 60," said Konoin MP Julius Kones. The Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) had proposed one senator to be elected from each of the 47 counties during the Naivasha retreat. The powers of the House of Senate had been created by the Committee of Experts (CoE). PSC had diluted the powers of the senate at its Naivasha retreat, only for CoE to reinstate them in the Proposed Constitution. "At the KIA retreat, most MPs had a feeling the senate should be the upper House with specific roles to play," said Kimilili MP Eseli Simiyu. More...

John Sibi Okumu
John Sibi Okumu and ex Mozambican president Joachin Chissano (below): Vernacular stations can foster unity.
Joaquim Chissano
Chisano backs vernacular radio like Mulembe FM

By Athman Amran, March 20 2010
Former Mozambican President Joachim Chissano has said the use of diverse indigenous languages by radio stations like Mulembe FM can unite a nation. He says while such languages could divide a country along ethnic lines, they can also foster harmony. Mr Chisano said countries were free to choose which languages to use, arguing there are values in native languages that should not be lost. The former President gave an example of Mozambique where citizens sought to discover values colonialists destroyed before Independence. "We were trying to discover and bring together values from each language and culture," he said. Chissano spoke at a panel on the second and final day of the Pan African Media Conference at KICC, Nairobi. Moderator of the discussion was media personality John Sibi Okumu. He said the media have enormous role in the promotion of social equity and development. More...

Deputy PC missing with Sh3m death threat on his head

By Juma Kwayera, March 20 2010
A deputy PC has been reported missing after receiving death threats. The family of Mr Oku Kaunya, who is Nyanza deputy PC, told The Standard On Saturday he has not been seen for three days. Kaunya was, until his posting in January as Deputy Provincial Commissioner for Nyanza Central, the Administration Police Deputy Commandant based at the formation’s training school in Embakasi, Nairobi. His wife on Friday recorded a statement with the Kisumu police over the disappearance of her husband. Contacted, Kaunya’s lawyer Aja Olubayi said he spoke to his client on Wednesday from an undisclosed location. Mr Olubayi said he had been expecting the Deputy PC in Nairobi to discuss the statement he had recorded with the police about the threats to his life. More...

Aku Kaunya
Aku Nyauku, the deputy Nyanza provincial commissioner is missing for three days with a death threat of Sh3m on his head. His disappearance is suspected to be linked to post election violence where potential witnesses are living in fear of their lives. Kaunya’s tribulations began when his boss AP Commandant Kinuthia Mbugua disapproved of his promotion, which placed them at par.
Kaunya's disappearance linked to Ocampo witness threats

The disappearance of Kaunya comes at a time potential witnesses in post-election violence trials at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have alleged torment and increased threats by potential suspects, forcing them into hiding for lack of State protection. Kaunya was the commandant of the AP Training School, where it is alleged the results of the presidential poll were manipulated. It is also widely believed the planners and financiers of post-election chaos fear the Deputy PC is a vital source of information ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo requires to build an incontrovertible case against post-election violence suspects. More...

Bunyore rainmakers now consulted by weathermen

By our correspondent, March 19 2010
The Nganyi people of Ebusiekwe, Bunyore have served as rainmakers, helping local communities decide when best to prepare their land and sow their seeds. By observing subtle changes in nature that would be unnoticeable to most people, they have been able to interpret weather patterns and provide valuable advice. But even the Nganyi have been flummoxed by climate change and the alternating cycles of droughts and floods it is inflicting. The Nganyi community is a largely subsistence farming community. Therefore, much of the income of the community and their source of livelihood is very much dependent on rainfall. "When rains fail then we don’t have food," says Thomas Osore Omulako, a rainmaker (omukimba) of the Nganyi community. "That is why it is important that when the rains fail, we act fast to help. Everyone depends on it." A British-Canadian project is helping the people of Nganyi adapt to climate change. Launched last year, it combines indigenous knowledge with modern science to build up climate change intelligence and disseminate it more widely in a community whose existence depends almost exclusively on farming. Source: DFID / IDRC

Nganyi rainmaker, Thomas Osore OmulakoAdegu Thomas
Left: Thomas Osore Omulako, 74, a rainmaker of Nganyi family blows into a pot which is filled with natural river water and special herbs. Left: Adegu David, District Meteorological Officer discusses the information they have gathered with Omulako and Reuben Asitwa Okonda. Photos: Department For International Development / International Development Research Centre /Thomas Omondi
Osore Omulako of Nganyi familyReuben Asitwa
Left: Thomas Osore Omulako, 74, stands near the entrance to the shrine with the tools he uses. Right: Obedi Osore Nganyi (right), instructs Reuben Asitwa Okonda on how to blow the hollow reeds into the pot. In Luhya culture, rain magicians are known as Abakimba. Although Butsotso, Marachi and Bukusu also had rainmakers by far the most successful were the Nganyi family from Bunyore. More...
Kenya Boys Choir
Kenya Boys Choir coming to UK: The sensational Kenya Boys Choir is coming to UK, its founder Joseph Muyale Inzai has announced. The one month tour kicks off on April 4 and winds up on April 27. It is scheduled to perform at 11 venues across UK and Ireland. The band rose to fame after perfoming at US President Barrack Obama's inauguration in January 2009. For full details and how to book a ticket, see the schedules opposite.
Kenya Boys Choir Ticket hotlines: Milton Keynes: 01908 280800 Bradford: 01274 432000 Manchester: 0161 9079000 High Wycombe: 01494 512000 Northampton: 01604 624811 Rhyl: 01745 330000 Cardiff: 02920 878444 Inverness: 01463 234234 Dublin: 00353 1 4170000 Croydon: 0208 6889291 Dumfries: 01387 243550

Dark cloud engulfs a Kakamega village over death of Makerere student

By Benson Amadala, March 19 2010
Brian Amuoga, a Kenyan student shot dead by a security guard at Makerere University, left home three weeks ago full of confidence and hope for a bright future after completing his studies. He told his parents and relatives at his rural village at Shipalo in Kakamega East District of his plans to practice law after college. The 22-year-old had been in high spirits and sought out his father, Oscar Amawa Livasia to say farewell before travelling back to Makerere. The father of four said he had done everything to ensure his first-born son succeeded in life. Mr Livasia has a younger son and daughter in secondary school and does not know how to break the news of their brother’s death to them. Brian went to a high school in Uganda for his A levels after he scored a B in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam and failed to get a place in a local university. “My son decided to do his A levels in Uganda to qualify for admission at Makerere University,” Mr Livasia said. More...

Brian Amuoga, Shipalo village
Senseless murder of a promising student: Brian Amuoga's grieving mother gazes at a picture of her son at her Shipalo Village in Kakamega District. The Makerere University student was shot by a private security guard during a riot. Photo: Isaac Wale

Man sent to women's prison: PRISON authorities are investigating circumstances under which a man spent two days in Luzira Women’s Prison ward. ` The man identified as Brian Ayebale alias Patience Birungi was on March 12 was charged with impersonation at Kampala City Hall Court and remanded to Luzira Women’s Prison as a ‘woman.’ At the time of arrest, Ayebale had plaited hair and was dressed in skin-tight female leggings. He reportedly identified himself to the Police as Patience Birungi. More...
Scandal of subsidised fertiliser

By John Njagi, March 19 2010
The price of a bag of subsidised fertiliser has been reduced to Sh2,000 for all varieties. This is welcome news to farmers who have been buying the input at Sh2,500 a bag at National Cereals Produce Board (NCPB) stores. The price cut was meant to boost yields, said Agriculture minister William Ruto while touring the Sagana NCPB depot in Kirinyaga. The gesture has, however, been overshadowed by reports that thousands of bags of fertiliser meant for small-scale farmers were being repacked and sold at a higher price. The scandal came to light when workers were found repackaging thousands of bags of fertiliser stamped “Government of Kenya” in a private firm’s go-down in Athi River. Mr Ruto also announced that the government would buy maize from farmers at Sh2,300 a bag, up from Sh1,400. This will shut out brokers who have been buying the maize for as little as Sh900 per 90kg bag. More...

Mwai Kibaki sandwiched by raila and kilonzo
Between a hard rock and hard place: President Mwai Kibaki is besieged by prime minister, Raila Odinga and vice president, Kalonzo Musyoka. He is evidently lost for words as to whom to believe or trust as the push for new constitution takes a nosedive into the unkown. Will the three agree to disagree?

Facebook in Islamic row: A row has erupted in the Middle East after officials banned a Facebook user in Abu Dhabi for breaking the law after they “insulted” Islam by claiming to be Allah. All internet providers in the United Arab Emirates have been ordered to block the unnamed user behind the site. More...
Moi to campaign against majimbo, defends chiefs

By Stella Mwangi, March 19 2010
Former President Moi has rejected Majimbo saying it will divide Kenyans along tribal lines. Moi said Kenya should remain united and threatened to campaign against the Draft Constitution if he is not satisfied with it. He added that Provincial Administration should be retained at all cost instead of trusting political leaders with its mandate. More...

Unesco to rebuilt Kabaka tombs: EXPERTS from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) will soon arrive in the country to help the Government re-build the Kasubi royal tombs. The grass-thatched mausoleum housing the remains of four kings was gutted by fire on Tuesday night. It was built in 1882 by Kabaka Muteesa I. UNESCO listed the tombs as a world heritage site in 2001. More...
Cotu to protest mutilation of draft constitution by ethnic jingoists

By Elizabeth Mwai, March 2010
The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) will protest against the tampering of the Harmonised Draft Constitution by MPs. COTU secretary general Francis Atwoli on Thursday said the rally, set for Monday 29, is aimed at protecting the amendments made by the Committee of Experts (CoE) from further alterations. Atwoli described the formation of a 21– member inter-party committee of Members of Parliament as "amorphous, political, ultra vires" and uncalled for. Kenyans, he said, are tired and should stand up and fight for the final liberation of the country. In a statement, Atwoli accused the formation of another committee as an attempt to protect some people’s interest. More...

Desterio Oyatsi
Desterio Oyatsi, the lawyer representing deputy PM, Uhuru Kenyatta in the post poll violence case against Kenya Human Rights Commission report which linked him directly to violence.
Kenyatta case on post elections violence starts

By Judy Ogutu, March 19 2010
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta has said the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has not provided any evidence on its findings against him in its post-election violence report. Through his advocate Desterio Oyatsi, Uhuru said the commission "is completely unable in the present proceedings to provide any evidence to support or sustain its findings against the applicant." The case kicked off on Thursday before High Court Judges Roselyn Wendoh and Abida Ali Aroni. The minister wants the court to quash a report by KNCHR linking him to the 2007 post-election violence. More...

Western, Nyanza push for majimbo rattles Central

By our correspondent, March 18 2010
New demands for regional governments and fresh redrawing of counties threw the consensus-building meeting off balance on Thursday, as MPs regrouped into regional caucuses to push for their positions to be entrenched in the proposed Constitution. But it was the push for federalism that appeared to knock the debate off course with MPs from the Coast, Rift Valley, Western and Nyanza insisting that equal distribution of resources will only be achieved through such an arrangement. Their colleagues from Central Kenya and Eastern were said to be fiercely opposed to the push for majimbo arguing that in such a government, counties will be scrapped. Most of these MPs have been pushing for the number of counties to be increased to 74. More...

Voter registration begins

he Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) Thursday announced countrywide voter registration starting Monday next week. The commission targets to register at least 10million voters afresh. In a statement, the IIEC said manual countrywide registration (OMR) exercise will kick off from Monday, 22nd March, 2010 to Wednesday, 5th May, 2010. More...

Remains of four kings disturbed but intact in Uganda tomb attack

Kabaka Mutesa II

By Joseph Maseruka, March 18 2010
THE remains of the four Buganda kings buried in the burnt Kasubi tombs are intact, Katikkiro JB Walusimbi said yesterday. Briefing journalists at the Bulange, Walusimbi said: “Fortunately, gallant rescue efforts prevented total damage to the tombs in the inner sanctum (ekibira). Luckily still, no lives were lost although there was substantial loss of ancient regalia and royal paraphernalia.” The over 130-year-old structure was razed to the ground in the Tuesday night inferno. Walusimbi’s assurance came as a relief to Baganda who feared that the remains of Muteesa I, Mwanga, Daudi Chwa and Frederick Edward Muteesa II, Kabaka Ronald Mutebi’s father, had been burnt to ashes. More...

Soon you'll write in Luluhya & communicate with the world

By our correspondent, March 18 2010
As a part of SuperPower Nation Day, we are running an experiment using Google Translate, an automatic machine translation service, to see how the internet can break down language barriers. Communicate with speakers of Arabic, Chinese, English, Persian, Indonesian, Portuguese and Spanish from around the world. Want to join in? This is an experiment and the translations will not be perfect as the technology is still developing. You can help by writing clear comments - avoid abbreviations or expressions that are hard to translate. You can follow the conversation or talk about what is happening on the video streams, live from the event in London. More...

KACC want Wako to probe cemeteries report leakage

By our correspondent, March 18 2010
The Kenya Anti Corruption Commission now wants the Attorney General to investigate the circumstances under which the report on the illegal acquisition of cemetery land by the Nairobi City Council was leaked to the public. In a statement, KACC Advisory Board Chairman Okongo Omogeni said the report leaked to the media was not meant for public consumption. Omogeni wants the people responsible for leaking the report to the media prosecuted for violating the law. Following the allegations that the report was deliberately released to the media, Omogeni says the board held a meeting on Wednesday to deliberate on the matter. More...

McDonald Mariga
Sensational star: McDonald Mariga, the Kenyan football superstar made history as the first East African to play in top flight Uefa league when his club Inter Milan thrashed Chelsea of UK.
Western's Mariga makes soccer history

By our correspondents, March 18 2010
It’s often said that the hallmark of great footballers is playing at the World Cup Finals – and probably winning it. Well, that may be true. But one could also argue that the hallmark of an accomplished player is to be part of the world’s most prestigious club competition – the Uefa Champions League. In East Africa there was something special to smile about on Tuesday night when Kenyan international McDonald Mariga swept imperiously into history books by becoming the first man from the region to play in the Champions League.

Mildred Wanyama
Proud mother: Mildred Ayiemba Wanyama, the proud mother of Kenyan international soccer sensation, McDonald Mariga of Inter Milan.
Marende, Namwamba light candle of hope as lawmakers plot to derail new constitution

By our correspondent, March 18 2010
Two hundred MPs met at the Kenya Institute of Administration, but it was apparent their motto remained no-retreat no-surrender. Like in the Bomas Constitutional Conference President Kibaki’s Party of National Unity and Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement held separate but conflicting news conferences outside the plenary hall. Clearly, each side wanted to outdo each other in sending the message it was pro-reform and meant well. The retreat called to cure the festering wounds in the Grand Coalition through negotiation for a political compromise on the disputed clauses in Proposed Constitution, turned out to be the opening of a Pandora Box on the first of its three-day sittings. It cast the picture not only of a divided house, but one propped up by pillars of suspicion and strong political undercurrents. More...

Ababu Namwamba and kenneth Marende
Candle of Hope: Speaker Kenneth Marende, Parliamentary Select Committee Chairman Abdikadir Mohamed (right) and his deputy Ababu Namwamba light a ceremonial candle on the first day of MPs’ retreat in Nairobi on Wednesday. Photo: Tabitha Otwori

In Dubai kissing is illegal: A British couple is facing up to a month in jail for kissing in public in Dubai where 85% of population is foreign born. More...
Contentious issues in constitutional talks

By our correspondent, March 18 2010
The offices the Proposed Constitution seeks to make vacant include: Attorney General held by Amos Wako), Chief Justice (Evan Gicheru), Director General of National Security Intelligence Service (Michael Gichangi), Police Commissioner (Mathew Iteere) and Chief Government Prosecutor (Keriako Tobiko). The other positions on the chopping board are those of members of Interim Independent Electoral Commission, Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission, and High Court and Appellate judges who, and which PNU is resisting, in the draft will be asked to step aside for vetting before recall to the Bench. The other issues the two sides will have to resolved are: The number of counties, which PNU wants increased and ODM confined to the proposed 47; distribution of resources; and the shape of devolved governments. More...

20% of teachers in Western play truancy - World Bank

By our reporter, March 17 2010
A World Bank report has found out that 20 percent of teachers in rural western Kenyan primary schools could not be found during school hours, while in Uganda, two surveys found teacher absentee rates of 27 percent in 2002 and 20 percent in 2007. Quiet corruption” – the failure of public servants to deliver goods or services paid for by governments – is pervasive and widespread across Africa and is having a disproportionate effect on the poor, with long-term consequences for development, according to a new report from the World Bank. The report, Africa Development Indicators 2010, notes that most studies on corruption focus on an exchange of money – bribes to powerful political designees or kickbacks to public officials. This report instead focuses on the way “quiet corruption” leads to an increasingly negative expectation of service delivery systems, causing families to ignore the system. Quiet corruption, although smaller in monetary terms, is particularly harmful for the poor, who are more vulnerable and more reliant on government services and public systems to satisfy their most basic needs. Africa Development Indicators 2010 has an online data visualization tool that can be used to build charts and graphs using the indicators available. Visit www.worldbank.org/adi. More...

Dr Newton Kulundu
The late Dr Newton Kulundu was buried on Saturday. His funeral was attended by the glitterati of Kenyan politicians. A notable absentee was President Mwai Kibaki whom Kulundu invested his trust since the days of DP.

Man kills two chickens in sex act

Police in Bureti District are holding a 22-year-old man accused of committing unnatural sexual acts with two chickens and a cow. The incident, which took place at the weekend in Cheboin location, led to the deaths of the birds before the suspect turned his attention to a cow that was grazing in a nearby field. More...

Who is who at Kulundu's funeral

By Roselyn Obala, March 17 2010
Former Cabinet Minister Newton Kulundu was buried at a ceremony graced by a cross section of leaders. Kulundu was laid to rest at his home in Navakholo division in Kakamega Central District. Those in attendance included Prime Minister Raila Odinga, his deputy Musalia Mudavadi, House Speaker Kenneth Marende, Attorney General Amos Wako, nine Cabinet Ministers, five assistant ministers and 10 MPs. Mourners at the funeral said Kulundu was a visionary leader who stood by his word. "He stood by President Kibaki despite the fact that the ODM wave was too strong in the region in the last General Elections," said Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa. Cabinet ministers recalled how they worked with Kulundu when he was in office and even after he lost his Lurambi seat. "Since I took over the Ministry of Labour from Kulundu, I knew he was the man to seek advice from. I remember how he advised me to handle Central Organisation of Trade Union Secretary General Francis Atwoli," said Labour Minister John Munyes. "I am now implementing policies that were enacted during the times of Kulundu," he added. Wamalwa urged Kibaki to fulfil pledges he made for the people of Lurambi while he was campaigning for PNU with Kulundu. Others present include ministers James Orengo, Fred Gumo, Soita Shitanda, Moses Wetangula, Anyang’ Nyong’o, Noah Wekesa, and Beth Mugo. A notable absentee was President Kibaki whom Kulundu trusted since the days of DP. More...

Tachoni elder receives rare traditional burial - in fresh animal skin

By Denis Odunga, March 17 2010
Residents of Luvusi Village in Bungoma East District were treated to a rare ritual when a 90-year-old man was wrapped in a skin and buried without being placed in a coffin. The traditional burial - the norm in western Kenya up to the 1950s - caught most area residents by surprise and many surged forward to witness Mzee Mavachi Mandira accorded the unique burial befitting his status. As the body was brought from his hut wrapped in a blanket, girls and married women who had not reached menopause were warned to keep off the grave lest they attract curses. Split into two A bull was slaughtered at 9am and its skin split into two pieces that were used to cover the body. The burial was done before 1pm in line with the traditions of Bang’achi clan of the Luhya’s Tachoni sub-tribe. “The blanket must be in between the two pieces of animal skin. We treasure our traditions and my father must be accorded such a decent burial in respect of his wishes. He cannot be buried in a coffin as that is an alien thing,” said Mr Peter Musambai, the dead man’s nephew. He said the rituals would last three days, each day with its own unique programme. More...

Traditional Tachoni burial
Elders carry the body of Mzee Mavachi Mandira from the house during the Tachoni traditional burial ceremony at Lukusi Village in Bungoma on Tuesday. Photos: Jared Nyatata

Eshiremba - cattle drive ritual

“On the second day, we shall witness cows adorned in various attire mourn the dead. Villagers will arrive with their animals for the occasion before the final day that will see an elder lead the way in sharing out what the deceased left,” Mr Donald Walucho said. However, Mr Walucho said that upholding the culture was becoming a challenge as many people convert to Christianity. More...

Horror as Kenyan students are shot dead at Makerere

By our correspondent, March 17 2010
Two Kenyan students were shot dead by a security guard at Makerere University in Kampala, sparking protests on Tuesday. Brian Amuoga, a first year Bachelor of Law student, and Ignatius Nyongesa, a third year Commerce student, were killed after a scuffle between supporters of two rival guild presidential candidates at God Is Able Hostel in Kikoni, a suburb of Makerere. A Kenyan student at the institution who witnessed the incident, Erastus Muhia, said the two Kenyans died from the same bullet. The Ugandan student was also hit by the same bullet, he added. Muhia said it all began when commotion broke out between the Kenyan camp that was backing their compatriot Kamau Gikuru for the students leader position and their Ugandan opponents. He said the two groups had agreed to hold peaceful campaigns when suddenly a security guard emerged and aimed his rifle at Amuoga, who died instantly. More...

Brian Amuoga and Ignatius Nyongesa
Makerere University students protest against the killing Ignatius Nyongesa and Brian Amuoga, both Kenyans, by a security guard. Foreign affairs minister, Moses Wetangula has sent a protest note to Kampala over the deaths.Photo: Isaac Kasamani

Bumper harvest now a problem

Food crops worth millions of shillings are rotting on farms in the country’s grain basket of North Rift, as farmers cannot access market for the produce. Heavy rains have been pounding the area, rendering most roads impassable. Grain farmers in the region are faced with difficulties in selling more than 600,000 bags of maize harvested last season owing to a crisis in marketing and the bad state of roads. More...

40,000 Kenyan students in Uganda at risk - Wetangula

By Alphonce Shiundu, March 17 2010
The Kenyan government has sent a protest note to Uganda over the killing of two Kenyan students at Kampala’s Makerere University. Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula said the preliminary reports showed that the killings were “reckless criminal acts” and that the culprit had been apprehended. “If available evidence will point to any contrary conclusions then we’ll deal with it appropriately,” he said. The Minister said he had asked the Kenya High Commissioner in Uganda, Mr Jeffrey Okanga to monitor the situation at the university, following unconfirmed reports that all Kenyan students could be at risk in Uganda. He said the 40,000 Kenyan students studying in Uganda had been granted State protection to keep them off any harm. More...

Graveyard owner sues lawyer for Sh40m

By Nancy Akinyi, March 17 2010
The man at the centre of Sh283 million-cemetery land deal and his former advocate are locked in a court battle over the sale proceeds. Mr Maina Chege has sued Paul Chapia Onduso trading as P C Onduso & Company Advocates for allegedly swindling him of more than Sh40 million in the land transaction with Nairobi City Council (NCC). He claims Mr Onduso, who acted for him in the transaction, has not accounted for the said amount. Chege, the managing director of Naen Rech Ltd, wants the advocate compelled to deposit the said money in court pending the hearing and determination of the suit. More...

Bonny Khalwale, bullfighter
Dr Bonny Khalwale, the bullfighter
Khalwale told to keep off Nairobi Council affairs

By Mutinda Mwanzia, March 17 2010
Twenty-eight councillors have told Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale to keep off the affairs of the City Council of Nairobi as pressure mounted on Mayor Geoffrey Majiwa to step aside over the cemetery saga. The civic leaders led by Deputy Mayor George Aladwa took issue with Khalwale for urging Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi to dissolve the council and appoint a commission to run it. "Khalwale should concentrate on the petition filed in court over his election as the Ikolomani MP and keep off the affairs of City Hall. He has enough problems to keep him busy," said Aladwa. More...

Luo Council of Elders deny rift over Gaddafi gift

By Winsley Masese, March 17 2010
The Luo Council of Elders came out fighting over claims they are divided over gifts the Libya President Muammar Gaddafi gave them. Council’s Deputy Secretary General Adera Osawa defended a decision by Libyan Traditional House of Elders to give them a van as a gift when Gadaffi hosted them. "Members of the elders council are not divided over the gift," Osawa said in a press statement on Tuesday. He added: " Allegations that Luo Council of Elders is divided is wrong and fabricated by few individuals jealous and envious of the progress of the council’s development". The Luhya Council of Elders did not attend; instead Nabongo Peter Mumia II represented Abaluhya interests in the Tripoli trip. It is not clear what gifts he got, if any. More...

Nabongo Peter Mumia II
Reigning Luhya monarch, Nabongo Peter Mumia II and his courtiers. He was in the delegation of elders from various tribes that went to visit Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi in Tripoli. It is not clear if he got any gifts like the Luos.
Kulundu laid to rest

By our correspondent, March 17 2010
Former Cabinet Minister and MP for Lurambi, Dr Newton Kulundu was buried on Saturday at his home in Kakamega. The former labour minister died two weeks ago following a short illness. Speaking during his interment, MP for Ikolomani, Dr Bonny Khalwale called on Musalia Mudavadi, the deputy PM and local government minister to seek approval of President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to dissolve the council and appoint a commission. Khalwale, who is also the chairman of the Parliamentary Accounts Committee, claimed City Hall was a den of corruption. Majiwa and Mudavadi who were alleged to be involved in the cemetery scandal have moved to court to sue the Kenya Anti-Corruption Authority for linking them to the scandal. More...

How Muhoho schemed to block Wamalwa at KAA

By Martin Mutua, March 17 2010
Parliament has directed that the recruitment of a new Managing Director of Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) be redone. Transport Departmental Committee, headed by Matungu MP David Were, made the decision after grilling Transport PS Cyrus Njiru and outgoing MD George Muhoho. Transport Assistant Minister Harun Mwau also attended the meeting. Mr Were told Dr Njiru and his team from the committee’s investigation it was evident the process was "skewed and shrouded in mystery". "It is abnormal that the short-listed three candidates have scored marks, which are so wide apart and we, as a committee, have resolved that the process is skewed for a particular purpose," he said. Stephen Gichuki, who The Standard later established was Mr Muhohos’s favourite, scored 91 per cent, while the second, Francis Mugo, had 68 per cent. Alfred Serem was third with 65 per cent. Marakwet West MP Boaz Kaino said KAA had a deputy MD, Mr Mathew Wamalwa and wondered why it had become impossible for him to act as recruitment went on.. More...

George Muhoho
Fiddler: George Muhoho, the outgoing chairman of Kenya Airports Authority. He admitted fiddling with the recruitment process of his successor to a parliamentary transport committee which has ordered the process begins afresh.

Catholic apology over sex paedo: The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland made a heartfelt apology to his congregation today for his role in the failure to prevent a known paedophile priest from sexually abusing scores more children. More...
Raila spares Ruto, for now as ODM backs retreat

By Alex Ndegwa, March 17 2010
An ODM parliamentary group meeting that was highly billed as preparing the ground for Ruto's firing, ended on an anticlimax as Raila Odinga, the Prime MInister and party boss overruled earlier attempts by some MPs to crack the whip on some MPs seen as not toeing the partyline. Kosgey denied there were discussions on the said rebellion and declared: "We did not come here to reprimand or isolate anyone." Parliament broke fresh ground in the race for new constitution after it reached consensus on two forms of ‘retreats’. First, President Kibaki’s Party of National Unity and Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement caved in to pressure from the so-called ‘Third Force’, made up of ‘neutral’ members from both sides, and retreated from their initial hard-line positions. Secondly, both parties agreed all MPs go for a retreat, not in Naivasha as would have been the case last week, but at the Kenya Institute of Administration in Nairobi, to find political compromise on contentious clauses. Several ODM MPs allied to Ruto attended the meeting. More...

Raila to seek party's blessings to fire Ruto

By David Ohito, March 16 2010
Prime Minister Raila Odinga is on Tuesday expected to seek his party’s National Executive Committee and Parliamentary Group blessings to clamp down on members seen to be ‘rebels’. Sources within Orange Democratic Movement revealed PM wants to tame rebellion in his party, starting with Rift Valley MPs aligned to Agriculture minister William Ruto who have defied ODM’s rejection of amendments to the Proposed Constitution. It is believed the PM would, among other measures to enforce discipline in the party, seek endorsement to shuffle the ODM team serving in the Grand Coalition as Ministers or Assistant ministers. The PM is believed to be concerned by the fact that Ruto and his team has openly showed willingness to work with PNU against ODM’s principles and interests. More...

2,700 teachers to get jobs: The Ministry of Education will hire 2700 teachers as a stop gap measure to easy teacher shortages in public schools now standing at a whooping 65,000. Education Minister Sam Ongeri is however urging unions to withdraw court cases . More...

Christopher Oparanya
Political mourners pay last respects to Christopher Ambetsa, father of planning minister, Wycliffe Oparanya who was buried on Saturday.

Fuel hike: Govt backtracks on petrol inspections

By our correspondent, March 16 2010
The Government has suspended with immediate effect the implementation of legal notice No. 142 of 2009 which authorized the Kenya Bureau of Standards to carry out inspection of petroleum imported into the country. This was decided in a consultative meeting between the Ministry of Industrialization, the Petroleum Institute of East Africa, the Public Procurement Oversight Authority and KEBS held at the Ministry head quarters in Nairobi Monday. The meeting was occasioned by the Governments concern over the high fuel pump prices. More...

Oparanya's father is dead

By our reporter, March 16 2010
Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya, the minister for planning and national development has lost his father. Mzee Christopher Ambetsa Oparanya was buried on Saturday, March 14 2010 at his rural Butere home. Among the mourners included President Mwai Kibaki, Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, Speaker of National Assembly, Kenneth Otiato Marende and a host of governmnet dignitaries. Oparanya is also the member of parliament for Butere. The funeral service was conducted by Bishop Rt. Rev. Michael Sande of the Anglican Church of Kenya Butere Diocese who also delivered the sermon. Mzee Ambetsa was laid to rest at his home in Emang’ala village, Mabole Sub-location in Butere district. Other speakers included Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi, Minister Oparanya, Assistant Minister Peter Kenneth and former Butere Member of Parliament Martin Shikuku among others. The occasion was also attended by Ministers Moses Wetangula, William Ruto, James Orengo, Fred Gumo, John Munyes, Paul Otuomo Soita Shitanda and Prof. Anyang’ Nyongo, Attorney-General Amos Wako, several Assistant Ministers, Members of Parliament, several senior Government officials and wananchi from all walks of life.

PNU targets four Raila ministers in corruption wars

By Lucas Barasa, March 16 2010
In recent weeks, PNU appears to have had the upper hand in the leaking game designed to paint their rivals as corrupt. The Sunday Nation has learnt that teams of “researchers” have fanned out into a number of ODM ministries in hopes they will unearth evidence of corruption. Among the targets are the ministries of Water headed by Charity Ngilu, Otieno Kajwang’s Immigration, Anyang Nyong’o (Medical Services), James Orengo (Lands) and Henry Kosgey (Industrialisation). It is also understood that an international investigation has been launched to to identify the directors of a firm that was awarded a tender to import subsidised maize, which led to the suspension of the PM’s aide, Caroli Omondi. More...

Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya bereaved
Political funeral: President Kibaki (second right) and Prime Minister Raila Odinga (right) arrive at Planning minister Wycliffe Oparanya’s home in Butere for the burial of Mr Oparanya’s father Christopher Ambetsa Oparanya on Saturday. With them is House Speaker Kenneth Marende (left). Photo:PPS
40,000 jobs go up in flames as land scandal jeopardises technocity

By our correspondents, March 16 2010
Plans to build a technology city and create 40,000 jobs have run into allegations of corruption and unfair dealings. The technopolis is to be built on a 5,000-acre piece of land near Salama on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway. The government has already paid Sh1 billion for the land. But now small-scale landowners are complaining that they were short-changed in the transaction and that the land values were inflated. The farmers complained that brokers bought their land at throwaway prices, then sold it to the government at much higher prices. They are now threatening to block the project unless they are paid more. More...

Terrus Mwondi Onamu
Dead woman claimed by two men: Terrus Mwondi Onamu holding a photo in which he appears with his late wife, Jane Mideva Amusavi. Unbeknown to him, another man, Gerishom Magana from Migori claimed to have been the lawful husband of Jane and therefore the one to bury her. Mourners at Virembe village were shocked when the magistrate ruled that Jane's body be released to Mr Miguna for burial in Migori despite the fact that he had eight children with the deceased. Vihiga senior resident magistrate Lucas Onyina issued a permanent injunction restraining Mr Onamu from burying Ms Amusavi within the district. Photo: Jacob Awiti
Vihiga man shocked he can't bury his wife of 30 years

By Ouma Wanzala, March 16 2010
Mr Terrus Onamu has been married for 29 years, or so he thought. He was hit by a shocker when his wife died and he was told he could not bury her because their union was not legal. The 60-year-old man from Virombe village, Vihiga District, is yet to come to terms with the ruling that has brought pain and anguish. Mr Gerishom Magana, who claims to be the legal husband of the woman, was allowed by the court to bury her. And two weeks ago the body of Ms Jane Mideva Amusavi, 56, was ferried from Vihiga district hospital mortuary where it had stayed for more than three months to Bware in South Nyanza, hundreds of kilometres away, for burial. More...

World's shortest man dies

By our correspondent, March 16 2010
The world's shortest man, He Pingping, who was just 74.6cm (2ft 5in) tall, has died in Rome. He was born in 1988 in Wulanchabu, China, with a form of primordial dwarfism, and was officially recognised as the world's shortest man in 2008. He was admitted to hospital two weeks ago after suffering a chest complaint and died on Saturday, but his death has only just been announced. Guinness World Records said he had made a "huge impact around the world". More...

Mother killed six babies and hid their bodies in cellar

By Peter Allen, March 16 2010
A mother yesterday admitted murdering six of her newborn babies and hiding their corpses in the cellar. In one of the worst ever infanticide cases, Celine ­Lesage, 38, strangled two of the infants with a cord and choked four others by placing her finger in their mouths. More...

world's shortest man dies
In between long legs: He Pingping, the world's shortest man (74cm) of China in between the long legs of Svetlana Pankratova (132cm) of Spain in Trafalgar Square, London to present the release of The Guinness Book of Records 2009. He died yesterday aged 21.
Microsoft fined $240m

By our correspondent, March 16 2010
Microsoft has lost an appeal against a court judgement that told it to pay $240m (£160m) in damages. In August 2009, a US court awarded the damages to i4i which claimed Microsoft had infringed its patents. The patents cover the use of XML, a mark-up language that preserves data formats across different programs. The judgement also required Microsoft to remove the i4i technology from its Office software suite and stop selling the infringing programs. More...

Uganda bars to close at 10pm: KAMPALA bar operators have opposed the proposed legislation which would oblige them to close at 10:00pm. The draft bill, which aims at curbing alcohol abuse in the country, stipulates that bars should remain closed during the day and only open between 5:00pm and 10:00pm. More...
Julia Ojiambo says Kalonzo misused and dumped her

By Stephen Makabila, March 14 2010
Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka’s presidential running mate in the 2007 General Election, Julia Ojiambo, has spoken on strained relations with her former ally, and the risks of pre-election coalitions. The Labour Party of Kenya (LPK) chairperson told The Standard on Sunday how Kalonzo and his ODM-Kenya team misused LPK and later abandoned it after the party housed him when he was ‘politically orphaned’. Ojiambo said LPK would not associate with ODM-Kenya again, and would not enter any pre-election coalition where stronger parties misuse and dump weaker ones after elections. "I have clearly no soft words for ODM-Kenya. I did a lot for Kalonzo, campaigning for him countrywide but he could not even consider a single LPK member for parliamentary nomination. Even if I was not his favoured choice, he could have gone for any other party member even from his own Ukambani region," said Dr Ojiambo. Apart from nomination, she says the VP rewarded members of his ODM-Kenya with Government appointments but forgot those from LPK. More...

Julia Ojiambo
Used and dumped: Prof Julia Ojiambo says vice president, Kalonzo Musyoka, used her to achieve power then dumped her without anything in return.

Moi hits at Ruto for githeri feasts at State House: Kanu Vice-Chairman Gideon Moi has accused Agriculture Minister William Ruto of political doublespeak. Gideon said the Eldoret North MP Ruto has resorted to hanging onto President Kibaki’s coat tails for political survival. Gideon said it was curious that Ruto had become a key defender of the President yet he was one of his fiercest critics before and after the last General Election. More...
AFC Leopards get Sh1m from Ruto, Balala

By Gilbert Wandera, March 14 2010
Kenya Premier League (KPL) side AFC Leopards Friday received a Sh1m boost from two Cabinet Ministers. Agriculture Minister William Ruto led his Tourism counterpart Najib Balala to Railway Training Institute where they made the donation in response to an appeal launched by the club for funds. Ruto called on the club to put in place sustainable structures through which they can receive sponsorships from the corporate sector. More...

LSK supports powerful Senate: The Law Society of Kenya has opposed the weakening of the proposed Senate and county governments as suggested by PNU. The society say a strong senate is necessary to check the Executive. More...
Mudavadi gives KACC 7 days to apologise or he'll sue

By our correspondent, March 13 2010
Local Government Minister Musalia Mudavadi is threatening to sue the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) for defamation. Mudavadi, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, has written a demand letter to the commission and its Acting Director John Mutonyi. Through law firm Kaplan and Stratton, he accused the anti-corruption agency of defaming him in a report Procurement of Cemetery Land by the Nairobi City Council-Land LR No 14795/2, Machakos of March 8. The minister says the report was annexed to a letter that Mutonyi wrote to Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura on the same day, referring to the controversial cemetery land saga. More...

Dr John Mutonyi, director of KACC
Dr John Mutonyi, the acting director of Kenya Anti Corruption Agency. KACC has been accused of being used as tool to tarnish political reputations of ODM officials. Deputy PM, Musalia Mudavadi has threatened to sue him over graves scandal.
City mayor to sue Wako, KACC over graves scandal

By our correspondent, March 13 2010
Nairobi Mayor Geoffrey Majiwa has moved to court to block Attorney General Amos Wako from prosecuting him over the Sh283 million cemetery land scandal. He notified the High Court Registrar of his intention to sue KACC and the AG over the report linking him to the purchase of the cemetery land in Athi River. Majiwa will also be applying for a prohibition order stopping the anti-corruption commission from further executing a search warrant it obtained from the Kibera Chief Magistrate’s Court on March 4. Yesterday, it emerged KACC officials raided Majiwa’s residence in South C estate last weekend, and took away various documents. Pressure on Majiwa to resign over the cemetery scandal intensified despite his insistence he would not step aside. Twenty-seven PNU and ODM councillors asked him to take responsibility for the scandal and quit. More...

Kibaki, Raila bury heads in sand

By Moses Njagih, March 13 2010
President Kibaki and Raila Odinga have dismissed claims there are rifts in the Coalition Government. Speaking in Nyeri yesterday, the two principals assured Kenyans that all was well, despite differences among their lieutenants. Speaking when they made a stop over at Mweiga after commissioning the Aberdares Rhino Ark fence, the principals said the current differences between PNU and ODM would not derail constitutional review. "We are working well in the coalition. Do not be led into believing that there are differences between us," said Raila. More...

Rhino Ark, Nyeri
Preident Kibaki and Prime Minister, raila Odinga at Rhino Ark in Nyeri yesterday. Pic: George Mulala
Wekesa exempted from ministerial travel ban

By Moses Njagih, March 13 2010
Forestry Minister Noah Wekesa has been exenpted from the travel ban imposed on all 92 ministers and their assistants to travel to Doha, Qatar, to attend a convention on international trade in endangered species to be held next week. "That is an important forum and you can go and represent us. Forget that travel ban and leave us to do what we will be doing. The rest of us can remain here for the important duties," said President Mwai Kibaki. He said Kenya would be submitting a strong proposal on wildlife conservation and it was important that the minister attends the international forum. Wekesa said Kenya would maintain its stand against allowing ivory trade. More...

Kakamega man lives a pauper in Juba but is a millionaire back home

By John Oywa, March 13 2010
Joseph Mulimi from Kakamega, Western Province lives and runs his business empire in Sudan. The Standard on Saturday team on assignment in the war-battered semi-autonomous Southern Sudan watched in shock as Mulimi crept into the shack he has lived in for three years. Proud landlord Mulimi’s tent is not only an eyesore but dreadful for a man who owns property and business in a foreign country. He is a proud owner of 15 residential houses in Juba from which he earns more than Sh105,000 per month. Seven of his rented semi-permanent houses are in the city centre. Eight others are near the Juba Airport. He leased land from a Southern Sudanese and constructed temporary structures, which he rents out at, between $250 and $300 (about Sh24,000) per month. He owns carpentry and welding workshops and is a contractor for several NGOs. More...

Joseph Mulimi
Joseph Mulimi's home in Juba, South Sudan is a shack. But the man from Eshieywe rakes in Sh105,000 oer month in rent from semi permanent structures he has built in Sudan. Although he the figure of an ordinary village man while in Juba but often flies home to enjoy a cozy life with his family. Two of Mulimi’s six children are in high cost colleges in NairobiPhoto: Mbugua Kibera
National union of varsity students formed

By Alex Kiprotich, March 13 2010
University students have formed an umbrella body to unite all university organisations. The body, National University Students Union (Nusu), will comprise officials from the 42 public and private universities. It will also have one of the dean of students from any of the 42 institutions as its patron. The interim secretary general Grace Rotich said the union aims to unite university students and make it possible for them to articulate their issues. More...

Pope knew about paedo priest: The Pope was drawn directly into the Roman Catholic sex abuse scandal last night as news emerged of his part in a decision to send a paedophile priest for therapy. The cleric went on to reoffend and was convicted of child abuse but continues to work as a priest in Upper Bavaria. He was sent from Essen to Munich after forcing an 11-year-old boy to perform oral sex. More...
Mudavadi's 'linkman' grilled for seven hours over cemeteries land scandal

By Peter Leftie, March 12 2010
A businessman alleged to have delivered kickbacks to key government officials in the Sh283 million cemetery land scandal was questioned by anti-corruption detectives on Thursday. Mr Newton Osiemo, the man an investigation report claims represented the interests of Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi and suspended Local Government Permanent Secretary Sammy Kirui in the cemetery land transaction was questioned for seven hours at Integrity Centre. He drove to the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters at exactly 9.55 am with his lawyer, Mr Owino Opiyo. Three Nairobi City Council chief officers implicated in the scandal also appeared before the commission. More...

Newton Osiemo
Newton Osiemo, the businessman alleged to have been representing the interests of Musalia Mudavadi in the cemeteries land scandal yesterday after being quizzed by the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission. He is reported to have pocketed Sh59m to distribute to Mudavadi, PS Sammy Kirui & Mayor Majiwa
Doomsday man raped five daughters to protect his bloodline

By James Bone, March 12 2010
A “depraved” man said to believe that only he and his offspring would survive the end of the world is to go on trial charged with fathering six children with his own daughters. Aswad Ayinde, 51, who describes himself as a film-maker and soft-drink entrepreneur, is accused of raping five of his daughters and making three of them pregnant. Authorities describe Mr Ayinde, also known as Eric McGill, as a “blueblood” engaged in a perverse attempt to keep his bloodline pure. “He said the world was going to end, and it was just going to be him and his offspring and that he was chosen,” his ex-wife, Beverly, testified at a recent hearing. More...

Pressure mounts on Nairobi Mayor to resign over Sh283m grave scandal

By Peter Leftie, March 11 2010
With 13 officials from the Local Government ministry, Treasury and City Hall suspended over the Sh283 million cemetery scandal, pressure is now shifting to Nairobi mayor Godfrey Majiwa to step aside. Plans are reportedly already under way at City Hall to push Mr Majiwa out if he declines to step aside following his alleged involvement in the land scandal. It has been learnt that pressure on Majiwa was coming from as high an office as that of Prime Minister Raila Odinga. In a meeting at the Premier’s Treasury office on Wednesday morning, Mr Odinga is said to have told the mayor that he must take responsibility and step aside. The PM’s communications director, Mr Dennis Onyango confirmed the meeting but declined to reveal the nature of its deliberations. More...

Godfrey Majiwa
Godfrey Majiwa, mayor of Nairobi reportedly pocketed Sh11m in the cemeteries land scandal.
Police shoot 7 taxi drivers dead: Questions were being asked on Thursday under what circumstances Administration Police officers shot dead seven unarmed taxi drivers in Nairobi's Dagoretti area. The officers from the nearby AP camp are said to have shot dead the seven after taxi drivers opposed the relocation of boda boda (taxi) operators to their stage and ordered them out. The motorcyclists reportedly falsely alleged that they had been attacked by gangsters. More...
Drogba named African Footballer of the Year

By our correspondent, March 12 2010
Ivory Coast and Chelsea striker Didier Drogba (below) has been named African Footballer of the Year. Drogba scored five goals as Ivory Coast qualified for the 2010 World Cup and scored for Chelsea in the FA Cup final. Chelsea team-mate and Michael Essien and Cameroon forward Samuel Eto'o were also shortlisted for the award. More...
Didier Drogba

Silicon Valley comes to Ugenya

By Jacob Ng'etich, March 12 2010
Sega in Ugenya District is a typical dusty village with a reputation for tidit, a potent local brew. But that is changing fast and it is now transforming itself into a hub of information technology. This is all thanks to an initiative of local boys who have watched it happen overseas and now want to see it replicated at home. “My mother told me, ‘in all you do in your life, never forget where you came from’, ” says Mr James Ofwona, a Kenyan businessman based in Warsaw, Poland, who is among the brains behind the initiative. The Sega Silicon Valley is an initiative of Simba Friends Foundation, a charitable organisation Mr Ofwona founded a year ago. It is now changing lives in Sega as it imparts IT knowledge through institutions, including primary schools. Sega Silicon Valley is an ambitious initiative that aims to transform Sega village, consisting of 10,000 inhabitants, into a “Silicon Valley”, an African ICT hub comparable to the Silicon Valley in the US. More...

Sega Silicon Valley in Ugenya
Siaya Silicon Valley: Students learn computer skills at a centre in Sega village, Ugenya District run by the Sega Silicon Valley initiative, modelled on US Silicon Valley ICT hub. Right: Mr James Ofwona, who founded Sega Silicon Valley. He lives in Warsaw, Poland. Photo: Tom Otieno
KACC and NSIS accused of being used to tarnish ODM

By our correspondent, March 12 2010
As a further sign of the suspicions between the two groups, ODM accused PNU of converting the country’s national security spy and anti-corruption unit into tools to tarnish reputations and settle scores in the war on corruption. Nyong’o said the National Security Intelligence Service "is now a rogue organisation" working hand in glove with KACC to serve "partisan forces", by leaking Government documents" to misinform the country and discredit "crusaders against corruption". More...

Ann Njogu, Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton
Sandwich of powerful women: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and first lady Michelle Obama (R) present the 2010 International Women of Courage Award to Kenyan human rights activist Ann Njogu at the State Department in Washington, March 10, 2010. Ten women received the award on Wednesday, the only one within the State Department that pays tributes to women leaders worldwide. Photo:Reuters
New constitution hits an iceberg

By our correspondent, March 12 2010
What was looking like a final trouble-free ride to a new constitution after 20 luckless years is being eclipsed by another fresh row among coalition partners. Party of National Unity and Orange Democratic Movement heavyweights held separate meetings after which they locked horns as a petition to amend the Proposed Constitution already signed by 79 MPs, among them 10 PNU ministers circulated. Ruto's brigade of rebel ODM MPs from Rift Valley signed the petition. More...

Is KACC for hire to intimidate ODM?

By Athman Amran & our reporter, March 11 2010
The Kenya Anti Corruption Commission is under the spotlight. It has been alleged that the anti graft body has been infiltrated by PNU agent provocateurs to besmirch high ranking ODM officials in order to weaken the party ahead of 2012 polls. Yesterday, Mudavadi argued KACC never gave him the opportunity to defend himself against the adverse claims in line with natural justice. But KACC, instead, leaked the report to the Press before investigations were complete. In ordinary circumstances, the report would have gone to the Attorney General for possible prosecution. Mudavadi, who described himself as a victim of falsehood, alleged it was a plot by Party of National Unity to weaken ODM, through targeting him in the saga. The Local Government Minister argued some politicians might have infiltrated KACC to use it to intimidate anti-corruption crusaders. "It is unusual for a KACC report to be handed over prior to verification. Is KACC supposed to file a report to the Head of Public Service or complete the report and present it to the Attorney General first?" Mudavadi posed. More...

Largest bible by Moses Omusula
World's largest Bible: Wednesday was a big day for the Seventh Day Adventists as they received the largest Bible in the world at Uhuru Park in Nairobi. Written in 66 languages, the Bible was compiled in America by the SDA Church four years ago. The big holy book will then head to Uganda. Photo: Moses Omusula

Cardinal breaks vatican taboo on sex: A cardinal seen as a future candidate for the papacy has broken a Vatican taboo by raising the possibility that priestly celibacy is among the causes of the sex abuse scandal sweeping the Roman Catholic Church. More...
Lawyer denies being Mudavadi's agent in cemeteries saga

By our correspondent, March 11 2010
The lawyer alleged to have been the conduit for Musalia Mudavadi's share in the massive cemeteries scandal, has denied ever being the DPM's emissary. Mr Nelson Osiemo distanced himself from allegations he was acting on behalf of the DPM when he allegedly received Sh59 million for the purchase of cemetery land. "I would like to state that I have no relationship, personal or business, with Mudavadi or (suspended) PS Sammy Kirui. At no time was I ever introduced to anybody as a representative of the above. The insinuations in the purported KACC report are baseless and not supported by any facts or evidence," he said. He said the fraud was engineered between the Treasury, officers in the Ministry of Local Government, and the Nairobi City Council. "Treasury allocated and released funds in excess of Sh280 million before the land was identified, valued, and approved for purchase. Funds were illegally paid out to purported owner (s) and lawyers in June 2008 – more than six months before the sale agreement was signed," he added. More...

Cheap imports killing Nzoia Sugar Company

By Robert Wanyonyi, March 11 2010
First it was the milk glut then a bumper maize harvest and it seems sugar is joining the bandwagon. A consignment of sugar worth Sh400 million at Nzoia Sugar Company remains unsold despite a market flooded with imports. The company is in a dilemma with 120,000 bags of 90kg unsold sugar in its stores after local businessmen opted for cheap imports from Uganda, Swaziland and Comesa countries. Nzoia Sugar Company Managing Director Saul Wasilwa says they have been forced to construct an extra store to handle the excess sugar. "Although we are still on schedule in paying farmers, our swift payment programme may be disrupted if the Government does not intervene urgently," Mr Wasilwa said yesterday. More...

Saul Wasilwa
Nzoia Sugar Company is unable to sell sugar worth Sh400m because imported sugar is cheaper. Its strategic plan, launched recently by suspended agriculture PS, Dr Roman Kiome is in tatters and farmers' future destroyed.

Prince fined for Kenyan assault: A German court has fined Princess Caroline of Monaco's husband 200,000 euros (£181,200; $270,000) for assaulting a hotelier in Kenya in 2000. More...
12,000 'missing' land files found after Angote visit

By Ally Jamah, March 11 2010
Over 12,000 missing files were recovered at the Lands Ministry after PS Dorothy Angote made a surprise visit at Ardhi House. Commissioner of Lands Zablon Mabea yesterday said officials finished counting the missing files and returned them to the records office for further analysis. On March 1, operations at Ardhi House, the headquarters of the Lands Ministry, were temporarily disrupted when Ms Angote searched some of the "missing files". She caught many staffers flatfooted, as hundreds of files supposed to be in the records office were found in their desks, some dating back to 1995. "They have been using these files to demand huge bribes from the public for their files to be recovered," said Angote. The Deputy Co-ordinator of the Kenya Land Alliance Catherine Gatundu lauded Angote but urged that it be extended to lands registries countrywide. More...

Arunga charged with being a member of an illegal sect

By Evelyn Kwamboka, March 11 2010
Former TV anchor Esther Arunga has been charged with being a member of an unlawful sect. Ms Arunga yesterday pleaded not guilty a few days after she sued her parents and a psychiatrist and was released on a Sh20,000 cash bail. Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei ordered the prosecution to provide her with copies of witness statements it wishes to rely on in the case set for hearing on April 21. The charge stated that on February 20, this year at Runda Estate in Nairobi, with others not before the court, she was jointly found to be a member of an unlawful society commonly known as Finger of God Church. It is the same charge that jazz musician Nimrod Hellon Onyango, Quincy Zuma Timberlake and six others are facing. Arunga last week said she is married to Timberlake and that she was now called Esther Adongo Timberlake. She then sued her parents for subjecting her to psychiatric tests but the case was dismissed on grounds it was a family affair. More...

Esther Adongo Arunga
Esther Adongo Arunga aka Esther Timberlake, in the dock yesterday. .

Mexican is world's richest: Mexican telecom giant Carlos Slim has topped Forbes magazine's billionaire's list - the first time since 1994 that an American has not led the rankings. Mr Slim's fortune rose by $18.5bn (£12.4bn) last year to $53.5bn. That beat Microsoft founder Bill Gates ($53bn) into second place, with US investor Warren Buffett ($43bn) third. More...
Kenyan student kills boyfriend in Kampala

By Francis Kagolo, March 11 2010
A Kenyan student of Kampala International University (KIU) is held at Kabalagala Police station for allegedly stabbing her boyfriend to death. Jane Nyiha, a second-year student of bachelor’s of public administration, is accused of stabbing David Musunga Ivita in the throat, causing him to bleed to death. She was yesterday picked from her room in Kansanga, a Kampala suburb, where she allegedly committed the crime at around 11:00am. The Police also recovered a knife which she is suspected of having used in the crime. More...
Daniel Musunga
Happier times: Daniel Musunga and Janet Nyiha.

Mudavadi tables documents to prove his innocence in the cemeteries scandal

By Peter Leftie, March 10 2010
Musalia Mudavadi, the embattled deputy prime minister came out fighting over allegations that he used an emissary to obtain a cut in the Sh283 million cemetery land scandal. Addressing a press conference in Nairobi, he released documents showing that the money was paid out six months before the sale agreement was signed and denied claims that a Mr Newton Osiemo had acted as his “emissary” in the transaction and collected Sh59 million on his behalf. Addressing a Press conference after meeting officials from the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) in his office, Mr Mudavadi accused the anti-graft body of leaking a report to the media implicating him in the scam even before it had completed investigations into the affair. He tabled letters he had separately written to the anti-graft body and Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura demanding that action be taken against Local Government ministry and Nairobi City Council officials implicated in the scandal, yet no action was taken. In the first letter, dated February 17 this year, Mr Mudavadi asked KACC to take action against all those who had been implicated in the fraud by a Special Audit report of the Controller and Auditor General. More...

wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi
Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi, the deputy premier ponders his next move in the wake of revelations that he is involved in the multimillion cemeteries fraud. He has denied that he used any emissary to obtain a cut of the fraud cake.

Langata cemetery beneficiaries
MP claims Mudavadi was bribed Sh59m through a syndicate

By our correspondents, March 10 2010
Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi is under investigation by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission over the Sh283 million cemetery land fraud. KACC on Tuesday said it wants to establish whether the minister was party to the fraud in which the City Council of Nairobi bought land valued at Sh24 million for nearly Sh300 million. But Mr Mudavadi protested his innocence and said KACC was being unfair by accusing him without giving him a chance to be heard. In Parliament, an MP sensationally claimed a lawyer received Sh59 million on behalf of a senior Cabinet Minister in the purchase of the land and asked Justice minister Mutula Kilonzo to confirm to the House the allegations. Justice Assistant minister William Cheptumo promised a response to the statement on Wednesday. Mr Nelson Gaichuhie of Subukia demanded a ministerial statement in which he wants the minister to tell the House whether indeed Mr Newton Osiemo, a lawyer, represented the interests of the said minister, “who was awarded” the money in the fraudulent transaction as contained in a report by the KACC. Mr Mudavadi, through his spokesman, Mr Kibisu Kabatesi, has denied sending anyone to represent him in any transaction. More...

Wamalwa denies he is a PNU stooge out to divide Luhya vote

By our correspondent, March 10 2010
An MP has vowed to continue campaigning ahead of the 2012 General Election despite opposition from a section of lawmakers from Western Province. Mr Eugene Wamalwa of Saboti said he would not be intimidated by those opposed to his presidential ambitions. He added that he had a democratic right to contest the presidency without seeking the approval of any politician. The MP announced that he would be in Kitale on March 21 for a rally to sell his presidential policies. “I am determined to move on with my rallies and let us meet come 2012 with those in ODM who are castigating me for going for the top seat,” Mr Wamalwa told the Daily Nation. At the weekend, ODM lawmakers who had accompanied Prime Minister Raila Odinga during his tour of the Western region, launched a scathing attack on the MP, claiming that he was being used by PNU to divide Western Province voters. More...

Eugene Ludovic Wamalwa
Not for sale: Eugene Ludovic Wamalwa, the MP for Saboti who has declared his ambition to run for presidency in 2012. He fronts Simama Kenya, Jimmy Kibaki's political outfit and has recently received endorsement from William Ruto, the ODM rebel.

7th Day Adventists break ranks: The Seventh-Day Adventist Church has broken ranks with a section of Christians rejecting inclusion of Kadhi’s courts. The SDA also supported the clause on abortion, unlike other Christians who insist abortion should only be allowed if the mother is in outright danger.
21,000 squatters evicted from Kwanza farm

By Bernard Kwalia, March 10 2010
More than 21,000 squatters were evicted from a parastatal’s farm. The squatters had invaded the Sabwani Agricultural Development Corporation’s (ADC) farm in Kwanza District. Regular and Administration police officers under the command of acting district commissioner Ben Nyagaga arrested the chairman of Kiboroa Squatters’ Alliance and six other officials before expelling the invaders. The DC ordered the squatters to leave and warned those who disobeyed that they would be arrested and prosecuted. More...

Plot to rig constitution alleged: Parliament has been told to adopt the Proposed Constitution and ignore the changes made by the Parliamentary Select Committee. In a move likely to widen differences between the CoE and the PSC, Transparency International and Kenya National Commission on Human Rights also alleged a plot by politicians to manipulate the CoE’s draft. More...
Wetangula, Shitanda banned from foreign travel

By Kenneth Ogosia, March 10 2010
At least 13 Cabinet ministers have been caught up in President Kibaki’s temporary ban on foreign trips to facilitate debate on the draft constitution. Those affected include Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi, Cabinet ministers Najib Balala, Moses Wetang’ula, Anyang’ Nyong’o, Amos Kimunya, Dalmas Otieno, Henry Kosgey, Sam Ongeri, Sally Kosgei, Samuel Poghisio, Soita Shitanda, James Orengo and Charity Ngilu. Ms Kosgei was to travel to Egypt to hand over as chairman of the Council of African Ministers for Science and Technology. Kenya will, therefore, miss out on world forums as the ministers have swiftly cancelled the trips, some of which they were invited to attend as early as June last year. More...

Moses Masika Wetangula
Moses Wetangula, the foreign affairs minister (right) introduces Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni in Nairobi as information minister, Samuel Poghisio (centre) looks on. Wetangula is among 13 ministers temporarily banned from travelling abroad so that they can participate in constitutional debate in parliament.

Were, Chanzu fault Mwakwere for sacking of port boss

By Alphonce Shiundu, March 10 2010
A parliamentary panel on Tuesday criticised former Transport Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere for his move to sack the embattled boss of the Kenya Ports Authority, Mr James Mulewa. At a meeting with ministry officials, the parliamentary committee on transport termed the minister’s decision as not only unprocedural but one reeking of “malice and witch-hunt.” The committee chairman David Were (Matungu, ODM) said Mr Mwakwere’s move appeared “rushed” because he did not have recommendations from the board. More...

Lost Jewish tribe found in Zimbabwe

By Steve Vickers, March 10 2010
The Lemba people of Zimbabwe and South Africa may look like their compatriots, but they follow a very different set of customs and traditions. They do not eat pork, they practise male circumcision, they ritually slaughter their animals, some of their men wear skull caps and they put the Star of David on their gravestones. Their oral traditions claim that their ancestors were Jews who fled the Holy Land about 2,500 years ago. It may sound like another myth of a lost tribe of Israel, but British scientists have carried out DNA tests which have confirmed their Semitic origin. More...

Lemba, Jewish tribe in Zimbabwe
Lemba tribesmen in Zimbabwe and South Africa. They are one of the 12 lost tribes of Israel who migrated from Yemen 3,000 years ago.
Cemetery fraud PS suspended

By our correspondents, March 10 2010
Thirteen top officials in the ministries of Local Government and Finance have been suspended over corruption allegations. Those interdicted include Local Government permanent secretary Sammy Kirui, Mr Reuben K. Rotich (senior deputy secretary), Mr Boniface Misero (director of procurement) and Mr Herman Chevera (chief financial officer). Others are Mr Paul Ngugi, director of budget in the Ministry of Finance, Mr John Gakuo, the Nairobi River Project coordinator and former Nairobi town clerk, Mr Geoffrey Katsolleh, deputy town clerk and Mr Kanyi Njambura, director of procurement. Also in the firing line are Ms Mary Ng’ethe, director of legal affairs, Mr Karisa Iha, deputy director of legal affairs, Mr Alexander Musee, deputy director procurement, Dr Daniel Nguku, medical officer of health and Mr I.N. Ngacha, chief internal auditor. More...

Sammy Kirui
Face of corruption: Sammy Kirui, permanent secretary in the ministry of local government. President Kibaki has finally suspended him over loss of Sh260m in unsuitable cemetery transaction in Mavoko, Ukambani.
Mudavadi harshly mentioned in cemetery fraud report

By our correspondent, March 10 2010
The Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Authorities sparked outrage last week when it released a report on the purchase of the land. The report showed that City Hall disregarded the advice of the director of city planning on tender documents during the search for the cemetery land. The report, now awaiting debate in Parliament, reveals the magnitude of corruption and fraud surrounding the purchase of the land. It recommends that all officers involved be relieved of their duties and arraigned in a court. Local Government minister Musalia Mudavadi is also harshly mentioned in the report, which points out that he has not even gone to see the land. More...

Vice president escapes death narrowly as plane crash lands

By Martin Mutua, March 10 2010
Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, Cabinet Minister Naomi Shaban and two assistant ministers escaped death narrowly when a military helicopter they were travelling in developed mechanical problems. The VP and his entourage were headed to the Kenya-Uganda border to distribute 700 bags of maize and other foodstuff on behalf of the Government to victims of the recent mudslide that killed close to 300 Ugandans. The sources told The Standard the Ugandan Prime Minister Apolo Nsibambi, who was waiting for Kalonzo and his entourage, left after he spoke to the VP on telephone. Kalonzo informed him about the mechanical problem. However, as Prof Nsibambi flew to Kampala his helicopter also developed a mechanical problem and was forced to crash-land at Bukiri. More...

Kalonzo Musyoka
Lucky to be alive: Vice president Kalonzo Musyoka escaped death narrowly yesterday as his military helicopter developed mechanical probles mid air on the way to Ugandan border and had to crash land at Kabarak.
Constitutional review team operating illegally

By Martin Mutua, March 10 2010
The Committee of Experts on the constitutional review process has been operating illegally for the past two weeks, The Standard has learnt. Sources say the committee’s contract expired on February 23, when it handed over the draft constitution to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Review headed by Mandera Central MP Abdikadir Mohammed. "There has been anxiety at our offices on the manner in which we have been operating without a contract and this has caused concern," a committee member told The Standard. Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo confirmed the contract had expired but down played the issue. More...

Shitanda says coalition partners cannot pretend things are all right

By our correspondent, March 10 2010
Housing Minister Soita Shitanda has said the grand coalition must not bury its head in the sand and pretend things were all right. This follows the war of words between lieutenants of both ODM's Raila Odinga and President Kibaki's PNU over just who is the boss. "The principals must sit down and talk to each other and show united leadership and commitment to resolving issues." "When the President and the PM issue contradicting statements on how to deal with corruption, it only serves to hurt the fragile coalition," Shitanda said. "Part of the problem is also with us ministers who keep on attacking and answering each other through the media." Shitanda lamented. More...

Soita Shitanda
Hard talk: Soita Shitanda, the housing minister and MP for Malava: Grand coalition is ailing and the disease cannot be hidden or wished away anymore.
Travel ban only tip of an iceberg that could sink grand titanic

By our correspondents, March 10 2010
The undercurrents between the two blocs in the Coalition are said to stem from perception that the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Review ‘favours’ PNU while Committee of Experts ‘leans’ on ODM’s side. Though ODM has not attacked PSC, PNU has accused CoE of bias against what it called ‘majority views’ by Kenyans. Both PSC and PNU however insist they are independent and beyond reproach. Sources familiar with the latest development on the constitutional review process told The Standard President Kibaki’s move was meant to shore up sufficient support to pass the draft but after amendments. Central to the power games expected in Parliament are said to be contentions over a number of clauses in the Proposed Constitution over which PSC and CoE had differed on. More...

First woman to win a major award at the 82nd Oscars

By Johanna Shneller, March 9 2010
The producers of Sunday night’s Academy Awards show obviously were counting on Kathryn Bigelow to win best director for The Hurt Locker when they booked Barbra Streisand to open the envelope. Streisand, a showbiz icon as an actress and a singer, is also the director of three features, and she has been a long-time, vocal critic of how the Hollywood boys’ club marginalizes women filmmakers. Bigelow, whose eight features can hold their own against any action helmer’s, was only the fourth woman to be nominated for best director. Oscar knew it had a potentially historic moment on its hands, and made the most of it. As did Streisand: Upon opening the envelope, she touched her heart and breathed, “Well, the time has come,” before announcing Bigelow’s name. But if anyone was expecting Bigelow to wax emotional about the sacrifices of the women who had gone before her, as Halle Berry did in 2002 when she became the first African American to win best actress, they were sorely disappointed. More...

Kathyrn Bigelow
Kathyrn Bigelow, the first woman to win an Oscar as a movie director in the Academy's 82-year history. She’s 58 but looks nearly 20 years younger (and is currently dating Mark Boal, 36, who also won an Oscar for writing Hurt Locker.
Cyber war as China hunts West's secrets

By Michael Evans, March 9 2010
Urgent warnings have been circulated throughout Nato and the European Union for secret intelligence material to be protected from a recent surge in cyberwar attacks originating in China. The attacks have also hit government and military institutions in the United States, where analysts said that the West had no effective response and that EU systems were especially vulnerable because most cyber security efforts were left to member states. More...

Pope's brother sex apology: Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, the older brother of Pope Benedict XVI, has asked forgiveness from victims of sexual abuse at a prestigious Catholic school in Germany where he was formerly choirmaster. More...
Google to increase Kenya's digital content

By James Ratemo, March 9 2010
The Kenya ICT Board has partnered with Google to push more local content to the Internet. The partnership, which offers the Kenya ICT Board support worth Sh2.4 million, will result in a sharp increase in the size of the online community in the country and see Kenya inch closer to becoming a knowledge and information economy. Through meetings dubbed ‘Tandaa Symposium’, the collaboration aims to raise awareness on how the Internet can be relevant to Kenyans and encourage development of more local digital content. The development comes in the wake of a high profile one-week meeting in Nairobi by a global Internet corporation - the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN, a non-profit public benefit corporation, is holding its global meeting in Nairobi from March 6 to March 12. According to Kenya ICT Board CEO, Paul Kukubo (right) , these bi-monthly events will showcase successful initiatives that demonstrate the potential of the Internet for economic and social change. More...

Wilson Kibet
The late Wilson Kibet, the former chairman of Kenya Times Media Trust who died yesterday aged 62.

Paul Kukubo
Paul Kukubo from Bungoma is the CEO of ICT Board ib Kenya. He is the leading ICT technocrat in Kenya and spearheaded the ICANN conference in Nairobi.
Ex Kenya Times boss is dead

By Alex Kiprotich, March 9 2010
The former executive director of Kenya Times Media Trust (KTMT) Wilson Kibet is dead. Kibet, 62, died at the Kenyatta National Hospital. His son, Kipkemoi Kibet, said his father had been in hospital since January. "He has been in hospital for the last two months," he said. Before joining the KTMT, Kibet worked as the MD, Kerio Valley Development Authority and human resources manager at Kenya Airways. "He has been in private business since his retirement and did community services," Kipkemoi said. While at Kenya Times, Kibet defended the assets of KTMT from being disposed of by Agriculture minister William Ruto, who claimed he had injected money in the media house. More...

Leopards off to a flying start

By our correspondent, March 9 2010
Demonde Selenga scored his maiden AFC Leopards goal to guide his side to their first 2010 Kenyan Premier League victory, a 1-0 triumph over Thika United on Sunday at the Nyayo National Stadium. For 45 minutes, Leopards dominated, taking a deserved lead through the excellent Selega after 38 minutes against an initially confused, lacklustre United. More...

Kibaki mourns Kulundu

By our correspondent, March 8 2010
President Mwai Kibaki has sent a message of condolence to the family, relatives and friends of former Labour Minister Dr. Newton Kulundu who died early today at the Nairobi Hospital. President Kibaki described the late Dr. Kulundu as a patriotic servant of the people and development-conscious leader who served the country with dedication in various capacities. The President noted that as a politician and a Cabinet Minister, the late Kulundu distinguished himself as a man of courage who never allowed empty criticism divert him from his objectives. More...

Atwoli pays tribute to Dr Kulundu

Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli and former National Social Security Fund (NSSF) managing trustee Naftali Mogere mourned Kulundu saying the nation had lost a reformist. The two said Kulundu had spearheaded various reforms in NSSF and labour movement when he served as Labour minister. More...

Never afraid to lay into what he called the hypocrisy of the West, Dr Newton Kulundu hit out at the US in the presence of US ambassador, Michael Ranneberger who then refused to shake his hand when Dr Kulundu went back to sit at the high table. All caught on camera.
Ex Lurambi MP is dead

By John Ngirachu, March 8 2010
Former Cabinet minister Newton Kulundu died at Nairobi Hospital on Sunday morning. Dr Kulundu, who served as Lurambi MP, is said to have succumbed to a short illness at about 4 a.m. According to his younger brother, Prof Kulundu Bitonye, his brother fell sick two months ago. He was then taken to Kisumu's Aga Khan Hospital where he stayed for four days before being transferred to Nairobi. Dr Kulundu then underwent treatment at Nairobi Hospital until Sunday when he passed on. Prof Kulundu said plans were now underway for the funeral at his rural home. “We will soon be making arrangements to lay him to rest at Bunyala,” he said. He leaves behind a widow and six children. According to Prof Kulundu, his brother decided to avoid politics after the 2007 election and had been running his business and farming before he fell ill. The former Labour minister was born in June 1948 and was a minister in the Narc government, which came into power in 2003 after pushing out President Moi’s preferred successor, Uhuru Kenyatta. More...

Newton Kulundu
Late Dr Newton Wanjala Kulundu, former MP for Lurambi who died early this morning in Nairobi. He was 62 and came from the Luhya sub tribe of Abanyala ba Ndombi who live around Navakholo in Kakamega. He lives behind a widow and six children.

CLICK HERE to view a collection of photos of the late Dr Newton Wanjala Kulundu

Kulundu kept faith in Kibaki throughout his political career

By our reporter, March 7 2010
Dr Newton Kulundu was perhaps President Kibaki's strongest pointman in Kakamega. He joined the Democratic Party in the very beginning and was nominated to Parliament in 1992. He was then elected in 1997 and re-elected on a Narc ticket in the 2002 General Election but was swept away from the 10th Parliament by the ODM juggernaut in 2007 that ushered in a political nondescript, Athanas Manyala Keya, a former financial attache at the Kenyan High Commission in London. He had a masters degree in Public Health from Loma Linda University, a Seveth Day health sciences institution in southern California, US but his first degree in Medicine was at the University of Nairobi.

Hope amid despair is the only hope

Excerpts from a keynote speech by Dr Sophie Yohani of Alberta University during Black History Month celebrations at Africa Centre, Edmonton on Saturday February 27, 2010.

By Dr Sophie Yohani, March 7 2010
How is it possible to talk about inspiring hope when there seems to be so much suffering and despair in the world? How so, when recent economic cutbacks have put so many families in financial crisis, when earthquakes and other natural disasters leave families homeless and children parentless? How is it possible to inspire hope and activate the human capacity for resilience when some of our youth are dropping out of school and some are forgetting who they are and seeking identity in unhealthy activities?  I hope that my talk today will make you consider that it is precisely because of these situations that hope is relevant for us to talk about. It is also my hope that you will find room to consider ways to be intentional about inspiring hope in your own and other people’s lives. I want to introduce you to three aspects or qualities of hope that I have learned both in my own life experience, clinical practice and research that reveal why hope is an important life ingredient for all of us to share and practice.  These are:
Hope is intimately linked to our life experiences - Hope exists in experiences of success and adversity
Hope is nurtured in reciprocal relationships - Hope thrives in community
The dynamics of hope involve action - Hope is fuels and is fuelled by action. More...

Sophie Yohani
Dr Sophie Yohani, assistant professor, department of educational psychology at the University of Alberta giving a keynote address at the Africa Centre, Edmonton during the Black History Month celebrations on Saturday February 27 2010.
Arunga loses bid to restrain parents

By Judy Ogutu, March 6 2010
Former TV personality Esther Arunga has lost an attempt to have her parents and police temporarily stopped from ‘interfering with her rights and freedom’. High Court Judge Lady Justice Jean Gacheche declined to issue the interim orders, saying it was a mother, father and daughter matter. Arunga, whose stories have dominated media headlines, went to court claiming she feared there would arise grave violation of her rights and that she could be detained against her will. She has sued her father Dr Robert Arunga, her mother Petoline Amollo Arunga and Commissioner of Police. She wants the respondents "restrained from in any way directly or indirectly taking physical control of her unless for a cause certified by the court". More...

Esther Adongo Arunga
Esther Arunga, the troubled ex KTN anchor. She has lost a bid to restarin her parents and police from interfering in her personal freedom. According to the suit papers, Arunga says Dr Njenga informed her she was not mentally ill to warrant his attention, but was acting on her parents’ instructions.
Police graft, China blamed for fake goods underworld

By Patrick Mathangani, March 6 2010
Rampant corruption within the Kenyan police force and Kenya's new found love affair with China have been blamed for massive contraband trade that is posing a health hazard to unsuspecting consumers while fraudsters rake in billions of shillings. A detective who has been investigating the traders in Kariobangi said several weeks of surveillance revealed police have been collecting protection fees. Further, detectives said they received death threats and stern warnings to stop snooping or risk getting harmed. Once, when a contingent of police and security officers for a beer manufacturer tried to raid the premises of a counterfeiter, they discovered policemen attached to Kenya Revenue Authority had forewarned him of the raid, a detective said. Kenya’s newfound love with China has created new avenues for counterfeiting. More...

Two killed in Webuye accident

By our correspondent, March 6 2010
A pupil and a driver died in two separate road accidents on the Malaba-Bungoma road on Wednesday. The driver attached to the Teso district police boss was driving from Amagoro to the Malaba border at 11 pm when his vehicle rammed into a stationary trailer. Malaba traffic boss Fatuma Nsaphai said the driver, who was alone in the vehicle, was first taken to Kocholia district hospital and later referred to the Bungoma district hospital, where he died. In the second incident, Ms Nsaphai said the six-year-old primary school pupil died near Kocholia after she was knocked down by a car. Elsewhere, three people were admitted to the Webuye district hospital after being shot by police on Monday morning in what has been termed a case of mistaken identity. Two Administration Police officers are being held in relation to the shooting as investigations continue. Bungoma police boss Mary Omar said the three were shot after residents of Kwena in Bungoma East District called APs saying they had been attacked by robbers. More...

Malaba border where congestion and lack of parking facilities is responsible for many accidents.

BBC to close two stations

THE BBC will have to do more with less after the biggest shake-up in its 88-year history. The broadcaster has said it will close two radio stations and half its websites in a bid to save up to £600million. The changes, announced by BBC director general Mark Thompson yesterday, will mean hundreds of job losses. More...

Varsity program stalls as land is grabbed

By Galgalo Bocha, March 6 2010
A university’s academic programmes have stalled because land meant for expansion has been illegally taken over by individuals, according to an official. Prof Josphat Mwatelah, the principal of the Mombasa Polytechnic University College, said several marine courses had failed to kick off after the college’s land at Tudor Creek was allocated to a private developer. He said the 4.6 acres that had been set aside for marine engineering, environment, and other courses was illegally acquired. “We also have 4.5 acres in Tudor’s Kiziwi area but we only hold a few acres as squatters have grabbed the rest,” he said. More...

Did you know that Nyang'ori is a derogative term? More later...
New plot to deny compensation to Mau grabbers

By Kipchumba Kemei, March 6 2010
The Government is seeking title deeds for 146,800 hectares of land in the Mau Forest Complex. The latest move, which is being fast tracked, is seen as a fresh attempt to kick settlers out of the forest without compensating them. A source at the Mau Forest Secretariat said title deeds for Eburu Forest, which is the catchment area for Lake Naivasha, have been processed. He said they expect the exercise to be over in May then begin evicting settlers. "Once the title deeds are out, all those who will have encroached will have to move out," the source said on condition of anonymity. More...

Kibaki rejects law: President Kibaki has declined to assent to a proposed law that would have limited the number of Cabinet ministers to 24. The Head of State has recommended that the Bill be deferred until the new Constitution is in place, saying it would be an exercise in futility to put it into law under the current circumstances. More...
Eunice Sirankasio of Yaaku Tribe
Fighting for her language: Ms Eunice Sirankasio displays the Yakunte dictionary. Ms Sirankasio has been distributing the dictionary, a glossary of Yakunte words translated into the Maasai language, in an effort to preserve the language of her Yaaku people. Photo: Mwangi Ndirangu

Other languages classified as extinct or endangered by UNESCO include Terik, Suba and El Molo in addition to Yaaku.

Prof who never went to secondary school

Thousands of last year’s KCSE examination candidates quietly watched from the sidelines as their A-grade colleagues celebrated good results with song and dance on Tuesday. They scored average grades, but will this be the end of the road for them? Is there hope that these youngsters will one day be great men and women despite scoring average, or even poor grades? Can you guess who that is? Yes it is none other the suspended PS in education ministry, Prof Karega Mutahi. More...

Kenya's disappearing languages - only 7 Yaaku speakers left

By our correspondents, March 6 2010
The death of an elderly woman last week may have gone unnoticed to many, but to those fighting to preserve the culture of the Yaaku community, it was a big blow. Not many Kenyans have heard of the Yaaku community in Laikipia North district, or the fact that their total population is just 6,000. The Yaaku have been struggling to keep their culture, language and tradition alive, and the death of their matriach, Ms Naruato Matunge, aged 105, could not have come at a worse time. Until two weeks ago, Ms Matunge was among the only remaining eight people who could speak pure Yaaku language - Yakunte - fluently without using words borrowed from the Maasai community, which is dominant in their region. In fact, her grandson, Manasseh Rux Ole Matunge, himself a Yaaku and a Yakunte speaker, is now struggling to revive the language. All the seven people left alive who speak the language are aged over 70. Yakunte speakers occupy two administrative areas; Mukogondo and Sieku locations, and are represented in Parliament by Mwangi Kiunjuri of Laikipia East. More...

Mutula says Ocampo list of 20 is too short

By our correspondent, March 5 2010
Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo has said the 20 named as key perpetrators of post-election violence by International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo was still on the lower side. Mr Mutula said there were hundreds of crimes that were committed during post-election violence and if culprits were to be nailed, the number would go into hundreds. The Funyula MP said a strong case should first be presented about the suspects, and due procedure followed, before their names are made public. The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) welcomed the handing over of names of post-election violence suspects. And Law Society of Kenya Vice-Chairman James Mwamu said there is a lot of anxiety among Kenyans, over the names Moreno-Ocampo presented to The Hague Bench of three pre-trial judges. "The names should be revealed, since some of them hold high offices in Government," he said. More...

Moses Akaranga
Moses Akaranga, former minister for labour and MP for Sabatia. He is now vice chairman of the Humanitarian Advisory Board oversseing settlement of internally displaced persons. He said no problem if the irons sheets are stolen; they will just buy new ones!
100,000 iron sheets for internal refugees stolen

By Karanja Njoroge, March 5 2010
Could someone have carted away more than 100,000 iron sheets donated to internally displaced persons? The victims post-election violence have raised concern over the whereabouts of the iron sheets donated by the Chinese Government. The iron sheets were supposed to be distributed to IDPs in 19 camps, but only a few camps have received the materials. The intended beneficiaries are now demanding an explanation from the Government now more than ever, especially due to the bad condition of their tents and the onset of heavy rains. He said they had signed an agreement with the Government to have the iron sheets released early this year. And speaking at the camp, the Humanitarian Advisory Board Vice-Chairman Moses Akaranga said they were considering buying another batch of iron sheets. More...

Arunga marries Timberlake in jail

By Cyrus Ombati, March 5 2010
Former KTN anchor Esther Arunga plans to sue her parents and a psychiatrist for allegedly incarcerating her. Ms Arunga also announced she was joined to Quincy Timberlake in a civil marriage. Quincy is in jail. "You can marry someone who is still in jail. Let it be known I have changed my name to Esther Adongo Timberlake," she said. She claimed her attempts to escape from Bustani Community Centre for the mentally retarded were thwarted by security. She said the medical officials at the institution sedated her to detain her despite the fact that she was found to be mentally stable. She says she escaped from her parents Kileleshwa home on Thursday. More...

Esther Arunga marries Timberlake
Quincy Timberlake, the husband of Esther Arunga (inset), the troubled former KTN anchor. Other names by which Arunga's new husband are associated with are: Quincy Zuma Wambiti Timberlake or just Quincy Timberlake aka Pizzle Dogg. Officially Esther is now Mrs Esther Adongo Timberlake.
Arunga to sue parents, doctor for Sh300m

By our correspondent, March 5 2010
Troubled former KTN anchor, Esther Arunga is to sue her parents and a pyschiatric doctor for Sh300m for unlawful detention. Addressing a Press conference Thursday, Arunga said she would seek Sh300 million from her parents and Dr Frank Njenga, who she alleged attended to her.Arunga, who was accompanied by the leader of Finger of God Church Joseph Hellon at their Runda home, said she had severed links with her parents for liaising with police and psychiatrists to incarcerate her. "They should know I am a grown up with freedom to do anything and I have nothing to do with them," she said. Arunga, who is also a lawyer, displayed drafted and unstamped chamber summons and affidavits that she claimed were restricting orders against police and her parents. More...

Kibaki, Raila may be charged at the Hague

By Ben Agina, March 4 2010
It is official - the International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo is closing in on 20, not three or six prominent Kenyans, as earlier reported. But what are bound to shake the political arena are the profiles and motivations of the suspects. On the one hand is the team out to retain power, and on the other is the side seeking it. As if to point how high up he could be casting his net, Moreno-Ocampo explained those holding higher responsibility for the chaos that drove the country to the precipice in January-February 2008, were "guided by political objectives to retain or gain power". Standing before The Hague-based Bench, from which he seeks leave to pursue 20 prominent Kenyans, Moreno-Ocampo dropped the bombshell his suspects were from President Kibaki’s PNU and Raila Odinga’s ODM. More...

Foot dies: Former Labour Party leader, Michael Foot has died. He was 84. More...
Prof Njuguna Ndung'u
Prof Njuguna Ndung'u, the central bank governor at a previous function. Today he licensed the first credit reference bureau in Kenya.
MPs fault Kibaki on graft: President Kibaki found himself on the wrong side of MPs and some assistant ministers over his stance that the fight against corruption should not be “personalised or politicised.” Assistant ministers George Khaniri, Ayiecho Olweny (Muhoroni, ODM), Sospeter Ojaamong’ (Amagoro, ODM), and Richard Onyonka (Kitutu Chache, PDP) joined MPs John Mbadi (Gwassi, ODM), Nkoidila ole Lankas (Narok South, ODM), Justus Kizito (Shinyalu, ODM) and Nicholas Gumbo (Rarieda, ODM) in castigating the President for “perpetuating lip service” in the fight against corruption. More...
Kenya's first credit reference agency licensed

By Reuters, March 4 2010
Kenya licensed its first credit reference bureau on Thursday, which is seen eventually leading to lower commercial lending rates by improving credit information in the banking sector, the country's central bank governor said. For many years, Kenyan banks have had to contend with having incomplete information about borrowers, that in turn translated to higher risk premiums on interest rates. Bank industry players also say lack of credit reference information leads to a risk of overpricing low risk borrowers and underpricing high risk borrowers. More...

Best Maths teacher is a rookie: The best Mathematics teacher is 25 and only two years out of university. Mr Benjamin Kimuyu, fresh out of Kenyatta University, took over the class in Form Three and taught them for two years. That class emerged the best in the country in last year’s KCSE exams. Of the 22 students at Maasai Girls Secondary School in Ngong, Kajiado, 15 had straight As in maths. The lowest score was an amazing B-. More...
Church to mobilise faithful to reject new constitution

By our correspondents, March 4 2010
The Catholic Church could whip its followers to reject the Proposed Constitution if clauses that could be exploited by abortionists remain. The populous church reiterated its stand to oppose the Proposed Constitution if the referendum draft leaves a window for the procurement of abortion. With the statement by John Cardinal Njue, who heads the Nairobi Diocese, the church appeared to pull the plug on one of the most contentious issues in the draft that could frustrate the realisation of the two-decade dream for a new constitution. More...

Matthew Wamalwa
Matthew Wamalwa, the deputy managing director of Kenya Airports Authority at a previous function. The outgoing MD, George Muhoho is accussed of manipulating the succession process to block Wamalwa from getting the top job. Now, Kenya Human Rights Commission wants the process halted to investigate financial and procedural irregularities.
Muhoho plots against Wamalwa at KAA

By Martin Mutua, March 4 2010
The recruitment of a new Kenya Airports Authority boss should be suspended due to allegations of irregularities. Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has recommended the process be postponed until claims of bias are addressed. In a confidential letter, the commission urges the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, Public Complaints Standing Committee and Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura to investigate the allegations to ascertain whether the law was breached. KNCHR has received a report alleging irregularities in the recruitment including claims that Mr Muhoho prefers Mr Stephen Mwangi Gichuki, the general manager rather than his deputy Matthew Wamalwa to succeed him. More...

He grew up in poverty, now top student wants to become a doctor

By Joel Okwayo, March 3 2010
It was celebration time at Booker Academy in Mumias following the school’s excellent performance in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examinations (KCSE). Learning was temporarily paralysed immediately the Education Minister Sam Ongeri announced the results. The top student at the school Fred Osundwa was number eight in Western Province. Osundwa, who comes from a poor home, was on a bursary courtesy of Mumias Sugar Company. The school, which had 88 candidates sitting for the examinations, grabbed eight positions in the top 100 in the province. School principal John Wandera said 10 candidates scored A plain, while 15 obtained A minus. Osundwa hopes to study Medicine at an international university. More...

Booker Academy Mumias
Booker Academy, Mumias is wholly owned by Mumias Sugar Company. The school produced eight of the 100 top KCSE students in Western Provinnce.

Mutula defends Annan: Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo has said the country is not yet ‘out of the woods’ to warrant the sidelining of chief mediator Koffi Annan Kilonzo described as ‘busy bodies’ those calling for Annan’s withdrawal from the country’s affairs saying they do not understand the implementation of the Agenda Four process. More...
Busia leads in exam fraud in Western Province

By our correspondent, March 3 2010
There were 80 cases of exam irregularities in Western Province. Affected districts include Busia, Kakamega Central, Vihiga, Lugari, Samia, Bungoma North and Bungoma East. Busia had the highest cases of irregularities, 47 in total. There were 24 cases at Busiada Secondary School and 23 at Bujumba Secondary School.Bungoma East followed with 14 cases reported in three schools. There were three cases at Friends School, Bokoli, nine at St Mathews ACK Secondary School and two at St Cecilia Girls, Misikhu. Bungoma North had nine cases. Seven cases were reported at Chesamis High School and two at Elunya Friends School. Four cases were reported at Mbale High, three at St Austin’s Secondary and two at Ingotse High. There were 1,171 cheating candidates last year down from 1,419 in 2008 with Magena Secondary School in Gucha District topping the list with 180 cheating cases. More...

Giants of Nyanza fall to minnows

By our correspondent, March 3 2010
Maseno School continued with its dominance in KCSE in Nyanza Province and produced the second best overall student nationally. Equally in the national category Nyanza Province posted good results producing four students in the top 20 nationally and 11 students in top 100 out of which five were from Maseno. Others school with students in top 100 nationally included Mbita, Rapogi Maranda, Kanga and Sawagongo. Similarly new academic giants emerged. They include Mbita Boys, Sawagongo, St Francis Rangala and St John’s Nyamagwa Boys that produced students in the top 20 in the province. Again, Maranda, Kanga and Rapogi equally performed well in the last year’s KCSE coming second, third and fourth respectively in the province. St Mary’s Yala, Kisii High and Cardinal Otunga once academic giants are fast receding to the periphery and managed a paltry of four and one each in the top 100 students in the region respectively. More...

Maseno School
Maseno School still remains the centre of educational excellence in Nyanza. The alumni is a gliterati of Luo who is who including Barack Obama Snr and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

Wetangula still in the woods

Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula is not off the hook yet.The minister lost his bid to stop filing of a notice, seeking to appeal against a judgment that saw him retain his Sirisia parliamentary seat in November. On Tuesday, Justice Alnashir Visram said the explanation by the petitioner, Mr John Koyi Waluke, on why he delayed in serving the minister with a notice of appeal was legitimate. More...

Western's top girl aims for Harvard

By Roselyn Obala, March 3 2010
Learning was temporarily interrupted at Lubinu Primary School in Mumias District, after news of Celine Keya’s sterling performance in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Eduaction (KCSE) examination was received. Keya, who sat the exam at Lugulu Girls High School, emerged sixth nationally in the female category and the top girl in Western Province. In the region, she came second after Brian Simiyu of Musingu High School. The former student of Lubinu Primary School was joined by pupils and former teachers in celebrating her achievement. Her father Elly Keya, who is the school’s principal also congratulated her daughter. Keya, the second born in a family of seven, said she wants to pursue medicine at university. More...


african-american-baby-photo.jpgSaturday, 20th March 2010
Venue: 39 Marlborough Road, Dagenham, Essex, RM8 2HU
Time:  4pm onwards
Come and join us as we give thanks for our blessing and extend support to each other.
Susan Kadenge
Panpaper to resume operations next week

By our correspondent, March 2 2010
Pan Paper Mills will be reopened in two weeks, a Cabinet minister has announced. Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetang’ula said the President had directed the Treasury to release Sh500 million for the firm to resume operations. So far Sh190 million had been released while the remainder would be given out next week, he said. A further Sh1.1 billion would be released in the next financial year, he added. More...

One knife per circumcision candidate: Circumcisers have been advised to use one knife per person in this year’s circumcision exercise scheduled to begin in April. Bungoma District Hospital Medical Officer of Health Silas Ayunga said this would go a long way in curbing the spread of HIV and Aids. More...
Michael Malomba Mike Malomba weds Christine

By our reporter, March 2 2010
Mike Malomba of London has tied the knot with Christine Naliaka Malomba nee Hinkley at a colourful wedding ceremony in London at Church of the Ascension, Pollards Hill, Croydon, London on Saturday February 20 2010. Mike (pictured left with his bride in his arms) is originally from Hakati in Budalang'i from the Abamulembo clan but the family emigrated and now lives in Kanduyi, Bungoma.

CLICK HERE to see more wedding photos.
Angote raids lands ministry to find corruption staring at her face

By Benjamin Muindi, March 2 2010
A cartel of rogue officers at the Lands ministry was exposed on Monday when permanent secretary Dorothy Angote carried out an impromptu raid on their workstations. Officers at Ardhi House, the ministry’s headquarters in Nairobi, were found with thousands of land files which they had no reason to be holding. Ms Angote raided the Lands department, which handles files for nearly five million title deed holders, at about 10am after complaints of missing files by the public had reached alarming levels. With cameras rolling, thousands of files were found in the wrong hands as officers were allegedly in the process of soliciting for kickbacks from the owners. “This is a huge network of brokers,” Ms Angote said as she ransacked an office where a large number of files was stashed. More...

Dorothy Angote
Permanent Secretary in the Lands ministry Dorothy Angote on Monday conducted an impromptu raid that exposed rogue officials who are part of a larger network that also involves reputable law firms in town. Some 165 such firms have been linked to the illegal activitiesPhoto: Jennifer Muiruri
Mudavadi wants his PS suspended over grave graft

By Walter Menya, March 2 2010
Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi is bitter with Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura for allegedly ignoring his recommendation to suspend his permanent secretary. Mr Mudavadi wants Local Government permanent secretary Sammy Kirui suspended over his alleged role in a scandal in which the Nairobi City Council lost Sh259 million. The scandal was exposed in the Controller and Auditor General’s report in February. Mr Kirui on Monday joined the fray, insisting the issue had been politicised, with rival factions in ODM using it to step up their supremacy wars. In a letter to Mr Muthaura dated February 19, 2010, a copy of which the Nation obtained, Mr Mudavadi questioned why the head of civil service had not taken action against the indicted officers. More...

Obama health worries: US president, Barack Obama has high cholesteral levels and needs to watch his diet and quit smoking. More...
Sammy Kirui
Deputy PM and local government minister, Musalia Mudavadi (left) and his permanent secretary, Sammy Kirui at a previous press conference. Mudavadi wants the PS suspended pending investigations into the Sh260m overpaid for a new cemetery in Athi River.

83 percent of Luhya support Mudavadi for president - poll

By our reporter, March 2 2010
In our last months online poll, we asked: Which of these Luhya politicians do you think can be a president of Kenya? Eugene Ludovic Wamalwa, the Saboti MP who is fronting Jimmy Kibaki's Simama in Western Province, Silas Jirongo, the Lugari MP who hs teamed up with his Youth for Kanu soulmate and ODM renegade, William Ruto and Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi, the MP for Sabatia who is also the deputy prime minister and minister for local government. The results are: Mudavadi 83 per cent, Wamalwa 14 percent and Jirongo three percent. Total votes cast 119.

Chilean earthquake: Thousands more troops have been deployed in towns across Chile as security forces battle to contain the mass looting and unrest that followed Saturday's devastating earthquake and tsunami. President Michelle Bachelet has doubled the number of troops patrolling the worst-hit areas to 14,000, as an overnight curfew in the city of Concepción was prolonged by six hours until midday. More...
Khalwale, Kombo dissociate themselves from new party

By our correspondent, March 2 2010
A new political movement formed by PNU affiliate parties as a vehicle for the 2012 elections has run into obstacles barely four days after its launch. The Progressive Democratic Movement has been rejected by four parties named as being among its fold. The Democratic Party, Ford Kenya, Narc Kenya and New Ford Kenya distanced themselves from the movement. Some PNU officials also dismissed PDM and said their party would win the next election. The movement was announced after a retreat of PNU affiliate parties in Naivasha at the weekend. DP national chairman Wilfred Machage said the party had nothing to do with PDM and would go it alone in the next general election. Ford-K chairman Musikari Kombo said the party would only form a coalition with others after the elections. Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale, of New Ford-K, accused Mr Murungi and PNU MPs of failing to consult affiliate parties before making the key announcement. More...

Wetangula accused of living in old Kanu days

By Martin Mutua, March 2 2010
National Assembly Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim has told off Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula for calling on a parliamentary committee to investigate his activities while on official duty abroad. The Deputy Speaker said he led a delegation of parliamentary committee that visited Somaliland in December and would this week present a report before the House on the tour. "I have no obligation to write to Mr Wetang’ula or the Executive over my trip because Parliament works independently from the Executive," he said. "Wetang’ula still lives in the old Kanu days, which he misses and cherishes so much when ministers used to summon MPs and the Speaker at will. Parliament is independent at least for now and he should let go his dreams of the Kanu days," he added. More...

David Gitari
Former Anglican Archbishop David Gitari has defended embattled TJRC Chairman Bethwel Kiplagat. With him at a press conference in Nairobi Monday, is Dr Agnes Abuom. Photo: Boniface Okendo

President's widow arrested: The widow of former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, whose assassination triggered the Rwandan genocide, has been arrested in France. Agathe Habyarimana is accused by the current Rwandan government of helping to plan the 1994 genocide. More...
Gitari defends Kiplagat, tells Tutu to shut up

By David Ochami, March 2 2010
Former Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop David Gitari has defended embattled TJRC Chairman Bethwel Kiplagat. The cleric also accused retired South African Anglican primate Desmond Tutu of tarnishing Kiplagat’s reputation. Gitari said Kiplagat should not resign as demanded by "Tutu and his friends", arguing the former PS was one of the good people to serve under the Kanu government, and he should not be victimised by "other people only interested in his job". Gitari was accompanied by Dr Agnes Abuom from the World Council of Churches. More...

Uganda landslide kills 100: More than 100 people have been killed in a landslide in the mountainous eastern region of Bududa in Uganda, a minister has told the BBC. Minister for Disaster Preparedness Musa Ecweru has gone to the area to assess what help is needed. More...
Tribe % in Top 100 Pop %
Kikuyu 27 22
Luo 22 13
Kalenjin 12 12
Luhya 10 15
Kamba 10 11
Kisii 6 6
Meru 5 6
Somali 3 3
Swahili 2 5
Maasai 2 1
Other 1 6
Luhya intellectual stock degenerates

By our reporter, March 2 2010
The just released Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examinatioin results reveal a pattern of educational disparity consistent with overall economic inequalities across Kenya's tribal groups. The Luhya who form 15 percent of the Kenyan population, produced only 10 percent in the Top 100 candidates while the Kikuyu with 22 percent of population ran away with 27% in Top 100 and Luos with 13% of population achieved the largest ratio with a variance of postive 7. The Kisii, Kamba, Meru, Somalia and Maasai were evenly matched. There are various reasons why educational opportunities are skewed in Luhyaland's disfavour not least under investment and neglect of the province by successive governments.

Western giants fall

An analysis of the KCSE results just released, indicates that Western Province performed well below par. The old big schools like Kakamega High, Butere, Bunyore and Kaimosi did not produce a single Top 100 candidate. The only salvation came from Musingu and Lugulu.

Musingu, Lugulu are tops in Western

By Shad Bulimo, March 2 2010
Top schools in Luhyaland failed to live up to their academic reputation. Out of the top 10 students in this year's Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examinations (KCSE), only Musingu Boys produced a top ten student - Bryan Musungu. Out of the girl schools, Lugulu Girls in Bungoma produced Selline Keya who came in at Number 30 in teh top 100 candidates nationwide. However, the top Luhya candidate was Edwin Mugema Wekesa from little known Weiwei Secondary School in Rift Valley was sixth overall. Western Province giants like Kakamega High, Butere Girls, Bunyore Girls and Kaimosi Girls did not produce any top 100 candidate. Nearby Maseno Boys produced the second best in the country - Trevor Mokaya Omangi and 11th, Joseph Odhiambo K'Oyoo, 15th Rodgers Otana Ochieng, 26th David Okatch and 99th Eddy Onditi Onyango.

Trevor Omangi Mokaya
Top candidate: Trevor Mokaya Omangi of Maseno School celebrates after learning of his victory in the just-released 2009 KCSE examination results. He is the second best student countrywide. Out of top ten students, two are Luhya - Bryan Musungu from Musingu and Edwin Wekesa from Weiwei in Rift Valley. Photo: Tabitha Atwori
Edwin Wekesa puts Weiwei secondary on national map

By Kipkirui K'Telwa, March 2 2010
Although results of Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examinations are usually predictable, this year Wekesa Edwin Mugema put his little known Weiwei Secondary School in Rift Valley on the national map when he secured the sixth position nationally with 87.199 per cent against 87.26857 per cent scored by the leading candidate, David Ndung’u’ of Mangu. Consequently Weiwei candidate top Rift valley’s top 100 list. Whereas the leading boy scored 87.26857 per cent, the leading girl had 87.16014 per cent. Trevor Omangi, the second student nationally is Nyanza’s best student in a list dominated by Maseno School. No girl made to the top ten list according to the 2009 KCSE examination results. Instead, Njunge Grace Wambui of Moi Girls High School Eldoret, shared the 11th position with K’Oyoo Odhiambo Joseph of Maseno School. More...
CLICK HERE to download the KCSE top 100 candidates results.

Luhya leaders warn political scavengers

By our correspondents, March 1 2010
A section of Western Province leaders have told presidential aspirants seeking votes from the region to keep off, maintaining they would field one of their own. Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula and MPs Cyrus Jirongo and Chris Okemo said it was the region’s turn to take the leadership mantle of the country. "We are tired of supporting others and always end up being number two. We are the second largest community and this should be translated into votes," said Mr Wetang’ula. The three, who have each declared their interests in the top seat, said they would support the person residents will pick to go for the top seat in 2012. They made the remarks in the presence of ODM MPs Paul Otuoma and Alfred Odhiambo. But separately, Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito said ODM was the party of choice for many Luhyas and they were waiting for 2012 to front Musalia Mudavadi. More...

Justus Kizito
Justus Kizito, the Shinyalu MP. He says Luhya's political interests are best served through ODM rather than PNU.

Ambassador Esipila indisposed: Franklin Esipila, Kenya's ambassador to Ethiopia is indisposed. Mr Esipila from Bunyore is in Nairobi receiving specialised treatment, the nature of which has not been disclosed, according to reports.
Kenya loses out to Rwanda

By Macharia Kamau, March 1 2010
Local terrestrial fibre optic cable networks may not measure up to global industry standards. This has forced investors to bypass the country as they set shop in Rwanda, a country that has fast established itself as the regional ICT hub. Experts now warn that due to inadequate skills among telecom technicians, the country’s fibre optic infrastructure risks facing continuous difficulties, which eventually hurt users. More...

Kalenjin MPs ditch ODM

By our correspondents, March 1 2010
The stage is set for a political alliance between President Kibaki’s allies and Rift Valley leaders, the Nation can now reveal. MPs in Agriculture minister William Ruto’s camp said that they had burnt their bridges with Orange Democratic Movement party leader Raila Odinga. And they chose a function to install Nakuru Catholic Bishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba, which was attended by the President, to make public their intentions. More...

New cemetery: Corrupt officials loot Sh260m

By our correspondents, March 1 2010
The ugly spectre in which the City Council of Nairobi bought a rocky patch of land ostensibly as a new public burial site continues to unfurl itself with fresh revelations of overpayment by Sh259 million. The shocker in the one-day deal as dug out by Controller and Auditor General reads: "In one single day, senior officers in Ministry of Local Government (MOLG) fast-tracked the deal for the purchase." He goes on to report on June 27, 2008, MOLG’s state counsel E N Torome requested the purchase of 75 acres (not the 120 acres later purchased) at Sh4 million per acre. More...

Langata Cemetery
Pall bearers carrying a coffin of their beloved one from Nairobi City Mortuary for burial. Langata Cemetery, the only burial ground in Nairobi is full. However, new land bought in Athi River has started off on a wrong note. The purchase was inflated by Sh260m.
Auditor General blames Kibaki's office of abetting corruption

By our correspondents, March 1 2010
As the drama surrounding a new burial site for those who have chosen Nairobi as their final resting place plays out, the blame game storm over culpability for corruption flies between City Council of Nairobi (NCC) - which is trying to exorcise itself of ghost workers - and Ministry of Local Government. "There appears to be a major choice high up in government to cover-up and protect the culprit officers in NCC and MOLG. Indeed, it appears that while President Kibaki insists that the law must apply in fighting corruption, his office is intent on defeating the war against corruption,’’ concludes the Controller and Auditor General in his special report on the ongoing saga. More...

PNU plots to get Annan sacked by AU

By our correspondent, March 1 2010
President Kibaki's party, PNU is plotting to get Kofi Anan and his team of Africa's Eminent Persons overseeing his coalition government with Raila off his back. This follows Raila’s petition to Annan intervene after Kibaki reversed his decision to suspend ministers William Ruto and Sam Ongeri pending investigation into corruption in their respective portfolios. Emboldened by the split in ODM and certain of Ruto-allied MPs backing in the House, PNU dispatched foreign affairs minister Moses Wetang’ula to the AU headquarters on February 19, to lobby AU chairman, Jean Mr Ping into disbanding the Annan team. Kibaki is believed to be uneasy with the oversight role by the AU and the Annan team. Kenya embassy staff in Addis Ababa confirmed to The Standard on Sunday that Wetang’ula held talks with Ping from 7am before returning to Nairobi aboard Ethiopian Airlines, which touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 9am on the same day. The meeting was held without Franklin Esipila, Kenya’s ambassador to Ethiopia and the AU. He is in Nairobi for specialised treatment. More...

Farah Maalim
Deputy Speaker, Farah Maalim. Foreign Affairs minister, Moses Wetangula wants him investigated over remarks he made in Somalia that verged on inflammatory.

PNU resurrects as PDM

By Macharia Mwangi, March 1 2010
The Party of National Unity coalition of parties will transform into a unified political movement in readiness for the upcoming referendum and 2012 General Election. PNU secretary-general Kiraitu Murungi said the movement, known as Progressive Democratic Movement (PDM), will comprise individual and corporate members and national and grassroots structures. More...

Wetangula wants deputy House Speaker investigated

By David Ochami, March 1 2010
For the first time in the country’s history, Parliament will investigate a Deputy Speaker for his activities while on official duty abroad. Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula has written to Parliament’s Defence and Foreign Relations Committee to investigate Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim’s activities on a tour of Somaliland in December last year. The cause is key speeches he is alleged to have made that reportedly promoted separatism in Somalia and fostered ethnic disharmony between Somaliland and Puntland. More...

Kenya sued in UK for breach of Sh121m contract

By Gitau wa Njenga, March 1 2010
A Kenyan lawyer based in the United Kingdom has become the first person to sue a Commonwealth country in a British court. Mr Ronald Onyango, 36, enjoined the Republic of Kenya and the Kenya High Commission in London in a suit over Sh121 million (£1 million) allegedly owed to him. Mr Onyango set the legal precedent after the UK High Court ordered that Kenya be named the second defendant in a civil suit he had brought against the High Commission in London on May 28, 2009. The mission is named as the first defendant. More...

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