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Evans Wadongo, the CNN hero wins a Gorbachev award

By Dave Opiyo, March 31 2011
He was last year feted for inventing the first ever-solar lantern. He has now added another feather to his cap. The sky appears to be the limit for young Evans Wadongo, a Kenyan entrepreneur who has once again made history after he was named one of three winners of the inaugural Gorbachev awards for “people who have changed the world” at a star-studded event in London on Wednesday. The 25-year-old Wadongo, the CNN 2010 Hero, joined the founder of CNN Ted Turner and Timothy Berners-Lee, credited with inventing the World Wide Web in receiving the award at the gala event. The three were personally selected by Mikhail Gorbachev, the former leader of the Soviet Union, and honoured during the event to celebrate his 80th birthday at the Royal Albert Hall. “These three people have each, in their own way, changed the world for their fellow men and women in ways which affect all our lives,” Gorbachev said in a news release. Had not expected award An elated Mr Wadongo told the Nation in a telephone interview from London that he did not expect the award. He is expected to return to the country on Thursday before setting off again tomorrow for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to attend an African Union Youth Summit. He was hesitant to disclose any monetary rewards, only saying he has a certificate to show for his recognition. Mr Wadongo invented the first solar-powered lantern back in 2004. More...

Evans Wadongo
Oops! I did it again: Evans Wadongo, the CNN hero of teh year nominee last year, has done it again. He was one of three people to win the inaugrural Gorbachev Award in London. When you compare and contrast him with the two other winners, you begin to get a sense of the scale of his achievement. The others were CNN founder, Ted Turner and Timothy Berners-Lee, the founder of the world world web. His is from a humble background from the backwaters of Malava in Kabras, North Kakamega District. He is a graduate of engineering from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). He was honoured at an All Star Tribute show in Hollywood by Oscar winning actress, Halle Berry.
Three in critical condition as truck crashes into a Bungoma building

By David Indeje, March 31 2011
A serious accident occurred today (Thursday) evening leaving three people critically injured when a truck lost control and hit a building along the Bungoma- Kanduyi road near the West Gate hotel. The driver of the truck slammed into a building, ripping it in two and injuring his turn boy. Eye witness at the scene of the accident said that the driver that the driver of the truck had swerved to avoid hitting a bicycle rider with his passenger who were trying to pass him along the narrow tarmacked road. Otieno Francis an eye witness said that the accident had occurred minutes after heavy down pour where the truck driver had tried to overtake a car that had been parked besides the road without any hazard sign before the bicycle rider tried to pass him. “The truck driver in his bid to pave way to the bicycle rider, it seems that he lost control, probably because of faulty brakes before ramming into the nearest building,” said Otieno. However, resident around where the scene accident occurred alleged that the driver and his turn boy were under the influence of alcohol when he lost control of the truck before the crash. It took the police and the good Samaritans more than 30 minutes to rescue the driver who had been sandwiched within his seat before he was rushed to the Bungoma District hospital. The police used all kinds of tools from axes, timber to break into the truck to save the life of the driver who was bleeding and screaming for his dear life. More...

West Gate Hotel
The driver of this truck lost control and ploughed into a shop along Bungoma-Kanduyi road. Three people are in critical condition. Photo: David Indeje

KNUT aspirants play tribal card for votes

By Leonard Wamalwa, March 31 2011
With less than one month left for teachers in Trans Nzoia County to elect their new Kenya National Union of Teachers branch officials, aspirants are using tribal politics as a major tool for soliciting votes with one dominant group being targeted by other communities that have not been featuring much in the Union’s leadership. It has been established that most of the upcoming candidates for the major seats are targeting to unseat the incumbent officials who are said to come from one ethnic community thus prompting alliances and alignments to bring to an end the community's dominance. The elections have drawn the attention of education officers and some prominent politicians from the region who are said to be offering sponsorship to prospective candidates. More...

Western councils accused of practicing mega corruption

By Joel Okwayo, March 31 2011
Local authorities in Western Province have faced criticism over the implementation of the Local Authority Transfer Fund (LATF) as claims emerge of mega corruption in the awarding of tenders. Whistle blowers claim chief officers and councillors have turned the fund meant to improve services into a cash cow, as they arm twist contractors to bribe them before winning tenders. A recent report by the National Tax Association (NTA) cited widespread misuse of LATF in the region. Busia Municipal Council, for example, is accused of failing to account for more than Sh1.2 million it received in 2006/2007 financial year. The council received more than Sh17 million during the financial year, out of which six per cent went missing. The report indicates that ghost projects accounted for Sh1.2 million. NTA Western Regional Co-ordinator Belinda Nekesa notes that residents were worried that their taxes are not being used effectively, as some projects have stalled. Ms Nekesa cited a case where a school in Busia town was allocated Sh600,000 for construction of classrooms, but only received Sh200, 000. The difference cannot be accounted for. More...

Breaking News...

Kenyan prisoners to get conjugal rights

omena fish
Omena fishing has been unbanned.

Ban on omena lifted

By Justus Ochieng, March 31 2011
The government has lifted the annual ban on fishing of omena that normally lasts from April to August. Nyanza Regional Director of Fisheries Michael Obadha said the government made the decision at a consultative meeting following a plea from the fishing communities and other stakeholders. The lifting of the ban is due to the adverse dry spell especially in some parts of Nyanza where fishing is the main economic activity. Obadha urged the fishermen to practice good fishing methods outlined by the fisheries department. “I therefore appeal to fishermen in this region to appreciate the government gesture and to uphold the use of the recommended fishing nets,” he said. More...

Kakamega doctor hides body of woman who died during an illegal abortion

By John Kabaka, March 31 2011
Police in Kakamega have commenced a manhunt of a doctor whose client passed on in an abortion procurement exercise. Wilkister Khavetse a last year’s student at Lugalla secondary school and scored grade C- died while undergoing the vice in the hands of Dr Maleche. “This is to confirm to you that we are investigating an incident that took place at the Highway Nursing hospital whereby it is believed that a lady by the name Wilikister Khavetse died while undergoing abortion,” said Kakamega chief police officer Joseph Omijah. According to the reports the lady was taken to the hospital by her mother to freeze out the innocent creature. “The lady was brought to the hospital by the mother to procure abortion and on arriving the lady was attended to by Dr.Maleche who is also the owner of the hospital and a senior doctor as well,” stated Omijah. The 18 year old and former Lugalla secondary school student died in the process of the ill informed doctor. In realizing that the lady was no more, the Dr. Maleche hid the the body in one of the rooms in the hospital next to the theatre, Mr Omijah said. The deceased's mother, Jane Namisi, also fled on realizing that her daughter had died. More...

Tanzania's 'magic herb' discovered by Kenyan scientists 4 years ago

By Gatonye Gathura, March 30 2011
The ‘magic herb’ that has made thousands of people flock to remote Loliondo village in Tanzania was identified by Kenyan scientists four years ago as a cure for a drug-resistant strain of a sexually transmitted disease. An expert on herbal medicine also said yesterday the herb is one of the most common traditional cures for many diseases. It is known as mtandamboo in Kiswahili and it has been used for the treatment of gonorrhoea among the Maasai, Samburu and Kikuyu. The Kamba refer to it as mukawa or mutote and use it for chest pains, while the Nandi boil the leaves and bark to treat breast cancer, headache and chest pains. Four years ago, local researchers turned to the plant for the treatment of a virus that causes herpes. Led by Dr Festus M Tolo of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri), the team from the University of Nairobi and the National Museums of Kenya found the herb could provide alternative remedy for herpes infections. “An extract preparation from the roots of Carissa edulis, a medicinal plant locally growing in Kenya, has exhibited remarkable anti-herpes virus activity for both wild type and drug resistant strains,” they reported in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. “The mortality rate for mice treated with extract was also significantly reduced by between 70 and 90 per cent as compared with the infected untreated mice that exhibited 100 per cent mortality.” The researchers reported that the extract did not have any negative effects on the mice. Mrs Grace Ngugi, head of economic ethnobotany at the National Museums of Kenya, said the plant was not poisonous as feared earlier. More...

Magic plant: This is the plant whose extract retired Tanzanian cleric, Ambilikie Masapila, has used to attract thousands of people to his rural village of Loliondo, near Arusha. Known as mtandamboo in Kiswahili, the Loliondo ‘wonder drug’. Studies show extracts from the plant can cure various diseases, including a drug-resistant form of herpes virus and chest pains.

Lugari long queues for birth certs cut short

By Joseph Amunya Otieno, March 30 2011
Long queues of parents seeking birth certificates witnessed in front of registration offices countrywide has been curtailed in Lugari district following the deployment of adequate staff. According to the District Registrar of Deaths and Births Jean Nekesa, few applicants now come to their offices for the documents. She said her officers have developed a mechanism that ensures applicants are served and issued with the documents immediately to avoid crowding. “We first serve applicants whose children are candidates”, she said adding that the move has eliminated winding queues that were almost turning into permanent features in front of their offices. More...

Radical changes in sugarcane payments

By Kepher Otieno, March 30 2011
Sugar cane farmers will now be paid based on sucrose content as defined in the Sugar Act 2001. This was the resolution reached yesterday by Kenya Sugar Board, millers and farmers’ representatives during the review of cane pricing payment. This means millers will now pay farmers for cane delivered according to sucrose content, not tonnage. Currently, farmers are paid depending on tonnage, which is averagely Sh3,200 a tonne. Yesterday, the Cane Pricing Committee (CPC) that brought together the Kenya Sugar Millers Association (Kesma), Kenya National Sugarcane Growers (Kesga), Kenya Sugar Research Foundation (Kesref) and the Sugar board consented to the new pay formula. Kesma officials reportedly feared the current system was prone to legal challenges because the Sugar Act did not back it. They agreed to abandon the formula and stick to the confines of the Act. Initially, Kesma officials agreed they adopt a simplified formula to ensure farmers benefit directly from improved sugar prices. "We met and agreed to implement the new formula and we are now duty bound to explore viable ways to speed up the new pay order," said Muhoroni Sugar Managing Director Martin Owiti. More...

Mumias Sugar
Harvesting cane in Mumias. Sugarcane farmers will now be paid according to the sucrose content in their crop rather than by tonnage according to a resolution reached between Kenya Sugar Board, millers and farmers representatives.

Kibaki releases 7,000 prisoners

By Athman Amran, March 30 2011
President Kibaki has released 6,942 prisoners to decongest penal facilities. According to a press release from Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua, the President signed the order to release the 3,050 petty offenders, 2,828 first time offenders of good conduct, and 1,064 ordinary prisoners of good conduct two days ago. "This is in keeping with a reform programme by the Government through the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure that our jails are not crowded," Mutua said. Dr Mutua said the Government is holding 51,286 people either as convicted prisoners or suspects in remand. More...

UK tightens visa rules for Kenyan students

By Samwel Siringi, March 30 2011
Foreign students will find it tougher to study and work in the United Kingdom from next year. The UK government has introduced stricter entry rules aimed at limiting students’ stay and curbing illegal immigration. The tougher entrance criteria also limits work entitlements. Students will also find it harder to invite their dependants to the UK under the overhauled student visa system announced by Home Secretary Theresa May. Last year, the UK issued 866 visas to Kenyan students in the “Tier 4 Category”. More than 90 per cent of these were issued to students attending good quality universities and independent colleges, mainly at degree level or above. The new system, said Ms May, is designed to ensure “students come for a limited period to study, not work, and make a positive contribution while they are here”. She said the new rules will minimise abuse of the student immigration system. Starting in April next year, all institutions wishing to send students to the UK will have to be “highly trusted sponsors”. The current system does not have the sponsorship rule and allowed too many poor quality colleges to become sponsors, said Ms May. More...

In Busia truck drivers only stop to drink and buy girls

By Lorraine Anyango, March 29 2011
Muhammad Bwire lives on the road. He spends up to seven days before getting to his destination, driving a 24-wheel truck from Kampala to Mombasa. He has been on the road for seven years now. “We only stop to fill up at petrol stations, drink alcohol and later buy girls,” says the 50-year-old driver. Though he has a wife and five children, he has five to eight girlfriends in towns along the highway. “When we are on the road, far away from home, it gets lonely. We need someone to talk to, and to entertain us. That is why we get women,” he said. Mr Bwire has company. Many truck drivers are exposed to a lifestyle that comes with the risks of contracting HIV in Busia Town, at the border with Uganda. Busia and its environs has a prevalence rate of 7.4 per cent, against the national rate of 6.3 per cent. Wellness Centre It’s this population that a new 24-hour road-side clinic, Busia Wellness Centre, is now serving for free, in a bid to reduce the HIV prevalence rate. The second one of its kind in Kenya after Malaba, the clinic was put up at a cost of Sh2.4 million by the International Organisation for Immigration (IOM) and the National Aids Control Council (NACC). The organisations are also targeting the hard-to-reach population and vulnerable people such as police officers in remote areas, boda boda cyclists and prostitutes. The clinic located at the heart of Busia Trailer Park comes in handy for neighbouring villagers who no longer need to walk long distances to a HIV clinic. More...

Busia Wellness Centre
The newly opened Busia Trailer Park Wellness Centre which opened last week is a free health service targeting mobile operators like truck drivers, boda boda cyclists, prostitutes and rural police officers. It is a partnership between International Organisation for Migration and National Aids Control Council. Photo: Lorraine Anyango

UN gives Kenya 73 million condoms aid

By Harold Ayodo, March 29 2011
United Nations has dispatched a consignment of 73 million condoms to address the contraceptive’s shortage in Kenya. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) deputy representative Alexander Ilyin said 34 million condoms will arrive on April 8 in Mombasa. "The ship with the contraceptives is already on voyage to the port of Mombasa while the second one will dock with 39 million condoms on May 11," Ilyin said. He said the two consignments were part of an emergency response to the current shortage of free condoms in some parts of the country. UNFPA dispatched the contraceptives after Public Health Minister Beth Mugo appealed to the US for support to procure 45 million condoms in the next two months. More...

Angry boda boda burn houses in Bumala over theft of cycles

By Frankline Bwire, March 29 2011
More than 5 houses were burnt down by angry BodaBoda operators in Bumala location, Busia County following the rampant increase of motorbike theft in the area. The houses said to be the storage centre for stolen items were burnt to ashes, leaving no item salvaged by the owners, who took off for their safety during the incident. James Ouma a resident in the area revealed that several BodaBoda operators were losing their motor-bikes to thieves who had taken it as a business to themselves. He added that most people in the area were leaving in fear due to the increased insecurity cases, accusing the police officers of being lazy to undertake their duties in accordance. “Whenever an alarm is raised by the public, they would reach the area hours after the thieves have left,” he said. The area councillor of Marachi West ward Mr. Patrick Gomba, said that new police officers posted at the Bumala police station were few and slowly familiarizing themselves with the area. He added that the area had no patrol vehicle that could aid in the quick response to issues of security, more so in the remote areas. Residents from Bumala, Bujumba and Marachi which are the mostly affected areas are calling upon the government to intervene the insecurity issue that has continued to take control. However, the BodaBoda operators have vowed to continue with the fight against motor-bike thieves to ensure they narrow down the number of those involved with the acts. Their move comes some few days after; a motorbike thief was beaten to death by the area residents at Bumala market. More...

Masebula village, Bumala
One of the houses burnt down by an irate mob of boda boda operators in Bumala who say theft of their motorcycles is rampant in the area thus putting them out of business. Photo: Frankline Bwire

Crime linked to idle youth in Bungoma

By Protus Wangila Simiyu, March 29 2011
The chairman of Namalukwa Brotherhood Self Help Group, a Community Based Organization (CBO) in Bungoma County Leo Wekesa Wanyonyi has called on leaders to empower the youth economically in order to be self reliant in life. Mr. Wanyonyi said for too long leaders have neglected the youth, instead have opted to use them to achieve their selfish political ambitions. He revealed that crime in the region is on the uptrend since majority of the youths are jobless and idle hence finding solace in criminal activities. The chair wanted parents in the county to empower their children through education as the best legacy ever without relying on land inheritance which is becoming scarce in the area. ‘’Knowledge is power,’’ Mr. Wanyonyi asserted. He said time is ripe for people in the villages to wake up from slumber and form groups to establish income generating projects without relying on politicians. More...

Radical changes for entry into police force announced

By Cyrus Ombati, March 29 2011
You will have to endure longer and more intensive training if you want to become a police officer. According to a new curriculum, 10 per cent of the recruits have to be university graduates. The new group of recruits to join the forces in May will undergo 15 months training for constables, while cadets will be in college for 21 months. These include a compulsory three-month internship, which has been introduced. Previously, training took nine and six months for the two groups respectively. The recruits will be required to have a mean grade C plain in KCSE up from D plain. "The mean grade will be C except for places where there will be none. That, however, has to be exceptional for the recruits to be taken and the issue of gender has to be observed," said Internal Security Minister George Saitoti when he launched the curriculum at Kenya Airways Pride Centre, Nairobi, Monday. Officers will be trained in management, research methodology, judicial procedure, information security management, psychology, cyber crime, customer care, human rights, security and safety in general. More...

40,500 women raped during election violence

By Carol Gakii, March 29 2011
More than 40,500 women and children were sexually assaulted countrywide during the 2007-2008 post election violence. A city based Crime Scene Investigation agency says in Nairobi alone approximately 500 women and girls were sexually assaulted, 95% of whom were assaulted by an average of three people. More...

Oku Kaunya
Oku Kaunya, the former deputy Nyanza PC who fled the country last year fearing for his life has been replaced by a fellow Teso, Arthur Osiya.

Kenya Police Officer
A fat Kenya Police Officer on duty. They come in all sizes and shapes but now new rules require police recruits to have higher qualifications (minimum Grade C) at KCSE. In addition, 10% of recruits will be university graduates. The training period at Kiganjo Police College and Kabete has been increased from 6 and 9 months to 18 and 21, respectively.
Exiled former deputy PC, Kaunya replaced

By our correspondent, March 29 2011
Former Nyanza Deputy PC, Oku Kaunya has formally been replaced, over one year since he left the country fearing for his life. His place has been taken over by long serving District Commissioner, Arthur Osiya who was until his elevation the Rongo DC in Kisii. The government decided to replace Kaunya with his kin apparently to defuse tension from the community which would have felt marginalized had he been replaced by a person from another community. Teso leaders have lauded the move by the government to replace the former regional commissioner with a person from the community. Area MP, Sospeter Ojaamong said Osiya was the senior most in the provincial administration from the community and deserved to replace Kaunya as the regional commissioner. However, Ojaamong who is also the Labour Assistant Minister said the government had yet to meet the demands of the community fully of appointing them to other senior positions in the government like Permanent secretaries, ambassadors and parastatal heads. After receiving death threats from unknown people, Kaunya slipped out of the country in April last year claiming he needed medical treatment for a kidney problem. His whereabouts remains a mystery but he believed to be in Europe. Last December, security was put under high alert when Kaunya confirmed he would attend his masters’ degree graduation ceremony at the University of Nairobi. Having confirmed his coming, a seat was reserved for him at the graduation square but he was nowhere to be seen. Kaunya headed the AP Training College which, according to the Waki Report, was a central link in the disruption of the December 2007 elections. More...

Bungoma villagers demonstrate against Israeli firm for abducting women

By Wanyonyi wa Wasike, March 28 2011
HUNDREDS of residents demonstrated in Bungoma County to protest against officials of a road construction company for allegedly abducting women and subjecting young girls to prostitution. The demonstrators blocked the Bungoma-Malaba road for over two hours, paralyzing transport along the busy highway that links Kenya to Uganda and other Eastern, Central and Southern African countries. Singing songs admonishing officials H. Young Company, a foreign firm that won the tender to construct the Eldoret-Bungoma-Malaba Highway, the angry demonstrators claimed that the officials of the company were being involved in acts of rape and abduction of women against local women. “Right now as we speak, two of our women have become the latest victims. One is admitted in hospital while another one has reported the matter to the police but no action has been taken against the culprits,” said John Wekesa. They marched to the company’s recruitment office at Buema along the highway and threatened to come back and set it ablaze if the police fail to address their grievances. The demonstrators said the office was acting as a mere conduit to lure women and young girls into prostitution as it was not employing anyone from the area. They were irked by a recent incident whereby a teacher at a nearby private school was allegedly abducted by the driver of one of the Chinese officials working on the road project and forcefully taken to the official’s house for sex but luckily, the teacher managed to escape after raising an alarm. Narrating her ordeal to West Fm, the teacher, only identified as Joan said that she was going home from work when she spotted a vehicle belonging to H. Young Company trailing her. She added that since it was raining, she accepted a lift offered to her by the driver. However, added Joan, trouble begun once she was inside the vehicle as the driver locked all doors and windows and begun driving at high speed towards a different direction. More...

Buema Villagers demo
Irate residents of Buema village in Bungoma held a massive demonstration against an Israeli construction firm for allegedly abducting local girls and promoting prostitution. Photo: Wanyonyi wa Wasike

Atwoli calls on govt to control consumer prices

By Ally Jamah, March 28 2011
Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) Secretary General Francis Atwoli has raised the alarm over skyrocketing cost of goods and called for Government intervention to reverse the trend. Mr Atwoli said prices of essential commodities like cooking oil, maize and wheat flour have shot up in the past few months. He called on minimum wage for all workers to be increased by 60 per cent and the general wages to be increased by 10 per cent saying purchasing power of many Kenyans had been eroded. "Using selected essential commodities, it is clear that inflation is growing at an average rate of Sh107.9 per cent. Since the price of oil is expected to increase, most of these goods will be out of reach for the low income earners and the poor," he said on Sunday at Solidarity House in Nairobi. More...

Tanzania stops 'miracle milk' after 52 die

By Zephania Ubwani, March 28 2011
The pilgrimage to Loliondo for the alleged “miracle cure” was stopped on Sunday as it emerged 52 people had died awaiting treatment. This came amid reports of a humanitarian crisis as thousands of sick people swamped the village for a herbal concoction, mugariga, administered by the Rev Ambilikile Mwasapile. It is claimed to cure all ailments. “There will be no more trips to Samunge village (in Loliondo area) until people who are currently there have been served and left the area,” Ngorongoro district commissioner Elias Wawa Lalie said. Medical experts have also expressed concerns about the potency and efficacy of the herbal treatment, although this has not stopped the flow of patients into Loliondo. More...

Kituyi critisizes decentralisation of Vihiga County

By John Kabaka, March 28 2011
Former Cabinet minister, Dr Mukhisa Kituyi has lashed out at Vihiga County leaders for spreading county offices wide in the whole region. Dr Kituyi was speaking during a graduation ceremony at the Vihiga Teachers' College over the weekend. “The issue of county offices should not be viewed as another devolution of a kind; that means you are even more expensive to the people of this county. You are making a Munyore to travel all the way to Mbale, where the county headquarters are said to be, and to Hamisi to the county assembly, and residents of other areas to spend expensively all the way to Emuhaya to the governor’s office, that will be more expensive to the residents here. I think the county offices should be at a central place,” he said. A task force sitting at the Vihiga High School decided earlier that the county headquarters be located at Mbale, Emuhaya to host the governor’s residence and Hamisi to host the County Assembly. More...

Mukhisa Kituyi
Former industry and commerce minister, Dr Mukhisa Kituyi (left) and Lugari MP, Cyrus Jirongo at the Vihiga Teachers' Training College graduation ceremony on Saturday. The guest of honour was Mr Peter Kenneth, an assistant minister for planning and development and MP for Gatanga in Murang'a.
Disbelief as 77 year old evicted from land he's lived for 40 years

By our correspondent, March 28 2011
A 77-year-old man and his 60-member family from Angurai village in Teso North district have been mercilessly evicted from the land where they have lived for over four decades. Mzee Nyongesa Omudang' Sirari watched in disbelief as their 30 grass thatched houses were demolished by hired youth under the watchful eyes of five Administration police officers who provided security. The eviction order was issued by the Busia Principal Magistrate to the claimant, Rosella Akisa Odama who had moved to court to dispute the defendant's occupation of the suit land No. North Teso/Angurai/213. Mzee Sirari said he bought the nine- acre piece of land from the claimant’s brother, Cornell Omuse, in 1970 but he died in 2002. The land dispute tribunal had on August 2, 2007 ruled that the piece of land belongs to Nyongesa Sirari and advised him to go for land succession. However, the plaintiff, Ms Odama filed a petition for grant of letter of administration and a notice published in the Kenya Gazette with any objection thereof within 30 days. The eviction order caught Sirari and his 21 children by surprise with four school children developing hysteria when they arrived home to find their houses flattened.
Rosella Odama
It's mine: Rosella Odama holding the title deed to the nine-acre disputed land in Angurai, Teso, from which the 60-member family of Mzee Nyongesa Sirari has been evicted following a court order. Children became hysterical when they arrived home from school only to find their homes flattened.

Nyongesa Omudang' Sirari
77-year old Mzee Nyongesa Sirari (centre) and his sons point at what used to be his kitchen which was flattened yesterday through court order. The distraught family trekked for over 20 kilometres to the district headquarters in Amagoro where they held a meeting with the acting DO, Louis  Rono who listened to their grievances before referring them to World Vision in Angurai for humanitarian assistance.

Kanduyi, Bumula ranked top CDF fraudsters

By Carolyn Wamalwa, March 28 2011
Kanduyi, Bumula and Ugenya constituencies have been ranked as the top wasters of the CDF and LATF funds following an audit report released by the National Taxpayers Association (NTA) this Monday. The report for the financial year 2007/08 as compiled by the association puts the three constituencies’ misuse of the kitty at Ksh 52Million, 49Million and 10Million respectively, with a total of Ksh 114Million of funds misused nationally in that financial year. The three are among the 28 constituencies which were selected for NTA’s third auditing phase since its inception in the year 2006 NTA’s National coordinator Mr. Kizito Wangalwa expressed his displeasure at the way funds are being wasted at the expense of important development projects which he believes could salvage the development agenda at the grass root level, and called for immediate action against the culprits. Among the top five best users include Tinderet, Makueni, Bura, Kilome and Matuga. Lurambi and Sirisia were ranked at position 9 and 19 respectively. More...

Shinyalu chief killed in a chang'aa den

By John Kabaka, March 28 2011
An assistant chief and a village elder were on Friday night killed in a chang’aa den by neighbours in Shinyalu constituency. The neighbours attacked the assistant chief of Mukulusu sub-location, Jonathan Musindi and Nandukhula village elder, Likuyani Chitila as they drunk the brew next to the chief’s home. One of the attackers who stubbed the two to death had stolen a pair of shoes, flour and blankets from the elder and ordered by the chief to return the stolen goods by Saturday, police said. The chief was killed inside the house owned by a woman who sold them the brew while the village elder was overpowered by the thugs outside the house as he tried to flee from them. Nicholas Maina, the deputy Kakamega police commander dismissed allegations that the chief was killed after he was found in the act with somebody’s wife as initially reported. Maina said initial investigations indicated that one of the attackers was a jailbird who had been released from prison recently on defilement while another was charged for having sex with a neighbour’s cow. More...

Foreign voters being imported into Budalang'i, alleges Wamalwa

By Frankline Bwire, March 28 2011
Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa has called upon the Interim Independent Electoral Commission of Kenya (IIEC) to investigate allegations of importation of voters to Budalang’i constituency. Wamalwa said that leaders were not supposed to involve themselves in forced leadership by getting people from other areas to increasingly add the number of votes for themselves. “If it is true that people were brought from areas of Bondo and the neighboring country Uganda to vote during elections, then IIEC should intervene to avoid such cases,” he said. Wamalwa who was speaking in Bunyala district urged area residents who had attained 18 years and above to ensure they get identification cards and register as voters to exercise their rights fully in the next elections. “Western is the second in number in terms of population, but very few individuals vote. We must take the advantage to ensure we vote as a block.” Eldoret North MP William Ruto asserted that Kenya should be in readiness to undertake its tasks in accordance by having faith and trust in its people, to solve issues affecting the country. More...

Raphael Bitta Wanjala
Former Budalang'i MP, Raphael Wanjala (left), Saboti MP, Eugene Wamalwa (centre) and suspended higher education minister, William Ruto (right) at the Musoma Church in Budalang'i during a fundraising event over the weekend. Photo: Frankline Bwire

Row over election date: The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) has called upon the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) to intervene in the debate over the date for the 2012 general elections and provide an answer to Kenyans. Interim Independent Electoral Commission chairman Issack Hassan said Monday that some sections of the new law contradicted each other over the electoral dates fuelling the confusion. More...
One dead as Bungoma restaurant roof is blow off

By Protus Simiyu, March 25 2011
One man was hospitalized and later died at the Bungoma District Hospital after the roof of FREMAS restaurant was blown off by heavy rains which pounded Bungoma last evening, with four others sustaining minor injuries. Residents of Bungoma town were left in fear as a roof of a famous restaurant in town was blown off leaving four people nursing minor injuries and one dead at Bungoma District Hospital. The ugly incident happened during heavy rains as the five people had gone to shelter under the veranda of FREMAS GUEST HOUSE oblivious of what was to occur minutes later. One person who was caught up in the collapsed iron sheets and bricks was rescued and rushed to the Bungoma District Hospital but succumbed to his injuries while being attended to by the hospital staff. According to eye witnesses, a heavy explosion was hard a few seconds before the roof of the building was blown off.  A middle aged mother with her four-year-old daughter escaped without any injuries as two bodaboda operators sustained minor injuries while their tools of trade (bicycles) were damaged beyond recognition. The owner of the premises, Mr. Fred Masinde, promised to buy the bodaboda operators new bicycles by the end of the week. More...

Fremas Restaurant, Bungoma
Fremas Restaurant in Bungoma Town whose roof was blown off in a freak accident of nature that left one patron dead. Photo: Protus Simiyu

Webuye mayor wants speed bumps erected

By Joseph Amunya, March 35 2011
After the completion of rehabilitating the Kakamega-Kaburengo road, Webuye Mayor John Ngome is now appealing to the government to erect speed bumps on sections of the road to curb accidents. The mayor expressed concerns at the speed at which most drivers of public transport vehicles were plying the road endangering lives of passengers and pedestrians. He said that lives of Matete and Malava residents were in danger due to careless driving witnessed on the road. He bemoaned of the contractor who did the road, which he failed to consider erecting the speed bumps which he said could have acted as speed breakers. “I think something went wrong somewhere but I don’t expect such a busy road to be left in that state without even a single bump,” he said. More...

Ikolomani by-elections to take place May 23

By our correspondent, March 25 2011
Ikolomani by-elections are set to be held on May 23rd. In a gazette notice Friday, the Interim Independent Electoral Commission chairman Hassan Issack said the commission would receive nomination papers of candidates on April 27th and 28th. The IIEC has given political parties wishing to participate in the by-election until April 21st to finalize their nominations of candidates. IIEC also gazetted Benjamin Kipchumba Tarus as the Returning Officer for the Ikolomani by-election and Henry Bahati as the deputy. The seat fell vacant after former MP Bonny Khalwale lost an election petition. Justice Isaac Lenaola nullified Khalwale's election citing electoral malpractices. Khalwale was the 10th MP to lose his seat in an election petition. Meanwhile, Voters in Kamukunji constituency will be electing a new MP on April 21. The immediate former MP Simon Mbugua's election was also nullified by the court due irregularities. Other MPs whose elections were nullified include, Omingo Magara of South Mugirango, Bomachoge's Joel Onyancha, John Ngata Kariuki of Kirinyaga Central and Juja's George Thuo. Others are Makadara's Dick Wathika, Abdirahman Hassan of Wajir South, Ali Chirau Mwakwere of Matuga and Starehe's Margaret Wanjiru. Of these, only Mwakwere and Bishop Wanjiru recaptured their seats in the by-elections.

Canadian govt falls: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government has fallen after a no-confidence vote passed in the country's parliament. More...
Ronald Kimalewa
Ronald Kimalewa a teacher at Mufutu Primary School in Kiminini was admitted to Kitale District Hospital after he was attacked at his Masaba Farm on Wednesday night. Photo: Leonard Wamalwa

1st lady lashes at VP for taking 'fiendish delight' in Kibaki's ill-health

By Bernard Namunane, March 25 2011
First Lady Lucy Kibaki on Friday asked Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka to keep off her family. Mrs Kibaki was annoyed by claims attributed to Mr Musyoka in US embassy cables released by whistleblower website WikiLeaks. Mr Musyoka is said to have described the President as sickly and given accounts of events at State House that the First Lady deemed were malicious. He becomes the second Vice President in Mr Kibaki’s reign to incur the First Lady’s wrath. The first was former Vice-President Moody Awori in 2004 when she told him off for referring to her as the “second lady”. More...

Kiminini residents blame police for insecurity

By Leonard Wamalwa, March 25 2011
Insecurity in Trans Nzoia County has remained a taunting task to handle as residents blame the government security agents and enforcement officers as the main cause of the escalating security as they now live in fear of being attacked any time whether day or night. Despite reports of criminal attacks on people in their homes and on their way home especially motorcycle operators in different parts of the county, not much has improved instead the situation getting worse day in day out. Residents of Kiminini division are the most recent to raise the alarm on the situation that has really affected daily operations in the area as many people now opt to close their business activities among other activities early for fear of attacks despite the fact that they could continue operating for another two or three hours hence cutting down their daily income. Speaking to West FM at Kiminini market led by the Boda Boda operators the residents have bitterly accused the DO's office at Kiminini for not being committed to work with them to curb the situation noting that the administration police officers attached to the station are always reluctant to respond to calls from them whenever they are attacked regardless of the distance from their station. "The DO and the APs are of no help to us because they do not come to our rescue whenever we are attacked thus forcing us to take our own initiatives to confront and pursue the criminals whenever they attack a fellow operator or a resident in his or her home and in many cases the criminals always get away without being arrested because we do not have the potential to counter them," they told West FM. More...

Western faces acute shortage of teachers - Khang'ati

By Protus Wangila Simiyu, March 24 2011
Assistant Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Alfred Khangati has expressed his disappointment over the shortage of teachers In Western Province and appealed to the government to recruit more teachers to boost education standards in the province. While noting that basically performance of Western Province in general had a positive deviation in last year’s National examination results, Khang’ati was optimistic that the results could be much better if more teachers are recruited to fill in the gap. The MP said many schools, on average have slightly above 1000 pupils against less than 10 teachers terming this a big challenge in the education sector. The Kanduyi legislator said recruitment of teachers should remain paramount with the government as the country has thousands of unemployed but qualified teachers in order to give children a humble opportunity to move forward. The legislator praised Kenyan education systems being the best amongst the East African States with qualified teachers saying Independence celebrations in majority of African states is not meaningful since they have not managed to move forward. He mentioned corruption and lack of ambitious leadership in Africa, Kenya not excluded as the thorny challenges that need to be addressed. He urged the primary school heads to show real ambitious leadership free from corruption at their respective institutions to harness good performance. More...

Kenneth Misoi
Western Provincial Director of Education (PDE) Kenneth Misoi (L) Assistant minister Alfred Khang'ati, Western KEPSHA Chairman Joseph Otiende and National KEPSHA vice chairman Shem Ndolo during the western region Kenya Primary Schools Head Teachers Association (KEPSHA) conference held at Masinde Muliro Sports Grounds in Kanduyi. Photo: Protus Simiyu

Rains yes but farmers have no seeds to plant

By our correspondents, March 24 2011
Rift Valley farmers are experiencing a shortage of seeds when the rains have begun for the planting season. Those affected are North, Central and South Rift regions of Rift Valley. It has also emerged that stockists in the region have been forcing farmers to buy fertiliser and maize, wheat or beans seeds whenever they need one of the items. "They are forcing us to buy fertiliser when you only require maize seeds and vice versa. Farming is proving a very expensive venture," Robert Kipkoech, a farmer, said in Eldoret. But Kenya Seed Sales and Marketing Manager Francis Mwaura told The Standard the problem was due to a breakdown of a forklift used to load seeds to trucks at the Kitale depot. More...

L. Victoria fishermen protest as omena fishing is banned

By Kepher Otieno, March 24 2011
The Government will impose a fishing ban on omena in Lake Victoria from April 1 to July 31. This now means consumers will have to miss the delicacy for three months. Yesterday, Assistant Director of Fisheries Michael Obadha said the fishing ban would remain unless lifted by the Fisheries Minister Amason Kingi. "We have received concerns from fishermen that we should lift the ban because of the prolonged drought, but that will depend on the minister’s decree," said Obadha. He said research shows peak fish breeding seasons coincide with the long rains that have begun in parts of the country, hence the fishing ban. The same period also coincides with breeding of Nile perch and tilapia, and if fishermen are allowed to catch omena, they were likely to end up catching other juvenile species. "This is why we are keen to enforce the ban during the rain season to forestall possible destruction of fish breeding grounds," added the official. The official spoke to the Press on Thursday amid fresh fears by fishermen of a possible "economic strangulation," from the ban. Each year, thousands of omena fishermen are thrown out of fish trade by the ban and several others sent to prison for fishing during the closed season. "Our aim is to let the fish in Lake Victoria mature," said Obadha, while addressing fisheries administrators and regional organisations at a workshop in Kisumu. More...

omena in kisumu
Omena known in Kiswahili as dagaa is a favorite staple diet for residents living on the Lake Victoria basin. The government has banned fishing for three months which has sparked protests across the fishing communities.

Namwamba clashes with Nyong'o over ODM help to Ocampo Six

By Njeri Rugene, March 24 2011
Confusion reigned in the Orange Democratic Party on Thursday evening over whether the party was offering to hire lawyers for its members accused of crimes against humanity. A group of MPs announced that the party would hire lawyers for its members accused of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court. The announcement was made by MPs led by ODM parliamentary secretary Ababu Namwamba and deputy secretary-general Joseph Nkaissery. More...

10 lawyers apply for CJ's post but no one wants to be chief prosecutor just yet

By Patrick Mayoyo, March 24 2011
More than 10 lawyers have applied for the position of Chief Justice ahead of Friday’s deadline. A judiciary official who talked to the Nation said by Thursday morning more than 10 applications had been received. “We expect the number to increase as more applicants try to beat the 21 days deadline,” he said. The official said those who applied include local prominent lawyers and members of the Judiciary. Unconfirmed reports indicated that judges from the Commonwealth had also applied in line with conditions allowing foreign judges to apply. The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) that is mandated to initiate the process of finding a replacement for Mr Justice Evan Gicheru, is set to start scrutinising the applications. Advertisements for CJ and the deputy were advertised in the Kenya Gazette as well as all local dailies on March 5. The advertisement was prepared by a committee of the commission made up of Mr Justice Isaac Lenaola, magistrate Emily Ominde, lawyers Ahmednasir Abdullahi and Florence Mwangangi and High Court registrar Lydia Achode. More...

Applications received from Commonwealth countries as well

Kakamega residents attack police car with suspected cattle thieves

By John Kabaka, March 23 2011
Drama arose at Amalemba on Tuesday when angry residents attacked a police land cruiser transporting suspected cattle thieves from Shinyalu to Kakamega Police station and beat them up thoroughly, injuring a police officer in the process. The thieves had been held by police after reports that they had stolen the animals and that they were taking them to the market for ready buyers who are also said to be held by police. The Shinyalu District Officer Sylvester Mwanguli sought refuge in a nearby by Chiefs office as the supects were beaten nearly to death. The injured police and the suspects are nursing injuries at the Kakamega General hospital. “The rowdy youth attacked us on the way to the police station, jumped into the land cruiser, took the suspects and started beating them thoroughly, they also injured a police officer we were with by hitting him with a stone at the back of his head”, said Mwanguli, the Shinyalu District officer.

Amalemba Estate, Kakamega
Cattle thieves cornered: Angry Amalemba Estate residents in Kakamega aim a stone at a suspect as police try to calm tempers. Even a contingent of police could not contain the situation as the cattle thieves were lynched and left for the dead. A few officers also sustained injuries in the fracas in which a police land cruiser was attacked as it transported suspected thieves to police station.
Irate Busia residents burn down Uganda govt vehicle

By Frankline Bwire, March 23 2011
Residents from Busia town razed down to ashes a car belonging to the Ugandan Revenue Authority opposite Bulanda Primary School, following allegations that it was after a vehicle carrying smuggled goods from Uganda to Kenya. According to the residents, the officers from Uganda had trespassed the border to an area which was not theirs, using force and being armed, which to them was risky for their lives. They added that it was not proper for the Revenue authority officers from Uganda to follow small things that were bought by Kenyan residents from the country. “The officers should have made an effort to liase with Kenyan officers to stop whoever was involved,” said Mr. David Ouma. He added that residents from Uganda were buying commodities from Kenya, but no one was harassing them, the way it was witnessed by the public. The Busia District Officer John Maingi urged residents to calm down as a probable solution was being looked into. “Let us cooperate and allow for the issue to be dealt with in a proper manner as expected,” he said. Meanwhile, Learning was paralyzed at Bulanda primary school for a few hours, after the Uganda Revenue Authority officers from Uganda, were escorted to the school by the Kenyan police officers offering them tight security. More...

busia bulanda
The charred remains of a Ugandan government revenue vehicle which Busia residents burnt to ashes as it pursued small time traders into Kenyan territory.

Corrupt water suppliers put on notice

By Joseph A Otieno, March 23 2011
The government has warned it will take stern action against water suppliers who exploit consumers, Western Provincial Commissioner Samuel Kilele has said. The PC told hundreds of Western Kenya residents who turned up to celebrate the 18th World water day at the Matete open ground in Kakamega County that time had come when every officer was held responsible for their actions. He said as a region with plenty of water sources, it would be ridiculous for the residents to be exploited by corrupt officers. More...

Teso community in shock as head teacher collapses & dies

By our correspondent, March 23 2011
A Secondary school head teacher from Teso North district collapsed and died on Wednesday outside the gate of a hospital where he had been rushed after falling ill. Titus Otiya, 42, who was until his death the Principal of Kakemeri Secondary in Angurai division, was pronounced dead by doctors at the Kocholia district hospital who tried to resuscitate him but in vain. The deceased’s brother Moses Ote revealed the head teacher developed a serious Asthma attack early in the morning as he was preparing to go to school. Councillor Ote said his brother was rushed to Dr Epus Clinic in Amagoro where the condition worsened, thus forcing them to transfer him to Kocholia. The sudden death has shocked the teaching fraternity. Teso secondary schools heads association chair, Salome Papoi said they had lost a disciplined and dedicated member. Otiya served as the head for three years having transferred from Kolanya Boys High where he was the deputy principal. More...

Internet still too costly in Kenya: High Internet costs in the country have been blamed on the approach taken by ICT firms in laying fibre cable infrastructure. Despite having three live undersea cables, access to Internet connection is still limited to a few people due to the high costs. More...
Kenyans resort to plastic bags as condoms run out

By Elizabeth Mwai, March 23 2011
The country is facing a condom shortage following increased demand, which has hit 20 million monthly. Yesterday, Public Health Minister Beth Mugo confirmed the increased demand for condoms, saying the Government had failed in its projection while procuring the commodity. Due to the increased demand, Mugo said, the Government has made an appeal to the US for emergency funding to procure 45 million more condoms in the next two months. "This is a short-term shortage and we are discussing with the UNFPA on long-term supplies," said the minister during a Press conference at the ministry headquarters. Although Mugo termed the problem short-term shortage, for the past one year, condom shortages have been experienced in some rural areas. Fielding questions from journalists over the use of plastic bags and re-use of condoms among Isiolo residents, the minister said there was need to reach that community with the commodity. More...

Kenya condoms
Trust in condoms: A model displays condoms which are now so acutely in short supply that some Kenyans have resorted to using plastic bags or recyling used condoms. Monthly usage of condoms in Kenya is 20 million.
Neglected Kakamega hospital to be upgraded

By Carolyn Wamalwa, March 23 2011
Kakamega residents and the entire western population is set to get relieved from the burden of travelling long distances, in the search of better medical facilities in the nearby towns of Kisumu and Eldoret following government’s plan to upgrade the Kakamega Provincial General Hospital to a higher status. The plan outlined in the economic stimuli program is set to be operational come the end of next year (2012) in approximately 24 health facilities countrywide, with the Kakamega facility being among the selected few. Government spokesman Dr. Alfred Mutua says that the Kakamega facility serves a huge population hence the decision to upgrade it stems from the dire need for better medical services by the large population it serves in the region. “The hospital will be equipped with modern equipment, medicine and trained staff,” said Mutua. More...

Hollywood legend, Liz Taylor is dead

By our correspondent, March 23 2011
Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor has died at 79. Taylor's days were numbered when she was first rushed to the hospital over two months ago. The announcement was made on Good Morning America this AM. Liz died of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she had been hospitalized, her publicist Sally Morrison confirmed. "All her children were with her," Morrison said. Taylor was considered to be one of the greatest actresses of all time - winning Oscars twice for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Butterfield 8. She was married 8 times - twice to Richard Burton. Elizabeth Taylor's son Michael Wilding added in a statement: "My Mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love…we will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world…Her remarkable body of work…all make us all incredibly proud of what she accomplished…the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it," he added. More...

Liz Taylor
Velvet death: Hollywood actress, Elizabeth 'Liz' Taylor who died this morning aged 79. Born in London February 27, 1932, she was evacuated to California with her American parents in 1939, where she was soon discovered at her father’s art gallery by the fiancée of the chairman of Universal Studios. The late king of pop, Michael Jackson adored her and now they're together in heaven.
Govt to impose HIV tax on airtickets

By Walter Menya, March 23 2011
Travelling abroad by air? You will soon be required to pay some extra cash on every ticket to fund HIV care. With over 700,000 Kenyans in need of anti-retroviral drugs, the government on Wednesday admitted that it was no longer feasible to depend entirely on donor funds. Public Health and Sanitation minister Beth Mugo told a news conference that her ministry had prepared a Cabinet memorandum on a proposal to raise funds through a special air fare tax. The memorandum should be ready for presentation to the Cabinet in two months. “We are discussing the tax because donor funds will not go on forever. We cannot entrust the health of our people to donors,” Mrs Mugo said. The funds raised will mainly go into providing second line ARVs as well as prevention of mother-to-child transmission. There have been concerns that some donors, in particular the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) were being withdrawn. More...

Thousands flock to sleepy Arusha village to drink of 'miracle' milk

By Tom Mosoba, March 23 2011
They are flocking there on foot, bicycles, vehicles and even in helicopters in search of a miracle cure dispensed by a retired Lutheran pastor. The sleepy village of Samunge in Arusha, Northern Tanzania, is teaming with thousands of ailing people from all walks of life who have heard that 76-year-old Ambikile Mwasapile, has discovered a miracle cure for all types of diseases. But on Tuesday, the Tanzanian government announced it was temporarily halting the inflow of thousands of people streaming to Samuge Village believing that they can be cured of such ailments as Aids, cancer and diabetes, among others. The move announced by the Arusha regional commissioner, Mr Isidore Shirima, came as a humanitarian crisis was building up around Samunge Village where the pastor-turned-herbalist has, for the last few months, hosted a multitude of patients out to get his herbal medicine. More...

Ambikile Mwasapile
Mr Ambikile Mwasapile (left) serves out the the miracle drink to a faithful. Thousands have thronged the herbalist’s home on foot, bicycle, car and helicopter to be cured. Photo: Citizen
Niva's grandchild wins major athletics award in US

By our reporter, March 22 2011
The granddaughter of legendary footballer, Jonathan Niva is following a family tradition of athletic excellence.  Ivy Muchuma, daughter of Rosemary and  Muchuma Niva, the late Jonathan Niva’s son,  was not only the captain of the Track and Field team of Nashua High School North, New Hampshire but also graduated as the school record holder in triple jump, among other athletic decorations.  Ivy also played volleyball for two years during which she helped her school win championship in 2008.  She has received commendation from French Honor Society, an RPI Achievement Award and was declared the most valuable player. Miss Muchuma is now a first year university student studying Environmental Engineering at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, upstate New York. Ivy wants to major in Clean/Renewable Energy. More...

Ivy Muchuma
Ivy Muchuma, grandchild of legendary footballer, Jonathan Niva.
Mudavadi secures funding for counties

By our correspondent, March 22 2011
The French government is ready to assist Kenya build capacity for County Governments. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government Hon. Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi and the French State Minister for International Cooperation, Mr. Henri de Raincourt agreed on Monday to work on an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in support of the implementation of devolved government under the Constitution. The agreement was reached during discussions in Paris, Monday, on the second leg of a high level Kenyan delegation to Germany and France to study the countries’ systems of devolution. The MOU will outline Kenya’s priority support needs for devolved structures and cover such areas as management training, budgeting, investment and waste disposal in County Governments. Mr. Raincourt said the history of bilateral cooperation between France and Kenya remains healthy and there was French desire to strengthen it further through programmes identified by Kenya itself. The meeting also discussed the issue of Somalia and piracy in the Indian Ocean. The DPM expressed Kenya’s concerns on the stability of the IGAD given that Somalia's transitional government comes to an end in August 2011.

Salma Ahmed and Mudavadi
Hon Musalia Mudavadi, the deputy prime minister, Ms Salma Ahmed, Kenya's ambassador to France and Henri de Raincourt, France's minister for international cooperation in Paris yesterday.
Irate official hurls forms to applicants in Trans Nzoia

By Leonard Wamalwa, March 22 2011
There was shock and dismay in Trans Nzoia West when the district civil registrar Zachaeus Rotich, in charge of issuing birth certificates turned on the applicants and threw back their application forms telling them to serve themselves. The officer is said to have thrown the application forms at the entrance to his office as he yelled at the shocked residents to serve themselves. The residents who had been camping at the office for weeks, told West Fm that they, despite the rude service, decided to go through the bundles themselves to get the documents as some assumed the role of reading aloud the names to fasten the process. The seekers told journalists as they were busy perusing the bundles of the documents in different groups with others offering to read out the names of the owners of the forms loudly to hasten the process while some documents were destroyed as they were thrown to the rain. They further claimed that the office had been marred with corruption deals whereby unless an applicant allegedly parted with Sh1, 500 they will never get the document however how long they frequented the offices. Some of them hinted that they first made the applications last year and yet they are yet to get the certificates noting that there is a lot of nepotism and tribalism being exercised by the officers in the office that caters for people from Trans Nzoia West and Kwanza district. However when reached for comment in his office Rotich said that the applicants had been stubborn and nagged him demanding for their forms hence prompting him to give them their forms so that each of them can carry his or her own form awaiting service at the offices. "I did not throw the forms to them but I just gave them after they demanded that they want their forms back and hence I had no otherwise but to do so, so that I could serve the other applicants who had exercised order and respect,” he explained. More...

Zachaeus Rotich
Treated like garbage: Applicants of birth certificates in Trans Nzoia West got a rude shock after their application forms were hurled at them like missiles by an irate official, Zachaeus Rotich (inset). Applicants complain that the process is riddled with corruption. Photo: Leonard Wamalwa

ben shinali and bonny khalwale
Battle for goldmine: Dethroned Ikolomani MP, Dr Bony Khalwale (left) and his political nemesis, Ben Shinali will do battle to win hearts and minds of Ikolomani constituents in the forthcoming by elections triggered after successful petitioning of Khalwale by Shinali.

Apple sues Amazon over 'appstore'

By our correspondent, March 22 2011
Apple is suing Amazon in a bid to stop the online retail giant from using the name Appstore. The California-based firm, which makes iPhones and iPads, claims that the name is deliberately similar to its own App Store. "It will confuse and mislead customers," said Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet. More...

Khalwale, Shinali in early campaigns for Ikolomani by election

By J. Kabaka, March 22 2011
ODM youths in Western province have said they are ready to face other political parties supporting former MP Bonny Khalwale in the impending Ikolomani by election. Under the auspice of Western Youths Alliance, the youth told other political parties promising support for re-election of Khalwale to prepare for a tough battle. Chairman Ben Ombima said the party had already assessed the ground and found it to be in favour of the orange party. “We have studied the ground and are not scared to face all those grouping to lock the party out of Ikolomani,” said Ombima. Narc-K and KADDU chaired by Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo have declared they will not field candidates but instead team up with New-Ford Kenya to support Khalwale instead at the by election. Politicians allied to ODM in Ikolomani have ganged up in support of Bernard Shinali who successfully petitioned Khalwale’s election in 2007. ODM has already settled on Shinali as the sole candidate for the by election. More...

Wako outed as a cunning fox

By our correspondent, March 22 2011
Kenyans have always speculated that Attorney General Amos Wako’s smiling face is a screen for dark secrets, having been the Government’s chief legal advisor for the last 20 years. Many have tried to decipher what Wako really knows, but the AG has always met them with his disarming smile. But now Wako’s defences are being disarmed, thanks to the leakage of top secret US diplomatic cables that are being released by whistleblower website WikiLeaks. Apparently, his deceptive smile apparently hides a cunning personality that to many Kenyans may not be so new – except for its cruelty against a section of the citizenry. The Government’s chief legal advisor, for example, agreed to have Kenyans suspected of links to terrorism arrested by a foreign state, but suggested that for reasons of political correctness, they be tried outside Kenya, and their identity and citizenship be concealed. More...

Amos Wako, the fox
Is it a cow or is it a fox? No! It's Amos Wako, Kenya's longest serving attorney general who WikiLeaks has outed as a cunning, evasive individual according to leaked cables filed by US envoys to Washington. His signature smile belies his cold brutality.
7 Bungoma cousins acquitted of manslaughter

By Allan Kisia, March 22 2011
A Bungoma court has acquitted seven cousins of manslaughter charges. It was a joyous moment for the men who had to wait for two and a half years to know their fate. They could hardly hide their delight after the judgement was read, as they smiled and hugged each other and hurriedly left the court premises. Senior Principal Magistrate Joseph Ng’arng’ar said there was no substantial evidence showing they were responsible for the death of Moses Wekesa. More...

Shock as cow delivers half human, half pig, half tortoise calf in Trans Nzoia

By Leonard Wamalwa, March 21 2011
Residents of Sitatunga area of Trans Nzoia East District in Trans Nzoia county woke up this morning to a rude shock after a cow delivered a calf that had varying shapes with the face resembling that of a human being. According to the owner of the cow Ezekiel Kipsang 35, the cow had reached its required time of delivery and was highly expectant of getting another good and healthy calf apart from the milk that is a major source of income for the family only to receive funny creature that left everyone with many unanswered questions. He said that the cow had earlier delivered two normal and health calves that did not show any signs of abnormality and thus he could not get an exact answer as to why its third calf appeared in that state. "I don't know what happened to my cow and in fact I am still confused not knowing what to do in such a case because I had never experienced and witnessed such a case in my life as a farmer," Kipsang told reporters in his home in Tafina farm in Cherangani. The abnormal calf that was brown in colour had the face resembling a human being, the legs like those of a pig while the tummy was like that of a tortoise or a pig and did not survive more than five minutes after delivery as it died on the spot after a few breaths and kicks on dropping on the ground.

All in all he insisted that despite the bizarre incident that has left his cow calf less, he will not be deterred from milking the cow to get the milk for his domestic use and for commercial purposes. "I will continue to milk the cow and use the milk for normal purposes despite what happened because that is God's miracle and there is nothing I can do but continue with life," Kipsang noted. However the incident has raised mixed reactions from the residents with some saying that it was a bad omen that signifies something bad might happen in the area or the entire country according to the Kalenjin community's beliefs. The elders are supposed to perform a ritual to cleanse the home and the village to evade the looming calamity that might strike later. More...

half human calf
The front part of the strange creature's head born to a cow at Sitatunga, Trans Nzoia East District. The creature looks half human, half pig or tortoise. Photos: Leonard Wamalwa
Sitatunga half human creature
Bewildered residents show the strange creature to reporters at Sitatunga village in Trans Nzoia East District. The creature was born alive but died shortly afterwards.
11 hospitalised as lightning strikes Lwanya Girls Secondary, Samia

By Frankline Bwire, March 21 2011
Eleven students from Lwanya girls secondary in Busia County were rushed to Busia district hospital after lightning struck their dining hall on the night of Sunday as they took their supper. A source at the district hospital disclosed that out of the eleven students admitted following the shock effect, eight were discharged with three remaining at the hospital undergoing treatment. Confirming the incident, the Deputy Police Boss of Busia Mr. Francis Nguli disclosed that nothing was destroyed following the lightning arresters put at the school earlier on. Nguli added that immediately after the incident occurred, the lights went of totally with no signs of fire being witnessed. “We are grateful, it was not that serious. Many things would have been lost if the arresters were not installed at the school,” he said. He advised the heads of schools and the public at large to be vigilant and take precautions against such incidences of lightning at this moment rains are being witnessed in most parts of the country. More...

Francis Nguli
Samia District deputy police superintendent, Francis Nguli. "Lightning arresters saved lives."
Wamalwa ditches Ford-K, joins New Ford-K

By Robert Wanyonyi, March 21 2011
After keeping many guessing, Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa has finally announced that he has joined New Ford-Kenya. After a week of speculation that linked the youthful MP with the Labour Party of Kenya (LPK), Ford-People and United Democratic Movement (UDM), Wamalwa finally called The Standard to announce his new political vehicle. Wamalwa said he go will for the presidency on a New Ford Kenya ticket. The MP said his decision followed consultations with leaders from Western Province, including LPK chairperson Julia Ojiambo, former Ford Kenya chairman Musikari Kombo, former MPs Mukhisa Kituyi and Raphael Wanjala, and his political adviser George Masafu. "The waiting is over. I want to urge my supporters to follow me to New Ford-Kenya on this long journey to State House," said Wamalwa. More...

Eugene Wamalwa
Eugene Wamalwa, a presidential hopeful from Western has announced Ford New Kenya as his choice of political vehicle to board on his campaign trail to state house. Mr Wamalwa, younger brother of Kenya's late vice president, Wamalwa Kijana, ditched Ford-K on Friday after losing out in leadership row with a faction headed by suspended foreign affairs minister, Moses Wetangula.
Each constituency gets Sh20m for roads

By Joel Okwayo, March 21 2011
The Government has released the final tranche of Sh400 million meant for roads rehabilitation in constituencies. The money was wired to bank accounts of Constituency Roads Committees. Each constituency gets Sh20 million out of the Sh27 million the Government allocates to constituencies every financial year. Sh7 million had been disbursed last year and most constituencies had exhausted the money. Parliamentary Transport Committee chairman David Were said MPs who miss the funds should alert his team. "Any MP who did not get the money should not keep quite. We want roads in rural areas improved," added Mr Were. He said his committee wants the money spent immediately to avoid cases where the District Roads officers return the funds to Treasury. The MP spoke at Munanga Primary School in Matungu constituency while issuing a Constituency Development Fund cheque. Councillors, who included Okello Ngenge and the CDF tender committee chairman Rashid Omusotsi accompanied him. More...

Boda boda cyclists give Bungoma Council ultimatum over bad roads

By Protus Simiyu, March 19 2011
Motor cycle boda boda operators from Kimaeti and Malakisi have urged Bungoma County Council and the Town Council of Malakisi to repair all roads in the region to ease their operations. The operators have termed the state of the roads as pathetic and impassable especially this rainy season. The operators said despite paying taxes to the councils daily, most roads in the area remain in a pathetic state, a challenge to their daily business. “The councils should tell us where our money goes since they are unable to offer quality services,’’ they wondered. Further, the operators complained that the two councils are yet to construct shades at various terminals as well as toilets saying this was as a major challenge to the business. “We are forced to brave the scorching sun and the rain at the expense of people who have slept on their job, ‘’ the bodaboda operators said. They also termed lack of standardized prices as another threat to the trade. ‘’majority of us are just employed as cyclists and those having their own Motorbikes offer lower prices in order to lure more customers despite the hike in fuel prices,’’ they complained. Above all, the operators called on the government to step in strongly and save them from corrupt traffic police officers from a local station who they said always want to reap where they did not soar. They wanted the government to intervene and bring to an end unwarranted police arrests and levies that are not receipted. “They want us to give them Sh50 and when we fail, they arrest us mercilessly implicating us on counts we didn’t commit, ‘’ the angry operators said. “When they take a motor cycle, one has to part with a lot of money to get his motorbike back,’’ lamented the operators. They demanded to be accorded freedom to carry out their legal business peacefully and without any form of harassment or victimization. More...

Malakisi Road
This is the best roads in Western look like right now - pathethic and agents of death. Now road users, especially boda boda taxi operators have given an ultimatum to Bungoma County Council to fix the roads or they will withhold taxes.

Butula farmers get Sh9m worth of inputs

By Frankline Bwire, March 19 2011
More than 1,400 farmers from Butula district have benefited from farm inputs worth over Sh9 million provided by the government through the National Agricultural Accelerated Input Access Programs. Speaking during the issuing out of farm inputs to farmers at Bumala location in Butula District the Agricultural officer of the area Benjamin Onyancha disclosed that the move by the government was aimed at aiding farmers not able to buy farm inputs to undertake their agricultural activities without problems. Onyancha asserted that the aim was to assist farmers have cereal banking and in away make them familiarized to the certified inputs. “This should make them have an understanding of what is required to undertake farming by use of the certified seeds,” he said. He added that the exercise was undertaken in various sub locations including Bujumba, Bukhalarire, Bumala, Busire, Ikonzo and Bukhakhala, where by the farmers received 10 kg Hybrid maize, DAP 50 kg and CAN 50kg. More...

6,000 to be charged with election violence

By Fred Mukinda, March 18 2011
Some 6,000 people could be taken to court for crimes committed during the post-election violence if a court to try them is established in Kenya. Police have been reconstructing case files opened at the time in anticipation that a local tribunal or a division of the High Court would eventually be formed to handle the offences. Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said among the crimes being investigated are murder, rape and arson. “We’ve a lot of evidence and it has always been updated. The cases have been pending because the prosecutions are supposed be done by a special tribunal, as recommended in the Waki report,” he said. Since January, there has been increased police activity in areas that were worst affected by the violence, with the aim of reviving cases that otherwise had become cold. Detectives are reconstructing files that were originally opened at individual police stations. It’s part of Government efforts aimed at convincing the international community that Kenya has made significant strides in pursuing justice, warranting no intervention by the International Criminal Court. The revamped pile of evidence comprises profiles of 6,000 people suspected to have participated in various crimes including murder, rape and arson. More...

Since January, there has been increased police activity in areas that were worst affected by the violence, with the aim of reviving cases that had become cold.

David Aooko Were
David Aooko Were, the Matungu MP is lucky to be alive. The Jetlink plane he was travelling crash landed at Kisumu Airport yesterday missing landing in the lake by meters.

Kenya civil war
Kenya election violence on 2007 in which 1,600 people died and 600,000 misplaced.
Matungu MP in plane mishap at Kisumu Airport

By our correspondents, March 18 2011
A Jetlink plane has veered off the runway and crash landed at the Kisumu Airport in bad weather. Flight 752 had left Nairobi at 7.30 am Thursday but overran the runaway by two metres in misty weather as it taxied. The pilot, however, was able to steer the plane away from a fence situated at the end of the runway and only a hundred metres from Lake Victoria. None of the 40 passengers on board were hurt. They were assisted onto a bus and driven out of the airport. Confirming the incident, Jetlink operations manager Jeff Oyier said while there was no damage to the plane, standard procedures required the intervention of civil aviation personnel. In a statement, the management said that the pilot was in control of the aircraft at all times and passengers were not in any danger. “None of the passengers or crew was injured in this minor mishap,” said Jetlink Managing Director Captain Elly Aluvaale. Among the passengers was Matungu MP David Were, who is also the chairman of Parliament’s Transport Committee. He gave the Nation an insight of what transpired. “I think the pilot came in too high, such that by the time he hit the runway, he had very little space left to bring the plane to a stop,” said Mr Were. More...

“I think the pilot came in too high, such that by the time he hit the runway, he had very little space left to bring the plane to a stop.”

Lugari civic leader plans mass action over impassable roads

By Joseph Amunya Otieno, March 18 2011
THE LUGARI County Council chairman David Amaswache has threatened to lead residents into street demonstrations over the poor state of roads in the area. Amaswache complained of the poor state of roads pointing out that the Turbo - Makutano and Lwandeti- Nzoia Roads which he said had witnessed many accidents following their poor state. The chairman who is also the Mautuma ward Councillor said since the onset of rains, transport in the area had become almost impossible since most of the roads are impassable. It was disheartening, he said to note that the government had released millions of shillings towards road rehabilitation in the area but the monies were still stuck in Kakamega. As a result, he said security situation in the area was likely to deteriorate as a number of youth have been force to quit their boda boda job due to the impassable roads He at the same time gave a week’s notice to the government to immediately release the funds or lead residents to the streets. He also warned that the residents of Lugari will not allow contractors who do shoddy jobs adding unlike in the past the where contractors have been paid even after doing shoddy job this time the residents will keep watch and make sure that only contractors who do good work in the area are paid. More...

David Amaswache
The main road in Lugari looks like this; not a pretty picture for anybody not least the county council chairman, David Amaswache who is organising a demo to highlight the problem of impassable roads in Lugari, a major settlement scheme.

ICC deferral bid comes a cropper: A much-hyped meeting between members of the UN Security Council and a mission spearheaded by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka to defer two ICC cases against the Ocampo Six has been cancelled. The planned meeting, which had the backing of China, a key member of the Security Council, never took off amid conflicting reports as to whether it was even scheduled, or what may have forced its cancellation. A clearly miffed Musyoka sarcastically told journalists to "Go and ask Tinga about it," when questioned about the meeting’s failure. More...
Lawyer's bid to oust Akide as LSK chair heads to court

By Judy Ogutu, March 18 2011
An advocate wants the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) compelled to include in its Annual General Meeting (AGM) agenda a notice to move a motion of no confidence in its chairman. High Court Judge, Justice Daniel Musinga, will next Wednesday rule on the application Willis Otieno lodged. Mr Otieno wants the notice to move vote of no confidence on Mr Kenneth Akide included in the AGM to be held on March 26. Yesterday, Otieno argued that his rights have been infringed because LSK declined to include the notice in its agenda. "I have a right to equal benefit of the law. I am coming to court to assert that benefit. Failure to include the notice in the agenda is a violation of my constitutional rights. Leaving out the notice is discriminatory," he argued. He said he expects LSK secretary Apollo Mboya to act fairly on all notices. Grant orders "He acted unfairly and I was never given any reason the notice was rejected. I ask you to grant the orders sought," he told Justice Musinga. In response, LSK’s advocate Kibe Mungai said the council considered the notice and directed Apollo not to include the notice as part of the agenda. Further, he argued that the right of association, right to be heard and the right not to be discriminated against are not absolute rights. Fundamental rights and freedoms may be limited, he argued. "LSK has more than 5,000 members. This is one member with one motion. Rights of the majority outweigh the right of one person to move a vote of no confidence against the chairman," Kibe continued. The secretary said in his response that he tabled the notices of motion at the council meeting held on February 21, and the council considered the same on March 7. More...

Kenneth Akide
Kenneth Akide, Law Society of Kenya chairman facing a vote of no confidence.

Ababu Namwamba
Ababu Namwamba (centre). PNU/KKK hawks have trained their artillery on the Budalang'i MP whom they want to oust as chairman of the influential Justice and Legal Affairs Committee following his handling of President Kibaki's illegal nomination of key judicial officials last month. The controversial nominations were eventually shot down under a sustained hail of legal and constitutional missiles.
Wamalwa quits Ford-K

By our correspondents, March 18 2011
Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa has announced that he will quit Ford Kenya. Instead of attending the much awaited delegates conference at the Bomas of Kenya tomorrow, the MP will be hosting Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North Member of Parliament William Ruto in Bungoma. The Saboti MP also declared he will not be seeking the party chairmanship against suspended Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula. Wamalwa said even though he had paid the Sh1 million mandatory fee required from those seeking the Ford Kenya chairmanship, he had opted out of the race, and will not be demanding a refund of the same. "The party has been hijacked by anti reformists who will be gathering at the Bomas of Kenya to confirm Wetang’ula as the chairman. I and my team will not be participating in any national elections," said Wamalwa, who was accompanied by former MPs Mukhisa Kituyi and Raphael Wanjala. More...

PNU/KKK hawks bay for Namwamba's blood:

Six members of the Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs on Wednesday continued to pile pressure for the ouster of their chairman Ababu Namwamba. In a letter to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Patrick Gichohi, they said Mr Namwamba had to pack his bags from the helm of the crucial team following what they termed “mismanagement of the committee”. More...

President loses power to prorogue Parliament at will

By Martin Mutua, March 17 2011
Parliament has now assumed total independence from the executive in line with the new Constitution, The Standard has learnt. And although the pomp and funfare that used to go along with the State opening of Parliament will be maintained, the reconvening of the House will not be meant for a new session. "It will be a situation where the President will deliver an address to the House outlining the agenda his Government seeks to achieve for the period the House will be on," added House Clerk Patrick Gichohi. To begin with the President cannot prorogue or dissolve Parliament at will, as has been the case since the power has been taken away by the House. What the President can now do as Head of Government is to request the Speaker to convene the House by appointing a day for the resumption of Parliament after having been adjourned. The Speaker will then notify members through a notice in the Kenya Gazette of the appointed day. And in the case when the Government is the one that has requested for the House to meet, the Standing Orders dictate that the business that shall be transacted subject to the publication of notice in the Order Paper be circulated on the day the House shall so meet. More...

Kenneth Marende
The three most powerful men in Kenya today. From left, Kenneth Marende, the House Speaker, President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, the prime minister. The president has lost his powers to prorogue and recall parliament at will.

Tanzanian slave in UK: A former hospital director has been ordered to pay £25,000 to an African woman she kept as a slave in London. Mwanahamisi Mruke, 47, was flown from Tanzania in 2006 and made to work 18-hour days for Saeeda Khan, 68, at her home in Harrow, north-west London. More...
Elgeyo man suffocates to death in 60ft borehole

By Edwin Cheserek, March 18 2011
One person has died of suffocation as they dug a borehole in Keiyo North District while another escaped by a whisker. Philip Kipruto Chesire, 30, succumbed after oxygen ran out in the 60ft hole they had dug. The incident, which occurred at Bugar village, brought activities to a standstill as residents jammed the scene to rescue Kipruto in vain. The borehole men, as they are referred to in the village, had dug the hole for almost a week without signs of water. Villagers said Kipruto was inside the hole scooping the soil so that his colleague, who was outside, would lift it using a rope tied to a container, and empty it. "His colleague became suspicious when he realised they could no longer communicate," said Andrew Kimeto. He climbed down the borehole to find out what had happened, but along the way he slipped and fell to the bottom of the hole. "We alerted the police but when they arrived they were unable to rescue them, as the hole was too deep," said a resident. More...

Philip Kipruto Chesire, 30, succumbed after oxygen ran out
Bifwoli being investigated over death threats to civic leader

By Wanyonyi wa Wasike, March 18 2011
Police in Bungoma are investigating alleged death threats allegedly issued by Land’s Assistant Minister Hon. Bifwoli Wakoli to Councillor Eliud Tenge of West Bukusu/Kibuke Ward. The Bumula Mp is said to have publicly issued the threats against Councillor Eliud Tenge of West Bukusu/Kibuke ward from his Bumula constituency during a public meeting at Nang'eni Primary School on Monday this week. The civic leader yesterday went to Bungoma Police Station and recorded a statement claiming that his life is in danger following the minister's verbal attacks. A senior police officer who however requested anonymity since investigations were still ongoing confirmed to West Fm that Tenge recorded a statement number OB 30/15/3/2011 adding that the police were in the process of contacting Bifwoli to book a date with him. "We have obtained a statement from the councillor and now we are trying to get the minister so that he can also come along and record his side of the statement. We do not act on information from only one side," said the officer. The civic leader said that during the meeting at Nang'eni, he had complained about the existence of too many stalled Constituency Development Fund (CDF) projects, some of which he said, were now being relocated from one area to another contrary to the CDF act. More...

Wakoli Bifwoli
Bumula MP, Sylvester Wakoli Bifwoli is being investigated over reports that he issues death threats against a local councillor, Eliud Tenge who had queried use of constituency development fund money.

Millet crop in Kakamega
Millet crop, one of the traditional crops in Western is resistant to striga diseases and is more drought resistant than maize. The grain matures in four months with an acre producing 10 bags of 90kg each.
Donor funds to boost millet, sorghum production in Western

By John Kabaka, March 18 2011
Two donors have given Kenya Agricultural Research Institute –KARI, substantial financial support to promote production of finger millet in western Kenya. The money from the USA philanthropic organization, the McKnight Foundation and the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) totals US$441,000 (about Sh34, 398000.00). Dr. Chrispus Oduori, a principal research scientist in charge of Sorghum and millets Research at KARI-Kakamega centre and also the national Co-ordinator of millets Research, is to lead the two projects. The McKnight foundation funded project is also to be implemented in eastern Horn of Africa countries of Uganda and Ethiopia each with country budget of US$134,013 for the four years. Dr. Oduori Wednesday told reporters in Kakamega that McKnight Foundation project is a renewal of the first project that started in 2006 and ended in 2010 covering the old siaya, Busia Teso, and Mumias districts to enhance finger millet crop contribution to food and nutritional security among communities in the region. The first project was funded to the tune of Sh 13 million. The district to benefit from the project include Butere, Matungu, Bungoma North,  Bungoma  East and Teso. More...

The shocking state of Navakholo Police post

By John Kabaka, March 16 2011
Housing has been the biggest challenge when it comes to homes or houses for the police who we are assured of our security. In most places nationwide the police are not well housed. They stay in old wall muddied houses with leaking roofs. The newly created Navakholo Ddistrict has a long and very long way to go when it comes to home for the police. Despite being at the central point of the district the police stay in an ugly wall muddied house, the walls are leaking and the structure unattractive and very old. The police station has new national and the police flags but the state of the offices is discouraging. The offices appear like a home whose owners passed on 100 years ago. As the police commissioner promises and assures the police of decent housing, we consider it as a plus but the commissioner should first of all deal with the most deteriorated like Navakholo district police post. The police station has no electricity; it depends on the one 25 watts solar panel. In case the solar fails, then the officer use lanterns and candles to light up the offices. More...

Navakholo Police Post
Believe it or not this is the police post for the newly created Navakholo District in Kakamega. The back of the semi permanent building has windows hanging out. Photo: John Kabaka

30 pregnant pupils in Teso: A total of 30 girls sat for last year's KCPE and KCSE exams in 30 schools in Teso South District while pregnant, delivered or married. Centre for law and Research International (CLARION) coordinator for Teso, Vincent Osoma said 21 of the victims sat for KCPE with nine from Chakol division schools and 13 from Amukura. Unveiling the outcome of the baseline survey, Mr. Osoma said of the sampled KCSE candidates, nine were found to be pregnant. Otimong Secondary led the pack with four girls, Father Okodoi followed with three cases while St. Mary's Amukura and Alupe had one each. More...
Alarm as 65% of maize flour in Kenya is declared unfit for human consumption

By Gatonye Gathura, March 16 2011
Most of the maize flour in the market from some of the major commercial millers is highly contaminated with aflatoxins. Samples taken from 20 of the major maize millers in December from six provinces were found to contain levels of aflatoxins that were unsafe for human consumption. The research carried out by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ministry of Public Health found that 65 per cent of commercial maizemeal was contaminated with aflatoxins. Making the presentation yesterday in Nairobi, a researcher with CDC, Dr Margaret McDaniel, said they were now moving on to carry out a national study to establish the extent of the contamination. University of Nairobi researcher Sheila Okoth explained that although people were not dropping dead from the poison, there was evidence of secondary health problems. Citing a different study, Dr Okoth said there were worrying rates of aflatoxin-induced kwashiokor in parts of Nandi and increasing cases of cancer in Rift Valley Province. More...

Winnie Juma
Cruelty of death: Relatives and friends console Winnie Juma (centre), wife to the late Musa Juma at Mombasa hospital on March 16, 2011.“I am amazed by the boldness of death,” Musa Juma sings in Rapar Owino (in memory of Owino). “This world is ending, let’s hold on to God. This world is surely coming to an end, let’s pray more and cling on to Jesus." Indeed when death came calling for him, the maestro, like other mortals, had no alternative but to give his acquiescence, dying of chest complications shortly after 6pm on Tuesday. He had staged a come-back performance at Palm City in Mombasa on Saturday night. Photo: Laban Walloga
42 buildings in Kisumu to be demolished as upgraded airport is unveiled

By Kepher Otieno, March 16 2011
Several buildings have been earmarked for demolition in Kisumu town, as the municipal council embarks on a major facelift of the town. The Government has released Sh15 million for the beautification of the lakeside city ahead of the opening of Kisumu International Airport in May. Environment PS Ali Mohammed, who toured the town, said Sh15 million had been set a side to improve the city’s physical outlook. "The cash is to be spent on greening project and we expect the authority to plant more trees to beautify the town," said Mohammed. He spoke as the municipal council continued to mark more buildings that are underutilised or condemned as inhabitable for demolition. Already, more than 42, such buildings have been identified and owners given a 90-day notice to rebuild them or they be pulled down. More...

Nairobi to have postcodes: The City Council of Nairobi wants to number all properties and streets in the city to make them easily accessible to the public and service providers. The project is being undertaken by the department of city planning. More...
Musa Juma, Wuod Usonga
Benga and rumba music maestro, Musa Juma who died yesterday in Mombasa aged just 36. The musician seems to have had a premonition of his death as he gave what would turn out to be his last interview to a local reporter.

Elections in Dec 2012: It is now official that the next General Election will be held in December next year, and not August as had been envisaged by the new Constitution, The Standard can authoritatively reveal. According to a startling draft work plan prepared by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission chaired by Ahmed Isaack, the earliest registration of voters in the country could be concluded is August next year. More...
Benga musician had premonition of his death

By Caroline Nyanga, March 16 2011
The death of the founding member of the legendary Limpopo International Band, popularly referred to by his fans as Jasiaya Kababa or Wuod Usonga, has left lovers of rumba and benga music in shock. The rumba maestro, who was also a lead guitarist of the band group, died on Tuesday evening at Mombasa Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, where he had been taken for treatment after a severe pneumonia attack. Prior to his death Juma had just been on his third US tour where he spent close to seven months performing in various States, including Texas, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Atlanta, Maryland and Washington DC. He returned two weeks ago. Besides rumours he would eventually return to settle in the US, which he did not confirm nor denied, he also secured a three-year contract with Rowa Records Company based in California, Los Angeles. And it would also appear that Juma had a premonition of his death. When I spoke to him last week during which I also had a chance to interview him exclusively on his tour, music and life, he made it clear he was not in good health, as a result of his stay in the US during winter, which he believed affected him. More...

Warring Samia residents clash over transfer of Funyula DC

By Frankline Bwire, March 16 2011
Samia residents in Busia County have remained divided over whether the area District Commissioner (DC) Ms Josephine Onunga should be transferred. A staged demonstration by a section of residents demanding for her transfer was hindered by another group that converged in front of the DC’s office, defending her against accusations put forward by those against her. Those demonstrating against the DC claimed she was interfering with the development exercise of various projects in the area, which mostly came through her office, adding that a youth polytechnic like Buburi was not getting necessary support because she was among those against it. According to Mr. Allan Ouma an area resident, she had sub-divided departmental heads to which in most offices some officers were in fear of undertaking their tasks in accordance. More...

Josephine Onunga
A section of Samia residents demonstrate against the Samia District Commissioner Ms. Josephine Onunga at Funyula. Another group immediately staged a demo supporting the embattled DC who is accuised of interfering with development projects in the area. Photo: Frankline Bwire.
Civil servants locked out at Kakamega provincial HQ for being late

By John Kabaka, March 15 2011
Civil Servants at the Western Provincial headquarters locked out for over an hour for reporting on duty late Monday morning. The workers milled around the main gate pleading with administration police officers to allow them in to no avail. The officers said they were under instruction from the Provincial Commissioner Samuel Kilele not to allow any Government worker arriving at the gate after 8am. Police officers manning the gates at the provincial headquarters took a role call of those locked outside to establish their identity before allowing them in at 9.15am. The incident disrupted operations at the normally busy offices as members of the public seeking services remained locked out of the premises together with staff who frantically struggled to gain entry. A departmental head at the offices told West Fm that the move was meant to remind the officers of the reporting time. Kilele said the move was meant to send a message that reporting time must strictly be adhered to. Our message has been sent; we sent massages in different ways. The gate is closed at 8.00am and anybody out there has to explain why he or she had not reported to his office by the required time,” said the administrator. More...

Musa Juma
Musa Juma, the popular rhumba musician takes a final bow. Photo: Jacob Owiti
Popular musician dies

By our correspondent, March 15 2011
Popular rhumba musician Musa Juma of the Limpopo International and 'Marcelina' fame died in Mombasa today. The musician died at Mombasa Hospital where he was rushed on Tuesday evening after complaining that he was feeling unwell. He was one of the most famous Abasonga tribesmen of Alego-Usonga. Details soon.

Student mob burns down Bungoma school

By Protus Simiyu, March 15 2011
There was tension at St Thomas Secondary School Sikusi in Bungoma Central as students went on rampage causing massive destruction of property in the school Monday. All window panes on all buildings in the school were brought down by the irate students as the essence of the strike is yet to be identified. The unrest begun immediately prep session was over some minutes after 10pm as a teacher who came to establish the unfolding situation was hit by a stone chopping off his ear. When the situation got out of hand, the administration police officers from Chwele were called to control the unruly students. The School Principal Mr. Attanus Mabele said the strike was engineered by the Form Four students over registration of this year's Kenya  Certificate of Secondary School Education (KCSE).

St Stephen's Secondary School, Bungoma
Riot police comb St Thomas school at Ikose in Bungoma following student riots.
Mudavadi secures German financial support for counties

By our correspondsent, March 15 2011
In series of bilateral meetings on Monday and Tuesday with German Government officials, Mr. Musalia Mudavadi, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government who is leading a high powered delegation on a study of devolved government institutions has secured key pledges of support for the implementation of the Constitution in Kenya. At a meeting with the German Finance Minister, Mr. Werner Gatzer on Tuesday, Kenya was assured of German support on policy and legislation streamlining the financial relations between the National Government and County Governments. Mr. Gatzer said his ministry was ready to offer the expertise of Mr. Andreas Kienemund, the head of public finance; and Dr. Jurgen Michalk head of equalisation funds, VAT, grants and tax distribution to help Kenya formulate effective policy and legislation. During the meeting, Mr. Musalia had outlined constitutional provisions on fiscal matters stating that laws were required to ensure harmony in coordination of financial issues between the two levels of government especially on matters of disbursements to Counties; accountability at County level; and qualification to access the Equalisation Fund by Counties. Mr. Werner Gatzer said Kenya had made history by enacting a Constitution in time of peace and could learn a lot from the success and failures of the German federal system especially the weaknesses of financial sustainability of devolved units. The Kenyan delegation comprises of among others, Prof. Karega Mutahi PS ODPM & MoLG and Chair of the Steering Committee on Devolved Government; Hon. Abdikadir Mohammed the Chair of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Implementation of the Constitution; Mr. Ahmed Issack, Chairman of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission; Dr. Kamau Thugge Economic Advisor at the Ministry of Finance; Dr. Kibisu-Kabatesi, Private Secretary and Director of Public Communication ODPM & MoLG and member of the Task Force on Devolved Government; Ms. Lucy Kambuni, Vice-Chair of the Task Force; George Ndegwa the Chief Economist at the ODPM & MoLG and Ms. Pauline Muriithia, Joint Secretary to the Task Force. At another meeting with Prof. Peter Eigen, founder of Transparency International (TI) and Dr. Cobus De Swardt, the Managing Director of Transparency International Monday, TI offered technical support on integrity legislation against corruption at the County level.

Musalia Mudavadi
Hon Musalia Mudavadi (right), deputy prime minister exchanging an agreement for financial support from German finance minister, Mr. Werner Gatzer in Berlin, Tuesday March 15. Mudavadi is heading a powerful team of government officials to Germany for talks over a devolved system of government.

Musician Musa Juma dies in Mombasa

By our correspondent, March 15 2011
Popular Benga musician Musa Juma Mumbo is dead. According to his widow, Winnie, Juma died of breathing complications on Tuesday evening at a Mombasa hospital. “He had been complaining of chest problems ever since he returned from a tour of the US a few weeks ago, and the problem worsened,” she said. She said doctors had frantically tried to save his life at the Intensive Care Unit of Mombasa Hospital. Last week, his group the Limpopo International, staged what turned out to have been his final show in Mombasa. Speaking to the Nation, his band member, Prezda Bandasonn, said Juma complained of chest problems related to a suspected bout of pneumonia during his tour of America. “We have lost a talented an inspiring musician who will be missed by many,” Bandasonn said. By coincidence, Juma’s younger brother Omondi Tonny, also a musician, died about three years ago in Mombasa from injuries sustained in a road accident. The musician will be best remembered for his popular songs like Mercelina, Hera Mudho, Ufisadi and Freddy. More...

Mandela's prison number now a fashion label

Nelson Mandela's Aids charity 46664 is to launch an international fashion label, the former South African president's foundation has announced. It will be called 46664 Apparel after the number Mr Mandela wore in jail. Profits will go to the charity and the label is also intended to boost South Africa's clothing industry, the Nelson Mandela Foundation said. The anti-apartheid icon spent 27 years in prison before becoming South Africa's first black president in 1994. More...

Cleric threatens demo against 2 MPs for opposing proposed Kibabii university

By Protus Wangila Simiyu, March 15 2011
The Anglican Church of Kenya, Bungoma Diocese, Bishop George Mechumo has urged two Members of Parliament who have objected to the implementation of a fully fledged Kibabii University to desist with their retrogressive thoughts or the church will call for mass demonstrations against them. The Clergy noted that the two legislators in conjunction with the current management of the Kibabii Diploma Teachers Collage are plotting to halt the process with their vested selfish reasons. Mr. Mechumo said the Head of State President Mwai Kibaki proclaimed the institution, a public Kibabii University stating anyone poor or rich hindering the realization of the project will be declared the enemy of the people of Bungoma County. The Bishop revealed that the region wanted a University and nothing less. ‘’Those people who are fighting for the institution to be a constituent college of Masinde Muliro University instead of a fully fledged University are meant to fail,’’ the Bishop asserted. In an exclusive interview with West Fm at his Milimani residence in Bungoma town, Mr. Mechumo reckoned that some of the people opposing the essential project are the same figures who held high ranks in the Moi regime and denied the community a University more than 25 years ago. He said the steering committee spearheading the proposed University under the Chairmanship of Western Provincial Director of Education Kenneth Misoi, communicated to the Head of the Civil Service Francis Muthaura for notification who later, appointed a commission to carry out some logistics which gave their findings. More...

'The people of Bungoma County want a University and nothing less' - Bishop Mechumo

Kibabii Diploma Teachers College
Kibabii Diploma Teacher's College in Bungoma.
Peasant farmer appeals for help with urgent treatment

By a correspondent, March 15 2011
Relatives of a peasant farmer from Alupe in Teso South District have sent a passionate appeal to well wishers to help him undergo an urgent operation to remove growth from the head. Hezron Aroba, 33, requires over Sh200, 000 to undergo the operation at Moi Referral hospital in Eldoret to remove the growth which has rendered him indisposed. A close friend, George Abong said they had managed to raise Sh50, 000 which is a quarter of what is required, thus the need by well-wishers to help offset the balance. Narrating the man’s tribulations, Abong said the disease started with a pain on the left side of the eye. It followed two months later with the closure of the eyelid and subsequently the growth on the right side of the brain which is affecting the left side. It has subsequently affected his earring, left jaw, speech and balance, thus making him not walk on his own and unable to munch anything solid but only liquids. Mr. Abong said those willing to save Aroba’s life can visit him at Alupe KEMRI offices or can liaise with him on mobile number 0723712760, adding that Aroba has a wife and three children aged less than 10 years who are still relying on him. More...

One dies in Bumala road accident

By Frankline Bwire, March 15 2011
One person died on the spot, while three others survived narrowly after the vehicle they were travelling in rolled several times after hitting a pothole at Rakite, a few meters from Bumala town on the Kisumu Busia Highway. According to the Busia police Boss Erastus Muthamia, the vehicle was carrying four passengers heading towards Busia town before it hit a pothole and lost control before rolling several times. Muthamia revealed that the driver of the saloon Toyota car, Mr. Abdul Raman aged 39 years was new to the road and was more likely on high speed that he could not control the vehicle after hitting the pothole. “It seemed he had not used the road before and following a surprise pothole, he could not control the vehicle,” he said. He has appealed to all road users of the Bumala-Busia road to be more vigilant, more so on approaching Rakite which has continued to be a black spot to many. More...

NARC to support Khalwale

NARC Kenya will not field a candidate in the Ikolomani by elections but instead support re-election if immediate former MP Bonny Khalwale. The Flower party officials drawn mainly from the flower party branches in Kakamega County are currently holding strategy meetings to plot Khalwale’s comeback. Tthe Flower party co-ordinator for Western Province Sande Oyalo assured Khalwale of the party’s support. More...

Meet Africa's richest man

By our correspondent, March 15 2011
Aliko Dangote $13.8 billion of Nigerian is the richest African whose fortune at Sh1.1 trillion is equivalent to the entire value of all companies listed at the Nairobi Stock Exchange according to Forbes Fortune 500, the annual listing of the world's richest. Mr Dangote ranks number 51 on the list making him richer than American property impresario Donald Trump, who is worth $2.7 billion (Sh224 billion) and whom he can buy out and tell: “You’re fired!” Dangote can acquire Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and employ him as a flight attendant on Virgin Air. Branson is worth $4.2 billion (Sh348 billion) at position 254. That is not all. He makes Oprah Winfrey’s $2 billion (Sh166 billion) read like pocket change, meaning Dangote can buy out Oprah and make her his secretary. Dangote, a father of three, has leapt 412 places up, one of the biggest gainers on the Forbes list. Dangote’s holdings in sugar, flour mills, salt processing, transport, textiles, rice, vegetable oil, fish, real estate, oil, gas, millet, cashew nuts, cotton, cocoa, large scale millet farming, and cement concerns made his fortunes surge by 557 per cent in the past year. More...

Aliko Dangote, richest african
Aliko Dangote, Africa's richest man and world's number 51 richest. His fortune is worth the entire value of comoanies traded at Nairobi Stock Exchange. The world's richest man, Mexican Carlos Slim Helu is of Lebanese heritage.

Africa's corrupt left out

The Forbes Fortune 500 tracks riches through bona fide investments which rules out the corrupt and thieving African leaders or those who have amassed wealth through drug cartels. The threshold for inclusion is an investment portfolio worth a minimum of $1billion.

The World's Top 10 richest
  1. Carlos Slim Helu and family (Mexico) $74 billion (Sh6.1 trillion), telecom.
  2. Bill Gates (US) $56 billion (Sh4.6 trillion), software.
  3. Warren Buffet (US) $50 billion (Sh4.1 trillion), stocks.
  4. Bernard Arnault (France), $41 billion (Sh3.4 trillion), luxury goods.
  5. Larry Ellison (US) $39.5 billion (Sh3.2 trillion), software.
  6. Lakshmi Mittal (India) $31.1 billion (Sh2.5 trillion), steel.
  7. Amancio Ortega (Spain) $31 billion (Sh2.5 trillion), fashion retailing.
  8. Eike Batista (Brazil) $30 billion (Sh2.4 billion), mining, oil.
  9. Mukesh Ambani (India) $27 billion (Sh2.2 trillion), petro-chemicals, oil and gas.
  10. Christy Walton and family (US) $26.5 billion (Sh2.1 trillion), inheritance.

    8,000 teachers promoted: Eight thousand secondary school teachers have been promoted to higher job groups. The move by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) will see 7,299 teachers, a majority of those affected, move from Job Group L to M. Each of them will receive a salary increment of up to Sh5,000 a month. Their promotions will be backdated to the end of February. Click here to view who has been promoted. More...
Mysterious white snake disappears after delivering bride in Bunyala

By Frankline Bwire, March 14 2011
Bunyala residents turned out in numbers at Mundere village, to witness the celebration meant to welcome the deceased’s sister at the home, where a bizarre snake had been camping several days ago. Speaking during the ceremony Mr. Evans Wandera said that it was a great lesson to be learnt by various people in the country to ensure they comply with community laws expected of them. “I tried to convince my wife to take care of my late wife’s son, but she refused, prompting the dead to come back in form of a snake,” he said. He disclosed that the varnishing of the snake was an indication that his late wife was contented with the move they had made. “It was there since morning, I saw it with my own eyes before it later disappeared and it’s more likely it went away after the arrival of the sister,” Nancy Wandera 22 years old, the new wife of Wandera, who is said to have communicated with the white snake, has one child, with the late sister’s son to take care of at the home stead. Mr. Michael Abuoga 85 years old grandfather at the homestead said that among the Banyala community, a woman who gets her first child with a man remains his first wife and if she dies, the man is allowed to inherit the sister. However, a group of individuals were against the hidden truth behind the bizarre snake, revealing that it was more likely Mr. Wandera and his family had a bad background of witchcraft. “What will happen to the future generation if learned people are the ones who embrace such satanic acts in the society?” asked Mr. James Ouma. The bizarre snake white in color, was unique compared to other kinds of snakes, witnessed in the country. It is alleged that it could not go for rats and whenever small children burnt bicycles tires nothing happened at all. More...

World Bank to fund farm inputs: The government in collaboration with the World Bank intends to increase and promote food productivity among the rural poor households in Kenya through the distribution of farm inputs under the Kenya Agricultural Productivity Programme program. More...
White snake in Bunyala
A section of members of the public who turned up for the ceremony held to appease the spirit of Mr Wandera's wife who allegedly sent a white snake to tell her husband to marry her sister. Photo: Frankline Bwire
Evans WanderaNancy Wandera
Evans Wandera and Nancy Wandera, fulfilling their marriage following a white serpent's intervention alleged to be the emissary of Wandera's late wife who was a sister to Nancy. The white snake which caused a stir in the rural homestead delivered a message from Wandera's late wife that he should marry her sister. Photos: Frankline Bwire
Busia KNUT elections dispute rages

By Frankline Bwire, March 14 2011
The giant Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has been urged to intervene in the controversy surrounding its Busia branch election results. Busia branch Executive Secretary Mr. Mark Oseno, said that there was suspicion following the delay in the registration of the legitimately elected KNUT officials of the Busia Branch. “Why has the KNUT office not played its role in ensuring registration takes place immediately? Is it true that the National office does not have adequate stationary to even develop a document and forward it to the next level?” he asked. Oseno wondered whether the National Legal Advisor of KNUT was supporting and guiding the election looser, to file a case against the new team, which was not right. “People must learn to accept results when defeated; it should not be made to be a culture in certain people that they cannot be defeated,” he said. We should not witness what happened in 2007 during the general elections he said. Addressing journalists in Busia town, Oseno disclosed that the incumbent has refused to accept results earlier own released after the elections held at the Busia Municipal stadium on Saturday 5th March 2011. More...

Busia KNUT
Busia teachers after branch elections last week. Dispute rages on over delay in registering elected officials. Elected branch officials now want the intervention of the national headquarters of the giant Kenya National Union of Teachers in Nairobi over the impasse.
95% of Nairobi businesses operating illegally - Kisia

By Mutinda Mwanzia, March 14 2011
City Council of Nairobi has busted three employees in the Licensing Department said to be behind a syndicate that has been printing fake business permits. City Clerk Philip Kisia said investigation had revealed the employees have been running the syndicate for nearly seven years. “I can confirm that we have zeroed on the key suspects and anytime they will be arrested,” Mr Kisia told The Standard at City Hall. He said the Director of Investigation, Samuel Mate, was following crucial leads that would unearth the racket that has seen the council lose millions of shillings monthly. Last week, City Hall smashed a racket involving the use of fake business permits within the Central Business District. Kisia said 95 per cent of the businesses in Accra and River Road were operating without valid council documents. He said some of the businesses have not renewed their permits in the past five years while others were using fake documents, issued to them by unscrupulous council workers. Among the businesses found to be operating using fake council permits included chemists, petrol stations, stalls, hotels and matatu organisations offices. On Sunday, Kisia said five traders arrested on Thursday had revealed the source of the fake council business permits. Kisia said out of the 400,000 registered businesses in the city, only 80,000 were paying for their permits. More...

ODM petitions UN over ICC: Attempts to defer two ICC cases against the Ocampo Six have suffered a potentially fatal blow after one half of the Grand Coalition Government wrote to the UN Security Council not to postpone them. More...
Philip Kisia
Philip Kisia, Nairobi Town Clerk: Out of the City's 400,000 businesses, only 80,000 are licenced.

Ocampo wants Muthaura fired

By Peter Opiyo, March 14 2011
The International Criminal Court has written a letter to Kenya requesting that head of civil service Francis Muthaura be relieved of his control over police before he can be allowed to testify at the ICC. ICC Chief prosecutor, Louis Moreno-Ocampo on Monday said ICC cannot receive testimony from Mutahura while he still has control over the Kenya police.Muthaura is head of Kenya’s National Security Council, a fact Ocampo believes, gives the head of civil service power to interfere with witnesses. "Mr Muthaura has a role as a superior to the Police…so before his testimony, we have to be sure he is not head of the police," said Ocampo.Ocampo was speaking to local and international journalists via a video link at Nairobi’s Crown Plaza hotel. He also said he would review whether Uhuru Kenyatta is involved in Kenya’s witness protection because if it is so, he would also request that he too be relieved of that duty. Uhuru sits on the board that oversees witness protection. More...

Sugar board to construct 20 bridges in Kakamega

By Joel Okwayo, March 14 2011
Kenya Sugar Board (KSB) has rolled out a project that will see to the construction of over 20 bridges in Kakamega County at a cost of Sh178 million. KSB said tenders for the construction works are out and the board’s technical team was carrying out a study on the practicability of the bridges. "We want Mumias sugar zone to get another 10 bridges to ease cane transportation in the area," said the KSB Director Billy Wanjala, who was accompanied by Mohammed Mukhwana. This plan will be the second phase of a programme that saw over 10 bridges constructed at a cost of Sh260 million. The directors were speaking at Butula market where they addressed farmers during an inspection of bridges. They explained that the move to put up more bridges is aimed at reducing transportation costs incurred by farmers. "We are reducing the distance covered by tractors transporting cane from the farms to the millers for farmers to realise better returns," said Mukhwana. Mr Mukhwana and Wanjala said the board is also exploring the possibility of putting up three cane weighing centres in Mumias sugar zone. They lauded the Nambale weighbridge, saying it has proved to be beneficial to farmers, as there is minimal cane spillage on the road. They said cane-buying centres will be installed at Butere and Lurambi areas. The two were speaking just days after Mumias Sugar Cane Growers Association Executive Director Simon Wesechere accused Mumias Sugar Company (MSC) of underpaying farmers. He noted that Butali Sugar Mill pays Sh4,000 per tonne, whereas MSC has stagnated at Sh3,300 per tonne. More...

Shitanda endorses Wamalwa for presidency

By John Kabaka, March 14 2011
Presidential aspirant Eugene Wamalwa got a boost to his presidential ambitions after Housing Minister Soita Shitanda threw his weight behind the youthful politician over the weekend. The Malava MP said he was ready to support the Saboti Mp in his bid to carry the flag of the region in search of the presidency. Mr. Shitanda scolded those criticising Wamalwa as unfit for the presidency saying time for generational change was ripe. He further called upon all presidential aspirants from the region to shelve those ambitions and instead rally behind Wamalwa and sell him across the country. Shitanda also called upon other communities across the country to support Eugene Wamalwa saying the Western region has been supporting other regions ascend to power and it was now time that the region should be supported. He told Eldoret North MP William Ruto to support Wamalwa and rally his supporters towards delivering him (Wamalwa) to State House. Also present at the campaign rally in Kakamega North were MP Kazungu Kambi, former MP Raphael Wanjala, politician Stanley Livondo and Labour Party of Kenya (LPK) leader Prof. Julia Ojiambo. More...

Eugene Ludovic Wamalwa
From right: Former Budalangi MP Raphael Wanjala, Housing Minister and Malava Mp Soita Shitanda, Eldoret North Mp William Ruto, presidential aspirant Eugene Wamalwa. Photo: John Kabaka

Advocate buried in Naitiri: Constitutional politics dominated the burial of the long serving advocate of the high court Salim Wanyonyi Macho at his Naitiri village of Bokoli location in Bungoma East District. Speaker after speaker eulogized the late Macho as steadfast, principled and outgoing who was diligent in his service delivery while still serving the government before he succumbed to hypertension outside his house in Eldoret. More...
Mystery as white snake tells man to marry sister in law in Budalang'i

By Stella Cherono, March 14 2011
When a woman saw a white snake in her kitchen, little did she know that the reptile would call for marriage celebrations between her husband and another woman, a week later. On March 5, she spotted the snake on one of the posts holding the roof of her grass thatched kitchen in their home in Busonga Village of Budalang’i. Villagers tried to kill the snake, but they could not reach it as the roof is high, and villagers feared the pure white serpent. They smoked the house for three days, but the snake refused to leave. Some claimed their hands lacked the strength to kill the serpent. Two days later, the snake had not crept away, so the woman decided to call her husband to inform him of the visitor. Surprisingly, Mr Evans Wandera Obuoga who lives and works in Nairobi told them to stop bothering it, claiming that he knew the snake. In no time, the snake became famous in Nyanza and Western provinces, prompting the home to become an attraction site. Hundreds flocked daily to look at the stubborn, shiny white snake. A week later, the media was curious too. The Nation found hundreds of people queuing to view the snake that stared back calmly from the roof. Visitors paid Sh20 before entering the traditional kitchen. They said the snake had stayed without food for a week. More...

Budalang'i white snake
Mystery of a white serpent: A mysterious snake coiled on the rail of a hut in Evans Wandera's home in the village of Abuoga in Budalang'i, Busia on March 5, 2011. Photo: Tom Otieno

Nuclear threat as death toll rises to 10,000 in Japanese tsunami: The Fukushima Daiichi plant's operators have resumed pumping seawater into reactor 2 after a cooling system broke. They warned of a possible meltdown when the fuel rods became exposed after the pump stopped as its fuel ran out. A cooling system breakdown preceded explosions at the plant's reactor 3 on Monday and reactor 1 on Saturday. The death toll remains unclear - officials in Miyagi estimate 10,000 people died in that prefecture alone. More...
Lynda and Sasha Bulimo
Sasha Bulimo (left) and Lynda Bulimo hold their certificates after successfully completing a one year Keshotu Leadership Academy course and performing at a house-packed end of year show last night.

Lynda Bulimo wins leadership award

By our reporter, March 13 2011
Lynda Bulimo has won an award as the most improved student of Keshotu Leadership Academy. Ms Bulimo's award caps a six month training in leadership training through performing arts, an initiative of Edmonton's Centre for Race and Culture and funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund. Lynda is the first born daughter of Abeingo editor, Shadrack and Jacqueline Bulimo. She attended the course with her younger sister Sasha. Her award, worth $500 was in recognition of her commitment to ideals of KLA by excelling in 10 key areas including demonstrated improvement in performing arts, commuication, leadership and risk taking. "Lynda has simply blossomed as a performer especially in singing," commented course facilitator, Michelle Todd. Two other prizes were won by Mariam Hatim and Shakira Jamerson. Last Saturday, March 4, the young leaders performed at the annual gala for Centre for Race and Culture (CRC) attended by who is who in Edmonton including the mayor, Steven Mandel at the prestigious Greenwood Inn, Edmonton. This weekend on Saturday, March 18, KLA will perform at Afro Trade Expo at City Hall, Edmonton. Keshotu Leadership Academy is open to the youth of African descent resident in Canada including Afro-caribbean, African American and Afro-Asian backgrounds. Giving a vote of thanks, CRC manager, Junetta Jamerson described the young leaders as awesome. "They are true leaders," she said. Keshotu is an acronym for Kesho Yetu (Our Tommorow) in Kiswahili.

Sasha Bulimo, Keshotu Leadership Academy
Telling harsh & humorous migration stories: The Keshotu Leadership Academy ensemble. Back row from left: Shakira Jamerson, Nicolas Rurangirwa, Lynda Bulimo, Jonathan Buki and Milena Ghebrehariat. Second row from left: Sasha Bulimo, Blessing Jonah, Shireen Etoroma, Yolanda Mvundura and Nyat Haile. Front row from left: Faven Zewdei, Mariam Hatim and Wilna Toussaint. The ensemble performed to a packed audience at the Edmonton Library Theatre on Friday and Saturday, March 11 and 12 2011 showcasing excellent acting, dancing and singing skills learnt over the last six months at the Keshotu Leadership Academy in Edmonton, Canada. "A better tommorow" ensemble was directed by Dr Valerie Mason-John aka Queenie and choreographed by Masani St Rose. The vocal instructor was Nicole Andrews and the show producer was Michelle Todd. It tells the story of challenges of migration and adjusting to a foreign culture. "Migration stories can sometimes be harsh and sometimes humorous," commented Dr Mason-John, the director. "A better tommorow is a testament to teh struggles and achievemnt that many of our African youth have to experience today."
Red flag raised over engineering courses taught by technicians at MMUST

By Wachira Kigotho, March 11 2011
Serious academic anomalies have been unearthed at Muliro University of Science and Technology where engineering courses are being conducted by professionals from other disciplines. Some core units are also being taught by technicians. For instance, a course named highway Materials and Pavement Design is being taught by a technician, while Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering Materials is being taught by a geologist while Highway Geometric Design is being taught by a surveyor. Last year, the university had also engaged a part-time graduate in home economics to teach Public Health Engineering in the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering. The issue of local universities offering inferior engineering education is not just contrary to ERB’s regulations but also against Washington Accord, a global agreement that specifies recognition and international equivalence of engineering qualifications. According to Dr Win Phillips, the chairperson of the International Engineering Alliance, it is not prudent for universities and other degree awarding colleges of engineering to segment professional disciplines. This means graduates of segmented or sub-standard degrees cannot be registered by affiliates of the Washington Accord that comprise national registration bodies such as the ERB and other similar signatories. More...

Accreditation board rejects 47 engineering courses at Kenyan universities

By Wachira Kigotho, March 11 2011
The Engineering Registration Board (ERB) has rejected to accord accreditation status to 47 ongoing and planned engineering degrees in local public and private universities. The degrees were submitted for accreditation late last year. According to ERB’s Report on Accreditation of the Engineering Degree Programmes, degrees were rejected because of their low quality curriculum, lack of qualified lecturers, segmentation, and duplication of the programmes and absence of professional focus. The report, produced last year, accuses universities of enhancing mediocrity by developing sub-standard degrees which amounted to cheating the public that they were offering engineering degrees, while the menu consisted of technician based courses. Kenyatta University had its eight engineering degrees in energy, manufacturing, water, construction, civil, mechanical, computer and electrical and communication rejected on the basis of lack of lecturers, inadequate laboratories and segmentation of degrees. By the time the university was seeking accreditation for Bachelor of Science in Electronic and Telecommunications Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, the programmes had only two members of staff and none was a registered engineer. More...

Students pay high price for bogus courses

Notably the price is high for students who join unaccredited programmes in universities, not just in Kenya but also in other countries. This means such graduates cannot develop successful careers in engineering since they cannot practice as professional cadres. According to Engineers Registration Act Cap 530 only registered engineers that are authorised to practice and offer engineering professional services in the country. As ERB has pointed out, it is apparent that most universities in the country are pursuing the path to make technician courses to be degree programmes. More...

Masinde Muliro University
Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology based in Kakamega has three unaccredited engineering courses
Moi University, Eldoret
Moi University in Eldoret has five bogus engineering courses
University of Nairobi
Kenya's oldest institution of higher learning, the University of Nairobi is also caught in the scam with one bogus engineering course.
Kenyatta University
Kenyatta University, Kenya's second oldesr university has also been ensnared in the engineering courses scandal.
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUCAT) has six bogus engineering courses.
Egerton University
Egerton University in Njoro has been found to have 9 unaccredited engineering courses
Kenya Methodist University
Meru based, Kenya Methodist University has been found to have one bogus engineering course in its curriculum.
Alarm as 47 bogus engineering courses are unearthed at varsities

University of Nairobi: Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Biosystems Engineering

Moi University

1. Bachelor of Engineering in Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering
2. Bachelor of Engineering in Manufacturing, Industrial and Textile Engineering
3. Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Engineering
4. Bachelor of Science in Electrical Apparatus and Systems
5. Bachelor of Engineering in Telecommunication Engineering

Kenyatta University

1. Bachelor of Science in Energy Engineering
2. Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering
3. Bachelor of Water Engineering
4. Bachelor of construction Engineering
5. Bachelor of Science in Civil and Water Engineering
6. Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Telecommunication Engineering
7. Bachelor of Mechanical and Energy Engineering
8. Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

1. Bachelor of Science in Telecommunication and Information Engineering
2. Bachelor of Science in Electronic and Computer Engineering
3. Bachelor of Science in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering
4. Bachelor of Science in Biomechanical and Processing Engineering
5. Bachelor of Science in Soil, Water and Environmental Engineering
6. Bachelor of Science in Mining and Mineral Engineering

Egerton University

1. Bachelor of Science in Instrumentation and Control Engineering
2. Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
3. Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering
4. Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering
5. Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering
6. Bachelor of Technology in Industrial Technology
7. Bachelor of Science in Water and Environmental Engineering
8. Bachelor of Science in Telecommunication Engineering
9. Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Control Engineering

Masinde Muliro University of Science & Technology

1. Bachelor of Technology in Production Technology
2. Bachelor of Technology in Electrical and communication Engineering
3. Bachelor of Technology in Civil and Structural Eng

Kenya Methodist University: Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering

University of Eastern Africa, Baraton: Bachelor of Technology in Automotive Engineering

Daystar University: Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering

Mombasa Polytechnic University College

1. Bachelor of Engineering in Building and Civil Engineering
2. Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering
3. Bachelor of Engineering in Telecommunication and Information Engineering
4. Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and electronics Eng
5. Bachelor of Engineering in Instrumentation and Automation Engineering

Kenya Polytechnic University College

1. Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronics Eng
2. Bachelor of Technology in Electrical and Electronics Eng

Kimathi University College of Technology

1. Bachelor of Science in Telecommunication and Information Engineering
2. Bachelor of Science in Mechatronic Engineering
3. Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronics Eng.
4. Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

Saboti voters want CDF disbanded over corruption

By our correspondent, March 11 2011
Saboti voters have threatened to move to court to have the local Constituency Development Fund accounts frozen. They intend to make the move following failure by their MP Eugene Wamalwa, who is also the kitty patron, to disband the committee over alleged malpractices. The voters, led by Peter Maingi, said they have prepared an application to petition court to freeze the CDF account to force the MP to fire the kitty team under Alfred Nyairo, Justin Sitti and Ronald Jumbe. "We have prepared the application and we are heading to court to have the CDF account frozen. Our target is to compel the MP to disband the current team," said Maingi. They protested that the team’s tenure expired two years ago and the MP has refused to remove them despite corruption allegations. Wamalwa has twice suspended plans to make changes at the CDF committee due to a reported war between the committee and a group waiting to take over. More...

Alfred Khang'ati
Kanduyi MP, Alfred Khang'ati has cracked teh whip on top officials of Kanduyi CDF over lackadaisical performance. The treasurer, Mrs Hilda Siang'a, wife of Gor Mahia coach, James Siang'a was among officials shown the door.
Crisis as Kanduyi CDF officials are sacked

By Wanyonyi wa Wasike, March 11 2011
Assistant Minister Alfred Khang'ati moved fast to diffuse a crisis in his local Kanduyi Constituency Development Fund as some officials were shown the door. Long-serving Treasurer Mrs Hildah Siang'a was removed and her position taken over by committee member Godfrey Nyongesa. Khang'ati at the same time appointed Mrs Elizabeth Ondiek as a committee member to represent the township region. The MP who is also the Assistant Minister in the Office of the Prime-Minister said that he came up with the changes following frequent complaints from residents over the slow implementation of CDF projects in the area. A committee member is said to have raised the issue of changes to the CDF management and accused Mrs Siang'a, wife to former Harambee Stars and Gor Mahia coach James Siang'a of failing to attend any meeting since the year begun. More...

Food hawkers banned in Bungoma

By Protus Simiyu, March 10 2011
The Deputy Public Health Officer Bungoma South district Mr. David Simiyu said the habit of selling food in the open air endangers the health of residents stating it must be stopped at all cost. ‘’The manner through which street food is prepared is questionable, therefore not fit for human consumption, ‘’Mr. Simiyu pointed out. In an exclusive interview with West Fm in his office, Mr.Simiyu said open food selling is now rampant in Bungoma town and its environs saying his office has come up with a strategy to end the trend. He revealed that through the trained community health workers, they are educating the hawkers and residents on the dangers of street food. ‘’We are advising them to stop hawking food and those who are adamant, we arrest them and take them to court,’’ he said. They either open legal premises to operate their business or quit,’’ he added. More...

food hawkers in Bungoma
Food hawking on the dusty streets of Bungoma towm has been banned on health grounds. The Deputy Public Health Officer Bungoma South District, David Simiyu said hawkers are only interested in money rather public health and must the practice must be stopped at all costs.
Mumias 65,000 outgrowers prepare for fresh polls

By Joel Okwayo, March 10 2011
The revival of the cash-strapped Mumias Out Growers Company (Moco) is on course. The Kenya Sugar Board (KSB) has said it is mobilising resources to help Moco hold fresh elections for it to take off on a sound note. KSB directors, Mohammed Mukhwana and Billy Wanjala, urged the 65,000 sugarcane farmers in Kakamega County to take part in the May elections. The term of office for the current management expires this month, but a notice of elections is yet to be issued as required by law. Mukhwana and Wanjala said the sugar regulatory body wants Moco to operate from the county, and not from Nyanza Province. "Moco is earning millions of shillings out of the tractors it leases to a factory in Nyanza," said Mukhwana. He said the new board is expected to negotiate with Mumias Sugar Company to resolve a case involving more than Sh2 billion that the two parties had not accounted for. The directors said Moco and Mumias Sugar should agree on how the money would benefit farmers. The companies were running a joint account, but later failed to agree after the Moco was denied access to the fund. The Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, which took over the matter after Mumias MP Ben Washiali raised the issue in Parliament, is yet to give its report. Moco chairman, Ken Echesa, accused the committee of failing to address the dispute even after the matter was forwarded to it. More...

bodaboda nambale
A boda boda cyclist was killed in Lupida, Nambale East, Busia County sparking a huge protest during which 20 houses were torched in revenge.

Infant roasted to death as mother goes drinking: A one year old child was burnt to death when their Chakol village home caught fire after its mother went on a drinking. Teso OCPD, Elphas Korir confirmed the incident and blamed the child’s mother for abdicating her domestic responsibilities at the expense of traditional brews which he said was on the rise in many parts of Teso. The Police boss said the mother left for a drinking spree and left her child alone in their grass thatched house which later caught fire, adding that nothing was salvaged. More...
20 houses burnt in Nambale to avenge killing of a boda boda cyclist

By our correspondent, MArch 10 2011
About 20 houses were burnt down on Wednesday night when irate villagers in Lupida, Bukhayo North location in Nambale took revenge over the killing of a boda boda cyclist. Bramwel Oswaro, 22, was allegedly slaughtered by a butcher and his employee in a bizarre incident that has shocked residents of Nambere trading centre near Kocholia. Two houses went up in smoke as the police who had arrived to quell the fracas watched in disbelief before the intervention of community policing chairman, Geoffrey Odeke who pleaded with them to stop the act. Odeke said the villagers appeared to target the killers’ clan and his close friends, adding that over six sheep and several chicken also died in the arson attack that lasted over two hours. Area chief, Moses Opiyo said the deceased's relatives were angered by the cold blood murder of their son, prompting them to revenge by burning the suspects' houses and property. More...

Corrupt counties to be ranked: All the 47 counties in Kenya may soon be ranked in a corruption list to promote good governance and boost fight against graft. To be dubbed "Counties of Integrity", the project seeks to involve county residents, civil society organisations to generate a list of which counties are top in combating corruption. More...
Kakamega prisoners celebrate international women's day with catwalk, dance

By John Kabaka, March 9 2011
As the whole world marked the international day women’s day, the Kakamega GK prison did it in style. Joy, jubilation and happiness prevailed as many danced their hearts out. Catwalk drama and all kinds of entertainment left many seeking for more. The one day freedom of expression and meet greet indeed made a change to the prisoners. Those with life sentence for a second time had time to smile again as the freely mingled with friends and relatives and others who graced the occasion. “We happy to part of this historical day in our lives, that shows how same we are with other women in the world we should not be looked at as crooks or bad people not all of us here came because we committed a crime but you understand how the law can be unfair sometimes,” said Mwajuma an inmate. Also in attendance was the deputy person’s boss in the Western region Stephen Waithaka who cleared the inmates from the bad image offered to them by the public. “These are people like the other ones in the world at large it’s time we should refer to them as former law breakers or just law breakers they just like us and that’s why they are also celebrating these big day on the worlds calendar,” said Waithaka. More...

Kenyans protest at UN Hq: Dozens of Kenyans living in America on Tuesday held a peaceful demonstration outside the UN headquarters as Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka argued for deferral of the post-election violence cases.The protesters asked for the speedy trial of the cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and described the deferral campaign as a waste of energy and taxpayers’ money.“We want to show our concern that the IDPs not be forgotten,” said Peter Kerre, lead organiser of the half-day protest. More...
Kakamega Women Prison
Jig time at Kakamega Women Prison as inmates celebrate International Women's Day yesterday complete with a catwalk (below). Photos: John Kabaka
Kakamega Prison Beauty Pageant
Battered husband seeks protection from his wife

By Leonard Wamalwa, March 9 2011
Barely a day after women all over the world celebrated the World women's day and called for protection against all manner of abuse and harrassment, a middle aged man has narrated how he is beng taken through tough times by his wife. Stephen Salenge Mukangasia of Nasianda village Kongoni location of Lugari district narrated his sufferings to journalists in Kitale town saying that he has been enduring torture and beatings among other traumatizing activities in the hands of her 30-year-old wife Linet Ndesi Musimbi for the last four years. Salenge who is a driver by profession said that her youthful wife who was humble and respectful in the first three years of their marriage turned suddenly and became a husband molester and could not hear any advice or direction from her husband any more soon after he left his job and his income started declining. More...

Google donates to Mandela archive: Google is to donate $1.25m (£770,000) to a project that aims to create an archive of Nelson Mandela's life. The Nelson Mandela Foundation Centre of Memory is digitising photographs, letters and other documents relating to the former South African president. A similar project, chronicling the life of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, will also receive $1.25m. More...
Stephen Salenge Mukangasia
Stephen Salenge Mukangasia from Nasianda village, Kongoni in Lugari is under constant attack by his youthful 30-year old wife, Linet Ndesi Musimbi whom he now seeks protection against. Photo: Leonard Wamalwa

Sally Kosgei caught with pants down

By our correspondent, March 9 2011
When Sally Kosgey met top US envoys she badmouthed the President, Prime Minister, Vice-President, and other Cabinet colleagues in a scale hitherto unreported by Wikileaks about a Kenyan official. Kenya's former High Commissioner to London, retired President Moi's last Head of Civil Service and Secretary to Cabinet dismissed Kibaki as a President who did not read Intelligence briefs. She said Prime Minister Raila Odinga was a strong candidate to succeed Kibaki, but was let down by poor management and organisational skills. To her Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, with whom she is in New York lobbying the UN to defer Kenya’s cases at The Hague, fears the shadow of Justice Minister, Mutula Kilonzo, who he thinks is out to eclipse him. He dismissed Uhuru Kenyatta as ‘lazy’ and Mutula as a ‘windbag’. More...

Women paint Chwele red

By Protus Simiyu, March 9 2011
There was joy and jubilation in Chwele town as hundreds of women across Bungoma County converged to mark the International Women's Day on Tuesday. Speaking during the celebrations, Maendeleo ya Wanawake Chairperson Mt Elgon branch Mrs. Jeniffer Mbatiany pointed out cultural practices such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), early pregnancy and forced marriage as the main hindrances affecting the girl child and women in general. The Kibabii Diploma Teachers Principal Mrs. Jessica Simiyu who graced the occasion challenged parents to give equal opportunities to girls and boys to acquire quality education. ‘Without proper and quality education, the plight of women cannot be solved,’ she added.More...

Jessica Simiyu
The deputy mayor of Kimilili Township Mrs. Florence Wekesa (left) and the Principal of Kibabii Diploma Teachers' College Jessicca Simiyu cutting a cake to mark International Women's Day at Chwele yesterday. Photo: Protus Simiyu.

Sleeping no more as giants produce top results in Bungoma, Lugari

By Joseph Amunya, March 9 2011
The sleeping academic giants in Bungoma East district rose up strongly and registered improved results in last year's Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examinations with the district registering a positive deviation. According to the District Education Officer (DEO) Mr. Charles Ang'iela sleeping giants like St. Cecilia Misikhu and Milo Boys Secondary School registered great improvement with the latter producing an A for the first time while St. Cecilia produced two A-. The DEO disclosed that the district had a positive deviation of 0.2015 with a mean score of 5.4155 compared to the last year’s 5.2140. Lugulu Girls topped the district with a mean score of 8.8710 while the sister school Lugulu Mixed Secondary School was last with a mean of 3.2500 Out of the 2974 candidates who sat the exams in the district, 778 managed to achieve possible university entry. Mr. Ang’iela revealed that the district had 8 A (plain), 40 A- (minus), 112 B+ (plus), 159B (plain), 194 B- (minus) and 310 C+ (plus). Out of the 8 ‘A’s, 7 came from Lugulu girls while 1 came from Milo Boys. More...

Charles Ang'iela
Charles Ang'iela, Bungoma East District Education Officer has praised the cooperation of parents and teachers as the driving force behind improved exam results in local schools. Photo: Joseph Amunya Otieno

Legendary Ugandan football icon buried: Last Thursday afternoon, Uganda and Africa lost one of the most memorable names in football. This afternoon, in our ancestral home in Pece, my family will bury David Otti, the sports hero, and the last-born of my grandfather Abuneri Ogaba. Uncle Otti’s funeral comes less than a month after he buried his older brother Alipayo Lwanymoi Oloya (my father), and assumed the traditional role of head for the Oloya family. More
Trans Nzoia coop members in demo over land grabbing

By Leonard Wamalwa, March 9 2011
Over 100 members of Sitatunga Farmers Cooperative Society in Trans Nzoia East District staged a peaceful demonstration at the District commissioner's office demanding justice against people whom they allege have grabbed over 1000 acres belonging to the society. Led by vice chairman Joseph Mwalicha the members said the society had 1683 acres of land allocated to them by the founding president of this country the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta in 1972. They said that the land has been grabbed over the years by senior government officials who served in the KANU regime under retired president Moi and the Narc government under president Kibaki after they took advantage of the illiteracy of the original members who were ignorant of land allocation procedures. Out of the total land allocated to them by the former head of state, they noted that only 500 acres remain under the society as the rest has been subdivided into potions to prominent people unprocedurally as the original members are sidelined in the process. They accused a number of current local provincial administrators as some of the architects and beneficiaries of grabbed land. More...

Newspaper under fire for publishing Kakamega porn photos

By Julius Baraza, March 9 2011
A local newspaper should be punished for publishing obscene pictures. The government and the Media Council of Kenya want The Star held responsible for the pictures in its Tuesday issue. Director of communications Ezekiel Mutua, council chairman Levi Obonyo and member Peter Mutie said the council’s complaints commission should take action on the newspaper. The paper carried a story and photos on alleged sex escapades at Muliro Gardens in Kakamega Town. “Carrying this story in the newspaper offends common decency and family values that we want to believe in as a society,” the officials said in a statement. Addressing journalists at Nairobi Safari Club, Dr Obonyo, Mr Mutua and Mr Mutie said the Media Council was inundated with calls from the public on Tuesday complaining about the publication. More...

Carrying Muliro Gardens photos offends common decency and family values

Levi Obonyo
Director of information Ezekiel Mutua (top), Media council Chairman Levy Obonyo (center) and Kenya Film Commission chairman Peter Mutie want action against The Star newspaper for carrying Muliro Gardens porn photos. Photo: Hezron Njoroge
Varsity students defrock beauty queen, allege bias

By Peter Atsiaya, March 9 2011
Chaos marred a students’ beauty contest at Moi University, Eldoret West Campus, over alleged partiality of the judges. The Miss KPA contest ended in disarray as angry students took to the podium to protest at the results. Trouble started when the judges declared Ms Tabitha Wafula winner and Ms Vivian Cherono as the runners-up. Students denounced the results claiming Cherono should have taken the crown. Chants of haki yetu! haki yetu (our rights) rent the air. There was drama after a group of protesting students took to the podium where the winners were paraded and received awards. They then untied the Miss KPA scarf from Wafula and crowned Cherono, before taking off the crown from Wafula’s head. The students, however, did not damage property during the 2pm incident at a local hotel at the weekend. The institution’s entertainment director Bernard Kemei denied the judges were biased. More...

Trouble started when judges declared Tabitha Wafula winner and Vivian Cherono as the runners-up

Blow to Kibaki as ICC rules Ocampo Six must face trial

By Peter Okong'o, March 9 2011
Kenya's political map changed overnight after the International Criminal Court issued summonses against six Kenyans suspected to bear the greatest responsibility for the 2007-2008 post-election violence. ICC confirmed to the world last evening that the judges issued the summonses to appear against the Kenyans, reports that were initially circulated by Reuters quoting the respected Human Rights Watch. The suspects must now appear in person before the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II judges at The Hague, on April 7, failure to which the court would issue international warrants of arrest to secure their co-operation. The summons effectively render futile, and waste of taxpayers’ money, the globe-trotting mission of Vice- President, Kalonzo Musyoka, and his retinue of ministers allied to Kibaki’s Party of National Unity. The world will now wait to see if Kibaki will retain DPM Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of the Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Muthaura as they are now international suspects facing serious charges of crimes against humanity. More...

Ocampo Six
International criminal suspects

Summonses against the Ocampo Six officially renders them international criminal suspects facing serious crimes against humanity and humiliates President Kibaki who personally took charge of an offensive against ICC by sending his VP, Kalonzo Musyoka globe-trotting to garner support for the deferral of the cases for at least one year.

Clergy, lawyers call for immediate dismissal of Uhuru, Muthaura

By Mangoa Mosota, March 9 2011
Kenyans suspected to bear the greatest responsibility of post-poll violence and are serving in Government should resign immediately, a renowned lawyer and ACK clergy have said. East African Law Society Vice-President James Mwamu and ACK Mumias Diocese Bishop Bineah Salala said it would be illegal to continue holding public office. The suspects should step down. They cannot continue being in office," argued Mr Mwamu, in Kisumu on Wednesday. He said the crimes the individuals are suspected to have committed are severe and they are international suspects hence they should vacate office immediately. The duo said that if the suspects do not leave office; then President Kibaki should sack them. On Tuesday, Salala said ICC was the best body to try the suspects, adding that a local tribunal would face political interference. More...

Jirongo, Marende to form political alliance to fight for presidency

By Joseph Amunya, March 8 2011
Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo has revealed that a political alliance has been mooted between him and house speaker Kenneth Marende with a view of propelling one of them to the top post. Speaking at Lumama secondary school during a fund raiser to assist in purchasing a piece of land for expansion, the legislature said plans were at an advanced stage for the establishment of a political party. He said their plans will be made public this March when a supporters' list will be unveiled adding that whomever will have more supporters will carry the party’s flag. Jirongo said Western region had the possibility of producing the next presidential candidate so long as area leaders back them. He advised area residents to unite and decline being used by other communities as a stepping stone to state house who later ignore their role once elected. More...

Cyrus Jirongo
Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo addressing the parents and teachers of Lumama Secondary School during a fundraising event at the school over the weekend. Jirongo revealed that plans are at an advanced stage to form a political alliance with House Speaker, Kenneth Marende with a view to ascending to the presidency. Photo: Joseph Amunya
Pro-Hague group collects 800,000 signatures

By Peter Atsiaya,March 8 2011
Civil society groups claim to have acquired more than 800,000 signatures in a campaign against deferral of post-election violence trials. The organisations target a million signatures to use in petitioning members of the UN Security Council to reject an attempt by section of the Government to have cases against ‘Ocampo Six’ deferred. "We have made a significant progress in seeking signatures on this front," said Mr Ken Wafula, the chairman of the national council of NGOs co-ordinating the campaign. He added: "The battle over whether to defer the post-election violence cases at The Hague has turned out to be a struggle between agents of impunity in Government and Kenyans supporting change". Speaking in Eldoret on Monday, Mr Wafula added Rift Valley region led in the number of the signatures, with more than 300,000 residents appending theirs. "The number of residents from Rift Valley who have signed has caused jitters among the political class because this may have been unexpected," said Wafula. More...

Alfred Sambu
Alfred Wekesa Sambu, the Webuye MP. He has scoffed at Kalonzo Musyoka's shuttle diplomacy around the world as a waste of taxpapyers money on a mission that is ill-conceived and selfish. The vice president is in New York today to meet UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon to push for a deferral of ICC trials of Kenyan lords of war.
Sambu terms Kalonzo's ICC shuttle diplomacy a big flop

By Wanyonyi wa Wasike, March 8 2011
Webuye Member of Parliament Alfred Sambu has claimed that PNU is pushing for the deferral of cases involving the Ocampo Six because the party plans to front two of the individuals in the race to succeed President Kibaki next year. Sambu claimed that Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka’s shuttle diplomacy has more than meets the eye adding that the trips are geared at ensuring that the two individuals on the Ocampo Six remain unscathed to be eligible to contest for presidency and Vice-Presidency respectively next year. Speaking during a parent’s day at Nakalira High School in his constituency, the Mp blasted Kalonzo for his mission adding that it’s doomed to fail miserably. “They want to run around the world so that they front one of the Ocampo Six as president and another one as vice-president. The plan is crooked in a way that should the duo win office, they will use their powers to completely defeat the Hague process,” said Sambu. More...

Calling on artists, dancers in Kakamega

Dear Editor,
Sometime back, I expressed my passion to restore the Luhya heritage. Now the journey is almost there. I am currently setting up studios in Kakamega town. I need to identify talented musicians, actors and the like to start composing songs, dramas, poems, dances, etc for the Luhya. I also need volunteers who can work as trainers and music producers and someone who is able to work with music editing software. The studios will also provide videography and photography, radio production, music lessons and the rest. Please if any one has a suggestion of what content we should have, feel free to contact me. I want to see Luhyaland realise its full potential by exploiting its cultural resources through performing arts. And if you wish to support any child/ youth/women/men/group to record their perfomance, you are most welcome. You can reach the director of ZETU MEDIA SERVICES on mediazetu@gmail.com, Tel: +254713178564, P.O Box 1294-50100 Kakamega, Kenya. Plot 11/23 Mumias Road near Nala hospital

Drama as Teso witchdoctor is arrested

By Wanyonyi wa Wasike, March 6 2011
There was drama at Kaliwa village in Teso District when a contingent of heavily-armed police officers raided the home of a famous witch-doctor in the area. Police stormed the home of “Doctor” Paul Odhiambo Okello and arrested the witchdoctor plus a sack-full of paraphernalia that the man allegedly uses to hypnotize thieves to eat grass like animals. Villagers gathered near the brick-walled compound of the witchdoctor as others jeered at Okello to hypnotize the law enforcers so he can escape capture. Others came forward to press instant charges against the man who has made a fortune out of his antics, now which police claim is the mere work of psychology and fiction. The witchdoctor was swiftly whisked to a waiting police Land-Rover and driven at fast speed to Malaba Police Station as his wife and children watched helplessly. At the station, more curious onlookers had gathered to get a glimpse of a man whose name’s mention initially sent shivers down their spines. Police had to shoot in the air to disperse the crowd that was filling the station before shoving Okello into the cells to await his date with the court. More...

paul odhiambo okello
Victim of a Teso witchdoctor, Paul Odhiambo Okello rescued eating grass like a cow. The witchdoctor was arrested following a complaint from a Nairobi-based company that they had paid him Sh700,000 to help in the recovery of Sh3m but he had not delivered and kept dodging the firm. The business of witchdoctors claiming to “catch” thieves by using special paraphernalia to hypnotize them has become popular in Teso District in Busia County. Photo:Westfm
Boost for Wetang'ula as allies win in party polls

By Osinde Obare, March 6 2011
Political allies of former Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetang’ula have taken top seats in Ford-Kenya’s party elections in three branches in Trans-Nzoia County. It was a tough battle as political allies to Wetang’ula and those of Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa showed their weight during the peaceful elections. In Saboti constituency, local parliamentary aspirant Elizabeth Nyongesa and Kitale deputy mayor Herbert Wambaya were elected unopposed as branch chairperson and vice chairman respectively. The Trans-Nzoia Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCI) executive officer Martin Waliaula was picked as the branch secretary, while John retained his position as treasurer. More...

Francis Atwoli
Francis Atwoli, the secretary general of Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) is a man in a bit of bother. He is holed up in Geneva attending official business yet back home, a judge is furious he skipped court appearance and flashed out an arrest warrant.
Eugene Wamalwa
Eugene Wamalwa and Maina Njenga (right) at Tononoka rally in Mombasa on Saturday. Photo: Omondi Onyango.

Arrest warrant for Atwoli: The High Court Monday issued a warrant of arrest against Central Organization of Trade Unions secretary general Francis Atwoli for contempt of court. Atwoli together with five officials of the Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers' Union were taken to court by Kenya Tea Growers Association for allegedly failing to obey a court order issued on October 14th last year stopping the tea workers in Kericho from participating in a strike. In the case, Atwoli is accused of defying a court order stopping a demonstration by tea pickers in Kericho. High court judge Jean Gacheche ordered the police to arrest the trade union boss and present him in court. However, lawyer representing COTU boss told the court that Atwoli is in Geneva attending a meeting by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and that he will be back after 25th of this month at the end of the meeting. More...
Community opposed to dam project meant to supply water to Vihiga, Hamisi

By Frederick Obura, March 6 2011
Community leaders and conservationists will now move to court to block a dam project in Nandi South Forest. The leaders said they were opposed to the project that would see ten million trees cut to pave the way for a multi-purpose dam. They said the action is likely to change rainfall patterns and lead to desertification. "We are not going to wait for the 90-day window period they have offered to seek our views," said Mr Ezekiel Ruto, the Nandi County Council chairman. The leaders said they were shocked to hear meetings had been held in Nairobi and Nyanza where plans for the project had been discussed. There ought to have been enough consultation with the Nandi South community before drafting the project papers," said Mr Peter Kiptanui, the chairman of Kopjoi Community Forest Association. The controversy surrounds the Nandi multi-purpose dam project to be implemented by the Lake Basin Development Authority at Sh15 billion in a period of eight years. The Cabinet approved it on August 20, 2009, and consultants undertaking feasibility and environmental impact assessment studies were contracted early 2010. The project is meant to divert River Yala from the forest and draw 9 per cent of its water to River Nyando. Besides producing approximately 50 MW of power, the project also includes irrigation of 17,000ha in the Nyanza sugar belt, the supply of drinking water (to Vihiga, Hamisi, Nandi Central, Kisumu and Nyando) and flood control. More...

Dam to supply drinking water to Vihiga, Hamisi, Nandi Central, Kisumu and Nyando

Throw Ruto out of ODM - Kizito

By Frankline Bwire, March 6 2011
“William Ruto should be included on the list of Orange Democratic Movement members that should be thrown out of the party,” Shinyalu MP Kizito Mugali has said. Mugali revealed that it was time to do away with members of the party who were against the party laws and sidelining with other party affiliate members to bring down ODM. “Party laws must be adhered to and those who feel cannot withstand them should not be entertained at all. Party policies and interests should not be interfered with and such people don’t have core business in the party” he said. He added that Kenyans voted over whelmingly for the new constitution and it should not be set on the wrong foot.“You cannot be a republican and you are flouting with democrats, you will be shown the door. That is to imply that regulations must be followed according to how the party laws,” he said referring to the two USA political parties.

St Aquinas Teacher Training College Busia
Teacher graduates from St Aquinas College in Busia County during the weekend's first graduation ceremony. Photo: Frankline Bwire
Marende sought Annan's help before ruling on House leader dispute

By our correspondent, March 6 2011
National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende sought the assistance of chief mediator Kofi Annan before ruling on a dispute over who was to be leader of government business in Parliament. A US embassy cable dated April 27, 2009 says that Mr Marende used US ambassador Michael Ranneberger, to ask Mr Annan to talk to both President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga before he ruled on a dispute between the two on who should be leader of government business. Mr Marende wanted the chief mediator to ask the two principals to respect his ruling on the issue. President Kibaki had nominated VP Kalonzo Musyoka, but Mr Odinga wrote to the Speaker nominating himself to the post. “I met with Speaker of Parliament Marende on April 27 and he said that he will likely make a ruling that will not take the side of either party,” Mr Ranneberger said. Before he sought assistance from Mr Annan, the Speaker had attempted to arrange a tripartite meeting with President Kibaki and Mr Odinga. More...

Kenneth Marende and Kofi Annan
Help Kofi help: Speaker of National Assembly Kenneth Marende (right) and former secretary general of UN, Kofi Annan in Nairobi. According to leaked WikiLeaks cables, the speaker sought Annan's advise before ruling on the dispute over leader of government business in parliament. President Kibaki had nominated VP, Kalonzo Musyoka while Prime Minister Raila Odinga wrote to the speaker nominating himself.
Teso leaders threaten demo against police over bodaboda harassment

By Westfm correspondent, March 4 2011
Teso civic leaders have threatened mass action over alleged boda boda harassment by police officers and the poor state of roads in the region. Teso county council chairman, Moses Ote accused Malaba traffic base commander, Alfonse Kithuka of arbitrary arrests of boda boda operators, thus crippling the sector. Councillor Ote was speaking during the launch of the Community Power Centre co-financed by UNIDO and UNDP at Changara market in Teso North district. The civic leader told Teso South DC, Denis Omosa who led the local provincial administration team to ensure the crack down was halted. Ote also railed at the traffic police chief for lack of respect to Teso leaders and turning them down whenever they went to seek audience with him. The civic leader said many motorbikes whose owners were unable to part with the bribe were rotting at the police station, thus leading to some riders venturing into crime. Speaking separately during the burial of a Nairobi based designer, Hilda Masake at their Chamasiri home, Cllr Ote also gave the Kenya Rural Roads Authority an ultimatum to start the immediate repair of dilapidated roads or they resort to mass action. More...

Moses Otee
Teso leaders leade by county council chairman, Moses Otee (inset) have given notice that police stop harassing boda boda bicycle taxis plying in Malaba border post or they will initiate mass action.

Top govt officials involved in gold smuggling ring: Several people have been questioned in connection with the multi- billion shillings gold smuggling syndicate in Nairobi. The latest case involves 2.5 tonnes of gold worth 8 billion shillings smuggled last month from the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The consignment was stolen from Congo in January for export to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The syndicate has threatened to sour relations between Kenya and DR Congo. More...
Guess what? No Western school among bottom 50

By Samuel Siringi, March 4 2011
Schools that performed the poorest in last year’s Form Four national examination can now be named. More candidates in these schools had a mean grade of E than those with D and above. Statistics based on the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination results show that 50 schools contributed the largest share of the 6,198 candidates who scored E. They also accounted for most of the 41,207 candidates who scored D-, an average of only two points per subject, in the results released on Monday. Overall, 56,762 candidates obtained mean grades of D+. The worst performing school in the country is St Mark’s High School. The Central Province school had a mean grade of only 1.58, sitting on the edge of D-. Out of 76 candidates, 39 scored E, 29 D- and 7 D. Only one candidate managed a D+. Second from bottom was Eastern Province’s Kyulu Secondary School which had a performance index of 1.64. The best student in a class of 25 had D, 14 D- and 10 E. Nyanza Province had the highest number of schools in the bottom 50 institutions. It contributed 17 candidates to the list of failures. It was followed by Central with 10 schools, Eastern seven, Coast six and Nairobi five. Rift Valley had only two schools on the list, while North Eastern had one. There was no school from Western on the list. More...

Nyanza has the worst performing schools in Kenya

Prof Sam Ongeri
Prof Sam Ongeri, the education minister releasing the names of 50 worst performing schools in Kenya. Western is the only province not on the list with Nyanza having the bulk of of the worst schools.

Women can now inherit father's estate even if they're married

By Benson Wambugu, March 4 2011
For over three decades, Kenyan women have pushed for affirmative action, a set of public policies and initiatives to eliminate gender discrimination. And there is no doubt the ambitious drive to enforce the affirmative action set family lawyers, gender activists and non-governmental organisations on a collision course with the government. Land has been one of the most contentious issues in Kenya and generally, women have been denied an opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their fathers’ sweat when it comes to inheritance. Over the years, women have been considered “foreigners” in their birthplace as soon as they get married and had no right or legal basis to claim their parents’ property. More...

Mundika tops Busia schools

By Frankline Bwire, March 4 2011
The District Education Officer of Busia district Mr. John Owino has disclosed that about 53 students from the district who sat for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) will qualify for Joint admission board entry. Mr. Owino noted that the district mean score had registered some improvement compared to the 2009 KCSE results, which were lower, adding that several students had qualified to be absorbed. “In 2009, we had a mean of 4.4588, which is lower than the current one of 5.315 of 2010 KCSE,” he said. He added that among the 14 secondary schools in the district, Mundika took the lead with a mean score of 6.236, registering 3 As,4 B+, 10 B, and 14 c+, Lwanya girls following with a mean of 5.797, having 2 B+, 3 B, 3 B- and 18 C+. “Mundika has been having problems for some time and we must appreciate that it has stood out to display to the entire community that it can perform. Those going to sit for exams this year, must be aided,” More...

ODM to expel Ruto & Co: The Orange Democratic Movement has been given the go ahead to initiate tough action that may see its rebel MPs lose their seats in Parliament. The Registrar of Political Parties Ms Lucy Ndung’u said it was upon ODM to kick rebel MPs out of the party. The Registrar was responding to a letter written by ODM Chief Whip Jakoyo Midiwo asking her to strike the names of assistant minister Aden Duale and Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto from the party’s register. More...
Kitale school in demo for missing out on top ranking despite sterling results

By Leonard Wamalwa, March 3 2011
Students and teachers of St Antony Boys high school in Trans Nzoia County have staged a peaceful demonstration in the streets of Kitale town to show their discontentment over their school not being ranked among the best schools. The students and teachers who moved in major streets of the town and eventually went to the municipal council grounds said that they wanted to clear the air about the rumors that had spread that the school's KCSE results had been canceled due to irregularities noticed by the examinations council. They told journalists at the municipal grounds that the school had performed well and was the best in the region apart from one case where one of the candidates had been awarded a Y that they did not understand its originality saying the school had no single case of cheating. "We want to clear the air about our school and show the world that we are still the best school in Trans Nzoia because we have led in the mean score by scoring 9.46 as compared to St Josephs Boys that were named as leaders in the county who scored 8.56," said one of the teachers. More...

St Anthony's School, Kitale
We deserve respect: St Antony boys high students and teachers as they demonstrated in the Kitale streets dermanding to be ranked as one of the best performing schools given their exemplary results. The school posted the following resuults: A = 3; A- = 37; B+ = 40; B = 38; B- = 20. The total number of candidates who qualified for admnission to universities = 118.
Wetangula's bid to strike out petition case declined

By our correspondent, March 3 2011
Three Court of Appeal judges have declined to hear an application by Sirisia MP Moses Wetang’ula seeking to strike out an appeal challenging his election. Instead, judges Philip Tunoi, Samuel Bosire and Daniel Aganyanya directed the appeal be heard by a three-judge bench, which handled the case on January18, last year. “We do not want to give a conflicting decision. The applicant may be seeking that we overturn the decision already made. The best option is to return the file to the judges who handled the case in the first place.” Mr Wetang’ula, through lawyer A.B. Shah, is asking the court to strike out a notice of appeal filed by Mr John Waluke who lost the Sirisia seat. Mr Shah told the judges the appeal was rested when judges Emmanuel O’Kubasu, Erastus Githinji and Joseph Nyamu overturned a decision by Justice Alnashir Visram that Mr Waluke filed the notice of appeal on time. More...

Moses Masika Wetangula
Suspended foreign affairs minister, Moses Wetangula has lost his prayers that the court dismisses a peition filed agaist his election as Sirisia member of parliament in 2007.

Gold smuggling ring: DRC President Joseph Kabila flew in for emergency talks with President Kibaki over huge consignments of gold stolen and smuggled into Kenya from his country by a cartel. More...
PNU/KKK cabal puts Namwamba's head on chopping board

By Alphonce Shiundu, March 3 2011
The parliamentary Justice and Legal Affairs Committee has rejected proposals to have the impending ouster of their chairman, Mr Ababu Namwamba, solved through arbitration. The PNU members and their allies - errant ODM members - told Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim on Wednesday that they had made up their minds to kick out the chairman because of his performance and that arbitration would not work. The arbitration carrot had been floated informally on Tuesday by some MPs to the members of the committee, but they rejected it. The disgruntled committee members have for the past two days been meeting informally to strategise on how to approach the issue, with many of them worried that their efforts to allow the committee to “function normally” were being frustrated “by an unseen hand”. More...

Exam body in credibility crisis as results are cancelled

By Samuel Siringi, March 3 2011
Some candidates in last year’s Form Four examination were given the wrong grades in a blunder that could call to question the credibility of the results. The Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) issued what it called “dummy” Music exam results to 1,423 candidates in 205 schools across the country. The results issued have been cancelled and fresh ones issued. In the results tabulation, the council also identified Moi Forces Academy, Lanet, one of the country’s 18 national schools, as a private school. Knec secretary Paul Wasanga denied that the Music results had been cancelled or recalled, explaining that staff had packed the wrong results. His explanation notwithstanding, affected schools, mainly top performers, immediately reported that their mean scores had changed implying that the national rankings issued by the Education ministry on Monday may have been rendered invalid. It is the second time Knec is being embroiled in results fiasco, raising questions about the management of national examinations. In 2007, the council issued wrong results to nearly all schools in the country forcing it to recall them, including results slips. More...

Paul Wasanga
Paul Wasanga, the chief executive officer of Kenya National Examinations Council, addressing the press in Nairobi yesterday. Two major errors in a row have put KNEC on the spot and triggered a major credibility crisis.

Kisumu garbage city no more: Kisumu has benefited from a Sh5.6 million garbage compactor from the Norwegian government. The 36 tonne compactor, the only one of its kind in Kenya, will be used to clear the dumpsites menace in the town. The programme follows a visit by Okello to Norway to arrange for development partnership. More...
7 Western schools named in exam cheating report

By our reporter, March 3 2011
A list of schools where Kenya Secondary School Examiniations irregularities occurred has been made public. In Western, seven schools were affected. They include: Sikalame Secondary in Bungoma South; Chebuyusi Boys High in Kakamega East; Navakholo Secondary also in Kakamega East district. Others are Vigina Secondary School in Vihiga; Luuya Girls Secondary in Bungoma Central; Lukume Secondary in Kakamega North and Koyonzo Secondary School in Matungu. CLICK HERE to download a full list of schools where irregularities were reported. More...

Sikalame, Chebuyusi, Vigina, Luuya, Koyonzo, Navakholo & Lukume

Rogue school without toilets shut down in Kakamega

By John Kabaka, March 2 2011
An impromptu inspection of schools in Kakamega, Jua Kali Estate, has left one school shut down. A team comprising officers from the District office, ministry of public health, the children’s department and the quality assurance of standards inspected the school after receiving information from a concerned parent. The school is located in a slum and has a total number of 76 children ranging from pre unit to standard eight. When the matter was reported it is said that the principal is perceived to be trading the girl students in the vicinity. “We were informed that the school exists we took a step and came here we have found out that the school has no dorms it has no water it has no light the children sleep on the floor on unworthy mattresses, no toilets exist, this innocent children are being misused, they use the buckets and basin as there latrines and when morning comes they are forced to dispose the dirt in the nearest bush,” said Chege Mwangi the Kakamega DC. “No breakfast served here, no lunch is provided and one call this a school, the pupils starve here and some days we are told they sleep without eating anything,” added the DC. The DC has since declared the school closed because it does not meet the required standards needed by the ministry and the education board. The police are now hunting the proprietors of the school and Mwangi says they will not tire till the so called the  Directors of the closed Green Valley academy will be netted and be brought to book according the children’s law. More...

Green Valley Academy, Kakamega
Admimistration block of Green Valley Academy in Kakamega's Jua Kali Estate where pupils of four different grades are lumped in one class. The boarding school lacks basic facilities including toilets and students often starve.
Green View Academy pupils
Pupils of Green View Academy in Kakamega's Jua Kali slum. Four class grades are taught in one session. The government has ordered the school shut.
Fear grips Lugari village as vodoo list of 200 is made public

By Joseph Amunya, March 1 2011
Fear and panic engulfed the tiny Mapengo village in Koromiti sub location, Lugari district after a list of people discovered from a woman suspected to be engaged in voodoo practices was read at a chief’s baraza. The woman who has since gone underground was found with paraphernalia of scary commodities and corpse of a baby believed to be trade in her black magic by a local priest at Koromaiti village.A list of 200 peoples both alive and dead was read to a moved crowd after Pastor Timothy Masinde unearthed the activities of the woman believed to be from a neighboring country. The residents could not control tears from their eyes as the list was read. Earlier, the irate villagers raided the home and later destroyed the paraphernalia before setting it ablaze. Area Chief Zadock Ligono called for sobriety following the incident and appealed to the residents to ensure that they co-exist in harmony. He said police were looking for the suspect Asha Nandaa adding that once arrested she will have to face the full force of the law. More...

Zadock Likono
Timothy Masinde
Witchcraft list: Bishop Timothy Masinde of Agano Fellowship Church Webuye narrates to the crowd how he unearthed the withcraft paraphernalia from teh house Asha Nandaa and above, area chief, Zadock Likono of Chekalini Location, displays the list of 200 people targetted for ritual death by the witchdoctor who is on the run.
Robbery suspect shot dead in Lugari as other thugs flee

By Joseph Amunya, MArch 1 2011
Police in Lugari Sunday night managed to shoot dead one robbery suspect and recovered stolen items after a group of four thugs armed with an AK 47 riffle attacked Lipapa bar at Magut area in the neighboring Uasin Gishu district where they shot two patrons and seriously injured three other with machetes. According to the Lugari OCPD Mr. Bernard Kibe four people armed with the riffle, panga and other crude weapons stormed the bar at around 9:30pm and ordered all the patrons to lay down and hand over everything, the patrons panicked and others ran away, this he said prompted the thugs to start shooting. Two patrons one was shot in the act, a woman was shot on the waist and the other was shot on the leg. Three others sustained serious panga injuries. Police officers were informed and rushed to the scene, launched a manhunt within the area and came across the gang, one of the thugs was shot dead while others fled into the bush. Five mobile phones were recovered from the killed thug. More...

Marende to address Turkish, Israel parliaments

By our correspondent, March 1 2011
House Speaker Kenneth Marende left the country on Sunday on official visits to Turkey and Israel. Turkish Parliament Speaker Mehmet Sahin has appealed to Kenyan leaders to uphold the spirit and letter of the Constitution and implement it. Speaking after meeting Marende at his office in Ankara, Mr Sahin said enacting the constitution alone couldn’t benefit the people of Kenya. "It is not enough just to enact a new constitution; you should implement its provisions as well," Mr Sahin said. He said the Kenya Parliament plays a key role in ensuring that the provisions of the constitution were implemented. Mr Marende said the implementation process was ongoing despite a few setbacks. Mr Marende is expected to hold talks with Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip as well as Speaker Mehmet Sahin among other government, parliamentary and business officials. In Israel, Mr Marende is expected to hold talks with his counterpart Reuven Ruby, senior Government officials and Opposition leader Tzippi Livni. He is also scheduled to address MPs in Parliament. More...

Kenneth Marende
Kenneth Marende, Speaker of the National Assembly is in Turkey where he met Turkish prime minister, Abdullah Gul. Marende will later address the Turkish parliament before proceeding to Israel where he will also address the Israeli parliament besides meeting top government officials. He is accompanied by Matungu MP, David Were, clerk to National Assembly, Patrick Gichohi, among other officials.
WikiLeaks reveals assassination plan on Raila

By Patrick Mayoyo, March 1 2011
Fears of Prime Minister Raila Odinga ascending to the presidency after the 2007 General Election by close confidantes of President Kibaki have been revealed in a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks. A Cabinet minister warned a US embassy official that Mr Odinga was likely to turn into a dictator if he won the hotly disputed General Election. A diplomatic cable dated October 9, 2007, says during a meeting with Mr Larry Andre, a political counsel at the US embassy in Nairobi, the minister expressed reservations about an Odinga presidency, saying he was likely to build a Moi-style personality cult. The minister even hinted at the possibility of an assassination, saying he did not think Mr Odinga would last more than a few months in office given Kenya’s history of high-profile political assassinations. “The minister reminded political counsel of Mr Odinga’s studies in East Germany, alleging that his undergraduate thesis had been on building nail bombs,” said WikiLeaks. More...

Nyanza dispels Kiswahili myth

By Paul Ogemba, March 1 2011
The stereotype that Luo Nyanza produces the worst Kiswahili speakers has been crashed by Maranda High School. Of the 242 students who sat for KCSE exam last year, 143 scored A plain in the language, posting a mean grade of 11.3 and taking position one nationally. Some 53 others scored A-, 30 scored B+, five had B plain, four had B-, while two got C+ and C plain respectively. The worst performance was by a student from Southern Sudan whose first interaction with the language was at the school. “The results have clearly dispelled the notion that Kiswahili is for Coast schools. Top student Joshua Obinchu Getega, who was position three nationally, said their good performance in Kiswahili was also a result of cooperation. Mr Leonard Baraza, the head of Kiswahili department, said the time when people viewed Nyanza as a region which lagged behind in Kiswahili had passed. More...

Maranda Boys School, Siaya
Maranda beats Maseno: Maranda Boys students celebrate the school’s performance in last year’s KCSE exam on February 28, 2011. The school had 143 students who scored A in Kiswahili. It also produced five of the 10 top provincial candidates, beating Maseno School for a long time the doyen of academic excellence in Nyanza. Photo: Jacob Awiti
Panic as City Hall is sent parcel containing two bullets

By Mutinda Mwanzia, March 1 2011
Panic gripped City Hall when a parcel containing two bullets was mailed to one of the senior chief officers. The incident sparked anxiety at the country’s largest local authority prompting Town Clerk Philip Kisia and Mayor George Aladwa to convene a meeting with all chief officers. Tuesday, Mr Kisia announced that the council’s Director of Legal Affairs Owuor Aduma had received the mail containing the bullets through his official City Hall address Kisia attributed the mail to cartels which had fleeced the council of millions of shillings through dubious deals and were now fighting back. "Together with my officers we have embarked on a reform path and we are now being fought by the cartels. We will not be cowed," he said. He said many officers in the past had been threatened by unknown individuals adding that their security had been beefed. "We are not taking chances but once again I say that we will not be intimidated ,"said Kisia at a news conference at City Hall. Mr Aladwa petitioned Commissioner of Police Mathew Iteere to order investigation into the matter and ensure the officers are protected. More...

"Together with my officers we have embarked on a reform path and we are now being fought by the cartels. We will not be cowed," Allan Kisia, Nairobi Town Clerk

Dominion Farms, Yala Swamp
Dominion Farms Yala Rice scheme has run into ecological problems over the drying of Lake Kanyaboli which is threatening survival of a rare antelope known as sitatunga.

Egypt to lose Nile veto power: Egypt is set to lose its veto power on rights to Nile waters. This development comes after Burundi signed a deal paving the way for the ratification of a new treaty on the great river, an official said Tuesday. “After Burundi signed (Monday), now the agreement can come into force,” Mr Daniel Meboya, regional spokesman at the Entebbe-based Nile Basin Initiative that led the negotiations, said in Kampala. Burundi has now joined Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya in agreeing to the deal, which seeks to strip Egypt of its long-held rights to the Nile. More...
Yala swamp investor on radar over drying lake

By George Olwenya, March 1 2011
Lake Kanyaboli in Siaya, the second largest Ox-bow lake in Africa, is drying up due to an alleged closure of a feeder canal by an investor. Aquatic life is threatened in the lake along the Yala Swamp, which still holds some fish species considered extinct in Lake Victoria and other rivers. A senior Kenya Wildlife Service officer Gilbert Njeru told the Siaya District Development Committee meeting that water levels at Lake Kanyaboli was receding fast. He said unless action was taken to stop the Dominion Farms Limited from interfering with the flow of water through the canal, aquatic life would be threatened. Mr Njeru said the decision by the investor to block the flow of water from River Yala into the canal had also led to drying up of parts of Yala Swamp, threatening survival of game such as the Sitatunga antelope. Dominion is involved in a multi-billion shilling rice project in the area. "It is because of this that people living around Yala Swamp have decided to encroach into the swamp to carry out farming, hence creating a conflict with the KWS," he said. "Dominion should be compelled to open the canal that feeds the lake or it will eventually dry up," said Njeru during the meeting chaired by Siaya DC Boaz Cherutich. More...

Blocking canal threatening survival of wildlife

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