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I REGRET TO INFORM READERS THAT INGONEWS SERVICE WILL BE UNAVAILABLE FOR ONE WEEK. WE RETURN WITH HOT NEWS ON 4TH SEPTEMBER 2007.

TODAY'S BEST SHOT: Standard

narc

IKO KIFO:
No milembe in Milembe village as four are killed

By Osinde Obare, Kitale, August 27 2007
Four Kenyans were killed when suspected raiders from Uganda attacked a village at the border. The heavily armed raiders struck Kiptogot village in Kitale East District and shot dead the victims, then escaped without stealing anything. The killings bring to six the number of people killed in the area in the past two weeks.

"It is suspected that the killers crossed into Uganda but our officers are pursuing them," Kitale Criminal Investigations Officer, Mr Issa Mohamud, said. The raiders crossed over from Sebei area, where they have been launching attacks in recent months. The victims were asleep in one house when the raiders struck and sprayed them with bullets.

Kiptogot is about 20km away from Milembe village, where a 75-year-old woman and her granddaughter were shot dead by suspected raiders last Tuesday. Local leaders censured the Provincial Administration for doing very little to stop the spate of killings. Speaking at the anniversary of the late Vice-President Michael Wamalwa, Ford-Kenya chairman Mr Musikari Kombo condemned the killings and asked Police Commissioner, Maj-Gen Hussein Ali, to act. Saboti parliamentary aspirants, Mr Isaac Masengeli, Mr Eugene Wamalwa and Mrs Elizabeth Nyongesa, also added their voices to the plea. Meanwhile, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has finally returned more than 7,000 cattle taken from Turkana herders. Kotido Resident District Commissioner, Mr Fred Ikenyi, and Maj Michael Onduong gave . - Standard

HAKUNA KAZI
Kombo sacks Kitale Council chief

Kitale, August 26 2007
Mr Musikari Kombo, the Local Government Minister has suspended a senior officer of Kitale Council following allegations of financial impropriety. He said auditors will be sent to Kitale town council to unearth its financial secrets..

Speaking during the 4th anniversary of the death of Wamalwa Kijana in Kitale, Mr Kombo said more chief officers will be suspended next week following complaints by local leaders led by Kitale Catholic Bishop Maurice Crowley.

Mr Kombo said he was shocked to hear that council officials were collecting revenue which they never bank.

“If it is true that money is never banked, then those responsible will have to face the axe before they appear in court,” Mr Kombo said.

Kituyi snubs Wamalwa memorial

Kitale, August 27 2007
Trade and Industry minister Mukhisa Kituyi at the weekend snubbed the fourth memorial of former vice-president Michael Wamalwa. He instead opted to preside over another function at Kitale Club, barely 700 meters away from Wamalwa’s home in Milimani Estate.  Wamalwa’s memorial was presided by Local Government minister Musikari Kombo, who is Ford Kenya chairman. The Kimilili MP snubbed the commemoration claiming the occasion had been hijacked by politicians from Bungoma District.

“The late Wamalwa died on August 23. Today  is August 25 and cannot therefore be the commemorative date unless something has gone amiss with our counting,” he said as he received Kacheliba Narc-Kenya parliamentary aspirant Michael Kimpur who led his supporters in joining the flower party.  Dr Kituyi, who was presiding over a golf competition he had sponsored at the club, later made an extensive tour of Saboti constituency accompanied by an aspirant for Saboti seat, Mr Isaac Masengeli, and nominated councillor Joshua Werunga. 

In Milimani, Ford-K MPs tore into Dr Kituyi but were divided as to whether the vocal Kimilili legislator would get automatic nomination if he returns to his former party.  Ministers Musikari Kombo, Moses Akaranga, John Munyes and Moses Wetagula said Dr Kitiyi should be welcomed back for the sake of the party unity. But MPs Wafula Wamunyinyi and Mr Sylvester Wakoli disagreed. “If Dr Kituyi comes back to Ford-Kenya and is given the preference against those who have always stood with us like Mr Stephen Masinde and Mrs Reginald Wanyonyi, then I will also quit the party,” Mr Wakoli threatened.

Philip Odera decries "hand out" mentality in Luhya land

By INGONEWS Repoter, London August 27 2007
The hand out mentality in Luhya land has been condemned as a major drawback to economic development of Western Kenya. Philip Odera, the managing director of Stanbic in Malawi, decried the extreme poverty levels in Western Province and called for change of attitudes among the Luhya in order to kick start economic revivalism. “Poverty and its social effects such as alcoholism is rather like a chicken and egg situation and although a few people are trying to rid themselves of the scourge, you don’t get the sense that this is a collective effort,” he said. “Dependency and the hand out mentality is one of our major undoing as a community.”

Speaking exclusively to INGONEWS in London yesterday, Mr Odera said our people tend to concentrate on crops with a long turnaround cycle such as maize and sugar cane which is fine but we need to diversify into horticulture which is short term and more profitable. In Central Kenya people with small holder plots are growing horticultural crops such as vegetables, tomatoes, sukuma wiki (kale) onions etc which they then sale in Nairobi. That way they make money much faster that waiting for months to be paid by the sugar cane companies.

Western Kenya, he said, is supposedly the granary of Kenya yet it is also one of the most backward.  “We lack the ability to diversify; something that perpetuates poverty cycle in Kenya and promoted the dependency culture. Individual Luhya people have excelled in various fields of human endeavor but collectively, the community is hardly visible.  “Despite our numbers, we fade in comparison to tribes even smaller than us. Clearly our visibility is not as high as it should be. We tend to be lone rangers and don’t share the knowledge base; something that puts the community at a disadvantage and reduces our bargaining power,” he said

Mr Odera is transiting London from the United States where he was a keynote speaker at a conference organized by Ugandans from the Kagezi region. He seese similarities between the Kagezi group and Abeingo Community Network. Like Luhya land, Kagezi has so many educated people but the region lags behind other parts of Uganda. He described the objectives of ACN as noble and the initiative long overdue. “With serious minded people in ACN, we can turn round the fortunes of Western Province,” he said

VIEW FROM HOME AWAY:

DETRIBALISE KENYA THROUGH LANGUAGE EDUCATION

By Shad Bulimo, London, Sunday 26 August 2007
Politics has been described as a dirty game best left to seasoned political pugilists to spur against each other through sound bites. That has pretty much been the case for many years in Kenya even during the tyrannical reigns of Moi and Kenyatta. But for this fight to permeate into ordinary social life is extremely regrettable.

The Nyeri hotelier who chucked out Raila Odinga from his dinner table is adamant that she did nothing wrong and perhaps she might even be a heroine of sorts locally. But therein lies the problem. Where people take law into their hands in the name of fighting the corner of their political god father, must be condemned in the strongest terms. Management reserves right of entry in hospitality outlets but this is normally on account of unacceptable standards of decency such as dress code or drunken behaviour. It’s criminal and discriminatory to refuse to offer service on account of race, religion, ethnicity, sex or political persuasion.

I know it’s election year and temperatures are likely to run even higher than the barometer we saw in Nyeri. But for heaven’s sake, we are Kenyans; we love our motherland; we travel freely across the land, we live and work wherever life’s circumstances might take us. We are a mixed nation of some 43 tribes. We are a rainbow nation, to paraphrase Nobel Laureate, Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. Like the beautiful colours of Benetton, this rainbow nation is glittering with beauty, style and energy. We owe it to ourselves to tap into the strengths of all Kenyans to enrich all Kenyans. More>>>

CONSPIRACY:
Plot to pluck Mudavadi from ODM

President Kibaki’s vote hunters will be hoping that history repeats itself as they turn the heat on the Orange Democratic Movement. The President’s allies are targeting former Vice-President Mr Musalia Mudavadi in what resembles the 2002 race when Kanu operatives lit fire under then Sabatia MP. They plucked him away from the Rainbow rebels, who later backed Kibaki for president. With just six days before the ODM presidential nomination, the main opposition party is under attack from an influential power clique.

Those behind the scheme seem to be guided by the Kiswahili adage "Kamba hukatikia pembamba (a rope splits at its weakest or narrowest stretch). The Sunday Standard established that the plot revolves around a scheme to pluck out Mudavadi from the ODM brigade.This, sources say, is to be done through persuasion, coercion or well-calculated propaganda to dissuade Western Province voters from embracing ODM. But being considered a weak link has infuriated Mudavadi, who is the focus of the new war on ODM.

A number of players, from different political parties, have been roped into the conspiracy. The choice of Mudavadi, who stepped down in favour of Mr Uhuru Kenyatta as Kanu flag bearer in 2002, and Luhya land as the battleground, has baffled even his allies. A new slogan has been coined by the anti-ODM campaigners to the effect that, the "Luhya community will only support ODM if Mudavadi is the candidate, otherwise that vote will go to President Kibaki."

ODM officials from Western Province and Mudavadi’s political allies best capture the former VP’s anger in a hard-hitting statement sent, exclusively, to The Sunday Standard. The leaders condemned a meeting between the chairman of Kenya African Democratic Development Union (Kaddu) Mr Cyrus Jirongo and some pro-Kibaki politicians. They claim the meeting hatched a scheme aimed at "frustrating Mudavadi and the Luhya by dividing the vote in Western Province". More>>>

Wailing villagers of Khuvasali. Wailing is said to be part of the healing process as cleansing rituals continue in Khuvasali.

khuvasali

Christian and traditional beliefs clash: As the people of Khuvasali in Kakamega come to terms with the mudslide tragedy, controversy is raging between traditionalists and the clergy - both Christian and Muslim. More>>>

TODAY'S BEST SHOT: Standard

khuvasali

BIG-HEADED:
The girl with the big head

By Oscar Obonyo, Nairobi, August 25 2007
Straight talking presidential hopeful, Prof Julia Ojiambo could be relatively small bodied, but she was born a very heavy baby. Her elder sister describes her as an admirable healthy girl who was also light skinned.

julia

Julia Ojiambo

"The rest of us were tiny and dark skinned. But Julia was brown with big ears, eyes and a huge head. In fact when we wanted to scold her, we teased; "okutwe okukhongo koti olugulu lwa Ageng’a (huge head like Ageng’a hill)," says Mrs Ruth Vuyiya in reference to the hills next to their late parents’ home in Kadibworo, Busia District.

As it turned out later, Julia maintained her "huge head" — not in physical size but as a reservoir of intellect, knowledge and wisdom. And Vuyiya looks back with nostalgia at the life of the politician she fondly refers to as "kid sister". "I watched her grow. She was a pleasant kid that mum would leave her behind with me whenever she had to travel," says Vuyiya.

"When I look back at the direction Julia’s life has taken, I can’t help recalling how thirsty she was for education." According to Julia’s 84-year-old sister, although the Labour Party of Kenya boss was too young to work in the farm, she woke up very early and accompanied her senior siblings — assigning herself the role of time keeping. She achieved this by monitoring the morning sunshine and marking the movement of her own shadow. "When the shadow struck her markers, she would shout that it was time to stop and take her to school. She loved school so much and made sure she reported in time," Vuyiya recalls with a chuckle. More>>>

Cleansing rituals in Khuvasali create conflict between Church and traditionalists

By Robert Wanyonyi, Kakamega, August 25 2007
Two weeks ago, Khuvasali village in Kakamega was engulfed by mourning. A devastating mudslide hit the area and claimed eight lives in a quiet village whose name means prayer. After burying their dead, another unusual activity is taking place — a forty-day mourning period accompanied by elaborate traditional rituals. For many villagers, this tragedy was first of its kind and something must be amiss.

Now, elders from Kabras clan of Luhya community and others from Mosop in Nandi District and Magale from Kakamega North District have been conducting various rituals aimed at "appeasing ancestors not to bring a similar calamity". As this is going on, three families are camping at the site hoping to retrieve bodies of their loved ones from the mound of red earth. When The Sunday Standard visited the area early this week, elders who believe this is no natural occurrence had already performed several ceremonies "to calm the spirits of those who perished in the tragedy" and also to cleanse the mountainous area from future calamities. Bereaved communities contributed animals for sacrifice. Each community was required to give four cows towards the ceremony that commenced immediately Government-led recovery efforts were called off. More>>>

SEEN:

Self-styled People's Watchman, Martin Shikuku was among those attending fund rasing activities at Nyayo Stadium yesterday. The former MP for Butere was watched a "football" match which pitted Raila against Raila. More>>>

Musalia Mudavadi at Mombasa Golf Club talking to his supportes ahead of today's ODM rally at Tononoka.

ANNIVERSARY:
Kituyi bashed at Wamalwa memorial

By Biketi Kikechi, Kitale, August 25 2007
The fourth anniversary of former Vice-President Wamalwa Kijana’s death turned into a forum to bash Cabinet minister, Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, for allegedly betraying Ford-Kenya. Six Ford-Kenya MPs vowed to campaign against the Kimilili MP, who is in Narc-Kenya, and urged aspirants seeking to oust him to unite and ensure he is out of Parliament. During the function, assistant minister Dr Enock Kibunguchy defected back to Ford-Kenya from Narc-Kenya. The most scathing attacks were unleashed by assistant minister Mr Moses Wetang’ula, Kanduyi MP Mr Wafula Wamunyinyi, Mr Wakoli Bifwoli (Bumula) and Local Government minister, Mr Musikari Kombo. "The ordinary mwananchi is here with us in Ford-Kenya remembering the late Wamalwa while the bosses are at the Kitale Club playing golf," Kombo told the applauding crowd. Wakoli was cheered when he said President Kibaki should say what he would do for Ford-Kenya if he needs its support for his re-election. A multitude turned up for the ceremony which has since 2004 been a low-key affair. They were entertained by Kayamba Africa and Tindikiti band hired by Saboti parliamentary aspirant, Mr Eugene Wamalwa. Wetangula hit out at Kituyi and said all aspirants vying on a Ford-Kenya ticket in Kimilili should be honest to the party. - Sunday Standard

TODAY'S BEST SHOT: Nation

mudavadi

MEMORIAL:
Wamalwa memorial today

By Osinde Obare, Kitale, August 24 2007
Family of the late Vice- President Michael Wamalwa Kijana was finalising preparation for his memorial in Kitale. The late VP’s widow Mrs Yvonne Wamalwa was among those who were sprucing up the home, on Friday. His brother Mr Eugene Wamalwa, who is in-charge of the memorial programme, was also at the home. Eugene said invited guests are expected by 10am Saturday morning. Among those expected are MPs from Western Province and local ODM leaders.

"Everything is ready and all we are waiting for is the arrival of the guests," said Eugene. The ceremony was to be held on Thursday, but political leaders requested it be pushed to Saturday. Uniformed police officers have been deployed to the home for security. Close relatives of the late Wamalwa had not arrived at the home by Friday morning apart from his uncle Mr Andrew Nangosi. The late Wamalwa died on August 23, 2003, in a London hospital and was accorded a State burial. Ford-Kenya officials expected at the ceremony include the party’s chairman Mr Musikari Kombo, Narc Secretary General Dr Mukhisa Kituyi and Kitale Catholic Diocese Bishop Maurice Crowley. - Source: Standard

The late Wamalwa Kijana. Remembered today.

wamalwa

 

Luhya politics at a crossroads

By Benson Amadala, Nairobi, August 25 2007 Competing political camps in Western Province are adopting a wait-and-see approach as the clock ticks towards the General Election.

Of particular significance will be the fate of former Vice-President Musalia Mudavadi in ODM after the party’s eagerly-awaited nomination on September 1. If the former Sabatia MP comes out with what Western people will consider to be a favourable position, then ODM will be the party to watch in the region. But if he loses, support for ODM will most likely be reconsidered. More>>>

1,700 Western farmers attend business fair

Eldoret, August 24 2007
More than 1,700 farmers from the western Kenya attended a business exhibition day at Chepkoilel Campus of Moi University in Eldoret yesterday. Opening the fair, Trade and Industry Minister, Mr Mukhisa Kituyi challenged local traders to find ways of cutting down on their costs of production, and tap the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa).

“Statistics indicate that maize production costs less in Uganda, while the same commodity fetches better prices in Rwanda. Kenyan farmers should be ready to exploit such opportunities,” Dr Kituyi said. He disclosed that it costs an average of Sh8,000 to produce one acre of maize in Uganda, while a bag of maize goes for approximately Sh1,500 in Rwanda. He disclosed that Kenya earned Sh34 billion from exports to Uganda in the last financial year, while Uganda government earned Sh4 billion from sale of goods to Kenya during the same period. More>>>

 

Moody Awori launches Narc-Kenya UK Chapter

By Topi Lyambila and Agnes Gitau, London August 23 2007
The Vice President Dr. Arthur Moody Awori on Wednesday presided over the launch of the UK chapter for the NARC-Kenya political unit which has for a long time been thought as a replacement of the NARC-Coalition Government. More>>>

TODAY'S BEST SHOT: Nation

budalang'i boat people

FLOODS:
Budalang'i boat people wait for hope in vain

By Ouma Wanzala, Busia, August 23 2007
Gabriel Osanya watches blankly as a team of divers search for his son’s body in River Nzoia. His hopes of ever seeing his son alive have faded and now, even getting the body for a decent burial is becoming nightmar. Five days ago, his 13-year-old son was among five people who died when a canoe they were in capsized. And yesterday, two bodies of the victims were found in Lake Victoria but it was not clear if that of Mr Osanya’s son was one of them.Before yesterday’s discovery, villagers from the area in Budalangi had been waking up early since Monday to search for their missing relatives. The desperate relatives had been watching from the river banks, hoping that the bodies were not swept away by the river which recently burst its banks, displacing several thousand people.  More>>>

 

CONSTITUENCIES:
Matete goes to Lugari in boundary changes

By Emman Omari, Nairobi, August 23 2007
Cabinet Minister Soita Shitanda's Malava constituency has lost Matete Division to Lugari in electoral boundary changes announced yesterday by the Electoral Commission of Kenya review chairman, Samuel Kivuitu .. Voters in Matete division who have been voting in Mr Shitanda’s Malava constituency have now been moved to Lugari. More>>>

Wako blasted by Chief Justice over Charterhouse Bank

By Evelyn Kwamboka, Nairobi, August 23 2007
Chief Justice Evan Gicheru has lashed out at the Attorney General, Mr Amos Wako for interfering with Charterhouse Bank cases. Gicheru took exception to a letter Wako wrote requesting the CJ to appoint two judges to hear all the bank’s cases. "I take exception to such correspondence to a presiding judge on a matter before the court as it sends wrong signals to the other parties to the proceedings before the court," he said.

Gicheru said the letter deserves condemnation in the strongest terms possible. In a ruling dated July 27, the CJ expunged the letter from the record and ordered Wako to pay costs occasioned by the letter. In his letter dated December 6, last year, to the CJ, Wako stated that encouragement was being given to litigants to file cases on the same issues in different courts with a view to obtaining favourable and/or different judgements from the courts.

"I am also of the view that the order granted by the High Court in Eldoret, is an infringement of my constitutional mandate under Section 26 of the Constitution," Wako stated in the letter. The bank filed a case seeking to have the CBK Governor, the statutory manager, Ms Rose Ndetho and the CBK Kisumu branch manager, committed to civil jail for contempt of a court order. The case was heard and on November 24, last year, Lady Justice Jeanne Gacheche acquitted the CBK Governor but convicted Ndetho. Judge Gacheche had on September 15 issued restraining orders against CBK, Finance minister, Mr Amos Kimunya and KRA, directing them not to interfere with operations of the bank, pending the hearing and determination of a case Charterhouse filed. More>>>

 

TODAY'S BEST SHOT: Nation

demolition

GOLDENBERG:
Once accused, Mudavadi now turns state witness

By Evelyne Kwamboka, Nairobi, August 22 2007
ODM presidential hopeful, Mr Musalia Mudavadi, is now a State witness in the Sh5.8 billion Goldenberg scandal case. Mudavadi arrived at the Nairobi Law Courts on Wednesday to give evidence in the multi-billion financial scandal, as four former Government officials were charged afresh. "I received court summons recently to appear as a State witness in the Goldenberg case," Mudavadi said. A former Vice-President and Finance minister, Mudavadi waited outside Chief Magistrate Mr Aggrey Mucheluleís Chambers as his advocate, Mr Fred Ojiambo, consulted. The case was later adjourned on the grounds that the advocate of former Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Deputy Governor, Mr Eliphaz Riungu, was held up in another case at the High Court. "It will not be right for us to proceed when one of the advocates is in another case. I am ready to give evidence and will wait for the hearing date to be set," Mudavadi said. The Bosire Commission of Inquiry set up by President Kibaki in 2003 to probe the scandal, cleared Mudavadi of any wrongdoing. The commissionís report says that although Sh5.8 billion was paid to Goldenberg International Ltd during Mudavadiís tenure, his then Permanent Secretary, Dr Wilfred Koinange, had testified he did not inform him of the payments. "Dr Koinange testified that he did not inform the minister because the payment was supposed to be discreet," the report says

Liverpool Slave Museum

museum

Slave museum opens in Liverpool

Liverpool, August 22 2007
MORE than half a million visitors a year are expected to visit the country's biggest museum dedicated to the slave trade, at Liverpool's Albert Dock. The Grade 1 listed Dock Traffic Office, now owned by Granada TV, is to undergo a major £10m expansion with an impressive glass bridge linking it to the existing Maritime Museum.

It will give visitors views across the Liverpool skyline and the Three Graces. The new slavery centre will be the biggest of its kind in the country. The attraction will house a new resource centre, while the bulk of the slavery exhibition will be on the third floor of the Maritime Museum. This first stage of the project will open in 2007 to coincide with the bicenten- nial of the abolition of slavery in the UK and Liverpool's 800th birthday. More>>>

"Sungu Sungu" lynches 5 relatives

By Robert Nyasato, Kisii, August 22 2007
A family is mourning after a vigilante group killed five of its members — three of them brothers — in Kisii District.Shocked villagers found the mutilated bodies dumped on a footpath by suspected Sungu Sungu members in Nyamonema village.

Relatives said a gang of about 50 people flushed out the family members from their houses at about 1am. The attackers accused them of belonging to a criminal ring that had been terrorizing village residents.

Area OCDP, Mr Augustine Kimantira, was for the better part of yesterday holed up in an emergency security meeting.

The brothers were identified as Naftali Osoro, 45, James Osoro, 36, and Jared Osoro, 33. The others were a cousin, Onyonka Machuki, and a nephew, Zablon Menti, 27.

Wycliffe Mutsune: NGO Council toothless

By Patrick Beja, Mombasa, August 22 2007
The chairman of the NGOs Co-ordination Board, Mr Wycliffe Mutsune, has admitted that his organisation does not have powers to regulate the autonomous council while the board’s executive director, Mr David Isoe, said most NGOs lacked transparency and accountability. These sentiments have triggered reaction from the government. Suleiman Shakombo, Minister for National Heritage, announced yesterday that the government will seek ways of regulating and restoring order at the NGO Council. Speaking at the launch of a study to validate NGOs data at Travellers Beach Hotel in Mombasa, the minister said the Government was committed to ensuring that the sector was protected from unscrupulous individuals.

Although there was no data indicating NGOs’ contribution to the economy, Shakombo said the sector put in about Sh80 billion every year. The more than 5,000 NGOs also employ over 100,000 people. The minister said the data, to be collected from the survey, would indicate how the sector should be managed. He said the Government was concerned that many NGOs relied on Western donors. "Such NGOs are forced to design and implement their development programmes according to the wishes of the donors, thereby compromising sustainability," he said. On Tuesday, NGO representatives from Coast, Central and Eastern provinces complained that the Government was reluctant to restore sanity at the council, headed by Ms Orie Rogo-Manduli.

 

Media wins as Kibaki rejects bill

By Patrick Nzioka, Nairobi August 22 2007
The media won a major victory yesterday when President Kibaki rejected a clause in the Media Bill that would have forced editors to reveal their confidential sources. President Kibaki described the clause as “offensive and a threat to democracy” as he returned the Bill to Parliament to delete the clause. In returning the Bill to the House, the President sided with the tradition of media freedom in Kenya and rejected the wishes of some of his main political backers, including several Cabinet ministers who had voted in favour of the clause on the floor of the House.

The offending clause, introduced by Ol Kalau MP Muriuki Karue, would have removed the protection enjoyed by the media against being forced to reveal confidential sources in courts of law. The clause reads: “When a story includes unnamed parties who are not disclosed and the same becomes the subject of a legal tussle as to who is meant, then the editor shall be obligated to disclose the identity of the party or parties referred to.” 

President Kibaki, who received the Bill from attorney general Amos Wako yesterday, sent it back to Parliament with instructions that the clause be deleted. He said it was ambiguous and likely to cause problems in its interpretation because the expression “unnamed parties” as used in the clause had not been qualified or restricted. “The meaning ... can be construed to include subjects of a story as well as sources of information. This could act as a great inhibition of Press freedom and undermine the democratic strides we have made as a nation,” the President said. More>>>

HOTSHOTS: Change of political heart: Lina Chebii Kilimo defects from ODM to Kibaki citing the split in the movement as her main reason for change of heart. "How can you choose between an orange that is split," she was quoted as sound biting.

TODAY'S BEST SHORT: The Standard

police

Prof Were supports male circumcision

Nairobi, August 21 2007
The Chairman of the National Aids Control Council, Prof Miriam Were, has supported the US in its change of Aids funding strategy. The US is now shifting its financial resources in funding male circumcision as an essentail adjunct in the fight against Aids and HIV.

Yesterday, Prof Were said male circumcision was one of the best methods of preventing the spread of the disease in Kenya.  Prof Were said research had proved that the practice was between 60 to 65 percent effective. “I insist that this practice, however, traditional, is one of the best methods of preventing the spread of the disease. We should really encourage people to undergo this right of passage,’’ she said. More>>>

Dr Shivutse decries intellectual wastage

By James Ratemo and John Kariuki, Nairobi, August 21 2007
Dr Ernest Shivutse, the head of the Regional Centre of Applied Psychology (Recap), has decried the culture of what he describes as "intellectual wastage" where individuals train in disciplines they are not suited for and end up with dissatisfying jobs. He describes the high number of qualified students who waste away after missing university places or hold jobs that they are overqualified for as "intellectual wastage".

He argues that appropriate training is not necessarily found in universities and says technical. Many primary school dropouts are under-utilised yet they could be trained on specific areas and become wonderful workers," he says. Psychometric tests measure personality, ability and motivation. "A psychometric test assesses a person’s ability or personality in a structured way... Some tests are used during staff recruitment while others can help an individual choose a career," says Shivutse. Unlike developed countries, he says, our education system burdens students with unnecessary information. Shivutse, who currently teaches Industrial communication at United States International University (USIU), started Recap to counsel students on how to select the right careers and to help adults unlock their potential. More>>>

5 bodies missing in Budalang'i boat tragedy

By Allan Kisia and James Ratemo, Busia, August 21 2007
Rescuers are yet to find the bodies of five people who died in Budalang’i after their boat capsized. The Busia District Kenya Red Cross co-ordinator, Mr Nichodemus Okangu, said they had received two motorboats to assist in the exercise.

The boat is said to have been carrying 12 people from Bulangasi village and was crossing the swollen River Nzoia to Sibuka. Villagers have been camping at the riverside hoping the bodies would float. Meanwhile, Water Assistant minister Mr Raphael Wanjala says building a dam along the river would reduce severity of floods in Budalang’i.

Wanjala said many developers targeting western Kenya had not done much to address the problem.He was speaking yesterday in Nairobi at the launch of a National Water Resources Management Strategy.

Chief Executive Officer, Water Resources Management Authority, Mr Patrick Oloo, said building one dam would cost between Sh3billion and Sh5 billion and hold 40 per cent of the floods leaving the dykes to handle 20 per cent while the river channels the remaining 40 per cent. Source: Standard

Breaking News...

MEDIA BILL: President Mwai Kibaki refuses to assent to controversial media bill - sends it back to Parliament for re-legislation.

ICT: Minister Mutahi Kagwe withdraws ICT Bill that was meant to gag media even further. This follows the withdrawal of the Media Bill which members of the fourth estate, civil socitety and international sector fought relentlessly.

ANNIVERSARY: Kenya's 1st President died 29 years ago.

 

5 people killed in Mt Elgon attacks

Kitale, August 21 2007 : Five people including a former GSU officer and a businessman have been killed in separate attacks in Mt Elgon District. The other three, believed to be members of the Sabaot Land Defence Force, were shot dead when police combed the area where the attacks occurred. The first two are believed to have been killed by the militia in different areas of Chebyuk Settlement Scheme. Mr David Mengich, 44, and Mr Peter Chelogoi, 27, were hacked to death in Kaimugul and Makutano at 7am yesterday.  - NATION


Major investment planned for Malaba

By Willis Oketch and Barrack Beja, Nairobi, August 20 2007
Malaba in Bungoma may be in for a major economic boost if plans to construct a shs1billion internal cointainer port are realised. The facility is aimed at improving the flow of goods between Mombasa and the hinterland. Great Lakes Container Freight Station will embark on the construction of the facility next month.

A Mombasa businessman, Mr Mohamed Jaffer, who is one of the investors, said the first phase of the project will begin next month. Jaffer, who is the executive chairman of the Mombasa based Grain Bulk Handlers Limited, said the new container freight station project will enable Mombasa port users from Uganda save billions of shillings in transport and related port charges.

He said the facility would supplement the port of Mombasa in handling imports to the Great Lakes region.Jaffer said once the facility is complete, persistent threats by shipping lines to impose vessel delay surcharges because of delayed operations will be resolved. More>>>

Disability not inability

Protesters take to the streets following reports that school-going children with disabilities are disadvantaged.

disabled

Cleansing rituals begin for Khuvasali mudslide victims

By By Robert Wanyonyi, Kakamega, August 20 2007
Residents of Khuvasali village in Kakamega North District started cleansing rituals at the landslide site amid claims that more bodies were yet to be dug out.

Three families claimed the bodies of their loved ones were still buried in the mud, four days after the Government called off the recovery exercise after retrieving eight bodies.

When The Standard visited the site on Monday, the families and friends of missing persons were still searching through the thick mire with hoes, sticks and bare hands.

Mr William arap Sawe, an elder from Mosop, said three missing bodies include that of two young men involved in the rescue operation. "They were on their way to a church crusade but when they heard what had happened, they rushed to lend a hand to their neighbours. They were buried by the second landslide," he said. More>>>

UK IMMIGRATION:
64,000 deported from UK

London August 20 2007
While asylum applications continue to fall, the removal of those with no right to be in the UK reached record levels. In 2006, 63,865 people were removed from the UK, an increase of ten per cent on 2005 levels. The number of failed asylum seekers, excluding dependants, removed last year increased by 19 per cent.

Home Office Minister Tony McNulty said: "Our stronger border controls are now delivering big drops in asylum applications.“There are now fewer people than ever coming to Britain and making claims for asylum.More>>>

Raila Odinga ejected from Nyeri Hotel

Mr Raila Odinga got a taste of things to come when a hotel proprietor disrupted his triumphant entry into President Kibaki’s Nyeri backyard by ejecting him and his entourage from the facility. More>>>

MEDIA:
Govt plans to silence media even more

Nairobi, August 20 2007
Media owners have raised a red flag over yet another Bill that could curtail the free flow of information.  Mr Hannington Gaya, the Media Owners Association chairman, said that if passed into law, the repercussions of the  Kenya Communications Amendment Bill 2007, which mainly targets broadcasters, would be even more dangerous than the Media Bill. 

The Bill, which recently passed the First Reading in Parliament, prohibits cross-media ownership. This means the Government would not only control what the media broadcasts or publishes, but will also have the leeway to impound equipment of media houses, said Mr Gaya.  More>>>

VP, Dr Moody Awori addressing Kenyans in London yesterday

awori

Kenya Commercial Bank set to return to London

By Shad Bulimo, London August 19 2007
Kenya Commercial Bank is to make a dramatic return to London, the government has announced. Addressing hundreds of Kenyans in London yesterday, Vice President, Dr Moody Awori said the bank would open a branch in London and United States to harness resources in the Diaspora. The Bank opened a service branch in London in the 1980’s but dramatically shut it down in mid 1990’s under unclear circumstances. At the time, it operated merely as a consultative vehicle; short of offering full fledged banking services. This time around, with an estimated 135,000 Kenyans in the Diaspora, the bank will offer full menu of banking services such as savings, current accounts and loan facilities. Kenyans in the Diaspora remit an estimated shs67 billion every year and the government is keen to facilitate banking services to make the process of economic and monetary transfer less cumbersome.

Dr Awori, who is also Minister for Home Affairs, said the government was responding to the wishes of Kenyans in the Diaspora. He said, KCB had already opened branches in East African countries and the overseas branches would form part of the expansion plan. Establishment of a Kenyan bank was one of a raft of issues Kenyans in the UK had presented to the government in a memorandum. Other issues raised included the speeding and liberalisation of the Information and Communications (ICT) sector, waiver of duty on donated imports especially medical equipment; insecurity in Kenya and immigration. More>>>        |  STORY IN PICTURES |

Khuvasali victims laid to rest as blame game rages

By INGONEWS Reporter, London August 19 2007
Abeingo Community Network Organising Secretary, Aggrey Kikaya asked the VP what the government was doing to avert disasters such as the recent Khuvasali mudslide in Kakamega North. The VP regretted the incident which happened while the President was visiting Western and said the government made sure the victims were catered for through provision of blankets and food. He said Vision 2030 provides long term solutions which require that 10% of Kenya’s land mass should be forested. At the moment this figure is a paltry 1.7% and the government through the Environment Ministry is encouraging Kenyans to plant trees all over the country.

Meanwhile, a memorial service for the victims of a landslide in Kakamega was held yesterday as Government came under criticism for slow response. Coffins bearing the remains of the eight victims were transported from Kakamega Provincial Hospital mortuary to Malava, reports Allan Kisia and Roselyne Obala of the Standard. Meanwhile, the government has admitted that teh handling of the Khuvasali disaster was a shambles. Assistant Minister for Health, Dr Enoch Kibunguchy said more could have been done to help the victims. So far only shs 1million has been donated to the victim fund alongside blankets and food. Kibaki sent shs100,00.00 while are MP Soita Shitanda and Musalia Mudavadi donated shs50,000.00 each.

Kenya Women Association Director, Sabina Odhiambo and Sam Ochieng of Sacoma at yesterday's meeting

sabina

Hiccup in official programme

The organising Committee for the VP’s visit was left gnawing their teeth after the official programme was circumvented. The committee which was composed of members of the Diaspora and the High Commission had held two meetings and came up with a memorandum of the issues the Diaspora wanted to communicate to the government. Ms Sabina Odhiambo was nominated to present the memorandum.

The High Commissioner, Mt Joseph Muchemi could not be reached for comment as he was a meeting. However, the Principal Counsellor, Mr Abel Kenyoru said the omission was not deliberate but an oversight. “If you look at the programme, the High Commissioner was supposed to come twice – first to give welcoming remarks and second to call upon members of the Diaspora to present their memorandum. But instead of calling Sabina, the High Commissioner called the Vice President. Even we were shocked,” he said.

This was the second time major public relations cock up has happened in high profile meetings with Kenya’s senior most leaders. In 2003 when President Mwai Kibaki addressed Kenyans in London, Ms Wangoi wa Goro was supposed to read the memorandum but somehow, she was sidelined and in favour of Charles Muhindi.

Mr Kenyoru said the first time it happened he was not around but he was told at the time Kenyans in the Diaspora were bickering over who was the official spokesman.

VP's speech highlights: CLICK HERE FOR PHOTO GALLERY

Confirmed:
• Elections: This would be held this year.
• Media Bill: This would go back to Parliament for redrafting
• Dual nationality: This is not a contentious in the new constitution and so when the new constitution is ratified, that will happen.
• Voting by the Diaspora: Again, this is not contentious. But it can only happen after the new constitution has been ratified.

90% of buildings in Nairobi illegal as architects call for new city

By Millie Soi, Nairobi August 19 2007
Architects want a new capital city due to Nairobi’s congestion and the expiry of its master plan. Speaking under the auspices of their umbrella organisation, the Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK), the group says Nairobi is operating under no master plan hence the mushrooming of haphazard structures. "We want to ask the Government to consider relocating the capital city because it is impossible to expand it. The best way is to come up with a properly planned city elsewhere," said AAK chairman, Mr Gideon Mutemi. They said the expiry of the master plan designed in 1963, had paved way for the erection of poorly planned buildings. Though most city buildings are designed and approved by AAK members, the group claims more than 90% of the structures were designed by quacks.

Aggrey Kikaya question the Vice President on Khuvasali

aggrey

A section of the large crowd that came to listen to the Vice President

awori crowd

Journalist Topi Lyambila (centre) and Miss Kenya UK Carolina Nyakila chatting to guests

miss kenya

Budalang'i Parliamentary aspirant, Alice Were (centre) and daughter, Mary chatting to guests

alice were

From left, Leonard Boiyo, Tim Kimonge and Josphat Bukhala having a quiet word as they wait to welcome the VP

kimonge

VIEW FROM HOME AWAY:

TRAGEDY AND POLITICAL OPPORTUNISM

By Shad Bulimo, London August 17 2007
Even before the mud dries in Khuvasali village in Kakamega, yet another tragedy hits Budalang’i in Busia. Within a week, more than an estimated 40,000 people may be misplaced; thanks to the flush floods occasioned by the bursting of the banks and River Nzoia while at least 18 are dead or missing in the Kakamega mudslide. The two incidences are calamitous and illustrate just how useless we as a country in general and Western Province in particular are in disaster management. In the case of Khuvasali, rescue efforts were at best shambolic; the response too slow and too little too late for victims.

President Mwai Kibaki was touring Western last week when the tragedy happened. He sent shs 100,000.00 in donations while area MP, Soita Shitanda (Malava) who is also the Minister for Housing, donated shs50, 000.00. I know the president’s trip was planned in advance and he was as always on a tight schedule. I am disappointed the President did not break his journey to visit the area and commiserate with the people of Khuvasali. His advisors should have spotted a window of political opportunity that presented itself. One man’s poison is always another man’s meat, so goes the altruism and in politics more than any other filed of human endeavour, shrewd politicians exploit whatever opportunity presents itself to gain political mileage – be they funerals, weddings or tragedies.

It’s an election year for heaven’s sake and moreover the president had arrived in the Province with fishing rod and baits. But in Khuvasali, nobody would have noticed how large or small the bait was. His face in Khuvasali would have gained him more fish than perhaps his entire effort for the four days he sojourned in Western. More>>>

IKO KAZI:
Civil Servants to work weekends

Nakuru, August 16 2007
Civil servants may have to work over the weekend, Moses Akaranga, Minister in the Office of the President has hinted. Speaking in Nakuru during the launch of the Public Service Week, Akaranga said the policy could be implemented next year after consultations.

Akaranga was reacting to suggestions by Rift Valley PC, Mr Hassan Noor, who said five days were not enough for continuous economic growth. "Civil servants need to work on saturdays to speed up economic growth," he said. More>>>

TODAY'S BEST SHOT: Standard

akaranga

IKO SHIDA:
40,000 displaced in Budalang'i floods

Busia, August 16 2007
Up to 40,000 people have been misplaced following the latest round of flush floods to hit Budalang'i in Busia. Houses have been submerged and pit latrines are spilling out their filth and fears are growing of waterborne disease outbreak on a tragic scale. The crisis hit the area on Tuesday evening after River Nzoia burst its banks and swept away a protective dyke, leaving thousands of those affected marooned.

Area councilor, Mr Aggrey Ojiambo, said the area had been submerged affecting about 40,000 people. "We appeal to well wishers and the Government to bail us out," he said. Busia police boss, Mr Simon Kipkeu, said there were no casualties, adding that police officers had been dispatched to the area to guard the affected and their property.

A woman gave birth in a nearby school, which was surrounded by the floods where she had taken cover. Mrs Doris Nelima, 21, delivered a baby-girl inside a classroom at Makunda Primary School. As she nursed her newborn, her husband, Mr Fredrick Ougo, searched for a boat to rescue his wife and their two other children. An elderly and sickly woman was also among the thousands of residents who were evacuated to safer ground.

Mrs Celecentina Ogur, 87, was left by her relatives sleeping on her bed by the roadside as they went back to retrieve their household goods. The residents have also lost food, in their stores and those not yet harvested. The few boats available were used to row domestic animals and carry household goods from their submerged houses to safer grounds. But even on higher ground, they did not have food to cook, no water to drink, no firewood and no blankets to cover them at night. More>>>

STRANGE BUT TRUE:
Snake meat anyone?
By Patrick Muriungi, Meru, August 16 2007
A man has been arrested in Meru Central district for allegedly selling snake meat. The suspect is alleged to have been selling the meat at Kandone sub-location to villagers under the pretext that it was fresh fish. A local clan leader, Mzee Kabuteni Gitonga, told The Standard the man was arrested after some villagers who ate the meat developed stomach complications."Several people have been taken to the nearby mission hospital at Gaitu. They complained of diarrhoea and vomiting. "The local public health officer alerted police who arrested the man in his Mugutune village home," said Gitonga.

Area acting OCPD, Mr Joshua Lutukai, said the suspect would be charged in court. The serpent’s skin, which police confiscated, will be produced in court as exhibit. The man is said to have killed the snake known locally as Ndatu (python) at the nearby Monyari swamp and skinned it before selling its meat claiming it was from salmon fish. Police from Gaitu police post arrested the suspect after a tip by the public health officer. == Source: Standard

Western MP's explore best route to power

By LUCAS BARASA and BERNARD NAMUNANE, Nairobi, August 16 2007
MPs from Western Province met yesterday to explore strategies for the next General Election. They were examining the possibility of working with a coalition with the highest chances of forming the next government. The meeting convened by Ford Kenya chairman Musikari Kombo, Westlands MP Fred Gumo and his Nambale colleague Chris Okemo, was attended by 18 MPs from the region. The MPs are said to be gauging former Vice-President Musalia Mudavadi’s bid for the ODM presidential candidate.

Those attending the talks included: Prof Ruth Oniang’o, Prof Christine Mango, Mr Sylvester Wakoli, Mr Raphael Wanjala, Mr Wycliffe Osundwa, MPs Wycliffe Oparanya, David Were, Daniel Khamasi, Kenneth Marende, Andrew Ligale, Enoch Kibungunchy, Raphael Wanjala and Sospeter Ojaamong. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 22. Those who have declared their intention to become president - Mr Mudavadi, Dr Julia Ojiambo of Labour Party of Kenya and Mr Cyrus Jirongo of Kaddu - have been invited. Mr Kombo's support of President Kibaki seems to have ruled him out of contention. More>>>

Degrees courses to take short time

By Stephen Makabila, Nairobi, August 16 2007
Public university degrees might no longer be tied to a four-year study period if reforms being undertaken by the Ministry of Education are implemented. Education Secretary, Prof George Godia, said under the reforms students would be awarded degrees after completing all units. More>>>

IKO MATATA
500 displaced by floods havoc in Budalang'i
Most affected: Khumalaya, Hakati, Khubuyi, Kongoido, Makunda A and Makunda B

By Cyrus Kinyungu and INGONEWS Reporter, Busia, August 15 2007
Even before dust settles on the people of Khuvasali village in Kakamega, another tragedy hits Luhya land yet again. Over 500 families have been displaced in Budalang’i after River Nzoia waters broke the dykes. Families in six villages were affected by the flooding, the head of the Red Cross in Busia District, Mr Nick Okango, said. "The southern dyke burst at exactly the same place where it broke last year," said Okango. He said the situation was expected to get worse as water levels continued to rise.

"We expect the number of those affected to rise as water levels continue to rise," he said. Okango said the affected families had been moved to safer ground, adding that Red Cross was still evacuating more people.

The flooding, he said, had affected Khumalaya, Hakati, Khubuyi, Kongoido, Makunda A and Makunda B villages in Budalang’i division. Those affected are camping at Makunda Secondary School and Mukhobola Health centre, and the Red Cross is providing them with food. "We have enough stock of non-food items to cater for the affected families," said Okango.

He said his organisation was creating awareness to ensure more people were not caught up in the floods. He urged the Government to sensitise the people on the need to evacuate from areas prone to flooding. Already, the Red Cross is working with the area District Commissioner in this regard.

Western PPO, Mr Peter Kavila, confirmed that the dyke broke at around 4pm. He said the Busia police boss had been dispatched to the area to access the situation. Source: Standard

Diploma courses at Kenya Science axed

By Muchemi Wachira, Nairobi August 15 2007
Diploma courses at Kenya Science Teachers College have been discontinued after the institution was taken over by the University of Nairobi. And yesterday, questions were raised by both the teaching and non teaching staff members over what they described as slow transition. The university is supposed to take over the college in October this year.

The takeover among recommendations by a public universities inspection board appointed by the Ministry of Education in April, 2005, to improve access to learning. The board also proposed that  Kitui Teachers’ College and Taita Taveta Teachers’ College to be campuses of Kenyatta University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology respectively.

The report was approved for implementation by government on April 23 when its was submitted to the Head of State. However, discontinuing of the science and mathematics courses that  science teachers’ college has been offering - has raised concern among teachers who reckon the move is unwise.

It was established by the Swedish government in 1968 to train science subject teachers in secondary schools. Some teachers complaining about the move saying courses offered by the college are more marketable compared to some universities.

After the takeover, the new campus will now be offering a bachelor of science degree in education. But students already undertaking their diploma at the college will be allowed to continue without interruption. “They will still continue being housed at the campus until 2009 when the last group is expected to graduate,” the board says. Tutors at the institution who are employees of the Teacher’s Service Commission are likely to be redeployed but the fate of support staff is unclear. More>>>

TODAY'S BEST SHOT: Standard

gagged

IKO USHINDI
Dramatic fallout as Wako says media bill is flawed

Nairobi, August 14 2007
No Comment Demonstrations by journalists from all the media houses send a powerful message that only the most autocratic government would ignore. The relentless onslaught against a draconian media bill that if assented into law by President Mwai Kibaki, would compel journalists to reveal their sources of information, climaxed with a huge demonstration by members of the fourth estate in Nairobi today. The scribes handed a petition to Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet, Mr Francis Muthaura. In quick response, both the Attorney General, Amos Wako and Mutahi Kagwe, the minister for information and communications, disassociated themselves from the contentious bill and said they would advise Kibaki not to give President Assent.

Meanwhile, Mutahi's assistant, Koigi wa Wamwere, writing in the Standard today, defended the bill and urged the president to sign it into law arguing that the media often calls for regulation of other industries; why should their's not be. Guns have fallen silent from other protagonists of the bill, principally, Martha Karua, the Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister. There is embarassment and confusion in the government circles. More>>>

Julia Ojiambo joins demonstration for women seats

Nairobi, August 14 2007
ODM-Kenya presidential hopeful, Prof Julia Ojiambo will join a demonstration of women pushing for a bill to increase the number of women representation in Parliament to 50 seats. She said the 50 seats would give women 16 per cent of parliamentary seats, a figure far below the proposed 30 per cent. She urged fellow MPs to support the Bill. "Our colleagues in Rwanda have 48 per cent women in Parliament…in Kenya we are just fighting over a mere 16 per cent," she added. Women leaders have vowed not to relent in their quest for 50 special parliamentary seats. The convenor, Mrs Ida Odinga, said the Bill, to be debated in Parliament, would be part of affirmative action and would guarantee wider political representation for women. More>>>

DUNIA MZIMA NAJUA:
BBC covers Kakamega mudslide tragedy

By INGONEWS Reporter, Allan Kisia, VPPS and Agatha Kerubo, August 13 2007
The tragic news of Khuvasali village in Kakamega has received the attention of international media. The BBC Television covered the news on Sunday in its prime evening broadcast. The search for the dead was called off yesterday due to  bad weather. Help arrived from three sugar factories - West Kenya, Nzoia and Mumias - in the form of earth movers. However, distraught villagers complained that the machinery may actually be hampering the serach by covering teh bodies in the sludge.

Mr Maurice Onyango, the Red Cross  officer in charge of the recovery, said they needed sniffer dogs to help trace the exact location of the bodies.“We are determined to carry on with the search but our work hit a dead end because of the difficult terrain,”

Meanwhile, Mr Musalia Mudavadi, the presidential aspirant has donated shs50,000.00 and blankets towards relief efforts being coordinated by the International Red Cross assisted by the National Youth Service. Mudavadi wondered why the shs 2billion disaster fund has not been used to speed up recovery efforts. The armed forces diggers promised by Special Projects minister, John Munyes have yet to arrive.

As of yesterday, five bodies had been recovered while only three survivors were still hospitalised. "We have only three survivors who have multiple fractures and dislocations," Mrs Consolata Lusweti, a matron at the Malava District Hospital told a Kenyan daily. Area MP, Soita Shitanda who is also minister for Housing has decried the slow pace of help for teh victims. More>>>

TODAY'S BEST SHOT: Nation

sludge

Prof Miriam Were registers victory over war on HIV

By Wandera Ojanji, Nairobi, August 13 2007
The war on HIV Aids is slowly but surely being won if figures released by the National Aids Control Council (NACC) are anything to go by. Prevalence has declined from 6.1 per cent in 2004 and 5.9 per cent in 2005 to 5.1 percent in 2006. The current data shows that urban prevalence is about 8.3 per cent compared to ruralís 4.0 per cent. New infections have also declined from 85,000 in 2004, 60,000 in 2005 to 55,000 in 2006. Releasing the latest figures at a press conference in Nairobi, on Monday, NACC director, Prof Alloys Orago, said Kenya was one of the three countries in Africa where HIV/Aids intervention had registered significant progress. The NACC chairman, Prof Miriam Were, attributed the progress to a well co-ordinated national intervention programme that had brought together all stakeholders to effectively contribute in fighting HIV/Aids. Were said that there was a remarkable behavioural change among the youth with more now abstaining as well as delaying their sex debut. In addition to reducing their sex partners, adults have also increased use of condoms, she said. More>>>

POLITICAL SOMMERSAULTS:

•Raila recaptures original ODM: The original ODM has reverted to Raila Odinga led faction of the opposition movement after lawyer, Mugambi Manyara relinguished ownership.

•Media Victory: The government has caved in and ditched the controversial media bill. Information and Communications minister, Mutahi Kagwe said the controversial clause in bill will be withdrawn.

Help arrives in drips for Kakamega mudslide victims

Kakamega, August 12 2007
Help for the victims of the mudslide at Khuvasali village in Kakamega North District is arriving in drips and drops and may be too late for most victims still trapped beneath the deathly visitation. President Mwai Kibaki on a tour of Western Province when the tradegy happened sent a donation of shs100,000.00 while area MP, Soita Shitanda has contributed shs50,000.00. But this gesture may be too little too late as fears grow for more mudslides. Meanwhile Western PC, Abdul Mwasera has promised the arrival of army mechanical diggers following the visit to the area by special programmes minister, John Munyes. As residents mourn the dead and wait eagerly for the rescue of those still unaccounted for, experts have warned that the tragedy could be escalated. Western Deputy Provincial Geologist, Mr Duncan Lizunella, said water was still flowing from the soil in the affected area and this was a sign that the situation had not stabilised. Kenya Red Cross Society officials and other volunteers were on the ground using spades to reach the bodies. More>>>

TODAY'S BEST SHOT: Nation

mudslide

Mt Elgon refugees on brink of death

By Isaiah Lucheli, Kitale, August 12 2007
Religious leaders in Mt Elgon say people who have fled from violence and are now camping in Chepkitale National Reserve face imminent death as a result of lack of basic needs .

"Women and children have fled to the national reserve where there is no hospital and food while others are in dire need of relief supplies in market centres in the District," said the clergymen.

Reverend Maritim Rirei and Stanley Taboi of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) said women and children were the worst hit and were in serious need of humanitarian assistance. More>>>

Mt Elgon pupils to miss national examinations

By KENNEDY LUMWAMU and BERNARD KWALIA, Mt Elgon, August 12 2007
When national examinations begin next month, 1,269 learners in clashes-hit Mt Elgon will not sit the tests. They were locked out of registration after their schools were closed in the face of the clashes that have lasted 11 months. In all, some 10,229 pupils in 24 primary schools have not gone to school this year, although the Government has been releasing funds for their free education. The insecurity has stalled learning for two consecutive terms, according to a Ministry of Education report obtained by the Nation last week. == Source: Nation

Scribes to march against media bill

Journalists from all the media houses in Kenya will this Wednesday demonstrate against the proposed draconian media bill now awaiting presidential assent to become law. They will march literally gagged with masks around their mouths from Uhuru gardens to Parliament Buildings before handing a petition to Attorney General.

TODAY'S BEST SHOT: Nation

village

IKO MOTO:
The birth of Kenya's 7th University

Kakamega, August 11 2007
The name Masinde Muliro is perhaps synonymous with the struggle for justice and honour for all Kenyans. Muliro (omuliro) is luhya for fire. The man to whom the name belongs passed on nearly 15 years ago under circumstances that can only be described as suspicious (collapsed at the JKIA upon arrival from London one fateful morning in 1991 at the height of the clamour for multi party politics under the umbrella FORD).

During his political life, he ran into trouble with both the Kenyatta and Moi regimes for his uncompromising stance on issues of fairness, justice and honesty. He was incarcerated by Kenyatta alongside another political firebrand, Joseph Martin Shikuku and Jean Marie Seroney (then deputy speaker of the National Assembly who ruled that there was no need to substantiate the obvious in reference to the debate on the murder of Nyandarua MP, JM Kariuki). Today his name still burns and his immortalisation as Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (Mmust) is a tribute to the ideals for which the great man lived. Mmust becomes Kenya's 7th public university. More>>>

The late Masinde Muliro whose name is immortalised as a university and a public park

masinde muliro

The government has promised help to victims of a mudslide tragedy in Kakamega North District. More>>>
Madilu is dead: Veteran Congolese musician popularly known as Madilu Bialo Systems is dead. Madilu died yesterday in a Kinsasha hospital after complaining of exhaustion. Some of his best known hits are Pesa Position while he did the lead vocals on some of the popular TP PK Jazz songs like Mamou, Non and Makambo Ezali Minene. The popular musician leaves behind two widows and four children. More>>>

7 is the number of universities in Kenya

TODAY'S BEST SHOT: Standard

kasavuli

IKO MATATA:
Kakamega village buried in devastating mudslide

By By Allan Kisia and Cyrus Kinyungu, Kakamega, August 10 2007
 At least 18 people are feared dead after two landslides hit a village in western Kenya.Western Provincial Commissioner Mr Abdul Mwaserah said 56 people sustained injuries when the landslides hit Khuvasali village in Kakamega North district. The injured were taken to Malava District Hospital. Emergency teams have ordered an evacuation of the area, warning that more landslides could occur. More people are feared buried under tonnes of mud, with little chance of survivors.

The first three died in a dawn landslide that buried their house as they slept, while at least 20 more were swept under a deluge of mud during rescue efforts after a second landslide struck at about midday on Saturday. Kakamega North District Commissioner Mr Kennedy Nyaiyo earlier said between 15 and 20 people were unaccounted for after the second landslide.   

"There are still some people, up to 20, from the Western and Rift Valley side of the hills, who are missing," he said.   By 1pm, two bodies had been recovered but rescue operations ground to a halt as the second earth movement occurred. According to Chepkwony, the first landslide completely buried two houses. "We found the body of a fifteen-year-old girl but we couldn’t find those of her parents," he said.   He said two of the dead girl’s sisters escaped after they felt the earth moving. ==Source: Standard

About Khuvasali village

Kakamega, August 10 2007
Khuvasali is in Ikoli sub location in Malava constituency, and is about 50 kilometers from Kakamega town. The tiny village perched on the side of a steep slope, woke up to shock and disbelief after a nightlong heavy downpour triggered the first landslide.   

According to area residents, the first landslide occurred at about 4am on Saturday morning, while the second struck shortly after midday.   

Majority of the people buried in the mud were neighbours who were trying to rescue the victims of the first landslide.   

The landslide occurred on the western side of the Nandi escarpment, at the border of Kakamega North and Nandi districts.

Numbers: 44 is the total number of locations in Bungoma.
Kibaki's tour ends on a controversial note: He came, he bribed and he created. Two additional districts that is. One (Hamisi) is peaceful but the other is causing sleepless nights and stirring an hornet's nest in Busia. In the red corner is VP, Moody Awori and in the blue, Raphael Wanjala. Both claim the new district, as yet unnamed, is their bethrothal. While the VP talks of confusion and misunderstanding, the Wanjala camp has lit a bonfire of celebration. More>>>

TODAY'S BEST SHOT: Standard

dr frederick manthi

A research scientist, Dr Frederick Manthi, displays one of two new fossils at the National Museums of Kenya headquaters on Thursday. The skulls were discovered in Turkana District. Picture by Collins Kweyu

IKO MATATA:
Kibaki's Western tour runs into trouble

Busia, August 9 2007
Four Luhya Members of Parliament have threatened to pull out of President Mwai Kibaki's visit to Western Province because the visit has turned partisan. Mr George Khaniri of Hamisi Constituency, Mr Wycliffe Oparanya (Butere), Raphael Wanjala (Budalangi) and Bifwoli Wakoli (Bumula) said the visit has been turned into an election campaign and a crusade for Narc-Kenya.

The four opposition MPs made the threat as Kibaki dished out yet another political district (as yet unnamed) in Busia. This brings to 16 the number of districts in Western Province.

Among other promises is the construction of Busia Sugar Factory if farmers increase sugarcane plantation to more than 15,000 hectares. Dr Mukhisa Kituyi said his Trade and Industry ministry and Agriculture docket had identified investors from India and Pakistan to construct the factory. More>>>

The names: Emuhaya, Vihiga, Hamisi, Kakamega, Kakamega North, Mumias, Butere, Lugare, Bungoma East, Bungoma West, Bungoma South, Busia (one), Busia (two - yet unnamed). Then there is Teso and Mount Elgon districts belonging to the Teso and Sabaots, respectively making a total of 16.

Story in numbers

° 16 is the current number of districts in Western Province.

° Three (3) was the number of districts in Western 1989

° 14 is the number of districts populated by the Luhya.

° 69 was the number of districts in Kenya 1999

° 42 was the number of districts at independence in 1963

According to records at NMK, the new fossils are significant because both their relative geological ages and their physical attributes directly challenge views about human ancestry

The records also suggest that both species must have had their origins between two and three million years ago, a time from which few human fossils are known.

"The fact that they stayed separate as individual species for a long time suggests that they had their own ecological niche, thus avoiding direct competition."

The new fossils were discovered by NMK in collaboration with Koobi Fora Research Project, an international group of scientists directed by Maeve and Louise Leakey.

Theory of evolution shaken

Nairobi, August 9 2007
A Kenyan palaenthologist has made a discovery that makes mince meat of Dr Leakey's theory on evolution of man. Dr Frederick Manthi, a researcher with the National Museums of Kenya, made the discovery that questioned the theory that human beings evolved from Homo Habilis to Homo Erectus.

Dr Manthi’s research over seven years suggests that Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus actually lived close together for half a million years. The research has been published in the authoritative Nature journal and may lead to the rewriting of textbooks used to teach students about evolution.More>>>

Government succumbs to media onslaught

Nairobi, August 9 2007
The Government yesterday appeared to be bowing to pressure to withdraw the Media Bill over a contentious clause that would have forced editors to reveal their confidential sources.Information and Communication Minister Mutahi Kagwe said he would seek Attorney-General Amos Wako’s interpretation of the Bill, which was passed by only 29 out of the 222 MPs last week, and recommend changes if it is found that it would force editors to end the age-old tradition of protecting their sources.

The protection, which has been enjoyed by Kenyan journalists and their news sources, has enabled the media to reveal such scandals as the compensation for fictitious exports of gold and diamonds,  which became the multi-billion-shilling Goldenberg rip-off, and the Anglo Leasing scam. More>>>

TODAY'S BEST SHOT: Nation

media protest

IKO MATATA:
Makali leads media cry against bad law

David Makali, the fiery editor of Expression Today, the media review news magazine, has said that journalists will hold public demonstrations to ensure that the law on media strangulation currently awaiting presidential assent does not stand. Mr Makali, himself a victim of torture under the Moi regime, was reading a statement signed by the Kenya Editor's Guild which represents all major media houses in Kenya. Mr Makali, is also the executive director of Media Institute.

The editors vowed not to observe the provision if the Bill was made law. Through the Kenya Editors Guild, they described the Bill as unconstitutional, archaic, malicious and one that could turn back Kenya's democratic gains if enacted. In a meeting at Nairobi's Serena Hotel, the editors joined the Law Society of Kenya in threatening to sue if President Kibaki signs the Bill.

"We will also hold public demonstrations yo ensure that the law does not stand," they said in a statement read by Mr David Makali, editor of the media review magazine, Expression Today. Others were Nation Media Group's Macharia Gaitho, Frank Ojiambo, Eric Obino, David Aduda and Churchill Otieno, Standard's Kipkoech Tanui, Douglas Okwatch, Jane Godia and KTN's Faridah Karoney.

The Kenya Times was represented by Mr Chris Oyuga and Mr Hassan Kulundu. Others were Mr Barrack Muluka of Mvule Publishers, a Daily Nation columnist Kwamchetsi Makokha, the Media Council's Mr Mitch Odero and the Guild's convener, Mrs Rosemary Okello. At the same time, the Bill continued to draw condemnation from across the world with the Press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders joining in calls for President Kibaki to block the Bill. More>>>

Tiriki's get their own district as Kibaki dishes out political goodies

Kakamega, August 8 2007
Hamisi is now a district, President Kibaki announced yesterday in Kakamega as part of a package of election bribes he is dishing across the land. President Kibaki kicked off his tour of Western Province with a basketful of goodies for the residents and a promise to fight insecurity in Mt Elgon. The Head of State ordered the immediate creation of a new Hamisi District following a request by Hamisi MP, Mr George Khaniri, and Public Service minister, Mr Moses Akaranga.

"After the creation of Hamisi District, you shall now have 15 districts in the province. This is good development," the President said on Wednesday after ordering Internal Security minister Mr John Michuki to look into the issue. "This is not a personal district, it is for everyone," he added. More>>>

IKO SUKARI:
Kibaki arrives in Luhya land with a fishing rod

Kakamega, August 7 2007
President Kibaki arrives in Western today with a fishing rod but it's the bait that will determine how many votes he fishes out of Luhya land in the forthcoming general elections scheduled for December 2007. His itinerary has been revised with Bungoma, Lugari, Teso and Mt Elgon districts being excluded following differences among the region’s MPs when they met State House functionaries last week to draw up the itinerary, the Nation learnt yesterday.

President Kibaki is expected to be at the Kakamega State Lodge from today, from where he will visit Vihiga, Butere, Mumias and Busia districts. The Head of State will be expected to make another foray to the region next week during which he will visit key areas left out this week, Foreign Affairs assistant minister Moses Wetang’ula told a Ford Kenya delegates meeting at the party’s offices in Bungoma Town on Monday afternoon.

The Sirisia MP explained that Kakamega MPs claimed that in the past, their counterparts from Bungoma had been overshadowing them during presidential visits.  Nevertheless, leaders in Bungoma District have lined up a 300-strong delegation to be in Kakamega as part of the team welcoming the President.

When he finally goes to Bungoma, President Kibaki is expected to officially undertake the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the Kibabii College set to cost of Sh1.74 billion.  Besides, the Government is spending Sh3.5 billion on two major roads in the greater Bungoma and Mt Elgon districts between now and December next year.

The President will launch the tarmacking of the Bungoma-Sikata-Kimilili highway that is to cost Sh800 million. About Sh2.7 billion will be used to fund the construction of Kamukuywa-Kapsokwony-Namwela road that links Bungoma North, Mt Elgon and Bungoma West districts.

The Head of State will dish out more goodies during his tour – widely perceived as a warm-up to the campaigns in readiness for the General Election in December. Kakamega, the Western Province headquarters, is to host one of the eight regional markets to be built at a cost of Sh7 billion. Local Government minister Musikari Kombo is on record saying construction of similar facilities were underway in Butere, Nambale and Port Victoria. == source: Nation

 

TODAY'S BEST SHOT: Kenya Times

umoja worshipper

NDEGE JUU:
Aluvale starts flights to Eldoret

Canada, August 7 2007
Top aviation entrepreneur, Elly Aluvale is in Canada to take delivery of a jet that will launch flights from Nairobi to Eldoret. The enterprising Aluvale, Managing Director of Jetlink Aviation, enters the lucrative market to compete against two rivals, Aero Kenya and Fly 540. But it is at the price tag that Captain Aluvale wins hands down. Talking to The Standard from Canada, Alluvale said the carrier will be operating from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to Eldoret at 8.00am, with an introductory fare of Sh10, 000 return. The announcement comes barely two weeks after Fly540 started its operation on the route.

Aero-Kenya has been charging Sh13,000 return from Wilson Airport, while Fly 540 charges Sh10,500 return from JKIA. With the introduction of the third airline to Eldoret, a price war appears eminent. The airport has been idle for many years, with many local airlines keeping off the airport since it’s commissioning in July 1997. Aero-Kenya has been dominating the airport, operating three daily-scheduled flight between Wilson Airport and Eldoret using a 19 seater, Let410 aircraft. Aluvale is confident that the route is one of the most lucrative in the region. "As we start preparing for the General Election, a lot activity is going to take place.

= = = Source: Standard

IKO MATATA:
Media law designed to perpetuate corruption

By Shad Bulimo, London August 7 2007
The media bill legislated last week by the Parliament and now awaiting Presidential Assent before it becomes law, is an affront to Kenyans and an effort by the ruling class to perpetuate and hide stolen lucre. The stories that have shaken and shaped public policy have often been gotten through unnamed but reliable sources. Call them whistleblowers if you will but you don't expect Goldenberg-type scandals to be relayed to the nation through Presidential Press Service or Kenya News Agency. Stories of such weight come to national attention through intelligent news gathering techniques often referred to as investigative journalism. Kill that and you will never hear of Anglo Leasing-type stories any more. Is this what Kenyans want?

It's a bad law which Kibaki should not even need to consult anybody before ditching it. He's a Makerere graduate and a London School of Economics allumni. Please Mr President honour your father; shun Idi Amin and Jean Bedel Bokassa tendencies. Yes, you must survive politically but you're a member of the intelligentsia. Do the right thing.

So far, several voices have urged you return the bill to Parliament including your own ministers. Only Mutahi Kagwe, the Information and Communications minister seems to justify the bad law. Perhaps time for him to go as well.

Uncle Moody coming to London

By INGONEWS Reporter, London, August 7 2007
Vice President, Moody Awori will address Kenyans in London on August 19 2007. A statement from Kenya High Commission said the VP's visit will focus on the Government’s Vision for the Kenyan Diaspora and the Reforms Agenda; and signals the Government’s commitment to harnessing the skills and resources reposed in Kenya’s Diaspora.
The meeting will be an interactive session and will provide an opportunity for Kenyans in the UK to critique Government policies affecting their welfare and offer their informed suggestions. More>>>

IKO MATATA:
Grabbed plots in Nairobi to be repossessed
as cover is blown on 18 years of land secrecy

By Samuel Otieno and Millie Soi, Nairobi August 6 2007
A fresh round of demolition of structures erected on grabbed land in the city looms following the endorsement of more than 100,000 land leases. The Nairobi City Council signed the land lease forms that have accrued for the last 18 years to expose those who grabbed public land. The mayor, Mr Dick Wathika, admitted that the move is likely to spark controversy with the Commissioner of Lands, who issued most of the title deeds.

The leases will be forwarded to the commissioner to identify the grabbed parcels and misallocation of public utility hence setting the pace for repossession.Wathika says the move will also help in the collection of about Sh2.2 billion in annual land rates, which has not been collected since the leases were last signed in 1989. It also emerged that previous mayors were reluctant to sign the lease forms to avoid a controversy. "I know my predecessors were afraid to sign these lease forms, but today I take the risk because I want to empower the people of Nairobi," said Wathika.

Asked why he signed the forms, Wathika said: "Please do not crucify me in case of any controversy because I have done this purely in good faith. As I leave office, I do not want to see Kenyans languishing in poverty because they do not have proper documents of property ownership". He accused the Commissioner, adding the council would revoke title deeds if the land was grabbed. = = Source: Standard

TODAY'S BEST SHOT: Standard

dog

IKO SIASA:
Jirongo going for the jugular

"Western is neglected by the government"

Kitale, August 5 2007
Former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo says he will go for the presidency in this year’s General Election. Mr Jirongo told President Kibaki and other presidential hopefuls to prepare to meet him in the ballot. The Kaddu national chairman said that he was confident that he would also recapture the seat. 

Speaking at Kitale Agricultural Society of Kenya showground during a funds-drive for teachers pursuing parallel degree courses at public universities, Mr Jirongo urged Luhyas to rally behind him in the December poll.“I am calling on the Luhya community which has three million voters to support me in the elections,” Mr Jirongo said.

He said that he was running for the presidency to fill the gap left by the late Vice- President Michael Wamalwa, whom he claimed had had a pact with President Kibaki that he would run for the seat this year. Mr Jirongo accused the Government of only taking viable development projects to certain provinces at the expense of Western Province.
= source: Nation Media

Going for nothing short of state house, Silas Jirongo.

jirongo

IKO MAONI:
As Kibaki heads Western, who will speak for the Luhya?

By Shad Bulimo, London August 6 2007
As President Kibaki turns his campaign machinery to Western Province, it is worth asking ourselves just what role Luhya people are playing or are expected to play in the unfolding political dispensation in Kenya. Though populous and second only to the Kikuyu, Luhya land is one of the most backward parts of the country. Successive governments have only seen it proper to use Luhya as cheer leaders and dish out hand outs to a few individuals or kingpins to whitewash the masses of Luhya land.

During Kenyatta days, we had Joseph Otiende, Kenya’s first minister for education and the first Luhya graduate from Makerere University. Otiende was fiery in his delivery of political salvos. The late Jaramogi Odinga once told me that if there was one person Kenyatta feared most in his government, it was not him but JD Otiende. Otiende, like Bildad Kaggia from Murang’a were ideologues and shunned ill gotten state lucre stolen from the lumpen proletariat of Kenya. The man is still alive and tills his smallholder land in Vihiga District. A visit to his home reveals nothing of the stature of the man in the early sixties. But that is a moot point.

What is relevant in the case of Otiende is that in him, the Luhya had a leader capable of fostering and nurturing the spirit of entrepreneurship totally lacking in Western. In him, the Luhya had a direct link to the inner sanctum of the government; and where loans were easily facilitated by Kenyatta to the Kikuyu to purchase settler farms, the Luhya merely flocked to Nairobi and Central province to labour on the coffee plantations. More>>>

Mr David Wanjala carries home a dog he bought at Chwele market, in Western Province, on Sunday. The area has become insecure following reports of land clashes that have left scores of people dead. Picture by Peter Ochieng’
Bungoma endorses Raila
Lang’ata MP Raila Odinga’s tour of WesternProvince ended on a high note yesterday after Bungoma leaders endorsed him for the presidency. More>>>

Bishop Salala condemns media bill

Mumias, August 4 2007
Bishop Beneah Salala of the Anglican Church of Kenya, Mumias Diocese, and Rev Kenneth Wachianga of the Maseno Diocese have condemed the media bill recently passed by Parliament as one that will stifle the truth. "The public will not easily give information for fear of retribution. It is retrogressive to deny the people information," said Wachianga.

Salala said the speed at which the Bill was passed was suspicious. "It is clear that the clause will be used by the Government of the day to keep some information from the public."

Law Society of Kenya Western Kenya branch Chairman, Mr James Mwamu, and his Vice-Chairman, Mr Kerosi Ondieki, questioned the timing of the Bill. "There is a hidden agenda coming at this time when the General Election is around the corner. Many will wonder if the State wants to gag the media through the clause," said Mwamu. The LSK official said it would be difficult for the public to volunteer any information to either the Press or police on hardcore criminals. More>>>

IKO MATATA:
Kwendo Opanga sniffs evil in media law

Nairobi, August 3 2007
The Standard Group management has appealed to President Mwai Kibaki not to assent to the recently legislated media bill. The bill, which compels journalists to reveal sources of their information goes against the journalistic standards across the world and is synonymous only with the most autocratic and authoritarian governments. It is a bad law and one President Kibaki needs to decree its return to Parliament immediately. The law narrows rather than increases what little democratic space gained over the last 15 years of hard battle. The Groupís Chief Operating Officer, Mr Paul Wanyagah and Group Editorial Director, Mr Kwendo Opanga, took issue with the clause arguing it would shrink the democratic space and constrict freedom of expression.

Opanga read a sinister motive in the amendment introduced to the Media Bill at the very last stages of Thursday and passed by Parliament. The controversial clause reads: "When a story includes unnamed parties who are not disclosed and the same becomes the subject of a legal tussle as to who is meant, then the editor shall be obligated to disclose the identity of party or parties referred to." More>>>

Whose Orange is it anyway?: ODM-K musclemen, Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi, William Ruto could be headed to court to fight for the fruits of their labour after sensing sinister motives from Kalonzo Musyoka. In the mean time, Musalia is at a crossroads after Luhya elders gave him ultimatum. More>>

Keveye and Kakamega shine at music festival

Nakuru, August 4 2007
Keveye Secondary School and Kakamega High School were declared runners-up in two categories at the Kenya Schools Music Festival in Nakuru. Keveye alongside Tudor Secondary from Mombasa were pipped to the top gong in the category "Tujipange" by Kipsangui Boys High School from Rift Valley Province. And in the set pieces, Kakamega High School were joint runners-up with Starehe Boys in a contest won by Alliance Boys.

HAKUNA MATATA:

School heads in Luhyaland steal as locals envy them

By John Mulaa, Washington, August 4 2007
Corruption is still endemic in Kenya despite official denounciations. On a recent visit by the renowned Washington-based journalist, John Mulaa, he found school heads and bursars swimming in stolen lucre while the educational institutions they head are crumbling. But that is hardly the problem. What surprised him was the fact that locals seem to admire rather than condemn these thieves. Here are excerpts from his account.

It is well known that educational institutions are a source of filthy lucre for principals and other administrators who handle money. I saw this during a recent visit to an area in Western Kenya that cannot by any stretch of imagination be described as affluent. School heads and other officials have amassed properties, which they could not have bought with their salaries, even after saving for years.

They must be siphoning resources from somewhere, most probably the institutions they manage. The thieving officials (for they are thieves) do not even attempt to hide their illegal gains and flaunt them with reckless abandon. Surprisingly, there is rarely uproar from locals. Instead, the officials are accorded inordinate respect by the communities they swindle.

I listened in horror as one resident oozed admiration for the business acumen of a bursar of a local high school, in dire need of facilities. The resident was impressed that the bursar had worked at the school for only a short while but had bought several plots, built a mansion for himself and his parents, and was constructing a guest house-cum-hotel. More>>>

Do you know a school thief? Write in confidence to the editor@abeingo.org

TODAYS BEST SHOT: Kenya Times

drama

IKO KAZI:
20,000 teachers hired in Sudan

THE eagerly awaited recruitment of Kenyan teachers to Southern Sudan is to be implemented with an estimated 20,000 teachers expected to get jobs early next year. Education assistant Minister Dr Kilemi Mwiria on Friday confirmed that 15,000 primary teachers, 3,000 secondary school teachers and 50 technical school teachers have already been hired for jobs in Southern Sudan.

TODAY'S BEST SHOT: Kenya Times

police state

Kisumu gets best news since independence: Is it a bribe?

Kisumu, August 2 2007
After waiting for over four decades, Kisumu town fondly referred to as Port Florence by the British, may finally be seeing a glimmer of hope in a long dark tunnel that has condemned the once thriving town into an economic junk yard. However, it's election year and there are those who might see it as an election bribe.

Thanks primarily to the East African Community, Kisumu's central role is now recognised as the hub of economic activity in the region in general and western Kenya in particular. The town will be upgraded to serve the regional economy involving Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi with a view to wrestling the seat of regional power from Arusha, Tanzania.

President Mwai Kibaki announced that Kisumu airport would be upgraded to an international airport while the Mombasa-Kampala road would be upgraded as well as local roads in and around Kisumu. Mr Kibaki was speaking after opening the Regional (EA Community) Agricultural Show in Kisumu yesterday. The government has earmarked shs12billion for the projects. More>>>

kibaki

Controversial media law passed

Nairobi, August 2 2007
Parliament has passed the controversial Media Bill and now it awaits presidential assent. The Bill was passed unanimously by 27 MPs who hailed the various amendments that were made in an attempt to create a responsible media.

Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister, Ms Martha Karua, termed the Bill as "most progressive", saying it would allow the media to regulate itself. "Media houses should be allowed to regulate themselves as other professionals. But I urge the Information ministers to ensure it is implemented," Karua said.

Education Assistant minister, Mrs Beth Mugo, said the Bill would respond to parents’ pleas to "remove dirt from television screens".

Mugo, while congratulating the Information minister, Mr Mutahi Kagwe, urged him to oversee its implementation so that parents’ complaints could be addressed. More>>>

US boosts Aids kitty

Nairobi, August 2 2007
Kenya will receive Sh24 billion (US$365 million) from the US Government to tackle the HIV/Aids threat. This is more than half the money the Ministry of Health requires in the next two years to implement its HIV/Aids programmes.

US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger yesterday said the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) would contribute in providing adequate resources to combat the scourge. More>>>

Mumias man arrested over fake documents

Mumias, August 2 2007
A man was arrested when he presented bogus documents during prison recruitment exercise in Mumias District yesterday. The man had tempered with the National Identity card by changing the date of birth and produced a bogus Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education. Only two women recruits were picked against six men out of the over 500 school leavers that converged at the Bomas grounds in Mumias town for the exercise. More>>>

Kakamega council may be scrapped

Yala, August 2 2007
Kakamega County Council may be headed for the scrapyard if the words of Issac Shaaban, the Local Government assistant minister are be believed.

The council is reportedly shs6m in the red and Mr Shabaan warned yesterday in Yala, Nyanza Province, that local authorities which spend beyong their means, risk being scrapped or merged. Mr Shaaban is leading a commission of inquiry into the viability of local authorities. So far the commission has visited Western, Rift Valley and Nyanza provinces. More>>>

Wanjala wins petition

Nairobi, August 2 2007
Budalangi MP, Raphael wanjala has won an elction petition filed by Peter Onalo for alleged election offenses committed in 2002. Lady Justice Kalpan Rawal on Thursday gave Mr Raphael Wanjala a clean bill of health in a petition filed by Mr Peter Onalo.

Wanjala, who had been accused of bribing voters and causing violence during Narc nominations, can now vie for the coming General Election.

Had the Budalang’i MP been found guilty, the Electoral Commission would have nullified his victory and barred him from vying for five years. In her ruling, the judge dismissed allegations by Onalo. More>>>

TODAY'S BEST SHOT: Nation

booker

Khaemba picked as cereals boss

Eldoret, August 1 2007
Mr Clement Khaemba has been picked to act as managing director of the troubled National Cereals and Produce Board following the resignation of Mr Naftali Mogere who has plunged into politics. In a meeting attended by more than 120 farmers at Kipchoge Stadium yesterday, the farmers led by Mr Gilbert Tenai of Cheptiret asked the board to announce a speedy plan to pay them. The farmers called on Rift Valley MPs to ask the State why farmers had not been paid for long. The national agency is currently riddled with leadership wrangles with Agriculture minister Kipruto Kirwa on one hand, and the agency’s board led by chairman General (Rtd) Mohamud H. Mohamed on the other. More>>>

Western schools shine at music festival

Nakuru, August 1 2007
Western schools continued their historical tradition of winning trophies at the annual schools and colleges music festival. Ikumba Primary received special commendation for outstanding performance in a list that included G.K Prisons Primary (Rift Valley Province), Moi University Primary(Rift Valley) and Musa Gitau Primary in Central Kenya. The festival was held at Menengai High School in Nakuru and sponsored by Equity Bank. Brand Kenya was the dominant theme at the schools and colleges national music festival which entered its second day on Wednesday with verse presentations from upper primary pupils. The picture on the left shows pupils from Booker Academy in Western Province doing what they love best. More>>

TODAY'S BEST SHOT: EA Standard

wildlife

POLITICAL TIDBITS:

Wekesa moves to clip the lady bird: Cabinet minister Dr Noah Wekesa moved to clip the powers of Narc chairperson, Mrs Charity Ngilu, when he convened a council meeting that endorsed a new constitution. But the much anticipated naming of a "grand coalition" did not happen and the agenda pushed to a later date until new parties are admitted to Narc. More>>>

Whose fruit is Orange?: The ODM-Kenya faction that revolves around Lang’ata MP Mr Raila Odinga, his Eldoret North counterpart Mr William Ruto and former vice-president Mr Musalia Mudavadi fought back to wrest control of the party, a day after the rival Kalonzo Musyoka led group staged a boardroom coup. More>>>

CULTURAL SIMILARITIES: "In the Luo tradition, when a person dies away from home and his body is not found, his clothing and other belongings are returned home to mark his return. A banana trunk is buried so that his spirits “do not haunt the living”. - Tobias Chan Ochuka, the uncle of the coup leader, Private Hezekia Ochuka, who was executed by the Moi regime in 1985 following a failed coup bid on August 1st 1981. Sounds familiar to Luhya. More>>>
Coup d'etat 25 years on: On August 1, 25 years ago Kenya Airforce soldiers in conjunction with university students garbbed power for six hours. In 360 minutes, 145 Kenyans were killed, 800 wounded and 2000 detained. The economy lost an estimated $4billion. But the loss experienced by the families of those implicated would last a lifetime. More>>>
Drugs out of control: The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya this week had chilling disclosure for Kenyans---the peril whole populations are exposed to, due to mushrooming of unregulated pharmacies - retail outlets for drugs and that the latter can actually be poison unless handled properly or dispensed competently. More>>>
Economy grows by 6.3% - officially: Kenya’s economy registered a 6.3 per cent growth in the first quarter of this year.  Last year’s growth stood at 4. 1 per cent, the first quarterly report released yesterday by the Government says. The overall inflation rate fell to a single digit over the same period. More>>>

Western to go digital within 100 days

Nairobi, July 31 2007
Each of the 24 constituencies in Luhya land will have a digital village, a digital school and a digital kiosk, the government has announced. Information and Communications PS, Bichage Ndemo, made the announcement yesterday witnessed by Matungu MP, David Aooko Were who is also an assistant minister in the ministry. More>>>

The return of AFC Ingwe

By Gilbert Wandera, Nairobi July 31 2007
Relegated Shabana and AFC Leopards could be back in top flight competition if a consent for arbitration filed at the High Court rules in their favour. Documents obtained by Sportfest shows that officials from the two clubs and the registered caretaker committee have agreed that the matter goes for arbitration. The consent was filed last Friday in the High Court, which ordered that the matter be resolved within 30 days. In the consent each of the parties have been asked to appoint one arbitrator who shall be an advocate of not less than seven years standing. Wafula Wa Musamia, AFC Leopards Chairman, said the team was ready to come back to the league and have maintained their training schedules.

The two clubs have always protested at their relegation from the competition claiming rules were not followed. Fifa recognised Kenya Football Federation Secretary General Sammy Obingo said he was not aware of the order and would therefore not comment at this time. More>>>

Kenyans protest at MPs super-ego salaries

London, July 31 2007
Kenyans of all walks of life are disgusted by even the sheer thought that the MPs can consider a pay hike, barely 5 months to the General election, while the same people who elected them live under abject poverty. Kenyans in the diaspora are among those outraged. "This is not only greedy, but evil. Children are dying every day, no wonder we potray such a negative image abroad,'' one furoius Kenyan told KLN in London. More>>>

Western to have a say in wealth creation under Vision 2030

Nairobi, July 30 2007
The much vaunted but dormant Vision 2030 has finally received a lease of life following the announcement by Finance Minister, Amos Kimunya, that all Kenya's eight provinces will be consulted as to to what they see as their role in wealth creation. A team spear-heading wealth creation plan Vision 2030 plans a series of meetings to educate Kenyans about it. Members of the National Economic and Social Council will visit all provinces to exchange ideas with the public on the vision. The forums will run until August 22.

This is aimed to help the public understand and own the project, according to Finance minister Amos Kimunya. He said the Government would announce the venues and dates of the meetings through the media. The team was established in 2004 to advice on economic and social problems More>>>

Jan '08 spells doom for Sugarcane farmers

Nairobi, July 30 2007
January 2008 spells doom for sugar famers AN outgrowers sugar company in western Kenya has announced a programme to encourage its members to diversify crop farming, noting that many of them still rely on sugarcane farming while facing acute food shortages. The Mumias Outgrowers Company (MOCO) says it will assist its more than 70,000 members to raise other crops other than cane, which will face increased competition from next January when Kenya joins the COMESA customs union. To many sugarcane-dependent families in western Kenya, January 2008 will come with adverse consequences to livelihoods and life itself as Kenya joins more efficient sugar producers in a free market regime. More>>>

Western Alliance talks kick off to an acrimonious start

Kisumu, Sunday, July 29 2007
Western alliance talks between Raila Odinga (read Luo) and Musalia Mudavadi (Luhya) over the weekend could just be the secret weapon that may rock President Mwai Kibaki's dream of serving two terms at Kenya's president. Although the talks were reportedly inconclusive and acrimonious, they mark the beginning of what may turn out to be the strongest weapon yet to bring the presidency to Western Kenya.

Although linguistically different, the two tribes are the second and third most populous after Kikuyu and share geographic as well as cultural proximity. If they were to unite and bring on board the equally populous Kisii and Kalenjin, that would give the current ruling elite dreamless nights. More>>>

Talking Luhya-Luo unity in Kisumu

raila mudavadi

Teacher College to be built at Kibabii

Nairobi, July 29 2007
A Teacher Training College is to be built at Kibabii in Bungoma, the government has announced. The shs1.7billion college is expected to be completed by 2010. The college, initially configured to offer Primary Teacher Certificates, has been upsized to offer Diploma courses. More>>>

Busia sugar factory tops wishlist

Kakamega, July 29 2007
A sugar factory was earmarked in Busia more than 15 years ago. However, it has largely remained a wish despite the huge economic benefits such a factory would bring to bear on the people of Busia. Now the pipe dream is to be revived in the form of a wish list that will be presented to President Mwai Kibaki when he visits the district next month on a campaign trail. More>>>

Mudavadi rules out alliances in ODM as Ojiambo offers to mediate

By Cyrus Kinyungu, Kakamega July 28 2007
Presidential aspirant and former Vice President , Mr Musalia Mudavadi has said that ODM-Kenya will be in serious problems if it fails to remain united. "The alternative is that we will face a very serious battle if we are not together. It is in our interest to mould a very united party," he said.

Mudavadi maintained that ODM-Kenya was still united and accused the media of trying to divide it by aligning candidates. He said the party’s presidential aspirants were still united adding they would remain so after one of them is picked to be the party’s torchbearer.

He denied claims that the candidates had formed alliances, but said they were all in a competitive process that was yet to be completed. He said that it was not correct to categorise the presidential aspirants into camps. Mudavadi was speaking to journalists after meeting Luhya leaders at a Kakamega hotel. He was accompanied by MPs Mr Wycliffe Oparanya, Mr Kenneth Marende and Mr Andrew Ligale. More>>>

Meanwhile ODM-Kenya presidential aspirant, Dr Julia Ojiambo, has offered to mediate between Lang’ata MP Mr Raila Odinga and his Mwingi North counterpart Mr Kalonzo Musyoka writes Morton Saulo. Speaking to journalists in Nairobi, Ojiambo said she was concerned about the rivalry between the two as it was affecting the party. "My colleagues should know that having me in their secret meetings would make a lot of difference," she said.

Ojiambo said if she were allowed to moderate at the meetings, she would change their approach and perception on issues to achieve unity within the coalition. She told the other ODM-Kenya candidates that they all have a responsibility to the public and should watch how they talk and behave. === Source: The Standard

CENTENARY: The first female scout, Elizabeth Nyaruai from Nyeri. More>>>

first female scout

Three Luhyas versus Betty Tett to battle out in Westlands

Nairobi, July 28 2007
The incumbent is Fred Gumo, the political pugilist originally from Busia District. Eyeing his backyard are two Luhya women, Dr Julia Ojiambo, the presidential aspirant and Kavetsa Adagala, the seasoned university don. These are all in the blue corner. But smelling blood in the red, is Betty Tett, herself no stranger to the bruising battle ahead in Westlands - the constituency in which State House is situated but which glitters with gold and stinks of sewage in equal measure. At stake is the large Luhya vote hidden in the slums of Kangemi where Gumo recently hosted President Kibaki in a church service.

Dr Ojiambo considers Westlands her home, having been born in the area in 1961. She later went to Alliance girls high school in Kikuyu in 1979, where she completed her A levels before proceeding to the University of Nairobi to study medicine. More>>>

Kituyi, Atwoli denounce MPs super salaries

Nairobi, July 27 2007
Mukhisa Kituyi, the Trade and Industry Minister and Francis Atwoli, COTU secretary general have appealed to MPs to reject the proposed salary increment that makes Kenya a laughing stock. Along with Raphael Tuju, the Foreign Affairs Minister and Athman Shakombo of the Shirikisho Party, the leaders termed shameful the proposed huge salary increases for a select few in the midst of abject poverty suffered by majority of Kenyans. Also objecting is Kalonzo Musyoka, an ODM presidential aspirant. Calling the intended scheme ridiculous, Mr Atwoli said the latest move by the MPs amounted to a mockery of justice. He appealed to the Attorney General, Mr Amos Wako, to reject it "in toto. More>>>

Shikuku raps MPs over wages

FORMER Butere Member of Parliament, Martin Shikuku yesterday condemned the proposed MPs salary increment and blamed Kenyans for electing corrupt legislators. More>>>

Luhya clerics abandon pulpit for politics

In Luhya land, politics has taken a new face following the entrance of several clergymen into the fray. Public Service minister Rev Moses Akaranga, a former employee of Barclays Bank, is a pastor at the Pentecostal Assemblies of God (PAG). He is the only religious leader from the province serving in the current Parliament after he ousted former Vice President Mr Musalia Mudavadi from the Sabatia seat in 2002.

Bishop Titus Khamala of the Cornerstone Ministries is eyeing the Lurambi parliamentary seat. Khamala studied theology in the United States. Prior to this, he was a businessman. Former head of PAG Rev Dr Michael Otanga and pastor Evole Asienga of Nairobi Pentecostal Church both intend to challenge Emuhaya MP, Mr Kenneth Marende. Both leaders are seeking the ODM-Kenya ticket. "I want to change the political game from dirty politics to the politics of sincerity and honesty," says Otanga.

Also in Western, Rev Marksen Wafula Masinde will be contesting the Lugari parliamentary seat. Masinde of the Kenya Christian Reformed Church says poverty eradication will be his greatest agenda. Another Luhya, is the flamboyant Pastor Mike Brawan Lumbasio of Metro Churchin Nakuru. He is vying for the Nakuru Town seat on the ODM-Kenya seat. Click here to read Lumbasio's profile. More>>>

It's serious business as 400,000 condoms are used every day

By Samuel Otieno, Nairobi July 26 2007
Kenyans are using about 12 million condoms a month, an indication that they are increasingly taking preventive measures against the spread of HIV/Aids. The trend has in turn led to a downward shift in HIV prevalence from 13.4 per cent in 2001 to 7.3 per cent in 2005.

Director of Medical Services, Dr James Nyikal, however, gave bleak statistics showing that about 1.25 million Kenyans are living with HIV. "Out of these people, women account for approximately two thirds due to biological reasons," said Nyikal. More>>>

In Ebukanga, Mzee Chweya is not a happy bunny

By Cosmas Butunyi, Bunyore, July 26 2007
Mzee Johnstone Chweya is a desperate man. He can barely find enough fodder to feed his prized Friesian cow, which he rears by zero grazing. His once lush napier grass field has been reduced to stunted yellowish shoots. And because his cow has little to eat, its milk output has fallen from a daily output of over 20 litres to less than five litres.


Though his Ebukanga Village in Vihiga District receives sufficient rainfall, the yield from his napier crop is dwindling.  After consulting an agricultural extension officer, he was informed that his field was affected by the napier stunt disease — which has no known cure.


Like Mzee Chweya, many other farmers in Western Kenya have been hard-hit by the disease and scientists have predicted a bleak future for the dairy industry if it goes unchecked. 
“The napier stunt disease will wipe out all the napier in this country in the next five years if nothing is done about it,” says Dr Zeyaur Khan, a researcher at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (Icipe).

More>>>

Mzee Cheya of Ebukanga Sub location in Bunyore

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More jobs for health workers

By Mike Mwaniki, Nairobi July 26 2007
The Government will this month employ 600 health workers. Health ministry permanent secretary Hezron Nyangito yesterday said 360 of them would be nurses, who would be deployed to rural dispensaries and health centres in various parts of the country.

Donors had also pledged to provide funding so that the ministry can employ an additional 200 workers during this financial year, said the PS. Dr Nyangito said: “Following the scrapping of maternity fees in dispensaries and health centres, the ministry is committed to ensuring that the quality of health care is not compromised.”

On Tuesday, the Government abolished maternity fees in all public dispensaries and health centres.Health minister Charity Ngilu said the fees — which range from Sh300 to Sh500 for each delivery — had been scrapped in all 2,000 government dispensaries and 500 health centres. The move is expected to benefit the 1.2 million women who give birth each year. More>>>

Kombo the dark horse in Luhya unity bid - Shitanda

By Topi Lyambila, London July 26 2007
Hon. Soita Shitanda hit the Headlines mid last year after leading a group of renegade politicians largely from Kakamega District, in effect forming a splinter Ford-K party sect.  At the time tension had been high since the naming of the Western Constituent University –The Muliro University contrary to many Kakamega residents.  The University is located in Kakamega District of Western Province, while Masinde Muliro was a Nationalist politician who also happened to have been the man that cast the die in the move to have the initial college built in Kakamega and not Bungoma his native District.

Away from these sentimental under leanings, Hon Shitanda MP, had kind of fallen out with the Ford-K leader Musikari Kombo who hails from Bungoma District, the man who took over the reigns after the death of the party leader and then Vice President Wamalwa Kijana himself a Bukusu as well.  Kombo’s political leadership both within the party and nationally, had been questioned in more fronts than one, a fact that had already seen his party counterpart from Bungoma, a cousin and close associate of the late VP, and current Trade Minister, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi hoof it.  Dr. Kituyi in venting his anger at the way Kombo was conducting party business decamped to NARC-K. More>>>

Accused: Musikari Kombo

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Accuser: Soita Shitanda

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Lawyer Oyatsi tells of grand fraud from NSSF

By Evelyn Kwamboka, Nairobi July 24 2007
Shah Munge and Partrners, the stock brokerage firm, stole shs49million from the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). The money was part of shs251 million released for the purchase of Treasury Bonds, Mr Desterio Oyatsi, the NSSF lawyer told judges at the Commercial Court, Nairobi yesterday.

The court heard that the stockbroker demanded to be paid the money before identifying a bonds seller and was paid by cheque. The cheque was deposited in the company’s office account at Euro Bank, an account that had been over drawn by more than Sh40 million, the court heard. The company’s head of stockbrokerage, Mr Arthur Namu, told Commercial Court judge, Mr Justice Festus Azangalala that NSSF deposited the cheque in that account without instructions from the company. "We instructed the bank to open a fixed deposit account and deposit the cheque there," Namu said. More>>>

Kenyans abroad to get 5 star billing

By Kenya London News, London July 24 2007
Mr Soita Shitanda, Minister for Housing and MP for Malava has said that Kenyans abroad interested in taking part in economic development back home would be accorded first class treatment. Mr Shitanda was speaking at the opening of a Property Exhibition held in London at the weekend. More>>

Maternity fees abolished

By Mike Mwaniki, Nairobi July 24 2007
The Government has abolished maternity fees in all public dispensaries and health centres. Health minister Charity Ngilu said the fees - which range between Sh300 to Sh500 per delivery - had been scrapped in all the gazetted 2,000 dispensaries and 500 health centres.

The move is expected to benefit the 1.2 million women who give birth annually. More>>

All Ugandan schools to teach Kiswahili

Uganda is pushing for a place of Kiswahili in its curriculum to enable it to successfully operate in the East African Community (EAC). The country Vice-President, Prof Gilbert Bukenya, says a common language within the region would catalyse the unity of the five member states."Uganda is pushing hard for the use of Kiswahili as a common language among its citizens. Language is important for the countries to become one," he said.Bukenya expressed optimism that the dream of uniting the East African Countries will be a reality despite opposition from some leaders. More>>>

Kituyi scoffs at original Narc

Narc Kenya Secretary-General Dr Mukhisa Kituyi has dismissed the ruling coalition as a mongrel incapable of building a government. Kituyi termed pre-election coalitions as opportunistic alliances that did not have a place in the current political landscape. "In 2002, we came together against a common enemy in Uhuru Kenyatta and the result was a loose government with diverse interests and Narc could not hold together after the collective project had been vanquished," he said. More>>>

Teachers cry foul over new wages

By Kipngeno Cheruiyot, Nairobi 23 July 2007
SECONDARY school teachers are crying foul over the recent implementation of the final phase of the 1997 salary pay deal between the government and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT).

They are citing alleged anomalies in the schedule recently released by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) .

Consequently the teachers, through the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) has written to the TSC urging it to convene an urgent meeting to sort out the anomaly it says has caused “anxiety and concern” to their members.

A cross of section teachers who had already received their July payslips expressed consternation that they were going lose between Sh3,615 and sh 13,785 each if the new structure as outlined by TSC is implemented.

The new guidelines would affect teachers in job group L upwards while P2, P1 teachers and those in job groups J and K have immensely benefited from the new scheme. Sources at TSC indicated that about 50,000 teachers are likely to be affected by the anomaly in the new scheme. More>>>

For the body and mind

By Story by PETER NG'ETICH, Nairobi July 22 2007
The Government has established human resource development centres in all the eight provinces to address civil servants needs.
These include psychological as well as personal advancement needs while under Government service. Senior human resource officers have been deployed to the centres to ensure staff resource management issues are handled professionally and efficiently. Minister for State in charge of Public Service Moses Akaranga said 100 officers had been recruited to man the offices.


"The officers have been inducted to respond to emerging issues professionally and efficiently," Mr Akaranga says. He is quoted by the Directorate of Personnel Management (DPM) magazine, a forum for civil servants, as saying the centres will address among other issues, the scheme of service that takes long before it is reviewed. The officers will attend to complaints from civil servants who have remained in the same job groups for a long time due to lack of proper succession management. 


They will also address the disconnect between various organs of the civil service based at the headquarters in Nairobi and the districts. Besides the new centres, the Government has also hired counsellors to help civil servants address psychological and stress-related challenges.  The counsellors are based at the ministry headquarters but are available to civil servants including those from the districts. "The recruitment of counsellors is part of the on-going initiative by Government to maintain a healthy and well motivated workforce that will, in turn, improve service delivery," the DPM magazine says. More>>>

With five crippled sons, to whom does a mother turn to?

Lugari, July 21 2007
Pity the Maragoli mother whose dream of a happy married life with healthy little ones providing bundles of joy has turned out into a nightmare of immense proportions. Twenty two years ago, she married her childhood sweetheart and soon gave birth to a baby boy - a good omen in the Luhya customary traditions. Four months later, the boy became crippled by a some mysterious disease. That was unfortunate enough but the worst was to come when the next son also became crippled and another and another and another. The ailment not only stunted their growth but also immobilised and impaired their speech. They are dumb, stunted and crippled siblings. And the disease seems to attack only the male children — all her three daughters are healthy. How much suffering can one family take. Mbone says she survives only thanks to her strong Christian faith. More>>>

Mbone's five crippled sons

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Simiyu Baraza to train in Nigeria's Nollywood

By Lucianne Limo, Nairobi, July 21 2007
Simiyu Baraza is among ten Kenyan artists selected to train in filmmaking in Nollywood. The team will spend two weeks learning from Nigeria’s Nollywood, Africa’s most prolific filmmaking hub and the world’s third largest film industry. The team comprises film directors, producers, screenwriters, technical crew and distributors. They will then be expected to implement their newly learnt techniques, that have seen Nigeria’s film industry record runaway success. The training is an initiative of pay TV operator, MNet, and the Kenya Film Commission (KFC).

The TV and film professionals selected include Albert Ngonche, Keith Oleng, Kirumburu Ng’ang’a, Mariah Zinzy and Mburu Kimani. Others are Moses Oduwa Onyango, Nicholas Njache, Robert Bresson, Sheila Mulinya and Simiyu Barasa. Robert Bresson replaces Naomi Kamau, a filmmaker and actress. More>>>

Awori and Kemoli: Two names stick out in post independence corporate world

Nairobi July 22 2007
Mr Hannington Awori only recently retired from chairmanship of Nation Media Group's board of directors and Richard Kemoli may be more famous for music than anything else but these two Luhya greats have been at the top of the corporate world since the 1960's. Mr Richard Kemoli joined the Commonwealth Development Corporation soon after graduating from Makerere in 1959 and went on to dominate it for nearly three decades. Another name from Western, AAA Ekirapa (Teso) rose from the Kenyanisation of Personnel Bureau — a government department set up to Africanise jobs— to become the executive chairman of Nation Newspapers Ltd, the precursor to the Nation Media Group. Mr Ekirapa later left Nation to go into politics where he won elections in Amagoro Constituency and rose to bacome an assistant minister. More>>>

Focus, hard work finally pays dividends


By INGONEWS Reporter, Surrey, July 20 2007
Fulton Shiundu graduated with a top class BSc on Thursday from Warwick University, one of the top ten universities in the UK. The first born son of Mr Juvenal and Mrs Rose Shiundu majored in Economics and scored an impressive 2:1 just a whisker the coveted 1st class degree. To celebrate the occasion, the proud parents threw a lively party in his honour at their residence in Surrey.

Fulton, 21, who already has a job offer with KPMG, the accountancy firm next year will in the meantime embark on a three-month internship programme with Rothschild, the Investment banker, in the mergers and acquisitions department.

Speaking to INGONEWS, Fulton revealed that in the medium term, he would like to do an MBA in Investment Banking with a top business school in the US preferably one in the Ivy League – Harvard, Yale and Stanford.  His long term ambition is to work in Kenya where capital markets are developing rapidly. “I want to get experience from some of the world’s top firms which will give me good grounding in my long term career in Kenya,” he said.

Fulton, whose favourite sport is rugby, advises young Kenyans to “stay focussed, set yourself goals and never let anyone tell you it cannot be done.” Click here to view party photos.

The face of pure gold:

Fulton with proud parents - Juvenal (left) and Rose Shiundu (right) at the Graduation Party at their residence in Surrey on Thursday, July 19 2007. Fulton graduated from Warwick University

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Angela Shiundu and Fulton: That's my brother..

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Robert Ayieko and Fulton: That's my nephew...

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Rose Shiundu and Fulton: That's my son...

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They came, they witnessed. But only one man conquered...

fulton's friends

Back up team: from left, Angela Shiundu, Marion Osieyo, Sasha Bulimo, Lynda Bulimo, Brenda Osieyo and Rose Shiundu

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Family affair: from left Wangula Khasiani and the full Shiundu team - Angela, Fulton, Victor, Juvenal and Rose.

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No sex please, you're prisoners

Nairobi, July 19 2007
The government has ruled that prisoners will not be allowed conjugal rights because the logistics are not in place and moreover, it's not a priority. The announcement by Ms Nancy Kirui, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs yesterday is likely to spark condemnation from human rights groups.

The issue of conjugal rights for prisoners came to the fore in May, when prisoners at Mombasa’s Shimo la Tewa Prison demanded to be allowed intimacy with their spouses from behind bars.

Speaking at a family visiting day, the prisoners joined others in several prisons who had demanded the intimacy treat allowed in some Western countries for select inmates with minor offences. For now, visiting days will have to be limited to prolonged hugs and show of affection in public. More>>>

Hope for 10,000 HIV children

By John Oywa, Kisumu July 19 2007
The Government has launched an ambitious HIV/Aids campaign that will see 10,000 more children put on Anti-retroviral therapy in the next 100 days. The new campaign, to be backed by the private sector, is expected to prolong the lives of the more than 30,000 children who contract the virus in Kenya every year.

Some 10,000 children infected with the deadly virus are on the ARVs, according to the Director of Medical Services, Dr James Nyikal.

On Thursday, the Deputy Director of the National Aids and Sexually Transmitted Diseases Co-ordinating Programme, Dr Robert Ayisi, said the campaign would tackle hurdles that had hampered paediatric HIV/Aids campaigns in the past. More>>>

Apathy as Western registers fewer voters

Nairobi, July 18 2007
With only two weeks to go, Western Province trails Rift Valley, Central, Eastern and Nyanza provinces in the new voter registration exercise, according to figures released by the Electoral Commission of Kenya yesterday. The populous province has registered a paltry 92,483 voters compared to Rift Valley which leads with 856,641 between June 11 and July 16.

ECK Chairman, Mr Samuel Kivuitu, asked eligible voters to register within the remaining 15 days instead of waiting for a last minute rush to avoid disappointment. More>>>

Voter Registration Table:

Rift Valley = 856,641
Central = 154,723
Eastern = 127,268
Nyanza = 122,681
Western = 92,483
Nairobi = 85,811
Coast = 64,489
North Eastern = 27,499

ananFormer United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan ( third left) and his wife Nane listen to Ms Jane Ininda, the programme officer of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, during Mr Annan’s tour of a maize demonstration farm owned by Mr Pharis Wekesa Masibo (left and inset) in Bukembe, Bungoma South District at the weekend. Photos/JARED NYATAYA

Bungoma family's big day with Koffi Annan

By Simbi Kusimba, Bungoma, July 18 2007
A family in Bungoma is over the moon after hosting a dream visitor at its farm last weekend. Yesterday, the head of the family, 74-year-old Pharis Wekesa Masibo, was still elated as visitors kept streaming into his home to find out what had attracted former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan.

Mr Annan visited the retired primary school headteacher’s 20-acre farm at Bukembe in Kanduyi Division to see his unique farming practice. Mr Masibo, who was a headteacher for 44 years (between 1958 and 1989) after training at Siriba Teachers Training College (now Maseno University) is a small- scale farmer growing sugarcane, maize, sweet potatoes, bananas, groundnuts and beans.

“Every three years, I harvest 80 tonnes of cane for sale to Nzoia Sugar Company at Sh2,200 per tonne. Last year I harvested 100 bags of maize, small quantities of groundnuts and beans. “Every three years, I harvest 80 tonnes of cane for sale to Nzoia Sugar Company at Sh2,200 per tonne. Last year I harvested 100 bags of maize, small quantities of groundnuts and beans. 

“For sweet potatoes and bananas, we sell some and use the rest for domestic consumption,” the farmer explained.  Mr Masibo is the chairman of a group of 34 banana farmers intent on adopting new farming technologies to achieve higher yields. They work with NGOs involved in the promotion of sustainable agriculture.

Read More>>>

Guesthouse with rich Luhya artefacts of a bygone royal era

By Julius Bosire, Namasoli July 17 2007
A guesthouse stands in a dusty village in Butere District, which has the marks of royalty in it, having stood the test of ages. The centre has carved a special place in the locality.

The story goes that in 1932, it was the first permanent structure in the area which amazed Queen Elizabeth II, prompting her sister Princess Margaret to open the house and present a special congratulatory message to the owner. The guesthouse has rich Luhya artefacts and memorable photographs of Kenya’s history.

Mama Esteri (Esther) Ashiembi, 87, is an active employee of Martha’s Guest House and serves as its institutional memory. Just like Ashiembi, the guesthouse has a rich history dating back to 1932, which has kept tourists flocking to the centre in the rural area of Butere District.

The centre was initially named Monkey’s House following the invasion of the apes owing to its location in a forest at that time. It was the home of James Shiraku Inyundo, a former worker of East African Railway and Harbours, who has since died. It was later renamed Martha’s Guest House after Mr Shiraku’s wife, Martha.

The three bed-roomed house stands on Shiraku’s land near Namasoli shopping centre, a six-kilometre drive from Yala Township off the Kisumu-Busia road. The small establishment, which attracts tourists from world over, has a 10-bed capacity.  More>>>

Hangs at Martha's Guesthouse, the musclemen of Kenya's politics: Portrait of President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta (second left) Mzee is at a beach with, from left, Dr Njoroge Mungai, who became Defence minister after Independence, Mr Mwinga Chokwe, who became Speaker of the Upper House (Senate), and Mr Tom Mboya, who became minister for National Planning.

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Luhya Village thrives in Nairobi's Kangemi District

By Godfrey Miheso, Nairobi July 17 2007
As the Matatu cruises along the trimly tarmacked road towards Nairobi’s Kawangware area 46, in contrast, a dilapidated five minutes drive stretch of land unfolds, linking to the next estate. Here, unexpected armies of people progressively surface, and continue to build up further the same road into the slum as numerous rundown wooden shacks complete with rusted corrugated iron sheets for roofs come to full view.

The infrastructure therein is way below average with narrow dusty paths as roads. The region is Kawangware area 56, inhabited predominantly by a people with a common ancestry. Incidentally, most of them hail from Western Kenya. Not surprising, at the entrance to village, conspicuously stands an information centre that acquaints you with the culture of the Luhya community.

‘Orie, mbwena’ (Luhya for hallo, how are you), a middle-aged man salutes a neighbour, mounting his bike in readiness for another day of hard labour. More>>>

A sanctuary of faith and wealth

By INGONEWS Reporter, Grays, Essex, July 15 2007
It was a church service with a difference. Parishioners of Proclaimers Sanctuary International Church in Grays, Essex came in large numbers to hear the word of the Lord but it was a word spiced with spiritual as well as physical and economic altruism. Although the theme of the sermon was “Return to the Lord”, the presiding minister, Reverend Joseph Karanja admonished his parishioners that God wanted them to do well materially as well as spiritually. That is why, he had arranged, in conjunction with Misterseed, a property exhibition-cum-seminar attended by property developers and real estate agents from Kenya who are in the UK promoting investment by the Diaspora in the booming property market in Kenya.

Leading the delegation was Mr David Kuria, the Managing Director of Pinnacle Projects Ltd and included, Mr Wilberforce Ojiambo Oundo, the Managing Director of Regent Management Ltd, the property consultants, project managers and valuers, Mr AC Mumba, the chairman of Kenya Ports Authority Staff Pension Scheme (also a director of Siginon Freight Ltd), Maurice Mitimu Amahwa, the KPA Pensions Administrator and Isaac Maira, the Marketing Executive of Tysons Ltd.

The property delegation is visiting the UK as a follow up of last October's successful Kenya Diaspora Investment Conference in London. The main exhibition event is scheduled for Saturday, July 21st at RHS Conference Hall in London. Click here for details. View Photo Gallery

Rev Joseph Karanja delivering his sermon

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Maurice Amahwa

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W. Ojiambo Oundo

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Where Eagles Dare

In the property Delegation to the UK are two Abeingo damu, Messrs Maurice M Amahwa from Isukha and Mr Wilberforce Ojiambo Oundo from Busia (pictured left). Mr Amahwa is the Pensions Administrator of KPA while Mr Oundo is the Chief Executive of Regent Management Ltd, the property consultants, project managers and valuers.

The property men pose with Rev Mr and Mrs Karanja

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All in prayer: Faith and Wealth

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Worshippers listening to the word of the Lord

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Amorous Bungoma Teachers caught in the act

By Isaiah Lucheli, Bungoma July 16 2007
Angry parents of a primary school in Bungoma District nabbed two teachers who had allegedly taken their teenage pupils to a lodging in Webuye town. Parents said the teachers picked the Standard Seven pupils from Maeni FYM Primary School in Kimilili division at the weekend and took them to the hotel.

The parents had been alerted about relationships between the teenage girls and the teachers. They followed them to Webuye town and confronted the amorous teachers when they were booking the girls into a lodging at the hotel. "The parents confronted them, but one of teachers escaped during the scuffle," said Mr Wanyonyi Karori.

One of the teachers was arrested and frog-matched to Kimilili Police Station. Karori said the two teachers had the habit of indulging in amorous activities with their pupils. The parents were furious because one of the teachers had earlier been accused of impregnating a Standard Six pupil in his previous school, but no action had been taken against him. "Stern action should be taken against the teachers who have been implicated in the behaviour," said Karori.

Parents accused the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) of defending the teachers. They said the Provincial Police Officer should investigate why officers at the local station released the teacher, on Monday. Kimilili police boss Mr Hesbon Agigu, however, told The Standard on telephone that the teacher had been bonded to report to the station daily until investigation was complete. "He was allowed to go back to the school but he will be reporting to the station every day," said Agigu.

Police officers were also looking for the teacher who escaped. The girls stunned the parents, customers at the hotel and police officers when they revealed that the teachers had been having sexual relationship with them for the past four months. They said the teachers had been taking them to hotels as far as Eldoret during weekends. Knut Bungoma branch vice-secretary, Mr Seme Sunguti, said the union was aware of the incident and investigation had been launched.

==== source: Standard

Awori speaks out for disabled

Nairobi, July 16 2007
Vice-President Mr Moody Awori has admitted that many disabled children are still missing out in the Free Primary Education programme. Awori said the number of disabled pupils was not yet established, leading to lack of proper and effective planning for their education as well as social needs.

"Children with disability are not benefiting from this programme since they do not have access to special facilities to aid their learning process," said Awori. The VP’s concern comes barely a week after Education minister, Prof George Saitoti, announced that the Government had allocated Sh200 million to improve infrastructure in special needs schools to enhance access and enrolment.

In addition, Saitoti had announced that Sh150 million would be used for special needs education as part of the FPE programme.

On Monday, Awori said, "Persons with disabilities are a marginalised group."

More>>>

Malava, Lugari and Kimilili constituencies to be split

Nairobi, July 15 2007
Three constituencies in Luhya land are among the 57 proposed constituency-boundary changes according to a leaked report from the Electoral Commission of Kenya obtained by the Standard Newspaper. Amagoro in Teso District is also on the chopping board.

Among the political heavyweights whose future now hangs in the balance include Trade and Commerce Minister, Dr Mukhisa Kituyi of Kimilili, Soita Shitanda of Malava and Dr Enoch Kibunguchy of Lugari. More>>>

Annan on a maize demonstration farm in Bungoma - Mabanga Farmers Training Centre.

Koffi Annan

Koffi Annan visits Bungoma

Bungoma, July 15 2007
Former UN Secretary General, Mr Koffi Annan visited a maize demonstration plot at the home of 74-year-old Pharis Wekesa at Bukembe in Bungoma South District and emphasised the need to help farmers solve marketing challenges. Mr Annan is seen in the picture opposite at Mabanga Farmers Training Centre, Bungoma South District with Saleem Esmail, the chief executive officer of Western Seed Company.

Sacred Africa’s executive director, Dr Eusebius Mukhwana, told Mr Annan that seed variety development, appropriate fertiliser use and organised marketing systems were crucial to increased food production. Mr Annan chairs the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) whose headquarters will be in Nairobi. More>>>

Western tourism sector receives boost

Nairobi, Friday July 13 2007
Kenya’s western tourism circuit is set for a major boost with the regular sighting in Lake Victoria of the otter, a carnivorous, aquatic mammal mostly associated with the South American and Asian sea waters. The animal, the size of a domestic cat, has a thick, cylindrical, elongated body set on short, stocky legs, and is an agile swimmer whose adaptations include five-toe, webbed paws, the fore ones of which are shorter. More>>>

Bungoma gets lion's share of teachers

Nairobi, Friday July 13 2007
Bungoma District has been allocated the highest number of slots in the new teacher recruitment that begins tomorrow across the country. It will hire 410 primary schools, 100 more than Machakos with the second highest number at 323. A total of 8,630 primary school teachers will be recruited this year and 2,300 in secondary. Nakuru District will hire 310 primary school teachers followed by Makueni (293), Siaya (288), Kakamega (275) and Kitui (263). More>>>

No more missing files at AG's Office

Nairobi, July 12 2007
Soon you won't have to part with 'kitu kidogo' for your file to appear or indeed to trace companies, register births and deaths at the registrar's office. The notorious office that has primarily been a big shame, has finally succumbed to technological revolution and gone digital. More>>>

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"Moneybags" Livondo turns mediator

Nairobi, July 12 2007
Stanley Livondo, Narc-Kenya resource mobilisation chairman, restrains Ms Orie Rogo Manduli after a meeting of parliamentary aspirants turned chaotic on Thursday. Manduli, who is eyeing the Kasarani seat, was protesting the presence of a rival.

Picture by Collins Kweyu

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Torturous and extortionate; that is Trans Nzoia Police for you

By Osinde Obare, Kitale Wednesday, July 11 2007
Trans Nzoia Police regularly torture, sexually attack and intimidate suspects, according to a special report. Senior police officers allegedly remove female suspects from the cells at night and take them to their houses for sex before returning them. Early this year, at Endebess Police Station, an officer took a female suspect from the cell, but she sneaked to freedom. The officer was interdicted alongside two others.

The district has four police stations — Kitale police headquarters, Endebess, Cherangani and Moi’s Bridge. Each station has cells where suspects are held before being taken to court. Torture by police while digging up information from suspects has not stopped while some police officers are notorious for extorting money from suspects as protection fee, says a prison para–legal officer at the Catholic Church Justice and Peace Commission, Mr Boniface Wanyoike. More>>>

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Showdown looms as Khamati recalled from African Union

By Andrew Teyie, Nairobi Wednesday July 11 2007

A showdown looms between Ford-Kenya and the Government after Foreign Affairs minister Mr Raphael Tuju revoked Ms Yvonne Khamati’s appointment as Kenya’s envoy to the African Union. Tuju, who is also the Narc-Kenya chairman, failed to give reasons for revoking her appointment. However, he referred Khamati to Head of Civil Service, Mr Francis Muthaura, for deployment. "I can confirm that her appointment to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) has been revoked. This has already been communicated to her," Tuju said.

The move is expected to rub Ford-Kenya fraternity the wrong way as Khamati’s appointment was one of the job deals struck between President Kibaki and Ford-Kenya chairman, Mr Musikari Kombo two months ago. More>>>

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The girl is coming home

Yvonne Ndege appointed Nairobi correspondent of Al Jazeera

By Shad Bulimo, London, Monday July 9 2007
Yvonne Ndege, the dashing young producer for the BBC is coming home. Yvonne has been appointed the East Africa correspondent of Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based broadcasting house that now gives CNN a run for its money. She will be based in Nairobi with effect from 21 July 2007 and will cover East Africa. Speaking at a farewell party hosted by her mother, Margaret Ndege in London on Sunday, Yvonne told INGONEWS that she looks forward to working in Kenya, the land of her parents. Her parents come from Bunyala in Busia district.
"I'll do my best to bring the story of Africa to the world,” she said.

Yvonne will move to Nairobi with her South African-born husband, Mr Burke. He said. “I can’t wait to live in Nairobi which in many ways is rather like South Africa.” The girl with the big voice is finally coming home.

Click here to see party photos.

From left: Yvonne, Mr Burke and a friend

Yvonne Berg

Kombo now bans smoking in Nairobi

Musikari Kombo, the local government minister, has banned smoking in public places in Nairobi. The order outlawing the habit was announced yesterday by Nairobi Town Clerk, John Gakuo after approval by the minister. Nairobi becomes the third urban area after Nakuru and Mombasa to ban smoking in public places such as parks, bars, restaurants etc. More>>>

Museveni visits Awori's Busia home
By John Oywa and Beauttah Omanga , Busia July 9 2007

President Yoweri Museveni caused a stir in Busia town when he paid Vice President Moody Awori a surprise visit at his Funyula home. The Kenya-Uganda border was temporarily closed to the public on Monday as Museven’s 20-vehicle convoy drove into Kenyan territory in what authorities in the two countries described as a private visit.

Museveni, accompanied by his wife Janet, entered Kenya from Samia Bugwe constituency on the Eastern Ugandan side, where Awori’s younger brother Mr Aggrey Awori is the MP and was received into Funyula where the VP is the MP. Aggrey challenged President Museveni in the presidential race in the last General Election in 2005.

Although Government officials said Museveni’s visit was private, the presence of Kenya’s Foreign Affairs minister Mr Raphael Tuju, Attorney General Mr Amos Wako and the two High Commissioners, Brigadier Rtd Matayo Kyaligonza (Uganda) and Mr Japheth Getuge (Kenya) sparked speculation that the leaders had met to discuss serious regional issues.

Sources close to Awori said the leaders had planned to discuss the deteriorating security situation along the Kenya/Uganda border especially in West Pokot and Turkana where more than 30 Kenyans have died in bombing raids allegedly by Uganda People’s Defence Force. More>>>

Awori and Museveni

Has the leopard changed its colours?

Nairobi Sunday July 8 2007
Westlands MP, Fred Gumo who doubles up as the chairman of the ODM-K Council of Elders, the rapporteuring organ of the opposition movement, shocked a church congregation yesterday when he lavished praise on President Kibaki, the man for whom political daggers are drawn against in general elections scheduled later this year. Gumo made the flattering, if astounding remarks at a church service in Kangemi, the backyard of his constituency. President Kibaki was present at the service. When reached later by the Standard, he said: " It's courtesy. You cannot oppose the President when he visits your constituency." More>>

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Mukhweso bars pyramid schemes


By Joel Okwayo, Kakamega July 8 2007
The Government will not allow pyramid schemes to be converted into savings and credit cooperative societies (Saccos), the Western Provincial Cooperative Officer, Mr Nathan Mukhweso has said. Mukhweso said the pyramid schemes had tainted public images after swindling money deposited by their members and could not be registered as co-operative societies. Co-operative officers in the province have been warned against registering new societies without adhering to the law, he said.


"Any society being registered must be scrutinised to ensure that it does not have the pyramid style of operations," said Mukhweso. He warned members of co-operative movement against depositing their money into pyramid scheme organizations, saying that the Government was against such institutions. He was addressing members of co-operative movement at Kakamega’s Bukhungu stadium during the celebrations to mark Ushirika Day. Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Co-operatives (Kuscco) director, Mr Joseph Sagalla, said Kuscco wants a Sacco Act enacted before Parliament winds up this session. "The Act will enable the Government put in place a regulatory body to handle the registration and inspection of societies in the country," he said.


Mukhweso told elected officials of societies eyeing civic and parliamentary seats to resign from the movement as they will not be allowed to use their positions as campaign platforms. "We will monitor the elected officials of societies to ensure that those eying elective positions in the forth-coming poll are forced to resign as per the minister’s directive," he said. The officials of societies had been given up to June 30 to make up their minds and resign. - source: The Standard

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The return of Shell in Western


By Mangoa Mosota , Kisumu July 8 2007
Kenya Shell has resumed business in Western Kenya after a four-year absence. The company opened Kisumu retail station last weekend and is planning to open another six in the next one year. Managing Director Mr Patrick Obath said some of the new stations will be opened in Eldoret and Bungoma. "Our investment in Western Kenya will go hand in hand with the re-branding of BP retail sites to Shell," said the MD.


He blamed dumping of counterfeit oil products for the closure of Kenya Shell retail outlets in the region four years ago. "There was dumping of export oil that was meant for export. This unfair competition forced us to close in 2003," said Obath. Opening the Kisumu station, Trade Permanent Secretary, Mr David Nalo, said the Kenya Revenue Authority has created a fair playing field by clamping on fuel destined for export market. "The introduction of Simba System in 2005 by KRA curtailed the malpractice and has restored confidence in the oil industry."


The PS said the East African Community Customs Union and the recent admission of Rwanda and Burundi into the economic integration will enhance cross-border trade. "Kenyan manufacturers and exporters will have access to a bigger market for their products in the EAC," he said. - SOURCE: The Standard

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Politicians shunned in favour of entrepreneurs and academics

Nairobi June 6 2007
The Standard List of Kenya's 100 most influential people has shunned Luhya politicians in favour of non headline grabbers devoted to good causes. Among them are:

Dr Henry Chakava: This soft-spoken father of three has influenced millions of Kenyans for over two decades. Through the East African Educational Publishers Ltd, Chakava has published such renown authors as Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Cyprian Ekwensi, Sembene Ousmane, Alex la Guma, Peter Abrahams, Taban lo Liyong, Okot p’Bitek, Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye, Grace Ogot and John Kiriamiti, among others. But we doubt many Kenyans know this great Kenyan.

Justice Mathew John Emukule: He has presided over major cases, including being part of the Bench that cleared Education minister Prof George Saitoti of wrongdoing in the Goldenberg affair.

James Shikwati: The name James Shikwati may not ring a bell among many Kenyan. But this self-taught economist has been ruffling feathers at high levels here and abroad, with a message of Africa’s economic independence. An anti-aid and pro-business advocate, Shikwati has reached millions of people around the world through most major publications and TV stations – the BBC, New York Times, Independent, Der Spiegel, and Frankfurtter Allemeigne, among others. We bet less than 1,000 Kenyans would recognise him in the streets.

Paul Kukubo: a co-founder of 3mice Interactive, a pioneer ICT firm in web design.

Ayisi Makatiani: He has extensive management, entrepreneurial and board level experience having co-founded Africa Online, the largest ISP in Africa outside South Africa. He has been voted a top CEOs in East Africa several times and sits on Kenya’s National Economic and Social Council as an expert.

Prof Calestous Juma: He is a professor of International Development and director of Science, Technological and Globalisation Project at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. A former primary school teacher and journalist, Juma is the co-chair of Nepad’s High Level African Panel on Modern Biotechnology. He is the founder of African Centre for Technological Studies and a member of the prestigious Royal Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences and the Third World Academy of Sciences.

More>>

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Kwendo and Maddo: top dog Luhya journalists

Journalists save the day as no Luhya is considered influential enough in Kenya's Top Ten Most influential people.

Nairobi, 5 July 2007
A survey carried out by the East African Standard, the media house, on 100 most influential Kenyans has included Kwendo Opanga and Paul Kelemba, the cartoonist popularly known as Maddo in the top ten most influential media personalities. Kwendo Opanga is the Editorial Director of the Standard Group of Companies. However no Luhya appears in the top ten of Kenya's movers and shakers despite being the second most populous tribe. The survey picked President Mwai Kibaki, Raila Odinga and retired president, Daniel arap Moi as the top three. More>>>

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Kitale rents too high as southern Sudan beckons

By Isaiah Lucheli , Kitale 5 July 2007
Kitale town has been referred to as the capital of the grain basket of Kenya, namely Uasin Gishu. But today, the town is a pale shadow of its former status due to a shortage of rental houses, business premises and land for expansion. Lack of houses has caused high house rents to prevail, forcing businessmen in the town to seek rental houses in neighbouring market centres. The situation has been aggravated by the increase in the number of traders settling in the town targeting the lucrative Southern Sudan market.

A Kitale town resident, Mr Laban Mukoywa, says the town is too congested, making the existing houses and premises too expensive. A single room is being rented out at over Sh2, 000 while self contained houses range from Sh4,000 to Sh10,000 per month. "The rent for houses in the town are very high despite the high charges the existing houses were small and poorly planned leading to congestion," he says. Mukoywa said it was impossible for one to get a commercial plot within the town due to lack of room for expansion.

The Kitale Municipal Council clerk, Mr William Nandwa, admits that there is a shortage of land for the establishment of both commercial and residential facilities. Nandwa said the municipal council had dished out all the plots in the town to individuals and noted that there was no more room for expansion. "Three forests that are within the town including Kibomet forest, Bidii Lessos forest behind the Nyayo Stadium and another forest behind the show ground have hampered the town’s expansion," said Nandwa.

He said Kitale had experienced rapid development and population explosion in the past three years and there is an urgent need to expand the town. Nandwa said many investors had been approaching the council to be allocated land for construction of commercial building but the council lacked land. "The council has written to the Government requesting the degazettement of the three forests within the town to facilitate expansion of the town," said Nandwa.

Nandwa said businessmen targeting the lucrative Southern Sudan market were scouting for plots where they could establish their storage facilities for their wares enroute to Sudan. "Kitale is a major transit point for people wishing to access the Southern Sudan market but shortage of houses and business premises has proved to be a setback," he said.

The council houses within the municipality are not adequate and the hiving of the forestland will facilitate the construction of more buildings. "As a council, we are handicapped because the hiving of the forest land can only be sanctioned by the Government. Until that is done, there is nothing we can do," said Nandwa. Businessmen interviewed said the town had high business potential but lack of room for expansion had hampered its development.

A businessman, Mr John Maina said it was impossible for majority of the businessmen to run their trades until late in the night because they commuted from far of market centres. "We are forced to close our businesses early because we have to travel to far off market centres due to lack of houses in the town," said Maina. - source: EA Standard

It pays to talk, even to the 'enemy'

Nairobi, July 5 2007
Differences were briefly forgotten as politicians from the Opposition and Government marked the 231st anniversary of America’s Independence.Among those who assembled at the official residence of the US Ambassador Mr Michael Ranneberger was former President Moi, who stole the show as local and foreign dignitaries jostled to take a picture with him.

Those who elbowed their way to the former Head of State included ODM-Kenya leaders, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, Mr Raila Odinga, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Musalia Mudavadi. More>>>

enemies meet

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Wananchi lose billions in the great pyramid fraud

By Lucas Barasa and Jeff Otieno, Nairobi 3 July 2007
Kenyans who lost their hard-earned cash in pyramid schemes after promises of high returns have now spoken out on how they lost their deposits. Hundreds of them fell prey to sweet-talking representatives from the schemes who promised them quick riches, but failed to deliver on the promises. And investigations by the Nation have shown that some of the schemes had either moved offices or were operating as savings and credit co-operative societies to evade the long arm of the law.

Yesterday, scores of depositors told how they had been lured to join the schemes with hope of striking it rich, only for them to be left high and dry. Some had taken bank loans, sold their assets or diverted family resources to join the schemes. Even as they lamented their losses, Mr Francis Okonya, who heads the Central Bank of Kenya Fraud Unit, said the crackdown on the dubious schemes was still going on. More>>>

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Bungoma benefits from Canadian charity mission

By Simbi Kusimba, Bungoma 3 July 2007
A team of 103 Canadian volunteers have arrived in the country with an assortment of donations worth Sh10.5 million for communities in Bungoma.   The multi-skilled team of doctors, dentists, nurses, engineers and theologians, that arrived on Tuesday evening will run treatment clinics in Tongaren, Kimilili, Sirisia, Webuye and Bumula during its two- week stay in the country as guests of the Bungoma diocese of the Anglican Church of Kenya.

The stay will cost the team, whose members are drawn from Toronto, Ottawa and Ontario, Sh23.4 million. “Each of us volunteered to spend US$3,500 and we have brought with us supplies worth more than US$ 150,000 in this shared partnership with the ACK,” said Rev Beard, the team leader. “We shall offer free medical and dental clinics while our team of eye specialists will issue 6,000 pairs of spectacles to those with eye-related problems as we enjoy Kenyan hospitality. A similar, but smaller, group visited Kenya in 1999.

He said theologians in the group would offer local clergymen and lay preachers practical sessions to better their performance and engineers repair bridges. “We even have among us a nuclear submarine operator who will be offering computer lessons to those interested in the field.” A group of nurses will also relieve workers at the Hope Children’s home in Nairobi for a fortnight “so that they can go on vacation”. The home has 23 children awaiting adoption.

“Out there all you hear is about HIV/Aids and poverty, but there are positive aspects of this country that you only experience first-hand when here. It is what drove us to fund-raising and visit again in larger numbers because of the great Kenyan culture,” Rev Beard said. Bishop Wabukala, who heads the diocese, asked the visitors to help the community. “It is a gracious partnership between the Anglican Church of Canada and ACK and we are very grateful.” - Source: NAtion Media

 

 

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Tessy Mudavadi: would-be first lady


By Ayub Savula, Nairobi, Monday 2 2007
Of all the wives of ODM-Kenya presidential aspirants, Tessy Shangatta Mudavadi has come closest to stepping into the shoes of the First Lady when her husband, Mr Musalia Mudavadi was the Vice-President for a short stint in 2002.

tessie

Mr Musalia Mudavadi and his wife Tessy. Picture by George Mulala

Tessy is little known in public and close confidantes say she is reserved, but that she is an ardent supporter of her husband’s political quest. "Tessy has been instrumental to Mudavadi’s success as an MP for Sabatia constituency and she has stood by him in his career," said a close friend. People close to the family gave insights into a would-be First Lady who is both a hard-working businesswoman and a wife to one of Kenya’s best-known politicians.

Tessy, who has been married to Mudavadi for 15 years, is the fourth born daughter in a family of seven of retired Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Alphonse Mulama and the late Juliana Mulama of Lugari District. Her father, a businessman based in Eldoret town, also served as the chairman of Chemilil Sugar Company. Tessy and Mudavadi have three children, two boys and one girl, who all school in Nairobi.

The couple met when Mudavadi had just been appointed the Minister for Marketing and Supplies. "When they met she was working in a bank in Eldoret, but she later resigned to work in a family business," said a family friend. Tessy is the managing director of Corts Limited, a family company handling Tour and Travel business. Mudavadi has vast business interest ranging from insurance, banking to commodity supplies, which Tessy also oversees. Tessy also holds brief for Mudavadi in the vast family farming interests in Trans Nzoia.

As First Lady, she says she would be best positioned to make tremendous steps and achieve greater targets in healthcare. "My focus as First Lady would be on nursing, young mothers and healthcare," she says. Tessie, who considers herself very politically aware, says the two women she would love to work closely with are Prof Miriam Were and Hon Ruth Oniang’o.

Tessy is a staunch member of Friends Quakers Church and occasionally makes her husband break off from his tight political schedule to go to church, said a friend. She did her ‘O’ and ‘A’ level at Moi Girls’ Eldoret and got her university education overseas.

source: EA Standard

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Abeingo Members demand more action


By Abeingo Reporter, London 2 July 2007

More than 100 people attended the Annual Abeingo Community Network Summer Party held at Ilford, Greater London on Saturday June 30 2007. Among those in attendance was a special guest, Jill Inyundo from Khwisero in Butere-Mumias District who runs the Khwisero Water Development Project.

During a brief presentation, the Abeingo Chairman, Juvenal Shiundu announced that plans are at an advanced stage to register Abeingo Investments Limited in which members will be invited to buy shares.  Among other things, “the investment arm will seek to empower members economically through selected investments in property, stock markets and agri-business in the short term,” he said.

Abeingo secretary, Shadrack Bulimo announced that the Abeingo website has been commissioned and is packed with among other things news from Western Province, history of Abaluhya, an interactive discussion forum, a dating site and a photo gallery featuring general events, birthdays, weddings, new borns and prayer meetings. The website address is http://www.abeingo.org (broadband) and for those on dial up especially in East Africa: http://www.abeingo.org/site.html.

Reacting to the chairman’s speech, members felt that Abeingo needed to demonstrate concrete action plans and economic activities. “There is no point in calling us here to socialise and eat nyama choma without involving us in any meaningful economic activities,” blasted Mr Jairus Boma from Maragoli.

Other members said that ACN needed a calendar of events and meeting once or twice per year was hardly enough. Members thanked the hostess, Mrs Beatrice Khamasi for all the hard work. Other members such as Dr Jedidah Enoch-Onchere and Esther Wairumbi offered to host the event next time around.

Afterwards the party moved to the next gear and members danced the night away to the pulsating rhythms of lipala and sikuti music until the small hours of Sunday morning.

CLICK HERE  to see the party photos.

Sasha Bulimo
JJ Shiundu
Wairumbi
kista

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Melissa Sirandula cruises to semi-final of a national competition
Cheltenham, July 1 2007
Melissa Sirandula, daughter of Florence and Joshua Sirandula from Bungoma, has reached the semi-finals of the Ready, Willing and Mobile Competition, a national contest to design products or services to help disabled children integrate into daily life in the UK.

Melissa, a pupil of a Cheltenham Ladies College, a top independent girls school in Gloucestershire, west England came up with the bright idea of ‘The Fantasy Dome’, a sensory play-tent using light, music and texture to create an environment that’s stimulating for both non-disabled children and those with a range of disabilities. She is part of a winning team that includes Louisa Cowan, Jessica Darke, Molly Fleming.

During their research, the team visited Battledown Children’s Centre, a specialist early years centre where College girls volunteer as part of our Community Links programme, to see a sensory room in action.

The winners of the competition will be announced at the Mobility Roadshow at Kemble Airfield on Thursday 19 July National Young Disabled Persons’ Day. For further information visit www.mobilityroadshow.co.uk.
Source: http://www.cheltladiescollege.org/news/

Winning Team: Melissa Sirandula and colleagues

sirandula

 

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Kakamega County Council in the red

Kakamega, June 28 2007
Kakamega County Council is in deficit, Mayor John Khakabo has revealed. Mayor Khakhabo made the announcement yesterday during the presentation of the Council's budgetary estimates for the 2007/08 financial year in Kakamega. The announcement was part of a historic process across the country as all local authorities presented their budgets simultaneously. Kakamega Council's deficit is in the tune of shs19million.

In Kitale, tempers were high at the Social Hall when the public demanded a chance to shoot questions to the Finance Committee Chairman, Mr John Odongo. Armed administration policemen had to shield Odongo from the angry members of the public. Odongo said that the council owes creditors Sh267 million including salary arrears for its staff amounting to Sh26 million and Sh58 as unpaid dues to reinstated workers by the court. Odongo said the council is owed Sh500 million by land rates defaulters and another Sh100 million by Government departments. More>>>

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Tragedy as Bungoma family loses four children within an hour

By Simbi Kusimba, Bungoma, Wednesday 27 June 2007
Saturday last week is one day Mr Samson Wanjala Chwala, 43 would like to forget. But this just seems impossible.

chwele
Proscobia Nekesa Sifuna, a nurse at Kimilili Sub-District Hospital in Bungoma North District attends to 10-year-old Milka Chwala who survived the poisoning.
Photo/JARED NYATAYA
What began as a normal day for Mr Chwala, a peasant farmer who lives near Kimilili Town and his wife Margaret, 41 later turned into a nightmare.  The couple is in deep mourning following the death of four of their seven children in a span of an hour. The deaths came shortly after they took tea suspected to have contained a deadly poison at their paternal grandmother’s house where they normally slept.

Yesterday, a grieving Mr Chwala sat pensively at his five-year-old son, Peter Wabomba Chwala’s bedside at the Friends Lugulu Mission Hospital, where he is undergoing treatment after being admitted on Saturday night. Apparently dazed by the tragic events, and with a far away look in his eyes, Mr Chwala simply said: “I have been by Peter’s side since rushing out of the house with him as he frothed and vomited after taking that tea. I have neither left here nor do I know what is happening at home. I have only heard my mother is admitted at Webuye District Hospital.

“I do not know what was in that tea that the children and my mother took, which has brought about all this,” he wonders. A nurse at the hospital, Margaret Ndiema, who was on duty at the ward in which Peter is recovering, said the boy had improved after regaining consciousness on Monday. He had initially been put on oxygen and given several injections.

She explained: “Doctors diagnosed poisoning. The poison appears to have been deadly. When he was brought in, he was not conscious and was frothing at the mouth with pinpointed pupils.”  By yesterday, Peter was still a little incoherent but conscious. “We believe he is out of danger though but he will be here for a longer period,” said the nurse.

Fully recover

Peter’s medical bill was inching towards Sh10,000 with his poor father having no idea where he will get the money to settle it.  All Mr Chwala wants is for his son to fully recover. He was not leaving the bedside either where he constantly gazed over his son as he no doubt, said silent prayers. About 20 kilometres away at Kimilili Sub-district Hospital is his 10-year-old daughter, Milka Chwala who is under the care of nurse Proscobia Nekesa Sifuna. The standard two pupil at Kamukuywa primary school also survived the poisoning that has left villagers at Nangalasia baffled. 

“She is now beyond danger, can talk and play but we are keeping her under very close supervision for the moment. Nevertheless, it is apparent that she may be discharged soon,” said the nurse.  Ms Sifuna explained that when she was brought in by good samaritans on Saturday night, the young girl was frothing and unconscious but the poison content in her “digestive system has been remarkably reduced by vomiting that had been induced by a neighbour who administered a raw egg and milk.”

Her younger sister, Anne Chwala, aged two and half years, nine months old Abraham Chwala, elder sister Miriam Chwala, 11, and Emmanuel Chwala, 9, never made it to hospital though.  Their bodies are lying at the Webuye District Hospital mortuary awaiting the daunting task of burial on a day the family and relatives have yet to decide. Their grandmother, Dinah Muhaye Chwala, 81, who prepared the tea is admitted at the Webuye District hospital.

Yesterday, it remained unclear whether she also took the tea although she was reported to have suffered shock at the turn of events.  Hospital authorities denied the Nation access to the elderly woman. A medical officer who was among senior medics meeting in the district health office told journalists to leave.  The home of the family, which is directly opposite one of the homesteads of the late Senator William Wamalwa, is suddenly the destination of throngs of mourners seeking to condole the bereaved family.  Local provincial administrators and police officers are camping at the home in search of answers to the baffling tragedy. Relatives and friends at the homestead were milling around discussing the incident when the Nation arrived.

Kimilili district officer Moses Barkutwo accompanied by area chief Edward Makhanu, were also at the homestead where they held discussions on raising funds for the funeral expenses.

Escaped tragedy

The shocked children’s mother, Margaret, could only mumble that her eldest son Moses Chwala, 13, a standard four pupil at Kamukuywa primary school was lucky to have been away drawing water from a nearby spring thus escaping the tragedy. It was Moses who rushed to inform his parents of what had befallen his siblings when he arrived from the spring. “The children are dying,” he shouted and dashed off towards his grandmother’s house with his parents in hot pursuit.

Mr Chwala recalls that were it not for a Sh100 donation from a neighbour that he used to board a bus from Kamukuywa market to Lugulu Mission Hospital, the boy would be dead too. And yesterday, Kamukuywa ward councillor John Simiyu and mourners appealed to well-wishers to assist the needy family with financial aid to cope with medical bills and funeral expenses

Source: Nation Media

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Luhya pastor beheaded by Mungiki

Nairobi, Tuesday, June 26 2007
A Luhya pastor has been beheaded by the notorious Mungiki, a proscribed Kikuyu extremist sect, in an unexplained set of circumstances. The dismembered body of Pastor Elisha Muzalo Avwova was found at a swamp near the upmarket Nyari estate on Sunday, two days after he went missing. The widow, Mrs Janet Muzalo was shocked to learn that the body found at the swamp was that of her husband after reporting him missing for two days.

"We identified the headless body at the mortuary. We do not know why they killed him that way because Mungiki are known to be killing their own people and we have never known him to be linked with them," she said. Muzalo was a senior priest at the African Divine Church in Gachie Shopping Centre. He was also a cook at a private home in Kitisuru Estate. His skinned head was found in a paper bag on Saturday along Kirinyaga Road in the city centre. More>>>

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FUNERAL ANNOUNCEMENT -UPDATE

Posted 26/06/07
Moses Muniafu
from Bungoma who lives in Luton, Bedfordshire has lost his mother in Kenya. She died yesterday. Mama Daina Mwenya was the wife of Mwenya Tulula Muniafu of Namukenge Village, Webuye, Bungoma District. She was mother to Rebah, Joe, Max, Simbi, Moses, Kaki, Ruth, Andrew, Elam and late Julie. Step mother to Irene, Emma, Sam, Claire, Victor and Mwakha. There will be a major fundraising to offset medical bills (shs1.5million) on Friday 29 June 2007 at 5.30pm.

Burial is scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 7 2007 at Namukenge Village. The family in Kenya can be reached on +254 (0)722725339 (Joe) and 07230301597 (Max). In the UK, friends are meeting at Moses's house 28 Arrow Close, Luton, Beds, LU3 3LR for prayer and support. You can contact Moses on 07796 555 491. Moses plans to go home on 3rd July 2007 for the burial and any support will be highly appreciated. See also obituaries.

Bank: Llyods TSB

Name: M. Muniafu

Account No. 8421160

Sort code: 779511

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Mukhisa Kituyi to face a woman academic

Kimilili, June 26 2007
A university academic, Dr Reginalda Nakhumicha Wanyonyi, has declared her candidature against Dr Mukhisa Kituyi in Kimilili constituency in the forthcoming elections scheduled for December 2007. Dr Wanyonyi, 46, is Head of the Department of Applied Environmental Social Sciences at Moi University, Eldoret. The mother of five, married to Mr Francis Wanyonyi, says she was motivated to go into politics to serve her people who have been marginalised since colonial days. "My background in economics and community development gives me a head start against the incumbent," she declared. Click here to read her full profile and election maifesto.

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Politics of destruction keeps away investors

By Nation Reporter, Nairobi, June 25 2007
Kenya’s politics, corruption and a weak judicial system were holding back the potential to attract investors to the country, a leading scholar has said. 

inestor
Prof Michael Porter
Photo/STEPHEN MUDIARI
The country should also improve the business environment to attract more foreign investments, said Prof Michael Porter yesterday on a talk on Vision 2030. Although the fundamentals that drive investments were there, Kenya was lagging behind because of a poor business environment, he added.

“Nobody wants to invest in a country where they can not trust the judicial system to handle disputes,” he said. He said even though the country had made strides in the past three years, investment was still low. Speaking at Strathmore college, Prof Porter said a study on Kenya’s competitiveness in the world showed that it had less than one per cent share of exports and should increase its exports three times. 

“Kenya must dramatically improve its competitiveness to enhance the nation’s standard of living. We have to create better strategy to attract foreign direct investment” said Prof Porter. The country’s level of science and technology was beyond that of many countries with Kenya’s level of national wealth. The country also had relatively low interest rates, he said.  More>>>

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Nacada transformed to a parastatal


By Edith Fortunate, Nairobi, 25 June 2007
President Kibaki has transformed the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (Nacada) into a parastatal. The Head of State also ordered the establishment of Nacada Advisory Board that existed before the commencement of the order. The announcement was made through the State House website.

Nacada will also co-ordinate public education against drug abuse and implement a national action plan on curbing the vice by the public especially the youth and children. Nacada will play an effective role in the development, setting up and expansion of rehabilitation centres for drug addicts. Meanwhile the Government has rolled out a national plan to tackle drug and substance abuse. More>>>

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James Simani appointed Kenya's first ombudsman

By PPS and Allan Kisia, Nairobi June 21 2007
President Kibaki has established a Public Complaints Standing Committee and appointed Mr James Simani, an Advocate of the High Court, as chairman for a period of three years.Such an office had been proposed in the Bomas Draft, but Kibaki established it through a presidential decree.

The President also appointed Mr Peter Migwi Karing’u, Ms Grace Barbara Ngele Madoka and Ms Nafisa Abdirahman Abass as members of the committee for the same period. Karing’u and Madoka are advocates of the High Court while Abass is a holder of Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree.President Kibaki also re-appointed Mrs Anne Wambaa as a member of the Electoral Commission of Kenya for a period of five years, with effect from June 18. More>>>

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1982 coup pilot dies

Nairobi June 21 2007
Wilson (Willy) Marende
, ex airforce major who flew coup leader Hezekiah Ochuka to Tanzania in 1982 has died. Marende (no relation to current Emuhaya MP, Kenneth Marende) died after a long illness. He hails from Mumboha village, Ebusikhale sub location, Bunyore, Emuhaya District. He is survived by a son and a daughter. His wife passed on a few years ago. Funeral arrangements are being coordinated in Nairobi and Luanda.

Mr Marende became famous in 1982 as the pilot who flew coup leader Hezekiah Ochuka to Tanzania following a failed coup bid to topple the dictatorial government of retired president, Daniel arap Moi. Marende has been working as a commercial pilot since he was discharged from the military.

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Tribal Kenya mars EAC dream

By Susan Anyangu, Nairobi 20 June 2007
Of the three East African States, Kenya’s politics revolve around ethnicity and this could have implications on the convergence of the East African Community. Kenyan politics is ethnic-based, a ‘political curse’ that she must bear and this could have undesirable effect in regional politics.

In a book, State of East Africa — Searching for the Soul of East Africa, Dr Willy Mutunga, a former lecturer at the University of Nairobi, says racial and ethnic issues are rife in the region and they should be addressed. The book, published by the Society for International Development (SID), is a compilation of seven essays and 18 cartoon images that reflect on who East Africans are and what shapes them.

"Kenyan politics is first and foremost ethnic and that is the country’s political curse. As long as ethnic barons can agree on the first among equals among, them the rest of the communities will remain marginalised," Mutunga said, during the book’s launch. He cites five tribes Luo, Kikuyu, Kalenjin, Luhyia and Kamba, which are represented in major political coalitions as the reality of Kenyan politics. More>>>

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Kombo in Bunyore, urges Luhya Unity

By Fredrick Odiero, Luanda, June 8 2007
FORD-K chairman Musikari Kombo yesterday warned members of the Luyia community against being lured to support politicians who would damp them soon after ascending to power. The Local Government minister said the community should be wary of people who were merely out to lure them for support only during elections.

Kombo who is the Webuye Member of Parliament advised the community to stay united before they can negotiate with any groups in the current political dispensation. He regretted that disunity had been the main undoing of the community for many years.

Kombo was speaking at Luanda trading centre in Emuhaya constituency moments after opening a Ford-K office in the area. He said the community had been voting for different for parties in past elections in the name of democracy even though the trend had led to divisions among the Luyia. Kombo cited the Luo who vote as a bloc, saying this was the communities strong point.

He dismissed parties which have been formed lately, noting that they were constituted only for the sole purpose of the General Election. The minister singled out the defunct National Development Party (NDP) as one of the outfits that died after being formed for the purpose of an election. Kombo affirmed that Ford-Kenya will continue to work with the government of the day.

Earlier, the minister announced the Government had set aside Sh1 billion for construction of markets in all the provinces in the country. He called on contractors to work within time schedules, adding that projects would be given to different companies in future.

Kombo opened the Luanda ultra-modern market that had been put up at a cost of Sh47 million. He also toured the Mudete-Kegoye road and commissioned the construction of the Vihiga Municipal market at Chavakali which will be a two-storey facility. He said similar markets would be put up in Butere, and Nambale in due course, adding that they will be completed in 78 weeks. Kombo said a similar market would be put up in Nairobi and would accommodate up to 30,000 traders. = source: Kenya Times

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Jirongo sets aside Sh3.5 billion for presidential bid

Story by PATRICK NZIOKA, Nairobi Monday 18 June 2007
He may be a rank outsider in the presidential race on the ticket of the small Kenya African Democratic Development Union (Kaddu) but Mr Cyrus Jirongo campaign secretariat reveals an investment that dwarfs many of his rivals.  According to the secretariat executive director, Mr Aggrey Ndombi, who doubles as the accounting officer, a tentative budget of Sh3.5 billion has been set aside for the campaigns. He says the presidential campaign is expected to gobble over half a billion shillings.

A masters degree holder in economics, Mr Ndombi has taken a break from his work as a contractor and consultant to work for the presidential campaign of the controversial boss of the defunct YK ‘92 group. The Kaddu offices that will double as the presidential campaign secretariat have been branded with party colours. The party offices have been in existence since November 2006. 

Activities at the secretariat were however slowed down after a break-in in which desktop computers, laptops, printers and telephone heads were stolen. The secretariat is however working to replace the stolen equipment. Situated on a one-and-a-half acre plot on Magumo Road in Lavington Green, a short distance from Lavington Primary School, the double-storey mansion has well manicured hedges and an expansive neat garden at the back.

The expansive reception area doubles as a meeting area with a long conference table and several plastic chairs on one side, and modern office chairs on the other side for the bosses. Most workers occupy large offices upstairs.  Mr Ndombi says the large house has been secured for two years while 108 offices outside Nairobi have already been secured for not less than 18 months.

Mr Ndombi says part of the Sh3.5 billion budget will go towards supporting parliamentary candidates. The offices of the executive director, finance, recruitment and IT are up and running with about 15 full time employees. Another three have been hired to run the 92 constituency offices that are already opened. Journalist John Nyongesa is the media consultant for Mr Jirongo while lawyers Jean Kamau and Betty Rashid will sit in the legal committee.

A university lecturer at Kikuyu campus of the University of Nairobi, Dr Baraza Kokubo, is among members of a think-tank that will be crucial in directing the campaign while Dr Ali Musa Chibale will guide the finance/economy team. The party has contracted a strategy advisor from the US who is currently working with the party. The party has also set up a committee of eminent persons whose task will be to advise Mr Jirongo as the campaign progresses.

Members of the committee, we were told, include former MPs Philip Masinde, Robert Matano, Burundi Nabwera, Gerald Muia, Mohammed Galgalo and Aden Yusuf. Other people, Mr Ndombi claims, are working in the current Government and cannot be named. The party will inaugurate its branch offices next month while a Web site will be launched soon.  Party elections that were to endorse the presidential candidate were originally supposed to take place between May 16 and 23, but the date passed quietly. They have now been moved to end of August.

Source: NATIONMEDIA

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Khaemba picked to teach Africa's best brains

By Dennis Onyango, Nairobi Friday June 15 2007
Sometimes in September 2008, a small school with big dreams will open its doors to the children of Africa hoping to change things once and for all.Saying its vision is "To Develop the Next Generation of African Leaders," and its mission to "Educate and Develop Outstanding Students into Principled, Ethical Leaders for Africa, the African Leadership Academy, located in Johannesburg, South Africa, will open its doors to some 250 of "the most promising 15-18 years old gifted high school children from Africa and the rest of the world and pump in to them a great mission.

The students, at least two from each of the 54 African States, will undergo a different kind of education. By April 2008, the school will have assembled its first class of about 100 students selected from across the continent on a "need-blind basis" with expectation that at least half will be on full scholarship. Those exceptionally gifted children of Africa will most likely open their school and learn under a respected Kenyan high school principal.

The burden of whether this idea flies or flops, will rest on the four and another Kenyan of undoubted potential. After shopping and conducting interviews across the world looking for the person to head ALA, the Academy has settled for Kenya’s Mr Christopher S Khaemba, the Principal of Alliance Boys High School, as its founding Dean.

If he accepts the offer, Khaemba will be at Alliance till the end of the year to see off the current Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) candidates, then move to South Africa next year to champion the idea. More>>>

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Kenya to get broadband internet next year


By John Oyuke, Nairobi, June 14 2007

The Government has allocated Sh1 billion for investment in the development of the much-awaited East African Marine System (Teams) project.The funds will finance building of the undersea fibre optic cable, whose completion by mid-next year is expected to provide cheaper and faster Internet connection with the rest of the world.

Finance minister, Mr Amos Kimunya said the project is also expected to reduce significantly, the cost of local and international telephone calls. He said beginning 2007/08, the Government would facilitate the completion of the ongoing Information and Communications Technology infrastructure expansion to improve broadband connections. This, he added, would be achieved through investment in the undersea fibre optic cable.

The undersea cable estimated at $110 million (Sh7.7 billion) would run from the Kenyan coast to Somalia, Eritrea and all the way to Port Sudan. It will then link the whole of the East and Horn of Africa region to the global digital highway through a link-up with a Middle Eastern cable at Fujairah, UAE.

A joint venture between the Government and the private sector, the project will have 40 per cent Government shareholding, with Dubai’s Etisalat taking 20 per cent while the rest will go to regional telecommunications companies and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and fund managers. =source: Standard

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COMMISSION MUST SAVE LAKE

Nairobi, 12 June 2007
The launch of the Lake Victoria Basin Commission this week by East African leaders marks a major turning point in the management of this vital water mass.   The lake is facing serious threats due to pollution, improper water use and general ecological imbalances that have led to marked reduction of water inflow. For more than a decade now, the lake has had to contend with the choking water hyacinth that destroyed marine life and stifled economic activities.  In setting up a commission to harness the water resource, the message the leaders are sending out is that time has come when countries living around it collectively managed it.  More>>>

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Nkrumah’s widow dies a neglected ex-First Lady

By Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, Cairo 12 June 2007
First Ghana President Kwame Nkrumah’s widow, Fatiha, passed away last week in Cairo, her home town, where she has lived for most of the years since her husband was overthrown in February 1966. As to be expected, all kinds of tributes have poured in from all corners, including people and institutions that have never cared what became of her and her three children since Nkrumah died. Many conspicuous mourners did not even realise that Fatiha was alive all these years. More>>>

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The effect of Mungiki on ordinary people of Kenya

mungiki

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Pump’s failure cuts oil flow to western Kenya

Story by MWANIKI WAHOME, Nairobi June 7 2007

Supply of oil to western Kenya has been interrupted following the failure of the power transformer that pumps the product to the region in Nairobi. Kenya Pipeline Company also said the pump-overs to oil companies in Nairobi will also be interrupted, sparking fears of fuel shortages should the transformer not be repaired before the current supplies are exhausted. 

The company, through a press release yesterday, said interruption of electricity was jointly being rectified by engineers from the company and those from Kenya Power and Lighting company. “This transformer supplies power to pump station number 21 (Nairobi terminal) which is the starting point for supply of oil products to Western Kenya. Pump-overs to oil marketing companies in Nairobi have also be temporarily affected,” KPC said.

Kenya Pipeline’s capacity to pump oil has been overstretched due to the increasing demand for oil products in the country and the countries in the region. In April, Energy minister, Kiraitu Murungi said the state-owned oil firm was operating at capacity, making further uptake of fuel impossible. Players in the industry have often expressed fears that a day’s interruption in pumping of the fuel could have negative repercussions for the economy. The installed capacity is currently operating at its maximum flow rate of 440,000 litres an hour.

Kenya Pipeline has already signed a contract with a Chinese firm, China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering to build four additional pumping stations and associated facilities constructed at Samburu, Manyani, Makindu and Konza.  The Sh2.9 billion upgrade will see the pipeline’s volume of petroleum flow double to 880,000 litres an hour. Source: Nation Media

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Fear grips Kisumu as criminals target police

By DANIEL OTIENO and MAUREEN ONGWAE. Wednesday Kisumu June 6 2007

In the good old days, residents of Kisumu used to watch the sun fall gently over the waters of Lake Victoria to usher in another night. That pleasure has been replaced with fear and many people now rush home at dusk. Residents and the Police Force are united in the realisation that all are vulnerable to the lurking danger of armed and dangerous gangsters who rob, rape, maim and kill. Not even being in the proximity of the police stations, a sign of power and protection, guarantees one of security. If anything, it seems more dangerous to be a police officer. more>>>

   
   

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GOVERNMENT DENIES HORSE-TRADING WITH KOMBO

By Peter Opiyo, Nairobi Wednesday, June 6 2007
The Government has denied it gave jobs to Ford-Kenya officials. In a statement faxed to the newsrooms, Government spokesman, Dr Alfred Mutua, said only Ms Yvonne Khamati was appointed deputy permanent representative to the African Union. "The Government did not make any other ambassadorial appointments last week. Therefore, the other reported appointments or intended ones are sheer speculation," said Mutua in a statement.

Khamati was appointed after what Ford-Kenya chairman, Mr Musikari Kombo, described as horse-trading with Government in return for the party’s support to the list of nominees to the East Africa Legislative Assembly. The deal was struck ahead of a crucial vote in Parliament over the list. The Government, thanks to Ford-Kenya’s backing, carried the day.

Mr Ochieng’ Mbeo, whose name was also dropped from the list alongside Khamati’s, was also reported to have landed a diplomatic job. Kombo is also said to have lobbied for his allies to be handed jobs in State corporations. Other party officials Kombo said had been picked to sit on parastatal boards are Mr Kepta Ombati, Mr Patrick Wangamati, Mr Alhaji Baricha,Mr Lwande Oneko, Mr Maurice Kamundi, Mr Ken Nyaudi and Mr Mathew Wamalwa. But Mutua’s statement was silent on the purported appointments. - Source: THE STANDARD


HELP FLOWS IN FOR MUMIAS BOY

By Harold Ayodo, Nairobi, June 5 2007
Well-wishers have offered to assist a pupil with both sexes undergo an operation. The Good Samaritans offered to assist the pupil from Mumias District, whose plight was carried in The Sunday Standard. Well-wishers from as far as US and Middle East have been calling and sending emails since the story was published.

An American couple, who signed as Finley, said they were willing to help Health minister, Ms Charity Ngilu, pay for the operation. "We read the story of Samuel (not his real name) in The (Sunday) Standard. It is unfortunate that nobody has come forward to help with the associated extra costs after Ngilu," said Finley. Ms Elizabeth Muigai requested to be told when the minor was due for the surgery.

"I would like to find out how much Samuel needs for his operation and when the operation is supposed to be carried out. Please let me know," she said. Mr Yussuf Mohamud asked to be contacted directly to settle the bills for laboratory tests to be undertaken before the main surgery. - Source: THE STANDARD

ABEINGO COMMUNITY IN BRITAIN WROTE TO THE STANDARD REPORTER OFFERING HELP YESTERDAY - editor


General Electric to invest billions in Kenya

By Kenneth Kwama, Nairobi June 5 2007

Safaricom is a giant by regional standards, but it took all of six years to get that way. Now, barely two years after opening their first corporate office in Kenya, General Electric — the world’s second largest company — is planning to announce the creation of what could be the region’s biggest company in one massive investment.

 
This follows an act daring in the first quarter of this year by a committee set up to investigate possible areas of investment in Africa. A few months ago the committee approved the setting up in Kenya of GE’s largest and most capital-intensive venture in the continent, marking a turning point in the company’s investment policies.

Last week, GE’s President for Africa region, Mr Yibrah Tesfazghi, confirmed that GE, previously hesitant to invest in Africa because of "instability and insecurity", will announce plans to establish a multi-billion shilling manufacturing plant in Kenya by end of this year. "The plan is to set up a multi-functional manufacturing unit that can churn out a number of products," Tesfazghi says.

"We are still looking at possibilities, but right now, the plan is to set up a unit that will manufacture health imaging equipment and locomotive parts." The planned factory is expected to be operational within the next three years. More>>>

Mudavadi unveils eight-point plan for Kenya


By Biketi Kikechi, Nairobi, Sunday, June 03 2007
Former Vice-President Mr Musalia Mudavadi will use an eight-point agenda to steer the country if elected president. First, he will increase disposable income, which will reduce disparities between the rich and the poor."I will put in place a taxation system that will ensure the re-distribution of resources to the less endowed," said Mudavadi.

To achieve that, he will improve productivity and sustain a double-digit economic growth. He will also promote equitable distribution of benefits from economic growth. The policy would be to promote employment and comprehensively address the land question. He hopes to reduce by half the number of people living below the poverty line.

These will be achieved through strategic investments, ensuring that communities share in the benefits accruing from local resources, and increasing and equitably spreading opportunities for employment. More>>>

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Mumias teenager in sex dilemma appeals for help

By Harold Ayodo, Mumias, June 2 2007
Life is becoming unbearable for Samuel* in his village in Western Kenya. The adolescent, who has both male and female reproductive organs, has become the laughing stock in his village.The Standard Eight pupil in Butere/Mumias District lived secretly with his condition until he reached puberty. The stage, marked by genital maturation and development of secondary sex characteristics, let his secret out of the bag.

Raised as a boy, villagers were shocked when Samuel’s breasts started growing. "Teachers and fellow pupils were shocked after my breasts started growing and I could not hide them any more," says Samuel. Samuel’s headmaster was earlier this year confused whether to register the Standard Eight pupil as a boy or girl for national examinations. More>>>

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Carnivore in Nairobi as Mudavadi prepares to launch his presidential road map

Allan Kisia, Nairobi, June 2 2007
Supporters of ODM-Kenya presidential aspirant, Mr Musalia Mudavadi, held a procession in Nairobi to campaign for him.The supporters, in a convoy of vehicles, went to almost all parts of the city and some residential areas on Saturday. Moving at snail’s pace, they danced and sang praise songs while distributing brochures. The march started from Uhuru Park, where supporters had assembled.

The procession went through Westlands, Kangemi, Lavington, Kawangware, Dagoreti Corner, Jamhuri, Kibera, Outering Road and Thika Road. The march ended at Safari Park Hotel where the former Sabatia MP is expected to unveil his presidential vision on Sunday. More>>>

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Lawyer Akhaabi's appointment criticised by Law Society

By NATION Reporter, Nairobi June 2 2007
The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has protested at the appointment of a lawyer it had struck off its roll to the East Africa Legislative Assembly.  LSK chairman Mr Eric Omogeni yesterday said Ford-Kenya’s appointee to the Eala, Mr Gervase Akhaabi, had been struck off the advocates’ roll in December 2006 due to misconduct.

The lawyer was disciplined for failing to remit Sh7 million to one of his clients. The money had been paid to his law firm as compensation for a victim of the Kenya Airways plane crash in Abidjan in 2000. Mr Omogeni wondered why Attorney General Amos Wako had not advised the Government accordingly on the matter.

“The LSK is surprised he (Akhaabi) was not subjected to the vetting system, yet the law requires that advocates get cleared by the complaints and disciplinary committee before such appointments are done,” Omogeni said. He was speaking at a training workshop for the Advocates Complaints Commission and Disciplinary Committee in Nairobi.

He noted that Kenya would be embarrassed if her regional partners realised that one of the MPs at the assembly was not fit to hold the position. He threatened to institute legal proceedings to attach Akhaabi’s salary to pay the client if he failed to pay up by the time he took his position in Arusha.  Contacted, Mr Akhaabi admitted that there was a complaint against him but denied having been disciplined for it.
Source: NATION MEDIA

 

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I was humiliated, Mudavadi cries

By Andrew Teyie, Nairobi, Tuesday May 29 2007
ODM-Kenya presidential aspirant, Mr Musalia Mudavadi, has passionately spoken about his appointment as a Vice-President, loss of his Sabatia seat and rejection of his nomination to Parliament. In an exclusive interview with The Standard, Mudavadi talked about the humiliation he went through when he was directed by retired President Moi to step down for Official Opposition Leader, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, at Bukhungu stadium in Kakamega, in 2002.

Poignantly, Mudavadi said he still respected former President Moi and his ODM-Kenya colleague Uhuru. On Tuesday, Mudavadi spoke about his 2002 experience, saying, "It was a difficult moment. I would say very challenging and sometimes bordering on humiliation. But it is what experience is all about," said Mudavadi. More>>>

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Aluvale's airliner cashes in on lucrative Kisumu route

Kisumu, Monday 28 May 2007

A new airliner has launched direct flights on the Nairobi-Kisumu route. Jetlink Express, a Kenyan-owned low cost carrier established three years ago, becomes the fourth carrier to enter the route after Fly 540, East African Airlines and Kenya Airways. The carrier, which is expected to fly at least 5,000 passengers per month, will have two return flights daily to the lake-side town, one in the morning and another in the evening. 

Managing director Elly Aluvale, said the entry of the airline will establish a competitive environment, which is healthy for customers. “Customers have been complaining that the cost of flights to the Kisumu was too high. We hope our entry will reduce these costs to manageable levels,” he said. Mr Aluvale said there was growth in the number of passengers plying the route and hoped that the company will receive the lion’s share of the cake. More>>>

Music maestro dies

Kabarak, Saturday, 26 May 2007
Music Maestro, Mr David Zalo Okuku died suddenly yesterday morning shortly after complaining of chest pains.

The renowned musician died shortly after complaining of chest pains at his house in Kabarak University where he has been a music teacher for several years, according to Mr Emmanuel Satia, a lecturer at Kabarak University and a friend of Mr Zalo.

"I regret to report that early this morning, between 5.15 am 5.45 Mr Zalo woke up as usual but shortly later complained about what he thought was a swelling in his chest. A little while later, he started gasping for air and was rushed to  a dispensary within campus. The medics there referred him to hospital. However, he  never made it," Mr Satia said in email correspondence.

Mr Zalo, who had just finished writing a music book, has contributed immesarably to the growth of music in Kenya. He was spotted as a nondescript music teacher by the former president, Daniel arap Moi in the late 1980s and poached him to Kabarak where he has been teaching music until his death. Mr Zalo has also collaborated with Boniface Mganga to arrange master pieces for the Muungano National Choir. Listen to samples - MALAIKA, SUKUTA. Mr Zalo from Butsotso leaves behind a widow and several children. Funeral arrangements will be announced shortly.

From left, the late David Zalo chatting to Amos Omerri and Shad Bulimo during the launch of Abeingo Community Network at Wembley in October 2006

David Zalo

Zalo at Matende: One of Zalo's last community outreach work was a visit to the Shikuku Shining Stars of the Future based at Matende in Kakamega. This group is moulding a sikuti cultural troupe which will soon start travelling abroad. CLICK HERE to see photos of the visit.

ODM-K UK branch elections condemned as primitive:

London, May 26 2007
Orange Democratic Movement of Kenya (ODM-K) UK branch elections have been condemned as primitive, undemocratic and totalitarian. Electoral Committee Taskforce ex-officio, Mr Dennis Otingo-Onyango said in an interim report that the exercise undertaken on Saturday, May 19, 2007 was unparalled in its primitivity and senseless grandstanding. Mr Otingo-Onyango said that the elections that saw elected as officials Mrs. Mabel Mark, Mr. Isaac Aluochier, Mr. Jerry Odus, Ms Rose Ochwada, Mr. Isaac Mutula, JR Otieno and Mr. Rogers Orero "were not, even remotely, elections of any nature anywhere and cannot pass for ‘elections’ even in the most primitive of the most undemocratic, dictatorial and totalitarian regimes known."  "Tentatively, this was a project of Mrs. Mabel Mark and her above named cohorts who were set out to propagate and perpetrate illegality in a wholesale scale," he said of the elections that were boycotted by several candidates opposed to the irregularities.  More>>>

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ODM-K UK elects new officials:

London, Monday 21, 2007
ODM-K UK branch held elections last Saturday 19th May 2007 and elected the following officials:

  1. Chairman – Isaac Aluochier
  2. Deputy Secretary General – Rodgers Orero
  3. Treasurer – Mrs. Mable Mark
  4. Deputy Treasurer – Joram Odus
  5. Organising Secretary – Charles Maina Kanyora
  6. Publicity Secretary – Thomas Musau
  7. Legal Secretary – John Rowland Otieno
  8. Youth Affairs Secretary – Dr Mary Thompson
  9. Member – Ms Rose Ochwada
  10. Member – Ms Alice Were
  11. Member – Dr Patrick Ondire

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University fees to rise by 150%

By Samuel Siringi, Nairobi, 16 Wednesday 2007
Tuition fees for most courses in public universities will be doubled next year if new proposals on higher education are implemented.Students pursuing medicine and dentistry will be worst hit since they will be required to pay annual fees of Sh540,000 and Sh660,00 respectively.

These proposals are contained in a report by the Public Universities Inspection Board, which was presented to President Kibaki last month. It recommends that the Government adopts a unit-cost approach to financing university education. This means fees will be charged according to the materials and equipment needed to offer a course. 

Currently, all students on the regular programme at the public universities pay a flat rate of Sh200,000 a year, out of which the Government pays about Sh140,000 directly to the institutions. The students pay the rest, but are entitled to a loan and grants from the Higher Education Loans Board. But should the proposal be adopted, students could pay up to 150 per cent more beginning in the 2008/2009 academic year. More>>>

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Luhya share of national cake disproportionate

Nairobi, Tuesday, May 15 2007
The Luhya share of permanent secretaries is a paltry 9.3% and assistant ministers 15%, an authoritative report shows. Released in Nairobi today, the report by the Society for International Development says that ethnicity has been used as a tool to concentrate economic and political power disproportionately in selected regions. The successful use of ethnic and regional coalitions in 2002 to drive Kanu out of power justified the use of ethnicity as a tool for consolidating power, a new study shows. But it turned out to be a double-edged sword because when the National Rainbow Coalition (Narc) — a formidable outfit in its heyday— collapsed midstream with President Kibaki at the helm, the same ethnic sensibilities that informed its creation were used to scatter and marginalise its architects. More>>>

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Luhya marginalised, says report

By James Ratemo, Nairobi, Monday, May 14 2007
Despite comprising 15% of Kenya's total population of 33 million, the Luhya community is not proportionally represented in public appointments with a paltry 12% of District Commissioners, a report by the Society for International Development (SID) — an international network of individuals founded in 1957 to promote social justice and foster democratic participation indicates.

The report accuses the Kenyatta regime of "tilting the ethnic balance" in its favour, Moi’s regime of maintaining the status quo and Kibaki of doing away with equitable distribution of Cabinet and other positions after his defeat at the referendum.

Tribalism and nepotism were started and cultivated by the late Kenyatta. By the time he died in 1978, the Cabinet comprised of 27.3 per cent (Kikuyu), 18.2 per cent (Kalenjin), 9.1 per cent (Luhya) and 6.1 per cent (Luo). Other small communities shared the remaining slots.Moi’s first government in 1978 had about 30 per cent Kikuyu, which number was systematically whittled to about 20 per cent in the middle of 1980s.

They were finally reduced to 14 per cent by 1988 as Moi sought to consolidate his power around members of his Kalenjin community and other small parties. The report shows that the percentage of Kalenjins in the Cabinet increased from 11 per cent (1979) to 17 per cent in 1994 and 22 per cent in 1998. Kibaki came to power in 2002 with promises of equity, both in the distribution of Cabinet positions and other key areas in the public service.

The composition of his first Cabinet (2003-2004), the report shows, was relatively based on equity among the major ethnic blocks. The Kikuyu, Luhya and Luo occupied 16 per cent each, Kamba 12 per cent while the Embu and the Mijikenda got eight per cent each.

By 2003, the Kalenjin occupied 37 posts of chairmen and managing directors in the Public Corporations; Kikuyu had 33 slots, Luo 31, Luhya 15, while the Kamba and the Maasai took 10 positions each. The Meru and the Somali shared 9 slots apiece. But in 2004, the report indicates, members of Kibaki’s Kikuyu community occupied 25 per cent of Cabinet positions while the Luhya and the Luo communities took 13 per cent each. The Kalenjin and Kamba took another 10 per cent while the Meru, Mijikenda and Maasai were allocated 6.8 per cent each.

After the November 2005 referendum, Kibaki re-organised his government bringing in new members who were not in the original Narc under the Government of National Unity. In order to accommodate new interests brought about by the results of the referendum, the President increased the number of Cabinet positions from 29 to 33, a departure from the promised lean and small government.

The number of Kikuyu Cabinet ministers also increased form five to six. Before the referendum, Meru and Kikuyu had five PSs each, Kamba, Luo and Kalenjin had three each, Mijikenda, Luhya, Somali and Kisii two each. After the referendum, the composition of PSs changed. The Kikuyu had six PSs, Luhya three, Kamba and Kalenjin two each.

By last year, the number of Kikuyu District Commissioners stood at 23.2 per cent, Kalenjin and Luhya 12.2 per cent each and Luo 11.0 per cent. The rest was shared among the other communities. More>>>

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Cassava farmers to get Shs200

By Joel Okwayo and Philip Mwakio
Kakamega, 12 May 2007
The Government has set a side Sh200m to improve cassava production, Agriculture minister Mr Kipruto arap Kirwa has said.
He said the Government was formulating a policy on how best the crop could be grown and marketed. He said it was vital for the Government to promote the growing of cassava since it can withstand harsh climatic conditions.

Kirwa said Western Province recorded an impressive production of the crop last year. "The province produced 247,800 tonnes of cassava last year," said Kirwa. Besides cassava, said the minister, the Government, through the ministries of Agriculture and that of Special Programmes, will invest in better production of other crops such as sorghum, peas, sweet potatoes and millet.
Kirwa made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Romano Kiome, during the opening of the Agricultural Society of Kenya, Western branch show in Kakamega. More>>>

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TV JOURNALIST LOSES FAMILY MEMBERS IN CAR CRASH

London, Saturday, May 5, 2007
Veteran TV journalist, Topi Lyambila has lost his mother in a tragic road accident at Yala. Victoria Lyambila perished along with two grandsons (two-year old twins) on their way to the funeral of her daughter-in-law’s mother on Friday 4th May 2007. Topi’s brother, Cletus Lyambila, who was driving and his 7-year old son survived the crash and are in hospital.

Mrs Lyambila, 72, leaves nine children and 15 grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are being coordinated in London, Nairobi and Bungoma.  Topi lost his father in 2004. Friends and family will be meeting at the family home in Gillingham, Kent on Saturday 12th May 2007 from 2pm to offer support and condolences. The address is: 65 Napier Road, Gillingham, Kent ME7 4HD. Follow this link for directions. Streetmap.co.uk- search results

Those who cannot make it to Gillingham are requested to come to Potemkin Restaurant, 144 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1R 5DP on Sunday, May 13 from 2pm where there will be another opportunity to offer support and condolences.

Topi can be contacted on: 07951 196 986
Email: tlyambila@btinternet.com or topilyambila@yahoo.com

For further information, please contact: Shad Bulimo:
Tel: 07727 693 840
Email: Luhya@abeingo.org

SEE ALSO OBITUARIES

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Kenya Airways crashes in Cameroon

Saturday, May 5 2007
A Kenya Airways plane has crashed in thick forest in Cameroon with 115 crew and passengers on board. Flight KQ507 from Doula, Cameroon was headed for Nairobi when it lost contact with ground control soon after take off. It is believed the plane crashed in foggy weather and the search for the wreckage and any survivors is continuing. More>>>

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Terror as 10 are gunned down in Kitale

Kitale, Friday, 4 May 2007
Masked gunmen in two vehicles landed in a Kitale market Thursday night and showered everyone in sight with bullets.Several lay dead as they fled the scene. When they finally boarded their vehicles, the gunmen in police uniforms left ten innocent Kenyans lying dead, in a heap of blood and in grotesque positions. Several others lay writhing in pain, too stunned to cry.

Though they asked for money, the police immediately linked the orgy, in which some were shot in the kneeling position, to politics. The regional police chief could not also rule out the fact that the killings were a spillover of the murderous conflict in Mount Elgon being perpetrated by a militia calling itself the Sabaot Lands Defence Force. MORE>>>

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Awori quits Nation after 18 years

Nairobi, Thursday, May 3, 2007
One of the veterans of Kenya's business scene, Mr Hannington Awori, has resigned as Chairman of the Nation Media Group, a position he has held since 2000. Mr Awori, from the veritable Cannon Awori family of Busia also quit as a board of directors member after 18 years of excellent service to shareholders.

He announced his decision at a board meeting held at the Nation Centre on Wednesday, citing the fact that his most recent term as a director was expiring this month — and that he now wished to step aside at this time so that a new chairman could help guide the Group through the next phase of its development. MORE>>>

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Kenyan Chief Justice to earn more than his British counterpart

NATION, Nairobi, Wednesday May 2 2007
Hefty salary increases have been proposed for judges and magistrates. A Judiciary salary review team wants the Chief Justice’s pay raised to Sh1.9 million from Sh750,105 a month.

The recommendations by the committee of judges, magistrates and an economist from the Treasury, could see the salary of the lowest paid judge rise from Sh334,515 to Sh1.3 million, a nearly 300 per cent increase. If effected, the Kenyan Chief Justice will earn more than the Chief Justice of the United Kingdom, whose monthly salary is equivalent to Sh1.8 million.

If accepted, the chief magistrate’s pay will rise from Sh161,735, including allowances, to Sh810,000. MORE>>>

woman in labour

Prof Ruth Oniang'o turns samaritan

Khwisero, Kenya, May 2 2007
A woman in labour is carried on a wheelbarrow along the Butere/Mumias Road. Nominated MP, Prof Ruth Oniang’o, who was passing by, offered her car, which took her to the district hospital. She delivered a baby-girl who was named after the MP.

Picture by James Key of the STANDARD

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Tuition fees to be scrapped in election give-away

Nairobi, Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Tuition fees in secondary schools in Kenya will be scrapped next year, the government has announced. In what is seen as an election ploy, President Mwai Kibaki said the government will foot the estimated shs4.3billion tuition fees budget or shs3,600 per student per year or 13% of the total cost per year per student in a national school.

The offer is part of a basket of election goodies which started with the controversial shs1billion Youth Fund, a women’s fund, revitalising 210 polytechnics, provision of full inpatient services to National Hospital Insurance Fund contributors and the overhaul of the National Social Security Fund from a scheme to a provident fund. MORE>>>

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"Mr moneybags" complicates the race for Ikolomani seat


By LUMITI KHABUCHI, Nairobi, Friday, April 27, 2007

AS the political battle for the 2007 poll looms large around the country, an area that has for a long time been a political sleeping dog will for the first time see one of the fiercest battles. Ikolomani constituency for long brushed aside as a last-minute hunting ground in Western province for political parties, this time round has all signs on the wall that it will not be an easy ride for the five serious contestants who have thrown their hats in the ring in a bid to oust the sitting MP.

The incumbent who is also an assistant minister for the East African Cooperation, will have a difficult time wading off competition from seasoned challengers and emerging greenhorns alike. In the constituency, the battle for Parliament has started in earnest with political activity reaching fever-pitch long before the real fight begins.

Among the top ranking politicians interested in the seat are - Aggrey Shitsama, Vincent Mukhono, Stanley Livondo, Betty Shikanga, Moses Pembe Lumiti and the incumbent, Khalwale. For a keen observer, none of these aspirants can be underrated given the mass following each commands. MORE>>>

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Bukhungu stadium to be rehabilitated

By Peter Atsiaya, Nairobi, Tuesday, 25 April 2007
Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega is to be taken over by the government, Sports Minister, Maina Kamanda has announced.
The dilapidated stadium, which holds much sentimental value to football lovers from the Luhya community, is to be rehabilitated alongside other provincial stadia, the minister said. Kamanda decried the pathetic state of the stadiums, adding that plans were under way to rehabilitate them. He explained that his ministry was negotiating with the Local Authorities to manage the stadiums with the intention of taking over the facilities. MORE>>>

 

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Lugulu Hospital dying

One of the oldest hospitals in Western Province on its death bed as donors withdraw

By Luke Kapchange, Tuesday, Nairobi, 23 April, 2007
We preach good news, heal the sick and minister to the needy”. That is the motto of Lugulu Mission Hospital. But the hospital is now financially unwell.
Lugulu Mission Hospital is facing a crisis that has cast doubt on its ability to provide quality health care to more than 100,000 people in Western Province.
Workers said they had not been paid for the last 17 months after donors tightened their purse strings following allegations of financial mismanagement.
The more than 100 workers are demanding salary arrears amounting to Sh13 million. This and other debts have put a heavy financial burden on the hospital that serves Bungoma and its environs, including the clash-hit Mt Elgon District.
Managers admit owing salary arrears to staff, but dispute that they have not paid them for 17 months. According to one administrator, the staff have been without pay for 13 months. MORE>>>

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In Shinyalu, poverty and insecurity are the real issues

By Benson Amadala, Nairobi, Monday, April 16 2007
Shinyalu constituency in Kakamega district is mainly agricultural. It borders akamega forest. It has a poor road infrastructure and there is hue and cry over lack of health facilities and insecurity. The latter is caused by rampant unemployment of the youth. Officers are unable to patrol the area and residents have been calling for the establishment of a police post.

Of the two divisions, Ileho is the most disadvantaged in terms of accessibility, owing to the terrain and distance from Kakamega town, the headquarters of Western Province. The main issues that may dominate the campaigns are insecurity, unemployment, and poverty. Accessing the forest for firewood, cultivation and grazing of animals, which residents have been pushing for, may play a big role in the campaigns. MORE>>>

Sugar farming a useless venture

By SR Athembo Onyuro, Nairobi, Monday, April 16, 2007
In a recent newspaper advertisement, Mumias Sugar Company posed a very important question: Is the Kenya sugar industry ready for full liberalisation by 2008? As a long time sugarcane farmer and transporter in the Miwani zone, my answer is YES. But for this to happen, teething problems afflicting the industry have to be overcome. The cheap sugar from the Comesa region vis a vis local expensive sugar is the bone of contention. MORE>>>

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Mumias Sugar ventures "abroad"

By Mazera Ndurya, NATION, Nairobi, Friday April 13, 2007

Mumias Sugar Company will spend Sh100 million on fresh feasibility studies on the proposed sugar project in the Tana Delta of Tana River district.


Dr Evans Kidero Dr Evans Kidero
The finding of the study on the economic and social well-being of the people and its viability is seen as the only way that could unlock the stalemate over the implementation of the project that has sparked widespread controversy in the area. The project, which is estimated to cost Sh24 billion, has been at the centre of controversy between environmental lobby groups and local residents who fear that their lifestyles and ecosystems would be adversely affected. Mumias Sugar CEO Dr Evans Kidero speaking on the telephone yesterday confirmed that the study will be undertaken by a Dutch company, HVA, which will also undertake an environmental impact assessment as the key component of the study. MORE>>>

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Opening up Western


By Vincent Moracha
Nairobi, Thursday 5 April 2007

The completion of road projects in Western Kenya this year will usher in a new visage to the economic development of a region whose potential largely remains untapped.
Five roads, whose construction is ongoing, will open up the area for domestic and international tourists, businessmen and the local communities by providing a faster means of transport to Kisumu and other outside markets.
The roads under construction include Bumala-Port Victoria Road (Western), Sh720 million Kisian-Bondo Road (C27), Sh693 million Ndori-Owimbi Road (C28), Sh684 million Katito-Kendu-Bay Road (C19) and Sh350 million Nyamira-Kadongo Road (Nyanza).MORE...

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Terror in Mt Elgon leaves 140 dead

NATION TEAM
Nairobi, Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Thirteen MPs yesterday asked the Government to step up security and stop the violence in Mt Elgon district that saw six people killed at the weekend. At the same time, Parliament will today interrupt its normal business to discuss the violence that has raged on for six months and claimed a total of 140 lives. These developments came as four schools were closed yesterday because of insecurity. MORE...

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Stanley Livondo's moneybags

Nairobi, Sunday 18 March 2007
By Kenneth Kwama and Oscar Obonyo
When five-year old Stanley Livondo appeared at his grandmother’s door in Bushiangala, Kakamega District, one freezing morning in 1972, he had nothing, but a tattered blanket, a worn out exercise book and a pencil in hand. MORE...

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Western schools need sound leadership



Nairobi, Wednesday 2007
While Friends School Kamusinga, Lugulu Girls and Bunyore Girls high schools did Western Province proud in last years Kenya certificate of Secondary Examinations( KCSE), certain schools with similar stature failed to live up to their respective promises.

The schools in question have similar endowments in terms of learning facilities and teachers but for some reason which I have long refused to understand, they did not posit excellent results commensurate with the human, material and financial resources at their respective command. ...more

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Opukah Calls for Politics of Unity

London Saturday 10 March 2007
ODM-K UK Branch Chairman, Shabanji Opukah has urged political leaders to embrace and treat all Kenyans as equals. Opukah decried the politics of exclusivity practiced by the current regime which has alienated Kenyans and promised that ODM-K government would recognise that Kenya's greatest resource is its people.

Opukah was speaking at the ODM-K rally in London. The rally was attended by among others, Raila Odinga a presidential aspirant, Omingo Magara, ODM-K Treasurer, Peter Anyang' Ny'ong'o, the secretary-general, Geoffrey Asanya, a prominent Nakuru businessman and Joseph Nyaga, also a presidential aspirant.

Mr Opukah is vying for the Butere constituency seat on an ODM-K ticket against the incumbent, Wycliffe Oparanya. Read more...

Shabanji OpukahShabanji Opukah and Raila Odinga during the ODM-K rally in London

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Ojiambo promises devolution as she rolls out vision

Nairobi, Friday 2 February 2007
By Joseph Murimi
ODM-Kenya presidential aspirant Dr Julia Ojiambo has unveiled her vision with a promise to create a federal government if she is elected to the top seat.
Launching the document at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre yesterday, Ojiambo said she would create the position of a prime minister if she becomes president.