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Threat to move Malava factory to Rift Valley due to political meddling

By Eric Ngobilo, May 30 2010
An investor has threatened to move a Sh1.2 billion sugar factory from Malava constituency to Rift Valley Province as a result of political meddling. The highly awaited Butali sugar factory may not start crushing cane soon as expected if politicians do not stop interfering in its management. The plant is expected to serve more than 50,000 farmers from three sugar growing zones in Malava. The zones are Kamasai, Lwandeti south and Shivanga. Webuye Mayor John Ngome led more than 1,500 residents and sugarcane farmers in protesting against what they termed as political meddling in the factory. But Malava Member of Parliament Soita Shitanda denied claims that he was interfering with the election of directors to lead the factory. He said the factory will solve the problems facing many sugarcane farmers in the region. “Many of our farmers have suffered as a result of delayed harvesting of cane. In some cases, sugarcane is left on the farms for as long as 72 months. We want this to be a thing of the past,” said Shitanda. More...

Soita Shitanda
Soita Shitanda, the housing minister and MP for Malava. He is accused of meedling in the appointment of directors for the new sugar factory in his constituency.
Referendum: Yes winning by 63%

According to a new opinion poll released Saturday by Infotrak the greens are in the lead after 63pc of Kenyans said they would vote for the draft law, while 21pc rejected it. Majority of Kenyans further said the Kadhi ruling won’t affect their vote.

Abroad no longer cool for Africans

By BBC, May 30 2010
Africa may still be suffering from a chronic brain drain but some of the continent's elite are turning their backs on the West and taking their talents back home according to film-maker Andy Jones. The story is as old as the hills: Man leaves village to seek riches in the big city. In recent years, the village has been the continent of Africa, the city represented by the bright lights of Europe and America. Any number of Africans seek to cross the ocean and make their fortunes, never to be seen again. But when our team travelled around Africa recently to film a new TV documentary series, we found a different story. More...

Ex MP buried: Veteran trade unionist and former Changamwe Member of Parliament the late Kennedy Kiliku, was on Saturday laid to rest at his Katulani family home in Kitui Central district. More...
Kenyatta won't release any further funds to CoE

By our correspondent, May 30 2010
Who between Treasury and Committee of Experts is telling the truth about funds for civic education on the Proposed Constitution? The CoE and Justice Ministry accuse Treasury, which is under Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, of sitting on the final tranche and argue the public sensitisation programme is stuck in the mud. Uhuru and his Treasury Permanent Secretary Mr Joseph Kinyua insist they have released all the money due to the CoE and there would not be a single coin more. On Saturday, Kinyua said in a press statement that he had released the last batch of Sh100 million meant for civic education. But CoE claims the Sh100 million referred to, was brought to them as a donation from the Prime Minister’s Office and the Justice Ministry. CoE Executive Director Ekuru Aukot says Sh90 million was donated by the PM’s office and Sh10 million from the Justice Ministry. More...

Uhuru Kenyatta and Kalonzo Musyoka
Uhuru Kenyatta (right) and Kalonzo Musyoka campaign in Ukambani for Yes to the draft.

Facebook relaxes provicy rules: Facebook has overhauled its privacy controls to fend off escalating anger that it is betraying the trust of its 450 million users. The company unveiled a redesigned privacy settings page to provide a single control for content and “significantly reduce” the amount of information that is always visible to everyone. More...

Police cancel Ruto's 'No' campaign rally

By Peter Mutai, May 30 2010
Police in Bomet cancelled a rally organised by an MP to campaign for the rejection of the Proposed Constitution. A contingent of police officers stormed Siongiroi Sports Ground and dispersed a crowd that had gathered there. Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto, who was the convenor of the rally, condemned the move. Gaining ground Mr Ruto said the Government was scared the ‘No’ campaign was gaining ground and, therefore, decided to use State machinery to disrupt its meetings. Chebunyo police boss Ibrahim Yusuf said the rally was stopped for security concerns. More...

Kadhi courts ruling divides legal fraternity

By Lillian Aluanga, May 28 2010
What has been termed a ‘controversial ruling’ by a three-judge bench declaring inclusion of Kadhis’ courts in the Constitution illegal has sparked off a debate that is unlikely to end soon. According to judges Joseph Nyamu, Anyara Emukule and Roselyn Wendoh, inclusion of the courts in the Constitution amounts to favouring one religion over others. The judges also termed ‘unconstitutional’ the application of the courts beyond the 10-mile coastal strip, as specified during their establishment. As arguments intensify on whether the courts should be enshrined in the Constitution or not, questions linger over intricacies of the debate in the current review process, the history of the courts as well as myths and truths surrounding their inclusion in the country’s supreme law."We must first understand that inclusion of the Kadhis’ courts in the Constitution has a history which dates back to independence," says lawyer Mutaha Kangu. More...

Tony Msalame
Tony Msalame at controls in his studios in Mombasa. The veteran broadcaster died yesterday of a suspected heart attack. The Standard on Saturday cartoonist Maddo says Msalame was a great friend for many years and had a great personal influence on his life. To Maddo, the fallen broadcaster was a natural actor with a number of stage appearances to his credit.
Kenyatta accused of sabotaging constitutional review process

By our correspondent, May 28 2010
The Committee of Experts on Constitutional Review wants Kenyans to be wary of an upsurge of attempts to thwart the constitution-making process, now in its final stages. CoE Director Ekuru Aukot yesterday accused some officers in the Ministry of Finance of sabotaging the process. And Chairman Nzamba Kitonga called on Kenyans to remain alert of concerted efforts by "enemies of the new constitution," to shift the country’s focus from getting a new document. "Kenyans should be on the look out for many enemies, who are coming up with hurdles in the path of the final lap of the process that has consumed billions and see many lives lost," urged Mr Kitonga. More...


Organized by the Abeingo Community Network (ACN), with the financial sponsorship of Big Lottery Fund, UK.

Date: Saturday 12th June, 2010.
Time: 11:00am
Churchill Gardens Residence Club,
224 Churchill Gardens
London, SW1V 3HS.
Objectives of the workshop:
Overall, the workshop aims to enable women and women’s groups to participate in their own economic empowerment discussions and stimulate the efforts to start business and employment creation projects for girls and women in the UK and East Africa.
Specifically, the workshop will:

  1. Examine ways of accessing financing sources for women’s economic empowerment projects
  2. Develop strategies for expanding membership to ACN with a view to enhancing the efforts to mobilize collective resources for their economic empowerment
  3. Discuss the strategies for building viable networks with other women groups in the UK with similar objectives, and sharing business development information
  4. Identify ways of strengthening the financial stability of families among the black and ethnic minorities in the UK.
  5. Inform the participants of the wide ranging opportunities for business/trade between the United Kingdom and East Africa, and the investment opportunities in East Africa.

Expected Outcomes:
1. An informed cadre of businesswomen who will champion increased economic empowerment activities as role models.
2. A business plan for guiding women’s efforts to create self-employment and businesses. .


  1. A workshop report.
  2. A mailing list of individual women and groups for the purpose of sharing economic empowerment information.

Topics that will be covered:

  1. Health and wealth.
  2. Possible business financing opportunities.
  3. Government support to businesswomen in East Africa.
  4.  Private sector support for women in business.

A detailed workshop programme will be e-mailed to registered participants prior to the workshop.

Speakers at the workshop will include:

  • Leading businesswomen who are already leading examples of women in enterprise in the UK.
  • The trade representatives of Embassies and High Commissions of the Eat African community countries,
  • Business promotion consultants and charities based in London.

Booking places.

The number of participants to the workshop is unlimited. It is open to any person of any nationality, women and men, who wish to obtain information about getting into business, and/or participate in information sharing forums about creating wealth through enterprise. However, for planning purposes, please confirm your participation to Susan Kivayi at kivayi@live.co.uk before the 5th June 2010.
Participation is free of charge.
The programme will start at 11:00am. There will be a lunch break at 1:30pm, and the event will end at 4:00pm. This will be followed by an informal networking session in the Pub adjoining the meeting hall until late. This informal session will be a forum for creating useful contacts for the future.

Five arrested with truckloads of draft constitution headed for destruction

By our correspondent, May 27 2010
Five people were arrested Wednesday with truckloads of the draft constitution headed for destruction. This is seen as part of the wider conspiracy by elements within the government out to derail the constitutional making process. It includes the delay by the Treasury to release Sh200m to Committee of Experts to kickstart civic education across the country, the dubious ruling about Kadhi courts by three judges and the illegal insertion of 'national security' in the draft document at the Government Printer. Yesterday, a joint meeting of PNU and ODM addressed by President Mwai Kibaki gave notice on those wavering (dubbed Yes-No-Yes) to make up their mind which side of their bread is buttered or else. Questions have also been raging since last weekend’s rally in Embakasi Constituency attended by the President and PM but skipped by senior PNU ministers who traditionally are quick to be seen to be pushing the President’s agenda. Treasury’s delay in releasing money to CoE has also fuelled speculation about the commitment of to the remaining phases of the review process. Already, there is a tiff between Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo and Uhuru Kenyatta over the delay. More...

Bonny Khalwale
Dr Bonny Khalwale, the Ikolomani MP whose election is being challenged in court.

Kenyan student dies in Canada: An 18-year-old Kenya student drowned while swimming with friends in Wolfville, Nova Scotia in Canada on Tuesday afternoon. James Ochola, a student at Acadia University in Wolfville drowned while swimming at Reservoir Park, a popular unsupervised swimming hole in the town, the CBS news agency reported. More...
Khalwale's bodyguard arrested

By Roselyn Obala, May 27 2010
A bodyguard to Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwalwe is in custody. Kakamega High Court resident judge Isaac Lenaola ordered Franklin Ndula’s arrest after he received a report over threats to witnesses in the ongoing election petition against Khalwalwe. In his ruling, Justice Lenaola stated that the allegations contained in the report presented to him in court by Kakamega acting DCIO James Kariuki were serious. "Allegations contained in this report are serious threats made in the precincts of this court, and which are clearly calculated to bring the integrity and honour of the court into disrepute," he ruled. Lenaola had ordered the acting DCIO to investigate threat claims by witnesses of Bernard Shinali, the petitioner. Shinali’s counsel Stephen Mwenesi had brought the matter before court. More...

Veteran broadcaster dies

By our correspondent, May 27 2010
Veteran radio personality Tony Msalame died early Friday at his Sheki FM studios in Mombasa. The legendary broadcaster, famed for his ‘Sheki Legi’ radio show on Metro FM in the late 90s and early 2000 lived in Nyali Mombasa, next to his studios. Mr Msalame was among legendary broadcasters who have reigned the Kenyan airwaves since independence.. More...

Mt Elgon family murdered and buried in pit latrine

By Robert Wanyonyi, May 26 2010
The Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission continued its public sessions for the third day in Mt Elgon with a visit to Kipsigon where affected families took them to places where their relatives were killed and buried in one pit latrine by the dreaded Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF). Led by the vice-chairperson Tecla Namachanja, the commissioners were told the deceased were well known but their relatives were unable to exhume the bodies because the police were unwilling to co-operate in the exercise. Speaking to the commission, the owner of the latrine where the bodies were dumped, David Chemiati Ndiwa, said his efforts to have the Government exhume the bodies had borne no fruits. He told the commission how living in the compound had become a nightmare as it went against the local community’s culture. More...

David Amunga
Profile of a legend: David Amunga, the 1960s Benga music maestro. His 1960s tune, America to Africa, catapulted the young Amunga from Kisa to international fame. This picture was taken in Nairobi two weeks ago. The man looks 20 years younger than his age - all 72 years. It must be his music or something else that keeps him young. Read all about the life and times of one of the most memorable musicians of his time. More...
Draft constitution sabotage probe stalls

By our correspondent, May 26 2010
The fate of a high-level police investigation into the illegal insertion of two words with serious implications on civil liberties into Kenya's proposed constitution appears to be in the balance. One week after a deadline passed for the detectives to finalise investigations and hand their report to Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere, there has been no word on the findings. The Nation learnt from a senior police officer who requested anonymity, that the investigations team headed by Mr Gideon Kimilu had been given an extra month to complete its work. But some officers doubted that it would accomplish much especially as, they claimed, it was largely a one-man operation, rather than a top level team of fraud and cyber-crime investigators as initially announced. More...

Wetangula extortion claim, a ploy to divert attention - MP

By Augustine Oduor, May 25 2010
The ‘extortion’ war between Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula and a parliamentary committee has now been taken to House Speaker. As Parliamentary Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations dismissed claims that one of them tried to extort Sh100 million from the minister, Wetangula wrote to the Speaker Kenneth Marende over what he termed harassment, extortion attempts and outright intimidation by the team chairman. The six members of the committee led by chairman Adan Keynan yesterday said Wetang’ula’s allegations were a ploy to pre-empt the committee report and divert public attention. More...

Moses Masika Wetangula
Fact or fiction: Moses Wetangula claimed an MP tried to extort Shs100m from him over Tokyo deal.

Kitale lawyers barred: Striking lawyers in Kitale have been barred from visiting their clients in remand. The Kitale Law Society of Kenya branch chairman James Wafula alleged that the order denying them access to their clients was issued by High Court judge Nicholas Ombija. More...

Egypt 'bribes' Kenya over Nile treaty

By Walter Menya, May 25 2010
Egypt has launched a charm offensive on Kenya even as Nairobi insists Cairo must sign the new treaty on the use of River Nile’s waters. The signing of the Comprehensive Framework Agreement by upstream countries has annoyed Cairo, which has a disproportionate share of the water according to colonial era treaties. And in Cairo on Tuesday, Egypt offered to fund a range of projects in Kenya. In a meeting with a visiting delegation led by Prime Minister Raila Odinga, his Egyptian counterpart, Dr Ahmed Nazif, said the projects include environmental conservation, water harvesting, drilling of boreholes and construction of dams. For a start, he said, the Egyptian government will revive a borehole drilling programme started in early 2000. More...

Wako seeks to quash Kadhi court ruling

By our correspondent, May 25 2010
Attorney General Amos Wako has filed an appeal in court seeking to have yesterday’s ruling declaring Kadhi courts illegal quashed. Wako says the ruling by a three judge bench was itself unconstitutional. Justice Joseph Nyamu, Roselyn Wendo and Anyara Emukule ruled that the inclusion of the kadhi courts in the current constitution was discriminatory against Christians and elevates one religion against others, therefore, going against the principle separation of State and religion. The ruling sent shockwaves across the country. Justice and Constitution Affairs minister, Mutula Kilonzo said the ruling was inconsequential and will not affect the quest for a new constitution. More...

Justice Joseph Nyamu
Suspect: Justice Joseph Nyamu: Kadhi Court ruling suspect. Legal brains have questioned under what mandate he participated in making the ruling after he had been promoted to the Court of Appeal.
Lawyers fault judge over Kadhi court

By Lucianne Limo, May 25 2010
The legal fraternity yesterday termed as unprocedural for Court of Appeal judge Joseph Nyamu to participate in a matter of a lower court. The Law Society of Kenya (LSK), International Jurists of Kenya (ICJ), Federation of Women Lawyers (Fida) and Kituo cha Sheria said the move is not allowed in law. "If the judgment was written when Justice Nyamu was still a High Court judge, then why has it taken over one and half years for it to be delivered," posed ICJ Executive Director George Kegoro. If the judgment was written recently when the judge had already been elevated to the Court of Appeal, Kegoro added, on what capacity did he participate in the process? More...

Kadhi Courts declared illegal

By Jillo Kadida, May 24 2010
A big question mark was raised on the August 4 referendum on the proposed constitution after judges on Monday declared inclusion of kadhi courts in the current law unconstitutional. The Yes campaign team, puzzled by the ruling, immediately rushed to assure Kenyans it will not stop the referendum. But their No rivals, composed of Churches and some MPs, said the ruling had vindicated their opposition to the proposed set of laws and called for suspension of the referendum. In the landmark ruling, the judges sitting as a Constitutional Court, said the decision to include the kadhi courts in the country’s supreme law was an illegality that favoured one religion over others. However, the judges reserved their decision on whether the provision should be included in the proposed constitution, which will be subjected to a referendum on August 4. More...

Justice Wendoh, Emukule and Nyamu
Constitutional Court judges whose ruling yesterday that Kadhi Courts are illegal has caused a hue and cry and thrown a spanner in the constitutional review process.
Oparanya says mystery billions ruining economy

By Jaindi Kisero, May 24 2010
A special team has been set up to investigate the source of billions of shillings flowing into the country in recent months. The team has been formed by the Central Bank of Kenya and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. The source of the mystery billions in hard currency could thus be known in a matter of months. And Planning minister Wycliffe Oparanya has warned that the influx of billions of shillings will hurt the economy. He said claims that Sh164 billion had entered the country was cause for alarm. “The effects are already being felt as prices of properties have shot up,” he said in Nyanza. There is speculation that this money may be ransom paid to Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. On Sunday, the director of research at the Central Bank of Kenya, Mr Charles Koori, disclosed that the special technical team would conduct a new survey on informal cross border trade with a view to discovering whether it was the source of the cash. More...

Squatters evicted: The government on Monday evicted families that had invaded the disputed Chebyuk Settlement Scheme in Mt Elgon. Heavily armed security officers led by acting DC Isaac Keter flushed out the squatters in a three-hour operation. More...
Kakamega Airstrip
Passengers go through security checks at Kakamega Airstrip to board a flight to Nairobi. Fly 540 says it will introduce similar flights to Bungoma and Busia. Photo: Isaac Wale

Woman drowns in River Nzoia

By our correspondent, May 24 2010
The body of a 22-year-old woman was on Thursday retrieved from River Nzoia. A villager pulled out the body at Milo in Webuye District. The woman was alleged to have drowned in the river, which is swollen from the ongoing heavy rains. Police took the body to the Webuye district hospital mortuary. At the same time, the government has said that it would not assist victims of floods in Matungu District. Instead, those affected have been advised to move to higher ground. Matungu district officer Sylvester Barasa told 80 families whose homes were submerged recently not to expect any support from the government. More...

Power from above no more: Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) has announced plans to phase out overhead cables and replace them with underground ones. The project which will be carried out in phases willcut down on power interruptions. More...
Once a grazing field, Kakamega airstrip now a busy airport

By Benson Amadala, May 24 2010
It was called the forgotten airstrip, and the only time villagers would hear the drone of an aircraft was when top government officials came visiting. Villagers of Buchina and Buteheri, who had been using Kakamega Airstrip as a grazing field, would hurriedly lead away their cattle before the plane landed. Indeed, things have not been easy for the growing number of executives, government officials, lecturers and others from the area preferring to travel by air. With flights only available from Kisumu, people had to drive on the bumpy road from Kakamega to be in time for the flights. They do not have to do this any more, as two weeks ago, budget airline Fly540, launched the first passenger flight from Nairobi to Kakamega. Now things are changing fast. Even villagers are positioning themselves to benefit. Boda boda operators, for example, are hoping for better business, ferrying passengers to and from the airport. Four MPs from Western took the inaugural flight from Nairobi. They were Mr Alfred Khang’ati (Kanduyi), Mr Justus Mugali (Shinyalu), Mr Manyala Keya (Lurambi) and Mr Bwifoli Wakoli (Bumula). More...

Wetangula alleges MP tried to extort Sh100m from him over Tokyo land deal

By David Ochami, May 21 2010
Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula has defended the controversial purchase of a diplomatic property in Tokyo. Amid claims the transaction was corrupt and irregular, Mr Wetang’ula claimed a member of Parliament’s Defence and Foreign Relations Committee had blackmailed him and his staff over the matter and tried to extort money from them with threats to spread false information on the purchase. The minister claimed the committee member had misinformed the public about the transaction and had demanded Sh100 million. Wetang’ula said "incredible statements by the chairman (of the committee)" and evidence on the matter by Cabinet ministers James Orengo and Chris Obure had been expunged from Parliament’s Hansard. The minister said he and his PS Thuita Mwangi will swear affidavits indicating the extortion allegations against them. Wetang’ula said he had protested to the Speaker of Parliament on the alleged erasure of the Hansard. More...

Budalang'i farmer
A farmer points at his maize farm destroyed by floods at Ikhula in Budalang’i, yesterday. The ongoing rains have destroyed thousands of acres of farm under food crops raising fears of food shortages. Photo: Benjamin Sakwa

Kenya's money laundering: A massive Sh164 billion in hard currency has found its way into the Kenyan economy - and the government is unable to explain its source fuelling concerns that Kenya may be turning into a money laundering destination by Somali pirates. More...
City Hall teams up with KACC to fight graft

By Mutinda Mwanzia, May 21 2010
City Hall and the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission have joined hands to stem corruption at the local authority. The council has been in the limelight in the past months following a scandalous cemetery deal that saw it spend Sh283 million on a piece of land valued at Sh24 million. Town Clerk Philip Kisia termed the initiative between City Hall and KACC timely, adding he had been in the forefront streamlining service delivery at the council. "We must stamp out corruption at City Hall and that has been my mission since day one," said Mr Kisia. Yesterday, KACC appointed Mr Daniel Masetu programme officer in charge of the integrity testing initiative at City Hall. More...

Ruto isolated: Rift Valley leaders have urged their constituents to back the proposed Constitution saying they have been misled into opposing the document. More...
World Bank funds Budalang'i flood control

By Augustine Oduor, May 21 2010
The World Bank is funding the western Kenya flood integration management that will help check flooding in Budalang’i. This was announced yesterday by John Nyaoro, the Director of Water Resources. At the same time, Kenya has signed a new nile treaty through which, there would be better benchmarks set before any project is initiated. His statement comes amidst fears that development partners and potential donors sympathetic to Egypt and Sudan, who did not sign the treaty, may decline to finance projects in the riparian states. Yesterday, Ngilu said the clash between Kenya, Sudan and Egypt over the use of the Nile waters had been discouraging donors from funding projects. Burundi and DRC are scheduled to sign the framework agreement, bringing to seven the list of signatories. Egypt and Sudan remain non-committal. More...

John Nyaoro
John Nyaoro, the director of water services. Budalang'i flood to be a thing of the past with the signing of the new Nile Treaty. The World Bank has already committed funds for the flood control management of River Nzoia.
Egypt furious as New Nile Treaty is signed

By Augustine Oduor, May 21 2010
The Government’s signing of the new Nile Treaty has ushered in a new dawn in the management of water resources. The move has also given impetus to existing projects and Kenya is now better placed to negotiate for resources to facilitate its projects. Director of Water Resources John Nyaoro said incessant flooding and deaths reported in flood prone areas will be a thing of the past, as the country has outlined clear and tangible projects in the Lake Victoria basin. Mr Nyaoro said it was difficult to fast tract key developments around the lake basin before the treaty. "With the treaty, we will tame the key rivers pouring into Lake Victoria by harvesting excess flow and constructing dykes to avoid flooding," he said. Water and Irrigation Minister Charity Ngilu signed the Nile Basin Agreement with four other countries on Wednesday, despite opposition from Egypt. More...

Foreign firms licensed to mine gold in Kakamega

By Roselyn Obala, May 20 2010
The Government has licensed foreign gold-prospecting companies to mine in the western Kenya region. The foreign firms are expected to lease tracts of land in areas of Western Province where gold occurs and to lock out small-scale miners. Those willing to continue with their occupation will have to look for employment from the companies. "This is the only thing thousands of young and old men do here for a living. We hope we will not be locked out by the foreign companies," said Justus Kakabo, one of the hundereds of miners in Ikolomani. The mining licences for the foreign firms are expected to cover Ikolomani, Shinyalu, Lurambi and Vihiga all in the larger Kakamega region. More...

ikolomani goldmineLost Eldorado: The search for the lost Eldorado leads many people to hunt for gold in Kakamega.. Goldmining used to be a profitable affair until 1952 when the Rosterman goldmines in Ikolomani was closed. The government believes modern prospecting equipment may yet yield huge deposits and has licensed foreign firms from Canada, Ghana and South Africa. Photo: Benjamnin Sakwa
Book on Jaramogi Odinga out today

By David Ohito, May 20 2010
A book detailing some of the secrets of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga’s life and times will be launched today. The book, My Journey with Jaramogi …Memoirs of a Close Confidant authored by retired journalist Mzee Odinge Odera hits the streets and bookshelves today. In the biography, Odera writes: "In many ways Jaramogi was like a pumped football, which will not sink in water no matter how hard one tries." The guest of honour at the book launch will be Jaramogi’s son, Prime Minister Raila Odinga. More...

White elephant returns to haunt Kenyans 34 years later

By our correspondent, May 20 2010
Kenyans are repaying a loan of about Sh4 billion that was meant for a project that never took off 34 years ago. At the time, President Kibaki was the minister for Finance. The fertiliser project was initiated by the defunct KeN-Ren Chemicals and Fertilisers Limited Company at a cost of Sh441 million. Delays in repaying the loan and interest rates have seen the bill rise to Sh4 billion, which the taxpayer is still shouldering. The saga dates back to 1975 when the Kenyatta government entered into a venture with N-Ren of America to establish KeN-Ren Chemicals and Fertilisers that was to manufacture fertiliser for the domestic and export markets. In the early stages, it was to provide technology to manage the company, organise purchase of equipment and machinery, and construct a fertiliser factory. More...

Veteran broadcaster dies

By:Ngulamu Mwaviro, May 20 2010
Veteran broadcaster and former Kenya Broadcasting Corporation's (KBC) board of directors chairman James Kangwana is dead. Kangwana died Tuesday night at the Lang'ata hospital in Nairobi aged 75. The veteran broadcaster started his career at the BBC London in the early 1960s. He later served as the director of broadcasting at the then Voice of Kenya (currently KBC) between 1971 and 1980. He was also a director at the ministry of Culture and Social Services between 1980 and 1982 and the director of Communications of the All Africa Conference of Churches until 1986. Previously, Kangwana worked as a district officer in Keroka in Kisii and as a headmaster of Bakistani School in Mombasa.

University education now goes to the village

By Julius Sigei, May 20 2010
With the public university cut-off point going up every year, higher education is becoming a dream for many. However, this is set to change with the “University Goes to the Village” programme. This is a collaboration between the Global University for Lifelong Learning, churches and non-governmental organisations. The programme does not place a high value on academic achievement, but emphasises a holistic approach to education. It embraces formal, informal and non-formal education. It is the brainchild of Sarone ole Sena, the support and learning director at Compassion International Kenya and a professor at Daystar University. More...

It embraces formal, informal and non-formal education.
Bungoma man slaughters son in sacrificial offering

By Bernard Kwalia, May 19 2010
A man claiming to have spoken to God on Tuesday slaughtered his first born child as a sacrifice in Kitale. The man, a staunch follower of Ingrafted Fellowship Church, killed his 5-year-old son at Sikhendu and surrendered himself at the local police station fearing the wrath of the public. The man is said to have made several attempts to kill the boy before he finally did it on Tuesday. The suspect told the Nation that God spoke to him before he picked up a kitchen knife, held a short prayer and slaughtered the boy like a chicken. “God spoke to me to give him something that I love most and because I love my son I decided to offer him as sacrifice,” he said. He said his wife was away when he committed the crime and only returned home shortly after. The suspect confessed that he had been a member of the church for only one and half month. Area police boss Karisa Mwaringa said they were questioning the suspect. More...

webuye town
Webuye town: A ghost town only a few months ago following the closure of Panpaper Mills, Webuye is facing an acute shortage of housing as the factory is set to re-open and Masinde Muliro university has established a campus there.

Google to bring internet on TV

By Mike Harvey, May 19 2010
Google is set to move into the living room with a computer operating system that will bring the internet to home televisions. The company is working with the chipmaker Intel and Sony, the electronics giant, to introduce Google TV this week at a conference for 3,000 Google software developers in San Francisco. More...

Boom returns to Webuye as housing shortage bites

By Eric Ngobilo, May 19 2010
A shortage of housing has hit Webuye town as Pan Paper Mill is set to be reopened. The situation has been worsened after Masinde Muliro University opened a branch in the town. A number of departmental heads have been posted to Bungoma East district whose headquarters is in Webuye town aggravating the situation. The presence of a medical training college without hostels and staff houses for tutors has made the town choke with people also looking for houses to rent. Many residential houses in the town were built for Pan Paper employees only. After the factory recalled its workers to prepare for reopening people who had rented the houses were forced to vacate. Many university students who had taken over the houses do not have a place to stay. Students and lecturers are now forced to commute from as far as Kakamega and Bungoma towns. Rents for houses in the town have considerably risen over the past few months due to high demand. More...

Shock discovery of Sh30bn lying idle at Treasury that nobody wants

By David Ochami, May 19 2010
Treasury says Sh30 billion is idle at the Central Bank because ministries either do not apply for or lack capacity to absorb it. Finance PS Joseph Kinyua told Public Accounts Committee Tuesday the Health and Education ministries routinely fail to submit requests for money allocated them. He alleged that these have indicated they lack capacity to spend billions of shillings allocated them under the Economic Stimulus Package. Committee chairman Bonny Khalwale said he was shocked at the revelations amidst accusations Treasury had refused to send money to hospitals and other amenities. He challenged the PS to convene a meeting of affected ministries to co-ordinate utilisation of the money. More...

Treasury building, Nairobi
Treasury Building in Nairobi. Shs30bn is sitting idle in its vaults which nobody seems to know how to use.

East Africa wants more of nile water: Four East African states have signed an agreement to seek more water from the River Nile - a move strongly opposed by Egypt and Sudan. Under colonial-era accords, the two countries get 90% of the river's water. Upstream countries including Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia say it is unfair and want a new deal but nothing has been agreed in 13 years of talks. More...
Confusion reigns over suspended PS's

By Jibril Adan, May 19 2010
Confusion reigns over the fate of four Permanent Secretaries suspended over claims of mega-corruption in their ministries three months ago. The time they were to keep off their offices until cleared lapsed last week, some of them have quietly gone back to work, and sources around the Head of Civil Service Mr Francis Muthaura revealed they had been cleared. But curiously, even as Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission insists investigations are ongoing, there was an indicator some of them are ongoing, there was an indicator some of them are back in office, as one of them signed his ministry’s newspaper supplement published in Tuesday’s editions. More...

Varsity closed after students riot over disputed elections

By our corespondent, May 18 2010
The University of Nairobi has been closed indefinitely following days of student unrest over disputed elections of their union. Student riots have rocked the institution since Friday after the Student Organisation of Nairobi University (SONU) elections were disputed. A senate meeting called on Tuesday reached the decision to close the university. The closure affects both modules: regular and parallel and students have until 3 p.m. Tuesday to vacate the university. The students complained of interference in the SONU elections and later took to the streets in protest on Friday evening. SONU was disbanded on Sunday, but Higher Education minister William Ruto termed the move unwise. He urged the parties to dialogue over the matter. Cause a strike On Monday, three students- Winfred Mukiri, Bernard Omondi and Kimathi Nabea- denied uttering words that were likely to cause a strike at the student's hall of residence (s) on May 14. Police alleged that the three, with others not in court, shouted hatukubali maneno ya administration (We do not agree with the administration). Meanwhile, Higher Education minister, William Ruto has called for the restitution of SONU, the disbanded students body. More...

Zeituni Onyango, Obama's aunt
Zeituni Onyango, predident Obama's aunt is now officialy a political refugee in USA.

10-year study finds no link between cell phones and cancer

By Sam Lister, May 18 2010
Scientists who conducted the largest study to date of the safety of mobile phones said that it offered no clear evidence of a link with brain cancer. The Interphone study followed almost 13,000 phone users in 13 countries. Scientists said that it showed no increased risk of developing a tumour. More...

Obama's aunt gets refugee status in America

By our correspondent, May 18 2010
An aunt of US President Barack Obama has been given permission to remain in America after applying for political asylum a second time, her lawyers say. Zeituni Onyango, a Kenyan half-sister of Mr Obama's late father, continued to live in public housing in Boston after losing her first application in 2004. She applied again after her illegal status was made public during Mr Obama's presidential campaign in 2008. Mr Obama said at the time he did not know his aunt was in America illegally. More...

Ndhiwa school in crisis as 11 underage pupils fall pregnant

By our correspondent, May 18 2010
Parents with children at a primary school in Ndhiwa District are in shock after 11 girls were confirmed to be pregnant last Friday. The pregnant girls, who are pupils at Ndere Primary School in Kobodo Division, are between 12 and 16 years of age. Seven of the girls are in class seven, two in class eight and one each in classes five and six. The matter came to light last Friday after two of the parents frogmarched their daughters to the district children’s officer, Mr John Kabasa. More...

Gay Kenyans come out in force

By our correspondents, May 18 2010
Scores of Kenya homosexuals celebrated the International Day Against Homophobia in style Monday and demanded for more recognition. The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex (LGBIT) persons wined, sung and danced and for the first time allowed media coverage of their function to fight stigma and victimisation associated with their sexual orientation. “Ten years ago there was no public place that could have hosted such a function,” Kenya Human Rights Commission director Muthoni Wanyeki, whose lobby organised the event at the National Museums of Kenya, said. More...

Kenyan gays
Faces of Kenyan gay movement: Metropolitan Community Church Gay Priest the Rev Michael Kimindu addresses a gathering of sexual minorities at the National Museum, Nairobi where they assembled to mark the International Day Against Homophobia on May 17, 2010. On his left is activist musician Kate Kamunde from Afra Kenya and Audrie Mbugua (right) from Transgender Kenya. Photo: Frederick Onyango
Is Africa losing its moral fight against gays, lesbians and so called transgenders?
Gay couple jailed in Malawi for engaging in unnatural acts

By our correspondent, May 18 2010
Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, were arrested in December 2009 after celebrating their engagement ahead of a wedding planned for 2010. They have been in jail ever since and could now face 14 years in prison. Their arrest had sparked international condemnation and a debate about homosexuality in the country. Judge Nyakwawa Usiwa-Usiwa convicted both men of engaging in gay sex which he said was "against the order of nature". They are to be sentenced on 20 May. Same-sex liaisons are frowned upon in Malawi, where homosexual acts are outlawed. More...

Muchilwa to be buried Saturday at Kima, Bunyore

By our correspondent, May 17, 2010
A funeral programme for the late Emuhaya MP, Hon Sheldon Muchilwa has been released. Monday May 17: Fundraising at United Kenya Club Tuesday May 18: Prayers at the church and overnight stay at the home in Nairobi - State House Road; Wednesday May 19: Airlift the body to Kitale for overnight stay; Thursday May 20: Airlift the body to Bunyore- over Emuhaya constituency then to Kima home for two nights. Burial: Saturday May 22. The former legislator died in Nairobi on Monday, May 10.

Sheldon Muchilwa
Sheldon Muchilwa, the late former MP for Emuhaya. He will be buried on May 22.
Chaos as varsity students body is axed

By our correspondent, May 17 2010
The University of Nairobi Students Association SONU has been dissolved. This follows the union's elections which ended in disarray on Friday night, due to claims of attempted rigging and political interference. According to the students, armed gang brought the tallying exercise to a stop following allegations of rigging. The incident occurred when alleged goons armed with crude weapons arrived at the university Mamlaka hall and took away ballot boxes before counting. The irate students took to the streets on Sunday to protest the move destroying university property and blamed the university administration for interfereing with the elections. The decision to ban SONU was arrived at by the University of Nairobi senate which comprises among other senior officials the Vice Chancellor. More...

Referendum now boils down to a question of colour

By Oliver Mathenge, May 16 2010
Kenyans have moved another step closer to approving or rejecting the Proposed Constitution with the with the announcement of the referendum symbols. The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) on Monday assigned the colours Green and Red to the Yes and No answers to the referendum question respectively. ''Do you approve the proposed new Constitution?’’ is the question that voters will answer in the August 4 vote. The Commission held a meeting Monday morning where they went through various suggestions before settling on the colours. The IIEC had received a number of suggestions including those of animals such as rhinos, elephants and buffaloes. Others had suggested that stars, the moon and the sun should be used. There are also those who suggested body parts like ear versus eye and arm versus leg.. More...

katiba referendum symbols
Red carded or greenlight?: The Yes and No team with their green and red symbols, respectively released in Nairobi Monday by the electoral commission.

23 churches quit Bungoma Anglican diocese

By Eric Ngobilo, May 16 2010
More than 23 churches have delinked themselves from the Anglican Church of Kenya’s Bungoma diocese. They have joined the New Anglo Church of Kenya (New ACK). The diocese has more than 200 churches. The churches which joined the new outfit cited poor leadership and corruption as reasons for their departure. The Rev Peter Wangwe said he was happy to be part of the new church. This happened even as 10 churches locked out ACK pastors who had been ministering at the affected churches which include those from Webuye, Ndivisi, Siyombe and Bungoma parishes. More...

Church rules allow abortion

Most of the churches leading opposition to the new constitution on the grounds that it allows abortion have rules allowing the procedure where the life of the mother is in danger. A survey by the Nation established that the Anglican Church, the Presbyterian Church of East Africa and the Seventh Day Adventists in their rules all make allowance for abortion on medical grounds. Although not specific on allowing abortion, the Catholic Church has rules allowing for “all necessary treatment” to save the life of the mother - provided the procedure is conducted by a trained doctor or doctors. More...

Wako to be quizzed over illegal draft insertions

By our correspondents, May 16 2010
Attorney General Amos Wako will on Monday morning has a date with investigators trailing authors of illegal alterations to the Proposed Constitution. The hunt was also on for those behind the alterations that threatened the review process as Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka downplayed the impact of the attempted changes outside Parliament and window for legitimate amendments. Raila who spoke after a church service in Nairobi said the government was not responsible for the alterations. He said politicians and commentators were giving undue attention to the insertions into the Bill of Rights. He said the distorted copies were stopped. More...

Cyrus Jirongo
Jirongo on the ropes: Cyrus Jirongo, the Lugari MP who is fronting a No campaign against the draft constitution alongside his erstwhile YK '92 buddy, Higher Education Minister, William Ruto. The majority of his Lugari constituents have told him he is backing the wrong horse.
Jirongo's No crusade falls on deaf ears in Lugari

By our correspomdents, May 16 2010
MPs Cyrus Jirongo and Isaac Ruto have asked Kenyans to vote ‘No’, saying the Proposed Constitution is illegal. Speaking in Lugari at the weekend, the leaders challenged Kenyans to examine contentious issues in the proposed law before deciding on which way to vote. "Kenyans should reject the document because proper procedures were not followed in crafting it," said Jirongo. The two also urged residents to ask civic educators to shed more light on areas deemed contentious. "That is when you will understand why we are opposed to the proposed law," said Jirongo. The two spoke at Mautuma Secondary School during a funds drive in aid of the institution. More...

Kilonzo blames Wako for draft 'error' as detectives hunt criminals

By our correspondents, May 14 2010
A team of detectives from the Serious Crimes Unit and Cyber Crime Unit has been set up to investigate how illegal changes were sneaked into the proposed constitution. The latest development came as it emerged that more than five top officials in charge of various government departments responsible for the document were under scrutiny. On Thursday, both proponents and opponents of the proposed constitution were united in demanding the arrest of those responsible for the illegal amendment, but they were also pointing fingers at each other. Justice minister Mutula Kilonzo spoke strongly pointing a finger at the office of the AG that bears legal responsibility for publication of government Bills. The culprits, he said, “must be pursued, whoever and wherever they are, arrested, prosecuted, put in prison and the key thrown into Lake Victoria.” Apart from Mr Wako, other key officials at the State Law Office are Solicitor General Wanjuki Muchemi and Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko. More...

Amos Wako
Amos Wako, the Attorney General whose office has denied altering the draft constitution. A team of detectives has been deployed to investigate the matter.

Suspended PS back in office

By Walter Menya, May 14 2010
One of four permanent secretaries suspended over the maize and free primary education scandals went back to work on Thursday as reports indicated that the other three were expected. Agriculture PS Romano Kiome was back in his office after a three-month suspension and even chaired a meeting of senior ministry officials. Sources also told Nation that Office of the Prime Minister PS Mohamed Isahakia, Special Programmes ministry PS Ali Dawood Mohammed, his Education counterpart, Prof Karega Mutahi, and the PM’s principal secretary Caroli Omondi would resume duty on Monday. Last February 13, President Kibaki suspended Dr Isahakia, Dr Kiome, Prof Mutahi, and Mr Mohammed after they were linked to the maize and education scandals. More...

Do you approve the proposed constitution?

By Oliver Mathenge, May 14 2010
Do you approve the proposed new Constitution? That is the question you as a voter will be required to answer during the referendum and stands between the realisation of a new Constitution or years of wait. The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) published the question in a gazette notice as Kenya edges towards the August referendum. There is a Kiswahili version of the same and it reads: Je unaikubali katiba mpya inayopendekezwa?, and is a direct translation of the English version. After Thursday’s publication of the referendum question, the IIEC is expected to announce the symbols that will be used to identify the Yes and No answers. By May 27 – two weeks after the question is published – the IIEC will announce the day on which the referendum is to be held, the polling time, and the campaign period. More...

Complaints against rogue lawyers flood KACC

By our correspondent, May 14 2010
Kenya's anti-corruption agency receives hundreds of complaints against corrupt and unethical lawyers. Between January and December 2009, the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission received 887 complaints against advocates, acting director John Mutonyi said in a speech read in Kisumu on Thursday. “In the same period, 18 grievances were reported against the Advocates Complaints Commission,” he said. The Advocates Complaints Commission is a department within the AG's office that deals with rogue lawyers. More...

Integrity Centre
Kenya Anti Corruption Commission headquarters in Nairobi. The office receives an average of 100 complaints against lawyers and advocates every month. Up to 18 cases were being investigated by the Advocates Complaints Commission, a department at the AG's chambers that deals with rogue lawyers.
Bungoma DC operates from a store as space shortage bites

By Eric Ngobilo, May 14 2010
The creation of six new districts from the larger Bungoma has been met numerous challenges that have been blamed on the rush to create more administrative units. In Bumula District, DC Murenga Muregwa is using the office initially meant for the district officer. The DO has moved to the chief’s office at Mateka market. The chief then displaced the assistant chief, sending him to a semi permanent structure. In Bungoma North, the DC occupies a small room which used to be a store. In Kimilili District the DC is using the DO’s office of one room with no space even for the clerk and secretary. More...

Has Wako sneaked secret clauses in the draft laws?

By our correspondents, May 13 2010
The Six Million Dollar Question in Kenya today is whose hidden hand sneaked the two words into the Proposed Constitution, which could derail the review process late in the hour? Back-to-back to this question is what naivety informed such defiant breakage of the review law which at all stages stamps the draft with an audit trail — making it impossible to cover up such mischief? There is also the question what else could have been tampered with in the draft by the hidden hand that could have found its way into the Government Printer - which itself is a security zone under the Office of the President? In all the questions springing from the ear-splitting row triggered by the discovery, and Attorney General Amos Wako’s admission yesterday that there were indeed two sets of drafts, one man and one office is in a spot - Amos Wako. More...

Amos Wako
Cunning fox or sabotage?: Amos Wako, the Attorney General is on the spotlight over two draft constitutions one of which contains words that appear sneaked in to derail the constitution making process.
Wetangula, Simiyu vow to finish Kombo

By Lucas Barasa, May 13 2010
Two Cabinet Ministers and an MP have vowed to wrestle Ford-Kenya leadership from chairman Musikari Kombo in disputed elections scheduled for Saturday. If Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetangula, Labour’s John Munyes and Kimilili MP Simiyu Eseli have their way, they will harm Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa’s efforts to lead Ford-Kenya and vie for presidency on its ticket. The two ministers and Mr Eseli addressed a press conference at the party headquarters in Nairobi Thursday where they announced their readiness for the National Delegates Conference slated for Bomas of Kenya. Mr Kombo had said he would not defend his seat but would throw his weight behind Mr Wamalwa to succeed him. More...

Ex Emuhaya MP Muchilwa is dead

By our correspondent, May 11 2010
Former Emuhaya MP and Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sheldon Muchilwa, is dead. The former legislator died at 10 am Monday morning at Nairobi Hospital where he had been hospitalized for three months. According to one his confidants, Ali Sabatia, of United Nations Environmental Programme, Mr. Muchilwa was admitted to the hospital suffering from diabetes and hypertension. The late Muchilwa represented Emuhaya for two terms before he was ousted by the current Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Kenneth Marende in 2002. Ali described the former legislator as a leader who left an indelible mark in the constituency. He said that the deceased was since 1992, when he was first elected to parliament, known for being friendly and out to fight poverty in the area. Before his debut into politics Mr. Muchilwa, 72, was the Chief Government Printer. He is survived by 18 children and two wives. His third wife died in a tragic road accident just before 2002 parliamentary elections.

Mabel Mark Muruli
Mabel Mark Muruli with her daughters, Kimberley (right) and Elena (left). Mabel, formerly of Kimberley Group Housing is involved in a legal suit with the Home Office over alleged breach of contract.

How Rwanda tamed impunity

By Harold Ayodo, May 13 2010
A Kenyan stepping out of a downtown hotel in Kigali, Rwanda, immediately realises they are not in Nairobi. Though the street is in the section of town equivalent to River Road, it is neat to a fault and spotlessly clean. Silence and calm that greets one in the rich suburbs of Nairobi on a Sunday morning, prevail here on a week day. What with the absence of the chaotic matatu cacophony of Nairobi. More...

Fundraiser for Mabel Mark Muruli

By our reporter, May 12 2010
A fundraier is scheduled this Saturday, May 15 in aid of Mabel Mark Muruli to offset huge legal fees in a litigation with UK's Home Office for alleged breach of contract. Mabel who is one of Abeingo Community Network’s active members got into financial difficulties sometime last year and is currently involved in an expensive court case for which she is not entitled to legal aid.  Her friends in the Kenyan community in the UK have arranged for a fundraising to be held on 15th May, 2010.  On behalf of Luhya’s we humbly request your assistance in contributions and presence to this worthy cause.  We are aware of the short notice given; this is due to the urgency of monies needed.
Please take part and remember, “TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE”.
The address for the venue is:
93a – 99a New Road
RM10 9NL
TIME:  6.00pm to 9.00pm
DATE:  Saturday 15th May, 2010.

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