Posts tagged as: mining

Kenyans Told to Prepare for Heavy Rains

By Collins Omulo

The Kenya Meteorological Department has warned Kenyans to brace for rains that are expected in several parts of the country until Sunday.

Deputy director Samwel Mwangi said the rains are expected to be pronounced on some days mainly in Kisii, Nyamira, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Laikipia, Nakuru, Narok, Kajiado, Kakamega and Vihiga, as well as the northeast part of the country.

“We expect several parts of the country to receive rainfall starting Wednesday and it might be heavy and localised. We are not expecting any extreme rainfall that might cause havoc,” Mr Mwangi told the Nation on phone.

He, however, said the Coast, the southeast lowlands and much of northeastern Kenya are expected to be relatively dry once again.

FORECAST

In its latest forecast covering October 17 and 23, which was released on Monday, the weatherman says Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Trans Nzoia, Baringo, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Nandi, Laikipia, Nakuru, Narok, Kajiado, Kericho, Bomet, Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma and Busia counties are expected to experience afternoon showers and thunderstorms.

This will apply to several places during much of the forecast period.

The rains are expected to spread to counties to the northeast of the region covering the Lake Basin and highlands west of the Rift Valley from Saturday.

The devolved units are also expected to receive morning rains over a few places between tomorrow and Sunday.

SHOWERS

Interestingly, northwestern counties of Turkana, West Pokot and Samburu are expected to receive afternoon showers and thunderstorms over few places today and Monday, with the rest of the days having sunny intervals in the morning.

The department also said the region will experience morning rains over a few places and afternoon showers and thunderstorms in several places on the other days of the forecast period.

Heavy afternoon showers are likely to occur in areas bordering Uganda on Sunday.

Nairobi, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Kiambu, Meru, Embu and Tharaka-Nithi counties are expected to experience cloudy mornings with rains over a few places.

SUNNY INTERVALS

There will be sunny intervals.

The counties are expected to experience afternoon showers in a few places throughout the forecast period.

Several places are likely to receive rainfall today.

Turn to Supreme Court for Guidance, Nasa Tells Electoral Commission

By Laban Wanambisi

Nairobi — A section of Opposition Members of Parliament have called on the Independent Election and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to turn to the Supreme Court for guidance regarding next week’s fresh presidential election.

The legislators sentiments comes in the wake of a shock move by IEBC Commissioner Roselyn Akombe who tendered her resignation with just eight days to the repeat presidential election.

Addressing journalists at Parliament buildings on Wednesday, Ugunja lawmaker Opiyo Wandayi and his Gem counterpart Elisha Odhiambo said the reasons cited by Commissioner Roselyn Akombe in her letter of resignation confirmed the Opposition’s fears that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission cannot conduct a free and fair poll.

“We are looking at a Commission which has lost both moral and legal credibility to perform its functions. The Chairperson cannot pretend any further, (Wafula) Chebukati has been under siege. No decision by the Chairperson can carry the day because of the veto power of the four other Commissioners but we want to appeal to Chebukati to own up and just leave, just run away from this mess!” said Wandayi.

Wandayi further urged Chebukati to resign citing lack of independence and political interference from external forces.

“We call upon the Chairperson to resign and save this country from plunging into political catastrophe ahead of the October 26 repeat poll,” he said.

Odhiambo said there is need for urgent political dialogue noting the country cannot go to an election under the current environment which he described as tensed.

“IEBC as currently constituted cannot provide Kenyans with a credible election; the best is for them to come out and put Kenya first. This country is bigger than all of us and a time of crisis like this is where you need the strength of character to manifest and save a nation,” said Odhiambo.

Akombe resigned from her post citing that the IEBC was under political siege, unable to reach consensus or take any decisions.

The electoral official, who has fled the country to New York, stated that Kenya is unable to hold a credible election next week.

She further noted that the current political climate in the country is not conducive for an election to take place.

“The current political conditions did not exist on the 1st of September when the order was issued. It would therefore have been logical for the Commission to be frank with the Kenyan people and clearly state the challenges we face in organizing a free, fair, and credible election.”

She was interviewed on the BBC on Wednesday morning where she sought to explain the reasons behind her resignation from the electoral commission, a week to the fresh presidential election.

Kenya

Election Boss Reads Riot Act to President and Opposition Leader

Electoral commission chief Wafula Chebukati on Wednesday cast doubts on the possibility of holding credible elections… Read more »

Kakamega Senator Malala Charged Over Poll Boycott Call

By Shaban Makokha

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala was on Wednesday charged with incitement.

The Senator was accused of inciting his supporters on October 13 to boycott the October 26 repeat presidential election during a political rally in Kakamega town.

He is alleged to have dared anyone to take ballot boxes to Muliro Gardens.

The charge read that the words were meant to disrupt the October 26 repeat polls in Kakamega.

Mr Malala, who was represented by Lawyer David Masake denied the charges and was released on cash bail of Sh300,000.

Mr Masake accused police of ignoring orders issued by the High Court, prohibiting his arrest.

“My client was enjoying miscellaneous application from the superior court and showed goodwill by presenting himself to police in the morning, but the police detained him for hours irrespective of the orders,” said Mr Masaka.

Present in court during the case was Lurambi MP Titus Khamala and Vihiga Woman Representative Beatrice Adagala.

The case will be heard on January 16 next year.

Kenya

Election Boss Reads Riot Act to President and Opposition Leader

Electoral commission chief Wafula Chebukati on Wednesday cast doubts on the possibility of holding credible elections… Read more »

President Kenyatta Says He Won’t Hold Negotiations With Opposition

press release

President Uhuru Kenyatta today said he will not hold negotiations with the opposition, saying Kenyans should be allowed to vote in peace on October 26.

Speaking on the campaign trail at Saboti in Trans Nzoia County on Wednesday, President Kenyatta warned the opposition against intimidating the electoral agency IEBC.

“There will be no sitting in boardrooms to negotiate and share government. It is Kenyans who have the right to decide who will be president,” President Kenyatta emphasised.

The President said those who do not want to participate in the October 26 fresh election were free to do so but should not curtail the rights of those who want to vote on that day.

“The same way nobody is being forced to participate in the October 26 election, similarly no one has the right to stop those who want to participate,” President Kenyatta said.

The Head of State thanked the residents for voting for him on August 8 and urged them to turn out in large numbers to exercise their democratic right in the October 26 fresh presidential election to ensure they secure a firm position in the Government that cares for their welfare.

“We have come to thank you for supporting us in the August 8 election and to ask you to turn out in large numbers to express your supreme will on October 26,” President Kenyatta said, emphasising that the Jubilee Party stands for peace, unity and national progress.

President Kenyatta, who was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto, also spoke on Jubilee’s development agenda for Trans Nzoia County.

President Kenyatta said more roads have been constructed in Trans Nzoia and electricity connection increased now than during previous governments, saying voting for him on October 26 will be entrenching the development trend.

“We have laid the foundations for progress. We are keen to complete the work we have started for the benefit of all Kenyans,” President Kenyatta said.

President Kenyatta also called on the residents to shun divisive politics, saying only in an environment of peace, unity and reconciliation – which are key tenets of the Jubilee Party – can development be achieved.

Before addressing the campaign rally at Saboti, the President and his deputy received to Jubilee Mr Martin Waliula, the Trans Nzoia Ford Kenya Secretary General, who together with other grassroots leaders decamped to Jubilee citing the ruling part’s development track record in the county and across the country.

“We want to assure you that we will mobilise Ford Kenya supporters from Trans Nzoia to vote for you overwhelmingly on October 26,” Mr Waliaula said.

Also present were Water and Irrigation CS Eugene Wamalwa, Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka, MPs Janet Nangabo (Trans Nzoia Women Rep), Michael Mbito (Senator, Trans Nzoia) and Didmus Wekesa Barasa (Kimilili) among others.

South Africa:Life Esidimeni MD – ‘Doctors Failed to Speak Out’

Relatives of Life Esidimeni patients broke down and sobbed on Wednesday as they heard how the former managing director (MD) of the facility begged the Gauteng department of health for information about where patients were being moved to.

Life Esidimeni former MD Dr Morgan Mkhatshwa told the hearings that it was “a command” to move patients to various NGOs, despite his repeated pleas for information about the names, addresses and contact details for these NGOs.

Transfer patients

Mkhatshwa said he failed to understand how department officials, some of them trained medical officials, didn’t stand up and speak out.

“It was sad for me to see how clinicians could succumb to what I’d call political pressure. I said it’s bad if you forget the oath you took [as a medical practitioner],” he said.

“How could they not stand up and say ‘over my dead body, I will not do that’,” Mkhatshwa said.

He said he warned officials about the plans to transfer patients from Life Esidimeni to a number of unlicensed NGOs, some of which he had known nothing about.

This was following an incident in 2007 where 17 children were taken from Life Esidimeni and placed in an NGO.

Mkhatshwa said they later died because they had been severely dehydrated and malnourished.

“Why couldn’t we have learned from the 2007 incident? Did we just choose to be oblivious to it, or did we just ignore it?” he asked. “Expert advice was ignored”.

During his testimony, Mkhatshwa recalled how representatives from the various NGOs just started arriving at Life Esidimeni to collect patients. Some even hand picked patients.

“They said they were coming to pick their patients and I said ‘get the hell out of here, this is not an auction’. These are people,” he said.

Better facilities

Responding to a question about patients being collected on the back of bakkies, Mkhatshwa said he told the official to “take that damned thing out of our facilities”.

Mkhatshwa said the decision to move patients from Life Esidimeni to the various NGOs wasn’t “rationally clinically” or “rationally business-wise”, with the former MEC of health Qedani Mahlangu telling him there wasn’t a budget to pay for the Life Esidimeni contract.

“We were ensured that the users would leave Esidimeni for equal or better facilities,” he said.

Mkhatshwa said he resigned from his position at Life Esidimeni because he too was traumatised by the way it turned out.

“I ask myself if there is anything I could’ve done. I don’t know,” he said.

“I think the families did more. They went and toyi toyi’ed at the department… they demanded an apology… they demanded to know where their loved ones were”.

The hearings continue on Thursday.

Source: News24

South Africa

12 Men Arrested for ‘Promoting Homosexuality’

There are reports that two South Africans are among 12 men arrested on charges of homosexuality in Tanzania. Read more »

Kenya:Netizens Can’t Get Enough of Jimi Wanjigi’s Wife

By Naira Habib

A rare public appearance of city businessman Jimi Wanjigi’s wife, who stood by him during a press briefing at his house in Muthaiga on Wednesday morning, has stirred up social media.

The businessman on Wednesday broke his silence on the 72 hour police siege at his home pointing an accusing finger at the Jubilee government for persecuting him for his “unwavering support” for Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

He also narrated to how the police assaulted his wife, Irene Nzisa, as she attempted to record the destruction of their home.

However, what captured the eyes of netizens was the businessman’s wife who stood next to him while addressing the press.

Ms Nzisa public show of affection to her husband did not go unnoticed as she held him possessively with both hands.

Here are some of the reactions from Kenyans on Twitter:

A strong and loving wife maketh a man. #akomberesigns Baba Jimmy wanjigi pic.twitter.com/XX63LyTj3o

— Dunia Wiki Hii (@dunia_411) October 18, 2017

Everything about Jimmy Wanjigi is billionaire.

See how young and happy his father is.

See his wife, oh haleluya.👐

— Nyamwari Misati (@geomisati) October 18, 2017

All eyes are on the Mrs Wanjigi! Kumbe Jimmy Wanjigi has a beautiful wife! Hehe

— Mr waddis The Brand (@kipronoenock) October 18, 2017

If Jimmy Wanjigi want us to believe him he needs to buy Le wife a poker face

Wanjigi: my wife has not stopped crying

Wife: pic.twitter.com/jXtoivcqpg

— 🌼 (@CherryBlo5Som) October 18, 2017

Jimmy Wanjigi’s wife though… … A perfect definition of making great choices.The man has everything.Except a country

— Ben (@antonybenard254) October 18, 2017

Someone hold me like Jimmy Wanjigi’s wife lol

— Nkiro (@Nkirdizzle) October 18, 2017

Kenya

Election Boss Reads Riot Act to President and Opposition Leader

Electoral commission chief Wafula Chebukati on Wednesday cast doubts on the possibility of holding credible elections… Read more »

High Court Now Allows Nakumatt’s Eviction From Junction Mall

By Mugambi Mutegi

The owners of the Junction Mall have closed an outlet belonging to Nakumatt Supermarkets after the High Court set aside orders that allowed the troubled retailer escape an initial eviction bid two weeks ago.

The management of the shopping complex, which is majority owned by the wealthy Ndegwa family, says Nakumatt’s agents and employees can now only access the premises to remove their “stock, items and property.”

Nakumatt was momentarily kicked out of the premises two weeks ago over unpaid rent, which the owners of the mall say ranges between Sh50 million and Sh75 million.

The financially-troubled retailer obtained orders from the High Court blocking Junction Limited, which had moved to shut down its premises, from effecting the closure until an inter partes hearing is held.

Second time

The High Court on Wednesday set aside the orders, prompting the owners of the Junction Mall to forcefully shut the retailer’s doors for the second time in as many weeks.

“The injunction that Nakumatt had obtained on October 2 has been discharged and no trading will be permitted at the premises,” the Junction Mall says in a statement.

“Consequently, the premises will be closed to the public from today.

Nakumatt’s directors, authorised agents and employees will however be permitted controlled access for the purpose of removing the tenant’s stock, items and property.”

It emerged in court that Nakumatt and the mall’s owners had entered into an agreement in relation to the premises that included paying Sh20 million every month to clear the rent arrears.

The retailer, which has also been kicked out of the Thika Road Mall (TRM), was also to demonstrate that they had a viable recovery plan that was to include adequately restocking its store.

Surrender clause

The owners of the Junction Mall soon thereafter accused Nakumatt of failing to adhere to this agreement and moved to effect the surrender clause as per its reading of the pact.

However, Nakumatt accused the management of the Junction Mall of breaching this agreement.

The retailer then obtained orders from the High Court to continue operating in the shopping complex.

These orders have now been set aside, allowing the Junction Mall management to evict Nakumatt and adding to their piling woes.

Kenya

Election Boss Reads Riot Act to President and Opposition Leader

Electoral commission chief Wafula Chebukati on Wednesday cast doubts on the possibility of holding credible elections… Read more »

Drama as Blogger Withdraws Appeal Against Ekuru Aukot

By Sam Kiplagat

Abraham Kiplagat Mutai, a blogger who had challenged the inclusion of Ekuru Aukot in the repeat presidential poll, has withdrawn his case.

But before the withdrawal on Thursday, there was controversy after two law firms fought over his representation at the Court of Appeal in Nairobi.

SHOT UP

Lawyer Nelson Havi, who filed the appeal, had told judges Alnashir Visram, Wanjiru Karanja and Martha Koome that he was still acting on behalf of Mr Mutai and was ready to proceed.

But lawyers Anthony Gitonga and Evans Lagat shot up and claimed they had instructions to represent Mr Mutai and withdraw the appeal.

This saw Mr Havi sensationally claim that the Jubilee Party, which benefited from Mr Aukot’s case after Nasa leader Raila Odinga’s pulled out of the election, had coerced him to withdraw the case.

Mr Havi alleged that Jubilee had promised Mr Mutai Sh7 million if he withdrew the case.

RULING

But President Kenyatta’s party, through lawyer Tom Macharia, termed Mr Havi’s allegations as “buffoonery and playing to the gallery”.

The judges later ruled that Mr Gitonga and Mr Lagat were on record for Mr Mutai.

Immediately the court made the ruling, Mr Gitonga said he had been instructed to withdraw the case.

All other parties, save for Nasa through Jackson Awele, were not opposed to the withdrawal.

Kenya

Election Boss Reads Riot Act to President and Opposition Leader

Electoral commission chief Wafula Chebukati on Wednesday cast doubts on the possibility of holding credible elections… Read more »

Drought is Good for Business

opinionBy Jan-Philipp Scholz

Africa’s drought crisis has hit Kenya and numerous schools have had to stop providing free food to their pupils. This is not only due to crop failures but also greedy profiteers.

As the queue in front of the canteen kitchen gets longer, the children holding colorful plastic bowls become nervous. It’s just after 6 p.m. – dinner time at the Kwa Watoto school in Soweto, a slum in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Many of the pupils are former street children. Here, they not only get an education but also a warm meal and a place to sleep.

Corn is becoming a luxury commodity

The door to the canteen kitchen finally opens. But word soon spreads that the only food is the leftovers from lunch, as has often been the case recently.

Nehemiah Ndeta, the school’s director, explains that nothing else is available. He founded the school about 20 years ago with the aim of educating disadvantaged children. But things have rarely been as difficult as they are now.

For the last three years, there has been no rainy season in Kenya, resulting in massive crop failures. The prices of staple foods have skyrocketed throughout the country. In particular, cornmeal, the main ingredient in Ugali porridge, has at times increased in price by half. Ndeta says that these days he goes almost daily to local grain mills and begs them for flour.

“But even if you tell them that you have to feed 1,000 children, they tell you that it’s not their problem,” complains the headmaster. “What can you do if the door is slammed in your face?”

Grain left to rot in silos

The silos belonging to Kenya’s National Cereals and Produce Board are almost within sight of the school. Before the start of the drought, the government promised Kenyans that the silos would be filled to capacity — with over two million bags of corn. In the event of a crisis, emergency reserves for “at least five months” would be available, Agriculture Minister Willy Bett had announced. But what angers Ndeta even more than the mill operator’s behavior is that when stocks were actually released earlier this year because of the drought, the silos were almost empty after just a few weeks.

Kenyans are still waiting for an official explanation about what happened to the rest of the corn reserves. Rumors abound, with some claiming politicians plundered and resold part of the stores while others say the promised emergency reserves never even existed. Whether either of these theories has a grain of truth remains to be seen.

Headmaster Ndeta has his own theory. He believes the food supplies simply rotted in the silos because they were poorly stored. “It’s very sad,” he says. “People are starving to death while corn rots in silos next door.”

Insiders benefit from the crisis

Since the drought crisis began, the Kenyan government has committed so many mistakes that some experts no longer believe negligence and mismanagement are to blame. Measures to counteract food shortages and price increases have been introduced far too late — such as lifting import duties, releasing emergency reserves or subsidizing basic foodstuffs.

“There were enough warnings about the crisis at a very early stage,” says financial expert Aly-Khan Satchu. But most of them were ignored. For Satchu, this suggests that insiders — even in the government — are benefiting from the situation.

Most observers believe that the major importers of corn and other cereals could well be involved in the lack of adequate governmental response. This is because the importers are the main beneficiaries of the inflated cereal prices and their closeness to Kenyan political circles is an open secret.

“If you dig a little deeper, you realize that these businessmen have very powerful political patrons,” explains James Shikwati of the Interregional Economic Network. He agrees with Satchu, “It is a business based on a simple principle of giving and taking. Politicians issue the coveted import licenses, importers make dream profits — and a part of the profit then flows discreetly back into the political system.”

Authorities have reacted angrily to the accusations. James Oduor, head of the National Drought Management Authority, says: “Yes, there were some problems compensating the drought-related crop failures in the beginning.” But he maintains that the situation has stabilized and through joint efforts, Kenyans will finally be able to put the crisis behind them.

“Those who are not interested should simply keep their mouths shut and not spread stupid stories,” Oduor says.

Shortly before the elections in August, Agriculture Minister Willy Bett also went on the offensive, saying that more than five million sacks of corn had been imported. He said the government would subsidize prices and “within a month the scarcity would be overcome.”

The UN is running out of money

School principal Ndeta is not interested in such promises. He just wants enough food for his students. His last hope was the official school meal program run by the United Nations and the Kenyan government. His school falls within the target group because of its high proportion of slum children. But all he was offered was a place on the waiting list.

Unfortunately, there are “delays” at the moment due to high food prices, officials from the World Food Program told Deutsche Welle. As well, donations to combat the current drought crisis are lower than ever before. According to the UN, less than 20 percent of the budget needed for humanitarian work is currently available.

Ndeta says that he doesn’t blame people for not wanting to donate money to help combat the crisis with all the stories of mismanagement and personal enrichment. But it is the innocent who are forced to suffer, especially his pupils, he says. “They are just hungry.”

Mozambique:Triton Secures Agreement for Sale of All Its Graphite

London — The Australian mining company Triton Minerals, which holds the rights to three graphite deposits in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, has announced that it has reached an agreement for the sale of up to a quarter of the graphite to be produced at its Ancuabe Graphite Project.

The deal with the Chinese company Haida Graphite follows similar agreements with the Chinese companies Sinoma and Tianshengda. As a result, Triton has now entered into agreements covering the entire graphite output from Ancuabe.

According to a statement from Triton, “Haida is a major Chinese graphite company with extensive mining, processing and sales experience. Haida produces a range of graphite products, including graphite sheets, spherical graphite, high purity and expandable graphite for customers in China and international markets including Japan, Korea, the US and Western Europe”.

These agreements are non-binding. However, Triton is working with its partners for the adoption of binding agreements to cover its output. The company plans to begin construction at its deposits next year with production due to commence in 2019.

Graphite is a form of carbon that is highly valued due to its properties as a conductor of electricity. It is used in batteries and fuel cells and is the basis for the “miracle material” graphene, which is the strongest material ever measured, with vast potential for use in the electronics industries.

Mozambique

Rio Tinto Charged With Fraud Over U.S.$3.7 Billion Deal

Rio Tinto and two former bosses were charged with fraud Tuesday by the US regulator, the Securities and Exchange… Read more »

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