Photo: Jeff Angote/The Nation
Deputy President William Ruto (left) and President Uhuru Kenyatta at the launch of Jubilee Party at Safaricom Stadium Kasarani in Nairobi on September 10, 2016.
By Nation Team
Two gubernatorial aspirants have quit Jubilee amid rigging claims ahead of high stakes party nominations in Mt Kenya region today.
Murang’a gubernatorial aspirant Moses Mwangi and Isiolo Senator Mohamed Kuti said they had left the party over fears of unfair nominations.
Votng is expected to start from 6am.
Mathira parliamentary aspirant Rigathi Gachagua said he was confident the party would live up to its promise of delivering transparent nominations.
“We do not want voting running into the night, counting and tallying of votes should be done quickly,” said Mr Gachagua.
The political battle is particularly intense in Murang’a, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Nyeri, Tharaka-Nithi, Embu and Meru counties where securing the party ticket almost guarantees one victory in the general election or consign one to political oblivion.
Dr Mwangi defected from Jubilee barely hours to the nominations.
He cited a plot by his opponents — Governor Mwangi Wa Iria and Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau — to rig the nominations.
“In view of the prevailing circumstances where emerging information suggest potential massive rigging… I hereby tender my resignation from being a member and candidate for the Jubilee Party,” he said during a press conference.
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Delays As Jubilee Party Holds Primaries in 21 CountiesJubilee Says Bomet Primaries to Proceed As ScheduledDo-or-Die Primary Battles in Ruling Party StrongholdsSecurity Tight As Hopefuls Face Off in Hotly Contested Primaries
WAIGURU IN RACEThis means the Murang’a governor primaries will be a two-horse race between Mr Wa Iria and Mr Kamau, who are battling for the 550,000 registered voters in the region.While Mr Wa Iria has the advantage of incumbency, Mr Kamau has support from Murang’a South and MPs such as Alice Wahome (Kandara).In Isiolo on Thursday, Senator Kuti said he would announce his political future today.In Kirinyaga, former Devolution CS Anne Waiguru, Kirinyaga Central MP Gachoki Gitari and incumbent Joseph Ndathi will be battling for Jubilee ticket in the race for governor seat.Former KRA deputy commissioner Eliud Wanjao will also be fighting for the ticket in the region with 350,000 registered voters.TOUGH RACEIn Nyeri, it will be a contest between incumbent Samuel Wamathai, a former diplomat, and four other aspirants who will be seeking to make him the shortest-serving governor.The four are Senator Mutahi Kagwe, economist Wahome Gakuru, industrialists Githinji Cocoriko Kinyanjui and hotelier Patrick Kairu.In the senate race, it will be the battle of billionaires involving contractors Dan Wamahiu, Ephraim Maina and industrialist Wambugu Kanyi.Fireworks are expected in Tharaka-Nithi where former assistant minister Petkay Miriti and Chuka/Igambang’ombe MP Muthomi Njuki are locked in a tough race.NJUKI ACCUSEDMr Njuki is said to be close to President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto while Mr Miriti’s United Patriotic Party of Kenya was one of those that folded to form Jubilee.On Wednesday night, a group of Chuka Town residents stormed the constituency offices claiming that Mr Njuki and his supporters were marking ballot papers.The residents also claimed Mr Njuki and Chuka Constituency MP aspirant Patrick Munene were meeting some presiding officers and clerks to plan how to rig the nominations.Mr Njuki, however, denied the claims.WAMBORA VS MBARIRECounty Jubilee secretary-general Isaac Mugo appealed for sobriety and asked candidates to accept the results.In Meru, Senator Kiraitu Murungi has no competitor in the Jubilee governor race, as is Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi, who is vying for the senate seat.There will be, however, a cut-throat battle between Ms Florence Kajuju and Ms Kawira Mwangaza for the Woman Rep post.The stakes are high in Embu County where Governor Martin Wambora and Runyenjes MP Cecily Mbarire are seeking Jubilee ticket for governor seat.Reported by Ken Kimanthi, George Munene, Joseph Wangui and Grace Gitau
Apr 21 2017 | Posted in Kenya
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Photo: The Nation
Murang’a County Police Commander Naomi Ichami. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP
By Martin Mwaura
Police arrested and questioned two secondary students on Wednesday over the rape and murder of a Form Two student in Murang’a County.
The two students of St Phillips Gikindu Secondary School in Mathioya constituency are being interrogated following mysterious death of Milcah Muthoni, whose body was found dumped in a thicket, just 500 meters from her grandmother’s home, where she lived.
According to Murang’a County Police Commander Naomi Ichami, the two students in police custody are said to have been the last people seen walking with the deceased home after school at around 5.30pm.
Ms Ichami said the two were picked by police on Tuesday night after Gikindu villagers said they had seen them together.
“The 16-year-old student appears like she was raped before she was murdered and her body thrown in a thicket, the body had bruises in the head an indication that a blunt object was used,” she said.
“We have launched investigations into the matter, to have a clear picture of her last movements,” the police boss added.
According to her family, they got concerned after she failed to show up in the evening and started a search for her.
When they failed to find her, they mounted a search team and at around 10pm and later found her body dumped in the bush.
Mr Eliud Kimani, a brother to the deceased said her school bag was spotted in a thicket 50 metres from where her naked body was.
Her tie was on her neck and her clothes under a tree.
“As a family, we visited all the homesteads in the neighbourhood asking about her whereabouts but to no avail. That is when our neighbours came together,” he said
“After hours of searching, we saw her school bag and noticed blood stains, we followed a path through nappier grass and found her body,” added the distraught brother.
Villagers who flocked to comfort and console the family described the deceased as an obedient and an active church member.
Mrs Elizabeth Wanjiku, the deceased’s grandmother said she started living with her grandchild when she was barely five years old.
Seeking justice, she called upon the authorities in Murang’a to search for the killers and bring them to book.
Her body was taken to Kiria-ini funeral home as the two students were locked at Kiria-ini police station for interrogation.
Indigenous Seeds Best for Kenya’s Food Security – Experts
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Mar 30 2017 | Posted in Kenya
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By Kennedy Senelwa
Residents of Nairobi and its environs will have dry taps for a while as the World Bank Group begins a probe into complaints about environmental and social impacts of building a water tunnel, lodged by residents of Murang’a County in Kenya.
The group’s inspection panel has received complaints on the building of a 11.3 kilometre-long northern collector tunnel (NCT) to divert water to Ndakaini dam to improve supply to Nairobi and its environs.
Building of $680 million NCT phase one started on February 24, 2015 with intakes from the Rivers Maragua, Gikigie and Irati to increase water supply to Nairobi by 140 million cubic metres daily. The city receives 580,000 cubic metres of water daily against a projected demand of 750,000 cubic metres.
Chairman of the panel Gonzalo Castro de la Mata said 47 residents of Murang’a fear experiencing shortages of water for domestic, agricultural and coffee processing when the Aberdares river system is diverted to NCT.
“They fear short periods or days of zero or near-zero flow, especially in the dry season (December-March; July-October),” he said.
The panel registered the request on January 10 after carrying out initial due diligence upon receiving the request for inspection, claiming abstraction of rivers in the local area will cause irreversible environmental impact leading to food insecurity and water scarcity.
The Washington DC-based panel is an independent body that investigates complaints on projects funded by the International Development Association (IDA) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) — funding arms of World Bank.
It fosters redress when warranted by assessing allegations of harm to people or the environment and reviews whether IDA or IBRD followed the group’s operational policies and procedures.
IDA on December 20, 2007 approved $150 million for the Water and Sanitation Service Improvement Project in areas served by Athi Water Services Board (AWSB), Lake Victoria North Water Services Board and Coast Water Services Board.
The project was scaled up in May 2012 with an additional financing of $300 million from IDA to increase access to water supply and sanitation services. The northern collector tunnel phase I (NCT I), costing $85 million, is part of additional financing to divert water from the Aberdares.
NCT I, which is derived from a master plan for Nairobi and 13 satellite towns, includes a tunnel to transfer water to Ndakaini Dam. It also entails building a channel to move water by gravity to a treatment plant six kilometres downstream of Ndakaini.
The inspection team said the 44km-long gravity pipeline, with capacity of 1.6 million cubic metres of water per second, has to be built to Kabete reservoir through Ngethu and Gigiri water treatment plants to meet demand by 2017.
NCT I was to be completed by December 2015 but additional financing needs resulted in a change of Word Bank’s environmental assessment category to reflect significant environmental and social impacts.
“The assessment prepared for NCT I indicated that the main environmental and socioeconomic impacts would be related to diversion of water; resulting in reduction in downstream flows in the rivers,” said the inspection panel.
Forty-seven people, who authorised two residents to engage the panel and asked that their identities be kept confidential, are supported in their submission by a local non-governmental organisation.
The Kenyan opposition had also raised the red flag, saying the project could turn Murang’a County into a desert. Opposition leader Raila Odinga claimed that their was no public participation when the project was being initiated.
The Murang’a residents also argued the Ndakaini Dam, which receives water from Thika River, spills over twice a year and additional volumes from NCT I will result in spillage that could have replenished Murang’a’s lowlands water table.
Mar 3 2017 | Posted in Construction
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By Joseph Kanyi
Athletes from Central Region have threatened to boycott the regional cross country competition this weekend if Nyeri’s Athletics Kenya branch field a team.
They argue that Nyeri County failed to hold their county championship to select a team for the regional meet and should, therefore, not be allowed to compete.
The warning came after the runners learnt that the branch intends to make up a Nyeri team to the regional competition this weekend at the Makuyu Golf Course in Murang’a County. Athletics Kenya’s Nyeri sub-branch chairman Mutahi Kahiga told the Daily Nation Sport that making a county team to compete on Saturday is one of those options that is being deliberated by his office.
“We can make a team but the challenge is finances to ferry the athletes to Murang’a. But if we come up with one, I can fund it from my pocket,” said Mutahi. But Mutahi did not disclose the criteria of the selection of the county team, saying his office would meet “in course of the week” to map the way forward.
The protesting runners from Nyeri competed in the Murang’a County championships two weeks ago and qualified for the regional meeting as part of the Murang’a team.
Nyeri county failed to host its championships for lack of Sh34,800 out of a budget of Sh50,000, prompting local runners to go to Murang’a where they dominated.
Speaking at Ruring’u Stadium in Nyeri after a speed work session on Wednesday, 10-kilometre runner Julius Maina said it would be unfair for the branch to make a team that did not participate in qualifiers to face those who toiled to make it to the regional meeting.
“There is a reason why AK has set the build-up competitions. It would be unfair to be edged out at a level by someone who was not supposed to be there in the first place,” said Maina.
Two-time Mombasa Marathon champion Paul Maina called for dialogue between the AK sub-branch officials and the county sports office to avoid future embarrassment. He warned Nyeri AK office against “importing” runners and fielding them in the regional meeting saying that the competition will lack the true element of local talent.
“Athletics integrity should be seen in all levels of competitions in a bid to bring out the best in the regions and we hope to see that fairness in Murang’a,” he said.Meanwhile, Nyandarua AK chairman Francis Kamau has said that his 28-member team is all ready to conquer at the regional event.
High Court to Rule Over Dabaab Closure Plans
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Feb 9 2017 | Posted in Kenya
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By Fred Oluoch
Kenya’s capital is gearing for the most fiercely fought gubernatorial election since the introduction of devolved units in the 2010 Constitution.
The Jubilee Party has not been happy that it is in power and yet Cord, through Governor Dr Evans Kidero, is running the capital city, the nerve centre of Kenya’s economy, accounting for 12.7 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product and 43 per cent of the total urban wage employment.
The fight for Nairobi revolves around the control of lucrative contracts and business opportunities that accrue to political parties who control the capital city. Since 1992, and following the reintroduction of political pluralism, Nairobi has always voted opposition.
Those conversant with Nairobi politics say that the leading property owners from two counties of Murang’a and Kiambu are lobbying Jubilee to ensure they regain control of the city.
According Dr Amukowa Anangwe, a political science lecturer at the University of Dodoma, the stakes in Nairobi are very high because virtually all communities have either settled or work in the city.
“Historically, Nairobi politics revolved around Murang’a and Kiambu property owners. Dr Kidero in 2013 presented himself as a manager with the experience to protect personal property and also provide business opportunities. However, middle class tycoons are no longer comfortable with him and they would want to take charge,” said Dr Anangwe.
In 2013, Dr Kidero won by 692,483 votes mainly because he was seen as a level-headed, experienced manager compared with his closest rival, Ferdinand Waititu, who got 617,839.
But in 2017, the fight for Nairobi has boiled down to party affair and not individual capability.
Cord leader Raila Odinga says that Nairobi is an important political constituency for the whole country and that that the opposition must do everything possible to retain it.
However, Jubilee –which already has four candidates jostling for the party ticket– has been rattled by the recent entry of Peter Kenneth, a presidential candidate in the 2013 elections.
Mr Kenneth, who ditched his Kenya National Congress party last year to support the re-election of President Kenyatta, is now the target of other aspirants in Jubilee who accused him of portraying himself as the favoured one.
Other aspirants — Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko, Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru, nominated MP Johnson Sakaja, and former Starehe MP Margaret Wanjiru –have ganged up against Mr Kenneth, terming him as a “latecomer” who just a year ago was criticising the Jubilee government from within opposition ranks.
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Jan 24 2017 | Posted in Kenya
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President Uhuru Kenyatta will from tomorrow join other politicians in urging Kenyans to register as voters in the last mass registration, which started on Monday.
President Kenyatta will, understandably, kick off his countrywide tour in four counties in the central Kenya region, which is his stronghold going by the number of votes he garnered there in the last General Election.
His spokesman, Manoah Esipisu, said in a statement that the President will start his tour in Murang’a starting at Blue Posts Hotel, just outside Thika, before heading into the Mt Kenya region.
Specifically, he will visit Murang’a, Nyeri, Meru, Laikipia and Kirinyaga counties, and it appears the President will once again not be visiting his home county, Kiambu, where a battle for the governorship between William Kabogo and Ferdinand Waititu is expected to generate some heat.
Mr Esipisu said that from Blue Posts, President Kenyatta will head to Jogoo Kimakia, Gatunyu, Gatanga Junction, Gacharage, Kangari, Kigumo, Kirere, Muthithi, Kaharati, Maragua and Muranga towns, Kahuhia, Kangema and Kiria-ini.
On Friday, the President will be in Nyeri County, and is expected to visit Kiamariga, Kaburuini, Kawarigi, Karatina, Ichamara, Kiandu, Nyeri Town, King’ong’o, Kiganjo and Chaka.
On Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, the President will tour Meru, Laikipia and Kirinyaga counties, respectively.
“Mombasa and Nakuru and many more counties are lined up as the next areas the President will visit to urge Kenyans to register to vote. Details of the visits will be announced at a later date,” said Mr Esipisu.
“His Excellency the President desires to see the largest number of Kenyans exercise their democratic right to register as voters, and importantly cast their ballots in August,” he added.
Already, Cord chief Raila Odinga has embarked on a similar tour, which started with a meeting with Nairobi County aspirants on Tuesday. Other opposition heads have also started similar tours.
Jan 19 2017 | Posted in Kenya
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By Charles Wanyoro
Three more people have succumbed to the injuries they sustained from the Sunday road crash in Embu, bringing the death toll to seven.
Tenri Hospital director Jimmy Njamiu on Wednesday said the patients died on different dates while undergoing treatment.
He said two other patients had been transferred to Karira Mission Hospital in Mwea, Kirinyaga County, and admitted to Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
It has also emerged that the ill-fated vehicle, a Toyota Hilux Vigo, was carrying eight passengers and not six as had been reported by police.
“The vehicle had eight passengers. Four of them had died by the time they arrived at our hospital. Two others died yesterday,” said Dr Njamiu.
The eight were traveling to Kiritiri town to prepare for a housewarming party when the crash occurred at Don Bosco area, on Embu -Kiritiri road.
One of the deceased, Mr Juma Bakari, was buried on Monday according to the Muslim faith, while burial preparations for the six others have kicked off at Embu Slopes Hotel.
Their employer, Mr Richard Irungu of Ripana constructors, said they had received overwhelming support from well-wishers following the tragedy.
He said the deaths were a big blow to him and their families since he had cultivated a good working relationship with them.
“I have worked with them since I started the company,” said the youthful entrepreneur.
He said that Mr Jamleck Maina, the driver of the ill-fated vehicle together with Mr David Kibucha, would be buried on Friday in Murang’a and Nyeri counties, respectively.
Mr Joseph Githendu, also from Murang’a, will be buried on Saturday,
The body of Mr Pius Muchangi of Kangaru will be interred on Monday while the burial of Mr David Njiru together with his brother Anthony Njue will be buried on Tuesday.
“We have received overwhelming support from well-wishers. Tenri Hospital has waived the charges and are helping us obtain caskets. We are grateful to the people who have stood with us during this trying moment,” said Mr Irungu.
Police Arrest 2 Terror Suspects in Nairobi, Garissa
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Jan 11 2017 | Posted in Kenya
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By Martin Mwaura
Murang’a residents who do not have a voter’s card will not be allowed to enjoy their favourite alcoholic drinks in the county from next week, bar and hotel owners have said.
James Waweru, the chairman of the business owners’ association, said they want to be active participants during the voter registration process slated to begin this month.
Mr Waweru said they will be demanding to see a voter’s card from anybody entering their premises, adding that no one will be allowed to drink without showing they are registered voters.
“Just like you cannot drive without a driving licence, then you cannot drink without a voter’s card, hakuna starehe bila kura (no entertainment without a voter’s card),” he said
‘In other years, we conclude our licencing in March, but this time round we shall conclude by this week to give our members ample time and avoid a last-minute rush to get licences but rather be busy mobilising people in their areas and premises to register as voters,” he added
Speaking in Murang’a town, Mr Waweru, flanked by association members, said they cannot do it alone and called upon other business owners such as matatu and boda boda operators to follow suit so that all eligible voters are registered.
He said they will fund the initiative by themselves and that they had already ordered over one million posters to be displayed on every table and at strategic places in their premises urging locals to register as voters from January 15.
“In all our premises in the eight sub-counties, our over 2,000 members have agreed to partner free of charge as we support the voter registration process for the 2017 General Election,” he said.
Mr Waweru remarked that they will also partner with East Africa Breweries to start sporting activities in the county to sensitise youths, saying the exercise will not be in bars alone.
:We will ensure Murang’a County leads in voter registration,” he said
Some residents have welcomed the move, saying it was commendable that bar owners have decided to put country before profit.
Governor Ndathi Denies Misusing Money
Residents in Kirinyaga protested demanding Governor Joseph Ndathi account for the Sh3.4 billion budget, as the county… Read more »
Jan 9 2017 | Posted in Kenya
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By Patrick Lang’at
MPs have passed all proposed amendments to the elections Act.
The Legal Affairs Committee on Thursday morning amended a contentious election law to provide for only manual identification of voters in case technology fails and dropped a proposal for manual transmission of results.
ODM termed the new move “part of Jubilee’s scheme to allow dead voters to vote, as well as ballot stuffing in 2017.”
“How do you have a thriving multibillion mobile money sector, file our tax returns online, have a Sh150 billion fully-online gambling industry, and then you want to tell us that a 12-hour election once every five years cannot be done electronically?” asked ODM director of elections Junet Mohamed (Suna East).
In a dramatic development, Parliament passed amendments to provide for “complementary” transmisison of results and identification of voters if technology fails, after Majority Leader Aden Duale proposes move to include manual transmission.
Earlier there was Media blackout in the National Assembly as live broadcast of proceedings cut off and journalists locked out of the press gallery
NTV’s Kennedy Muriithi was arrested and his phone confiscated for taking a picture of the MPs as they went into the House
MPs were forced to walk after the Parliament Road and Harambee cordoned off.
The legislators were forced to use the public entrance opposite the County Hall with their usual entrance opposite the Kenyatta International Convention Centre blocked by heavily armed police
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Dec 22 2016 | Posted in Kenya
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By Martin Mwaura
Police officers at Maragua Police Station in Murang’a County are under fire for releasing a man suspected of defiling a class two pupil and arresting her parents instead.
The 55-year-ol man is accused of defiling a 9-year-old girl in Gikomora village after she was sent to his shop by her mother to buy kales for supper.
The shop is run by the suspect’s wife but she was away on the said day.
He is said to have offered the victim a banana and later asked her to accompany him into his house to go pick the kales in the house.
According to Eunice Njeri, Maendeleo ya Wanawake Ichagaki ward chairlady, the victim’s parents took the girl to hospital and reported the matter to the police and the suspect was arrested.
She added that they were shocked when the suspect was released from custody under unclear circumstances the same day and without the parents knowledge even after medics at a local hospital confirmed that she had been defiled.
‘The parents were shocked when they were arrested and the medical report confiscated by a female cop at the station who accused them of coached their daughter to fabricate the story in order to extort money,” she said
Eunice said the report they had indicated that there was penetration but was not extreme, adding that the child was put under medication.
Murang’a women rep Sabina Chege who intervened castigated the police for their action adding that defilement cases are on the increase in Murang’a urging parents to be cautious during the holiday.
She asked the internal security Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and local administration to intervene and pursue the suspected rapist who remains at large and bring him to book.
‘It was wrong for the police to release him and arrest the parents, they should have recorded their statements and taken him to court for the courts to prove him guilty or innocent,” said Sabina
Speaking when they visited the victim at her home in, Wanjiru noted that it was sad for the suspect to roam freely yet he had been identified by those who knew him.
Irked area residents alleged that money exchanged hands demanding sacking of the involved police officers in abetting crime and threatening mob justice if suspect will not be arrested.
Area chief Ali Mzee asked the furious residents not to take law into their hands asking them to let police investigate the matter.
‘We have started investigation into the whole issue, the doctors will give their report and the child will give her statement and we shall not rest until the truth comes out,” he said.
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Dec 16 2016 | Posted in Kenya
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