Posts tagged as: murang

Kenyatta, Odinga Stick With Original Campaign Teams for Re-Run

By Justus Wanga and Wanjohi Githae

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Nasa challenger Raila Odinga are retaining most of their lieutenants in last month’s election for the second leg of the contest.

They however roped in several IT experts, a move informed by the major role technology played in influencing the outcome of the August 8 poll whose results have since been nullified by the Supreme Court.

Given the central role of ICT in the electoral management, each of the camps is keen to contract some of the leading brains and firms to ensure they do not fall prey to any manipulations of the server and systems as happened during the August 8 poll.

PARTY AGENTS

Mr Odinga is in the process of reorganising his campaign secretariat, an undertaking that could see lawyer Willis Otieno replaced at the helm following accusations that party agents were either not procured early enough or never enlisted at all in some parts of the country in the last elections.

There are indications that Mr Odinga may hand a role to his former adviser on coalition matters turned fierce critic Miguna Miguna following a meeting he held with him at his Capitol Hill offices on Thursday.

The Jubilee Party has, on the other hand, changed tact ahead of the repeat presidential election with the national campaign lobby groups taking a back seat.

LOBBY GROUPS

The party is now relying on its elected leaders to spearhead the campaigns in various counties.

Despite there being no national lobby groups, Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria has started his own Taifa La Jubilee initiative that he will use to campaign for President Kenyatta.

Although still smarting from the shock decision of the Supreme Court, the President has held more than a dozen consultative meetings at State House with his advisers and political players drawn from different regions to chart the way forward.

He is keen to achieve optimal turnout in his Central and Rift Valley strongholds and also eat into his opponent’s regions.

CAMPAIGNS

Speaking to the Sunday Nation, Wa Iria said he will use the initiative to campaign in various counties across the country.

“This initiative hits the ground from Monday and it is going to reinforce other infrastructure that Jubilee Party has put in place for this campaign.

“Taifa La Jubilee seeks to work with like-minded Jubilee leaders in areas where jubilee needs support,” he said.

More than 130 vehicles are already branded, which include roadshow trucks and other campaign infrastructure.

TARGETS

The governor will traverse various counties before going back to Murang’a on the homestretch for the final campaign push.

Jubilee is already recruiting volunteers in the targeted areas who will be working with elected MPs and governors.

Such individuals, we gathered, will be directly answerable to Mr Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto.

They have been given targets to achieve next month.

TURNOUT

In the same county, Murang’a Senator and senate deputy chief whip Irungu Kang’ata with all other elected leaders have formed Murang’a Uhuru Tena initiative that will ensure over 90 percent voter turnout in the county.

In Ukambani, a new team has been assembled to spearhead the vote hunt with politician Kiema Kilonzo, businessman Peter Muthoka and former Kitui senator David Musila expected to play leading roles.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has been tasked with rallying the community behind Mr Kenyatta.

COORDINATORS

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria said the national lobby groups have not been edged out, and that dynamics have changed.

“We now have elected Jubilee leaders and also those who lost whose energies are now directed to the only election on the ballot.

“In the next few days, you will see immense campaigns. Campaigns will be simultaneous across the counties,” he said.

In Nyeri County, Senator Ephraim Maina is coordinating the campaigns.

VOTERS

Kieni MP Kanini Kega said the team will concentrate on voter turnout.

“We are starting at the constituencies from tomorrow (Sunday); each MP will go to their constituency and urge people to turn out in large numbers.

“We will then do a tour across the county as a team before we host the President for a big rally towards the end of the campaign,” he said.

He noted that in the last election only 88 percent of registered voters came out to vote and now they want a 98 percent turnout.

“People know who to vote for, we only need to ensure that no one is left behind,” he said.

Six More Governors to Be Sworn-in

By Laban Wanambisi

Nairobi — Six more governors are due to be sworn into office on Friday following their victories in last Tuesday’s elections that saw nearly half of the former county chiefs sent home.

Those expected to take the Oath of Office in their respective county headquarters include Jackson Mandago of Uasin Gishu, Martin Wambora of Embu, Mwangi Wa Iria of Murang’a, Kajiado’s Joseph ole Lenku, Paul Chepkwony of Kericho and Onesmus Njuki of Tharaka Nithi County.

According to a schedule released by the Ministry of the Devolution and Planning, Mandago who saw off stiff competition from Independent candidate Bundotich Zedekiah Kiprop alias Buzeki, will be sworn in at Sports Club grounds, Eldoret starting at 9am.

The swearing in ceremony of Paul Kiprono Chepkwony and Susan Kikwai as the Governor and Deputy Governor, respectively of Kericho County shall be held at Kericho Green Stadium starting at 10am.

The swearing-in ceremony of Kiraitu Murungi and Titus Mutea Ntuchiu as the Governor and Deputy Governor, respectively of Meru County shall be held at Riverland Stage, Meru starting at 10am.

The swearing-in ceremony of Wa Iria Mwangi and James Maina Kamau as the Governor of Murang’a County shall be held at Ihura Stadium, Murang’a starting at 10am.

The swearing-in ceremony of Onesmus Muthomi Njuki as the Governor of Tharaka-Nithi County shall be held at Kathwana Primary School grounds starting at 9am.

The swearing-in ceremony of Joseph ole Lenku as the Governor of Kajiado County also slated for Friday shall be held at Maasai Technical Training Institute starting at 10am.

The swearing-in ceremony of Cyprian Achileus Otieno Awiti and Hamilton Onyango Orata as the Governor and Deputy Governor, respectively of the Homa Bay County shall be held at Homa Bay High School starting at 9am.

The swearing-in ceremony of Fahim Yasin Twaha and Abdul Hakim Aboud as the Governor and Deputy Governor, respectively of the Lamu County shall be held at Mkunguni, Lamu Town starting at 9am.

The swearing-in ceremony of Martin Nyaga Wambora as the Governor of the Embu County shall be held at Embu Stadium starting at 10am.

The swearing-in ceremony of John Obiero Nyagarama as the Governor of the Nyamira County shall be held at Nyamira Primary School ground in Township Ward, Nyamira South Sub-County starting at 12 noon.

Council of Governors Chairperson Josphat Koli Nanok will be sworn-in on Saturday together with Lotethiro Peter Emuria as the Governor and Deputy Governor, respectively of the Turkana County at a ceremony slated to be held at Ekalees Centre, Lodwar starting at 11am.

The Council of Governors, is a body composed of the Governors of the forty-seven counties and its main functions are the promotion of visionary leadership; sharing of best practices and; offer a collective voice on policy issues; promote inter – county consultations; encourage and initiate information sharing on the performance of County Governments with regard to the execution of their functions; collective consultation on matters of interest to County Governments.

Newly elected Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Ndung’u Waititu Baba Yao and his deputy James Karanja Nyoro shall take their Oath of Office on Saturday, at the Ndumberi Grounds, Kiambu starting at 9am

Nairobi’s Mike Sonko and Granton Samboja of Taita Taveta will be sworn in on Monday followed by Hassan Joho of Mombasa and Kitui’s Charity Ngilu on Tuesday.

“Kioko Mike Sonko Mbuvi Gidion as the Governor of Nairobi City County shall be held on Monday, 21st August, 2017 at the Uhuru Park, Nairobi starting at 9am.” stated a Kenya Gazette Notice published by Robert Ayisi, the Chairperson, Assumption of the Office of the Governor Committee, Nairobi City County.

In a Notice appearing in the Kenya Gazette published on August 16; Francis Thoya, the Chairperson of the Assumption of the Office of the Governor Committee, Mombasa County stated: “the swearing in ceremony of Hassan Ali Joho and William Kazungu Kingi as the Governor and Deputy Governor of Mombasa County shall be held on Tuesday, 22nd August, 2017 at the Mama Ngina Drive, Mombasa starting at 10am.”

No Alarm Over Poll Centres Lacking Network Coverage – IEBC

By John Ngirachu, Edwin Okoth

A quarter of all polling stations in the country do not have adequate mobile network coverage for transmission of elections results, the electoral commission has said.

As a result, election officials in 11,155 polling centres out of the nationwide 40,883 will have to move to other areas to transmit results, while returning officers in affected tallying centres will use satellite phones, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission said Sunday.

RESULTS

The announcement that large numbers of polling stations in such populated areas as Kisii, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Siaya, Vihiga and Busia have no coverage raised questions and suspicions, but IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said there is no cause for concern.

The commission has zoned out areas from which telecommunication firms will transmit results.

Unlike in 2013 where Safaricom was singularly transmitting the results, Telkom and Airtel have also been contracted to do the transmission.

ZONES

Among the areas apportioned to Telkom Kenya are Siaya, Kisumu, Busia, Bungoma, Kakamega, Vihiga, Nandi, Laikipia, Nyandarua, Nakuru and Nairobi.

Airtel will transmit from, among others, Homa Bay, Kisii, Nyamira, Migori, Nyeri, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Kiambu and the coastal counties of Taita-Taveta, Tana River, Lamu, Kilifi, Mombasa and Kwale.

Safaricom has been allocated the geographically vast, but sparsely populated areas where it has an extensive network such as Turkana, Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Isiolo, Samburu, Baringo, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Kericho, Bomet, Narok, Kajiado, Makueni, Machakos, Embu, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, and Kitui.

NETWORK

Upon transmission of results, IEBC has contracted Telkom Kenya to manage its servers from which the tallying will take place before results are made available to the media and the public.

The system to be used to identify voters and send results was successfully tested on Wednesday.

Mr Chebukati said that 78 per cent of the country has 2G and 3G network coverage, meaning challenges are expected in areas in the remaining 22 per cent, where the coverage is not adequate.

“Should you miss (network), you should move where it is available and transmit,” Mr Chebukati said at the Bomas of Kenya, the National Tallying Centre, addressing elections officials.

KIEMS KIT

After the votes are counted and the candidates’ agents are satisfied, they will be filled in a designated form that will be signed by electoral officials and party agents and then scanned using the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (Kiems) kit before being sent to tallying centres.

Mr Chebukati said that once results are keyed into the Kiems kit, they cannot be changed and would be transmitted automatically when adequate mobile network is found.

SATELLITE PHONES

He said the Kiems gadget can work with 2G network upwards and if there is no network at all, which is in the case in counties like Mandera, Wajir, Garissa and Lamu, satellite phones would be used to get the results to Nairobi.

The top counties with polling stations without network coverage are: Kisii (922), Murang’a (916), Homa Bay (892), Siaya (775), Busia (641), Kisumu (579), Migori (528), Turkana (468), Kirinyaga (461) and Vihiga (440).

Mr Chebukati was speaking after an inter-religious prayer service where he asked IEBC staff across the country not to “sell their souls to the devil” by doing favours for politicians.

INTEGRITY

He referred to the book of Mark in the Bible, where it is asked: “What does it benefit a man to gain the whole world and lose your soul?”

He directed the same question to the IEBC staff: “Why do you want to lose your soul for doing what you have been told not to do?

“Keep off the little things, the temptations of lying. Why should you lose your soul because you want to help somebody from your clan?

“Why should you lose your soul because you want to benefit from material things?”

HOTLINES

He said that while he was confident in his staff, there could be some who are not, and asked the public to contact the IEBC on its hotlines if they notice anything odd on Election Day.

IEBC vice-chairman Consolata Maina said the commissioners would abide by their promise to deliver free, fair and credible elections.

“We have done everything possible, and the rest we leave to God,” she said.

Rise of Generation X in Nairobi Closes Door On Veterans

By John Kamau

When Maina Kamanda lost the Starehe constituency Jubilee Party nomination to Nairobi-born musician Charles “Jaguar” Kanyi, it signaled the end of an era for a generation of leaders from Murang’a, Kiambu and Nyeri that had controlled Nairobi politics for eons.

That millennials and members of Generation X are taking over city politics is no longer in doubt.

Kamanda, aged 66, was part of a group that had graduated from City Hall into Parliament having first contested the Parklands seat in 1983, two years before Jaguar was born.

Like Jaguar, Kamanda was then 31 but, unlike the Kigeugeu singer, he only managed to get a paltry 915 votes against lawyer Samuel Kivuitu’s 2,500.

When he called a press conference this week after he was forced to hand back the nomination certificate to Jaguar – who had initially been declared the loser – Kamanda blamed his loss on the support he gave to former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth, a Johnny-come-lately into Nairobi politics, who was vanquished at the nomination stage by 42-year-old Mike Mbuvi Sonko by more than 72,000 votes.

SHEBESH

Also by Kenneth’s side was Nairobi Woman Representative Rachel Shebesh, the 46-year-old daughter of former Nairobi Mayor Nathan Kahara – a man who had surprised many when he became a councillor in Nairobi at 23, and later became the youngest mayor of Nairobi. Kahara’s tenure was however cut short in 1983 by Minister for Local Government Moses Mudavadi – father of Musalia – who claimed that the City Council was inept, corrupt and had mismanaged its coffers. By the time it was dissolved,

Parliament was told, Nairobi had only Sh10 million in its bank accounts and a monthly payroll of Sh30 million.

Interestingly, the commissioners who were brought in to manage the city, Timothy Ramtu, Dr Eric Mngola, Fred Gumo, Ngala Mwendwa and others did not help either and Nairobi sank into waste.

Though Kahara tried to worm his way back into Nairobi politics by vying for the Lang’ata seat in 1983, he managed (just like Kamanda in Parkland) to garner only 915 votes, a crushing defeat to Phillip Leakey’s 10,244 and Achieng Aneko’s 8,758.

Had the Murang’a-born Kahara won that race, the story of Nairobi politics – which was at times weaved with Murang’a politics – would have been different. He is today one of the high-profile Nairobi mayors, besides the late Margaret Wambui Kenyatta, who failed to make it to Parliament.

PROTESTS

Times have now changed. and whether Sonko, 42, will be able to dislodge Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, 60, is neither herculean nor impossible given that in the last General Election, when he vied for Senate, Sonko polled 808,705 compared to Kidero’s 692,483 votes. Kidero’s challenger for governor Ferdinand Waititu got 617,839 votes.

With Waititu out of the race in Nairobi, having gone to his home-county of Kiambu where he dislodged William Kabogo, the race for Nairobi will be minus any of the 1980s politicos. It will be in the hands of millennials and Generation X.

The age-old enmity between Kiambu, Murang’a and Nyeri also appears to be withering away, thanks to the Nairobi-born politicians.

Nairobi was always the hotbed of national politics ever since the mission-trained Harry Thuku arrived in the new town in 1911 and started to organise public protests through his East African Association together with the likes of Jesse Kariuki, Job Muchuchu, Joseph Kang’ethe, Norman Mboya and Jomo Kenyatta among others. But with the arrest of Thuku in 1922, a protest was staged in Nairobi setting stage for African nationalism. Thuku was then only 27.

After that, Nairobi politics revolved around the dominance of Kiambu, Murang’a and Nyeri politicians which had dominated what was known as the African quarters in Nairobi’s Eastlands followed by Luos and Luhyas – in that order.

DETENTIONS

It was only after the 1953 crackdown following the Mau Mau uprising in central Kenya and parts of Rift Valley that the Kikuyus lost their dominance on Nairobi politics after all adult males were arrested and taken to detention camps.

From the beginning, it was the entrepreneur Central Kenya businessmen who drove the Nairobi politics from the humble grounds of Kiburi House.

While Kiburi House, the one storey building along Kirinyaga Road, is little-known, it was not only the base of indigenous African entrepreneurship, but also the centre of politics.

It hosted the Mau Mau war council and various trade unions and offices of leading politicians including Jomo Kenyatta.

Now a national monument, the story of Kiburi House is also the story of one of the first indigenous limited liability company, Kenya Fuel and Bark Supplying Company Limited which purchased the building in 1948. Documents held by the company show that it was registered on May 2, 1946 and its founder chairman was Kiburi wa Thumbi.

The building is important in Nairobi politics because it was here that Fred Kubai organised the attempted assassination of the Kangema-born city councillor Muchohi Gikonyo in 1950 for betraying the other politicians and agreeing to accept the elevation of Nairobi into a City. While Mr Gikonyo survived the attack, (the bullet went through his fingers), Kubai was charged and released later but not before he had successfully led a boycott of the event.

TARGET

Another target was Tom Mbotela, a moderate KAU leader who was also shot at in 1950 and finally killed in 1952 for denouncing Mau Mau in public.

The post-independent Nairobi saw the re-entry of Kiambu, Murang’a and Nyeri politicians into Nairobi politics. That is how Murang’a-born Charles Wanyoike Rubia became the first indigenous mayor of Nairobi – his request for an expensive Rolls Royce notwithstanding – with Isaac Lugonzo as his deputy. It is notable that when Lugonzo became the mayor, he only served for three years and was nominated to Parliament to pave way to Margaret Wambui Kenyatta.

In Parliament, the most dominant faces in Nairobi included the ever cosmopolitan Tom Mboya – a man who cut across the ethnic divide until chauvinists brought him down with a bullet in 1966. The man who pulled the trigger was the Bulgarian-trained marksman and motor vehicle dealer Isaac Njenga Njoroge of Kiambu.

The others who dominated Nairobi politics were Mwai Kibaki who was elected member for Donholm (later Bahati) seat but abandoned it in 1974 having narrowly won the seat in 1969.

Although some analysts say that Mr Kibaki left due to the fear of losing the seat to Mrs Jael Mbogo, she lost the seat when the lackluster Dr James Muriuki was fronted by Nyeri politicians to take over the seat from Kibaki.

The Bahati seat was always seen as a battleground between the Kikuyus and Luos – who alternated in holding the seat – until Sonko came to the scene and defeated both Reuben Ndolo and Dick Wathika in the 2010 elections on a Narc-Kenya ticket. By then, nobody knew Sonko and no media house had his photo!

MAYOR

From Kiambu, the most dominant faces of the 1960s and 1970s were Dr Njoroge Mungai in Dagoretti and Dr Munyua Waiyaki in Mathare. While Dr Mungai, thanks to his relations to Kenyatta, had emerged as a powerful politician, his defeat came through little-known political scientist Dr Johnstone Muthiora on April 19, 1975 who, however died after only a few months as an MP.

Post-mortem report said he died of blood poisoning after cutting short his visit to India where he started ailing. Dr Waiyaki always faced a battle with Laban Odanga but was dethroned by former Mayor Andrew Ngumba. Another entrant after Ngumba left for exile was Dr Josephat Njuguna Karanja, whose rise to Nairobi politics was cut shot by David Mwenje in Parliament after he moved a motion of no confidence. Dr Karanja was then the vice-president.

In Starehe, which will now see three millennials – ODM’s Steve Mbogo, Jubilee’s Jaguar and activist Boniface Mwangi – take on each other, the seat was always the preserve of the Murang’a politicos ever since Charles Rubia defeated Clement Lubembe in the 1969 election until 1983 when he was expelled and defeated by Murang’a-born Kiruhi Kimondo. Rubia was accused of being an ally of Charles Njonjo then denounced as a traitor.

Others who have held the seat include the Kangema-born real estate billionaire Gerishon Kirima, Kiambu-born Steve Mwangi and Rev Margaret Wanjiru (two terms). Maina Kamanda has held the seat for three terms.

JUBILEE

Other Murang’a politicians who took control of city politics included Maina Wanjigi who straddled the Kamukunji constituency scene like a colossus between 1969, when he took the seat from the assassinated Tom Mboya to 1988 save for five years. In 1979, he had lost the seat to Phillip Gor (thanks to Achieng Oneko’s support) before bouncing back.

Today, the changing demography of Kamukunji has seen the emergence of Abdi Yusuf Hassan who has gone for two terms. Perhaps that was the reason why Jubilee had to ask former MP Simon Mbugua to allow Hassan get the nomination on a Jubilee ticket.

In the larger Embakasi, David Mwenje also from Murang’a was the best known face of the constituency – and settled many illegally in the expansive constituency. His name still echoes in the constituency – perhaps with that of Ferdinard Waititu – the aspirant of Kiambu gubernatorial seat.

A new generation has now emerged in Nairobi – with few ties to the old. How the Nairobi politics shape with the Millennials and Generation X remains to be seen. But of interest is that the politics may not revolve around the tribal arithmetic of yesteryears. Or perhaps it will, a case of new wine in old bottles.

Big Names At Risk of Losing Seats As Jubilee Holds Polls in Mt Kenya

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.

RIGGING CLAIMS

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.

More on This

Do-or-Die Battles in Kenya’s Ruling Party Primaries


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

Police Arrest Students Over Killing of School Girl

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.

Kenya

Indigenous Seeds Best for Kenya’s Food Security – Experts

Kenya should come up with policies that will secure the sovereignty of her seeds in a bid to enhance food security and… Read more »

Kenya: World Bank Team Probes Contested Water Project

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.

IDA funding

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.

Inspection team

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.

Central Athletes Threaten to Boycott Cross Country

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.

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The Battle for Nairobi Governor Seat

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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Kenyatta to Push for Voter Registration in Countrywide Tour

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.

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