Posts tagged as: muthama

Women Robbed, Roughed Up in Kisumu in the Name of Protecting Votes

Kisumu — An interfaith meeting for women in Kisumu to take stock of Gender Based Violence witnessed in the recent political skirmishes turned chaotic after word went round on social media that IDs were being bought from the women.

A group of youths stormed Jumia Hotel, the venue of the meeting.

They proceeded to the training room, roughed up women, tossed about chairs and stole phones and laptops.

Police had to come in to rescue the women and were forced to lob teargas and shoot into the air to scare away the rowdy youths.

Two of the participants thereafter had to be rushed to hospital.

Jacklin Atieno, who was attending the meeting says they were shocked when they saw a group of youth storm their meeting place.

Atieno says there meeting had nothing to do with ID buying.

There were 150 participants at the meeting that brought together women from Nyanza.

The youths brought down the perimeter wall of the hotel, shattering window panes.

Businesses next to the hotel were hurriedly closed as the youth engaged the police in running battles.

Over the weekend National Super Alliance’s Johnson Muthama claimed that the government, in a ploy to remain in power, was buying votes and urged their supporters to exercise vigilance and stop any such schemes in their tracks.

He was later arrested for statements he made at the same rally in Kajiado.

Kenya

Duale to Seek MPs Approval of Sh11.5 Billion for Poll

Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale says he will be requesting MPs to approve the release of Sh11.5… Read more »

How Ruthless Cartels Killed Sugar Industry

Photo: Daily Nation

Freshly harvested sugarcane.

opinionBy Gerald Andae and John Kamau

The collapse of Mumias Sugar Outgrowers Company (Moco) is perhaps the biggest failure of a farmers’ voice in the sugar belt.

Experts now admit that the miseries facing sugarcane farmers in Mumias started when their organisation collapsed in 2008 — a victim of mischief, chicanery and theft.

Before it died, Moco was the voice of the farmers and represented their grievances to the factory and fought for their rights.

Since it went under, they have been left without a representative.

Through Moco, farmers were the biggest shareholders at Mumias. It held the share certificate in their trust.

However, all hell broke loose when they were duped into pulling their shares out of Moco and owning them individually.

“All of us had just one certificate. Over time, some stupid argument started that a share certificate should be given to each individual farmer. So everyone got their share certificate,” says Mr James Sakwa who was a member of Moco and a farmer in Butere.

It all started in 1998 when the farmers were persuaded to register a new company, Moco (1998) Ltd, to hold their shareholding in Mumias.

Initially, Moco had been established by an Act of Parliament as a trustee for sugarcane farmers.

The new company had 16,839,118 shares and was supposed to offer land preparation, transportation of cane and artificial insemination services in the Mumias sugar belt.

How a public company was converted to a private company was not clear, and attempts by current local MP Benjamin Washiali to get answers in Parliament have not been fruitful.

When it was founded in 1975, Moco was managed as part of Mumias Sugar Company, with the government appointing its top officials.

The outgrowers elected their own directors – but had little say.

That anomaly gave government-appointed officials more say in a company that they had no interest in. Moco, soon became a cash cow.

FARMERS PROTECTORIn 2001, farmers were given 20 per cent preferential shares as Mumias went through its first Initial public offering (IPO).

As the shares dipped, a well-planned scheme by unscrupulous share traders was mooted to acquire the shares from the farmers at a very low price and then sell them at the Nairobi Stock Exchange (now Nairobi Securities Exchange) at an exorbitant price.

“Some people showed up and told us that you see, this share certificate is just a piece of paper. You don’t need it. Each share is equivalent to one shilling so give me your certificate and I give you Sh3,000 for the 3,000 shares you hold,” says a former official of Moco, who claims that politicians had a hand in this.

For Mr Sakwa, the traders were not to blame but rather the leadership.

“The fault is on the leadership that was there then, which failed to give direction,” says the farmer.

Before Moco (1998) Ltd collapsed, farmers owned up to 33 per cent of Mumias shares.

This made them the majority shareholders. But when they sold their rights, the government remained the sole, organised majority shareholder with a stake of 20 per cent.

Farmers that were interviewed said they lost a platform where they could have their problems addressed within a short time.

Moco (1998) Ltd used to trade with Mumias and most of the services that are today outsourced used to be handled by the defunct organisation.

Moco enabled farmers to earn dividends. In essence, they earned from the cane and also from the shares they held.

“When Moco was there, it was a great way of communicating with the farmers,” says Mumias CEO Johnston Eroll, who still believes that it is important for farmers to have a representative at the factory that will champion their rights.

Moco would retain 15 per cent of farmers’ proceeds and use it to acquire shares in Mumias.

“Very few peasant farmers bought shares directly by way of cash,” says Mr Sakwa, who owns 20 acres of cane.

In addition, the organisation could supply farmers with the farm inputs at affordable rates and the growers could also get advanced payment, loans for which they charged 11 per cent interest compared to about 23 per cent that Mumias charges now.

THE GENESISThe original Moco was an experiment forced on the farmers by donors and the Treasury.

The idea was to form a company that would create a buffer zone between the farmers and Mumias.

The failure of sugar cooperatives in Chemelil forced the government to form an outgrowers body.

“I regret to say that the outgrowers are uncooperative. In one meeting … none of the 48 outgrowers showed up. In view of this poor response, I see no point of wasting our time,” said S M Muchoki, the western provincial cooperative officer in a 1971 letter to J Muthama, the then commissioner of cooperatives.

This turn of events worried the Mumias Investors Bookers Agricultural Holding, who foresaw trouble if the farmers were disorganised.

In a letter to the ministry of Agriculture, Bookers’ project manager M N Lucie-Smith suggested that the freehold land owners need “a great deal of indoctrination” to accept the cooperatives.

Initially, it had been thought since the 22 locations which had been covered by the outgrowers scheme were mostly occupied by the Wanga and touching on the Marama and Butsotso, this would favour the emergence of a strong cooperative because of clan links.

“It is going to be mutual and fraternal,” a report on the feasibility of Mumias cooperatives had said. But it worked the other way.

The Treasury, then under Finance Minister Mwai Kibaki, started pushing for an outgrowers’ organisation — rather than a cooperative.

The move created animosity between Mr Muthama and the Treasury.

In a protest letter he wrote to the Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Joe Kibe, Mr Muthama dismissed the outgrowers organisation, saying it would not work, as it had failed before.

While Mumias claims that Moco owes it Sh2.6 billion relating to a Sh190 million loan advanced in 1994, Moco claims that it repaid the money in full in 1996.

In its annual reports, Mumias Sugar still retains the loans as unpaid. More than 40 years later, the outgrowers organisation is dead.

“In our view this type of organisation is not a new innovation as it has been tried in Muhoroni Sugar Settlement without success … the proposed Outgrower Organization will be viewed by the local people to be investors or at best government tool rather than outgrowers representative.”

COMPLAINT FILED

He then added a rider: “I doubt if those people who propose it intend it to be (an outgrowers’ representative).”

Another co-operatives technocrat, J. Laban Murungi, then an assistant commissioner for co-operatives, suggested in a different letter to Mr Muthama that rather than set up an outgrowers organisation “which will never work” the funds should be used to set up a strong cooperative.

Moco accuses Mumias Sugar of making a false entry into its audit books claims that an internal audit report dated 2007 indicates that Mumias Sugar allegedly took Sh2.6 billion from Moco accounts and declared it as part of its profits.

Moco later filed a complaint with anti-corruption commission asking the agency to conduct a probe on the conduct of Deloitte & Touche as the external auditors at Mumias, who ought to have pointed out the above irregularities.

The matter of the Sh2.6 billion is currently under arbitration as farmers link to their factory remains dead.

Muthama, Kuria, Junet IEBC Committee Apointments Challenged in Court

By Simon Ndonga

Nairobi — A petitioner has moved to court to challenge the appointment of three Jubilee Alliance and CORD politicians to the proposed Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) parliamentary select committee.

According to Henry Kioko, the appointments of Johnson Muthama, Moses Kuria and Junet Mohamed are illegal since they are facing criminal charges in court.

He argued that they lack integrity and wants them restrained from participating in any way or being part of the select committee pending determination of the suit.

Kioko further pointed out that the three failed to protect public interest and have continually breached the law.

He stated that that they cannot be relied upon to make informed decisions relating to the IEBC.

He emphasized that it would be unconstitutional to have the trio be members of the select committee having directly and indirectly infringed chapter six on leadership and integrity.

Kenya

International Criminal Court, AU Row Looms Over Arrests

The African Union (AU) is raising a new storm against the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the possibility of… Read more »

Muthama Links Ruto to Hate Speech Arrests

By Aggrey Omboki

Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama on Sunday sensationally claimed that the plot to arrest the “Pangani Six” and “Muthaiga Two” was hatched at State House by Deputy President William Ruto and Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery.

Mr Muthama further accused the two officials of “a conspiracy to silence the Opposition in its fight against the many ills being perpetrated by the Jubilee government”.

He also accused the leaders of misusing the police by giving them unconstitutional orders aimed at harassing those who were keen on exposing corruption in government.

“Ruto should stop attacking the Opposition. We are well prepared to send him home in the next General Election. He should stop misleading Kenyans. He gave orders for our arrest but we are prepared for any eventuality,” he said.

He made the remarks during the homecoming party for Kitutu Masaba MP Timothy Bosire in Nyamira County. The event was attended by Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) leader Raila Odinga and a host of MPs, senators and other Opposition leaders.

Mr Odinga said Cord would root for reforms within the police force to make it more independent and free of manipulation by the government.

“We fought so hard to bring about all the changes which we are witnessing in the country, but the Jubilee government is eroding all the freedoms and have now decided to take us back to the era of one-party which we had long forgotten,” said the former Prime Minister.

“We will fight hard to resist such attempts and if it will mean going out into the streets again, then let it be,” he added.

Mr Odinga addressed three rallies at Keroka market, Magombo and Manga Stadium, where he took a jibe at the Jubilee administration for allegedly embezzling billions of shillings through NYS projects, Eurobond and other corrupt deals in government departments.

“It’s unfortunate that more than three years since we ushered devolution, the government has sent only Sh600 billion to counties, while over Sh5 trillion which the national government had reserved cannot be accounted for adequately,” he said.

Other leaders who addressed the rallies were governors James Ongwae (Kisii) and John Nyagarama (Nyamira), MPs Charles Geni, James Gesami, Junet Mohammed, Tom Kajwang and Silvance Osele, and senators James Orengo and Janet Ong’era.

Kenya

Kenya Seeks Review of Rwanda, Uganda 2008 Poll Violence Claims

Kenya is seeking fresh negotiations with Rwandan and Ugandan traders as the government seeks to cut the compensation… Read more »

MP Junet Mohamed Arrested at Nation Centre

Suna East MP Junet Mohamed was arrested on Tuesday morning outside Nation Centre in Nairobi, moments after leaving a live interview with NTV.

Mr Mohamed was surrounded by Flying Squad police officers who had been waiting for him outside the building since 7.30am. The officers were led by squad head Said Kiprotich.

The lawmaker had been invited to NTV for a discussion on hate speech, for which he has now been arrested.

Mr Mohamed did not leave Nation Centre until his lawyer, James Orengo, arrived.

Mr Mohamed and Mr Orengo were escorted to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) on Kiambu Road where he was expected to record a statement concerning allegations that he and other Cord leaders made statements that amounted to hate speech.

‘HOUSE ARREST’

Earlier, Cord had claimed that two of its leaders – Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama and Kitutu Masaba MP Timothy Bosire – had been under “house arrest” since 11pm on Monday.

Detectives from the Special Crime Prevention Unit, led by the head Mr Noah Katumo, had been camping at the gate of Mr Muthama’s Runda residence before arresting him later in the morning on Tuesday.

The coalition said on Tuesday that neither the two leaders nor others being sought had been served with summonses to appear before police.

Mr Muthama and Mr Bosire were among lawmakers ordered by Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet to record statements at the DCI headquarters for alleged hate speech.

“Cord leaders will meet at the Capitol Hill Square then proceed to the homes of the two leaders currently marooned by police.

“Cord lawyers and MPs will also escort those being sought to record statements with the police,” said a statement from Cord head of communications Dennis Onyango.

Nairobi County Police Commander Japheth Koome earlier failed to confirm the “house arrests”, saying the hate speech cases were being handled by a different office within the National Police Service.

RECORD STATEMENTS

On Monday, Mr Boinnet ordered Mr Mohamed, Mr Bosire and Kilifi Woman Rep Aisha Jumwa to appear at the DCI to record statements.

Mr Boinnet had issued the same orders to three Jubilee MPs — Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu and Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri.

The three appeared at the DCI headquarters late Monday evening.

Kenya

Kenyan-Developed Software Raises Hope for Credible Polls

THE era of weakened democracy systems characterised by the intimidation of journalists, banning of public gatherings,… Read more »

In Kenya, Plastic Is Not Fantastic

analysis

Plastic bags are becoming a major environmental hazard for citizens of Kenya. Government attempts to curb the problem have stalled or failed, leaving it up to local activists to try to fix the problem. By NJERI KIMANI.

In 2011, the Kenyan government banned the manufacture and import of plastic bags. The intention was good: to protect against the environmental hazard that plastic bags have become. The implementation, however, was poor, and plastic bags remain an all too prominent feature of the Kenyan landscape.

An earlier ban, in 2007, on plastic bags less than 30 microns thick, failed after manufacturers and retail outlets threatened to pass on the cost of using other materials to the consumer. Politicians fought the ban amid suspicions that they benefitted financially from plastic bag manufacturers, and it was never enforced.

But civil society campaigners are renewing the fight against plastic bags in Kenya, arguing that they pose a real threat to the health of citizens. Plastic bags have been implicated in a recent outbreak of cholera, which has killed 246 people – the water-borne disease thrives in drains that are blocked by plastic bags.

For James Wakibia, an environmentalist, eliminating plastic bags is a personal war….

Kenya

Protests Against Electoral Commission Temporarily Stopped

Cord has temporarily suspended demonstrations next Monday to give peace a chance, Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama has… Read more »

Jamii Bora Bank CEO Resigns From Uchumi Board

By Otiato Guguyu

The boss of Uchumi’s biggest shareholder, Jamii Bora Bank, has resigned from the troubled retailer’s board of directors.

In a regulatory filling, Uchumi indicates that the Tier III lender’s CEO Samuel Kimani has resigned from its board and will be replaced by Jamii Bora’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr Tim Kabiru.

“To fill the vacancy, the board has appointed Tim Kabiru as a director which appointment is subject to confirmation by the shareholders at the next annual general meeting,” the notice read.

Jamii bora owns 15.8 per cent shareholding of the retailer followed by the government which controls 14.6 per cent stake.

Their stake will be diluted by nearly 60 per cent after suppliers of the retail chain agreed to convert Sh1.8 billion debt into equity in an out-of-court settlement.

The debt is part of an estimated Sh3.6 billion owed to suppliers.

The company has been struggling under the weight of debt that has sunk it into a negative asset position.

Kenya

Protests Against Electoral Commission Temporarily Stopped

Cord has temporarily suspended demonstrations next Monday to give peace a chance, Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama has… Read more »

Nairobi Included in Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Cities Project

By Kiarie Njoroge

Nairobi has been shortlisted as part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s ambitious 100 Resilient cities programme aimed at helping large metropoles around the world better adjust to modern day stresses.

This will see the city receive technical support from the Foundation to build resilience against social, economic and infrastructure shocks.

Rockefeller will pay the salary for a chief resilience officer who will help develop a resilience plan.

Resilience in this context has been defined as capacity of individuals, businesses and institutions in cities to survive and bounce back from shocks experienced.

These shocks include single event disasters like fires and floods.

The resilience plan will also help Nairobi learn how to deal with chronic stresses such as food and water shortages, an insufficient transport system and high unemployment.

Other African cities among the 37 newly added members added to the the $164 million global initiative include Addis Ababa, Lagos, Cape Town, Luxor (Egypt), Paynesville (Liberia) and

The announcement was made Wednesday at joint events held in Nairobi and Washington, DC.

Rockefeller says it has received over a thousand applications to join its network since the programme’s inception, including 325 requests in the most recent cycle.

Kenya

Protests Against Electoral Commission Temporarily Stopped

Cord has temporarily suspended demonstrations next Monday to give peace a chance, Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama has… Read more »

Kenya: Stanchart First Quarter Profit Up 44 Percent on High Interest Income

By Neville Otuki

Standard Chartered Bank has announced a 44.4 per cent growth in its net profit for the first three months to March, lifted by increased interest income.

The NSE-listed lender booked an after-tax profit of Sh2.6 billion in the first quarter of the year compared to Sh1.8 billion in a similar period a year earlier.

“The first quarter performance has been strong, reflecting good results from the actions taken during 2015 to improve income trends,” the bank said in a statement Tuesday. The jump in net earnings is the largest among top-tier banks that have announced their first quarter results.

BALANCE SHEET MANAGEMENT

Equity Group posted a 10.7 per cent net profit growth in the first three months to Sh4.2 billion, KCB Group grew by 12 per cent to Sh4.3 billion while Co-operative Bank booked a 29 per cent growth in net earnings to Sh3.17 billion.

StanChart’s interest income grew to Sh6.4 billion in the review period from Sh5.4 billion despite the loan book shrinking by Sh5.4 billion to Sh109.7 billion.

“Customer loans and advances are down 4.6 per cent as we continue to focus on disciplined balance sheet management and more selective asset origination,” it said. Customer deposits jumped by Sh12.5 billion to Sh184.5 billion.

The bank recorded a rise in gross non-performing loans to Sh15.4 billion from Sh8.3 billion in the review period, but the loan loss provision remained almost flat at Sh728 million.

Kenya

Protests Against Electoral Commission Temporarily Stopped

Cord has temporarily suspended demonstrations next Monday to give peace a chance, Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama has… Read more »

Muthama Seeks to Enjoined in Shollei Fraud Case

By Vincent Agoya

A fraud case facing former Judiciary chief registrar Gladys Boss Shollei took a new twist on Tuesday when Machakos Senator sought to be enjoined as an interested party.

Mrs Shollei is facing a corruption case over the procurement of a Sh130 million residential house for the Chief Justice.

Senator Johnstone Muthama’s lawyer on Tuesday interrupted proceedings on a point of order stating that a company associated with his client is alleged to have “received a benefit from Ms Shollei, as detailed in a charge sheet while the true facts are that he supplied documentation to an investigating officer attesting otherwise.”

“Our client believes that the dignity of a trial is at stake in these proceedings, the charge facing the first accused purport that he received a benefit while documents he gave to the investigating officer including bank statements showing the transfer of funds reveal something different,” Mr Harun Ndubi for the senator said.

Mr Ndubi was told to hold the application until the trial court reconvenes on July 18.

Ms Shollei has denied charges relating to the suspected illegal procurement of the CJ’s residence.

She is charged with improperly conferring a benefit to Johnstone Nduya Muthama Holdings Limited from whom the palatial residence in Runda estate Nairobi, was purchased.

Ms Shollei is also charged with willful failure to comply with the law on management of public funds as the Judiciary’s accounting officer and engaging in the project without prior planning.

She is charged alongside her former deputy Kakai Kissinger and five former members of the Judiciary’s tender committee who are accused of approving the payment.

Lawyers representing Ms Shollei in a separate abuse of office case which was also mentioned on Tuesday complained of being frustrated in their efforts to secure necessary documentation in the case.

They said the EACC and the DPP were yet to supply copies of tender documents relating to a contract for the building of courts in Runyenjes which gave rise to a second corruption case against the former judiciary boss.

Proceedings were adjourned to July 1 to allow parties obtain the documents and present their grievances before the presiding magistrate Ms Liz Gacere.

Kenya

Army Kills 21 Shabaab Militants in Somalia

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops killed 21 Al-Shabaab militants in Hawina, Somalia, on Monday. Read more »

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