Posts tagged as: nairobi

Kenya: Madaraka Express Commuters Can Now Buy Tickets Via SMS

By Bonface Otieno

Passengers travelling on the Standard Gauge Rail (SGR) train between Nairobi to Mombasa will from Saturday book, cancel and pay for their tickets through their mobile phones following introduction of a SMS-based payment platform.

Kenya Railways is hoping the move will tackle middlemen cashing in on selling tickets at higher prices by allowing passengers to purchase them directly.

Commuters can now dial the code *639# and follow a series of prompts that will enable them buy tickets to the Mombasa, Nairobi, Voi and Mtito Andei passenger destinations.

“We are seeking to leverage the technology offered by the new platform to counter the secondary market of tickets by middlemen who have taken advantage of the use of the stations as the main source of tickets,” said Kenya Railways (KR) Managing Director Atanas Maina yesterday.

The SMS-based USSD code will also enable passengers to immediately make payments via MPESA to secure their tickets.

“Through the platform, we hope to make it more convenient for Kenyans seeking to travel to plan their journey in advance and make bookings on time. The system will also require those making bookings to provide their names and national identity card number except for minors.”

Multiple bookings

The new platform will allow passengers to make up to five bookings at a go and secure tickets up to seven days in advance.

Once the booking is done, they will receive a confirmation SMS with a special reference number indicating their destination, time and date of travel as well as the number of passengers reflected on the booking.

Commuters will then be required to print their tickets from the service booths at the station upon arrival and produce their National ID cards while checking in to verify their identity.

Mr Maina said development of an online booking portal to allow online payments is at trial stage and will be launched in the coming weeks.

He also said that Kenya Railways has reached a deal with Safaricom #ticker:SCOM for nine M-Pesa pay bill numbers to allow travellers buy tickets from their mobile phones.

Middlemen have been a thorn in the side of the rail services provider since the launch of SGR trains as they buy out tickets at normal price of Sh700 and re-sell at sh3,000, thereby creating artificial shortages and inconveniencing commuters.


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 »

Government’s Pledge On Lissu

By By Paskal Mbunga

The government said yesterday that it was ready to send Singida East MP Tundu Lissu to any country for treatment provided his family made a formal request.

The Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Children and the Elderly, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, said at a news conference in Tanga that the government had all along been willing to facilitate Mr Lissu’s treatment anywhere in the world.

However, the government had not done so because it had not received a formal request from Mr Lissu’s family or his party, Chadema, she said.

“I arranged for Mr Lissu to be airlifted to Muhimbili National Hospital from Dodoma on the day he was shot, but his family and Chadema leaders opted to take him outside the country.”

Ms Mwalimu said it was normal procedure for a leader, be it a government official or an MP, to request for government financial assistant if the need for treatment abroad arose.

“The government has to receive a formal request first for medical assistance and also act on recommendations made by doctors. That puts us in a position to make a firm decision.

“Even when the late National Assembly Speaker Samuel Sitta fell sick he personally requested for financial assistance that would have enabled him to travel abroad for treatment, something which was granted,” Ms Mwalimu said when explaining why the government had not offered any meaningful assistance two weeks after Mr Lissu was shot and seriously wounded in Dodoma.

She dismissed claims that government had refused to fund his treatment abroad.

“These are nothing but malicious allegations because we have always been ready to facilitate his treatment in any part of the world, be it in the United Kingdom, United States, or India.”

Reached for comment, Chadema spokesperson Tumaini Makene said the party would respond to the pronouncement today, adding that Chadema had been dismayed by the government’s silence since Mr Lissu was shot on September 7.

“We held a press conference on September 12, and asked the government to take comprehensive action, but nothing has been done to date. We are surprised that the Chief Justice (Prof Ibrahim Juma) and Health minister have today both spoken about Mr Lissu,” he said.

Prof Juma said there was a need to instal CCTV cameras in cities and towns to prevent crime.

He was responding to reporters’ questions related to a statement by the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales regarding the attack on Mr Lissu.

Prof Juma had called a press conference to brief the media on the forthcoming Commonwealth judges’ and magistrates’ conference scheduled for September 24-28.

Chadema said earlier this week $250,000 (Sh560 million) was needed for Mr Lissu’s treatment in either the US or Germany, pending the approval of doctors at Nairobi Hospital.

However, Singida South MP Lazaro Nyalandu said doctors treating Mr Lissu in Nairobi had recommended that the lawmaker should not be transferred overseas due to his fragile condition.

The party has launched several fundraising drives to facilitate the treatment of the firebrand opposition politician in the US or Germany. The campaign had raised $52,455 (Sh116.71 million) by yesterday.

Mr Lissu was shot by unknown assailants when he arrived at his Dodoma home after attending the morning parliamentary session.

The Singida East MP was shot as he was about to disembark from his car in the municipality’s leafy Area D suburb.

His attackers sprayed the front passenger door of his black Toyota Land Cruiser with bullets after Mr Lissu apparently hesitated to alight from the vehicle.

He was hit several times and was taken to Dodoma Regional Hospital where he underwent an emergency operation before he was airlifted to Nairobi.

One Dead, Several Hurt After Bus, Lorry Collide at Kikopey

One person has died while several others have escaped with slight injuries in an early morning road crash at Kikopey along the busy Nakuru-Nairobi highway.

A lorry and a Mombasa-bound Modern Coast bus collided at around 4.30am Thursday.

According to eye witnesses, the driver of the lorry died on the spot after it collided head on with the bus.

However, more than 40 passengers in the bus sustained slight injuries and were rushed to the nearby St Mary’s Hospital where for treatment.

“The driver of the lorry heading to Nakuru was attempting to overtake when the early morning accident occurred,” said Mr Timothy Siran, an eye witness.

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has been urging road users to observe traffic rules to avoid accidents along the busy highway.


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 »

Cholera Remains Active in Six Counties – UNICEF

By Jeremiah Wakaya

Nairobi — A cholera outbreak that hit Kenya in April this year is still active in six counties.

According to the latest report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), a total of 229 cases of cholera were reported in Garissa, Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Kilifi and Vihiga counties between August 27 and September 9, with Nairobi accounting for 198 of the cases.

The situation is projected to improve if data captured in the week leading to the publication of the report – which shows that only 46 cases were reported in all the six counties – is anything to go by.

The counties of Murang’a, Mombasa, Turkana, Kericho, Nakuru, Kiambu and Narok which were hit by the second wave of cholera in April have since recovered according to the report published on September 15.

The first cholera outbreak in 2017 was reported in Tana River County, a major eruption that started on October 10, 2016 having been brought under control by April 2017.

Since the year begun, 2,807 cases of cholera have been reported in the country, accounting for 50 deaths. Of these cases, Nairobi County accounted for 1,650.

The report however notes that 31,857 people in Marsabit, Samburu and Mandera Counties gained permanent access to water (lack of which is a key contributor to cholera) through repair of boreholes during the reporting period.

A further 81,634 gained temporary access to safe water through household water treatment.

According to UNICEF, some 3.5 million Kenyans are said to be in urgent need of safe drinking water.

The UN agency places the number of children facing food insecurity in the country at 1.6 million, a total of 3.4 million of the adult population facing the same.

“From January 2017, a total of 50,547 children (64pc of annual target) and 94,851 children (48pc of annual target) have been admitted for the treatment of severe and moderate acute malnutrition respectively,” the report highlights.

Out of the Health Action in Crises (HAC) of $42,435,000, there exists a funding gap of 61 per cent ($16.6 million), a situation that threatens UNICEF’s effective response to disease outbreaks and food insecurity.

According to UN Resident Coordinator for Kenya, Siddharth Chatterjee, US $ 106 million is needed to cater for humanitarian interventions in the period between September and December.

New appeal to fund #KEdrought response: 3.4 million Kenyans food insecure, +350,000 children acutely malnourished.

– UNDP Kenya (@UNDPKenya) September 8, 2017

The agency is said to have received $20 million with $7.2 million having been carried forward.

“The Kenya 2017 HAC appeal has a funding gap of 39pc and without additional funding, UNICEF will be unable to optimally support the drought emergency response, and mitigate the risks of a worsening situation for children.”

During the said period, close to 400 children in some of the 23 counties classified as Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) received assistance from UNICEF.

“A total of 375 drought-affected children (200 girls and 175 boys) benefitted from child protection services in Turkana, Wajir and West Pokot Counties during the reporting period,” the report points out.

Dar Doubles Effort to Clear Rwanda Cargo

TRANSIT cargo destined to and from land-locked Rwanda at the Dar es Salaam port has been piling at an average 9.9 per cent over the past five years – from 630,000 metric tons during FY 2012/2013 to 950,000 tons to date.

The Director General of Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), Eng. Deusdedit Kakoko, disclosed the figures when he met with Rwandan Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Eugene Kayihura, who paid a visit at TPA offices in Dar es Salaam, yesterday.

Eng. Kakoko informed the envoy that both exports and imports from Rwanda and other neighbouring landlocked countries were being stocked within the port premises to ease clearances and ensure security while in Tanzania.

“To strengthen business ties with clients, the government of Tanzania through TPA has also allocated space at its Kwala dry port in Ruvu specifically for Rwanda exports and imports that pass through the Dar es Salaam port.

“… it is our hope that exporters and importers from Rwanda will start using the Isaka dry port (in Shinyanga Region) for transporting their cargo through the central railway line and this will reduce the distance of travelling by road all the way to Dar es Salaam,” the TPA boss advised.

Eng. Kakoko also informed the Rwandan envoy that TPA had completed construction of its offices in Kigali which would serve customers from Rwanda. “The office will play a significant role in improving services to our customers in Rwanda; the office building has been completed … what remains is the official opening after meeting all required procedures,” he explained.

Speaking during the meeting, Ambassador Kayihura hailed the Tanzania government – through TPA – for availing space for storing Rwanda’s shipments. The envoy remarked further that improvement of services at the Dar es Salaam harbour has played a great role in boosting trade between Tanzania and Rwanda.

“At present, the harbour handles 90 per cent of all Rwanda’s exports and imports, setting a new record for rapid increase of Rwanda’s cargo handled at the Dar es Salaam port,” he explained.

Amb. Kayihura stated further that his visit at the port was part of determination by the government of Rwanda to strengthen business ties between the two countries through transportation of shipments to the Dar es Salaam port.

Just recently, TPA took part in Rwanda’s international trade fair where, among others, it met with exporters and importers from that country who expressed their willingness to continue using services of the port.


Lissu to Remain At the Nairobi Hospital

Opposition Chief Whip and Singida East Member of Parliament Tundu Lissu will continue to receive treatment at the… Read more »

Vodacom Shares Extend Bearish Run

By Abduel Elinaza

VODACOM shares at the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange have gone down by almost 9.41 per cent to trade below the initial public offering price barely two months since it listed at the market.

The share prices appreciated at day one of listing from 850/- during initial offering to 900/- but the gain was short lived after it dropped to 770/- as of Tuesday.

Zan Securities Chief Executive Officer Raphael Masumbuko said that the decline of Vocacom share prices was partly being caused by a rush of investors to sell when the prices appreciated.

“As Voda said most of the individual investors participated for the first time, I think they anticipated price to gain after listing and reap big deal. But seeing price gaining to 900/- and stuck there, they rush to cash in the minute difference to glut the bourse,” Mr Masumbuko told the ‘Daily News’ yesterday.

According to Vodacom, more than 40 000 Tanzanians, many of them first time participants in the capital market, have subscribed for shares in the IPO.

Stockbrokers believed most wanted to cash in when the price gain after listing to DSE and once this failed, they rushed to sell. “This is seen at the pace of share supply volumes which mostly was coming in a lot of between 200,000 and 300,000.

This demonstrates retail selling trend,” Mr Masumbuko said. Meanwhile Vodacom’s M-PESA users will be earning some money as the telco giant shares 6.0bn/- to them as a bonus for using the money transfer platform.

This is another round of distribution of earnings from M-Pesa Trust accounts covering the period between April 1st and June 30th 2017, according to a statement. The distribution will benefit seven million active M-Pesa users country wide, according to Vodacom.

The quarterly exercise will see M-Pesa customers, agents, super agents, banks, businesses, and merchants receiving their share of the bonus earned as a benefit from using the service


Lissu to Remain At the Nairobi Hospital

Opposition Chief Whip and Singida East Member of Parliament Tundu Lissu will continue to receive treatment at the… Read more »

Immigration Questions Tanzanian Human Rights Activist Over Citizenship

By Deogratius Kamagi

Dar es Salaam — Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) national coordinator Onesmo Olengurumwa has once again been interrogated by officers from the Immigration department over his citizenship.

The interrogation took place on Wednesday 20 September at THRDC’s offices at Kijitonyama in Kinondoni Municipality in the city.

This is the second time for him to be questioned. The first time was on July 24, this year.

“I was questioned by the same immigration officers who came the first time,” he said.

Mr Olengurumwa added that, In the course of the interrogation, he was required to fill in a form concerning his history and citizenship of which, he did.


Nairobi Doctors to Decide if Shot MP Can Fly to US

Doctors at the Nairobi Hospital will determine whether Singida East Member of Parliament Tundu Lissu is stable enough to… Read more »

Vodacom Tanzania to Distribute Sh6bn to M-Pesa Users

Photo: The Citizen

Vodacom M-Commerce director Sitoyo Lopokoiyit

By Citizen Reporter

Dar es Salaam — Users of Vodacom Tanzania’s M-Pesa will share Sh6 billion that the mobile operator is distributing as a bonus during the second quarter.

This is another round of distribution of earnings from M-Pesa Trust accounts covering the period between April 1 and June 30, 2017, the company said in a statement released on Wednesday September 20.

The distribution will benefit seven million active M-Pesa users country wide, according to Vodacom.

The quarterly exercise will see M-Pesa customers, agents, super agents, banks, businesses and merchants receiving their share of the bonus earned as a benefit from using the service.

“Vodacom is sharing the profit in line with the requirements from the Bank of Tanzania. With the current distribution, Vodacom will have distributed a staggering Sh86 billion since it first started sharing interest earned from M-Pesa trust accounts held with various commercial banks in the country, which is the largest combined sum of interest payments back to customers’ mobile wallets in the world,” Vodacom said.

Before this distribution, more than Sh80 billion had been distributed to the wallets of M-Pesa users in several phases, including usage benefits accumulated from the inception of the service up to March 31, 2017. The distribution covers usage benefits accumulated from the second quarter of 2017.

“The amount that one will receive as usage benefits depends on the level of activity they have had on M-Pesa since the last disbursement. Such activities include transfers, airtime purchased, bills and merchant payments to name a few,” said Vodacom M-Commerce director Sitoyo Lopokoiyit.


Nairobi Doctors to Decide if Shot MP Can Fly to US

Doctors at the Nairobi Hospital will determine whether Singida East Member of Parliament Tundu Lissu is stable enough to… Read more »

Tanzania: TCRA Reminds Public to Be Careful With Security Details

By Witness Robert

Dar es Salaam — The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has warned the public to be careful when revealing their passwords and personal details to unknown network’ agents to avoid hackers invasion and control of their privacy.

Speaking to journalist on Wednesday September 20, the TCRA acting Corporate Communications Manager, Mr Semu Mwakyanjala, said providing personal information including passwords gives some people access to vital functions of online applications.

He said such applications include bank accounts, something which would enable the hackers to have access to your account and siphon it.

“It’s imperative the public understands the importance of guarding their passwords to ensure their privacy and safety,” he said.

In another development, Mr Mwakyanjala warned the public from disseminating sedition information without being sure first.

He said those who will go against the regulations of the authority will be dealt with according to the cybercrime law.

Read: How cybercrimes law could better serve the purpose in digital world

Further he advised the public to use digital programing softwares to treat viruses that might crash their computers and other machineries.

He cautioned the public from opening unknown links in order to avoid theft.

Also he wanted people to develop a habit of reading various materials concerning digital networking to avoid being cheated.


Nairobi Doctors to Decide if Shot MP Can Fly to US

Doctors at the Nairobi Hospital will determine whether Singida East Member of Parliament Tundu Lissu is stable enough to… Read more »

Coast Residents Told to Brace for Heavy Rains

By Collins Omulo and Nyaboga Kiage

The coastal region will experience heavy rains for the next four days, the weatherman has said.

The Kenya Meteorological Department, in its latest seven-day forecast covering the period between September 19 and 25, says the coastal strip will receive heavy rainfall of between 20mm and 50mm from Wednesday through Thursday.

The rains are expected to subside from Friday.


The coastal strip covers Mombasa, Tana River, Kilifi, Lamu and Kwale counties.

On Tuesday, the department’s assistant director, Mr Samwel Mwangi, said Kwale and Mombasa had already started receiving heavy rainfall.

This, he said, is expected to spread towards the North Coast starting Wednesday.

“When we witness a significant shift in weather patterns, we always give a warning. This is in line with the one we issued on Monday about the heavy rains in the coastal strip,” he said.


Mr Mwangi said more regions were likely to receive rainfall, although not heavy as at the Coast.

“The highlands west of the Rift Valley, highlands east of the Rift Valley including Nairobi and parts of the northwest are also likely to receive rainfall on a number of days,” he said.

Kisii, Nyamira and Trans Nzoia counties are in the highlands west of the Rift Valley while Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Nandi, Laikipia, Nakuru, Narok, Kajiado, Kericho, Bomet, Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma and Busia counties are on the east.

The weatherman further said the Lake Victoria Basin, covering Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay and Migori counties, is expected to continue experiencing mainly sunny intervals in the morning throughout the forecast period, with the possibility of morning rains on Thursday and Friday.


Central highlands region, including Nairobi area, are expected to have cloudy mornings accompanied by rains in a few places up to Thursday.

The cloudy mornings will then give way to sunny intervals before afternoon showers kick in in a few places.

This region consists of Nairobi, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Kiambu, Meru, Embu and Tharaka-Nithi counties.

According to the weatherman, the North Eastern counties of Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa and Isiolo are also likely to experience rains over a few places near Garissa and Moyale on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.


In the South Eastern counties of Kitui, Makueni, Machakos and Taita-Taveta, there will be mainly sunny intervals the whole day throughout the forecast period.

North Western counties of Turkana, West Pokot and Samburu are expected to have sunny intervals throughout the day for much of the forecast period.

Meanwhile, heavy rains on Tuesday damaged homes and other property in parts of Gusii region.

Mr Abel Morang’a, a resident of Igare town, said most rivers were full and some had broken their banks.

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