Posts tagged as: operation

Dilemma for Garissa Herders in Boni Forest

By Abdimalik Hajir

Hundreds of herders from Garissa who have taken their livestock inside Boni Forest for pasture have started leaving the area due to an imminent military raid to flush out Al-Shabaab terrorists.

Speaking to the Nation on Monday, a group of herders spoke of their frustrations and fears of being targeted in the Kenya Defence Force’s pending assault against the militants who are said to be hiding in the forest.

Boni Forest: From green paradise to warzone

CASUALTIES

Mr Abdi Mohamed, a herder, said they were forced to leave behind their weak and sickly livestock as they look for pasture after they were ordered to leave the forest.

“Today we want to go to areas near towns so that we are not caught up in the bombing as we were informed by local administrators.

“We also fear that some of the herders might be affected or hurt in the bombing,” he said.

“Since the forest was the only source of pasture for our livestock, especially during dry seasons like this, we are in a dilemma.”

OPERATION BASE

Linda Boni Operation director Joseph Kanyiri on Friday warned residents living near the forest to move away within 48 hours, saying the government will proceed with plans to destroy the hideouts.

Al-Shabaab’s elite group, Jaysh Al-Ayman, is said to have been operating from the forest since 2012 and in 2013 in retaliation to the deployment of Kenyan soldiers in Somalia.

Speaking in his office a day after being sworn into office, Garissa Governor Ali Korane said military operations were normally on target and must be acting on credible information.

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Nigeria: U.S.$823 Million Abuja Metro Rail Ready By December

By Abdullateef Salau

The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) has assured that the phase one of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit project will be ready for public use in the next four months.

The rail transit project, costing N299 billion ($823 million), consists of lot 1A and lot 3 covering a length of 45km with 12 designated passenger stations. It links the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja to the Central Business District.

The rail project is a double-tracked line of right side running, and standard-gauge 1435mm.

Speaking to journalists during a tour of the site, the project manager, Mr Kong Tao, said work on the large scale project was going on smoothly and would be test-run by November and commissioned for public use in December 2017.

He said the project, after completion, would generate employment and boost the commercial activities of the host communities.

“Abuja rail mass transit project is bound to accelerate the growth of the national economy. The realization of this large-scale project will definitely deliver much benefits to the general public, such as better investment environment, better living condition, more employment, land value enhancement, energy saving and greater social responsibility,” he said.

Tao, however lamented that the perimeter fencing built to prevent trespassing had not stopped some residents of the host communities who crossed the rail track at will.

This, he said, endangered lives as operational trains moved constantly on the rail track.

“Safety is the most important thing in our operation. Even though we built a fence to prevent trespass, they break it to cross the rail track,” he said.

He also deplored the recurrent incidence of theft of the company’s equipment, including facilities installed at the passenger stations.

“Despite hundreds of security personnel employed to secure the facilities, thieves still steal something here almost every week,” he added.

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Drama as Youths Bar ‘Anti-Rasanga Staff’ From County Offices

By Ojwang Joe

Siaya — There was drama at the Siaya County Government offices when angry youths stationed themselves at the gates to vet staff who were anti-Governor Cornel Rasanga before they could report to their offices.

The youths paralysed operations as they barred staff whom they felt opposed Governor Rasanga during the just concluded election campaigns.

The operation scared a number of Chief Officers and Directors among other staff who feared being evicted from their offices.

Most offices remained closed for the better part of Tuesday morning.

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Kenya to Flush Militants Out of Area Near Somali Border

The Kenyan military on Sunday told residents who live close to Boni forest along the Kenyan coast to vacate the area within 48 hours in preparation for a heavy bombardment planned to wipe out al-Shabaab militants hiding within.

The order was delivered on Sunday by the head of Operation Linda Boni mission (Swahili for Operation Protect Boni) Joseph Kanyiri. He urged the herders, who are most likely to frequent the area, to stay away from the forest.

“We would like to caution herders to stay away from the forest, the Boni forest is part of our operation, we don’t want anyone to get caught in the bombing of al-Shabaab hideouts that is imminent, we are giving them 48 hours to vacate with their animals,” he said in a news conference in the coastal city of Mombasa.

The warning comes in the wake of numerous al-Shabaab attacks in the area which, in the last two month, have claimed the lives of at least 20 police officers. All the attacks involved roadside bombs.

Al-Shabaab militants have also beheaded at least 10 people from villages in the area during the same period. The latest, in ehich three people were killed, happened on Friday.

The Boni forest lies near the porous Kenya-Somalia border.

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Mike Sonko Takes Over at City Hall as Kidero Concedes Defeat

By Lillian Mutavi and Evelyne Musambi

Nairobi’s newly elected Governor Mike Sonko was sworn in on Monday to become the city’s second city county boss.

The elaborate event at Uhuru Park was attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.

WORK

Also in attendance were former Governor Evans Kidero, his deputy Jonathan Mueke and newly elected Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris.

” I have never made a promise that I never kept and this day I want to give you an assurance that Nairobi will never be the same again, I shall work round the clock to deliver,” Governor Sonko said in his speech.

“This auspicious event marks the end of the cartel that has held the people of Nairobi hostage for long… there shall be enough water in the city, no garbage as we have already demonstrated in the ongoing ‘Operation Ng’arisha Jiji.”

Mr Sonko’s deputy governor Polycarp Igathe, in his speech, promised to make Nairobi the best city.

KIDERO

Former Governor Kidero thanked the people of Nairobi while wishing Governor Sonko the best as he starts his term.

“I promised a smooth transition and I have no problem referring to Mike Sonko as my governor … Me and you pushed and tried to prove our worth to the people of Nairobi… I urge you to continue with the projects we started,” Dr Kidero said.

Mr Sonko started his stint at the helm of City Hall with controversy and flamboyance, opting to fund musicians attending his swearing-in ceremony.

SHOWBIZ

Ever a flamboyant politician and a lover of showbiz, a trait he has used to elevate himself to the highest office in the county, Mr Sonko lined up nine artistes to perform at the Uhuru Park event.

“This event is not sponsored by the Nairobi City county government, or the Ministry of Devolution. This is a personal initiative of His Excellency Mike Sonko, just like the ongoing clean-up programme by Sonko Rescue Team,” said Mr Sonko in an advert.

Those who were expected to perform are gospel artistes Bahati, Ben Githae, Loise Kim, Jemimah Thiong’o, Esther Wahome, Rufftone and Tanzanian superstar Rose Muhando.

They would be joined by celebrated boy band Sautisol and Tanzanian musician Mr Nice.

EXPENSES

The chairman of the Assumption of Office committee and also the County Secretary Dr Robert Ayisi said that the team had spent only a bit of the Sh25 million for the ceremony.

“We have hardly used much money on this. We spent very little but we can’t say how much. In fact, it is what we call miscellaneous expenses,” said Dr Ayisi.

He said that they cancelled a planned luncheon since it would have taken a huge chunk of the budget, but added that there would be refreshments for those who attended.

Dr Ayisi added that the expenses they incurred were those of painting the dais, fuelling vehicles, hiring seats, the music system, as well as security arrangements.

PARKING

Mr Sonko and his deputy Polycarp Igathe were sworn in by Justice David Majanja.

Dr Ayisi said after the event is over, former Governor Dr Evans Kidero and his deputy Jonathan Mueke would then head to City Hall to hand over to the new team.

Mr Sonko has promised, among other things, to lower taxes, slash parking the Sh300 daily fees by half, as well as a proper garbage collection programme.

East Africa: 11 Feared Dead After Boat Capsizes in the Indian Ocean

Photo: Capital FM

Boats at Lamu (file photo)

By Kalume Kazungu

Eleven people are feared to have died when a boat travelling from Lamu capsized in the Indian Ocean Sunday.

However, Lamu East ODM candidate in last week’s election Shekue Kahale survived the accident and is recuperating in hospital.

The bodies of seven people who died were Monday recovered while a search was still on for four other people who were in the boat when the accident happened. The bodies were found at Manda Bruno.

Mr Kahale and his 10 relatives and the boat’s coxswain were in the boat when it capsized shortly after 10am but he managed to swim to safety due to his fishing skills.

Among the bodies recovered were recovered were that of 50-year-old Mohamed Shamti who was the coxswain, Mr Kahale’s wife, all his four children and his sister.

Mr Kahale and his family were heading to Manda airport to catch a flight to Mombasa when their boat capsized between 10am and 12pm around Manda Bruno.

REPORTED MISSING

Lamu’s Operation Linda Boni Director Joseph Kanyiri said the boat left Kizingitini village at around 9am and was last spotted at Mtangawanda Jetty at around 10am before it was reported missing.

The boat was expected to arrive at Manda but did not, something that raised concerns.

Mr Kahale was found alive at Majunguni in Shanga Island Monday morning and was rushed to Kizingitini Dispensary for treatment before he was later referred to King Fahad County Hospital in Lamu Island.

Mr Kanyiri said a search and rescue team was on the ground making efforts to recover the remaining occupants of the ill-fated boat whose whereabouts are still unknown.

BODIES RECOVERED

“So far six bodies have been recovered at Manda Bruno. Mr Kahale was, however, found alive and has already been rushed to the King Fahad County Hospital.

“We suspect the number of fatalities might rise as time goes by. Rescue mission by our teams is still on and we call for patience on the part of members of the public,” said Mr Kanyiri.

Mr Kanyiri also said two water buckets, a fuel tank and a fuel pump suspected to belong to the ill-fated boat were also found at the scene of the accident.

He also said search efforts were being hindered by high tides.

HEAVY CURRENTS

Manda Bruno is known for heavy currents and on most occasions, travellers going past the area have to wait until the tides are low or postpone their journeys until the tides subside.

Lamu County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo said the search for the missing peope was being conducted by several agencies including the Kenya Police Service, the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) and the county rescue team.

He said marine police and the Kenya Navy were also doing sea patrols.

He also said the number of casualties in the accident was expected to rise since it is believed many of the passengers either did not have their life jackets on or did not wear them well.

FAMILY

Mr Ali Awadh who is the Shanga Beach Management Unit (BMU) chairman said Mr Kahale’s wife, all his four children, his sister and their three children plus Kahale’s aunt all perished in the boat accident.

“I am at the scene. So far we have recovered six bodies and we are ferrying them to Kizingitini. All the ten members perished. It’s only Kahale whom we found alive at Majunguni in Shanga this morning,” said Mr Awadh.

He added: “We found him alive but weak and fatigued. He doesn’t speak. He still had his life jacket on and was pacing up and down on the lonely island when we spotted him at around 7am. He is still unable to speak or comprehend what happened. We rushed him to Kizingitini dispensary for treatment and post-trauma counselling.”

Mr Kahale emerged second in the Lamu East parliamentary race in the just-concluded General Election which was won by incumbent MP Sharif Athman Ali of Jubilee Party.

The boat accident comes barely two months after 10 people died when a dhow carrying 25 passengers and their luggage capsized at the Mkanda Channel on June 20, 2017.

The dhow was travelling from Lamu Island heading to Ndau Village in Lamu East when it capsized due to rough tides.

Namibia: Cran Opens Doors to New Mobile Operators

By Desie Heita

Windhoek — The Namibian communication regulator has thrown open the competition doors, effectively granting permission to new entrants to set up shop and compete with MTC and TN Mobile, while sharpening its regulatory teeth.

Competition in the mobile market could come from South Africa’s much-touted MTN that together with two other entities have licences to compete with MTC and TN Mobile in mobile voice and data services.

MTN South Africa was, as expected, very much guarded on its immediate plans for Namibia, only opting to say: “As MTN Business Namibia we are always exploring new opportunities, and mobile services are part of these considerations.”

The Communication Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) granted new licences recently, which expands the number of those being regulated to 57 licensees. These comprise of 34 broadcasting service licensees and 23 telecommunication services licensees.

MTN has held its licence, through its Namibian subsidiary MTN Business Solutions, for the past 20 years. However, the new licence has now been issued to MTN Business Solutions that is 30 percent owned by Namibian shareholders, as per CRAN regulations. The shareholding is owned by Profile Technologies, a company owned by businessman Vaino Nghipondoka.

The other two entities with licences for mobile voice and data are Demshi Investment Holdings and Paratus Telecommunications. These are the licensees who may compete with MTC and Telecom Namibia in fixed and mobile voice and data services nationally and internationally, and who hold the required number licences, spectrum licences, or have entered into an infrastructure sharing agreement that allows for the operation as a virtual operator.

In addition to the 10 commercial radio broadcasting licences renewed for a further five years, CRAN awarded three new commercial radio broadcasting and two new commercial TV broadcasting licences as of June 2017.

However, with an increase in the number of licensees comes the need for tighter regulation. And CRAN’s chief executive officer Festus Mbandeka points at a host of regulations and policies that CRAN has ushered into place.

“The operation of electronic communications networks are subject to licensing requirements and conditions of which CRAN has established monitoring techniques to ensure that they are safe,” says Mbandeka.

He points at the implementation of ‘infrastructure sharing regulation’, as of October 2016, which creates a framework for all licensees to share passive infrastructure, such as tower space and wireless and fibre transmission networks, and active infrastructure such as central databases and platforms.

“Enforcement of these regulations will make provision for sharing of infrastructure between licensees on a non-discriminatory basis, ensure that cost are reasonable and lower the barrier of entry to the market for new entrants,” says Mbandeka.

He also says CRAN has imposed obligations on licensees applying for additional 3G spectrum allocation, “to accelerate coverage to under and unserved areas and to improve the quality of service, in order to meet the objectives of the Harambee Prosperity Plan and ministerial targets.”

He further says CRAN has ensured fair competition through the implementation of the objects and other sections of the Communications Act that deal with competition.

As part of this the National Numbering Plan for Namibia was finalised in April 2016. “This plan is a pre-requisite for number portability, which allows fixed and mobile numbers to move from one licensee to another without losing their number, most importantly to create competition by levelling the playing field between operators,” says Mbandeka.

CRAN has also commenced with the enforcement of ‘Type Approval Regulations’ after allowing the industry a grace period of 22 months to adhere to these regulations published in January 2015.

“These regulations ensure the importation of telecommunications equipment to meet international standards and curb the influx of outdated, counterfeit and grey products into the market,” he said.

Vendors Flood City Streets As ‘Askari’ Patrols End

By Amos Ngwomoya & Derrick Wandera

Kampala — Ms Susan Namwanje, 36, a mother of four, nervously sits with her basket of yellow ripe bananas at one of the entrances to the Old Taxi Park on Luwum Street in Kampala.

She steals glances at every one who passes for any signs of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) law enforcement officers.

But her fear is quickly rested as two fellow vendors join her to also sell the sweet yellow fruits as they share pleasantries.

Daily Monitor approaches the trio to ascertain why they are vending in the open, a practice that has been aggressively fought by the city law enforcers commonly referred to as askaris.

Ms Namwanje quickly responds that the city law enforcers are no longer on streets, something she says has since given them the freedom to vend freely.

“We have been operating from here since Monday because all the KCCA law enforcement officers are nowhere to be seen. We were told they were recalled because of the death of one of our members last week, and we’re using this opportunity to make some quick sales before they return,” she says.

But Ms Namwanje in between sneaky glances across the street says they are vending amid fear because they don’t know when KCCA would redeploy its mean law enforcers.

Besides Luwum Street, many other streets and roads in the city’s central business district are all teeming with the vendors.

For the last four days, it has been business unusual in the city centre as the vendors have occupied the streets in the absence of the city’s law enforcers.

But the influx of the vendors onto streets has angered city traders who are now warning they will also pour their merchandise onto the streets to compete with the vendors who are hijacking their customers.

“The death of a vendor last week wasn’t our mistake, but the negligence of KCCA. They can’t therefore use their negligence to frustrate us,” said Mr Godfrey Katongole, the chairperson of Kampala Arcade Traders Association (Kata).

KCCA has temporarily recalled its law enforcers following the death of Olivia Basemera, a street vendor, who plunged into Nakivubo waste drainage channel and died on the spot last Friday as she was reportedly being pursued by some city law enforcers.

Her death has since caused an uproar, with the public and some politicians questioning the criteria used in recruiting the KCCA law enforcers.

During a council meeting on Wednesday at the City Hall, the city councillors resolved that the deceased’s children be taken care of by KCCA.

Kamya defends KCCA

But Kampala Affairs minister Beti Olive Kamya defended the KCCA law enforcers, saying although a vendor died during their operation, they were legally executing their work.

“We are sorry for what happened but our officers did not push that lady into the channel, but she accidentally fell there. It was her destiny and she was unlucky. This must not be an excuse to break the law,” she said.

The minister urged all vendors to vacate the streets, saying the law against street vending hasn’t been reversed.

She said the law enforcers were recalled to streamline their operations.

Meanwhile, the family of the deceased vendor has issued a notice of intention to sue KCCA, asking them to pay Shs800m in compensation. KCCA has only five days to respond to the notice.

“… the family of the late Basemera demands that you pay them a total sum of Shs 810,700,500 as compensation,” reads the notice from Asinguza and Co. Advocates dated August 9.

But by press time, the KCCA technocrats headed by executive director Jennifer Musisi were still appearing before Parliament.

Previous incidents

In 2014, a woman dumped her dead baby at City Hall after a KCCA vehicle had run over her. The toddler had been brought to be breastfed by the mother who had been detained at KCCA Court over street vending. KCCA later compensated the mother of the child with Shs50m.

Early this year, a woman with her four children camped at City Hall, demanding KCCA compensates her for illegally demolishing her stall at Usafi market. She later calmed down when Kampala Central MP, Muhammed Nsereko, donated to her Shs5m to start a new business.

2 Hurt in Lamu Landmine Attack

By Kalume Kazungu

Two people were injured after the vehicle they were travelling in ran over a landmine at Nyongoro along the Garsen-Lamu road.

The suspected Al-Shabaab attack happened at around 6.30am.

NO DEATHS

Linda Boni Security Operation director Joseph Kanyiri confirmed the Monday attack, saying security personnel were pursuing the attackers.

Coast regional police boss Larry Kieng said: “I confirm a lorry ran over a landmine. No deaths have been reported. More details will follow.”

Lamu County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo also confirmed the attack, saying police were on the ground “assessing the situation”.

According to a police source on the ground, there was still an exchange of fire between the attackers and security officers in the area by 9am.

The lorry (a canter) was from Malindi and was heading to Lamu’s Mokowe jetty to collect fish when the incident happened.

INJURED

The injured have been taken to Witu Dispensary for treatment.

Nyongoro is the same place where a Kipini Raha bus ferrying passengers from Malindi to Kipini was attacked by suspected Al-Shabaab militants last week.

The gunmen opened fire on the vehicle and injured five passengers before police repulsed them.

Three other people on a motorbike were killed in the ambush.

It is also the same place where three Tana River County government officials were killed when their RAV 4 vehicle was sprayed with bullets before the militants set the vehicle alight.

The vehicle’s occupants were burned to death in the horror attack.

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‘Al-Shaabab’ Kills 3 in Lamu Attack

By Lucas Barasa, Kalume Kazungu, Kevin Odit and Ahmed Mohamed

Three people were on Wednesday killed in an Al-Shabaab attack on a bus at Nyongoro in Witu, Lamu County.

The boda boda operator and his two passengers were killed when gunmen opened fire on the bus heading to Kipini from Malindi and a security escort vehicle.

The attack on the bus belonging to Kipini Raha Company on the Garsen-Lamu highway occurred at around 3.30pm, said witnesses.

The terrorists shot randomly from the forest, killing the victims, who were near the bus, before police officers escorting the vehicle came to the passengers’ rescue.

Sources told the Nation that an unknown number of passengers were injured and were taken to Witu Sub-County Hospital, among them a woman and a child.

ESCORT VEHICLE

“The child was in the police escort vehicle and was shot in the leg,” said the source. “The woman was a passenger in the bus.

“The woman, who is of Somali origin, was seriously injured.”

The vehicles did not stop during the attack, added the source.

Newly appointed Operation Linda Boni director Joseph Kanyiri confirmed the attack but said he was yet to get details.

The attack occurred as the attention of security officers was directed at President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit for campaigns for Tuesday’s General Election.

It comes three days after credible intelligence reports that Al-Shabaab plan attacks in seven counties.

Security sources said the group was plotting attacks in Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Lamu, Tana River, Kilifi and Mombasa counties.

CAUSING FEAR

Multiple sources within Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) and the National Intelligence Service (NIS) confirmed the claim.

The plot is said to involve members of the Al-Shabaab intelligence unit, Amniyat, on a mission to carry out the attacks, with the objective of causing fear among Kenyans to stop them from voting.

They recently released two propaganda videos on the polls.

Two weeks ago, Al-Shabaab carjacked and injured Public Works Principal Secretary Mariam El-Maawy at Milihoi in Lamu but she was rescued by the military.

However, at a rally at Tononoka, Mombasa, President Kenyatta assured Kenyans that the government would provide adequate security during the elections.

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