Posts tagged as: secretary

Hints Dropped On Tapping Onto EA Regional Potential

Governmennt institutions have been called upon to work closely with the public and to educate them on services that they provide.

The remarks were made yesterday by the deputy permanent secretary ministry of Foreign Affairs and East Africa Co-operation, Ambassador Ramadhan Mwinyi, during an educational seminar on East African integration and opportunities, that started yesterday and ends today in Gombani, Pemba.

Ambassador Mwinyi said a segment of the public had voiced complaints over poor treatment by some public servants, cautioning that, if the trend wasn’t checked, Tanzania would lag behind in initiatives towards East African integration and the world in general.

He pointed out that there were vast opportunities in the integration project, but if the public was not adequately enlightened on modalities on aspects like the required documents and conditions, they would be left behind and reduced to mere spectators and complainers.

Traders expressed disappointments over the long processes of getting travelling documents, especially when they had a limited time before travelling outside the country.

They also complained about the difficulties they faced in registering their products under the bureau of standards and food and drug authorities because they did not meet their criteria.

Ambassador Mwinyi stressed the importance of government institutions to facilitate swifter public access to their services, but in compliance with laws and regulations, to enable traders seize opportunities in the East African common market.

An officer from the Immigration department, Mr Haji Kassim Haji, explained that procedures related to travel documents were not aimed at hampering anyone’s dealings but for the security of the nation.

Ambassador Mwinyi urged the traders to form groups, so that issues like getting travelling documents can be addressed jointly under the guarantee of the institutions under which they operated.

East Africa

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Foreigners Warned – High South African Crime Rates

By Peter Dube

South Africa is seemingly at odds with the rest of Africa and, probably, the world over a rising wave of crime and sporadic attacks on foreign nationals.

In recent weeks, at least three countries including Kenya issued travel alerts to their citizens.

Understandably, according to data released by the South African police at the end of March, over 960,000 serious crimes were reported to the police between April and December 2016, averaging over 3,550 cases every day – or 148 every hour.

The biggest increase has happened in the contact crime category, where robbery with aggravating circumstances, including carjacking, showing an increase of 6.1 per cent.

With this, the so-called ‘trio crimes’ – carjacking, robbery at home and robbery at non-residential premises – all saw huge increases across all crime categories.

Foreign nationals have not been spared, hence some countries cautioning their citizens intending to visit the Rainbow nation.

Kenya had a more pronounced advisory after its Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Monica Juma warned of increased cases of armed robberies, carjacking, theft, burglary, kidnap, rape and mugging.

“The most worrying element of this crime wave is the rising number of incidents of attacks within the vicinity of hotels,” Dr Juma said.

She added that the diplomatic community was being openly attacked in residential areas and in the central business district.

World’s watching

The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) chairperson, Mr Marc Gbaffou said the travel warnings were a very strong message to the South African government that the world was watching.

“It’s quite disappointing to hear the remarks that authorities will make publicly about issues like xenophobic attacks. It shows the world that visitors are not protected in the country,” Mr Gbaffou said.

Three months ago, houses belonging to migrants were burnt down in Rosettenville, south of Johannesburg and in Pretoria west.

Several businesses belonging to foreign nationals were also attacked by locals, who looted them.

Dr Juma’s letter blames South African authorities for failing to stop the wave of attacks, despite the crime reports being filed with the police.

“We need to bring to the attention of all official delegations or members of public travelling to South Africa on duty or official assignments to be cautious,” the letter says.

The Kenya advisory advises visitors to arrive in South Africa before 6pm and book accommodation in well-established areas and avoid travelling in public service vehicles.

Rape crisis

Ironically, the letter is dated April 24, the same day the UK issued a travel advisory against South Africa.

“There is a very high level of crime, including rape and murder in South Africa,” the UK says in its travel warning.

South Africa has one of the highest rape statistics in the world, with 30,069 sexual assault cases reported between April and December 2016.

An NGO that helps rape victims, Rape Crisis said “most cases went unreported because victims have lost faith in the country’s justice system”.

A 35-year-old Zimbabwean woman has been clamouring over how the police have neglected a case of rape she reported against a prominent figure.

“I am aggrieved with the way the police have handled my case. The person assigned to investigate my case told me that I do not have a case and l feel that it is not the place of the police to decide on whether or not I have a case. Theirs is to investigate and collect all evidence, which they have dragged their feet in doing,” she said.

Murder capitals

The UK’s advisory further said the most violent crimes tend to occur in townships, remote and isolated areas and away from the normal tourist destinations.

Nyanga, a notorious township in Cape Town, and Tembisa in Johannesburg, are the murder capitals in South Africa, recording the highest cases every year.

“Most visits to South Africa are trouble-free, but you should take sensible precautions to protect your safety,” the UK advisory read.

Canada also issued a travel advisory against South Africa. On May 2, the North American state said it had not issued a nationwide advisory for South Africa, but warned its citizens “to exercise a high degree of caution due to the significant level of serious crime”.

Kenya slammed

South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Corporation (DIRCO) slammed Kenya for its alert.

DIRCO spokesperson Clayson Monyela said he noted with concern the manner in which the Kenya alert had distorted information and randomly elevated issues which were inconsistent with the main thrust of bilateral relations between the two countries.

“The South African authorities will continue to seek further clarity on the matter from their Kenyan counterparts.

“South Africa wishes to emphasise that Kenyan citizens continue to travel to South Africa on a daily basis as well as official and business visits, with only three incidences reported to the South African authorities,” Mr Monyela said.

He added that South Africa was home to more than 3,000 Kenyan students who lived and studied in an environment free of harassment.

“South Africa wishes to recall the historic State Visit to Kenya in October 2016, which was hailed as a remarkable success following the signing of five new agreements. The signing of these agreements is a demonstration of the collective determination to take our bilateral relations to a higher level.”


A fortnight ago, South Africa’s Police minister Fikile Mbalula, sparked a spate with neighbouring Zimbabwe when he said Zimbabwean ex-soldiers were wreaking havoc across South Africa, committing violent crime including robberies.

Zimbabwe’s ambassador Isaac Moyo, promptly hit back saying the minister’s remarks were irresponsible.

“We cannot accept the many ill-informed elements in the said statement and we deeply regret that they were made without due regard to their accuracy,” he said.

Two months ago, Nigeria called on the African Union (UN) to intervene over the renewed xenophobia attacks in South Africa.

The Nigerian government said it had it on record that 16 of their nationals had been killed in South Africa in the last two years.

“This is unacceptable to the people and government of Nigeria,” read an emailed statement.

Mr Gbaffou believes how South Africa handled concerns about the safety of visitors and migrants was critical to its relations with other nations.

Court Awards 33 Nyeri Primary School Workers Sh9.6m

By Joseph Wangui

The Employment and Labour Relations Court has awarded 33 non-teaching staff of Nyeri Primary School Sh9.6 million after finding that they are public officers in the Ministry of Education.

Judge Byram Ongaya, of Nyeri law court, said the workers — who were employed through the school’s board of management — should be paid by funds provided by Parliament. The workers had sued the school’s board of management for failure to implement circulars issued by the Director of Personnel Management (DPM) in 2011 and 2012.

“The court holds that remuneration, service benefits, pensions, gratuities and other retirement benefits of non-teaching staff employed by pre-primary, primary and secondary school boards of management are payable from funds provided by Parliament within the framework of free basic education. And the persons so employed are clearly public officers, being part of the public service as defined in the Constitution,” said the judge.

The court also directed Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to implement the Basic Education Act, 2013, that provides for free and compulsory basic education for every child in Kenya. Justice Ongaya expressed concerns over the nationwide consequences of the judgment and the likely multiplicity of similar suits.

“This judgment should be served on the Cabinet Secretary responsible for Education and implementation of the Basic Education Act, 2013, with a view to noting and instituting appropriate executive and governance measures which will hopefully avert a multiplicity of similar suits,” Justice Ongaya said.

The workers said the board had declined to implement the circulars issued by the DPM in the Ministry of State for Public Service six years ago to raise or reflect on their salaries.

They said this was a breach of employment agreements since they are entitled to the same terms and conditions of service as their counterparts in the civil service.

The court said the 33 workers should be paid all outstanding dues not later than December 15, 2017.


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Ethiopia: Tapping Hydro-Power Potential for Green Development

By Homa Mulisa

The human being has been taking advantage of hydro-power as a source of energy for centuries. However, in the late 19th century, hydro-power became a source for generating electricity. The first hydroelectric power plant was built at Niagara Falls in 1879 designed by the inventor Nicola Tesla.

The 6th World Hydro-power Congress, a landmark event that came to Africa for the first time, was held in Addis Ababa last week. Dealing with issues related to clean and sustainable energy development, the Congress primarily stressed out the fact that poverty reduction and prosperity are unthinkable without universal access to electricity.

Hydro-power, nowadays, is an advanced and cost competitive renewable energy source. It plays an important role in today’s electricity mix, contributing to more than 16 percent of electricity generation worldwide and about 85 percent of global renewable electricity.

The contribution of hydro-power in the energy mix is thus twofold: the primary benefit is its provision of clean, renewable electricity, while it simultaneously enables other renewable efforts as it serves for the reduction of carbon from the environment. Besides, it is affirmed that hydro-power is the only renewable energy source that has the potential to expand access to electricity to large populations.

From an estimated 1.2 billion global population without access to electricity, a virtually 95 percent of them reside in Sub-saharan Africa and developing Asia. In Africa, only 31 percent of the population currently could have access to electricity, and this energy deficit is impeding its development.

However, the availability of the largest reserve in the continent with regard to both renewable and non-renewable energy sources encourage the continent to exploit them for the expansion of industrialization and sustain the impressive economic development witnessed in the last few years. Thus, given its great potential, hydro-power is expected to play a significant role in developing the future energy sector in Africa in both urban and rural areas.

Ethiopia is leading in the continent in terms of installed hydro-power capacity, exceeding 4,000 MW. Moreover, the nation has some of Africa’s richest water resources, with a hydro-power potential of 45,000 MW. In December 2016, the nation inaugurated Gilgel Gibe III, Ethiopia’s largest hydro-power plant in operation and it is also currently constructing Africa’s largest hydro-power dam whose installed capacity is 6,540 MW on the Blue Nile with a 4.8 billion USD investment.

Speakers at the Congress pointed out the need for tapping into Africa’s immense potential to fuel the industrialization process thereby ensuring sustainable development. They unanimously stressed on the need for the continent to do more to exploit its untapped hydro-power resources since development is impossible without adequate and affordable energy.

Opening the Congress, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said, “Development is unthinkable in the absence of adequate and affordable energy.” Emphasizing the need to pull together, he said, “I would like to reiterate the need for collective efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change and hydro-power is crucial to provide reliable and sustainable energy development for African economies.”

African Union Commission Deputy Chairperson Quartey Thomas Kwesi discussed hydro-power’s role in addressing Africa’s energy challenges. He said, “Access to modern and sustainable energy services is crucial to achieve sustainable and inclusive development.

“The development and expansion of renewable energy provides one of the most effective strategies to simultaneously promote development, sustainable energy access and energy security as well as climate change mitigation at the global, continental and regional levels.” Calling for increased collaboration, he added, “For Africa, there is a need to engage with specialized institutions such as the International Hydro-power Association in order to benefit from their networks of experts.”

International Hydro-power Association President Ken Adams said, “Hydro-power cannot be done in isolation.” He insisted that achieving Sustainable Development Goals will not be possible without breaking barriers and widening the scope of collaboration between all institutions. He further said, “We must embrace the fact that one single technology will not resolve the challenges of our generation. We need more hydro-power on the grid, as it plays a role as a flexible, sustainable generation source. We also need it to play the often unrecognized role of energy storage.”

Rachel Kyte, CEO of Sustainable Energy for All and special representative of the UN Secretary General for Sustainable Energy for all addressed the urgency of the current energy challenge. She said, “Better hydro-power is an important way to meet the goal of sustainable energy agreed by all countries and the ambition of the Paris climate agreement. It offers affordable, cleaner, reliable energy as well as storage which can crowd in more solar and wind development.

“The challenge of securing sustainable energy for all by 2030 means we have to move forward with speed and scale. We hope that the World Hydro-power Congress will spur rapid progress.”

Further, Abdalla Hamdok said, “Hydro-power is well known to be one of the most important power sources in the world, producing more than three quarters of the world’s renewable energy output each year. A number of countries are almost exclusively using hydro as their base load electricity. At the same time, hydro-power has become the renewable energy of choice.”

Reflecting on global concerns around hydro-power’s sustainability, Abdalla said, “I am glad to note that the agenda of this congress includes items of environmental and social impact in the context of hydro-power development.”

Moreover, the remarkable deeds of Ethiopia, China, Brazil and Ecuador in regard to hydro-power development have been commended at the Congress. It was reported that Ethiopia’s dams will provide regional electricity through several electricity inter-connectors, including a 2,000 MW Ethiopia-Kenya linkage and a 1,600 MW Ethiopia-South Sudan inter-connector, while all 10 members of the Eastern African Power Pool are due to begin electricity trading in 2017 upon completion of six cross-border transmission lines.

Considering its potential, Africa can soon integrate through hydro-power; with 90 percent of its hydro-power potential untapped so far, the content could become a net hydro-power exporter to Europe and West Asia.

Election Dispute Tribunals Have 108 Pending Cases

By Richard Munguti

With only two days remaining for the Political Parties Disputes Tribunals (PPDTs) to conclude deciding on the cases arising from the recently concluded primaries, there are 108 undecided disputes among them that of Governor Mwangi wa Iria (Murang’a), Machakos gubernatorial aspirant Wavinya Ndeti (Wiper), and Nyandarua Woman Rep Wanjiku Muhia.

The tribunal has given a jail warning to Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju if the party presents the name of Senator Chris Obure to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as its gubernatorial candidate for Kisii County. Mr Obure’s nomination has been challenged by four petitioners led by Mr Alfred Nyangweso and Mary Okemwa.

Also the certificate issued to Mr wa Iria has been cancelled as well as that of Ms Muhia.

Jubilee Party has been directed to repeat nominations for Endebess within 72 hours under the watch of a returning officer from outside the area.

As the two tribunals appointed by Chief Justice David Maraga worked late into the night to conclude the 263 disputes arising from the party primaries, IEBC expressed concern that the tribunal had over shot the timelines allocated to finalise the disputes.


One of the tribunals’ chairpersons Kyalo Mbobu told the Nation that by all means all the hearings must be concluded by Friday.

“We have tried our best to dispose of the disputes as they were filed but the number kept swelling day by day. But come Friday we shall have finished determining those that are pending,” Mr Mbobu, who is sitting alongside James Atemi and Hassan Abdi, said.

“As at today (Tuesday) the tribunals have heard and disposed of 155 disputes out of 263,” he said.

Mr Mbobu is chairing one tribunal while Ms Milly Lwanga Odongo is presiding over the second comprising Mr Paul Ngotho and Dr Adelide Mbithi.

The two tribunals had not sat since Tuesday morning as they were in a meeting and also writing judgements.

The tribunals were expected to conclude the disputes by last Saturday but were compelled to continue this week due to their increasing number.

When PPDT presided over by Mr Mbobu resumed session it ordered Jubilee to hold repeat polls for Entebes within 72 hours. At the same time it dismissed the appeal filed by Dagoreti South MP Dennis Waweru against John KJ Kiarie.


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Health Ministry Assures of Measures to Keep Ebola Away

By Verah Okeyo And Elizabeth Merab

The government has stepped up surveillance at entry points into the country following the outbreak of lethal Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu said that all surveillance teams have been activated.

“We sent an alert to all counties, especially those at the borders, to look out for signs like fever and any other suspicious signs pointing to Ebola”, he told the Nation on phone on Tuesday.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed cases of Ebola in DRC early this week, where three people have died so far in 19 suspected cases.

This outbreak comes just a year after the end of an epidemic in West Africa that killed more than 11,300 people, mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. It was termed the world’s worst Ebola outbreak which affected more than 28,600.


The WHO was criticised for a lethargic response to the disease, an omission that may have been a blessing in disguise as African nations such as Kenya strengthened their response to such attacks.

Also, the global vaccine alliance, GAVI, and pharmaceutical company Merck hinted at using the “opportunity” to launch the Ebola vaccine.

Kenya had sent a team of about 160 health workers to the affected countries to boost response efforts.

A statement sent to newsrooms by the Director of Medical Services Jackson Kioko also provides two numbers – 0732353535 and 0729471414 – for the public to inquire or report any suspected case of Ebola.


“While the Ministry is fully aware of the seriousness of Ebola and the risk of importation of the virus to Kenya, we wish to assure the public that the outbreak has occurred in a remote zone in DRC and, with timely effective responses having been mounted, the disease is unlikely to spread widely in the region”, Dr Kioko wrote in his statement.

Dr Mailu said that there are forms that will be filled in at the airport, and should there be any suspect case, they will be traced and monitored in their homes.

“This is not just for people whose final destination is Kenya, but also for people who are in transit,” he said.

Hosting an international airport that acts as a stopover for most travellers in Africa, Kenya suspended some of its flights in the last bout of Ebola attacks in West Africa.

Dr Mailu said that there are also leaflets at the airport that the Ministry has issued to be given to travellers and workers to remind them of the need to be alert.


Dr Maurice Simiyu, Busia’s health executive, said that the national government gave the county special screening equipment.

“It is much quicker to screen people as they come through here, and that puts our minds at ease,” Dr Simiyu said.

Busia has two borders – Busia and Malaba – with heavy traffic from Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and DRC.

Congo, whose dense forests contain the River Ebola near where the disease was first detected in 1976, has experienced many outbreaks and has mostly succeeded in containing the attacks without large-scale loss of life.

The East African Community may have opened the borders for trade as well as the ease at which infectious diseases can move from one country to another.


Dr Mailu added that this latest attack has prompted the government to strengthen the partnership between the human and veterinary departments in the country as the threat of Zoonoses increase.

Zoonoses are diseases that move from animals to man, making veterinarians a key component in responding to them.

Nevertheless, Kenya was the first country in the Eastern African region to have a Zoonotic Disease Unit (ZDU) in 2006 to tackle these kinds of outbreaks.

Kenya was also the first country in Africa to train elite squad of epidemiologists -those people who track how diseases break, spread and then they contain it– in a programme called Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (Feltp)


The first case, which came April 22, involved a 45-year-old man. The taxi driver who took the man to the hospital and a person who cared for the man both became sick and later died, WHO said.

Ebola is a highly infectious virus spread through contact with bodily fluids, and testing shows the latest outbreak involves the Zaire strain, the most dangerous of the viruses known to cause the disease.

A 2007 outbreak of this strain in Congo had a fatality rate of 74 per cent, claiming 200 lives.

On Saturday, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa, met with national authorities in Kinshasa to discuss ways to mount a response to the outbreak.

“WHO has already mobilized technical experts to be deployed on the ground and is ready to provide the leadership and technical expertise required to mount a coordinated and effective response,” Moeti said.

Plastic Bags Ban Benefits Exceed Burdens, Says CS Judi Wakhungu

By Samwel Owino

Environment and natural resources Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu has accused the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) of dishonesty and exaggerating figures on the number of jobs that could be lost when the ban on plastic bags takes effect in September.

Appearing before the National Assembly’s Environment Committee, Prof Wakhungu accused KAM of not telling the truth and promised to provide the exact figure at a later date.

“I want to assure the public that the figures being put by KAM of the job loss are exaggerated and they know the truth as we have been engaging over time. The number of jobs that will be created will be more than those lost,” the CS told MPs.

“The issue of good faith is important here and KAM should tell Kenyans the truth. We have all records of our engagement and will table them,” she added.


The manufacturers’ lobby had earlier said the ban imposed by the minister will lead to loss of about 600,000 jobs and indirect employment through retailers, wholesalers and outlets.

But the CS accused KAM of always making an about-turn and asking for more time whenever they inch close to a deal on the ban.

“This has been going on for the last 15 years and it is now time to implement the ban,” Prof Wakhungu said, adding: “The association knew 15 years ago that this day would come.”

On February 28, the minister published a legal notice announcing a ban on both domestic and commercial use of plastic bags from September.

She said the proposal had received a lot of support, especially from pastoral communities, who said plastic bags have been the major cause of death of their livestock.


Several MPs supported the CS on the ban, saying the country needs to have alternatives that safeguard the environment.

Emuhaya MP Wilber Ottichilo said the impact of the ban is more beneficial to the economy than the few job losses KAM is worrying about.

“The negative effect of the ban to our economy is just 10 per cent, we stand to gain 90 per cent and more jobs will be created when the ban is implemented,” said Dr Ottichilo.

Bungoma County Woman Representative Reginalda Wanyonyi said plastic bags had caused more harm to the economy, especially on sectors such as agriculture and tourism.

“I fully support the ban, the plastic bags have caused more problems and job losses and the ban is appropriate.”

KAM has asked Parliament to suspend the implementation of the notice on grounds that the six-month grace period to stop manufacture and use of plastic bags is too short.


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Kenya: Mailu to Publish Schedule of Disbursement of Doctors’ Pay to Counties

By Simon Ndonga

Nairobi — Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu will on Wednesday publish the schedule of funds allocated to county governments to pay doctors and nurses allowances for the 100 days they were on strike.

Mailu who insisted that the funds have been transferred to the respective counties made the decision following a demand by the Council of Governors that it be made public.

The Governors also want to know the dates and actual amounts disbursed to the counties.

They stated that the allocation is yet to be disbursed to any county government since the Senate has not resumed its sessions to approve the allocations.

They explained that what was budgeted for the Nurses, Clinical officers and other Health workers in the counties as allowances amounted to Sh1.6 billion with Doctors getting Sh1.5 billion.

The Governors also demanded to know under what provisions of the law did the Ministry purport to disburse the monies to the County Governments without the Senate’s approval.

The National Treasury authorised the Ministry of Health to incur expenses worth 1.69 billion to be disbursed to Counties to cater for the negotiated health workers and clinical officers’ allowances for the first phase of implementation with effect from January 1, 2017.

In order for this allocation to be disbursed to counties, the supplementary allocation must be approved by the Senate through an amendment to the County Allocation of Revenue Act of 2016.

Currently, these funds cannot be disbursed to counties until the Senate meets to make these very important amendments.

Doctors in various counties had threatened to boycott work while accusing the government of failing to implement the return-to-work formula that ended their strike.


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Unmasking The Billionaire Millers Who Shipped Maize to Mombasa

Photo: Laban Walloga/The Nation

The MV IVS Pinehurst after it docked at the port of Mombasa on Tuesday with 29,900 tons of maize.

By John Kamau

As many questions remain unanswered on the identity of the billionaire millers who brought in the cargo of maize, what is clear is that they have been here before – done that.

When the saga broke, the first name to be mentioned was that of Holbud (UK) Limited as the company that shipped the maize from Mexico.

The last time Holbud was mentioned in Kenya it was about a maize scandal.

That time, in 2004, the National Cereals and Produce Board officials had sold maize from the Strategic Grain Reserve to Holbud at “uneconomical prices”, according to a report by the Inspectorate of State Corporations.

Holbud, then, was allocated 1 million bags — which it sold to Zimbabwe — after then-Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Shem Migot-Adholla ordered the sale “to offset NCPB’s debt to farmers”.


The report said Holbud had neither asked to buy the maize nor tendered for it.

Interestingly, earlier in 2002, the same firm had been allowed to import more than 16,000 tonnes of maize from Durban, South Africa, when the country faced a crisis similar to the one we are in today.

And now, questions are once again being raised on this company, which docked in Kenya with 29,900-tonnes of maize this week.

Based in the UK, the company is run by Hasnain Roshanali Merali, David George Rowe, Mahmood Gulamhusein Khaku and Shaukat Akberali Merali.

But according to some court filings — regarding a Holbud ship, MV Ya Mawlaya, which had an accident in the US, both Holbud and Hydrey (P) Limited are “related companies controlled by Roshan Merali”.


Thus, Hydrey (P) Limited is of significance. It is associated to Holbud and the two share directors.

While some government officials say that Holbud was only a transporter of the cargo, aboard MV IVS Pinehurst, it also named the importers as Kitui Flour Mills, Pembe Flour Mills and Hydrey (P) Limited – meaning that Holbud also brought cargo for its sister company.

Two years ago, Holbud was in the news when the parliamentary committee on Agriculture was investigating how the company won a Sh6 billion fertiliser tender and the quality of fertiliser brought in.

On the other hand, Kitui Millers is associated with one of the wealthiest Mombasa families of Salim Taib with an empire straddling East Africa.

He is also associated with Pembe Flour Mills, which also shared in the latest maize cargo.


The family also owns a mill in Uganda and another in Tanga, Tanzania.

The other beneficiary was Mombasa Maize Millers.

Founded in 1978, it is associated with the family of Mombasa millionaire Mohammed Islam Ali, who established the company with his brother Ahmed Ali.

Not to be left out is Embakasi-based Alpha Grain Millers whose origin is Moyale, where it started as a distribution company in 1970s. It is run by businessman Mohamednur Khalif and produces Kifaru flour brand.

Initial government reports had said that the maize came from Mexico but when questions were raised how the ship MV IVS Pinehurst managed to sail 17,600 kilometres to Mombasa in just a few days, the story changed to the port of Durban.


Ships from North America with cargo destined for East Africa use the Mediterranean route rather than the South African route which is 18,200 kilometres long.

Perhaps the other question was what the ship was doing at Port Louis, Mauritius, on April 19, 2017, as identified in ship tracking sites, before sailing to Durban and then to Mombasa.

Some pundits have said that MV IVS Pinehurst engages in “blue economy” — a term used to refer to ships with cargo in the high seas awaiting a chance to trade — but the ministry said the maize cargo came from Mexican stocks that were in South Africa, thanks to another company called Inter Africa Grains PTY.

The company’s name was mentioned by Transport Principal Secretary Paul Mwangi, who said the maize was stored in South Africa and that was why the vessel took only five days after importers were given the nod to ship it into Mombasa.


“The white maize was imported from South Africa from Mexico last year when there was a shortage in that country.

The excess amount was stored in Durban and sold to Kenya from Johannesburg,” Dr Mwangi said in Mombasa.

So who is Inter Africa Grains PTY, who sold the maize?

This company is registered in Bermuda, and is an affiliate of Seaboard Corporation, an American company based in Kansas and which describes itself in its United States Securities and Exchange Commission filings as a global agribusiness company.

In Kenya, it owns a 35 per cent stake in Unga Limited and has offices in Mombasa.


US newspapers say its CEO, Steve Bresky, takes a low profile and has never been interviewed by any media, despite having a global network of flour mills, fruit and vegetable operations.

In a recent profile of the company, Kansas City Business Journal described the Fortune 500 establishment as “the silent giant of the Kansas City business scene”.

“The most interesting thing about Seaboard is how diverse and global they are, how they’re headquartered here, yet they are so unrecognised,” Mr David Gibson, a fourth-generation wheat trader told the newspaper.

It is not clear whether this is the same company that has sent the cargo aboard the MV Interlink Priority, which is expected to arrive in Mombasa with another consignment of 37,050 tonnes of maize.

Seaboard owns Unga millers in Uganda and various other milling concerns.

This Is What Tanzania Is Doing to Protect Its Citizens From Ebola

Photo: Ebola Deeply

(file photo).

Dar es Salaam — No Tanzanian has been affected by Ebola, following the recent outbreak that occurred at North-east Bas-Uele in DR Congo.

Speaking to reporters on Monday the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Dr Mpoki Ulisubisya revealed this, adding that a team of six people will travel to Kigoma and Kagera regions on Tuesday in order to boost diagnosis in the areas. The team will work on diagnosing people entering the country so that can identify whether they have the virus.

In view of this, the government has cautioned the residents in Mwanza,Kigoma, Rukwa, Katavi, Singerema and Kagera which are neighbor to DR Congo to report to authorities in case of people arriving in the country likely with disease symptoms.

According to him, the government has received information from the international Health Regulations – National Focal Point on the

existence of Ebola in DR Congo whereby three people out of nine who were reported to be affected have already died.

“So far in our country there is no patient proven to have been the affected by diseases…but we are still taking cautions since some of regions are close to that country,” he said.

He added that in order to prevent the disease the ministry is taking precautions including boosting the isolation unit in Temeke, as well as improving laboratories which are special for diagnosing the Ebola virus located in Mbeya and Dar es Salaam.

The government will also continue to provide information to public through local government to improve diagnosis system in all boarders,airports and ports including Rysumo, Kabanga, Mtukula and Kigoma port.

PS however said the ministry will start thermal screening at boarders and airports to travelers from DR Congo as well as continue educating visitors on existence of Ebola.


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