Monthly Archives: December 2011
Tuesday, Dec 27, 2011 By Kakamegatimes reporter
Prime Minister Raila Odinga has pledged to support ODM deputy leader Musalia Mudavadi if the latter clinches the party’s nominations next year.
Raila said internal democracy in the party has created room for competition and nobody should dictate to the party the best way to run its affairs.
“Some people are saying I should look for another running mate if I become the party’s flag bearer,” he told a crowd in Vihiga Constituency where he attended this year’s Maragoli Cultural Festivals.
“I said I will support Musalia if he bags the party ticket just as he has promised to do if I clinch it.”
He downplayed wrangles that dogged the party’s recent grassroots’ elections arguing that it was because of the party’s popularity that people wanted to be associated with it.
The PM railed at those who opposed the constitution casting doubts on their commitment at implementing the laws adding that implementing the constitution as it is was key to uplifting the lives of Kenyans.
The two party leaders said ODM was ready for elections in August and voters should arm themselves with ID cards ahead of registration of voters.
Mudavadi, also the Deputy Prime Minister, said he will not ditch the party as it has been suggested to him by some people.
“We want to build our parties properly. If delegates decide that they want Raila I must respect the decision of the party and if I get the ticket he should support me,” he said.
He said devolution is the linchpin of the new dispensation and those opposed to it are the ones who want to scrap the senate.
Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale who was also in attendance said the executive’s attempts at changing the election date would not bear fruit.
Area MP Yusuf Chanzu criticized politicians who use money to campaign blaming recent deaths of youths in the constituency on their activities. Raila’s wife Ida and Mudavadi’s Tess attended the event.
Thursday, December 08, 2011
By Chris Mahandara.
The Ministry of Livestock has requested treasury to support the New Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC) with Sh. 600 million to enhance the firm’s capacity to buy milk from farmers.
Director of Livestock Production Dr. Julius Kiptarus said the money would be used to purchase part of powder and ultra heated (UHT) milk lying at the New KCC stores in Kitale, Eldoret and Kiganjo to give the firm cash flow to buy more milk from farmers.
New KCC, he said was finding it difficult to purchase milk from farmers since it has 120, 000 tonnes of powdered and UHT milk valued at Sh. 1.2 billion lying at their stores.
“We want the government to purchase these products and take them to strategic food reserves to enable New KCC to purchase more milk for processing,” he said.
Dr. Kiptarus urged the treasury to urgently avail the funds to ensure that farmers don’t lose market for their milk. He disclosed that milk production in the country had increased from 4.2 billion litres in 2008 to over 5.7 billion litres this year.
As a result, other processors were also finding it difficult to purchase all the milk at the same time sell what they have already processed. He attributed the increase to the ongoing rains that have ensured availability of pasture urging farmers to venture into value addition and produce yoghurt, ghee and cheese to make more money.
Speaking yesterday at Likuyani in Lugari during a tour of projects under the small holder dairy commercialization (SDCP) project, Dr. Kiptarus said the programme which aims at boosting milk production has been a success.
The IFAD funded programme which was to end next year, he said has been extended to 2015 adding that the government was looking for ways of extending it to 33 other districts that have potential for livestock production.
Currently the programme is being implemented in nine districts which include, Trans Nzoia, Bungoma, Kisii, Bomet, Nandi North, Uasin Gishu, Nyamira, Nakuru and Lugari.
BUNGOMA Monday, 5th Dec 2011
A tense atmosphere engulfed a small village of Namang’ofulo following the murder of three guards of a coffee factory by suspected robbers.
Bungoma West DC Paul Marinyang’ was mobbed by a crowd that accused the security machinery of being complicit. Police were forced to disperse the rowdy crowd to clear the road that was blocked by it.
Earlier this morning Western PPO Benson Githinji said the three guards of Namang’ofulo Coffee Factory were pinioned by unknown number of robbers armed with crude weapons and slashed to death.
Two more guards escaped and raised alarm, prompting quick response by the villagers who cornered two suspects and lynched them.
Earlier this morning, added the PPO, one more suspect was arrested by police but lynched shortly after arrest by the angry residents bringing the number of deaths to six.
“I cannot address them now because we are trying to clear the road and they are not giving any reason for their action,” said Marinyang’ of the rowdy crowd.
The suspects had taken 7 bags of coffee but abandoned them and sped off in their vehicle after the public responded to the alarm raised.
Sunday, 04 Dec 2011 By Chris Mahandara.
Over 4, 000 locals in Budalangi have been marooned by floods after river Nzoia and two dykes in the area burst its banks.
Crops, homes ,schools, churches and business premises have been destroyed following the flood menace that hit Budalangi a fresh after a break of about one year.
The water was overflowing the 4.5 metres dykes and had sub-merged gauges used to measure the level of water that has now risen to over 6 metres.
Bunyala Central and Khachula locations which are the worst hit were a beehive of activities with Military officers and both the administration and regular police officers assisting in evacuation of the victims to safer grounds.
Western Provincial Commissioner (PC) Mr. Samuel Kilele led a strong delegation to the area to assess the situation. “Water is overflowing the river and the dykes and we have been left with only one option to evacuate the people and animals.”
Rwambwa police station, Busagwa Primary school and youth polytechnic and Magombe Catholic Church were all sub-merged displacing hundreds of victims that had earlier taken refuge at those centres.
Rwambwa-Mau Mau road that is about 15 kilometres stretch was becoming impassable with officers from Nation Water Corporation warning that it was just a matter of time before a Northern dyke near the Catholic church bursts down and wreck more havoc.
“We have already relocated police officers from Rwambwa station which has been swept away by the heavy rains,” said Mr Kilele.
Some locals however refused to leave the flooded areas claiming that their property would be stolen despite the fact that a lot of crop and other households had been destroyed by the floods.
“We have had a problem convincing the people to move, most of them have refused to go despite warnings that the situation would get worse,” said the PC.
A trailer transporting food from Nairobi had not arrived and victims had not had food some of them since Friday since the flood menace hit the area.
Locals however, blamed the government claiming that it had taken long to act and avert the crisis. “This is a perennial problem and the government should have known better,” said one of the locals.
But Kilele said rehabilitation of two dykes that had broken down was on-going when the floods hit the area altering works at the affected dykes.
By the time we went to press, the government was in the process of deploying a chopper to evacuate the victims after roads become impassable as water continued to pile up.
Some locals said they had invested heavily on their farms and expected a bumper harvest of Maize, rice and Bananas “but our dreams have been dealt a big blow.”
Budalang’ DC Khalif Ali said the problem had been accessioned by the bursting of the Northern and Southern dykes. “We are advising those in the West to start moving to safer grounds before another dyke breaks down”
Monday, December 05, 2011 By Chris Mahandara.
700 people have been displaced after River Nzoia burst its banks and swept away several houses at Shibale in Mumias district.
Several other houses along the river were submerged in water following a weekend of heavy rains in the area.
The affected among them children and the elderly from 62 households have been evacuated to Shibale Primary School.
Some of the houses still standing are in very bad shape because they have been weakened by the rains and the owners have been advised to vacate.
Victor Washiali, a victim of the floods said that since 1947 the area has not experienced any floods of that nature.
He added that they lost all their belongings after the waters swept away their houses urging the government and well wishers to assist them.
Lower Western Regional Commissioner (RC) Mr. Peter Okwanyo who toured the area said his office had written to the ministry of special programmes to assist the affected families with food.
Mr. Okwanyo confirmed that the Kenya Red cross has assisted the victims with 50 tents, 100 blankets, 100 mosquito nets, 100 bar soaps and water treatment tablets.
He added that the Mumias Constituency Fund (CDF) has also assisted the affected families with Sh. 200, 000 to buy food and clothes.
The RC appealed to well wishers and development partners to assist the families since the rains were likely to go on until the end of the month.
Monday, 5th Dec, 2011 By Kakamegatimes
Doctors at Kakamega Provincial Hospital kept off the facility on the first day of a strike called by Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union. The medics marched to the Provincial Commissioner’s office premises where they addressed the press. They said they have referred patients to private and mission hospitals to be treated since they will not relent until the union advises them to return to work. “We have poor working conditions and poor remuneration as you can see most of us are young and fear marrying because we cannot sustain a family,” said KMPPDU Western branch chairman Mark Makhomere. The theater, pharmacy and the dental units were all closed as the doctors refused to attend to even emergencies arguing that there was an ambulance in place to help deal with such cases. But the private facilities did not report any unusual number of patients even though the ones we visited declared they were prepared for any eventuality. “In the event that we receive any more patients we will recall our doctors who are on off duty,” said Lorna Masingila a matron at Nala Community Hospital. She said they expect a rise in numbers of patients since they had already received requests of referrals from women who had gone through Caesarean Section but advised them to go home instead. “We advised them due to the levels of their conditions since some of them were not in danger but we will help those who will come.”
Jirongo asks Raila, Uhuru, Kalonzo and Ruto to shelve their presidential ambitions to unite the nation
KAKAMEGA Saturday, December 03, 2011
By Chris Mahandara.
Presidential hopeful Cyrus Jirongo has urged big names in next year’s
presidential race to shelve their ambition and support his
presidential bid for the sake of unity and prosperity of the nation.
The Lugari MP said Kenyans have not fully recovered from the events
that followed the controversial 2007 presidential elections adding
that it was only fair for those who featured prominently to step aside
for new blood to heal the nation.
The MP who launched his presidential bid in July this year said if
Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta or
Eldoret North Mp William Ruto is elected president next year other
communities across the country would not be comfortable.
“This is likely to take us back to violence yet all we want is a
peaceful country to create an enabling environment for development,”
said the MP.
Jirongo said a leader from the Luhya community was better placed to
unite the nation and heal tribal animosities that resulted into the
2007 poet election clashes.
“Luhya’s are very peaceful and coexist with all communities across the
country and given an opportunity to lead Kenya will be more peaceful
and prosperous,” he said.
For many years, he said Luhya’s have overwhelmingly supported other
communities for the top seat adding that it was now time for them to
support a leader from the community.
He reiterated that he was firmly in the race and will continue talking
to other like minded leaders to make the dream a reality.
The MP made the remarks today during a funeral at Mbale in Vihiga County.
Thursday, 1st December 2011 By Chris Mahandara.
Fish farming in Western Province has received a major boost with the commissioning of the construction of a Sh60 million processing plant in Kakamega. The plant expected to be ready by end of July next year will benefit more than 10,000 farmers in all the four counties in the region. Ministry of Fisheries Development has handed over the site that is on its five-acre parcel of land at Lutonyi to Volcanic Plumbing Works that begins the work immediately. Speaking at the handing over of site function at Lutonyi, the Director of Aquaculture Mr Godfrey Monor said the project that complements phase one of the Economic Stimulus Package is being used as a pilot project with plans to increase the number of such plants to 13. “This plant will be a collection center and an outlet for chain supermarkets and other buyers in this region and even the country,” he said. Monor said the demand for fish has risen sharply yet the country’s production stands at only 150,000 metric tons for both the captured and cultured fish that are intended to boost supply of fish. This, he added, disillusioned consumers of the delicacy. “Kenyans consume on 4.6 kilograms per person when the world over just one person consumes 60 kilograms.” He urged fish farmers to be serious with the activity as the market is growing and is expected to expand with such initiatives coming up. “Fish market is lucrative and we should strengthen our clusters to attract buyers. It will be a shame to have a processing plant without fish to be processed,” he reckoned. There are about 300 fish ponds in all the nine constituencies that form Kakamega County with over 2,000 farmers in serious fish farming. Fish production in the region has hit 3 million kilograms mark and is expected to rise. The processing plant will be run by the farmers’ representatives from all the nine constituencies that include Butere, Mumias, Matungu and Lugari. The firm will, however, benefit fish farmers in all the counties of Western. The plant will have a chilling section, cold room, cleaning area and a collection center once it is ready. Monor said construction of three more such plants will be commissioned in South Imenti, Rongo and Tetu. He said farmers in Kakamega had demonstrated seriousness in the enterprise thus the decision to have the plant built in the area.
Thursday, 1st Dec 2011 By Chris Mahandara.
Panic gripped workers and members of the public at the provincial headquarters in Kakamega following a mock terrorism drill to assess the level of preparedness among staff and the public on such attacks.
The staff and the public numbering about 200 scampered for safety immediately an installed alarm went off and gunshots tore into the relatively calm atmosphere of the mid-morning.
Business was brought to a halt as frightened workers and clients rushed to assembly point under the instructions of Administration Police who were strategically placed to assist.
Western PC Samuel Kilele said the drill was essential in testing the level of awareness and preparedness for such eventualities.
He urged everyone to be on the lookout for possible threats to peace and stability as terrorism activities know no bounds.
“We are sending the message that we are more alert than before,” he said.