Monthly Archives: February 2012

Kakamega Times Weekly newspaper coming soon, watch this space


Esteemed readers,

The weekly edition of Kakamega Times is set to hit the streets soon. Be on the look out and thanks alot for your support.

Ministry set to issue five million identity cards


KAKAMEGA

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

By Chris Mahandara.
The ministry of immigration is set to issue Identification cards to
five million Kenyans ahead of the general elections.
Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang said the ministry has enough funds
and materials to produce the five million identity cards urging
Kenyans who have attained the age of 18 years to apply for the
documents.
In an interview with Kakamegatimes, the minister said the process
of issuing out the identification card shall be hastened to ensure
that more Kenyans acquire the documents so as to register as voters
and vote in the general elections.
The Minister added that registration officers have been deployed
across the country and shall be facilitated to ensure that the
exercise is conducted within the shortest time possible.
On birth certificates, the minister said civil registrars have been
directed to liaise with primary school heads and chiefs to issue the
documents in schools.
Chiefs, he said will verify documents presented by parents to the
schools before the registrars issue out the certificates. This, he
said will ease pressure and long queues at civil registration offices.
He asked parents to ensure that their children are registered
immediately they are born to facilitate easier issuance of the
certificates.

ECD coordinators root support for the proposed system of education


KAKAMEGA

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

By Chris Mahandara.
Early Childhood Education project coordinators from Western Province
have rooted support for the proposed new system of education.
The coordinators said the proposed system was a sure way of bringing
up holistic all round professionals to compete effectively in the
competitive world.
Western Regional Coordinator for Early Childhood Education Programme
officers Mr. Douglas Barasa said the system which incorporates two
years for ECD was a step in the right direction to ensure that all
children attend school.
ECD, he said was critical in nurturing talent and boosting performance
at primary school level urging the government to include it in the
free education programme to bring more children on board.
“Most children in rural, arid and semi arid areas have no access to
ECD since their parents cannot afford the levies charged,” he said.
He urged the government to employ ECD teachers to take on the
programme to enhance quality education at that level.
“The government through sessional paper two of 2005 promised to employ
ECD teachers in 2010 but to date the promise has not been honored,” he
said

Customs officers put on notice


KAKAMEGA

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

By Chris Mahandara.
Customs officers at Malaba border post have been cautioned against
imposing unnecessary conditions in clearing cargo at the border of
Kenya and Uganda.
This follows days of delay in clearance of cargo at the busy border
point with some truck drivers complaining that the officers demand for
Sh. 5, 000 bribe before clearing the cargo.
A cabinet sun committee chaired by Internal Security minister Prof.
George Saitoti today toured the border post and had an intensive
discussion with the clearance officers.
The minister who was accompanied by committee members Deputy Prime
Minister Musalia Mudavadi, Transport Minister Amos Kimunya, Roads
Minister Franklin Bett and East Africa Cooperation Minister Musa
Sirma.
Prof. Saitoti said the government was concerned with the slow pace of
clearing cargo at the border post adding that everything possible will
be done to ease clearance of cargo at the border.
The minister said the border was critical to Kenya adding that
jeopardizing operations would lead to loss of revenue and cripple the
economy.
Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi said an all inclusive approach
will be used to streamline operations at the border.
Transport Minister Amos Kimunya contended that the system at the
border was not working effectively.
He said no officer has been arrested in connection with the bribery
claims but said the claims were not being treated lightly.
“We are not going to allow anybody out to increase the cost of
transporting goods unnecessarily,” said the minister.
The ministry, he said was working on a one stop border post in the
area and a one window clearance system to fasten clearance of cargo.
Roads Minister Franklin Bett said the Eldoret Malaba highway was
already under construction to ease transportation of goods.
He said two contractors are on sight to complete a 7m carriage way and
2m shoulders on both sides in 18 months time.
He added that an extra lane will also be constructed to act as a
holding ground for vehicles waiting to be cleared.
A new bridge, he said will also be constructed at the border to
enhance free flow of traffic in and out of the country.
East Africa Cooperation Minister Musa Sirma said the new measures
being put in place by the government will enhance trade between the
East Africa member states.
“We have been accused of having the highest number of non tariff
barriers but with the new system I expect our partners to be
satisfied,” said the minister.

Wamalwa urged to shelve his presidential ambitions and support Mudavadi.


KAKAMEGA

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

By Chris Mahandara.

New Ford Kenya Presidential hopeful Eugine Wamalwa has been asked to shelve his ambitions and back Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi.

Ikolomani Member of Parliament Dr. Boni Khalwale said time has come for all MP’s and particularly those interested in presidency from Western Province to throw their weight behind Mudavadi who is seeking the seat through the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

The MP said New Ford Kenya will which was formed on a platform of bringing change and reforms will prevail upon the Saboti MP to support Mudavadi if he sails through the ODM nominations.

“Wamalwa is young and energetic so he should be prepared to mark time behind Mudavadi if nominated to carry the ODM flag,” said the legislator.

Other presidential candidates from the region Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula, Bumula MP Bifwoli Wakoli and Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo are also under pressure from elders and leaders from the area to back Mudavadi for the top seat.

Speaking at a funeral in Malava yesterday, Khalwale took issue with ODM party leader Prime Minister Raila Odinga who over the weekend asked nonparty members to stop meddling with the party’s affairs saying leaders from the region will not fold their arms and watch him deny Mudavadi a chance to lead the country.

“We have confidence in Musalia Mudavadi and even if we are not members of ODM we cannot allow anybody to undermine him,” said the legislator.

The MP urged ODM delegates from the region to be alert and through their weight behind the deputy prime minister to deliver the presidency.

“We have deputized the Prime Minister for all these years and it is only fair for him to also give us a chance,” said Khalwale.

Speaking at the same funeral, Housing Minister Soita Shitanda said even though leaders from the region were fully supporting Mudavadi, the decision to make him the party’s torchbearer lies with the delegates.

“You must demonstrate solidarity and support him when the elections are called or else the dream of bringing presidency to Western will remain a pipe dream,” he said.

PC calls for voluntary disarmarment as he receives 20 students on a peace walk


KAKAMEGA     Saturday, February 25, 2012

By Chris Mahandara.

The government has issued a seven days ultimatum to people holding illegal firearms in Western Province to surrender them voluntarily.

Western PC said cases of robbery at gun point were on the increase in the area with at least every major town in the area believed to harbor armed criminals.

Previously Mount Elgon was the only area with illegal firearms in the province but the PC said armed robbers have pitched tent across the province where they terrorize innocent Kenyans.

The government, he said will grant amnesty to those who voluntarily surrender the firearms adding that stern action will be taken against any person found in possession of an illegal firearm.

He directed all security officers in the area to mount round the clock patrol and search for the illegal firearms to ensure that peace prevails in the area.

Mr. Kilele decried rising incidents of petty crime where organized gangs armed with pangas and machetes raid homes in the dead of the night and slash innocent Kenyans demanding for money.

He pointed out Kakamega where the cases are reported almost on daily basis adding that police will intensify patrols to ensure that the criminals are arrested and taken to court.

The administrator further urged area residents to volunteer information to the police to ensure that those involved in the heinous crimes are arrested and prosecuted.

He made the remarks at Muliro Gardens in Kakamega town today where he received a group of 20 students from Moi University and Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology who participated in a peace walk from Eldoret to Kakamega.

The students embarked on the 170 km walk dubbed 1000 strides towards peace from Eldoret on  23rd February and arrived in Kakamega town today where they were received by the PC.

The students visited various institutions along the Eldoret- Kapsabet –Chavakali Kakamega road where the engaged the youth to create awareness and preach peace as the country gears towards the general elections.

Kakamega Central District Administration Police Commandant Mr. Francis Kooli who was one of the organizers of the peace walk said it provided a forum for the youth to engage themselves with their colleagues and preach peace to enhance cohesion.

Mr. Kilele lauded the peace initiative and asked communities living in the area to embrace each other and preach peace.

Minister to appeal against court’s decision stopping him from cancelling census results


KAKAMEGA 003

Thursday, February 09, 2012

By Chris Mahandara.

Planning Minister Wycliffe Oparanya has expressed displeasure over the high court’s decision to stop him from cancelling 2009 census results in 8 districts of North eastern Province.

The Minister said the high court ruling was illegal since the census act of 2006 empowers the minister for planning to ensure that any statistics used by the government for planning is accurate.

In an exclusive interview with Kakamegatimes, the minister said he was set to appeal against the decision that would see Kenya’s population adjusted by 900, 000.

As a result the country’s actual population according to the minister is 37.3 million and not 38 million as per the 2010 provisional results.

Mr. Oparanya said specialists have examined the data collected in 2009 using all internationally accepted methods which identified flaws in the provisional results for the 8 districts announced by the government in 2010.

“The results we released were provisional and I raised the red flag after realizing that the data from the affected districts was not correct that is why two and a half years down the line we have not announced actual results,” he said.

The minister said the decision to stop him from cancelling the results was unfair because it will lead to inequitable distribution of resources.

“We disbursed this financial year’s Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to the affected constituencies based on the provisional results which are not correct as a result we have given some people more that they require,” he said.

The matter, he said shall be tabled before cabinet soon to ensure that the figures are adjusted for effective planning.

“We cannot be compelled by the court to use results that are wrong and in the process promote fraud and deny other Kenyans their rightful share of the national cake,” he said.

High Court Judge, Justice Mohamed Warsame, ruled on Tuesday that to allow the Minister to cancel the results would be detrimental to the affected districts.

The affected districts were Lagdera, Mandera East, Mandera Central, Mandera West, Wajir East, Turkana North, Turkana South and Turkana Central.

“There is nothing to suggest the minister had power to cancel results of the eight districts; there is no direct or secondary evidence to support cancellation of the census results,” Warsame declared.

The judge said such a decision should have been based within the confines of the law, adding that the minister acted in excess of jurisdiction and without authority.

Warsame was delivering a ruling on an application lodged by leaders from the affected regions who were seeking orders quashing the minister’s decision to cancel the results and stop the State from publishing them in a gazette notice.

Also sought for was an order barring those sued from acting on the census data.

Apart from Oparanya, they had also sued the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and the defunct Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission.

Group unveils original isukuti dance beat


KAKAMEGA     Tuesday, February 07, 2012

By Chris Mahandara.

Lovers of Isukuti dance have a chance to listen to its original beat which a group of traditional dancers from Ikolomani constituency in Kakamega County have perfected.

The beat comes two years after United National Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared Isukuti dance a national heritage because of its popularity.

According to the leader of Muliimba traditional dancers Mr. Isaac Shiluli, their style is the undisputed original beat of Isukuti dance in the world.

Mr. Shiluli said his group was ready to face any challenge from any other group in the country and particularly Kakamega where the beat originated that feels has a better version of the original Isukuti beat.

Isukuti dance now played in many social and public functions in the country is said to have been developed in Ikolomani by the Idakho sub tribe of the Luhya community and spread to other parts of western province before becoming a national dance.

Currently there are many groups in Western Province which play Isukuti in different beats depending on which part of the province they come from.

Isukuti is also played by international groups which entertain tourists at hotels, airports and Kenyan embassies across the world.

Muliimba traditional dancers came to fame two years ago when they emerged the best during an Isukuti dance competition between Ikolomani and Shinyalu constituencies sponsored by UNESCO and the department of culture at Sigalagala Polytechnic in Ikolomani.

Mr. Shiluli says since then his group has perfected the beat to its original form and is working hard to make it much better and unique.

“After listening to other beats in Western province I am convinced that ours is the best,” he said.

He made the remarks at Kwela Kwela cultural center in Shinyalu where the group entertained guest s over the weekend.

During the performance, members of the group who mainly play the drums exhibited different styles of dancing Isukuti.

He said the group has since grown to incorporate women and children who dance Isukuti in its original form.

He hailed UNESCO for declaring Isukuti dance a national heritage and appealed to the government and development partners to help his group train more youth to make a career out of the dance.

The proprietor of Kwela Kwela cultural center, Mr. Gaitano Likhavila concurred with Mr. Shiluli’s sentiments saying out of all the groups that play at the center, Muliimba has the best beat.

The centre located near the famous Crying Stone along the Kisumu-Kakamega highway invites traditional dancers to perform for guests.