Category Archives: News

NCCK decries poor management of CDF in western province


Thursday, March 22 2012   By Kakamegatimes

The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) has decried the manner in which Constituency Development Fund is being managed in some constituencies in Western Province.

Through a statement signed and read by its Regional Coordinating Committee Chairman Lucas Mudoga at a hotel in Kakamega, the organization termed as poor the performance of eleven constituency development committees on the management of the fund.

“We are concerned that the members of CDF committees are political appointees, which limits representativeness and the availability of necessary skills and capacities,” the statement read in part.

It further noted that there is low participation of locals in identifying, designing, implementing and monitoring the projects as a social audit it conducted recently on the eleven constituencies revealed.

The eleven are Budalangi, Funyula, Mumias, Matungu, Khwisero, Butere and Bumula. Others are Malava, Teso, Kanduyi and Mt Elgon.

NCCK accused CDF committees of the eleven constituencies of not following rules of procurement when awarding contracts.

“Such practices include awarding of contracts to friends and relatives of CDF and project management committee members. Cases of payments being made without presentation of invoices, delivery notes or receipts were also noted.”

The umbrella body of churches, however, declined to rank the constituencies in terms of performance arguing that its primary objective was not fault-finding.

It recommended, among others, a review of the CDF Act to depoliticize the composition of its committee and allow direct election of committee members by the community.

The social audit was funded by European Union and the Institute of Economic Affairs offered technical support.

NCCK resolved to hand over the report to MPs and thereafter the public claiming that most MPs and CDF committee executives were uncooperative.

The organization further condemned what it termed verbal violence against women aspiring for political office and urged the women to boldly vie for political seats.


Two injured in a grisly road accident

KAKAMEGA              Thursday, March 22, 2012

By Chris Mahandara.

Two people are fighting for their lives at Mukumu Mission hospital after a vehicle they were travelling in was involved in a grisly accident at Makhokho along the Kisumu -Kakamega highway.

The two were in a Toyota salon which hit a trailer head on and plunged into a nearby farm along the busy highway.

According to an eye witness Mr. Eugene Shikoli, the Nairobi bound trailer which was ferrying sugar from Butali Sugar Mills in Kakamega North hit the Salon car which was travelling to Kakamega town before veering off the road.

Members of the public rushed to the scene and assisted the victims out of the vehicle and rushed them to the nearby Mukumu Mission hospital.

Administration police officers were deployed to man the trailer to prevent looting as curious onlookers milled around.

Mohammed Yusuf, the driver of the trailer who escaped unhurt said the driver of the salon car was trying to overtake.

“I tried to slow down and hoot but he could not stop leading to the accident,” he said.

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.

Customs officers put on notice


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
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
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.

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.

700 displaced in Mumias as floods wreck harvoc


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.




Treatment paralysed at Kakamega General Hospital as doctors join the national strike


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.”

Sh. 60 Million fish processing plant commissioned


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.

Panic as workers caught unawares in terrorism drill


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.

Officer decries poor toilet cover


Thursday, 24th November, 2011       By Kakamegatimes correspondent

Mt. Elgon district medical officer of health Dr. Arthur Andere says over 70% of the rural residents in the region defecate in the bush.

The MOH said toilet cover in the region was estimated to be 30% and concentrated in urban areas of Mt. Elgon and Cheptais districts adding that many residents relieved themselves in the bush.

While calling on the Mt. Elgon county council and other stakeholders to help the community construct toilet facilities, the medical officer said disease outbreak due to lack of sanitation had increased.

Dr. Andere said outbreak of Cholera, Typhoid and other sanitation related diseases were the main causes of deaths especially to children below five years of age.

He noted with concern that according to the 2009 national census survey 2.6 percent representing 9 million rural population relieved themselves in the bush due to lack of toilet facilities.

According to world toilet organization statistics, 1.8 million of whom 90% were children below five years die every year from sanitation related ailments.

The survey further says that 2.6 billion people in the world today representing 40% of the world population estimated to be 7 billion people lack toilet facilities.