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Archive for June 11th, 2008


Posted by African Press International on June 11, 2008

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Kenya: Keter accused of acting as the blue-eyed politician in Kipsigis land

Posted by African Press International on June 11, 2008

BY Leo Odera Omolo

THE ASSISTANT Minister for Energy Charles Keter who is also the MP for Belgut in Kericho district is reportedly facing rough time in his home turf. He is facing a political turbulent after being accused of acting as the blue-eyed politicians in Kipsigis land for the minister for agriculture William Ruto.

The outspoken youthful legislator recently; run into big trouble when hundreds of mourners charged at him forcing to flee during the burial ceremony of the late wife of former minister for water development eng. Kipngeno Arap Ngeny at Kipsitet in Soin Division, Ainamoi constituency, Kericho district.

Keter who had gone to the former ministers home to condole the family was badly humiliated by the mourners who hackled and booed him when he took to the dais to condole the breaved family.

The ugly incident did not come from the blue moon, because a day earlier one of the three aspirants who were contesting the election in the just concluded by-election in Ainamoi had publicly asked the ODM and PNU affiliated and other political heavyweights to keep off Ainamoi constituency by-elections..

The three aspirants had singled out Keter and the Minister for agriculture William Ruto for allegedly meddling in the costituencys political affairs.

The same sentiments were echoed by leaders in the ODM preliminaries a couple of weeks ago, particularly the former deputy CGS Lt. gen. John Koech who severely criticised the chairman of the ODM Board of election Eng. Phillip Okoth Okundi for having failed to conduct credible nomination exercise. Koech believes he was rigged out by the party for the second time. People who died long before last general election and even those who were killed during the post-election violence had their names entered as those who had caste their votes

Gen Koech revealed that when he approached Eng. Okundi with clear evidence about the rigging, he was hesitant, and reluctant to take any action which could have rectified the matter only saying that he was afraid of crossing swords with Ruto, who is one of the Pentagon members. This gave us the credence that Ruto was the one involved in the by-election scam and fraud

In Kilgoris the by-election is a total war between theMaasai and the immigrant settlers the Kipsigis. Gideon Konchellah told a public rally at Lolgorien that the Maasai would not surrender their political leadership to the outside come what may.

Those Kipsigis people who want the position of political leadership in Maasailand are free to leave and go and claim it in theirancestoral land. But strictly speaking not in Maasailand.

The former Immigration Minister thundered, I dont really care about democracy. The seat must be won by a Maasai under all the circumstances. Konchellah was accompanied by a former minister of state for Internal security Julius Sunkuli.

The Kilgoris by-election had indeed divided the Massai leadership[.Major general Nkaissery, the MP for Kajiado Central who is also an Asstistant Minister in the grand Coalition and the minister for national heritage William Ole Ntimama deffered about who to support. Ntimama said he was supporting Jonathan Ngeno the ODM candidate while the latter declared his support for a Maasai candidate irrespective of his party of affiliation.

The two by-elections in the South Rift has elicitedcontroversies among the Maasai leaders. Before the Wednesday 11th, the issue of political parties had been set aside and it was the question of kin and kith.

The Kipsigis MPs led by Isaack Ruto {Chepalungu} Franklin Bett {Buret}Dr. Julius Kones{Konoin} Langat Magerer {Kipkellion} were firm behind their man Jonathan Ngeno. They insisted that it was not the question of the Maasai-Kipsigis war, but the counting of votes cast during the polls.

It was claimed that during the primary nomination in Ainamoi people who died many years had their votes cast. it is unbelievable that the names of voters who have since died were recorded as those who had voted. Even the well known youths who lost their lives in the violence skirmishes during the post election chaos were recorded to have voted at Chepkoiyo village, the home turf of Benjamin Langat the ODM official candidate.

William Ruto who hitherto was a target of attack was mistaken during the burial of the late too, when he started fronting for the younger brother of the slain MP when he told the mourners that Mr. Langat was a dynamic person who can offer the alternative leadership to the community.

A few days to the polls, former president Daniel Arap Moi visited Kenegut village in Soin Sivision of Ainamoi to drum up support for KANU candidate Mr. Paul Chirchir. The retired Presedent told the Kipsigis to stick to KANU saying that the party was still very strong and its wings well spread and could clinch the power in the year 2012. he asked the residents of Ainamoi to remain united behind KANU saying that the party is still intact and very strong..

Keter is also facing numerous accusation and allegation that he was corruptly involved in some kind of shady dealing with the management of the James Finlays a multinational tea and flower producing company in Kericho.. The legislator is being accused of allegedly getting involved in business monopoly and manipulation with the tea company, especially in transportation.,said to be to the detrimental of the companys African managers. and their promotions.

A few days before the June 11th polling days leaflets warning non-Kipsigis workers in the nearby tea estates and processing factories not to vote for any other candidate other than Mr. Benjamin Langat, the ODM candidate and that failing to do so would earn them physical eviction from their places of work.

At least six Kisii workers were petrol-bombed and beaten up at Kitumbe Estate. One of them suffered serious arrow wounds and was hospitalized..

In Kilgoris close to 4,000 Kipsigis IDP who had fled their homes after the clashes with the Maasai youths had asked the government for transport facilities to enable them go back to their homes and cast their votes.

Jonathan Ngeno the ODM candidate pleaded with the government to provide the refugees with transport and security escort so that they could get back to their homes and vote. Three people have died in Kilgoris in election related violence.

In Kericho, the police are still investigating the source and the authors of the threatening leaflets.




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Zambia benefits from chaos in Zimbabwe – Rugby

Posted by African Press International on June 11, 2008


THE volatile political situation in Zimbabwe has prompted the International Rugby Board to move Julys 2011 Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) Wold Cup qualifier between Zimbabwe and Senegal scheduled for Harare to neighbouring Zambia.

Zimbabwe was scheduled to host Senegal in a 2011 World Cup qualifier on July 12 but security fears expressed by the Senegal Rugby Federation (FSR) pushed the IRB to move the fixture away from Harare.

IRB decided otherwise during a general secretaries workshop held in Johannesburg, South Africa at the weekend and handed Zambia the opportunity to host the qualifier.

Zambia Rugby Football Union (ZRFU) general secretary, Martin Musunka, who attended the weekend workshop in Johannesburg, said the delegates to the meeting unanimously picked on Zambia as the venue for the game.

Botswana was also being considered to stage the encounter.

IRB says it does not want to risk the safety of players and officials during the 2011 World Cup Africa qualifier between Zimbabwe and Senegal and therefore, resolved to take the game to a neutral venue.

Botswana and Zambia were approached during the workshop to consider hosting the match but delegates were unanimous that Zambia was better placed to arrange and host the match, Musunka said.

The Senegalese had earlier expressed security concerns for the game to be played in Harare and had presented their concern to the in-charge of the IRB-Africa development Jean-Luc Barthes.

FSR president Guedel Ndiaye is quoted by saying: Our concerns are principally coming from the political situation there at the moment.

We dont really know whats going to happen, with whats going on therecivil war could erupt from one day to the next.
Barthes said: For us, the IRB, the top priority is security, if security isnt assured the match wont be played in Zimbabwe.

The current situation in Zimbabwe is volatile after the disputed March 29 presidential election opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai declared to have won.

This weekend Senegal host Namibia for the same qualifiers.

On staging the Zimbabwe/Senegal fixture, Musunka said Zambia would not have difficulties hosting the game and promised to respond to IRB after consulting with relevant bodies to wave the go-ahead for the international game.

He also stated that there is an option of hosting the Zimbabwe/Senegal either on July 19 and 26 but the actual date is yet to be decided on.

We have entered into discussions regarding the suitable dates and after all is done and concluded, we shall then announce the dame of hosting the game, he said.



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Beef industry in Kenya under threat

Posted by African Press International on June 11, 2008

By Leo Odera Omolo

CONTINUED mutation of genetically deformed animals may soon have adverse effects on Kenyas fast growing beef exports, experts from the World Veterinary Service have warned..

The expert who were on a visit to the Kitale nature Conservancy recently said if left to go unchecked , inbreeding of the genetically deformed animals would negatively impact on the countrys beef export markets envisaged to be one of Kenyas leading foreign exchange earners in the government vision 2030.

They exphasized that the matter should not be taken casually and demanded that the government immediately calls deformed as was the case the world over.

The beef industry has been ranked as one of Kenyas fast rising economic sectors through exports to overseas countries and is projected to hit Kshs 70 billion mark in the next five years.

The doctors who were accompanied by the Animal Welfare Officer in the Ministry of Livestock, Dr. Julius Kariuki, said the deformed animals needed to be monitored closely to avoid inbreeding which could lead to the proliferation of such deficient offsprings.

These animals should have a tender care from the day they are born. The government should not wait anymore because in so doing it is infringing on the charter of animal care of which it is a signatory, they said while administering injections and vaccines to the animals at the Conservancy, which is managed by the environmentalist, Mr Boniface Ndura.

The plight of the animals some of which have both female and male sexual organs, three eyes and other with abnormal horns among other body parts was first highlighted in the local press, raising the antennae of the world body whose representatives came all the way from London to witness another wonder of the planet earch.

Dr. Kariuki who had accompanied the group, appealed to the government to move sopeedily and address the issue of livestock extension officers considering that the current ration of veterinary doctors to the number of animals stood at 30,000.

He regretted that veterinary services had collapsed for almost quarter of a century ago leaving the industry to questionable characters masquerading as artificial insemination {AI} service providers.

Dr. Kariuki said livestock farming was the mainstay in 80 per cent of the arid and semi arid lands and it was high time the sector was given the attention it deserved to contribute positively in the countrys economy.

The conservancy caretaker Mr. Nduri on his part said he had embarked on the exercise to provide a safe haven for the animals after it dawned on him that farmers opted to kill the abnormal animals.

Nobody includingh the lot of us standing here has the better right to life than the animals, life is sacrosanct and unless when it is taken for food or the process of defence, any other purpose is illegal even before God,Mr. Ndura told the visiting vet experts.

Mr. Ndura who is running the Conservancy on voluntary basis, challenge the scientists to come up with research findings that would help unravel the puzzle behind rising incidence of genetic, deformation in animals saying that if the trend was not checked, it could soon be replicated in human beings.

Also emerging from the North Rift is the good news that cattle rusting victims along the kerio valley have a reason to smile after the Japan International Cooperation Agency {JICA} in conjunction with the ministry of agriculture launched an ambitious project of rearing camels as an anti-stock theft remedy.

The project which started last year in phases where JICA bought six camels and donated it to a Kerio Valley self help group called Lapkeiyet Camel production, could succeed in taming run-away insecurity connected to age-old cattle rustling in the Northern Kenya regions.

The group opted for camel rearing project after losing the entire herds of cattle, goats and sheep to the marauding gangs of cattle rustlers who have brought great suffering to the local people.

A JICA programme adviser, Katso sato is currently based in Keiyo and Marakwet districts. He is the one who had initiated the project which would take five years to accomplish. It is meant to empowering Kerio Valley resident with the aim of improving their livelihood by introducing came rearing as opposed to the traditional cattle rearing which has over the years brought misery to them with low returns and the rampant cattle rustling incidences in the region.



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NGO Guru appealed to the Luo community to forge unity and shun hatred

Posted by African Press International on June 11, 2008

By Jeff Otieno, Kisumu-Kenya

Marie stopes Regional Director Cyprian Awiti over the weekend helped to raise a whopping kshs.850,000 in aid of Mawego Catholic Church.Awiti gave a personal donation of kshs.150,000,Lands Minister James Orengo sent kshs.100,000 through Awiti among other donors.

In his speech the NGO Guru appealed to the Luo community to forge unity and shun hatred in order to achieve development and eradicate rampant poverty in the region.

The NGO boss was at pains to explain to the constituents why he opted out of the parliamentary race in favour of the current MP James Rege in the last general elections, despite persistent pleas from the voters that he was up to the task.

In the current coalition government set up, the Marie stopes boss was expected among the illustrious sons of the community to land lucrative positions due to his unrivalled development track records and proximity to the Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

His being sidelined has so far impacted negatively with keen political pundits terming it a mis-calculation on the part of Raila and his political handlers.



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Ministers Kones, Laboso die in plane crash

Posted by African Press International on June 11, 2008

Roads Minister Kipkalya Kones and Home Affairs Assistant Minister Lorna Laboso have died in a plane crash near Kojong’a hills in Narok Tuesday.

Roads Minister Kipkalya Kones and Home Affairs Assistant Minister Lorna Laboso are dead.
They died when a light aircraft they were traveling in crashed near Kojong’a hills near Nairegi Enkare trading centre – about 120 km West of Nairobi in Narok Tuesday.
Narok District police boss Mr. Patrick Wambani said all four people in the plane died but said its cause was not known.
In Nairobi, police spokesman Eric Kiraithe confirmed that the names of Kones and Laboso were on the flight manifest.
Residents of the Kojong’a area said they saw the plane hurtling down the hill shortly before midday.
Hon. Kipkalya Kones was born in 1952 in Bomet district and went through Tenwek and Cardinal Otunga High schools.
He started off as a teacher at Merigi Secondary before becoming the African Highlands Produce Limited Manager where he rose to be a senior manager.
In 1988, he joined Politics and was elected MP for Bomet Constituency and appointed Minister for Agriculture.
In 1992, he was re-elected MP and appointed an Assistant Minister of State in the Office of the President.
After re-election to Parliament in 1997, he was appointed Minister for Public Works and Housing, then Minister for Research, Science and Technology and Minister for Vocational Training.
In 2003, he was nominated to Parliament and appointed Member of Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Review, before being appointed to the ministry of roads when the Grand Coalition government was constituted.
He has been a member of several Government delegations to the consultative Group Meetings with International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB).
He led the Kenyan delegation to the World Social Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
On the other hand, Sotik MP Lorna Laboso nicknamed the tigress of the South Rift politics having been elected as a woman MP in her conservative Kipsigis community.
Laboso worked in a tea firm, a flower company, as an accountant and as fierce campaigner against female circumcision.
She got a Bachelor of Arts degree from Daystar University in 2007.
Laboso did her A-levels at Nakuru High School. She later went to Kaimosi College for a course in accounting.
In 1984, she was employed at the Kenya Tea Growers Association as an administrative assistant until 1992.
She also worked with the Fresh Produce Exporters Association and Horticultural Development Centre.
Born to Fredrick and Rebecca Laboso in 1961 in Kericho, the MP went to Kaplong and Molo primary schools between 1968 and 1975.
She did her O-levels at Kipsigis Girls.
She is survived by an eight-year-old son.Story by kbc

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