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Kenya: A battle for Bungoma Senatorial seat – By-election December 2013

Posted by African Press International on December 4, 2013

  • BY GODFREY WAMALWA,  BUNGOMA SENATORIAL BY ELECTION ANALYSIS,

The Search for votes  by Candidates  in the ongoing  campaign  in the Bungoma  County Senatorial  seat  by-election slated  for   December 19  have reached fever  pitch even before the  official campaign period  by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries  Commission – IEBC  begins in earnest.

It is  not therefore  surprising that  political  observers and   pundits  have been  filing diverse  reports about  the by-election which  is slated to be one of the most grueling  political fights  ever to be witnessed in Bungoma County in  recent years.  While there are  four candidates   cleared by IEBC to  contest, there is no question that the real fight in this  race  will be  between  the former immediate Senator  Moses Masika   Wetang’ula   of Ford Kenya in the  Cord Coalition  and Musikari Nazi Kombo  of New Ford Kenya  in the Amani Coalition.

At the outset, this  titanic  battle   started much earlier  than the  real election  fight  because  when   Justice Francis Gikonyo of the High Court  sitting in Bungoma nullified Wetang’ula ‘s  election  word went around that Wetang’ula  had committed  and Election  offence of  bribery hence  would be  barred  from  participating  in the by-election.

But it turned water under the  bridge as the same  judge  later  clarified     his ruling, that  he   had not  barred  anyone. Unfortunately  Musikari Kombo and his supporters  got so excited  that they seemed to have been carried away by  the initial decision  of the court following which  they made all and sundry here in Bungoma   believe that Wetang’ula    would  not be  on the ballot  after all  and that  Kombo was set for  a  landslide  field day  and victory  against  former Bumula Mp Bifwoli Wakoli and  Journalist David Makali.

Bungoma political reviewers argue that, the by-election will not be between Kombo and Wetangula. It will be far much bigger than the two. It is likely to pit former PM Raila Odinga and his CORD brigade, against President Uhuru’s Jubilee. CORD shall be fighting two wars, to return the only CORD principal and CORD’s leader of Minority in the senate, and to confirm its firm hold on Western Kenya. Jubilee on the other hand shall seek to cement its upper house ‘tyranny of numbers’ and to prove to CORD that it is pulling the rug from right under its feet in Western.

The general  perception and   consensus   among   majority of the voting Public  in  the County  is that Moses Wetang’ula   is   a victim of vendetta   by the Jubilee Government which has always viewed  him   with suspicion particularly because of  his sometime  hard and uncompromising stance on  a number  of  issues in Governance, land  matters and most of all and  his surprise move to   join   Raila  Odinga and  Kalonzo’s  Cord Coalition in the runner-up to the   2013  General Elections.

The two main contenders , Moses Masika  Wetang’ula  and Musikari Nazi Kombo   have been holding  meetings  and caucuses  to drum up support  for their candidature   in different parts  of the County, but the measure  of what kind and level of support or following  that they are likely  to get from  voters was demonstrated on the subsequent  days when the candidates presented their  nomination papers to the IEBC  and thereafter  addressed Public rallies  at the legendary Posta grounds  in Bungoma.

Kombo was the first one to present his papers after which he addressed a poorly attended public rally at the grounds where  apart from   motor cycle boda boda  riders  who escorted him the whole way from Webuye, and  a trickle  of by standers  he was  accompanied by two members of Parliament, Bungoma Woment Representative Reginalda Wanyonyi and Webuye East Mp Eng. Alfred Wekesa Sambu plus NFK  County Representatives. It was however surprising that  Mps from Kombo’s New Ford Kenya Party skipped the event and have been lukewarm  in their expected support for Kombo whose campaign is being spearheaded by their own  NFK Party Leader Eugene Wamalwa.

Wetang’ula  on his part presented his papers  the following day after Kombo’s  presentation  and immediately thereafter  convened  a well  attended  mammoth  public rally at the Posta Grounds which was  graced  by his co- principals  in Cord Coalition, Raila  Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka  and attended by eight Senators, Twenty Five Members of Parliament and  over Sixty County Representatives drawn from across  the political divide, the region  and  the Nation at large.

Commenting on the  massive attendance and speeches  made at the Posta Grounds Rally by local and visiting politicians, Professor Charles  Kibanani Ngome  of  Masinde Muliro  University  of Science and Technology in Kakamega said that there was no doubt that Wetang’ula   had an upper  hand  and  early head start arising from the apparent mishandling of the Election  petition  filed  against him by  Kombo .

In  the meetings and caucuses, the candidates have been targeting key voter rich constituencies  and  minorities  with hope that these groups  will tilt the scales particularly  against  opponents who are  seen to command massive following  of the predominant Bukusu Luhya sub-tribe.

Webuye East Mp Alfred Sambu and Kombo   has spent a lot of time  persuading  the Tachoni,  a large non-Bukusu  Luhya sub-tribe to rally behind his candidature, but the Tachoni   Elders  led by their Chairman  Wasilwa Wasike   said  that they are against the decision by their MP   to support Kombo  when the issues that have always affected the tachoni have been completely ignored by Kombo.

In a recent meeting in Webuye,NFK leader Eugene Wamalwa said that as the party leader, what he is interested in is to see NFK reclaim the seat, which he said it won, but was denied through electoral fraud. “We are aware CORD campaigns will be about pure propaganda, painting NFK as a Jubilee project, and we are ready for it. The people of Bungoma should know the by-election would be about reclaiming an NFK win that was stolen in the March 4 general elections through fraud. It will be a contest between NFK and Ford Kenya and people should stop hiding behind larger coalitions,” said Wamalwa.

Political observers aver that the contest between Kombo and Wetang’ula, if it comes to be, may go down in history as the toughest and most bruising political battles in Luhya-land since independence.

In a recent political rally at Bungoma posta ground,CORD  leaders came out to paint Jubilee as a coalition that has no interest  to Western people, after locking out the region in major political appointments through what some leaders from the region now refer to as “politics of exclusion”.

There has been some disquiet among the western region people who the Jubilee administration has sidelined the community when it comes to appointments to various senior public offices on   appointment of Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries to parastatal heads and even diplomats, there is a feeling that Jubilee gave the Luhya community a raw deal, perhaps in punishment for the minimal support the coalition got in the last elections.

But recently Webuye East Mp Alfred Sambu in a meeting stated that  President Uhuru  is committed   in reviving the long dead Webuye panpaper mills. This is likely to cause jitters among CORD top brass.

Analysist aver now it is a ripe time for the government  to dangle carrots and throw goodies to the residents of Bungoma in a bid to sway them the Jubilee way. It will not be surprising if some ministry sprang up and the position thrown to someone from the Bukusu soil, or some diplomatic position or senior government office thrown our way.

Virtually all industries in the county are on their death-beds, this could be another good political target by the Jubilee strategists. Governor Lusaka, elected on Amani Coalitions New Ford Kenya (NFK) will be a key link by the Jubilee government in penetrating the county. He is said to have been part of the president Uhuru’s team when he visited China.

He was on hand to welcome Deputy President William Ruto to the region and led the other MPs present in declaring willingness to work with the Jubilee government. Being the governor and in charge of the county’s resources, and coming from a coalition friendly to the government, Lusaka is said to have roots in Tachoni region  has instructed his people to drum up support for Kombo in the senatorial campaigns. But Lusaka has denied that is has remained neutral in the by elections campaigns.

Raila troops  on the other hand are seeking to whip anti-government sentiments, that are already evident on the ground. The Raila,Musyoka,Wetangula  brigade are of the fact that only one Luhya, and a lady for that matter, was appointed to the cabinet. It is also seeking to play the ‘stolen election’ card on the community  the loss by CORD to Jubilee in the March 4 polls elections, believed to have been controversial.

Other  factors that have influenced  the senatorial race  in the county is number of candidates in the race, the battle is  between the candidate backed by Jubilee and that backed by CORD. Amani Coalition has three out of nine MPs and one MP, Hon. John Serut won as an independent candidate. The Amani MPs as well as Hon. Serut  has thrown  his weight behind the Jubilee-backed candidate.

In the last elections, even Amani affiliate parties could not agree on a single candidate, with NFK fielding Kombo and Musalia Mudavadi’s United Democratic Front (UDF) fronting Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi.

 

End

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Kenya: SHAME AS COMMUNITY TAKES CHARGE OF A DESERTED SCHOOL RUNNING WITHOUT CDF.

Posted by African Press International on November 1, 2013

BY GODFREY  WAMALWA,BUNGOMA NEWS,11/10/2013

As the CDF project’s sign posts recently looks to dominate main streets in
the country since inception, threatening to replace the all-over- littered
commercial billboards, St. Andrews Secondary School in Webuye Constituency
in Bungoma County belongs to its own league with a rare history of running
for five years without allocation from the Constituency Development fund.

A mere mention of politics to the desperate students of  deserted St.
Andrews Matulo Secondary school and the community at large sends cold spine
after their unwavering efforts to attract funding from the constituency
development fund  has hit a snag for nearly half  a decade ago in a school
that is merely surviving on grants and well wishers.

For them, they say, CDF is a vocabulary that has never come to reality
since the school started its operations in 2007.

Disregard and neglect is the literal picture you meet as one finds the way
in the school, one is mystified as you meet two sign posts on one gate
entering the seemingly abandoned institution currently sharing classrooms
with primary school pupils.

The future of close to three hundred students at St. Andrews is at cross
roads as pupils take their classes under threes.

Recently initiated strict legislative laws barring politicians from
carrying fundraising seem a last nail on the coffin to develop the school
and improve its infrastructure after the politician’s initiative was faced
off by the interim independent electoral commission.

‘’This school was started in 2008 as a community initiative to address the
surging population of pupils in the region with limited facilities. The
school has however come to this level through the community donations and
parents alongside the church sponsorship’’, says Asman Wafula,the
principle, at his makeshift office on the verandah of the ongoing
incomplete four roomed building.

The principle however says that the primary section has succumbed to
overloaded population pressure from the secondary school students taking
their tuition from the facility compelling them to tender a notice to
vacate the facility.

‘’We received a notice to vacate the premises where  more than thirty form
four students are taking their classes from in preparation for the final
examinations due in November’’, Said the principle.

Courage and hope is the picture that smacks faces of the apprentices and
teachers in the school as students line up with pupils at the latrines to
attend to calls of nature in an environment that struggles to co-exist in a
bid to attain the basic fundamental rights education.

According to the school principal, Mr.Wafula, the school has had to wade
through thick and thin to register commendable results besides the hurdles
to achieve three direct entries in the university last year.

‘’We took three students to the university last year and attained a mean
grade of 5.5 in KCSE. We however look forward to attain better results
given support from the Educational ministry and the Constituency
Development Fund ‘’, said the principal heading a staff of eight teachers
with four-posted by teachers service commission (TSC).

Mr. Wafula says, ‘’with enough infrastructures and sufficient posting of
teachers the school has a better capacity to register better results’’.

The board Chairman Mr. Anzel Mukhweso pointed out that students operation
has been notoriously hampered by the weather due to lack of infrastructure.

The community says it has been made to believe that the political rivalry
between the Nominated MP Musikari Kombo and the incumbent Alfred Sambu is
the cause of the hues and torment they are facing to make their innocent
pupils acquire basic education as the CDF tenure gets to the end in two
months time.

The former deputy Mayor Webuye Municipal Paul Wanyonyi warned the MP from dragging
politics into development matters saying it threatens to hurt growth.

‘’Politics shapes development but in case bad politics infiltrates into
development then uneven distribution of resources takes centre stage where
the subject comes under attack ’’,said Wanyonyi.

He said that politics could not be isolated from that pathetic case in that
school citing abandonment and neglect from the leadership class.

He added that the area MP has used the fund as a political weapon punishing
innocent students.

Speaking to API, the area MP, Alfred Sambu denied the allegations
citing the poor representation by the local committee at the grassroots.

‘’I have not disowned the school nor dragged politics into the matter. This
is all to do with poor representation by the CDF committee at the local
level that has failed to make viable proposal for the project’s funding. I
however agree the school is in pathetic situation and needs funding to
rescue the situation ’’, said Sambu.

The area MP further told this writer that the myriad incomplete projects in
the constituency is the main cause of the predicament  with fear of
starting projects that cannot be finished.

‘’ I am not out to cast projects that cannot be utilized in the name of
pleasing the voters. My mission is to see the projects serve the desired
purpose’’, added the MP.

The area MP has in the recent come under hot critics for allegedly
discriminating some quarters of the constituency allied to his rival
nominated MP Musikari Kombo after the recent delimitation of the boundaries.

ENDS.

 

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Kenya: THE REAL REASONS BEHIND NZOIA COMPANY’S IMMINENT COLLAPSE

Posted by African Press International on September 30, 2013

  • By GODFREY WAMALWA, API,KENYA
The trouble ridden and financially strapped Nzoia Sugar Company in Bungoma County is threatened with possible collapse following what analysts now say is incompetent institutional management, archaic managerial practices and corruption among other vices currently facing the sugar miller.

Investigations reveal that in addition to the colossal losses which the Company has suffered in recent years the Managing Director and other top managers have through corruption and other dubious means swindled the Company of Kshs. 1.2 billion between the years of 2011 / 2012 by harvesting the Company’s sugarcane from its nucleus farm and pocket the proceeds.

But the above 1.2 billion may only be a tip of the iceberg given the fact that since the discovery of the theft of Company sugarcane no audit of any kind has been undertaken and it is now emerging that the cane from the over 3,700 hectares at Nzoia Nucleus farm may have been benefiting top management and well-connected employees hence the Company’s ever growing debt.

Experts in the sugarcane sector are worried that if the Nzoia situation is not reversed this Company which is the largest single large-scale farming enterprise in Bungoma County will come down with the economy of the whole County given the large tracts of land lying under sugarcane in addition to the abused nucleus estate the largest of such an estate in Sub-Saharan Africa.

A report compiled by a task force which includes immediate former directors of the Company that has been forwarded to the Agriculture Secretary and whose copy has been seen by your favourite and popular API speaks volumes about inept management styles by the current CEO of the Company Saul Wasilwa whom the report says and a quote “has demonstrated archaic, corrupt and incompetent institutional management leadership practices that should be considered as totally and unacceptable in this modern erra”.

The document quotes heavily from the factual findings of the Company’s own forensic audit report undertaken by PKF consultants on its behalf in September 2012 whereby the consultants revealed that from the year 2007 -2011 the Company’s own records show that a total of 5089 stacks or 254,445 metric tones of harvest cane valued at Kshs. 76,541,000/= were stolen by Nzoia Sugar Company’s employees from the nucleus estate of the Company. Much of the blame for this theft stops at the MD’s desk as he allowed architects of the fraud to collude with junior officers in the creation of a fertile environment to defraud the Company.

Further more, in the report it is revealed “Impeccable sources indicate that the CEO Saul Wasilwa undertook and was involved in concerted corruption peddling efforts to influence some Board members who interfered with the delay of the conclusion of the report by PKF until the life span of the whole Board came to an end. It is for this reason that some of the directors as responsible citizens of the land have appealed to the Cabinet Secretary of Agriculture to insist that Nzoia CEO comes clean of this corruption that saw the dismantling of their own report under suspicious circumstances”.

In the comprehensive 385 page forensic PKF audit report it is revealed a deal of Kshs. 12 million was negotiated under doubtful circumstances and in order for the consultants to pre-maturely end the report although it has now emerged that the CEO with some of his own associates raised Kshs. 10 million to influence key members of the relevant committee of the Board who are said to have manipulated the stringent disciplinary and legal recommendation in the forensic report to ensure that nothing was discussed in the open.

The same memoranda reveals documentary evidence which indicates that the CEO has been colluding with some of his top managers to sell commercial sugarcane to other millers without knowledge and express permission from the Board. In this regard three illegal contracts indicate that the Company may have lost billions of shillings through mismanagement, fraudulent accounting of the Company’s resources at the behest of Wasilwa. It is revealed in the document that 57,000 tones of commercial tones valued at Kshs. 216,600,000 were sold to Mumias, West Kenya and Butail Sugar Companies during the annual maintenance of the factory September/October 2011. Ironically Nzoia Sugar Company is currently faced with acute shortage or cane.

Two other contracts dated February 2012 to July 2012 saw 65,000 metric tones of sugarcane sold by Nzoia Sugar Company to Butail Sugar Company at Kshs. 247,000,000/= through illegal contracts that were never approved. In ant shell under the tenure of Saul Wasilwa as the MD of Nzoia Sugar, Company has experienced colossal loses from the nucleus estate as indicated above and the theft of Sugarcane from Out Grower Farmers particularly the case of 7750 stacks or 42625 metric tones of harvested cane from 5650 individual Out Grower Farmers contracted to the Company . The sugarcane valued at Kshs. 161,975,000/=.

Moreover according to the memoranda there was accumulative loss of approximately 1.2 billion arising from non recovery and fraudulent accountability of investment inputs supplied to sugarcane farmers by the Nzoia Sugar Company. In this regard loss of revenue of unspecified amount that have accrued from the interest which is charged to the Out Grower Farmers but it is deliberately not accounted for in the Company books.

There is also evidence of rampant and unabated corrupt practices in Nzoia Sugar Company which is contained in the Company’s Chief Internal Auditor’s Report whereby it was established that during Mr. Saul Wasilwa’s first tenure as Managing Director Nzoia Sugar Company incurred cumulative losses of more than Kshs. 1.2 billion shillings due to lack of effective internal controls. All in all in this key area of management Wasilwa and a few of his cronies have continuously enriched themselves at the detriment of the sugarcane farmer while the Kenyan tax payer also stands to bear the burden of this mismanagement because the Company’s debt has increased when as a matter of fact it should have declined.

The corruption, kick backs, and fraud has seen Wasilwa and some of his top managers becoming overnight millionaire with property running into hundreds of millions; for instance Wasilwa constructed an ultra modern residential building in Syokimau area Embakasi at the cost of 80 million, the house is expensively furnished with equipments that are remote-controlled. He recently completed another modern family residential house in Musikoma area of Bungoma town at the cost of 48 million. He has constructed a modern residential house in Nakuru at the cost of 45 million and purchased expensive salon cars including Mercedes cars for himself and his wife. There is no question that as Wasilwa continues to lead a lavish life style, beyond his means, poor sugarcane farmers continue to wallow in poverty due to delayed sugarcane delivery payments. Observers opine that, Wasilwa’s earnings can hardly be equated to the multi million shilling empire he has built from the looted millions from Nzoia Sugar Company.

The litany of cases of mismanagement are more or less a catalogue of misdeeds in a management environment which could only pass for a theatre of the absurd because, the Nzoia CEO acts as if he is above the law with little or no regard to established rules and procedures governing Public Companies and other Institutions. His callous approach to the Public Management of Company affairs has encouraged and given way to some of his Top Managers who seem to have taken a cue from him by taking illegal and or questionable decisions so long as such decisions are in their favour.

In the key area of employment, Senior Management staff have employed their own spouses and fast tracked their promotions through the ranks : a standing example is the Company’s Human Resources Manager, Patrick Murambi who employed his wife as a clerk in the harvesting section of the Agriculture Department and within a period less than one year he promoted her to the grade of Supervisor through favouritism at the expense more competent and deserving employees.

The Industrial Relations Manager Mr. Bramwel Simiyu Mbirira influenced his wife’s employment as a Supervisor in the Finance Department. The Company’s Senior Personnel Officer Brian Keya has his wife employed as a Stores Manager while the CEO Mr. Saul Wasilwa and other Managers have also employed their girl friends, and relatives through nepotism and favouritism. All these misdeeds by Wasilwa and his top management team have been committed in the full view of the Branch Secretary of the Sugar cane plantation and allied workers union Macdonald Tabalia Wamocho and the National Chairman of the same who have allegedly been bribed and compromised by Wasilwa and his team.

The memoranda also reviews misappropriation of funds at the personal direction of Saul Wasilwa the MD in what the report describes as false financial reporting of the closing and opening Bank Cash balances. For example, says the report, on June 30th 2011, the actual Bank closing balance was Kshs 844,898,943.00 and not Kshs 672,098,057.00 as reported in the books of accounts. As a matter of fact, the figure was deliberately manipulated by Wasilwa after the Departure of Engineer Julius Nyarotso as Board Chairman and following the immediate appointment of Lawrence Sifuna as Nzoia Sugar Company Chairman. It is instructive to note that typical of the Wasilwa management style, the difference of Kshs 172,800,886.00 was literally swindled as it was not accounted for.

The ever unending intrigues at Nzoia reveals the report in the memoranda, saw the matter of the unaccounted for balance being brought up for investigation to the Chairman of Risk and Boards Audit Committee who chose to do or say nothing and indeed nothing has been heard of the said funds which Wasilwa and his close associates seem to have shared out with Chairman Sifuna.

One of the most widely publicized irregularities at Nzoia Sugar Company is blatant abuse of the Company’s Tendering procedures by the Company’s Top Management Team and particularly the MD who it is said holds a firm grip on members of the Tender Committee who are usually under strict instructions from Mr. Wasilwa to manipulate Tenders and ensure that they are awarded to Companies and Individuals of his choice. The above situation witnessed the award of a Tender for the Supply of a Water Bottling plant to Brief Case Supplier in China even after Wasilwa and Chairman Lawrence Sifuna were bribed by the Brief Case Company’s local agent.

Farmers, Suppliers and other law-abiding citizens of Bungoma County were treated to a circus of some sorts by Lawrence Sifuna following the public revelation of a reported bribery saga in which the local agent of the Brief Case Water Bottling Plant made sensational claims implicating Sifuna in a corrupt deal and despite the fact that Sifuna vehemently denied ever being bribed, his accuser went the whole way to avail documentary evidence to the members of the Media. It was indeed drama when one journalist pointed this out to Sifuna, the Chairman reacted angrily to the allegations warning the reporter not to bother himself with matters that did not concern him. The authors of the memoranda are warning that Nzoia Sugar Company is sliding down slope and is threatening the very survival of the Company let alone destroying the economy of Bungoma County.

END

 

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Kenya: Bungoma medics oppose the appointment of county medical boss

Posted by African Press International on August 28, 2013

  • GODFREY WAMALWA,API,KENYA

Bungoma district hospital is facing a deluge of challenges as its staff threaten to oppose the move to have hospital medic superintendent Dr.Egesa Mulianga to hold two positions in the government.
The latest move to have the said medic to a position of county medical superintendent as well as Bungoma district hospital superintendent has brought the renown medic under spotlight with a section of the staff going for the throat of country medical director Dr.Kimani over what they term as rampant nepotism.
How can a person hold two government posts?is it not the money that exchanged hands?claimed a staff who wished not to be named.”We have many people who fit for one of his posts in our county,why Dr.Egesa alone?added another staff.
Sources well-versed with the on goings who spoke to this writer lamented about poor management Dr.Egesa has spearheaded in the last years where he subjected workers to poor working conditions.
A staffer who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the Media said that the medical officer wants to control funds of the hospital a move that has necessitated his rejection by other medics.
The source revealed that the Country medical director Dr.Kimani was given “his cut” by the controversial Dr.Egesa, two directors in the county who were involved in the illegal appointment without involving other professions which has led to the present stalemate.
But as the standoff between junior medics and Bungoma county barons over the appointment , it is emerging that the man at the centre of the storm who spearheaded the unpopular move is just not another doctor from Nairobi Dr.Kimani who is also a close friend and associate of Bungoma district hospital medical superintendent Dr.Egesa for whom they were classmates.
Multiple sources at Bungoma hospital speak of a facility which has been hijacked by individual private interests particularly by medical superintendent, Board Members and well-connected junior staffers like who seem to do things with impunity and at the detriment of the hospitals’ very survival. Employees are now pleading for the Ministry of medical services, to step in and resolve the stalemate.
As controversy boils, workers have vowed to down their tools if the opposed medic will have to hold two posts as had alleged.”The doctor was overheard saying that he will use his position to settle scores among his professional nemesis that has been opposing his appointment” claimed another source who sought anonymity for fear of security. When called for comments,Dr.Egesa cell phone his went on unanswered.

End

 

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Kenya: Bungoma County Target recruitment of 800 Early Childhood Development (ECD) teachers

Posted by African Press International on July 31, 2013

  • BY GODFREY WAMALWA,API,KENYA

Bungoma county government in collaboration with the ministry of education have started a registration process that would in the end have at least 800 Early Childhood Development (ECD) teachers recruited.

Speaking while overseeing the exercise in Bungoma North District, the  county programs officer in charge of early childhood education Mr.Kennedy Sabwami Ndalila revealed that the process is aimed at strengthening the education foundation by motivating the teachers in the area.

Mr Sabwami further said that the  process is being conducted in the nine districts of Bungoma County and appealed to teachers  with valid certificates to show up.

According to the officer,Certificates of those who registered will be vetted by a selected team at the county level in order to attain the 800 qualified teachers that will be employed and dispatched to work in the eight hundred public schools within Bungoma County.

He also urged the parents to let their children pursue the ECD course saying it has now gained recognition among the education stakeholders that have seen the importance of investing in it.

The teachers who showed up for the registration process could not hide their joy and thanked the Bungoma county governor Kenneth Lusaka for his humble initiative to have them paid by the county government for their services saying they had suffered for long.

 

End

 

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Involve private schools in laptop projects, Govt told

Posted by African Press International on July 25, 2013

  • BY GODFREY WAMALWA, API KENYA

Private school owners drawn from populated Bungoma County have appealed to the government to involve them in the laptop project .

The secretary of private school owners association in Bungoma County Japheth Mayabilo has said that parents with pupils in private schools are also taxpayers and therefore the government should involve them in the project.

The secretary further said that it will be discriminative for the government to exclude them from the laptops project and yet they cover the same syllabus and they will sit the same national examination.

“The government would have mocked our children rights if it denies them equal treatment when it comes to matters to do with education”he said.

He argued that excluding children from private schools will be doing a disservice to them and they may not be able to compete favorably in the job market because of their level of technology.

The secretary also expressed fear that private schools may lose market because many children will prefer schools with laptops.

 

End

 

 

 

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Kenya: A Paediatric Ward worth 16 Million constucted by the Australian nationals.

Posted by African Press International on July 17, 2013

  • BY GODFREY WAMALWA, API,KENYA

A Paediatric Ward worth 16 Million has been constructed at the Bungoma District Hospital by the Australian nationals.

The complex is set to solve the problem of congestion at the Paediatric wing in the district a situation that was noticed by Australian Mark Rambo during his visit to Kenya in 2008.

The Hospital Superintendent Dr. Mulianga Ekesa revealed that the hospital that was built in 1952 had only one paediatric ward which serves a big population in Bungoma County.

Dr.Ekesa who is also the County Director of Health affirmed his believe in the Hospital’s development to greater heights in efficiency and effective delivery of health services to the residents.

“I am sure that the hospital will grow and develop to transfer of data of the patients but not transfer of patients themselves to other hospitals,” said Dr.Ekesa.

Bungoma County Governor Kenneth Lusaka appraised the Australian team led by Mr.Rambo for their utmost contribution that will foresee a guaranteed healthy population in the County.

Lusaka revealed the highest allocation of Sh.1 Billion in the County Budget to the health sector which he said was his major priority in his manifesto for Bungoma County.

“I am determined to see to it that Bungoma is turned into a healthy County which will trickle down to development of our people since a healthy nation is very important,” said Lusaka.

He revealed that some money will be used to complete projects that had been started in the health sector the Paediatric ward being one of them.

He further said that he is determined to ensure accessible health care closer to the people by putting up health centres in every ward of all the nine constituencies in the County.

Lusaka pledged that his County government will pay for the Value Added Tax on the construction materials in the ward that now stands halfway through until its completion.

However he regretted the challenges in the health sector among them understaffed facilities and unequipped hospitals which he vowed to look into in ensuring that the child mortality rate that is high in the County is solved.

“Bungoma District Hospital is a level 5 hospital and deserves to be equipped with necessary facilities and equipments to offer better health care for the people within and prevent the long distance travelled in search for the same,” said Lusaka.

He raised concern over the high wage bill in the hospital close to Sh.1.5 Million that he wanted to be looked into to see how best the same could culminate to better services to the people.

Rambo appraised the hospital management for the prudent utilization of funds to a visible project as he pledged to install solar-powered water pump in the Paediatric ward that will cater for the water shortages in the Hospital.

From a total of Sh.16, 201,408 contributed by Rambo, phase 1 of the project costing Sh. 13.15 Million.

End

 

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Kenya: Bungoma county speaker defends himself over Ksh.1million regalia

Posted by African Press International on July 3, 2013

  • By GODFREY WAMALWA, API,KENYA

Bungoma county Speaker John Makali has dissociated himself with the public allegations over his sh1million budget for him for regalia.

This comes shortly after the county officer charged with budget Mr.Paul  Masinde released the erronios budget that sparked protest among Kenyans.

Speaking to the press in Bungoma,the veteran lawyer said that it was typographical error and said he will just use the court crown.

Makali added that his regalia cannot amount to such cash.”I want to assure Kenyans that the budget had a typing error and the regalia is around sh400,000″said Makali.

The report had earlier indicated that Bungoma county, Governor Ken Lusaka has been allocated kSh53 million for entertainment, Ksh8M for local travel and another ksh22m for foreign travel this financial year.

The protest came as a result of Bungoma having  high unemployment rate and the money should be channelled into value addition ideas like grants to youth to expand businesses and to enable the government increase exports. Residents have earlier proposed that the budget should be slashed to Kes10M and the rest kes73M to be channeled to the youth.

pornography has been still an issue at this digital age that ksh20 million was set to create awareness causing dispute with locals.

The speaker has however urged residents to cooperate with Bungoma governor to steer developments and desist from rumours.

 

End

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Kenya: Parliamentatian Serut calls for the transfer of all education officials accusing them of not improving education standards in his region

Posted by African Press International on June 27, 2013

  • By Godfrey Wamalwa,Bungoma,26/6/2013

An Mp  has called on the ministry of Education to transfer all education officials in the region for failing to improve the education standards.

Mount Elgon legislator  John. Serut claimed all education officers who have over-stayed for over three years both in Cheptais and Mt. Elgon districts should be transferred saying they are of no value to the area residents evidenced by dismal performance both in KCPE and KCSE exams last year.

Speaking in Kapsokwony town in Mt. Elgon district where he accused Cheptais DEO Jacob Wanyama and his Mt. Elgon counterpart Pius Ng’oma and Zonal education officers for failing to deliver on their mandate to improve the ailing education standards in Mt. Elgon region.

He noted that the  government should move the officers and deploy competent officers .

Serut added that it was a shame that Mt. Elgon hit headlines in the media negatively after over 17 girls at Chepukurkur Primary school in Cheptais were impregnated because of what he termed as insensitive and negligence on the part of the education officers.

“This is total shame, in this era and age over 17 girls from one school being impregnated when we have education officers, this officers should not be spared, the government should take stern action on them for sleeping on their jobs when hungry men are sexually molesting under age school girls,” he said.

“Tthe teenage pregnancies in Chepkurkur primary school in Cheptais district was as a result of a dis-connect between the education officials and school managers with the perpetrators taking advantage of the situation to molest innocent school girls”he added.

Mr. Serut noted that education standards in the region cannot be compromised by people who are mandated to manage the sector while appealing to Bungoma County TSC Director in charge of teacher development Mrs. Angelica Ouya and his counterpart in charge of the ministry of Education Mr. Daniel Mosibei to walk the talk including cracking the whip in order to address challenges affecting the education sector in Mt. Elgon.

Further, he blamed Mt. Elgon DEO Pius Ng’oma for failing to disburse bursty funds to needy students in the region.

 

Ends

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Kenya: Lugulu mission Hospital in Bungoma County is now surviving on borrowed time

Posted by African Press International on June 6, 2013

  • By GODFREY WAMALWA, API KENYA
Lugulu mission Hospital  in Bungoma County is now surviving on borrowed time if details of a well-guarded corruption networks unmasked by weekly citizen is anything to go by.
Even before the dust settle in the air after a shocking exposure of corruption at controversial Lugulu Mission Hospital in Bungoma County, fresh details are now emerging over the bleak future of the facility. For the third week in a row, the hospital which   a week ago was reported by your  favorite   Weekly Citizen to  have  lost  hundreds of millions if not  billions of  shillings through fraudulent  deals by it Managers, CEO and some of  its Board of Directors is now in the  thick of another  scandal involving another million scandal.
And following recent happenings at the once vibrant medical facility that have seen several directors and officials exit and others are now hauled to court  to answer unprocedurally terminations, details have emerged exposing even more sleaze.
 The facility is widely known within the region to conduct this malpractices and it is no longer news to hear that yet another multi million financial scam  has resurfaced.
Ironically , these cases even when reported are never dealt with accordingly by the relevant authorities.
After several ill-financial reports erupted one week after an exposure by your popular weekly citizen,this scribe pitched investigative tent to unmask what was detailed in the hidden but shocking auditing reporting.
The report in white paper but written with black ink cites numerous glaring cases of unvoiced expenditures, conflict of interest and accounting lapses at the hospital.The report details that a total of Sh14.7million was stolen through unvoiced expenditure and further recommends that the Financial director Evelyne  Efumbi should be investigated and arraign in court to pay for the loot.
Situated along Webuye-Kitale,the facility which receives huge funding from Friends United Mission,Aphias Plus and government support, has allegedly cut itself a special place on matters of corruption.Another Sh729,520  was lost whereby the hospital was required to carry out a monthly Bank reconciliations to detect any direct debits by Bank which was not captured in the hospital financial records.
The examination held by the hospital reveals that the expenditure totaling to the above amount during 2010/2011 financial year was incurred on clearing hospitals debts,no records were produced to show how transaction was done.
Documents in possession with weekly citizen reveals that sh 3million was not accounted for and the items purchased were not procured professionally.
An amount of sh6million was withdrawn from the hospital bank by former Dr.Simon Kisaka while another sh 1.6million withdrawn by Evelyne Efumbi who allegedly handed over the withdrawals,there is no documents to support such transaction.The report further indicates that the hospital might have lost sh 27million through fraudulent withdrawals.
The estimated average monthly collection(revenue)ksh 4million,but from available schedules,a total of sh 2.1m was banked and the sh1.9 was directly spent but there was no tangible evidence of banking sh2.1m.
The hospital however,lost sh900,000 through unaccounted for travelling and subsistence allowances but no supportive documents attacked to the payment vouchers,no receipt acknowledgement of the cash pai or payment vouchers and that the said payments were treated as expenditure instead of temporary imprests.
However officers implicated in the above scam are as follows.Wilson Maungo (former internal auditor)two junior staffs,and the acting administrator Jackson Fuko. Our expansive investigation has however, unmasked that mismanagement and inefficiency  is the cause of financial troubles at the Bungoma based hospital.
This revelations comes as the fate of about a section of employees hangs in balance,after being sacked under shady circumstances
The tradition by top management to single source suppliers is behind the fleecing of the company of profits, with no tendering process.
“There is too much inefficiency at the hospital”, a highly placed source said.
The source who has been working at the firm as a senior manager for over the years, but declined to be named blamed top managers for not having fixed rates for buying of items at the hospital.
The recent appointment of Jackson Fuko to head administration office has threatened to impair the smooth running of the hospital bearing in mind the he is incompetent and holds a mere certificate in storekeeping. In a recent meeting where he was to address staffs,saw him prefer using Kiswahili a situation which provided a perfect insight of his disastrous academic background. His anarchic act,selfish and outright office abuse has put his competence as an administrator in question something that is now evident at the hospital struck with mass exodus of managerial experts.
According to impeccable sources,his anarchic acts and selfishness has led to a number of senior officers moving out.However,the recent mass exit was that the immediate administrator William Wambugu who recently resigned at the hospital citing frustrations and forcefully embezzlement of donors funds,lack of commitment by a section of management,and issuing of payment vouchers to non-existing projects.
But what followed after the taking over the office of administrator very perturbing as a new turn of events emerging where a section of the locals who are well versed with the million scandal is now embroiled in got agitated and threatened to hold demonstrations.
End

 

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Kenya: ”We have the potential and the capacity to perform exceedingly well; School head proclaims

Posted by African Press International on May 15, 2013

Seated on a black swivel chair behind a maiden table with trophies and files neatly stacked at all corners of his office, Mr.Edward Namasaka is the man in charge. But underneath the tranquil exterior he radiates lurks and understandable task to perform daily.

Mr Edward Namasaka is the Principal of Bungoma High School, in Bungoma south district, Kanduyi constituency,one of the giant provincial schools in Bungoma County.

As the Principal, it is not the task of heading a populated school which to Mr.Namasaka considers it as a rare privilege, but the monumental expectations that come from a top provincial school beating national schools in just recent concluded national drama festivals speaks volumes about the school.

When the school proved to be national champions in drama (choral verse) where educationists in region are still elated by its sterling performance.

And there exist little doubt that with his long experience as educationists, the school boss  Mr.Edward Namasaka is nursing ambitions of steering his school competently.

The school which recently made a dramatic comeback by winning the top honor in the Kenya Schools and Colleges National Drama Festival Choral Verse.The two week event held at Agha Khan High School in Mombasa saw the school restore its lost glory.In the recent years the school had always ended at provincial level or as first runner-up losing out to new entrants.

In his leadership, the school has risen into a dominant both academic and co-curriculum force in Bungoma County  but the modest  on the achievements the institution has attained under his watch. The staff is dedicated and emphasise on  discipline. Dedication and determination that has made the school appear on the national map.

Through this,the school has proved to be among the giants in co-curriculum and curriculum activities ranging from zonal level to National level.

The vibrant High School has produced its greatest share of prominent including Pro Henry Mutoro the Principal University of Nairobi Kikuyu Campus, Peter Munya Governor for Tharaka,B ungoma County Speaker Mr.John Makali and Bishop Wilfred Lai of Jesus Celebration centre Mombasa among others.

This scribe has also learnt that the performance in national examinations has been impressive with more than average candidates attaining a university entry point’s year in, year out.

Founded in 1961 on a self-help foundation through a joint effort of the Elgon Nyanza Country council and District Education Board, the school boasts of high population and a large experienced teaching staff establishment. The school broad curriculum has created a multitude of opportunities for all students for both academic and co-curriculum activities. The principal says the school has been long overdue. ”We have all the hallmarks of performing better in academics and co-curriculum activities”stated Mr.Namasaka.

Regardless of being a regional school, students from all walks of life has been admitted there thus enhancing cultural diversity and cohesion among the students. Bungoma High has been also one of the fiercest academic rivals to St Mary’s Kibabii,Friends School Kamusinga and Lugulu Girls’ High School.The academic battle between the four schools have been epic and decades old.With almost an equal number of students, Bungoma High has been fighting Friends School Kamusinga for top slots in the provincial academic ladder as well as other co-curriculum activities. However, it is expected that their rivalry will intensify given the fact that Bungoma High ousted its rivalries in drama.

The school head is determined that his school will compete on equal footing with other two elevated school which is Friends School Kamusinga and Luguli Girls both academically and other co-curriculum activities.”We have the potential and the capacity to perform exceedingly well.We are able to deliver just as other national schools”he says.

Timothy Simiyu,former student at the school who is now practicing law in Nairobi says the school has undergone various dynamics and soon County Government may develop a headache in deciding its future.

ENDS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A cross section of Administration block of Bungoma High School

 

END OF BUNGOMA HIGH SCHOOL ARTICLE

 

 

 

By Godfrey Wamalwa,Bungoma,14/5/2013

Take your children to school,urges officer

Bungoma  East Education office has urged parents to take their children to institutions that are fully registered by Ministry of Education.

The district education boss Mrs. Emmaculate  Obari has also warned the parents of dire consequences after taking their studies in unregistered schools.

The officer was speaking at Ndivisi Girls ’High School during the Education day.The officer also underscored the need for parents to take their children to school to eliminate illiteracy in the society.”I urge parents to play their role effectively by making sure their sons and daughters go to school” said the officer. She further took the opportunity to  appeal  to teachers in the district to work extra hard to ensure that area posts good results than they posted in the past.

In a rejoinder, Bungoma County Private schools Association Chairman Mr.Brown Wanjala concurred with the officer adding that only health education can be obtained from registered schools approved by the ministry of Education. Mr Wanjala also applauded the ministry of Education for its efforts of making sure that bogus institution in the district is out of existence.

However, Kenya National Union of Teachers Bungoma East Branch has assured the ministry of Education that it is going an extra mile of encouraging teachers to cooperate with school heads as one way of beating the education curriculum.

Bungoma  East (KNUT)Secretary General Mr.Agrrey Namisi said the recent general election disrupted classes and he added that the union will continue encouraging its members to field the syllabus on time.”KCPE and KCSE students education cycle was disrupted by the general election” said the unionists.

 

End

 

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Kenya: Thugs die in the hands of irate mob

Posted by African Press International on May 12, 2013

  • BY GODFREY WAMALWA, API KENYA, 10/5/2013
A gang of two suspected to be behind a spate of killings in Bungoma county on the 9th succumbed to its destiny in the hands of an irate mob.
Acting on a tip-off, traders at Chwele market in Bungoma central district surrounded a rental house alleged to be accommodating four men before they smoked out the thugs to nearby market where were stoned to death.
However, two suspects managed to calculate the perimeter of the crown and escaped the wrath of the mob baying for their blood. The said criminals are said to have been just killing, maiming, raping, cutting, inflicting and unveiling all manner of injuries on the old and the young, men and women and forcefully taking people’s property with abandon. The area outgoing police boss Amos Cheboi confirmed the drama and appealed to locals to report any suspicious characters to security agents and should desist from taking law into their hand.
Over 22 people are confirmed dead in three weeks time after unknown assailants raided Bungoma villages with unknown motive.
However,two platoons of General Service Unit (GSU) and Rapid Response Unit RDU officers have been deployed to Bungoma County to check on the increasing insecurity in the region
According Bungoma County C.E.O Kenneth Lusaka, the Inspector General of police David Kimaiyo and Internal Security Permanent Secretary Mutea Iringo assured him this morning that already the officers have been dispatched to Bungoma to assist in the hunt for criminals in the region.
Lusaka, regretted, that people in Bungoma County are currently traumatized to an extend of some not sleeping in their homes saying such deploring insecurity could make it difficult for the county government to implement promises pledged to the people during the concluded general elections.
End

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Kenya: Fire takes down Kamusinde Secondary School dormitory – over 100 students stranded

Posted by African Press International on May 11, 2013

  • BY GODFREY WAMALWA, API KENYA 
Fire gutted down a dormitory at Kamusinde Secondary School in Bungoma County leaving over 100 students stranded and property of unknown value destroyed.
However, no one was injured as the incident happened at noon when student were in classrooms undertaking their early second term examination.
The school’s management declined to divulge details concerning the incident when press contacted it.
“Please give us time to assess the damage and establish the cause of the fire, then we can give you details later,” said one of board members.
The administration also assured parents that their children are safe and there is no reason to panic
The area Mp Hon Suleiman Murunga visited the school and promised to aid the re-construction of the dormitory.
Elsewhere,two schools in Mt. Elgon District are counting losses after heavy rains pounded the area and destroyed 2 pit latrines on Monday evening.
Head teachers of the two schools Kongit primary school and Bishop Okiring Kamneru secondary school have been urged to immediately reconstruct the toilets before the schools re-open.
Mt. Elgon District Education Officer Pius Ng’oma said that the problem is because of poor workmanship.
“The constructions of these pit latrines were not done properly, it’s actually a shoddy work and that’s why they say cheap is expensive,” Mr. Ng’oma said.
He called on all head teachers to always supervise any construction in the school to make sure they are done according to the expected standards in order to prevent future damages.
However the head teacher of Bishop Okiring Secondary has called on well-wishers to come to their rescue to help them put up other pit latrines as the students report back to school for second term.
end

 

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Kenya: How poverty drives minors into child labour

Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2013

  • BY GODFREY WAMALWA,API,KENYA

Stella Barasa, 13, a resident of Webuye suburb Malaha estate,wakes up at 4am each day and trudges to a nearby river to fetch water for his bosses.Stella also helps prepare and serve the family with meals and sweeps the whole compound among other chores.

surprisingly, stella has no shoes but a half-heel chopped off red flappers which she uses to protect her cracked feet.

Stella narrates that she found herself in this horrible situation four years ago at a tender age of nine years after she lost both of her parents due to deadly HIV.

After her parents death,she was adopted by her aunts in Nakuru but her stay there was short-lived. Circumstances forced her to quit the place due to harassment from family members.

The poor girl while at her aunt’s place,she was forced to sleep on an empty 90 kg sack.  Narrating to this scribe,the young girl said was often beaten up on the slightest provocation of her aunt who forced her to feed on leftovers that dropped from the family table.

Now Stella,is a young domestic worker who does know her fate.The child labor ,which is now broadly defined as the employment of minors, is often a harsh and most exploitative condition among children.

But the vice has remained in practical both in developing and even industrial countries.The human cost of child labour leaves the victims gaunt, crippled, illiterate and sick.

International Labour Organisation(ILO) that was founded in 1919 has since transformed into special agency of the United Nations (UN)

The introduction of child labour conventions by ILO among members,including a minimum age of 16 years for admission to all kinds of work. While others including a higher minimum age for particular employment,medical examination and regulation of right work.

In early 21st Century,ILO was compelled to add the worst forms of child labour to its list including slavery,debt bondage(where children work to pay off loans owed by parents)prostitution and forced military services.

A growing concern now in Bungoma County has been the increase in prostitution among young girls in urban ares especially in drinking spree.Some of the children have been forced in the ugly practice due to abject poverty.

The 1997 Unicef report concerning child labour stated most employers try to hire workers who are easier or cheap to exploit.It was also estimated that over 3 million minors in Kenya engage in child labour, usually working under hazardous conditions.

The report also highlighted that the most vulnerable and weakest workers are children usually paid less than the adults and are often ignorant on their rights or how to protest against poor working environment.

“Poverty plays an enormous role in the phenomenon.Desperate for money,poor families around the world including Kenya are forced to push minors to increase overall income among the families. “The report read in part.

The poor families,the small contributions of child’s income or the assistance can make a huge difference between a bare sufficiency and hunger, the survey reveals.

In various towns of Bungoma county,a stroll in the streets at night leaves one gasping for breath over the ages of girls frequently visiting clubs at night for prostitution.

A study carried town in seven districts in Kenya in 1997 by child Welfare Society of Kenya indicated that child prostitution is widely practised in big towns. Some victims were as young as 11 years old. Malindi and Mombasa topped underage children selling sex.

In Nairobi,the number of street children has risen to 60,000 with the Government estimating their numbers to grow at 10 percent annually. The children are often involved in drug trafficking,assault, theft, trespass and property damaging.

A survey carried out in 1996 in a lower class estate in Nairobi found that 30% of households employed children.In 1997 the figured dropped by 12%.

In Kenya, a study of girls working as housemaids found out that 25 girls aged 9-16 years,18 were HIV positive. Most of the girls  had worked in homes had reported sexual abuse in all or most of them.

Statistics available in labour officer in larger Bungoma region indicates that more than 13,000 underage girls in the region have been lured or forced into commercial sex by wealth men.

According to Hariet Owulo, a child rights activists in Bungoma, says that apart from prostitution, a high percentage of underage children in the region are involved in stone crashing,charcoal kilns and bricking making as others are employed as housemaids.

On the other hand,a survey in six districts in Bungoma county reveals that most children drop out of school due to a rigid curriculum to an extent they prefer to look interesting jobs.

 

end

 

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Kenya: Insecurity in Bungoma County

Posted by African Press International on May 6, 2013

  • By GODFREY WAMALWA, API – KENYA
A wave of crime in Bungoma County has in the month of April 2013 witnessed an unprecedented upsurge of criminal attacks following a recent raids of five villages in the area where over 100 people are now hospitalized after succumbing to severe injuries.The merciless criminals armed with pangas, rungus, matchetes and other guns suspected to be hired from Provincial Administration are said to be just killing, maiming, raping, cutting, inflicting and unveiling all manner of injuries on the old and the young, men and women and forcefully taking people’s property.
The recent vicious cycle of criminal attacks witnessed in Bungoma south district on the nights of 25th, 26th and 27th Kimilili district, Bumula district, Bungoma East district and Bungoma North district with in April, 2013 where over 100 residents were injured has proved that the security in the region has gone out of hands that now the criminal gangs have no fears of the Police or they are convinced that the security agents are impotent and cannot do anything and that is why the criminals could inflict terror within the same County on one consecutive nights.
Our expansive investigation in the county indicates that the challenge of insecurity in the region has gone on for too long, so far and without any tangible solution. The obvious narratives of criminals terrorizing peace-loving and law-abiding citizens has become the order of the day in the area for the last three years.
The area Governor,senator and, elected Members of the National Assembly and Ward representatives have been uged to spearhead the mass shake ups of police chiefs in the region starting from Bungoma county commissioner Jamleck Mbaruk.
Recently a middle-aged woman was gang-raped by twelve people at Kamukuywa market in Kimilili district . The mother of four is admitted at the Mt.Elgon Hospital in Kitale where she is recovering from multiple injuries she sustained.
In an interview with this scribe she said she was attacked and cut on the head in the market at around 7pm. Also records at the hospital indicate s that it has been admitting victims of crime in the region on daily basis.
A businesswoman was attacked and robbed of her car as she returned to her home in Bungoma town. The gang stuffed her mouth with clothing and tied her hands and legs before making away with her new car. “No suspect has been arrested in connection with the unending attack and police are not bothered over the increased gang attack”said Beatrice Olwesi,a teacher.
.
. “People are being attacked daily as if there are no security systems in this county,” said a n activist in Webuye town.
However the Bungoma south OCPD Amos Cheboi police has been mobbed by politicians and locals that accuses him over the security machinery of being complicit. The officer has been in charge of Bungoma south divisional headquarters for over a half a decade is now under pressure from both politicians and residents to have hi transferred.
According to injured residents led by James Munyange,said the officer with his area district criminal investigation officer (DCIO) has got reliable reports on insecurity matters but they do not act on them and locals believes that money exchanges hands.”The police chiefs in the region have continued to connive with criminals”lamented Munyange.
He further noted with disappointment that a rapid overhaul of the overstayed polices officers in the various stations is still far from being secure.
Recently four regular police officers from Webuye police station and three administration police were linked with robbery of over 200 bags of cement at Kaburengu centre when a long distance trailor overturned.
The allegations that police force has been colluding with the criminals in the area has called Inspector General of police David Kimaiyo to act on the said officers.
According to a civil society group in Bungoma Jukwaa la Katiba led by secretary General Mr.Philp Wekesa,the county chief officers ranging from county commissioner Mr.Jamleck Mbaruk and police chiefs from affected areas should be transferred immediately.In this case the affected sub counties includes Bungoma south,Bungoma North,Kimilili district,Bungoma East and Bungoma central where over four OCPDs are expected to be transferred.
Despite the fact that Bungoma south OCPD Amos Cheboi promising that they are dealing with criminal gangs which have been terrorising residents in the region. Mr. Amos Cheboi stated that crime cases in Bungoma County have reduced drastically in the recent past since the beginning of this year with only few cases being reported unlike the past.
After several reports of alleged deaths and injuries resulting from the police laxity from provincial administration which invokes more fears than hope to the locals, this writer decided to carry out investigations while under cover.
After four days of intensive search for a an administration police willing to aid out the gun, this journalist in the company of another man disguised as a relative paid a visit to the AP camp in Bungoma North district and sought to be ”assisted”
And strange as it might sound, the group of three experienced senior police officers in the area promised to provide their services after depositing sh 10000 to each officer but in accompany with them.
It however took this writer two days to reach and negotiate with one of the senior police officer on the terms and conditions of service i sought to receive.
This scribe was ushered in an Ap post and after about twenty minutes of negotiation the under cover team agreed to pay Ksh.7000 and the process of lending the gun began.
I was cautioned against mentioning or discussing the process with other person willing to be assisted in the same manner by the officers.
The police officers were also keen not to even disclose their faces or name and could not allow the ”clients”(this reporter) to know his designation in the police force.
I was only assured that all will be well but in case of any emergency they can visit the scene to save the government tool.
But things changed when I was asked to leave with them my contacts and national identification card.
According to Hon Wetangula people of Bungoma county leave in fear because they don’t know who is next, security in the region has deteriorated in the past three years.
“We want tangible solutions, tangible steps – transfer of incompetent security officers, deployment of more vehicles to facilitate patrols , establishment of more functional police stations, posts among other measures”said Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka.
A civil society in the County “Jukwaa la katiba” Mr.Philp Wekesa wants the area leaders led by Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka to quickly deal with security issues in the country. “Security is a major concern to us and to investors in the county. We want the police chief and other security agencies to take action ,” Wekesa said.
In a recent meeting chaired by Bungoma county chief executive officer Ken Lusaka,senator Moses Wetanula and area Mp Wafula Wamunyinyi resolved to have some police officers who have been manning the various stations for over three years transferred.
Wetangula said the officers have proved to be incompetent in fulfilling their duties of keeping the residents safe, he added that they no longer have confidence in the officers because they are not doing their work.
End

 

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