Leaders Call For Swift Action Against Banditry

Leaders from Meru, Marsabit, Samburu, and Isiolo counties have accused security officers of laxity in responding to calls of distress, when their communities are attacked by cattle rustlers in the region.

The leaders attributed the delay in police response to livestock thefts to residents’s self-inflicted lawlessness, resulting in the loss of lives and property.

However, in a peace meeting at Nasuulu Conservancy in Burat Ward, Isiolo County, chaired by the area Deputy County Commissioner Patrick Musango, he emphasised the need for the Sub-County Security Committee’s swift response to cattle rustling to deter the community’s retaliation measures.

The elders added that the slow response by the police gave the criminals time to escape with the stolen animals, thus promoting the desire for vengeance by the aggrieved party.

Musango advised communities’ council of elders to instead review their cultural practices and scrap the outdated ones.

He further instructed chiefs and their assistants to report National
Police Reservists (NPRs) deployed to secure private premises.

The DCC said that NPRs are security officers under the National Police Service and are answerable to OCS and not any other person.

At the same time, he directed chiefs and their assistants to ensure NPRs from their areas of jurisdiction reside where communities are located and not operate from towns.

Meanwhile, Musango said the government had already improved the local security situation, citing the recent acquisition of two special modern vehicles which are well-suited for combating criminals even in harsh terrain.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Athletes Feted In Elgeyo Marakwet

Elgeyo Marakwet County has called on Athletics Kenya to ensure that the Iten International Marathon 3rd edition becomes a stand-alone event, saying that after holding two editions of the race, it has come of age.

The Deputy Governor, Prof. Grace Cheserek, called on Athletics Kenya to move with speed and ensure that a committee is put in place in the next one month to oversee the race, which will be held on November 17th this year.

The county awarded sh7.4 million to 80 athletes in the 2nd marathon, with the top three earning sh1 million, sh500, 000, and sh250, 000, respectively.

Prof. Cheserek called on banks where the athletes have accounts to attach a financial advisor to them to assist them in managing and investing their money.

She expressed concern over the rising cases of gender-based violence among athletes, saying it was sad that some men influenced their female athletes’ partners to put their hard-earned properties in their names and thereafter swindle them.

‘I am calling on both male and female
partners of the athletes to jealously guard whatever they get from the races and invest them wisely,’ she said.

She said the Iten marathon was part of the Wezesha programme, where the county aimed to nurture and expose athletes, saying that after participating once, an athlete should seek to run in races outside the country while leaving other local athletes to participate.

In a bid to continue producing more athletes, the DG said the county, in corroboration with AK, had embarked on a programme where an athletics coach is attached to each primary and secondary school.

She called on international companies involved in athletics to adopt a track within the county, construct it, and brand it as a way of promoting athletics in the county.

Boniface Tiren from AK called on the county assembly to allocate more funds to sports, saying the county was a bedrock of athletics.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Residents Give Their Input On The Proposed National Budget

Residents of Vihiga County have given their input on the proposed national budget for the financial year 2024/2025.

Residents who spoke in a public participation forum held at Vihiga Friends Resource Centre, expressed concerns that, unlike other regions, they were not benefiting from development projects, citing the poor road network in the area.

They called on the national assembly budget and appropriations committee to allocate them more funds for roads, so that their farm produce could reach the market and other parts of the country on time.

Equally, the committee was asked to consider allocating enough funds to go towards constructing a local stadium that can match FKF standards.

At the same time, residents urged the government to provide funds for the construction of the Joe Kadenge Sports Academy, aimed at enabling the youth to develop their talents.

Meanwhile, they said that markets and street lighting should be given priority so that marketers and their clients can have a good working environment
, while their security is enhanced.

On his part, Emuhaya MP Omboko Milemba urged the committee to allocate funds that will go towards constructing and equipping a digital hub at the County headquarters that will solve the problem of youth unemployment.

Milemba called on the government to address the issue of Junior Secondary school teachers and health workers with speed so that the learners can be taught and patients treated.

Vihiga County KUPPET Secretary General Sabala Inyeni called on the government to employ the JSS teachers on permanent and pensionable terms, since no learning was going on.

The committee was chaired by Teso South MP Mary Emase, accompanied by other members of the committee, including Benard Shinali (Ikolomani) and his Khwisero counterpart Aseka Wangaya, who commended the residents of Vihiga and their political leaders for being calm and attentive throughout the meeting.

Also present were Charles Gimose (Hamisi), Dick Maungu (Luanda), and Vihiga MP Ernest Kagesi, who thanked the comm
ittee for coming to the area, saying for over ten years Vihiga County had been left behind.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Residents Want Kenya Power To Address Frequent Blackouts

The rampant power outage in Masalani town and its environs in Ijara sub-county has caused untold misery to the people over the years.

Consequently, some of the residents have now opted for other alternative sources of power, including solar energy or investing in personal generators.

For instance, due to sporadic power outages in the area, local mosques have installed solar panels for the faithful, especially during Friday khutbah and prayers, when Muslims usually converge to hear the word of God.

A spot check by KNA also revealed that a number of petrol stations in Masalani town were using standby generators, even as the Masalani Sub-county Referral Hospital and the Masalani water supply company struggled to deliver services due to the ongoing power outage.

Most of the local Jua Kali garages were also only offering partial services.

Local leaders led by Former Chairman of the defunct Ijara County Council, Mohamed Gure, Masalani watchdog Chairman Abdullahi Abdi, and Mama Hawa Abdi, are lamenting over the
numerous power interruptions and have now accused Kenya Power Company (KPC) of laxity in responding to the power problems in the region.

On his part, Abdi said there must be something beyond a normal intermittent power outage, citing inefficiency at the Hola-Garsen-Malindi KPC offices.

The Masalani Watchdog chairman said milk vendors, mama mbogas, and other small-scale traders were the hardest hit as they continued to watch their perishable commodities go to waste, amid claims that some of them had already migrated to other localities like Hola, Garsen, Garissa, and Mombasa.

Area butchers are also said to have drastically reduced the number of animals they slaughter on a daily basis for fear of the meat going bad due to lack of refrigeration services.

Contacted for comment, area KPC operations Manager Hezron James blamed the mishap on the current flooding of the River Tana, which has caused a power outage in Masalani town for the last couple of days.

However, Hezron said some poles allegedly swept away i
n the flooded area along Masalani Bridge and Boji were being repaired by engineers using a boat hired from a local transporter.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Govt Takes Tree Planting Campaign To Mumoni Hills Forest

Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Dr. Alfred Mutua and his Environment and Forestry counterpart, Soipan Tuya, have spearheaded a significant tree-planting exercise in the Mumoni Hills Forest, Mwingi North Constituency in Kitui County.

The duo called on the county residents to engage in massive tree activities, as the initiative is part of the government’s ambitious plan to achieve 30 per cent forest cover by 2032.

Dr. Mutua emphasised the urgency of this goal, stating that no resources should be spared in ensuring that the thirty per cent forest cover ambition is attained, lamenting that failing to meet this target could be far more costly.

The CS remarks align with President Dr. William Ruto’s comprehensive strategy to combat climate change through nationwide reforestation.

Dr. Mutua reiterated the government’s extensive plan, which targets to plant 15 billion trees over the next decade. This direction under President Ruto’s leadership signifies a ‘forward-looking and astute’ approach to addressing
threats from negative climate challenges, he added.

The CS underscored that to facilitate this massive tree-planting campaign, each cabinet secretary has been assigned specific forests and wetlands to oversee monthly planting activities.

‘The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife has been tasked with the reforestation efforts in Taita Taveta and Kitui counties, with a target of planting 4 million trees within the next year,’ said the CS.

During the Mumoni Hills event, 13,000 trees were planted, with Dr. Mutua personally contributing by planting 110 trees. The exercise underscores the practical steps being taken to reach the target of 15 billion trees, with a focus on biodiversity.

He also advised the local residents to elect leaders with development-focused mindsets to ensure sustained progress.

On her part, Tuya explained that thirty per cent of the targeted 15 billion trees will be fruit trees and twenty per cent will be fodder, thus enhancing both environmental and economic benefits.

The event also saw pa
rticipation from key officials, including the Principal Secretary for the State Department of Tourism, John Ololtuaa, and Gitonga Mugambi from the State Department of Forestry.

The County commissioner, Jepchumba Rutto, while speaking during the tree planting ceremony, urged the county residents to embrace tree planting in order to improve forest cover and fight negative climate change efforts.

Rutto appealed to the residents living in areas where ongoing tree planting is taking place, to protect the newly planted tree seedlings so that they could survive.

He cautioned the locals against grazing their livestock on the newly planted sites to avoid the destruction of the tree seedlings.

‘Plans are in place to engage some members of the local residents in watering and protecting the newly planted tree seedlings for the next three months to ensure they mature,’ the county commissioner said.

The County Deputy Governor, Augustine Kanani, who also graced the tree planting ceremony, disclosed that the extensive M
umoni Hill is home to a unique bird species called Hinde’s Babbler.

‘The Hinde’s Babbler is a rare bird found only in Kenya, and due to this unique bird species, there is a need for my county to work jointly with the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife to make it a tourism attraction site,’ he advised.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Zone 01 Opens In Kisumu To Nurture Young Techies

One hundred youths have secured a chance to train for free and hone their skills and talents in Information Communication Technology (ICT) and the digital space.

The free training offered through a partnership between Zone 01, the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (ULCGA), the County Government of Kisumu, and Lake Hub, a Kisumu-based IT company, targets to nurture talents and build a world-class workforce of Web App developers, data engineers, Artificial Intelligence experts, video game developers, and block chain and cyber security experts.

The cohort selected through a competitive process will train for two years, after which they will be put on a three-year contract to work in their various areas of specialisation.

Zone 01 is a revolutionary tuition-free programme based on peer-to-peer learning with no traditional teachers and lecturers.

Speaking during the launch of the programme, Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o said the initiative targets to build world-class competencies amongst the
youth to prepare them for immense opportunities in the ICT and digital sectors.

Unemployment amongst the youth, he said, was a big challenge, with currently 67% of the country’s young population unemployed, adding that the skills gained through the programme will go a long way in guaranteeing them job opportunities.

The digital space, he said, is projected to offer 20 million jobs by the year 2030, with the bulk of opportunities available in Africa, adding that the skilling and upskilling offered through the Zone 01 initiative will build a network of young men and women to take up the jobs.

The County Government of Kisumu, he said, would continue to seek partnerships to empower the youth with the requisite skills to take up opportunities in the ICT and digital spaces.

He added that the county department of ICT has established a centre at the Rotary Vocational Training Centre, which has been equipped with 50 computers, desks, and chairs, and that Konza Technopolis has donated an additional 20 desktops, whi
ch will be used to absorb the second cohort of apprentices.

Over 13,000 applications, he said, were received for the programme, adding that through strengthening partnerships, more and more youths from Kisumu and the western region stand to benefit.

ICT and E-Government Secretary Mary Kerema lauded the initiative by the County Government of Kisumu, adding that the national government was ready to engage Zone 01 and other partners to scale up the initiative to reach all 47 counties.

The government, she said, recognises the importance of technical education in the transformation of the economy, adding that ICT has been entrenched in the curriculum at all levels of education to build skills amongst learners.

She added that the Ministry of ICT and the Digital Economy was on course to scale up internet coverage in the country to ensure that as many Kenyans as possible join the e-commerce bracket.

‘We are setting up ICT hubs in every constituency to ensure that our people are trained so as to benefit from the
numerous opportunities available online,’ she said.

Other initiatives, she added, include Ajira Digital, where the youth have been trained on securing work online, and the Jitume centres, which are being rolled out across the country to provide spaces for the youth to work online.

‘The government is putting up facilities across the country to enable the youth to get into the digital space. We are setting up 1,470 digital hubs and even funding startups to ensure that our youths are occupied and do not engage in alcoholism and drug abuse,’ she said.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Embrace Godly Values For Quality Living, Sapit

The Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya, Dr. Jackson ole Sapit, has called upon Christians and Kenyans in general to embrace values that would add quality to their lives.

Archbishop Sapit, in his sermon Friday at ACK St. James in Loitoktok, said purposeful living involves living a life whose values and purpose give honour to God, urging all to shun values that are not profitable and dishonour God.

He said this should be energised by what one wants to see in his children, his family, and society in general, as well as by the word of God.

‘This calls for one to engage in self-reflection every day, checking values and daily actions, and consistently living with good godly values,’ he added.

The prelate further pointed out that life depends on virtues, and in order to have these virtues, one must focus on the thoughts he entertains, on his actions, and on the attitudes he has.

‘Evil thoughts lead to evil action, good thoughts lead to good action, hence good life, while negative attitude leads to stagn
ation and lack of progress,’ he added.

The Anglican spiritual leader also urged Christians and Kenyans in general, as a good virtue, to be a blessing to others, avoiding being selfish, citing that God has endowed us with blessings so as to bless others.

Drawing reference from the Bible (2 Kings 4:1-7), he noted Kenyans are facing myriad challenges and urged them not to lose heart, giving room to defeatism attitude and giving up; however, they should keep holding on onto what they are legitimately doing, trusting God to bless the work of their hands.

He encouraged the congregation to work hard and be prepared for opportunities that may come their way, adding that luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity.

The Archbishop, who is on a three-day Diocesan visit to Diocese of Kajiado, called upon local leaders from the Maa community to spearhead the change of attitude in the community towards embracing other means of livelihood other than relying on traditional pastoralism.

He called upon all Ke
nyans, including leaders, to embrace focused leadership, starting with themselves, where each must be a leader of himself before leading his family or society.

Kajiado South Constituency MP Sakimba Parashina appreciated the Archbishop’s visit, terming it as a blessing in Loitoktok.

Parashina encouraged the congregation not to despise their humble beginnings but to emulate the Archbishop, who, step by step, has risen to the highest position in the Anglican Church and is now a vocal and recognisable public figure.

He revealed he has set aside Sh10 million for the construction of a bridge at Area 51 in Loitoktok.

Others who graced the service included the Bishop of the Diocese of Kajiado, Right Rev. Gadiel Lenin, who is the host to the Archbishop, Loitoktok Sub County Deputy County Commissioner, Antony Maina, and MCA Kuku Ward Edwin Lemomo, among others.

Archbishop Ole Sapit will be heading to Kajiado North on Saturday to launch a new archdeaconary.

Source: Kenya News Agency

KeNHA Begins To Repair Damaged Garissa-Madogo Road

The Kenya National High Way Authority (KeNHA) has started repairing the damaged section of the Garissa – Madogo road that was washed away by the recent floods.

A spot check by KNA at the Mororo section showed that the excavators were busy levelling the ground as trucks were unloading marram.

Garissa County Commissioner Mohamed Mwabudzo said that officials from KeNHA were already on site and had started working on repair works.

Mwabudzo, who spoke to the press at the site after alighting from the boat, called on both motorists and pedestrians to exercise patience and give the engineers working on the road time to do their work.

‘As you can see, repair work has already started in earnest. In three to four days, we should be able to see great progress,’ Mwabudzo said.

‘I want to really commend the security officers who worked closely with the members of the public during the difficult time and ensured that such a tragedy like the one that occurred does not happen again,’ he added.

The County Commissioner f
urther commended both the security apparatus and members of the public for their conduct during the entire exercise of transporting both passengers and goods across the flooded section using boats.

The boats have been busy ferrying passengers to and from Garissa, charging Sh200 per head.

On Thursday afternoon, some residents who could not afford the amount charged by the boats could be seen wading through the flooded waters that were at shoulder-high.

The administrator said the same spirit should continue to be applied until the exercise is over.

Patracia Ithanzu, a trader at a Garissa market, called on the government to fast-track the construction of the road, noting that it had led to a lot of pain and suffering for the residents.

Patricia called on the KeNHA and the contractors doing the road works to ensure that the quality is not compromised, reiterating the importance of the road that is the gateway to the North Eastern region.

‘Speaking as a trader, I can tell you that the last three weeks have b
een hell on earth for us. Using a lot of money to have our goods delivered at the market, like paying for the boats, Unfortunately, we also had to hike the prices so as to ensure that we don’t make losses,’ she said.

On his part, Ken Waweru, a boat rider, admitted that he made good returns as a result of ferrying people and goods in the two weeks.

He, however, regretted the loss of lives at the Kona Punda section, calling on the government to find a permanent solution to the perennial floods.

During his recent Garissa visit, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said the government is looking into long-term solutions to the flooding crisis affecting Garissa and Tana River counties.

The DP revealed plans to invest Shs1.2 billion to construct a new bridge along the Garissa-Nairobi highway.

On education, the county commissioner said that all IDPs that were being hosted in schools have since been relocated to other sites, noting that the government, with the help of NGOs, continues to offer relief assistance to
flood victims.

Mwamudzo disclosed that the majority have started going back to their homes after the flood waters subsided.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Stalled Siaya Stadium To Be Ready In 3-Months

The multimillion-shilling Siaya stadium, whose construction kicked off six years ago, is set for completion within the next three months, area Governor James Orengo has said.

Speaking when he led a team of leaders in inspecting the on-going works, Orengo said the 20,000 capacity stadium will be one of the best sports facilities in the region, capable of hosting international soccer and athletic events.

‘Our hope is that by mid-August, the stadium will be ready for use, and I want Otiende Amollo (Rarieda MP) and Senator Eddy Oketch to help persuade Bunge FC to come and grace the occasion by playing a curtain raiser for a match between Gor Mahia and a team we are trying to talk to, to come and participate in the opening ceremony,’ said governor Orengo.

Speaking during the occasion, the Rarieda MP hailed the governor for reviving the construction of the sports facility that, he noted, had stalled for some time due to various procurement issues.

Otiende said that as the captain of Bunge FC, he will ensure tha
t the team, together with another from within the East Africa region, graces the official opening ceremony.

‘The works and fittings are impressive, and the pavilion is bigger than any other outside Kasarani Stadium,’ he said.

Migori Senator Eddy Oketch said the project was a manifest of success stories of what devolution can achieve with full support from the government.

‘As senators, we must fight for more money to come to the grassroots,’ said Senator Oketch.

Kisumu Deputy Governor, Dr. Mathews Owili, said with AFCON preparations ongoing, he was certain that the completion of the Siaya Stadium will place it as one of the venues that will either host a match or even one of the teams for practices.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Murang’a Landslide Victims Get Vital Documents

Murang’a residents displaced by a deadly landslide have received Huduma Mashinani services, where they replaced their essential documents lost in the disaster.

Those displaced and who were temporarily sheltered at Ngutu Primary School in Mathioya, together with other residents of the area, had the chance to replace lost documents Friday, as Huduma Centre officials pitched camp at the temporary shelter to offer the services.

The exercise that was led by Stanley Kamau of Ahadi Kenya Trust helped the residents replace their lost essential documents like Identity Cards and Birth certificates and also benefited other area residents who needed the services but could not access them at the Huduma centre in Murang’a town.

‘We have seen the need for the residents of Ngutu to replace the documents they may have lost, and that is why we have brought the services close to them,’ Kamau said.

Kamau urged all Kenyans whose relatives and loved ones have been displaced by rains and landslides to come to their aid and welc
ome them to their homes until they can move back to their own homes, saying they should not see it as a burden.

‘I am asking anyone with a relative in this shelter to pick up their relatives and house them until their own homes are safe,’ he pleaded.

He cautioned those displaced against moving back to their homes until the government declared it safe to do so.

The philanthropist further warned against misappropriation of food and other items for those housed in temporary centres.

‘Anyone found with items designated for those displaced outside of the shelter will be dealt with according to the law,’ he warned.

Kamau applauded the efforts of the National Government Administration Officers in managing and maintaining order during the crisis.

Murang’a Huduma Centre manager, Joyce Gitau, applauded the residents for turning up in large numbers to acquire the important documents and thanked the facilitators of the exercise for bringing the services to the people in need.

Source: Kenya News Agency