A Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) soldier was on Tuesday night shot and killed by a motorcycle gang in Utawala, Nairobi.
The soldier, who was on his way home, was accosted at around 8pm by a gang of three on a boda boda who demanded his backpack.
Police said a scuffle ensued before one of the attackers shot senior private Joseph Mwangi before grabbing his rucksack and rode off with his accomplices.
Guards at nearby houses heard the gunshot and rushed to the scene and rushed the 30-year-old soldier to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
According to police crime scene investigators, who were sent to the scene, no spent cartridge was recovered despite the single bullet entering and exiting his lower abdomen.
Police are still trying to establish what the backpack contained as they hunt down the gang.
The body was later moved to the mortuary to await a postmortem examination.
Police have advised the public not to resist orders from armed thugs whenever they are accosted, to ensure their safety.
Cases of armed robberies have been on the increase in Nairobi during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the attacks blamed on illegal guns in the hands of criminals.
In December, four men were arrested and charged in a Nairobi court after they allegedly brutally killed a KDF officer in Utawala following a brawl over a woman.
The government has vowed not to leave any ‘tea leaf’ unturned in its effort to reform the tea sector even as it continues to push for implementation of the Tea Act 2020.
This, it notes, will ensure tea farmers get their fair share of the crop and do away with middlemen who have infiltrated the sector.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, while addressing editors at a media breakfast in Nairobi yesterday, also termed Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) the biggest impediment to improving the sector.
Mr Munya laid the blame squarely on the private tea agency which he noted had been the sole monopoly that has run down the country’s leading foreign exchange earner over the years.
“The value chain players who have a direct commercial interest in the outcome of the auction process also run the auction, which pre-disposes the auction to insider trading and price-fixing, adding misery to the smallholder farmer,” said Munya.
This comes a few days after detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations’ Serious Crime Unit (DCI) raided KTDA head offices in Nairobi.
The officers took control of the seven floors used by the tea agency at Farmers Building along Moi Avenue, Nairobi.
The investigators directed staff to move away from their computers and leave the building under the supervision of armed officers.
In a quick rebuttal, KTDA said it had nothing to hide regarding its operations, financial transactions and business.
The tea agency said the DCI invasion had resulted in the unlawful retrieval of computers and hard disks, payment records of 620,000 to farmers, shareholder registers, title deeds and other important records and documents.
“The group states that it is a law-abiding institution and as long as the proper and legal procedures are followed, it will abide by the same,” the agency said in a statement.
Separately, the East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA), the membership club of tea value chain players in East, Central and Southern Africa which manages the Mombasa Tea Auction also protested another DCI invasion at its Mombasa premises last Friday.
In a letter to members, EATTA Managing Director Edward Mudibo said the DCI officers’ raid at their premises on Friday at 3 pm was an affront to the associations’ rights as a private entity.
“We carry out transparent business and we assisted them with everything they needed. At the end of the day, they took about 10 computers and personal phones from our staff on duty. The phones were returned on Monday,” said Mudibo.
At the centre of this bruising battle is the Tea Act that the government has touted as a game-changer and which KTDA had already secured staying court orders in the execution of the act.
The fight came to the fore on March 12, when President Uhuru Kenyatta issued an executive order calling for immediate elections in all tea smallholder factories across the country.
KTDA then rushed to court and got orders to halt the elections.
Interestingly, after the executive order was issued, 24 tea companies led by those from Murang’a County successfully held elections while others have given notice for the same.
CS Munya believes KTDA’s conflict of interest and hiding under the disguise of a private company is what has delayed reforms in the tea sector.
“KTDA has resisted the reforms on the theory that they are a private company, but any company with more than 50 members is a public company and must meet higher disclosure requirements, all legitimate business is subject to regulation,” he said.
The DCI’s Serious Crime Unit is yet to release its report on the investigations they are doing on KTDA.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has left the country for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on President Felix Tshisekedi’s invitation.
The two leaders are expected to discuss how to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries as well as the role of African Union (AU) in the development of Africa.
Among those who accompanied Uhuru for the visit include; Foreign Affairs CS Raychelle Omamo, her devolution counterpart Eugene Wamalwa, Kenya’s Ambassador to Kinshasa George Masafu among top government officials.
Kenyatta’s visit came a day after his Somalia counterpart Mohamed Farmajo jetted out of DRC. The two Heads of State also spoke on the strengthening of bilateral relations.
“In a two-hour tÃªte-Ã -tÃªte, the President of Somalia requested the involvement of President Tshisekedi, in his capacity as President of the AU, to facilitate and supervise negotiations with all the stakeholders involved in this Somali crisis.
“Advocating African solutions to African problems, the Head of State welcomed the approach of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed to open up to the AU and to reach out to all Somali forces for a just and lasting peace,” said a communique from the DR Congo presidency.
At the same time, reports indicated that Kenyatta was supposed to meet his Somali counterpart but did not show up.
The two were allegedly supposed to meet to solve a long standing disagreement revolving around the the Marine territory between the two countries.
Somalia argues its maritime boundary should run in the same direction as the southeasterly path of the country’s land border.
On the other hand, Kenya claims the border should take a roughly 45-degree turn at the shoreline and run in a latitudinal line.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee has taken on Deputy President William Ruto-backed United Democratic Alliance (UDA), with a plot to terminate a pre-election agreement with the rebranded party.
Jubilee has insisted it signed a pre-election pact with Party for Development and Reforms (PDR), which rebranded to UDA, and is therefore considered a new entity.
And if it goes ahead and severs ties with UDA, MPs allied to Ruto who are openly associating with the new party, citing the coalition agreement, would be exposed legally.
According to the Political Parties Act, a party member who promotes the affairs of another outfit risks disciplinary action, punishment the President’s camp would not hesitate to initiate against rebels as the relations with his deputy continue to deteriorate.
“It is dishonest to say we are in the same coalition (with UDA). It is a hostile coalition. It is hostile in Parliament. It cannot be allowed to continue,” Jubilee secretary-general Raphael Tuju recently submitted to the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal where he defended the party’s decision to expel nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura for his association with UDA.
But Dr Ruto has dismissed such claims, insisting that UDA’s agreement with Jubilee is still valid.
“UDA and Jubilee are one. We have a coalition agreement and we have been working together. If they break Jubilee, trying to make it a tribal party, we will build UDA as the national party we had hoped Jubilee will be,” Dr Ruto said last month.
And last Thursday, the DP cautioned Jubilee has itself to blame for what he said will be an avalanche of defections to UDA. “In the event Jubilee is not available, we will have a plan B. UDA is the next best option as it is already working with Jubilee. It will become an option if Jubilee does not stop this expulsion spree.”
The DP’s allies, too, insist they have done nothing wrong in associating with an affiliate of Jubilee.
“As far as I am concerned, I am still a Jubilee member. I may not agree with what Jubilee is doing, but I am a member. I have no apologies to make for associating with UDA. I am a firm believer that you cannot stop anyone from associating with anybody,” Meru senator Mithika Linturi said yesterday.
The ruling party, however, argues that it was disingenuous for the Ruto team to be in both parties at the same time, and that they should resign to seek a fresh mandate in the new UDA party.
A Northern Kenya based party, PDR, now UDA, worked with Jubilee at a time President Kenyatta preferred such working relationships to shore up his support in regions where Jubilee was not the most preferred party.
UDA now has five elected leaders in Parliament led by Senate Deputy Majority Leader Fatuma Dullo, who is also the Isiolo senator, as well as Wajir Woman Rep Fatuma Gedi, Tarbaj’s Ahmed Bashane, Mark Lomunokol of Kacheliba and Ijara’s Sophia Abdi.
The Nation has learnt that the DP instructed his allies during a meeting at his Karen home recently to help the UDA leadership in constituting the party coordinators from the constituency to county level ahead of the party’s June 18 grassroots polls.
South Mugirango MP Sylvanus Osoro and his Keiyo South counterpart Daniel Rono confirmed to the Nation that they were told to ensure that the party has interim officials ready to register members.
“We were restructuring our political moves by endeavouring to expand our networks from the grassroots level,” said Mr Osoro.
“Leaders agreed to consult further and constitute party coordinators in their areas so that we can soldier on and minimise unnecessary fights. Having the officials will help us register as many members as possible to outsmart Jubilee party,” Mr Rono added.
UDA has proposed a power-sharing model in its top party leadership structures.
In a draft UDA constitution seen by the Nation, the outfit proposes to have three deputy party leaders, three deputy chairpersons, three deputy secretaries-general, three deputy national treasurers, and three deputy national organising secretaries.
One Kenya Alliance principals Gideon Moi (KANU), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) and Moses Wetangula (Ford Kenya) have agreed to widen the coalition with like-minded political players ahead of the 2022 high stake General Election.
The leaders held a two-hour consultative meeting on Tuesday in which they agreed to form a technical working team that would come up with modalities of accommodating other political players.
“We had a meeting to reflect on further steps to be undertaken in the coming weeks to strengthen and broaden the emerging political formation of One Kenya Alliance,” Mudavadi said.
The leaders, who have remained committal that their alliance is primarily aimed at uniting Kenyans, have in recent days been on the receiving end with some of their critics accusing them of being propped by President Uhuru Kenyatta ahead of the polls to tame the influence of ODM Party Leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto.
“Today we mark the beginning of a journey with a clear purpose to unite this country through a transformative agenda that seeks to create equal opportunities for all Kenyans,” the leaders said during its launch in March 2021.
The former Prime Minister Odinga enjoyed a previous political pact with Mudavadi, Musyoka and Wetangula in the now defunct National Super Alliance (NASA). He was deliberately left out of the equation in what is largely attributed to his ‘insincerity’ to honor coalition agreements.
The ODM Party Leader who is yet to formally announce his presidential bid although his allies have hinted that he will be on the ballot has since dismissed the alliance and termed it “a tribal alliance”.
Deputy President William Ruto who is also eyeing the presidency has accused the quartet of banking on tribal politics to get power instead of championing for a national party with an ideology to unite all Kenyans.
Talk has been rife in recent days of a political formation between Raila and Ruto though the two arch-rivals have dismissed the talk.
Ruto in a past interview revealed that the differences between him and the ODM leader were purely political and noted that in the event the former premier gets to adopt his hustler ideology then there could be room for a working arrangement.
“Our differences are only political and if people share ideas then room for engagement should never be dismissed,” he said.
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya who also doubles up as the ODM Party Leader recently met Ruto in what ignited talk of the possibility of a Raila-Ruto alliance.
The One Kenya Alliance political outfit is among the three others that are angling for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s endorsement for the 2022 presidential election.
Police have summoned top Citizen TV bosses over an investigative report on an alleged guns syndicate in the service that was aired by the station on Sunday.
Director of Criminal of Investigations George Kinoti said they want the editorial director, head of strategy and other relevant journalists involved in the story to help them investigate and nab those behind the said syndicate.
He added the station did not bother to seek a comment from police or government over the allegations.
“The allegations are extremely serious. We shall be asking the editorial director, and other relevant reporters to come and give us more insights to this report in pursuit of criminals harbouring the weapons,” Kinoti said.
He added the report seemed to be a malicious attempt to discredit the National Police Service.
“We can only conclude that it was aimed at creating public pandemonium over the management of the security sector.”
At a press briefing at DCI headquarters, Kinoti denied the guns acquired by the station crew for an exposé that aired on Sunday, April 18, were leased out by policemen.
The station reported how rogue police officers were aiding in criminal activities by hiring out their firearms and uniforms to unlicensed members of the public.
“None of the two guns they presented to us belong to police. And we feel the reporting was done to paint police in bad light,” Kinoti said.
He added the service had filed a complaint with the Media Complaints Commission over the story.
Kinoti said the investigation into the matter would be acceptable only if the media house included the police in the exposé.
“I don’t know why I was not approached to collaborate on the exposé. We never refused to be embedded in your operations. Put us on board, up to now we have no idea of these crimes,” he said.
“Which commander can dare cover for a police officer who gives a criminal a firearm?” he posed.
Kinoti said they have officials who track police firearms day and night.
“If a firearm is missing, we have mechanisms to track this. Which evidence are you giving rather than sensationalising the matter? How do we believe that uniform belongs to the police?”
On the handcuffs, Kinoti said tenders are given to civilians.
“It is not a big issue. They can be gotten anywhere even here at the police service. We need to talk about accountability and we cannot tell where it came from without evidence,” he said.
The head of ballistics unit at the DCI Johnstone Mwongera said parts of the rifle had different numbers, meaning they came from different firearms.
On Monday, the Citizen TV management handed over the weapons to police at Kilimani police. They said they were obtained from criminals who hired them from police.
Those who handed over the weapons include Joseph Njenga and Linus Kaikai, the legal officer and director of strategy and innovation at Royal Media Services respectively.
The weapons include an AK47 assault rifle with a wooden butt without a serial number, one magazine for AK47 assault rifle, one mini pistol make Kral King s/no. 82553 with an empty magazine, one pair of handcuffs s/no. KP/IEL/2002, one empty magazine and nine rounds of ammunition of 9mm.
Others include two long-sleeved jungle shirts, one smoke jacket for APs, one smoke jacket for KPS, one webbing for APs, one blue T-shirt, one blue short-sleeved shirt for KPS and one pair of blue trouser for KPS.
They also handed over a statement by the reporter Purity Mwambia.