Some of the Cabinet secretaries, appear absent from the scene. They are not felt.
Few whose focus is 2022 general elections are not excited about what they do but what they get. In fact, some are the cause of problems in their ministries. They court one crisis after another hence portraying presidency as failing Kenyans.
It is hard to understand how individuals entrusted with billions of shillings in Public Coffers in Kenya have over the years decided to steal from their own motherland without an iota of shame.
People holding positions of Cabinet Ministers, Principal Secretaries, Chief Executive Officers, Managing Directors, Members of Parliament, Senators, Speakers and Governors in Kenya, have entrenched themselves as a new tribe whose purpose in life is to steal public funds by any possible means regardless of consequences.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has previously in a public forum accused his Cabinet Secretaries and other Government officials of sleeping on the job, making it difficult for him to fulfil his promises to Kenyans.
A visibly angry Uhuru said he wondered why projects commissioned a year ago had yet to start, yet funds had been released.
“This is not the way we should work. We have to change. We can’t continue putting on suits and entertain big business people in our offices yet we have no time for SMEs. We have to be honest with ourselves.”
“The CS for Infrastructure is here. Governor Sonko is here. What does it take to start building a market? It’s been one year since the plans started.
CS Munya concurred that CSs have let the President down and caused him public ridicule, though he himself promised to change, not much has happened in his docket since them.
While on an official trip to Namibia, President Uhuru had to force the CSs who had accompanied him to note down the issues raised by Kenyans in Namibia. Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma, Trade and Industrialization CS Peter Munya and Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri had their faces bowed in shame, as a visibly agitated President Kenyatta scolded them.
“What is difficult about having a team to organize that? Today these Cabinet Secretaries will not speak to me but the truth must be told, everywhere we go it’s the same issue, the same question, why can’t we put it in place? ……………….. Na mimi sitaki maneno ingine….,” said a visibly angry Kenyatta.
If anything, they are on the front line as an army determined to frustrate the War on Corruption armed with the money they steal and aided by lawyers, magistrates, and judges who also live in order to enjoy the ill-gotten corruption proceeds.
The crooks steal from National Youth Service, National Security instruments, National Health Services, Food Security coffers, infrastructure projects, Education system, County governments and all other public institutions. Worse still, most of the stolen money ends up in offshore bank accounts awaiting the onset of the official campaign period for 2022 general elections.
It is in that light that the recently canceled Kimwarer Dam in Elgeyo Marakwet should be seen and understood. A pack of thieves conspired to gobble the public coffers the same way a pack of wolves devour a farmer’s sheep leaving a carcass of bones to rot away.
A multi-billion-shilling scandal that was hatched at the National Treasury headed by cabinet Minister Henry Rotich and executed through the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) chaired by a Chief Executive Francis Kipkoech. His predecessor Managing Director David Kipchumba Kimosop was also charged. So was National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) CEO Geoffrey Wahungu.
For a dam that might never be built, Kenya taxpayers paid Ksh22 billion and the chances are that it will never be recovered. The thieves did not care about thousands of fellow citizens who frequently feed on wild berries during droughts. They did not care about food security not only in Elgeyo Marakwet but the entire nation.
Another sad instance, the Ministry of Agriculture headed by Mafioso Hon Mwangi Kiunjuri is in total chaos. Kiunjuri is on the spot for allegedly protecting cartels in his ministry. Under his watch cartels have been creating artificial maize shortages with the aim of importing more for their selfish gains. This, in turn, will affect the agricultural sector in different ways, mainly absorbing the maize from local farmers and price control, leading to the loss of expected income.
Early July, there were reports that up to 124,486 bags of maize held by the State in the Strategic Food Reserve (SFR) were contaminated with aflatoxin. During this time, CS Kiunjuri had said that the country was contemplating import of the grain to plug a biting shortfall, a shortfall that was refuted by the chairman of Strategic Food Reserve, Noah Wekesa.
However, it is not clear whether this contaminated maize was destroyed or it found its way into the millers.
Kebs on Saturday released a statement informing the public to avoid Dola Maize Meal by Kitui Flour Mills, Kifaru Maize Meal by Alpha Grain Limited, Starehe Maize Meal by Pan African Grain Millers, Two Ten Maize Meal by Kenblest Limited and Jembe Maize Meal by Kensalrise Limited. The brands were blacklisted due to high levels of aflatoxin, beyond the maximum limit.
“Following continued market surveillance as well as multiple public reports, Kenya Bureau of Standards has noted that some brands of maize meal products do not meet the requirements of Kenya Standards,” read the statement from Kebs.
Be it as it may, we all know Jubilee party is a conglomeration of several parties who have a say in the government. DP Ruto’s wing takes the lion share in frustrating President Uhuru’s legacy. A source from within Tangatanga faction of Jubilee headed by DP William Ruto has indicated that some of these CSs will be running in 2022 general elections hence the need to accumulate resources and align themselves to DP Ruto.
The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has barred seven Silverstone Air planes from operating for the next one week pending a probe into a series of air incidents involving the airline’s fleet.
At the same time, KCAA has suspended operating licenses of two air operators — Safe Air Company (S.A.C.) and Adventures Aloft. SAC exclusively provides air cargo services while Adventures Aloft is a hot air balloon operator.
The revelations were made on Tuesday by KCAA Director General Gilbert Kibe while appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Transport.
Kibe told the Transport Committee that the ongoing audit is not targeting Silverstone Air alone but also all other air services operators.
“The reason we picked on Silverstone as an example is that they have been involved in an accident in the recent past. It is not the only airline we are conducting surveillance audit on… We are doing that to almost all airlines,” said Kibe.
Silverstone Air came under probe after three of its planes were last month involved in separate incidents one of them being an accident.
In the most recent case, a Silverstone Air plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Eldoret International Airport, after a tyre fell off during take-off.
Barely 24 hours before the tyre incident, a Silverstone aircraft hit and damaged another plane at the Wilson Airport in Nairobi on Sunday morning.
About two weeks before that, the same airline was on the headlines for the wrong reasons after one of its planes skidded off the runway and crash-landed shortly after take-off at Wilson Airport.
Meanwhile, the KCAA boss disclosed to the Transport Committee that it has repaired the two runaways at Wilson Airport, which had raised concern from industry operators, due to potholes.
Kenya Films and Classification Board (KFCB) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ezekiel Mutua on Tuesday demanded churches in Kenya to ban two Jubilee and ODM Members of Parliament (MPs) from setting their feet in their houses of worship.
According to Mutua, the obscene remarks made by the two female legislators, Millie Odhiambo and Cate Waruguru, at different political gatherings are unpalatable in the Kenyan society.
Ezekiel Mutua wants Cate Waruguru banned from Churches.
“Using sexual innuendo and obscene epithets on fellow leaders in public like Millie Odhiambo and Cate Waruguru did over the weekend is a new low – shameful and disgusting.
“These two women leaders must apologize for their irresponsible utterances. Churches should ban them from setting foot in hallowed places of worship unless they repent,” wrote Mutua on his Facebook page.
Laikipia Woman Rep Cate Waruguru
The KFCB boss also urged institutions to play a key role in taming such immorality by denying the two leaders a chance to speak at their functions.
He called on the media to avoid publishing such sentiments unless they are treating it with the contempt it deserves.
“Self-respecting organizations should never accord these two any opportunity to speak to sane people. If we value morality and common decency, we must hold our leaders to account for this kind of pathetic talk.
Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo PHOTO/COURTESY
Ezekiel Mutua also wants Millie Odhiambo banned from churches.
“Media houses must not glorify this crap with publicity unless in the context of shaming and condemning it!” added Mutua.
The two female MPs being scolded for their remarks have been firing insults at political functions.
Waruguru while in Eldoret told off Kirinyanga governor Anne Waiguru over Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report saying; “Zaa kwanza kabla uogee juu ya BBI (Go and give birth first before talking about BBI).”
On the other hand, Millie, while addressing Kibra residents at thanksgiving rally of MP-elect Bernard Okoth, slammed members of Jubilee Party that were rooting for McDonald Mariga’s saying: “Tulimalizania na yeye sitting room bila condom( We got done with the at the sitting room without condom).”
The Government of Uganda has suspended imports of seven Kenyan peanut butter brands days after they were banned from the local market.
A statement from the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) said importation, sale and distribution of the brands should cease with immediate effect.
“Tests carried out by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KeBS) confirmed high levels of aflatoxin contamination. Aflatoxin is a poisonous cancer-causing compound,” UNBS said.
The brands are:
- Nutty by Nature
- True nuts
- Supa Meal
- Sue’s Naturals
UNBS has warned Ugandan citizens against buying the seven products and inspectors at border points have been ordered to seize all consignments with the identified brands.
The agency further noted that the ban would be in effect until further notice and reiterated their mandate to protect consumers from ‘dangerous and substandard ‘products.
Zesta Choco Peanut Butter brand among those banned Photo/Courtesy
The Kenyan peanut butter brands were banned from the local market on November 4 and the companies ordered to discontinue production and recall all their products.
“The suspension follows test results undertaken by KeBS which confirm that their levels of aflatoxin are higher than the maximum limit allowed by the Standard. The Kenya Standard, ‘KS EAS 60: 2013, Peanut Butter – Specification’ states that the maximum total aflatoxin content, is 15 parts per billion (ppb) and gives maximum value for Aflatoxin B1 5 ppb maximum,” KeBS said in a statement.
A new political party in the Rift Valley spearheaded by Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago seems to be in the offing if what transpired on Saturday 9, at Inua mama Jenga Taifa rally in Eldoret is anything to go by.
The party with a symbol of ‘rungu’ (club) appears to be in the pipeline with Mandago and his close allies on Saturday attending the rally at Central Primary grounds all in possession of ‘rungus’.
The MPs who appeared linked to the party included William Ruto’s close allies, Oscar Sudi (Kapsaret), Caleb Kositany (Soy)and Gladys Shollei (Uasin Gishu) among others. Mandago, who is synonymous with “rungu” and known as a gifted orator, a crowd puller and no-nonsense leader, could be the chair of the ‘new’ political outfit.
To a keen observer, Saturday’s action was not just a coincident. It was well calculated in such a way that ‘rungu’ featured prominently in the hands of almost all the speakers.
Governor Jackson Mandago was the guest of honour during the Inua Mana Initiative meeting Photo/Courtesy
Notable all the Inua Mama Initiative members carried a ‘rungu’ Photo/Courtesy
Coming at a time when the glaring division between supporters of President Kenyatta and DP Ruto, Mandago and a section of legislators appear to be eyeing 2022 outfit, with fears of cracks within the ruling Jubilee party.
The governor had hosted the Inua Mama, Jenga Taifa Uasin Gishu edition where he applauded the initiative for empowering the lives and livelihoods of women, youths and people living with disabilities.
47 groups of women, youths and people with disabilities in Uasin Gishu benefited from the Inua Mama, Jenga Taifa.
Hon Oscar Sudi in a tight embrace with Hon Gladys Sholei, both are fierce supporters of DP Ruto Photo/Courtesy
They were given welding machines, car wash machines, sewing machines, brick welding machines, and Meko jikos.
Currently, the Rift Valley region seems to be at the crossroads without any solid political party after the disbandment of URP and TNA parties to form the Jubilee Party.
In the absence of strong, ideologically based political parties, Kenyan politicians win elections primarily by securing the support of ethnically mobilized blocs of voters through regional parties.
Recently, Ruto’s supporters, mostly youths hinted at retreating to DP’s former party, United Republican Party (URP) should Jubilee deny him a direct presidential ticket.
The Kenya National and Examinations Council (KNEC) and the Ministry of Education have come under criticism over the use of a deadly chemical in the KCSE Chemistry practical paper which was administered on Friday.
Reports indicate that multiple teachers and students from around the country have been hospitalized as a result of exposure to xylene during the practicals.
Titration Demo by Lenana School PHOTO/COURTESY
The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) was over the weekend put to task by its members who wanted the union body to protest the use of xylene.
“It’s mind boggling that KNEC has regularly come up with the usage of strange chemicals and apparatus for practical exams. Some of these chemicals and apparatus, apart from being hazardous, are beyond the scope of the candidates and are NEVER used as teaching and learning resources in an ordinary school set up,” another teacher complained.
KUPPET is set to address the complaints at a press conference on Monday afternoon.
The Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education Belio Kipsang, however, said his office was yet to formally receive the complaints – but claimed that xylene was not as dangerous as claimed.
He added that chemistry teachers have previously used the chemical in normal training practicals.
“It is a story, we have not heard any formal complaints. Chemistry teachers will tell you, these are the same chemicals they have been using,” Kipsang stated.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), xylene is an aromatic hydrocarbon that requires safety measures to avoid its toxicity.
Exposure to the chemical affects the nervous system and the liver – with symptoms ranging from nausea and dizziness for small amounts.
It can also lead to death when one is exposed to high amounts of the chemical.