Umoja Summit Still Grappling for Coast Agenda

By Mwakwaya Raymond Mwakwaya

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As other Communities across the country gear up strategies of their political stand months after the golden hand shake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA leader Raila Odinga, Coast is still far from reaching a consensus.

The much publicized forum that many thought would shape the political stand of the region failed to yield fruits after the paper which was to show the guidelines could not be tabled.

A scholar who is a lecturer at Pwani University Professor Dr, Halimu Shauri who was tasked with the responsibility of collecting and aligning all the views of the Coastal from the six counties said the document was far from being ready.

Professor Shauri said he could not compile the document because he has not received sentiments from four counties thus Lamu, Taita Taveta, Tana River and Mombasa.

The soft speaking Professor said the document will not be authentic unless views from the three counties are included to make a holistic document.

 “The document is not ready as per now because as you are very much aware that some counties are yet to submit their views to enable me compile a comprehensive document that will form the Coast Agenda” He said as he made his presentation.

The forum which was held in Mombasa over the weekend drew several politicians and professionals including former cabinet ministers Hon Suleiman Shakombo, Morris Dzoro, legislator Gunga Mwinga, Judge Geofry Katsole, Dr Kea Barua, Dr Tsofa Mweni, Bishop Katoi Kalu alongside others.

However those who attended were brave enough to forge ahead even without the document hence agreed on various issues apart from putting in place a council of elders.

The convener of the forum Naom Cidi agreed to the members’ request to form a council of elders and went ahead to announce their names moments before the meeting came to close.

“Just like what many of you said that we should have a council of elders in place and I want to take this opportunity to announce the following people to be members of the council of elders” Cidi said

Those named to be in the council of elders were former legislators Dr Chibule wa Tsuma, Suleiman Shakombo, long serving Maendeleo ya Wanawake Sarah Dama Chitavi, Wipper Party running mate for Mombasa Gubernatorial seat Linda Shuma.

Others are Fatma Salim, Elizebeth Masha, Reuben Tsuma, Dr Kea Barua, Deputy Party Leader Labour Party of Kenya Esther Khondo, Retired Bishop Katoi Kalu and Mombasa Jubilee Chairman Matano Chengo.

The forum further unanimously agreed to shelve political, tribal differences and forge ahead with the unity of purpose so as to liberate the coast region, mobilize resources and field a presidential candidate in the 2022 general elections if coalition fails to work out for them.

In his speech former cabinet minister Morris Dzoro noted that the coast region is being marginalized due to the fact that it has no strong political stand hence jeopardizing its national share at any given time.

“Unless we come together and form our own strong party equity and equality will continue to dodge us for we have nowhere to run to” Dzoro said

On his part Dr Chibule indicated that fear among coastal has rendered many helpless as they are not sure of what they intend or want to pursue politically.

Former Kilifi County Council Chairman Anthony Kingi warned those with large stomach to avoid buying off their people to tycoons for their selfish gains.

Though many applauded the efforts of Umoja Summit to source for the Unity of Purpose for the coastal, the senior admin of the group which started as a whattsapp group Katana Ndurya was put into task for taking too long to realize the agenda of the group.

“The group started way before 2016 and i cannot understand as to why we are still here debating on which way to go and how to get there” a member posed

The forum now intends to move to the grassroots levels sensitize all people on the need to unite and form a formidable force ahead of the 2022 general elections.

Anti Doping Agency Syllabus to be enjoined in the Curriculum

By Peter Kombe

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Students in Kenya are set to learn more about the dangers of doping once the Anti Doping Agency Kenya ADAK finalizes plans to put up a syllabus that will be enjoined in the National Curriculum.

The Anti Doping Agency Kenya ADAK intends to partner with the Ministry of Education and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) in developing a new value based education program aimed at educating pupils on the dangers of harmful drugs in sporting activities.

Addressing journalists in Mombasa on Monday Anti Doping Kenya Chief Executive Officer Japhter Rugut said the agency has already signed a memorandum of Understanding with the Kenya institute of curriculum development in collaboration with the ministry of sports.

The CEO said currently the agency is engaging schools, tertiary institutions and universities in educating the students on the dangers of using harmful drugs in sporting events.

“We are working closely with the Kenya institute of curriculum development to ensure that we come up with a value based curriculum. We have already signed a MoU with Kenya institute of Curriculum development together with the sports ministry” he explained

He added that the agency has embarked on a series of engagement forums to educate members of clubs on the dangers of drugs in sports and games.

 “We are here with Bandari Fotball Club and this is just one of the consultative meetings with some members of sports clubs. We have had several of them throughout the country. As an agency we are out to make sure that we level the ground for all sportsmen and women in the country” Rugut noted

He further indicated that several sport clubs throughout the country have consulted the agency to educate their members on the same.

The ADAK official highlighted that they work closely with other stakeholders including the immigration department and the directorate of criminal investigations in enforcing the use of harmful drugs at the public level.

“There are many clubs which have approached us seeking for an engagement. These clubs want to have their members informed” he said

He noted that the agency also engages individuals by educating them on the dangers of using harmful drugs in sporting events.

The official however noted that the agency executes its mandate as enshrined in the Kenyan law.

“We work closely with other stakeholders including the Pharmacy and Poisons Board, the Directorate of Criminal Investigation and the Medicines and Dentists Board and other stakeholders in regulating and licensing of drugs flocked into the country.

Kingi Issues 28.5 Million to Needy Students

By Rachael Kavumbi

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Magarini Member of parliament Michael Kingi presided over the issuance of bursary cheques worth 28.5b million to deserving students across his constituency.

Speaking at the function which was held at Gongoni Cultural center over the weekend, Kingi Junior called on students who cannot make it to university due to lack of funds to enroll themselves for tertiary courses.

"I got a public university after my form four level but because my parents could not raise the high amount of fees i had to start a diploma course in engineering and got employed to raise my own fees for my degree level to achieve my common goals," he said.

 He said the money issued was from the National Government Constituency Development Funds NGCDF kitty which Ksh 4.5 million was from the first phase and Ksh 24 million from the second phase.

Meanwhile the Magarini legislator applauded the government efforts in rescuing his constituents from the floods are being experienced in the area after river Tana burst its banks.

"I appreciate the Deputy president William Ruto for helping floods affected victims in Magarini by donating Sh,200,000 to buy food and basic needs," the Mp said

He assured residents that he would make sure the situation is under control to curb the hunger menace which is severely affecting the area."

He further disclosed that more assistance from the government would be channeled soon saying the Galana Teachers training College and Waresa Technical Institute will be first to be considered.

On the issue of rural electrification the MP noted that soon he will engage the officers concerned to have power supplied to all the areas of Magarini.

He said “For many years Magarini constituency has been lagging behind in developments due to low number of learned people and also poor leadership. Time for politics is over and I urge you people to give me time to implement my agendas”

"I was almost attacked by goons during August 8th elections due to lack of street lights after I was attacked by goons hired by a certain politician who is also not a Kenyan but I forgive him” He added.

He said Youth should not be misused by politician; instead they should be on the frontline to participate in project developments and expose their talents to raise their living standards.

The meeting was also attended by form Malindi Member of Parliament Baraka Mtengo.

Another Coastal Town Joins the Stinking League

By The COAST Newspaper Reporter

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Just before Mombasa town is crowned the most stinking city nationally, another town has emerged with a steady speed that is alarming its residents.

The largest town in Tana River County – Hola town is steadily drifting to the stinking zone due to unclear reason just like her sister city Mombasa.

Traders in Hola Town have decried the deteriorating hygienic standards within the town.

They lamented that the town has become too filthy especially during the current rains that have resulted in water mixing with raw sewage from residential houses, forming a mucky sludge and emitting foul smell.

The traders accused the Tana River County Government of neglecting their responsibility of collecting and disposing garbage and asked the administration to move in and clean the town to prevent a disease outbreak.

“The County Government should procure garbage trucks and identify a proper dumping ground in order to keep the town clean,” said Ms Habiba Abdulahi, a green grocer within the town.

She complained that although the traders were doing their best to put garbage in trash bins, county government officials do not collect the same.

“We usually keep the garbage in bags and bins for the county government staff can come and collect, but it is a pity the garbage remains in our bins until it rots,” she said.

Ironically, the traders are not out of blame as survey revealed that raw sewage was oozing from some business premises such as bars and restaurants within the town’s central business district.

The survey also found that solid waste also rampant in front of shops and kiosks as shopkeepers and shoppers disposed of garbage haphazardly, despite the existence of a few trash bins in the town.

County Health Executive Mwanajuma Mabuke said as much as the county government was responsible for garbage collection and the general sanitation of the town, residents should also ensure that they stay in a clean environment.

“It is the responsibility of all residents to ensure that they take care of their solid and liquid waste matter,” Mrs. Mabuke, who is also acting CEC member for Water and Environment, told reporters in her office Thursday.

Mrs. Mabuke, who is also the acting CEC member for Water and Environment, said the county government was in the process of formulating an environment policy that when enforced would ensure all urban centres in the county are kept clean.

The policy, she said, would criminalize haphazard dumping of garbage in the urban centres and penalize offenders.

She said the county government was also contemplating youth groups and community based organizations (CBOs) to collect garbage instead of contracting garbage collection companies that had already failed.

“Instead of contracting garbage collection companies, we intend to organize our youths into groups and contract them for the job with a view to making our urban centres clean, she said.

Currently, a company associated with one Member of the County Assembly, has been contracted to collect garbage in Hola town.

Who is to Blame for the Incessant Land Injustices at the Coast

By Prof. Dr. Halimu Shauri

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"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any"

                                                        Alice Walker

Historically, land has been a contentious issue in Kenya for decades. Accordingly, if land injustice is not eruditely analyzed and resolved, it would be number one killer of this beautiful and promising nation. Why do I say so? From pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial era, land injustices have been at the core of instability in the country, overtly and covertly. The struggle of the colonialists to take over land from traditional leaders is clear in the minds of scholars and students of history in Kenya and the African continent. However, the colonialists came and took over our land, leading to colonization in many states, including Kenya. The question is who do we blame? Yes, overtly it was a struggle between indigenous communities and the colonizers, but covertly some Africans collaborated with the colonialists in support of the colonizers interests. Why did some Africans collaborate with the settlers against their own tribesmen? Your guess is better than mine.

The colonialists with support from the collaborators conquered and ruled many countries in the entire continent of Africa for decades undeterred. They exploited our resources and enriched their own countries. The story was not different in Kenya with white settlers, where the organized minority (Whites) succeed over the majority disorganized Africans. However, once the majority realized the injustices meted on them by the colonialists, a plethora of upraising dotted the continent with struggles for land that were misconstrued for independence liberation. In Uganda, the Baganda and Banyore were resisting the colonialists, in Tanzania the Hehe and their MajiMaji rebellion was on, while in Kenya we had pockets of resistance from the Maasai with the Oleibon, KoitalelArapSamoei, the coast had MekatililiwaMendza, while credit went to the Mau Mau movement; Why? Because the settlers had the most fertile land around the central Kenya, where majority had settled, hence the ensuing pressure from Mau Mau fighters made the region the epicenter of the resistance movement. Apparently, many lives were lost in this struggle, a human resource that could have helped the country advance. Who is to blame for the loss of lives? You would think of the colonialists, alas hold your guns, the African collaborators me think bear the greatest responsibility for these atrocities matted on their fellow Africans.

Be it as it may, here came independence from the misconstrued land liberation movement in Kenya and other African countries. True to the trajectories of deceit many collaborators benefitted from the newly achieved liberation from the colonizers. Because the struggle was not for independence but land, many, who would be called freedom fighters, never bothered to venture into leadership. Why you would ask? Yes, because they were fighting for land and not independence and thus when they acquired their land, the struggle was over. This in a nutshell explains the leadership vacuum and underdevelopment manifest in many African states. Would Africa’s development trajectory be different if the struggle was truly for independence and not land? Yes, because the wearer of the shoe knows where it pinches most and whether to change it to a better comfortable pair. The fighters would have taken leadership and directed the country in addressing the injustices that were meted on themselves by the colonizers; probably Kenya and Africa would have been different. Indeed, its human nature that when you did not sweat or endured pain in achieving something you then do not value it.

At the onset of Kenya’s independence we had new crop of leaders, most of whom not from the liberation struggle. A perfect example is the independence cabinet; you can Google it in the convenience of your phone, where almost all of them were friends of the ruling elites, either from the village, school or university. This is a clear example of the limited representation of the land fighters misconstrued for governance freedom fighters. Indeed, they were left to wallow in poverty and destitution and if they got any recognition, it was much later in national ceremonies or as statutes to remind us of history. How could Kenya have leaped out of injustices when the collaborators, in form of supervisors and informers, who never understood or experienced the pain of colonization, become drivers for change? Which change a clever person would have asked them?

The story of collaborators has continued to date even in the various ministries that have spearheaded policy and governance in the country. Because today’s article is on land injustices at the coast, I beg to focus now on the Ministry of Lands and Settlement. Yes, history has good and tough lessons of our lives and we can learn by cutting a niche of the Ministry of Lands and Settlement. Indeed, in 1963 Hon. Jackson Angaine was the Minister for Lands and Settlement, under Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s nascent administration. This was the time when the land injustice sores and wounds were fresh. It is easy to heal a fresh wound because it is free of infections than a wound that has stayed for long. Hon. Jackson Angaine, throughout his term never managed to heal the wounds of land injustices in the country and many people suffered overtly and others in silence. Many people acquired land illegally during this time and this aggravated the land injustices in the country, especially at the coast. Who do we blame for these failures in addressing and aggravating the injustices during this time? I leave you with the response to the question.

In 1982-1984, Hon. G. G Kariuki took over as the Minister for Lands and Settlement in Kenya. It’s easy to climb the second staircase than those that follow afterwards. Why are you saying so? You may be asking, yes the Lands and Settlement Minister, Hon J. Angaine did not fix the land injustices and hence Hon. G. G. had still a better chance to fix them. They say in fishing communities that “Kambalemkunjekaangalimbichi” literary translated to mean solve a problem when it is still embryonic. Thus, Hon. G. G. Kariuki had the second best chance to deal with the problem of land injustices in Kenya. Whether he managed to exorcise the ghost of land injustices in the country your guess is better than mine. During his era more injustices were committed with regard to land grabbing and illegimate acquisition of land by the mandarins and cartels. What was the consequence of his tenure? The deepening of land injustices in the country was slowly becoming institutionalized.

However, the coast which is our core focus in this article had its opportunity at the helm of the Lands and Settlement Ministry with Hon. Leonard Mwamunga taking charge. His appointment to the docket after G. G. Kariukiwas like a sigh of relief and a dream come true for the people of the coast. Desperation was converted into hope that one of their sons is now, in current slogan Ndaniii, This raised the expectation that land injustices that faced the region will have someone to pay close attention to and ensure that some of the injustices are resolved. The constant blame on inaction with regard to solving the issues was to be buried with the new appointment. However, the raised expectations were not long lived, as status quo continued despite the hope that the region had an insider to help them focus and solve land injustices dating back from pre-colonial times. Eventually, the region was left, albeit devastated, but with and answer on who to blame.

From Hon. L. Mwamunga to Hon. Katana Ngala, the son of Gandze in Kilifi County in the coastal region of Kenya, reigned at the Ministry of Lands and Settlement for 16 years during President Moi’s regime. The son of the coast was one of the longest serving Minister for Lands and Settlement in the government of Kenya. The young, now old man, was a darling of the retired president to have retained the seat for more than a decade (16 years). He was synergized further by the then Permanent Secretary for Lands and Settlement (2001-2003), a son of the coast too Hon. Francis Baya. Unfortunately, for all this time nothing much happened to mitigate the historical and independent land injustices that affected the coast. Indeed, for all this time Afro-cinema continued! The length of service in the docket meant the governing elites had utmost confidence in the son of the region; did he use this advantage to ventilate into the coastal land injustices? He can provide the answer to this question for am sure this article will reach him. From his voice maybe we will be in a position to answer the question of who is to blame for land injustices at the coast.

The era of Hon. Amos Kimunya(2002-2006) was not different either, especially for the coast. The region was reeling in pain from land injustices that one of their own had failed to solve or even laid solid foundation for mitigation of land injustices. In the region, there wasn’t much hype for the era of Hon. A. Kimunya with regard to whether their issues will be resolved. The thinking was, if one of their own, who has grown and experienced the land injustices did not see reason to fix it, how someone who lacks the indigenous advantage would manage to deal with the injustices!! True to their thoughts and reflections, nothing much happened to register celebrations in the region. Business continued and more injustices happened and some got legitimized, deepening the crisis. Who was to blame for inaction during this period? I will wait for the answer from you.

Hons. JamesOrengo (2008-2006) and Charity KalukiNgilu (2013-2015) gave some respite for hope in the whole country. You may ask why? Yes, because for the first time in the history of the country the Lands and Settlement docket was being held by persons with opposition mentality and politics. This was the golden moment for the country to see the opposition manifestos with regard to land administration is the country are implemented to corrected the rot. Circus to circus, the situation grew complex and indeed land injustices continued and deepened. The assumption here being that the land cartels seem to be more influential not to allow social reengineering of the land mess that has bedeviled Kenya for decades. The limited solutions provided by the two lucky opposition Ministers to the docket, especially Hon. Orengo, with his legal genius, he could not score the solitary goal of liberation for land injustices in the republic. You may be asking what was happening at the coast during this time.

During this time another son of the coast was assisting in the Ministry of Lands and Settlement in the name of Hon. Gonzi Rai(2008-4th March 2013) from Kwale County, one of the most troubled land injustices area. Hon. Gonzi Rai had another opportunity to place the coast land injustices agenda on the table for dialogue and resolution. Being an Assistant Minister of Lands and Settlement he was closer to the operational level and could have been influential in fostering the coastal land agenda. As they say, “mtegemeanunduhaachikunona” (when you lean on the hump, you are likely to get fat: meaning when you are closer to power you are likely to get things done). Did Hon. GonziRai actualize this saying? You have the answer: then who do we blame for the coastal land ignominy?

As if this was not enough, another double opportunity for the coast on land issues presents itself 2010. How you may ask? The Constitution 2010 ushers a new dawn in the management of lands affairs in the country. Guess who gets to the lucrative position of the Chairman of the National Land Commission? Another son of the coast, and this time from the most volatile area, Kwale County. Volatile because land injustice conflicts have dotted the county. From the likes of Kaya Bombo, MlunguNipa 1 & 2, Mombasa Republican Council (MRC), with their irredentist slogan “Pwanisi Kenya” and now the Al-shabaab and criminal ruthless gangs. All these forms of insecurity have land injustices coated in their agenda. The appointment of Prof. Mohammed Siwazuri, as the Chairman, Kenya Lands Commission (KLC) was God sent to the people of Kwale County, Coast and Kenya in general. Waw! For the first time in the history of the republic, a professor himself in Land Economics was to be on the steering wheel of the land agency to mitigate land injustices in the country. This was such an honour for a highly schooled Kenyan for the first time to hold such a portfolio. Accordingly, there were a lot of expectations that this office is the panacea for land injustices in the coast and Kenya.

Five years down the line the professor has been swimming in the high seas risking being swept away by the currents or attacked by sharks. The troubled waters caught up with him in the beginning of his career as Chairman, but being a person from the coast, he managed to swim to safety severally. As a top officer of the commission he has not been shy to confront controversy in many parts of the country. However, his stay at the helm of the commission, like his predecessors from the region, has not provided the much needed succor of the pre-colonial, colonial and current land injustices in the coast. In the contrary, the office has sent tough communications to communities to vacate their land without due regard of their social inadequacies. The ultimatum given by the Chairman KLC for the Mombasa County residents to prove ownership of Tononoka area is a case in point. Another live casein point is the NyumbaSita, Vidziyani, Dzibwage ultimatum in favour of Kwale International Sugar Company (KISCOL), where the commission should have known by now that the local community had donated their land for sugarcane investment, with a clear social contract that split the farm land into three circles. The first circle to form the nucleus of sugarcane farming by the investor, the second to be the out growers and the third circle to be agricultural and residential. How come today the commission wants to give the whole land to KISCOL? Asking whether the community has title deeds is being naïve of the history of the people of Kwale County. Let us all learn from the words of Mohandas Gandhi that "An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it".In the words of James Comey, there remain excuses, justifications, and a stubborn willingness by those around leaders to look the other way or even enable the bad behavior.

Interviews and site visits to the affected community spell doom in the livelihoods of close to 6000 families in the hands of one of their own, who should have known the history of the place more than some of us based on age and professional inclination. Worse is not only the social injustice based on them being pushed out of their ancestral land but the fact that the County Government of |Kwale is also being evicted from the same land where they have invested millions to build a market, stadium and other social amenities. This amount to land injustices meted not only on the peasants but also their county government, which should have been the custodian of the land given to the investor. In this case, who should we blame?  More so, the Chief Administrative Secretaryin the Ministry of Lands and Settlement, whose Minister is Hon. Farida Karoney is another son of the coast aka Hon. Gideon Mung’aro. How the two sons of the coast cannot combine forces to mitigate land injustices in the region is confusing. The big question now is who should the coastal residents blame for their land woes?

I rest my case by borrowing wisdom from James Comey when he said that: “We are experiencing a dangerous time in our country, with a political environment where basic facts are disputed, fundamental truth is questioned, lying is normalized, and unethical behavior is ignored, excused, or rewarded. He continued to say that Ethical leaders do not run away from criticism, especially self-criticism, and they don’t hide from uncomfortable questions. They welcome them. All people have flaws and I have many. Those leaders who never think they are wrong, who never question their judgments or perspectives, are a danger to the organizations and people they lead, the nation and the world”

 

Government Injects 9.8 Billion For Livestock Insurance Cover

By Mwakwaya Raymond & Peter Kombe

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The government plans to intensify livestock insurance program that is aimed at empowering the resilience and livelihoods of pastoral communities in Arid and semi arid lands ASAL counties.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri said the government has invested 9.8 Billion through a five year Regional pastoral livelihoods resilience project within 14 counties.

Kiunjuri further announced a partial voluntary cover, where the government will provide an extra cover for every cover bought from the market.

Speaking on Wednesday at executive seminar on the Kenya Livestock Insurance Program (KLIP) in Mombasa, the CS said the program currently covers about 18,000 farmers country wide.

Kiunjuri said “the program will be extended to other ASAL counties and I therefore request county governments and other stakeholders to set aside funds to compliment the National governments efforts of cushioning the vulnerable members of the societies from extreme shocks resulting from drought”

He called on insurance companies to carry out voluntary insurance schemes in order to enhance sustainability of the program.

He said “Kenya Livestock Insurance program is an important program for the arid and semi counties of Kenya and the country at large. Let me restate the importance of livestock to our economy. It is estimated that livestock contributes about 42% of the Agricultural GDP and cover 12% of the National GDP”

He further reiterated that the insurance scheme was first initiated in Wajir and Turkana Counties through the collaborative efforts between the State Department of Livestock and Private stakeholders.

“Mainstreaming pastoral production systems into the economic fabric of Kenya is also well captured in one of the key pillars of the Jubilee government big 4 goals of attainment of food and nutrition security in the next five years” he added.

The Agriculture and Irrigation CS noted that the insurance payout is also intended to provide resources for the purchase of animal feeds provide water and procurement of animal health care services or even move the animal to areas with better forage to cushion them against severe starvation and possible deaths.

The program is supported by the World Bank, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Financial Sector Deepening (FSD)

According to the CS the sub sector however is faced with a number of challenges that hinder its full contribution to the economy.

He said some of the challenges are drought and floods, in adequate financial services, disease outlets, under developed marketing structure and rangeland degradation among others.

 “Our major policy documents recognize the centrality of the livestock economy and the challenges and provide the right policy direction. Such policy include the Agriculture Transformation and Growth Strategy being developed by the ministry to spur Agricultural Development, Seasonal Paper 2 of 2008 of the national livestock policy, the Agricultural Sector Development Strategy 2010 and the country’s Kenya vision 2030” Kiunjuri said

He challenged legislators to execute their mandate fully by monitoring and evaluating all development projects in their respective counties so as to avoid duplication of projects.

He added that soon the ministry will register all boreholes and water pans in ASAL counties for better monitoring and assessment.

You Are Free To Leave; Bishops Tell IEBC Commissioners

By Mwakwaya Raymond Mwakwaya

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A section of Mombasa Bishops have echoed the move taken by three Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission IEBC of resigning saying they are at liberty to leave.

Led by Bishop Martin Kivuva of Catholic Church, the Bishops said it’s their constitutional right to tender their resignation if they feel they cannot put up with the work.

At a Press Conference held on Tuesday at the Holy Ghost Cathedral the Bishops drawn from Kenya National Congress, Evangelical Alliance, Mombasa pastors fellowship and Methodist now want IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukat to take full control of the commission.

“A Commissioner left sometime back and three others left yesterday, the Commission is growing thinner and thinner and we want to call on Chebukat to take full responsibility of the commission and reaffirm its dignity” the Bishops said.

They called on the chairman to clear all issues that are dodging the commission and earn the trust of Kenyan vioters.

“If the commission fails to clear the issues currently causing unrest to commissioners we are sure the next elections will not be well organized and will automatically be in a limbo” Bishop Kivuva added.

The statement comes barely a day after three IEBC Commissioners resigned citing various issues with the chairman.

Vice chair Connie Nkatha Maina, Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat accused Chebukat for being unable to lead the commission.

They claimed Chebukat champions self, political interest at the expense of the commission hence accusing him poor leadership skills.

The Mombasa Bishop also took issue with the County Governor Ali Hassan Joho for not taking the issue of garbage collection with the seriousness it deserves.

They said there is no order in collection of garbage thus the town is left stinking day in day out.

“Mombasa is internationally known as a tourist destination and we are proud of this. Our status as a Tourist town demands that we keep high standards of cleanliness…” read the statement

They said the Kibaran dumping site is still an eye soar to Tourists and urged the county government to fully manage the area.

“We have also seen lots of Mikokoten (handcart) ferrying garbage to Kibarani causing traffic snag and risking the lives of the road users. Kibarani is at the entrance of our town as well as the exit to the airport. It gives our town unpleasant image and bad breath” they lamented

They further called on the county and national government to ensure all health facilities are fully supplied with drugs to enable locals to access proper medical services.

They called on Kenyans to embrace peace and tranquility for better coexistence saying they will soon conduct prayers for the nation.

Among those who were at the presser are Bishop Lambert Mbela of Redeemed Gospel Church, Bishop Tom Arat – Mombasa Pentecostal alongside others.

Drug Agency To Devolve Functions

By Peter Kombe & Neema Mamuya

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National Agency for the Campaign against Drug Abuse NACADA has intensified its war on drugs and substance abuse in Mombasa County in a program dubbed NACADA Mashinani.

At a stakeholder’s forum in Mombasa on Tuesday, NACADA Chairperson Lt Rtd Julius Ayub said as per the responses from Mombasa county residents it is evident that the drug menace is a challenge to the county.

He noted that there is an urgent need for all the stakeholders in Mombasa County and the country at large to wipe out the menace.

The chair indicated that the agency will develop a mechanism that will ensure the drug menace becomes a history to the locals.

“From the responses we have just heard, it is clear that Mombasa County requires much of our support so as to fully combat this menace” the NACADA chief said.

The NACADA official called on the county government of Mombasa and other stakeholders to intensify the war on drugs.

At the same time, Francis Thoya Mombasa County Secretary noted that count has collected a substantial amount of money from the liquor and licensing board and called on local based organization to apply for funds to fight the vice,

“Between 2015/2016 financial year, the county government collected approximately Ksh 30 million as liquor licensing revenue and in the subsequent year 2016/2017 we accumulated approximately Ksh 20 million from the same venture” Thoya said

He outlined that the county government is committed to ensuring that the county is free from drug menace.

He pointed out that the funds accumulated from liquor licensing will be channeled to combat drug and substance abuse in the entire county.

The county secretary called on collaborative efforts between the county government, the national government and the civil society organizations in the fight against drugs.

Thoya attributed the escalating cases of crime in the county to drug usage amongst thousands of youths.

Meanwhile, Hussein Abdalla a MEWA Rehab official stated that most of the rehabilitation program is left in the hands of the civil society.

He noted that most Nongovernmental organizations carrying out rehabilitation programs lack sufficient funds.

“Civil society organizations lack the capacity to carry out rehabilitation programs, most of them are very poor” he lamented

The MEWA official urged NACADA to fast track the methadone programme rolled out in the county in a bid to rescue drug addicts.

Abdalla expressed concern in the ballooning cases of ‘Mugokaa’ usage in the county.

He said a lot of support is needed in carrying out the rehabilitation programs throughout the county.

As a government institution, NACADA supports the attainment of Kenya’s Vision 2030.

 It recognizes the dangers that alcohol and drug abuse pose in society by undertaking various flagship projects as part of its performance contract targets each financial year to mitigate the negative effects of drug abuse.

The National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) is a State Corporation in the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government.

It was established by the NACADA Act of 2012 (CAP 121B) of the Laws of Kenya mainly focusing on demand reduction.

The aim of demand reduction is to empower the general public with sufficient information to facilitate informed decisions against the debut and/or continuation of consumption of intoxicating substances.

It involves providing preventive education, public awareness and advocacy, life skills, treatment and rehabilitation, and psycho-social support to the target populations.

Fire Sweeps Away Two Hotels

By Rachael Kavumbi

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Website, www.thecoast.co.ke Tel, +254 725522679

As the Tourism stakeholders are trying to rejuvenate the industry, fire tragedy has drastically brought down their concerted efforts on the revival of the once lucrative sector.

Two different hotels were on Monday destroyed by fire after power outage occurred at Causarina area in the outskirts of Malindi town.

According to the owner of Kenga Giama Resort Nicola Mosca, the fire started at around 1.00pm after a slight light at the top of the roof.

He said he had to rush to call the Kenya power and lighting office in Malindi and the fire brigades, G4s officers to rush and assist in putting off the fire as some of the guests were still in their rooms while others were at the swimming pool.

 “They helped us in dismantling what we could but it’s so unfortunate that we had lost almost everything in the hotel which has tourists a good number of tourists. Good Samaritans rescued them after goons tried to steal their belongings after the fire outbreak” Mosca said

Mosca condemned some of the locals who came posing as good Samaritans only to steal the belongings of the tourists.

He said “It was really a hectic moment when saving the lives of the tourists while goon’s struggled to loot their belongings after the response from the fire office was slightly slowly”

He added that due to the heavy wind experienced along the beach front the fire spread very fast to the next hotel Dorado cottages Resort and flashed everything too.

 “We were unable to move the two brand new cars at the parking area due to the large number of guests which had to be given the first priority to save their lives,” he said.

According to eye witness of the incident, they noted that the there was a power trigger which was as a result of two wires touching each other at the power post.

However the good Samaritans blamed the fire brigade department for not reporting on time at the scene pointing a blame finger to the county government of Kilifi for not equipping the fire sector.

“The fire brigades arrived late with little water when the fire had spread to other roofs, properties was already on fire,” said one of the witnesses.

Mary who is a neighbor said the affected resort said the fire spared due to the iron sheet roofing.

Addressing journalists at her home ground after the G4s office   secured his house, she noted that it is time for hotel owners to change the roofing stle to avoid such incidences.

“I thank God for the miracle but I urge people who will be willing to help in such incidences to respect people’s properties instead of looting,” she noted.

Area Police boss Matawa Muchangi confirmed the incident and assured the tourists that security would be beefed up as they are being relocated and warned goons who looted their properties that the long hand of the government shall catch up with them.

 

 

Verify Land Ownership in 21 Days, National Land Commission Orders

By Peter Kombe & Mwakwaya Raymond Mwakwaya

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Website, www.thecoast.co.ke Tel +254725522679

National Land Commission has issued a 21days ultimatum to residents and businessmen who operate within Tononoka area which is a government land to submit their legal ownership documents for verification.

Chairman Muhammad Swazuri said the Commission has embarked on a verification program that will enable the government to reposes land owned by people with fake documents.

Speaking to various stakeholders in Mombasa on Monday, the chairperson ordered the claimants to lodge formal documents to the commission explaining how they acquired their different parcels of land.

The NLC boss noted that the commission has received several complaints concerning Tononoka plot which includes the Tononoka Childrens Court.

“We are asking those claiming ownership to write to us and tell us how they acquired their plots. This area include the Tononoka Children’s Court and the historical Tononoka ground,” he said

The NLC boss stressed beyond any reasonable doubt that the Tononoka plot is a government land mapped and dated 1914 as per land records.

He further explained that any government structure erected during the pre colonial period had unique features including red tiles (Mangalore type) with origin from India.

“It is no doubt that this area is a government land. All governments’ plots had a unique characteristics” he added

He noted that the role of the commission is to protect all type of land whether public, community or private land from invasion by private ventures.

The NLC chair indicated that Mombasa County is one of the areas with escalating cases of land grabbing.

He noted Kizingo area within the County as one of the areas with several cases.

He however assured Kenyans that there is no parcel of land without a title deed insisting that all land is on record at the lands office.

“All the land in Kenya is recorded in the lands office. There’s no land without a title,” Swazuri noted

He further indicated that some claimants have a tendency of rushing to courts seeking for court orders to safe guard their personal interests.

Swazuri claimed that some of the court orders are not genuine.

He appealed the judicial systems to thoroughly scrutinize all court orders presented before court to avoid illegal occupancy.

The chair noted that the first ever title in Mombasa county was given out in 1832.

He said the law does not allow illegal ownership of land

The National Land Commission of Kenya is an independent government commission whose establishment was provided for by the constitution of Kenya manages public land on behalf of the national and county governments.

It initiates investigates into present or historical land injustices and recommends appropriate redress, and monitor and have oversight responsibilities over land use planning throughout the country.

 It was officially established under The National Land Commission Act, 2012.

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