By The COAST Newspaper Reporter
As the long rains are about to begin farmers are now being introduced into a new initiative that will help them retain large quantities of their farm produce a move to mitigate hunger during the dry spell.
Kilifi County government wants farmers to bring together their farm produce, store them in large quantities as they provide them with preservatives and pesticides to help stay for long.
County Executive Committee member for Agriculture and Livestock Luciana Sanzua says the move will enable farmers to have their farm produce stored in safe galas and for a long period as they solicit for better prices across the country.
Sanzua said most farmers produce large quantities of farm produce but they end up being wasted because there are no proper methods of storage.
“We are ever faced with hunger and starvation not because we are lazy but because we have very poor methods of storage of our farm produce” Sanzua said.
Addressing farmers at Matsangoni in Kilifi North over the weekend, the CeC said Kilifi County government has already set aside 600,000 million to help with various farm incentives as the long rains beings.
She said the money will be spent in buying maize seeds, fertilizer as well as ploughing, planting as well as harvesting for all farmers across the county at an affordable fee.
She however challenged farmers to engage modern methods of farming so as to get good yields saying the traditional methods of farming are no longer helpful.
“We have assembled 53 tractors across the county to help you plough your shamba, then you can as well use the same to plant and harvest your farmproduce” The CeC added.
She said these are among great plans that are underway to transform Kilifi County to an agricultural hub and kick out the perennial hunger that claim several lives every year adding that the Agriculture and Livestock budget for the next financial year will be 1 billion.
She said “Do not just engage in farming alone but go for poultry and dairy farming as well”
Meanwhile Kilifi North Member of Parliament Dr Owen Baya cautioned farmers from selling off their land to other people.
Baya wants locals to stop the business of land selling and engage in serious farming that will enable them sustain their lively hoods.
“How do you expect to become a farmer when you sell off you land every time the government allocates you land” Baya posed.
He said the squatter issue will never come to an end if locals won’t stop selling off their land.
He advised them to commercialize farming by enlarging their farming acreage and even plant different crops and not depend on maize alone.
“You must not just plant maize on one acre of land but increase the number of acres and plant Beans, Cow peaces, water melon and grounds. This will make you earn a lot of money and you will not go hungry even a single day” The legislator noted.
The first time legislator took issue with the government over the Galana Kulalo ranch saying Kilifi County will not let go that land as perceived by many.
He said the National government has not fully utilized the land while locals have nowhere to cultivate.
He castigated the government for taking locals for a ride in pretence that they will revive the irrigation scheme.
“You cannot play games with our land, we will take over that land and we subdivide to our people to start farming” the charged MP said.
He called on private tractors to come in and plough the land for locals at a small fee.
The MP had accompanied the CeC in the launch of farm mechanization activity held over the weekend at Matsaongoni in Kilifi County.
By Peter Kombe
Nominated senator Christine Zawadi has called on the national government to build more factories within Kilifi County in a bid to create more employment opportunities to the locals.
The senator noted that Kilifi County has only one factory which is Mabati rolling mills in Mariakani within Rabai sub county.
Speaking to The COAST Newspaper in Mombasa, the politician noted that Ganze Sub County does not have any income generating activity that can sustain locals economically.
She said the area has turned to be a hunger zone throughout the year following the lack of factories.
“We need factory in Ganze, it is surprising that there is not even a single factory over there. I urge the government to build several factories so as to alleviate the poverty situation experienced in the area at the moment” She said
Meanwhile, the senator accused Kilifi County Government officers at the border points for overcharging businessmen who engage in transportation of raw materials.
She outlined that some of natural resources; including river sand and ballast from Kilifi County are heavily taxed posing a burden to the locals due to the high charges.
“There are several raw materials that are charged at all border points in both Kilifi and Mombasa counties. It will be more prudent the tax mechanism is streamlined in favor of the common man.” Senator Zawadi said
Senator Zawadi urged county governments throughout the country to streamline their tax mechanism in favor the common man.
The politician noted that she will soon table a motion in parliament to harmonize tax payment in various counties.
On the issue of equality among women and their role in politics, the nominated senator urged women across the political divide to flock in massive numbers and vie for elective posts in both county and national government.
She attributed the low turn-out of women vying for political positions to the attitude men have towards women.
“Never will men give chances to woman. That is why as women we must fight for our political rights. Men have always belittled us.” The politician said
The nominated senator also challenged women to apply for tender in both county and national government levels without fear or favor.
She said it is the right of all Kenyans regardless of their gender or political inclinations to access and apply for any government tender.
“We all have equal rights gone are the days when women were not considered in any position. I urge women to come out and apply for any tender from any government” She added
She urged women to engage in public participation forums in order to learn more about their socio-economic and political rights.
The senator however blamed most counties on claims of not having implemented the thirty per cent gender rule.
Meanwhile, Kilifi County based resident Mishi Mwandoro called on the county government to consider the youths in the area saying claiming there rampant unemployment.
She noted that most of the youth engage in the county do menial jobs despite their academic qualifications in various fields.
“The county government has totally forgotten the youths. We feel isolated despite having gone to school and qualifying for county jobs.” She lamented
The concerned youth further indicated that the rapid unemployment levels have led to poverty amongst many families within the county.
You Are Fleecing Our Money; MP’s Warned
By The COAST Newspaper Team
Kenyans have expressed concern over the manner in which Members of Parliament are using public coffers money in the name of evaluating elections.
A locally based human rights organization Haki Africa has vehemently condemned the over 300 members of parliament who are allegedly enjoying themselves in a five star hotel in Mombasa with full paid up trips claiming to be conducting election evaluations.
Speaking in Mombasa on Wednesday, HAKI Africa executive Director Hussein Khalid said the 349 members of parliament are really misappropriating the tax payers money and should stop the exercise forthwith so as to save the tax payers money.
Khalid said Kenyans are currently undergoing difficult times trying to make ends meet while politicians are busy wasting their hard earned money.
“You will find that most of these MP’s are just but enjoying themselves along the beach skipping all the days scheduled sittings while they are being paid lots of allowances” Khalid lamented
He accused the parliamentarians for wasting over one hundred million tax payer’s money on the ongoing workshop being held at a Mombasa hotel.
He argued that the same politicians who continue dividing Kenyans and further polarizing the nation with their fiery statements and public pronouncement cannot be allowed to spend such a large chunk of money.
He claimed the ongoing Parliamentarians forum in Mombasa is a misuse of public funds which would otherwise be channeled to developing the country.
“Some Kenyans in some parts of the country are facing acute starvation while MPs here are just but leisurely enjoying themselves with the poor man’s money” he added
The executive indicated that according to the estimates by the NGO the ongoing MPs conference in Mombasa will cost the Kenyan tax payer over Kshs 35 million being spent on meals and accommodation for the 6 days period.
He noted that over Kshs 12 million will be spent on MPs flights alone while daily allowances amount to over Kshs 20 million.
The human Rights Crusader feels that the current system of County governance is becoming a burden and bother to the common citizen and wants now to be scrapped off.
Khalid is now agitating for the scrapping off of 37 counties and remain only with ten counties across the country.
He wants the retention of all the former provinces but with a creation of two more new ones.
“All the former 8 provinces should remain and split the larger Rift Valley province and get Upper and Lower Rift Counties. The Eastern province should also be split into two and come up with two counties” Khalid suggested.
He said the matter has already been communicated to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and they expect it will be looked into as the commission commences its activity of reviewing the political boundaries anytime from next year.
“We have already communicated the issue to the IEBC and we expect that when time comes the matter will be looked into thoroughly” he added
He further said that they will be forced to use legal measure to ensure the matter sees the light of the day.
He said the matter of boundaries should be an all inclusive and not a reserve to the politicians.
Khalid said “We shall use the Judiciary as we are aware that for the past years it has been very vocal in championing of the rights of the people”
Khalid also wants each County to have just twelve members of parliament which will 120 and other 30 members with special interest groups making a total of 150 members.
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission review political boundaries after every ten year.
By The COAST Newspaper Reporter
The Council of Governors has assured Kenyans that conflicts between counties will soon be a forgotten history.
Council of Governors Chairperson Josphat Nanok said all the 47 county governors have established a peace committee that will oversee and mediate on matters arising from counties.
“Governors throughout the country established peace committees 3 months ago that will look into all issues pertaining conflicts amongst counties” Nanok stated
Speaking in Mombasa over the weekend, the COG boss noted that the council in partnership with the national government will roll out a programme that will assist to resolve boundary disputes between counties.
He indicated that county governors are at the fore front in ensuring that boundary disputes are resolved through mutual agreement.
Nanok however pointed out that in most instances counties fight over resources.
“As governors we are taking the lead in ensuring that we resolve all disputes through mutual agreement. We are so concerned with harmony and peace amongst all the counties.” He explained
Already Kwale governor Salim Mvurya had sent an alarm to his Taita Taveta Counterpart Granton Samboja on claims that he is encroaching on his county.
The council’s chair stated that it is the role of parliament to streamline the county boundaries bill which has been tabled in Parliament in a bid to alleviate conflicts in counties.
He outlined that the council is looking forward to ensuring that appropriate amendments are made to the bill.
“There is the counties boundaries bill in parliament which is aimed at alleviating conflicts between counties. It the responsibility of parliament to work on the bill so that such conflicts can be handled prudently.” He said
Nanok urged the media to follow the proceedings of the county boundaries bill in parliament saying it attracts public binterests.
“Journalist should come out and follow all the proceedings of the bill in parliament. This bill is of a public interest and needs your attention” He indicated
At the same time Peter Munya Cabinet Secretary in charge of the East African Community and Northern Corridor Development said the ministry is concerned with the harmonization of trade between the East African countries.
“As a ministry we are here to harmonize business throughout the east African region and ensure that the citizens in these countries enjoy their rights” He said
The CS noted that the country is forging ahead to ensuring that there exists free movement of both people and goods across the East African countries.
He however indicated that one of the major challenges facing the ministry is underfunding from the national government saying its mandate is diversified.
“In spite of the huge task ahead of us this ministry is the least funded ministry by government. We are calling upon the government to check into the ministry.” He reiterated
The council of governors is a non-partisan organization established under section 19 of the intergovernmental act IGRA 2012.
The council of governors comprises of the governors of all the forty seven counties.
Its main vision is to provide visionary leadership, sharing of best practices, offer a collective voice on policy issues, promote inter county consultations among others functions.
By Peter Kombe
Kenyans are advised to embrace new technology in transportation of petroleum in order to meet the current demand of 6 Billion Litres per annum.
Cabinet Secretary for Petroleum and mining John Munyes said the government has banked its hope on the 48 billion line 5 project to combat the challenge.
The CS noted that after the completion of the project line will facilitate supply of the product throughout the country.
He however disclosed that storage capacity still remains a challenge in the country.
“The supply of the product will be double once the construction is over. Kenya still faces storage capacity challenges.” He said
Munyes explained that there is quite a high demand of the product within the country and beyond the borders.
He added that most of the petroleum products are supplied to Uganda, Congo, Burundi and Rwanda.
He indicated that over kshs 10 million is wasted every month due to pipeline damages and breakages and thus called for the need to enhance efficiency.
The state official called on legislators to work on the petroleum bill and ensure that it is passed to streamline the petroleum sector.
“This country loses over 10 million every month due to damage of the pipeline insisting that the government is concerned about the welfare of her citizens and thus expect to reduce the price of the product for the common man” added Munyes
He called on Kenyans not to politicize the construction of the kshs 48 billion project saying it is an investment opportunity to the state.
“As government we are aware of the high prices of the product and expect to reduce the price.” The CS noted
He assured Kenyans that the ministry will be enhanced to increase efficiency and transportation of the product.
Meanwhile, Kenya pipeline managing director Joe Sang said after the completion of the new line about 1 million litres of petroleum will be transported per hour.
“We expect to transport about million litres of petroleum once this line is completed. Sang said
He said the current line transports about 730,000 litres per hour.
Some of the petroleum products include natural gas, kerosene, crude oil and diesel.
By Peter Kombe
Civil Society Organization in Mombasa County have called on the government to economically empower the youths and educate them on the ways of investing in the funds.
Speaking to the Coast reporter in Mombasa on Saturday, Kenya Community Support Centre Executive Director Phylis Muema said most of the youth lack the know how to invest on the funds.
The activist noted that a big portion of the youth funds such as ‘Uwezo Funds’ are taken back to the treasury due to failure of the youth to utilize them.
“We have had cases whereby these funds are remitted back to the treasury.” She exclaimed
She however noted that they have put in place strategies on how to empower the youths.
The director pointed out that only a small section of the youths are aware of the availability of the funds.
“There are measures we have taken as an organization whose aim is to economically empower the youths.” Muema stated
She however indicated that due to escalating cases of terror attacks as witnessed in Lamu in the recent past, tourism sector has drastically declined along the coastline.
Muema noted that through the ‘Tusemezane Vijana Initiative’ which is in operation in various parts of the country, the organization aims at engaging the youths in constructive and meaningful activities.
“I must admit that tourism has declined due to actions of terror especially along the Coast. Most of the hotels in Malindi for example are empty.” She noted
She stated that most of the youth join terror groups due to influence from their kins.
On the issue of women and their involvement in terror related activities the human rights defender said there is a need for the society to empower them.
“Some of the youths join terror groups because of influence from either their uncles or next of their kins.” The executive indicated
She outlined that the role of women in the society is paramount in ensuring a more integrated society.
Meanwhile, Martin Muthii, Search for Common Ground Programs Support Officer said there has been a perception that economic challenges propel youths in engaging in terror related activities.
He called on the society to educate the youths in order to change the attitude.
“Economic challenge among the youths is said to be the propeller of youths engaging in terror related activities. This has been the attitude in the society.” He said
The activist applauded role played by government and the county government throughout the country on the ways of countering violent extremism among the youths.
He said the Mombasa County Action Plan on countering violent extremism is quite a good example to show case the fight against the vice.
By The COAST Reporter
The government has once again urged youth who joined terror groups to willingly surrender and stay safe before the law catches up on them.
Speaking at a forum for countering violence extremism representatives at a Mombasa Hotel on Friday, Mombasa Commissioner Evans Achoki said terrorism has become a global threat and called on the need for Kenyans to stem it out.
Achoki noted that the role of the government is to ensure that her citizens are safe to ensure that their daily activities are not interfered with.
“Terrorism has become a universal threat. As government we are determined to fight the vice.” He insisted
The county security boss however called on Religious leaders and other stake holders to cooperate with the government in its bid to root out terror acts amongst youngsters.
He indicated that through concerted efforts the government is willing to partner with all the stakeholders including county government officials and the civil society organizations in ensuring that the youths do not engage in violent extremism.
“The government will continue protecting, preventing, pursuing and prosecuting all criminals. We appeal all the stakeholders to focus on the young and provide wise counsel to them.” He said
He urged the various stakeholders to focus on the young, provide the relevant education and offer wise counsel to them in order to bring up an informed and able society.
Achoki pledged to continue working with all the stakeholders in countering violent extremism within the county.
He however pinpointed that the police force will be professional in their patrols while dealing with criminals.
“We shall continue working with all the stakeholders in all circles.” The state officer said
He noted that the police department will continue working within the confines of the law while on duty.
Achoki highlighted that the government has already conducted public barazas in all the sub counties in a bid to educate the public on the need to stem any violent terrorist activity within the county.
“The police force will work within the confines of the law.” Achoki noted
At the same time Aimee Ongeso, public international law and policy group programs manager said the Kenyan government is committed to fighting violent extremism throughout the country.
The international human rights crusader noted that as a human rights defender she is concerned with how the government works within the confines of the law.
“The Kenyan government is committed to fighting terrorism throughout the country.” She pointed out
She indicated that dialogue is crucial in ensuring that people do not engage in violent extremist actions.
Aimee noted with concern that in order for Kenyans to thrive socially politically and economically the rule of law must be upheld.
“Dialogue is key in ensuring that that people do not engage in crime.’ She noted
She said Kenya has the best legal framework throughout the world that guarantees an equal opportunity for every single Kenyan.
Meanwhile HAKI Africa executive director Hussein Khalid recommended for a formulation of a better legal framework in the country that will safely accommodate all the returnees.
“Lack of a proper legal frame work makes it difficult for the government to deal with returnees.” He noted
He stated that lack of an appropriate policy in the country makes it difficult for the government to deal with returnees from terror groups.
By The COAST Reporter
High Court in Mombasa has upheld the election of former Journalist Mohammed Ali as Nyali Member of Parliament.
In her ruling made on Friday High Court Judge Lady Lydia Achode said the petitioner Daniel Omondi failed to provide evidence to prove his case against the legislator, IEBC and officials.
Judge Achode said the petitioner also failed to prove that the security officials influenced the counting of votes at the polling station.
"The petitioner should have produced evidence to show that Ali offered bribes , it's not clear if really bribing took occurred” said Achode.
The ruling further disclosed that Omondi failed to prove the color scheme he used during his campaign which resembled that of the Wiper Party while Ali and Wiper used blue.
"From the evidence on the allegations that the first respondent gave out bribes in Nyali constituency with an intension to influence voters has not been established, not at all and this ground must be filled on the display of the candidate campaign materials the petitioner complained that they were public display of the first respondent posters at Elimu polling station," said Achode.
Ali Mohammed was an independent candidate who defeated Saidi Abdalla popularly known as Saido on ODM ticket leading with 26,788 votes against 16,473 votes.
However the police were forced to use tie gas in order to separate the Saidi Abdalla supporters who wanted to attack Ali outside the Mombasa court after the Achode ruling.
By The COAST Reporter
The institute of Human resource management through its national chairman has called on the government to improve performance in the public sector.
Speaking to journalist in Mombasa on Wednesday during an official launch of HR leaders’ boot camp Elijah Sitima the national chairperson of the Institute said the government has enacted human resource development policies that aims at improving public performance.
He said of late the government has the best HR ever and therefore Kenyan citizens expect the best of their performance.
“There is HR development policies set out by the government whose aim is to improve performance in the public sector. He said
The national official however indicated that there is still an opportunity for the public sector to improve on the performance of its workers.
The official noted that both the public and the private sector jointly share the HR practices for the outright benefit of Kenyans.
“There is an opportunity to improve on the performance of its workers (government).” He noted
He insisted that stakeholders in both the private and public sector aim at offering relevant skills and training that ensures high and quality performance in their organizations.
“Both the sectors private and public aim at offering relevant skills and competencies for quality performance.” He stated
At the same time Kris Senanu Managing Director Enterprise Telkom Kenya said it is the role of organizations to hire the personnel with the relevant technical experience to run its affairs.
“Organizations should get technically experienced personnel to run its affairs.” He said
He noted that tertiary institutions play a significant role throughout the country by providing actual professional HR personnel.
The official pin pointed that every employer requires skilled manpower that will positively drive the organization to higher levels of performance.
“Tertiary institutions play a leading role in ensuring that professional personnel are recruited.” He explained
The Human resource boot camp dubbed from HR to CEO brought together nearly 200 participants from both the public and private sector.
By The COAST Reporter
Governor Granton Samboja has condemned in the strongest terms possible, the move by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to move elephants from Solio and Sangare ranches in Laikipia County to Tsavo East National Park.
Speaking on Thursday, Governor Samboja called on the Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala to halt the process and return the Jumbos to Mt. Kenya saying the community will not allow the translocation.
"Residents of Taita Taveta have for a long time decried the destruction of property and loss of life to no avail. Although residents have reported the matter to the KWS no one has been compensated for their loss and the residents hardly benefit from having the National Park which occupies approximately 63% of our land. For this particular reason we the people of Taita Taveta demand that the ministry reverts this process," said Governor Samboja.
The CIDP in 2 public barazas residents of Sagalla and Marungu said the marauding Jumbos have constantly destroyed their crops thereby exposing them to perennial hunger.
"We are living in fear of our lives and starvation as the elephants constantly attack us and destroy our crops leaving us grappling with hunger and poverty. Our children have no food to eat and learning has been disrupted as they have to leave for school late and come home early. We have been forced to stay awake to chase away the elephants as KWS hardly comes to our rescue," said Mama Maghanga a resident of Marungu.
They are calling on the national government to errect an electric fence so as to keep the elephants in the park.
Speaking on Wednesday when he flagged off the translocation exercise of 21 elephants which is expected to cost Sh4.5 million, CS Najib Balala said the relocation was meant to reduce incidents of human-wildlife conflict in Mt. Kenya region.
“This is the best way to address the issue that has emerged here. Given the size of Tsavo, we don't expect that the animals will interfere with human settlement there. Tsavo can host 30,000 elephants but now has only 12,000,” said Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala.
Given that Taita Taveta County suffers from increased human wildlife conflict, the residents fear that an influx of elephants in the park is directly proportional to a death sentence.