Archive for November 2008

Cereal Millers Association: Maize Shortage - The Facts

Yes, there is a maize shortage in the country. Millers are unable to procure enough maize either from the farmers or the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to utilize their milling capacity of approx. 1.5 million bags per month and are milling between 30-40% of their capacities.

Reason for maize shortage

Post election violence which resulted in the displacement of maize farmers and the destruction of maize crops affecting maize production.

Delayed decision to import and subsequent delays in effecting importation of maize grain.

Export of significant quantities of Kenyan maize grain to more lucrative destinations prior to the export ban being placed.

dverse weather conditions at harvest have caused the quality and quantity of maize to be affected.

Some farmers are holding their stocks due to their reluctance to sell to NCPB (lower prices and delayed payments) and speculation in anticipation of higher prices.

Reason for price increase

  • Initially NCPB was unable to allocate adequate maize to the millers at a subsidized price of Kshs 1750/1830 per bag which was intended to stabilize maize prices.
  • Recently NCPB's inability to allocate any maize to millers, due to building up their strategic reserves, has resulted in millers buying maize directly from farmers at higher prices ranging between Kshs 2200 to Kshs 2300 at farm gate per bag, or buy from brokers who were availing NCPB maize and offering it to the millers at between Kshs 2200 to Kshs 2500.
  • Building of strategic reserves at a time when thevcountry is in dire need of maize is hard to comprehend.
  • Increased production costs have added to the price of maize flour.
  • Increased electricity and fuel costs have impacted tremendously on the cost of production and transportation.
  • Inability by millers to procure adequate maize stocks has resulted in them running at below 40% of their rated capacities, resulting in increased production costs per bag.
  • Given current international prices and the current stock in the country, prevailing prices are not expected to change noticeably until thesupply of maize normalizes.
Short Term Recommendation.
  • That the NCPB immediately begins allocation of maize to registered maize millers at the stipulated price of Kshs 1750/1830 per bag. This process of allocation should be based on rated capacities and should be managed in an equitable and transparent way by a multi stakeholder committee. This recommendation has already been communicated to NCPB.
  • That farmers make their produce available to the millers or NCPB to purchase. Millers are committed to purchasing local maize grain, however are not able to procure adequate quantities from the farmers.
  • That the duty on imported maize grain (50%) be waived for a specified period of time to allow stocks to be replenished, thereby, reducing market speculation. At current prices, duty free maize would land into Nairobi at similar prices to those being paid to the farmers today.
  • Long Term Recommendations
  • Over the last 40 years, we have gone through a maize crisis approximately every 5 years. There is a need therefore to undertake structural reform in the maize sub sector as follows:
  • Q Government support for input subsidies for maize farmers as has been done in Malawi, this will encourage them to produce more maize to sustain local requirements.
  • Farmers need to improve their ability to produce maize efficiently and competitively and market their produce
  • at a fair price to the consumers and export surplus maize. This will aid in maintaining price stability. Q Reduce food manufacturing and distribution costs, specifically those associated with fuel, electricity, packaging and handling at the Port of
We recommend that a multi stakeholder maize task force be established to support the implementation of these recommendations and to devise policies to enable liberalization of the grain subsector.
Diamond Laji
Chairman - Cereal Millers Association
26 November 2008

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Santuri Mwanga: Justice approaches in Kenya

Politicians who orchestrated last year's post-election violence fear they will end up in court at The Hague

When Kenya erupted into chaos after the 2007 presidential election, the country and some of its leaders were so consumed in the dynamics of the ugly tribal war that they never paused to think of the consequences.

Some were quoted in live news broadcasts threatening even more dire action. Others went on air on popular radio stations calling for the extermination of members of certain communities.

At the time, it looked like the whole country would spiral into a Rwanda-like situation – and therefore some leaders let down their guard and became full-blown jingoists.

They called for international mediation and played up to the foreign media gallery, insisting that the election dispute and the resultant clashes could only be solved by outside means.

And so the then United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, brokered a peaceful settlement resulting in a coalition government, in which the main protagonists of the bloody theatre, incumbent president Mwai Kibaki and his fierce rival for the presidency, Raila Odinga agreed to share power.

Annan also recommended, among other measures, the setting-up of a commission of inquiry into the post-election chaos. The president duly approved the step and at the time, politicians thought it was a good idea. But when its chairman, Justice Philip Waki, presented his findings on October 17 and implicated top politicians from both sides of the divide – the Orange Democratic Movement and the Party of National Unity, headed by Raila and Kibaki respectively – it dawned on them that things might not be as rosy as they expected.

The Waki report recommended that at least 10 suspects in the clashes be tried at a tribunal to bet set up within 60 days of the report being made public – failing which, a secret envelope, which was in the custody of Annan, would be handed over to the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

Now, a fierce debate has erupted over whether the report should be implemented. For politicians have realised that those named in the report are not ordinary Kenyans. They are key figures in the coalition government.

Although no one knows for sure what the Annan envelope really contains, it is now public knowledge that it contains at least the name of the minister for agriculture, William Ruto – who is considered to be the man who rallied massive support for ODM – and the de facto leader of the Kalenjin community and the deputy prime minister, Uhuru Kenyatta, who is considered to be the most eminent leader of the Kikuyu community after Kibaki. It also contains the names of key allies of Kibaki and Odinga.

Raila, in whose name many people believe the skirmishes happened (they used to sing, "No Raila, no peace") has been supportive of the Waki report. But he has found himself running into a maelstrom of opposition from his ODM party, which dismisses the report as containing "incurable errors". Ruto himself has vociferously dismissed the report and corralled his supporters to do the same. The effect has been that ODM, once seen as a fearsome monolith, is now in danger of splitting.

Uhuru has acknowledged that his name may be on the secret envelope. But he has justified his alleged misdeeds. He has said that what he did was meant to help internally displaced persons, most of whom were from his Kikuyu community. Given a similar situation, he said last week, he would do the same.

The cabinet is said to be split down the middle over the report. Most feel that if it were to be implemented, it would sound the death knell for the eight-month old coalition. Others feel that to end the culture of impunity, those implicated in the report must be brought to book. And many Kenyans want it implemented to serve as a warning to future warmongers.

Early this week ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo said that the ICC was ready to try the suspects if Kenya does not do so. It is slowly dawning on the politicians who oppose the report that whether the country sets up a tribunal or not, the international trial at The Hague will happen. It is giving them sleepless nights.

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Hilary Ngw'eno - The Making of a Nation Kenya's History DVD Now Available

For those really interested in a masterpiece of historical chronology of the political path that Kenya has trodden from the late days of colonialism - pre-1963 - to the breakup of the NARC coalition - 2002-2005 - then Hilary Ngweno's "The Making of a Nation" is a collector's item to have in your DVD rack.

Reminisce the exit of Kenya's colonial masters through the intrigues of Tom Mboya, Jaramogi Oginga and Jomo Kenyatta's "cold wars" all the way to Moi's ousting from power by the failed NARC coalition in 2002 and the eventual breakup of the formidable NARC Coalition. This is a DVD that will keep you glued to your set and still remain a handy reference later on.

The Making of a Nation is an invaluable encyclopedia of 14 half-hour episodes of Kenya's post independent political history compiled by Hilary Ngw'eno, a journalist of repute.

Hilary Ngw'eno is renown as an editor of 'The Weekly Review', Kenya's top political weekly magazine in the 70s and 80s. The episodes were aired by NTV in the runup to the 2007 General Elections.

Through 14 captivating half-hour episodes, the series tells the story of the last days of Kenya's freedom struggle, the turbulent early years of the country's independence, the dramatic events and the larger than life cast of characters that shaped and continues to shape the destiny of their young nation.

This DVD is available in Nakumatt Supermarkets for KShs 1,800.

For those out there with no access to Nakumatt and really interested in securing a copy of the DVD send an email to for assistance with the logistics.

Hurry while stocks last.


Implement Kriegler and Waki Reports or Perish: NCCK tells Kenya Government

Implement Kriegler and Waki Reports or Perish!

1. Preamble
We, the Heads of Member churches and regional church leaders of the National Council of Churches of Kenya, have been meeting here at Jumuia Conference and Country Home, Limuru, reflecting together on issues of concern to our nation with special focus on the National Healing and Reconciliation process. In this reflection, we have particularly been reminded of God's consideration of justice, truth, forgiveness and accountability in the life of a nation as profiled in Ezekiel 22: 1-31.

2. Reports from IREC and CIPEV
When the National Accord was signed in February this year, we felt that the Coalition Government would afford the nation an unprecedented opportunity to pursue long term solutions to the underlying factors that resulted in the Post Election Violence.

Through the African Union mediated Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation process, two Commissions were established - The Independent Review Commission (IREC) headed by Justice Johann Kriegler, and the Commission to Investigate the Post Election Violence (CIPEV) headed by Justice Phitlip Waki.

IREC had a mandate to inquire into all aspects of the 2007 General Elections with a particular emphasis on the Presidential Election. CIPEV had a mandate to investigate the facts and surrounding circumstances related to the acts of violence that followed the 2007 Presidential election, as well as the actions and omissions of state security agencies.

By the grace of God, the two Commissions worked under great pressure of time in an atmosphere of anxiety and have successfully completed their tasks and released the final reports. We are especially grateful that the two reports were made public immediately after they were issued, contrary to past experiences where Kenyans had to beg and grovel for reports of commissions of inquiry to be made public. We commend both Commissions for their work and the contributions they will make to the national healing process.

3. Demeaning the Reports by politicians and the police
We as church leaders are deeply saddened, disturbed and appalled by the carelessness with which political leaders and even the police are talking about these two reports. They are blatantly exhibiting high levels of insincerity, selfishness and panic regarding the two reports. They are misleading the country in the way they are interpreting and commenting on the reports.

The politicians have decided to focus on narrow aspects of the reports that yield into their own selfish and immediate gains, deliberately leaving out significant and -critical aspects of those reports.

We state here that the Kriegler Report is more than the Electoral Commission of Kenya and electoral boundaries; And the Waki report is more than a sealed envelope or the threat to have the suspected perpetrators charged before the International Criminal Court. This narrow focus is short term and uncalled for, and is wholly an insult on the intelligence of Kenyans.

It is even more regrettable that the same politicians who early this year incited people to fight and kill one another and effectively reduced inter-community relations to bitter enmity have now closed ranks and are collaborating to dismiss the two reports.

One of the arguments offered against implementation of these reports and particularly the CIPEV Report is that political careers will be destroyed. When did the careers of individual politicians stand in the way of the nation's stability and prosperity? And when did the careers of individual politicians become more important than the lives of Kenyans? Such arguments are demeaning to humanity and wholly sinful.

Another argument has been that the Commission condemned people without giving them an opportunity to defend themselves. But this does not hold considering that this was a commission of inquiry. The persons suspected to have been involved in the Post Election Violence will have adequate opportunities to defend themselves before the proposed Special Tribunal.

We also appreciate that the Special Tribunal will enable us to expedite the cases without the usual encumbrances that attain to our normal judicial processes.

It is essential to note that the Truth, Justice and Reconcilliation Commission, whose bill was passed by Parliament recently, is not a substitute to the implementation of the Kriegler and Waki reports. We insist that all Kenyans must understand that forgiveness is not a substitute for justice and accountability. God expects forgiveness within a context of repentance, restitution, justice and accountability.

4. Implement the Reports without further ado
We have taken time to read and internalize the two reports in depth and detail, and are convinced beyond reasonable doubt that they should be implemented in totality. Leaders who attempt to disparage these reports will by every means be standing in the way of justice for all Kenyans.

In summarizing the two reports, the following points stand out:

i. The IREC Report offers Kenya the greatest opportunity ever to apply corrective
reforms on our electoral process in three fronts:

One, the constitutional and legal;

Two, the administrative and organizational structure; and:

Three, the dispute resolution mechanism.

Quoting from the report:
"In conclusion, political parties breached most of the rules in the national and international books regarding the orderly conduct of campaigns and elections. While Kenyans must improve the entirety of the regulatory regime that currently governs elections, the greater challenge is to inculcate an ethical and responsible political culture. The culture of impunity maintained by all political players would certainly strain any law enforcement mechanisms that are established".

ii. The CIPEV Report offers Kenya an opportunity to reflect on her identity and values, and to act on a culture of deliberate use of violence to obtain political power and one of impunity through persistent decisions not to punish perpetrators. The culture of impunity has given rise to systematic and quite often tragic acts of omission and commission by state actors.

Quoting from the report:

"(Certain) factors have dovetailed to make violence the method of choice for solving a wide range of political differences and to obtain political power. Further more, because violence surrounding elections has been ethnically directed, this has increased distrusts among different ethnic groups and vastly eroded any sense of national identity, Hence ethnicity has now become a dangerous and negative connotation. The basic issue facing the nation is how to deal with these issues. Attempts have been made to crack down on gangs and halfheartedly to reform institutions. Neither has been successful because the government has not been serious, has not been willing to address the generic issues or underlying causes of violence."

True to the assertions that we and other groups and organizations have made in the past, the so called "ethnic violence" in Kenya is nothing more than persons mobilizing violence to either acquire or retain power. The different episodes of violence have been a gross cheapening of the lives and blood of Kenyans. The violence, which climaxed in January this year has been an insult to Kenyans by persons who have taken their personal ambitions and manipulatively made them sound like the needs of the different ethnic communities.

5. The blood of Kenyans is crying
We remind everyone that the blood of the innocent Kenyans that was wantonly and senselessly shed in the early part of this year and in past episodes of politically instigated violence is crying out for justice. Similarly crying out for justice are those who have been maimed, sexually assaulted and lost properties and economic opportunities in this violence.

We say the following to all who did any form of rigging, all who corrupted or falsified results in any way, all who organized or perpetrated violence in anyway and who perverted justice: The blood of Kenyans is on your hands! The warning in the Bible in Galatians 6:7 is very clear: "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows". You now have an opportunity to mitigate this and make amends, else wait for God's judgement as happened to the people of Israel in the times of prophet Ezekiel. Nobody should ever cheapen the lives of Kenyans in this manner again.

Secondly, we note that the occurrence of the violence was an indictment against the government and state institutions. It is even worse that violence has been allowed to become a culture among Kenyans. This is a gross failure by the government and state institutions to fulfill their social, legal and divine mandate to ensure there is peace, even applying violence where there is need. Romans 13: 3 -4 in the Bible makes this very clear. It is therefore very distressing to us when the leadership of Kenya is today working hard to reward the wrongdoers and continue punishing the innocent. It is not right.

6. Way Forward
Having considered the two reports and the arguments being proffered by politicians, we find the following as the way forward in this matter:

i. Full and unreserved implementation of the two Reports. This is non-negotiabie. We in this regard urge His Excellency President Mwai Kibaki and Right Honourable Prime Minister Raila Odinga to midwife a process that will lead to the adoption and implementation of the two reports. Failure to do so will be a gross betrayal of the National Accord and by extension the people of Kenya who have entrusted them with leadership.

ii. The implementation of the two Reports is not and should not solely be in the purview of politicians. Politicians caused the violence for their own selfish interests, and Kenyans should not let them manipulate the implementation of the two reports to their interest. There must be a broad based consultative implementation mechanism for both reports.

iii. On our part, we shall mobilize ourselves and other actors to closely monitor the conduct of individual parliamentarians when the two reports are discussed in Parliament, during which activity religious leaders will attend in their clerical robes, and mark those who subvert justice in their contributions. We shall in future political contexts mark and expose such as liabilities to Kenya. We shall also monitor their comments and activities outside Parliament.

iv. The government should facilitate wide circulation of the two reports among Kenyans, beginning with their translation into Kiswahili and their being sold at affordable prices. This will increase the sense of ownership and give Kenyans a chance to hold their leaders accountable.

v. If the reports are not implemented, NCCK will work with other religious leaders and civil society actors to mobilize millions of signatures to support an appeal to the International Criminal Court to take up the matter and investigate, prosecute and punish the perpetrators of political violence.

In conclusion, we call upon all Kenyans to come out and demand that the two reports be implemented in total since they offer space to re-create our national institutions, psyche, identity and accountability.

The two reports must also be seen as part of the broad healing and reconciliation process.
We remind Kenyans to be wary of politicians. It is clear that politicians will gladly use and misuse the ordinary Kenyans and particularly the youth and then forget them. Kenyans must reject this tendency and leave their selfish leaders to carry their own crosses and burdens.

Indeed we do state here that should the cabinet and the National Assembly find that they cannot implement the two reports, then it will be a confirmation that they are not worthy of being our leaders.

Signed on this 4th day of November 2008 at Jumuia Conference and Country Home, Limuru.

Rev. Dr. Charles Kibicho Chairman
Rev. Canon Peter Karanja General Secretary

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Congratulations President Barack Hussein Obama

On your election as the 44th president of the United States of America, you have not only made history, you have changed the course of the whole world. You have done Martin Luther King jnr, the African American community and the black race proud. Luther's dream has been realized in you.

You control the whole wide world! YES YOU DO!

KENYA is proud to be associated with you.

Good luck and God's blessings in your reign.

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