Archive for 2012

Voters’ list hits 9.1m as Kiambu leads pack

Voter registration has reached 9.1 million with the electoral commission urging voters to take advantage of yesterday’s public holiday and weekends to enlist for next year’s poll. 

The figures fall short of the targeted 18 million voters by 8.9 million which has prompted the intervention
of President Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka urging voters to register in large numbers.

Registration centres remained open as Kenya marked Jamhuri Day yesterday, with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) giving thumbs up to Kiambu County, whose turn-out had hit 74 per cent as per December 9.

“Have you registered? Registration ends on December 18, 2012. Registration centres remained open countrywide on Jamhuri Day,” IEBC said in an advertisement.

Other leading counties, whose registration IEBC hailed, included Lamu (71 per cent), Nairobi (68), Murang’a (67) and Nyeri (66).

Counties doing badly are Kwale (30 per cent), Turkana and Garissa (27), Wajir (25) and Mandera at 16 per cent. 

In Kiambu County, 560,177 people had registered out of a possible 756,774 voters. Lamu had registered 33,831 out of the targeted 47,338. Meanwhile, in Kitui and Mwingi towns, shopkeepers, restaurants and bar operators have joined hands in an ambitious initiative to mobilise residents to register as voters.

For instance, in some restaurants, one may not be served your favourite drink or meal unless you show proof of having registered as a voter. 

According to Kimanzi Musili, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kitui branch secretary, customers are encouraged to take the voter registration seriously.

“We are simply taking responsibility as the business community to supplement civic education efforts by IEBC to achieve 100 per cent voter listing” Mr Musili said on the sidelines of Jamhuri Day celebrations at the Kitui Municipal Stadium.

-- Nation

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Oburu steps down for Orengo in Siaya senate race

Oburu Oginga has given up his quest for the Siaya County senator’s post.

This has paved the way for Lands Minister James Orengo to seek the Orange party’s ticket to vie for the

In a statement signed by 12 leaders from the county, Dr Oginga will now seek to vie for governor through

The two have been embroiled in a tussle over who should vie for senator, a move that had threatened
the party’s stability and grassroots support in the county.

Speaking at Orange House in Nairobi, the two said they had to come to an agreement for the sake of
the party and the country. “In the interest of peace, my honourable desire is neither here nor there.

This consensus is the best solution for this problem, my happiness notwithstanding,” Dr Oginga said.

He said he could serve as governor, given his wide skills and experience in managing public finances
and resources both before and during his 19-year tenure as MP for Bondo.

On his part, Mr Orengo said the decision was not meant to stir up celebrations for anyone since they
both realised they can offer much more service to the county and the country at large if they put aside their
differences and worked together.

“There are times when you may have individual ambitions, but if you value your party and your country
more, you have to put aside your differences and find the best solution,” he said.

However, he added that other politicians interested in vying for the two seats could still apply and face off
in the party nominations. 

Political differences between the two had stirred up emotions among party supporters and politicians
from the county, with the camps backing each of them openly clashing during party rallies.

The notable leader of the Orengo camp was Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo, whereas his Rarieda counterpart, Nicholas Gumbo, seemed to be leading the Oburu camp. 

Both Mr Midiwo and Mr Gumbo did not attend the press briefing.

-- Nation

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Karua turns down ODM invite to attend meeting

Narc Kenya Presidential aspirant Martha Karua yesterday turned down an invitation by Prime Minister Raila Odinga to attend the ODM National Delegates Conference saying she did not believe “in preelection coalitions”.

In an open letter sent to newsrooms to respond to the PM’s invitation, Ms Karua said the invitation letter had implied that Narc Kenya had already agreed to join the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (Cord), in which ODM is a founding member.

“For the avoidance of doubt, neither me nor the party I lead (Narc Kenya) are members of the said coalition. We do not believe in pre-election coalitions and as such are not seeking to become members. We therefore with respect decline your invitation,” she wrote.

Mr Odinga who is also the ODM leader and the one seeking endorsement by the party’s NDC for presidency had on Wednesday written to Ms Karua, inviting her to attend the event at the Kasarani sports Complex in Nairobi.

“It is my pleasure to invite you and other representatives of Narc Kenya to attend the National Delegates Convention of ODM scheduled to be held in Nairobi on Friday December 7, 2012,” the letter stated.

“Your presence at the event will contribute greatly in strengthening the partnership amongst the members of
the Coalition for Reform and Democracy.”

The Coalition for Reform and Democracy was founded on Tuesday this week when ODM, Wiper and Ford Kenya signed a pre-election pact. 

Other pacts formed include that between TNA and UDF and Kenya National Congress and Party of Action.

-- Nation

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Kenya Political Coalitions lodged with Registrar of Political Parties by COB Tuesday

These were the coalitions lodged with Registrar of Political Parties by COB Tuesday:

1. The National Alliance + Party of National Unity

2. United Republican Party + The National Alliance + United Democratic Forum Party

3. The National Alliance + Conservative Party

4. Wiper Democratic Party – Kenya + Orange Democratic Movement + FORD Kenya

5. Labour Party of Kenya + Mwangaza Party + Agano Party + New Democrats + Peoples Party of Kenya + Progressive Party of Kenya + National Labour Party

6. New Ford Kenya + National Vision Party + KADU Asili + Shirikisho Party of Kenya

7. Party of Action + Kenya National Congress

8. United Democratic Forum Party + Kenya African National Union


- TNA is in THREE different coalitions

- Musalia signed a deal with KANU

- Charity Ngilu's NARC is not part of Raila/ Kalonzo/ Wetangula alliance

Courtesy: Eric Latiff

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Kofi Annan Warns Kenya on anti-ICC Campaigns

The Panel of Eminent Persons has warned politicians against using the ICC cases as a campaign tool.

Speaking after a two-day visit  to Kenya, panel leader Kofi Annan said: “It would be a shame” if politicians turn the ICC cases into a referendum on pulling out or staying in the court.

“The issue is about post-election violence. The ICC is not against Kenya. It is not against any tribe, 
it is about individuals who have to defend themselves in court,” he said.

“Let us not forget the important gains Kenya has achieved through the reform agenda and its new Constitution. The leaders of tomorrow should be prepared to not only safeguard these gains but to advance them,” he said.

Kenya’s next president

Two of the four Kenyans charged with crimes against humanity at the ICC, Deputy Prime Minister 
Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto, are seeking to be the next President and deputy.
Mr Annan said Kenyans should “ponder certain questions before making decisions” on who to elect. He would not clarify the questions.

Mr Annan, who was in the country with another member of the panel, former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa, asked Kenyans to avoid a last-minute rush to register as voters. 

“Perhaps they are asking, what is the point? We say there is a point. They cannot sit back, not vote and 
complain later,” he said

-- Daily Nation

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Martha Karua on Pre-Election Coalitions

I hear and appreciate many of you who have wondered why I am not seeking a pre-election coalition with others in the Presidential race. 

The media hype around this issue of coalitions may lead one to think that there is only one way or the same way of doing things. 

Consider the leadership coalitions offer to the current Kenyan circumstances of strikes, insecurity and destablized livelihoods. Is this the leadership required to put our country on the right path? 

Our current circumstances call for firm, committed and proven leadership that can steer us to a more hopeful future whose path our constitution has laid out for us. That is the leadership I am offering to our beloved country. That is the leadership I choose to build alliances of like minded Kenyans on. 

My conviction and that of NARC Kenya is that seeking alliances for the sake of power brokering is far less inclusive than seeking an alliance with ALL Kenyans of like mind. 

 We remain relentless in the furtherance of this broad alliance of like minds which on March 4th, 2013, will be determined.

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Vincent Awuonda: HIV / AIDS The Rebellious Monster


You, you, you
You are a wonderful person
You are like no one
Here my voice
Here is the Monster
Here I say,
For warriors are scared too
For when it bites,
Silence becomes loneliness
Then you wonder always
‘What if’ and ‘if only’

This Monster that bites and kills
Leaving a new awareness of pain
This Monster came I heard
I then wondered with wonder eyes
It came to fight and consume all
Are you not fearful?
I cry for my Brothers
I cry for my Sisters and
Our parents are not spared too
We are caught in a web of hopelessness
By gone were the bright days
When we talked of the Monster
But it was no threat
But the how many Hospital beds own you
How many widows and widower are confused because of you?
How Many orphans curse you?
We are caught by the jaw of the powerful Monster
So come together for this war
Blame not each other
When you see this Part of reality
Pains and stains. 

By: Vincent O. Awuonda 
Poet, Story Teller and Actor

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Vincent Awuonda: HIV / AIDS Advice to the Kenyan Youths


As we mark the World AIDS Day and a long Holiday their after with many Teenagers having done their final Exams in different Education levels, I think it’s the best time to talk about HIV/AIDS.

Even though so many things have been said and reams written about HIV/AIDS but as a Poet, Story Teller and Actor which I use their power as a tool to educate and sensitize the Society about the happenings and to highlight the  life of the less fortunate members of the Society, I will not tire of warning everyone out there that HIV/AIDS is real and its wiping out many of us each and every blessed day. 

I appreciate the Nation’s Governors for their effort to fight and prevent HIV/AIDS and to help people gain knowledge of it. 

Knowledge is truly strength and if you know how it comes, how it spreads and how it can be prevented then you can make a good decision about your own lifestyle and you can avoid certain dangers and risks.

If the Health Professionals wish to make more impact on the STD and HIV pandemic which is sweeping the World then they should aim Teenagers because they are much at risk for these Diseases, though they cannot prescribe how they should live or behave but they can empower teens by hinting at the pitfalls they may encounter and by signposting a safe and healthy pathway through the road to adulthood because this is the time they are developing their personality, their dreams, their personal view of the world and their answer to the riddle of the meaning of life.

HIV/AIDS is sweeping the world with a sadistic dash and there will be no tomorrow unless we do something about it. Although we ought to abstain but many of us find it nearly impossible, I repeat what others have said “young people who are not married should abstain or protect themselves during the sexual intercourse if they must do it and those who are married should be faithful and that way the World will be a better place to live in.

As you take one day at a time enjoying December holiday always remember that HIV/AIDS is real and be careful with the steps you make.

I further wish you a Marry Christmas and Happy New Year. 

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Imanyara picks ODM for his senator bid

Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara yesterday said he would vie for Meru senate seat on an ODM ticket.

Mr Imanyara said the party and its leader Raila Odinga had a “concrete” agenda for the Meru and Kenyans at large.

Speaking in Meru town during a meeting with opinion leaders from the county, Mr Imanyara said other presidential aspirants had not clearly stated their agenda for the Meru.

He pledged a development authority for the miraa farmers if he wins the poll.

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Peter Kenneth: Let the Kenyan Diaspora Vote

I am very saddened by the Cabinet decision that was communicated to Parliament and the Kenyan people by the Minister for Justice & Constitutional Affairs this afternoon that Kenyans in the Diaspora will not be able to vote in the March 4th 2013 General Election.

This decision completely disenfranchises our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora and denies them their democratic right to play their part in determining the future for their country.

Our brother and sisters in the Diaspora are as much stakeholders in this country as anybody else and therefore deserve the right to choose the leadership of this country. Their remittances to their families and friends here are a big source of foreign exchange as well as a critical source of income for many households. Their representation of the Kenyan identity and Brand Kenya abroad are a great source of pride for us all. They must not be relegated to the spectator’s gallery while it is evident that they play such a critical role in our economy.

At the promulgation of the new constitution, it was clear that Kenyans in the Diaspora would be able to vote in all subsequent elections. It was incumbent on the Government of Kenya through the IEBC to ensure that this happened and there has been a whole two years to do that. The logistical, financial and time constraints that have been given as the main reason for this unfortunate occurrence are insufficient and incommensurate to the infringement of the democratic rights of our brothers and sisters who live and work or study abroad. If South Sudan, the youngest state in the world could do it, why can’t Kenya?

I urge all Kenyans in the Diaspora to stand up and oppose this miscarriage of justice in the strongest terms possible until the government listens to them and guarantees them of their right to vote. The fight for the realization of democracy for all Kenyans has been a long and hard one and the enjoyment of those rights cannot be left at the determination of a few individuals.

As I have stated before, I remain committed to the full implementation of the new constitution to the letter which include the rights of Kenyans in Diaspora to vote.


Peter Kenneth

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Tullow Announces Oil Discovery at Twiga South-1, the Second Well in Northern Kenya

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Twiga South-1 exploration well in Block 13T, onshore Kenya, has encountered 30 metres of net oil pay with further potential to be assessed on test and has also encountered a tight fractured rock section with hydrocarbon shows over a gross interval of 796 metres.

Twiga South-1 has been drilled to a total depth of 3,250 metres and has been successfully logged and sampled. Three sandstone reservoir zones, analogous to Ngamia-1, were encountered and moveable oil, with an API greater than 30 degrees, has been recovered to surface. Further potential exists up dip of the well and will be subsequently appraised.  

In addition to the net pay, the well also penetrated a thick section of tight fractured rock below 2,272 metres which had extensive hydrocarbon shows over a gross interval of 796 metres. Moveable oil with an API greater than 30 degrees was also successfully sampled from this section. This tight fractured rock section is a new play-type for the region that will require further evaluation to understand its extent and any productive potential.

The Twiga South structure is the second prospect to be tested in the Lokichar Basin as part of a multi-well drilling campaign in Kenya and Ethiopia and is the first oil discovery in Block 13T. It is located 22km to the north of the Ngamia-1A discovery and further de-risks a number of other similar features on the western margin of the basin.

A series of flow tests will now be conducted on the well over the next 4-8 weeks. Following completion of the testing programme, the rig will move back to flow test the Ngamia-1 well.

Elsewhere in Tullow’s East African Rift basin acreage, a result from the Paipai-1 well in Block 10A in Kenya is expected by the end of the year and the Sabisa-1 well in the South Omo Block in Ethiopia is expected to commence drilling by the end of December.

Tullow has a 50% operated interest in the Twiga South-1 well with Africa Oil holding the remaining 50% interest.

Angus McCoss, Exploration Director, commented,

“Following the basin-opening Ngamia-1 well result earlier this year, I am pleased to announce that our second well in our onshore Kenya rift basins campaign has also discovered oil. This immediate follow on discovery reaffirms the considerable prospectivity of the Lokichar Basin. Having significantly expanded our plans in Kenya and Ethiopia, there is much to look forward to as the exploration campaign and testing programme move ahead.”

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ICC picks Kenyan lawyer, Wilfred Nderitu to represent victims of PEV

Judges at the International Criminal Court have picked a Kenyan lawyer to represent victims of Post-Election Violence in one of the two Kenyan cases at The Hague.

The Trial Chamber picked former Lead Counsel for United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for
Rwanda, Wilfred Nderitu as the new common representatives for victims.

The new Kenyan lawyer replaces Sureta Chana in the case facing Eldoret North MP William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua arap Sang. In their decision, the judges said Nderitu has relevant experience for the  position. 

“The Chamber notes that Mr Nderitu has direct relevant experience for the position, including familiarity with international criminal law practice, knowledge of Kenya, familiarity with the case and experience in interacting with victims, including in the context of the post-election violence in Kenya,” reported the bench.

The judges noted that the court had sent a request for expression of interest in the position that was sent to all lawyers on the Registry list of counsel and also to the Law Society of Kenya.

Alumnus of UoN Nderitu is a former Chair of the Governing Council of the Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ).

The alumnus of University of Nairobi Law School has also served as Duty Counsel with the International Criminal Court tasked with ensuring the observance of the rights of a potential witness during investigations. As a Duty Counsel at the ICC, Nderitu served in the case of the prosecutor against Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony.

Chana who represented the victims during the pre-trial stage had emerged the best in the interviews that were conducted by the registry of the ICC.

She was unwilling to relocate to Kenya, a mandatory requirement that had been set by the trial judges, which led to the termination of her appointment. However, one of the three Judges, Eboe-Osuji, a Nigerian dissented in the ruling, but the majority view prevailed.

Important role 

“The Chamber reiterates that it considers this requirement (to be based in Kenya) to be very important to the overall functionality of the role envisaged for the common legal representative in the new system established by the Chamber in its Decision,” ICC noted.

The court insisted that representation in the best interest of the victims would in many cases require that the common legal representative be in the field attending to the interests of victims, while court proceedings are in progress.

In an earlier application to the judges, Chana had rejected the idea of having a common legal representative practising in Kenya arguing that external pressure would undermine their duties.

She told the judges that external pressures would be more easily brought to bear on a lawyer who is a practitioner in Kenya and whose practice in the country would potentially be threatened by those with  nfluence.

However, the judges in their decision noted that Nderitu fulfils all the criteria set out in the decision and is willing to maintain an on-going presence in Kenya as was required. They said that a victim should benefit from the highest quality representation possible, generally or in the courtroom.

They said that when the common legal representative is out of court meeting the victims, he would be represented by members of the Office of Public Counsel for victims.

However, they insisted that the common legal representative should be able to appear in person upon request and at critical junctures involving victims’ interests.

The court is now finalising everything in readiness for trial proceedings that kicks off in April next year. The case against Ruto and Sang begins on April 10, while the trial of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former head of Public Service Francis Muthaura begins on April 11

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Imanyara quits Orange lobby post

Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara has resigned as the Deputy Patron of the Friends For Raila Forum. 

Addressing a press conference in Meru yesterday, Mr Imanyara said the position has been creating unnecessary divisions between him and other people who were claiming to be closer to the Prime Minister, leaving him with no option but to step down. 

He demanded that the PM gives a concrete agenda of what he will do for the Meru people if elected President.

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Kenya’s abysmal politics a direct import of our choice

A rare species of a politician, a leader in the contemporary world, Jesse Ventura is in a class of his own, apart from being brutally honest with his political views, he remains the only leader of the independent party who won election when he got elected to the key post of governor in Minnesota. Away from his achievements, I find the following words he spoke recently very educative and timely for the Kenyan folks. Ventura had quipped, “When the power of love overtakes the love of power, we shall be one and united as a Country”. Kenya is one place that needs unity on many fronts and mine really is to expressly share views to revitalize the need for a concerted effort in seeking able leadership at all levels, National and devolved levels.

Economic growth and prosperity is dependent upon good governance, secure, stable environment, and political will from the executive for the citizens to pursue meaningful economic activities, to create wealth and employment in order to stimulate national development. To move all working parts of a nation, Kenya needs a capable leader, one who is able to synchronize the vision and aspiration of the people and deliver goods and services needed to steer the nation towards a steady path of growth and development.

Going by the current trends of political affairs in Kenya, the criteria used in choosing national leaders and representatives is seriously flawed and misguided at the very least, not for lack of legislative capacity but because of a big gap in civic education.

It is sad to note that all persons aspiring to lead in Kenya has to come from a closely knit segment of society, extremely wealthy and or traditionally connected to a politically powerful entity or, be part of a cartel always determined to ruthlessly defend vested interests to the detriment of public good, common welfare.

Great leadership acumen such as those exemplified by heroes like Nelson Mandela of our time and Mahatma Gandhi of yester-year is not about oneself but about certain key value sets and beliefs, powerful enough to assert authority, garner popular support and influence to provide direction and hopes for the people. Hence, without a unified theme of beliefs and values to rally and influence people, our present-day leaders are going to fail miserably in their quest to transform the society.

As it is now, we are left with our institutions as the only conduit left to save Kenyans from the tyranny of an archaic political system that is overly immoral, has no regard for merit, ethics or profession whatsoever but feeds on corruption and exclusively depends on mediocre ethnic jingoism amidst classic scheme pitting factional class interest. It is no wonder our presidential aspirants are too contented to sidestep real issues, challenges facing Kenya today. None of them have tabled any real tangible plan to grow the economy, to rein in mounting security threats or deal with widespread poverty, diseases and unemployment.

In a country where ethnic groups appoint their tribal chieftains, and where gangsters, lords of impunity equally appoint or endorse their representatives, there can never be hope for a prospect of transformative change in sight. The people are owners of change and our situation is basically a matter of choice.

Mohamed Wato is a Retired Kenya Army Major, Aspiring Senate candidate for Marsabit County and Author; Walking a Tight Rope amidst Kenya Post election violence

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Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) No-Confidence Statement on Kenya Airways Management over Hiring of Foreign Crew and Retrenchment


As has widely been reported, Kenya Airways has retrenched/declared redundant about 600 of its’ employees in its’ staff rationalization program. KALPA takes great exception to the inhumane manner in which it was conducted.

It is instructive to note that Kenya Airways is in the process of hiring flight attendants from India, Rwanda and Ghana in addition to the existing foreign crew from Ghana, Cameroon and Thailand, who have ‘The Pride of Africa’ to thank for creating employment in their respective countries. KALPA takes great exception to this and would like to seek the intervention of the concerned Government offices particularly
the Ministry of Immigration, who issue work permits, and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), who issue the foreign licences, to stem the exportation of Kenyan jobs. 

This is happening in a country that has abnormally high unemployment rates, and is struggling to keep the pace in achieving vision 2030. Annual reports indicate that jobs creation still falls way below target if the Vision is to be achieved. It is appalling that this issuance of documents to non-Kenyan nationals is happening while Kenya Airways retrenches the same cadre of workers. Kenyans who have for more than a decade given sacrifice after sacrifice trying to help achieve Kenya Airways’ vision, ‘To consistently be a safe and profitable airline that guarantees World Class service: The Pride of Africa’. This exercise has also seen the targeting of young families.
To quote some of the reasons given for this exercise, it doesn’t take much to see where the real problem lies. ‘...downturn in passenger volumes occasioning sharp shortfalls in expected revenue streams...increasingly competitive environment... direct operating costs being very high, employee costs and other overheads continued to rise disproportionately to rise in revenues..’ If indeed Kenya Airways is in such a precarious position, how did it get there? 

We as pilots are deeply concerned about the future of our national carrier and will not stand by and watch as it sinks whether due to intentional mismanagement or negligence. We do not believe that the same Management and Executives that have steered our airline to this position are the ones best qualified to lead us out, and for good reasons.
1. Kenya Airways is at a loss on how to fend off increased competition through misadvised decision-making and knee-jerk reactions to situations as they develop. Once the airline with the youngest fleet in Africa, Kenya Airways now plays second fiddle to our competitor, and it will take a lot more than luck to keep up in this hostile environment. Our competitor Airline is now the first African carrier to operate the Dreamliner. Kenya Airways was to be the launch customer in Africa, but lost its chance years ago as management continuously fixates itself fighting employees. 

By the end of this year our competitor will have 5 Dreamliners, and by the time Kenya Airways acquires its first one, our competitor will have all 10 of theirs. Their fleet also boasts of 5 brand new Boeing 777-200LRs compared to the 4 Boeing 777s Kenya Airways has had since 2004. Between 2004 and now
management has been busy acquiring vintage Boeing 767s in a view to save money. This shortsighted thinking has put the airline in the position it is in now, and it is clear for all to see that the chickens have come home to roost.
2. Once again regarding aircraft acquisition, Kenya Airways is in the process of receiving several Embraer aircraft. However, KALPA is concerned with the apparently large numbers of aircraft on order vis a vis our route structure and passenger profile and has communicated the same to Management. 

The pilots, having looked at some of the planned routes for this aircraft have since raised fears that this will exacerbate an already serious problem of misconnecting passengers’ baggage and cargo. While the Embraer is a pretty ‘bird’ it is unable to operate out of high altitude JKIA with substantial payload, even for the routes it is planned for. Is the Embraer the aircraft of choice in an environment littered with Dreamliners and Airbus A380s?
3. Kenya Airways is once again considering setting up a low-cost subsidiary that would operate on domestic and regional routes, by the name Jambo Jet. Other than a name change, KALPA does not feel that management has any viable plan. 

Aircraft that operate on this business model often operate with minimum set of optional equipment, further reducing costs of acquisition and maintenance, as well as keeping the weight of the aircraft lower and saving fuel. Often, no in-flight entertainment systems are made available and some airlines even use only nonreclining seats. For example EasyJet’s aircraft cabins are configured in a single class, high-density layout. The airline’s main fleet, comprising Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft, carry up to 156 and 180 passengers respectively, depending on layout. A typical A319 carries 140 passengers in a single class configuration. FastJet (as Fly 540 is soon to be known) will be operating these same A319s.
Kenya Airways plans to compete with its newly acquired Embraer 190s. These aircraft, other than having leather seats, have full touch-screen on demand entertainment systems for each passenger and are configured in two classes, business and economy carrying a total of 96 passengers with 12 in business class. Is Jambo Jet really going to be able to compete with other low cost carriers with this equipment? Again, according to KQ management, Jambo is supposed to operate all flights falling under 4 hours flight time duration. Out of 56 destinations that Kenya Airways operates currently, about 80 percent are destinations within the Africa region of which about 93 percent fall within the 4 hour flight time range. Are we seeing the killing off of Kenya Airways for the birth of Jambo Jet?
4. The main reason given for the problems bedeviling Kenya Airways is employee costs. A casual look at the financial results for the year ending March 2012 will reveal that there was a rise of a mere 2.2 billion in employee costs, while there was a staggering rise of almost 24 billion in Direct operating costs. While most
of this was attributed to fuel costs at 40.7 billion, there is still another 36.5 billion that is not accounted for. Is the cost of delayed flights and hotel accommodations included here? Is the cost of misconnected baggage included here? Is the cost of cancelled flights included here? According to European Union regulations (EU
Regulation 261/2004) passengers can get up to €600 as compensation for flight delays. That amounts to Ksh. 20 million per delayed/cancelled flight. The point here is, if management dedicated half the effort towards addressing this cost as it does towards employees costs, Kenya Airways might just get on the right path.
5. Kenya Airways corporate culture leaves a lot to be desired. Whatever the industry, the best companies have at least one element in common: a highly motivated, enthusiastic workforce that delivers exceptional service day after day. Most successful airlines have demonstrated the value of fully engaging every employee. Kenya Airways is bedeviled with employees that have low morale, and are constantly looking over their shoulder to avoid losing their jobs. Engineers in particular have been frustrated to the point that they are constantly looking for jobs with middle eastern carriers. Delays caused by technical problems can attest to this. When it comes to flight attendants, management has decided to outsource this essential service, a practice that stands in diametric opposition to good corporate culture. It is still a mystery where Career Directions Ltd sprouted from.
While Kenya Airways is a private company listed in the stock exchange, it still is a Kenyan company and as such must comply with the laws of the land. KALPAs message here is two fold. The work permits and crew certificates issued to foreigners have directly led to the retrenchment of Kenyans who have performed the same tasks for the last 20 years. We call upon the Government of Kenya to act within the democratic framework of this republic and hence ensure that its actions protect, and do not in any manner undermine, the livelihood of the working people of this country who constitute the republics vast majority. 

Secondly, Kenya Airways pilots remain dedicated to the success of our national carrier and are always at the frontline in ensuring the airline lives up to its vision. We have grown wary of a management that does not seem to have the national carriers interests at heart, and we, as all other employees, stand the most to lose if Kenya Airways does not survive. 

KALPA would like to state that we no longer have confidence in management’s ability to successfully restructure the company.
For and on behalf of KALPA
Capt Ronald Karauri
General Secretary & CEO
22nd September 2012

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Miguna Miguna to vie for Nairobi Governor Seat

Miguna Miguna has finally revealed his political interests by declaring that he will be vying for the Nairobi governorship position. He announced his candidature during the popular K24 TV Capital Talk show hosted by former CNN journalist Jeff Koinange.

The first instinctive reaction is to laugh it off, wonder if he has seriously thought about his chances and dismiss him as one of the many political jokers and comedians that strut Kenya's political landscape gambling with the lives and livelihoods of Kenyan citizenry. One also sees his writing of the controversial book "Peeling back the mask" that has attacked the integrity and political honesty of Prime Minister Raila Odinga as an intended springboard to raise his profile before the announcement rather than dealing with impunity and corruption within the ODM ruling class.

On hearing such an announcement one immediately struggles to reconcile Miguna Miguna's abrasive, arrogant and self-important style of dealing with people with the required humility, patience and compromise required to deal with the complex personalities he will be interacting with on a daily basis. One cannot fail to imagine that if Miguna were to become Nairobi governor, he will easily misinterpret it as a mandate to rule the whole of Kenya and to talk down look down upon every other elected leader.

However, looking at the list of politicians who have offered themselves for the same position, Miguna Miguna does have a point and his candidature is worth a second look and consideration.

Ferdinand Waititu, the current MP for Embakasi, is currently seen as a leading contender on the basis of tribal maths (being a Kikuyu). He is at best thuggish going by his many media appearances and uneducated. One wonders how he would govern professionally without resorting to his violent ways. He also has not articulated his vision for Nairobi county other than his desecration of the newly built overpasses and roads with his campaign graffiti.

Philip Kisia, a former Nairobi City Council town clerk has had a corruption-ridden and under-performance stint at the city council. He has also been linked to dubious dealings such as the fake ISO certification of the city council. He delivered no change to the way services are delivered by the city council and was only keen to increase council revenue by increasing rates paid by Nairobians without corresponding improvement in service delivery. He is not bound to change his leadership style if he were to become governor. 

Evans Kidero, a former public listed Mumias Sugar Company CEO is so far the best professional bet (on paper) for Nairobi Governor. Miguna had an interesting take on Kidero's candidacy citing that he is not a politician (governorship being a leadership as well as a political post) and questioning how he acquired his vast wealth.

Nairobi county, albeit cosmopolitan and among the wealthiest counties has its politics dominated in the past by a convergence of thuggish, corrupt and tribal interests. A fact that may not change soon. If the list of previous mayors, MPs, councillors and town clerks is to be considered, Miguna Miguna is a saint in spheres of integrity and tolerance to corruption. So far he is also among the most academically qualified (maybe after Evans Kidero) and passionate for change for the sake of a better country. This means that Miguna Miguna is not so far off the mark when it comes to his candidature for Nairobi governor.

There are however pertinent issues that Miguna Miguna has to deal before his governorship candidacy becomes viable. One has to bear in mind that despite the reforms happening in Kenya, the Kenya voter has not reformed. The Kenyan voter is still tribally aligned, corruptible and worships wealth and handouts. This will be a headache for Miguna Miguna. Further, a majority of voters are in the low income earning group that may not resonate with Miguna's ideology and style of politics. No wonder, Miguna said he will target university students and ask them to register massively in Nairobi.

The other issue is that a majority of Raila Odinga's fan base have not forgiven Miguna Miguna on his 'peeling back' their hero's inner clothes. A majority of these fans in Nairobi are fanatical and a substantial number of them belong to the low-income group and would do anything including massive voter registration in Nairobi and other mass-action-oriented ways to make sure Miguna's dream does not materialize.

Miguna Miguna also has to contend with the fact that Nairobi county has a majority of its voters perceived to be from the Mt Kenya region who will vote for a Kikuyu inclined candidate, currently embodied in Uhuru's The National Alliance (TNA). Will he align himself despite his assertion that he is running as an independent candidate? Will TNA embrace him?

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Shame in Tana Delta; Can the government address security challenges

The Tana River County is a front runner in the news headlines for all the wrong reasons. The Pokomo and the Orma, the indigenous group resident of Tana Delta are at the center of criminal behavior, having resorted in an all drawn out war, of attack and counter attacks skirmishes leading to deaths and injuries to scores of people including police officers in its wake.

Preliminary reports indicate that ethnic rivalry may have been catapulted to new heights by competing political and vested interest. Tana river is a neighbor to Ijara County and is one of the many jurisdiction that forms part of the network of what was originally called Northern frontier districts that have suffered a great deal of historical injustices, the vicious effects of marginalization. The region is at best anarchic lying within close proximity to the war torn Somalia with the flow of illicit small arms and black market for numerous commodities remaining largely unchecked.

The role of political leaders has come under sharp scrutiny. Interest groups are said to be taking positions in order to leverage the powerful politics, to ultimately clinch the highly lucrative post of governor at the apex of the devolved government and who is expected to control massive resources. But the strange character about the Tana clashes that calls for deeper scrutiny is the audacity of raiders to assault police stations. It is not unlikely that there could be other external forces taking advantage of the current situation. The role of Alshabaab and MRC cells must therefore be interrogated.

To deal with the current trend of rising insecurity in this area, all the stakeholders – government, political leaders, religious leaders, cultural institutions, and the civil society need to forge a common front, to map out an effective plan to provide security and protection for the people of kenya as a service, to enforce law and order, to cultivate peaceful coexistence, and guarantee tranquility in the troubled zone.

To achieve a degree of success, the government must play a lead role in the implementation of a conflict prevention and security management program in Tana Delta. Disarmament exercise is not an end in itself; it is just another component within a broader framework of security arrangement that could be tailored to provide meaningful remedies to resolve conflict. Without forgetting the remote disposition, zip code of places such as Tana River County as inaccessible location and inundated with economic, social hardship, and endemic poverty, it is possible with modern technology to operate and oversee active security program in such far flung and highly ethicized hotspots with an effective monitoring, surveillance and control system backed up with a proactive, quick response, and intervention mechanism.

With a little bit of creative and positive mindset, it is not difficult to curb the runaway security violation in Tana River. In my view, the long hours of curfew ordered by the government are not a good prescription even for a start. The curfew is unproductive, a total disruption to people’s lifestyle and an impediment to the basic freedoms and rights as enshrined in the constitution.

It is going to be cost effective and beneficial for all Kenyans if the government resolve to deal with these security challenges completely, once and for all. In any case the government has fiduciary responsibility to secure and protect its citizens anywhere and at all times.

Mohamed Wato is a Retired Kenya Army Major, Aspiring Senate candidate for Marsabit County and Author; Walking a Tight Rope amidst Kenya Post election violence

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Why Kenyan Doctors are on Strike - Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union


12th September, 2012


The current Doctors’ strike is a stench emanating from the rot in Afya house. It is an indicator of a government that does not value the health of its citizens and their lives.

We would like to assure Kenyans that the Doctors Union does not condone the delapidation of the health sector. We shall continue to be a reliable and consistent voice for change and improved health care systems because we are not only fighting for the welfare of our members but also for better health care for all Kenyans.

As we ended the Doctors strike of December 2011, the Government and the Union agreed on key things that were captured in a Return To Work Formula signed by both parties with the government side led by the then Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta. The government has chosen to implement the RTWF selectively, ignoring a significant part of it.

Doctors have been very patient, lobbying and pushing for over eight months for total implementation but the government has been adamant.

Three weeks ago, the Union served Afya House with a strike notice. Unfortunately, instead of taking constructive measures to end the stalemate, the Minister of Medical Services chose to engage in propaganda to turn the public against doctors and to intimidate doctors back to work. Their intimidation tactics are illegal and have failed miserably.

It is unfortunate that innocent Kenyans continue to suffer because the government has refused to honor its word after a written commitment to do so. 

The bill of rights in our constitution entitles each Kenyan to health care and places this responsibility squarely on the state to provide well equipped hospitals and adequate personnel to provide health care when a Kenyan needs it. All Kenyans should therefore demand this right from their elected government.

To end the strike, the government must keep their end of the bargain and implement the following as agreed in December 2011:

1. Musyimi Taskforce Report:

The government must adopt and implement this report. The report defines specific actions that need to be done in several key areas. For instance, it has proposed construction of a REFERRAL HOSPITAL FOR EACH COUNTY complete with medical equipment and diagnostics.

It has also defined resources required to end perennial deficits in medicines and other supplies in our facilities, to set up a national ambulance service and to address issues surrounding Human resource.

The Musyimi report recommends a constitutional amendment to form a Health Service Commission to deal with matters of all health personnel in the country

The report also recommends that self sponsored registrars working in Kenyatta National Hospital, Moi Teaching & Referral Hospital and Mathare Hospital should be given a stipend. This was in fact, a decision to END SLAVERY of qualified doctors who for their backbreaking work that generates a lot of income for the referral hospitals get no pay at all and have to take other jobs at night to make ends meet.

Top ministry officials decided to trash the report which had representation from all stakeholders in favor of decisions taken by few individuals who are either inadequately informed or whose motives are anything but improvement of the health sector. We are calling for ACCOUNTABILITY from the government.

2. Postgraduate Fees: The Ministry of Medical Services received KSh. 131 million to cater for debts owed to the Universities since early 1990’s and to pay fees for personnel currently in training. To date, the old debts are still unsettled and current fees are not yet paid. Where did this money go to? We suspect this money has been misappropriated and just as we fought the NHIF saga, we are fighting again to END CORRUPTION in Afya house.

3. Emergency Call allowance: The government committed to paying this allowance to all doctors but to date, many have been left out. These doctors have to be paid too.

4. Employment of 200 doctors: Due to current shortage of doctors, the government committed to employ 200 hundred doctors. So far, only 57 Doctors were recruited.

5. Victimization must be reversed and intimidation must stop: Both parties agreed not to victimize anyone for activities done towards or during the December strike. However, the government has continued to threaten and intimidate our members. Dr. Onyimbo Kerama was forced to find a job in the terror-prone region of Eastern Congo after the government un-procedurally dismissed him from service for his role in activities that led to the strike.


In a nutshell, Doctors in Kenya are calling upon the government to:

1. Be accountable and take responsibility to end slavery in our referral institutions

2. Stop Corruption in Afya House and implement the Musyimi report. The Minister claims we are blackmailing the government and Kenyans. No Kenyan of goodwill needs to be blackmailed to do the right thing for our Country but if the government needs to be pushed to do the right thing, we shall not relent.

We call upon all Kenyans to join the union in transforming Health care in Kenya towards vision 2030. This is not our fight alone, the civil society, religious bodies and the media have a role to play too. 

Thank you for your support.

God bless the Union and God bless Kenya.

Dr. Were Onyino
Secretary General, KMPDU

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De La Rue's Response to the PAC Report

16th August 2012

De La Rue has been an investor in Kenya since 1992 when we invested almost 15 billion shillings in the construction of and equipment for a modern Currency Print works in Ruaraka, Nairobi at the invitation of the
Government of Kenya.

In the last five years we have contributed over 5 billion shillings to the Kenyan economy delivering a total benefit of over 35 billion shillings since 1992 (all figures calculated assuming current exchange rates). De La Rue’s factory in Ruaraka is one of 7 first class production facilities De La Rue operates around the world which are involved in the production of over 150 of the world’s currencies.

Having sent a delegation to present and address all the questions from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) relating to the currency printing contracts between the Central Bank of Kenya and De La Rue in May, it is with some regret we consider it necessary to respond publicly to the findings detailed in the report.
We wish to respectfully highlight what we believe to be certain errors and omissions in the report.

The PAC report states:
The Committee ¡s satisfied that the tax payer lost Kshs. 1.8 bn being the price difference between the interim orders and the contract.... for printing 1.71 billion pieces of banknotes.
De La Rue strongly disputes this point.
De La Rue was originally awarded the contract to print New Generation banknotes in Malta. The decision to print in Malta was solely predicated by our desire to have our offer compared on the same basis as our overseas competitors and not by any technical constraints relating to the Ruaraka factory.

When this contract was subsequently cancelled we were asked to print interim orders of the current generation banknotes at our factory in Ruaraka. It is misleading to consider comparative pricing for new generation notes and current generation notes as it is like comparing sugar and salt — although similar they are of a different technical specification, a different size and significant differing quantities involved.

As part of De La Rue’s verbal evidence to the committee it was stated that De La Rue operations in Kenya contributed at least Kshs 1 billion p.a. to the Kenyan economy. In the five years since the cancellation of the contract Kshs 5 billion has been pumped back into the economy. As requested by the PAC, De La Rue provided a detailed written breakdown within the specified 7 days which actually showed how the Ruaraka factory had provided Kshs 1.25 billion in the previous year in the form of taxes, wages, local purchases etc. 

We consider it regrettable that this document has not been appended in report along with other documents submitted by De La Rue.
Rather than a loss during this period the Kenyan tax payer has actually gained a benefit in the region of Kshs 2 billion. In 2008 according to the PAC report, the Cabinet of the Government of Kenya approved the commencement of negotiations with De La Rue for ajoint venture and retention of onshore production of Kenyan Currency safeguarding 260 highly skilled Kenyan workers and keeping the revenue flow into the Kenyan economy.


The PAC report states:
When the committee toured the Ruaraka observed that most of the machines in use were analogue while modern technology had shifted to digital.
De La Rue is keen to point out that this statement makes no sense.
The source of this observation is unknown however it should be noted that the term digital printing usually refers to things such as laser printers (often used by counterfeiters) and is never used for referring to printing equipment used in the banknote industry. 

The equipment at the De La Rue’s Ruaraka factory for printing currency was most recently refurbished 3 years ago. The banknote printing presses in the Ruaraka factory work on exactly the same principle as printing presses in all other banknote factories.
A number of witnesses detailed in the report have stated that De La Rue chose to bid for the New Generation banknote contract based on production at the De La Rue factory in Malta because the Ruaraka factory had neither the technology nor capacity to print these banknotes. This is not true and we have already stated the decision to use the Malta facility was solely predicated by our desire to have our offer compared on the same basis as our overseas competitors.

With the current staffing levels the Ruaraka factory has a capacity of 600 million notes p.a. However when demand requires higher levels of production this can be increased by changing staffing levels and shift patterns. 

The peak production year to date of the Ruaraka factory was 2010 when 928 million notes were produced. The contract for the supply of 1.71 bn New Generation banknotes called for delivery between August 2006 and December 2009, a period of three and a quarter years. 

Thus with staffing levels as they were in 2010, a total of 3.016bn banknotes could have been produced during this period. Given the requirement of 25% export from the factory this would have left capacity of 2.26bn banknotes for the New Generation notes during the period of the contract.

The PAC report states:

It must not tie Central Bank of Kenya to signing a 10 year currency printing contract with De La Rue Company. This contravenes Government procurement regulations and procedures since the Bank cannot guarantee a fair market price for currency printing unless there ¡s a competitive procurement process.
De La Rue is surprised by this statement for two reasons.

Firstly the Government of Kenya and Treasury were advised by the esteemed legal firm of Mboya Wangong’u & Waiyaki on the legality of the proposed contract throughout the negotiations relating to the
Joint Venture. The contract was also approved by the Attorney General of Kenya.
Secondly, previous long term agreements between De La Rue and the Central Bank of Kenya have contained provisions for biannual review of bank note prices in the light of prevailing market prices and technological advancements. The PAC report notes that during the period of these contracts the prices charged by De La Rue actually dropped as a result of these provisions.
We therefore respectfully request that the contents of the report are corrected to take into consideration all the points above and to prevent a misleading impression being given to the public. This will also remove what is a significant disincentive and barrier to investment in Kenya for overseas companies.

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