Monday, 24 July 2017

What to expect when you click on Nasa flagbearer’s website;22.07.17

A link on Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga’s website takes you to where one can register to be a volunteer or to adopt a polling station on August 8.
For someone who would wish to be a volunteer, three assignments are available: being an agent, gathering intelligence and collecting data.
If the volunteer does not wish to take any of the three, another available option on the website dedicated to gathering volunteers is “give me an assignment,” meaning volunteers can be given more jobs in the Nasa plan.
Once a person enters their name and phone number on the website,, they are informed that the organisers will call.
“We will be in touch with your exact assignment (details of polling station and your tasks) in the near future,” says the message on the site for those who choose to volunteer.
And when you choose to adopt a station, the website has the list of all the polling stations in all the counties.
The website avails the menu to the exact polling station and a person is required to choose only one. Adopting is done mainly by contributing money.
“The purpose of adopting is to make sure that volunteer citizens are fed, secured and enabled in keeping vigil on election day,” the website says.
A whole lot of options are provided for a person who would wish to donate to the initiative, including an M-Pesa Paybill number.
To encourage one to donate, the website says: “Put yourself in the shoes of a volunteer — you wish well, you want to help and, you know it will not be an easy task. Help to ease the difficulties that our volunteers will face. We intend to supply food, transport and security to our volunteers.”
More reasons are given why adopting a polling station is necessary.
“Our presence will deter any incitement that may lead to violence or panic,” they say.
“You do not have to accept the status quo,” they add.

With my own water pan, I can farm all year round

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Patrick Mukuna who is enjoying bumper harvests of onions and kale, thanks to his investment in simple water harvesting technology. PHOTO | LEOPOLD OBI
Patrick Mukuna who is enjoying bumper harvests of onions and kale, thanks to his investment in simple water harvesting technology. PHOTO | LEOPOLD OBI 


  • Water scarcity is one of the major challenges to sustainable food production the world over, and climate change experts warn that it will only get worse as the world’s population continues rising.
  • As a result, organisations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the National Irrigation Board,  Icraf, World Vision and the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) have come up with  initiatives to enable farmers to harvest rainwater to cushion them from water stress.
  • “It is important to increase investment in a range of water storage techniques, including banking groundwater during the wet season, harvesting rainwater and storing water in the ground by conserving soil moisture,” Bird says.
When most of his fellow farmers are complaining about plummeting yields due to lack of rain, Patrick Mukuna is enjoying bumper harvests of onions and kale, thanks to his investment in simple water harvesting technology. 
The 51 year-old has a g five-acre farm in Munyu, Nakuru County, where he grows a variety of crops for sale.
“I dug a water pan about seven years ago. It resembles a lined pons and collects and stores runoff rainwater, which I use for irrigation,” he offers.
His pan has a capacity of 400 cubic metres, but he uses 1,000 litres a week.
He adds that he’s guaranteed constant water supply throughout the year, which enables him to run a solid crop production enterprise, which is his source of income and food security.
“I first pump the dam water into a tank before pumping it to drip pipes on the farm, “offers Mukunu, who uses a solar water pump to minimise operation costs.
“In a week, I earn at least Sh4,000 from vegetable sales,” he  says. “I plan my farming in wuch a way that  I harvest different crops throughout the year.”
He has subdivided his land into eighth-acre plots for crop diversification.
Also boasting a water pan is Kariuki Wachira, who says digging one is laborious, so the and 35 of his neighbours  formed group to help each other with the digging. “It took us almost a week to dig a pan in every homestead, “he offers, adding that as a result, they do not experience water problems even during  severe droughts.
Once a pan, which measures 20x20x3 metres, have been dug, an ultra-heat treated polythene sheet is spread on its base  to prevent water from seep.
“The ultra-heat treated polythene paper costs more than Sh30,000, which many of us cannot afford, so we approached the World Wide Fund for nature (WWF), which gave us the sheets  and manual water pumps,” says Kariuki.
Water scarcity is one of the major challenges to sustainable food production the world over, and climate change experts warn that it will only get worse as the world’s population continues rising. But local farmers can alleviate this situation by investing in water harvesting technologies and irrigation.
Kenya’s per capita water is less than 600 cubic metres, which is below the global threshold of 1,000, making it one of the chronically water-scarce nations.
But a recent study by the World Agroforestry Centre (Icraf) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (Unep) shows that Kenya’s rainwater potential is above 350 billion cubic metres, which raises hope for local farmers if they invest in rain-water harvesting.
While most farmers in the country have resources such as land and water, their productivity remains low due to inefficient water storage or application, experts say.
As a result, organisations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the National Irrigation Board,  Icraf, World Vision and the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) have come up with  initiatives to enable farmers to harvest rainwater to cushion them from water stress.
But Kenya’s water problem  is,  challenging: if millions are not threatened by severe drought, they are fighting to remain afloat amid raging floods.
“If captured and managed, this water is enough to support 233 million people, or close to five times the current population of Kenya,” said Icraf water management expert Maimbo Malesuduring the launch of the Billion Dollar Business Alliance.
The alliance is a programme created by the government in conjunction with a number  organisations to increase per-capita water storage from less than 100 cubic metres in 2017 to a potential 7,400 cubic metres by 2030.
Globally, agriculture uses around 70 per cent of the freshwater supply. But water sources are increasingly under threat. Rivers, lakes and aquifers are drying up or becoming too polluted for use. More than half of the world’s wetlands have disappeared due to human activities and climate change, according to WWF.
Meanwhile, Conversation, an online forum where experts and researchers publish their reports, says increasing the amount of water availalbe for agriculture through water storage from field to reservoir is part of the solution.
Farmers will increasingly need to rely on water storage as part of the adaptation agenda, says Jeremy Bird, the managing director of the International Water Management Institute.
Increasing yield per unit of water used will be critical for agricultural adaptation. New efficient irrigation technologies such as drip and sprinkler irrigation are already showing considerable promise, he adds.
“It is important to increase investment in a range of water storage techniques, including banking groundwater during the wet season, harvesting rainwater and storing water in the ground by conserving soil moisture,” Bird says.
Victor Gitonga, a water engineer at SNV, says they have rolled out a four-year programme to help more than 20,000 farmers in five counties access smart water harvesting technologies.
Agriculture employs more than 60 per cent of Africa’s working population, but low productivity and high levels of food insecurity persist due to lack of, or inefficient, water application, Gitonga says.
By using less water and energy (solar power) to reduce their input costs, these small and medium-sized entrepreneurial farmers are expected to increase their income and profitability,” said Gitonga.
“Our aim is to increase the farmers’ productivity by at least 20 per cent by increasing water storage and application through technologies such as lined ponds, drip-irrigation kits and solar- powered water pumps,” explained Gitonga, adding that they mainly target farmers who are in it for business.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Nicholas Biwott, Joshua Kulei and the empires they built under Moi; 23.07.17

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Joshua Kulei (left) and Nicholas Biwott. PHOTOS | FILE
Joshua Kulei (left) and Nicholas Biwott. PHOTOS | FILE 
Of all the posse of career civil servants, politicians and advisers who were in the inner circle of President Daniel Moi during his 24 years at the helm, two of them emerged extraordinarily wealthy in a manner that has often been called into question.
Nicholas Biwott, a former Cabinet minister who was buried this week in his farm in Elgeyo Marakwet, and Joshua Kulei, President Moi’s personal secretary, rose from obscurity and by the time Moi left power in 2002, they had joined the exclusive club of Kenya’s billionaires.
Over the course of Moi’s presidency, they built enviable business empires spanning nearly all sectors of the Kenyan economy. Their businesses stretch beyond Kenya’s borders all the way to Namibia, Australia, the United Kingdom and Luxembourg.
However, the Opposition often claimed that their wealth was corruptly acquired by looting Kenya’s fragile economy at an industrial scale through fat kickbacks for contracts for mega projects and by manipulating the financial sector to their advantage but to the detriment of the majority.
Biwott’s enormous wealth coupled with his closeness with Moi gave him unrivalled political clout which he used to ruthlessly silence the president’s critics and made him one of the most feared and reviled figures in the Kanu era.
Biwott represented Keiyo South constituency in Parliament from 1979 to 2007 during which he became the public face of the excesses of the Kanu administration. On the other hand, Kulei was content to be the man in the shadows but wielded power quietly but effectively.
A former warder, he represented President Moi’s business interests, a privileged position that gave him the opportunity to build an impressive business portfolio of his own which later became a source of friction between him and Moi’s sons, Gideon and Philip.
“While Mark Too (former Nominated MP who died in January this year) was taking care of his political issues, Kulei was taking care of the business side of things,” said a former State House operative during President Moi’s era, who requested to speak freely in the background so as not to appear as disrespecting the retired president.
Physically, Biwott and Kulei look like brothers. They are both diminutive, soft-spoken and deceptively shy. But their dour nature cleverly masks a determined ruthlessness and unbridled ambition for capital accumulation.
The two shared little else. Biwott and Kulei were never really close friends, according to a top city lawyer who once represented President Moi. “Biwott looked down upon Kulei because of his low education,” he said.
“However, Kulei relished this harmless, underdog perception that Biwott had of him. He set out to prove wrong those who thought less of him,” the lawyer said. Despite their differences, Biwott and Kulei were pragmatic enough to tolerate each other in service of President Moi and in their common pursuit of wealth.
The extent of the business dealings of the trio was revealed in a report prepared by Kroll and Associates, a private investigative company based in London in the United Kingdom, which was contracted by the Narc administration in 2003 to trace the loot allegedly stashed abroad by Moi and his associates.
Kroll submitted their 106-page report to the government in April 2004 but it was never made public until it was leaked in August 2007 by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. The report revealed that Kulei represented Moi in more than 50 companies operating in all sectors of the economy.
“It has been reported that Kulei holds serious investments in London, including a palatial residence in upmarket London, where his children have always attended school. Further sources confirm that Kulei has two properties in Surrey, the larger of which is owned by ex-president Moi,” said the report.
Some of the companies jointly owned by the former president and Kulei include Sian Roses on a 60:40 basis. (The name is derived from Kulei’s family name Chemusian). They also co-own Ngata Flower Farm in Nakuru on a 50:50 basis, the report said. Furthermore, Kulei and Gideon each owned 12.5 per cent of Siginon Freight, a transport company, while Kabarak High School owns 75 per cent, the report said.
The ownership of these companies could have changed over time since the trio have since divided up most of the property they co-owned. Just before Kanu was booted out of power, Kulei relinquished most of the property he held in trust for President Moi, said the Kroll report.
It was at this point that he ran into trouble with Moi’s sons, Philip and Gideon, who believed that he had conned their father. “Gideon kept convincing his father that Kulei may have more money than him as a result of using the ex-president’s name,” said the Kroll report.
Fearing for his life, “it is understood that it was during the time that Kulei contemplated leaving Kenya to live in London,” the report said.
Sovereign Group Ltd, which is located at Trans National Plaza on Mama Ngina Street in Nairobi, is Kulei’s holding company. The company owns Maasai Ostrich Resort in Kitengela, Merica Hotel in Nakuru and diatomite mines in Kariandusi near Lake Elementaita among other businesses.
He still has a substantial stake in the Standard Group Ltd, the Mombasa Road–based media company that owns the Standard newspaper and KTN television. Kulei is the single largest shareholder in the company with 38 per cent, while Moi and his son Gideon jointly own 52 per cent and the remaining 10 per cent is owned by the public.
On the other hand, Biwott’s flagship investments include the Yaya Centre in Hurlingham, Kenol-Kobil chain of petrol stations and Air Kenya Ltd. He is believed to have a significant interest in HZ Construction Company as well as Safaricom.
Some of the businesses that Biwott co-owned with Moi include the Nakuru based-Lima Ltd, one of the biggest dealers in farm equipment in Kenya, and Trans National Bank. A source said that the Moi family has no interest in the Kenol-Kobil petrol stations as it has been long rumoured.
Ironically, there are few companies that Moi, Biwott and Kulei co-owned, which perhaps reflects the uneasy relationship that Biwott and Kulei enjoyed. The Nakuru-based National Milling Corporation, which has since gone under, is one such company which was jointly owned by the trio.
But given the array of businesses that the trio owned, it is possible that there are many more businesses that they still co-own of which little is known about, as evidenced by their fight dating back to 2012 for two pieces of land in Nairobi worth billions of shillings.
The case pits Moi and Biwott on one hand against Kulei whom they accuse of trying to defraud them of the unidentified pieces of prime land. They claimed that Kulei, through a company called Belgo Holdings, was holding the land in trust for Moi, a claim which the former president’s aide denied.
Despite the lawyers of the three billionaires exchanging harsh letters, the matter has never made it to court, something that would have helped shed more light on their business dealings.
By the time the Narc administration received the Kroll report in 2004, it was deeply mired in a corruption scandal of its own – the Anglo Leasing scandal – through which the government is suspected to have lost billions of shillings in fraudulent security contracts.
Narc, which had come to power on an anti-corruption platform, had lost face to act on the Kroll report. After it was leaked by WikiLeaks in 2007, government spokesman Alfred Mutua, who is now the governor of Machakos, dismissed it as a shoddy piece of investigative work.
Furthermore, Narc’s resolve to pursue Biwott and Kulei over corruption suffered a blow early in the days of the Narc administration after President Kibaki reportedly told his Cabinet that every corruption suspect in Kanu except his predecessor was fair game. Moi was to be left in peace.
“It was impossible to pursue Biwott and Kulei and leave out Moi yet their business dealings were so intertwined,” said Moi’s former lawyer who asked to speak in confidence.
“Touching either of the two would lead to Moi and this is what Kibaki had expressly said no to. Investigators were very limited in what they could do,” he added.
In the end, the Narc administration never charged Biwott or Moi with any of the political or economic crimes that it claimed the two were guilty of. And with Biwott’s death, the chances of this ever happening have quite literally been buried six feet under.
During the former Cabinet minister's funeral on Thursday, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto pledged to defend the Biwott family over the allegations of corruption that have followed the patriarch to the grave. “We will make sure no one touches them,” DP Ruto told the mourners.

Life as one half of a politically discordant couple; 21.07.17

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What happens when you and your partner are on
What happens when you and your partner are on opposite sides of the political divide? PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 


  • What happens when you and your partner sits on opposite sides of the political divide – and neither wants to shift sides?
  • Simon Mburu talks to a few couples who are living this reality.
67-year-old Rose Akinyi, aka ‘Mama Orange’, has become synonymous with political rallies. You will often see her dancing energetically in an orange T-shirt that is usually matched with huge plastic goggles and straps of oranges on her waist, chest, head, and ankles. Her love for the opposition leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga is undeniable. However, what many people do not know is the price she has had to pay to play her part in politics. Apparently, when Akinyi, who is popularly known as Mama Orange, was confronted with the choice between marriage and politics, she chose politics over her husband.
In an interview with a local television station, Akinyi says that her husband couldn’t stomach her participation in opposition politics. “There are times I’d go for rallies and stay for over a week. My husband couldn’t accept this. He told me to quit, but I couldn’t. I told him that if he can’t accept and cope with my love for politics, then it was best that he quit our marriage,” she says. Eventually, Akinyi’s husband was unable to tolerate her love for politics and he left her.
Although Akinyi’s case may be considered extreme, spouses who share different political stands during tense political times such as ours are a common, albeit quiet battle many are fighting in their homes.
Things have gotten so bad in Evelyn Koech’s home that she no longer watches evening news with her husband. “All he does is to hurl insults at leaders and supporters of one political side. His phone is full of abusive and politically vulgar memes and clips, which he annoyingly forwards to me. I feel like these insults are directed at me because he knows this is the side I am supporting,” says the 33-year-old. Consequently, Evelyn and her partner have not been intimate nor had any meaningful conversations with each other.
“We have become distant. My marriage is suffering,” says the mother of two. She has now resorted to giving her spouse the silent treatment. “The last thing I want is for my kids to hear or see us fighting over politicians who don’t even know we exist,” she says.
In some cases, the political differences extend to in-laws and potential in-laws. This is what has stalled Peninah Wamaitha’s dowry negotiations.  The 29-year-old fashion designer who runs a wholesale fashion and cosmetics business in Nakuru town says that her father is reluctant to meet her fiancé’s parents due to the political differences between the main communities in Nyanza and Central regions. “My fiancé comes from Luo Nyanza, a zone that is perceived as an opposition stronghold while I come from Nyandarua which is seen as a Jubilee stronghold. When I told my father about it, he dismissed him and his family, saying that they can never see eye to eye due to their different political and cultural perspectives. He says that the two families will never agree on anything if they cannot be on the same page politically,” says Peninah, adding that her father deems accepting dowry from her fiancé as political and communal betrayal. Ironically, her fiancé is a staunch supporter of the same candidate that her father supports.
According to Ken Munyua, a psychologist based in Nairobi, political differences within relationships are bound to get murky especially where spouses are from two tribes considered politically opposed. “Locally, politics is less about ideology and more about tribal affiliation,” he says, adding that parents who might have had stereotypical political inclinations from the past may end up passing their perspectives to their children.
Things might get more complicated where a contesting member of the extended family demands support and allegiance from a spouse who doesn’t approve of their political alignment. This is the situation that Peter Kibiro has found himself in.
The 37-year-old mason says that his brother-in-law has been contesting for the Member of County Assembly position against his high school friend, and has been demanding support in his campaigns. “He’s contesting through a party I do not support. Neither do I think his political vision for the ward has any substantial value compared to his competitor,” he says, adding that the conundrum over who to support has put him at loggerheads with his wife, who thinks he should support family first! According to, Munyua such a scenario may turn into a long-lasting family feud if left unchecked.
In some cases, some partners have taken things to the extreme and plastered calendars and posters of their preferred candidates on the walls of their living rooms. “I had no problem with my husband showing support for his preferred candidates until he pinned posters and calendars in our living area and bedroom,” says Catherine Rufuata, a 38-year-old primary school teacher in Nyahururu. “I was annoyed that he was turning our house into a political hotspot and in a fit of rage, I pulled them down and threw them in the bin.” She says that upon seeing his posters in the bin, her husband flew off the handle. “He pushed me against the wall and nearly battered me,” she says.
According to Leonard Kinuthia, the author of Sex: Principles and Value and executive pastor at the International Church Centre (ICC), extreme political zealousness such as posting campaign paraphernalia might indicate a lack of control in political passions and inclinations. “Campaign materials should be kept from the house and especially out of the bedroom,” he writes, adding that instead, there should be an agreeable level of involvement that a spouse or spouses will have in politics.
A large number of women in relationships prefer to keep their political views secret to avoid political fights in their relationships. This is according to a sample of random views from queries this writer posted on social media on this subject. For instance, Cecilia Adhiambo says that she will outwardly agree with the political stand of her husband even if she finds it shallow. “If he says that I should vote for a certain candidate, I will support him and say he’s the better candidate. After all, he will not accompany me to the ballot box and verify who I voted for,” she says. On the other extreme, Anita Onsongo says that in 2013, she wasn’t able to vote because her partner hid her identity card following a disagreement on which gubernatorial candidate they should vote for.
According to Munyua, many women will take such precautions because of their men’s tendency to dictate which political wing the relationship will support. “There is the tendency by men to attempt to impose their political opinions and candidates on their women,” he says. He nonetheless observes that although it might seem like the easier route, acting out sometimes helps ease political tensions in a relationship.
Some couples who have fought before due to differing political choices have found a way to maintain their relationships in the heat of politics. Take Hadassa Ndanu who was in constant political conflict with her spouse Daniel Kioko in 2013. This political season, she and her husband have found a way to table their opinions without going for each other’s necks. “We realised that our marriage was worthier than any political candidate and decided that if things heat up, we’d either keep politics out of our home or respect each other’s freedom to choose who to support,” she says.

Why did media ignore poll showing Raila ahead of Uhuru?


A new opinion poll showing Mr Raila Odinga finally overtaking President Uhuru Kenyatta just 20 days to the elections would in most circumstances be treated as a major piece of news.
But the mainstream media generally ignored it despite the best efforts of Nasa to publicise what it considered a significant breakthrough.
The problem was that the survey was paid for by Mr Odinga’s campaign.
But the numbers were still intriguing, especially because celebrated American pollster John Zogby comes with an international brand reputation to protect.
He runs a major operation very different from the myriad briefcase pollsters that crop up every election season in Kenya.
Early last month, for instance, the media also ignored a poll from an outfit calling itself the African Electoral Observers Group showing President Kenyatta winning with 51 per cent of the vote over Mr Odinga’s 39 per cent.
In the first place, the numbers were in marked contrast to other recent polls that all show Mr Odinga significantly closing the gap on President Kenyatta, but still falling short by between five and seven percentage points.
The numbers have all indicated President Kenyatta just short of the 50 per cent-plus needed to avoid a run-off.
The significance is in the 8 per cent undecided voters and lack of any viable third-party candidate, with the other six presidential contenders sharing about 1 per cent of the vote between them.
What this means is that even if the undecided vote was shared equally between President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, the former would nip past the 50 per cent mark to secure a first-round victory.
But if Mr Odinga maintained his recent surge at Mr Kenyatta’s expense, and then scooped more of the undecided vote, he could be the one to secure a first round victory in the race where a run-off is increasingly unlikely.
The suspect poll was a major departure from the others, but apart from numbers, there were also questions about a group that had suddenly sprung up with no history, no traceable address and no known contact person.
It was in the midst of tightening race indicated by established pollsters and a suspicious poll predicting a Kenyatta victory that the Zogby poll showing Mr Odinga edging past was released.
It significantly showed Mr Odinga leading with 47.42 per cent of the vote to President Kenyatta’s 46.63. It had 5 per cent undecided and 1 per cent shared amongst the minor candidates.
Although the difference between Mr Odinga and President Kenya was less than 1 per cent, the reversal of fortunes was still significant as it indicated where the momentum was in the closing weeks.  
Then came the dilemma of how to handle an “internal” poll commissioned by an interested party keen for publicity. The first instinct was to down-play or trash it, but a pollster as established as Zogby is too important to ignore, so Nation decided to at least seek confirmation by contacting him independently.
An e-mail query through his corporate website elicited a ready response: Yes, he was John Zogby, senior partner at John Zogby Strategies, and confirmed participating in the poll commissioned by Nasa.
But on request for more information on the methodology, he responded: “I will leave that to Nasa to release to you with my full blessing.”
The Nation then contacted Mr Odinga’s spokesman Dennis Onyango and Ms Kathleen Openda of the Nasa campaign secretariat, and the latter supplied a more detailed presentation.
A significant fresh detail was that the sampling was not just done in the 47 counties, but in each of 290 sub-counties, presumably corresponding to National Assembly constituencies.
The presentation did not give a breakdown of the sample distribution, but Ms Openda affirmed that the 2,983 respondents were spread across “every sub-county weighted according to its proportion in the IEBC register”.
That might well raise queries on the validity of data where the sample in every sub-county might be too small to draw reliable conclusions from.
But the poll also came with a novel sampling frame where instead of just reporting by region, the demographics are broken down into ethnic groups, weighted by census data.
Those numbers could be significant in a country where the tribe is still the main determinant of voting preferences.
Another novelty is that of the 5 per cent undecided voters, the poll tried to determine where they would eventually vote, and concluded that most, with the biggest majority being Luhya, would lean to Nasa.
These of course are numbers and conclusions that will be fiercely contested.

Saturday, 22 July 2017


Kenyans of Asian origin now constitute the 44th tribe in the country, following a formal recognition by President Uhuru Kenyatta in a Gazette Notice No. 7245 published on Friday, July 21.
In a statement by Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, the move has been taken after several petitions to the presidency from the Asian community in the country, most of who were born and have been residing in Kenya way before independence in 1963.
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However, Matiang’i called upon the new Kenyan tribe to integrate with the rest of the country for cohesion and national development.
“The government is committed to promoting national cohesion and integration and that is why it has taken the move to include the Asians as one of our tribes. Now we don’t have to treat you as foreigners. We embrace you as our brothers and sisters. We will include you in all our country’s procession,” said Matiang’i.
This comes ten months after the Makonde Community was also admitted into the role of Kenyan communities when it became the 43rd tribe.
The Makonde community, who are originally from Mozambique, in Kwale County had been stateless for long but were officially recognized as the 43rd ethnicity in Kenya on October 13, 2016.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Man ‘sent to resurrect’ Joseph Nkaissery interrupts service; 15.07.17

Security officers tussle with a man who claimed to have been sent by the Holy Spirit to pray for the resurrection of Maj Gen Nkaissery on July 15, 2017. PHOTO | RAPHAEL NJOROGE | NATION MEDIA GROUPSecurity officers tussle with a man who claimed to have been sent by the Holy Spirit to pray for the resurrection of Maj Gen Nkaissery on July 15, 2017. PHOTO | RAPHAEL NJOROGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
There was a major security breach during the burial of Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery on Saturday when a man jumped onto the podium claiming he had been sent by the holy spirit to pray for the deceased to rise from the dead.
The man pounced when Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Samson Mwathethe, had just started addressing the mourners, forcing him to momentarily cut short his speech.
Security officers quickly apprehended the man and frogmarched him from the main tent before interrogating him.
He claimed to have been sent by God to come and pray for the late Nkaissery to be raised from the dead.
“The spirit of the Lord sent me here, to come and fight the forces of death,” said the man who gave his name as Anthony Njuguna.
“If you allow me to go back there and pray for Gen Nkaissery; if he does not resurrect, feel free to kill me.”
The VIP security wondered how the man, dressed in a black suit, white shirt and black tie, breached the tight security at the funeral and got to where the casket was placed.
“I told God that I would be coming to this place and asked Him to send his angels so that they could protect me until I reached where the casket was,” he told the security officers.
The guards were clearly at a loss as to how the man gained access to the podium, when some VIPs were being denied access to the tent.
One of those who did not find space into the tent was Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju, who sat patiently in the sun until someone found him space inside the tent.
Some journalists were also denied entry into the tent, and could only follow proceedings from outside.
Before Mr Njuguna disrupted proceedings, there was another brief moment of drama when President Kenyatta briefly stepped out of the tent reserved for the VIPs.
Just as he was getting out, a young man from the other side of the barrier desperately tried to attract the President’s attention; waving a piece of paper at him.
He was swiftly whisked away by security officials.
The young man later told Nation that he wanted the Head of State to give him a job as a driver.
“When the President came to Kajiado on July 5, I tried to reach out to him,” said the 35-year-old man who gave his name as George Kinyaga. “His security detail took my number but I have not yet received a call from the President. That is why I came here today to jog his memory.”
Apart from those two incidents, the ceremony went on rather smoothly; the late CS’s home in Ilbisil was teeming with thousands of mourners who braced the scorching sun to give the late General a fitting send off.
The space between the Namanga Road and Mr Nkaissery’s homestead, about 200 meters away, was turned into one huge car park.
Traffic was directed by military police.
Further afield, we counted 12 helicopters that had ferried VIP mourners, including the one that brought President Kenyatta.
At the car park, some business savvy photographers were doing brisk business taking photos using improvised studios.
Clients were being charged Sh50 to pose for a photo with the background of President Kenyatta on one side and his Deputy William Ruto on the other.
Other “studios” featured the late Nkaissery, with his head photoshopped on the body of a man sitting on a stool.