Sunday, 30 April 2017

Foreign Affairs boss Mohamed to receive award, 30.04.2017

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Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed speaks during a joint press conference with her Netherlands counterpart Bert Koenders (not in the photo) at the ministry's headquarters in Nairobi on April 13, 2017. She will be awarded for promoting good economic relations between Nairobi and Tokyo. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

In Summary

  • Ms Mohamed is among 105 foreign nationals and 4,080 Japanese honoured by the Japanese government.
  • During Ticad, Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe pledged an additional $30 billion for Africa over the next three years.
The Japanese government has honoured Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed for promoting economic relations between Nairobi and Tokyo.
Ms Mohamed is among 105 foreign nationals and 4,080 Japanese honoured by the Japanese government for their achievements in business, culture, arts and international relations.
A bulletin by the Japanese Foreign Ministry said Kenya’s top diplomat was being honoured for her role in improving relations between Kenya and Japan.
“[She] contributed to reinforcement of economic relations and promoting friendly relations between Japan and the Republic of Kenya,” the statement said.
The Kenyan Foreign minister was co-Chair of the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development Summit (Ticad VI) held in Nairobi last August.
At that meeting, Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe pledged an additional $30 billion (Sh3tn) for Africa over the next three years.
For Kenya, Tokyo pledged $100 million (Sh1tn) to fund health care.
Ms Mohamed, for her role as convener of the conference’s preparatory meeting for foreign ministers, will now be granted a special badge and insignia known as the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.
It is awarded to those who have made distinguished achievements in the following international relations, promotion of Japanese culture, advancements in their fields of specialty, development in welfare or conservation of the environment.
The Grand Cordon is a Japanese special badge with a silver star of eight points, each with three alternating silver rays with a central emblem.
Normally, the honoured person wears it on the left side of the chest.
The Order of the Rising Sun was established in 1875 but it was not until 2003 that women were given.
It features rays of sunlight radiating from the rising sun, symbolising energy of the sun.
Among the 105 recipients is Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kahamba Kutesa, 68, who was honoured for enhancing the Japanese image within the United Nations.
Ms Mohamed and Mr Kutesa are among six people to receive this category of honour.
[He] contributed to the enhancement of Japan’s position at the United Nations as well as the strengthening of the relationship between Japan and the United Nations,” the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.
Mr Kutesa served as the President of the UN General Assembly in 2015, around the same time Japan vouched for major reforms within the UN, including expanding the UN Security Council.
The recipients include Sydney Brenner, 90, a Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine, Guinean diplomat and TV personality Ousmane Sankhon, 68, and Brazilian football pundit Sergio Echigo, 71.
The award ceremony will be held on May 9 at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo and Japanese Emperor Akihito and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are expected to attend.

Midiwo threatens to defect from ODM; 30.04.2017

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Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo gestures during a past event. He has threatened to quit ODM. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo gestures during a past event. He has threatened to quit ODM. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 


  • Mr Midiwo attributed his defeat to Elisha Odhiambo on underhand deals by Oburu Oginga who also lost his parliamentary bid to Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda.
  • In the just concluded ODM nominations Mr Gumbo also lost the governorship certificate to incumbent Cornel Rasanga while Mrs Aluodo was beaten by Dr Christine Ombaka, the incumbent.

Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo has threatened to defects from Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) should the party fail to give him a nomination certificate.
He will via as an independent candidate should he be denied the certificate by Monday, he has waned.
Mr Midiwo attributed his defeat to Elisha Odhiambo on underhand deals by Oburu Oginga who also lost his parliamentary bid to Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda.
Whereas the party ticket was already awarded to Mr Odhiambo, Mr Midiwo insists that it be given to him claiming that he won.
“I won the ODM certificate for Gem constituency, ODM party should do the right thing and hand me the certificate,” said Mr Midiwo during a political visit to Ndori market.
Accompanied by his counterparts Dr Ochanda, Nicholas Gumbo (Rarieda) and Mrs Florence Aluodo (Woman Representative aspirant), all assured their supporters that their names will be on the ballot papers should ODMs’ National Elections Board fail to adhere to their demands.
In the just concluded ODM nominations Mr Gumbo also lost the governorship certificate to incumbent Cornel Rasanga while Mrs Aluodo was beaten by Dr Christine Ombaka, the incumbent.
The leaders still insisted that the party nomination results were highly manipulated in favour of their competitors and would not watch other people receive their certificates.
“The party is hell bent on awarding our competitors, they doctored the results in their favour and expect us to watch them hand them the nomination certificates, we will not allow that to happen,” said Mr Midiwo.
Mr Midiwo also vowed to ensure that Mr Gumbo becomes the next governor and save the county’s resources from “the hands of the corrupt Governor Rasanga”.
He said that he believes in the leadership of Mr Gumbo after seeing his potential in the 10 years he has been MP for Rarieda and asked the Siaya electorate to elect him as their next governor.
“I would rather not become Gem MP because the Gem people do not believe in me but not because Dr Oburu has said so. I will also ensure that Gumbo becomes the next governor and will use all my resources to ensure that this happens,” said Mr Midiwo.
Mr Gumbo said that he does not intend plead with the party or file a petition to the board to hand him the party certificate insisting that he would route for another option.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman said that it was unfair for the party to uphold the results of the recent party nominations despite numerous complaints from participants on its credibility before the exercise.
“The entire ODM nomination exercise in Siaya was a sham; it is sad that the party that has been in the forefront condemning IEBC for conducting unfair elections is doing what it has been criticizing, I know I won the elections,” said Mr Gumbo.
The leaders also welcomed the recent announcement by National Super Alliance (Nasa) that ODM leader Raila Odinga was its presidential candidate saying that they will give him their support but insisted that the electorate should be left to decide their leaders in other elective seats.


Journalist Isaac Ongiri has won a petition challenging results for the Kasipul constituency ODM ticket.
The ticket was won by businessman Charles Ong'ondo who garnered 11,800 votes. The results were announced by returning officer Shadrack Kiplimo on Wednesday.
But Ongiri claimed he won the seat with 10,308 votes against Ong'ondo's 8,105 votes.
"Having examined evidence tabled by the aspirant before us, it is clear that no proper nominations took place in Kasipult," ODM appeals tribunal said on Saturday.
"Party regulations were not followed during the nominations and many irregularities have been proven by the petitioner whose name was also maliciously printed with missing details," the tribunal added.
The tribunal directed the party elections board to withdraw Ong'ondo's provisional certificate and carry out the process afresh.
Ongiri, however, wants the party to award him the certificate and requested the tribunal to investigate Ong'ondo's relationship with the returning officer, alleging the officer is the aspirant's in-law.
"I am happy that the ruling has given a clear picture of what happened on the ground. If the party fails to issue me with the certificate then I will move to the Political Parties Tribunal to demand it," Ongiri said.
He added: "Any attempt to award [Ong'ondo] victory over me is an act of fraud."
During the tribunal, a video was shows showing Ong'ondo dishing out money to presiding officers and clerks at Karabok Primary School.
But Ong'ondo, who is seen in the clip carrying about Sh1 million, told the tribunal the money was meant for transport for teachers who visited him at Karabok.
Ongiri argued that the act amounted to bribery, which can lead to his disqualification according to party rules.

Tale of ‘missing’ officials who ran shambolic polls

Kisumu governor Jack Ranguma congratulated by his supporters after being declared winner in ODM primaries by deputy returning officer Richard Kioni. PIC BY COLLINS ODUOR Immediately after the 2007 elections, former chairman of the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya Samuel Kivuitu, in a stuffy Kenyatta International Convention Centre, looked like a man whose shoulders bore the weight of an entire nation Every blink of an eye or tremor of the lip or rolling of the eye was being interpreted differently by both sides of an anxious political divide, either perched on their chairs or standing on their toes waiting for him to make the  announcement that would rewrite Kenya’s history. He exhaled, peeped from under his glasses and told the nation that some of his people had let him down. “Some of my returning officers have let me down,” he said. When he needed them most, his trusted lieutenants charged with helping the ECK deliver a credible election had vanished. They abandoned their stations and switched off their phones. Although this was nearly 15 years ago, the chaotic party primaries brought to the limelight the role of returning officers in an electoral process. For instance, on April 25, more than 24 hours after ODM nominations, many voters had not known the results. Returning officers had gone missing. Hot spots ALSO READ: Jamleck claims rigging but will not appeal In Homa Bay County, only Kasipul constituency where businessman Charles Ong’ondo was declared the winner with 11,800 votes had clear results. There was confusion in the remaining seven constituencies of Ndhiwa, Kabondo Kasipul, Karachuonyo, Rangwe, Suba, Homa Bay Town and Mbita. Returning officers switched off their phones and disappeared from tallying centres. Some returning officers left the tallying centres in the middle of the tallying. In Migori, confusion reigned after election officials announced parallel results, leaving incumbent Governor Okoth Obado and his competitor Ochillo Ayacko with certificates for their wins. And in the event of the returning officers abandoning their posts, party operatives in some areas were quick to appoint themselves returning officers and proceed to announce ‘results’. In Kisumu County, some officials opted to have a secret tallying centre, away from the glaring eyes of the media and politicians. Eventually, returning officer Tom Okongo hurriedly convened a meeting at Thurdibuoro in Nyakach, 70 kilometres from Kisumu town to declare Anyang’ Nyong’o the ODM governor’s nominee even though tallying in all seven sub counties had gone on for three hours. A few minutes later, Governor Jack Ranguma was also declared the winner by another returning officer. Okongo could not explain to the media where he got the figures from yet none of the presiding officers had sent their reports to him. Desperate aspirants ALSO READ: Uhuru defends Jubilee primaries, says they are the 'freest and fairest' in history There were claims some returning officers minted money from desperate aspirants, resulting in the double allocation of certificates. The Saturday Standard established that some of the aspirants had to pay upto Sh 150,000 to be given the provisional certificates. It has also emerged that many of the returning officers went underground before announcing the results either because of threats to their lives or as a strategy to force the aspirants to pay money before being given the provisional certificates. An aspirant for a ward representative seat in Muhoroni constituency, who requested anonymity because he was still pursuing the matter with the ODM headquarters, said he forked out Sh 150,000 to get a provisional certificate even though he had won the nominations. He said a senior election official had been playing hide and seek since Wednesday, even after he declared him the winner. “He eventually asked for the money and I gave him. My fear is that I may fail to get the main certificate because I don’t know if someone else has given him a larger amount,” he said. Cash demands Another aspirant from a ward in the the constituency also said the same election official has been extorting money from him. “I won the seat but the officer said he will give me the certificate. When I called him later, he told me he had gone into hiding because his life was in danger. He later called to ask how much money I was willing to give him to fast track the process of issuing the certificate,” said the aspirant. “He told me he was in Nairobi and that some of his seniors wanted to be given some money. I told him I don’t have the money because I used all my money in the campaigns. I recorded the conversation and I can prove it. I am now following my certificate with the ODM headquarters in Nairobi,” he addedd. ALSO READ: Incumbent MPs lose out to newcomers and political greenhorns The failure by the returning officers to declare the rightful winners of the nominations have caused confusion. Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma and Muhoroni MP, Onyango have questioned why the ODM Elections Board was quiet when the returning officers were issuing two certificates for one seat. “There is a lot of tension and bitterness because the losers are being given certificates. This is laughable,” said K’Oyoo. The Saturday Standard learnt that the issue of the certificates is the main complaint in cases already filed before the party’s election tribunal. Two certificates In Kisumu Central constituency, three aspirants were given certificates showing they have won. Current MP, Ken Obura and his challengers Fred Ouda and Onyango Oloo have certificates signed by returning officer, Mr Laban Bosire. His cellphone was off throughout the day Thursday. Mr Bosire first presented a certificate to Mr Obura during an event broadcast live on KTN News channel. Yesterday, Ouda said he was the winner. Displaying his certificate to journalists, Ouda discredited claims by his rivals that they had been pronounced the winners. ALSO READ: Former MPs get political lifeline after primaries According to the returning officer, Ouda garnered 12821 votes to floor his fiercest rivals Obura and Oloo


Not a Single Tree Will Be Cut Down in Norway Anymore!

There is no doubt that we cannot get by in our lives without wood. This material is used in thousands of products that many people use every day. Unfortunately, a lot of these things, whether they are wood furniture or baked goods with palm oil, are responsible for large-scale tropical deforestation. The most affected are the forests of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea. These extensive woods that once were the habitats for hundreds of living species are history today.
In a situation like this, some recent news came as a relief to all nature lovers: the Norwegian government will no longer buy products that are associated with tropical deforestation. This means that the parliament will no longer award government contracts to any company that cuts down and destroys forests.
Over the last few years, a number of companies have decided to stop the procurement of goods contributing to the destruction of the rainforest. However, until now, this has not been matched by similar commitments from governments.
Finally, they did it! Norway has become the first country in the world to commit to a zero deforestation policy. Starting from now, all products that are procured by the country will have to meet stringent requirements.
Norwegians have also called on other nations to do the same, specifically the UK and Germany.
After all, millions of people around the world depend on forests and protecting the ’Lungs of the Earth’ is the responsibility of all nations. Luckily, Norway is taking a first step in the right direction.
Based on materials from 

Saturday, 29 April 2017

At the Kenya School of Law, sharp students are forced to fail, 29.04.2017

The integrity of legal education in Kenya hangs in the balance with performance falling drastically at the Kenya School of Law, the only bar school in Kenya, yet the problem is not students’ brains!
It is understood that performance standards have steadily been falling over the past five years. The school went from a pass rate of 25% in 2012 to 9% in 2016, according to insiders, despite the fact it is ISO certified.
It’s not that law students have suddenly become dump. The Council of Legal Education, the examining body of bar examinations, has been accused of failing students deliberately to force them for re-sits that earn the college and lecturers millions of shillings.
A re-sit costs Ksh10,000 and a remark sets a student back Ksh15,000 per paper. With nine papers to be examined, having students fail and retake exams can be a lucrative venture. For instance, the number of students who sat the bar exam in November/December 2016 were 1,927.

Friday, 28 April 2017


Social Media platforms are taking Kenyans by storm. These platforms have increased voices emanating from the public. Twitter for instance is even rivaling most local media houses.
But an engineering student at Moi University still thinks there is more that can be done to fill the gap that exists in the use of Social Media platforms by university students. Brian Nyagol 23, is on pathway to becoming Kenya’s Mark Zuckerberg. Brian together with eight others have developed a social media networking platform for young Kenyans between the ages of 18 and 35 years.
The team launched the platform referred to as VibeCampo in 2014 that currently enjoys the support of thousands of users from various institutions in Kenya. According to Nyagol, VibeCampo acts as an information resource centre where students, and ultimately alumni, can discuss matters trending on campus and in society in a free environment. The platform available as an Android App in Google Play store started inside a hostel room at Moi University.

“One thing that we are trying to do to the users is that we understand that the youths spends a lot of time online and most of the time they don’t engage in creative acts that can change their lives. So we are trying to at least get a return on the time they spend online by ensuring they are able to access the internet continuously in our basic interphase,” Nyagol explains.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Family of slain don Stephen Musembi feuds over property; 23.04.2017

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Prof Stephen NzuveNeighbours gather outside the house of Prof Stephen Nzuve after hearing news of his death. His family is feuding over the administration of his estate. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 


  • The children have asked the High Court in Machakos to have their father’s estate re-administered.
  • The judge further ordered Mrs Musembi not to deal with any property of the estate in any way.
A succession battle has emerged pitting the widow of slain University of Nairobi lecturer and the don’s four adult children.
The controversy surrounds a multimillion-shilling estate — including rental houses, land, vehicles, cash in bank and shares in various companies listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).
Professor Stephen Musembi Nzuve was murdered in cold blood on December 12, 2015, by armed robbers at his home in Tala, Machakos County.
The don was at the gate of his homestead at dusk after dropping off his wife’s guests in Tala Town when the thugs emerged and forced him out of his vehicle after threatening to shoot his wife.
Prof Nzuve complied after his wife, Mrs Rose Nzioki Musembi, who was being held at gunpoint by one of the thugs, pleaded with him to co-operate.
The thugs then took Prof Nzuve to his upstairs bedroom and, after ransacking the room for unknown documents, shot him at point-blank range.
And even as a murder case goes on at Kangundo Principal Magistrate’s Court against Mr Cyrus Mutunga and three others, an inheritance battle pits the widow, whom he married in 2010, against his four children from a deceased first wife.
The children allege that Mrs Musembi has secretly filed and concluded a succession case in respect of the estate without informing them.
According to documents at the Kangundo Law Courts, the widow indicated that she and her two children were the only dependants of the don and obtained a confirmation of letters of administration as the sole heir of the estate.
But on learning of the scheme to disinherit them, the children of the first wife instructed Patrick Karanja Company Advocates to seek revocation of the grant issued to their stepmother.
According to court papers filed at the High Court in Machakos, the children have asked the High Court in Machakos to have their father’s estate re-administered and a new grant sufficiently providing for them issued.
The case came up on March 22 when Justice Nyamweya directed the file from Kangundo transferred to the High Court.
The judge further ordered Mrs Musembi not to deal with any property of the estate in any way.
Justice Nyamweya further gave the lawyers of the widow and the children 30 days to reach an amicable agreement.
The case comes up for hearing today.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Barack Obama returns to public life; 22.04.2017

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Former US President Barack Obama gesturesFormer US President Barack Obama gestures during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at the United Nations Compound in Nairobi on July 25, 2015. FILE PHOTO | SAUL LOEB | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
Having largely remained silent since Donald Trump succeeded him as US president in January, Barack Obama will make his first public appearance on Monday in his adopted hometown of Chicago.
The former president will participate in a discussion with students from Chicago schools on community organising and civic engagement at the University of Chicago, Obama's office announced on Friday.
It was in Chicago that the first black president of the United States made his farewell speech a few days before leaving the White House.
Moved to tears while paying tribute to his wife Michelle, Obama also launched a call for vigilance, urging Americans to be actors in the democratic process.
"Democracy can buckle when we give in to fear," he said. "Our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted."
The university is also where Obama taught law before running for political office, and his planned presidential library will be under the institution's auspices.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Nasa flag: The tactical importance of timing; 16.04.2017

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Raila Odinga and Moses Wetang'ula after they signed the National Super Alliance (Nasa) coalition agreement in Nairobi on February 22, 2017. Mr OdingaFrom left: Opposition leaders Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi, Raila Odinga and Moses Wetang'ula after they signed the Nasa coalition agreement in Nairobi on February 22, 2017. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 


  • Machakos Wiper Senator Johnstone Muthama said as much earlier this month: Since Nasa’s line-up is their “secret weapon”, they “cannot just expose things to our Jubilee opponents.
  • My guess, then, is that the Nasa principals, at least, know exactly what they are doing. 
  • A Jubilee victory would relegate all four Nasa principals to the political wilderness.
It now seems like a long time since mid-November when the Nation reported that the Opposition’s presidential flag-bearer would be unveiled “in March”, a promise repeated in early January with the announcement by ODM Director of Elections and Suna East MP Junet Mohamed that the Nasa presidential line-up would be revealed “in 60 days.” 
Yet here we are in mid-April and Kenyans are still being told to “be patient”. 
Several important consequences have resulted from this “delay”. On the negative side, it has given Jubilee leaders the opportunity to repeatedly paint the Opposition as being “clueless, rudderless, disorganised, and leaderless.”
It has also generated increasing tension among Nasa’s own leaders and supporters. This recently reached a new level after the “leaking”, reportedly by acting ODM Secretary-General Agnes Zani, of the line-up arrived at by the technical committee established to determine which pair could make the strongest challenge to Jubilee: “Raila-Kalonzo,” a repeat of the 2013 Cord ticket. 
This, in turn, led to expressions of concern by both Mr Kalonzo Musyoka and Mr Musalia Mudavadi, who insisted that no such decision had been made, and to which Mr Odinga and his associates quickly added their own assurances.
Of course, given the salience of one’s ethnic identity, especially in national political contests, Jubilee would like to know just who the Opposition’s standard-bearer will be, since their own strategy will depend in large part on this fact.  From Nasa’s perspective, the less time Jubilee have to do that, the better.
Machakos Wiper Senator Johnstone Muthama said as much earlier this month: Since Nasa’s line-up is their “secret weapon”, they “cannot just expose things to our Jubilee opponents because they will start poking holes in us,” that is, undermining the opposition’s flagbearer.
And since the deadline for submission of all candidates’ certificates to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is not until May 10, there is no legal need to rush.
But there could be another, and even more important, reason for this delay: The party nominations for the five other elective positions that have only just begun (set to end on April 26), and which have stirred considerable anxiety within the ranks of all political parties.
While most of it is centred around the contests’ actual outcomes, there are several other challenging questions:  How much harmony or unity will remain within local party branches? Will the losers – at least those who have any significant followings – put their weight behind the winners, especially in areas where there is significant multi-party competition, or will they take their influence elsewhere, or simply withdraw? 
Perhaps most important, how much will the ultimate success of the nomination winners on August 8 depend on having the leader of their political party (and especially of the same ethnic group) at the “top of the ticket”, as the presidential flag-bearer, or at least as his deputy president running-mate?
Obviously, for Jubilee, this question was answered long ago, given the certainty that the current occupant of State House and his deputy would contest again. But for Nasa, this means that any such announcement before the nominations are over could have a major impact. Why? 
Hints are evident in the declarations of several major politicians that their own national political alignment will shift if the Nasa presidential candidate is from their “home” ethnic group. 
Just two examples are Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka and Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba, who have separately declared their support for UhuRuto’s re-election, but with a caveat: that if either Mr Mudavadi or Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula ends up at the top of the Nasa ticket, they will “come home” and support “one of their own”.
The point is that Nasa’s eventual presidential candidate will have much more influence over his own political party than any of the other three, especially the two who must wait until after a Nasa victory for their public futures to emerge. 
In the meantime, however disappointed the (two) unsuccessful Nasa principals may be at not getting onto the presidential ballot, the last thing they want now is for such a decision to become known. 
First, it would deflate the overall popularity of their respective political parties, both within their home-ethnic bases and generally.  Second, it would reduce their influence in determining which aspirants clinch their party nominations, covering all positions from governor to ward reps.
A key objective must be to ensure that as many personally loyal associates clinch nominations within their parties as possible. Given the general absence of anything approaching a unifying ideology in Kenyan political parties (whatever their genuine differences), personal loyalty is a priceless substitute. 
At the same time, the high risk here is that a Jubilee victory would relegate all four principals to the political wilderness, in contrast to the present, where at least one of them (Mr Wetang’ula) holds a national office.
If this argument makes any sense, and whatever the evident costs (as shown above) it may at least partly explain why Nasa is in no hurry to “end the anxiety” within its ranks and make the “much-delayed” announcement. My guess, then, is that the Nasa principals, at least, know exactly what they are doing. 
In an imperfect world – especially absent the luxury of an abundance of state resources with which to tempt and reward – the tactical importance of timing cannot be overlooked.
 Dr Wolf, a Research Analyst with Ipsos-Kenya, has written this in his personal capacity

Traffic jams makes Nairobi world’s ‘second-worst’ city; 17.04.2017

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Traffic jam on University Way in NairobiA traffic jam on University Way in Nairobi on March 3, 2017. Nairobi has been ranked the second-worst city in the world when it comes to traffic congestion. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 


  • Mumbai, also in India, in ranked third, followed by Jakarta (Indonesia) and Manila (Philippines).
  • Frederick Karanja, the Nairobi County chief officer for roads and public works, said the volume of cars has contributed to the endless traffic jams in the city.
  • The nature of Nairobi’s roads are also to blame, with the designs being a major contributor to jams.
Nairobi has been ranked the second-worst city in the world on traffic congestion.
According to the Serbia-based website, the 2017 Traffic Index lists Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in India as the most congested city in the world.
Mumbai, also in India, is ranked third, followed by Jakarta (Indonesia) and Manila (Philippines).
Traffic Index is a composite index of time consumed in traffic due to commuting to work, estimation of time consumption dissatisfaction, carbon dioxide consumption estimation in traffic and overall inefficiencies in the traffic system.
On average, Nairobians spend 62.44 minutes in traffic while Kolkatans spend an average of 68.86, Mumbai 60.11, Jakarta 56.98 and Manila 56.77 minutes.
But Nairobi leads in the top five cities in Africa with the worst traffic, followed by Cairo in Egypt (51.56 minutes) and South African cites Pretoria (49.00), Johannesburg (45.15), Cape Town (44.15) and Durban(53.12).
Speaking to the Nation, Frederick Karanja, the Nairobi County chief officer for roads and public works, said the volume of cars has contributed to the endless traffic jams in the city.
Mr Karanja said lack of a proper and organised public transport system in the city has increased the number of personal vehicles.
“Nowadays it is easy to acquire a vehicle, which makes the volumes of cars in the city increase rapidly. This has contributed to traffic jams in the city,” said Mr Karanja.
He adds that the nature of Nairobi’s roads is also to blame, with the designs a major contributor to jams.
He cited Thika Road as one of the highways posing serious challenges. It has more than eight lanes on the city’s outskirts, gets another feeder road at Muthaiga but towards Ngara, the number of lanes drops, causing a snarl-up to the city centre.
However, efforts are under way to ease the traffic jams, according to Mr Karanja. Key roads around the city are being built or expanded, such as Outer Ring and Ngong roads, he said.
A number of key terminuses are also being built outside the city centre to serve matatus, which would not have to reach the city centre.
They include Park Road/Ngara for all matatus from the central Kenya region; Pangani, currently under construction; and Muthurwa, which is complete and is only awaiting gazettement.
Mr Karanja said the Muthurwa terminus would be cleared of hawkers for effective use by matatus and buses from Eastlands.
Mr Karanja also blamed boda boda operators, pedestrians and taxis for the traffic mess.
The taxis park on roads, eating up precious space, though they were expected to be constantly on the move.
“We did away with taxi ranks to encourage them to move around, picking and dropping off passengers, like it happens in other countries. Instead, they have been parking on the roads in the city,” Mr Karanja said.
For their part, boda boda operators continue to be a major menace, operating with impunity and endangering the lives of pedestrians though they are banned from operating in the city centre.
But nominated MCA Jacquiline Nyangala criticised county officials for doing little to address the traffic menace.
She said the county assembly passed motions to tackle traffic jams in the city but they have never been implemented.
A lobby for the boda boda operators - City Riders Sacco - said traffic jams in the city were a good business opportunity for its members, whose motorcycles can easily manoeuvre through the gridlock.
Boda boda taxis charge between Sh100 and Sh200 for rides within the city centre and more for destinations farther away.
Lobby chairman Denis Ochieng' urged the county to allocate boda boda taxis designated spots where they can pick up and drop off passengers to avoid the cat-and-mouse games with city askaris.

KNEC stops replacement of lost, defaced exam certificates; 16.04.2017

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Fredrick Onyango | NATION KNEC staff discuss during the release the 2010 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education results at the Kenya National Examination Council offices at Mitihani House on Denis Pritt Road in Nairobi on Tuesday. This is the first batch of results that were written by the pupils who benefited from Free Primary education introduced eight years ago.Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) staff discuss during the release of the 2010 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education results at the Knec offices at Mitihani House on Denis Pritt Road in Nairobi. The council will no longer replace lost exam certificates. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 


  • Remarking of candidates’ answer scripts after the release of results has also been stopped.
  • Knec says that the reduction in the duration for marking, processing and release of national examinations results was effectively implemented.
Kenya National Examinations Council has stopped the replacement of lost, defaced and burnt certificates.
Anyone requiring replacement would instead be given a notification sheet indicating he or she sat the examination in question.
Knec deputy secretary in charge of field administration Mohamud Ibrahim said the changes were made this year.
Mr Ibrahim added that remarking of candidates’ answer scripts after the release of results had also been stopped.
“Late registration of candidates has been banned too,” he said during the just-concluded 20th Annual Private Schools Directors conference in Mombasa.
The Knec top official added that the reduction in the duration for marking, processing and release of national examinations results was effectively implemented.
“Vetting of officers engaged in supervision, invigilation and marking of national examinations by the Teachers Service Commission, return of extra question papers and related materials to Knec after the administration of tests were also done,” he added.
Mr Ibrahim pointed out submission of inaccurate registration data, registration of candidates after the expiry of the given period, failure to upload and submit candidates’ photos and some examination centres without valid registration certificates as some of the challenges the council was facing.
He asked private schools to help eradicate malpractices in national examinations.
Kenya Private Schools Association chairperson Mutheu Kasanga said its members would prepare adequately to implement the new curriculum once it was ready.
“As key players in education, we are always ready for change,” Mrs Kasanga said.