Category Archives: Travel


From: Joachim Omolo Ouko
News Dispatch with Omolo Joachim



October 18, 2015 is World Mission Sunday, usually celebrated third Sunday in October every year. Since Obambo Parish is named after St Paul II and his feast celebrated October 22, Liturgical committee agreed that instead of October 22 the day be celebrated on Sunday October 18, given that, despite being our patron saint he was also a great missionary.

During his reign Pope John Paul made 104 foreign trips, more than all previous popes combined. In total he logged more than 1,167,000 km (725,000 ml). He consistently attracted large crowds on his travels, some among the largest ever assembled.

He travelled to Kenya in 1980, 1985vand 1995 respectively. In 2000, he became the first modern Catholic pope to visit Egypt, where he met with the Coptic Pope and the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria.

World Mission Sunday is a day set aside for the Catholic Church throughout the world to publicly renew its commitment to the missionary movement. It was created by Pope Pius XI in 1926 as the day of prayer and propaganda of missions.

Throughout the world the faithful will reflect on the universal call to Mission of all the baptized and they will be invited to contribute what they can to support the development and growth of the young churches throughout the world.

In Australia, Catholic Mission has designated Wednesday 21 October 2015 as Children’s Mission Day to promote mission in a manner appropriate and relevant to students, and to celebrate the wonderful fundraising efforts to support Catholic Mission’s work with children worldwide.

My colleagues Apostles of Jesus Missionaries working in Australia are telling me they have already begun talking with children the important of this day. When we allow God to act through us in love for others, bringing the fruits of the spirit into the world—reconciliation, forgiveness, justice, peace, harmony, joy, and love—we build God’s family and help everyone experience fullness of life.

Children can all act to reduce poverty around the world and improve the quality of life for all our brothers and sisters of God’s family. We can stand in solidarity with all who suffer exclusion, poverty and injustice and whose life is in some way diminished.

In his message, Pope Francis says that being a missionary is not about proselytizing or mere strategy; mission is part of the “grammar” of faith, something essential for those who listen to the voice of the Spirit who whispers “Come” and “Go forth”.

Mission is a passion for Jesus and at the same time a passion for his people. When we pray before Jesus crucified, we see the depth of his love which gives us dignity and sustains us. At the same time, we realize that the love flowing from Jesus’ pierced heart expands to embrace the People of God and all humanity.

Today the pope says in his message, the Church’s mission is faced by the challenge of meeting the needs of all people to return to their roots and to protect the values ??of their respective cultures.

This means knowing and respecting other traditions and philosophical systems, and realizing that all peoples and cultures have the right to be helped from within their own traditions to enter into the mystery of God’s wisdom and to accept the Gospel of Jesus, who is light and transforming strength for all cultures.

Within this complex dynamic, we ask ourselves: “Who are the first to whom the Gospel message must be proclaimed?” The answer, found so often throughout the Gospel, is clear: it is the poor, the little ones and the sick, those who are often looked down upon or forgotten, those who cannot repay us (cf. Lk 14:13-14).

Evangelization directed preferentially to the least among us is a sign of the Kingdom that Jesus came to bring: “There is an inseparable bond between our faith and the poor. This must be clear above all to those who embrace the consecrated missionary life.

By the vow of poverty, they choose to follow Christ in his preference for the poor, not ideologically, but in the same way that he identified himself with the poor: by living like them amid the uncertainties of everyday life and renouncing all claims to power, and in this way to become brothers and sisters of the poor, bringing them the witness of the joy of the Gospel and a sign of God’s love.

The day is being celebrated at the time an Austrian nun who spent over 60 years caring for poor children has been killed. Sister Stefani Tiefenbacher of the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood, 86, was killed in her room in the night in June.

The nun who tirelessly dedicated herself to the poor children of the local community was staying at the mission of the Sacred Heart of Ixopo, in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, in the east of South Africa.

It is also at the time a nun in India has been raped in March this year during the robbery. A 72-year-old sister was raped when she tried to stop a robbery, she was raped and hospitalized.

It is the time worry continues to mount in Ukraine as a priest and a nun, both members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, were murdered within days of each other in the early hours of July 26. Father Roman Nikolayev, prior of the Church of the Great Martyr Tatiana in Kiev, was shot twice in the head by unknown assailants.

A Nigerian Catholic priest has also been killed in an attempted robbery. Father Goodwill Onyeka of the Diocese of Oyo, along with his younger brother, Onyeka Obi, died the evening of June 1 on the way to Owo-Oba-Akoko, in the state of Ondo, in southern Nigeria.

According to Fide report, bandits tried to stop the vehicle in which the priest and his brother were traveling to Lagos. A young priest was also shot dead during a burglary at a Catholic church in Phoenix, Arizona.

Father Kenneth Walker, 28, associate pastor of Mater Misericordiae (Mother of Mercy) Mission Church was attacked along with the pastor, Father Joseph Terra, during a break-in. Fr. Walker later died in, while Fr. Terra, 56, remains in critical but stable condition.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578 E-mail
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Africa: U.S. Commends Cote D’Ivoire for Reinstating Air Travel

From: U.S. Department of StatePress Statement
Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 27, 2014

The United States commends Cote d’Ivoire for reinstating air travel to Ebola-affected countries, in line with WHO and IATA recommendations. President Ouattara’s decision greatly enhances the ability of the international community to facilitate and deliver the rapid and critical response to the Ebola outbreak and helps maintain vital trade and commercial links to the region. The United States welcomes Cote d’Ivoire’s timely action and example and continues to urge everyone in the international community to do more to stop Ebola and save lives.
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External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

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From: Fakhi Karume

In the world of aviation, Kenya Airways (KQ) has announced a first – that Captain Irene Koki Mutungi was promoted to be the first African Captain on the world’s latest plane, the Boeing B787 Dreamliner.

Captain Mutungi was the first ever and only female pilot at Kenya Airways for about six years – more ladies have since joined the airline in the cockpits of their various planes – and has risen steadily through the ranks.

Irene was flying as a First Officer on the 767-300ER, the second largest aircraft in the Kenya Airways fleet after the Boeing B777-300ER, and then became the first female Kenya Airways Captain of a Boeing 767-300ER until she finished her course for type conversion successfully and was elevated to fly in the left hand seat of KQ’s latest acquisition.

Following the first delivery of the new bird on April 5 are another 5 such aircraft expected this year before in 2015 a further three of these aircraft will be delivered by Boeing to “The Pride of Africa.”

Captain Irene Mutungi’s latest professional accomplishment is a first is indeed for the world of aviation and as such a cause for celebration, as she becomes the first African female Boeing 787 Captain in the world.

Congratulations to Captain Irene and let this be an encouragement for all other ladies who have set their minds on flying and making a career with Kenya’s national airline.



Writwea Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

RESIDENTS of KISUMU city are up in arms against the county government headed by governor Jack Ranguma of spending the taxpayers money extravagantly by sponsoring foreign trips for MCA’s with no material gains to the residents

The issue has raised political temperatures in this lakeside City, which is now stinking in filth owing to non-existence of refuse and garbage collection. With waste paper littering the town streets and broken and sewerage lines goes unrepairable for weeks, some of the broken sewerage lines passes through the residential estates thereby posing health hazard to the residents.

Some of the MCAS who are scrambling for inclusion into the numerous foreign trips are semi-illiterate persons who can gain no experience that could be beneficial to the residents due to their communication problems’. The Kisumu governor Jack Ranguma seemed to have been captivated by the MCAs and is therefore unable to control the county government’s budget making millions to go to waste.

Discontent has arisen following the revelation that sixteen Kisumu MCAs have left the country for the tour of the State of Israel amid public protest against these fruitless and no value added foreign trips by MCAS which have no value to the residents. However, sources have revealed that when the sixteen return home, another 25 MCAs will also make yet another money fubbling trip to Singapore. Later this month. These trips, says the residents, could gobbles being stinking and giving bad dour everywhere include a Central Business district {CBD}, these valueless trips could cost the Assembly as much money as Kshs 30 million, which goes to the wastes and yet the City lacked basic amenities such as street lights, persistent acute shortage of water and poor system of refuse collection which as contributed to the City to be in bad state of stinking due to left and uncollected garbage and waste papers.

Those who are reported to have traveled to Israel are members of the County who have nothing to learn in the ultra modern Israeli farming system due to their communication problems. Some of them were petty kiosk traders with no elementary education before they were elected from the various town wards to the Assembly.

They include the Assembly Speaker Ann Adul and the Clerk Nelco Sagwe. The same Assembly Speaker Ann Adul last year squandered the sums of Kshs 694,847 when she was sponsored by the Assembly to attend a conference in Atlanta, US.

In January, this year, the County government coughed out the colossal amount of money when it sent 47 MCAs on a six days educational tour of the neighboring Uganda at the average rate of Kshs 3000 expenses per day each, The Assembly was also on spot for s trip to Germany for eleven MCAS who were paid Kshs 3000 each per day expenses per day.

Upon these MCAs return from such luxury trips, they offer no explanation of the experiences they gained in those countries, which could be of benefits to the Kisumu residents. These MCAS only come home quietly without calling either a press conferences to explain the gains and experiences they had acquired as a result of their expensive trips abroad. The residents of Kisumu now viewed and maintains that these trips are amounting to naked looting of the Assembly resources and therefore must be stopped. The Central government should ma pout the plan governing foreign trips by MCAs. The Office of the President must also initiate the system of giving clearance for such trip in conjunction with the relevant ministry in charge of the devolution .

The residents now call upon the Central government to intervene and to ensure that these luxurious Childish and useless foreign trips by KISUMU MCAs are stopped forthwith.

There is also a disaster in waiting in KISUMU. The dumpsite, which is located between Kachok and the Moi’s stadium, has attracted a lot of birds, feeding on the filth. The dump site is located right in the middle of the town. It is on the direct routes of the aircraft flight coming and leaving the recently much improved Kisumu International Airport. And the risk of the bird strikes on aircraft is there. This is because the dump site is on the direct route of aircraft coming and leaving the recently expanded Kisumu International Airport. Therefore there is an urgent need fr the KISUMU County government to look for another suitable dump site. Air disasters have occurred in other countries caused by birds hitting the airplane engines in flights and causing death and injuries to the passengers.

It is even causing amusement to leaned that the Assembly is currently using street urchins [Ninjas} for the purport of refuse collections in the town. Why? This kind of negligence is impacting negatively on the residents of KISUMU. The main Kisumu Bus terminal is stinking with dirty garbage and the same is sighted n Henderso,Lumumba, Ondiek, Kaloleni and Maakasembo and other residential estates



From: Charles Banda

MBNG has been reliably informed that a total of 13 Malawians – 9 Male and 4 female – have perished in a bus accident near Tete in Mozambique as the bus overturned several times after driver lost control of it due to over – speeding.

The Bus was heading to Lilongwe from Johannesburg and belongs to “The Business Times.”

“There are fears that the number of deaths might rise,” said our informant.

May the Souls of the Deceased rest in peace


By Our Reporter

A weird incident was witnessed within Nyando District in Ahero Kochogo village when the corps that was being transported home “refused” to reach home.

The incident occurred at when the bereaved family was ferrying their loved one home before a number of complications were reported.

The deceased was being transported from Nairobi to a village in Butere before the family started developing a number of difficulties that resulted into accidents.

The corps who to the family was the cause of all these “never wanted to go home” and that’s why there were a number of hiccups in the journey.

The journey that entailed the entire family and even some relatives had difficulties in commuting when most of them could not even believe the unfolding events.

The family explained that the deceased has been sending mixed signals even before the real day of the journey that the journey would be full of difficulties which they ignored.

When commenting on the incident, the driver of the van that was involved in accident said he just surprisingly saw a huge black creature before wind screen, an issue that forced him to wheel out of the road.

The family was forced to convince the corps whom they talked to using some traditional words just to allow them reach home.

12 killed in Tanzania road accident

From: Abdalah Hamis

DAR ES SALAAM, March 29 (Xinhua) — Twelve people, all of them women, died after a pickup in which they were travelling was struck by a lorry from behind on Friday night at Hedaru along the Dar es Salaam-Arusha highway, Tanzania, police said Saturday.

The Kilimanjaro regional police commander Robert Boaz described the accident as the worst which have occurred in northern Tanzania’ s Kilimanjaro region since the beginning of 2014.

The victims were on their way to a funeral of their relative who was killed by ongoing floods across the East Africa country.

Joseph Mwakabonga, the Kilimanjaro regional traffic officer, said the accident occurred when a lorry travelling from Moshi to Dar es Salaam struck from behind the Toyota pickup that was ferrying the mourners.

He said the whereabouts of the drivers of the fateful vehicles were still unknown but eyewitness said they had been rushed to hospital.

Tanzania roads are claiming thousands of lives every year, and most of the accidents are caused by what police term as reckless driving and bad road conditions.

MH370: 10 questions that are still unresolved

From: Yona Fares Maro

As the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 continues in the southern Indian Ocean, some key questions remain unanswered.

Here are 10 questions about what happened to the Boeing 777 that disappeared after leaving Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing on 8 March, with 239 people on board.

1. Why did the plane make a sharp left turn?

Military radar logs show flight MH370 turned unexpectedly west when it diverted from its planned flight path, by which time the plane’s transponder had already been switched off, and its last ACARS datalink transmission sent.

Sudden turns like this are “extremely rare”, according to Dr Guy Gratton of Brunel University’s Flight Safety Lab. He says the only real reason pilots are likely to make such a manoeuvre is if there’s a serious problem on the plane which makes them decide to divert to a different destination, to get the aircraft on the ground.

That could be a fire or sudden decompression, according to David Barry, an expert on flight data monitoring at Cranfield University.

Malicious intent – by a pilot or intruder – is another possibility.

But unless the “black box” flight recorders are found, whatever happened in the cockpit at that moment will remain in the realms of speculation.

2. Is it reasonable to speculate that a pilot could have intended to kill himself?

There has been much speculation in the media that suicide might have been behind the loss of the plane.

It wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened. The crashes of Egypt Air flight 990 in 1999 and Silk Air flight 185 in 1997 are both thought to have been caused deliberately by a pilot, though the view has been contested. The Aviation Safety Network says there have been eight plane crashes linked to pilot suicide since 1976.

So far, no evidence has been released from searches of the homes of Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah and his co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid that back up any similar explanation for MH370. There has been speculation that Shah may have been upset after breaking up with his wife, but there is so far no reliable source for his state of mind. It’s been reported police are still examining a flight simulator found in the captain’s home.

Barry says the apparent turning off of certain systems might give weight to the theory, but “pilot suicide is a theory like any other”. Gratton agrees. “There simply isn’t any evidence to prove or disprove it,” he says.

3. Is a hijack scenario even possible?

Airliners have been fitted with strengthened flight deck doors – intended to prevent intruders from taking control – since 9/11. David Learmount, safety editor at Flight International magazine, says they are “bulletproof” and “couldn’t be penetrated with an axe”.

Sylvia Wrigley, light aircraft pilot and author of Why Planes Crash, agrees it’s unlikely anyone would be able to force their way in. “Even if the door was being broken down, they wouldn’t be able to get in before there’d been a mayday call, unless the pilots were incapacitated,” she says.

However, one former pilot, who did not wish to be named, has suggested there is theoretically a way to disable the lock and get into the flight deck.

But in any case, however secure the door, there are times when the door is open – when a member of the crew either visits the toilet or has to check on something in the cabin. It’s always been pointed out that it would be possible to rush the cockpit when this is the case. Some airlines, including Israel’s El Al, have double doors to guard against this scenario. Gratton says there’s a procedure which requires a member of the cabin crew to guard the door when it’s opened.

But even in the event of hijackers rushing the cockpit, it would be easy for either crew member to send a distress signal.

The security of the cockpit door offers protection against intruders, but it also prevents action being taken if something does go wrong. Last month the co-pilot of an Ethiopian Airlines flight waited for the pilot to go to the toilet before hijacking the aircraft and flying it to Switzerland.

There’s also the possibility that a pilot invited a passenger in. Photographs have emerged of the co-pilot of MH370 entertaining teenage tourists in an aircraft cockpit during a previous flight.

Boeing said it would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation.

4. Is there an accidental scenario that stands up to scrutiny?

So far most theories have been based on the assumption that the communications systems and the plane’s transponder were deliberately disabled, a view endorsed by Malaysian officials.

However, Wrigley believes it’s possible a sequence of events may have taken the plane so far off course by accident. “Something could have gone wrong in stages. A fire could have taken out part of the plane, or led to some systems failing, but left the plane intact. Then there could have been decompression – not an explosive decompression, but a gradual one,” she says.

Wrigley cites the Helios Airways flight 522 which crashed into a mountain in Greece in 2005 after a loss of cabin pressure and lack of oxygen incapacitated the crew, but left the plane flying on autopilot, as an example. “I’m not saying it’s a likely scenario, but it’s not impossible,” she says.

Pilots have pointed out that one of the very first actions in many emergency drills is to send a message to air traffic control or some other form of signal. For a purely accidental scenario to make sense, whatever initial event took place must have simultaneously knocked out all regular means to communicate with the ground.

5. Why was no action taken when the plane’s transponder signal went off?

MH370’s transponder – which communicates with ground radar – was shut down as the aircraft crossed from Malaysian air traffic control into Vietnamese airspace over the South China Sea.

If a plane disappeared in Europe, Barry says someone in air traffic control would have noticed and raised the alarm pretty quickly. Gratton agrees. “In Europe handover is extremely slick.

“At the very least I’d expect air traffic controllers to try and contact a nearby aircraft to try and establish direct contact. Pilots frequently use TCAS [traffic collision avoidance system], which detects transponders of other aircraft to ensure they aren’t too close to each other,” he adds.

However Steve Buzdygan, a former BA 777 pilot, says that from memory, there’s a gap or “dead spot” of about 10 minutes in the VHF transmission before the plane would have crossed into Vietnamese airspace.

Learmount says it’s also perfectly feasible that nobody on the ground noticed the plane’s disappearance. “Malaysian air traffic control had probably handed it over to the Vietnamese and forgotten about it. There could have been a five-minute delay before anyone noticed the plane hadn’t arrived – a gap in which nobody pressed the alarm button,” he says.

Even if air traffic control did notice the plane was amiss, they wouldn’t necessarily have made it public, he adds.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam says the plane failed to check in as scheduled at 0121 with air traffic control in Ho Chi Minh City. However, an unnamed pilot flying a 777 heading for Japan says he briefly established contact with MH370 minutes after he was asked to do so by Vietnamese air traffic control.

6. Why isn’t it easier to track missing planes by military satellite?

The search effort on seas some 2,500km (1,500 miles) to the south-west of the Australian city of Perth has relied on images provided by commercial satellite companies.

Dan Schnurr, chief technology officer at Geospatial Insight, says there are 20 known satellites that have a resolution capable of obtaining these images in the “vast tracts of the ocean passing over the poles”. Of those, probably about 10 of them capture images on a daily basis.

The images are beamed down from the satellites in very near real time, and are probably on the ground within two or three hours of image capture, he says. The delay in detecting valuable images is down to the time it takes to analyse the large volume of imagery.

There are also satellite sources owned by the military and government, but these have not been prominent in the search. This has led to some speculation that the fate of the plane was known about earlier in the search, but not revealed.

Laurence Gonzales, author of flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival, says some nations are bound to have more sophisticated surveillance systems than they are letting on. “A very small, fast ballistic missile can be picked up easily, so how can they lose a big, slow-moving object like a jumbo jet? It tells me somewhere in the angles of power in the world someone knows where the plane is but doesn’t want to talk about it, probably for reasons of national security because they don’t want to reveal the sophistication of the material they have… that their satellite technology is so good it can read a label on a golf ball,” he says.

But Gratton says military satellites looking for ballistic missiles probably wouldn’t have thrown up much useful data because they wouldn’t have been calibrated to pick up aircraft of this size.

“This aircraft was seven miles up and travelled at three-quarters of the speed of sound. Ballistic missiles go up to four or five times the speed of sound, and 30 to 50 miles up – they have very different profiles,” he says.

7. Did the plane glide into the sea or plunge after running out of fuel?

The MH370’s final moments seem to depend on whether the plane was still being flown by a pilot.

“If it was under control, the plane was capable of being glided. The Airbus that went into the New York’s Hudson River lost both engines – which is an identical outcome to running out of fuel – and the pilot managed to land on the water,” Gratton says.

Barry agrees there could have been a gentle descent. “Aircraft of this size will normally fly or glide over 50 miles before they hit the sea if they run out of fuel,” he says. However, if no-one was at the controls, he says the descent could have been “pretty severe”.

8. Would the passengers have known something was wrong?

If a major malfunction had not occurred, it is unclear whether passengers would have known anything was awry, especially if there were no obvious signs of a struggle onboard. Joe Pappalardo, senior editor at Popular Mechanics magazine, says in most scenarios where a plane flies off course for hours, passengers can remain oblivious. At 01:00, many would probably have been asleep. In the morning, the astute might have worked out the Sun was in the wrong position.
Malaysian authorities have said the plane rose to 45,000ft, before falling to 23,000ft, after it changed course. If that’s the case, passengers might have felt the loss of altitude, according to Pappalardo.

However one theory is that the plane’s apparent climb could have been designed to induce hypoxia – oxygen deprivation – which could have knocked people unconscious and even killed them.

Wrigley thinks it could have played out in one of two ways. “In the horror story version passengers would have realised something was wrong as the plane climbed – and a decompression event would have led to oxygen masks coming down, and an awareness that oxygen was limited. A better scenario is they didn’t know anything had happened until impact,” she says.

9. Why didn’t passengers use their mobile phones?

One commonly asked question is why, if it had been obvious something was wrong, passengers wouldn’t have used mobile phones to call relatives and raise the alarm. This seems especially puzzling in light of the example of United flight 93, where passengers communicated with people on the ground after the plane was hijacked during 9/11.

It’s been stated that it’s extremely unlikely that anyone could get mobile signal on an airliner at 30,000ft. Barry agrees the chances of a mobile phone working on the plane were “virtually impossible”. “It can be hard to get a signal on a remote road, let alone seven miles up, away from mobile phone masts, travelling at 500mph,” he says.

10. Why can’t planes be set up to give full real-time data to a satellite?

Arguably the most baffling thing to a layperson about the disappearance of MH370 is how it is even possible for a plane of this size to disappear so easily. In an era when people are used to being able to track a stolen smartphone, it’s perplexing that switching off a couple of systems can apparently allow an airliner to vanish.

Barry says the technology exists to allow planes to give off full real-time data. The problem is planes are “snapshots in time from when they are designed”.

“We’re doing research into devices that will allow aircraft to start transmitting information by satellite when something unusual like a fire or decompression happens, but it’s hard to fit things into a plane retrospectively.

“The 777 went into service in the early 90s… the technology is of that era,” he says.

However, Gratton says ACARS would have done the job if it hadn’t been turned off. A more complex satellite system would also be open to that risk, he argues, unless the industry wanted to go with a system that couldn’t be manually switched off, and that would come with other risks.

“It’s not a particularly easy question. Is the bigger risk an aircraft going missing, or electronics overheating? Both situations can’t be met,” he says.

– See more at

Thai Air Force radar might have tracked missing MH370

From: Abdalah Hamis

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Ten days after a Malaysian jetliner disappeared, Thailand’s military said Tuesday it saw radar blips that might have been from the missing plane but didn’t report it “because we did not pay attention to it.”

Search crews from 26 countries, including Thailand, are looking for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished early March 8 with 239 people aboard en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Frustration is growing among relatives of those on the plane at the lack of progress in the search.

Aircraft and ships are scouring two giant arcs of territory amounting to the size of Australia — half of it in the remote waters of the southern Indian Ocean.

Cmdr. William Marks, a spokesman for the U.S. 7th Fleet, said finding the plane was like trying to locate a few people somewhere between New York and California.

Early in the search, Malaysian officials said they suspected the plane backtracked toward the Strait of Malacca, just west of Malaysia. But it took a week for them to confirm Malaysian military radar data suggesting that route.

Military officials in neighboring Thailand said Tuesday their own radar showed an unidentified plane, possibly Flight 370, flying toward the strait beginning minutes after the Malaysian jet’s transponder signal was lost.

Air force spokesman Air Vice Marshal Montol Suchookorn said the Thai military doesn’t know whether the plane it detected was Flight 370.

Thailand’s failure to quickly share possible information about the plane may not substantially change what Malaysian officials now know, but it raises questions about the degree to which some countries are sharing their defense data. At a minimum, safety experts said, the radar data could have saved time and effort that was initially spent searching the South China Sea, many miles from the Indian Ocean.

“It’s tough to tell, but that is a material fact that I think would have mattered,” said John Goglia, a former member of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

“It’s just bizarre they didn’t come forward before,” Scott Hamilton, managing director of aviation consultancy Leeham Co., said of Thai authorities. “It may be too late to help the search … but maybe them and the Malaysian military should do joint military exercises in incompetence.”

Flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur at 12:40 a.m. March 8 and its transponder, which allows air traffic controllers to identify and track it, ceased communicating at 1:20 a.m.

Montol said that at 1:28 a.m., Thai military radar “was able to detect a signal, which was not a normal signal, of a plane flying in the direction opposite from the MH370 plane,” back toward Kuala Lumpur. The plane later turned right, toward Butterworth, a Malaysian city along the Strait of Malacca. The radar signal was infrequent and did not include data such as the flight number.

When asked why it took so long to release the information, Montol said, “Because we did not pay any attention to it. The Royal Thai Air Force only looks after any threats against our country.” He said the plane never entered Thai airspace and that Malaysia’s initial request for information in the early days of the search was not specific.

“When they asked again and there was new information and assumptions from (Malaysian) Prime Minister Najib Razak, we took a look at our information again,” Montol said. “It didn’t take long for us to figure out, although it did take some experts to find out about it.”

The search area for the plane initially focused on the South China Sea. Pings that a satellite detected from the plane hours after its communications went down eventually led authorities to concentrate instead on two vast arcs — one into Central Asia and the other into the Indian Ocean.

Malaysia said over the weekend the loss of communications and change in the aircraft’s course were deliberate, whether it was the pilots or others aboard who were responsible.

Malaysian police are considering the possibility of hijacking, sabotage, terrorism or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or anyone else on board, but have yet to say what they have uncovered.

Investigators had pointed to a sequence of events in which two communications systems were disabled in succession — one of them before a voice from the cockpit gave an all-clear message to ground controllers — as evidence of a deliberate attempt to fly the plane off-course in a hard-to-detect way. On Monday, they backtracked on the timing of the first switch-off, saying it was possible that both were cut around the same time, leading to new speculation that some kind of sudden mechanical or electrical failure might explain the flight going off-course.

Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said some sort of problem aboard the plane was not out of the question, although he noted it still was intact enough to send a signal to a satellite several hours later.

As further confirmation that someone was still guiding the plane after it disappeared from civilian radar, airline pilots and aviation safety experts said an onboard computer called the flight management system would have to be deliberately programmed in order to follow the route taken by the plane as described by Malaysian authorities.

“If you are going to fly the airplane to a waypoint that is not a straight … route to Beijing, and you were going to command the flight management computer and the autopilot system, you really have to know how to fly the airplane,” said John Gadzinski, a U.S. Boeing 737 captain.

“If you were a basic flight student and I put you in an airborne 777 and gave you 20 minutes of coaching, I could have you turn the airplane left and right and the auto throttle and the autopilot would make the airplane do what you want,” he said. “But to program a waypoint into the flight management computer, if that is what they flew over, is a little bit harder.”

Investigators have asked security agencies in countries with passengers on board to carry out background checks.

China said background checks of the 154 Chinese citizens on board turned up no links to terrorism, apparently ruling out the possibility that Uighur Muslim militants who have been blamed for terror attacks within China might have been involved.

“So far there is nothing, no evidence to suggest that they intended to do harm to the plane,” said Huang Huikang, China’s ambassador to Malaysia.

A Chinese civilian aviation official has said there was no sign of the plane entering the country’s airspace on commercial radar.

A group of relatives of Chinese passengers in Beijing said they decided to begin a hunger strike to express their anger over the handling of the investigation.

One relative displayed a sign reading, “Hunger strike protest. Respect life. Return my relative. Don’t want become victim of politics, Tell the truth.”

The search for the aircraft is among the largest in aviation history.

The U.S. Navy said P-3 and P-8 surveillance aircraft were methodically sweeping over swaths of ocean, known as “mowing the grass,” while using radar to detect any debris in the water and high-resolution cameras to snap images.

Australian and Indonesian planes and ships are searching waters to the south of Indonesia’s Sumatra Island all the way down to the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean.

Huang said China had begun searching for the plane in its territory, but gave no details. When asked at a Foreign Ministry briefing in Beijing what this search involved, ministry spokesman Hong Lei said only that satellites and radar were being used.

China also was sending ships to the Indian Ocean, where they will search 300,000 square kilometers (186,000 square miles) of sea.

The area being covered by the Australians is even bigger — 600,000 square kilometers (232,000 square miles) — and will take weeks, said John Young, manager of Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s emergency response division.

“This search will be difficult. The sheer size of the search area poses a huge challenge,” Young said. “A needle in a haystack remains a good analogy.”

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron telephoned his Malaysian counterpart to offer the U.K.’s help in the first direct contact between the two since the flight disappeared, according to Downing Street.

Cameron did not offer specifics on what particular military or civilian assistance could be provided, the prime minister’s spokesman, Jean-Christophe Gray, said Tuesday.

“It was very much inviting any specific requests from the Malaysians,” Gray said. “Prime Minister Najib said he would think about that and let us know if they have any specific requests.”

– See more at:

Deputy Secretary of State Higginbottom’s Travel to Tunisia

From: U.S. Department of State
Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC

March 18, 2014


Deputy Secretary Higginbottom traveled to Tunisia March 17-18th to meet with Tunisian officials, business leaders, students, and civil society representatives to discuss with them ways to strengthen the U.S.-Tunisia relationship. Deputy Secretary Higginbottom underscored the U.S. belief that Tunisia remains a bright hope for a successful transition to democracy. Working with the people and government of Tunisia to lay a foundation for political stability and economic prosperity that solidifies their democracy, strengthens civil society, and empowers youth is a top priority for the United States.

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External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

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Poaching, Conflict in Africa: The Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Nature Conservation Trust and SANParks Announce Historic R255 Million Commitment to Combat Poaching, Conflict in Africa

From: News Release – African Press Organization (APO)

The Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Nature Conservation Trust and SANParks Announce Historic R255 Million Commitment to Combat Poaching, Conflict in Africa

Three-year effort will intensify protection of Kruger National Park’s rhino population, drawing lessons to address poaching that finances conflict in Africa

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, March 14, 2014/ — The Howard G. Buffett Foundation (HGBF) (, a private foundation in the United States; the Nature Conservation Trust (NCT), a South African public benefit organization (PBO); and South African National Parks (SANParks) today announced an historic RAND 255 million (USD $23.7 million), three-year initiative to combat rhino poaching in Kruger National Park and test anti-poaching tactics that can be applied in other regions of Africa, where poaching can be a source of funding for armed groups. The announcement was made at the Rosebank office of Standard Bank, which also announced its own support for the initiative by providing favorable banking fees and interest on the funds which they will hold.


Photo 1: (Howard G Buffett, Howard G. Buffett Foundation (HGBF)

Photo 2: (Dr Mabunda, CEO of the South African National Parks (SANParks)

The effort in Kruger will create an Intensive Protection Zone (IPZ) using sophisticated detection and tracking equipment and infrastructure on the ground and in the air; elite canine units and highly-trained ranger teams; and improved intelligence gathering and observation and surveillance systems. Kruger is currently home to over 40% of the world’s remaining 22,000 rhinos, the largest single population of rhinos in the world. Since January 2010, 1,383 rhinos have been poached from Kruger National Park, part of a larger assault that resulted in 2,368 rhinos poached in South Africa over the past few years. In some areas of Africa, entire populations of rhino have been eliminated.

Kruger’s poaching problem is fueled mainly by illicit criminal networks in Mozambique, South Africa, and East Asia, but evidence suggests that armed groups elsewhere in Africa derive significant funding from poaching activities. Kruger’s IPZ will also serve as a testing ground to inform targeted efforts to combat poaching in these other African regions.

“SANParks, thanks to the leadership of David Mabunda, and Kruger National Park, under the direction of General Johan Jooste, provide a unique opportunity to test new technology and new ideas within the best operating national parks system on the continent,” said NCT Chairman and HGBF CEO Howard G. Buffett. “This effort joins our foundation’s historic support for conservation with our current focus on conflict mitigation in Africa, particularly in the Great Lakes region.”

“The scale, complexity, and strategic value of this initiative is truly unprecedented for SANParks, and we believe will be transformative in our ongoing efforts to address poaching and the decimation of the rhino population in Kruger National Park,” said SANParks CEO David Mabunda. “More importantly, the lessons we hope to learn and share across SANParks and the continent will, we believe, develop new and more effective ways to combat illicit wildlife trade, particularly where it is financing armed groups.”

The Leadership for Conservation in Africa (LCA), led by its South African-based CEO Chris Marais, will provide advisory and advocacy support for the collaboration. NCT and HGBF have a long history of support for conservation in Africa. NCT, with 100% of its funding provided by HGBF, created the Jubatus Cheetah Reserve in 2001 and the Ukulima Research Farm in 2007, both located in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Through its direct investments and support for NCT, HGBF has, prior to this announcement, committed over RAND 485 million (USD $45 million) in South Africa for a range of

conservation and agriculture development activities including strengthening environmental governance; carnivore research in the Shashe/Limpopo Trans-Frontier Conservation region; preservation of natural resources; cheetah research and regional planning for cheetah conservation; development of agricultural strategies and production of improved seed for smallholder farmers. HGBF has committed an additional RAND 1.9 billion (USD $175 million) in support of its Africa Great Lakes Peace Initiative, which also includes funding for anti-poaching efforts designed to interrupt the capital flow to armed groups.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation (HGBF).

For more information please contact:

Howard G. Buffett Foundation
Media Relations,

Nature Conservation Trust
Chris Marais,
South African National Parks

Rey Thakhuli,


The Howard G. Buffett Foundation ( works to improve the quality of life for the world’s most impoverished and marginalized populations. It focuses on three core areas: food security, water security, and conflict mitigation. Based in Decatur, Illinois, the Foundation is led by CEO Howard G. Buffett. Mr. Buffett has been a permanent resident of South Africa since 2007. To learn more about the Foundation visit

The Nature Conservation Trust was established in 2000 by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation as a non-profit organization and later was converted to a public benefit organization. The Trust has two primary charitable purposes: to conserve nature, restore degraded land, and to help ensure the long term survival of cheetahs and other carnivores in situ; and to support research and improved practices in agriculture for smallholder farmers to reduce food insecurity on the African continent.

South African National Parks manages a system of parks which represents the indigenous fauna, flora, landscapes and associated cultural heritage of the country.The national parks are: Groenkloof, Kruger, Table Mountain, Marakele, Golden Gate, Camdeboo, Mountain Zebra, Addo Elephant, Garden Route National Park (Tsitsikamma, Knysna, & Wilderness), Bontebok, Agulhas, West Coast, Karoo, Namaqua, |Ai- |Ais/Richtersveld, Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Mapungubwe, Tankwa Karoo and Mokala. To learn more visit

Howard G. Buffett Foundation (HGBF)


Writes Leo Odera Omolo

Kenya and Tanzania have finally agreed to allow the visiting tourists freely access each to each others tourists sites in border crossings into each other territory.

This follows an agreement signed between the two countries last week during a crucial meeting held in the Northern Tanzanian town of Arusha.

From now onwards tour operator firms in Kenya will be allowed to drop tourists into specific towns inside Tanzania.

Under the new agreement Kenyan registered vehicles will now drop tourists at Namanga border post and then proceeds to other towns further interior parts of Tanzania and also to other towns like Dodoma, Arusha, Musoma ,Moshi and Lungfa Lunga.

In the past, Kenya Tour firms have been voicing vehement opposition against the existing rule for them to be picked up by Tanzanian tour operators companies for onward trip to the interior parts of the country and also to the tourist attraction sites and national game park in Tanzania.

In the new agreement signed between Kenya’ s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and East African Community affairs Ms Phyllis Kandie and her Tanzanian counterpart Lazaro Nyalandu; tourist vehicles from from the neighboring country will continue dropping tourists in all towns in Kenya except in airports and tourist sites,

Ms Kandie described the new agreement as a win-win for the two countries. “It will allow Tanzaniians involved in tour operator to have business partners in Kenya and vice-versa and thus promote regional integration.” She added.

She explained that the new agreement would also help in marketing the region as a single tourists destination; adding that she hopes the new found relationship with Tanzania would continue to flourish.

ThE TWO COUNTRIES Kenya and Tanzania also urged the three other EAC member states of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi to develop bilateral agreements to grow regional tourism.

Tour associations tour guides, wildlife agencies, tourist boards from K

The EAC partner states were also asked to consider regional cooperation on conservations of fauna and flora, to review legislation to ensure the region’s endangered wildlife resources are protected by December and that there should be cross-border efforts to fight poaching and illegal trade in wildlife and forest products.


Uhuru’s Std gauge railway will bring economic suffering to Kenyans

From: Abdalah Hamis

By Dr David Ndii

So far, the raging debate on the proposed standard gauge railway is focusing on dodgy procurement.

There are also questions about the cost although, on the whole, it is not evident that it is grossly overpriced. Many people seem to be under the impression that it is otherwise a good investment. It is not.

Three hundred billion shillings is not loose change. If it proceeds, it will be the biggest loan that we have borrowed to date. It will increase our external debt by close to one third, our debt to GDP ratio by nine percentage points and our interest payments on external debt by 50 per cent.

The annual repayment of the principal amount translates to over Sh600 million per county – you may want to think what your county could do with an extra Sh600 million every year for the next 10 years.

If we are going to put ourselves in debt to this extent, we need to be sure we are getting value for money. Are we?

I have a simple back-of-the-envelope method I use to check whether a project makes commercial sense.

At the very minimum, a commercial project should pay the cost of capital. Let us put the cost of capital at 7.5 per cent per year, about the rate that we can expect to pay on the sovereign bond we are about to float. This means that the project needs to generate a surplus of Sh22.5 to pay for capital.

To generate this kind of surplus, the railway would have to have a turnover of at least Sh120 billion. Assuming that it charges the prevailing tariff of US$1,000 per container, it would need to carry 1.4 million 20-foot containers a year, 4,000 a day. That would take about 48 very long trains every 24 hours. The busiest single line railways in the US, for instance, run 20 trains a day.

What about cargo? The Mombasa port is now handling containers about one million TeUs (twenty feet unit equivalent). That means the new rail would have to enjoy a monopoly of Mombasa port cargo to pay its way. This is probably why the Chinese financiers are asking for guaranteed cargo. But what they do not seem to appreciate is that the Kenya State does not have the same command and control power that the Chinese State has.

One can argue that the cargo volume will grow. That is true. But we are not demolishing the old line. And the new one comes only to Nairobi at first.

It does not make sense to load cargo going beyond Nairobi on the new line only to transship it to the old line that could have carried it from Mombasa in the first place.


More importantly, the region is building competing transit corridors not least our very own LAPSSET. But the most immediate competition is Tanzania’s central line. This line goes from Dar-es-Salaam to Isaka, about 100 km south of Mwanza. It is being extended to Kigali, with a branch line to Musongati in Burundi. At 1,400 km, the distance from Dar to Kigali is 25 per cent shorter than Mombasa to Kigali.

If our Chinese friends make good their pledge to build the mother of all ports at Bagamoyo, Mombasa will have a hard time competing for transit cargo to and from Rwanda and beyond.

The Lamu port, if completed, will also take a chunk of domestic and northbound cargo. And Djibouti is also angling for South Sudan and Ethiopian business as well. No massaging of data, or growling at critics, will make this railway make commercial sense.

The long and short of it is that the railway will be paid for by taxpayers’ money. Our constitution has set out five principles that public finance must fulfill. Two of these are pertinent.

Article 201(c) requires inter-generational equity that is fairness between current and future generations. Article 201(d) requires that public money be used in a prudent and responsible manner. Let us take 201 (d) first.

The fact that the railway cannot pay its way does not mean it is imprudent. It may be that it has huge indirect public benefits which are not captured by the revenues — what we call in economics positive externalities, are very high.

A good example of this was JF Kennedy’s mission to put man on the moon. Its direct economic returns were zero, but the technological advances it engendered are said to far exceed its cost.

But it is hard to see what the public benefits beyond those that accrue to the owners of the cargo that is carried are. And the fact that alternative modes of carrying cargo on the same route, including modernising the existing one, means that even the additional economic benefits to those are not that significant.


If we must build a railway, it is doubtful that this particular one is the best value we can get for our money. It seems to me that a new line from Lamu to Thika represents better value for money. Three reasons.

First, it is a cheaper and faster alternative to the proposed LAPSSET route, as there is already a line from Thika to Nanyuki that only needs rehabilitation. All it would require to make LAPSSET a reality is a container terminal in Nanyuki and a good road from Nanyuki to Juba, as the road to Ethiopia is already under construction. The economic rationale for replicating the Mombasa-Nairobi line when we are struggling to secure funding for the LAPSSET infrastructure has totally escaped me.

Second, it would connect both the Northern Corridor and the proposed LAPSSET corridor to both Mombasa and the new Lamu port. Choice for the customer, and competition between the two ports, can only be a good thing.

Third, it will stimulate development of the historically marginalised regions along its route. It will carry livestock and livestock products to the ports for export, coal and cement from Kitui, and food from the million acres of the lower Tana that we are about to irrigate.

Let us now consider 201(c), the inter-generational equity provision. This provision requires that we do not burden future generations unnecessarily, and vice-versa. It would be unjust to borrow money to consume today, for example, to throw the Golden Jubilee party, which would be repaid in 20 years.

That is obvious enough. What is less obvious is that it is equally unjust to tax poor people today for an investment that will benefit future generations who, in all likelihood, will be wealthier than we are today.

It should be readily apparent that taxing people who don’t have enough to eat to finance a project whose benefits will be realised in 50 years is as unconscionable as burdening our children and future generations with debt whose benefits they will not enjoy.


So, how else then can we finance such a long-term investment as a good railway project? There are various ways, but the most obvious is to borrow as long term as possible. As it happens, we do have access to long term cheap loans from the World Bank — 40-year maturity, 10-year grace period at 0.5 per cent interest.

If it were World Bank IDA or the African Development Bank’s (ADF) money, the repayment works out to a third of the Chinese loan, and we will not start paying until 2024, by which time the economy will be much bigger, there will be a lot more cargo to carry, and in effect, the public financial burden less onerous.

But this funding will not be available for long, as it is only available to the poorest countries, a status that we will soon graduate from. What a smart government would do is take advantage of this to finance as many long term capital projects as the World Bank and AfDB are willing to finance.

There is no shortage of commercially viable infrastructure projects, energy ones notably, for the Chinese to finance. At any rate, the Chinese are likely to win most of the construction work even when it is competitively tendered.

It’s hard to see what is smart about getting into the kind of murk they now find themselves in on this project. All it does is to reinforce the negative perceptions that many people have about the way they are doing business with African governments.

It is a lose, lose, lose project. We lose, the President loses, the Chinese lose. It is not worth it.


WRITES Leo odera Omolo

Foreigners visiting any of the five member state of the East African Community as tourists midstream now have to wait until next week to get a single visa covering Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda after the three countries missed January 1, 2014 deadline for valid of the travel document.

The East Africa tourist visa was expected to take effect yesterday January 1st 2014. However government officials in Nairobi were quoted by local media services as saying that this launch had been pushed forward to next week due the to unforeseen logistic problems.

The logistics for the role out, says a source, are being worked out right now and are expected to be in place by early next week.

Once in place in place, the visa will give the tourists multiple entry access to the three countries, allowing the government of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, to market the region as a single towards destination.

On December 17, 2013, stakeholders from the three countries met in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, to assess the feasibility of rolling out the visa on New Year day.

During the meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, the delegation had noted that it was in the process of distributing 60,000 visa strikers to high commissioners and immigration departments of the three countries. The process was expected by December 23 , 2013.

Kenya and Uganda were also expected to send information technology (IT) experts to Kigali for training which was set the fin on December 22 , 2013.

It is perhaps these logistics that have seen the launch of the visa delayed until next week.

According to report issued during the December 17, Kigali meetings, the East African tourist visa will have validity of 90 days and will be over about Kshs8,650 (USD 100) .



WRITES Leo odera Omolo

Foreigners visiting any of the five member state of the East African Community as tourists midstream now have to wait until next week to get a single visa covering Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda after the three countries missed January 1, 2014 deadline for valid of the travel document.

The East Africa tourist visa was expected to take effect yesterday January 1st 2014. However government officials in Nairobi were quoted by local media services as saying that this launch had been pushed forward to next week due the to unforeseen logistic problems.

The logistics for the role out, says a source, are being worked out right now and are expected to be in place by early next week.

Once in place in place, the visa will give the tourists multiple entry access to the three countries, allowing the government of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, to market the region as a single towards destination.

On December 17, 2013, stakeholders from the three countries met in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, to assess the feasibility of rolling out the visa on New Year day.

During the meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, the delegation had noted that it was in the process of distributing 60,000 visa strikers to high commissioners and immigration departments of the three countries. The process was expected by December 23 , 2013.

Kenya and Uganda were also expected to send information technology (IT) experts to Kigali for training which was set the fin on December 22 , 2013.

It is perhaps these logistics that have seen the launch of the visa delayed until next week.

According to report issued during the December 17, Kigali meetings, the East African tourist visa will have validity of 90 days and will be over about Kshs8,650 (USD 100) .

Going To Africa. Hope I Don’t Get AIDS….. I’m White” –

From: Yona Maro

A US public relations executive has provoked a storm of online protest for writing a Twitter comment about Aids in Africa.

Justine Sacco, who works for the media company InterActiveCorp (IAC), wrote: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get Aids. Just kidding. I’m white!”

Ms Sacco’s account has now been deleted. IAC responded by saying the “outrageous, offensive comment” did not reflect the company’s views and values. Unfortunately, the employee in question is unreachable on an international flight, but this is a very serious matter and we are taking appropriate action,” the IAC said in a statement to the media blog Valleywag.

IAC is the parent company of,, CollegeHumour,, OkCupid, The Daily Beast,, Vimeo, and, a dating site for African-Americans.

Source: BBC

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Press Releases from Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET-815 of 18 December 2013

From: Abdalah Hamis

Update 1 – 19 December, 2013

Ethiopian Airlines would like to refute all unfounded speculations regarding the incident of Ethiopian flight ET-815 from Addis Ababa to Kilimanjaro of 18 December 2013. Such unfounded speculations are against international procedure and practice of incident investigation and communications.

Although Ethiopian Airlines should strictly follow the international procedures and will not make pre-judgmental statements before the incident is fully investigated by relevant and competent authorities, there was miscommunication between the control tower and the flying crew, which resulted in landing at Arusha airport. The aircraft had adequate fuel to fly to an approved alternate airport.

All passengers and crew were unharmed and have been taken to their intended destinations. The aircraft did not sustain any damage.

Ethiopian Airlines would like to apologize to its esteemed passengers for the inconveniences caused.

Uganda-Kenya Relationship

News Analysis By Leo odera Omolo In Kisumu City

Kenya and Uganda governments have agreed to a mutual deal that when fully implemented will make it much easier to the citizens of the two countries have an easy access to border crossings, instead of the cumbersome going through tough immigration scrutinizes.

The agreement came at the conclusion of a week long consultative meeting held in Kisumu City. The meeting held at the posh Sun-Set Hotel on the eastern shore of Lake Victoria.

It will facilitate free movement of labor between the two countries. IN the new deal those nationals of the two neighboring nations moving to either for a period of six months will only be required to produce their national identity cards. This will apply to Kenyans crossing into Uganda while Ugandans travelling to Kenya will use heir voting cards as the official documents.

The Ugandan delegation headed by a r Mohamed Sadique arrived here last Monday during which time the two delegations deliberated on various contentious issues affecting the two countries. The two teams revived reviewed issues such as reviving the question of Migingo island in Lake Victoria, which has been the sources of endless political wrangling between the two nations for the last eight years.

The Kenya delegation was headed by James Ole SeriAN who is the Regional Co-coordinator Commissioner for Western Province. It asked the joint border survey committee which was established Five years ago to urgently embark on the review process to end the stalement. It became clear at the end of the discussions that the two countries wants Migingio ISLAND border survey reviewed quickly and the dispute between the two countries sorted out amicably and diplomatically. The same dispute has remained a thorny issue for the last eight years at times threatening he peaceful co-existence of the two countries.

Mr Ole Serian the head of the Kenya delegation had told the gathering that the long territorial spat over the disputed Migingo Island in Lake Victoria will soon be resolved in a peaceful manner. His counter part Mr Sadique said that the to countries have enjoyed cordial and warm relationship anf therefore needed to resolved all the outstanding issues harmoniously.

The joint survey team was established by the two nations in 2009 and undertook the joint inspection of the international boundaries in the region, But its work had stalled despite the two countries having made available the sums of Kshs 240 million in which each contributed half of the amount of. During another KENYA-Uganda Ministerial COUNCIL held in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi in 2011 it was agreed that the joint survey team would complete its work and come up with practical modalities to conclude the survey and demarcation of the common boundaries in Lake Victoria.

The initiatives, however, stalled due to what Mr Ole termed as failure to bring on board the stakeholders. NINTH KENYA-UGANDA JOINT BORDER TECHNICAL COMMISSION does bring on board all the stakeholders, and, that exercise among the many issues surrounding the true ownership of Migingo Island. Which were supposed to have been addressed adequately and sufficiently.



Reports Leo Odera Omolo In Awendo TOWN

RESIDENTS of Awendo Town in Migori County have raised complaints against the increased number of Motorcyclists boda Boda operating in the area which have become the source of insecurity and many accidental deaths. They are demanding for the quick intervention of the Prov9ncial Administration and the police authorities because the numbers of deaths caused by these machines have reached the most alarming proportion.

Many deaths in the recent months have occurred in the recent months. These deaths have become the source of worries as a day hardly passed without someone loosing his or her precious lives. Some of the deaths are are caused due to business competition. A number of riders have been killed by their own passengers and their motorbikes stolen by passenger – turned thug.

The residents have also appealed to the government to ensure that the boda boda riders operates only during working hours and strictly not after darkness. Two riders had their throats sit open and killed within a week after the smartly dressed passengers who hired them after darkness turned thugs and killed them in grisly and cold blooded murder.

The two incident took places within SAKWA central. In the first incident, a motorbike rider was hired by a passenger art Dede Market and who wanted to be taken to Ranjira area. But the rider never saw the next light of the day. He was found dead the next day by the roadside with hid motorbike missing.

Two prominent sugar farmers and business have died as the result of motorbike accidents. The first who died was Mzee Nahashon Nyandiga Aloo of Ng’ong’a village in Sakwa South who met his end while traveling from his home to Awendo town.

Mzee Washington Ogweno Otata, a retired medic from Rinya village in Waware sub-location Sakwa East, was killed by a motorbike rider a month ago. Gun toting criminal thugs have also been reported as being ferried into the villages at night by boda boda motor cyclists with intention of committing a felonies..Quite often the motorbike riders whose numbers have tripled in the recent months.

In most cases these riders have no driving licenses and not qualified to ride their machines on the highway. Police traffic manning the feeder and access roads from the rural locations into the town normally allows the riders to ferry extra passengers so that they could earn 100 ij bribes money. Most of the boda boda who are licensed to carry only one passenger do carry between town and three passengers, putting their lives to a great risk. The riders overload their bike, and even some times carrying up two or three passengers instead of one while traffic police only demand 100 for their bribe money.

There are several access and feeder roads which are linking Awendo town with the surrounding rural locations and villages. They included Awendo-Rapogi-Road, Awendo-Mariwa-road, Awendo Kanyimach-road and the Kisii-Migori highway which passes through.On Market days, the traffic policemen mount road barriers and road blocks on these roads as early as 7.30 A.M ,but all these for the purpose of collection but no traffic offenders are booked.

It has been confirmed that close to 500 motorcyclists are operating inside this small farming town and this has become the source of insecurity



Writes Leo Odera Omolo In Homa-Bay

THE Homa-Bay County government has envisages a plan to have the road from Mbita Point crossing to Rusinga Island termacked in order to give tourists and other visitors easy access to Tom Mboya Mausoleum, which is located at the late freedom fighter’s home near Matenga beach at Kamasengre, Rusinga West Location.

This was disclosed by the Homa-Bay governor Cypria. Otieno Awit. He further explained that ather road network earmarked from future improvement included Oyugis Kendu-Bay road and Rangwe-Rodi-Kopany Oyugis road. These roads are so important not only for easy communication, but would also facilitate easy travelling for traders and formers to access markets in the hinterland.

Other projects which are in the pipeline included tarmarcking the road which is traversing Mfangano, another fishing island which is also potential for tourist attractions.

Plans are also a foot for improving Kadongo-Gendia road and and the road that branches off at Kanyadhiang on the main Kendu-Bay-Homa-Bay rod and traversing Homa Hills via Pala as well as Kadel-Kowuor Pier road.

Prior to independence in 1963 Mboya used to walk from Mbita Point to his Kmasengre home on Rusinga Island.a distant of about eight miles. He used to cross Mbita Channel using a Dingy while leaving his car on the mainland, but this was later replaced by Ferry servicerr and after Mboya’s death in 1969, a Coasway was constructed. A permanent bridge is currently under construction The KENYA Museium services has since taken over the management of Tom Mboya Mausoleum.

Mboya, the most brilliant politician Kenya, has ever had is widely acknowledge as an uncompressed freedom fighter at the same time the architect of Kenya’s independence, died in hails of bullets fired by an assassin in a Nairobi street on July 5, 1969. HE HAD BEEN THE Secretary General of the independence party KANU ever since its inception in June 1960 up to his death while serving as Kenya’s MINISTER FOR Economic Planning and Development.

Governor AWITI said his government is busy initiating many socio-economic projects with far reaching to the electorate in the region. These projects are well spread in all seven parliamentary constituencies.


Canadian Government uses Public Polling to set some Policies

From: Maurice Oduor

Some government policies made with help of public polling. Good or bad idea?


Should bike helmets be mandatory across Canada?

Yes, it’s a matter of safety


No, it’s an adult’s choice

Thank you for voting.

36,329 votes

Canadian Pediatric Society wants mandatory helmets for cyclists »